Buhari Rebuked Official For Shunning Acting President – Garba Shehu

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu has given an insight into the power challenges happening at the presidency.

Mr. Shehu while speaking as a guest on Sunrise Daily emphasised that the Presiden,t Muhammadu Buhari has transferred powers to the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo.

Sighting an example, he said that an official went to see the President in London to sign a document but the President sent him back to the Acting President, noting that he is presently in charge of the country.

“Once the President has transferred powers, If your the Inspector General of Police and the Acting President says go and do ABC, You are fired if you don’t do it.

“I am aware that a senior official went to President Buhari in the UK and took some documents to him to deal with and the president said no I won’t, the man responsible for the country is in Abuja, so take it to him.

Mr. Shehu referred to such action by the government official as a disrespect to the Acting President.

He added that the President is not someone that wanted power for his own sake but since he has transferred powers to the Acting President, all national matters should be handled by him.

Constitution’s Stand On Buhari’s Health

Mr. Shehu explained that there is no requirement in the Constitution for the President to disclose his health situation.

“The Constitution of the Nigeria, the matters of the law did not make it a requirement for him (the President) to disclose his health situation as it is at the moment”.

He noted that this is not the President’s first medical trip abroad since he assumed power.

“He went in January and returned without prompting anyone, he spoke on television to tell Nigerians what he went through”.

He appealed to Nigerians to be patient and allow the President to fully recover and return back to the country.

“Nigerians should the President a benefit of the doubt, with a little bit of patience, I will not be surprised if he tells Nigerians what he went through”.

He also referred to the statement by a legal practitioner, Ebun Adegboruwa, saying that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has lost the moral right to retain power when the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari expires in 2019, as “reckless”

Mr. Adegboruwa said this during an interview on Tuesday when he appeared on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.

He noted that the Federal Government has broken the promises made to the people, although there were improvements in a few areas such as the anti-corruption war.

“The All Progressives Congress (APC) has lost the moral right to retain power, it goes beyond the President’s state of health. Everything you call a bond between a people and a leader has been broken, every promise made to Nigerians has been broken except in a few areas of course like the fight against insurgency and of course the fight against corruption minus the media trial of course, surely we have seen some improvement,” he said.

The lawyer, who asked Nigerians to pray for President Buhari who is receiving medical attention in the United Kingdom, however, stated that not disclosing his health status was discouraging.

FEC Celebrates Acting President Osinbajo At 60

osinbajo The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has reiterated its commitment to getting Nigeria out of recession before the end of 2017‎.

The resolve was made during the FEC meeting chaired by the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who clocked 60 on Wednesday.

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Although members of the Council may not have rehearsed very well, they honoured Professor Osinbajo with a warm song.

The meeting was brought to a close with the cutting of the birthday cake as some of the ministers joined the Acting President in a photo session.

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Briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, said the 2017 budget has been structured to pull Nigeria out of recession.

The Minister added that the government was anxious to get the budget passed in order to begin its implementation.

He also noted that the release of the budget would fast-track the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) recently released by the Ministry of Budget.

The Council thereafter, approved the contract for the construction of the Greater Abuja Water Supply Project at the cost of $470 million.

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Mohammed Bello, stressed the importance of the project to provide potable water to residents of the greater part of the FCT.

UN Security Council Meets With Osinbajo

UN Security Council Meets With OsinbajoNigeria’s Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has assured the visiting United Nations Security Council mission that steps are being taken to ensure that human rights culture is institutionalised in the Nigerian Military to avoid negative reports of human rights abuse.

Professor Osinbajo said this during a closed door meeting with the UN delegation at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

He, however, noted that it was time for the international community to take another look at the international legal instruments and conventions that govern warfare and conflicts in the light of the unconventional and brutal operations of terrorists and insurgents around the world.

“We must, on a global scale look again at how to deal with these new challenges.

“We need to look at the governing conventions, as well as what type of legal categories and recognition of law we should give them.

“We need to re-examine how to deal with these individuals according to law,” the Acting President said in a statement issued on Monday by his spokesman, Laolu Akande.

He also assured the UN team that the Federal Government would progressively review the Rules of Engagement by the military and across the nation’s security system while taking human rights issues into consideration.

