2016 In Retrospect: APC Will Come Out Stronger – Adesina

2016 In Retrospect: APC Will Come Out Stronger – AdesinaPresidential spokesperson, Mr Femi Adesina, believes that between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), there is a fundamental difference of one being ‘progressive’ while the other is ‘conservative’.

He was responding to criticisms of the government and the ruling party on Saturday, December 31 during Channels Television’s special year-end programme, ‘2016 In Retrospect’, where panelists questioned what they described as lack of ideology.

A former Lagos governorship aspirant, Sinatu Ojikutu described the Buhari administration as one with good intentions but without a proper idea of how to do it.

She agreed with another guest on the show, who said that the lack of a party ideology has made governance difficult for the APC.

She went on to say: “These two parties; PDP, APC, I don’t see that much difference between the two of them in terms of what they want to do for Nigeria”

A Communication expert, Dr. Nick Idoko, however put a different perspective to the issue.

“As a nation, we have a crisis of philosophy. We don’t have a philosophy, so you can’t build parties based on philosophies or ideologies. That is why they are bankrupt,” he said.

But Mr Adesina insisted that in spite of both parties being made up of persons who had decamped at different times, “the ideologies are clear”.

“APC stands on the side of the people, PDP we can say is a little bit on the capitalist side” he added, but the guest unanimously disagreed with his submission.

Political analyst, Deola Soetan, argued that Mr Adesina had not made any correct statement as regards his description of socialism.

He maintained that being “on the side of the people” would demand modesty from politicians as displayed by the likes of Adekunle Ajasin in the past.

Commercializing social services, according to him is capitalism, “That is why during Fashola’s time you had university students paying over 300,000 naira against the philosophy of LASU (Lagos State University) when Jakande created it for poor people to come and become graduates.

“That was why you had tolls everywhere on the road. That was why you had farmers being expelled even from their lands, converting it to housing estates by land speculators.

“So I think Mr Adesina should consult books,” he said.

The panelists had also earlier described the internal crisis experienced by the APC in 2016 as a major distraction for the government.

In his comment, the President’s aide argued that a political party can have upheavals but what it does with it is what matters as such can either destroy the party or make it stronger.

However, with the series of meeting among the stakeholders in the party, there have been genuine efforts to ensure that the party sorts out its challenges.

He went on to say that the APC “will not be destroyed, rather it will come out stronger from what has happened to it”.

I’m Honoured To Be In ‘The Cabal’ In This Presidency – Babachir Lawal

cabal, presidency, SGF, Babachir LawalThe Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir Lawal has dismissed claims that the Presidency has been hijacked by a few individuals with selfish agenda.

During an interview on Channels Television ‘Question Time’, the SGF dismissed the labeling of the President’s close associates as a ‘cabal’ accused of the purported hijack.

He said: “If they say the cabinet of 37 ministers constitute the cabal, its OK because these are the key members of the cabinet. The President appointed them and they are the ones that advise the President on the decisions that he needs to make.

“Of course I am honoured to be in the ‘cabal’ in this Presidency (and) I have no apologies to make.

“If the President decides that he wants a Secretary to the Government (of the Federation) who is going to work with him, coordinate the activities of his government and give him advice, obviously, that man should be able to have unfettered access to the President.

“He is supposed to be able to give advice to the President because he is with the President on a daily basis in a manner that other might not have.”

‘Nigerians Need To Know’

Mr Babachir was also of the view that the anti-corruption campaign of the Buhari administration is not a witch hunt as widely criticized.

He argued that the revelations of high-level corruption in the country should not be wished away.

He also defended the government’s constant reference to the past administration, blaming it key players for the current economic challenges facing the country.

“Could you have known, for example, that somebody can walk into Central Bank, reverse his boot and leave with 2.2 billion dollars of raw cash?

“Could you have known that somebody sitting on the trust of the people could sit down and embezzle 40 billion? Look at the kind of money they are dispersing.

“So should we keep quiet and let Nigerians say everything is OK? That there was no looting?

“We are in the position we are because the people that came before us preferred to carry our common patrimony and put it in their deposit account for their wives and children.

“Nigerians must be told what we inherited and what we are seeing, and majority of Nigerians, I can assure you, are in favour of what the government is doing.

“Of course quite a few that were beneficiaries of these looting will make noise,” he said.

Military Kills Four Boko Haram Terrorists, Capture One In Yobe

Military, Troops, Boko Haram, YobeTroops of the Nigerian Army have killed four members of the Boko Haram terrorists with the capture of one in the troubled Yobe state, northeast Nigeria.

The spokesman of the 27 Taskforce Brigade, Lieutenant George Okupe, while confirming the killings and the arrest of the militants in a statement revealed that the operation was carried out in Geidam Local Government Area of the state with the assistance of the local vigilante group.

