There’s A Lot Of Work Ahead Of Us, In Spite Of What We’ve Done Before, Says Fashola

The new Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, has called for readiness among the staff of the Ministry in order to achieve the mandate of the Federal Government for economic growth and development as well as job creation in the country expressing his resolve to provide the needed leadership.

Fashola who was the immediate past Minister of Power, Works and Housing, said the need to achieve the mandate was in line with the clear mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari who in his speech, while swearing in the Ministers earlier, had made it clear that he wanted the Ministers to further grow and stabilize the nation’s economy.

Addressing the senior management staff of the Ministry at the Conference Room in Mabushi soon after the inauguration at the State House, Fashola expressed joy that the staff had remained faithful to some of the works left behind by his team during the last administration but warned that that there was still work to be done to consolidate on the foundation so far laid.

The Minister declared, “I am happy to see that some of the works we left you have remained faithful and that is in the spirit of continuity and development which is what the nation needs”. He added, however, “There is still a lot of work ahead of us in spite of what we have done before and I offer myself ready and willing to do my part by providing leadership and I trust that all of you are ready as well”.

“The mandate of Mr. President is very clear and it derives from his mandate to the people of Nigeria. And if you watched the Swearing-in ceremony today and listened to his speech, he wants us to be his eyes and ears and his agents to serve all the people of Nigeria and that is what we must set out to achieve”, Fashola said pointing out that the President was unequivocal on the urgent need to stabilize the economy.

According to the Minister, the President was clear about the need to sustain the growth already experienced in the economy, adding, “The economy has grown from recession and out of recession and it has grown for consecutive eight quarters. But we need to double that growth and even multiply it , but that will depend on how we work this time. The central purpose is to create prosperity and to create jobs and I think this is possible”.

Fashola, who said the immediate need was to work out a budget for the Ministry in the next two weeks, urged all the agencies and departments of the Ministry to work closely with the Permanent Secretary to achieve the feat adding that the budget remained the article of faith between the government and the governed.

He declared, “One of the first things we have to do is to quickly work out the budget for the Ministry of Works and Housing and we have to do that in the next two weeks”, adding that because the budget was the article of faith in governance, all agencies and departments of the Ministry must work together to produce a budget worthy of note by the Ministry.

Pointing out that the leadership of the National Assembly has expressed commitment to conduct all the budget defenses in the month of October, Fashola said in order to ensure that this was achieved and all documents were made ready for the defense, all leaves, travels and other less compelling engagements must be put aside for now.

He stressed the need for the nation’s professionals to be more committed and dedicated to the service of the country pointing out that the fortunes of every nation was determined by how their professionals engage in national service. He said the central purpose of public service was to create prosperity and deliver better life to the people.

Welcoming the new Minister of State, Engineer Aliyu Abubakar, Fashola, who expressed joy that he is reuniting with the new Minister , “in the service of our fatherland” after many years, disclosed that aside working with him at the level of Governors’ Forum they also worked together in the formative years of the All Progressives Congress.

Describing him as a very strong Party Man, Fashola, who said the speech rendered by the Minister of State was the longest he ever heard him give, added, “What is instructive about it is that he has laid himself bare to those of you who don`t know him. This was plain in all he has said.”

The Minister said in terms of professional qualifications, the new Minister of State was bringing a lot of experience that would be beneficial to the Ministry, adding, “I heard a very rousing applause when he said he is a civil engineer and also when he included his water engineering background. And so, of course, he brings a lot of experience that is beneficial to the Ministry.”

The inaugural meeting with management staff of the Ministry was attended by the Permanent Secretary Works, Directors, heads of departments and agencies of the Ministry as well as Special Advisers and other top government functionaries.





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Access To President Through Chief Of Staff Is Standard Global Practice – BMO

The office of the Chief of Staff (CoS) to the President is not only the hub of most issues that require the President’s attention but also of paramount importance for the smooth running of the administration.

According to the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO), President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to his Ministers to channel their submission to him through his Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyeri, is quite in order. It is in fact standard practice globally.

In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, the group said critics of the directive are either uninformed or are hoodwinkers. “For the avoidance of doubt, no new power has been conferred on the office of the Chief of Staff except that the President has chosen to run an administration that is better organized.

“We also wish to remind critics of this directive that in developed societies, especially the United States of America from where we copied our presidential system of government, the office of the Chief of Staff is key to driving the successful delivery of good governance to the citizens, and Nigeria’s case cannot be different. 

