Sunday, 29 January 2017

Photo news: Osinbajo's meeting with General Electric

Last Tuesday, the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo met with a delegation from General Electric led by their CEO, Jeff Immelt at the State House, Abuja.

One of the issues discussed was the proposed concessioning of the East-West lines of the Nigeria Railways to General Electric.

The American firm is expected to invest $2b on the refurbishment of the single-gauge lines and the building and assembling of train coaches.

See photos from the meeting.

Black Sunday as Solomon Dalung's first wife dies

The Minister of Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung is bereaved. He shared his grief over the demise of his first wife on Facebook on Sunday.

"Solomon Dalung
I AM BEREAVED:
For it is appointed for man to live thereafter comes death and judgment says the Holy Bible. While in the Quran, it states that it is appointed that every soul shall test death.
My heart is heavy, I cannot continue, I lost my first wife, Mrs Briskila this morning. May her soul and the souls of faithful departed rest in the bosom of the Lord, amen.
What a black Sunday."

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Osinbajo meets local manufacturers in Aba (photos)

The Acting President Professor Yemi Osinbajo was in Aba, Abia State on Thursday to interact with small businesses and local manufacturers.

He pledged that government would do everything possible to assist local manufacturers.

See photos

Osinbajo meets WFP executive in Abuja (photos)

Acting President Prof Yemi Osinbajo on Friday met with a delegation from the World Food Program, WFP at the State House, Abuja.

The delegation was led by the Executive Director of the WFP, Ertharin Cousin.

In conjunction with the Inter-Ministerial Task Force, the WFP is said to have fed about 1.01 million Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs in the Northeast in Dec 2016.

See photos.

PMB in London (photo)

President Muhammadu Buhari in London
Photo credit: NAN

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

PMB releases N72b for Lagos-Ibadan railway

The Federal Government has paid its N72b counterpart fund for the modernization of the Lagos-Ibadan railway.

The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amechi disclosed this on Monday during the quarterly Presidential Business Forum  presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, the project which is to be handled by China Civil Engineering Construction Company, CCECC will cost about 1.5 billion US dollars.

Osinbajo hosts CEO of General Electric (photo)

Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday met with a delegation from General Electric led by their Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Immelt at the State House, Abuja.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Suspected Fulani herdsmen kill 3 policemen in Adamawa attack

Three anti-riot policemen have been confirmed dead and two others declared missing following an attack by gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen in Demsa Local Government Area of Adamawa State. 

Confirming the development to newsmen in Yola on Sunday,the spokesman of Adamawa State Police Command, Othman Abubakar said that the affected policemen were members of a team drafted to secure Kwayine, Gidan Dadi and Karlahi communities following clashes that erupted after the killing of 47 cattle in the area.

“Fulani militia attacked the three villages and we lost three of our gallant MOPOL while two are missing.

“We have constituted a high powered search team and by the special grace of God we are going to recover our men.
Armed Fulani-herdsmen

“On the side of the civilians, two bodies have so far been recovered,” he said. 

He added that the police were able to kill some of the invading Fulani militias. He also said that more men had been drafted to the area to reinforce the team.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

IGP meets stakeholders over Southern Kaduna killings (photos)

The Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris on December 31, 2016 held a stakeholders meeting with the people of Jarma Local Government Area, Kafanchan, Kaduna State to find lasting solutions to the lingering crisis in the area. 

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Scarcity shoots kerosene to N400 a litre in Kano

A serious scarcity of kerosene has hit Kano and low income residents who depend on it for cooking are now said to be suffering untold hardship. 

Information reaching Abujacitynews indicated that the scarcity which began during the Christmas and New Year celebrations was triggered by dealers who opted to sell the product to black marketers under the cover of darkness.

The development has shot the price of kerosene up to N400 a litre from the previous price of N220. As a result, residents who cannot afford the new price or cooking gas have reported to cooking with firewood and charcoal.

It is suspected that the rampant practice of mixing kerosene with petrol to obtain diesel in the state may be responsible for the development.

