Our Policy Interactions With Businesses Essential For Economic Growth, Says Osinbajo

The Federal Government would continue to support the private sector as it plays an important role and contributes to the growth of the economy, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Thursday when he received a delegation from the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) led by its Director-General, Mr. Timothy Olawale, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

NECA is the umbrella organization of employers in the organised private sector of Nigeria to provide the forum for the Government to consult with private sector employers, especially on socio-economic and labour policy issues.

The Vice President explained the policy interactions between Government and the organized private sector, describing it as essential.

Prof. Osinbajo further said the Federal Government would keep exploring ways to improve the economy through its policies and reforms.

He said, “Our interaction is a very important one, because it is really part of our policy as a government to ensure private sector participation in the economy. We think that the private sector has a very important role. For us the private sector is essential to the growth of the economy so we must continue to encourage the private sector in every possible way.”

Prof. Osinbajo further assured that matters of concern that require government attention would be decisively tackled through the Ease of Doing Business initiatives to improve the business environment and ensure growth of local businesses.

“We want to continuously engage NECA and the private sector because it is central to what we are doing in respect to the economy,” the Vice President said.

Commending the Vice President for his leadership, Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), which is chaired by the VP, and the Ease of Doing Business reforms; the NECA DG remarked that the reelection of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo was an outcome of their sterling performance in the first term.

In his remarks, the NECA DG said the organization has actively supported and championed government’s efforts at job creation, while he commended “the giant strides made by the Buhari administration in fostering an environment that is hospitable for businesses to thrive through the Ease of Doing Business initiatives.”

He said, “We specifically recognize the passion with which you (VP) have driven the relationship between government and organized businesses in the past four years through your interventions and leadership that you have provided, which have translated into the activities of PEBEC, the ERGP and the Presidential Quarterly Business Forum, which you preside over.

“We have no doubt that the solid foundation that has been laid in the first four years would be built upon and Nigeria would be better for it.”

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity
Office of the Vice President
29th August, 2019

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Fight Against Corruption Under Buhari Isn’t Selective – BMO Tells Tambuwal

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has given a response to the allegation by Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state that the fight against corruption in the present administration is selective.

The BMO said that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government has established anti-graft agencies that have the constitutional powers to make discreet decisions without being told what to do.

The group insisted that if the fight against corruption has been selective in past administrations, it is not and it can never be the case under President Buhari.

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Nigeria Offers Attractive Investment Opportunities, Says President Buhari At TICAD7

“Nigeria has very attractive investment opportunities with some of the highest Returns-on-Investment,” President Muhammadu Buhari declared in Yokohama, Japan on Thursday.

Presenting the country’s Statement at Plenary Session Three on “Public-Private Business Dialogue” at the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7), the President said he looked forward to prospective investors making inroads “in the following priority sectors in Nigeria, namely, power and renewable energy, petrochemical and gas, maritime (shipping and ports), automobiles, mining, agribusiness, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, ICT and railway.”

Assuring potential investors of good returns as a result of ongoing reform measures taken by his administration, he added:

“I have also established a Presidential Committee on Enabling Business Environment, which is made up of key Ministries and prominent businessmen to promote the Ease of Doing Business and make Nigeria more attractive and competitive for investment.”

Similarly, President Buhari said that his administration was “committed to removing all impediments to private sector participation in these sectors by creating policies that will ensure consistency, predictability and a level playing field for all.”

Having identified power, transportation, infrastructure, maritime/shipping, agro-processing, mining, manufacturing, petro-chemicals, food processing and textiles among others, as “key drivers to the diversification” of the Nigerian economy as well as “priority areas that will drive our Economic Agenda,” the President said he looked forward to “welcoming prospective investors to Nigeria.”

Reviewing Nigeria-Japan relations, President Buhari commended existing bonds of friendship and economic cooperation between both countries, describing the Asian country as “a strategic partner for our socio-economic development.” He disclosed Nigeria’s intention to “further encourage relationships with key public and private sector stakeholders” in both nations.

The Nigerian leader expressed particular delight with the level of “discussions on the establishment of the Japan-Nigeria Business Facilitation Council, an initiative of the Japanese government, which would be launched on our return to Nigeria,” adding that, “I look forward to positive reports of increased trade and investment between Nigeria and Japan from these initiatives.”

Describing the TICAD Forum as important to Nigeria in many respects, President Buhari said it “coincides with the period when the country is faced with a number of challenges that affect our economy.”

