Alam’s Pardon Has No Connection With 2015 – Reuben Abati

Dr Reuben Abati has also denied claims that the state pardon granted to former Governor of Bayelsa state, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha is connected to the next general election in 2015.

The campaign posters hit the social media over the weekend

This is coming despite the emergency of campaign pictures of Mr Alamieyeseigha for Senatorial election in Bayela state in the forthcoming 2015 general elections.

Dr Abati noted that people connecting the recent state pardon with the 2015 general elections are just being mischievous.

When asked to make known the President’s stance on his attempt to seek another term in the 2015 general elections, the President’s spokesperson urged Nigerians to wait till 2014 to know whether President Goodluck Jonathan will run or not in the next general elections.

Alam’s stigma will be there forever and Jonathan Will Not Condone Corruption – Abati

Dr Reuben Abati has said that the state pardon granted to Mr. Diepreye Alamieyeseigha is no indication that the Presidency will accommodate acts of corruption.

He added that the state pardon can never erase the stigma of the crime committed by Mr Alamieyeseigha’s and that it will forever be there.

The President’s aide further affirmed that the administration is committed to trying everyone found culpable of corruption.

Yar’Adua, Diya And Adisa Were Previously Granted Clemency Not Pardon – Abati

Dr Reuben Abati has explained that the previous ‘pardon’ granted to some former military officers alongside the convicted former governor of Bayela state, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, were not pardon but clemency.

The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President made this known on Channels TV weekend breakfast show, Sunrise where he explained that the military officers were granted ‘clemency’ and not Pardon.

According to him, the Generals were previously granted ‘clemency’ and not pardon which did not return their full corporal rights thereby they cannot use their military titles but with the new pardon, they have being further forgiven and the pardon has cancelled their corporal rights which were not returned.

Among those pardoned by the President earlier in the week are late General Shehu Musa Yar Adua, and three former Army officers accused of coup plotting:  Oladipo Diya, a former Chief of General Staff, Major-General Abdulkareem Adisa and Major Fadipe.

It has been reported that all the military officers had been pardoned by the Abdulsalam Abubakar administration.

Jonathan To Meet British PM and French President

The Presidency has announced that President Goodluck Jonathan will leave Abuja, Tuesday night for London and Paris to discuss with the British Prime Minister, Mr. David Cameron and the President of France, Mr. Francois Hollande on matters of vital interest to the three countries.

A statement signed by the President aide on Media, Dr Reuben Abati stated that “the President’s talks with the British Prime Minister in London are expected to focus on the expansion of trade and economic relations between Nigeria and Britain as well as the enhancement of cooperation between both countries on the war against terrorism.”

“In Paris, President Jonathan will confer with President Hollande and French Government officials on the on-going deployment of Nigerian and ECOWAS troops to Mali to support the current military action against insurgents and terrorists in Northern Mali” the statement further adds.

Meanwhile, President Jonathan is expected to stop-over in Cairo, the Egyptian capital on his way to London, to participate in the conference of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) scheduled to open there on Wednesday.

The President is also scheduled to attend the launching of the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation in London on Friday.

He will be accompanied by the First Lady and relevant government officials.

He is due back in Abuja, next week Monday, the statement concludes.

 

FEC Set Up Committee On South East Erosion

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has set up a committee to assess erosion projects in the south east to ascertain their completion periods.

The committee which is headed by the Director-General, Bureau for Public Procurement, Engineer Emeka Eze is to check the extent of damage caused by the age-long erosion, report contractors that are not fulfilling the details of their contracts and check the environmental effects of erosion and its control for purposes of sanctions.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity,  Dr Reuben Abati, who briefed journalists on the outcome of  the  meeting, said there is also a window that is being thrown open to enable private businessmen provide infrastructures in erosion ravaged areas in the region under the private public partnership.

The Minister of Environment, Hadiza Melafa, stated that the Ministry has set up machinery to face all areas of the environment amidst daunting challenges.

In related development, the Federal Government also announced the kick-starting of activities slated for the nation’s centenary celebration in 2014.

The President will unveil the activities that touch on the ‘Unity, Diversity and The Uniqueness of the Nigerian Nation 100 Years After Amalgamation.’

FEC called on the private sector and all Nigerians to key in to the activities.

Just back from the AU Summit, the President presided over the council meeting on a day the Ministry of the Environment and that of Trade and Investment tendered the score card on the performance of their ministries in 2012.

The Minister of Trade and Investments beat his chest that trade in Nigeria has gone up to 25 per cent, promising to introduce a new auto policy soon.

 

 

 

President Won’t Order Removal Of Campaign Posters – Abati

Despite dissociating President Goodluck Jonathan from the 2015 campaign posters, littering the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Presidency has stated that it would not give orders for the posters to be removed.

Rather, the presidency has stated that regulatory bodies responsible for the control of campaigns and advertisement will be left to do their job.

This was made known by the Special Adviser to the President on media and publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, who stated that it is not the place of the President to give orders for the removal of the posters.

Speaking to Channels Television on the criticisms that the President should order the removal of the posters if they are actually a distraction, Dr Abati explained that those whose job it is to ensure that there is order in society should be allowed to carry out the necessary investigations on the matter and make sure that it does not pose any threat to public law and order.

Campaign posters announcing President Goodluck Jonathan’s readiness to contest the 2015 presidential election were on Wednesday pasted across major spots in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The presidency later in the day, dissociated itself from the campaign posters, saying “those who are behind it are not acting as the president’s agents.”

The presidential spokesperson on Thursday, reiterated that the President has not launched any campaign and is not behind the posters that adorn the streets in Abuja.

The all-glossy posters which were strategically pasted in some areas of the FCT were posted courtesy of the South-South People’s Action Group.

Presidential media chat to hold on Sunday

The regular media chat hosted by President Goodluck Jonathan with a selected team of media executives will hold on Sunday, the 18th of November 2012.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media, Dr Reuben Abati, announced on Friday that “President Goodluck Jonathan is to speak on matters that are currently of interest to the nation in the next edition of the Presidential Media Chat on Sunday, November 18, 2012.”

“During the Presidential Media Chat which will be broadcasted live on the network services of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), President Jonathan will answer questions and respond to comments from a panel of reputable media practitioners on a broad range of issues that are presently in the public domain.”

The Presidential Media Chat will begin at 1900 hours (7PM) and all other television and radio stations in the country are advised to hook up to the network services of NTA and FRCN to transmit the programme for the benefit of their viewers and listeners.

You can also tune to Channels TV to view the presidential chat and our esteemed online viewers can log on to www.channelstv.com or our live streaming website    on m.channelstv.com

Jonathan gives Ministers two weeks to vet Ribadu’s report

In a bid to fulfill his pledge that recommendations made by the controversial Ribadu Report would be looked into, President Goodluck Jonathan has set up white paper committees to prepare Draft White Papers on the reports of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force and two other reports on the nation’s oil sector.

The others are reports presented by the National Refineries Special Task Force and the Governance and Controls Special Task Force.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media, Dr Reuben Abati on Thursday announced the appointment of the latest committee to probe the nation’s oil sector.

According to Dr Abati, “the committees are to study the reports, review the issues raised and prepare Draft White Papers for the consideration of the Federal Executive Council within two weeks.”

The white paper committee on the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force report-now known as Ribadu report-will be chaired by the Minister of Labour, Chief Emeka Wogu, with the Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, Minister of State for FCT, Chief Jumoke Akinjide, and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed as members.

It will be recalled that President Jonathan, after the rancour between members of the committee during their submission of the report, gave the assurance that despite the rancour , his administration will look into the report and prosecute any one alleged of misappropriation in the nation’s oil sector.

The Chairman of the Petroleum Revenue Task Force, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and a member of his team, Steve Oronsaye traded words at the presentation of the committee’s report to the President with the latter alleging that the report was flawed with unconfirmed figures.

The white paper committee on the report of the Governance and Controls Special Task Force will be chaired by the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama  Pepple.

Other members of the committee are Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada, Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, and Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mallam Bukar Tijani.

The white paper committee on the report of the National Refineries Special Task Force has Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Architect Mohammed Sada as chairman, and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Pate and Minister of State for Education, Mr. Ezenwo Nyeson Wike as members.

According to the statement, the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation will provide a secretariat for the committees.

The statement further adds that the President has made the move “in furtherance of his declared commitment to doing all within his powers to ensure greater accountability, probity and transparency in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.”

Power reform: FG terminates Manitoba contract

Canada’s state-owned Manitoba Hydro Electricity contract for $24 million has been terminated by the federal government.

The presidency’s spokesman on media, Dr Reuben Abati on Wednesday, confirmed to Channels TV that President Goodluck Jonathan has annulled the deal because “due process was not followed in the award of the contract…..and there were issues about the violation of due process” he said.

He however gave the assurance that “this does not in any way affect the ongoing privatization of the power sector.”

Manitoba was one of the transmission companies hired by the former Minister of Power, Professor Bart Nnaji, to manage the nation’s power transmission network and was supposed to start work at the beginning of September but transmission is still been controlled by the government.

The Ministry of Power has not commented on the matter.

Interview with Dr Reuben Abati on Manitoba

Q: What happens to the recent management contract awarded to the Canadian power firm, Manitoba

Ans: I can confirm to you that it has been cancelled.

Q: You mean the contract has been terminated?

Ans: Yes the contact has been terminated.

Q: Any reason for that?

Ans: For the simple reason that the management contract was misprochured.

Q: What do you mean by “misprochured”?

Ans: By being misprochured, I mean it failed due process review. In other words, there were issues about the violation of due process…..What has been observed when the President ordered a review of the award of contract for the engagement of the management contractor was that there were violations of due process. So it is on the basis of that that this management contract has been set aside….If the approval threshold is above the power of the originating agency, it(contract) must go to the Federal Executive Council for approval. In this particular case, the Manitoba contract was awarded for 23.6 million US dollar which is above the threshold for Bureau of Public Enterprises(BPE). So BPE cannot award the contract within that threshold. It must go to FEC and it must also be referred to Bureau for Public Procurement(BPP) for certificate of no objection. There are two examples of due processs that were breached…. The new directive is that there should be a re- procurement exercise. And to show everybody that government is committed to power reform programme, this re-procurement exercise should even include Manitoba and they should apply to the BPP for certificate of no objection when the decision is taken. And the entire procurement process should be concluded within 30 days. What government is after is the principle of transparency and we will not compromise it because we are in a hurry. No. President Jonathan is committed to getting it right.

Saraki will be remembered as a political colossus – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has joined Nigerians in mourning Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki who he described as “one of Nigeria’s most prominent political leaders, medical practitioner and democrat.”

In a statement signed by the President’s special adviser on Media and publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, the President extended his “sincere commiserations to the elder statesman’s family and the people of his home state, Kwara to whose service and upliftment he selflessly devoted his long and very successful career in politics.”

President Jonathan urged people of Kwara to be consoled by the knowledge that “their departed father, leader and mentor lived a very successful and fulfilled life, rising to national prominence by dint of hard work, uncommon generosity, political sagacity, dedication and wholesome commitment to the service of his people and the entire nation.”

He noted that the late Dr. Saraki will be long remembered and eulogized as a consummate politician, an astute grassroots mobiliser, and a political colossus with awe-inspiring powers of political organisation.

“The ordinary people of Kwara in particular will always remember the “Oloye” with great affection because of the constant support they received from him” he added

The President further notes that “Dr. Saraki’s brand of people-oriented politics and his success in building on his strong support base to contribute positively to Nigeria’s political development as a powerful voice in the nation’s dominant political parties, as the Senate Majority Leader in the Second Republic, and as the ultimate reference point in the politics of Kwara state for decades, have assured him of a place amongst Nigeria’s heroes of democracy.

He urged Nigerians to emulate Dr Saraki’s patriotic commitment to national unity, politics without bitterness as well as his magnificent spirit of philanthropy.

Nigeria has lost another political titan – ACN

Also reacting to the demise of the Ilorin political icon, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) expressed shock and sadness, saying the nation has lost another political titan and a legend of his time.

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also described Dr. Saraki as a “colossus who possessed an efficient political machinery that he used effectively to rally the people.”

”Dr. Saraki defined his era, and since his entry into politics several decades ago, politics has never been the same again, especially in his native Kwara state, where he became synonymous with the politics of the state.”

ACN said the death of Dr. Saraki, coming a few days after the passing of another great politician, Lam Adesina, is a big loss to Nigeria, especially at a time the nation needs the wisdom and rich experience of its great sons and daughters to help steer it to less-turbulent waters.

”The vacuum being created by the death of these political titans is a challenge to young politicians to strive hard to step into their shoes and work hard to make our country a proud member of the comity of nations,” the party said.