“They mix kerosene with petrol to get diesel, which is in high demand, and so kerosene becomes very scarce. Even when it’s available the price is unthinkable, making life unbearable for the common man, " said a resident.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Troops repel Boko Haram attack on village in Adamawa

Boko Haram terrorists attacked Dar village in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State in the early hours of Tuesday.
According to the Chairman of Madagali Local Government Area, Alhaji Yusuf Mohammed,  the insurgents were however repelled by vigilant security operatives who responded promptly to the attack.
Confirming the development, the spokesman of 28 Task-Force Battalion, Mubi, Maj. Akintoye Badare, said that the attack was contained with no military casualties.
“All I can confirm to you now is that there was attack on Dar village but we successfully repelled it; no casualty on our side," he said.

N2.5m fraud: EFCC arraigns Permanent Secretary (photo)

Sule Yusuf Saulawa, a parmanent secretary formally attached to the office of the Deputy Governor of Katsina State was on Tuesday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC before Justice Sanusi Tukur of the Katsina High Court on a one-count charge of Obtaining by False Pretense. 
The offense according to the anti-graft agency is in contravention of section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.
Saulawa allegedly obtained the sum of N2.5m while working in the office of the Deputy Governor of Katsina State from the complainant under the pretext that he would facilitate the award by the Deputy Governor’s office of a contract for the supply of fertilizers to all the Local Government areas in Katsina State.
The accused allegedly told the complainant that the money was for the purchase of bidding documents, but cut off all contact with the victim immediately after he obtained the money. 
The EFCC told the court that one Kabiru Dan-Asali had disclosed in his statement that he was present when the complainant, Musa Baba gave one Nasiru who works for the complainant, the sum N2.5m on behalf of the accused person. The accused person also allegedly confirmed this in his voluntary statement to the EFCC.
The anti-graft agency charged the accused person thus;
“You Sule Yusuf Saulawa while being the permanent secretary with the office of the Deputy Governor, Katsina State, sometimes in 2015 in Katsina, within the Judicial Division of the High Court of Katsina State with intent to defraud falsely obtained from one Alhaji Musa Baba, the Chairman of Many Agro Allied and Chemical Company Nigeria Limited and Diamond Fertilizer Nigeria Limited the sum of N2,500,000 (Two Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira Only) by falsely representing that the Office of the Deputy Governor of Katsina State would award him contract for the supply of fertilizers to all the Local Government areas in the state and asked him to purchase a bidding documents which would be given to him as soon as he writes a proposal offering best price to the State Government which he did, but which you knew all to be false and you thereby committed an offense contrary to section 1 (1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act."
The accused however pleaded not guilty to the charge and was remanded in prison custody by Justice Tukur till January 6, 2017 when his trial would commence.

Police arraign 2 men for raping and impregnating minor in Kano

Two men were on Tuesday remanded in prison custody by a Kano magistrates court for allegedly raping a 13 years old girl. 
The prosecutor, Suleman Danladi told the court that sometime in May 2016, the accused persons, Muhammad Abubakar, 58, and Ali Garba, 45, both residents of Hotoro Quarters, Kano had taken turns to rape the girl on several occasions.
He said that Murtala Aminu the elder brother of the victim who lives at the same address reported the case at Hotoro Police Division on Sept. 11, 2016.
“The accused persons had deceived and lured the 13-year-old girl to different locations to rape her.
“As a result, the victim became pregnant,’’ he said.
The prosecutor said that the minor was confirmed pregnant at the Muhammad Abdullahi Wase Specialist Hospital, Kano after examination. 
He said that the offense contravened section 283 of the penal code. 
The Chief Magistrate, Muhammad Jibril adjourned the matter to January 18, 2017 after the accused had pleaded not guilty to the one-count charge of rape.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Abuja airport to be closed for security and safety concerns - FG

The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has said that concerns for the safety and security of passengers informed the decision to totally close the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. 
Sirika said in Abuja yesterday that the Federal Government would prefer to lose billions of naira in revenue than the lives of Nigerians. 
Explaining how the repairs would be carried out, the minister said that government was aware of the inconveniences the closure would cause passengers and airline operators but added that it was in the best interest of all concerned. 
“From start to finish of the runway, it will take six months. However, we will be using the runway throughout the period except for about six weeks when the runway will be closed.
“The government has accepted the design done by the contractor. The runway will last for more than 10 years on completion early next year.”
He added that he would be meeting with stakeholders to discuss matters arising from the planned closure. 
“The stakeholders forum will afford me the opportunity to officially inform the sector players of the decision and also brief them on efforts being made to ensure that the use of the Kaduna International Airport, as an alternate during the six-week closure of the Abuja Airport, is seamless and hitch-free.”

