Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts

By Jessica Dogo
The Buhari Support Group Centre (BSGC), has condemned the protest and unauthorised invasion of Wuse Market by a group organised by entertainer Charly Boy.
The invasion of the market on Tuesday led to serious fracas which almost caused his lynching.

A statement signed by Mr. Umaru Dembo, Director General, BSGC, said that the protest with the slogan `Ourmumudondo’ was led by a Musician, Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charlie Boy.
The musician organised the protest to call on President Muhammadu Buhari, who is presently on medical vacation in London, to either resume work or resign.
However, Dembo noted that Oputa’s group was ignorant of the provisions of the constitution, adding that Buhari had complied with all the requirements of the constitution by handing over to his vice in acting capacity.

He informed that the constitution did not place a limit on how long a president should stay away on medical vacation.
“We condemn the activities of a group led by Charlie Boy, calling on the president to resume work or resign from office.
“The BSGC under the auspices for good governance and change initiative also demonstrated from the Unity Fountain to the Villa pointing out the ignorance of the `Ourmumudondo” protest, he said.
Dembo urged the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to deal with such people that were out to cause crisis in the country.
“It is glaringly obvious that several plans and destructive activities are sponsored by those under probe for corruption related offences, hoping to throw the government out of its stride.
“No amount of effort to sabotage the anti-corruption drive of the Buhari administration will deter the people’s government from pursuing the fight against corruption,’’ he said.
He expressed gratitude to God for giving President Buhari life and energy to continue his good living.


The Kwara State House of Assembly on Wednesday announced the prohibition of strip clubs or nude parties in all government and privately-owned hotels operating in the state.

The assembly gave the order in its resolution after adopting a motion entitled: “Banning Nude Parties in Hotels in Kwara’’ moved by the House Leader, Hassan Oyeleke (APC, Esa Sawo).

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the assembly had at a previous plenary drilled the management of the state-owned Kwara Hotel and operators of eight other hotels over allegation of operating strip clubs.

All the lawmakers, who contributed during the debate on the motion, condemned the act.

The Speaker, Ali Ahmad, while reading the resolution of the House on the motion, directed all hoteliers in the state to desist from organising such clubs.

Mr. Ahmad advised all hoteliers to acquire Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) sets to monitor activities in their hotels and assist security agents in arresting any individual or group perpetrating such evil acts.

He also directed the state Hospitality and Tourism Development Board to implement its operation “Show Your Identification Cards’’ by hoteliers and lodgers as a way of ensuring sanity.

The speaker directed the state government to empower relevant agencies to carry out periodic supervision of the activities in all existing hotels in the state as a way of checkmating the unholy acts.

He said that all hotels in the state should register with the Association of Hotel Owners for proper monitoring of their activities.


entertainer, Charles Oputa,
better known as Charlyboy,
has revealed that the “return
or resign” protest will continue
until President Muhammadu
Buhari returns.

He also frowned at the
police’s statement that he faked
his collapse at a protest ground.
Charlyboy, whose protest
has entered the sixth day, told
Punch, “We plan to continue
the protest till the president
returns to the country.

“If the president was my
father, I would carry him out of
that office and get him proper
treatment and rest.

“But we know that his hands
are tied personally. He is not
really the one running Nigeria;
it is a cabal.

“I also stand by my words
that a police officer hit me with
his gun.

“The government is a lie
and so is the police force .
Everybody is lying and in
deceit mode.
“If Nigerian people believe
their government and police,
then so be it. I have told you
what happened

By Mustapha Usman
A former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, has dispelled rumours making the rounds that he defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, alongside some lawmakers.
Mr Kwankwaso, who is now a senator, said it was a “malicious story” planted in newspapers and online platforms to tarnish his image.
Speaking to DAILY NIGERIAN on Tuesday morning, Aminu Abdussalam, the chief of staff to the senator, said the story was “malicious and totally unfounded.”
According to him, the senator and his supporters had not at any time contemplated leaving the party.
He said the story was planted by the Kano State government to cause disaffection among their supporters after the national leadership of the APC recognised the leadership of Umar Doguwa as the legitimate chairman of the party in the state.
“We have not at any time contemplated leaving the APC. We were surprised and deeply appalled when we read the story.
“The story was planted by Kano State government and some political opponents who are threatened by the mass followership Senator Kwankwaso enjoys nationwide.
“Kano State government was the one that planted the same story last year, and its agents are still the same characters spreading the false story.
“They are angry that the national leadership of our great party, the APC, has endorsed the Umar Doguwa-led chairmanship of the party in Kano and dismissed their sham congresses,” he added.

Former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison Madueke has finally spoken on several allegations of financial impropriety levelled against her by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Diezani said she never stole Nigeria’s money.

The former Minister made the claim in a statement she issued yesterday.

She said the anti-graft agency was taking advantage of her silence to try and convict her in the media hence her response.

Recall that the EFCC had alleged that Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former minister of Petroleum Resources, by an order of a Federal High Court has forfeited $153.3 million to the Federal Government.

Diezani’s statement, which was made available to newsmen in Abuja, reads, “I wish to state I cannot forfeit what was never mine.

