Thursday, 8 September 2016

PMB inaugurates Enabling Business Environment Council

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja inaugurated the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council.

The Council has Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as its Chairman, while the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr Enelamah is the Vice Chairman.

Leading the private sector arm of the Council is Mr Seyi Bickersteth, National Senior Partner at KPMG Nigeria, and Chairman, KPMG Africa.

The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council will be working on easing Visa processing, Business and Property Registration among other things.

Read IGP's warning to "Bring Back Our Girls"

Perhaps tired of the 'antics' of the Bring Back Our Girls advocacy group, Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris has issued a stern "enough is enough" warning to the conveners of the movement.

Speaking while receiving the National President of the National Council of Women Societies, NCWS, Gloria Shoda and other members of the Council executive in his office in Abuja, the police chief said that the activities of the group threatened public peace and order.

“The police management is aware of the agitation and the plight of parents of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls and other civil groups. As parents ourselves, we sympathize with them in these trying moments.

“Evidently, the government has invested huge resources in ensuring that the girls are rescued and re-united with their various families.

“However, the activities of the BringBackOurGirls group in Abuja, the nation’s capital recently, are becoming worrisome and threat to public peace and order.

“#BringBackOurGirls protagonists must understand that in the exercise of their rights, they must not trample on other peoples’ rights through over-dramatization of emotions, self-serving propaganda and disrespect of public (office) holders.

“The police will not sit on the fence and watch such a scenario unfold. The rights of law-abiding citizens must be protected within the context of the law and we believe that enough is enough,” he said.

NAF in counter-terrorism exercise at Abuja airport

The Nigerian Air Force yesterday conducted a counter-terrorism simulation exercise at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The exercise involved special forces and bomb disposal experts as well as a regimental force with a Super Puma military Helicopter dropping airborne snipers.

Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar told newsmen that the exercise which also involved the Army, Navy, NSA office and NEMA among others was to prepare the NAF special forces against the eventuality of terrorist attacks on the nation’s airports in the future.

His words:
“This exercise is very significant because the regiment forces, quick response forces, are participating in this exercise. They were trained by the Nigerian Air Force using taxpayers money.

“What we want is to have a force that is actually going to be effective in the event of any problem in our airports. You can have all the training, you can have all the skills. Unless you are tested from time to time, you will not be able to know whether there will be gaps.

“The whole essence of this exercise is to ensure that there are no gaps. And you also need to have the cooperation of the other agencies, coordinating with other agencies. It must be evaluated from time to time to know whether there will be problems in real situations.

“I want to appreciate the Airport authorities, I want to appreciate all the other agencies of government, the Army is represented here, the Navy is here with us, the National Security Adviser’s office, is also here with us. The other security agencies, Immigration Customs, FAAN, everybody is involved to ensure that we are able to deal with these situations if they arise.

“I think that is the significance and I am very happy that we have been able to test the plans we have been having for this airport and whatever gaps there are, we will be able to quickly go back and debrief and see where there are areas of difficulties.

“Certainly, we are starting with Nnamdi Azikiwe, we are going Lagos,we are going to Port Harcourt, we are going to Kano, and we have enough special forces to undertake this type of operation in any airport in any part of the country."

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Idris confirmed as substantive IGP

The Council of State on Wednesday approved the appointment of Acting IGP Ibrahim Idris as the substantive Inspector General of Police, subject to confirmation by the Senate.

Also approved by the Council were the appointments of six federal commissioners for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and five commissioners for the National Population Commission, NPC as well as the measures so far adopted by the Federal Government to resuscitate the economy.

Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru briefed State House correspondents in Abuja at the end of the meeting.

“We deliberated on the appointment of six national commissioners for INEC. You know INEC is supposed to have 12. We had earlier approved six sometime last year and additional six were actually approved today.

“You may wish to know that we approved five new commissioners for National Population Commission, NPC, in addition to what was actually approved for INEC.