Noting that his administration “has put in place measures seeking to diversify the economy by developing agriculture, emphasising on manufacturing and addressing the energy and infrastructure deficit,” he expressed confidence that, “With these we shall be placing Nigeria on the path of rapid growth and sustainable development.”

According to the Nigerian President, TICAD is also “coming at a time when our government is implementing home-grown and private sector-driven economic measures that are predicated on good governance, infrastructure and human capital development as well as, business climate reform.” The above domestic measures, he explained, informed his invitation to “the private sector to come and invest in Nigeria.”

According to him, “Nigeria and indeed Africa, expect much from this Forum in terms of investment, considering the role of Foreign Direct Investment in all economies – developed and developing.”

President Buhari also expressed Nigeria’s gratitude to the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, “for his unwavering commitment to strengthen trade and investment between Japan and Africa through various initiatives, partnership and support of the Japanese Government.”

He also wished TICAD7 “fruitful deliberations and hope that the conclusions reached will enhance access by African countries to international capital investment as well as boost Japan-Africa exchanges by developing new and strategic public and private sector alliances.”

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Nigerians Engaging In Criminal Activities Abroad Do Not Represent Our Values, Says President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Yokohama, Japan said that the few Nigerians abroad indulging in criminal activities do not represent the values of majority of the people of the country.

Meeting with leaders of the Nigerian Community living in Japan on the sidelines of the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7), the President declared:

“Let me also say that there are few Nigerians in the Diaspora that are giving us a bad name by engaging in criminal activities. These Nigerians are a minority, they do not represent the values of our country, and I plead with them to change their ways.”

According to him, “We will not condone any crime whether at home or abroad, and we will also not allow these Nigerians define us as a people with reputation for criminality.”

Urging Nigerians in Japan to be good ambassadors of their fatherland, the Nigerian leader said, “I am personally very happy that there are millions of Nigerians all over the world, like you here, who are truly making us proud.”

Describing majority of the over 17 million Nigerians in Diaspora as “the face of Nigeria globally and our ambassadors for good,” the President noted that, “Many of our Diasporans, like your good selves here today, have excelled in varying fields of endeavor, both professionally and individually.

“You have also made significant and overwhelmingly positive contributions to your Nigerian and international host communities. You have continually been a positive bridge between Nigeria and the world. It is not an easy feat and we commend you, salute your courage and efforts.”

Noting that “Japan is at the cutting edge of technology and efficiency, two very important attributes that can play a role in Nigeria and improve our capacity for development,” President Buhari urged members of his audience to continue to contribute their quota by helping to develop their host country and Nigeria as well, adding: “I look forward to your inborn gift, ability, and capacity in taking up this challenge.”

Commending many of them who are already “positively impacting the Nigerian economy through financial home remittances, promoting international trade in Nigerian commodities, our music, culture, tourism, sports, and education, while also helping to establish industries in Nigeria,” the President urged them “to encourage legitimate Japanese entrepreneurs to come and invest in Nigeria.”

According to him, “We are continually working to create the necessary enabling environment for investors to thrive, through improvements in our Ease of Doing Business practices, providing security, diversification of the economy, infrastructure and fighting corruption.”

He further assured them that, “We have put in place the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERPG) to put the country on a path of sustained recovery and growth.”

Explaining the rationale for his regular meetings with Nigerians abroad and the establishment of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, President Buhari said:

“As you are aware, I have regularly held town hall meetings with Nigerians in the Diaspora on all my foreign engagements be they in Europe, Asia, America and Africa.

“At these fora, I have always, appealed to our citizens to be our good ambassadors, observe the laws of your host countries, excel in whatever you do legitimately, and also remember us at home (Nigeria). I have established the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission specifically to engage with you, signifying a coordinated attempt by our administration to increase the involvement of our Diaspora in our national development.

“Collectively, your resources, skills, and talents will be a positive force for our country which can help accelerate our national growth and development.”

President Buhari’s meeting with Nigerians in Diaspora, coordinated by Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman, Diaspora Commission, who described the President as “the most Diaspora-friendly leader we have had in Nigeria,” witnessed a parade of the brightest and best of our citizens, plying their trade in Japan. They included academics, industrialists, top businessmen, scientists, economists, and many others.

Professor Ejiogu Emenike, President, Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Asia (NIDOASIA) and an energy expert, commended President Buhari for efficient leadership, and disclosed that his members have “comparative advantages in human capital development, which we are trying to bring back to Nigeria.”

He added: “Any problem that science and technology can solve, we are able to, and we can help Nigeria in areas of need.”

