Human Development: UNDP Tasks Nigeria On Wealth Distribution

Human Development: UNDP Tasks Nigeria On Wealth DistributionNigeria’s human development ranking has remained static at 152 out of 188 countries, in spite of a 13 per cent increase in index recorded between 2005 and 2015.

This was according to the 2016 UNDP Human Development Report released on Tuesday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

As the Federal Government targets a growth rate of seven per cent by 2020, the United Nations believes that a focus on the distribution of wealth and growth will enhance human development in the country.

The UN Country Representative, Mr Edward Kallon, called on government to focus on implementing necessary policies to benefit the citizens, including reducing starvation among children, especially in the north-east.

The Minister of State for Budget, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said the report indicated that Nigeria’s ranking was majorly borne out of too many unproductive people in the country.

Mrs Zainab, however, underscored that the Federal Government would implement its Social Intervention Programme, to put more resources in the hands of the deprived people and also reduce poverty.

NBBF Introduces Women League

NBBF Introduces Women LeagueThe Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) says all is set for the commencement of a women basketball league with effect from Monday, April 10, 2017.

President of the Federation, Tijani Umar, made the disclosure on Sunday while addressing reporters in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Mr Umar explained the format of the league, adding that the introduction of a women basketball league is aimed at developing the game in Nigeria.

The Captain of D’Tigers, Olumide Oyedeji, also urged women basketball clubs to address the welfare of players, stressing that the league will not allow same day travel plans for any team.

President Buhari To Launch ERGP 2017-2020

Buhari Extends Return To NigeriaNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, will formally launch the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020 on Wednesday, April 5.

A statement issued on Tuesday by the President’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, revealed that the ceremony will take place at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

The statement explained that the launch is “in furtherance of the current administration’s drive to sustain and build on the successes so far recorded in tackling corruption, improving security and revamping the economy.

“The Medium-Term ERGP, which had been approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), has amongst its broad strategic objectives: restoring sustainable, accelerated inclusive growth and development; investing in the people; and building a globally competitive economy”.

The ERGP, which unveils a road map for Nigeria’s economic recovery, growth and sustainable development, was made public on March 7, while President Buhari was on his medical vacation in the United Kingdom.

The Media Adviser to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Akpandem James, had said the ceremonial presentation will take place when the President returns from his vacation.

Gowon Visits President Buhari At The Villa

Yakubu Gowon Visits Muhammadu Buhari At The Villa Former Military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), says the safe return of President Muhammadu Buhari to Nigeria, after receiving medical attention in the United Kingdom has proven critics wrong on the President’s state of health.

General Gowon said this during an interview with State House correspondents after a private meeting with President Buhari on Tuesday in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory.

The former Military Head of State who also came to pay a welcome visit to the President from his medical vacation, said “the other thing is to thank him very much indeed for ringing me when he was in London, to commiserate with me on the death of my sister and this was rarely very gracious of him.

“I’m sure that also helped to make Nigerians to rejoice, especially those who are sending all those unfortunate messages about him. It was a good thing that was done and Nigerians know that yes he’s still well and for him to be able to ring.

“This is rarely the purpose of what brought me here and then to encourage him to continue to his work to the best of his ability”.

He then wished President Buhari well as he braces up to tackle the challenges confronting the country.

Alleged Money Laundering: Court Grants Yakubu Bail

Alleged Money Laundering: Court Grants Former NNPC GMD, Andrew Yakubu Bail EFCCA former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (GMD NNPC), Mr Andrew Yakubu, has been granted bail in the sum of 300 million Naira.

Mr Yakubu is facing a six-count charge of money laundering preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The charges were all in relation to the money allegedly recovered from his house in Kaduna State on February 3.

Following his arraignment on March 16, Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja had ordered that the former NNPC boss be remanded in Kuje Prison.

Ruling on the defendant’s bail application, Justice Mohammed observed that he has no reason to believe that Mr Yakubu would jump bail.

