FIRS’ Muhammad Nami, To Deliver Keynote Address On Stamp Duty Webinar

The Executive Chairman of the Federal  Inland Revenue Service, Muhammad Nami would deliver a keynote address at a webinar on the potentials of Stamp Duties in Nigeria on the 25th of July, 2020.

The webinar, tagged: Stamp Duty: The New Black Gold? would commence at 2pm, Nigerian time. It is organized by OTISVIP, a private members’ club for aspirational African professionals across the globe.

The webinar would have among its attendees renowned tax specialist, Dr. Alex Ezenagu, business mogul, Sam Onyemelukwe, MD of TRACE Anglophone West Africa, Japheth Omojuwa, a digital media and communications expert and entrepreneur, Angela Damilola, the head of the Abuja Technology Village and Mohammad Jega, a techpreneur and founder of StartUpArewa. 

The webinar, will provide a platform for these stellar entrepreneurs, leaders and professionals to discuss the different perspectives, dimensions and potentials of the Stamp Duty Act among other tax related matters.

Muhammad Nami, a seasoned tax consultant and administrator would be expected to set the stage for the conversations that would rigorously dissect this trending issue.

Also present will be senior Directors and officials of the Federal Inland Revenue Service who will be available to provide answers to some of the posers that would be asked during the webinar. 

This conversation has become critical especially now that government revenues from its mainstay of oil is reducing drastically. The government is compelled to look for an alternative source of funding to carry out its expenditure; a source that is found in Stamp Duty taxes.

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APC Hails Buhari, Sunday Dare, On National Youth Investment Fund: “Historic, Innovational and Transformational”

The All Progressives Congress has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the National Youth Investment Fund, describing the approval as historic, innovational and transformational, the party stated that the President did not flinch in making this happen due to his passion for the development and growth of young people.

In a statement issued by Barrister Ismaeel Ahmed, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Social Investment and a member of the APC National Caretaker Committee on behalf of the APC and young stakeholders of the party, Barrister Ismaeel stated that the announcement of the fund was well received by young Nigerians, in delight and in gratefulness.

“On behalf of the party and especially its young progressives, I wish to express our sincere gratitude to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) for being attentive and understanding to the real concerns of young people and his magnanimity in approving this Fund without hesitation or much ado.”

“The APC, its Youth Wing and Young Stakeholders welcomed with joy, the approval of the National Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) by the Federal Executive Council led by President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) on Wednesday, 22nd of July 2020 following a memo presented by the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare.

“The NIYF which amounts to Seventy Five Billion Naira (N75,000,000,000.00) is to run for a period of three (3) years in the first instance. The Fund will be designed to support innovative and creative ideas of young people across various skills, talents, industry, etc.” the statement read.

The fund according to the Honorable Minister, will be administered as a loan facility to beneficiaries during the period. Indeed, what makes this approval a historic event is the simple fact that this is the first time that an administration in the history of Nigeria is committing funds specifically targeted to the development of young people. 

Ismaeel Ahmed also commended the Minister of Youth and Sport, Mr Sunday Dare for being what he described as a “Chief Driver” of the fund.

“A big kudos to the The Honourable Minister, Mr. Sunday Dare, a true friend of the Young people, a hands-on Minister and thorough Party man who understands the manifesto and the vision the party has for Nigerian Youths and the future at large.  I am extremely thankful for his ideas which he pushed forward through the memo that gave birth to this. His passion towards matters pertaining to the welfare, empowerment and development of young people is highly commendable.

“To all the young people of Nigeria, this is a win that should be cherished, appreciated and utilized to yield the results the NYIF targets. I believe that with proper and judicious management, the set objectives will be achieved.”

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Ondo 2020: APC Appoints Young Party Member, Obinna Ebirim As Member Of Reconciliation Committee

The Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee (CEONCPC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has appointed Dr. Obinna Ebirim as a member of the party’s eight-member National Reconciliation Committee for Ondo State.

The appointment is in line with the party’s determination to resolve the festering crisis within the party in the state as announced by the National Chairman of the Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee, Governor Mai Mala Buni.

