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NHIS: Civil Society Organisation Director Alleges Threat To Life

Mr. Solomon Agbo, the Coordinator of the United Youths Alliance Against Corruption (UYAAC), has alleged that agents of the suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Prof Usman Yusuf are after his life.

He made this assertion in a letter to the relevant security agencies in the country, which was availed to the media.

According to Mr. Solomon Agbo, “since Prof Usman Yusuf was suspended from office, I have received various threats to my life through text messages, phone calls and in some instances unknown faces lurking around my house.”

“I have it on good authority that Prof Usman Yusuf and his cohorts are not happy that the United Youths Alliance Against Corruption exposed the heist in NHIS, which eventually lead to his suspension from office” he stated.

Mr. Agbo, further averred that he is more than determined to continue the agenda of a better Nigeria without fear or favor.

“The task of making Nigeria great again is one that is a collective effort. No amount of threat to my life and that of my family can deter me. I am more than resolute in this fight, whether Prof Usman Yusuf and his cohorts like it or not”.

“I have been offered monies, and I have been abused, I have been threatened, my family has been threatened, even down to my ancestral home by people either sympathetic to the suspended executive secretary, or people he sent to cause bodily harm to members of my family and me.”

He further confirmed that he stands by his actions regarding the tenure of Prof Usman Yusuf at the NHIS.

“I stand by my actions concerning the heist perpetuated in office by Prof Usman Yusuf. I have no doubt whatsoever that the relevant security agencies would soon bring him to answer for abuse of office while at the NHIS.”

“I also wish to inform members of the general public and the various security agencies, that should anything untoward happens to me or any member of my family, Prof Usman Yusuf should be held responsible, “ he added.

It would be recalled that on 6 the July, 2017, the Honourable Minister of health, Prof Isaac Adewole suspended Prof Usman Yusuf as executive secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), over allegations of fraud, nepotism and outright abuse of office for three months.

The suspension was further extended indefinitely pending the outcome of the investigative committee set up to probe the various allegations leveled against the suspended executive secretary.

Buhari’s Blockbuster North-South Gas Highway, By Garba Shehu

After making a slow start, the Nigerian energy landscape is set for a major change with the award of a USD 2,809,522,548.36 gas pipeline contract approved by the Federal Executive Council as proposed by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources. The ministry is under the direct supervision of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of State who made the presentation to the cabinet announced that the project is for the construction of a 40 inches pipeline across 614 kilometers from Ajaokuta to Abuja-Kaduna-Kano. This should mark an important landmark in the implementation of  the first phase of the Nigerian Gas Master Plan, NGMP approved in2018.

A second contract approved under this massive, blockbuster investment is for the engineering,verification,procurement and construction of a 40 inches 30 kilometers Odidi to Warri gas pipeline expansion project. This one is to transport additional gas supply from upstream producers to various demand points at the cost of N7.7 billion and USD56 million.

The projects, which can rightly be termed as being among of the President’s pet projects is owed, in part to his vision and momentum back in his days as the federal commissioner for Petroleum Resources. That time, Colonel Buhari led think-tanks to plan the country’s gas future and initiated the contracts for the laying of a massive network of petroleum pipelines, linking the length and breadth of the country and laid the foundation for the construction of three refineries, Warri, the second Port Harcourt refinery and the one in Kaduna in a bold move to augment the the supply and distribution of petroleum products in the country. That was the golden period of the country’s petroleum industry when domestic refining not only met the requirements of home consumption but also produced excess 150,000 barrels of refined products for export.

The bold step taken by the President on Wednesday seeks the integration of the Eastern and Northern parts of Nigeria, which had suffered past neglect into the gas economy. Gas pipeline infrastructure had been concentrated in the coastal areas and the North and the East had been left largely untouched by the industrial revolution that has come with the gas pipeline network. It is therefore not surprising that the western part of the country is having more economic activity.

The All Progressives Congress, APC which had campaigned on the issue of inclusive growth holds the view that the achievement of a balanced and equitable national development can only come with a balanced growth of the states and the regions. The party manifesto had identified the development of natural gas transportation infrastructure as a key project in this regard.

These contracts for pipelines and LNG terminals to be set up at various points will therefore expand opportunities for balanced national development to counter the backwardness and geographical disadvantages of the North and the East.