“I do not know the basis on which the EFCC has chosen to say that I am the owner of these funds as no evidence was provided to me before the order was obtained, and they have not, in fact, served me with the order or any evidence since they obtained it.”

“Let me re-state categorically as I have always maintained, for the record, I have not and will never steal money from or defraud the Federal Government of Nigeria. I am willing to respond to charges brought against me that follow duly laid down procedures,” she said.

The former Minister dared the EFCC to without further delay, publish details of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC’s accounts from where the said $153.3 million was taken.

She also said that the report that Italian prosecutors indicted her for sharing in the loot of the $1.3 billion OPL 245 oil block deal, which involved Malabu and the Joint Venture Multinational partners, ENI (AGIP) and Royal Dutch was false.

She continued, “Let me once again state for the record that this is another figment of the author’s imagination, which, given the persistent bid to ensure my destruction and stick all of the sins of the corruption that plagued oil and gas sector in the last 30 years upon my head, probably emanated from the EFCC itself.

“Let me clear the history of OPL 245, otherwise known as Malabu. You will find a full chronology in the attached report that I made to the House of Representatives in late 2011 (Annex 2A/Annex-2B).

“In 2010, shortly after I was appointed as Minister of Petroleum Resources, the issue of OPL 245 was brought to my attention. I looked into the case and immediately became aware of the inherent and long standing sensitivities around this issue.

“It became clear from the onset that this case was not within the direct purview of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, but, in the main, was centered around issues of law.

“By this time, there was already an International Centre for Settlement of Investment Dispute (ICSID) investigation and claims against the FGN running into billions of dollars.

“Therefore, we took directives from the Chief Legal Officer of the nation; the Attorney General and Minister of Justice. In all of these matters due process was followed to the letter at all times.

“I wish to categorically state that I have never held any discussions on this matter, with any individuals or entities outside of official channels.

“As Minister of Petroleum Resources, I did not participate in any activity relating to financial payments on the Malabu matter, other than those statutorily mandated to the Minister of Petroleum Resources by the Petroleum Act.

“My role in this matter was purely a statutory, one as required by law in the Petroleum Act 3.

“In response, I have chosen not to insult, accuse or demonise any person or persons. In spite of all the allegations that have been made against me, not one has been factually proven.

“I remain very proud of the fact that all the policies, tenets and plans that I initiated in the oil and gas sector are still underpinning the entire structure. This is because they were put in place with the good of the entire nation and its people in mind.

“They were not factional or tribal, neither were they based on religious bias.

“I am a woman from the Niger Delta, who, through perseverance and sheer hard work rose to one of the highest positions in the country’s premier International Oil Company, and in tune with my ethos of hard work, I earned the prestigious British Foreign and Commonwealth Chevening Scholarship Award and was, thereafter, admitted to my MBA programme at the World renowned Cambridge University,” she said.

Nigeria’s earnings from oil production and sales in the 27 months President Muhammadu Buhari has been in office is far less than what the previous government led by ex-president Goodluck Jonathan earned in one year, Daily Sun can authoritatively reveal.

Since the Buhari government came to power, oil price has been in the all-time low, to the extent that a barrel of oil once sold for $27. Previous oil price peaked at $120 per barrel once, during the Jonathan’s government.

According to figures from the Organisation of Oil Producing Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Nigeria’s oil earnings since 2010 till date, the Buhari government has raked in $58 billion since coming to office.

A breakdown of the oil revenue by the Buhari government showed that between June and December 2015, the government earned $16 billion. In 2016, the Buhari government earned $26 billion, while it has raked in $16 billion this year, between January and July. The statistics showed that the Jonathan government earned a total of $453.5 billion between 2010 and 2015.

A breakdown of the Jonathan government’s earning showed that $70.7 billion was earned in 2010, $100.1 billion in 2011 and $96.9 billion in 2012.

Also, the Jonathan government earned $86.9 billion in 2013, $77.9 billion in 2014 and $21 billion between January and May 2015.

Meanwhile, the Buhari government has received kudos from the European Union (EU) and the United States government over its prudence in managing scarce resources.

According to EU officials, who pleaded anonymity, the Buhari government has shown responsibility in managing funds, in the face of low revenue.

The official said it was commendable that even when Nigeria’s revenue has nose-dived, the Buhari government has been able to meet its obligations.

“The EU is impressed that the Nigerian government has been afloat despite the drop in oil earning. From what we gathered, the government has been meeting its obligations. This is commendable,” he said.

When reminded that the Federal Government had borrowed to finance the budget, he said this was acceptable, as no country would survive without borrowing. He said as long as there was conscious effort to fight corruption, whatever money borrowed will be used for the purpose it was meant.

“There is no problem about borrowing, as long as the money is used for the stated purpose. We have seen this in Nigeria under the current government. This is good development,” the EU official said.

On the part of the United States, the country’s official said the Nigerian government had shown fiscal responsibility.

According to a top US official, who would not want to be mentioned, for a government that is not earning much money to be running shows the ingenuity in economic management.

He said that the Buhari government has shown determination to ensure that government revenue was not frittered away by corrupt officials, adding: “This is the greatest plus for the Nigerian government.”

The US officials said if the Buhari government could keep afloat in economic distress, it means that the government would do more for the country if the economic were buoyant.