“Additionally, the President, in his wisdom, is desirous of avoiding the staccato arrangement of the past that was disorderly and uncoordinated, even as it hampered the smooth running of government activities.”

BMO noted that President Buhari runs a more organised and streamlined system, aimed at ensuring a seamless operation of government activities, without unnecessary delays or hasty decision-making.

“We, therefore, implore Nigerians not to be taken in by the antics of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a few disgruntled elements who never see anything good in an administration that is not only people-oriented but is focused at fighting corruption, improving the economy and combating the insurgency. The PDP should not equate its profligate era with the Buhari administration that is focused on rebuilding the country.”

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FG To License Online Radio, TV Stations

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved wide ranging reforms in the
broadcasting industry, including the licensing of online radio and
television stations.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who
disclosed this in Abuja on Friday when he received members of the
Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) on a courtesy visit, was
responding to a request made by BON for the review of the
Broadcasting Code.

“I just want to use this opportunity to inform you that Mr. President
has actually already approved a review of the Broadcast Code that is
going to take care of many of the issues you have already raised here.

“In particular, the President has approved that WebTVs and radio stations,
including foreign broadcasters beaming signals into Nigeria, will be
licensed because we must bring sanity into this industry. Mr.
President has also approved a wide range of reforms in the industry
which, at the appropriate platform, I will let you know,” he said.

The Minister, who promised to carry along members of BON in the review
of the Broadcasting Code, restated the commitment of the present
administration to free media.

“I have said it on many platforms that this administration is not
about to gag the press. No! But we will appeal to the press to please
self-regulate for the sake of this country and also for the sake of
the industry itself,” he said.

Alhaji Mohammed also appealed to BON to partner with the government in
the promotion of peaceful co-existence and cohesion in order to
engender progress and national development.

“Today, if anybody listens to what is being said on some radio or
television stations, you will think that this country is at war or that
Christians actually cannot live with Muslims or that there is a
dichotomy between the North and the South. I think we need to appeal
to you to use your platforms for the unity and cohesion of the
country,” he said.

In his remarks, the Acting Chairman of BON, Sir Godfrey Ohuabunwa,
said the re-appointment of the Minister was deserving because he
brought life and great innovation to the broadcast industry during the
first tenure of the administration.

He pledged the readiness of BON to key into the government’s agenda,
especially the fight against fake news.

Segun Adeyemi
SA To Hon. Minister of Information and Culture

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Nigeria, US Partnership Vital For Development – Osinbajo

The partnership between Nigeria and the United States is one that would continue to produce mutually desirable results for both countries, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Friday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, when he received the Administrator of the US Agency on International Development (USAID), Mr Mark Green who is currently on a visit to Nigeria.

Noting that the US is one of Nigeria’s most dependable development partners, the Vice President said the Nigerian government was grateful for the interventions in the areas of health, humanitarian issues and education.

While stating the commitment of the Buhari administration to improve the country’s education sector, and the President’s resolve to enforce free and compulsory basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age; Prof. Osinbajo noted that a lot more can be done with cooperation between both countries.

He said, “This is an area where Mr. President particularly has a personal commitment. On June 20th, in a meeting with State Governors, he made the point that we are going to enforce a nine-year free and compulsory basic education for children. He felt that this was not just a moral obligation, but, of course, to educate and develop future generations, especially female children.

The Vice President said there could be more cooperation in the area of teacher training, skills development, child education, especially girl-child education, among other interventions in the education sector.

Prof. Osinbajo also highlighted the need for more development partnerships in the areas of improving the country’s power sector and security, noting that the Federal Government has been putting a significant amount of work in developing renewable energy and providing solar power in rural areas and other parts of the country.

According to him, “In the power sector, we find that renewable energy is an area we want to do more in. And in many parts of the country, we find that solar power would be advantageous for us, and we’re trying to do a lot in that area. The Power grid itself has had various challenges. We think the fastest growth, especially in rural areas is solar power. In that respect, we’ve done a fair amount of work.”

While acknowledging US military assistance, the VP noted that the Federal Government would also welcome more cooperation in tackling humanitarian challenges in the North East of the country.

In his remarks, Green; who was accompanied by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Stuart Symington, said the US and Nigeria have a deep friendship based on shared values and shared priorities. He described as admirable President Muhammadu Buhari’s personal commitment to ensuring compulsory free education for Nigerian children, stating the US looks forward to working with the Nigerian government on developing its education sector, tackling security challenges and improving economic indices.

