I Will Ensure That 2023 Will Be Free And Fair – Buhari

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that as a beneficiary of a free and fair election in the country he would bequeath the same to his successor and the nation in 2023.

The President spoke at a dinner with members of the legal team for the 2019 presidential election petition on Thursday in Abuja.

The President recounted that the turnout of Nigerians during his presidential campaigns to the 36 states of the Federation in 2019 convinced him that his re-election was not a fluke.

‘‘The number of people that turned out in every state across the country was more than anybody can buy or force.

‘‘This gave me so much confidence and the election proved that with the votes I got.

‘‘That is why I insist that elections must be free and fair because I am a clear successor to a free and fair election,’’ he said.

The President told the legal team that he was already looking forward to a peaceful hand over in 2023, stressing that he was morally bound to fulfill that wish.

READ ALSO: Buhari Departs Abuja For UK-Africa Summit

‘‘Morally I want to have a clear conscience. I swore by the Holy Book that I will abide by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

‘‘I will continue to do my best and I hope that by 2023, I can handover quietly to whoever succeeds me and I wish him the best of luck,’’ he said.

The President commended the legal team led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN for the outstanding legal successes recorded in the presidential election petition.

He praised the team for the effective legal strategy that thrived in piloting his election litigation.

‘‘You creditably demonstrated a deep understanding of the law and its practices and I am indeed proud of you all.

‘‘I am confident that by securing a convincing and unanimous legal victory at the Supreme Court you have by so doing ensured that the political mandate of the Nigerian electorate is now firmly secured,’’ he said.

The President added that the legal team’s enormous contributions have affirmed the rule of law and further entrenched democratic governance in Nigeria.

‘‘This legal team is an assemblage of some of the most scholarly legal teams ever assembled in this country.

‘‘I must note that the aforesaid legal successes recorded through your excellence have assisted me in fulfilling this government’s desire for a better Nigeria,’’ he said.

On behalf of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the President told the team to accept his commendations and best wishes for their meritorious service.

In his remarks, the lead counsel, Chief Olanipekun said the legal victory was won based on the facts of the law, stressing that the President never used his position or office to influence the decision of the Courts.

The lead counsel said:

“The courts were allowed to do their job, Mr President and I must commend you for that Sir. Nobody whispered to anyone of us, how we are going to see Judge A or Judge B. That’s the way it should be. Judges must be allowed and be given free hand to do their job.

‘‘Mr President, we are happy to have been called upon and we are happy that we delivered. ’’

On electoral reforms, Olanipekun acknowledged that while the National Assembly was doing something about the Electoral Act, the Act requires some ‘‘rejigging and cleansing.’’

‘‘We are happy to know that the National Assembly is doing something about the Electoral law.

‘‘We are ready to cooperate with them without taking a dime, whether as consultants, whether as legal practitioners, whether as experts. If the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) will co-opt us we are ready to give assistance,’’ he said.

Olanipekun commended the President’s commitment to the rule of law, saying ‘‘it is the surest legacy Mr President can bequeath to our dear nation.’’

Buhari Nominates Dr Kingsley Obiorah As CBN Deputy Governor

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has sent the name of Dr Kingsley Isitua Obiora to the Senate for confirmation as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

In a letter to President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, President Buhari said the nomination was in accordance with the provision of Section 8(1) (2) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Act 2007.

Dr Obiora, upon confirmation by the Senate, replaces Dr Joseph Nnanna, who retires on February 2, 2020.

READ ALSO: Buhari Attends UK-Africa Investment Summit In London

Dr Obiora holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Statistics from the University of Benin, a Masters in Economics from the University of Ibadan, and a Doctorate in Monetary and International Economics, also from the University of Ibadan.

He is currently an Alternate Executive Director in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) In Washington DC, United States of America.

Buhari To Attend UK-Africa Investment Summit In London

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja Friday for London to participate in the inaugural UK-Africa Investment Summit holding on Monday, January 20, 2020.

