Forex Earnings: Accelerate Diversification Of The Economy, Senate Tells FG

The Senate on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to accelerate its policies on the diversification of the economy to improve the country’s foreign exchange earnings.

The call was made in resolutions reached by the Senate following consideration of a motion titled “Urgent need to revive the Palm Oil industry in Nigeria”.

The motion was sponsored by Senator Francis Onyewuchi (PDP, Imo East) and co-sponsored by 15 other senators.

The Senate, which resumed its plenary session on Tuesday, urged the Federal Government to support an improved palm oil production in order to meet the domestic needs of the market, as well as revive the moribund Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) in Benin, Edo State.

The motion to revive NIFOR seeks to improve investment in research and production of quality oil palm seeds.

The upper chamber said that the discovery of crude oil in commercial quantity has resulted in the gradual neglect of agriculture by successive governments.

According to Senator Onyewuchi, “Nigeria spends $500 million on oil palm importation annually despite being the largest producer and exporter of the product in the 50’s and 60’s.”

He added, “The country is now the net importer of palm oil, importing 400,000 – 600,000 metric tonnes of palm oil in order to meet local demand.”

In his contribution to the debate, the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, bemoaned the lack of discipline and implementation in the agricultural sector.

Abdullahi said, “Until this is done, there can be no meaningful development to be achieved economically from the sector.”

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, underscored the need and importance to finance the growth of the agricultural sector in Nigeria.

“In 2005, I was Chairman, House Committee on Agriculture. We funded the Institutes; 22 of them and they did very well. I agree completely that we have not been funding these institutes.

“So, if we need an economy that will work for everyone, then we must invest in the agricultural sector.

“Our committee should engage with the MDAs. So that at the end of the day, we can contribute meaningfully to take agriculture to the next level, the Senate President said.

Meanwhile, two bills passed their first reading in the Senate on Tuesday following the resumption of plenary session.

The two bills are: the Nigerian Transportation Accident Investigation Bureau (Est, etc) Bill, 2019 and Criminal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

The Nigerian Transportation Accident Investigation Bureau (East, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB.1) was sponsored by Senator Na’allah Bala Ibn (Kebbi South) while the Criminal Code Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB,2) was sponsored by Senator Tinubu Oluremi Shade (Lagos Central).

The Senate also received the report of the Ad-Hoc Committee on the investigation of the use of Avastin Injection for eye treatment by the National Eye Centre, Kaduna.

The report was presented by Senator Mathew Urhoghide (Edo south).

Signed:

Ezrel Tabiowo

Special Assistant (Press) to the President of the Senate.

Tuesday, 24th September, 2019

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World Economic Forum Endorses President Buhari’s Social Investment Programme

Efforts by the President Buhari Administration to reduce poverty in Nigeria through its various Social Investment Programmes have continued to receive thumbs up from well-meaning individuals and organizations within and outside the shores of the country.

The latest is coming from Schwab Foundation, a sister organization of the World Economic Forum WEF, following its conferment of the prestigious Public Social Intrapreneur award on Mrs Maryam Uwais MFR, the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments.

Mrs Uwais joins 40 other individuals selected from different countries across the World to receive the award in recognition of their innovative approach and potential for global impact.

The list includes start-up founders and chief executive officers, multinational and regional business leaders, government leaders and recognized experts who are working to address social and environmental issues with innovation, in areas ranging from water purification to financial inclusion to combatting
hate.

For more than 20 years, the Schwab Foundation has recognized social entrepreneurs as a new breed of leaders –
Hide quoted text
values-driven, inclusive, compassionate and entrepreneurial, developing new sustainable models for business, human
development and environmental initiatives – and embedded them in the platforms of the World Economic Forum.

The 2019 awardees were formally inaugurated during the World Economic Forum’s Sustainable Development Impact Summit held on Sunday, September 23, 2019 in New York, United States of America.

Mrs Uwais, in a goodwill message to the global gathering, (following her inability to be present in New York), described the award as an International endorsement of efforts by the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari to address the challenges relating to poverty and unemployment through the faithful implementation of the National Social Investment Programme N-SIP.

