The Presidency has released a list of what is describes as jinxes broken and milestone achievements by President Muhammadu Buhari since he assumed office six years ago.
Special Adviser, Media, and Publicity, to the President, Femi Adesina, in an article on Sunday, reeled out the milestones achieved by his principal.
He listed the completion of the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Niger Delta Development Commission complexes, which his administration completed in 2018 and 2021, respectively among the milestones.
Mr Adesina added that the Zik mausoleum started in 1996, was completed, and inaugurated in 2018 by Mr Buhari’s regime as another feat.
Adesina also noted that under Buhari, the NNPC announced a “first-ever profit” of N287 billion.
He said, “A giant-sized jinx was broken recently when the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) announced a first net profit in the 44-year history of the organisation.”
He, however, emphasised that this is not the only major jinx broken in the lifetime of the Buhari administration.
The media aide went on to reel out a list, which he says, is by no means exhaustive.
On the list were the Petroleum Industry Bill signed into law in 2021, after almost two decades in the works, and the “first National Social Investment Programme in the country’s history”. “Today it is the largest Social Investment Programme in Africa and one of the largest in the world,” Mr Adesina said.
Others are; restoration of the federal budget to a January-to-December cycle, enabling the NCDC Act and the Nigeria Police Act, 2020.
He also mentioned the Nigeria Correctional Service Act, 2019, Finance Acts, 2019, and 2020.
In addition, Adesina listed the Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Bill (SPOMO), 2019.
The media aide noted that the Discrimination Against Persons With Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 was “another unprecedented piece of legislation in Nigeria” along with the Treasury Single Account (TSA), which started in 2012.
He added the completion of projects like the Maritime University, Delta, dams (in Taraba, Delta, Enugu, Katsina, Kaduna, Imo, Benue, etc.), inherited from the previous government to the list of the “jinxes” broken.
Furthermore, he named Gashua Water Supply Scheme in Yobe; Kwami Gadam and Bojude Water Supply Project in Gombe; the Saki Town Water Supply Project; and the Zobe and Kazaure Water Supply Projects in Katsina and Jigawa, respectively as part of the president’s masterstrokes.
The passing week has been a very eventful one globally with the world still battling COVID-19 and trying to adjust to the new reality.
Nigeria is never left a week without drama, as events continue to take different turns, leading the authorities to take certain drastic actions that got tongues wagging.
Having reviewed most of the major stories from the passing week, both locally and on the foreign scene, here are top quotes that tend to paint a vivid picture of what transpired and perhaps give us a hint of some things we must expect in the coming days:
1. “If I follow APC for this length of time, and they don’t give the Southeast an opportunity, I will feel bad.”
Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, says he will feel bad if the All Progressives Congress (APC) does not give the South-East a chance at the presidency, come 2023.
2. “I remain committed to his agenda for our great Nation and shall continue to support him in any way possible.”
Former Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, declares his support for the Muhammadu Buhari administration following his sack by the President.
3. “Today at the executive meeting, (party) president Suga said he wants to focus his efforts on anti-coronavirus measures and will not run in the leadership election.”
Secretary General of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Toshihiro Nikai, reveals that Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will not run for re-election as party leader in September.
4. “The sooner the Taliban will enter the family of civilised people, so to speak, the easier it will be to contact, communicate, and somehow influence and ask questions.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin says he hopes the Taliban will behave in a “civilised” manner in Afghanistan so the global community can maintain diplomatic ties with Kabul.
5. “I am the landlord, I didn’t give myself, the constitution gave me that power.”
Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku issues a stern warning to residents of the Mambilla Plateau, urging them not to sell lands to “selfish politicians” who storm the area in order to benefit from compensations meant for the Mambilla hydroelectric power project site.
6. “The report of the audit committee showed that there are over 13,000 abandoned projects in the Niger Delta and even before the submission of the report, some contractors have returned to site on their own and completed about 77 road projects.”
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio says the Forensic Audit Report of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) indicates that there are over 13,000 abandoned projects within the coastal region.
7. “Nigeria has 10.6 million cannabis users, this is the highest in the world, isn’t it sad?”
9. “This is to confirm to you that suspected kidnappers at about 06:45hrs along Lagos-Benin expressway, by Isuwa, kidnapped five unidentified persons and in the process shot to death one Sowore Felix Olajide, male, a pharmacy student of Igbinedion University, Okada.”
