Information Minister Commends AFRIFF For Contribution To Economic Development

Lai Mohammed, AFRIFFMinister of Information, Lai Mohammed has praised organisers’ of the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), for using cinema to revolutionise Africa’s social and economic life.

The star-studded sixth edition of the event, took place at the Filmhouse, IMAX Cinema, Lekki, Lagos on Sunday, with the unveiling of a new movie, “Birth of a Nation“.

In his address of welcome, Mr Mohammed assured stakeholders of the Federal Government’s commitment to the growth of the industry.

“I congratulate the organisers of the Africa International Film Festival on what promises to be another successful event.

“I want you all to help me celebrate their commitment to the industry and laudable investment in Nigeria, year after year.

“This is the sixth one, and I am here to assure all the practitioners in the industry and the ever-growing customer base of this industry that the best days are here.

“Before now, maybe the Nigerian Government threw crumbs at the Nigerian movie industry in terms of infrastructure and human capital investment.

“However with the steady growth in the population, we have no choice than to turn to the creative industry,” the Minister stated.

Furthermore, he stressed that the current administration would ensure that Nigeria would no longer depend only on oil revenues as according to him, much attention would now be shifted towards the creative industry.

Lai Mohammed, AFRIFF

He believes that the creative industry had provided a veritable platform for talented youths and entrepreneurs to thrive.

“The movie industry has fully accepted to be not just a great employer of labour, especially young people, but also a potential high foreign exchange earner because of its international appeal and demand.

“We are taking the bull by the horn. You have all done a fantastic job with all the support of government and partnership.

He re-iterated a statement he made during an interview with Channels Television, that “Mr President has formally put his weight behind the creative industry and has promised to do everything that will make it possible for us to transit from a creative industry to a creative economy.”

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Film One Distribution, an independent film distributor, Kene Mkparu, also expressed delight at the large turnout of guests for the event.

Expressing gratitude for the partnership with Twentieth Century Fox, who according to him has, shown interest in the growing African Film market, Mr Mkparu said:

“We met them just two years ago, and they got this amazing plan and desire to work with Africa and play a part in what happens in the continental film industry.

“When we reached out to 20th Century Fox to say we wanted this particular title which happens to be an African story, a huge African story, written and directed by Nate Parker, they said yes, we will do it.”

APC, PDP Trade Words Over Call For Buhari’s Resignation

Buhari's Resignation, PDP, APC, Imo, Election, Imo NorthThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for the resignation of President Buhari over what it calls crass ineptitude in the handling of the nation’s affairs.

The PDP also accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of failing to stop the economy from drifting away and ending in a recession.

Describing the APC as lukewarm in the management of the challenges facing the country; the PDP alleged that most of the major investments made by its government in critical areas of the nation’s economy are being allowed to waste away.

In the meantime, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has described the PDP as a shameless irritant bent on distracting the government from rescuing the country from the mess it left it.

In a statement, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, slammed the PDP for asking for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He added that the APC is on a mission to rescue the country  and resuscitate it from the coma that the PDP left it in, accusing the PDP of attempt to sabotage its rescue efforts.

NLGN Seeks Intervention Into Legislators’ Plan To Repeal Act

NLNGThe Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) has urged Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, to intervene in the ongoing plan by the National Assembly to repeal the NLNG Act.

The NLNG also expressed concern over Nigeria’s risk of capital flight in the oil and gas sector.

The company identified the loss of potential investments of over 20 billion Naira and at least 18,000 jobs, as the consequence of the plan to repeal the NLNG Act.

The top management officials of the NLNG, led by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tony Attah, made the appeal on Monday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Mr Attah said the Act of parliament which the legislators plan to repeal, served as the pillar of the NLGN, known to be the biggest and most successful made in Nigeria product.

They warned that the move would bring a plethora of arbitration to Nigeria and a further loss of reputation in the business would.

In his response, the Information Minister assured them that no action would be taken to jeopardise the success of the company.

He added that the matter ought to be resolved internally, through a private engagement with the National Assembly and the Federal Executive Council.

Information Minister Asks Labour To Shelve Strike 

Information Minister, LabourThe planned three-day warning strike by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has perhaps spurred the federal government to provide more explanations on the benefits of the new petroleum price regime.

The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, told media executives and non- governmental organizations at a meeting in Abuja that the palliatives that come with the new price regime would not be misappropriated.