The Presidential Aide said the recognition is a call to action for the FGN to commit even more resources, assuring of continued transparency, efficiency and dedication in achieving the task of reducing poverty by 100m people in 10 years, in line with the target set by President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR.

“I am truly encouraged by this International endorsement of our efforts, through the structures & processes we have put in place towards ensuring that we drive implementation and set standards at Sub-National level in Nigeria (where the work is primarily done).

This award acknowledges that the Nigeria is serious about reducing poverty and unemployment, while improving our human capital indices. It is also a testament to the willingness of our legislators (at the National Assembly) and the Governors in the States to cooperate and partner with the Federal Government in its bid to uplift the conditions of its hitherto less privileged citizens. The close collaboration from the Federal Government Ministries and Agencies, as well as the Governors and officials of the States and Local Government, has enabled us work towards our objectives, as one united and indivisible country.

I am humbled by this recognition and thankful to the Almighty for this opportunity to serve my country and it’s citizens. I am also grateful to the team that has worked assiduously towards achieving our modest successes. It has been a collective effort, personally led by the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo SAN GCON.”

The Schwab Foundation provides a veritable platform of expertise, knowledge and resources, and a network we can engage with, for the work ahead. It is a privilege for me, to be able to learn, share and engage with the very best in social entrepreneurship, for the benefit of Nigeria and its citizens”

Mrs Uwais, whose appointment as Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment was recently renewed, has since 2016 been in charge of the National Social Investment Office, a portfolio of the Federal Government which coordinates all components of the Social Investment Programme in an inclusive manner, that is not only reducing poverty but also fostering financial inclusion in Nigeria.

Nearly 10 million pupils in 32 states across the country are currently benefiting from the School Feeding Programme, while close to 650,000 poor and vulnerable households in 27 States are enrolled onto the National Cash Transfer Programme.

This is in addition to over 2 million people who have benefitted from interest and collateral-free loans through Marketmoni, Tradermoni, and Farmermoni facilitated under the Government Economic and Enterprise Programme GEEP, just as N-Power, a job enhancement Scheme, has profitably engaged over 540,000 young people in all local government areas of the country.

Justice Bibiye

Communications Manager, National Social Investment Office NSIO

23-09-19

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In Business, We Must Play According To The Rules, President Buhari Tells NACCIMA Delegation

President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Abuja said everyone must play by the rules when it comes to trade and business activities that are central to Nigeria’s economic development.

President Buhari spoke at State House when he received a delegation from the Nigerian Association for Chamber of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FEWACCI) and representatives of the Organised Private Sector (OPS).  

The President, who reiterated the commitment of his administration in ensuring that the trade and business sector continues to flourish in job creation, noted that a critical success factor was the adherence to law and ethics by all stakeholders.

”Unfortunately, in recent times, many traders simply do not play by the rules.

”Our markets are flooded with smuggled and counterfeit goods. By these selfish practices, we help keep foreign factories working while closing ours.

”From medicines to electronics to food items, our potential to manufacture and create jobs locally is severely hindered by a handful of Nigerians who choose profits over patriotism.

”We have all heard stories about the dangerous and sometimes, fatal impact of fake drugs and foods on our citizens.

”We have also seen how fake electrical items have led to fires in homes and markets thereby destroying lives and properties.

”Most of these substandard and illegal items are smuggled through our land borders,” he said.

President Buhari also used the occasion to inform the delegation that the decision to close Nigeria’s land borders for a limited time due to massive smuggling activities had started to yield positive results.

”After many years of diplomacy and aggressive regulatory oversight which yielded few results, we decided to close our land borders for a limited time to assess the impact of this measure.

”Within a few short weeks, we are already seeing a decline in the volumes of counterfeit smuggled goods in some of our major markets across the country.

”This validates our action as a Government when we insist that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) must not only promote free trade, but legal trade of quality made in Africa goods and services,” he said.

The Nigerian leader said his administration will continue to solicit the support of the organised private sector, both in Nigeria and across West Africa, to bring an end to the dumping of substandard items.

He urged the Association, which is a member of the National Action Committee on the implementation of the AfCFTA, to continue its ‘‘positive and patriotic contribution’’ towards achieving a free trade area that employs Africans to produce quality made in Africa products.