The Edo State Police Command confirms the murder of Olajide Sowore, brother to Sahara Reporters Publisher, Omoyele Sowore by suspected kidnappers.
10. “The trajectory into the future is bright. If you see some of the things we have been able to do under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to exit recession in record time, most established democracies are still battling with the recession.”
Despite the current challenges facing Nigeria, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, is optimistic that the nation’s trajectory is good.
11. “For us to reach the level of development that we need in our country, every part, segment and strata of the society must have a developed, deliberately focused leadership, so that what we do at the local level compliments what we do at the state level and from there, terminating at the apex – at the Federal level.”
Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, attributes leadership deficit as one of the factors preventing Nigeria from achieving sustainable economic growth and development, and addressing insecurity and other socioeconomic problems.
12. “We apologize to anyone who may have seen these offensive recommendations.”
Facebook apologizes and disables its topic recommendation feature after it mistook Black men for “primates” in video at the social network.
13. “The committee is to identify grazing routes and work with states and map them. It is not to recover grazing routes, it is to identify the scale of the problem.”
Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu, argues that mapping out grazing routes will help to identify the scale of the herder-farmer crisis.
14. “Police have located the man and he has been shot. He has died at the scene.”
Authorities in New Zealand speak after police shoot dead a man who wounded six people in an attack at an Auckland supermarket.
18. “If you look at the President’s statement, in no place will you see that; not at all. In no place will you see those words that performance was weak, he didn’t say that.”
President Buhari’s media adviser, Femi Adesina, makes clarifications regarding the sacking of two ministers.
19. “Well, it happened because, perhaps for the first time in the history of the country, and of the NNPC, there is a President who is not using the place like a personal Automated Teller Machine (ATM).”
The Media Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Adesina, explains why the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) recently declared profit.
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has said the Forensic Audit Report of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) indicated that there are over 13,000 abandoned projects within the coastal region.
Senator Akpabio disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday when he submitted the report to President Muhammadu Buhari through the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
“The report of the audit committee showed that there are over 13,000 abandoned projects in the Niger Delta and even before the submission of the report some contractors have returned to site on their own and completed about 77 road projects.
“Although the exercise had a checkered history, I thank Mr President and all those who supported and ensured its success,” the minister stated.
He added that the exercise was not done to witch-hunt anyone, but to ensure that the huge sums of funds allocated for developing the region are put to good use.
According to Akpabio, the Niger Delta region has remained backward since 1958 in spite of efforts by successive governments through the creation of various interventionist programmes and projects, a situation he says is changing.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed that the Federal Government will ensure it recovers over N6 trillion allegedly misappropriated in the running of the NDDC between 2001 and 2019.
Buhari who spoke shortly after he received the Forensic Audit Report from Akpabio, claimed that there had been evidence of substantial compromise in the execution of at least 13,777 and the existence of “multitude of NDDC’s bank accounts amounting to 362” which lacked proper reconciliation of accounts.
Consequently, the President directed that the report of the forensic audit on the NDDC be forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Justice for necessary action.
Malami, after receiving the report, assured that it would be critically analysed for necessary action and implementation.
In October 2019, Buhari ordered a holistic forensic audit on the activities of the NDDC from when it was established till August 2019, in response to the yearnings of the people to make the Commission more effective and result oriented.
The President said there was nothing tangible on the ground in the region to show for the huge funds committed over the years through the Commission.
He noted that his administration was concerned about the colossal loss occasioned by uncompleted and unverified development projects in the region, and how the citizens have for long been deprived of the dividends of democracy.
The Federal Government on Thursday said it allocated N6trn to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) between 2001 and 2019.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami made the comment when he got the forensic audit report of the NDDC from his Niger Delta counterpart Godswill Akpabio.
“It is on record that between 2001 and 2019, the Federal Government has approved N3, 375, 735,776,794.93 as budgetary allocation and N2,420,948,894,191.00 as Income from Statutory and Non Statutory Sources, which brings the total figure to the sum of approximately N6 trillion given to the Niger Delta Development Commission,” Malami said during the event which took place in Abuja.
According to the minister, the figure is an indication that the Federal Government has allocated a good amount of funds to the development of Nigeria’s oil-bearing region.