He then proceeded to grant him bail for 300 million Naira with two sureties in like sum.

The judge said the sureties must own properties which must worth the bail sum within the Federal Capital Territory.

He, however, refused to grant the prayer of the defence counsel for an order to release the accused person’s international passport, which was said to be in the EFCC custody.

Justice Mohammed ordered Mr Yakubu to remain in prison pending when the defendant would meet the bail conditions.

He also adjourned until May 9 for the commencement of trial.

FG Approves Immigration Regulations To Check Terrorism

FG Approves Immigration Regulations To Check TerrorismThe Minister of Interior, Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd), has approved a new set of immigration regulations.

According to him, the approval would help the Federal Government monitor and check the movement of terrorists through Nigerian borders.

The Minister pointed out that the 80-section regulation would enhance protection against cross border crimes.

The executive approval was witnessed by diplomats and top government officials on Monday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Upon application, the new 2017 regulation approved the issuance of visa on arrival in Nigeria, enforcement of an Immigration Register and temporary work permit among others.

The new regulation, which is the first since 1963 when the last Immigration Act was passed by parliament, is geared towards enhancing the protection of citizens against cross border crimes.

Authorities In Abuja Decry Influx Of Beggars

Senate, Beggars, HawkersAuthorities in Abuja have raised alarm over the influx of beggars and hawkers into the Federal Capital Territory.

They expressed concern that the influx of beggars and hawkers into Nigeria’s capital could be a security threat if not checked.

As part of measures to check the situation, the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory had directed security agencies in Abuja to clear the city of beggars, hawkers and commercial sex workers.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Dino Melaye, said the evacuated persons would be taken to a rehabilitation centre in Bwari before they are sent to their respective states.

He noted that the Senate was displeased with the security situation in the Federal Capital Territory, adding that they “are very uncomfortable with the number of hoodlums on our streets in Abuja”.

Acting President Tasks Civil Servants On Efficiency

Civil Servants, Acting President, Yemi OsinbajoNigeria’s Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, has appealed to civil servants to be productive and efficient in their work, as a way of ensuring positive change in the country.

Professor Osinbajo made the appeal on Tuesday at the launch of the 2017 – 2019 Strategic Plan for Civil Servants in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

He emphasised the need for public servants to be productive and never to use their offices for personal gains.

The strategic plan launched by the Head of Service, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, is aimed at finding innovative ways for ministries and their parastatals to generate revenue for the government.

Mrs Oyo-Ita highlighted the four cardinal objectives of her administration to include capacity development and performance management for civil servants.

She also stressed the importance of innovation in the face of government’s dwindling revenue.

Some participants, who perceived the civil service as unproductive and inefficient, expressed hope that the new strategic plan would help to change the narratives.

Senate C’mtte Orders Evacuation Of Beggars, Hawkers From Abuja

Senate, Beggars, Hawkers, Dino Melaye, AbujaThe Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory has directed security agencies in Abuja to clear the city of beggars, hawkers and commercial sex workers.

Briefing journalists at the National Assembly, the Chairman of the committee, Senator Dino Melaye, said the evacuated persons would be taken to a rehabilitation centre in Bwari before they are sent to their respective states.

“We also (last week) summoned the Commissioner of Police of the FCT, and the Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps because we are (as a committee and the Senate, we are appall with the security situation in Abuja.

“We are very uncomfortable with the number of hoodlums on our streets in Abuja.

“You have beggars, destitute and commercial sex workers spread across every nook and cranny of the city.

“We have also asked the FCT to immediately put in order, the rehabilitation camp in Bwari that has been specifically and specially built for those arrested on the streets,” the lawmaker said.

Senator Melaye also announced plans by the committee to transfer the maintenance of street lights and environmental cleaning to banks and corporate organisations.

He noted that the banks are to take over the cleaning of streets in the city centre, as well as maintaining public facilities as part of their corporate social responsibility.

