APC’s Change Agenda Crucial To Meaningful Independence – Aregbesola

Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has identified the successful prosecution of the ongoing change agenda as the mark of Nigeria’s true independence.

In his congratulatory message to Nigerians on the occasion.of this year’s 56th independence anniversary celebrations, Governor Aregbesola through a statement by the Bureau of communication and Strategy, in the Office of the Governor, commended Nigerians for exercising their democratic preference for the change agenda which has at its front burner the anti-corruption crusade currently being doggedly pursued by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The statement by the Bureau which was signed by its Director, Semiu Okanlawon, said, “If Nigerians had not voted and ensured that their votes counted, the survival of Nigeria as an independent country would have become unrealistic.

“Considering the less than patriotic looting of the National treasuryunder the former ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as well as the threat to national security through acts of terrorism and other violent crimes, Nigeria was already at a crossroad before President Buhari emerged to salvage the situation.

“The resultant economic challenges are not surprising as the resources needed to shield Nigerians from recession had been frittered away by the profligate style of the past administration.

That Nigerians took the bull by the horns to save the country from destruction by voting for change, Aregbesola noted, made the future of Nigeria assured and guaranteed.

While urging citizens to continue in their prayers for the success of the Buhari administration in the execution of the brass task of national rebirth and economic revival, the Osun Governor pleaded for patio tickets support for all government programmes so that the emergence of the Dawn of hope will be quickly realised.

He urged all Nigerians irrespective of their religious or political persuasions to remain firm in their faith in the unity and progress of the country with confidence that the new Nigeria where all citizens are justly treated and rewarded is nigh.

Recession Will Not Last, Buhari Assures Nigerians In Independence Day Speech

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his administration is trying to do the right things in addressing the economic recession.

The president made the statement in a nationwide broadcast to mark the country’s 56th Independence Anniversary on Saturday.

Buhari, who acknowledged that recession for many individuals and families was real, gave an assurance that the situation would not last long,

He commended all Nigerians for making “incredible sacrifices.’’

“I know that uppermost in your minds today is the economic crisis. The recession for many individuals and families is real.

“For some, it means not being able to pay school fees, for others it’s not being able to afford the high cost of food (rice and millet) or the high cost of local or international travel, and for many of our young people the recession means joblessness, sometimes after graduating from university or polytechnic.

“I know how difficult things are and how rough business is.

“All my adult life I have always earned a salary and I know what it is like when your salary simply is not enough.

“In every part of our nation people are making incredible sacrifices,’’ the president said.

He reassured Nigerians that he would continue to ensure honesty and transparency in governance and stop the stealing of Nigeria’s resources.

The president said the steps would ensure provision of qualitative healthcare, security, education, infrastructure for commerce and additional jobs for the youth.

“I ran for office because I know that good government is the only way to ensure prosperity and abundance for all. I remain resolutely committed to this objective.

“I believe that this recession will not last.

“Temporary problems should not blind or divert us from the corrective course this government has charted for our nation.

“We have identified the country’s salient problems and we are working hard at lasting solutions,” Buhari said. (NAN)

Buhari Pledges Improved Funding For Creative Industry

President Muhammadu Buhari has promised that his administration will improve funding of creative industry in the 2017 Budget in order to boost employment opportunities.

The President made the pledge in Abuja during the public presentation of a pictorial book titled: “Buhari A New Beginning,” the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The book launch with the theme: “Creative Youth as Drivers of the Change Agenda,” featured youth conversation, discussion session where seven selected youths exchanged ideas with the President on issues relating to creative industry.

Buhari said the improved allocation will provide the requisite infrastructure for rapid transformation of the creative industry in the country.

He said the fund would be channelled through the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.

President Buhari said steps would be taken by his administration to tackle the menace of piracy and other challenges facing the country.

He urged the youths to partner with the administration in its efforts to diversify the economy and ensure a corrupt-free society.

Buhari Will Do Everything To Make Nigeria Great – Osinbajo

President Muhammadu Buhari is ready to put everything on the line to make sure Nigeria is great and he has no other objective other than seeing this dream come true, says Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

“This morning, I had a meeting with the President and he repeated to me twice, he said ‘at my age there is only one thing I am looking for, I want to see a great Nigeria’. He has no other objective and I feel very inspired by that,” Prof Osinbajo stated.