Dr. Obinna, a party stalwart from Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State is to replace one Mr. Jasper Azuwatalum, who had been earlier announced as a member of the Governor Abubakar Sani Bello-led Committee by the Acting Spokesperson, Yekini Nabena. 

Recall that Mr. Jasper Azuwatalum, former Executive Director (ED), Finance and Investment of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), was among those suspended indefinitely by President Muhammadu Buhari over alleged financial and procurement breaches, as well as gross misconduct in the NSITF from 2016 to date.

With the inauguration of the Committee, it is expected that the members will commence reconciliatory processes among aggrieved members of the party at all levels.

Other members of the committee include Governor Abubakar Sani Bello (Chairman), Senator Adamu Aliero; Senator Opeyemi Bamidele; Gambon Magaji, CON; Hajiya Binta Muazu; Hon. Iquo Inyang and Mr. Shina Pellar who is to serve as Secretary.

Dr. Obinna is 34-year old medical practitioner, public health  and health promotion specialist and vaccine advocate in Nigeria. Currently, he is the National Coordinator of a Non-Governmental Organization conducting Conditional Cash Transfer-based intervention to raise demand for routine immunization in North West Nigeria. He has previously worked on international donor-funded immunization advocacy and health system strengthening projects in various States of Nigeria and FCT. 

A Fellow of Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders and Former Member of Board of Governors of Robert Gordon University Aberdeen, Dr Ebirim is interested in equitable vaccine access and sustainable health financing, primary health care system strengthening and leadership in Nigeria.

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Edo 2020: Why APC’s Ize-Iyamu Trumps Obaseki, By Segun Tomori

The Edo State governorship elections scheduled for 19th September, 2020 promises to be interesting and keenly contested for many reasons. There has been a swap of roles by the two major candidates – Pastor Osazie Ize-Iyamu has switched allegiance to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and is running as its candidate, while the incumbent, Gov. Godwin Obaseki formerly of the APC, is running on the platform of the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Backtrack to 2016, Obaseki won as APC candidate, while Ize-Iyamu lost as the PDP flag bearer. Therefore, it is understandable that the forthcoming elections will be a battle royal between the two leading candidates.

Between 2016 and 2020, a lot has changed and it is important that the Edo electorate get issues in proper perspective. Gov. Obaseki was disqualified based on discrepancies in his credentials by the screening committee of the APC, of course the then National Working Committee (NWC) endorsed the report, alongside two other aspirants also disqualified. The party had swallowed the bitter pill after losing Bayelsa State which it won at the polls to the jurisprudence of the Apex court based on purported discrepancies in the credential of its Deputy Governorship candidate. Who would have thought a sitting Senator’s credentials would in anyway come under the hammer of the Supreme Court? But as we know, the Supreme court judgment is final and the APC preferred to err on the side of caution on Obaseki instead of backing him and risking the “Bayelsa treatment”. The same opposition party now fielding Obaseki raised eyebrow about his qualifications in 2016, and would have done same if he had emerged as APC candidate.

Most analysts have reduced the disqualification of Obaseki to his disagreement with the immediate past APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, but his ordeal transcends such insular conclusion. For reasons best known to Obaseki, 14 out of the 24 Edo House of Assembly members have been surreptitiously shut out of the State and prevented from being inaugurated, over a year after their election despite interventions from the National Assembly, Party hierarchy, Presidency amongst others. The incumbent thumped his nose at the party that brought him into power, not only preventing elected legislators from serving their constituencies but also carried on as “lord of the manor” riding roughshod over party leaders, and at a point threatened the National Chairman for not getting his permission to land in the State. Such was the rabid display of power by Obaseki that alienated him from party faithful across the State and even resulted in the resignation of his Chief of Staff and top aides at some point. It would have been counter-productive for a party worth its onions to field him, even if he had scaled through the screening process.

After receiving an estimated N350bn in three and half years, nothing on ground suggests that his performance is commensurate with the resources. In the words of the Edo PDP Chairman, Dan Orbih, late 2019, “Obaseki brought agony and deprivation to the populace, denying them the benefits expected from democracy. For instance, the 200,000 jobs he promised youths have remained a mirage, infrastructural development for schools have been nothing to write home about, roads and other indices of developments across the State have not fared better.