“Those appointed for INEC are Mohammed Haruna (North-Central); AVM Ahmed Tijani Mu’Azu, rtd (North-East); Abubakar Nahuca (North-West); Professor Okechukwu Ibanu (South-East); May Agbamuche Mbu (South-South) and Dr. Adekunle Ladipo Ogumola ( South-West).

‘’Those appointed as NPC commissioners are Dr Eyitayo Oyetunji (Oyo); Patricia Iyaya(Benue); Benedict Ukpong( Akwa Ibom); Dr. Halu Bala (Kebbi); and Gloria Isofo (Bayelsa)."

On the confirmation of Idris as IGP, Badaru said; “We deliberated on the confirmation of the Inspector General of Police, IGP. There was almost unanimous acceptance of his confirmation. So, the Police council do resolve to confirm the Acting Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.

“Most of the comments received proved to us that the IGP is of impeccable character and we expect him to conduct himself as such. We believe he is very honest and transparent. We also believe he will continue to be honest and do his best for the country.”

He said that the Council also endorsed the measures taken by the administration to put the economy on the path of recovery.

“The council was also briefed on the state of the economy. The Minister of State, Ministry of Budget and Planning actually made a presentation to council on the ways and manner in which the Federal Government is approaching the way to rescue the recession path that we are going through.

“Council was confident and also approved the measures the Federal Government is putting in ensuring that Nigeria goes on the path of recovery as quickly as possible.”

Super Eagles handler Rohr visits Glass House (Photo)

SuperEagles Technical Adviser, Gernot Rohr was at the Secretariat of the Nigerian Football Federation in Abuja on Wednesday.

He was accompanied by Coach Salisu Yusuf on the  visit to the Glass House.

See photo.

What Buhari is doing with the Nigerian economy by Garba Shehu

What Is President Buhari doing with the economy? - By Garba Shehu via Vanguard Newspaper

