Jailbreaks: FEC Approves Purchase Of Firearms For Prison Officials

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the purchase of 400 Beretta assault rifles with 20,000 rounds of ammunition for officials of the Nigeria Prisons Service.

The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau announced the approval at the end FEC meeting held inside the council chamber. The meeting was chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Dambazau said the arms and ammunition will be purchased at the cost of N272 million.

He noted that this will prevent further jailbreaks in the country.

“If you recall, not too long ago, our prison in Minna was attacked from the outside and some of the dangerous prisoners were freed.

“The prison has an armed squad. We realised after an investigation of that attack that one of the major shortcomings within that prison was lack of adequate arms and ammunition.”

One prison official and a motorcyclist were killed in June 2018 during the process of a jailbreak at the Medium Security Prisons in Minna, the Niger State capital.

Ebola: FG Orders Surveillance At Airport, Land Borders

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has directed the Federal Ministry to step up emergency surveillance activities at all land and airport borders in the country.

Minister of Health, Isaac Adewale, told journalists on Wednesday after the FEC meeting that, this measure is to keep Nigerians safe from Ebola outbreak which is currently in Congo.

“Of great concern to the Federal Executive Council is the outbreak of Ebola in DR Congo. Over the last one month, DRC recorded 19 suspected cases of viral hemorrhagic fever and lost 16 of the cases.

“On Monday, blood samples from five patients in the DRC, particularly in a particular district in DRC, two of the five cases, Ebola was actually confirmed.

“FEC has now directed the Federal Ministry of help to step up emergency surveillance activities at all land and airport borders so that we can actually keep Nigerians safe,” he said.

READ ALSO: Two Teenagers Killed In Failed Borno Suicide Attack

Speaking further about the virus, Adewole said an emergency operation center will be set up and visitors to Nigeria, especially Congo, will be screened thoroughly.

“What we will do is to set up an emergency operation center which will be chaired by Dr Babasanya, who actually led our efforts in Liberia and Sierra Leone and Guinea during the outbreak in 2014.

“Not only that, we will be screening incoming passengers, particularly passengers from DRC and neighbouring countries. We will also ensure we step up all activities screening people coming in so that we will not be caught unawares,” he added.

The FEC also agreed that Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) will consider sending some team to DRC as part of building capacity for managing the outbreak.

“We want to assure Nigerians that the Federal Government is concerned about the outbreak and will do everything possible to keep the country safe,” he said.

According to health officials, 17 people have died in an area of northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo where an outbreak of Ebola has been confirmed.

This recent outbreak is DRC’s ninth known outbreak of Ebola since 1976 when the deadly viral disease was first identified in then-Zaire by a Belgian-led team.

In Nigeria, Ebola outbreak was experienced in 2014. This led to the deaths of many including Dr. Stella Adedavoh, a physician credited to have curbed a wider spread of the Ebola virus in Nigeria.

FEC Approves Establishment Of University For Nigerian Army

Chief Of Staff, Abba Kyari, Secretary to the Government, Boss Mustapha and Vice President Muhammadu Buhari during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.
The Chief Of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja, on Wednesday.

 

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday gave the approval for the establishment of a new university for the Nigerian Army.

This approval follows the presentation of a memo by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu to the FEC.

The University will be located in Biu, Borno State.

Mr Adamu after the meeting announced the approval to journalists at the State House at the end of the FEC meeting.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai had earlier in March announced that the Nigerian Army will upgrade the Institute of Technology and Environmental Studies to a full-fledged University of Technology and Environmental Studies.

The FEC meeting was on Wednesday presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Photos Of Kyari, Oyo-Ita In ‘Warm’ Embrace At FEC Meeting

The Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari and the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Winnifred Oyo-Ita has embraced publicly at the commencement of the meeting of  Federal Executive Council at the State House in Abuja.

This is coming after the two top government officials were engaged in an altercation at the same venue last week.

 See Photos below…

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.

FEC Celebrates Acting President Osinbajo At 60

osinbajo The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has reiterated its commitment to getting Nigeria out of recession before the end of 2017‎.

The resolve was made during the FEC meeting chaired by the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who clocked 60 on Wednesday.