Now that Obaseki is running under the party of the kleptomaniacs, where all they do is loot, Edo’s future will be mortgaged, God forbid PDP takes the State. If Obaseki can purportedly fritter away N8bn of Edo resources to purchase the PDP ticket, how much more will he need to cater to “fat cat godfathers” in PDP for 4 years? There is a saying that if we don’t look at where we are coming from, we won’t know where we are going to. Edo people must cast their minds back to the “8 years of the locust” of former PDP Governor Lucky Igbinedion where the state resources were turned into a slush fund. He was eventually convicted for defrauding the State.

Pastor Ize-Iyamu like any human might have imperfections, but running under the platform of the APC – a party with progressive ideology led by President Muhammadu Buhari will make Edo State fare better. We have seen the yeo-man’s job of the Federal Government with the National Social Investments Programme (NSIP), infrastructural renewal that has seen Lagos-Ibadan, Warri-Itakpe railway spring up, 2nd Niger Bridge, agricultural revolution in local staples production amongst other laudable, on-going initiatives. A Gov. Ize-Iyamu will be able to synergise with the Federal Government to hasten development of the State. Just recently, Gov. Wike of Rivers, though a PDP Governor, showered encomiums on President Buhari for returning N78bn spent on Federal projects in the State. If he can do that for an opposition State, how much more a State controlled by his party?

The choice before Edo people is crystal clear. It is between choosing a party renowned for its welfarist and pro-people ideology and another whose stock in trade is feathering the nest of its bigwigs with State resources. In this race, you cannot seat on the fence. Don’t be deceived that Obaseki is the candidate of the people, he is actually the candidate of PDP godfathers who are already aroused by the aroma of Edo treasury. We must stop them in their tracks by voting APC’s Pastor Osaze Ize-Iyamu (POI). Yes, we can!

Segun Tomori is a Member of the Media and Publicity Committee of the APC National Campaign Council (NCC) for the Edo Gubernatorial Elections.

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Arc. Waziri Bulama: A Quintessential Party Scribe, By Segun Tomori

When Arc. Waziri Bulama was finally inaugurated as Ag. National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on 18th May, 2020 after almost a year and half of advocacy, consultations and consensus building, it was huge sigh of relief for those of us who have become protégés of the foremost politician. He had earlier been announced in acting capacity in January and later sometime in March, but the process of formalizing the appointment unfortunately took another 4 months of horse-trading.

All of that finally gave way when through a letter from an overwhelming majority of stakeholders in the North-east, Bulama was eventually sworn-in. And to further strengthen his hand, the Zonal Executive Committee of the North-East APC unanimously endorsed him on June 13 – there, the last vestige of opposition to his appointment crumbled. At a virtual meeting attended by  the Senate President, the three Governors from the region, Senators and other officials, the zone endorsed and resolved to forward his name and two others to the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the APC for ratification as nominees from the zone for various positions.

It will be recalled that Bulama was Deputy Director-General (Coordination) of the 2019 APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) where he devoted full time and energy to keep the campaign Secretariat running, 24/7. After the successful campaign, he shunned entreaties to lobby for juicy cabinet appointments preferring instead to settle for the less attractive role of party scribe to strengthen the party machinery to promote cohesion and bequeath a discernible progressive ideology.

Not one to dither in the face of onerous responsibilities, Bulama moved swiftly to roar back the party secretariat to life, holding extensive meetings with Departmental heads, assuring of his commitment to reposition the party and make welfare of staff paramount. His office and home became a mecca of sorts as politicians and party chieftains trooped ceaselessly, almost 24/7 to consult the new scribe. On account of his open door policy, His Excellency, as he was fondly called, ensured he saw everyone even when we thought otherwise. He believes everyone deserves to be given a sense of belonging irrespective of status, tribe or social standing.

His leadership acumen was put to task when suddenly the former Chairman Adams Oshiomhole’s suspension was upheld by the Appeal Court. The party which had crucial gubernatorial primaries to conduct was almost in disarray, but Bulama rose to the occasion. He rallied his 16 colleagues in the National Working Committee (NWC) to fill the leadership lacuna in line with the party constitution and they now proceeded to set up the governorship primaries committee headed by Gov. Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, assisted by Senator Ajibola Basiru – who Bulama holds in high esteem, as Secretary. Not many knew the National Secretary was convalescing at this time, but he had to sacrifice his recuperation to lead from the front.