The Vice President spoke while receiving a delegation of Christian Ministers Welfare Initiative also known as the Pastors’ Forum, Taraba State, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Prof. Osinbajo while restating the firm commitment of the President and himself to a great Nigeria where peace and justice reign said “it is madness for anybody in our position to be looking for money. According to him, God put people in a position of authority for them to be able to do something for their people.

“I think if any Nigerian gets the chance to be president of the country, there is nothing he/she is looking for anymore except that while there you improve the lot of the people,” he added.

Linking the economic situation to corruption and official graft, the VP stated that “no economy can tolerate the level of corruption seen in Nigeria without the consequence, Nigerian lives were being lost and yet people cannot account for $15 billion meant for purchase of security equipment to fight the insurgents.”

Besides, the Vice President also explained how the factor of vandalisation of oil installations is contributory to the recession.

He said Nigeria has lost several millions of barrels of crude oil due to the activities of the militants in the Niger Delta.

According to him, by early 2016 the country was producing 5,000MW of power for the first time, but by February 2016 the Focados terminal was destroyed by militants and 40 per cent of the gas used to fire the power plants were lost and the country was down to 2,500MW of power.

According to Prof. Osinbajo, at the time the militants started blowing up oil and gas installations, the amnesty stipend were still being paid, “nothing changed, the only reason is that we are investigating people who have stolen money.”

He added that the country was loosing one million barrels of oil a day, nothing that, that is 60% of the country’s revenues, and there is nowhere such amount of revenue is lost without going into some economic challenge like a recession.

While expressing optimism that the country will come out of the recession, the VP stated that “there is no question at all, God has a reason for bringing us in at this time and God helping us we will see a change in this country.”

Vice President Osinbajo urged the Church and all religious leaders to stand up against corruption, stressing that if this government is doing the right thing by fighting corruption the Church should support it.

In response to some of the concerns of the delegation, the Vice President assured that the Federal Government is working very seriously to end the problem of ravaging herdsmen. He said the President has instructed the police and the military to act and deal with anybody who carries arms.

He then urged that anybody with early information or intelligence on such violent activities should give it to government and the security agents for effective response. He also added that those behind the ‘herdsmen violence’ are criminals.

While calling on honest and forthright men in the country to work together, Osinbajo said God has structured Nigeria in such a way that no one can dominate another, not Muslims against Christians or Christians against Muslims.

“It is not possible for one tribe to dominate another based on the way God has structured the country. The reason we have Christian president and Muslim vice president or Muslim president and Christian vice president is to have balance,” he said.

Earlier, the Chairman of the delegation, Rev, Godwin Nyiekule said the delegation was in the State House to pledge their support to the Buhari Administration for its forthrightness and fight against corruption. “We are happy with the government for the war against corruption crusade,” he said.

Rev Nyiekule also highlighted that the Christian Ministers Welfare Initiative is a non-partisan group but supports good persons who want to participate in government, adding that the federal government should come to the assistance of those churches whose premises are being used as IDP camps.

Jibrin Gives Lawmakers Three Days To Return Illegal Allowances

A former chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has given his colleagues in the lower legislative chamber three days to return all questionable allowances they have allegedly being collecting.

Jibrin, in a statement issued yesterday, warned that those who refused to heed his warning should be prepared to face the consequences because he will soon publish details of how such officials perpetrated the fraud.

The Kano lawmaker’s warning is coming on the day the House sealed off his office following his suspension for breaching the privileges of members and failing to appear before the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges investigating his allegation of budget padding against the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara and some principal officers.

The former Appropriations chairman advised his colleagues to individually approach the appropriate authority and make arrangement on how to return the excess allowances to government coffers.

“I have written to the Clerk of the National Assembly to stand by in anticipation.

“In the face of the revenue challenges and biting hardship the country is currently facing, there is no better time the country needs such money than now,” he said.

The lawmaker disclosed that he resolved to take the action after receiving numerous enquiries on the need for him to back his allegations against the leadership of the House with evidence.

“I have come under intense public scrutiny and pressure to prove that there exists systemic corruption in the House,” he noted.

Jibrin had accused the House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara and other principal officers of padding the 2016 budget to the tune of over N40bn .

Public Procurement Law Now Operational In Osun

The Government of the State of Osun has appointed Mr. S.O. Fadele as the acting General Manager of State of Osun Public Procurement Agency.

This followed the signing into law of the Public Procurement Law 2015, by Governor Rauf Aregbesola on Wednesday, February 10, 2016. Since the enactment of this law, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the State of Osun has through this agency been made to fully conform to public procurement standards prescribed by the Law.

