Uncovered 50,000 Ghost Workers Saved FG 200bn Naira In 2016 – Presidency

Federal Government, Presidency, Ghost Workers, Garba ShehuThe Federal Government says it has rid its payroll of 50,000 ghost workers and saved Nigeria 200 billion Naira.

The government also disclosed that 13 billion Naira has been taken off the payroll monthly from February to December 2016.

The spokesman to the President, Mr Garba Shehu, made the announcement at an interactive meeting with reporters on Tuesday to mark the end the year.

Mr Garba revealed that 11 persons championing the syndicate of ghost workers have been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for interrogation.

Continuous Auditing

“The flagship programme of the Muhammadu Buhari administration to rid the system of fraud and instill good governance is on course. Through a notable initiative, the Efficiency Unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance, the government has embarked on the continuous auditing of the salaries and wages of government departments.

“When the committee was constituted in February 2016, the Federal Government monthly salary bill was 151 billion Naira, excluding pensions. Now the monthly salary warrant is 138 billion Naira, excluding pensions. Which means that the government is making a monthly saving of about 13 billion Naira (that is from February 2016 till date),” said the President’s spokesman.

Mr Shehu added that “the pension bill was 15.5 billion Naira monthly as at February. Now it is down to 14.4 billion Naira, which means average monthly saving made is of about 1.1 billion Naira”.

He said that the total number of ghost workers so far removed from the payroll was about 50,000, stressing that some of those allegedly championing the syndicate of the ghost workers were already undergoing trial.

Federal Government Adoptees

Mr Shehu further noted that the recently-released 21 Chibok girls were being treated as adoptees of the Federal Government, but revealed that there was a lot of local and international interest in the future plans of the girls.

“A black American billionaire, Mr Robert Smith, who is currently sponsoring the education of 24 girls from Chibok, among them the first set of escapees from Boko Haram at the American University of Nigeria, Yola has offered to pay for the education of the 21 released through negotiations and is offering to take responsibility for all the others who will hopefully be eventually set free. The Murtala Mohammed Foundation in the country is equally interested,” he said.

Shehu also responded to complaints by some of the parents of the 21 Chibok Girls that they did not have enough room for interaction with their daughters brought home for Christmas by the Department of State Services (DSS).

Buhari, three-day trip, Germany, Aisha Buhari, 21 Chibok girls

He admitted that there were some hitches arising from a lack of understanding of the objective of the trip on the part of some security operatives but that following the receipt of the complaint, a directive had been given from the headquarters for the access by the parents to be eased.

“If the situation persists, please let us know so that the higher authorities will make a further intercession,” he stated.

Issue Of Interest In APC

The President’s aide also addressed an issue of interest to a lot of the members of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) concerning appointments into boards.

He assured the public that the process would be fully back on track at the beginning of the new year.

“You know that the reconstitution began methodically, from sector by sector. You should expect that to resume at the beginning of the New Year. The President has given directions on what to do,” he told reporters.

Favorable Environment For Diversification

On the agricultural programmes of the administration, Mr Shehu said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s persistent call for a return to farming was yielding good results.

“The talk about agriculture has driven people to the farm. This year, there is a huge boom in the rural economy. We have witnessed an excellent harvest. Farmers are getting value for their output. What has encouraged farmers the more is the increasing availability of extension services. New farming techniques are helping farmers to do their occupation better. The readiness of off takers to buy the produce is also a major boost.

Unemployment, kwara, 20,000 Jobs, Agriculture

“When you put all these together with the systematic move to curb importation, as they boost local production through the restriction of the available foreign exchange to critically important sectors of the economy, you have favorable environment for the diversification of the economy.

“As we speak, several of the country’s major manufacturing industries are actively backward-integrating- Nestle, Unilever, the breweries are using what we have as local materials, changing their formulations to maintain production levels and keep their share of the market.

“Manufacturers, who are hooked on import of raw materials, are advised to re-strategise and take full advantage of local raw materials. The future belongs to those who employ the use of local raw materials,” the spokesman added.