Hosted by the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, the event, according to the organisers, is expected to bring together African leaders, international business chief executives and heads of international organisations “to create new partnerships that will deliver more investments and jobs” to the benefit of people and businesses in African countries and the United Kingdom.

Apart from highlighting new perspectives on UK-Africa Partnership for Prosperity, issues of Sustainable Finance and Infrastructure; Trade and Investment; Future African Growth Sectors and Clean Energy and Climate, are expected to dominate presentations and discussions during the Summit.

READ ALSO: Buhari Pledges To Sustain Efforts To End Child Marriage

With the expected take-off of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in mid-2020, the London investment summit will provide Nigeria with the opportunity to project itself as a leading investment destination for new industries.

In addition, the summit will deepen Nigeria-United Kingdom investment ties post-Brexit given that Africa currently represents just two per cent of British trade activity, with Nigeria accounting for only 10 per cent of that total.

The Nigerian delegation to the investment meeting will further showcase what the Federal Government has done through policies and legislations to improve the investment and business climate in the country.

While in the United Kingdom, President Buhari will hold a meeting with the Head of the Commonwealth, Prince Charles in Glasgow, Scotland.

The President and his delegation will also have bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Johnson as well as heads of multilateral organisations.
President Buhari will be accompanied to the Summit by Governors Yahaya Bello, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya and Okezie Ikpeazu of Kogi, Gombe and Abia States respectively.

Also on the presidential entourage are the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo; the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd); and the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

President Buhari is expected back in Abuja next Thursday.

Buhari Commiserates With Niger President Over Terrorist Attack

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday evening spoke to Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou on the telephone to commiserate with him, the government and people of Niger Republic, over the terrorist attack of January 9, 2020, in Chinagodrar, which killed scores of soldiers in a military base.

President Buhari expressed deep sympathy and condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of the victims.

READ ALSO: Buhari Signs Finance Bill Into Law

Condemning the heinous attack by the terrorists, the Nigerian leader assured his Nigerien counterpart that Nigeria will continue to work closely with his country and other international partners to overcome terrorism and violent extremism.

The President reaffirmed that the perpetrators of such cowardly acts and their sponsors deserve no peace and comfort, stressing that Nigeria stands in solidarity with her allies to ensure that justice is served.

Buhari Signs Finance Bill Into Law

President Muhammadu Buhari signs the 2020 Appropriation Act into law at the State House in Abuja on December 17, 2019.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday signed the 2019 finance bill into law.

The law alongside the 2020 Budget is aimed at reforming Nigeria’s tax system to align with global best practices, support MSMEs through the Ease of Doing Business initiative.

It also hopes to raise government revenues, as well as incentivize investments in infrastructure and capital markets.

RELATED: Senate Passes Finance Bill Proposing VAT Increase, Others

Like Senate, Reps Pass Finance Bill Proposing VAT Increase, Others

President Buhari after signing the bill into law, said: “This is the first time, since the return of democracy in 1999, that a Federal Budget is being accompanied by passage of a Finance Bill specially designed to support its implementation and to create a truly enabling environment for business and investment by the private sector.”

He thanked the leadership and members of the Ninth National Assembly for the “hard work and support that have gone into the passage of the landmark Deep Offshore and Inland Basin PSC Amendment Bill, and the Finance Bill; both vital to the successful implementation of the 2020 Budget.”

Both chambers of the National Assembly passed the finance bill in November while the 2020 budget in December 2019.

The finance law seeks to amend six tax provisions and make them more responsive to tax reform policies.

Meanwhile, there is an increase in Value Added Tax on specific goods and services from 5 percent to 7.5 percent; the law also affects changes in the tax provision of the Customs and Excise Tariff Act to encourage local manufacturers.

Other Acts captured include; Petroleum Profit Tax Act, Company Income Tax Act, Personal Income Tax Act, Stamp Duties Tax Act, and Capital Gains Act.

After passing the finance bill, President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, asked agencies of the Federal Government saddled with the responsibility of generating revenues including the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and the Nigeria Customs Services among others, to be more efficient in discharging their duties.