He maintained that the decision to increase petrol price was the only option the government had.

5,000 Megawatts Not Enough For 170million People – Fashola

Power generationWorks, Power and Housing Minister, Babatunde Fashola has acknowledged difficulty in handling the power situation in Nigeria and hinged the challenges on low power generation.

The Minister spoke during the first in the series of the Federal Government town hall meetings held on Monday in Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial city.

During his presentation, Mr Fashola told the gathering that the 5,000 megawatts of electricity currently being generated was inadequate to address the nation’s power problems.

“I acknowledge that we are in a result-driven business and perhaps today results are measured by ‘in my ministry, how many roads have been finished? How much power do you have, how much housing can you get?’

“Those results are not yet delivered but I assure you they will be delivered.

“Some results are becoming evident to us in government and they may seem intangible to those outside government and I understand that. They are results of clearly understanding why we are where we are.

“Should we continue to do what was done in the past if it hasn’t solved the problem?

“ECN, the precursor to NEPA and PHCN was inaugurated by ordinance in 1950; that’s 66 years. So why hasn’t the problem been solved in 66 years? Why did we inherit it?

“So I am looking at some of the things that have been done well and some that could have been done better but I will summarise the power issue simply in one word.

“There is not enough power. 5,000 megawatts for 170million people is just not enough. The solution is delivering more power on an incremental and sustained basis,” Mr Fashola said.

The town hall meeting is expected to hold in six geo-political zones and two other cities, Abuja and Kano.

It is an interaction between the government and persons from different sectors of the economy.

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah and Minister for Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi were also in attendance.

First Edition Of FGs’ Town Hall Meetings Holds In Lagos

FG Town Hall MeetingThe first in the series of the Federal Government town hall meetings held On Monday in Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial city.

The meeting is expected to hold in six geo-political zones and two other cities, Abuja and Kano.

It is an interaction between the government and persons from different sectors of the economy.

At the Lagos meeting, President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministers talked to artisans, traditional rulers, students and a cross section of the public

Those in attendance are the Information Minister, Mr Lai Mohammed, that of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah and Minister for Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi.

During his presentation, Mr Fashola told the gathering that the 5,000 megawatts of electricity currently being generated was inadequate to address the nation’s power problems.

The Power Minister, however, believes that the problems could be surmounted.

On his part, the Minister of industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Enelamah, said that the follow up on the China trip embarked on by the President would be very intense and that the President had given his cabinet the mandate to deliver.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Kachikwu, said the Buhari-led government had reduced a lot of excesses within the oil and gas sector and close to ending the era of subsidy payments while making sure the refineries would commence production shortly.

The Minister, however, appealed to Nigerians to be patient and hopeful, as he believes a lot is being done.

FG Blames Low Power Generation on Vandals

Power GenerationThe Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, has warned agitators across the country to desist from attacking Federal Government’s critical facilities just as he appealed to Nigerians to bear with the government as it finds solutions to the lingering crisis in the power sector.

He was speaking in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital after being installed as the National Grand Patron of the S’Adatul Abadiya organization in Abeokuta, the state capital.

“We are going to appeal to Nigerians to be patriotic and they should please stop attacking and destroying critical facilities.

“On the part of government, what we have done now is looking for other means of gas such as nonassociated gas.

“We have also been trucking gas from Utorogu to Warri and Ughelli so as to allow for the stations around Sapele to have gas,” he said.

The Information Minister assured Nigerians that as it finds alternative means of ensuring adequate gas to fire the existing power stations across the country, effort is being channelled towards achieving the 10,000MW of electricity by the year 2019 by the federal government.

“By February this year, we were able to generate and transmit 5,074Mw of power but we are in this situation today mainly because of the attack on the Forcados export line.

“So now we have capacity to generate but we don’t have enough gas and as soon as this platform is repaired we will be able to generate and transmit more than 5,000MW.

“Therefore, aiming at 10,000MW for 2019 is quite feasible,” he said.

Governor Okorocha Condoles with Chukwumerije Family

ChukwumerijeThe Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha has condoled with the family of Senator Chukwumerije, who died on Sunday, April 19.

In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor On Media, Sam Onwuemuodo, the Governor said Senator Chukwumerije had served the nation with a very high sense of commitment and responsibility, and had also dutifully served the Igbo nation.