The primary elections in Edo State was generally regarded as novel, peaceful and quite unique in conforming with social distancing protocols of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) across the 192 wards in the State.  Not many know that the feat was made possible by the behind-the-scene leadership and round the clock monitoring of Arc. Bulama. Nothing was taken to chance, from security of the panel to INEC participation as witnesses, approval from the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, amongst others. Indeed at that period, over 15 hours daily was put in and several days of sleepless nights to ensure success.

As the days go by when agitations became rife following the dispute about who is the authentic Ag. Chairman between the NWC-backed late Sen. Abiola Ajimobi and Victor Gaidom – former Deputy National Secretary, that infamously laid claim to the seat, Bulama stood on the side of the constitution by standing firmly with the former based on the advice of legal luminaries and the APC legal adviser. He held meetings with groups and stakeholders to explain the position of the NWC, debunk speculations the body was averse to the call for a NEC meeting but maintained it must be held and called, in line with the party constitution. He always emphasised the need for 14 organs of the APC to function optimally, and blamed the inertia in the party secretariat on account of the long absence of a substantive National scribe for the anomaly. He expressed commitment to ensure redress by making statutory meetings of all organs of the party become the norm.

To cap his trouble-shooting efforts, Bulama led the NWC members into a virtual meeting with Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, two days before the body was dissolved. The nation’s number two man was informed of the position of the NWC and why the law is on its side amongst others. The rest is now history, as the President in his wisdom chose to apply what is now termed a “Doctrine of Necessity” to attend the NEC meeting called by Gaidom and opt for wholesale dissolution of the NWC. In the midst of the crises, Bulama showed strength of character and resilience by relegating his personal interest, standing by the collective decision of his colleagues, and insisting on the sanctity of the rule of law.

While the party scribe has since chosen to defer to the President by accepting the setting up of a  Caretaker Committee as an interim replacement for the NWC, the job of repositioning the APC has also been temporarily stymied. Issues around a reward system for members, functional organs of the party, 21st century complaint political party, party supremacy & distinct ideology from top to bottom were top on the agenda of the immediate past National Secretary. Indeed, I remember he told me he had consulted some prominent party juggernauts who would be members of his think-tank to fine-tune strategies for implementation of his blueprint. They were set to be inaugurated before the NWC was given the boot.

In six months, the APC will hold a convention to elect new National officers, the party must look in the direction of Arc. Waziri Bulama to play a prominent role not only to continue from where he started as the short-lived party scribe, but to lead efforts to put the party on a strong footing, reposition it to sustain its winning streak, post-2023. For Bulama, making APC the party to beat remains his passion, his purpose!

Segun Tomori, is a protégé of Arc. Waziri Bulama, Member of the APC Young Stakeholders and Executive Director (Communications), RedPole Media.

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“You Appointed the Best Man To Head NBET”, Obiano Tells Buhari

Governor Willie Obiano has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing Dr Nnaemeka Ewelukwa the chief executive of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading plc (NBET), popularly known as the Bulk Trader.

“You couldn’t have appointed a more qualified, competent and reform-minded technocrat for the job”, Governor Obiano said in the letter to Buhari, according to a statement in Awka today by the the Anambra State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba.

The Minister of Power, Engineer Saleh Mamman, announced two weeks ago President Buhari’s approval of Dr Ewelukwa as replacement for Dr Marylyn Amobi, also from Anambra State, whose five year tenure will end on July 24.

“It is self-evident that the president recognizes the critical role of the NBET in the electricity value chain in Nigeria and so went for the best to help move the entire power sector in a different direction”, Chief Obiano declared.

Dr Ewelukwa, the NBET general counsel until his appointment, has been involved in Nigeria’s power sector reform for at least 10 years, having worked at the Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP), headed by Professor Bart Nnaji before he was appointed the Minister of Power in July, 2011, and led the greatest revamping of Nigeria’s perennially problematic power sector.