Engineer Ochade Osakwe, Chairman, Nigeria/Japan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, recounted businesses that have been  attracted to Nigeria in recent times, promising to do more, as the security and investment climates back home improved further.

Mr Nnaji Fintan, President, Nigerian Union in Japan, asked for more exploits in the areas of education, quality infrastructure and security, which incidentally, are focal points of the current administration.

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Kwara N-Power Stands As A Good Example For Other States – Brimah

The Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and Youth Employment, Mr. Mohammed Brimah, on 28th of August, 2019 attended the formal launching of the 40 hectares farm of the Kwara N-Power Agro at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State.

Brimah, who represented the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and Youth Employment, Mr Afolabi Emakhuade, while delivering his speech at the event noted that “When the administration of President Muhammudu Buhari came on board in 2015, unemployment was at an all-time high, recession had crept into our economy. Many graduates were roaming the streets with no job nor any means of survival. However, the Buhari administration, in keeping to its campaign promises, designed some Social Investment Programmes to help improve the living condition of our teeming youth.”

The Presidential Assistant also expressed happiness with the progress the N-power program has recorded in Kwara State. “Today, I am happy to hear that NPOWER Kwara and the University of Ilorin have signed an MOU for a ten year lease on 40 hectares of land for large scale farming. Also, you have acquired 7 hectares of land at Oke-Oyi, the Ilorin East Local Government, through the Kwara State Ministry of Agriculture. I have also been informed that you have planted several crops including soya beans, maize, millets and Egusi.. etc,” he said.

While reiterating the process for enlisting in the Npower program, Brimah emphasized that the “N-POWER programme is the employability and enhancement programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria aimed at imbibing the learn-work-entrepreneurship culture in youth between 18 and 35. Applications are done online to create a level playing ground for everyone, with the information supplied during the application stage serving as basis for an objective selection and direct payment process through the bank accounts and BVN submitted by the applicants. The State engages in the physical verification and deployment of the successful candidates to their places of assignment after they have been selected, while direct payment of N30,000 to their accounts commences after State validation.”

The Deputy Governor of Kwara State, Dr Kayode Alabi commended the N-Power Agro Volunteers for their proactiveness and their contributions to the development of the state.

He said: “I will like to appreciate the Federal Government for the initiative that provides job opportunities for so many Nigerians and Kwarans in particular. The contributions of the N-Power Agro Volunteers goes a long way in adding value to the socio-economic activities of the state”

He furthered by advising the youths in Kwara State to see agriculture as a diversify way of making a living as all souls depends on food. He urged them to shun all acts of immoralities and restlessness to make quick money.

Other personalities who graced the outing were all impressed and overwhelmed as they were being taken round the farmlands. They all appreciated the economy diversification plan of the president into agriculture and reiterates how the N-Power program have impacted positively into the economy of the state and how it has helped reduce unemployment.

The State Focal Person, Dr. (Mrs.) Katibi, the former Senator representing the Federal Capital Territory, Alh. Khairat Gwadabe were represented at the event. Also present at the formal presentation are the Permanent Secretary of the Kwara State Ministry of Agriculture, Alh. Katsina; the Director of the National Orientation Agency and the President of the Cashew Farmers Association of Nigeria, Kwara State Chapter.

The 40 hectares farm with Beans, Egusi and Corn was visited before proceeding to Oke-Oyi where the N-Power Agro Volunteers present hundreds of Cashew seed to the Kwara State Association of Cashew Farmers.

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Tradermoni, Marketmoni Beneficiaries Are Paying Back, Doing Well, Says Vice President Osinbajo

Feedback from the field and testimonies from stakeholders including beneficiaries indicate that the TraderMoni and MarketMoni loan schemes are doing very well, and beneficiaries are indeed paying back their loans, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Tuesday during an interaction with journalists after his assessment visit to markets in Keffi and Masaka towns of Nasarawa State, where loans under the TraderMoni and MarketMoni schemes are being disbursed to traders.

According to the Vice President “It is going very well, and I am excited to hear the testimonies of the traders who have done so well after getting their first loan. It is also exciting to see that they have repaid their loans very quickly, because as you pay back, you are able to get more; when you get N10, 000, and you pay back, you get N15, 000 and it gets to N20, 000, when you repay, all the way to N100, 000, and it is so exciting to see that these traders are doing so well.

“Everybody is keying in already, what we want to do is to expand it so that more traders can get this facility, so we need to do more because at the moment, we have done close to 2 million but we need to increase the number”.  