”We will soon finalise the National Action Committee on the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area. Your Association is a member of this committee.

”I expect you to continue your positive and patriotic contribution to support us in achieving a free trade area that employs Africans to produce quality made in Africa products,’’ the President said.

In her remarks, Hajiya Saratu Aliyu, President FEWACCI, NACCIMA and OPS, commended the recent decision by the President to constitute a new economic team to steer the Nigerian economy on the path of sustainable growth.

On the Economic Advisory Council (EAC), she said: ”NACCIMA, FEWACCI and indeed the OPS are full of hope that a new era is on the horizon with the calibre of persons on the team which reassures us at the OPS that Government is ready to turn around the story of Nigeria.”

Aliyu also hailed significant accomplishments recorded in all sectors of the economy including but not limited to reduced corruption, foreign exchange stability, bottom of the pyramid programmes, increased ease of doing business, increased capital expenditures, among others.

The president of NACCIMA appealed for the kind intervention of President Buhari in the provision of property within Abuja for the location of FEWACCI headquarters.

She also briefed the President about the 21-point NACCIMA programme, tagged ‘‘Unleash the Giant’’, adding that theassociation intends to engage the Federal Government on 16 of those stated points with the goal of ensuring business growth and socioeconomic advancement through public and private sector collaboration.  

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Bauchi Governor Lauds FG’s Social Investment Programme

The Executive Governor of Bauchi State, Sen. Bala Mohammed, Wednesday, defied partisan politics to laud the social Investment Programmes of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Governor Mohammed, who was elected under the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), acknowledged that the SIPs are meeting the needs of the ordinary Nigerians.

The Governor stated this while appearing as a guest on Channels Television ‘Sunrise Daily.’

In his words, he said, “The social investment programme is working and I am very happy with it because the N-Power is working. That is the only solace to the graduates where they find some form of employment.”

The Governor who hinted on implementing same programme in his state stressed that with the support of World Bank and multilateral agencies in carefully implementing the schemes in Bauchi State, thousands of young people will be taken out of poverty.

Recall that the President Buhari’s administration established the National Social Investments Programmes (NSIP) in 2016, to tackle poverty and hunger across the country. Since its implementation, the scheme has benefited over 42 million Nigerians – that is, over 12 million direct beneficiaries and about 30 million indirect beneficiaries, comprising family members, employees of beneficiaries, cooks and farmers.

On many occasions, President Muhammadu Buhari, commended the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, for his work in driving the impactful National Social Investment Programmes (N-SIP) of this administration. The N-SIP has been described as the largest social investment programme in sub-Saharan Africa and the largest social welfare scheme in the history of this country.

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How NEC, Newly Formed EAC Would Work Together By Vice President Osinbajo

In response to a request for clarification by members of the National Economic Council regarding NEC’s relationship with the newly announced Economic Advisory Council, EAC, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has said both councils are for the benefit of the President.

Prof. Osinbajo spoke at the 97th NEC meeting today at the Council Chambers.
“If NEC want to be briefed regularly by the Economic Advisory Council, EAC, we will request the President to do that,” the VP explained to the Council observing that such interaction will promote synergy.

Below are highlights of NEC deliberations:

NEC (5TH IN 2019) 97TH NEC MEETING – THURSDAY, 19TH October, 2019

UPDATE ON THE NATIONAL LIVESTOCK TRANSFORMATION PLAN BY THE GOVERNOR OF EBONYI STATE, DAVE UMAHI, CHAIRMAN OF NEC TECHNICAL COMMITTEE ON THE NLTP

The chairman reminded NEC that the Committee was to address the
Farmer/herder crisis
The Committee presented a National Livestock Transformation Plan 2019 – 2028.
The Plan is not targeted on only cows but a holistic strategy to address animal husbandry.
The Plan has six pillars:
Conflict Resolution
Justice and Peace
Humanitarian Relief and Early Recovery
Human Capital Development
Cross cutting issues
Economic Development
The Committee proposed an implementation guideline to guide FG and States
N100 billion has been budgeted to support the project.
FG is to contribute 80% in grant to support States, while States will contribute land, project implementation structure, personnel and 20% cost of the project.
Council Resolution
Need to look at the Trans-Human West Africa Regional Protocol – because the country cannot allow such movement of cattles without registering and monitoring them
Council emphasised the need to established the fact that NLTP is a creation of NEC and State Governors and is completely distinct from RUGA.
NEC adopted the National Livestock Transformation Plan on January 18, 2019. It is a creation of the National Economic Council.
States will determine, whether or not they are willing to participate, as FG did not impose this plan. Participation remains voluntary.
The role of the FG is to coordinate, monitor and help implement the plan.