With hundreds of ongoing projects across the state, the enactment of the Public Procrement Law has saved the state government millions of naira. This is tandem with the essence of signing into law, the Public Procurement Law, 2015.

The state governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, had while signing the bill into law at the Executive Chamber Lounge of the governor’s office in Osogbo said “procurement was one way government interfaces with the people and enlivens its domestic economy.”

‎Mr. Aregbesola said it was important that the resources of government were managed judiciously and the procurement process seen to be transparent and equitable.

He held that government, as stewards of public funds, must be accountable and be seen to have got the best deal for the people with public funds.

‎Mr. Aregbesola said government had put in place adequate guideline to safeguard the law from being abused by people.

‎He said, “No matter how well intentioned any policy of government is, it is bound to be abused by unscrupulous elements saddled with its operation.

The State of Osun Public Procurement Law 2015 consist of 81 sections which would ensure probity, accountability, transparency, value for money as well as establish fair pricing standards and benchmarks.

Section 23 (1)-(27) was coined in line with best global practices in procurement and even modeled to suit peculiarities in the State of Osun so as to forestall any act of sabotage right from the outset of any procurement process.

Section 25 of the new law makes it mandatory that all procuring entities must have a procuring Office with the function of i‎nitiating the entity’s procurement process.

The law has been setup to ensure the procuring office must carry out appropriate market and statistical surveys, prepare analysis of cost implication of a proposed procurement among other functions.

Nigeria’s Economic Survival Depends On Agriculture And Manufacturing Sectors – Buhari

As the nation grapples with severe economic crisis, President Muhammadu Buhari has said that its survival was dependent on the agricultural and manufacturing sector.

Buhari stated this at the 44th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) held at Transcorp Hilton hotel, Abuja on Thursday.

He lauded the association over the theme of the conference “Diversifying the Nigerian Economy: the Role of Government in Manufacturing”, saying it was timely.

He said: “This event is timely and the theme ‘Diversifying the Nigerian Economy: the Role of Government in Manufacturing’ quite apt as it is coming at a time when the nation is faced with the urgent need to diversify the economy in the light of dwindling price of crude oil in the global market. As you know, the dramatic fall in crude oil and other commodity prices has had a serious negative impact on world economies, especially countries like Nigeria which depended on one commodity for its export earnings.

“This Administration is convinced that the key to our quest for economic diversification and therefore survival lies in Agriculture and the Manufacturing sector. A strong manufacturing sector will create more jobs and wealth for our people. It will usher in sustainable economic prosperity because we will produce what we consume as a nation and generate foreign exchange by exporting any surplus.
PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI
PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI

“The Manufacturing sector is well positioned to be a major driver of Nigeria’s economic growth because of our immense natural resources and the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians. Government is therefore focused on implementing necessary policies and strategies aimed at unleashing the full potentials of manufacturing in Nigeria. We will rely heavily on your ideas and inputs at all stages of formulation and implementation of new industrial policies. For our part, we will remove bottlenecks and create a more business friendly environment.

“Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, our strategic plan to boost manufacturing activities in the country is supported by the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) and the National Enterprises Development Programme (NEDEP). These programs, present a clear road map towards an industrialised Nigerian economy.”

The president told the manufacturers that his government had made frantic efforts to improve the patronage of locally produced goods even as he asked them to expect an invitation from his government to help reposition the country.

“We are working on improving the patronage of locally made goods, bridging the gap between skills required by industry and those provided by our educational institutions and access to finance for our Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs). We recognise that MAN and the other Organised Private Sector (OPS) groups are our key stakeholders in this journey and we will continue our engagement with you.

“As events unfold in the coming months, many of you will be called upon to play critical roles in the implementation of this Administration’s agenda. I implore you to avail us your wealth of experience so that together we can uplift our nation’s economy and social well-being”, he said.

Also speaking, the president, Dangote Group of companies, Alhaji Aligo Dangote, while delivering a lecture reemphasized the need for the country to urgently diversified the economy especially in the midst of the dwindling crude oil prices.

“Since the massive decline in the price of crude oil over the past two years, oil exporting nations, Nigeria inclusive, have been grappling with severe deterioration in their fiscal positions. It has yet again become very evident, that Nigeria urgently needs to develop other income streams by diversifying its economy since it can no longer depend solely on crude oil exports to fund its economy.