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Although members of the Council may not have rehearsed very well, they honoured Professor Osinbajo with a warm song.

The meeting was brought to a close with the cutting of the birthday cake as some of the ministers joined the Acting President in a photo session.

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Briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, said the 2017 budget has been structured to pull Nigeria out of recession.

The Minister added that the government was anxious to get the budget passed in order to begin its implementation.

He also noted that the release of the budget would fast-track the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) recently released by the Ministry of Budget.

The Council thereafter, approved the contract for the construction of the Greater Abuja Water Supply Project at the cost of $470 million.

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Mohammed Bello, stressed the importance of the project to provide potable water to residents of the greater part of the FCT.

FG Releases Economic Recovery Plan

FG Releases Economic Recovery Plan (ERGP)The Federal Government has released the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) which unveils a road map for Nigeria’s economic recovery, growth and sustainable development.

This was according to a statement issued on Tuesday by the Media Adviser to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Akpandem James.

According to the statement, the development of the plan went through a rigorous process including wide consultation and robust engagements with stakeholders from a range of relevant fields.

They include: economic experts from the public and private sectors, academia, the Organised Private Sector, Civil Society groups, Organised Labour, sub-regional governments, International Development Partners (including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and African Development Bank), the National Economic Council (NEC) and the National Assembly.

The statement hinted that the Plan has been approved by the Federal Executive Council, adding that its ceremonial presentation would take place when President Muhammadu Buhari returns from vacation.

Achieving Structural Economic Change

The statement read: “The core vision of the Plan is one of sustained inclusive growth. There is an urgent need as a nation to drive structural economic transformation with an emphasis on improving both public and private sector efficiency.

“The aim is to increase national productivity and achieve sustainable diversification of production, to significantly grow the economy and achieve maximum welfare for the citizens, beginning with food and energy security.

“The Plan envisages that by 2020, Nigeria would have made significant progress towards achieving structural economic change with a more diversified and inclusive economy. Overall, the Plan is expected to deliver on Five key broad outcomes namely: a stable macroeconomic environment, agricultural transformation and food security, sufficiency in energy (power and petroleum products), improved transportation infrastructure and industrialisation focusing on small and medium scale enterprises.

“Realising that the country’s economy would remain on a path of decline if nothing was immediately done to change the trajectory, the present administration, when it assumed office, embarked on strategic moves to halt the trend and redirect the course of the country’s economy and growth process.

A Knowledge-Based Economy

“The process started with the development of the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) for the 2016 Budget of Change as a short-term intervention. The ERGP, a Medium Term Plan for 2017 – 2020, builds on the SIP and has been developed for the purpose of restoring economic growth while leveraging the ingenuity and resilience of the Nigerian people.

“The Plan seeks to eliminate the bottlenecks that impede innovations and market based solutions, recognises the need to leverage Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) to build a knowledge-based economy, and is consistent with the aspirations of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The ERGP differs in several ways from previous strategies and plans as it:

  • is anchored on focused implementation which is at the core of the delivery strategy over the next four years;
  • outlines bold initiatives such as ramping up oil production to 2.5mbpd by 2020, privatising selected public enterprises/assets, and revamping local refineries to reduce petroleum product imports by 60 percent by 2018;
  • builds on existing sectoral plans such as the National Industrial Revolution Plan and the Nigeria Integrated Infrastructure Master-plan;
  • signals a changing relationship between the public and private sector based on close partnership.
  • utilises the value of the merger of budget and planning functions into one Ministry to create a better and stronger link between annual budgets and the ERGP; and
  • provides for strong coordination with the States to ensure that the Federal and sub-regional governments work towards the same goals.

Vision Of Inclusive Growth

“The thinking behind the development of the Plan was driven by several fundamental principles, including a focus on tackling constraints to growth; leveraging the power of the private sector and promoting national cohesion and social inclusion, as well as allowing markets to function.

“The Plan has three broad strategic objectives which are expected to help achieve the vision of inclusive growth: restoring growth, investing in the people, and building a globally competitive economy.

“The ERGP focuses on achieving macroeconomic stability and economic diversification by undertaking fiscal stimulus, ensuring monetary stability and improving the external balance of trade.