In line with the country’s rapid growth in energy demand, the connection of the south and the north should serve as a boost to the nation’s energy security.

The increased energy transportation networks will be a shot in the arm for the struggling manufacturing industry which suffers arising from the acute crisis in the energy sector. It will cater to the needs of cement and fertilizer plants; power plants, transportation systems and even household consumers thereby increasing gas share in the country’s energy consumption mix.

Gas which is classified as clean energy will, in addition to the promise of energy security, provide efficient fuel for power generation and reduce air pollution leading to improved quality of life.

The Trans-Nigeria Gas Pipeline (TNGP), the East-North network starts from Qua Ibeo Terminal, QIT to Cawthorne Channel in Rivers traversing Obigbo-Umuahia-Enugu-Ajaokuta and now Ajaokuta-Abuja-Kaduna-Kano is likely to be completed in 2019.

The extension of this network to the East and the North is potentially the precursor of the Trans-African pipeline that will cross the Sahara enroute Europe. Nigeria’s eyes have for many years been fixed on the European Gas consumer markets.

The contractor financing arrangement has been adopted and the project sponsor, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and the Federal Government are expected to reach common terms with the contractors on how they will be repaid over a 15-year period.

Although the loan repayment is expected from revenue accruing to from both existing and the expanding pipeline network, the NNPC and the Federal Government are expected to meet financial gaps and guarantee return on net investment.

The Buhari administration came into office at a time when Nigeria faced a crisis of inadequate and crumbling Infrastructure and has, as a matter of priority embarked on a number of positive interventions to ease the infrastructure crunch.

The administration has been raising short term and long-term funding for road projects, railway and power projects.

The President is strongly optimistic that all these infrastructure projects will increase the scope of economic activities and contribute to the overall economic growth and development of the country. This is the Change.

Garba Shehu , SSAP(Media and Publicity) Abuja.17-12-17

Why God Kept Buhari Alive, By Femi Adesina

Let me begin by telling a story. On June 1, 2015, the day I resumed work as adviser on media to President Muhammadu Buhari, he had admonished me: “Adesina, always tell me the truth. That is what I want from you. In this type of position I have found myself, it is very easy not to be told the truth. People will just tell you what they think you want to hear. But from you, I want the truth. As a General, I may argue, but please argue with me. Tell me the truth always.”

Based on that blank cheque I’d been given, I went to the residence one evening last year to see the President. That was the time there was deafening talk of hunger from different parts of the country. I wanted to be sure that the talk was not being filtered from the President. Of course, I know him as somebody who reads newspapers religiously, and wherever we are in the face of the world, he asks for media highlights from Nigeria. So, he would not be unaware of what Nigerians were going through. But I still wanted to raise it with him.“Mr President, there is hunger in the land, and people are complaining. I know government is doing its best, but I just want you to be aware,” I said.

Mr President responded: “I know, I know. I am aware of what people are going through. I have people in my own constituency back home, and I know the messages they send to me. But it is a passing phase. Our country was vandalized, and we found ourselves in this problem. But now that we are here, we will do our best. We will bring change to this country, and we are already seeing it in agriculture. This period of hunger will pass.”

It was prophetic. The season of hunger will pass, and is indeed passing. Anyone that is honest will admit that things are looking up in Nigeria. The ravening clouds shall no longer be victorious. They shall not long possess the sky.

I went away with one conviction from that night’s meeting: the poor matter very much to this President. He is not the type that people would tell they had no bread to eat, and he would tell them to eat cake instead. This is a friend of the talakawas, a man who loves ordinary people, and who wants their station in life to be improved. And those people know it. That is why they gravitate towards him, and repose so much confidence in him. He is their hero. Our hero.

President Buhari turns 75 years on Sunday 17 December. But some six months back, how many could confidently say this day would come for the ramrod straight man from Daura? How many believed the President would come out of the severe medical challenge that had confronted him? It all began as a routine vacation cum medical check up in January, and few days after, the rumour mill was on overdrive. The challenge lasted till August, before the President returned home finally, and since then, he has been looking better by the day. Each time you now see him, there is a fresher glow, and you cannot but give glory to God on his behalf.

But why was President Buhari kept alive, so much so that he is turning 75 today? Why did he pass through the sea of infirmity, and he was not swept away? Why did he pass through inferno, and the fire did not kindle against him? Big question. I don’t have the answer, but I can hazard some guesses, based on divine principles.