“Fortunately, Nigeria has huge latent potential which can propel economic diversification. Our country has at least 44 known minerals scattered across the length and breath of the country as well as a huge expanse of arable land that supports the growth of most tropical crops. Indeed, even crops which we would typically associate with temperate regions of the world are known to grow in the highlands of Jos, Adamawa and Obudu.

“As a nation, we need to stem the massive outflow of foreign exchange by weaning ourselves off our propensity to import what we can efficiently produce locally. Economic diversification through value addition for our domestic and export markets is the only way Nigeria will recover from its present economic predicament and achieve high levels of inclusive growth over a sustained period of time.

“At this juncture it is worth emphasizing that diversifying the Nigerian economy does not mean we should neglect our oil & gas sector. On the contrary, the oil & gas sector needs to be deepened and expanded to enable us unlock the full benefits in the hydrocarbon value chain”, he said.

He also outlined the roles of government in the diversification process sector of the economy.

“Although the diversification of the economy has to be private sector led, government at both the national and sub-national levels have a huge role to play in attracting and facilitating long term investments. Some of the key steps needed to be taken by government include the articulation of clear sector specific policies along with incentive packages that are commensurate with the risk inherent in each sector; More support for small and medium scale manufacturers, since many Nigerian manufacturers are relatively small with limited capital to support their investments; Boosting non-oil exports to bring in much needed foreign exchange, by ratifying and implementing the road-map recently developed the Nigerian Export Promotion Council.”

Aregbesola Thanks Edo Electorate For Not “Changing The Change”

Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun on Thursday in Abuja thanked Edo electorate for voting Godwin Obaseki of the All Progressives Congress (APC), saying “thank you for not changing the change’’.

Aregbesola said this when he broke the news of Obaseki’s victory as Edo governor-elect to newsmen at the “National Day of Solidarity with Cuba’’.

The event is a roundtable discussion on strengthening International Struggle against all forms of Blockade and Isolation against Cuba.

“I am happy that my party has won in Edo. I thank the Edo people for not changing the change. This change is here to stay,’’ he said.

He appealed to Nigerians to continue to bear with the administration in the face of economy recession.

“Please bear with us, it will soon be and the nation will come out in victory,’’ he said.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had, earlier in the day in Benin, declared Obaseki winner of the governorship election in the state.

Obaseki polled 319,483 votes to defeat his closest rival, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 253,173 votes.

It will be recalled that the slogan for the PDP campaigns in the state was “change the change’’.

(NAN)

Federation Cup Semi-Final: Crown FC, IfeanyiUbah Match Abandoned In Kaduna

The semi-final match between FC IfeanyiUbah and Crown football Club was abandoned in the 88th minute when the centre referee A. A Ibraheem disallowed a goal by Ccrown FC Yakub Ahmed.

The goal would have made the score 2-2 with FC Ifeanyi leading at 2-1.

Crown shot in the lead in the 15th minutes of play through Yakub Ahmed while Ifeanyiubah levelled up four minutes after.

Ifeanyiubah shot into the lead through a controversial penalty in the second half of the game.

However, the referees many calls were condemned by Kaduna fans which were described as been uncalled for.

The angry fans distrupted the match in the 88th minutes when the centre referee A. A Ibraheem disallowed an equaliser by Yakub Ahmed.

The Assistant referee 1 pointed at the centre while centre referree disallowed the goal which promoted and angered the fans to enter the pitch.

Senator Fatai Buhari while speaking with Tribunesport called on the Nigeria Football Federation to punish the referee saying that he was a disgrace to Nigeria Football and refereeing..

He said, “The good thing was that it was angry fans that distrupted the match and not the Crown Fc supporters. This is not good for our football using money to destroy good football. He should be punished because he destroyed the match”, he said.

Both Chairman, House committee on Sport, Oyo State House of Assembly honourable Sina Adeniyi and commissioner for sport Yomi Oke condemned the referees action describing it as disgusting and act that will destroy the game of football.

It would be recalled that the scenario played out in Abeokuta during the quarterfinal match between Ifeanyiubah /Warri Wolves when Warri Wolves goal was disallowed.

Ifeanyi Uba is not Crown’s match in the field of play and we knew something shady was going to transpire but we never knew to what extent the madness ‎was going to be. Crown awaits the decision of the Federation for the come.