He said, “We have particular interest in continuing our very strong partnership in providing humanitarian assistance, particularly in areas in the North; working together on economic opportunities, particularly in rural areas; creating strong sustainable futures for farmers and herders; and looking for ways to tackle some of the challenges that we both see in building lives and communities.”

Earlier in the day, the Vice President also received a delegation from the Andrew J. Young Foundation, led by civil rights activist and former US Ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew J. Young.

The Vice President described Young as one of the major icons in the US civil rights movement.
The VP noted that Young has played “very important roles in the life of our nation and influencing positively many of our leaders.”

In his remarks, Young commended the Buhari administration for “being able to hold this country together in spite of the differences” and ensuring democracy prevailed.

Young, who worked with the late Martin Luther King Jnr., was accompanied by Ambassador Howard Jeter, Sir Emeka Offor and Senator Ken Nnamani.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity
Office of the Vice President
23rd August, 2019

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‘We Will Blaze The Trail In Niger Delta Development’ – Akpabio

The newly appointed Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, CON, and his counterpart, Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, have resumed work at the Ministry with the promise to leave huge footprints in the development of the Niger Delta region.

At the reception organized by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack, mni, and management staff on Wednesday, 21st of August, 2019, in Abuja, the Ministers expressed their readiness to urgently address the developmental needs of the Niger Delta region.

Senator Godswill Akpabio, said that being from the Niger Delta region, it behoves on him to take the developmental challenges more seriously, hence, the issues of capacity building, inadequate infrastructure, poverty alleviation, youth restiveness, entrepreneurship, environmental degradation, amongst others, will be tackled head-on as he was not unaware of how these challenges negatively affected people of the region.  

Akpabio pledged to work harmoniously with his counterpart to ensure that they lived up to the expectations of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. Akpabio added that he loved leaving marks anywhere he worked and called on staff and management of the Ministry to ‘put all hands on deck to ensure that our developmental efforts yield fruits’.

In his remarks, the Minister of State, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, thanked staff of the Ministry for the warm reception accorded them and pledged to give his best in boosting the confidence imposed in him through their appointment. He expressed his eagerness to get to work.

In her remarks, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack, mni, expressed confidence that the appointment of the new Ministers would change the narrative of the Niger Delta region. She also pledged the commitment of management and staff to the actualization of the vision of the present administration as well as the formulation and execution of policies, projects   and programmes geared towards addressing the challenges of the region.

The Permanent Secretary added that to achieve the vision and goals of the Ministry, there was the need for it to solicit for financial, material and human resources, through partnerships, leverage on Corporate Social Responsibility as well as Public -Private Partnerships.

She also suggested that the Ministry worked with Federal, States and Local Governments, the private sector, development partners, Non-Governmental Organisations, (NGOs), Civil Society Organisations, amongst others. To ensure the Ministers succeeded, she urged management and staff to work as a team.

Walson – Jack also expressed hope that the Ministers would not just pass through the Ministry but leave indelible marks and ‘a legacy of uncommon development in the Niger Delta region.’

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Cabinet: Buhari Has Chosen A Stellar Team To Deliver Excellence – BMO

President Buhari has chosen for his second term a stellar team that would deliver optimal results in the last half of his two-term tenure.

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) believes that, going by the backgrounds, qualifications and impeachable records of the crop of Ministers in this cabinet, President Buhari did his home-work very well, and the nation will be better for it.

In a statement signed by Niyi Akinsiju and Cassidy Madueke, its Chairman and Secretary respectively, BMO noted that the President has made very sound and deliberate choices in these men and women who have very inspiring backgrounds and records.

“The team of Ministers just sworn in are an exceptional crew. A quick look at their records in their private and public service would excite any observer. They are men and women of capacity, who have etched their names in the history books as trailblazers and achievers. They have stood out as the best in their fields of endeavours and are capable and fit for the job ahead. 

“These are the very best, and we are sure that they would bring in their best to the execution of their duties while in service to the nation as Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“These achievers were not just picked at random. The President was deliberate, conscious and perspicacious in the selection of these Ministers. Each brings to the table something that stands him or her out. President Buhari has consequently assigned to each of them a role that he wants them to play, given their unique talents, records and past achievements.”

BMO noted that the newly sworn-in Ministers would play a pivotal role in the President’s strive to deliver on the promises he made to the Nigerian people.

“President Buhari had campaigned in 2015 and 2019 on the delivery of three key promises to Nigerians: securing the nation, rejuvenating the economy and fighting corruption. He has achieved a great deal in each of this. And, there is a general unanimity among Nigerians about this.