Rigobert Song. Remember him? Song was the Cameroonian defender who played many years for the Indomitable Lions. He appeared at eight African Nations Cup tournaments, five as captain, and stood between Nigeria and victory many times. He became an idol, venerated by his countrymen and women. He retired to become a coach.

Then late last year, Song was not on song again on the soccer pitch. He had a near death experience on October 20. He went down with brain aneurysm, and was in coma for two days. Doctors battled to save his life, and he was eventually evacuated to France.

While the travails lasted, the social media was abuzz with news of Song’s passage. As someone who had followed his career over the years, I felt very sad. But this is the season of fake news. Song was not dead, he miraculously rallied back. He narrated his experience, which I found instructive, considering what our President also passed through:

“I did not know what was happening to me…I did not even know I was fighting between life and death…All these people, they put God in trouble. Because everyone in this situation, they were praying-this is what I keep in my mind-God would have been in trouble. Everyone was praying, asking, ‘God, please don’t do that, don’t take Rigobert.’ I say thank you everybody for making me come back.”

What song was Song singing? One of thanksgiving. Cameroonians who loved him bombarded God with prayers, ‘Please, don’t take Rigobert now.’ And God heard. He showed mercy.

That is the same reason President Buhari is alive today. Nigerians bombarded Heaven with prayers. With supplications, intercessions, pleas for mercy. Muslims prayed in mosques. Christians prayed in churches. President Alpha Conde of Guinea declared 24 hours prayer for his Nigerian counterpart. Prayers were going on everywhere, both at home, and in the Diaspora. I can imagine God telling Himself: ‘I must answer these prayers. These petitions are too many. I must answer.’

And God had mercy, a fact attested to by President Buhari himself. He said his return was a miracle, which only God could have done.

Why did God keep our President alive? The Holy Books answer:

“Blessed is he that considers the poor;

God will deliver him in the day of evil.

God will preserve him, and keep him alive,

And he will be blessed upon the earth;

And deliver him not unto the will of his enemies,

And raise him up from sickness.” (Psalm 41:1-3).

And this one in Surah At-Tawbah 9:128:

“There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer, for he is concerned over you and to the believers he is kind and merciful.”

President Buhari is concerned about Nigerians, particularly the helpless, the ordinary people, and he has dedicated his life to serving them. And when he was near unto death, those ordinary people besieged Heaven with prayers. That Christian hymn says “dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.” And God truly answered.

There is power in goodwill, we have seen it work. It worked for Rigobert Song, and it has worked for our President. Have a heart for men, particularly for the poor, the lowly, and the downtrodden. And see God rise on your behalf.

Consider Tabitha (Dorcas in Greek), who lived at Joppa. She was full of good works, always doing good, and helping the poor. One day, she took ill, and died. Peter, one of the apostles of Jesus, was invited. He came, prayed, and said: “Tabitha, arise!” And the woman came back to life. That is what is possible, when you have a heart for the poor.

In his New Year message last year, President Buhari told the country: “Living in the State House has not alienated me from your daily sufferings. These challenges are only temporary, we are working to make things better.”

When news came a couple of months ago that Nigeria had exited from recession, what did the President say? “Until coming out of recession translates into meaningful improvement in peoples’ lives, our work cannot be said to be done.”

In another broadcast, the President had stated: “All my adult life, I have always earned a salary and I know what it is like when your salary is simply not enough.”

That is the man we follow, and serve. Millions would today follow him into battle blindfolded. Millions upon millions would vote him again and again, if he throws his hat into the ring. Happy birthday, Mr President. You have shown us how to care for the lowly and the poor, how to bear them in our hearts at all times, and how such pleases God, and brings mercy our way. Thank you for coming this way, thank you for offering yourself for service.