American University Of Nigeria To Host 4th Annual Homecoming

American University of Nigeria.The American University of Nigeria (AUN) in Yola, Adamawa State, is set to host its annual Homecoming starting from November 3.

The week-long celebration in the north-eastern Nigerian state will be the fourth in a series and will focus on the University and its achievements with expectation of its alumni in their numbers.

In a statement announcing the event, the Alumni Relations coordinator, Mr Peter Paya, said: “This year’s Homecoming will be dedicated to celebrating 10 years of the American University of Nigeria from inception in 2004”.

AUN alumni in private enterprises and top multinational companies across Nigeria and the world, as well as in top graduate schools around the world will have a mentorship forum with seniors and juniors in an event tagged “Alumni Success Galore”.

The statement says activities lined up for this year will feature entertainment celebrities such as Patoranking, Sheyi Shay, Skales, Ayo J, and DJ Bally, a professional career fair, Mr. & Miss AUN pageant, as well as community service to engage returning alums.

Oneness and Loyalty To Alma Mater

According to the statement,the 10th anniversary Homecoming will be celebrating Alums with extraordinary achievements in their various fields, such as Mrs Michael Njoku, Daniel Harbor and Tosin Komolafe, who jointly developed the OpenERP for resources management at the University.

Also to be honored are Mr Dooyum Malu, who recently joined Google Inc., Mr Soji Abolarin, who founded a fast-growing online gadget store Afriqbuy.com, and others working with corporations like McKinsey, Shell, PwC, and Chevron. Alumni will also be reconnecting with former graduates who are pursuing or have completed their graduate programs at prestigious universities in America, Europe, and Asia.

The Homecoming, according to the statement, “is an American university tradition that fosters oneness, loyalty to Alma mater, and reunion among alumni, as it offers alums and the opportunity to build on the University’s mission statement, as a Development University.  It will also provide a platform for AUN graduates to give back to that immediate community as they reaffirm their commitment to contributing to the society at large”.

The Homecoming is one of the biggest annual celebrations in American Universities around the globe.

AUN held its first Homecoming in 2011, and has since kept faith with this good old academic tradition which it hosts in the fall semester.

American University of Nigeria Announces Death of Dean Akpan

American University of NigeriaThe American University of Nigeria (AUN) Yola, Adamawa State, north-east Nigeria, has announced the death of Dr. Idorenyin Akpan.

Dr Akpan died on Wednesday October 29, 2014, in an Abuja hospital after a brief illness.

Until his untimely death, Dr. Akpan was the university’s Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, and chair of its Communications and Multimedia Department.

AUN President, Margee Ensign, described the news of Dean Akpan’s death as “deeply saddening”.

She sent her condolences, on behalf of the university community, to his wife, friends and relations and prayed for the repose of his soul.

Burial announcement would be made by his family.

US Ambassador Assures Of Bilateral Ties Between United States And Nigeria

United StatesThe Ambassador of United States of America to Nigeria, James F. Entwistle, says the cordial relationship between his country and Nigeria is a mutually beneficial rapport that will have a lasting development impact, not just on Nigeria, but on the African continent as a whole.

He was speaking on Thursday in Yola, Adamawa State, when he visited the American University of Nigeria (AUN) where he held interaction with students and lecturers of the institution.

Addressing the students and lecturers as well as dignitaries at the occasion, Mr. James Entwistle appreciated the growing relationship between Nigeria and the United States and gave assurances that the US Government would continue to partner with Nigeria towards achieving political, social and economic success for the development of the country which by extension would also have a positive effect on the African continent as a whole.

He expressed optimism that Nigeria would overcome in its war on terrorism, pointing out that the United States would continue to accord Nigeria the desired support to triumph over the terrorist group, Boko Haram.

Nigeria and the US, according to him, share things in common, citing example with the menace of terrorism which both countries are collaborating towards ending.

He expressed confidence in Nigeria, saying the country has great potentials and commended the efforts of the country in stamping out the Ebola virus.

The President of the institution, Margee Ensign, appreciated the founder of the institution, Atiku Abubakar, whom she said, is currently sharing the vision of American style of university education with Nigeria.

She said that the institution is achieving its goal and also building the democracy which Nigeria and the US share in common.