Professor Osinbajo added that President Muhammadu Buhari’s Social Investment Programmes which include the Conditional Cash Transfer, the GEEP Micro Credit scheme and the N-Power job programme would cater to the developmental needs of the northeast.

He said “we are already disbursing the cash transfers in some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps and host communities,” adding that the present administration was implementing a micro-credit scheme while using the Social Investment Programmes to resuscitate the local economies, including through the Anchor Borrowers’ plan for farmers.

The Acting President further urged the international community to support the Federal Government in the area of humanitarian response, describing the challenge as “massive”.

He hinted that the government was also in the process of passing a Northeast Development Commission bill that would deal with some of the long term developmental issues.

The Security Council members were led to the Presidential Villa by the UK Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Mathew Rycroft.

The team comprises of all the five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members of the Security Council.

Speaking earlier at the meeting, Ambassador Rycroft praised the Nigerian Government for its handling of the humanitarian challenge in the Northeast.

He called for a long term developmental outlook in the region to address the issues of good governance, human rights, women’s participation, economic revival, education and jobs.

The delegation is leaving Nigeria with a pledge that the United Nations Security Council would play its role well in assisting the Nigerian Government to tackle the challenges in the conflict zones.

Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geofrey Onyeama, said the Federal Government is pleased with the tour of the northeast by the Council.

He assured the team that Nigeria would leverage on it to access all the funds needed for the rehabilitation of the IDPs in region.

The meeting was attended by some members of the Federal Executive Council and top government officials including the Minister of Defence, Major General Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd), and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama.

Others are the Minster of Budget and Planning, Udo Udoma; Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu; Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jubrin; the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin.

Osinbajo Calls For Adoption Of Anti-Corruption Models

Osinbajo Calls For Adoption Of Anti-Corruption Models The Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, is calling on Nigeria’s anti-corruption agencies to learn from the international community on the model some “less corrupt” countries have used to curb the menace in their country.

Osinbajo, who described corruption as systemic and life threatening, also appealed to the international community to assist Nigeria in the identification, recovery and repatriation of stolen assets.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Professor Itse Sagay, decried the perception and reaction of the public to corruption, saying that corruption is omnipresent in Nigeria.

Also recently, the Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, called on members of the judiciary to stand against corruption and uphold the rule of law.

According to him, the recent happenings on alleged corruption especially against some members of the judiciary, make the public question the integrity of the judiciary.

While he advocated that rights of all citizens must be upheld regardless of age or gender, Ahmed also noted that the integrity, independence and impartiality of the judiciary are essential to promoting human rights and fostering development.

Military Pledges Continuous Support To President Buhari

Military Pledges Continuous Support To President BuhariThe Nigerian military has pledged its continuous support to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, made this pledge on Wednesday during a meeting of the Security Chiefs with the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, in the Presidential Villa.

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, made this pledge on Wednesday during a meeting of the Security Chiefs with the Acting President in the Presidential Villa.

He applauded the administration’s support in the fight against Boko Haram, and the welfare of troops in crisis-ridden areas in the northeast.

Mr Dan Ali disclosed that more equipment have been procured to strengthen the troop in the fight against the terrorists.

He stated further that over 2,000 people held captive by the terrorists have been released, with several high profile Boko Haram Commanders arrested.

The Minister said normalcy has also returned to Southern Kaduna, following the recent killings in Kafanchan.

He added that efforts are ongoing to construct a military barrack in Southern Kaduna area.

Present at the Security Council briefing are the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, and the Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed.

Also in attendance are other Service Chiefs as well as Directors and Heads of Security Agencies.

FEC Approves Funds To Boost Power, Agriculture Efficiency

FECThe Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved 701 billion Naira payment assurance for power generating companies in Nigeria.

The fund, kept by the Central Bank of Nigeria, is to enhance evacuation of power by the Transmission Company of Nigeria to the various power distribution companies in the country without wastage.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, briefed State House correspondents on the approval after the FEC meeting presided over by the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osibabjo.

He said the guarantee is an instrument meant to resolve liquidity problems encountered by the power generating companies in payments to gas suppliers.

Also approved by FEC was the sum of 263 million Naira for the growing of gum arabic seedlings in the country.

The Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, said the fund was approved to strengthen the capacity of Nigeria in producing the gum, as the country ranks second in the world behind Sudan.

He said $43 million was earned from the export of gum arabic in 2016, and that 17 states are involved in the gum’s cultivation across Nigeria.

Mr Ogbeh added that the FEC also approved the distribution of improved cassava stems to farmers in the southern part of the country.

The cassava stems, to be provided by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, are to improve Nigeria’s cultivation of cassava which is a primary source of ethanol and industrial starch production.

Senate Confirms Walter Onnoghen As CJN

Walter OnnoghenThe Senate has confirmed the nomination of Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

The confirmation came after the Senate screened him for nearly 1 hour 15 minutes.

During the screening process, Federal Lawmakers questioned Justice Onnoghen on issues of the independence of the judiciary, judicial reforms, corruption in the Judiciary, as well as disobedience of court orders.

The new CJN maintained that the independence of the judiciary would continue under his watch.

He, however warned that Nigeria would be in serious trouble, the moment the judiciary is politicised.

Justice Onnoghen had been in acting capacity since November 10, 2016 when President Muhammadu Buhari okayed him for the position, following the retirement of Mahmud Mohammed.

Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, had sent his name to the Senate for confirmation as Chief Justice Of Nigeria on February 8, just two days before the expiration of his three –month acting tenure.

Also, the National Judicial Council (NJC), had extended Mr Onnoghen’s tenure by another three months on the grounds that it may have been impossible for the Senate, which was on recess at the time, to reconvene and screen Onnoghen before the expiration date of his tenure.

The initial delay by President Buhari to send his name to the Senate, had been trailed by criticism and condemnation, with some alleging ethnic bias as the reason for the President’s “seeming reluctance”.

The nomination, was however contained in the Presidency’s twitter handle saying: “Hon. Justice W.S. Onnoghen’s name has been sent to the Senate for confirmation as the next CJN.”

Onnoghen has been a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria since 2005.

His confirmation on Wednesday, makes him the first CJN from the southern part of the country in about 30 years.

Senate Commences Screening Of Walter Onnoghen

Walter OnnoghenJustice Walter Onnoghen is currently facing the senate as hearing has commenced to confirm him as Chief Justice of Nigeria.

Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, had announced that the upper chamber will screen the Acting Chief Justice on Wednesday, March 1.

Senator Saraki made the announcement at the resumption of plenary on Tuesday morning.

Justice Onnoghen has been in acting capacity since November 10, 2016 when President Muhammadu Buhari okayed him for the position, following the retirement of Mahmud Mohammed.

Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, had sent his name to the senate for confirmation as Chief Justice Of Nigeria on February 8, just two days before the expiration of his three –month acting tenure.

Also, The National Judicial Council (NJC), had extended Mr Onnoghen’s tenure by another three months on the grounds that it may have been impossible for the Senate, which was on recess at the time, to reconvene and screen Onnoghen before the expiration date of his tenure.

The initial delay by President Buhari to send his name to the Senate had been trailed by criticism and condemnation, with some alleging ethnic bias as the reason for the president’s “seeming reluctance”.

The nomination was however contained in the presidency’s twitter handle saying: “Hon. Justice W.S. Onnoghen’s name has been sent to the Senate for confirmation as the next CJN.”

Justice Onnoghen has been a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria since 2005.

If confirmed by the Upper Legislative Chamber, he would be the first CJN from the southern part of the country in about 30 years.

Osinbajo Inaugurates SDGs Private Sector Advisory Group

Yemi Osinbajo Inaugurates SDGs Private Sector Advisory GroupActing President Yemi Osinbajo says the Nigerian elite has a responsibility to ensure that they do something fundamental to transform the Nigerian society.

Professor Osinbajo was speaking at the inauguration of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Private Sector Advisory Group at the Presidential Villa.

According to him, countries that have pulled their people out of poverty succeeded because the elite in such societies decided to do so.

Some of the targets of the 17 SDGs, which have taken over from the millennium development goals include: to overcome poverty, reduce hunger, introduce good health and quality education, as well as good jobs and economic growth.

The event was attended by captains of industry in the Nigeria, including the Chairman of Channels Media Group, Mr John Momoh.

The Federal Government believes that those present at the gathering are part of the Nigerian elite that must play a role to achieve the sustainable development goals.

