Fight Against Corruption: Jonathan Commissions Auditor-General’s Office

The Federal Government has resolved to strengthen the office of the Auditor-General to give it more impetus in the fight against corruption.

President Goodluck Jonathan gave the indication while commissioning the headquarters complex of the Auditor-General of the Federation’s office in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The President   decried a situation where a national accountability institution like the Auditor-General would be allowed to operate from a three bed room apartment, a situation not befitting to its image.

He commended the National Assembly for the audit bill and the relevant constitutional amendment that would strengthen the Auditor-General’s office for the good of Nigeria.

The President said that he granted the request by the National Assembly for the acquisition of the new building that was commissioned, believing that the Auditor-General needs a conducive working environment to discharge the important work in the fight against corruption.

The commissioning attracted the FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed, and some Nigerian lawmakers who asserted that the auditors were the first line of defence in the fight against corruption, even before one gets to the EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies.

The Auditor-General, Samuel Ukura and his staff expressed joy at the commissioning. He said that henceforth, Nigerians should expect international best practices in their operations.

The Auditor-General of the Federation, Samuel Ukura, noted that by providing the building, the President has sharpened the teeth of the Auditors-General to bite, and that they would do, not minding whose ox is gored in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

Jonathan Commissions Nigeria-Turkish Hospital

The Federal Government says it is committed to the provision of improved healthcare for all Nigerians, and to make this work, it has constituted a high level committee of experts to develop a modern healthcare infrastructure.

President Jonathan said this on Thursday while commissioning the Nigeria-Turkish Nizamiye Hospital in the Federal Capital Territory.

The President, who was also the Special Guest of Honour, told the hospital management that the commissioning was a land mark event, in line with his determination to ensure access to quality and affordable health care for the citizens.

He praised the management of the 80-bed private hospital for the noble project, which he said represents a significant investment in the Nigerian health sector.

A tour of the 80-bed hospital revealed that it was equipped with modern facilities that would cover medical areas like radiology, urology, paediatrics, cardiology, pharmacy and neurosurgery, to mention a few.

The Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Mustafa Ahsen and the Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Mustafa Pulat, both said that the hospital was built to deepen relations between Turkey and Nigeria, away from business into health matters, adding that like any other private hospital, the Nigeria-Turkish Nizamiye Hospital was affordable to all.

The Minister of the FCT, Bala Mohammed and the Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, speaking separately, both emphasised the need to continue to partner with the private sector to arrest capital flights abroad for medical needs.

The Nigeria Turkish Nizamiye Hospital has been referred to as one of the best structures adorning the landscape of the Life Camp area of the Federal Capital Territory, and its commissioning attracted very prominent citizens from all walks of life, especially members of the diplomatic community.

Jonathan Commissions Ultra-Modern Market In Abuja

The Federal Government has demonstrated a determination to partner with the private sector in the provision of essential infrastructural projects that are beneficial to the Nigerian people.

The government validated this commitment by its commissioning of an ultra-modern market in the Federal Capital Territory on Thursday.

President Goodluck Jonathan described trade as the lifeline of every economy and that his administration was poised to do all in its powers to ensure that markets across the country are modernised with good facilities to complement the urban needs of the citizens.

He said that Abuja must be made an enviable city that Nigerians can be proud of, and called on the private sector not to relent in supporting the administration to succeed.

The ultra-modern market, located in the Wuye district of the Federal Capital Territory, occupies a large expanse of land and is said to be the first of its kind in West Africa. It was constructed under the ‘build, operate and transfer’ arrangement.

It has 2,000 shops, some in duplex, comprising of courtyards, warehouses, cold rooms, clinic and banking facilities, police and fire stations, refuse dumps, mosques and a chapel.

The President, who was at the commissioning in company of the first lady, described the market as a New Year gift to market women. He observed that growth in the country comes from internal trade, which requires government action.

He was joined by the first lady for the commissioning proper, as well as the unveiling of the block named after her in the market.

The Minister Of Trade and Investments, Olusegun Aganga, and that of the FCT, Bala Mohammed, expressed their excitement that the project was in line with the domestic policy of  the government, promising to replicate it across the country.