“The new Ministers would play key roles in building on the foundation that had been laid by the President and his team in the first tenure. These Ministers would consequently continue the good work that has been started.”

The group further noted that the Ministers were not just a good crop of highly skilled technocrats, but also of grassroots politicians who understand the party’s manifesto and mandate and are loyal to its cause.

BMO said further that the President was elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and so he has chosen strategic members of the party to build up his cabinet, knowing that he will need people who have the same thinking, ideology and philosophy as he to deliver on his promises.

“Observers may note that these Ministers are mostly technocratic politicians, they are right. The President needs not just skilled workers to assist him to deliver on his mandate, he also needs politicians who understand his political mandate and the ideology for which he was elected. He has thus picked a team that fits the balance: exceptional technocrats and consummate politicians.”

BMO also called on the Ministers to remain focused and loyal to the cause, noting that they had been given assignments that would further write their names in the good books of history, as they are going to be instrument of change that would take Nigeria to a level of unprecedented greatness.

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BMO Hails Adesina, Shehu On Their Reappointment

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has hailed the reappointment of Presidential spokespersons, Mr. Femi Adesina and Mallam Garba Shehu as Special Adviser and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity respectively.

In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, the group acknowledged that the reappointment is in recognition of the duo’s commitment to the arduous task of nation-building and the confidence the President reposed in them.

BMO expressed confidence that the reappointment will afford them the opportunity to help drive the ‘’Change Agenda’’ of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to the ‘’Next Level’’.

It also congratulated other members of the presidential media team Mr. Laolu Akande, Lauretta Onochie and Bashir Ahmad, and wished them a successful second tenure

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We’re Resolved To Execute Projects That Will Change The Narrative For Nigerians, Says President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Zaria, Kaduna State, pledged that his administration will continue to implement policies and execute people-oriented projects that will change the narrative for Nigerians.

Speaking at the commissioning of the Zaria Water Supply Expansion Project, President Buhari said the Federal Government, in spite of lean resources, spent N11.8 billion on the construction of the multipurpose 186.1 Million Cubic Meters Galma Dam as a contribution to the project.

”This project is the culmination of the joint efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria, Kaduna State Government, Islamic Development Bank and the African Development Bank.

”The multilateral nature of the funding for this project underscores the great importance the Kaduna State Government and the Federal Government attach to this project, which is designed to provide adequate water to the growing city of Zaria and its environs, ” President Buhari said.

Commending Governor Nasiru El Rufai of Kaduna State for completing the water project which had hitherto languished for years, the President said: ‘‘I am aware that the governor undertook to offset all outstanding payments to the contractor in 2015 which led to the resumption of construction activities at the 150 Million Litres-per- day water treatment plant.’’

The President equally praised the Kaduna State government for demonstrating an appreciable commitment to development through people-oriented projects.

”To our multilateral partners, the Islamic Development Bank and the African Development Bank, we are grateful for your part in providing the needed funding to undertake and complete the transmission mains, service reservoirs, booster stations and distribution network.

”We could not have done it without your contributions. We are hopeful that this partnership will continue as we seek to reach out to other communities, cities and states in Nigeria to provide water facilities and other essential services,” he said.

The President challenged the Kaduna State Water Corporation, responsible for operating and maintaining the system, to live up to expectation, urging beneficiaries to be responsible citizens by ensuring vigilance over the facilities and payment for water consumed.  

He noted that water infrastructure investments such as this one would serve for decades if they are well managed and well maintained.

”The project is partly funded by loans that will be repaid by coming generations. We should ensure that they are appreciative even as they continue to pay back the loans,” the President said.

President Buhari, who congratulated ”the good people of Zaria for being the beneficiaries of such a timely and life-changing water project”, commended the contractors and consultants for the quality and timely delivery.

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President

(Media & Publicity)

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Education: We Won’t Rest Until We Deliver On Our Commitments – President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Zaria, Kaduna State, assured Nigerians that his administration will not rest until it delivers on its commitments on quality education, including investing more resources in the sector and providing a conducive learning environment in the academia.

Speaking at the commissioning of the Post Graduate Centre of Excellence built by the Central Bank of Nigeria at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, the President said the Federal government have invested close to N1.3 trillion towards the development of the education sector in the past 4 years, excluding funds spent on overhead and personnel costs.

Commending the CBN for providing the Centre, sited at the Samaru campus of the institution, the President said:

‘‘By this exercise, we are building on the vision of the founder of this great institution, Late and great Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, who, as Premier of Northern Nigeria, established this institution almost six decades ago.

