Buhari Praises Jonathan As Ex-President Turns 60

President Muhammodu Buhari has joined other well-meaning Nigerians to celebrate his predecessor, Dr Goodluck Jonathan who will turn 60 tomorrow.

In a statement issued by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the president, Mr Femi Adesina praises the celebrant feats of rising from his humble beginning to the topmost post in Nigeria.

The former president who rose from deputy governor of Bayelsa state to become the first citizen in the country ruled for six years as president.

“President Buhari joins members of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), professional colleagues, associates of Dr Jonathan, and his family in celebrating the unique history of the Nigerian leader, who within a short period rose from being a Deputy Governor, Governor, Vice President to becoming Nigeria’s President for six years”, Adesina wrote..

“President Buhari believes Dr Jonathan’s foray into politics and ascendency to the highest political office in Nigeria from a humble riverine background testifies to the greatness and inclusiveness of Nigeria’s democracy, and serves as an invitation to all those with interest to add value to the nation.”

“President Buhari prays that the almighty God will bless Dr Jonathan with good health, wisdom and strength to continue serving the country.”

Expect No Automatic Ticket In 2019, Abdullahi Tells Buhari

The National Chairman of Northern Nigeria Union, Professor Ango Abdullahi has said that being an incumbent president does not automatically confer on President Muhammodu Buhari the 2019 presidential ticket.

He explained that Buhari’s endorsement and adoption for a second term in office by some Northern elements was not automatic ticket.

Abdulahi spoke Wednesday at a news conference in Abuja on the Union’s readiness to host the 5th Commemorative lecture in honour of late Dr. Olusola Saraki holding November 27 at International Conference Centre, ICC.

He said Buhari must earn the endorsement of the North, stressing, “Well, do not expect that the fact that Buhari is of the northern extraction will automatic translate to satisfying every aspiration, yearning of the nooks and crannies of northern Nigeria.

“In any case, he was not elected exclusively by northerners. He was elected by all Nigerians irrespective of the number of votes he got in different parts of the country.

“The election was one to elect the President of Nigeria and this is what has happened regards of how we feel in other parts of the country. Like I told, a few days ago, I was arguing about the issue of marginalization in my interview with Biafra Radio, Germany. People should expect rewards from vote they have cast. Of course, 81 percent of the Buhari’s votes came from the north.

“So, we should expect 81 percent of all shares of government to come to us but that’s not being realistic.

“That’s not what our constitution also says. So, the president I think has done extremely well in terms of his outreach to all parts of Nigeria irrespective of the votes he got in the last election.

“We may complain a little bit, some of us in the north. That’s legitimate politics. He himself admitted, I think, today that some party supporters that were expecting rewards for their support have not realized their aspirations.

“He was aware of this but I think that he has kept to the promise of he is the president of Nigeria. He belongs to all Nigerians. So, we take it that he doesn’t belong to the north or any particular person.

“He belongs to no one. I think that we should take it that he is the president of the federal republic of Nigeria and he will serve in the best interest of Nigeria. Well, there are shortcomings and we hope that someday, it will be made up”.

[PHOTO NEWS] Buhari Bags Two Chieftancy Titles In Ebonyi

President Muhammadu Buhari has been honoured with two chieftaincy titles in Abakiliki, Ebonyi State, where he is currently on a 2-day working visit.

One of the titles, Ochioha NdiIgbo 1 (Igbo Warrior), was conferred on him by South East traditional council of rulers led by Eze Eberechi Dick, while the other, Enyioma 1of Ebonyi (A good Friend), was conferred on him by the Ebonyi traditional council of rulers led by Eze Charles Mkpuma.

See photos……

President Buhari Commences 2-Day Official Visit To Ebonyi, Anambra

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday arrived in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi state capital on a two-day working visit to the state and Anambra state.

Buhari was earlier received at the Enugu airport by governors of Enugu, Abia and Ebonyi as well as top security officials.

Buhari, however, did not inspect the Guard of Honour mounted in his honour by soldiers of the Nkwoagu Military Cantonment, Abakaliki.

It will be recalled that the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, threatened to assassinate him should he step foot on the South East.

According to the press release by IPOB’s spokesperson, Emma Powerful on Monday warned that “today will be recorded in history as a very bloody day should that Jubril masquerading as Buhari attempt to land on Biafran soil.”