UPDATE ON ACCOUNT

    Honourable Minister of State for Budget and National Planning reported to Council that balances in the underlisted accounts as at 17th September, 2019 are as follows:

EXCESS CRUDE ACCOUNT (ECA) = USD 274, 583, 856 .78
STABILIZATION ACCOUNT = N23, 796, 349,487.76
DEV. NATURAL RES. ACCT FUND = N105, 135, 613, 817.27
UPDATE ON BUDGET SUPPORT LOAN FACILITY
The Honourable Minister of State also briefed in the Budget Support Facility that State Governments are expected to start servicing the loan from September 2019 and repayment is over 240 months
Council resolved that Governors should meet with the Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Nigeria to sort out the details of repayment modalities and the Vice President will ensure same and ensure the meeting between the Governors, CBN and Finance Ministry in order to facilitate the speedy resolution of the matter.
UPDATE ON THE PRESIDENTIAL ENABLING BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT COUNCIL (PEBEC)
The Secretary of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) Dr. Jumoke Oduwole gave an update on building an Enabling Business Environment. She informed Council that
There is currently a reform wave in African countries, as contained in the African Development Bank (AFDB) Economic Outlook Report released in January, 2019.
That in the 2019 World Bank ease of doing business ranking, Nigeria is ranked 146 with Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) making up to 90% of Business in Nigeria.
That the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020, which has three broad objectives; which includes restoring growth; Investing in people and Building a competitive economy has positioned Nigeria in the path of building a competitive economy.
That PEBEC is mandated to make Nigeria’s ranking to top 100 in the 2020 World Bank Doing Business index.
Achieve the required political buy-in across all arms and levels of government.
Furthermore, she told NEC that PEBEC has in the past 3 years achieved the following:
Moved up 24 places in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking
32 Nigerian states, led by Kaduna, Enugu, Abia, Lagos and Anambra states have improved in their ease of doing business environment.
An independent EODB survey adjudged Nigeria’s reforms as impactful in terms of reduction in time, cost and procedures of doing business.
REPORT OF THE AD-HOC COMMITTEE ON CRUDE OIL THEFT,
PREVENTION AND CONTROL PRESENTED BY GOVERNOR EDO STATE

-The 13 member Ad-Hoc Committee which is chaired by the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki in their report, told the Council that the Committee is constituted to address:
i. Impact of vandalism, oil theft and illegal bunkering on oil production;
ii. Effectiveness of the activities of the JTF and other Security Agencies
iii. Consider the set-up of Special Courts to prosecute offenders, among others.
The Terms of Reference of the Ad-Hoc Committee is to include:
· restoring and sustaining the three major pipelines;
· assessing the challenges and draw up a roadmap to guide further actions towards finding a lasting solution to the problem;
· co-opt individual or corporate body to facilitate the work of the Committee and update the Council regularly.

