Buhari Departs Nigeria For Paris

President Muhammadu Buhari will leave for Paris, France on Monday to join 50 other world leaders to participate in the One Planet Summit on Tuesday.

The President, who will be accompanied by the governors of Adamawa, Kano and Ondo States, and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Environment. He will return to Abuja on Thursday.

The summit is jointly organised by the United Nations, the World Bank Group, and the French Government in partnership with non-governmental organisations.

The summit which concerns reversing the negative effects of climate change, will take place at the eco-friendly La Seine Musicale, situated on the picturesque Seguin Island in western Paris.

The theme of the summit is “Climate Change Financing.” .

According to the organisers, the summit will “innovatively pool public and private finance to support and accelerate our common efforts to fight climate change”.

While recognising that all countries are affected by the effects of climate change under “One Planet”, but some are more vulnerable, organisers noted.

The summit seeks for tangible collective action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A statement by Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), said President Buhari will attend a lunch hosted by President Emmanuel Macron of France for Heads of State and Governments at the Elysee Palace.

President Buhari and other world leaders and participants will make presentations under four sub-themes.

They are Scaling-up Finance for Climate Action; Greening Finance for Sustainable Business; Accelerating Local and Regional Climate Action; and Strengthening Policies for Ecological and Inclusive Transition.

President Buhari signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change at the side-lines of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 22, 2016.

He noted then that the country’s signature “demonstrated Nigeria’s commitment to global efforts to reverse the effects of the negative trend”.

He followed that significant step by signing the Instrument of Ratification of the Paris Agreement on March 28, 2017 at the State House, Abuja, making Nigeria the 146th party to the Paris Treaty.

It became binding on the country effective June 15, 2017, one month after the submission of the Ratification instrument to the United Nations on May 16, 2017 by Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Bande.

The participation of Nigeria’s delegation at the One Planet Summit will reinforce the country’s commitment to realising the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

Terror Alert: No Cause For Alarm – FG

The Federal Government has assured of adequate security measures to thwart any possible terror attack in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and elsewhere around the country, saying there is no cause for alarm despite the latest travel advisories by some Western countries.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said that security agencies have not let down their guard, despite the fact that there had been no terror attack in the FCT since the Buhari administration assumed office.

“We know that the terrorists, who have been massively degraded and put on the run, have been looking for soft targets to attack. This is the nature of terrorism all over the world, as can be seen in recent attacks in the UK, France and Egypt, among others.

“That is why the Nigerian security agencies have continued to be on the alert, even if their efforts have been largely unobtrusive so as not to disrupt the daily activities of the citizenry,” he said, adding: “Such efforts are routinely stepped up during religious festivals.”

Mohammed said the Federal Government would continue to take adequate measures to protect the lives and property of citizens and non-citizens alike, even as the military remained unrelenting in ensuring that the terrorists neither regroup nor regain the capacity to carry out organised attacks.

He said the Federal Government’s sensitisation campaign on security, with the punchline “if you see something, say something”, would be stepped up on national radio and television, and advised the citizens to be security conscious and to report suspicious people and objects to the security agencies.


Hungary Interested In Nigeria’s Oil And Gas Sector

The Hungarian Government has indicated interest to purchase crude oil and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the Hungarian Ambassador to Nigeria, Professor Gabor Ternak, who during a courtesy call on the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, in Abuja.

Ternak said the decision to import crude oil and LNG from Nigeria was informed by the need to bridge the current supply gap being experienced in Hungary.

“Hungary depends on oil importation to serve its energy needs as the country is non-oil producing. We want to diversify our sources of crude oil and LNG import and we are considering purchasing these products from Nigeria,” Ambassador Ternak stated.

The NNPC’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu made this known in a statement on Wednesday.

He said the Nigerian crude oil would be of great help to Hungarian Refineries involved in large scale commercial refining.

The Hungarian envoy stated that Nigeria could also leverage on the bi-lateral relationship with his country by engaging the services of Hungarian firms that specialize in repairs, maintenance and building of refineries as well as medical services.

He said that Hungarian universities with many years of oil and gas engineering expertise, could assist Nigeria in the areas of capacity building of oil workers.

In his remarks, the NNPC GMD, Dr. Maikanti Baru, stated that the Corporation had commenced tendering process for the selection of the 2018 crude oil off-takers, adding that Hungarian companies could utilize the opportunity by participating in the exercise to maximize value from direct purchase, rather than going through a third party.

“If you don’t participate in the tendering process, you would have to buy the products from one of the traders. However, if you participate with companies and refineries that meet our requirements, they could be shortlisted as off-takers” the GMD averred.

He explained that Hungary could purchase LNG through “spot cargo,” an arrangement in which excess production is given to registered off-takers with the Nigerian Liquified Natuaral Gas Limited (LNNG).

“Normally, gas business is a long-term business and NLNG is not different, we already have existing 20-year contract that will expire by 2022. Nevertheless, we have what is called “spot cargoes”, when there is excess production, and the current contractors have gotten there share as enshrined in the contract, the excess production will be given to registered off-takers in the system,” Dr. Baru averred.


Nigeria Is Blessed To Have Dangote – Ganduje

The Governor of Kano State, Dr Umar Ganduje on Monday said that Nigeria and indeed the world are blessed to have Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the president of Dangote Group in the business world.

Ganduje, who was speaking at Dangote Special Day, described the revered business as the ‘Pride of the Black Race’, adding that his investments have placed Nigeria in the global economic sphere.

Represented by state Commissioner of Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Tourism Ahmad Rabiu, the Governor said Dangote is synonymous with development given the giant strides recorded in the different sectors of the economy.

“Dangote Group and Dangote Foundation have touched lives in the different states in Nigeria and beyond.

“There is no household that does not use Dangote product. Every where you go there are Dangote products and services from which many are benefitting.

“Many sectors of the economy have been boosted- Infrastructure, Agriculture, the Mining sector, Health, Education etc Dangote is surely a man of the people”

Governor Ganduje expressed gratitude to the foremost Industrialist for his contribution and support to the Fairs conducted by Kano state over the years, many of which recorded immense success.

He said there is no doubt that the 38th Kano International Trade Fair will also be a success because Aliko Dangote is involved.

He called on leaders, wealthy individuals and organisations to emulate his unique qualities for a better society by making life a lot easier for the people especially at the grassroots.

Speaking earlier, President/CE, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote said the current administration’s diversification agenda has put the Nigerian economy on the right trajectory for growth.

The Africa foremost industrialist said diversification would take the country to the next level, and away from overdependence on oil.

Represented by General Manager Stakeholder Management, Dangote Group, Bello Abdullahi Dan-Musa, Dangote the nation should continue to explore opportunities in the various sectors to grow the economy.

“We are committed to diversification as it is what Nigeria needs and indeed Africa, to add value to our basic endowments for economic growth.

“That is why we are also exploring opportunities in the different sectors, cement, flour, salt, sugar and recently, Oil and Gas as well as Agricbusiness to move the nation forward.

“Dangote businesses are meant to impact the lives of the people in different ways, that is why Dangote Group is structured to deliver basic goods and services that are essential for improving standard of living of the general populace, and have presence in 13 different countries.

Last week, Dangote commissioned its cement plant in Congo Brazaville.

Its mission in the next five to ten years is not only to be the largest brand in Africa but also be amongst the top 20 companies of the World.

Hajiya Maijidda Modibbo of the Corporate Communications, Dangote Group, spoke briefly about Dangote Rice out-grower scheme in line with President Buhari’s policy to reinvigorate the economy, saying it has gone a long way in enhancing farmers and their households.

Participants at the fair thronged Dangote Pavillion to see what Dangote has to offer. They include Dangote Cement, Dangote Sugar, Dangote Salt, Dangote Rice, Dangote Flour, DanQ, among others.

Source: Huhuonline.com

Mediterranean Sea Death: FG Demands Persecution Of Culprits

Nigeria has requested the Italian government to identify and prosecute those involved in the death of young 26 Nigerian girls on the Mediterranean sea.

The request was made by the Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Dame Julie Okah-Donli, in a presentation at the International Conference on “Women Empowerment and the Fight against Trafficking in Persons – The Partnership between Italy and Nigeria,” organised by the President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Laura Boldrini.

A statement by Head, Press and Public Relations of NAPTIP, Josiah Emerole, quoted Okah-Donli as frowning at the haste with which the girls were buried without full disclosure of their proper identities and nationalities

She expressed sadness that the remains of the girls were buried on November 17, 2017, just a day after Italian Embassy in Nigeria had communicated to her during a meeting with the Ambassador and through an email that the remains would be buried on November 26, 2017.

The NAPTIP boss spoke in Italy at various fora with officials of the Nigerian Embassy in Italy, officials of some sister Agencies and the Nigerian community in her attempt to unravel the mystery behind the recent deaths of Nigerian migrants at the Mediterranean Sea.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara led the Nigerian delegation to the conference.In her presentation, Okah-Donli conveyed the anger and sadness of the Nigerian people over the news of the death of the young girls especially without proper profiling of their identities and circumstances of their death.

”We demand that those who are involved in the gruesome death of these girls be properly identified and prosecuted,” she said. she challenged the Italians and other destination countries to equally show good faith by prosecuting their own nationals engaged in the obnoxious trade, adding, “if there is no buyer the trade will die off’.”

She also asked the Italians to always engage in full disclosure when their nationals are involved. She requested them to implement to the letter the Palermo Protocol especially with victims care and support rather than treat the victims especially those from Nigeria as criminals.

The Director-General explained that while a good number of Nigerian victims voluntarily opt to migrate for the purpose of seeking better living conditions, others were lured into being trafficked without knowing the consequences of their decisions. She however, added that the desperation has led to the colossal loss of lives of would-be migrants in the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea.

To stem the tide of such dangerous journeys, she explained that the Government of Nigeria has introduced a number of economic and social measures to reverse this unfortunate trend with a view to ameliorating the living conditions that force young Nigerians to migrate.

During her meetings, she was informed that out of the 26 dead girls, only three were positively identified as Nigerians while the other 23 were from other nationalities. She was also informed that two persons have been arrested in connection with the incident.

As at the time she left Italy, the Nigerian Embassy was still awaiting a formal response to the request for a proper report on the matter from the Italian authorities especially with regard to the number of identified Nigerians and their identities.


Alex Ekwueme: Nigeria Has Lost A True Architect Of Democracy – Aregbesola

Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has described the demise of former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme, as the end of an era for one of the finest politicians the nation has produced.

Aregbesola, in a statement signed by his Media Adviser, Mr.  Sola Fasure, said Ekwueme’s exit is a big blow to the nation, which wounds will linger for a very long time.

Aregbesola stated that until his death, the former Vice President served the country in the highest capacity with such untiring gusto uncommon among politicians of his age bracket.

The statement also averred that though Dr Ekwueme finally succumbed to death after battling with old age related illness, he had a glorious exit, having lived for 85 fulfilling years.

The Governor noted that Ekwueme was one of the architects of the democracy we now enjoy, being a prominent member of a group of 38 elders who stood firmly to confront military dictatorship and demanded the exit of the soldiers from government.

According the governor, the deceased politician believed in the oneness of the country and exhibited the coolest of temperament never expected of a politician during the power struggle in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) when the nation returned to democratic rule in 1999.

The statement said inter alia: “The death of Dr.  Alex Ekwueme is a huge loss to the country.  The former Vice President was a sound academic and politician who stood for the highest ideal in politics.

“A complete gentleman, urbane,  well-read, temperate and good-natured politician,  Dr.  Ekwueme would never play politics of bitterness.

“He cherished and preferred dialogue to politics of do-or-die. This he exhibited almost to a fault in the ensuring power struggles to select the presidential candidate in his party in 1999 and 2003.

“He was a politician with a large heart and spirit of sportsmanship. He would never rock the boat of his party but would rather forego his ambition in order to have peace.

“Dr.  Ekwueme was also a team player. His working relationship with President Shehu Shagari in the Second Republic was a clear testimony to this.

“He was a stabilising force of uncommon hue, who was always ready to mend fences with anyone willing to associate with him.

“It is this same conciliatory approach he employed in all his political dealings and to the nation’s problems as well. His wealth of experience and erudition in social and political affairs and participations will certainly be missed by the entire country.

“On behalf of my family, the government and good people of the State of Osun, I send heartfelt condolences to the immediate and extended family of Chief Ekwueme, the government and people of Anambra State and the Federal Government of Nigeria through President Muhammadu Buhari.  May the good Lord grant the repose his soul in his next estate.”

Ex-Nigerian VP, Alex Ekwueme Is Dead

Nigeria’s former Vice President, Alex Ekwueme, has passed on.

According to a statement from his family said he died at a London clinic on Sunday.

The statement, signed by his brother and the traditional ruler of Oko in Anambra State, Igwe Laz Ekwueme, said Mr. Ekwueme died at 10:00 pm.

The statement reads in part: “Ekwueme family regrets to announce the peaceful passing away of their patriarch, the former Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Dr. Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme GCON.

“The sad event occurred at the London Clinic at 10:00 pm on Sunday 19th November 2017.”
The former vice president, who turned 85 in October, reportedly collapsed in his Enugu residence few weeks ago.

He was immediately taken to the Memfys Neurosurgery Hospital, Enugu, where he relapsed and went into a coma.

President Muhammadu Buhari subsequently directed that he be immediately flown abroad for urgent medical treatment.

Mr. Buhari authorised the trip after being briefed on Mr. Ekwueme’s condition.

Born October 21, 1932, Mr. Ekweme was the first elected Vice-President of Nigeria.

He served as deputy to former President Sheu Shagari between 1979 and 1983.

Demystifying The Cock President

By Tunde Odesola

Where on earth is good, old Bongos Ikwue? Yes, Bongos Ikwue, the Idoma crooner, who was both profound and simple in his soulful, folksy and instructive songs such as ‘Amen’, ‘Mariama’, ‘Still Searching’, ‘What’s gonna be, gonna be’, ‘Something Good’, among others. I love his five-minute monster hit, ‘Cock Crow at Dawn’, which shook the airwaves, heralding the United Bank for Africa-sponsored soap of the 1980s, Cock Crow at Dawn, on the Nigerian Television Authority network. Almost like Bob Marley’s Redemption Song, Bongos, with the use of the acoustic guitar takes the listener on a journey to a sane Jos Plateau, the setting of the docudrama in these words:

‘You can hear the bird sing in the morning,

You can hear the water splashing down the hill,

Kind of roaring,

You can see the sun going down

And the people as they go by

Without a frown…’

Drama mirrors life. Cock Crow at Dawn was a Nigerian drama offering. But another drama played out in faraway South Africa a few days ago when a Nigerian living in the Jacob Zuma country gifted the husband of a woman he impregnated a Mercedes G-Wagon for the atonement of his sin. I had thought that a recent online wisecrack, “Politicians are like sperm…one in a million turns out to be human,” was typical of Nigerian political leaders alone. The axiom, ‘like leaders, like followers’, cannot be truer. Unarguably, Nigerian politics is melodramatic; absurd, exaggerated, sensational and overemotional.

As a student of literature, I know that drama and folklore are intertwined. A Yoruba folklore that parodies Nigeria’s political leadership is the myth of the cock and the fox. A very long, long time ago when morality had not become a vice, the cock ruled the animal kingdom. All animals feared the cock because of its red comb, which they took for fire. Then, the fox did not only respect the cock, indeed, it feared the feathery one with the blazing fire on its head. Yes, the fox was in funereal fear of the cock.

Like every mortal with their tragic flaws, the cock eventually dug its own grave by befriending the fox, telling the canine that the fire on its head was just a fleshy piece of red meat, and not fire. Mr Cock broke the Fourth Law of Power as defined by Robert Greene, who warns, ‘Always say less than necessary’.

When he rode into power on May 29, 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari had a ball of fire on his head. Everybody feared him, even beautiful Aisha, his wife, never had the guts to criticise his government in public. In the first few months of his reign, many Peoples Democratic Party foxes fled the Nigerian political jungle while those who stayed back were too terror-stricken to whimper. With great expectations, Nigerians looked forward to Aso Rock to open the floodgates and let the cascading river of justice flush the Goodluck Jonathan Augean stable clean. “Ha, Buhari don come! Mr Integrity go catch and jail all those who don thief our money,” was the common expectation of millions of Nigerians whose lives had been ruptured by the misgovernance of the preceding administration.

Politics and drama have the same hue. “Ha, the level of corruption by the ousted Goodluck Jonathan government is sinful! Thank God Nigerians elected Mr Integrity this time round, if not, Nigeria cannot survive the next six months,” said the all-powerful media machinery of the All Progressives Congress when Buhari assumed power with pomp and circumstance. Then came a futile list of the PDP leaders accused of corruption. The list was endless as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission pointed the forefinger at the former First Lady, Patience Jonathan; Senate President Bukola Saraki, and former governors Ali Modu Sheriff (Borno), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Saminu Turaki (Jigawa), Ahmed Yerima (Zamfara), Gabriel Suswam (Benue), James Ibori (Delta), Martin Elechi (Ebonyi), Danjuma Goje (Gombe), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Ikedi Ohakim (Imo), Peter Odili (Rivers), among others.

The anti-corruption agency also levelled corruption charges against a former Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke; a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki; former PDP spokesperson, Olisa Metuh, a former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode; and some ministers and aides of former President Goodluck Jonathan, whose most popular quote, “stealing is not corruption”, stuck out like the sinister horn on a rhinoceros.

Upon the cock’s ascension to power, the foxes watched the red comb from afar and cringed deeper into what Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, once described as a “nest of killers”. What else could foxes look for in a nest, if not something to devour? Days turned into weeks, weeks turned to months, months turned into a year, yet, the fire on the cock did not burn, despite its crowing daily at dawn. Pitiably, the cock also surrounded itself with ostriches, a species of birds reputable for hypocrisy – for the day-to-day running of the kingdom. Because they are coy, ostriches are, naturally, believable. But the cock’s ostriches appear worse than the foxes as revealed in the corruption morass emerging in the kingdom.

Then, audacity fuelled impunity. Foxes are wise animals, you know. Some soon devised a means to move closer to the white cock, mouthing fake allegiance and repentance. Crushing climax! At a close range, they discovered that the cock could not burn! They found out, to their shock and ultimate relief, that the cock’s beak was broken and its legs, without talons. To their delight, they discovered that the cock’s primary concern was the protection of its feathery ilk and would care less if calamity befell any other member of the animal kingdom. The cock and the ostriches and the foxes now live ever happily after.

And the members of the animal kingdom watch in utter disbelief. What can they do? Forgive or revenge. Forgiveness is a complex factor. A psychological explanation of an absurd type of forgiveness is called the Stockholm Syndrome. In faraway Minneapolis city of Minnesota, USA, a 59-year-old black woman, Mary Johnson, displayed a rare degree of forgiveness when she invited her only child’s killer, Oshea Israel, to not only move into her neighbourhood, but encouraged him to live next door.

Israel, who is now 34, was just 16 when he killed Mary’s son, Laramium Byrd (20), in February 1993, following an argument that occurred at a party. Oshea was tried and convicted as an adult even though he was still a minor as of the time he committed the crime. He received a 25-year jail sentence, but served 17 years before he was released. “Unforgiveness is like cancer, it would eat you from the inside out,” Mary said. “I haven’t totally forgiven myself, I’m learning to forgive myself,” a remorseful Oshea said.

Every four years is the year of accountability in the animal kingdom. It is the year when each animal leader would give an account of how it used its potential. 2019 is another four years. Would the animal kingdom allow the cock another four-year term of inertia? It is unlikely the foxes and ostriches would develop a fresh fear and respect for the cock, anyway. Who is the messiah to salvage the animal kingdom from imminent atrophy? Have the members of the kingdom learnt the lesson not to mistake appearance for reality again? Would the animals, like the South African husband, whose wife was impregnated, forgive and vote the cock again? And what would the members of the animal kingdom collect in atonement for sin, a Mercedes G-Wagon or a measly plate of ‘tuwo’?

The kingdom does not know the reason why this cock, unlike his predecessors, does not have a middle name.

It sure knows, however, that the wind has blown, and the rump of the cock is exposed.

Odesola, a former PUNCH journalist, is now based in the United States.

Denmark Gives Tips On How To Tackle Corruption In Nigeria

The Danish Ambassador to Nigeria, Torben Gettermann, has said that it was important for Nigerians to understand that eradication of corruption would not happen overnight.

While speaking in Lagos on Tuesday, Gettermann said that the fight to end corruption in any country would be gradual and continuous.

According to him, the fight to end corruption anywhere will require the understanding and commitment of the citizenry.

“I am not going to say that Denmark is the least corrupt country in the world, but we have, for five years now, been number one on that index.

“Nigerians must know that corruption is a problem that has been ingrained; so, they must know that fighting against corruption should be worked on continuously with a focus that you are going to eradicate it,” he said.

Gettermann said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts at fighting corruption would succeed with the determination of Nigerians to desist from corrupt practices in public and private engagements.

The ambassador commended the Federal Government’s commitment to creating the right environment for ease doing business.

He said that more Danish companies had indicated interest in doing business and increasing investment in Nigeria.

“The way the Nigerian Federal Government is currently focused and deliberately working at changing the way business is done is quite encouraging.

“We are really working at making more Danish companies export to the Nigerian market what Nigerians really need.

“We would like to see a trade balance between the two countries,’’ he said.


Nigeria Among 10 Economies With Ease Of Doing Business

Nigeria was named among the 10 economies showing the most notable improvement in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business list published on Tuesday. It rose 24 places in the ranking of countries to 145th place. Nigeria this year introduced initiatives aimed at improving the business environment, such as new systems to speed up the processing of visas for executives.



Local and foreign business leaders have long complained that red tape, mismanagement and corruption have made it difficult to operate in Africa’s most populous country, which has the continent’s largest economy.



“Three Sub-Saharan African economies – Nigeria, Malawi and Zambia – made it to the list of 10 top improvers in 2016/17,” stated the report.



It said Nigeria made the process of starting a business faster by introducing the electronic approval of registration documents, improved access to credit information and introduced a centralized electronic system to pay federal taxes.



President Muhammadu Buhari said the report “reflects our efforts to make it easy for foreign business visitors to obtain visa on arrival, pass through our airports and do their businesses with ease and speed”.



The annual World Bank report covered the period from June 2 last year to June 1 this year.

Nigerian Gets Loud Standing Ovation From Obama Over Speech

A Nigerian, who is the co-founder of Debola Lagos was given a standing ovation after ending his remarks at the Obama Summit Held in Lagos Recently.

The Nigerian who harped on the need for those in positions of authority to remember that the Highest office in Nigeria is not of the country but of the citizen.

Extemporating from this angle, Debola Lagos argued that the citizens are important and they are the major needed component of the society.

He maintained that the time has come for powerful men and women in the nation to come to terms with the fact that the Citizens are those who determine the fate of Politicians.

The speech goat a loud ovation during the audience who cherished his prowess and intelligence to delivering such a speech including the Immediate Past President of the United States, Mr Barack Obama.

The development has also spanked a high level of attraction on Social Media or Instagram Page with many seeking an audience to meet with the speaker.