Nigerian Workers Are Safe Under President Buhari – BMO

President Muhammadu Buhari is a just and fair man who has the interest of Nigerians at heart. Therefore, the welfare and well-being of the Nigerian worker is guaranteed under his leadership, the Buhari Media Organisation(BMO) has said.

“They are safe and there is no need to worry about rumours of their employment. President Buhari is committed to their well-being. He knows their fears, hears their pleas and would not do anything to make their lives worse, he can only make it better.”

In a statement signed by Niyi Akinsiju and Cassidy Madueke, its Chairman and Secretary respectively, BMO stated that any fears as to the welfare of Nigerian workers under President Buhari were needless and have no place in reality.

“We have a President who is sincerely interested in the welfare of Nigerian workers. And he has demonstrated this times without number.

“This concern has been shown when he questioned the attitude of some Governors towards the payment of salaries to workers in their states.”

The group stated that the President’s expression of concern did not stop at merely lambasting debtor Governors for their dereliction of duty, but went further to make provisions to the Governors to address these issues relating to the welfare of workers in their states.

“President Buhari has made provisions for Budget Stabilization Funds and Bailout funds to States to assist them in paying the salaries of their workers.”

“He similarly made funds available to States by refunding owed moneys through the Paris Club Refund. President Buhari sternly requested that these funds be used to take care of the welfare of workers in States.”

The group noted that if during an economic recession, President Buhari did not retrench workers or consider payouts for them, then it is certain that he would never do anything that would negatively affect their welfare.

The group highlighted that President Buhari’s concern for the Nigerian worker had also been exemplified in the payment of backlogs of Pension Arrears owed by the Nigerian government.

“Pension Arrears owed by previous administrations are being cleared by President Buhari. Many ex-staff of the Nigerian Airways have received their payments, so also Ex-Biafran security personnel, among others”, the group concluded.

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Buhari Leaves Nigeria, To Attend Inauguration Of Senegal President

President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja on Monday for Dakar, Senegal to attend the inauguration of Senegalese President, Macky Sall, following his re-election for a second term.

Mr. Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, who confirmed this development in a statement in Abuja on Monday, said the President’s trip followed an invitation from his host.

According to the statement, President Buhari, who is ECOWAS Chairman, will be Special Guest of Honour at the ceremonies, to be attended by other African leaders at the Diamniadio Exhibition Centre on Tuesday.

It stated that the Nigerian leader would be accompanied by Governors Mohammed Abubakar, Nasir El-Rufai and Tanko Al-Makura of Bauchi, Kaduna and Nasarawa states respectively.

Others on the Presidential entourage include the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama; National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen Babagana Monguno (rtd); Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufai, and other top government officials.

“The President is expected back in the country at the end of the inauguration ceremonies,” the statement said.

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I’ll Leave Nigeria Better Than I Met It, Buhari Tells CAN

Ahead of his swearing-in for his second term on 29 May, 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari is already thinking about the legacy of his tenure, saying he would leave Nigeria better than he met it.

President Buhari spoke today at a meeting with members of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), led by Rev Dr Samson Ayokunle.

Buhari affirmed that his administration will continue to address important national challenges including security, economy and corruption.

CAN leadership was at State House to congratulate President Buhari on his re-election, and the President told them the outcome of the just concluded polls underscores the trust Nigerians have in the present leadership in the country.

“We will continue to strive for peaceful co-existence among all Nigerians irrespective of their religious beliefs.

“In the area of allocation of political offices, our focus will be on merit and national spread such that every part of Nigeria will have a sense of belonging.

“We remain resolute in the fight against terrorism and insurgency, and efforts to bring back all those in captivity and other victims of kidnappings will be intensified,” the President said.

Commending the important roles religious bodies have played in the last four years of the administration, President Buhari pledged to continue supporting several programmes anchored by the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), geared towards peace, tolerance, unity and harmony in our country.

In his congratulatory message, the CAN president prayed God to grant President Buhari “everything it takes to perform hundred times better than” his first term, stressing that the organisation had the success of this administration at heart.

Rev. Ayokunle welcomed the President’s pledge to run an inclusive government in a speech shortly after his re-election, noting that the gesture would give all Nigerians a sense of belonging.

The leadership of the Christian body in Nigeria also called for ethnic and religious balance in the selection of leadership of the ninth National Assembly.

While appealing to the President to task security agencies to be more proactive in their duties, the CAN leader made a passionate request for deliberate and relentless efforts to free Leah Sharibu, other Chibok girls and Nigerians in captivity of insurgents.