  • The Ad-Hoc Committee in its findings discovered that there were losses. NNPC reported a loss of 22.64 million barrel of crude oil valued at USD 1.35 billion for 2019 half a year and possibly UDS 2.7 billion for a full year at a global oil price of USD 60 per barrel, if not checked.
  • The losses were recorded on the following pipeline:
    a. Nember Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) 9.2 million barrels
    b. Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) 8.6 million barrels
    c. Trans Forcados Pipeline (TFP) 3.96 million barrels
    d. Trans Escravos Pipeline (TSEP) 877 Thousand barrels.
  • Absence of governance structure for the pipeline such that no one is held accountable whenever there is a breach on the lines.
  • Slow and inadequate prosecution of oil thieves, despite numerous arrests and seizures.
  • Absence of petroleum products filling stations in most of its oil producing Communities that make them resort to illegal bunkering and refineries
  • Huge internal and external markets of stolen crude oil which include Ghana as well as some neighboring countries.
    -The Committee made the following recommendations to the Council:
    i. The need to restructure the maintenance of all pipelines as a way of tackling the perpetrators of oil theft. ii. Have a legal framework that will ensure every criminal is duly prosecuted, imprisoned and all assets confiscated.
    iii. Setting up Special Courts to try offenders, set-up of Legal Task Force to coordinate the prosecution of arrested offenders as well as train special judges to handle cases of oil theft.
    iv. NNPC to engage the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) to identify markets for the stolen products.
    v. Governors of the oil producing states to step up actions to develop their communities with their 13% derivation allocation as well as implement programmes that will be impactful to make life easy for the people. They should also create employment opportunities for the youths in these regions.
    vi. Propose a funding arrangement to be jointly funded by the Federal, State Governments and oil companies.

Council Resolution
Council resolve as follows:
Recommendations given will be presented to the President who is also the Minister of Petroleum for the final decision and implementation.
The Chairman of Council also asked NNPC to make a presentation to the Council on the state of PMS and smuggling across the borders.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Governors requested clarification from the Council Chairman on the relationship between NEC and the newly formed Economic Advisory Council. The Vice President explained that both Councils are advisory for the benefits of the President, while NEC is established by the Constitution. The Vice President added that NEC could be briefed regularly on the activities of the newly found EAC with the permission of the President.

Released by

‘Laolu Akande

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President
19th October, 2019

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I Expect You To Put The Police In Order – President Buhari Charges Police Service Commission

President Muhammadu Buhari has charged members of the Police Service Commission to redouble their efforts in ensuring that the Nigeria Police Force delivers on its responsibilities. 

Speaking Tuesday in Abuja while receiving the 2018 Annual Report of the Commission, President Buhari said, “the Commission has the most challenging responsibility of carrying out oversight responsibilities of the Police Force. 

“The people that comprise this commission are mostly personally known to me and some of them have been through the mill as it were, therefore I expect them to put the Police in order.  I personally believe that the Inspector General is doing his best …the Police are always in the frontline and unless we get the police working effectively, the security of this country will remain in doubt.”  

He said that, by the mandate of the Commission, the task of appointment, promotion and disciplinary control of officers of the Nigerian Police Force, except the Inspector General, fall under it.

“Your assignment is enormous and calls for sacrifice and commitment especially now that almost every country is faced with severe internal security challenges. Nigeria is no exception,” President Buhari added.

The President praised the Commission for new ideas introduced into the workings of the Force: “I am aware that you have put policies in place to reposition the Police Force in the areas of merit-driven promotion and prompt disciplinary actions. Government will require that you redouble your efforts and ensure that the Police Force receives the required assistance for optimum service delivery.

He also called on the Commission to ensure harmonious working relationship with the Police Force.

“I wish to see close communication and understanding between you and the Nigeria Police. This is necessary for the overall efficiency and effectiveness in securing the country,” said the President.

Earlier in his address, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, the Chairman of the  Commission who led other members to State House, had intimated the President that, in line with his (President’s) specific directives,  the management  was gradually putting together a productive Nigeria Police Force, which will attract the endorsement of all Nigerians and also receive the acclaim of the policemen themselves. 

He also requested for the intervention of the President in overcoming the funding constrains of the Commission as well as securing better office accommodation.

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Polaris Bank Conducts Risk Management Training For Business Partners

Polaris Bank at the weekend conducted a training program which focused on Risk Management practices for its business partners (service providers/vendors) that seek to scale and improve efficiency of these partners. 

The training program which held at Radisson Blu Hotel, GRA Ikeja, Lagos, had many of its business partners in attendance.  The program focused on “Risk Management in business”, targeted at the Bank’s service providers/vendors with a view to improving their growth and expansion; scale up and improve efficiency of their operations with best practices for a mutually sustainable growth. 