As the pioneer NBET general counsel and secretary, he led the team which negotiated with independent power producers on power purchase agreements (PPAs) and thus enabled huge investments from the private sector into Nigeria’s electricity generation business.

Governor Obiano observed that the new NBET CEO played a key role on the team which identified serious legal, regulatory and policy constraints to the development of Nigeria’s electricity and suggested ways to overcome the challenges.

“Due to the exceedingly impressive work done by such outstanding technocrats as Professor Nnaji and Dr Ewelukwa, the British and American governments, among others, assisted Nigeria to develop the critical power infrastructure”, noted the governor who also recalled how such global firms as General Electric of the United States, Siemens of Germany and Daewoo Heavy Industries of South Korea took an unprecedented interest in the country’s power sector.

Chief Obiano described Ewelukwa as “infectiously humble and principled, a team player and farsighted leader with a good international exposure, key leadership requirements in today’s globalized world”.

The governor said he is confident that Dr Ewelukwa would bring glory to Nigeria the way a number of Anambra indigenes given critical national assignments discharged their duties.

“The whole nation”, he stated, “remembers with nostalgia the fantastic work done since the restoration of democracy by such sons and daughters of Anambra State like Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo as the Central Bank governor, Professor Dora Akunyili as the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) Director General; Engineer Ernest Ndukwe as the CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Mrs Oby Ezekwesili as head of the Due Process Office before becoming the Minister of Solid Minerals and later Minister of Education; as well as Engineer Emeka Eze as the Bureau for Public Procurement Director General”. 

Son of a leading academic lawyer, Ewelukwa studied law at the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, before proceeding to the London School of Economics to specialize in international business law and Queen Mary College of the University of London where he took a doctoral degree in privatization of state-owned enterprises and reform of the Nigerian power sector.

Author of three authoritative books on electricity transactions, the new NBET CEO is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

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Reps Urge FG To Return SON, NAFDAC To Ports

The House of Representatives have called on the Federal Government to reconsider its earlier decision barring the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) from operating at the nation’s seaports.

The lower chamber maintained that the two key agencies are needed at the seaports and borders to fight the influx of sub-standard and life-endangering goods into the country, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adopting a motion under “Matters of urgent public importance”, raised at the plenary session, the House stated that allowing SON and NAFDAC back to the ports will represent part of the strategies to effectively check the influx of sub-standard goods into the country.

The House has mandated its committee on finance to meet and liaise with the Minister of Finance on the urgent need for SON and NAFDAC to return to the ports and borders.

The motion was moved by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, representing Anaocha South/Anaocha North/Oshimili South federal constituency of Delta State.

The House categorically stated that no other agency can carry out the statutory functions of SON and NAFDAC, maintaining that the functions of quality assurance cannot be inter-changed with any other sister agency.

There have been several appeals from the various sectors, operators and stakeholders on the need for the Federal Government to return SON in particular at the nation’s ports as a major move against the menace of sub-standard and counterfeited products across the country.

The Nation

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We Will Defend Our Youth Against Rape, Domestic Violence – Minister Declares 

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, has condemned the rise of rape and gender-based violence occurrences in the country and voiced his support for victims and survivors of the grievous crime. To this end, the Ministry today launched #NigerianYouthAgainstRape campaign.

“The Youth are the greatest victims of rape and we condemn this inhumane act in the strongest terms. We will join the vanguard against rape and ask for the stiffest penalty possible,” he said.

Mr Dare, who described rape as “a brutal crime that attacks the mind, body and soul,” said the act must not be allowed to take root in the Nigerian society. He said his Ministry would champion the fight against the dastardly act as prescribed in the National Youth Policy. 

“No Nigerian, whether male or female, should be discriminated against or made a victim anywhere in this country, ” he said. “We must unite to fight against rape in all forms.  All Nigerian Youth must take the responsibility to be on the lookout for their female counterparts and offer them protection. Stigmatising victims must be stopped and completely outlawed.

“I am totally against a mindset that first, makes women victims, and then moves on to compound their suffering by blaming the survivor for the evil that has been inflicted upon her. When people blame an individual for being raped, it discourages others from speaking out because each survivor and  their families are afraid that they will be blamed and labelled for what happened to them.”