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President Buhari Meets CAN Leadership, Imams In Aso Villa

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday met with leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting between the president and the CAN leadership was held behind closed doors at the Council Chamber of the State House.

NAN also gathered that the religious leaders were in the villa to congratulate Buhari on his re-election for another four years term.

The outcome of the president’s meeting with the CAN leadership was being expected as at the time of filing this report.

NAN reports that the president would also be meeting with Imams and Senior Islamic Scholars from across the country later, today.

(NAN)

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Court Grants PDP, Atiku Permission To Serve Petition On Buhari

The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Wednesday granted permission to the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to serve their petition challenging the outcome of the February 23, 2019 election, on President Muhammadu Buhari through substituted means.

A three-man bench which sat in a “pre-hearing session” of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, granted the request contained in the petitioners’ ex parte application that Buhari, who is the second respondent to the petition, be served through any senior official or an officer of the APC at the party’s secretariat in Abuja.

Granting the ex parte application, Justice Abdu Aboki, who led the panel and delivered the lead ruling, said “it is in the interest of justice” to grant the prayers in the petitioners’ application.

The petitioners’ lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), had earlier moved the application.

The petitioners had on March 18, 2019, filed their case to challenge the Independent National Electoral Commission’s declaration of Buhari and his party, the APC, as the winner of the election.

The INEC, Buhari and the APC are the first to the third respondents respectively

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President Buhari To Launch Micro Pension Plan

As part of the initiatives to bring financial inclusion to all working Nigerians, President Muhammadu Buhari will launch the Micro Pension Plan (MPP) on Thursday March 28,2019 at the State House in Abuja.

The plan which is an initiative of the National Pension Commission (PenCom) is aimed at the provision of pension services to self-employed persons in the informal sector and employees of organisations with less than 3 staff.

The informal sector constitutes an estimated 69 million work force in the country and represents an estimated 88 per cent of Nigerian workers that lack pensions and safety nets for their old age.

The goal of the Commission is to achieve coverage of 30 million people in the informal sector by 2024.

The formal launch is the official flag off of the plan and attests to the objective of the current administration to provide ample opportunities for financial inclusion and economic stability for more Nigerians in the informal sector.

This initiative gives the self-employed Professionals, Entertainers, lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs, artisans and casual workers opportunity to save for pension.

The launch signifies the commencement of activities that will culminate to the full implementation of the MPP.

Accordingly, the National Pension Commission and the pension operators will continue the education and sensitization of the public through robust campaigns across traditional, social and digital media while Registration of Contributors will follow in subsequent months.

The National Pension Commission remains committed to good corporate governance and high ethical standards that will ensure the success of the Micro Pension Plan.

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Why President Buhari Declined 5 Bills from the National Assembly

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed his displeasure with some provisions of the five bills sent to him by the National Assembly thereby prompting him to decline to assent to the bills.

The President made this known in a compilation of letters sent to the National Assembly and read by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki during plenary session.

According to the letter, President Buhari raised concerns on the bills which prompted him to refuse to sign them into law and they include Digital Rights and Freedom bill, Nigerian Film Commission bill, Immigration Amendment bill, Climate Change bill and Chartered Institute of Pension Practitioners bill.

Mr President explained that he declined to assent to the Digital Rights and Freedom bill because, “it seeks to cover too many technical subjects and fails to address any of them extensively, these areas include surveillance and digital protection, lawful interception of communication, digital protection and retention etc which are currently the subject of various bills pending at the national assembly”.

“It is therefore suggested that the scope of the bill should be limited to the protection of human rights within the digital environment to reduce the challenge of duplication and legislative conflict in the future”, he further explained.

However, for not signing the Nigerian Film Commission bill, Mr President noted that, “Section 1 (k) of the bill states that 1% of the proceeds for the television license for the national broadcasting commission shall be paid into a fund to be controlled by the national film commission which is conflict with section 16 (1) of the national broadcasting commission act which stipulates the purpose for which expenditure to be generated by NBC may be used”.

President Buhari further noted that, “Section 7 (2) (d) of the bill proposed 5% VAT on all film-related activities to the national film development fund violates section 40 of the Valued Added Tax and ensuring formula described therein because it averts funds normally distributed to states of the federation.”