Addressing his colleagues during plenary after they shared their various perspectives on the effects of the bill on the nation and its people, the Senate President explained that the bill aims to help Nigeria generate more revenues.

Presidential Fleet Not For Hanan’s Photography Trip, PDP Tells Buhari

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that President Muhammadu Buhari directly abused his office and exhibited the worst form of corruption by detailing the officially restricted Presidential jet to chauffeur his daughter, Hanan, reportedly, for her private photography event in Bauchi state.

The party noted in a statement on Saturday that the action was provocative, condemnable, completely improper and an unpardonable slap on the sensibility of millions of Nigerians, particularly, the youths, who look up to Mr. President for integrity, uprightness, and respect for rules.

The PDP holds that the development is a strong pointer to the recklessness that pervades the Buhari Presidency and the indefensible annexation of our national assets and resources for illegal private use.

It is even most appalling that instead of apologizing to Nigerians, the Buhari Presidency, in its arrogance, is resorting to falsehood and trying to justify the inexcusable.

“Our party holds that Mr. President should apologise for approving that her daughter uses the Presidential jet just for the purpose of allegedly taking photographs in a Durbar event in Bauchi state.

“Perhaps, the Buhari Presidency forgot that it is public knowledge that the Presidential fleet can only be authorized for use by the President, the First Lady, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, former Presidents, Presidential delegation and no one else.

“Moreover, the rules do not grant the President any powers to transfer any paraphernalia of office or privileges of his position to any of his children,” the party stated.

The PDP further stated that the Presidency’s defence on the subject matter is a direct spat on millions of Nigerians who cannot freely ply our highways because Mr. President and his party the APC, have failed to fix and rid our roads of kidnappers and bandits, who have practically taken over major routes under their despicable watch.

“The PDP notes that never in the history of our nation has a Presidency exhibited such arrogance, impunity and corruption, adding that the action has further shown that the Buhari Presidency had only been parading and getting away with false integrity.

“Nigerians could recall how President Buhari heavily accused and criticized previous administrations of voting and wasting huge resources to maintain the Presidential fleet and promised to sell off most of the planes to save cost.

“Since President Buhari assumed office, none of the planes had been sold. Instead, the Buhari Presidency had continued to budget more funds for the fleet with N8.5 bn budgeted for 2020 alone, only to approve that his daughter uses a Presidential jet for her private photography event,” the party’s statement partly read.

The PDP also urged the Presidency to respect the sensibilities of Nigerians by immediately withdrawing his provocative justification and show leadership by apologizing to the nation for this abuse of office.

My Government Has Demonstrated Its Commitment To Convert IT Potentials To Reality – Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja reaffirmed the commitment of his administration to use technology for enhanced public service delivery.

Receiving the leadership of Computer Professionals Registration Council of Nigeria (CPCN) and Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) led by its president, Prof. Charles Uwadia, President Buhari said ‘‘technology in public service delivery is no longer a luxury, but a pressing necessity.’’

Noting that Information Technology is the driving force for social and economic change, the President told the IT professionals that his Government, through its actions, has demonstrated its commitment to convert these potentials to reality.

READ ALSO: Education Will Be A Top Priority In Development Goals Henceforth – Buhari

‘‘The future belongs to IT. What was unimaginable 20 years ago is a reality today. Accordingly, we have introduced numerous policies and have made substantial investments to ensure the benefits of this technology-driven age is felt by 200 million Nigerians.

‘‘Indeed, our strategy for inclusive economic growth can only be achieved by leveraging the technology tools available to us,’’ he said.

President Buhari used the occasion of the courtesy visit by representatives of the computing and IT professionals in Nigeria to enumerate some benefits of using technological tools to implement government policies.

‘‘Already, we have seen the benefits of using technological tools for lending to farmers as well as monitoring crop performance especially in some of the more remote locations.

‘‘We also leveraged technology to fight corruption and reduce leakages and inefficiencies in public service delivery. You are all aware of the significant investments we made to upgrade our policy and military platforms as we battle pockets of insecurity in parts of the country.