‘‘It is on record that this University has made giant contributions towards the development of our nation and we remain grateful to the Founder of this vision.’’

Expressing concern over the state of facilities in Nigerian universities, due to long years of perennial funding challenges, the President promised that his administration will continue to place premium on education at all levels.

 ‘‘It is no longer a secret that the state of facilities in our universities and other institutions of higher learning has not kept pace with the requirements of the ever-growing population of students and other stakeholders or with modern methods of learning.

‘‘This has largely been due to the perennial funding challenge over the years. As an administration, we are committed and determined to continue to fund our vital institutions, even in the face of limited financial resources.

‘‘Let me reiterate here that this administration places much premium on education at all levels, as it is the bedrock of society’s progress, and the way to overcome poverty,’’ he said.

The President expressed confidence that efforts at improving access to quality education in tertiary institutions will enable young Nigerians to make meaningful contributions towards the nation’s development.

‘The wealth of nations today is being shaped by investment in education rather than emphasis on mineral resources.

‘‘Investment in education is a critical factor in driving innovation, technological advancements and employment opportunities in advanced economies,’’ he said.

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Rochas Foundation College Of Africa Welcomes Students From 16 African Countries

The Rochas Foundation College For Africa has welcomed new students from Uganda and Mozambique.

The development raises to 16, the number of African countries benefitting from the Free Education initiative of the foundation.

A release from the Media Director of the Rochas Foundation, Mr Ahmed Mustapha states that the students join their colleagues from 14 countries on the continent that will have everything needed for qualitative education at no cost.

The release quotes Mustapha as saying “We are incredibly excited to announce that students from Uganda and Mozambique joined the number of recipients that will have free access to tuition, accommodation, books and everything needed for quality education.”

“Launched in 2015, the Rochas college of Africa has provided free education for over 600 underprivileged African students”

“Rochas College of Africa aims to improve the lives of millions of students worldwide by breaking down the barriers between them and quality education.”

“We recognized that education is key to the development of our continent and are still committed to proper education of the African child.”

In the last 4 years, the Rochas Foundation College has welcomed students from Congo Brazzaville, Cameroon, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Gambia, Liberia, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Others are South Sudan, Niger, Tanzania, Benin, Sierra Leone And Lesotho.

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President Buhari Approves Re-Appointment Of Ade Ipaye As Deputy Chief Of Staff, Others

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the re-appointment of Mr. Ade Ipaye as Deputy Chief of Staff to the President. Mr Ipaye who was former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State works from the Office of the Vice President.

The President has also approved the re-appointment of Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu, Special Adviser to President on Economic Matters; Mrs Maryam Uwais who retains her position as Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment Programme as well as Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters.

Also, re-appointed is Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, who will now serve as the Special Adviser to the President on Ease Of Doing Business.

Equally, President Buhari has also appointed Mr. Ahmad Rufai Zakari as Special Adviser on Infrastructure, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh, as Senior Special Assistant on Education Interventions, Mr. Louis Odion as Senior Technical Assistant on Print Media, and Mr. Ajuri Ngelale as Senior Special Assistant for Public Affairs in the Presidency.

All appointees are to serve in the Office of the Vice President.

Except for Zakari, Bank-Olemoh, Odion and Ngelale, all the other appointments take retrospective effect from May 29, 2019.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity
Office of the Vice President

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BOSF Congratulates Laolu Akande On His Reappointment

Buhari Osinbajo Solidarity Front (BOSF) has congratulated Mr. Laolu Akande on his appointment as Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity) to the President, Office of the Vice President.

The group lauded Mr Akande for his devotion to his duties and also for his wit and proficiency.

“We write to congratulate Mr. Olaolu Akande on his expected reappointment as the Senior Special Assistant(Media and Publicity) to the President, Office of the Vice President. Our appreciation, and experience of the energy and strength with which Mr Laolu Akande devoted to his duty in the presidency, coupled with his wit, proficiency and effective delivery especially in these times of abnormal opposition we believe, midwifed his reappointment as SSA (Media and Publicity) to the President, Office of His Excellency, Vice President.

“BOSF is proud of him and his track record in the presidency. We understand the rigour the office poses, and we trust that his consummation and patriotism, goodwill and service to this country will urge him ahead in excellent continuity of the role.

“Buhari Osinbajo Solidarity Front is glad to congratulate him. We ask him to do more and keep being a model and image of hardwork to us. In real sense, Mr Laolu Akande remains an institution we study and draw inspiration from.

“Congratulations to the quintessential man and best wishes in his continued assignment to the good people of Nigeria.”

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