JUST IN: Buhari’s $5.5B Foreign Loan Request Approved By Senate

The Red chamber of the National Assembly has approved President Muhammadu Buhari $5.5 billion external loan request.

The loan which was requested through a letter sent to the Senate on October 10 has $3 billion external loan and $2.5 billion Eurobond or Diaspora bond in the international market.

It is believed that the bonds would be channelled towards funding the 2017 budget while the loan would be used in refinancing maturing domestic debts.

Based on the Senate’s resolution, the Committee on Local and Foreign Debts on October 19 invited the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, and some other members of the executive to explain the benefits of the loan.

Presenting report of the committee, Shehu Sani, Kaduna-APC, said the projects listed for the loan would stimulate economic development and create direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians.

He added that the $2.5 billion will create more borrowing space for the private sector.

 

Nigeria Earns N212.73bn From Agricultural Exports

Nigeria realised N212.73 billion from agricultural product exports at the end of the fourth quarter of 2016.

This was disclosed in excerpts of a book entitled: ‘‘Making steady, sustainable progress for Nigeria’s peace and prosperity: a mid-term scorecard on the President Muhammadu Buhari administration,’’

It was authored by the Presidential Media Team.

The book, which will be presented to the public on Nov. 16 in Abuja, was sighted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

“At the end of 2016, agricultural goods, as share of total trade, got N212.73 billion and 4.02 per cent.

“Agricultural goods’ exports were 2.7 per cent higher in the fourth quarter of 2016 than third quarter of the year.’’

It stated that the products, which contributed most to agricultural product exports in the fourth quarter, were sesame seeds with N6.46 billion, frozen shrimps and prawns with N4.4 billion.

According to the report, flour and meals of soya beans contribute N2.59 billion; cashew nuts in shell, N0.95 billion, and crude palm kernel with N0.62 billion.

It stated that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development had commenced work on the development of a five-year (2017-2021) action plan on Single Quality Control Management Plan, as recommended by the European Union.

“The plan is to meet international standards, inter-state trading and global acceptance of the nation’s commodities.

“The commodities targeted for exports include cocoa, palm produce, groundnut, cashew, yam (flour and tubers) sesame seed, pineapple, banana/plantain, tea, ginger, coffee, kola nut, shea butter, pulses, hides and skins, potato, fruit and vegetables.’’

The report said the ministry had commenced an undertaking of strategic intervention in the Kenaf value chain for cultivation, processing, and manufacturing of Kenaf/Jute bags for packaging.

“Displeased to share the latest rejection of our produce at the European Union Border Controls, the ministry has commenced steps towards bringing the standards of Nigeria’s agricultural exports to global standards.

“This culminated in two meetings held in Lagos, in January and February 2017, on food safety and zero reject of agricultural products.

“Standards and Quality control measures are now being developed in response to the rejection, last year, of exports (as in beans in the EU and some other commodities),’’ the report said.

It added that the ministry was taking a pioneering role in the mechanisms to safeguard Nigeria’s agricultural exports from being rejected at the frontier markets.

The publication was edited by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity; Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, and Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, (Office of the Vice President).

The book, authored by the Presidential Media Team, is a documentation of the notable achievements of the Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration since it was inaugurated on May 29, 2015.

President Buhari wrote the foreword of the 348-page book, containing milestones of all the federal ministries and some select departments and agencies in the last two years.

The Buhari Media Support Group also contributed to the compendium rich with text and visuals.

The book will be reviewed by Prince Tony Momoh while APC National leader Bola Tinubu is the keynote speaker/book Presenter.

How Buhari Is Preventing Corruption – Media Team

The Presidential Media Team, in a forthcoming book, offers deep insight into how the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is blocking corruption loopholes in the nation’s public institutions.

The book titled, “Making Steady, Sustainable Progress for Nigeria’s Peace and Prosperity: A Mid-Term Scorecard on the President Muhammadu Buhari administration”, is set for launch in Abuja on Nov. 16.

In an excerpt of the 348-page publication, the team notes that beyond arrest and prosecution of suspects, the Buhari government is strengthening public institutions for accountability and transparency.

The book explores measures being instituted by anti-graft agencies, especially the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), in this regard since the last two years.

These include conduct of System Study and Review in ministries, departments and agencies, and Corruption Risk Assessment (CRA) in various sectors of the nation’s economy.

It says the education, health, water and aviation sectors as well as e-governance platforms, including the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), have benefited from the ICPC’s CRA exercise.