‘‘Furthermore, our social investment programs are built on technological platforms that allow us to positively impact the lives of some of poorest members of our society,’’ he said.

The President, therefore, requested the computer body to continue to partner with Government at all levels to ensure the benefits of this tool are realised and at the same time its threats are eliminated.

In his remarks, Prof. Uwadia commended the President for demonstrating the political will to accelerate national IT development with his physical presence at the e-Nigeria conference and awards, on four consecutive occasions, over the years.

On behalf of IT professionals in the country, Uwadia expressed gratitude to President Buhari for appointing two seasoned professionals, Dr Isa Ibrahim Pantami and Kashifu Abdullahi as Minister of Communications and Digital Economy and Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), respectively.

‘‘Your Excellency, we the IT professionals, commend you for the immense and giant strides that your administration has made and is still making in nation-building. Within the space of the past four years, you have achieved a lot, using the instrumentality of ICT,’’ he said.

The president of CPCN listed some outstanding achievements of the current administration in the sector to include: issuance of Executive Order (EO1) on the promotion of Transparency and Efficiency in the Business Environment, Executive Order (EO3) on Support for Local Content in Public Procurement by the Federal Government and Executive Order (EO5) on Planning and Execution of Projects, Promotion of Local Content in Contracts and Science, Engineering and Technology.

Others are unveiling of the National Digital Economy Policy at the 2019 e-Nigeria conference, exhibition and awards; implementation and enforcement of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information (IPPIS) which saved the Federal Government of Nigeria billions of naira by eliminating thousands of ghost workers.

Further, the Buhari administration was commended for the effective implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and increasing government revenue by over N3 trillion as well as entrenching transparency and accountability, among others.

Education Will Be A Top Priority In Development Goals Henceforth – Buhari

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja said Federal Government will give more attention to improving personnel and infrastructure of universities to produce quality graduates, assuring that education will, henceforth, be a top priority in the development goals of the country.

President Buhari, who received the leadership of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) led by Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi at the State House, said effective and efficient operations of universities will go a long way in improving the economy, especially with focus on science and technology.

The President urged members of ASUU to assist the Federal Government in realising the target of improved education and credible certificates by complying with ongoing verification and validation of human resources in the universities, which will guarantee optimum output.

“The future of the country depends on quality education and our certificates must be credible to inspire confidence,’’ he said.

READ ALSO: My Government Has Demonstrated Its Commitment To Convert IT Potentials To Reality – Buhari

President Buhari said constitutional provisions should be carefully studied and adhered to for more harmonious relationships, and standards that will promote efficiency.

The President directed the Ministry of Education to put in more effort in ensuring that Nigerian universities are properly funded, with adequate infrastructure and staffing.

In her remarks at the meeting, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said out of the 137,016 academic and non-academic staff members of the universities, 96,090 have been enrolled in the Integrated Payment and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), urging ASUU to encourage the remaining 40,926 members to comply with the process.

She said a desk has been opened in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation for registration of university staff, assuring that peculiarities of the tertiary institutions will be accommodated.

The Minister pointed out that many anomalies were discovered in the university structures that have contributed to the increased cost burden, which include staff working and earning pay in more than one university, contract staff on payroll of the government, tax reductions on PAYEE and multiple employments.

Ahmed said some universities had rushed to recruit more staff before the IPPIS registration commenced, which was then detected.

“While it is clear that ASUU has peculiarities, it should be recognised and rightly accommodated, and the allowances will be made, and not leaving the university out of IPPIS because of the peculiarities,’’ she added.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, urged ASUU to comply with IPPIS in the national interest as his office was already in the process of streamlining all issues of human resources in government.

In his remarks, the President of ASUU, Prof. Ogunyemi said the educational sector needed more Federal Government attention, noting that implementation of agreements over the years will go a long way in improving the quality of education in the universities.

Prof. Ogunyemi said:

“Nigerian universities can make meaningful contributions to addressing the challenges of the country (economy, security and corruption) if given the opportunities. Appropriate funding level, competitive conditions of service, university autonomy and academic freedom are critical to creating such an atmosphere.