*Adesina is Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello At 50, By Abdullberqy Ebbo 

Its a wonderful time to partner with legion others to congratulate Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello on the occasion of his joining the Golden Age Camp, as he turns 50 years today.
The occasion must also offer some time to reflect on the journey so far for the governor, an assessment of how well he has prosecuted the project of governing Niger state, and justifications for the trust which the people reposed in him by voting him as their governor on April 11, 2015
Bello, Born 17 December 1967, is the eldest child of the Nigerian Business man and former military Governor of old Kano state, Col Sani Bello (Rtd).
Abu Lolo, as being fondly called among his teeming admirers, is born with silver spoon, but has been someone whose humility has worn admiration, even among the underprivileged segment, whose situation he had, prior his emergence as governor, sought to better even with his personal wealth.
His emergence as the flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress and eventual clinching of the mandate to govern Niger state, was therefore consequent upon his long-standing popularity among the populace.
Prior his coming into politics, his network of friends and admires had soared in the state and beyond, given his conception of life as centering purposely on service to the community and its people.
Upon his emergence as governor, Abubakar, has been able to translate his ideals of simplicity and purposeful governance to actual and operable policies and programmes, based simply upon the philosophy of ‘people first’.
Repeatedly, he has also maintained that the value of a project is not based on the monetary weight of such project, but the critical value attached to it by the people of the community, immediate beneficiaries of the project, which is why today, Niger state is often referred to as projects state, on reason of rich, almost limitless, harvest of projects across entire lengths of the state.
He explained that the common practice of thinking for the communities and giving them projects based just on the whims of the leader is an era which must be seen to have ended.
There is no gainsaying the fact that Abubakar’s governance has cut across not just the 25 councils of the state, but all programmes as set at inception as his cardinal foci, including water, education, health, agriculture, commerce and more.
Today, the state has a minimum of 500 already completed projects, alongside several ongoing ones, cutting across these set objectives, a feat attained through strict management of ever-scarce resources and conscience driven programmes.
Today, agriculture is flourishing while farmers, supported through various programmes have been reaping gains of their investment. FADAMA and other interventions have fundamentally reversed the picture of what Niger state used to be.
Roads are central to conveyances, whether town roads, or intern communities. The age has cone in Niger when farmers harvests can make it to the markets on time to meet the buyer. The picture was different prior his coming.
In health, the hospitals have been refurbished and the primary health care centres, projects just recently complete across a number of councils in the state, have caused a change of attitude of our people to the issue of health.
Health they say is wealth, but when not accessible on time, it may cause havoc. The construction of primary health care centres and their fortification with drugs and personnel have brought a new age and song of health for all, wealth abundance.
Education has received a generous dose of attention as well, with the renovation of entire schools in the state, including primary schools. The innovation of creating teacher training colleges in the state has been doing a lot regarding paucity of teachers.
It has however not been all governance in Niger since Abubakar’s assumption of office. The governor has equally given attention to efforts that unite the people and communities, as the administration believes that good governance must start with attainment of peaceful coexistence among the people.
Governor Bello noted that governance and development is possible only in an atmosphere of peace and harmony, arguing that development will remain a mirage when people are disconnected and when needless strife are allowed to obfuscate genuine needs for fellow feeling and communal progress.
This is why entire projects and accomplishments of the administration has spread among the residents, irrespective of party affiliation or religious belief, a feat made possible through decisive efforts to spread the little resources of the state.
On several occasions, governor Bello would maintain he is governor of the state and that so long he remains governor, religion would not determine who gets what, where, when and how. “I am governor of Muslims, as I am of Christians, of politicians as much of those outside politics.”
As the governor marks another year, the wish, the very genuine with of the lovers of democracy across the state is for the Almighty God to grant him the clean health to paddle the affairs of Niger state for the next two years and more.
Your excellency, the people of Niger state wishe you many Happy Returns of the Day, Long Life and Prosperity.

Tambuwal Salutes Buhari At 75

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on the occasion of his 75th birthday anniversary which falls on Sunday, December 17, 2017.

In a message issued by his spokesman, Malam Imam Imam, the Governor said Buhari has paid his dues in the Nigerian polity, and prayed to God to continue to bless the life of the President.

 “Attaining 75 years in life calls for thanks giving and expression of gratitude to God. I am glad the Almighty Allah has blessed our President with long life and good health.

“No doubt, the President has proven himself to be a leader of high ethics and morality. We in Sokoto State join all Nigerians in wishing the President a happy birthday,” Tambuwal said.

The Governor further prayed to God to grant Buhari more productive years to see a more united, peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.

Nigerian Troops Arrest 400 Persons Linked With Boko Haram In Lake Chad

Nigerian soldiers have arrested more than 400 people associated with the Boko Haram extremist group hiding on the islands of Lake Chad, including fighters, wives and children.

