UPDATED: Niger Govt Secures Release Of 53 Kidnapped NSTA Passengers

The Niger State Government has secured the release of all passengers abducted from the Niger State Transit Authority (NSTA) bus.

Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello, announced this via his official Twitter handle on Sunday.

“We are pleased to announce to the general public the release of the NSTA passengers abducted a week ago while returning to Minna along the Minna-Zungeru road,” he tweeted.


The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mary Noel-Berje told Channels Television that the abductees were rescued around Zamfara State and are on their way to Niger State.

She however did not give details on how the government secured their release.

The travellers were later received by the Governor at the Niger State Government House in Minna the state capital, on Sunday night.

The governor also assured that efforts are still ongoing to ensure the release of students and workers recently kidnapped from Government Science Collage Kagara, Rafi Local Government Area.

“All 53 Kidnapped NSTA Passengers regained their freedom, efforts ongoing to Rescue the Government Science Collage Kagara Students,” the governor said on his official Twitter handle.

The governor’s announcement comes seven days after gunmen kidnapped at least 30 travellers along the Tegina-Zungeru highway in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.

Officials of the drivers union in the area said the victims were travelling in a bus of the Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) when they ran into an ambush by the bandits.

The gunmen also killed three members of the local vigilante group which attempted to foil their operation.

Former CJN, Idris Kutigi’s Death A Great Loss To The Nation – Niger Governor


The Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani-Bello, says he is shocked by the demise of former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, who died on Saturday at a hospital in London.

The governor said the death of the legal luminary is a great loss to the legal profession, the state and the country in general.

Read Also: Former CJN Idris Kutigi dies in London

He described Kutigi’s contributions to the development of the justice system in the country as immeasurable, adding that he was a uniquely endowed Nigerian, a man of integrity who has indeed paid his dues in the service of the country and humanity in general.

The Governor also commiserated with the family, the people of Niger state and Nigerians, over the loss and prayed that (Allah) grants his soul eternal rest.

Born on December 31, 1939, in Kutigi, Lavun Local area of Niger state, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi served as Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Niger State before he was appointed High Court Judge.

He joined the Supreme Court in 1992 and was appointed Chief Justice of Nigeria on January 30, 2007.

He served in that capacity until December 30, 2009.

He died at the age of 79 after a brief illness.

Niger Gov Calls For Calm As Groups Protest Over Outcome Of APC Primaries

Niger Governor Signs 2017 Budget Into Law
File photo


Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani-Bello has called on contestants, their supporters and stakeholders in the just concluded All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries in the state to remain calm and peaceful.

In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Malam Jibrin Baba Ndace on Monday, the governor assured all stakeholders of a peaceful resolution of the outcome of the primaries.

He asked all members of the party to await the party’s final decision on the issues raised and not take law into their hands.

The governor further stated that the direct primary method was adopted in the state to provide a level playing field for all aspirants.

Read Also: Groups Protest, Demand Cancellation Of Niger House Of Assembly Primary

He also stated that the system was adopted in order to create opportunities for participation by party members, give them a sense of belonging, deepen democracy and institute a free and fair process.

“When we adopted direct primaries out of the three options in line with the party’s constitution, we were very sure and clear about its benefits to the overall democratic process. This was to enable the people choose candidates of their choice in an open, free and fair manner,” the statement read in part.

The governor, therefore, assured aggrieved members that the National Working Committee of the party and other stakeholders are working together to ensure that an amicable resolution is reached for the benefit of all.

“We are doing everything possible alongside the national body of the party to ensure that all members are being carried along and all grievances are resolved amicable,” he said.

Speaking further, the governor distanced himself from reports that automatic tickets had been promised to serving members of the National Assembly.

He maintained that in resolving all issues, he will work closely with the party to ensure that the choice of the people prevails.

“I, therefore, call on our people to remain calm and peaceful as we will ensure that due process is followed, we will ensure that all issues are settled amicably.

“We have not derailed from this provision of the party. We remain committed and we urge all party loyalists to remain faithful as the issues are been resolved in the overall interest of the party”.

Niger State Mourns As Ex-Governor Abdulkadir Kure Dies

Niger State Mourns As Ex-Governor Abdulkadir Kure DiesThe Niger State government has announced the death of the former governor of the State, Abdulkadir Kure.

He died after a brief illness in a hospital in Germany at the age of 61.

The Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, in a statement, says state government has declared a 3-day state-wide mourning.

It further stated that all flags should be at half-mast throughout the state during the period of mourning.

According to the Commissioner, the State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, has also declared a work-free day on the day of the burial of the former governor to enable residents accord the departed leader a befitting burial.

The statement expressed that the government would miss the wise counsel of the former governor, who despite political differences never failed to offer meaningful advice to the government.

“The intervention of the former governor during the recent labour crisis in the state was not only legendary but showed him as an elder statesman, whose main concern was for the good, progress and unity of the state.