“With adequate and effective education, particularly university education, Nigerians will be less susceptible to manipulation, our economy will grow and problems of insecurity and corruption will be drastically reduced,’’ he said.

The ASUU President said Nigeria could learn from countries like China, Malaysia, and Singapore that have encouraged universities to drive their educational development through tripartite linkages of government, industries, and universities called Triple Helix Principle.

On IPPIS and university operations, Prof. Ogunyemi said the Federal Government’s Visitor initiative to the universities, at least once in five years, was the best guarantee for monitoring accountability processes that include internal and external audit processes.

The ASUU President said the IPPIS will be a “disruptive intrusion’’, adding: “IPPIS violates the laws of the federation, violates university statutes, and violates agreements between the Federal Government and ASUU.’’

“The Government should welcome ASUU’s ongoing innovation of a robust system of human resource management and compensation, called the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, which will address peculiarities of universities and end inappropriate recruitments.’’

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu and Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, assured that the Federal Government was committed to improving the educational sector, promising to work closely with ASUU.

Buhari Says He Is Shocked Over Plateau Attack

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that he is shocked and grieved by the attack which took place in Plateau State on Thursday, January 9th, 2020.

This is according to a statement by the president’s special aide, Mr. Garba Shehu.

Mr. Shehu said the president strongly condemned the gunmen which took place at Mangu Local Government in Plateau State.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Attack Village In Plateau, Kill 12

He said that President Buhari is in contact with Governor Simon Lalong, military, police and other security agencies in the state to ascertain details of what happened and what can be done to forestall a future occurrence.

President Buhari urged security agencies in the state to increase vigilance to stop further attacks on innocent communities.

Buhari Nullifies Suspension Of Ogunbiyi As REA Boss

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that the suspension of Mrs Damilola Ogunbiyi from her role as Managing Director of Rural Electrification Agency (REA), be reversed.

This was disclosed on Tuesday in a tweet by the Presidency.

“President @MBuhari has directed that the suspension of Mrs Damilola Ogunbiyi from her role as Managing Director of  @realREANigeria, be reversed.

“Her resignation effective 31 December 2019 has been accepted to enable her to take up her new @UN appointment,” Presidency tweeted.

The Minister of Power Sale Mamman had earlier on December 24, ordered the indefinite suspension of Ogunbiyi.

This follows her appointment by UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, as the chief executive officer of the Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll).

‘Build A Strong Post-Buhari Legacy’, Bakare Tells President

 

Barely six months after Nigerians went to the polls to elect a president for the next four years, some politicians are already talking about plans for the next election.

The latest is the controversial Senior pastor of the Latter rain assembly and former vice presidential candidate, Tunde Bakare who’s called on President Muhammadu Buhari not to sit on the fence when it comes to choosing his successor.

Pastor Bakare who was speaking at his state of the nation address said president Buhari should be thinking of how to protect his legacies when he leaves office.

READ ALSO: Pastor Bakare Reveals True Enemies of Nigeria

“Build a strong post-Buhari legacy facilitated by accurate succession,” Bakare stressed.

According to him, President Buhari will only be following the footsteps of some world leaders who played a role in choosing their successors as a way of sustaining their legacies in the choice of who comes after they are gone.

Bakare said a key responsibility that history bestows on Buhari is “to institutionalise systems of accurate succession that will build and sustain the Nigeria that is desired.

The clergyman, however, frowned at the harassment of journalists and advocates of governance reforms, citing the case of Omoyele Sowore, the publisher of the Sahara Reporters who was recently released after spending over 200 days in custody over his #RevolutionNow campaign.

DSS Arrests Man For Creating Video Depicting Marriage Between Buhari And Ministers

 

Department of State Services parades 32-year-old Kabiru Mohammed from Kano who allegedly created a fake video depicting the marriage of President Buhari to the Ministers of Finance and that of Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the Spokesperson, Doctor Peter Afunaya warns against the spread of fake news as the service remains committed to the peace and stability of Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Two Armed Herders, 25 Others In Benue

He adds that the service acted on a formal complaint by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed.