EFCC Releases Hotlines Against Electoral Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, wishes to inform the general public that patriotic citizens with authentic information that can lead to arrest of culprits of Vote Buying should reach the Commission for prompt response.


The numbers to call are as follows:
ABUJA HQ—- 08141219896, 09077928772, 09051923475, 09074456025
ABUJA ZONAL OFFICE  —09051916064, 09066270016, 08123827088
LAGOS OFFICE —08033106347, 08123828744
PORT HARCOURT OFFICE —- 08024428265
KANO OFFICE —08090939606
GOMBE OFFICE —07061813411
KADUNA OFFICE —08058437872
ENUGU OFFICE —07064917920
BENIN OFFICE —08188722502
MAIDUGURI OFFICE —08035899836
UYO OFFICE —08055112603, 08180008030
SOKOTO OFFICE —08081765401
ILORIN OFFICE —08034516071
MAKURDI OFFICE —08036328837
IBADAN OFFICE—08113883322, 09030000520

Please note that handsome rewards await informants with authentic information in accordance with the Whistle-blowing Policy of the Federal Government.

Tony Orilade
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity

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Strong Momentum & Continuous Growth In Economy Further Show Buhari Administration’s Policies Working

In what is a clear indication of the effectiveness of the economic policies of the Buhari presidency, Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures recorded a marked improvement in the fourth quarter of 2018.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, the GDP figure for the last quarter in 2018 is 2.38 per cent, reflecting continuous growth.

Below is a statement released in response to the new GDP figure by the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu:

“The latest figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics, 2.38 per cent for the fourth Quarter (Q4), 2018 show an appreciable improvement in the growth performance of the economy. The figures are encouraging in several respects.

Notably, the growth recorded in the fourth quarter of 2018 (Q4 2018) was higher than both the growth of 1.81% in Q3 2018 and in the corresponding fourth quarter of 2017.  Indeed, quarter-on-quarter growth from Q3 2018 to Q4 2018 was 5.31%, which signals a great potential for a higher annual growth rate.  

In annual terms, the growth rate more than doubled in 2018, rising to 1.93% as compared to 0.82% in 2017, again reflecting the strong momentum of growth.

Also notable is the fact that growth in Q4 2018, and indeed for the whole year, owed a great deal to the performance of the non-oil sector. The non-oil sector grew at 2.7% in Q4 2018 as compared to 1.14% in the oil sector. The non-oil sector also grew by 2% in the whole year 2018 which was considerably better than its growth in the whole of 2017, which was 0.47%.  The share of the non-oil sector in GDP was 92.94% while the oil sector contributed 7.06%. 

With the maintenance of this trend, the economic diversification objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan are well on their way to being met.

It was encouraging that agriculture which accounts for 26.15% of total GDP grew by 2.46% in Q4 2018, while manufacturing grew by 2.09%.  The service sector which accounts for 53.62% of GDP registered its strongest growth performance in 11 quarters.  

Transport and storage, as well and information and communication, were particularly notable growing at 13.91% and 9.65% in the whole of 2018. This owes a lot to the investments that are being made in roads and rail as well as in broadband infrastructure.

The NBS figures also show that 39 out of 46 economic activities recorded growth in Q4 2018 which shows that growth across sectors is becoming more mutually reinforcing.  

This growth is consistent with the policies and principles of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) relating to macroeconomic stability and economic diversification.  When better economic fundamentals like lower inflation rates, increased foreign reserves, a more stable exchange rate and increased capital inflows are taken together with increased investments in the real sector, infrastructure, the social sector and business environment; it portends well for economic performance in 2019 and beyond. 

Indeed, the economy remains well on course to grow by 3% in 2019 as estimated in the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework.”

The Buhari administration will continue to pursue the ERGP diligently and Nigerians can expect that economic conditions will continue to get better even as we move on to the Next Level.


Laolu Akande 
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity 
Office of the Vice President 
12 February, 2019

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Stand Up For Integrity Canvasses Support For President Buhari

At times Likes this, people of good will must rise to the clarion call to command what is good and abhor evil; a time when Nigeria is presented with a choice of who can be entrusted with the leadership of this great country.

Thank God, we are old enough and informed enough to know the antecedents of Mr. President Muhammadu Buhari and his character traits. We bear witness that he is a Man of integrity and a National Patriot, the like of whom are few in Nigeria of today amongst the past and present leaders. 