The President of the Market Women Association, Eugienia Sanni, said that the women, who are also the developers, were happy for the new development, appreciating the government for involving them in the construction of the market.

The ceremony drew the attendance of Nigerians cutting across all spheres of the society – politicians, market women, and government officials, captains of industries and officials of organized labour.

The modern market project started in 2004 and was completed 10years after.

Telephone Scam: SSS Urges Public to be Careful of Fraudsters

Mobile telephone users in the country who are in the habit of not paying attention to issues of their mobile telephone,  have been advised to report to their service providers if they are unable to make or receive calls within a reasonable time.

The Assistant Director, Operations of the Federal Capital Territory Command of the Department of State Service, Ibrahim Halilu gave the advice in Abuja while parading a suspected fraudster, Ibrahim Takat who was arrested in connection with the cloning of the mobile phone number of the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory , Senator Bala Mohammed.

The suspect who is accused of using the cloned number to obtain three million naira from the minister’s account however says a friend of his who is at large deposited the said amount in his account out of which he was given four hundred thousand naira only.

The command disclosed that the suspect will be arraigned in court as soon as investigation is completed.

Booming Fruit Market Struggles With Filth

Traders in the Zuba fruit market, located in Abuja have called on the government to look into two major problems, lack of infrastructure and filth.

The market which is a commercial centre for many traders from different parts of the country and neighbouring countries, struggles with the challenge of managing and disposing its waste.

A trader, Dorothy Uwaeze told Channels Television that many of the traders and customers visit the hospital regularly because worms penetrate their skins, especially those who do not wear boots to protect theri feet.

The secretary of the market committee, Bala Mohammed, disclosed that the market has been in existence for 20 years and welcomes traders of different tribes from various parts of the country, who conduct their business in the market.

However, the market suffers lack of good infrastructure and cleaning system as traders have complained of the filthy environment they are forced to conduct business in.

FG Sets Up 15-Man Committee To Investigate Gwako Clashes

The Federal Government has constituted a 15-man reconciliation and investigation committee to investigate the recent communal clash in Gwako village in the Federal Capital Territory, which left two people dead.

Speaking at an emergency meeting of the villagers and traditional chiefs, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory; Senator Bala Mohammed gave the committee one week to submit its findings and vowed that all those involved in the violent clash would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

Following threats of reprisal attacks by the Fulani people, the minister directed the FCT commissioner of police, Mr Adenrele Shinaba to heighten security around the vicinity to ensure safety of lives.

A makeshift refugee camp has been put in place to house hundreds of these displaced Fulani people that was attacked by Gwari people in Gwagwalada area council of the FCT.

This bloody clash between the Fulani and the Gwari people over cattle grazing is the first of its kind in ten years of their co-existence behind the university of Abuja grounds.

According to the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, the violence which has drawn huge attention will not be taken lightly, as a 15-man committee has been constituted to start investigation and the minister vowed to fish out the perpetrators of the dastardly act.

At the refugee camp, many of the Fulanis who challenged the government to live up to its promise were also quick to appeal for calm.

Narrating the incidence in their local language, they ask for increased security and relief materials.

However representative of the Gwari people, Alkali Ibrahim said the Federal Government’s investigation is apt but rumours of reprisal attacks by the Fulanis cannot be ignored.

Gwako Clashes: Perpetrators Will Be Severely Punished –FG

Following the clashes in Gwagwalada, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala mohammed has visited the site of the violence after which he had a meeting with the warring factions today in Abuja said a committee is being set up to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the incident and that all those behind the Gwako clashes which left two people dead will not be spared.

At that perpetrators of the incident will be severely punished according to the laws of the land.

Already 1,000 dislodge people are at the moment being taken care of by NEMA, at the University of Abuja where the displaced people are taking refuge.

The minister also visited some of the displaced at the permanent site of the University of Abuja.

Recalling the history of traditional cordial relations between farmers and cattle rearers, he appealed to them not to take any action that would be seen as reprisal attacks.