Jonathan sets March 2013 deadline for complete rehabilitation of all refineries – Abati

President Goodluck Jonathan has set the next four months as deadline for all the nation’s refineries to operate at their optimum capacity.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, who disclosed this to state House correspondents on Thursday, announced that “the President has set March, 2013 deadline for the completion of the Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) and complete rehabilitation of three refineries in Kaduna, Port Harcourt and Warri.”

Dr Abati made this known after a meeting in the president’s office which had in attendance, the Minister of Petroleum Resources with her team including the Group Managing Director of the NNPC and other directors in the oil and gas sector, who made series of presentations.

The crux of the meeting according to the president’s aide was the state of the nation’s refineries and what steps can be taken to improve the capacities of these refineries to make them perform at their optimum.

He also revealed that the President is set for the full implementation of the task force reports, beginning with the committee on the nation’s refineries in order to boost domestic refining of crude oil products to create jobs.

It would be recalled that the committee on the Refineries which was headed by Dr Kalu Idika Kalu blamed the epileptic performance of the country’s refineries on lack of proper maintenance and funding.

Stop importation of fuel

Speaking on the reports Dr Abati said “the president has not only commended the committee on refineries, but he also made it clear that as part of the determination of his administration to make sure that Nigeria stops the importation of fuel and he subsequently directed the Minister of Petroleum Resources to take that report and look into it and then come up with action plan as to what can be done going forward.”

Dr Abati also revealed that the President demanded for a technical report to be prepared on how to get the refineries working.

Giving a break down on the present capacities of the three refineries, the President’s spokesman stated that “what the Kaduna refinery is able to produce per day now is about 110,000 barrels per day, the Port Harcourt refineries 210,000 barrel per day and the Warri refineries 125,000 barrel per day.”

Outlining the three points the president wants tackled, the presidential spokesman said the president told the team that the interest of this government is to ensure that crude oil is refined domestically and the administration’s determination to put an end to the importation of finished petroleum products because “you can refine domestically and at the same time still import because if you don’t have enough you will bridge it.”

He also expressed the president’s desire to create jobs locally in the sector because “the president’s conviction is that if you keep importing refined products, you are creating jobs for other people in other economies.

The meeting agreed to take care of the turnaround maintenance of the refineries in the immediate term and the target is that this short term intervention will be completed by March, 2013 and if that is done, that will raise the capacities of these refineries taken together to sixty five per cent.”

“But the determination is even to go beyond that to also engage in the rehabilitation of the refineries. There is a turnaround maintenance and also plan for rehabilitation” he declared.

Implementing committees report

According to Dr Abati, contrary to believe by some people that government sets up committees then refuse to implement the recommendations of such committees, “President Jonathan has already commenced the implementation of the recommendations of the committees he set up” he stated.

“The whole point of this is to make it clear that action is already being taken on the reports of the committees. The first meeting that was held today is on this issue of refineries. What I have given you is the outline. Another meeting will be fixed where further presentations would be made on the technical details on how these objectives would be achieved.”

“I think this clarification is important because since the presentation of these reports to Mr President, there has been an excessive focus on the politicisation of the Petroleum revenue task force reports whereas on that day, there were discussions relating to the refineries, there were discussions relating to the issues of governance system in the petroleum sector.”

“It is important to clarify that actually action is already being taken and for the benefit of those who think when committees submit reports, government sleeps on those reports, you can see clearly that this is not the case”

Jonathan directs Ribadu’s report to be submitted on Friday

President Goodluck Jonathan has directed that the report produced by the Nuhu Ribadu led committee on the management of the nation’s fuel subsidy, be submitted to his office on Friday.

A statement by the Special Assistant to the President on Media, Dr Reuben Abati, on Monday morning stated that “in furtherance of the administration’s commitment to transparency, probity, and accountability in the petroleum sector, President Goodluck Jonathan has directed that a comprehensive report of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force chaired by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu should be presented to him this week.”

The Committee which was set up in February 2012, was required to, among other tasks, determine and verify all petroleum upstream and downstream revenues (taxes and royalties, etc,) due and payable to the Federal Government of Nigeria, and to take all necessary steps to collect all debts due and owed; to obtain agreements and enforce payment terms by all oil industry operators.

The presentation of the Committee’s report will take place on Friday, November 2, at 11 am, at the State House, Abuja.

The 146 page report which was leaked to Reuters News agency last week, revealed that the nation loses out on $29 billion on cut-price gas deals from the year 2002 to the present.