What Is President Buhari doing with the economy? LET me start by asking an important question: who wants to kill racy introspection? There is a cacophony of voices telling the Muhammadu Buhari administration to close its eyes to the past, that given the enormous tasks that lie ahead, history and its consequences for our nation should be the least of the government’s preoccupation at this juncture.
I disagree. Let us keep a fiery memory of the past so that we don’t repeat its mistakes. Look back, look ahead. The future must of necessity be built on the foundations of the past.
The Conservative Party took power in Britain six years ago from Labor. Check the British press, they are talking about Labor 24/7. Is anyone complaining?
Japheth Omojuwa, one of Nigeria’s top three influencers seemed tasked in his patience reacting to calls that we must stop talking about the immediate past administration in this country. “People are still talking about who ran governments in 1865 you want us to forget those who left government last year? (Expletive).”
Music icon Fela Anikulapo Kuti who many agree was a philosopher disguised as Afro-musician taught in one of his songs that without knowing where you are coming from, you won’t know where you are going. Wise men say that the empty can doesn’t disappear by simply kicking it down the road.
To avoid repeating the past mistakes, Nigerians must come to terms with what went wrong with the past, how bad were things, what was done wrongly, what the past government should have done, before we come to what needs to be done to right those wrongs. Believe me, episodes from the Jonathan era can fill books, and other possibilities such as courtroom drama thriller.
Against this backdrop, I sought to hear our erudite Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun on where we are coming from, vis-a-vis the administration’s chosen path to recovery and accelerated growth. What is the administration doing to revitalize the economy? She spoke at length on the many measures being put in place, many of which are not glamorous. They, of necessity, come with pain. Why should Nigerians be asked to endure pains? Why should they be asked to make adjustments?
PAST MISTAKES
The simple explanation is that the economy was broken, and just as they do the broken leg, you must bear the pain of fixing it. The current situation was caused by years of mismanagement and corruption.
As explained by President Buhari again and again, trumpeted by Madam Adeosun and other senior officials, we solely relied on oil, the price of which was as high as US$140 per barrel. 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. Nigeria has not recorded a single major infrastructural project in the last 10 years. In short the money was mismanaged. In addition to failing to spend money on what was needed, no savings were made by Government unlike other countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Norway.
To compound the problem, the previous government was borrowing heavily and owed contractors, and international oil companies. When this government took over we had accumulated debt back to the level it was before the Paris Club Debt Forgiveness.
All these factors were building up to Nigeria heading for a major crisis if the price of oil fell. Nigeria did not have fiscal buffers to withstand an oil shock.
The oil shock should and could have been foreseen. These are matters that both the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sunusi 11 and Professor Chukwuma Soludo, both them eminent former Central Bank Governors had occasions to warn the government of the day about, but they were clobbered. The dire warnings were written all over the wall, but they were ignored by Nigeria’s economic managers.
What should they have done?
They should have had the courage and vision to do as the present administration is doing through the Economic Team, the Ministry of Finance under Madam Adeosun and the various agencies of the state to envision a better future by first of all fighting corruption. Look at what a civilian administration is today doing to military, investigating their finance and accounts that the military could not do to themselves.
See what the current administration is doing sanitize the huge salary bill by eliminating payroll fraud. So far, the federal payroll has been rid of about 40,000 ghost workers. More than eight billion Naira stolen monthly has been saved. We are also saving on wasteful expenses like First Class Travel and Private jets for official trips.
The federal government is not limiting the reforms to the center but forcing State Governments to reform their spending and build savings or investments. Government is also increasing spending on capital projects especially on infrastructure needed to make Nigerian businesses competitive and create jobs. The administration is at the same time blocking leakages that allowed government revenues to be siphoned into private hands.
Diversification
Currently, there is focus on key sectors ( apart from oil) that can create jobs and or generate revenue such as Agriculture, Solid Minerals and Manufacturing. If these things had been done when the oil price was as high as US$140 per barrel, Nigeria would not be in the current predicament. We would not be suffering now if we had no cash reserves but we had regular supply of power, a good rail system, good roads and good housing.
Now that the oil has fallen as low as US$28 per barrel, it is very difficult to do what is needed but they must be done to save Nigeria. There is no other way if we want to be honest. If PDP were still in power they would have continued deceiving people, by borrowing to fund stealing and wastage and the problem would have simply been postponed for future generations to face.
The truth
There are many who say that this Government’s economic strategy is unclear whereas the previous government seemed well co-ordinated. I will make the confession that we, the officials hired to communicate government policies, that includes myself, have not done as well as we should have.
The truth is that more than any other time before, there is a clear direction and strategy for achieving growth and development. Revisionists may not agree, but the truth of the matter is that the previous administration only had one issue, which was how to spend money ( oil revenues and borrowed money).
