Army Restates Loyalty To President Buhari

The Nigeria Army has said it will loyal to President Muhammadu Buhari while maintaining a high level of professionalism and remain apolitical in all its conducts.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen. Tukur Buratai, made these assertions on Thursday, at the closing ceremony of the Chief Of Staff Annual Conference which held at Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

According to the Army boss, it will continue to uphold its core values of discipline, professionalism, responsiveness, in order to reposition itself for better efficiency.

Fuel Scarcity To End In 48 Hours, Says Kachikwu

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, has assured governors of Nigerias 36 states that the ongoing fuel scarcity will end in 48 hours.

Mr. Kachikwu gave the assurance on Thursday while briefing members of the National Economic Council, NEC, comprising the governors and some ministers.

The NEC is chaired by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who also chaired the 83rd meeting of the council at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, the governor of Edo State, Godwin Obasaki, said, “The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources assured council that within the next 48hours fuel supply will be restored nationwide because there is enough fuel in our strategic reserves and the ministry has released fuel from these reserves and it expects distribution will reach all parts of the country within the next 48hours.”

Ajimobi Presents N267b Budget To Oyo House Of Assembly

Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi, on Thursday, presented N267,436,357,912.19 budget proposal to the House of Assembly.

The figure is N60.4 billion higher than the 2017 budget of N207 billion.

The proposal shows that revenue is projected at N93.68 billion from the Federation Account, N7.53 billion from transfers (LG, JAAC for LGSPD and LGSC), and N112.10 billion from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and an increase of four per cent over the 2017 budget.

The recurrent revenue stands at N213.3 billion and the capital receipt is N43.72 billion.

The proposed budget shows that N39.84 billion will be spent on personnel cost, N25.24 billion on overhead and N53.28 billion on consolidated revenue. While the recurrent expenditure stands at N118.37 billion, capital expenditure is N149.1 billion.

Giving the priority sectors of the proposed Appropriation Bill, Ajimobi said his administration would spend N85.39 billion on Economic sector, N54.280 billion on Social Service, N.517 billion on Law and Justice, and N5.94 billion on General Administration.

He said: “The aggregate percentage of 93.71 per cent of the capital expenditure allocated to the economic and social sub-sectors underscores the state government’s determination to continue to pursue a people-centred, empowerment-focused agenda. We consider this as the best antidote to the problem of poverty amongst our people.

“In line with Fiscal Sustainability principle, personnel expenditure has been rationalised to be 15 per cent of the total budgeted expenditure.”

Enugu Gov Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi Approves N30m Scholarship For 300 Undergraduates

No fewer than 300 undergraduates of Enugu State origin offered scholarships by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, received a cheque of N100, 000 each for the 2017/2018 academic session from the state government.

Represented by his deputy, Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo, the governor urged the beneficiaries to pursue with vigour the ennobling ideals that promote qualitative education, adding that his administration “will not relent in ensuring the success of new policy thrust on education.

“You are lucky to be among the first beneficiaries of the scholarship award for the 2017/2018 academic session. The government has resolved to award scholarships to indigent, smart and physically challenged pupils in primary schools, students in secondary schools and our undergraduates in various higher institutions of learning across the country in order to reduce the burden of education on parents/guardian and ensure that these classes of students do not drop out of school”.

“As undergraduates, the future belongs to you and the responsibility of managing that future belongs to you and the responsibility of managing the future cannot be successfully done if you are not well equipped through education”.

INEC Indicts Kogi Gov Yahaya Bello Over Double Registration

The Independent National electoral Commission (INEC) has indicted Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya bello, over double registration in its on-going Continuous Voter Registration (CVR).

Following this revelation, three staff members involved in the irregularities have been dismissed by the commission.

In a statement by its National Commissioner & Member, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mrs. May Agbmuche-Mbu, the electoral agency said: “Following reports of alleged double registration by the governor of Kogi state, in the on-going CVR, the Commission set up a panel of investigation into the involvement of staff in the matter.

“The initial report submitted by the panel was referred to the Appointment, Promotion and Disciplinary Committee, which made recommendations to the Commission.

“While the governor of Kogi state currently enjoys immunity from prosecution, the Commission took the following decisions in respect of its own staff: Summary dismissal of two staff for acts of gross misconduct. Immediate and compulsory retirement of an Electoral Officer, for acts of gross misconduct.”

Buhari’s Anti-Corruption Fight Yet To Achieve Result, Says Maina

Former Chairman of the dissolved Pension Reform Task Force Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, has said that the anti-corruption fight of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government has not achieved result because those close to the president were lying to him.

Maina said this following his alleged involvement in the siphoning of N2.1 billion pension fund.

His words: “The unfortunate thing is that some people around him (President) whom he has trusted are lying to him. I can attest to this and I can give you instances and documentary evidences. People portray themselves as if they are saints. It is a lie; they are not. We know it and that is why they are after my life. 

“Why is it that the former SGF and other big personalities accused of stealing monies, including big personalities in the Villa, nobody is talking about them? Maina who is just a deputy director whom the Minister of Justice has said the DSS has cleared of any wrongdoing. The National Security Adviser has cleared me of any wrongdoing. His office has also cleared me. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution has cleared me of any wrongdoing and that I have no case to answer and then a small unit under the ministry will come and start fighting me for N2.1 billion.