In another development, the Presidency has said that the President Buhari administration was handed an economy ravaged by years of mismanagement and corruption.

In a statement, Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, while reacting to statements credited to former president Jonathan and Senator Ahmed Makarfi, the Caretaker Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said: “Under the previous administration, there was money but now things are very hard.”

The presidential aide added: “It is understandable that Dr. Jonathan kept his comments short, because a cursory look at any sector clearly indicated that he and his government presided over the most monumental and tragic economic mismanagement recorded in our national history.

“The oil sector boomed under his tenure, with oil prices as high as 120 dollars and peace in the Nigeria Delta. Nigeria earned unprecedented dollar revenues. Sadly, that is where the story turns sour.

“There is nothing to show for the revenues earned; no major capital project was completed, neither power generation, road development, rail nor agriculture benefited from the windfall earnings.

“Rather, the administration presided over the diversion of oil revenues on such a massive scale that even without the protection now accorded to Whistle blowers, the then Central Bank Governor blew not only a whistle but a trumpet.”

Highlighting the atrocities perpetrated under Jonathan’s government, Shehu said: “Indeed the president once celebrated having the largest number of private jets, whilst our youths languished without jobs, our fields stood idle and our factories began the layoff of workers.

“Government simply reticulated oil revenue through personal spending by corrupt leaders, wasteful expenses and salaries. This was done rather than investing in what would grow the economy. Economies grow due to capital investment in assets like seaports, airports, power plants, railways, roads and housing.”

He lamented that Nigeria could not record a single major infrastructural project in the last 10 years, saying, “in short the money was mismanaged. Shehu said President Buhari’s administration was left with the task of facing serious economic challenges from the oil majors, which included the demand for six billion dollars owed by Nigeria for oil that had already been sold or stolen.

He said it was only aggressive borrowing by the Ministry of Finance, under Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that prevented Federal Government from also owing salaries.

“The economic wisdom of borrowing to pay recurrent bills is a questionable one, particularly as those paid would have included over 45,000 that have subsequently been removed by the Buhari led administration as ghost workers.

“It also included the lavish costs of chartering private jets, first class travel and other wasteful acts that have been eliminated under this administration. To compound the problem, the government was borrowing heavily and owed contractors and international oil companies.”

On what the Buhari government is doing, Shehu said it had also increased spending on capital projects, especially on infrastructure needed to make Nigerian businesses competitive and create jobs. He said government had blocked the leakages that allowed its revenues to be siphoned into private hands while focusing on other key sectors that could create jobs and or generate revenue such as agriculture, solid minerals and manufacturing.

According to him, if these things had been done when the oil price was as high as 120 dollars per barrel, Nigeria will not be in the current predicament.

“We would not be suffering now if we had no cash reserves but we had power, or a rail system, or good roads, or good housing. But we don’t have money and we don’t have the projects either’” he said.

Gov. Tambuwal of Sokoto State

By Muhammad Nasir Bello

The Sokoto State House of Assembly says it has impeached its Deputy Leader, Alhaji Kabiru Ibrahim (APC- Kware), following a no-confidence vote passed by members.
The Speaker, Alhaji Salihu Maidaji, announced the decision of the House at a plenary on Tuesday that the removal was endorsed by the 21 members.
“I have received a letter of vote of no confidence in the Deputy House Leader duly signed by 21 members of the Assembly in accordance with Order Six, Section 11, subsection (3) of the Standing Orders of Sokoto State House of Assembly 2014 as amended.
“The signatures of the 21 members that passed the votes of no confidence in Kabiru Ibrahim, member representing Kware as Deputy House Leader are hereby accepted.
“Consequently, we replace him with Alhaji Ibrahim Sarki as the new Deputy House Leader (APC- Sokoto North II),” he said.
In an interview with newsmen after the impeachment, the House Leader, Alhaji Garba Bello (APC- Yabo), noted that the vote of no confidence followed constitutional breaches by Ibrahim.
He accused Ibrahim of engaging in some political activities ahead of the 2019 General Elections in violation of INEC guidelines.
“Ibrahim arranged a delegation with other members to mobilise in support of a governorship aspirant and as such he breached our Standing Orders.


Former Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Tuesday, reportedly defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Senator Kwankwaso, it was gathered, defected with 10 Kano State lawmakers.

His defection may not be unconnected with his ordeals in the APC.

Kwankwaso has been at loggerheads with his successor, Umar Ganduje.

In March last year, the leadership of the APC in Kano chapter had initiated moves to suspend him over what it termed anti-party activities.

Details later…

Nigeria: Why Jonathan Could Not Accuse Me of Corruption - Amaechi

Rotimi Amaechi, Nigeria's Minister of Transport
Rotimi Amaechi, speaks on the challenges and advantages of Nigeria's latest rail transport system, Rivers State politics and the ruling All Progressives Congress.

In this interview with PREMIUM TIMES,Why Jonathan Could Not Accuse Me of Corruption - Amaechi Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, speaks on the challenges and advantages of Nigeria's latest rail transport system, Rivers State politics and the ruling All Progressives Congress.

PT: What are the challenges you have faced in this ministry?