As mentioned earlier this spending was focussed on the wrong things and even though the economy seemed to be growing it was not sustainable, it was, as described by Minister Adeosun, a classic “boom and bust”’ driven solely by the oil price.
Unemployment was and remained high (never forget the NIS jobs that exploited thousands of desperate graduates in a scam that was used to fund house purchases in high brow areas and claimed so many lives)
Inequalities were growing (our then President boasted about Nigerians having the highest number of private jets when most Nigerians could barely afford to eat).Terrorism and social unrest were growing. Real development was lacking. As soon as the oil price fell, these vulnerabilities were exposed.
From its records so far, this administration is trying to reset the Nigerian economy and ensure that it attains its potential and is diverse and resilient. We are doing this at a time when the global economy is in crisis due to the oil price collapse. Even rich nations like Saudi Arabia are experiencing problems
The Government is people- oriented, focussed and wants the economy to grow in a way that will create a more stable future which is not dictated by world oil prices ( over which we have no control). No more boom and bust ( thanks Minister Adeosun).
Our policies
Nigeria wants to take responsibility for its own destiny, therefore our policies will ensure that Nigeria returns to growth in a sustainable manner. No more dependence on oil. Every part of Nigeria has a role to play in contributing to our growth. We will create an environment where people can thrive and where business can grow.
To this effect, all relevant agencies have been reoriented to: Focus government spending on infrastructure which will create jobs and opportunities for Nigerians across a number of sectors( not just oil).
Ensure that we reduce our reliance on oil by developing other revenue streams such as taxes, efficient customs collections and other government revenues. Develop key sectors in which we have comparative advantage. Encourage development of agriculture to ensure food security for our huge population. Develop petro-chemical industry on the back of the oil industry.
Develop solid mineral extraction and Develop light manufacturing to provide locally made basic needs and reduce importation. If you are an official of this administration and a mixer, that is someone who mingles with citizens high and low, a charge you are forced to defend is that this Government seems to be bringing austerity and suffering to the people. Blame not, Buhari.
The current pain is due to the mismanagement of the past. What Nigeria is currently experiencing was inevitable. This government is simply being honest with the people instead of piling up debts and concealing the truth by pretending all was rosy. This government believes that Nigerians deserve to know the truth.
People stole unbelievable amounts of money. The kind of money some of these ex-officials hold is itself a threat to the security of the state. Since it is not money earned, they feel no pain deploying it just anyhow to thwart genuine and government good efforts.
What we are doing
Sadly, even that which was not stolen was wasted. Government coffers were left empty, with huge debts unpaid and unrecorded ( this government is working to quantify the amount owed). Even the current high food prices can be traced to past deceit.
For example, The previous government purchased fertiliser in 2014, worth N65Bn and left the bill unpaid. In 2015 the suppliers could not supply fertiliser which resulted in a low harvest, shortages and high food prices. This government had to pay off the debt so that the suppliers could begin to supply fertiliser again. Across Nigeria a green revolution is occurring as Nigerians are going back to the farms, from rice in Kebbi and Ebonyi to Soya and Sesame in Jigawa and Kano. At the same time Nigerians are looking inwards to identify commercial opportunities from agri businesses.
Most of our road contractors had not been paid since 2012, many of them had sent their workers away adding to the unemployment problem. This government has released capital allocations in the last three months that is more than the whole of 2015. In 2015 Nigeria spent a paltry N19Bn on roads, in three months we have spent N74Bn and we are already releasing more.
In the transport sector in 2015, government spent just N4.2Bn we have spent N26Bn with more to follow. We are starting a concession that will revive our old rail system for freight, whilst we build a new high speed rail system. Moving heavy goods by rail will reduce our transport costs which will reduce food prices and will save our roads from damage from heavy loads. Government will embrace the private sector through PPP, concessions and other collaborations to deliver services and infrastructure efficiently.
Nigerians expected a lot from President Buhari and are right to have done so. Many feel disappointed. While much of this warranted, a lot more is arising from opposition politics. A man who has promised good things is being accused of failing to use the palm to cover the sun or that he is unable to stop the rain. Nigerians are right to be disappointed but they must direct their anger at the right quarters. The bad management and corruption of the past are firmly to blame.
This government is fighting corruption. It is working hard to do things right and do them in a manner that will endure. No government has ever considered the poor like this one. Under the current budget, the administration devoted N500Bn for social intervention programmes for those who need and deserve support.
There are also programmes for affordable housing with mortgages which will transform thousands from tenant status to home ownership.
Let’s look ahead
Any process that will endure, must involve some pain but things will begin to improve. There is always a time lag between policy and effect. That is why the bad effects of past policies are manifesting now. Similarly the positive impact of the work being undertaken to fix Nigeria’s problems will soon begin to show and we will emerge from this period stronger, wiser and more prosperous.
There is hope for Nigeria, a hope that was previously clouded by corruption, greed and lack of focus. Nigeria is starting over and everyone has a role to play. Look back, look ahead.
By Garba Shehu is the Senior Special Assistant ( Media and Publicity) to President Buhari