The Vice President urged beneficiaries of the loan schemes to continue to pay back their loans so they can get more money and become very successful in business.

Prof. Osinbajo said the target of the Federal Government in the Next Level is to expand the scheme to cover more traders and also increase the amount received to enable beneficiaries expand their businesses.

According to him, “we want to expand the TraderMoni and MarketMoni to include more people in every state, so we have only just started. More of the traders who are here will get the TraderMoni and the MarketMoni.

“So long as you continue to pay back you will continue to get more money. We want to make sure that every petty trader in the market have enough so that they themselves can even employ more people and pay their children’s school fees and also build their own houses. As I told you, we are going to expand the scheme so that more people can benefit.”

Earlier at the palace of the Emir of Keffi, Alhaji Shehu Chindo Yamusa, Prof. Osinbajo said his visit to the State was to assess the disbursement of the TraderMoni and MarketMoni loans to traders in markets across the States.

He said “TraderMoni is the President’s own way of empowering women and men who are traders. For many of them, their inventories are very small, it could be people hawking groundnuts, selling bread and other basic things. Most of them don’t have enough capital to improve their businesses. So, what we do is to empower them through the Bank of Industry.

“So, we want to ensure that people who are trading have an opportunity and that opportunity is provided when we are able to give them capital as part of this TraderMoni scheme. So, that is why we are here.”

On the Emir’s appeal about improving educational standards, the Vice President said President Buhari is determined to improve both access and quality of education to all Nigerians regardless of their socio-economic backgrounds.

According to him, “One of the other things that I think you might be happy to hear is the President’s determination to this question of education. On June 20th this year, while speaking to Governors when he inaugurated the National Economic Council, he made the point that the Federal Government will enforce, along with the State governments, the law on free and compulsory education of the first 9 years of the child’s school life.

“It is a very important thing because we all know that education the key to the economic success, the key to self-realization and the key that enables any person live a dignified life. So, we are extremely concerned on how to improve education; Technical education in particular, I think that it is very important.

“As a matter of fact, under our N-Power scheme we already have a number of technical education schemes going on.  We have what we call N-Build which is technical education for persons involved in the building industry (tillers, brick layers etc). We also have training for extension workers, persons who will provide extension service.  There is the one for persons involved in technical training like carpenter, electricians and many others.”

He added that the Federal Government in collaboration with State governments are committed to “doing more in terms of technical education and also in supporting the states for education especially making primary education and first three years of secondary education free and compulsory as well as the education of young women”.

In his remarks, the Emir of Keffi, Alhaji Shehu Chindo Yamusa who commended the Vice President for his show of concern and interest in the welfare of the people of Nasarawa State and Keffi in particular, appealed to the Federal Government to review the nation’s education curriculum to integrate vocational and technical education to address youth unemployment.

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380.7km Imo Rural Roads Rescue Mission Projects, Not Ihedioha’s Projects

The ongoing construction of 380.7kms of rural roads across local governments in Imo state was a project initiated and perfected for kick off by the Rescue Mission team under former Governor Rochas Okorocha.

In a media release, a group, Imo Concerned Elders led by Chief Macron Onwuanibe said former Governor had maintained that his administration began the processes for the project gulping $60m assisted by the French Development Agency under the Rural Access and Mobility Project RAMP.

The group stated that at the flag off of the project few days to his exit in Avu local government area, Okorocha said that the processes leading to the approval of the project was facilitated by his administration for 7 years before the nod was given earlier this year.

The Imo Concerned Elders noted that the The Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District wants a breathe of fresh air to see his successor building on his many giant strides to continue to move the state forward.

Onwuanibe stated that “ We advised a few days ago that the governor needed to focus on governance and It is quite refreshing to see the government of the day in Imo has continued with the RAMP project which was one of the many project embarked upon by the former administration”

“ This is the way to go, government is a continuum and instead of the many attempts to paint Okorocha bad and rubbish his achievements, they should think more in this line”

The group of elders however advised the present government to stop claiming credit for the RAMP project or any other one initiated by the last administration.

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Osinbajo Decries High Port Charges

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has decried the imposition of arbitrary high charges by shipping lines in West and Central African countries.

He also urged the Union of African Shippers Council to adopt common political and diplomatic strategies to check the operations of shipping lines servicing the ports in the sub-region.

Prof Osinbajo who spoke yesterday in Abuja while declaring open the sub-regional summit on unfair shipping surcharges and high local shipping charges at the ports of West African sub-region, said some of the charges were unnecessary.

