Insurgency: Buhari Faults Use Of South African Mercenaries

BuhariNigeria’s President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, has expressed disappointment over the hiring of South African mercenaries by the Nigerian military authorities to confront the Boko Haram insurgents in the north-east.

General Buhari wondered why the military was incapable of ending the insurgency in just 14 out of the 774 Local Government Councils in Nigeria’s north-east, without the assistance of the South African mercenaries.

At a meeting with the National Executive Council of the Arewa consultative Forum (ACF) in Kaduna on Tuesday, Buhari said on assumption of office, his administration would concentrate on four major areas which include insecurity, economy, unemployment and corruption.

He added that his administration would also ensure that every Nigerian would live within his means or earnings, noting that a situation where people live above their earnings would not be tolerated.

Earlier in his address, ACF chairman and retired Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Coomassie, told Buhari that Nigerians voted for him because they believed in his integrity, knack for transparency, accountability, honesty and commitment to security of lives and property.

Mr Coomassie further stressed that Nigeria had never experienced the level of decay, collapse of moral values, high level of corruption, crime, unemployment and impoverishment of the citizenry like in the last six years.

Shekarau Urges Buhari To Sustain Jonathan’s Education Transformation Agenda

EducationNigeria’s incoming government have been urged to consolidate on the transformation agenda of the current administration  in the education sector, without considering the political differences.

The Minister of Education, Mr Ibrahim Shekarau, made the statement during his maiden visit to the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede In Owerri the Imo State capital, South-east Nigeria.

Mr Shekarau told reporters that if given more and adequate funding, polytechnics were capable of helping Nigeria attain a high technological development base, as most developed countries in the world.

He also advised the incoming General Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to sustain the two cardinal factors of the present government in education which include; increasing access to education and improving the quality of education.

In his earliest visit to the school, Mr Shekarau met with the Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Mrs Celina Njoku and had brief interaction with the management and staff of the institution.

After the meeting, Mr Shekarau, accompanied by the Minister of State for Education, Professor Viola Onwuliri and the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education, Dr Masaudu Kazaure, proceeded to commission some of projects built by the Federal Government through the TETFUND special intervention and some other projects initiated by the school’s management.

Complementing his statements, Professor Onwuliri noted that the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration had achieved a lot in the education sector, stressing that adequate funding would make Nigeria’s educational system more enviable.

However, Mrs Njoku commended the Minister for the visit and lodged  a complaint over the one billion Naira High Impact Funding for polytechnics in Nigeria which her school did not benefit from

Some of the project commissioned include the new School of Business Management complex, 500 capacity engineering lecture theater, chemical engineering department, the E-library, classroom complex and the fabrication and production workshop.

Do Not Expect Miracle From Buhari’s Administration – Atiku

Atiku abubakarNigeria’s Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has asked Nigerians not to expect a miracle from the incoming government of the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Channels TV correspondent, Seun Okinbaloye, the former Vice President stressed that the challenges facing the country are enormous, stating that such would require a step-by-step approach to solving them.

He also noted that devolution of powers should be an urgent matter the Buhari administration should pursue, expressing his fears that too much powers lie within the office of the President of Nigeria.

Alhaji Abubakar decried the weakness of the Nigeria institution, advising that Nigerians should be patient with the incoming government in order to achieve its campaign promises.


PDP Says It Is Open To Merger

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says despite losing control of the federal government to the All Progressives Congress, it still has the strength and spread, enough to make it regain pre-eminence at the centre.

The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, in a press statement on Sunday May 17, dismissed rumours that the party was contemplating a change of identity.

He, however, said that the party was willing to absorb any political party or association looking in the direction of merging with the PDP.

According to him, “We have good name, tradition and values. 16 fruitful years as the guardian of Nigeria’s democracy cannot be nullified by temporary setback.

“We shall rise beyond all and remain our rhythm. Our colour remains green white red and power still belong to the people.”

He then called on all the members of the party to ensure that they are not in any way distracted but stay focussed.

Mr Metuh also insisted that the unity, cohesion and regenerative capacity of the PDP is very much intact and election loss not withstanding, the party would bounce back.

The PDP lost the March 2015 presidential elections to the All Progressives Congress (APC), and by May 29 2015 the APC would formally take over government.

Buhari To Drop ‘General’ Title On May 29

Buhari Nigeria’s President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, says he will drop the title “General” from his name immediately after being sworn-in on May 29, 2015.