Prior to his ascension as the Civilian President in 2015, Nigeria was a Pariah Nation and a laughing stock amongst committee of Nations. Despite the huge resources that accrued to the Nation, the Government of then was known for uncommon crave for corruption and ineptitude. Little wonder then why for the first time, a sitting President was convincingly defeated despite the incumbency privileges.

Indeed, a new foundation is being laid, new values for accountability and good governance is being instituted and a new economy based on non-oil sector is gradually taking the center stage. The scourge of insecurity and kidnapping is being tackled and militancy is under control. Boko haram previously controlled 14 LGA areas in north-west but have none anywhere now in the north west. Labour related crises are being resolved and the GDP growth is very encouraging.

Brand new Cancer Center at LUTH completed  and commissioned in Lagos, a new day in the treatment of cancer in Nigeria, as early detection enhances cure.

With 8million tons of harvest as at today is the largest producer of maize in Africa, this figure is bound to increase as more people takes to farming. Indeed contribution of agriculture to non-oil GDP is in excess of N240billion.

President Muhammadu Buhari has completed : ABUJA – KADUNA ITAKPE – WARRI LAGOS – ABEOKUTA ABEOKUTA – IBADAN ABUJA METRO, while work has progressed extensively on the Lagos Ibadan axis which will be extended to Kano, The rails are coming and Nigerians are connecting again.

With Anchor borrowers programme, Tradermoni low interest loan, and Npower,PMB has continued to use the little resources to build  a new economy and empower the poorest of the Poor in their millions.

Surgery is ongoing in the figth agaist Corruption. The untouchables are feeling the heat, conviction are being obtained and a number of them are behind bars while a lot are fugitives in foreign land, runing away from home where they onces hold sway. Corruption is a virus and  a plague and we all must fight against it along side with President Muhammadu Buhari.

On the strength of the above, arising from the need to consolidate on the achievements of PMB, we the adherents of the Tijania SUFI order Nationwide hereby declare our total commitment to the re election of PMB come 16th Feb 2019.

We equally call on All Nigerians Voters to cast their vote for Mr. President to guarantee a future for our Country while laying a good foundation that our children can be proud of.

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Chopper’s Crash: Abiodun Congratulates Osinbajo, Pray For Safety of Nigerians

Ogun APC Gubernatorial Candidate, Prince Dapo Abiodun, MFR has rejoiced with Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Pres. Muhammadu Buhari and  Nigerians over the escape and safety of the Vice President and nine others involved in the Chopper’s crashlanding on Saturday in Kogi State.

That the Vice President and others in the Chopper survived the scare was another testimony of God’s awesome wonders at protecting and keeping his People from unfortunate ocurrence. This time in our political history is a deciding moment as Nigerians goes to poll to reaffirm/reelect their leaders – truly calls for prayer.

In a release signed by his media office and made available to newsmen in Iperu, Dr Abiodun felicitate with Prof. Osinbajo.

The incident further exposed our inadequacies to technical dilligence, but we are grateful to God for his mercy though least expected of a carrier; we draw our comfort and solace from the grace enjoyed, the fact that, the Vice President and other people on board escaped unhurt remains another wonder of God.

Its an appreciable wonders that goes beyond comprehension. While thanking God for the lives of Prof. Osinbajo and nine others on board of the ill-fated Helicopter, the APC Candidate also sue for prayers for the soul every Nigerian that would be travelling for Political Campaigns, and to perform their civil responsibilities.

“Nigerian Leaders especially Pres. Muhammadu Buhari and Prof. Osinbajo, and all  candidate seeking office need the support and prayers of all now than before; our Democracy is though nascent and has come to stay. We cannot afford any political causality that draw the wheel of Nigeria fortune aback.

Abiodun Media Office

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Ecobank Storm Markets With “Easy Payment” Products

It was an exciting weekend as Ecobank staff stormed markets across the country to bring easy and convenient banking services to Nigerians, especially businesses, and more possibilities for growth. 

EcobankPay and Xpress Point were stars of the storm, which form a critical part of our digital offering, aimed at boosting Nigeria and Africa’s digital economy.  