He, however, expressed concern over uncompleted and some unverified projects in the Niger Delta despite the allocations.
Malami’s remark comes almost two years after President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a forensic audit of the NDDC starting from 2001.
Worried over alleged misappropriation in the Commission, Buhari insisted on knowing how funds budgeted to the region were spent.
“With the amount of money that the Federal Government has religiously allocated to the NDDC, we will like to see the results on the ground; those that are responsible for that have to explain certain issues,” one of the presidential aide, Femi Adesina, had quoted his principal as saying during a meeting with governors from states which make up the Commission.
“The projects said to have been done must be verifiable. You just cannot say you spent so much billions and when the place is visited, one cannot see the structures that have been done. The consultants must also prove that they are competent.”
In August 2020, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) equally approved N722.3m for the audit, with the payment coming from the Presidency.
Security issues continue to dominate the news in Nigeria and across the world. The passing week had its fair share of security-related matters making the rounds, with the attack on Nigeria’s Defence Academy stirring many questions.
Having examined the stories published in the course of the passing week, here are the top quotes that best relay the tone and mood of most of what transpired within the week in focus.
1. “The security architecture of the Nigerian Defence Academy was compromised early this morning by unknown gunmen.”
4. “Today, based on our dialogue and reconciliation, we used the repentant bandits to secure the release of these students.”
Governor Bello Matawalle, speaks on how students released from the den of their captors were released through the help of some repentant bandits.
5. “He sorely will be missed”
Buhari condoles the family and friends of the legendary musician, Sir Victor Uwaifo.
6.“One thing I know is that the intelligence community is solid in this country but what impedes them in carrying out some of the jobs they want to do is politics, politicians because when you mix with politics security, then it becomes a big problem.”
9. “Despite the divisive rhetoric of demagogues and the utterances of those who profit from disharmony, Nigerians do not hate each other.”
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says despite the activities of those with a divisive agenda, Nigeria will prevail over her tribulations due to the resilience, faith, hope, and strength of its people.
10. “Everyone at the club looks forward to welcoming Cristiano back to Manchester.”
Manchester United announce they have reached a deal to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus, 12 years after he left Old Trafford for Real Madrid.
11. “To those who carried out this attack as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this: We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.”
US President Joe Biden pledges to hunt down the perpetrators of the suicide bombings that killed 12 American troops in Kabul and said the United States will not be deterred from its mission to evacuate thousands of civilians from Afghanistan.
12. “Unfortunately, we have recorded severe recalcitrance on the part of the public, which has led to the higher infection rates that we are now recording.”
A dismayed Lagos State Governor reveals that the emergence of the third wave in the metropolis is based on the non-adherence to the laid-down health protocols designed to mitigate the pandemic.
13. “PDP and Secondus are not afraid of court; this party is a child of history, owned by Nigerians, bigger than any individual or group, including desperadoes.”
All is now set for the establishment of National Agricultural Land Development Authority’s (NALDA) Integrated Farm Estate in Kogi State, North Central Nigeria.
It is aimed at improving the livestock sub-sector, reducing farmers’/herders’ clashes in the country and creating job opportunities for about three thousand youths (3000) in the host community.
The Farm Estate would be located on seven (700) hundred hectares of land in Okwuha Obayin Village – in the Ajaokuta Local Government Area of the state – donated to NALDA by the state.
The farm would focus mainly on livestock (cattle, goat, sheep and poultry) and pasture production; it would also have a cropping area with an irrigation farming system to enable all year round food production, particularly maize, as the farm has natural water sources in its path.
And like previous NALDA farm estates, the facility would have social amenities such as a school, clinic (including veterinary), access roads, residential areas, boreholes, a meat processing area and a meat market.
The Farm Estate would also create about three thousand direct and indirect jobs for over three thousand youth and women of the host community.
With Kogi state bordering about ten states in the South-South, South-East, South-Western and the northern part of the country, the NALDA Integrated Farm Estate would serve as a bridge and safe haven for pastoralists relocating from these zones thereby reducing farmers’/herders’ clashes.
In an interactive meeting with the Chief of Staff to the State Governor, the Local government Chairman, village head and about twelve (12) Land owners who are willingly donating the land during a visit to the land, the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of NALDA Prince Paul Ikonne reassured the host community that the land would be put to use for their benefit and for the benefit of their community.