FG begins payment of N5000 monthly stipends to poorest Nigerians

The Federal Government has begun the payment of the N5000 monthly stipends promised to the poorest Nigerians by the Buhari administration.
A statement issued by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-president on Media and Publicity on Monday said that three of the nine states selected for the first batch of the programme have started to receive the payments already.

"As part of its determined efforts to touch the lives of Nigerians positively the Buhari administration has now started the payment of N5, 000 monthly stipends to the poorest and the most vulnerable in the country through the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) of its Social Investment Programmes, SIP.
Under the CCT, one million Nigerians would receive N5000 monthly payments as a form of social safety net for the poorest and most vulnerable as budgeted for in the 2016 Budget. In the first batch that commenced last week, nine states would be covered, and many of the beneficiaries have already reported receiving their first payments by Friday last week, December 30, 2016.
Funds for the commencement of the payments in four states were released last week to the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) – the platform that hosts and validates payments for all government’s social intervention programmes. Funds for another set of five states to complete the first batch of nine states would follow soon.
Though the sequence for the payment of the money would be operationally managed by NIBSS, beneficiaries in Borno, Kwara and Bauchi States have started receiving the money. The other states in the first batch to commence the CCT payments are Cross Rivers, Niger, Kogi, Oyo, Ogun & Ekiti States.
The nine pilot states were chosen because they have an existing Social Register that successfully identified the most vulnerable and poorest Nigerians through a tried and tested community based targeting (CBT) method working with the World Bank. However other states have already begun developing their Social Registers and would be included in subsequent phases of the CCT implementation.
Beneficiaries of the Conditional Cash Transfer of the Federal Government would be mined from the Social Register, initially developed by 8 States through a direct engagement with the World Bank. Those states are featured in the first batch, with the added inclusion of Borno States where a validated list of IDPS were compiled in addition to the Social Register which is expected to go round the country.
Working with the World Bank, the CBT process has now been adopted for developing the Social Register in the other States around the country, for transparency, objectivity and credibility in the selection of the poorest and most vulnerable beneficiaries for the programme.
The Federal Government will actually commence community mobilization for the creation of the Register in more States soon, to expand the scope and reach of the CCT across the country.
Meanwhile, Plateau, Jigawa, Adamawa, Anambra, Benue, Enugu, Katsina & Taraba States have so far complied with the stipulated framework provided, and are set for the community based targeting method for the development of their Social Register within their jurisdictions.
These States are to be followed by Delta, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Imo and Ogun States. Once the community mobilization, identification and selection processes are completed, the information garnered from the poorest households would be entered onto the Social Register in the states and the National Register at NIBSS, after which the cash transfers would be disbursed to the beneficiaries.
All the funds approved for the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programmes, SIP, are domiciled with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning. In addition, the payment information and processes for all beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s SIP are hosted at NIBSS, as the Consolidated Beneficiary Register, to ensure and fortify efforts at authentication and verification, as well as for effective and efficient programme management."

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Read President Buhari's new year message to Nigerians

MY NEW YEAR MESSAGE TO NIGERIANS, JANUARY 1, 2017
My dear Compatriots,
I am happy to welcome you to the beginning of a New Year in our beloved country Nigeria.
I felicitate with you today at a time when our nation is witnessing a new and impressive turnaround in our security and socio-economic situation.
I know you will join me to, once again, congratulate the heroic and gallant efforts of our military and other security agencies on their remarkable successes to rid the nation of terrorism.
Following the successful capture of Sambisa Forest, spearheaded by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, we have entered a new phase in our battle against our common enemy, Boko Haram.
When we see our beloved 21 Chibok girls reuniting with their families and community for Christmas, it gives us the hope that those who are still in captivity will one day return to the loving arms of family, friends and well-wishers.
I urge all Nigerians to be on the alert and watch out for strange figures settling in their communities, and report to the nearest security agencies, as our armed forces intensify the pursuit of fleeing terrorists from the captured Sambisa Forest.
Misguided elements who decided to take up arms against constituted authorities must be brought to face the full weight of the law.
The support of all Nigerians to security agencies to enable them successfully execute their mandate is crucial in our bid to effectively secure our country.
Seeing the joyful return of thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to Damasak town in Borno State, following the reopening of Maiduguri/Gubio/Damasak road in Northern Borno on December 25, 2016, reassured us that the voluntary return of IDPs in other parts of the country is imminent.
The Federal Government will spare no effort in seeing to the resettlement and rehabilitation of the unfortunate victims of terrorism and insurgency. I urge state governments, privileged Nigerians, donor agencies and countries to redouble their contributions towards this goal.
Government is aware of some mistakes and wrongdoings in handling the affairs of IDPs. We are taking measures to correct those mistakes and punish the culprits.
In this New Year, I want to reassure all Nigerians that our defence and security forces are more than ever before ready to perform their constitutional role of protecting lives and property in the country; and we will surely overcome all other forms of security challenges.
The lingering security issues in several states will be frontally addressed. These ugly crises cannot be allowed to fester as they strain the unifying bonds of brotherhood and neighbourliness. Some sections of the press and some politicians should avoid provocative and inflammatory statements, while the government is painstakingly trying to find solutions to our challenges.
I want to remind you on the first day of this New Year of an African proverb that says “it is easy to break a broomstick but not a bunch”. Nigeria is a bunch and is more than equal to troublemakers.
I have interacted with a broad spectrum of Nigerians, the old and the young, and they have told me unequivocally that they believe in the unity and stability of Nigeria.
The year 2017 provides an opportunity for us to build on those aspects of our national life that unite us. We are courageous, hardworking, hospitable, steadfast and resilient people, even in the face of difficulties.
These are the attributes that define us and have for years confounded the pessimists who do not believe in our continued existence as a united and indivisible nation. We are a remarkable nation that has succeeded in harnessing our multiple diversities for national development. We must continue to support and tolerate one another and live together as one.
We will continue to pursue peace initiatives in the Niger Delta as I again, call on our brothers in that region who have taken to violent disruptions of economic infrastructure to come to the negotiating table.
As for our brothers and sisters of the Shia Community, we urge them, too, to embrace peace. They must accept the laws of the country they live in. They cannot be islands by themselves. At the same time, the law enforcement agencies must treat them humanely and according to the rule of law.
On our part, in the past 20 months since our inauguration on May 29, 2015, we have focused our energies to turn around the economy, create jobs, fight corruption, and transform agriculture to replace oil and gas as a major revenue earner for the nation. I am encouraged that we are getting things right.
The agricultural revolution has begun. Farmers in different parts of the country are experiencing bumper harvests; states are getting into strategic partnership towards attaining self-sufficiency in rice, and the era of over-dependence on oil for foreign exchange revenues is gradually waning. I am optimistic that the CHANGE we all yearned for in voting this administration to power in 2015 will manifest more and be sustained in different sectors, particularly agriculture, in 2017.
As you may be aware, our economic recovery and growth plan in 2017 is anchored on optimizing the use of local content and empowering local businesses.
In pursuit of this administration’s philosophy, we will continue to appeal that we buy "Made In Nigeria" goods. Like I said during the 2017 Budget presentation to the National Assembly, farmers, small and medium-sized manufacturers, agro-allied businesses, dressmakers, entertainers and technology start-ups, will remain the true drivers of our economic future. They are the engine of our economic recovery and their needs underpin our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
On job creation, this administration will sustain existing programmes aimed at lifting a vast number of our youth out of poverty, while at the same time creating the opportunities for people to fend for themselves.
Our determination to wrestle corruption to the ground remains unshaken. This fight, which will be guided by respect for the rule of law and due process, will not spare anybody or organ of government. It is a collective undertaking and resolve that must be seen to its logical conclusion in spite of certain distractions. The fate of our country lies partly in the success of this campaign. It will be unthinkable on my part to allow the boat of this crucial campaign promise capsize mid-stream.
I thank you for the public support for our administration’
s efforts to transform Nigeria. I assure you again that the current pains are temporary and will ease when the economic seeds in gestation begin to bloom to fruition. I urge you to continue to support this administration in its effort to transform Nigeria for the good of all.
I wish you a Happy New Year, 2017.
MUHAMMADU BUHARI
President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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