“Engineer Abdulkadir Abdullahi Kure remain a leader who out of office showed concern for the development of the state.

“His statesmanship saw him jettisoning party affiliation when he personally intervened in the recent labour crisis in the state,” the statement concluded.

Niger State Gov. Presents 108bn Naira Budget For 2017

Niger State Gov. Presents 108bn Naira Budget For 2017The Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, has presented 2017 fiscal year budget proposal of over 108 billion Naira to the state House of Assembly for passage.

The budget tagged ‘Budget of Consolidation’ is N22.9 billion and 21.27% more than the 2016 budget.

Governor Bello, while presenting the budget to the members of the state House of Assembly on Friday, said that the proposed budget comprises of a recurrent expenditure of N48,047,960,278 which is 44.45% of the budget and Capital Expenditure of N60,026,337,973 which is 55.55% of the budget size.

The Governor stated that the budget would be generated through Statutory Allocation of N50,695,206,724, Value Added Tax (VAT) of N8,793,474,040, Internally Generated Revenue of N12,403,874,117, Paris Club loan N13,400,000,000 and Capital Receipts of N22,781,770,379.

He further said that the budget would focus on Youth and Women Empowerment as they constitute a large part of the population; completion of projects; enhancement of IGR; re-introduction of teachers’ colleges; transformation of education and development of waterworks.

The Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Ahmed Marafa, in his remark, said that the lawmakers would ensure the passage of the bill in a shortest possible time and would intensify effort in monitoring the 2017 budget performance so as to provide social amenities to the people in the state.

The Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, Hon Jonathan Vatsa,  while reacting to the budget presented by the Governor to the state House of Assembly, says that the Governor has good intentions for the people of the state focusing on youths and women empowerment and re-introduction of teachers colleges, transformation of education in the state.

We Shall Soon Overcome Economic Recession – Osinbajo

We Shall Soon Overcome Economic Recession – OsinbajoVice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has predicted that the country shall soon overcome the present challenges and the biting economic recession.

He said this at the Minna Choral Society (MCS) 8th annual Festival of Songs and Concert, in Minna, Niger State capital.

He, however said that strict adherence to divine instructions is the panacea to bailing the country out of the present recession.

Drawing inference from the theme of the concert, “More than Conquerors”, the Vice President said, “in all our numerous challenges, we are more than conquerors. We will overcome our challenges and difficulties”.

Osinbajo noted that despite the challenges being faced as a nation, “God still loves this country so much that He will not let us down. We can count on God no matter the situation”.

Citing from Romans 8:37, the Vice President said that he was convinced that no situation will make Nigeria go down but advised that obedience to divine instructions is a guarantee for victory over the current challenges.

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, who was also in attendance at the concert, challenged all to imbibe the teachings of God as prescribed in the holy books for the country to experience a turning point.

“Are we practising what is in the holy books? Are we our brother’s keeper? It is only when this is done that we can make a turning point in this country and make our country crisis free.”

Gov. Bello decried the deteriorating state of morality in youths and called on all youths to shun every act that will undermine the existence of the nation.

He assured them of his determination to give them opportunities to express their God-given talents.

He then commended the choristers and urged them to use the opportunity provided by MCS as a foundation for a greater tomorrow.

Governor Bello Describes Sultan’s Reign As Monumental Success

Governor bello, SultanNiger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello has applauded the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, for his significant contributions to the unity, peace, progress and development of the Nigeria, in his first decade on the throne.

In a congratulatory message to Northern Nigeria’s most eminent monarch and spiritual leader of the Muslims, Governor Sani Bello described the sultan’s ten-year reign as one filled with immeasurable activities, challenges and ultimately, overwhelming success.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Jibrin Ndace, the Governor said the Sultan has been able to bring hope and understanding where despair, desperation and uncertainty had taken hold.

He cited instances of the various initiatives and efforts made by the monarch to counter negative perception and reduce influence of ethnic-religious extremists in Nigeria via various fora, which included inviting international Joint Muslim-Christian Delegations to Nigeria.

Governor Bello also noted that, as the 20th Sultan of Sokoto, and the President of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, (NSCIA), Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar’s reign was instrumental to the establishment of Nigeria’s Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), which is championing the course for sustainable peace, security, ethnic-religious harmony among people of various faiths.

“The Sultan’s reign has brought unity and peaceful co-existence and greatly reduced mutual suspicion and tension among people from different religious and ethnic backgrounds.

“He has been able to sustain and enhance the status of the throne and wield influence that transcends the country’s borders.

Governor bello, Sultan
Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III

“These efforts have earned the Sultan national and international recognition including joint nomination with Cardinal John Onayekan, for Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of their peace-building roles,” the Governor stated.