“These families that are donating the lands, the Federal Government is developing the land for you, what we are bringing belongs to you and what it means is that all the youth and women within your village would be engaged in this place,” he added.
“It is very simple, it is called Integrated Farm estate, where you will have both school, clinic, crop section, processing section, animal husbandry sections and then we would also have a mini market, residential area and this place would be purely known for meat processing, cow and goat rearing.”
Prince Ikonne noted that the farm is mapped out in such a way that there would be no friction between farmers and herders as the pasture area on the farm would cater for the feed needs of the animals on the farm and also be exported to other parts of the country.
“There would be no issues with herdsmen and farmers because the farm would be well secured, we would have area for pasture production and not just planting it for grass but we would be able to palate it and then take to other parts of the country because of the size of the land you are donating. So, your community is going to host other communities and it is a big blessing.”
Ikonne while assuring the community of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to easing poverty in the country, said the President intends to make millionaires out of Nigerian youths in the rural areas through agriculture and Okwuha Obayin village is blessed to be part of the programme.
He added that the land clearing would commence immediately and the first section of the farm estate would be commissioned in December 2021.
Visit To Kogi Governor
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary and his team paid a courtesy call to the Kogi state Governor, Mr. Yahaya Bello before proceeding to inspect the land.
Governor Yahaya Bello while receiving the NALDA team said his government has been able to stabilize and sustain peace and security in the state, noting that herders fleeing different parts of the country migrate to the state and leave peacefully with the locals.
“Here, we have made available 700 hectares of land in just one local government to take care of the first phase of this programme here.”
“We as a state have been able to stabilize security, peace and tranquility that is much needed in Nigeria today and we have been able to sustain it, a situation where almost all the herders that are having issues at one point or the other in the southern part of the country would migrate to Kogi state and mingling, leaving and cohabiting with our farmers without conflicts means it takes a lot from us as a state.”
He said the project would further enhance the relationship between the locals and migrants into the state since it would create an enabling environment for everyone to cohabit peacefully.
According to the governor, Kogi state serves as a shock absorber for the country as it is always ready to receive people from every part of Nigeria in crisis situations and that Integrated Farm Estates in all three Senatorial zones would help cushion the effects of the shock.
While commending President Muhammadu Buhari and NALDA Governor Yahaya Bello said Kogi would be a model that would be copied by other states in the country, adding that the host community is ready to welcome and receive NALDA.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s had directed NALDA to establish farm estates in all one hundred and nine (109) senatorial zones in the country to empower and develop rural Nigeria through agriculture.
NALDA has since begun establishing farm estates in different parts of the country with one already commissioned in Katsina state.
President Muhammadu Buhari says Tuesday’s attack on the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), rather than dampen the morale of the Armed Forces, will buoy them to end criminality in the country.
In a statement by his special media aide Femi Adesina on Wednesday, President Buhari noted that the attack, which led to the loss of lives, came when the military had put insurgents, bandits, kidnappers, and other criminals on the retreat.
The President added that the heinous action would accelerate the total uprooting of evil in the polity, which members of the Armed Forces are solidly resolved to accomplish in the shortest possible time.
He commiserated with the families of those who died during the incident, asking God to comfort them, and assured them that the deceased would not die in vain.
The President noted the degenerate act would have consequences that will eventually clean the country of vermin and emancipate the polity from deliberate, targeted, and contrived atrocious acts.
Buhari thanked Nigerians who appreciate the military’s efforts and urged those playing hateful politics with the dastardly act to desist from such.
According to him, rather than recriminations, this is the time for patriots and “people of goodwill to support and encourage those who are in the vanguard of the battle against wickedness in the land”.
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Nigerian athletes on their outstanding achievements at the just concluded World Athletics U-20 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya.
In a statement by his special media aide, Femi Adesina, on Monday, Buhari commended the team and their handlers for showing that Nigeria is blessed with some of the best sporting talents, who by dint of hard work and perseverance, can dazzle anytime and anywhere.
Nigeria won four gold and three bronze to finish third on the final medals table. And President Buhari believes that the nation’s sports ambassadors and the contingent have every reason to celebrate their well-deserved laurels, while putting the track and field world on notice of their intentions to surpass their achievements in the nearest future.