The exercise, it adds, has led to the identification of weaknesses in the systems that create opportunities for corruption.

Consequently, the commission has designed Integrity Plans directed at plugging the loopholes and enhancing the integrity profile of the systems for efficiency and effectiveness, it states.
The book promises to clear the cynicism of many Nigerians, who think the Buhari government is more reactive than proactive in its fight against corruption.

Nevertheless, the publication contains milestones recorded by the ICPC in the area of convictions, and recovery of looted funds and assets since the inception of the Buhari government on May 29, 2015.

The book was edited by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity; Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, and Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, (Office of the Vice President).

The Buhari Media Support Group (BMSG) contributed to the publication, whose foreword was written by the president.
The book will be presented by APC National Leader Bola Tinubu and reviewed by Prince Tony Momoh.

Once Upon A Time Before Buhari – By Angula Jessica

“When it comes to value, no one talks a better game than those in communications. It’s our business, after all. But when it comes to measuring leadership competencies and effectiveness, nothing speaks louder than the bottom line.” Anonymous

The above analogy perfectly fits the Nigerian state under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari. Quote me anywhere. I recall in 2015 at the eagle square when he took the oath of office, the famous take away from his speech was “I belong to everybody, and I belong to nobody.”

It is only natural that the country went to town with that phrase forgetting the salient points of his speech. That paragraph in his speech is the basis of the article. Please permit me to reproduce it here.

“At home, we face enormous challenges. Insecurity, pervasive corruption, the hitherto unending and seemingly impossible fuel and power shortages are the immediate concerns. We are going to tackle them head-on. Nigerians will not regret that they have entrusted national responsibility to us. We must not succumb to hopelessness and defeatism. We can fix our problems.”

Read between the lines in the above paragraph. Take a break; recline on your chair, and think of Nigeria pre-2015. Think deeply and reflect on the happenings in the new Nigeria concerning the fight against Boko Haram insurgents and also the fight against corruption. Has there been a renewed hope for Nigeria? Has there been competencies and effectiveness? And is Nigeria moving forward? All of these questions have answers. But who will provide the answers? I will attempt with examples.

Once upon a time, Abuja was always under attack by Boko Haram insurgents. The United Nations House was bombed. The headquarters of the Nigerian Police Force was attacked. Two bombs exploded at a crowded bus station in Nyanya.

Thisday newspaper office in Abuja was raided. And much more. Residents of the Nation’s capital lived in fear. Some relocated, and some took extra caution. During that period, Nigeria itched towards anarchy. Nobody knew when the next bomb would detonate. We lived in constant fear of the unknown.

These are undeniable facts. Now fast forward to 2017. Do residents of Abuja now sleep with their eyes closed? Since assumption of leadership of the country, has any bomb been detonated in Abuja? Let us learn to call a spade a spade if we are desirous of moving forward as a nation. You might not like President Muhammadu Buhari’s face. But you cannot deny that he has shown how nothing speaks louder than the bottom line. And what is the bottom line in this instance? Your guess is as good as mine in the sense that no meaningful development could be achieved without adequate security. That was the thrust of the Buhari administration. All of these are evident in the release of 106 Chibok girls, as well as over 16,000 persons in Boko Haram captivity, tackling insurgency, the decimation of Boko Haram in the North East, and rebuilding lives of citizens there. It is instructive to state that about one million displaced persons in the northeast have returned to their communities within two years of this administration.

For some of us that have visited Borno state, it was such an emotional site that if not careful you could slip into emotional distress. I won’t mention the human tragedies because of its sensitivity. But I will say that even live stocks were not spared in some of these towns. You can put one and two to this statement. At some point, close to 13 local government areas in three states (Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa) were under the control of Boko Haram Insurgents. In a report by Daily Trust news on 5 January 2015, captioned “41 DAYS TO ELECTIONS: 13 Local Govts under Boko Haram” it stated that “Nine of the affected local governments are in Borno State, and they are: Gwoza, Bama, Mafa, Dikwa, Kala-Balge, Ngala, Marte, Abadam, and Mobber. The other four are Michika and Madagali in Adamawa State, as well as Gujba and Gulani in Yobe State.

The insurgents have also established partial control in parts of some local government areas in Borno, comprising Mungono, Kukawa, Guzamala, Gubio, Magumeri, Damboa, konduga, Chibok, Askira Uba, and Jere. Before the outright takeover of many communities in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, the Boko Haram had earlier caused collateral damage in various places where they destroyed entire villages, markets, military barracks, police stations, governmental buildings, prisons, farmlands and other symbols of authority and worship places, including churches and mosques.”