“We will not rest until we serve you better. #EcobankPay and #XpressPoint buzzing in Alaba, Badore, Victoria Island, Abuja, Kaduna, Port Harcourt, Kano, Ibadan, Osun, Kwara, Akwa-Ibom joining 32 other countries in Africa. We are determined to support the building of a better Africa.  #EcobankOn for a #CashlessNigeria”  said Ecobank Nigeria Managing Director, Patrick Akinwuntan on twitter this past Saturday https://twitter.com/PAkinwuntan/status/1086617122598457349

Leading product for the storm was EcobankPay, which allows businesses/individuals to receive instant payment into their accounts when Ecobank and non-Ecobank customers scan their QR Code or use their terminal ID on USSD for goods and services.   

All that is needed is a phone for both the customer and the merchant, allowing them to receive payments anytime, anywhere unlike POS or cash, therefore making doing business easier and more convenient.  EcobankPay is the only product in the market allowing merchants to receive mCash, mVISA and MasterPass payments thus simplifying business for merchant, who no longer need to manage accounts across financial institutions for various payment channels as interoperability lowers cost and QR code removes need of having a point of sale (PoS).  

Xpress Point was also part of the drive, which allows customers to digitize or liquidate their cash by depositing and withdrawing cash closer to home using their phone anywhere they see Ecobank Xpress Point sign.  

By offering EcobankPay and XpressPoint services, Nigerian businesses save time and money spent in collecting, counting, securing and banking cash bringing cost savings to their business, and more importantly, in the near future their cashflow shall allow them access to other financial services such as loans, insurance and more to grow their business.  We hope more businesses can join the #CashlessNigeria initiative by offering their customers simpler payments and digitization of cash.  

“We will relentlessly work to bring our digital to every household and make money management moreeasy, reliable and fast.  Ecobank offers a wide range of digital financial services for businesses – from straight-forward cash management to payment tools that capture their turnover securely, which come with e-Alerts of debits and credits on your account sent by push notiffications, SMS and email,” said Ayo Olaiya, Head of Transaction Services Group, Ecobank Nigeria.

Ecobank Market storm continues across the country every Tuesday and Saturday, we look forward to seeing and bringing you on this journey.

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PDP Thugs Wearing Our Vests To Attack Innocent Citizens, Kwara APC Cries Out

We have information that PDP thugs, true to our predictions since December 2018, have now mass-produced vests and other APC logos with which they are going around Kwara State to destroy things and attack innocent citizens. This is an old tactic for which the PDP and its patrons are known.

We recently alerted the people of Kwara to this evil tactic of the PDP. Armed with guns and other deadly weapons, they are wearing the same APC vests and filming themselves as they carried out this act of violence against Kwarans. An example was what they did today (Sunday 13 January) in Surulere area of Ilorin in the state capital. This was the same tactic they deployed in 2003 and other election periods. These are panicky measures adopted by the drowning dynasty which has lost the battle of ideas.

We remain committed to running a peaceful, issues-based and decent campaign. Again, we call on the security agencies to arrest this ugly trend. We reiterate our position that politicians must seek people’s votes through superior arguments and campaign pledges, not through violence and propaganda for which the PDP is now known all over Nigeria. The drowning dynasty must run its campaign on its records in office, not through violence and intimidation. Enough is enough. O To Ge

Rafiu Ajakaye
Media Aide to the AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq Governorship Campaign Organisation

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Civic Monitor Launches Know-Your-Candidates Tool To Help Voters Compare Presidential Candidates

Civic Monitor, a civil society organisation driving a new wave of engagement in the democratic process, today unveiled its Know-Your-Candidates (KYC) tool – www.kyc.civicmonitor.com – for Nigerian voters. With just over a month to the elections, KYC presents the profile, promises and issue positions of the presidential candidates in a simple format and enables voters to compare the candidates on the most important issues.

“The election in February is perhaps the most important one for the country since 1999. Nigerian voters cannot afford to go to the polls blindfolded,” said Stanley Azuakola, Founder and Executive Director of Civic Monitor, in a press statement. “With KYC, we are putting the spotlight on the issues, not insults or conspiracies. It is about voters comparing the candidates on different issues and deciding who has the best plan for them, their families and the nation.”

A survey conducted by Civic Monitor in November 2018 showed that Nigerians were most concerned about 15 issues and keen to know the positions of the candidates on each of them. The issues include: security, power, education, healthcare, corruption, job creation, debt profile and the economy. Others are herders-farmers clashes, restructuring, federal character, state police, job creation, NNPC reforms and inclusion of women and youths.