The statement reads: “It was observed that Boko Haram activities were seen around Jororo via Tombaeji village in Geidam Local Government Area of Yobe state and upon alerting securities, an immediate patrol team was deployed to the area

“The troops came in contact with the insurgents promptly around Gajeri village and a gun duel that lasted for 15 minutes led to the death of the four insurgents with the capture of one.”

The troop according to the statement recovered two General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) two AK 47 Riffles and 144 rounds of 7.62 mm of special ammunition.

The statement also said that security forces recovered two KASEA motorcycle from the insurgents and were immediately set ablaze by the troops.

The Army has called on the people of the state to continue to support security operatives in the fight against the insurgents for the full restoration of peace in the state.

The activities of the Boko Haram militants have drooped in recent times as attacks on communities and individuals have reduced drastically sequel to the heavy onslaught on the militants by security forces since the assumption of the Buhari administration.

FG To Diversify Nigeria’s Revenue Base

Kemi AdeosunFinance Minister, Kemi Adeosun says the main economic strategy of the Buhari administration is to reset the Nigerian economy to have a more diverse revenue base and to cut wastage in government’s spending.

She was the guest of Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday where she provided answers to several question bordering on the management of the country’s economy and plans to solve its current economic challenges.

She reaffirmed an earlier statement by President Muhammadu Buhari that the government inherited an empty treasury, in addition to a high debt profile and these have made things difficult.

She said that the previous administrations in Nigeria failed to build savings while the country enjoyed massive revenue from high price of oil globally and this put the country in a tight condition when the oil price fell.

She noted that Nigeria’s sole dependence on oil made the impact much tougher on the economy and the citizens.

“What we are now trying to do is reset the economy so that we never end up in this situation again; and how do we do that? We have to have a more diversified economy, a more diversified revenue base.

“If you look at oil, its only 13% of our GDP but it represent 70% of government’s revenue which means if anything happens to oil, it affects everybody.

“The question we are trying to now resolve is; the remaining 87% of GDP, why is it contributing so little to government’s revenue? If we are able to have those other revenues which are much more stable, predictable and less volatile, then if the oil price goes down, we’ll be able to maintain some level of stability.”

Another area the government is looking at is to ensure that when monies are spent, they are spent effectively.

“We have looked at what government has been spending money on; only 10% was spent on capital while 90% was spent on recurrent items like salaries, traveling, training and so on and those things don’t grow the economy, capital (expenditure) is what grows your economy.

“This budget that is being finalized has a 30% commitment to capital and we have said we want to maintain that commitment,” she said.

She mentioned power generation, roads, rail, housing as some of the areas where the capital expenditure would cover as these are the core areas that create jobs and empower the citizens to develop the economy.

She also spoke about efforts to encourage governors to replicate these measures in their states.

UK’s DFID Official Asks Buhari To Build An Inclusive Society

Sina Fagbenro-ByronThe incoming administration of General Muhammadu Buhari has been asked to focus on building an inclusive society that will reduce poverty in Nigeria and promote development.

A Regional Director of UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), Mr Sina Fagbenro-Byron, gave the advice on Friday while giving his opinion on the expectations from the incoming administration.

Mr Fagbenro-Byron’s said the Buhari’s administration is expected to focus on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set for the 2016 to 2030 period.

“We had the MDGs with a new set of sustainable development goals within 2016 to 2030. Some of the goals are to deal with poverty, ensure that things are inclusive, deal with diversities and potential conflict.

“Buhari tends to create a sought of calm environment. They should learn a lesson from the past government,” he said, pointing out that for the administration to be able to deliver good governance, it would need some elements of capability and capacity.

He emphasised the need for the administration to go beyond party’s campaign promises and set out a plan of actualising them.

“They should have a clear vision. It behoves on the new administration to look at what strengths they have.

“For the first time, we are actually having a leadership that determined in clear terms where we are going.

“We must demonstrate love for each other to be able to move the nation forward. We must pull out visions from the abstract to actual national development plans that could be measured, with visible indicators and build an inclusive society. Nigeria has a massive population and the mass of its population and diversity must be adequately managed.

“The deliverance of governance is a two-way thing. Nigerians must support our government to be able to achieve set goals. We should have a clear mind. It starts with what the government must do and what we must do together.

“It is not easy but you can deliberately achieve it,” Mr Fagbenro-Byron stressed.

He decried the poor study of history in Nigeria, stressing that there was no way the nation could give proper orientation to its young ones without history.

“When you do not teach history you don’t learn lesson. Orientation starts with the body language of our leaders and good communication with the people.

“I will like to see a team that is ready to go. I will like to see a people that is paying attention to its government a government that will focus basically on what it is saying,” he said, giving his expectations from the incoming government.