He said that his death at this time would no doubt create a vacuum that would not be easy to fill both in the politics of the nation and in the life of the National Assembly.

The Governor expressed deep regret that the Abia State born Senator died when his services and his wealth of experience are mostly needed.

Governor Okorocha prayed God to grant the soul of Senator Chukwumerije eternal peace and grant the family members the fortitude to bear the loss.

Governor Okorocha was said to have received with deep shock the news of Senator Chukwumerije’s death.

He refereed to the former Information Minister, who died at the age of 75, as one of the illustrious sons of the South East and an outstanding patriotic Nigerian.

Senate Mourns Uche Chukwumerije

ChukwumerijeThe Nigerian Senate has expressed shock and sadness over the death of Senator Uche Chukwumerije.

Senator Uche Chukwumerije died on Sunday evening of lung cancer in a Hospital in Abuja.

Until his death, Senator Uche Chukwumerije was the Chairman, Senate Committee on Education.

Senate President, David Mark, in a statement said that Nigeria has lost an erudite and extraordinary nationalist.

He described the late Senator Uche Chukwumerije as a political giant and one of the nation’s finest legislators.

The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, also in a statement described Senator Chukwumerije as a fearless politician who fought for the interest of the common man and his people.

He said that Senator Chukwumerije would be sorely missed by the Senate and the entire nation.

President Jonathan Mourns Chukwumerije

ChukwumerijePresident Goodluck Jonathan has extended heartfelt condolences to the Chukwumerije family as well as the government and people of Abia State on the death of Senator Uche Chukwumerije.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, the President also commiserates with the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria over the passage of Senator Chukwumerije whom he refereed to as an ardent believer in national unity, peace, political stability and progress.

The President joined them in mourning “the late patriot and nationalist who has left behind an impressive legacy of discipline, honesty, integrity and hard work in public service”.

“President Jonathan believes that the late Senator Chukwumerije, who had a distinguished career as a journalist, social critic, Minister of Information and Senator, will be long remembered for his dedication and passion for a just and equitable society.

“As the nation mourns him, the President urges Senator Chukwumerije’s family, friends and associates to honour his memory by continually upholding the values and principles which he lived for and never stopped fighting for till his death,” the statement read.

President Jonathan also prayed that Almighty God will comfort all who mourn him and grant his soul perfect peace.

Senator Chukwumerije died on the evening of Sunday, April 19, 2015, surrounded by his family.

Senator Uche Chukwumerije Dies At 75

ChukwumerijeFormer Information Minister and Senator representing Abia North Senatorial District, Uche Chukwumerije, has passed on.

This was disclosed in a statement by his first son, Chidi Chukwumerije.

The statement read; “On the evening of Sunday, the 19th of April, 2015, surrounded by his family, Comrade Uche Chukwumerije passed into the open arms of history, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, after a long but gallant battle with lung cancer.

“His life is many volumes, which can only be told with care and time, of dedication and focus, integrity and discipline, and an unbroken love for the highest ideals of our shared humanity.

“Details of burial arrangements will be announced in due course. We ask only for your prayers and good wishes.”

Senator Chukwumerije served as Minister of Information during the military regime of Ibrahim Babangida.

Born November 1939, he was elected a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in April 2003, representing Abia North Senatorial District on the platform of the PDP.

He studied Economics at the University of Ibadan.

APGA Confirm Labaran Maku As Nasarawa Governorship Candidate

Labaran MakuThe All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), has said that the controversy surrounding the party’s governorship candidate in Nasarawa State has been resolved as the name of immediate past Information Minister, Labaran Maku, has been submitted and accepted by INEC.

The party’s National Chairman, Mr Victor Umeh, confirmed this to our correspondent on the phone.

He stated categorically, “Mr Labaran Maku is our governorship candidate in Nasarawa State. We have submitted his name and same has been accepted by INEC.

“There is no question about the party’s governorship candidate in Nasarawa State, Maku’s name has been accepted by the party and INEC.”

There was some drama a week before, over who would fly the party’s flag in Nasarawa State, when news of Mr Maku emerging as APGA candidate broke.

The controversy stemmed from the claim by Mr Matthew Unbugaku who reportedly claimed the ticket.

The coast seems clear for Mr Labaran Maku to run for governor on the platform of APGA, after failing to secure the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), where he had been very visible in confronting opposition parties.