“What KYC has done is to collate the positions and promises of 24 presidential candidates on each of these issues in their own words without spin. The data we have compiled with KYC is the most extensive and representative you will find of the candidates anywhere,” Azuakola said. “The most exciting thing about the KYC tool is the fact that voters can directly compare any two candidates on any issue of their choice, and the positions of the candidates would appear side-by-side for ease of comparison.”

Azuakola also said that KYC is a powerful resource for journalists, researchers, fact-checkers and activists, as it aids their efforts to hold political leaders accountable. Featured media partners include Premium Times, The Cable, Sahara Reporters, YNaija, Silverbird Television, and The Guardian.

KYC is now live at www.kyc.civicmonitor.com.

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Fayose’s Mischief On TraderMoni Scheme Is Not Out Of Character – Presidency

It is mischievous, but not entirely out of character, for former Governor Ayo Fayose to mindlessly attack TraderMoni, the interest-free N10,000 loans given to petty traders.

For the records, the issue of TraderMoni has been addressed several times in the public space. It is infantile for the PDP and Fayose to keep rehashing outright falsehood. It is clear from their actions that Fayose and his cronies are bereft of workable ideas and do not have any clear-cut agenda for their campaigns, so they have no choice but to resort to regurgitating spurious allegations like this. Their resort to the unending generation of fake news as a campaign strategy is not shocking, coming especially from Fayose, but it is nonetheless pitiful.

But Nigeria can see through the deception. It doesn’t matter how long they keep trying, the truth would stand. The TraderMoni scheme is not just helping the lives and businesses of ordinary Nigerians like petty traders at the bottom of the economic ladder, it is, again, proof that the Buhari administration is irretrievably focused on improving the lives of the common man.

In case Fayose has forgotten, or better still pretends not to remember, under the Buhari administration, N2.7 trillion has been spent in two budget cycles on capital, the highest in the nation’s history. This would not have been possible if not for the prudent management of resources and the absence of grand corruption for which his party PDP is well known. This government has been able to do far more with less resources, than what was obtained under past administrations, where profligacy & gross mismanagement of the country’s resources were rife.

Thus, Fayose’s feeble attempt to lump the Vice President or the Buhari administration into the sordid happenings under the PDP in past administration through spreading falsehood is not only mischievous, but a disrespect to hardworking Nigerians in their millions who are now enjoying the impact of the Social Investment Programmes of this administration.

It must be emphasized that, for the records, the repatriated $322m is now currently being applied to support the Buhari administration’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) scheme under the Social Investment Programmes. Part of the conditions under which the looted funds were restored to Nigeria is that the World Bank would be involved in over-sighting its disbursements, which is what is being done now.

Thus, any claim of re-looting of any kind is totally false and must be ignored by Nigerians. Fayose and his ilk merely cry wolf where none exists; a shameless habit for which he is now well known.

Currently, almost 300,000 Nigerians in 21 states are benefitting from the CCT, where they receive a monthly stipend of N5,000. The beneficiaries are registered in the National Social Register across these states and the process of selecting beneficiaries is transparent; it is based on the World Bank’s Community Based Targeting whereby the different communities themselves identify the beneficiaries in a transparent process that is open to review and public auditing, even by Fayose, if he chosen to be that reasonable.

That the Vice President is championing the scheme across the states is because of the commitment of the administration to the common man and to ensure effective implementation.

It obviously appears that the PDP are riled by the impact of the TraderMoni scheme, where over 1.2 million petty traders are beneficiaries at the last count. The disbursement process of the TraderMoni loans is transparent and direct, while the enumeration is technology-driven, whereby enumerators meet traders at their business locations to get their data, which includes names, phone number and account number. This process is largely tied to a phone number which also doubles as a mobile money wallet. The registered phone numbers are then credited with the loan via a mobile money platform, from which the agents transfer the money to the beneficiary’s bank account or give physical cash of N10,000 in cases where no account exists. The Bank of Industry facilitates the loan disbursements in partnership with third-party agents to ensure transparency, accountability and efficiency of the process.

What is reassuring is that Nigerians are aware of the desperation of people like Fayose, who are rehashing old, baseless and worn-out allegations because they really have nothing to offer Nigerians, nor any shard of honour left to their names.

Signed by:

SIP Response Team, Presidency

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Tony Elumelu Foundation Opens Applications For 5th Cycle Of $100m Entrepreneurship Programme

The Tony Elumelu Foundation, the leading African-funded and founded philanthropy committed to empowering African entrepreneurs, is now accepting applications for the 2019 cohort of the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.