He listed the charges to include bunker adjustment factor, currency adjustment factor, war risk surcharge, confession sub charges, peak season surcharges, extra risk insurance sub charge, freight rate surcharge, and port operation recovery surcharge.

He said the surcharges amounted to huge sums of illegal capital flight from the countries of the sub-region and has been depleting the countries foreign reserves. He also said data obtained from the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) showed that about N2billion is repatriated by multi-national shipping firms from reasonable of demurrage charges for Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in each quarter of the year.

Attributing the poor transport infrastructure development to one of the reasons for the high port charges, he urged AU member-states to prioritise the development of transport infrastructure for the work-ability of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA).

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, also condemned the unilateral manner in which service providers introduce and increase freight rates in the sub-region through various surcharges.

He said the Federal Government, through its partnership with the Global Shippers Forum (GSF), has started checking claims of terrorism, piracy, armed attacks on ships and other negative activities in the Gulf of Guinea to increase charges and introduce more surcharges in Nigeria

The Nation

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No Local Government Under Boko Haram Control – Borno Indigenes

The National Coalition of Borno indigenes (NCBI) has discarded the report alleging that some Local Governments in Borno State have been captured by Boko Haram terrorist group.

The group was reacting to the report, which got the attention of many Nigerians, that Boko Haram has seized and held control of Gubio and other Local Governments in Borno State, without immediate push back from the military.

In a statement from it’s headquarters in Abuja signed by it’s Chairman, Jashilagari Chinda, the group gave clarification to the issue. “We have reached out to our branch in Borno State and base on the update we got, we can assure the public that Boko Haram has no hold on any part of the state.

“We admit that there was an attack coordinated by insurgents, but it was repelled by the army and peace has since been restored in the communities.
“It is disheartening that some people derive pleasure in circulating self-concocted, fabricated stories to give the impression that the Nigerian troops are losing the war against insurgency in the North-East.”

The group noted that the Nigerian Army also disclosed that “the troops successfully repelled the attacks after engaging the insurgents in fierce battle”

NCBI therefore urged the citizenry to disregard the misleading news circulated by uninformed few about the real situation on ground.
It also added that our troops are dedicated to protecting our beloved country with many paying the ultimate price of death.  The least we can do is to support and encourage them instead of spreading misguided news that could demoralise them.

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On The Roles Of Chief Of Staff And SGF

Recent media and social media reports on the responsibilities of the Chief of Staff to the President have suggested that the role has changed. This is not the case.

Today, under the Buhari II administration the role of Chief of Staff remains the same as it was under Buhari I.

It is worth stressing that the role and responsibilities of the Chief of Staff and the method of communication and arranging scheduling between Cabinet members and the President are, in Nigeria, based on the US model, where the same system operates – and has done for decades – in precisely the same way.

That role is to act as the head of the presidential administration at Aso Rock; to be an adviser to the President on any and all matters; to be the line manager for all staff at Aso Rock; and to manage appointments and scheduling for the President.

In the traditional presidential system, it is a primary function of a Chief of Staff, which may vary according to the needs and desires of each President, to supervise key State House Staff, control access to the office and the person of the President, manage communications and information flow and this includes that which binds the relationship with the two other arms of government.

During the President’s first term those were the responsibilities of the Chief of Staff, and they remain the same responsibilities today. There is no change.

When President Buhari explained to ministers that they would be expected to communicate with him and arrange scheduling to meet with him primarily via the Chief of Staff, he did so as many of the Buhari II Cabinet ministerial appointments are new appointments and cannot therefore be expected to know how matters of liaising with the President operate.

This is to stress that access to the President is open to ministers. It is not true that this is denied them in the Second Term.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) on the other hand is responsible for ensuring the effective coordination and monitoring of the implementation of government policies and programmes. All cabinet matters must go through him.

Under this dispensation, a performance evaluation of ministers and Permanent Secretary will be maintained by the SGF. Two weeks after assuming office, they are expected to sign mandate acceptance documents.

It is time to end the unnecessary controversy, for the key appointees of the President to carry out their jobs.

Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
August 24, 2019

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Okorocha Blasts Imo PDP Over Petition To IGP Against Him

The immediate past governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, has tackled the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over a petition against him by the party to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), accusing him of making inciting comments against Governor Emeka Ihedioha’s administration.

The petition, which was signed by the state secretary of the party, Nze Ray Emeana, and made available to journalists yesterday, urged the IGP to look into Okorocha’s comments while addressing his supporters during his return to the state last Tuesday and call him to order.

