Nigeria To Stop Fuel Importation/Export By 2019 – Adesina

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina has said that the country will stop importation and exportation of petroleum products by 2019.

Mr Adesina said that importation and exportation of fuel has a high effect on the lingering fuel crisis because the country does not produce the product locally and the refineries do not work, which makes room for little hitches in the inflow. .

“When you import fuel and do not produce fuel locally or the refineries do not work once in a while fuel scarcity should be expected, as long as you have those variables not under your total control you can’t rule that out.

Mr Adesina made this known while speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, where he explained that the Minister of State For Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachukwu, has drawn a timetable leading to 2019, noting that part of the plan is that Nigeria will stop importing but exporting.

Concerning the unemployment rate in the country which the National Bureau of Statics recently released a data saying that unemployment has increased in the 3rd quarter of 2017, Mr Adesina said that there is an increase agricultural sector especially rice farming, mining and solid minerals.

INEC Expects 10m More Voters by 2019

The number of registered voters in Nigeria by year 2019 is expected to increase by abut 1 million more voters, bringing the total to about 80 million voters.

The Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, made the prediction at a roundtable organised by the European Union Electoral Follow-up Mission to Nigeria and West Africa, held in Abuja.

Yakubu speaking on the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) said that no fewer than 3.2 million Nigerians had been register in addition to the 70 million registered voters for the 2015 general elections.

According to him, “We started in April and as at last week, and we have registered 3.2 million Nigerians on top of the 70 million registered voters for the 2015 general elections that we had before. Our projection is that the Voter Register will probably be over 80 million by 2019…

“We haven’t made much progress in the last two years, but we have made elaborate arrangements with the states to ensure that the cards are collected. We have just completed the draft Election Project Plan for 2019,” he said.

“The last election was three weeks ago in Gombe, the next election will come up in eight days time in Sokoto, followed by the Anambra governorship elections.

“We have issued the timetable for Ekiti and Osun governorship elections. In Anambra, we issued the timetable in February for an election that will take place in November. We have done the same for Ekiti and Osun. We have taken care, in both cases, to avoid party politics, national festivals and students’ examinations.

“The last (governorship) election in Ekiti took place on June 14, but June next year is likely to coincide with the fasting period and Salah.

“Since the law says that we should conduct the election at least 30 days to the end of the tenure (of the incumbent), we shifted it to July when there is no festival or examination.

“The same for Osun – instead of August 4, we’ll conduct the election in September.

“Interestingly in Osun’s case, we have given a one-year notice and we have always made copies of the timetable and schedule of activities available to the security agencies,” he said.

INEC Releases Timetable For 2019 Presidential, National Assembly Elections

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, Professor Yakubu Mahmood has released the date for the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly Election in Nigeria.

Mahmood revealed that February 16th, 2019 would be for both the President and National Assembly Election during a meeting with members of the Commission and all Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC), at the INEC Headquarters’ Conference Hall, Abuja on Thursday.

“Above all the 2019 #NigeriaDecidesGeneral Elections is exactly 505 days away from today.

“The Gov. State Assembly and Federal Capital Territory(FCT) Area Council elections are fixed
for Saturday 2nd March 2019.

“As part of our preparations for the elections, we shall discuss the on-going Continuous Voter
Registration (CVR) exercise.

“As you are aware, the foundation of a free and fair election rest on credible Voter Register.

“So far, 2,786,405 citizens have registered in the ongoing exercise out of which 1,619,513 (58%) are Male while 1,166,892 (42%) are female.

“The Presidential and National Assembly elections have been fixed for Saturday 16th February 2019.

Pres. Buhari Gave No Orders On Use Of National ID Cards For 2019 Polls

Press Release

Our attention has been drawn to some misleading newspaper reports today claiming that the President gave “orders” that national identity cards be used in the 2019 elections.

For the avoidance of any doubt, the President has made no such order and the Vice President’s speech (delivered yesterday by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Ade Ipaye at the Policy Roundtable on Identity Eco-System in the country, which the report used to make such erroneous claims), certainly made no mention of the 2019 elections at all.

What the speech said was that the President has taken an initiative to harmonize identity management in the country so as to ensure that every Nigerian has a unique identifier. And in the same vein, the speech added that it is the “President’s charge that the national identification number number, (NIN) is used to authenticate eligible voters in the near future, as well as in the areas of access to health insurance, registration of SIM cards, access to social welfare, financial transactions, etc.”

What this means is that such a unique identifier as the NIN can, when eventually issued, help to confirm age and nationality status of eligible voters, for instance. Or even help determine eligibility of persons presenting themselves for health, social welfare, financial and other available services in the country.

The President was not giving any directive to INEC or any order regarding 2019. Mr. President and this administration fully respect the autonomy of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) and also very determined to preserve the integrity of the electoral process at all times.
Here below is the Vice President’s speech verbatim. The speech was delivered by Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Ade Ipaye, yesterday


I am delighted to welcome you all to this policy roundtable on identity management in Nigeria. I am particularly happy with the representation of all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the World Bank and other Development Assistance Agencies here today. The importance of this policy discussion necessitated my acceptance to chair the meeting, which is aimed at optimising the benefits of digital identity and leveraging its use for accelerating development. The particular focus on harmonisation and integration of disparate government identity management databases is of course a matter of crucial importance to Nigeria.

Identity plays a pivotal role in our lives and cuts across so many sectors of the economy. As a government, we recognise the huge importance of moving towards a Digital Government. Therefore, we must embrace and harness the potentials inherent in digital identity to build and develop our country. Nations all over the world and, in particular, developed countries, have utilized identity as a foundation to transforming governance and enhancing service delivery in the areas of healthcare, agriculture, voting, transportation, financial inclusion, access to basic services and welfare programmes, amongst others.