The Minister thanked  President Buhari for his resolute stand against rape and joined him in this fight to protect young women from rape and physical assault. He also singled out the Minister for Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, for leading the charge. 

“We shall stand shoulder to shoulder with you in this struggle, ” he said. 

The Minister also called on the Nigeria Police Force to review their methods of investigating cases of gender-based violence and rape with the objective of solving them with minimal pain to the survivors. He challenged civil organisations to deploy the use of technology to support their work against the social menace. He also encouraged policymakers to be fearless and make laws that will deter future offenders.

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Post-Covid Economy: Buhari Government Thinking In The Right Direction – GEPIn

The Economic Sustainability Plan put up by a Committee led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, which was submitted to President Buhari last Thursday has received commendation from the Global Economic Policy Initiative (GEPIn).

It described the plan as “well-hatched” and “timely,” especially given the current fears over Nigeria’s economic prospects post-COVID.

The group in a statement signed by its Chairman, Bernard Okri, stated that there were genuine fears and concerns how Nigeria’s economy would fare in a post-COVID world, but that the proposal submitted to the President by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had assuaged most of these fears.

“The dedication of the Committee, led by Professor Osinbajo is commendable – more commendable is that their submissions came in at the right time. Nigerians across the country are genuinely worried and concerned about the economic climate post-COVID 19. This document has assured many, if not most of us that the government has a good plan, one in the right direction in fact.

The group noted that the Committee was a robust and inclusive one and thus was able to produce an all encompassing document.

“This document is an assurance to Nigerians that they have nothing to worry about. It assures of growth and a resilient economy despite the pandemic. 

“The philosophy behind the document is that Nigeria consumes what it produces – this is something we as a group have constantly stressed for years. 

“This ultimately means improving and funding our local industries to meet the country’s production deficit in critical sectors. This the document proposes, as well as boosting our manufacturing capacity – an endeavour we should long have embarked on when the country was earning its most under previous administrations. 

“Pumping more money into agriculture and infrastructure is proposed, so as ti act as conduits to funnel funds into the economy. This is a very welcome proposal. As the country fears a recession, the fundamental way out is to put in more funds into critical sectors that would serve as boosters to other dependent sectors.”

The group stated that the proposal targets 10s of millions of Nigerians and its implementation would be critical if the country’s economy must survive post-COVID-19. 

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Mandate Guard Sends Birthday Wishes to Ramatu Aliyu At 50

A group, Mandate Guards Initiative, on Friday congratulated Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, Honourable Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory as she clocks 50.

In a press release signed by the Convener, Comrade Obinna Ogwuegbu, he acknowledged the Minister for her role in uplifting the common man.

The statement reads:

“Mandateguards Initiative wishes its founding Member and one of its pillars, Dr RAMATU TIJJANI ALIYU, the Honourable Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory a happy 50th Birthday celebration.

“Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu has been a consistent change agent and deploys same zeal, commitment and passion in all she does towards positively uplifting the common man. She is an unrepentant women and children activist. Her commitment to effect change has been her guiding principle as the Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory.

“As she clocks the golden age of 50 today Friday, June 12,2020, a day that we remember as Democracy day and a day marked against Child Labour, We at Mandateguard Initiative do pray the Almighty God to continue to guide, strengthen and direct her as she continously strives to bring succor to the down trodden.

“Congratulations!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY.”

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Personnel Welfare Receives Boost As NAF Commissions Additional Blocks Of Residential Accommodation For Officers In Lagos

The drive of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) towards ensuring that its personnel have befitting residential accommodation has received a fresh boost with the commissioning of 2 newly constructed blocks of 6 x 3 bedroom flats for married officers at the Sam Ethnan Air Force Base Ikeja, Lagos today, 28 May 2020.

Speaking during the commissioning, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who was represented by the Air Officer Commanding Logistics Command (AOC LC), Air Vice Marshal Lawal Alao, noted that the commissioning of the project was a testimony to his resolve to improve the welfare of NAF personnel, being a major requirement in the development of human capacity for enhanced operational performance.