Jonathan steals the show at Council of State meeting

Former President Goodluck Jonathan was the toast of State House photographers at Wednesday's Federal Executive Council, FEC meeting in Abuja.

It was the first time Jonathan would be attending the meeting since he left office.

Photo shows President Muhammadu Buhari with former President Jonathan and former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar at the meeting.

Eid-el-Kabir: FG declares Monday, Tuesday public holidays

The Federal Government has declared Monday and Tuesday, September 12 and September 13 as public holidays to enable Muslims celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir.

The Minister of Interior, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd) made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government in a statement signed by the acting Permanent Secretary, Muhammadu Maccido.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Dambazau enjoined all Muslims and Nigerians in general to support and join hands with President Muhammadu Buhari in his  efforts to diversify the economy and  accelerate its recovery.

While wishing the country a happy celebration, he noted that government was aware of the hardship Nigerians are going through and would be doing something about it.

Edo 2016: PMB with APC flag bearers in last campaign

President Muhammadu Buhari with APC flagbearer, Godwin Obaseki his running mate Philip Shuaibu during Edo APC's final Gubernatorial Campaign Rally on Wednesday.

The election holds on Saturday, 10 September 2016.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

PMB receives winners of Aso Villa startup contest (Photo)

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday, received the 30 winners of the Aso Villa Demo Day Startup Contest, at the State House, Abuja.

Each of the winners received a startup capital of N2.5m.

Buhari applauds Zuckerberg's simplicity

President Muhammadu Buhari couldn't resist paying compliments to Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg who visited him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja yesterday.

"In our culture people who're successful don't appear like you, they're big men," he said, apparently referring to the young billionaire's earlier appearance in a T shirt in Lagos.

Friday, 2 September 2016

PMB, Osinbajo meet with Facebook founder in Abuja (Photo)

The founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg was at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Friday to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Also on President Buhari's team at the meeting  Mark Zuckerberg were the Ministers of Communication Technology , Information, Investment, Education y Science and Technology.

Zuckerberg hand flown into Abuja for the meeting after his visit to Kenya.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Rohr wants Enyeama back in Super Eagles

FIFA World Cup 2018: Rohr wants Enyeama back in Super Eagles
Super Eagles new handler Gernot Rohr has disclosed his intention to have Nigeria's former number one goal tender , Vincent Enyama back in the team. The former Enyimba of Aba safe hands who now plies his trade with Lille of France was forced to quit thr national team following a soured relationship with then coach, Sunday Oliseh.
Since then, Carl Ikeme of Wolverhampton wanderers has been manning the post for the Super Eagles. Rohr who has the task of qualifying the team for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup has however, maintained that the country would need her best players to accomplish the mission.
 

"I live in France and I know Enyeama. He's a good player and I do not know why he is no longer playing for Nigeria.
"We have spoken and I hope to meet him soon because we need our best players for us to qualify for the World Cup.
"It is my mission to qualify Nigeria to Russia 2018. Nigeria have the best pleyas in Africa and I have the German mentality to bring good organization and discipline to this team," he said.
Nigeria has to overcome Algeria, Zambia and Cameroon to qualify for Russia 2018.

FIFA World Cup 2018: Rohr wants Enyeama back in Super Eagles


Thursday, 1 September 2016

AFCON 2017 : Iheanacho happy to be in camp

Manchester City forward, Kelechi Iheanacho has arrived the Super Eagles camp for Saturday's AFCON 2017 qualifier against the Taifa Stars of Tanzania.

"It's always a honour to represent my country, happy to be back with the team, " he tweeted on Thursday.

AFCON 2017: Taifa Stars arrive Nigeria

The Taifa Stars of Tanzania have arrived Nigeria for their Saturday African Cup of Nations qualifying match against the Super Eagles in Uyo.

It will be new Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr's first match in charge, but the Tanzanians will be hoping to get their first ever win against Nigeria.

PMB inspecting projects in Osun

During his one-day working visit to Osun State on Thursday, President Buhari inspected several projects done by the Rauf Aregbesola administration.

PMB commissionss projects in Osun

President Muhammadu Buhari commissioning the Government High School, Osogbo on Thursday.

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