But in his reaction, Okorocha described the letter as “deceitful and an afterthought”, urging the IGP to disregard the petition.

A statement signed by Okorocha’s Special Adviser, Media, Sam Onwuemeodo, said: “Governor Emeka Ihedioha-led PDP government in Imo State has sent a letter to the IGP to call the beloved former governor of the State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha to order, because according to them, he was inciting his supporters to cause trouble.

“Governor Ihedioha was also quoted to have said that his predecessor, Owelle Okorocha “stole” not N200 billion again but N1 trillion from the state.

“We want to appeal to the IGP to disregard the letter because it was by all standard, very deceitful and an afterthought. The fact is that Ihedioha and his party have gotten maggot-infected firewoods and by so doing, have invited Agama Lizard to breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

“This is a government that swore openly to step on the toes of his predecessor, Owelle Okorocha, throwing caution to the wind. The PDP government in the state led by Ihedioha also declared war against Imo people perhaps for rejecting them at the poll in 2011, 2015 and even 2019 because in 2019, INEC declared them winner with more than half of Ihedioha’s votes coming from only three Local Governments of Aboh Mbaise, Ahiazu Mbaise and Ezinihitte Mbaise where he comes from, out of the 27 LGAs.

“They have set up, as we write, 21 Panels and Committees all aimed at creating undue tension and preparing the ground to dispose of people of their legitimate possessions; and to also blackmail. There is also an uncountable number of task forces, beating our people especially motorists on a daily basis and forcing them to pay all kinds of levies and loyalties. What we have in Imo at the moment is an Emperor who loves power and money. “

Okorocha alleged that crimes and criminality had resurfaced in the state since the assumption of the present administration, which should have been given attention.

“They failed to tell the IGP in their letter that today, kidnapping, ritual killings, armed robbery, raping, cultism, etc have become the orders of the day and totally opposite of what was obtainable for the eight years Okorocha governed the state. No Imo man or woman was harassed or beaten under Okorocha, but today the reverse is entirely the case.

With all these, Imo people, not Okorocha, are angry. Okorocha only advised the government to exercise caution and appealed to the people to remain calm. And their worry or concern is the mammoth crowd that received Okorocha on Tuesday, August 20, 2019, when he returned to the state with the atmosphere being clement and he was able to address them for hours,” he said.

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President Buhari Attends TICAD7 In Japan

President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja Sunday for Japan to participate in the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) holding in the City of Yokohama, August 28-30, 2019.

President Buhari’s participation will be his second, having attended TICAD6 in Nairobi, Kenya, in August 2016.

With the theme, “Africa and Yokohama, Sharing Passion for the Future,” the Opening Session of TICAD7 will be performed by the Japanese Prime Minister and host, Shinzo Abe.

President Buhari will deliver Nigeria’s Statement during Plenary Session Three in which he will appraise Nigeria-Japan relations and takeaways from TICAD6. He will attend a State Banquet and also honour the invitation of Emperor Naruhito to a Tea Reception at the Imperial Palace, Tokyo. In addition to a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Abe, the Nigerian President will also attend some side-events and meet chief executive officers of some Japanese companies with huge investments in Nigeria.

Formed in 1993, the now triennial TICAD, which has been convened alternately in Japan and Africa since TICAD6, according to the organisers, is the largest international conference held in Japan which “provides an open forum that generates innovative discussion among various stakeholders on African development.” Participants are drawn not only from African countries, but also international organisations, private companies and civil society organisations involved in development.

TCAD7 is expected to focus on Africa’s “economic transformation and improvements in business environment and institution through private investment and innovation; promotion of resilient and sustainable African society for human security; and peace and stability in support of Africa’s domestic proactive efforts.”

Nigeria has gained tremendously since her participation in TICAD6 at the highest level, during which Japan pledged $30 billion investment “for the future of Africa combined with the private sector;” $10 billion infrastructure investment, and $500 million for vocational training of 50,000 Africans.

Since the Nairobi Conference, Japanese government and companies have been very active in supporting Nigeria’s agriculture, healthcare, electricity and youth empowerment.

President Buhari and his delegation are expected in Yokohama to push for broader Japanese assistance in the areas of science and technology, innovation, human resource development, education, agriculture, power, health and disaster risk reduction, among others.

President Buhari will be accompanied by Governors Babagana Zulum, AbdulRaham AbdulRazaq and Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Borno, Kwara and Lagos States respectively; ministers and other top government officials.

The President is expected back in Nigeria on Saturday, August 31.

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President

(Media & Publicity)

August 23, 2019

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