He noted that, while the NAF was being restructured for more effective and efficient service delivery in the last 4 and half years, several infrastructural developments aimed at improving both the working and living conditions of personnel were also embarked upon. The infrastructural developments, the CAS added, included the construction of new offices and living accommodations across all NAF Bases in the Country, to provide conducive atmosphere for optimum operational output.

Speaking further, the CAS noted that the infrastructural development was a major moraleboosting factor for some of the modest operational achievements recorded so far. “In the last four and half years, while working to address the housing deficit for personnel, we have provided befitting accommodation for about 7,500 families. We remain resolute to do more”, he said.

The CAS commended the Logistics Command (LC) for providing the necessary support that had enabled the Service to be more efficient in the conduct of its operations across various theatres. He pledged that the Headquarters would continue to provide the necessary resources to enablethe Command to continue playing its vital role in supporting NAF operations. The CAS equally lauded the measures emplaced by the Command to curtail the spread of COVID-19 and describbed the communal approach to tackling the virus with the introduction of COVID-19 Enlightenment and Enforcement Team made up of youth volunteers within the Base, as most impressive.

He highlighted that Headquarters NAF, in compliance with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines, had directed the scaling down of the number of personnel for official work to the barest minimum to limit the likelihood of contact. He also reminded personnel to continue to maintain personal hygiene, whilst observing physical distancing.

The newly constructed blocks of buildings which are built with a touch of class – with all bedrooms en suite, was executed by TILT Construction Limited, a wholly-Nigerian owned Civil and Structural Engineering Construction company serving as a trusted infrastructure partner to organisations in the private and public sector.

Managing Director of TILT Construction, Mr Jameel Olatunji stated that jobs were provided to no fewer than 50 skilled artisans and over 4000 man-hours of work were completed with no cases of accidents recorded. “This performance was not the result of chance; it was made possible through our continuous commitment to safety and efficiency” he said.

Among project completed by the company include Construction of Residential Development for the Federal Capital Development Authority, Federal Ministry of Works & Housing, Nigeria Immigration Service, amongst others.

In his closing remarks, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, ably represented by Air Vice Marshal Lawal Alao thanked the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari for providing the resources being expended to improve personnel welfare, and enjoined personnel to take responsibility for the proper maintenance of all infrastructures on all NAF Bases, whilst remaining committed to the effective execution of assigned tasks.

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Nigerian Professionals: Ambassadorial Nominees Are Thoroughbred Diplomats, Would Serve Nigeria’s Best Interest

Described as: “Round peg in round hole, truly deserving.”

A group of professionals in Nigeria, under the aegis of Young Nigerian Professionals have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the nomination of 42 thoroughbred career diplomats as Ambassadors-designate, describing them as “round pegs, fit in round holes,” and “truly deserving.”

The forum in a statement signed by its Chairman, Charles Folayan said they were elated by the choice of these nominees, some of whom they had interacted with, at Nigerian Missions abroad and found to be diligent, hard working and patriotic.

According to Folayan, the forum is confident of the prospective Ambassadors’ capacities to deliver on President Buhari’s policies at the global arena whenever they are posted after clearance by the Senate.

“We can affirm that this list was carefully put together by the President in line with his foreign policy objectives. The nominees are seasoned diplomats, who have served in various countries with distinction; they are good men and women with the highest sense of commitment and responsibility. Wherever they have served, they were the darling of the Nigerian communities and their host officials.” Charles noted.

“Of particular interest is I. A. Yusuf, a nominee from Kogi State with whom the forum had interacted at more than one Nigerian Mission abroad. We know him for his exemplary character, integrity and his positive disposition towards Nigerians in his host countries, especially the students and professionals. He offers help with ease, to anyone who demands help.

“In all our encounters, we noted that when Yusuf gives his word, he keeps it; he has an unflinching penchant for timeliness; and importantly he demands diligence and love for Nigeria from associates and those he works with, that whatever is to be done must be done in the national interest and must be done right.

“We believe that the Ambassadors-designate will bring to Nigeria, the benefits of their abundant network of relationships across the world.”

The statement went ahead to encourage the Ambassadorial nominees to remain steadfast to the values that saw them rise to where they are.

The forum asked them to keep their eyes on the ball in order to justify the confidence reposed on them by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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