“The delivery mechanism has been identified as a major determining factor in the successful implementation of the Plan. The implementation strategy therefore focuses on prioritising the identified strategies, establishing a clear system of accountability for well-defined assignment of responsibilities, setting targets and developing detailed action plans, allocating resources to prioritised interventions, creating an enabling policy and regulatory environment, developing an effective monitoring and evaluation system to track progress, and using effective communication strategies”.

NDDC Denies Buying Cars Worth Over N1bn

NDDC Denies Buying Cars Worth Over N1bnThe management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has denied the allegations of procurement of over 70 luxury cars each costing tens of millions of Naira, made by the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Professor Itse Sagay.

In a statement issued on Thursday by the Head of Corporate Affairs at the NDDC, Chijioke Amu-Nnadi, the commission denied making such purchases since its current governing board assumed office on November 4, 2016.

According to the statement, the NDDC Chairman, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, and the Managing Director/CEO, Nsima Ekere, as well as the two Executive Directors are still using their private vehicles three months after assumption of duties.

The statement added that the agency is only now in the process of acquiring work vehicles.

The NDDC said it is adhering strictly to due process which includes seeking approval of the Federal Executive Council, expressing its readiness to open its books for audit at any time.

The statement read: “The NDDC is only now in the process of acquiring work vehicles, and is adhering strictly to due process. These include five (5) Toyota Prado jeeps, 10 Toyota Hilux trucks, four (4) Toyota Land Cruiser jeeps, one (1) Toyota Coaster bus and two (2) Toyota Hiace buses.

“The Commission has just received the Due Process Compliance Certificate from the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, and is preparing the mandatory memo for the approval of the Federal Executive Council.

Doing What Is Right

“We wish to restate that the current Board and Management of the NDDC is committed to making its transactions transparent, by adhering strictly to processes and procedures of government, as espoused in the Board’s 4-R Initiative of restoring the Commission’s core mandate, restructuring the balance sheet, reforming our processes and reaffirming a commitment to doing what is right and proper at all times in facilitating the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.

“In this regard, the Commission is also partnering with Bureau for Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and Open Government Partnership (OGP) to improve the Commission’s governance systems, procurement and project implementation processes, in order to plug all loopholes and systematically eliminate all incidences of mismanagement and corruption.

“NDDC is always ready to open its books for audit. We are also committed to responding to all inquiries from well-meaning individuals and groups seeking clarification on rumours and possible false information.

“While asking for support from all stakeholders to enable the Commission succeed in the ambitious task of reforms, the New NDDC is evolving as a responsible public institution and members of the public should feel free to get authentic information on its activities to avoid sensationalism”.

FEC Approves Funds To Boost Power, Agriculture Efficiency

FECThe Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved 701 billion Naira payment assurance for power generating companies in Nigeria.

The fund, kept by the Central Bank of Nigeria, is to enhance evacuation of power by the Transmission Company of Nigeria to the various power distribution companies in the country without wastage.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, briefed State House correspondents on the approval after the FEC meeting presided over by the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osibabjo.

He said the guarantee is an instrument meant to resolve liquidity problems encountered by the power generating companies in payments to gas suppliers.

Also approved by FEC was the sum of 263 million Naira for the growing of gum arabic seedlings in the country.

The Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, said the fund was approved to strengthen the capacity of Nigeria in producing the gum, as the country ranks second in the world behind Sudan.

He said $43 million was earned from the export of gum arabic in 2016, and that 17 states are involved in the gum’s cultivation across Nigeria.

Mr Ogbeh added that the FEC also approved the distribution of improved cassava stems to farmers in the southern part of the country.

The cassava stems, to be provided by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, are to improve Nigeria’s cultivation of cassava which is a primary source of ethanol and industrial starch production.

FEC Holds Valedictory Session For Amina Mohammed

FEC Holds Valedictory Session For Amina MohammedIt was an emotional moment in the council chambers of the Presidential Villa, as Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council held a valedictory session for the out-going Minister Of Environment, Amina Mohammed.

Mrs Mohammed, who has served the President Muhammadu Buhari administration for 15 months, is set to take over as the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations on March 7, 2017.

The Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who chaired the session, described the out-going minister as a role model to Nigerian women.

Some of her colleagues also lauded her achievements, describing her as a gift from Nigeria to the world.

The minister, who could not hide her emotions while giving her address, said she was proud to be the one to fly Nigeria’s flag up there at the United Nations, promising to give it her best shot.

Fashola Highlights Input Hoped To Boost Power Supply In Nigeria

babatunde-fashola-power-works-and-housing-minister-nigeria
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola

The Nigerian government says it will do all in its powers to overcome the setbacks in the power sector.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, gave the assurance while briefing reporters after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

One of the strategies that the government has adopted, according to the Minister, is the approval made by the Council for the completion of the Odogunyan Transmission Sub-station in Ikorodu in Lagos at the cost of 3.5 billion Naira.

According to Mr Fashola, the contract was awarded in 2009 and abandoned for lack of payment.

He said the cost was reversed, as a result of the economic reality of the times so that the project could be completed and put into use as an addition to the expansion capacity of the national grid.

 

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Electricity generating sets, a popular sight in places of business in Nigeria’s comercial cities

After 55 years of independence Nigeria still depends on imported generators for electricity.

The cost of running these generators is high, forcing most businesses in the oil-rich nation to close down.

Nigeria with a populations of over 180 million people has electricity that fluctuates between 5,000 megawatts and zero megawatts. Electricity experts said Nigeria needed about 100,000 megawatts of electricity to boast of constant power supply to its population.

Latest report has it that electricity generation in the nation has dropped to less than 2,500 megawatts.

Blame the drop on vandalism of gas pipelines and huge debts to DISCOS and GENCOS, a source of worry to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing.

One step the government is sure will help expand the capacity of power in the country is the completion of the sub-station in Ikorodu which has been lying fallow since 2009.

When completed, the minister said it would add extra capacity to the national grid.

Concerned citizens have continued to ask; can there be a time when Nigeria will generate at least 40,000 megawatts of power, for its citizens like other countries of the world without failure?

Nigeria Appoints Transaction Parties To Execute Eurobond Programme

fecThe Nigerian government on Wednesday approved the appointment of five transaction advisers to run handle issuance of the proposed one-billion-dollar Eurobond in the International Capital Market which will commence in January 2017.

Nigeria Citigroup, Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, White & Case LLP, Banwo & Ighodalo and AfricaPractice are the five parties approved by the Federal Executive Council during its weekly meeting in the nation’s capital, Abuja.

Before the approval, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, told the Council members that the companies were expected to run all issuance programmes for the country for the next three years.

$1-Billion-Dollar Euro Bond

The minister said that the one-billion-dollar Euro Bond was part of the funding for capital projects in the 2016 budget which runs till March 2017.

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The selection of the advisers was an open and transparent one, Mr Kemi Adesina told Council members

Mrs Adeosun told the Council that the team of five advisers, would run all Euro Bond issuance programmes until 2019, to cut out the cumbersome process of re-tendering and selection for the programme which is already generating significant investor interest.

She stated that the selection was based on an open and competitive bid process in line with the Public Procurement Act, 2007 and a certificate of “No Objection” was received from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to award contracts to the recommended Parties.

“We have so far, received strong commitment from the international community. Investors believe in the long-term economic outlook for Nigeria, as we continue with our structural reforms and increased focus on infrastructure development to diversify the economy and grow the non-oil sector.

“Stable oil prices and steadying foreign reserves will support our plans and we expect high demand for this issue to further push down yields. We are confident that this will be a successful outing in January, 2017,” she stated.

The approval was part of two memos that were discussed and approved at the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The other memo was for the amendment to the gazette for the establishment of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP).

Amina Mohammed, Renewable Energy, Jatropha
Amina Mohammed Minister of Environment

On the hydrocarbon pollution project gazette amendment, the Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, pointed out that it was necessary to establish crucial government structures to manage the clean-up of the Niger Delta region is reason for council’s approval.

According to him, the government’s intention is to rollout a training plan for women on livelihood in the contaminated areas in Ogoni, recruit young people in the area for the clean-up process.

The government had few months ago launched a clean-up programme in Ogoniland, to save the land from adverse effect of oil exploration activities.