Amaechi: Money has been the basic challenge. The contracts that you need to deliver on a railway are in tonnes of naira. Take for example the approval by the president that we should do a railway from Abuja to Lokoja to join Itakpe to Warri as well as a sea pot in Warri; that project was put at $3.1 billion, which is nearly N1 trillion. Where will you get the money from?

PT: When you say that money is your problem, what are you doing with the private sector?

Amaechi: I don't know why people engage in this debate without looking at the realities. Everywhere in the world when it comes to real operation, people get involved. Like we are having a real operation investment in the narrow gauge in which GE is bringing about two million dollars to revive the old narrow gauge and run them by themselves.

But when it comes to real construction, it is usually the government because they are in trillions. How many persons can raise that? The contract from Lagos to Kano is $8.3 billion, the contract from Lagos to Calabar is $11.1 billion dollars. At N300 per dollar, that is N3.3 trillion.

PT: You have just explained that one of the reasons why government takes charge of real construction is because of the requirement for huge sums of money. Yet you had stated that the River Niger dredging costs this government only N100 million. Were you referring to maintenance dredging there or capital dredging?

Amaechi: Maintenance dredging. But what is capital dredging? It's the same 2.5-meter draft. The work has been slow because the dredgers were rented out. Next year I have told them to include it in their budget to buy a very big dredger, so you don't need to award the contract. What will a contractor do other than to use a dredger to desilt the river; which you can do if you have your staff?

PT: So, what you are saying is that because dredgers are not adequately available, the contract was outsourced?

Amaechi: I said NIWA is handling the contract. Nobody will do it for you at N100 million now. The only way you can do it at N100 million is that you are paying the staff their regular salary and you are buying diesel to fuel the dredger and the dredger belongs to NIWA.

PT: Recently when you announced that with the improvement in patronage of trains, the Kaduna Abuja rail now generates N30 million monthly; you added that the operational cost is N56 million per month. Does that mean the rail is being run at a monthly deficit of N26 million?

Amaechi: Of course. Because you are subsidising. Where will you run a rail transport for N1,000 and then the business coach is N1, 500? The passengers themselves are the people begging that we should increase the cost of transportation and we are hoping that by October, when we receive more coaches, we will increase the price. I don't know how much we will increase it to. But we will increase the price so that even if we do not pay the entire cost of operation, we can at least reduce the loss.

We expect about 10 to 17 more coaches by October. I think by the time the new coaches and locomotives arrive, we will be doing 130 kilometres per hour. The current speed is 80 kilometres and the train has a capacity of 150 kilometres per hour.

PT: We understand that some people are already taking advantage of the scarcity to extort money from unsuspecting passengers by purchasing these tickets for the normal price of N1, 000 and selling at high prices as N3000. What do you intend to do about this?
Amaechi: There is nothing you can do about it. Ordinarily, what law is the man breaking? The man is trading. He buys a ticket and he offers you at N3000. If you don't want to buy, you don't want to buy.

The man is not creating scarcity, the scarcity is because government is not able to bring in more coaches. So, the solution to it is go and bring in more coaches, the man won't have a business. As soon as we bring in more coaches and have between 10 to 17 coaches; there will be too many space for the man not to have that market. We currently have only four coaches. These four coaches can only take 120 passengers. So, if you have about 800 passengers, that means there is a deficit of about 600 and something. So, some passengers will pay more if they must go to Kaduna.

PT: Having completed the Kaduna Abuja rail, would you consider it part of your achievements, given the fact that it was not originally your project?

Amaechi: That will be very unfair. For instance, why is the Itakpe-Warri not running? It was awarded 30 years ago. Now, we are focusing on it and if N100 billion is required to complete it and we bring that; then they say, 'no it's not your project'. You see, that's why politicians don't complete projects if it is abandoned, because you will go and say; 'it's not your projects. It's like what I told my supporters in Rivers State; that it doesn't matter if Wike completes a project I started and takes the glory. We did not believe in the principle of commissioning projects. He believes in the principle of commissioning projects, then let him go ahead. We believe you are employed by the people, your salary is paid by the people; and then you do your job and call the people to come and dance with you, because you have done your job?

Let us consider the Kaduna-Abuja rail that you talked about. It is part of the Lagos-Kano. It was close to 90 per cent competed. But key is that there were some things that we needed to address: we had to deal with the obstacles. One of them is that the Catholic Church needed land and compensation for their land and the buildings we were going to demolish. We paid the compensation. Personally, I went to the Minister for FCT and got the approval for a Certificate of Occupancy and handed it over to them and we got government to fence their land for them and they vacated. So, you cannot say it is not our project. We are not laying credit. What matters is that business is running.

The Itakpe-Warri rail was awarded in 1987, and up till today, it has not been completed. About 50 kilometres have been vandalised - from Itakpe to Lokoja. Now, we are awarding a fresh contract to CCECC to enable us rebuild from Itakpe to Lokoja. Hopefully, cabinet should be able to discuss it once we send a memo.

PT: Among the various allegations against you by Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike, he accused you of admitting to have taken $39 billion for the construction of a specialist hospital in your state, which was never built. Would you comment on that?