I want you reading to create a mental picture of the above statement. That is the only way you would get to appreciate the giant strides of our military in reclaiming these territories. This didn’t happen by magic or voodoo. It happened because of leadership competence and effectiveness. Let me take us back to that portion of his speech again. He said “We must not succumb to hopelessness and defeatism. We can fix our problems.”

This was the mood before President Buhari came onboard. But this isn’t the norm anymore. Our hopelessness has turned to optimism. The defeatist spirit has been replaced with the resilience spirit that we are known for as Nigerians. And guess what? Under President Muhammadu Buhari we have shown that “we can fix our problems” And you also do not have to like his face. But don’t feign ignorance.

Once upon a time, Ambassador James Entwistle, the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, says his government will not sell arms to the country due to human rights abuses committed by its soldiers in the north-east. Our soldiers were in the habit of” maneuvering technically” into neighboring countries and some into rivers just in a bid to run for their dear lives. Monies meant for weapons and welfare of soldiers ended up in private pockets. There was so much impunity, and Boko Haram Insurgents gained more ground. But not anymore.

The US state department approved the sale of a $593 million A-29 Super Tucano attack planes with associated parts, training, facilities, and weapons, to Nigeria. Some cheering news I guess. But it didn’t happen by magic too.

Something must have been done right by the Nigerian Army under the leadership of Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, the chief of Army staff. The appointment of Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai as chief of army staff is one of the best decisions of the President Muhammdu Buhari because he has also demonstrated capacity by leading an army whose morale was at its lowest ebb. He not only revived their confidence, but he also placed it on a very high pedestal. That is the spirit in the Nigerian army today.

Once upon a time on the night of April 2014, 276 female students were kidnapped from the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in Borno State. You remember the” BringBackOurGirls” hashtag that went viral worldwide? If you don’t then you should remember that between 2016 and now, 106 of the kidnapped schoolgirls have been rescued. And need I mention that efforts are ongoing toward ensuring that the remaining girls in captivity are rescued and reunited with their families.

The commitment of the Nigerian government towards the rescue of the kidnap girls has received commendations from wide and far. It is on record the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump encouraged President Buhari to keep up the excellent work he is doing, and also commended him for the efforts made in rescuing the Chibok girls and the strides being taken by the Nigerian military. While this might seem infinitesimal in the eyes of those opposed to the progress of Nigeria, it is indeed a worthy milestone. One thing is clear; President Muhammadu Buhari has demonstrated capacity. You could question his methodology, but nothing speaks louder than the bottom line. And the bottom line is that Nigeria is on the path to greatness again.

Pause! You remember Sambisa forest? Once upon a time, it sounded like a shrine when one pronounces it slowly (Sam…Bi…Sa.) Sambisa was home to the infamous Ground Zero, the operational headquarters of Boko Haram insurgents. Guess what? Ground Zero is now a military training ground. The Nigerian Army Small Arms Championship (NASAC) 2017 was held at Sambisa forest. This is no small feat. Even the Peoples Democratic Party congratulated President Muhammdu Buhari for the achievement.

Life has returned to the local government areas that were hitherto under the capture of Boko Haram insurgents. Roads that were closed for years have been reopened. Economic activities have all resumed. At least one can thump his chest and say there is a time we got something right in our history. And that was when we voted Muhammadu Buhari as President to lead our country.

Good leadership is essential to government and to the numerous groups and organizations that shape the way we live, work and play. President Muhammdu Buhari’s strong will and incorruptibility cannot be questioned, and he has demonstrated that leadership is not about titles, but about one’s life influencing another. I repeat. Nothing speaks louder than the bottom line.

Angula, a public affairs commentator wrote for the United Kingdom.

Osun, 5 Other States Get N5.7billion Erosion Control Fund

The State Government of Osun has been named among five other states to benefit from Federal Government third quarter soil erosion control accelerated intervention projects amounting to N5, 567, 314, 541.76.

The fund which was approved by Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari has Kano, Sokoto, Ondo, Enugu and Bayelsa as beneficiaries.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr.  Femi Adesina, disclosed this at the post-FEC briefing in company with the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh and Minister of State (Aviation), Heidi Sirika.

Osun under governor Aregbesola has been able to control erosion challenge in the state through channelization of waterways and sensitization of public, a situation that has curbed perennial flood as witnessed in other states.