Mr President also explained his reasons for denying assent to the Immigration Amendment Bill, he said that, “due to the concerns expressed to the retroactive effect of the provisions of 38 (5) of the bill and the impact of the section on the ease of doing business initiative of the federal government, there are also concerns that if passed, the bill will be destructive to Nigerians in diaspora if other countries were to reciprocate the provisions of section 38 (5) in their immigration laws”.

President Buhari also said that the climate change bill was also not signed because, “the scope and guiding principle of the bill replicated the functions of the Federal Ministry of Environment which is charged with mainstreaming climate responses and actions into government polices but does not suggest the scrapping of the ministry”.

“Setting up a council as suggested by Section 2 of the bill is expensive to maintain as it amounts to the proliferation of government agencies especially when there are existing agencies already performing the proposed functions”, he further explained.

Finally, Mr President said he declined to assent to the Chartered Institute of Pension Practitioners bill because, “the objectives of the Chartered Institute of Pension Practitioners created by the bill are similar to the objectives of the Signified Pension Institute of Nigeria which is already in existence and functional and this will amount to duplication of the functions of a separately constituted institute”.

“Concerns have also been raised in connection with the propriety of the private investigate panel in conducting a criminal investigation as suggested by section 8 (1) of the bill”, he further revealed.

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Labour Unions Urges President Buhari To Sign Minimum Wage Bill Into Law

The organized labour in Nasarawa State has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to expedite action and sign into law the National Minimum Wage Bill without further delay.

Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Abdullahi Adeka and his counterpart in the Trade Union Congress in the state Comrade Danladi Namo made the call in Lafia while speaking with Radio Nigeria on the their expectations on the passage of The National Minimum Wage Bill by the senate recently.

The labour leaders said that urgent implementation of the Minimum wage was the best thing the federal government can do to reciprocate the patience and sacrifices of Nigerian workers.

They Commended the National Assembly for approving the new minimum wage bill describing it as labour friendly steps in the right direction.

Comrade Adeka and Comrade Namo also called on state governors to do the needful and comply with the implementation of N30,000 minimum wage to avoid industrial disharmony.

Radio Nigeria

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President Buhari Declines Assent To Five More Bills

President Muhammadu Buhari has again, on Wednesday, declined assent to five more Bills passed by the National Assembly.

His latest rejection of the Bills brings to 26 the number of bills passed by the Eighth National Assembly and rejected by the President.

In a letter addressed to Senate President Bukola Saraki and read at Wednesday plenary, the President listed the newly rejected Bills to include: Nigerian Film Corporation Bill, Immigration (Amendment) Bill, Climate Change Bill, Chattered Institute of Pension Practitioners Bill as well as Digital Rights and Freedom Bill.

President Buhari explained that he rejected the Immigration Bill because it would have adverse effect on Nigeria’s position on the Ease of Doing Business ranking if signed into law, adding that the Chattered Institute of Pension Practitioners Bill amounted to duplication of functions with an existing institute.

Other bills earlier rejected by Buhari since 2015 include: the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill, Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) (Amendment) Bill, National Research and Innovation Council (Est.) Bill, National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism (Est.) Bill and National Agricultural Seeds Council Bill.

Others are Chattered Institute of Entrepreneurship (Est.) Bill, Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences (Amendment) Bill, Subsidiary Legislation (Legislative Scrutiny) Bill, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (Amendment) Bill as well as five constitution amendment bills.

Also rejected are: National Transport Commission Bill, Federal Road Authority (Establishment) Bill, National Broadcasting Commission Amendment Bill, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) Act (Amendment) Bill and Federal Polytechnics Act (Amendment) Bill.

The Senate had earlier set up a Technical Committee on Declined Assent to Bills, chaired by David Umaru to look into the rejected bills by the President.

Although the Technical Committee laid its report in December last year, the report of the David Umaru-led panel is yet to be considered.

Saraki had on September 10, 2018 announced the setting up of a technical committee to review 15 critical bills earlier rejected by President Buhari.

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BMO Hails Buharinomics For Falling Inflation

Reports by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and other reliable monitors of the Nigerian economy confirming a decline in inflation rate to 11.31% in February 2019, indicates that the robust economic policies of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari are achieving their planned goals.

The latest  fall in inflation rates, the third in the last six months, has put more money in the pockets of Nigerians as they pay less for more consumables in their households, the Buhari Media Organisation(BMO) said in a press statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Mr. Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary, Mr. Cassidy Madueke.

“The continued downward trend of inflation rate in Nigeria from an annual  average of 12.46 per cent in 1996 until now at 11.31 is indicative of the impact of the policies of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari designed to put the economy on a sound footing,” BMO said.