Amaechi: That is not completely correct. To the extent that we paid, yes! That is correct. Our contribution to that project was three billion. So, we had given them that money, which they utilised. I arrested the man and handed him over to the police, because if he knew from day one that he wanted me to award him contract, then he should have said so. I would have looked for the money. I would use the public procurement process. But he came behind and said, 'bring 10 per cent, we will bring 90 per cent'. And that excited me as a governor and I brought the N10 per cent he promised and then he came to me and said; 'I have done this; I have done that'; they do not have money, and that is what we disagreed on. So how does that constitute corruption? They had finished the foundation, 18 floors.

I am not too happy that it is now that Nigerians will say I am so corrupt. Why did Goodluck not prosecute me or even accuse me then? When I was accusing him and shouting corruption. Don't forget I was the first person to shout that $49 billion was missing from NNPC. Sanusi wrote the letter, but kept quiet. I stumbled upon it and went public. The CBN president wrote in September and then I saw it the next year. A lot of people tried to compromise me and I refused.

When I spoke up about oil subsidy; do you think I was not tempted? Under Obasanjo, oil subsidy was N300 billion, under Yar'Adua oil subsidy was N300 billion. Under Jonathan's first six month in office, oil subsidy rose from N300 billion to N1.7 trillion! You think they did not invite me, that nobody spoke to me? You think nothing happened behind? I will write my book. Nobody accused me of corruption all that time. Then, suddenly one young man comes up and says, 'Oh! He is corrupt! Two years after leaving office, they have not prosecuted Amaechi; I have no immunity.

PT: Are you sure you were not prosecuted because you were a governor at the time? That's considering your question that the Goodluck Jonathan administration never prosecuted you.

But why did they not even accuse me? I was not prosecuting him, I was accusing him. They know; Goodluck Jonathan knows that I don't like money, if they want to be honest.

PT: Can you tell us about the recently reported practitioner's operating fee for ports officials that was introduced by this administration?

Amaechi: It was there by law. The only thing that happened is that when I came, these people were collecting the money that the law says government should collect and give them a percentage. When I came in, I told them that we should implement the law. They refused. They took me to court. You don't come and threaten me. The only person that can threaten me now and I will kneel down is my wife. Not men. Let him pull out, other people will come in. The law says you will pay x y z first, then government will split it with you. But first, you will pay that money to government.

PT: Given the economic recession and its effects on the masses, coupled with the controversies that have trailed the president's medical vacation especially in recent times, would you say that the ruling party still has nothing to worry about in the next election?.

PT: But as a member of his party, would you say that the cabinet is not bothered, for example about the president's health and other related issues?

Amaechi: What should bother us should be the President's health. He has left everything in order. Once we know that he is alive and is recuperating, that calls for celebration.

Shouldn't we be thankful about where we are now? Have you checked our rating in Transparency International's list of corrupt countries? Is anybody chasing you out of the roads now because somebody important is passing? We are not high-profile ministers. The challenges were fait accompli. Apparently, we were going to go into recession. Now, we are walking out of this recession. A lot of indicators show that we are. The only problem we have is the cost of food production. We were importing about 3 million tonnes of rice, now we are saying let's produce at home.
Give it the next 10 years and the price of rice will go down

When I proposed electric cars for Nigeria and started driving one, many laughed. Today, France, U.K. and Norway have banned petrol cars from between 2025-2040.

It is not a matter of if, when it is a matter of when. When I read about Boko Haram killing the engineers searching for oil in Lake Chad I was sad, because oil is fading product. It is on its way to obsolescence.
How can we allow people die for oil, a commodity that the world is moving away from in favour of electric, alternative energy and other non fossil fuels?

Mr. President and my colleagues in the National Assembly, If Nigeria does not restructure today and move our economy away from dependence on oil, a very, very rude shock awaits is eight years from now.
Our mass transit system is almost 100% completely dependent on a road transportation policy that is dependent on petrol and diesel. Even the new trains that the Nigerian Railway Corporation has are diesel engine units.

Eight years from now when Europe, America and Southeast Asia start going electric, Nigeria will become a dumping ground for petrol and diesel cars and trains that have no future.

Already we are becoming a dumping ground. Motor Assembly plants that are now becoming obsolete in South Africa and Asia are being knocked down and transported to Nigeria to deceive us that cars are being assembled in Nigeria.

Mr. President, my colleagues and fellow Nigerians, please do not be deceived. They have seen the future and are preparing for it. What we are getting are their rejects.

We must redesign our automobile and mass transit policy. We have a unique advantage in that we do not have a strong industrial base so we do not have to demobilize it and retool it for the future which is going green.

We can start afresh and go green.
We should design an automobile policy that provides that only manufactures of electric vehicles can come and set up manufacturing plants in Nigeria.
We should design a mass transit policy that provides that makes out railway system shift from diesel or other fossil fuels to either electric or any type of non fossil fuels.

Mr. President, my colleagues, time is running out. The world is moving on. We must remember that we are the leaders of Nigeria at this very moment and that good leaders sees the best in people but great leaders are the ones who helps people see the best in themselves. That’s what Nigeria needs and that is why I am doing this.

Mr. President, I was way ahead on this issue. I predicted it. I prepared for it. And now I am telling you that I have an automobile policy that I have prepared for Nigeria which I will give to you as my patriotic contribution to the growth of Nigeria because I don’t just believe in identifying problems, I also identify solutions.