A case in point is Estonia, a country of just over 1.3m population (WorldBank estimate in 2016). According to Digital Nomads, “Estonia currently has one of the most advanced e-government systems in the world. This includes a single digital ID that enables citizens to access all of its secure services. Applicants can obtain a digital ID that will let them register their business within a day, open a bank account, use e-tax services and sign contracts from anywhere in the world. There, you don’t need to input any data manually for your tax declaration as all data is gathered and prepared automatically. And it can make digital nomad life and business much easier.”

The Nigerian National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has commenced work on the harmonisation of all our disparate Identity Management Systems into a concise system to ensure completeness, accuracy and integrity of such a national asset. In this regard, I believe that Nigeria must use its digital strategy to establish a global reputation for technological leadership and business dynamism, building digital ecosystems in which innovation can thrive. We will invest in smart infrastructure, platforms, and services; digitise our records and classify them accordingly; review and upgrade the legal and regulatory framework; and nurture digital talent.

Virtually all the developed nations have a single identifier that forms the core of their identity. For instance, in the UK, it is the National Insurance Number, which is mandatory to have as soon as a citizen turns 16 years of age and becomes eligible to work and pay tax accordingly. In the USA, it is the Social Security Number and, in India, it is called the Aadahar number. This unique number, which encapsulates the identity of the individual, is used for all of the activities relating to the identification of the person – in terms of planning for security, health, immigration, budget, etc. An accurate identity management system with quality data is no doubt a national asset to a country. It is time for Nigeria to also offer a unique identity to every person in the country. Nigeria as a global player and a developing nation must work towards leveraging digital identity as a reliable tool for uniquely identifying its citizenry and residents and accelerating socio economic development.

I am aware that different sectors in Nigeria in response to their peculiar needs, have developed a means to identify individuals in order to perform their specific statutory functions. This has resulted in duplication of efforts, wastage of resources, uncoordinated identity approach, as well as unreliable identity information due to lack of interoperability and disconnected databases. The importance of the confidentiality of the information/data inherent in the identity management system cannot be over-emphasised. We must therefore ensure absolute integrity and security of this information.

It is important that, as a nation, we have an interoperable and connected system to verify that each person or beneficiary is who he claims to be. Our strategic plans, as a government, in the area of identification scheme must therefore converge to make harmonization and integration of the existing and new databases a reality.

Our policies must be articulated and refined in such a way that government agencies must work together; collaborate with each other, share infrastructure and government investments to serve their customers who are potentially the same citizens and residents. The fiscal cost of implementing disparate and unconnected biometric-linked identity databases is increasingly becoming a huge burden and needs to be streamlined going forward as government cannot continue to fund the unnecessary duplication of efforts and overlapping identity functions that further deplete its scarce resources. Clearly, there are potentially large benefits from the integration of the ID programs of our government institutions and we must take advantage of the opportunity that has been presented for us to get it right.
As we endeavour to resolve the identity management system challenges, we will also ensure that other forms of identification such as Drivers’ License, International Passports are aligned and in sync. The President has already taken the initiative in recognising the importance of identity and a harmonized identity management system. That is why there was a directive from my office in December 2015 for all stakeholders who have built independent identity management systems to consolidate, aggregate and integrate existing databases as a way to accelerate and scale up the national identity database so as to offer every person a unique identifier. I am aware that a lot of work has been done in this regard by all of the stakeholders represented here. However, it is the President’s charge that the national identification number (NIN) is used to authenticate eligible voters in the near future, as well as in the areas of access to health insurance, registration of SIM cards, access to social welfare, financial transactions, etc.

The development of identity program in Nigeria will greatly help the nation leverage on its potential to improve security of lives and properties, advance service delivery, and fight poverty and corruption. Achieving full scale national Identity management would boost our efforts at better tracking the movement of people, while minimizing issues with external border controls and terrorism. We have an opportunity to change and transform our country and I believe everyone here has a role to play in the growth and development of our nation through digital identity.

I want to commend the World Bank for its concern and interest in the development of the identity ecosystem of Nigeria, including the harmonisation and integration of many disparate of government identity management databases; and for sponsoring this roundtable meeting. Furthermore, I want to also commend other Donor agencies who have expressed willingness and readiness to support the Nigerian Government in the effort to build a robust identification eco system.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, It is on this premise therefore, that I am pleased to convey the support and goodwill of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; to the World Bank, other Donor Agencies and to all the MDAs here present. He demands that you all take up the challenge of giving Nigeria a world-class identity management infrastructure, which will be pivotal to the security and socio-economic transformation of the country. His Excellency, the President appreciates your sponsorship, willingness and readiness to support Nigeria.

With the calibre of people here, I am sure that there will be in-depth policy discussions on strengthening the identity eco system of Nigeria and robust action plans to shape the implementation of the Presidential directive for the alignment of all biometric identity databases in the country.

As I conclude, I wish to stress the fact that this meeting is not for us to analyze why the policy cannot work or why more time is needed. This policy meeting is for us to reach a common understanding on what our nation needs right now, what business model and approach should be adopted in ensuring that everyone in Nigeria has a unique identity (an identifier that serves the public and private sectors alike) and consider options and strategies for streamlining activities of MDAs and optimizing the use of scarce government resources in achieveing a common goal on identification as an enabler.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is my singular honor and pleasure to declare this meeting open.

I thank you all and wish you fruitful deliberation.

God bless you, God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Released by:

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President
December 9, 2016