The two-week operation, that included air and ground offences, netted the largest number of arrests of Boko Haram fighters in recent months in north-east Nigeria, said Nigerian Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu.

The military said many Boko Haram insurgents were killed, but it did not give details.

Among those arrested were 167 Boko Haram fighters, 67 women and 173 children.

The women and children will be sent to displacement camps after investigation, the military said.

Another 57 insurgents were arrested during a separate operation in another part of the troubled region.

Boko Haram has been blamed for more than 20,000 deaths during its eight-year insurgency, which has spilled over into neighbouring countries and created a vast humanitarian crisis with millions displaced and hungry.

Human rights groups have expressed concern about the large number of women and children who have been arrested in the fight against Boko Haram, saying most of those detained have been picked up at random and without reasonable suspicion.

In an effort to relieve overcrowded military detention facilities, Nigeria’s Government opened a trial in October for more than 1,600 suspected Boko Haram members behind closed doors at a military barracks.

It was the largest mass trial in the Islamic extremist group’s history.

While Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari declared late last year that the extremist group had been “crushed”, leader Abubakar Shekau remains elusive and the group in recent months has carried out a growing number of deadly suicide bombings and other attacks.

Many have been carried out by women or children who were abducted and indoctrinated.

Earlier this week, dozens of Nigerian state governors approved the transfer of $US1 billion ($1.3 billion) to aid the federal government’s fight against Boko Haram, signalling that the announcements of victory over the extremists had come too soon.

Earlier this month, Nigeria replaced the military commander of the campaign against Boko Haram after half a year in the post.

Military sources said that came after a series of “embarrassing” attacks by the Islamists.

AP/Reuters

$1bn Deduction From Excess Crude Account: Fayose Is On His Own – NGF Chairman

The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Alhaji AbdulAzeez Yari Abubakar, has risen sharply to the statement by one of the members of his Forum and, Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, where Governor Fayose declared in a widely publicized statement, that the $1bn to be withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account, ECA, and ploughed into the battle with insurgency is a ruse.

In a statement issued in Ado Ekiti on Friday, and signed by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said: “Since they said they have defeated Boko Haram, what else do they need a whopping sum of $1 billion (over N360 billion) for, if not to fund the 2019 elections?

For posterity’s sake, I wish to place it on record that I was not among the governors who approved the withdrawal of almost half of our savings in the Excess Crude Account, which belongs to the three tiers of government to fight an already defeated insurgency,” he declared.

But Yari Abubakar, who is also Governor of Zamfara State, reacted swiftly saying that the decision, to allow the Federal Government to access the amount was a collective one by the Forum, and that absenteeism from the meeting does not exculpate anyone from responsibility from the Forum’s resolutions.

“I am saying that, that statement was an unfair cut against the Forum,” Governor Yari Abubakar said, “when a decision is taken by the Forum in one’s absence, once there was a quorum at the meeting where the decision was taken, becomes binding on all. I am sure Fayose was not making the statement to undermine the Forum. He was just doing his thing”.

The NGF Chairman rationalized that the decision was a conscious sign by the two parties to show the synergy between the NGF and the Presidency, “which ought not to be politicized,” but consolidated. This same lack of unity between governors and the presidency had brought about poor governance in the past, throughout the country and now that we are working together no one should constitute a wedge in the process.

He added that “you can never spend too much on security because the safety of lives and property are the most cardinal among all the principles of governance, in any democracy.”

Governor Yari Abubakar said that the issue of drawing from the ECA was very broadly deliberated at the Forum’s meeting on the eve of the National Economic Council meeting where the decision was taken.

“If Governor Fayose was there at the meeting, he would have seen the wisdom in the decision. Yes, the administration is claiming to have decimated the insurgents out of Sambisa Forest but they are re-emerging in different flashpoints across the country. They need to be tackled wherever they are and the NGF decided to support the Presidency just as it (The Presidency) had been supporting states with their own problems,” Governor Yari Abubakar argued.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum who spoke on the phone from Zamfara even contemplates addressing a world press conference on the matter to clear the air, and show how seriously we cherish human lives.

“Governor Fayose is on his own. We have to protect our people and we have to do it with everything we have,” Governor AbdulAziz Yari Abubakar emphasized, adding that “let me reemphasize one more thing, Mr President is a responsible and honest leader who does not believe in money politics and he would never divert public resources into it.”