He thanked the victorious athletes for flying the country’s flag high at the competition, breaking new records from personal bests, national and championship records.
President of the Senate Ahmed Lawan has debunked reports suggesting that members of the National Assembly were bribed to the tune of $10 million to pass the three per cent allocation to host communities as stipulated in the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
Lawan told State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday that he took exception to the spread of falsehood propagated to mislead the public.
“That is funny but also very serious,” the Senate President said of the allegation. “I really want to take this opportunity to take exception to those kinds of unwarranted, unprovable, false and fake information being fed to the Nigerian public.”
His comment is the latest development in the controversy that has followed the National Assembly’s decision to shun calls for five per cent allocation to the host communities in favour of the three per cent allocation when they passed the Petroleum Industry Bill 2021.
President Buhari signed the bill into law on August 16, three days after returning from his trip to the United Kingdom, a move that further fueled debates over the choice of three percent allocation to the host communities.
Beyond the debates, reports emerged claiming the lawmakers’ decision in passing the bill was influenced by kickbacks, reports the Senate President says are part of a dangerous trend.
“The danger people will face with this is, you cause unnecessary damage to the reputation of people,” he said.
Such allegations, Senator Lawan said, amounted to slander.
“I had an occasion to take someone to court because of this kind of thing previously, about three months ago,” he added, signalling his willingness to take legal action when necessary.
While urging Nigerians to speak the truth at all times, he gave the assurance that the Senate was working in the best interest of the people.
Meanwhile, the President’s assent has led to the emergence of the Petroleum Industry Act which provides legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian petroleum industry.
Under the act, host communities are expected to get three per cent of the operating expenditure of oil companies, while 30 per cent of the revenue is set aside for frontier exploration, an agreement which some, especially those from the South-South, have vehemently frowned at, demanding a higher allocation.
The host communities allocation debate, argued on the pages of dailies, and in parliament, has continued even after the National Assembly settled for three per cent mid July and the President’s assent to the bill, the birth of a much-anticipated Act.
President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in Kano for the wedding ceremony of his son, Yusuf Buhari.
Yusuf is getting married to Zahra Bayero, the daughter of Nasiru Ado Bayero, the Emir of Bichi in Kano State and the wedding will take place in the Emirate on Friday.
The Vice president, Yemi Osinbajo and former President Goodluck Jonathan have also arrived at the palace for the wedding.
While he was away in the UK, President Buhari’s representatives had sought the consent of the Emir’s family for their daughter’s hand in marriage.
Having obtained consent on behalf of the First Family, the date was picked for the wedding.
Prior to his arrival, the president had visited Yola in Adamawa State to condole with the government and people of the state over the death of former permanent secretary and an elder statesman, Ahmed Joda.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reappointment of the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed.
This action, according to the Education Ministry’s spokesperson, Ben Bem Goong, is based on the recommendation of Education Minister, Adamu Adamu.
The two appointments are for a tenure of five years each with effect from August 1, 2021.
Dr. Hamid Bobboyi was also reappointed as the Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) for a second and final tenure of four years with effect from August 1, 2021.
The president had earlier approved the reappointment of Prof. Ifeoma Isiugo-Abanihe as Registrar/CEO of the National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB) for a second term of four years to sustain the efforts at sensitising Nigerians on the critical role of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and business subjects in the new knowledge economy.
To give further impetus to mathematics education, approval was also granted for the appointment of Prof. Promise Mebine as the Director/Chief Executive of the National Mathematical Centre for an initial tenure of five years with effect from August 17, 2021.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday visited Yola in Adamawa State where he paid condolence visit to the family of the late Ahmed Joda.
The late Joda was the Chairman of the Buhari Transition Committee in 2015.
Buhari also visited the palace of the Lamido of Adamawa, Mohammadu Aliu Barkin.
He arrived at the Yola International Airport and was received by the Governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Fintri; his Chief of Staff, Prof Maxwell Gidado; the minister of the FCT, Mohammed Bello; heads of security agencies in the state and members of the State Executive Council.
Buhari had earlier in a condolence message, described the late Joda as a trustworthy and loyal companion “who steadfastly stood for the interest of the nation through highs and lows”.