The Programme is a 10-year, $100 million commitment to identify, train, mentor and fund 10,000 African entrepreneurs. The Programme’s objective is to generate at least 1,000,000 new jobs and create at least $10 billion in new business revenue across Africa. Now in its 5th year, the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme has empowered 4,470 entrepreneurs, using a bespoke and robust selection, training and implementation process to create visible and sustainable impact across all 54 African countries.

Outstanding African entrepreneurs running existing start-ups with high growth potential and aspiring business owners with transformative ideas are invited to apply. We are particularly looking to grow representation from French, Arabic and Portuguese speakers, as well as female entrepreneurs.

Inspired by Tony Elumelu’s economic philosophy of Africapitalism and his vision to institutionalise luck and democratise opportunity for a new generation of African entrepreneurs, the Foundation has implemented one of the most ambitious entrepreneurship programmes globally. Selected entrepreneurs from previous years have transformed their businesses and their communities after gaining from the Programme’s 7 pillars: $5,000 in seed capital; business development training; one-on-one mentoring; access to TEFConnect; pan-African meetups; TEF network membership; and participation at the annual TEF Entrepreneurship Forum, the largest convening of the African entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Founder, Tony O. Elumelu, CON, stated: “The private sector must be the core driver of Africa’s economic transformation, but this sector cannot attain its full potential if entrepreneurs are left behind. We call on all stakeholders – policymakers, business leaders and development agencies – to actively commit to creating a better future for our young Africans who have demonstrated intellect, skill, and passion, to empower them to succeed because their success is Africa’s success. The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is by far the most impactful project of my life and represents my commitment to transforming Africa through entrepreneurship”.

Parminder Vir, CEO, Tony Elumelu Foundation, said: “Our entrepreneurs illustrate the Foundation’s commitment to transform the African economy, by building on the intelligence, skills and resourcefulness of Africans. I encourage all ambitious young Africans to take advantage of this unique opportunity”.

The Foundation, which has recently hosted President Macron of France, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana in dynamic interactive sessions with young African entrepreneurs, is committed to supporting the entire entrepreneurship ecosystem – from the entrepreneurs themselves, governments who must provide enabling environments, to capital, advice and most importantly access and networks.

The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme is open to citizens and legal residents of all African countries, who run for-profit businesses based in Africa that are no older than three years. The deadline for applications submission is March 1, 2019.

Applications will be judged based on criteria including: feasibility, scalability and potential for growth of the product/service; market opportunity for the idea/business; financial understanding, leadership potential and entrepreneurial skills.

Applicants can apply on TEFConnect – www.tefconnect.com – the largest digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs.

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When The Thief Is Shouting “Thief”: The Case Of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar

A few days ago, the Presidential Candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, called out President Muhammadu Buhari over certain allegations of “corrupt practices” which the President allegedly condones in his government.

Whilst we have repeatedly addressed each and every of the instances cited by him to show the transparent nature of the government, it is shocking that the Presidential candidate of the main opposition has refused to issue a personal statement up till this minute clarifying in details his record of crass corruption and abuse of office.

He is clearly taking Nigerians for a ride and hopes to distort the ethical revolution in public office that Nigerians clearly desire to his own philosophy of abusing public office to promote private interests. By his subliminal messages, he wants Nigerians to accept that becoming wealthy by abusing public office is not a bad thing after all. 

With the avalanche of fake and unsubstantiated news released in the last few days, it is now clear that PDP’s strategy in the run up to the elections is to spread fake news and make wild allegations without any proof against the President and the Vice President. This is clearly to divert attention from the record of crass corruption and abuse of office of their own candidate. Nigerians cannot and should not be insulted by the PDP after 16 years of looting of the nation, by now putting forward a man whose record of corruption they very much acknowledge, but would rather we all overlook it. 

Some of the indisputable facts regarding Alhaji Atiku Abubakar are as follows: 

1. The U.S Congress in a report titled, KEEPING FOREIGN CORRUPTION OUT OF THE UNITED STATES: FOUR CASE HISTORIES, featured Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as one of the four notorious cases of money laundering in the world! 

2. The Congress report said “Jennifer Douglas Abubakar, a U.S. citizen, is the fourth wife of Atiku Abubakar, the former Vice President of Nigeria and a former candidate for the Presidency of Nigeria…… from 2000 to 2008, Ms. Douglas helped her husband bring over $40 million in suspect funds into the United States, including at least $1.7 million in bribe payments from Siemens AG, a German corporation, and over $38 million from little known offshore corporations, primarily LetsGo Ltd. Inc., Guernsey Trust Company Nigeria Ltd., and Sima Holding Ltd”. 