In her welcome address to the Bank’s vendors, Head, Sustainability of Polaris Bank, Bola Adesanoye situated the conference within the framework of the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles (NSBP) as enthroned by the regulatory Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for which Polaris is a signatory. 

“The NSBP in one of its nine principles, talks about Environmental and Social Footprints of businesses in the community where aligned businesses have presence. As an organization driven by principles of sustainability, Polaris Bank has a responsibility to ensure that as we meet our own needs, we do not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, Mrs. Adesanoye offered. 

Giving specific basis why the bank held the seminar, the Head of Sustainability explained: “There are Environmental & Social Risks and other potential impacts associated with engaging third parties and the need to address this, informed the session” 

In his presentation, Akeem Adekoya, the Bank’s Head, Operational Risk who spoke on Managing Vendors risk, explained that vendors risk management (VRM) as a process, deals with the management and planning of third-party products and services, ensures that the use of third-party products, IT suppliers and service providers does not result in a potential business disruption or in any negative impact on business performance. While listing all the available and known risks such as: Environmental & Social; Reputational; Regulatory/Compliance; Transactional and Operational risks, Adekoya asserted that: “If left unmanaged, these risks can lead to a decline in the financial institution’s reputational image, costly litigation, or loss of revenue”. 

To mitigate against potential risks, the Risk management executive encouraged Vendors to always seek “Permit to work” this he explained as a process by which organisations “ensure that permit to work system is implemented for all high risk activities such as; work at height, hot works, working on electricity and confined space etc. 

“Vendors handling chemical and hazardous substances should be well trained and deploy protective equipment when carrying out the task, adding that; “adequate warning and caution signs should be displayed when undertaking high risk activities in any part of the bank’s premises.

 Earlier in his own presentation which dwelt on reputation management and associated risk, the Bank’s head, Strategic Brand Management, Nduneche Ezurike, opined that reputation can be boosted or blasted with a few key strokes. Ezurike said: “a study by the World Economic Forum conducted revealed that on average, more than 25% of a company’s market value is directly attributed to its reputation. His analysis was that “Reputation is an independent risk that refers to the potential for uncontrollable events to have an adverse impact on a company’s reputation which has the potential of affecting its revenue”. 

“The risk arising from a negative public opinion could result to adverse effects like dissatisfied customers, inappropriate recommendations, hence loss of revenue. Regulations, the banker noted “are also examples of situations that could create negative publicity and harm the reputation of the business, saying that “these days, even issues that seem insignificant can become a headline news and could either boost or decline the global reputation of a company,” he said. 

Speaking on the way forward, Ezurike added that constant vigilance before, during and after a crisis, should be properly planned and effectively implemented. Seun Jimo, Head of Corporate Support of the Bank also shared perspective when he spoke of the place of Vendors in delivery of value to organization through adoption of business practices. 

During a question and answer session, the participating business partners sought and got clarification from facilitators in all areas of risk management and how best they could adopt best practices in risk management and align their business for sustainable growth. How the partnership helps to scale and improve efficiency of both parties as well. 

Polaris Bank is a customer-centric bank positioned to deliver industry-defining products, services and platforms across all the key market segments.

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BMO To South Africa: Let Our People Go…Praises Air Peace Boss For Being A Good Corporate Citizen

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has urged the government of South Africa not to further traumatise  Nigerians wishing to leave South Africa with unnecessary immigration formalities or other bureaucratic bottlenecks.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO commended the management of AirPeace Airline for their patriotism and selflessness by airlifting Nigerian victims of Xenophobia back to Nigeria, free of charge and at no cost to the Federal Government.
“We note that AirPeace has shown an example of how corporate bodies and citizens should respond whenever the need arises. The airline has proven to be a worthy and patriotic corporate organisation and we urge others to emulate it.
“We also applaud the show of patriotism by the evacuees who emotionally sang the Nigerian national anthem at the departure lounge in South Africa, and inside the aircraft, on their way back to their fatherland. This encomium is in appreciation of the efforts the Federal Government invested to address the latest xenophobic attacks on Nigerians.
“From their emotional reactions, it is obvious that contrary to the opinion in some quarters, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was not only concerned about the plight of the victims, but that it made deliberate and proactive moves to guarantee their safety and well-being.
“We are delighted that the returnees appreciated the President for his citizen-focussed foreign policy which made it possible for the timely evacuation of our citizens from the dangers they faced in the unfortunate xenophobic attacks”.
The group, however, berated the South African authorities for frustrating the smooth return of Nigerians who had indicated their wish to return home. “We consider this an enemy action unbecoming of a country like South Africa which had benefitted greatly from the large-heartedness of Nigeria during the apartheid era.
“We celebrate, also, the decision of the Federal Government to swiftly and comprehensively reintegrate the returnees in the country by providing them with Bank of Industry loans to enable them to start businesses.
“This is aside from other incentives like free GSM telephone and telephone lines, N40, 000 worth of airtime and 9GB of data valid for two months.  These positive measures are unprecedented in the history of Nigeria’s foreign policy as the President ensured that Nigerians in South Africa were not abandoned in their time of need”, the group  added