If Nigeria does not restructure today and move our economy away from dependence on oil, a very, very rude shock awaits us eight years from now when the 2025 deadline of some European nations to move to electric cars take effect.

And Mr. President, it looks to me as if you are not even preparing for that. Nigeria seems to be digging its heels into oil rather than planning to get out before we become like the fly that follows the course into the grave.

When I read that Boko Haram killed engineers prospecting for oil in Lake Chad I was sad. Oil is fading. It is on its way to obsolescence. Should we be losing valuable human souls chasing after a commodity that is on its way to obsolescence?
How can we allow people die for oil, a commodity the world is moving from in favour of electric, alternative energy and non fossil fuels?

Look at Venezuela. The proven oil reserves in Venezuela are recognised as the largest in the world, totaling 297 billion barrels, yet Venezuela, with less than 20 % of Nigeria’s population is facing economic ruin. If oil could save a country it would have saved Venezuela!

That oil has not saved Venezuela means that it cannot save Nigeria. They have it more than we do. We are more populated than them. Do the maths!
What is happening in Venezuela will be child’s play compared to what may happen to Nigeria if we do not restructure before oil becomes obsolete.
Mr. President, it is no longer a choice. It is a necessity. As leaders, we cannot operate by what we see. We must exist by what we visualise.

A country like the United Arab Emirates is far ahead of us. Knowing what is coining for oil, they have diversified their economy away from oil to aviation.
Thirty per cent of the Gross Domestic Product of Dubai comes from aviation. It did not just happen by itself. It was and is the result of visionary and purposeful leadership by their leadership.

Now, more than ever, Nigeria needs that type of leadership.
A world without oil is not scare mongering. It is a very real possibility that is upon us and will keep biting harder and harder.

Let us not think that the West will save us by giving us aid when that time comes. We must be prudent and be aware that when it gets dark, even a man’s own shadow will leave him!

But it is not all bad news. In the midst of all this gloom, there is Anambra, a state that has shown us what can be done to better an economy without oil.
Anambra has taken to agriculture and manufacturing and is exporting its produce to Europe and earning billions of naira along the way.

What is it that Anambra is doing that cannot be done by other states with an even larger landmass than Anambra?

If we get our acts right in Nigeria, we can produce enough food to feed the rest of Africa and the $35 billion Africa spends importing food can find its way to Nigeria instead of to Europe and Asia.

• Murray-Bruce is the founder of the Silverbird Entertainment Group and the Senator representing Bayelsa East in the National Assembly


FG spends N6.2b on School feeding programme g
By Ismaila Chafe
Nigeria’s Federal Government has spent N6.2 billion under the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme, one of its four ongoing Social Investment Programmes (SIP), with Ogun and Osun states having the most children covered.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity (Office of the Vice-President), Mr Laolu Akande, made this known in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday.
He said the expenditure was in fulfilment of the Federal Government’s plan to ramp up the Social Investment Programmes this year.
According to him, the Buhari administration is now close to its target of feeding three million primary school pupils this year under the Homegrown School Feeding Programme.
“Specifically, at the last count, a total of N6, 204,912,889  has been paid out to 14 states during the school year ending August 2017.
“The 14 states that have been covered under the School Feeding Programme are: Anambra, Enugu, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ebonyi, Zamfara, Delta, Abia, Benue, Plateau, Bauchi, Taraba and Kaduna.
“So far, a total of 2,827,501 school children are currently benefiting from the School Feeding Programme, which is well on course to achieve the Federal Government’s projection to feed over three million pupils this year,’’ he said.
According to the presidential aide, 33,895 cooks have been engaged in the communities where the schools are located across the 14 states.
Akande said  Anambra received N693, 013,300 while 103,742 children had been fed thus far, with 1,009 cooks paid.
“Enugu state got a total of N 571,877,400 and 108,898 children have been fed so far, with 1,276 cooks paid.
“In Oyo state, a total of N490,296, 800 was released by the Federal Government for the feeding of 107,983 children, with 1,372 cooks engaged.
“Osun state received a total of N1,000, 394,888 for the feeding of 151,438 children. A total of 2,863 cooks were engaged in the state.
“Similarly, Ogun received a total of and N1,042,217,400 for the feeding of 231,660 schoolchildren, while a total of 2,205 cooks were paid.’’
Akande further stated that Ebonyi received N344,633, 100 for the feeding of 163,137 pupils so far, with a total of 1,453 cooks paid while Zamfara received N402,295,600 for the feeding of 107,347 school children with 1,127 cooks were engaged.
He also disclosed that Delta received N225,896,300 for the feeding of 141,663 pupils and 1,364 cooks engaged in the state.
Akande also said, “Abia and Benue received a total of N128,763,600 and N337,157,800 respectively to feed a total of 61,316 and 240,827 pupils.
“In Abia, a total of 750 cooks were engaged, while 3,344 cooks were paid in Benue.
“Plateau and Bauchi states received a total of N133,187,600 and N214,909,101 for the feeding of a total of 95,134 and 307,013 pupils respectively in the states.
“Also, 1,418 cooks have so far been engaged in Plateau state, with 3,261 in Bauchi state.’’
The presidential aide also said Taraba received N120,284, 500, adding that 171,835 pupils had been fed while 2,596 cooks were paid.
He said that Kaduna state received N499, 985, 500 while 835,508 pupils had been fed so far and 9,857 cooks were paid under the programme in the state.
According to him, more states and primary school pupils across the country are expected to benefit from the feeding programme by the time schools re-open next month for a new session.