MTN Season Of Surprise Thrills Lafia People With Exciting Gifts

It was the turn of Lafia, capital of Nassarawa State, to feel the love as MTN’s Season Of Surprise train berthed in the town.

There was gift aplenty ranging from television sets, bags of rice, cartons of Noodles, Umbrellas, groundnut oil, airtime and amongst others for everyone who turned up for the surprise initiative.

Adamu Balu, a resident of the town and  recipient of a brand new television could barely contain the excitement as he took delivery of the gift.

Hajiya Muhammed, also a resident in the town was also recipient of a bag of rice. The trader was beside herself with excitement as sh

“This is really a season of surprise for me. I am happy because bags of rice are usually expensive bags during this period and we were not even thinking of buying it. Now my family can have a wonderful Christmas thanks to this Season of Surprise.

The Season of Surprise continues to touch locations around the country spreading glad tidings of the Yuletide season in its wake

Here are pictures and clips from visit.

 

Governor Ahmed Appoints New SUBEB Chairman

The Executive Governor of Kwara State, Alh. (Dr.) Abdulfatah Ahmed has approved the appointment of Alhaji Jimoh Lambe Abdulkareem as the Executive Chairman of Kwara State Universal Basic Education Board (KWSUBEB)

According to a release signed by Alhaji Sola Isiaka Gold, the Secretary to the Government of Kwara State, the new appointee holds a Masters in Public Administration (MPA), Masters in Environmental (MEM), and is a member of the National Institute of Management (NIM), as well as Fellowship of Chartered Institute of Local Government and Public Administration of Nigeria.

According to the SSG, the new KWSUBEB Chairman, Alhaji Abdulkareem, has previously served as the Special Assistant to the Executive Governor of Kwara State on Community Relations and Commissioner I, Kwara State Local Government Service Commission.

Alhaji Gold added that the appointment of Alhaji Abdulkareem takes immediate effect

From Paris to Abuja: FG To Issue Pilot Sovereign Green Bond

The Debt Management Office, Federal Ministry of Finance and the Federal Ministry of Environment will host a Green Bond Investor forum in Abuja and Lagos respectively as part of its launch of the Federal Government Sovereign Green Bonds program in Nigeria.

In preparation to the issuance, the Federal Government of Nigeria will issue the first tranche of bonds from this program during the week of 18th of December 2017 as part of its effort to align with the global objective of expanding the market for climate finance. This is in keeping with President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to support Nigeria’s transition towards a low carbon, green economy.

Speaking in Paris, France at the One Planet Summit, hosted by President Emmanuel Macron, President Muhammadu Buhari said that for “Nigeria to respond effectively to climate change mitigation and adaptation challenges, critical mass of financial resources beyond what we can provide from our national resources will be required.” On steps Nigeria has taken to meet its national goal in this respect, The President said the country “embraced the issuance of the green bond as an innovative and alternative source of project funding that would help reduce emissions and provide robust climate infrastructure, such as renewable energy, low carbon transport, water infrastructure and sustainable agriculture in line with the Paris Agreement”.

The Green Bond Investors Forum will be held on the 14th of December 2017 in Abuja and on the 15th of December 2017 in Lagos to sensitize stakeholders on the pilot issuance of the Green bond in Nigeria. Participants at the Investors Fora are expected from Pension Funds Administrators (PFAs), Federal Ministry of Finance, Inter-ministerial Committee on Climate Change; Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Debt Management Office (DMO), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) World Bank, Chapel Hill Denham, and other private sector representatives.

The Investors’ fora follows the publication of an assessment of Nigeria’s Green Bond by Moodys. Nigeria’s Green Bond has been assessed and categorized GB1 (Excellent). This will be the first time a green bond assessment has been assigned to a sovereign green bond in Africa by Moody’s  

Moody’s Senior Vice President, Rahul Ghosh said in a statement that; “In preparation for Africa’s maiden Sovereign Green Bond, the Government of Nigeria has put in place a comprehensive governance structure and framework that is aligned with the country’s domestic green bond guidelines and international best practices.”

The Honorable Minister for State, Ibrahim Usman Jibril said, ”Climate Change is real and business, government and the capital market need to work together to slow its effects. This pilot green bond, which we expect to be the first of many more, has developed the platform to address the nation’s target of reducing its emissions by 20% unconditionally and 45% conditionally by 2030”.