“We are proud to celebrate a strategic leader and statesman, whose positive attitude, strong will, discipline, self-confidence and ability to manage people have been significant factors towards the progress and development of the Sultanate in particular and the country in general.

“He has clearly combined his military experience with the Sultanate leadership values in the discharge of his responsibilities,” he added.

While acknowledging the roles of traditional rulers and religious leaders in nation-building, Bello stressed the need for the government to support them by creating the right platform for them to function effectively.

The Governor prayed that the spiritual leader witnesses many more decades ahead, in good health and wisdom to continue with his “remarkable service to humanity,” by promoting mutual respect and condemning bigotry wherever it rears its head.

Sa’ad Abubakar who was a one time serving  Brigadier  General of  the Armoured  Corps, Nigerian Army, was recalled to take office as  the 20th Sultan on November 2, 2006 following the demise of his brother, Muhammadu Maccido, who died in the ill-fated ADC Airline crash in Abuja.

FG, CBN Restates Commitment To Boost Rice Production To End Importation

Audu-Ogbeh-Bank-Of-AgricultureThe Federal Government is set to support the Niger state government with irrigation equipment, to enabled its rice farmers in the production of one million metric tons of rice by the end of this year’s dry season farming.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogheh made this known at Sachi village, Lavun Local Government of Niger state in an inspection tour of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Anchor Borrowers Program of States. He added that so far about 2 billion Naira has been spent through the scheme in the state.

He said that over 2,000 farmers from 57 cooperatives had so far benefited from the program in Niger State, hence 1,700 are preparing for this dry season farming and 907 cotton farmers are to benefit from the CBN programme.

The Minister informed that soon Nigeria will be able to feed the nation with rice produce and export, just as the provision of irrigation facilities to increase output  includes: solar power water pumping machines, small rice milling facilities, thrashers and combine harvesters to ease the processing of rice produce to boost their economy.

The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele in his remarks applauded the Niger State Government and the cooperatives for their zeal for the 30,000 hectres of land for the programme.

He noted that 2 billion Naira had been disbursed for 14,000 farmers in the state so far under the program.

He assured of speedy process of the scheme by considering the comparative advantage of Niger State in rice production, adding that the state is in competition with Kebbi state.

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State at the event expressed the determination of the state government in assisting farmers to improved production while awaiting the promised rice mills so as to take off immediately.

Governor Bello stressed the need for a template on the technical specifications from the committee, assured of 90,000 square kilometers awaiting for cultivation hence other senatorial zones of the state to be taken in to consideration.

He expressed satisfaction over the support from CBN and Federal government as this has created jobs for the youths in the area, while calling for the support in the area of irrigation system to ease dry season farming in the state.

Meanwhile, the Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Atiku Badugu appreciated the effort of President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring sustainable dry season farming in the country and actualizing the feeding of Nigerians.

The leader of the Anchor Scheme Cooperatives, Ahmed Muhammadu expressed happiness over the CBN program but said that they were challenged with lack of irrigation equipment which if not provided, would hinder the actualization of the dry season farming in the area.

Bauchi Governor Foresees Bright Future For Nigeria

bauchi govDespite the dwindling economic fortune and other social challenges confronting the country, the Bauchi State Governor, Barrister Mohammed Abubakar has predicted a bright future for the country.

Governor Abubakar said this to Channels Television in Minna shortly after he paid a visit to Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello.

The Bauchi Governor expressed optimism that the country would bounce back and occupy her rightful position in the League of Nations.

He said the enthronement of probity and transparency by the All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration are pointers that the country was on the path of regaining her lost glory.

“There is hope for Nigeria despite the present challenges. The All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government has engendered probity and it has also engendered transparency in the running of the affairs of Government and these have started to yield a lot of fruits,“ the governor noted.

The governor cited the increase in revenue from non-oil sector that has culminated in increase in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) due to prudent and transparent management of the nation’s resources as an indication of good things to come.

He also admitted that President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling party are aware of the expectations of the people and appealed for patience and understanding on the part of members of the public.

Mohammed Abubakar argued that many years of mismanagement and fraud would require time, patience and prudent management of the resources to put the country back on track.

“Human beings tend to forget quickly that was 16 years of fraud and of mismanagement that brought us to where we are now and what we are doing in the last one year and few months is to stabilise the politics and with the probity and transparency of this administration, Nigeria is set for greatness again”.

On the move by the APC Governors’ Forum to mediate in the crisis engulfing the National Assembly, Gov. Mohammed Abubakar said that various litigation’s by the lawmakers may have restrained their intervention.

According to the governor, “All the APC Governors had informed Mr. President that we intend to intervene in the crisis in the National Assembly but we are not going to intervene on issues before the court.

“At that time the problems at the House of Representatives had not blown out and since there are elements of alleged crime committed, there is no way the Governors’ Forum will intervene but we are committed to ensure peace of the country”.