Atiku Abubakar Former Vice president on Insurgents

Former Nigerian vice-president, Atiku Abubakar has condemned those issuing quit notices and counter quit notices to fellow Nigerians in various parts of the country, saying they were misguided.
He said retaliatory quit notices will only make Nigeria, a blind nation asked for the restructuring of the country that will place premium on state residency, as done in the United Arab Emirates.
In a statement issued by his Media Office, Atiku said he was sad that there has been a counter Quit Notice issued in reaction to the unfortunate initial notices issued by some misguided youths in July of this year.
“Just as I strongly condemned the Quit Notice on people of the Igbo ethnic stock living in Northern Nigeria and the counter quit notices that ensued, I also vehemently condemn the retaliatory Quit Notice given by certain elements in other parts of Nigeria to persons of other origins be they Northern, Yoruba or any other ethnic grouping within our nation.
“First and foremost, it is a fallacy to believe that there are people of Northern or Southern origin. Nigeria only has people of one origin. We are all of Nigerian origin.
“As Nigerians, we must be pragmatic enough to realise the obvious truth that an eye for an eye will leave Nigeria blind.
“Let me at this juncture remind these “quit noticers” that when brothers fight to the death over a domestic dispute, it is their neighbours that eventually end up inheriting their father’s property.
“It is also for this reason, amongst others, that I have urged and still urge that Nigeria should be restructured and that state of origin ought to be removed from our constitution and other relevant laws and policies, to be replaced by state of residency.
“If we as Nigerians are tied to our residency, rather than the state where our ancestors originated from, this whole idea of Quit Notice would not have arisen in the first place.
“Let us remember that though we have many ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, we are all largely of one race. In the United Arab Emirates, foreigners exceed the native Emiratis in number, yet the UAE is one of the most peaceful nations on earth. If people of different races can live in peace in South Africa and the United States, why can’t we do the same here?
“In fact, I posit that we can and should do the same.
“Finally, let me use this opportunity to commend the National Broadcasting Commission and the National Orientation Agency for taking steps to sanction radio stations that were guilty of playing the Igbo hate song and for embarking on an anti-hate speech drive.
“Nigeria is our only country and our value as human beings is tied to the value of Nigeria. So if we must give ourselves value, we must first give Nigeria value”.

President Muhammadu Buhari says there is tremendous improvement in his health, and that he is eager to return home.

“But I’ve learnt to obey my doctor’s orders, rather than be the one issuing the orders. Here, the doctor is absolutely in charge,” he said.
The President spoke while receiving the presidential media team, and the Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Matters, at Abuja House, London, on Saturday.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, led the visiting team, accompanied by Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity; Mallam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, and Lauretta Onochie, Personal Assistant on Digital/Online Media. Also there was Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Matters.

When the team expressed delight at the much improved health of the President, he retorted: “I feel I could go home, but the doctors are in charge. I’ve now learnt to obey orders, rather than be obeyed.”
On how he felt hearing different conjectures about his health, an amused President Buhari said he followed events at home closely, lauding Nigerian television stations, and the media generally, for keeping him informed.

When told that prayers were going on fervently for him, not only in Nigeria, but all over Africa, and round the world, a delighted President said: “What we did in The Gambia early this year fetched us a lot of goodwill on the African continent. It gave us a lot of latitude. I thank all those who are praying. May God reward them.”
President Buhari sent appreciation to all Nigerians, expressing hope that he would be with them soon

Nnamdi Kanu has violated bail conditions –FG

Why northern youth leaders have not been arrested
From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

The Minister of Interior, Lt-Gen Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau (retd), has accused the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, of violating the bail conditions given him by a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Dambazau, who made the allegation during a press conference held in his office in Abuja yesterday, however noted that it is left for the Court to determine what becomes of his action and to what extent he violated the conditions when his trial resumes.

Assuring that police arresting Kanu is totally out of consideration, the Minister said: “the other issue is that Nnamdi Kanu violates bail conditions but it is not time yet for him to go back to the court on trial. We have this assumption but I think it is left for the court that gave those conditions to determine whether those conditions were violated or not.

“If those conditions were violated, the court knows what to do. We cannot assume that those conditions are being violated. Yes, the public knows those conditions given but the determination of the extent of violation will be left for the court.

“It is not like the police will go after Kanu to arrest him on the grounds that he violated the bail conditions. Kanu will have a day in court and the court will determine his fate because it is the court that gave those conditions.” He equally spoke on why the Federal Government and the law enforcement agencies have not arrested leaders of the Coalition of Northern Youth Groups behind the quit order given to Igbo in the northern part of the country, explaining that they have been invited by the Department of State Services (DSS) for questioning.

According to him; “the group that called themselves coalition of Arewa Associations that held a press conference in Kaduna where they gave October 1 ultimatum to the Igbo to quit the north as a response to what they termed as issue of separatist agenda of IPOB and claim that there are lots of excitements from the Igbo against northerners, of course, they later claimed that the media quoted them out of context. I am very much aware that the DSS invited all of them, held a meeting with them to which they made a statement to the effect that what was reported in the media was not what they said.