Dasuki Trial Stalled As SSS Fails To Present Ex-NSA In Court Again

The Federal Government has again failed to produce the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, before an Abuja High-Court for trial.
Mr. Dasuki is accused of money laundering and corruption.
He was charged along with five others before Justice Peter Affen, and was granted bail. He was re-arrested and kept in custody of the State Security since December 2015.
Others being prosecuted along with the former NSA include a former Director of Finance in the Office of the NSA, Shuaibu Salisu, a former finance minister of state, Bashir Yuguda; a former Sokoto governor, Attahiru Bafarawa, the ex-governor’s son, Sagir Attahiru, and a firm, Dalhatu Investment.
At the resumed trial Thursday, counsel to the Federal Government, Rotimi Jacob, told the judge that he was surprised that Mr. Dasuki was not brought to court by his client.
Mr. Jacob said on his part he notified the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the trial and the need to produce Mr. Dasuki in court, but said that communication gap between the EFCC and SSS was responsible for non-production of the former NSA in court.
Mr. Jacob applied to Justice Affen to stand down the case for him to enable his client to produce Mr. Dasuki in court.
He could not give a definite period within which the EFCC would bring the ex-NSA to court.

The action of the prosecution provoked reactions from Olajide Ayodele (SAN) counsel to former Minister of State for Finance, Mr. Yuguda, who opposed the request.
The senior counsel said the failure of the prosecution to give a definite time within which Mr. Dasuki would be brought to court by either EFCC or SSS was an indication that he haD no knowledge of what was transpiring between the EFCC and DSS on the matter.
Mr. Olajide therefore pleaded with the judge to adjourn the trial.
His position was adopted by Jacob Daudu, who stood for Mr. Dasuki and regretted that the government which put the ex-NSA on trial was the one scuttling the trial.
Mr. Daudu said since June when the matter was adjourned, the EFCC which initiated the trial on behalf of the Federal Government ought to have known that it its responsibility to produce Mr. Dasuki in Court as required by the law.
Former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Akin Olujimi, who stood for former Sokoto Governor, Attahiru Bafarawa, also opposed the request to stand down the case without a definite time.
He pleaded for an adjournment.
In his ruling, Justice Affen agreed that it would be unfair to stand down the case without a definite time within which Mr. Dasuki would be produced in court.
The judge advised the government to ensure Mr. Dasuki is in court, and adjourned the matter till October 21, 2016.

Gender Equality Bill Scales Through Second Reading In Senate

A bill to entrench gender equality and elimination of all forms of discrimination against women scaled through second reading in the Senate on Thursday.
Sponsor of the bill , Senator Abiodun Olujimi, in her presentation, explained that Nigeria has not been fair to women in the appointment into offices, adding that they have been discriminated against as well.

She noted that the nation is a signatory to various United Nations charters on rights of women in Africa, but regretted that such rights have been breached.

She stated that if the bill scales through as envisaged, it would domesticate the various treaties to the effect that the 35% affirmation of women will bring them into the mainstream of governance.

“A Bill for an Act to incorporate and enforce certain provisions of the United Nations Convention on elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, the protocol to African Charter on Human Rights and People’s Rights of Women in Africa and other matters,” Olujimi submitted.

She also averred that Nigeria must be in the forefront championing the cause of Women’s rights in Africa, stressing that other nations of the world were waiting to see what African countries would do to utilise the potentials inherent in women.

In his contribution on the debate, Senator Olusola Adeyeye (APC) Osun, expressed support for the bill, explaining that Women were naturally about 50 per cent of men’s population, hence, any discrimination against them was a discrimination against God.

Adeyeye added that culture has oppressed women for long, while urging the Senate to ensure the protection of Women’s rights.

“Mr. President, I rise to enthusiastically support this bill, the worst form of discrimination is gender discrimination and the Senate must ensure their rights, even as their population was half of that of their male counterpart,” he noted.

Senators Oluremi Tinubu, Binta Mashi insisted that 35% affirmation of Women as captured in the constitution must be implemented, decrying that they were not adequately represented in elective and appointive offices.

“The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended stipulates 35% affirmation and equal representation in the Federal Character, but as we speak that has not been done. ”

“Women are supposed to support men, but administratively they were supposed to work hand I hand with men,” Binta maintained.

Recall that following Senate’s earlier rejection of the bill seeking gender equality, sponsored by the Deputy Minority Whip of the Senate, Biodun Olujimi, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki had advised Nigerian women to re-introduce the Gender Equality Bill turned down by the Upper Chamber over alleged constitutional violations.