He also debunked media reports making round of crisis in his state, describing political development in the state as healthy.

Niger Governor Approves N2.06 Billion For Pensioners’ Arrears

Niger State, Abubakar Bello, Beji ElectrificationThe Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello has directed the release of the sum of 2.06 billion naira for the payment of 1,341 pensioners’ backlog of all arrears with immediate effect.

The Director General, Niger State Pension Board, Usman Muhammad made the disclosure in an interview with Channels Television in Minna.

He said that 1,096 local government retirees and 255 pensioners in the state civil service were to benefit from the payment.

He however stated that the board will begin payment with state pensioners that left the service under the old pension scheme before others receive their entitlements.

Mr Muhammad said that those to be paid would have to provide among others their letters of first appointment and disengagement from the service while relations of deceased workers must produce the death certificate of their relation they intend to claim their entitlements.

The Director General warned that the board would not tolerate any sharp practices during the payment’s as the full weight of the law would be brought on any one, including staff of the board that tried to circumvent the process.

He emphasized that the board was ‘critically looking into the problems associated with the pensioners that fall under the new Contributory Pension Scheme’s (CPS) with a view to ensuring they received their benefits as soon as possible’.

Mr Mohammad assured to make a different by re-positioning the board even as he believed that the payment of the entitlements of pensioners ‘will not only reflate the economy but will make those affected happy’.

He added that the governor out of magnanimity has approved the Group Life Insurance and three years emolument to next of kin as a result of death of bread winner.

Blame Parents For Child Beggars In Northern Nigeria – Gov. Bello

Child beggars, Almajiris, Northern NigeriaNiger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, has blamed parents for the influx and high rate of child beggars, otherwise known as Almajiris, on the streets of across major towns in the northern region of Nigeria.

He accused parents of abandoning their responsibilities of bringing up children under the guise of religion by sending their wards far away from home to seek Islamic knowledge without anything to support them.

The Governor made this observation when he paid host to the new State Comptroller of Immigration, Mrs. Tamuno Oyedeji in his office in Minna.

He stated that gone were the days when people go afar to seek Islamic knowledge stressing that there were enough Muslim Clerics spread across the region and it was callous and inhuman to send a child from far towns to Minna in other to acquire Islamic education.

Governor Sani Bello, who described the development as unacceptable, lamented that these children are left not catered for, stressing that the state government would do everything possible to protect such vulnerable children so that they don’t become menace to the society.

“We are also fine-tuning some laws in this regard with the hope that it would bring enduring solution to the problem. But in the main time, we have decided to send these child beggars on the street back to their parents”, the Governor added.

The Governor then pledged to sustain the joint patrol with the Immigration Service in the state in order to intensify patrol within the state and across its borders with Niger and Benin Republics to check irregular migrants.

He called on officers of the service to put an eagle eye and pay attention to entry flights into the country, especially those returning pilgrims, in other to apprehend those who might sneak in illegally.

Governor Sani Bello promised to assist the state command of the Immigration Service with logistics to boost its monitoring and surveillance across the state.

The new State Comptroller, Mrs. Tamuno Oyedeji acknowledged the continued support of the state government to the Immigration Service.

She gave the assurance that they would work with relevant stakeholders to ensure sustainable peace and stability in the state.

FG Advocates Free Medical Services To Boost Production

Health-workers-strikeThe Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Folorunso Adewale, has advocated for free medical services in the country so as to boost production.

The Minister also noted that the plan is also aimed at freeing the nation from treatable diseases, as FG plans to establish 10,000 Primary Health Centres.

Adewale made the disclosure at Beji in Niger State, while flagging off ‘Pilot Functional Focal Primary Health Care Centre’ and Free Surgery Festival between Graceland Global Projects Limited with Niger State government in the 25 local governments in the state.

He attributed the effect of some diseases to poverty and lack of access to quick, effective medical services especially in the rural areas of the country and applauded the state governor for the foresight, commitment and caring for recognizing the value of health to the development of the people in the state.

The Minister promised to collaborate with the Niger State government in the areas of human and material support to ensure the success of the entire program in the state.

The Niger State Governor, Mr Abubakar Sani Bello, said it was part of his fulfilment for his political campaign promise to the people of the area assuring to health services accessible, affordable and sustainable in the state .

Gov. Bello further said that the government plans to establish a functional focal primary health care center in each of the 274 wards and essential health services to World Health Organisation (WHO) standard in all the 25 local governments in the state to improve the quality of lives of the people.

The Commissioner of Health and Hospital Services, Dr Mustapha Mohammed Jibril stated that about 170 health workers has been employed to replace the retirees and vacancies.

Jibril further said that two doctors were undergoing disciplinary actions over negligence that caused the death of patients to serve as deterrent to others.

He assured of the government’s commitment to revitalize the primary health care system in the state.