The Minister, who inspected the site of the incident in the company of senior military and police officials, announced that relief materials including food, potable water and beddings had been sent to the displaced people.

He also urged the conflicting communities to work at restoring peace and harmony, and provided assurances that measures are being taken to ensure the security of life and property in the area.

Abuja Light Rail: Minister says it has reached final implementation stage

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, has announced that the Abuja Light Rail project has reached its final implementation stage.

Mohammed made this disclosure Tuesday in Beijing, China where he went to represent the FCT Administration (FCTA) at the signing of the agreement for the $500 million loan that is needed to bring the light rail project to conclusion.

The minister in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Information Management System, Hajia Jamilla Tangaza, expressed satisfaction for being able to secure the loan needed to actualise the light rail project.

In his words: “Today marks a major milestone in the history of the provision of infrastructure in the FCT, and the ability to finally access the loan will actualise the transformation of the FCT.

“The Abuja light rail is of major significance to us because it will move people from the outskirts to the centre of the Federal Capital City and vice-versa. This will go a long way in enhancing the FCT residents’ economic power and decongesting the city”.

Mohammed concluded by calling on FCT residents to see the Abuja light rail project as theirs especially considering the huge employment and business opportunities it is bringing, and continue to support the administration’s development policies with a view to making their lives better.

Accompanying the FCT Minister is the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who signed the $500 million loan agreement that will be provided by the Chinese Exim Bank.

Okonjo-Iweala said the signing of the agreement between the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Chinese Nexim bank will set in motion a non-stop continuation of the Abuja rail project.

She explained that President Goodluck Jonathan wanted them to come to Beijing to get through their priority projects.

“It is in the interest of both countries to cooperate with each other. China is the largest country in the world and second biggest economy in the world, while Nigeria is the largest in Africa and second biggest economy on the continent.”

“During our trip to China earlier this year, we made it clear that Nigeria and FCT needed the Abuja light rail project as the project is important to President Jonathan, the FCT Administration and FCT residents.”

While welcoming the Nigerian delegation to China, the Vice-President of the Nexim Bank, Mr Sun Ping, said China and Nigeria have had a long standing relationship and that they have always treated each other like brothers.

Ping further explained that the Nexim Bank is owned by the government of China and that China wants to further strengthen her economic cooperation with Nigeria.


Patience Jonathan, Turai Yar’Adua to settle land dispute out of court

A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court Sitting in Bwari Area Council has ordered Hajia Turai Yar’Adua, wife of late President Yar’Adua and the current First lady, Dame Patience Jonathan to report back to court over the out of court settlement on a disputed 1.84 hectares of land in Abuja.

The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister Of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, had informed the presiding judge of the court,  Justice Peter Affen, that the Federal Government has made arrangement for an out of court settlement.

The disputed land, plot no. 1347 Cadastral Zone AOO, Central Business District, Abuja, FCT was initially allocated to Women and Youth Empowerment Foundation (WAYEF) while Mrs. Yar’adua was First Lady.

The Minister of the FCT, Bala Mohammed revoked the allocation for what he described as “overriding public interest” and reallocated the same land to Mrs. Jonathan for the building of African First Lady Peace Mission Headquarters on the 2nd of November, 2011.

Mrs. Yar’Adua complained that the land allocated to WAYEF on 19 February 2010 was being trespassed upon by Mrs. Jonathan and got a court order dated 5 March 2012 restraining the defendants from affecting WAYEF title and interest over the land.

Those joined as co-defendants in the suit are the Minister of FCT, Federal Capital Administration and the Abuja Geographic Information System (AGIS).

Reacting to the plea for an out of court settlement, Mr. Lagi Innocent, Counsel to WAYEF confirmed to the court that his clients have been approached for an out of court settlement but added that this was not the first time the defendants were making such moves.

He mentioned that WAYEF had already began the process of notice of committal to prison on the defendants by filing forms 48 and 49 adding that it was unfortunate that people could no longer trust the government in the country.

While adjourning the case to 24 September 2012 for report of settlement, Justice Affen “advised parties that the nature of the case is such that if parties can reach amicable settlement it would be better for all sides.”