3. Atiku’s co-conspirators, Williams Jefferson and Siemens in the bribery deal were convicted and Jefferson went to jail. By running for President of Nigeria, Atiku intends to get some immunity from prosecution. Already he is hoping to obtain a visa to visit the US, as a guest of the State department, a concession that the US will grant to a Presidential candidate of Africa’s biggest Nation. 

4. Both the BBC and Voice of America reported that “In a probe ordered by Mr. Obasanjo, (then Nigerian President) the vice-president was accused of diverting $125m from a public development trust fund into his personal businesses.”; Please see 1016 BBC, Profile: Atiku Abubakar, January 25, 2007, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6292141.stm (Voice of America, “Nigerian Vice President Charged with Corruption,” October 10, 2006, http:// www1.voanews.com/english/news/a-). 

5. A Senate subcommittee investigating the PTDF indicted Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, having found that he abused his office by aiding and abetting the diversion of public funds in the sum of $145 million” as loans to his friends. This report was a subject of a full-blown investigation by the EFCC which actually recommended his prosecution in a court of law. That report is still pending and alive till today. 

How do we as a Nation end up with anyone with this sordid record locally and internationally? We have heard the lame defence that the U.S Justice Department said it has no pending case against Atiku Abubakar. That is only a defence for the ignorant ones. In the United States, there are indictments the Justice Department can confirm to the world.

But there is another category of indictments known as SEALED INDICTMENTS that the Justice Department cannot confirm to anyone. These indictments are sealed under the orders of a Judge. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has a sealed indictment waiting for him in the U.S. The day he visits the U.S, not as a candidate in an election, he will face charges.There is no question that the reasons for Atiku’s frequent contests for the Presidency are to steal the resources of Nigeria for self-enrichment and to prevent prosecution for his crimes of laundering and receiving bribes. No amount of fake news or ridiculous false allegations against the President or Vice President that can wash away the well-documented history of theft.

We also challenge the PDP to publish a single line in the sub-committee recommendation of the House of Reps on the NEMA Emergency purchases where the report accused the Vice President of embezzlement of funds. They either do this within 24 hours or keep quiet forever. It is even noteworthy that the House of Representatives have not adopted any such recommendation to make it a report of the House.We also challenge them to show any proof whatsoever of their allegations regarding the TraderMoni.

After three days of publicly announcing that they have hard proof that the President’s relations bought shares in Etisalat and Keystone Bank, the PDP has not produced a single piece of paper, a document of any sort to buttress the grave allegations it made. This is how shameless and callous the Atiku team has become, all in a desperate bid to get their hands on the public purse.

Lastly, we challenge Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for the umpteen time to produce his tax receipts for 2015, 2016 and 2017. It is shocking that a man who has not been paying his Personal Income Taxes now says he wants to “get Nigerians working again” – whatever that means. He is only deceiving himself and not the intelligent Nigerians that we know.

Thank you. 

FESTUS KEYAMO, SAN, FCIArb (UK)Director, Strategic Communications,President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation(Official Spokesperson).

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APC Announces Members Of Presidential Campaign Council 2019

The All Progressives Congress, APC, has released the names of members of its Presidential Campaign Council for the 2019 elections. They are as follows:

CHAIRMAN

President Muhammadu Buhari

CO-CHAIRMAN

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

DEPUTY CHAIRMEN

1. The Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.

2. The APC National Chairman Comrade Adams Oshiomole

VICE CHAIRMAN NORTH

Senator George Akume

VICE CHAIRMAN SOUTH

Senator Ken Nnamani

DIRECTOR GENERAL

His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi

DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL (OPERATIONS)

Senator A.O. Mamora

DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL (COORDINATION)