Green bonds have been the subject of increasing government, investor and media interest, driven by the prospect of matching large low?carbon investment requirements with the trillions of dollars in global bond markets held by institutional investors.

A Nigeria Sovereign Green Bond issuance marks the first sovereign green bond issuance in Africa, and the fourth globally.

El-Rufai Lauds Kaduna House Of Reps Members

Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai yesterday commended members of the House of Representatives from the state for significant collaborative efforts in moving the state forward.
The governor also challenged the lawmakers to continue to see interests of the state above personal and primordial interests.
Governor El-Rufai spoke in Abuja during his regular monthly meeting with the House of Representatives members from Kaduna State.
“We have been working together, irrespective of our parties and other considerations, for cogent development, progress and unity in our dear state. This is our last meeting of the year 2017, and I want to use this opportunity to thank you all for your support and sheer dedication to the interests of our people. Like we all know, the success of every government depends on positive collaboration among leaders. I value your immense support and brotherhood in moving our state forward.
“I am looking forward to further strengthening this positive partnership in 2018. On behalf of the Kaduna State Government, I wish to register our gratitude to the members of the House of Representatives for approving our request to access the $350 million loan approved for our state by the World Bank.”
The House of Representatives members who attended the meeting commended the governor for sustaining the initiative, and assured him of their unflinching support in moving the state forward.
Honorable members who spoke at the meeting included Barrister Sunday Katung (Zango-Jaba), Shehu Garba Sarkin-Noma (Jema’a-Sanga), Ahmed Rufai Chanchangi (Kaduna South), Samaila Suleiman (Kaduna North), Mohammad Abubakar Mamadi (Igabi), Mohammed Lawal (Lere), Dr. Tajudeen Abbas (Zaria) and Mohammed Usman (Makarfi-Kudan).

It’s Fake News, I Have No Plans To Replace Osinbajo, Says Tinubu

I’M NOT PLANNING TO REPLACE OSINBAJO, SAYS TINUBU

“The attention of the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Media Office has been drawn to the front page lead story of The SUN newspaper of yesterday, December 13, 2017, which sensationally and ridiculously reported that President Muhammadu Buhari may pick Asiwaju Tinubu as his running mate for the 2019 election. This is a classic case of utterly and irredeemably fake news,” read a statement which Tunde Rahman, Tinubu’s spokesman, issued on his behalf.

“There is no empirical or logical basis for this mischievously speculative story. Is it even conceivable, as the story recklessly insinuates, that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would be considering returning to full church work rather than run with his boss, President Buhari for a second term if the latter so decides without as much as discussing such a sensitive issue with his party and with Asiwaju Tinubu? In any case, is this story not entirely unwarranted and indefensible as the Buhari/Osinbajo ticket has an electoral mandate of four years out of which it has spent only over two years and a half years?

Tinubu described the report as an attempt to distract the current administration from its “yeoman’s job” and instigate crisis in the APC.

“This is clearly an attempt to distract the APC federal government from the yeoman’s job it has been doing in rescuing the country from the deep-rooted socio-economic, political, security and moral mess inherited from the PDP’s 16 years misrule of Nigeria, instigate crisis within the party, stoke dangerous embers of religious disaffection within the party and the country generally and stem the remarkable progress being made in the reinvention and revitalization of Nigeria,” the statement read.

“There is greater sanity, accountability and transparency in the management of the country’s finances. The Boko Haram insurgency has been substantially contained. We should not allow ourselves to be derailed from the job we are effectively undertaking in fulfilling our campaign promises anchored on the tripod of containing insecurity, taming the scourge of corruption and resuscitating the economy.

“The Buhari and Osinbajo-led Federal Government is deftly steering the country out of an economic recession that was the result of the ineptness of the PDP years of the locusts. Asiwaju Tinubu will never support any attempt to distract Buhari and Osinbajo from the job they are passionately doing through the kind of false report. In particular, this story does great injustice to Vice President Osinbajo. Here is a man of the highest integrity, moral rectitude, amazing humility, high intellect and unimpeachable credibility. Here is a man of fierce loyalty and absolute trustworthiness who will never do anything in word, thought or deed to undermine his boss. His unquestionable dependability and indisputable fidelity to his oath of office was demonstrated beyond question by his honourable conduct during the President’s medical vacation.”

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