In her address, former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Adejoke Orelope, noted that no country can survive without the private sector.

She challenged the participants to bring their expertise to bear on the achievement of the goals.

The Chairman of Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, identified the non-involvement of the private sector as one of the reasons responsible for the non-performance of the millennium development goals.

In their various remarks, Mr Momoh and other sector representatives promised to unleash their experience and arsenals behind the goals.

FG Activates $20bn Gas Industrial Park In Delta

Yemi Osinbajo, Gas Industrial Park, DeltaEfforts by the Federal Government to fast track the development of the Niger Delta appear to be in full swing, as it plans to site a $20 billion gas industrial park in the region through a public-private partnership.

This was made known on Monday by Nigeria’s Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, during a meeting with a group of international investors and developers on the project at the Presidential Villa.

The consortium is made up of fortune 500 companies which include the GSE&C of South Korea, the China Development Bank, Power China and several other global operators from Asia and the United Arab Emirates in the Middle-East.

A statement from the Vice President’s office explained that the project, tagged the Gas Revolution Industrial Park (GRIP), would be located in Ogidigben, Delta State, and is envisaged to be a regional hub for all gas-based industries.

According to the Acting President, the project would cover 2700 hectares with fertiliser, methanol, petrochemicals, and aluminium plants located in the park which has already been designated as a Tax Free Zone by the Federal Government.

He said the government “is committed to the development of the Niger Delta, and the importance of this project is underlined by the presidential attention it is attracting. The presidency is very interested”.

We Are Unwavering

Professor Osinbajo added that the Federal Government takes the project very seriously, just as it is ready to make several other commitments to change the fortune of the oil-producing states.

“We already have a steering committee in place, chaired by the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, and that shows the level of our commitment. We are unwavering.

“We take the project very seriously and glad to see you are committed and ready to make several other commitments. This is a process that we intend to see happen,” he said.

On his part, Dr. Kachikwu expressed confidence that the GRIP would bring the much needed succour to the people of the Niger Delta and the oil-producing states.

Speaking earlier, the leader of the group of investors and developers, Sheikh Mohamed Bayorh, stated the commitment of the consortium, stressing the importance of the project to solving the Niger Delta crisis.

The development comes against the backdrop of the recent visit by the Acting President to the oil-producing communities, to demonstrate the resolve of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration to pursue a new vision for the Niger Delta.

APC National Chairman Assures Citizens Of Stable Leadership

APC, PetroleumThe National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Mr John Oyegun, says Nigeria is still under a stable leadership under the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, as he believes strongly in both what the president and the party stands for in terms of effective leadership.

Mr Oyegun was speaking when a delegation of the national leadership of the party paid a condolence visit to Okwuosa family in Oraifite, Anambra state on Saturday.

He, further assured Nigerians that the temporary absence of the president did not affect the conduct of government business.

According to him, the president had already built a firm foundation for national leadership and everything was still in perfect shape for the good of the entire nation, even as citizens look forward for his return in good health.

He said, “Well the president is there, he may not be physically with us right now. the nation is on course, no question about that because we are lucky. We have a very cerebral acting president and vice president.

“We have a man who believes strongly in what the president stands for and what the party stands for and we have an administration that is strong, firm on the ground and very much in charge.

“The temporary absence of Mr President does not affect the conduct of government business.

“Of course we will like to have him here, of course we will love to have him in good shape, strong, as the leader of the team, but we thank God he has built a very strong and firm foundation of national leadership, we miss him but business is going on.”

FEC Holds Valedictory Session For Amina Mohammed

FEC Holds Valedictory Session For Amina MohammedIt was an emotional moment in the council chambers of the Presidential Villa, as Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council held a valedictory session for the out-going Minister Of Environment, Amina Mohammed.

Mrs Mohammed, who has served the President Muhammadu Buhari administration for 15 months, is set to take over as the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations on March 7, 2017.

The Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who chaired the session, described the out-going minister as a role model to Nigerian women.

Some of her colleagues also lauded her achievements, describing her as a gift from Nigeria to the world.

The minister, who could not hide her emotions while giving her address, said she was proud to be the one to fly Nigeria’s flag up there at the United Nations, promising to give it her best shot.