Osinbajo: Patronise ‘Made-In-Nigeria’ Goods To Drive Economy

Yemi Osinbajo, Made-In-Nigeria, Economy, Chris Ngige, Kayode FayemiActing President Yemi Osinbajo has reaffirmed the Federal Government’s determination to drive the Nigerian economy with locally manufactured products.

Professor Osinbajo made the pledge at the 2017 National Productivity Day in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

According to him, the current economic realities indicate that continued dependence on importation is not sustainable.

He, however, called for the patronage of made-in-Nigeria goods.

“Permit me to make a comment on made-in-Nigeria initiative, which has also been recognised here.

“As the president said in his 2017 budget speech, we must grow what we eat and we must use what we make; we must patronise made-in-Nigeria products to encourage local production,” Professor Osinbajo said.

Bedrock Of Every Economy

In his opening remarks, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, stressed the importance of the occasion.

“We are here today to celebrate and reward excellence in service by recognising individuals and organisations that have made significant contributions to the growth and development of the nation.

“The National Productivity Day is therefore a day we set aside to demonstrate that high productivity is the bedrock of every economy.

“It is time to reflect on ways of energising all sectors of the economy towards our goal of institutionalising productivity consciousness and excellence in service,” the minister said.

Celebrating Criminal Brigands

The Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, on his part highlighted the importance of a reward system in encouraging local entrepreneurship.

“Society can only develop and be productive when our reward systems are robust and effective.

“Good must be rewarded and evil must be punished; government can however, not do this alone.

“It is a task we must all tackle collectively right from the family unit to our community to the nation at large.

“We can only make progress and be productive when we stop celebrating criminal brigands and start recognising unsung heroes in our society,” the minister said.

The National Productivity Day has been set aside by the Federal Government to promote local production of goods and services, as well as reward indigenous entrepreneurs who are contributing to the growth of the economy.

At the 2017 edition, 15 individuals and five organisations were rewarded by the government for their contributions to Nigeria’s economy.

Shettima: Boko Haram Killed Over 100,000 People In Seven Years

Shettima: Over 100,000 Killed In Boko Haram InsurgencyBorno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, says at least 100,000 persons have been killed in the seven years of the Boko Haram insurgency in Northeast Nigeria.

The governor added that over two million people were displaced by the violence, noting that most of those affected were women and children.

He stated this on Monday at the Murtala Muhammed Memorial Lecture in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

“While it took South Africa’s apartheid 42 years to take 21,000 lives, it took Boko Haram only seven years to cause the murders of 100,000 lives of innocent people, he said.

Governor Shettima noted that the conflict was fueled in its early stages by official laxity and the initial willingness of the former administration to believe the terror campaign was supported by the Muslim-majority in the northeast.

He also defended the decision of his administration to close all IDPs’ camps in Borno State by May 2017, stressing that their continuous existence poses threat to the state.

“The IDP camps that we have right now are pregnant with lots of challenges.

“Early child marriages, child prostitution, drug abuse (and) gangsterism are very common in those IDP camps.

“If we allow them to pester (and) to continue existing for the next two years, we might have bigger problems at hand.

“This is why we are determined to restore the dignity of our people by rebuilding their communities and taking them back home,” the governor said.



Buhari Has Not Contravened Constitution Over Trip – Reps

Muhammadu Buhari, Constitution, House of RepresentativesThe House of Representatives says that President Muhammadu Buhari has not contravened the constitution by being away from Nigeria for health reasons.

The spokesman for the House, Abdulrazak Namdas, made the declaration during an interview with Channels Television in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Representative Namdas stated that the constitution does not specify how long the President can be away after handing over to the Vice President.

He said that the country is in the capable hands of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, stressing that there was no need for Nigerians to worry for now.

President Buhari had in a letter to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, extended his vacation.

However, he did not specify in the letter how long he would be away.