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Attempts To Discredit Presidential Tribunal Outcome Will Fail – BMO

All attempts by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its agents to discredit the judgement of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) will fail,  just like the petition challenging the outcome of the 2019 Presidential election.

According to the Buhari Media  Organisation (BMO), the PEPT was quite clear on the qualification of President Muhammadu Buhari to contest for the position, as well as the outcome of the election as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

BMO said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, that PDP should go ahead with its plan to proceed to the Supreme Court, rather than continue to encourage its minions to cast aspersions on the Tribunal.

 “As expected, PDP has opted to reject the verdict of the five-member panel, but what is baffling is the manner the party is seeking to discredit it by describing it as a ‘barefaced subversion of justice.’

“Even after the painstaking manner that the Tribunal showed that the President was eminently qualified for the job, this party is still claiming that he was not qualified to contest the 2019 election.

“If PDP leaders are still holding on to the jaded claim that Buhari does not have the requisite qualifications, then they were either not paying attention to the points raised by Justice Mohammed Garba who read the lead judgement, or they are just out to continue to malign members of the panel.

“Because the courtroom was thrown open to the media, many Nigerians across the country had the rare privilege of hearing how the verdict was rendered in an unambiguous way, but as usual, opposition elements are twisting it to suit their fancy.

“Or how else would a reasonable party deliberately misquote the Tribunal as saying that ‘one need not provide a copy or certified true copy of educational certificate’, when indeed it held that the fact that President Buhari did not attach his certificate to the form CF001 and the affidavit he submitted to INEC,  did not imply that he did not possess the documents as claimed by the petitioners.

“Everyone who listened to the judgement, probably aside from the PDP, must have heard how the presiding judge then explained that ‘there is evidence before the court that the 2nd respondent (Buhari) went for military training after his secondary school education’.

“The judge also added that ‘the 2nd respondent has more than secondary school certificate having attended further courses while in the Army before concluding that President Buhari was not only qualified but also eminently qualified,” the group said.

BMO also had strong words for PDP elements pushing online memes and jokes about affidavits on the basis of what they claimed the panel said.

“There was nowhere in the judgement that the panel said a person seeking elective positions does not need to tender educational certificates.

“What is clear from the verdict rendered by Justice Garba is that although there is no constitutional requirement for candidates to attach certificates to INEC form, they still have to swear to an affidavit detailing personal information, including academic qualifications and professional attainment.

“We wonder how people who claim to be defenders of the justice system would be making a mockery of an aspect of the system by encouraging others to swear a false affidavit of their qualification.

“For the avoidance of doubt, President Buhari did not only complete his secondary education before joining the Nigerian Army, but his overall educational background is also on a far higher level than that of PDP’s former Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar.

“It is baffling that people questioning the President’s credentials are backing an individual whose Secondary School Certificate was too poor to earn him a place in a Police College, while the man they love to hate not only entered the Army but also underwent officer cadet training at Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot in England after completing preliminary training at the Nigerian Military Training College (NMTC).

“We also know that President Buhari was also at the Defence Service Staff College Wellington, India between 1973 and 1974 as well as US Army War College, Carlisle in 1980.

“It is no longer news that President Buhari eventually had a distinguished army career that saw him attaining the rank of Major General and later Nigeria’s military Head of State”.