“They further wrote to the Acting President indicating that they did not make inciting statement as to the issue of violence or forceful ejection of the Igbo in the north. However, it was on the basis of that the northern elders called them to also reaffirm from them that what was reported is not exactly what they meant.

“Secondly, it is something that the Kaduna State government is handling since that is where it happened. I want to think that it was on that basis that the arrest was not made. Again, there has been several efforts to dialogue between the northern youths and the Igbo youths. Several of such meetings have been held including the reported one a week ago but my understanding is that these various groups are trying to reach an understanding.

“More importantly, government has given assurance when the Acting President met with leadership from various parts of the country that nothing is going to happen to any person. Government has assured that everybody should stay and continue normal businesses.”

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said contrary to what naysayers want people to believe, the Buhari administration is working assiduously to redeem its electoral pledges, especially in the critical areas of developing the economy as well as fighting corruption and insecurity.

The Minister stated this in Abuja on Friday while signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the visiting Chinese Vice Minister of The State Council Information Office, Mr. Guo Weimin, in the area of media and cultural relations.
“Contrary to the lies that are being purveyed daily in the Social Media, this government has been working assiduously to redeem its electoral pledges. Our fight against insecurity is yielding very positive results.
“Our fight against corruption is focused and is ongoing and we are resolute and we have resolved that we are going to fight corruption until corruption goes under. We are happy that in this regards, we have a very good partner in China because we are aware and we know how China fought corruption and how China is fighting corruption.
”We have succeeded in nursing a very sick economy and very soon, Nigeria will get out of recession,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed, who said the signing of the MOU will further deepen the already excellent relationship between the two countries, expressed optimism that some provisions of the MOU that encourage the news agencies of Nigeria and China to reflect, in their reporting, the social, economic and cultural development in both countries, will eliminate the phenomenon of fake news.
“This is significant because we are today in the era of fake news. Unlike China, the Social Media here is completely unrestrained. Therefore it is important that you get your news directly from the official source,” he said.

The Minister sought the support of China towards the training of the Ministry’s Resident Information Officers on modern Governance Public Communication methods in order to build their capacity as the respective spokespersons of Ministries, Department and Agencies.
Alhaji Mohammed also sought partnership with China in the areas of film production and distribution, development of community cinema houses and collaboration in the co-production of films as well as screening of Nigerian films in China and vice versa.
He called for cooperation between the Nigerian Film and Video Censorship Board and the China Censorship Board to curb the importation and exportation of pirated and adulterated movies of both countries.

The Chinese Vice Minister said the signing of the MOU between the two countries marked a new beginning in the relationship between the two countries, particularly in the area of media and cultural relations.
He said staff training and programme exchanges will further solidify the cultural ties between both nations. Mr. Weimin said his ministry will scale up the broadcast of news about Nigeria in China and appealed to the Minister to reciprocate the gesture.
The Chinese Vice Minister acceded to Alhaji Mohammed’s request for the training of the Resident Information Officers and said the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria will fine-tune the capacity building engagement. 
Mr. Weimin was accompanied by the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Zhou Pingjian, to the signing of the MOU.

Billionaire Ifeanyi Ubah has been cleared by PDP to contest the forthcoming Anambra state governorship election.Disclosing the news few minutes ago,he said...

'Just collected my clearance certificate from the PDP secretariat WADATA Plaza Abuja 3 minutes ago .

I have been cleared to run under our great Party .You may recall that we went through the party screening committee yesterday


An 18 Year Old Nelson Okorie has made a decision to run for the sit of the Abia State Governor. His intentions were revealed to the public through his Facebook account where he made a remark about celebrities coming out to contest for Anambra State Governorship Election.
In his words
"Our celebrities now turning into politicians..
Yul edochie comin out for Anambra state governor..
Kcee comin out for Anambra state governor too..
Here Street N is comin out for Abia state governor..
Let's young boys lead...dis old men are Nt serious"
Could this be the sign of new things to come. Maybe the youths of Nigeria have woken up and are demanding for more political roles..
Who knows.. Only time will tell.

Kogi State’s First Lady, Mrs Rashida Bello, has offered assistance to Mrs Mikailu, who was abandoned by her husband after she gave birth to triplets.
According to her Non-Governmental Organization, Kogi Women and Youth Advancement Foundation (KOWYAF) Facebook page;“The birth of multiple children brings joy to parents, and in some cultures in Nigeria, it is seen as a blessing. But the birth of triplets to Mr and Mrs Mikailu disrupted their peaceful family coexistence as Mr Mukailu ran away from the home leaving the poor woman to care for the triplets alone.
Hope however is at the end of the tunnel for Mrs Mukailu because KOWYAF is poised to see to the needs of vulnerable women and children in Kogi State, as I have made provision for basic needs like baby milk, diapers and toiletries, and these items have been presented by Hon Olamide Adesoro and the Honourable Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hon Bolanle Amupitan.

I will also ensure that Mrs Mikailu becomes empowered to be able to fend for herself and the children.”

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