Arch. Waziri Bulama

SECRETARY

1. Adamu Adamu

2. Dele Alake

ZONAL DIRECTORS

a. North West: Senator Aliyu M. Wamakko

b. North East: Senator Muh’d Ali Ndume

c. North Central: Senator Abdullahi Adamu

d. South West: Sola Oke, SAN

e. South East: Sharon Ikeazor

f. South South: Senator Godswill Akpabio

DIRECTORATES

a. Director, Buhari Support Groups – Dr. Mahmoud Mohammed

b. Director, Strategic Communications – Festus Keyamo, SAN

a. Deputy Director- Abike Dabiri- Erewa

c. Director, Contact & Mobilization – Hadiza Bala Usman

a. Deputy Director South -Victor Eboigre

b. Deputy Director North- Senator Bashir Nalado

d. Director, Election Planning & Monitoring – Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN

a. Deputy Director I- Baba Kura Abba Jato

b. Deputy Director II-Chief Emani Ayiri

e. Director, Logistics – Dr. Pius Odubu

a. Deputy Director- Senator Umanah Umanah

b. Deputy Director II- Nasiru Danu

f. Director, Policy Research & Strategy- Prof Abdulrahman Oba

a. Deputy Director- Prof. A.K. Usman

g. Director, Youth Mobilization- Hon. Tony Nwoye assisted by the APC Youth Leader sadiq

a. Deputy Director North- Barrister Ismaeel Ahmed

b. Deputy Director South – Jasper Azuatalam

h. Director, Admin- Onari Brown

a. Deputy Director I- Chris Hassan

b. Deputy Director II- Abubakar Magaji Gasau

i. Director, Women Mobilization- Woman Leader Salamatu Baiwa

a. Deputy Director North – Binta Mu’azu

b. Deputy Director South – Adejoke Orelope Adefulire

j. Director Security – Gen. A. . Dambazzau

a. Deputy Directors – Brigadier General Gambo and Mr. U. Ukoma

k. Director Legal – Emeka Ngige, SAN

a. Deputy Director- Prof. Maman Lawan Yusufari

l. Director Field Opertaions- Mallam Nuhu Ribadu

M. Director Finance- Wale Edun

Deputy Director ….Alhaji Adamu Fadan

SPECIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO MR. PRESIDENT

1. Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

2. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

3. Senator Ahmed Lawan (Senate Leader)

4. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila( Leader of the House )

5. APC Party National Chairman Comrade Adams Oshiomole

6. Alhaji Aliko Dangote.

7. Mr. Femi Otedola

COUNCIL MEMBERS

1. Chief Bisi Akande

2. Chief John Oyegun

3. Senator Ita Enang

4. All APC serving Senators

5. All APC serving and former Governors

6. All APC Members of the House of Representatives

7. All members of the National Working Committee of the APC

8. All Zonal Women Leaders

STATE COORDINATORS

1. Governors are to serve as State Coordinators in their respective states

2. Gubernatorial Candidates in non- APC States will serve as State Coordinators in their respective states

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President

(Media and Publicity)

December 28, 2018

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Atiku’s Criticism Of 2019 Budget High On Rhetoric, Low On Real Solutions

The presidential candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, last weekend, issued a statement in which he described President Buhari’s 2019 budget proposal as fundamentally flawed and failing to address current realities. He went on to identify the said “current realities”, which in any case were issues already highlighted in President Buhari’s budget speech and further amplified in the detailed presentation by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma. Regrettably, however, Atiku Abubakar offers no substantive and workable solution to the identified “realities”.

Atiku describes the underlying assumptions of the budget as generous, wild and untenable but does not propose alternative assumptions that would have been more appropriate. He argues that the economy is yet to recover from the 2016/2017 recession. Unfortunately, he cannot create his own definition of an economic recession, which is a technical term with a universally applicable meaning. When an economy experiences two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, it is said to be in recession and whenever it returns to positive GDP growth of whatever rate, it is said to have exited recession. It is doubtful if he understands the simple meaning of recession.

Atiku attributes the sustained accretion to foreign reserves to “increases in international prices of Brent Crude and foreign borrowing”. But he conveniently forgets that under the immediate past federal administration oil prices were at an all-time high with substantial growth in foreign borrowings, and yet foreign reserves nose-dived from a peak of $62 billion to as low as $24 billion. His repeated reference to the price of Brent Crude throughout his statement may be indicative of his lack of knowledge that Nigeria’s Bonny Light Crude trades at a premium of at least $2 per barrel over the price of Brent; just as his reference to Nigeria’s OPEC quota may also suggest that he does not know that Condensates do not count in measuring compliance with the quota.

The PDP Presidential candidate faults the provision of N305 billion for NNPC’s cost under-recovery on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) but does not say exactly what he would do about PMS pricing. If however we are to go by an earlier statement from his campaign organisation, which promised to reduce the price of petrol to N87, then we can expect a much higher subsidy provision from an Atiku government; because he is not going to perform magic to get the refineries working at peak capacity immediately.