“The falling prices of food in particular affirm that the drive to boost agricultural production in Africa’s biggest democracy is yielding the desired result, especially the attainment of 98 per cent sufficiency in domestic rice production”.

BMO noted that the findings by the NBS that the year-on-year food price level declined by 0.04 per cent to 13.47 per cent in February 2019,   including prices of fish, bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, meat, vegetables, oils and fats and fruits,  testify to the efficacy of the economic diversification drive of the administration in which the boosting of agriculture is a key pillar.

The group noted that farmers’ access to high quality seeds and other agricultural inputs with price support from the Federal and state governments through the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) for dry season farming,   boosted yields from irrigation farms where grains and vegetables were grown and are being harvested in large quantities.

“The promotion and support of aquaculture to bolster domestic food production and the availability of inputs for fish-food production contributed in the downward trend of fish and other food prices”, the group added in the statement.

Figures released by the NBS indicate that both the annual and monthly core sub-indices declined to 9.8% and 0.65% respectively in February from 9.9% and 0.81% in January 2019. This was mainly caused by a reduction in the prices of household appliances and materials.

The exceptional decline in the various elements of overall inflation, despite huge spending in a highly competitive election season, was attributed to the sound economic and fiscal policies being implemented by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Federal Ministry of Finance, among others.

“The mopping up of excess liquidity in the financial sector by the CBN in order to reduce the amount of Currency in circulation and control inflation, contributed in achieving the goal of taming the monster of inflation,” BMO concluded.

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BMO Hails Buhari’s Foresight As Non-Oil Exports Rise 15%

The 15 percent rise in foreign exchange earnings from non-oil export is a vindication of President Muhammadu Buhari’s foresight in diversifying the Nigerian economy.

According to the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO), the expansion in production of agricultural commodities for export, and mining of non-oil minerals is pulling in more foreign exchange for Africa’s biggest economy. 

In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said that Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s latest figures on earnings from non-oil and electricity exports which increased by 15 percent to $1,034.59 million in Q4 2018 “is a clear manifestation of the wisdom in Buhari’s economic diversification effort.

“CBN statistics which indicate a favourable provisional Balance of Payments (BOP) for Q4 2018 with a surplus of $2.80bn is proof that Nigeria’s effort to reduce unnecessary imports and increase exports is working to our national advantage.

“We expect Nigerians to appreciate that it is a significant economic achievement for the country’s Current Account Balance (CAB) to have improved from a deficit of $1,544.41 million in Q3 2018 to a surplus of $1,104.57 million in Q4 2018. 

“This achievement did not happen on its own, but a result of sound economic management by the administration and its agencies that are working in harmony to achieve the vision of President Buhari to reset the economy, sustain and deepen the status of our economy as the largest on the African continent.”

The pro-Buhari group specifically praised the CBN for its diligent management of the country’s foreign exchange chest and turning the nation’s financial account balance with assets of $2,327.91 million in the period under review against net financial liabilities of $4,615.17 million recorded in the preceding period.

“The impact of restriction on access to foreign exchange at official rates for the frivolous importation of certain goods has had a significant impact in checking leakages of the country’s foreign exchange reserves by increasing the surplus in the goods account.

“It is significant to note that the CBN says surplus in the Goods Account increased significantly to $6.794 billion in Q4 2018 from surpluses of $3.76 billion in the preceding quarter and $5.473 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2017.”

BMO said the decrease in the imports bills by 21 per cent to $9.862 billion, which is  below the level recorded in the preceding quarter is proof that Nigerians are looking inward in their consumption pattern as this was as a result of 20 percent decrease in the import of non-oil products.

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El-Rufai, Fayemi, Others Meet President Buhari over Inconclusive Elections

Six All Progressives Congress (APC) governors – Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), Yahaya Bello (Kogi) and Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa) Tuesday in Abuja held a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari over inconclusive governorship elections declared by INEC in six states.

The meeting was aimed at mapping out strategies to save four APC governors and two governorship candidates following the declarations of inconclusive elections in their respective states.

The affected governors are Bindowo Jubrilla (Adamawa), Ibrahim Ganduje (Kano), Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi) and Simon Lalong (Plateau).

The two other states are Sokoto and Benue, whose Governors, Aminu Tambuwal and Samuel Ortom, had dumped the APC for opposition PDP last year.

The elections in these states were declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) because the number of cancelled votes at the polls exceeded the margin between the winner and the runner-up.

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