The group then urged the PDP and its leaders to consider apologising to all Nigerians for wasting everyone’s time with their frivolous petition

 “This is the best path of honour,  even if the party itself cannot take a cue from one of its key leaders Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state who was quick to break ranks and congratulate the President.

“But instead, they have chosen to subject the country to more insults with their poorly framed reaction to a judgement that some of Nigeria’s best lawyers have hailed.

 “And just like the Information Minister Lai Mohammed has said, ’PDP and its candidate should be thanking their stars that they are not being prosecuted for coming to court with fraudulently-obtained evidence’ which the tribunal easily dismissed,” it added. 

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FG Will Take 100m Nigerians Out Of Poverty In 10 Years By God’s Grace, Says Osinbajo

Below are excerpts of Vice President’s remarks during a visit Thursday afternoon at the palace of the Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Muhammadu Bashar in Kebbi State.

I want to thank you very much for hosting us today, we are here for several things; the MSMEs, look at the new markets that have been rebuilt after the fire and for some of the schemes that have taken place. One of the very important schemes is what is called the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme, which has the TraderMoni and MarketMoni. TraderMoni is the scheme where we give petty traders, N10,000, and when they pay back, N15,000, then N20,000 and it goes on and on to N100,000.

The President’s desire for this programme is that every hard-working citizen of this country should be able to have some support from government, no matter how little their inventory.

Today, at the market, I passed a woman who was selling vegetables and I asked her how much her whole inventory was, the whole thing was N500. It is for such people, such petty traders that the TraderMoni N10,000 is meant, so that they can buy more.

The President has promised that by the grace of God, we are going to take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years and I believe very strongly that we are going to achieve it, but we can only achieve it with the able support of the State Governments.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity
Office of the Vice President
12th September 2019

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Commission supports 200,000 IDPs in Adamawa

The National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) has supported food and non-food items to over 200,000 refugees in Adamawa.

Sen. Basheer Garba, the Federal Commissioner of NCFRMI, presented the items at Malkohi IDPs camp on Thursday in Yola.
Garba said the intervention was the consistent efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in bringing an end to insurgency and all forms of criminality.

He said the provision of the relief materials was aimed at improving living condition of the hundreds of thousands of refugees in the state.
“President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is working assiduously to making displaced communities in Nigeria safe.

“In achieving this, it is our belief and prayer that in no distance time, our displaced persons will become self-reliant and ultimately agents of their own durable solutions,” Garba said.

Dr Mohammed Sulaiman, the Executive Secretary, Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency (ADSEMA), said the state has about 200,000 refugees currently.

“Some of the refugees are sheltered in some IDPs camps, while others are spread within host communities across the state,” Suleiman said.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the items distributed by the commission included care, maintenance, educational and empowerment materials, among others.

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Osinbajo Takes 24th MSME Clinics To Kebbi

The 24th edition of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Clinics will hold on Thursday in Kebbi with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in attendance.

Over 400,000 MSME participants have so far partook in the MSME Clinics across 23 states so far, with the Vice President attending 21 of those Clinics.

The states that have hosted the Clinics since its inception include Bauchi, Plateau, Kwara, Sokoto, Cross-River, Eboyin, Ogun, Ondo, Edo,FCT, Kaduna, Kano, Niger, Oyo, Ekiti, Abia, Enugu, Anambra Osun, Katsina, Lagos, Kogi and Akwa Ibom States.

Also since its inception, seven one-stop shops have been launched in the Federal Capital Territory, Osun, Cross River, Kwara, Abia, Plateau and Bauchi states by assembling relevant agencies together in one place so as to enable MSMEs access their services on an on-going basis with relative ease.

Through the Clinics, about 300,000 new business names have been registered by the Cooperate Affairs Commission (CAC) at a reduced 50% price of N5000, from the normal N10,000.

On his Twitter page, he wrote, “I will be in Kebbi State today for the MSME Clinic,” he tweeted Thursday morning.

“The MSME Clinics assemble Government agencies under one roof to provide on spot solutions to the challenges faced by MSMEs.

“These include access to finance, business registration, product registration and certification,” he added.

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