He describes the 2019 budget as being very small, but does not offer any implementable options for improving domestic resource mobilization, which is the only sustainable means to achieving larger budgets. It does seem that he does not understand or is just feigning ignorance about the critical role of revenue in budget preparation.

A careful look at Atiku’s statement would show that there is nothing original about his identified “realities.” These are areas President Buhari had already identified in his speech. For instance, the President recognised that the revenue performance of the Federal Government up till September 2018 has been less than spectacular. Leaving aside for a moment the fact that there has been a remarkable increase in Federal Account receipts in the last three months, a look at the budget speech will show that the President specified a number of actions to tackle revenue weakness including strengthening on-going efforts at tax collection, liquidation of recovered assets, immediate recovery of past due oil royalties charges and deployment of the National Trade Window to improve customs collections.

His most laughable criticism perhaps was his claim that “there is little evidence to show that increased investment in agriculture has yielded positive results”. Even the worst adversary of the Buhari administration would acknowledge that significant progress has been made in the agriculture sector.

In his often desperate attempt to rubbish the 2019 budget, Atiku conflates foreign direct investment with capital inflows. This is wrong as capital inflows covers foreign direct investment, foreign portfolio investments, international borrowing and short-term deposits in money market instruments. He complains about movements in foreign portfolio investment which are often volatile and reflect monetary policy normalisation in the United States, meanwhile he is silent on the positive trade surplus mentioned in the budget speech which truly reflects living within our means as a nation.

Atiku also calculates the budget deficit as a percentage of current revenue rather than as a ratio of gross domestic product which is the preferred standard for inter-temporal measures of the deficit. Using this more appropriate measure the national fiscal deficit is 1.3% of GDP which is well below the 3% specified in the Fiscal Responsibility Act and well within the best global norms. So much for those who claim they have the magic wand to grow the economy.

A most glaring weakness in the statement by Atiku is that he does not take a stance on issues of public interest in the budget, which is utterly regrettable from someone who aspires to lead Nigeria. As President Buhari explained, the subsidy/under-recovery has been retained to reduce the burden on ordinary Nigerians at a time of weak purchasing power in a manner that avoids the abuses of the past. The truth is that contrary to the belief of people like Atiku that low fuel prices only benefit the rich, a large number of ordinary Nigerians rely on PMS to operate ‘keke’, ‘okada’, taxi, and ‘danfo’. A lot of the generators used by small businesses also use PMS. Indeed, it is amazing that a man who has promised N87 per litre of PMS can criticise a process of under-recovery/subsidy that is not being abused as it was in the past.

To further show Atiku’s lack of knowledge about basic issues in the petroleum market, he contradicts himself in his quest to make a non-existent point. He complains about the benchmark price of $60 per barrel used for crude oil exports in the budget and tries hard to show understanding of the dynamics of the global oil market by referring to US shale oil production and pressures on the Saudi regime. Yet Atiku expects that OPEC quotas will come into force, in which case the price of crude oil may rise in international markets. What is obvious is the fact that low oil prices impact negatively on shale oil production. For instance, recent reports from a Permian producer show that with West Texas Intermediate at near $45 per barrel, they have already cut back on rig count and use of completion crews. There is more over the demand side which remains extremely strong in the United States, while large economies like China and India will continue to grow at over 6% and 7% respectively in 2019, which will also impact on crude oil prices.

Finally, Atiku moans about the capital budget without acknowledging the historically high capital expenditure over the past two budget cycles continuing into the current 2018 budget cycle. Apart from the fact that the Federal Government has kept to its promise to keep capital expenditure at 30% of the budget, the PDP Presidential candidate is quiet about his plans to raise capital expenditure and reduce recurrent spending. The reality is that it can only be done by retrenching public sector workers and by not increasing the minimum wage to which this government is fully committed.

It is therefore obvious that Atiku’s statement on the budget was a poor attempt at playing to the gallery. Without a doubt, the country faces significant fiscal challenges. The administration of President Buhari understands these challenges, as well as workable solutions thereto. The implementation of some of the solutions however needs to be paced and well-timed to avoid dislocating the growth trajectory of the economy. Atiku’s criticism of the 2019 budget proposal can best be described as high on populist rhetoric but low on any real solutions to the identified challenges.

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President

(Media and Publicity)

December 27, 2018

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