General Buhari, through his Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, unveiled in a one paragraph statement on Sunday, that he would like to be known after the swearing as, Muhammadu Buhari, President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

The statement also noted that the Vice President-elect would also be officially referred to as Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Minister of Information, Patricia Akwashiki, had earlier stated that May 29 remains the date for the handover of governance from President Goodluck Jonathan to the President-elect, General Muhammudu Buhari.

Mrs Akwashiki made the clarification at the end of a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided over by President Jonathan.

Muhammadu Buhari, born December 17, 1942, is a retired Major-General of the Nigerian Army. He was Head of State of Nigeria from December 31, 1983 to August 27, 1985, after taking power in a military coup d’état.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared him winner of March 28 presidential election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), defeating the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He had contested unsuccessfully for the office of President in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections.

A native of Daura in Katsina State, north west Nigeria,  Gen. Buhari is of the Fulani ethnic background. He is a Muslim of the Sunni Islam.

Reps Slash Petroleum Host Community Fund In PIB

RepsThe House of Representatives has reduced the proposed levy on oil companies for the operation of Petroleum Host Communities Fund from 10 per cent to 7.5 per cent.

The lower chamber of the National Assembly made this change as it continued with the clause-by-clause consideration of the Petroleum Industry Bill at plenary.

The fund, which is expected to cater for the mitigation of all negative environmental impacts on host communities arising from exploratory activities of oil companies was slashed, as lawmakers noted that any attempt to retain the 10 per cent levy may have negative effect on future investment in the sector.

The provision, as contained in clause 116 to 118 of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) currently being considered in the House, is seeking to create the fund independent of whatever interventionist funds already in existence.

The Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee on PIB, Reps Ishaka Bawa, suggested a reduction of the proposed percentage, asking the House to be mindful of the implication of the levy on future investments in the Petroleum, Oil and Gas Sector.

Buhari Assures Tony Blair Of Continued Nigeria-UK Collaboration

Muhammadu Buhari and Tony BlairNigeria’s President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, has met with a former British Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair, with further collaboration between both countries topping talks.

At the meeting, General Buhari assured Mr Blair that Nigeria would continue to explore areas of collaboration with the British government to achieve development.

Addressing reporters at the end of the closed-door meeting on Wednesday, the President-elect said issues of interest for both countries were discussed.

He thanked the U.K. Government for their role in the 2015 general

The former British Prime Minister commended Nigerians for their contributions to the success of the elections.

Mr Blair expressed optimism that Nigeria could address its security challenges if the kind of effort put into achieving a credible election was also deployed in tackling the insecurity.

He pledged the United Kingdom’s support for Nigeria.

Senators Will Resist Imposition Of Leaders – Sani

SaniSenator-elect representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Shehu Sani, says the incoming 8th National Assembly will not be a rubber stamp of the executive.

Mr. Sani told journalists at his campaign office in Kaduna State, that the incoming Assembly would be different from the outgoing one, which he alleged was virtually pocketed by the executive.

He maintained that only men of integrity and good reputation would be elected to lead the incoming Senate, adding that the leadership positions would be purely based on merit.

The senator-elect explained that the era of imposing leadership in the Senate is over, and that the crop of elected members would not succumb to such undemocratic system of governance.

He stressed that the incoming Senate would ensure the normal democratic election process of the next Senate President, and other principal officers will follow the same pattern.

Mr. Sani assured the people of the South-East and South-South regions of equal treatment with the remaining parts of the country under the leadership of the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari.

He also appealed to northerners not to see General Buhari as a northern President who should concentrate development only in their region, but as the leader of every part of the country.

Meanwhile, the human rights activist has appealed to the President-elect to scrap the National Scholarship Programme for students initiated by the outgoing Jonathan administration on the basis that the programme does not reflect federal character, equity and justice.

He also called on the President-Elect to revoke the pipeline surveillance contract that was awarded to former Niger Delta militants.

Okonjo-Iweala Tasks Incoming Government On Job Creation

Okonjo-IwealaNigeria’s Minister of Finance has tasked the incoming administration of the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), on job creation and infrastructural development.

During a session on Sunday with reporters in Abuja, the nation’s capital, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said that over 1.4 million jobs had been created annually in the past four years, by the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

She also noted that over 3,000 youths in the country had benefited from the Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigerian Scheme, popularly called “YouWIN”.

“That they are 3,900 young people called YouWinners today. You cannot take it away that the mortgage institution was created. The new enterprise bank will provide needed funds for SMEs,” she said, listing the achievements of the administration in the area of job creation.

However, Dr Okonjo-Iweala advised the incoming administration to focus on how to create jobs through the newly established development bank, as well as continue with other policies put in place by President Jonathan’s administration.

The Minister had weeks ago urged the incoming government to look at the economic policies that the current administration had put in place, as foundation and put more policies in place that would further ensure further economic growth.

Reps Leadership: Groups Want Speaker Zoned To Northeast

house of reps speaker sagaYouths and Women from the Northern Nigeria, under the umbrella of Arewa Youth and Women Coalition For Good Governance, held a rally in Kaduna on Saturday to drum support for the zoning of the House of Representatives Speaker to the Northeast.

During the rally, the Groups called on the National Leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC) to ensure it carries along every part of the country in its power sharing arrangement for National Assembly leadership positions and other political offices.

They explained that zoning the House of Representatives Speaker to the Northeast is in the interest of justice and fairness.

Addressing Journalists at the rally, Spokesman of the Group, Ado Suleiman, explained that their agitation will give the north east region, that has been ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency, a sense of belonging, also considering the overwhelming vote it gave to the APC during the presidential election.

The Groups also endorsed the member representing Tafawa Balewa, Bogoro, Dass Federal Constituency in Bauchi State, Mr Yakubu Dogara, as their preferred choice for Speaker of the House of Representatives in the Eighth National Assembly.

Although the tenure of the Seventh National Assembly will expire in June to pave way for the inauguration of the newly elected members, those interested in assuming leadership of both Chambers of the National Assembly have already started lobbying for the positions.

FG Denies Owing Civil Servants Salaries

oil marketersThe Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has refuted claims that the Federal Government of Nigeria is owing civil servants salaries.

In a statement signed by her Special Assistant on Media, Paul Nwabiukwu, the Minister clarified “the misinformation put forward by certain governors to the effect that Federal workers were being owed salaries”.

“This is incorrect. Staff salaries at the Federal level are up to date; workers have received their April salaries,” the statement said.

The Minister further noted that “regarding difficulties in salary payment, certain governors are trying to blame the Federal for their predicament.

“This is wrong. They had been told through the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) to prioritizse salaries but chose not to do so, hence the backlog that some states are experiencing.

“The 50 per cent drop in revenues simply means that salaries should be prioritised”, she added.

She also warned that “the Federal Government should not be blamed for avoidable mistakes made at state level”.

The Chairman of the Progressives Forum and Imo State Governor, Mr Rochas Okorocha, had on Tuesday, during a meeting of the forum and the President-elect, urged retired General Muhammadu Buhari to prioritise the payment of salaries when his administration begins after the May 29 swearing in.

According to Okorocha, the non-payment of April salaries by the Federal Government was a clear indication that the economy was not in good shape.

“We must admit that Nigeria’s economy is in a bad shape and it is obvious that most governors will not be able to pay the salaries of workers in their states. There is no magic for any governor to pay salary under this present situation.

“We hope to present it to the President-elect, Gen Muhammadu Buhari, as one of those challenges the states and Federal Governments are facing in terms of payment of salaries. It has become obvious that both governments may not pay April and May salaries.

“We have an incoming president who will inherit an almost empty treasury. The situation paints bold pictures of the challenges we have ahead of us. The truth is the state of our economy is in very bad shape which we need to discuss with the President-elect, make some projections with him and see how we can move the country forward,” he lamented.

FEC Tasks Buhari On Sustenance Of Power Sector Privatisation

FEC on Power Privatisation The incoming administration of General Muhammadu Buhari has been advised not to jettison the privatisation of Nigeria’s power sector, as it will mean reversing the massive inflow of investment in the sector.

Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, gave the advice on Wednesday while briefing reporters after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Nigeria had on September 30 2013 privatised the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, selling its stakes to private bodies.

The process was described as one of the most transparent in the African continent.

The incoming administration during their campaign commended the effort of the Jonathan-led administration in privatising the sector, but Professor Nebo still saw the need to request for continuity in the process.

He said the reversal of the privatisation programme will not be in the best interest of the country.

According to him, the reversal of the liberalisation of power generation, transmission and distribution will set Nigeria many decades backwards.

At the meeting, the Federal Executive Council approved the draft national policy on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency for Nigeria.

The Minister of Power said: “The policy is the first of its kind and is set out to address the issues of renewable energy within the Nigerian electricity supply industry”.

Also at the meeting, President Jonathan marked the 5th years anniversary of his administration.

The FEC offered special prayers to mark the anniversary.

The Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo, who is an ordained priest in the Anglican Communion and the Minister of State for Finance, Bashir Yuguda, offered Christian and Muslim prayers respectively.

Five years ago, President Jonathan took over the leadership of Nigeria as substantive president.

President Jonathan was sworn-in on May 6, 2010 by a former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, following the death of late President Umaru Yar’adua.