Erosion has been a problem that has been threatening the existence of many states. Not only has erosion destroyed the farmlands, erosion has also destroyed a number of roads and even killed a number people but Osun has not recorded any of such.

Also speaking, Sirika said FEC approved bilateral air services agreement with Canada as part of efforts to boost relations between both countries, including trade and commerce.

“It would be a standard agreement to facilitate the movement of people and business transactions,” he said

Ogbe, on his part, said FEC gave the Institute of Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, the nod to develop foundation seeds for maize.

He said the research was at the cost of N165 million for 30 tons of foundation seeds multiplied by 265 tons of improved seeds, which is to be given to seeds companies to multiply.

The minister said one of the problems facing maize production in the country was lack of the right quality.

According to him, this is responsible for the yields per hectare being among the lowest in the world.

Ogbe said the council also discussed the disturbing trend of smuggling, which is impacting negatively on the country.

“We have to deal with that because while we are making a great deal of progress in our production of grains, smugglers are trying to compromise the successes we have achieved.

“I can give you some figures. Between September 2015 and now, rice importation through the ports dropped from 644,131 tons to 20,000 tons in September, which means that by the end of this year, to the early part of next year, we can literally say we are close to total self-sufficiency in rice. On the other hand, in Republic of Benin, rice importation has increased to 1.33 million tons because they don’t eat parboiled rice; they eat white rice. So, every grain of rice landing there is heading for Nigeria through smuggling and some of it also come in through Niger Republic. These are issues to deal with because we want local rice production to meet our needs and we are creating jobs.

Lopsided Appointments and The Presidential Fact!

There seems to be a huge public outcry with the report of BUSINESS DAY Newspaper last week where it was said that a larger chunk of President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointees are from the North.

In the report, it was established that about 81 out of 100 appointees of the President are all Northerners with the South getting just 19.

As pointed out in several instances, the situation is not in accord with the principle of Federal Character as emphasized in Section 13, Subsection (3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which states that “the composition of the government of the federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also command national loyalty”.

With several criticisms and tongue-lashing everyday, the issue was taken to another dimension with the Presidency reeling out to Nigerians the real situation.

Perhaps, the report or what could be described as the Presidential Fact has seemed to dent any iota of disagreement, or vilification in placing Federal Character in his method of placing people in government positions.

As argued by Yinka Odumakin, who is the spokesperson of Afenifere, a pan Yoruba Organization, “If Buhari wants to contest the 2019 presidential election, he has the right to contest and Nigerians have the right to make their feelings known. If the president refuses to amend his pattern of appointment, then Nigerians have the right to look elsewhere for a president. Nigerians are not idiots. That is why we still insist that restructuring Nigeria must take place before 2019. The National Assembly may not be listening to the issue of restructuring now but they will when the demand gets tough,” the President must make the right choices in accordance with the law, dictates of the constitution and even satisfy the ethno-dimensional interests of the country.

And Yes, we have the statistics. A look at the appointments list counters BUSINESSDAY’s report with facts. One, it cancels its assertion that 81 out of the appointees are from the North, and the South is not getting its own fair share of the national cake. Only 77 are from the North while 79 are from the South.

The other fact is that the North West where the President comes from got 30 with the South West of the Vice President having the larger share of 40. So, we can’t say the appointments are not lopsided. Rather, the appointments are based on professionalism, competence, antecedents and so on.

And for the Media to come up with reports of bias to the tide of Presidential appointments is very wrong. As the media tries to gate keep the government, it must present its information with facts as enumerated below and push government to doing the needful always.

 

Buhari Presents 2018 Budget Today

President Muhammadu Buhari will today, Tuesday present the 2018 budget proposals to a joint session of the National Assembly.

The president had in a letter on November 2 formally informed the Senate and the House of Representatives of the presentation of the appropriation bill.

The president is billed to address the members of the National Assembly at 2 p.m. to present the N8.6 trillion Appropriation Bill for 2018.

“In pursuant to Section 81 of the 1999 Constitution, may I crave the kind indulgence of the National Assembly to grant me the slot of 1400 hours on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, to formally address a joint session and lay before the NASS the 2018 budget proposal,” the president said..

Mr. Buhari had earlier sent the 2018-2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper to the National Assembly.

The submission of the documents usually precedes the presentation of the budget estimates to the National Assembly in pursuant to provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.