“So are we trying to fight corruption in Nigeria or diverting attention by lying to Mr. President? Listen to me, Mr. President would have achieved more than what he has achieved. But because they are lying to Mr. President because they hate Maina, he won’t be able to achieve more. You hate me. I know why you hate me. You hate me because I am somebody who is bold. I know how to fetch the money. I know how to follow the money. We have talented people in Nigeria. Let’s start harnessing these talents and stop all these bickering and stuff out of the system. Nigerians have elected a very decent man as president and has given you the trust, please stop lying to him. Speak the truth and let’s move forward. We have so much to recover”, he said.

 Maina, who has been in hiding since he was declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly diverting recovered pension funds to the tune of N195billion said he was wrongly accused of the crime.

 “There is no N195bn. Senator Kabiru Gaya in April of 2016 said the money he allegedly said was stolen is actually in the Buhari administration’s Treasury Single Account (TSA). And that is one problem. Nigerians should start thinking. Here I am, I was accused of stealing N195 billion by the senator; now the same serving senator who was a member of the same committee, co-chairing the committee now came out in 2016, after damaging my image for four years, to say it was a mistake the money is there in Buhari’s administration account. Now everybody is looking at Maina as a thief. For four years, 2012 to 2016, everybody was looking at Maina as a thief, nobody will understand, nobody will believe.”

“If you remember I told you earlier that no money was missing. There was no such money. In fact, what he said was that money was missing in the DSS, in the Military pensions and I told him it was a lie. So people just sit at home, they look at TV and believe anything they see on TV. Now let me tell you this. I happen to have been in the corridors of power and I know and understand how power works. If they want to divert attention they send you on a wild goose chase while the actual meat is being cooked. Now, this was what happened to me in the last administration. I had to run because I was shot at, I was almost killed. I was threatened, my family was threatened and I had to leave.”

Senate Drags Fashola Over Alleged Unpreparedness To Defend 2018 Budget

The Senate on Thursday, frowned at the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, over alleged unpreparedness to defend estimates of his ministry’s 2018 budget.

At the Senate Hearing Room 2.11, in the New Senate Wing of the National Assembly, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Steel Development and Metallurgy, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, said Fashola was not ready to face members and that the minister did not appear before them with necessary documents concerning the budget.

Abaribe said the committee should have been furnished with necessary documents, which members would peruse while the minister would take them through the estimates, during the budget defence, as is the usual practice. 

Thereafter, the committee chairman  turned back informed his colleagues that Fashola immediately reached out to him and said he was prepared to appear before the committee on Monday.

The minister was however  turned back from the committee room for a reschedule date and time.

FG To Release $1 Billion To Fight Boko Haram

The federal government has on Thursday, announced the approval of the release of $1 billion from the country’s excess oil account to the government to help fight the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency.

The approval, came after a meeting of Nigeria’s national economic council, which had the 36 State governors in attendance.

The account holds foreign reserves from excess earnings from sales of crude. It currently totals $2.3 billion, according to Nigeria’s accountant general.

In a chat with state house correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki said: “We are pleased with the federal government achievements in the insurgency war and in that vein state governors have approved that the sum of $1 billion be taken from the excess crude account by the federal government to fight the insurgency war to its conclusion.

“The money will cover the whole array of needs which includes purchase of equipments, training for military personnel and logistics.”

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).

Yobe Govt Conducts Free Eye Surgeries In 17 LG Areas

A total of 1, 700 eye patients have benefitted from a special eye care outreach ordered by H.E Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam across the 17 local government areas of the state.

Undertaken by ophthalmologists and ophthalmic nurses under the coordination of Sahel Optics and Vision Services, the outreach included free cataract surgeries for 850 patients, free eye-lid surgeries for 425 patients and the provision of free optical glasses for 425 other patients.

Many others who only required drugs but not surgery or optical glasses for their ailments were given such drugs for free, as well.

At 100 patients per each of the 17 local government areas, the cataract and eye-lid surgeries were conducted in five zonal centers including Nguru which comprises of Nguru, Machina and Karasuwa local governments; Gashu’a comprising of Yusufari, Bade and Jakusko local governments; Gaidam covering Yunusari, Gaidam and Bursari local governments; Damaturu comprising of Gulani, Gujba, Damaturu and Tarmuwa local governments; and Potiskum covering Potiskum, Fune, Fika and Nangere local governments.

The free eye surgery initiative was designed to assist those suffering from cataract and other eye ailments to regain their sights and feel well again.

Dr. Adamu Abdullahi of the Yobe State University Teaching Hospital (YSUTH) who led the team of ophthalmologists and ophthalmic nurses to conduct the surgeries said that “the outreach offered an opportunity for the less-privileged to have their blindness reversed through surgery at no cost courtesy of the Yobe state government”.

Beneficiaries across the five centers where the surgeries took place were full of gratitude and appreciation for H.E Gov. Gaidam. Mohammed Isa, who was operated on and discharged said “there is much improvement and I am getting better and seeing again after years of living without good eyesight. It is absolutely an amazing gesture by the state governor and we are indeed grateful to him”.

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