Buhari Appoints Habiba Lawal As Special Adviser On Policy And Coordination

Habiba Lawal. Photo: [email protected] omoajingero


President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Dr. Habiba Muda Lawal, as Special Adviser to the President, Policy, and Coordination.

This was contained in a statement by presidential aide Garba Shehu on Wednesday.

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“Before retirement, Dr Lawal had successfully supervised a team that ensured management, identification, planning, and execution of projects to mitigate serious ecological challenges across the country, with commendable results,” the statement added.

“She attended Ahmadu Bello University Zaria from 1982 to 1986 for B.Sc. Chemistry; there, she won the Nigerian Tobacco Company Prize for the Best Year II Student 1984/1985, the Imperial Chemical Industries Prize for the Best Graduating Student in Chemistry (Second Class Upper) and the Imperial Chemical Industries Prize for the Best Graduating Project 1985/1986.

“In 1991, Dr. Habiba obtained a Master’s Degree in Inorganic Chemistry from ABU, Zaria and a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi (1997). She also holds Certificate in Professional and Personal Competence in Women’s Development from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, Britain.

“Dr Lawal, who served as Acting Secretary to the Government of the Federation, 19th April 2017 to 30th October 2017, has resumed in her new office.”

Solution To Nigerian Football Crisis Is Government’s Withdrawal – Tijani

Nigerian FootballVeteran Sports Journalist, Kayode Tijani, says the solution to the crisis that has continued to rock Nigerian Football and its administration is for the Nigerian Government to embrace total withdrawal from Nigerian football.

Speaking on the Friday edition of Sunrise Daily on Channels Television, Tijani said that the reason why the National Sports Commission, NSC, would always want to lord it over the Nigerian Football Federation is because there is so much money in the federation being put in by the government.

Nigeria escaped yet another FIFA ban as it beat the deadline set by the world football governing body for it to resolve the leadership tussle it has been embroiled with, although some Nigerians have frowned at FIFA’s seeming disregard for Nigerian laws and administrative peculiarities.

This view, Tijani disagreed with, saying that Nigeria having agreed to belong to FIFA had agreed to abide by the rules of the body.

“A lot of people are getting it wrong. Germany, during the first war and the second war left FIFA because to FIFA ‘you can’ t be here because of all your problems’. The same thing happened to South Africa, even England at a time (when) they had some disagreement.”

He, however, also took a swipe at FIFA because of their many threats, “I am not saying FIFA is this squeaky clean (organisation), they are not.

“FIFA is one of the most corrupt organisations in the world but when they do their thing they do it very well.

“So for me, it is the (Nigerian) Government’s problem from time immemorial. The Act for the NFF has been there for the past eight years, why don’t you pass it to solve all these problems?”

A ban by FIFA would ensure that Nigeria loses the opportunity to appear at international football competitions both at club and country level and Tijani believes this would not have been a loss but would rather ensure that monies are not wasted.

Local League Development

While Tijani expressed happiness that the country was able to resolve its issues, he noted that the fear of being banned by FIFA should not be Nigerians’ concern but how to develop the game within the country.

He noted that the Nigerian league should be more important to Nigeria and not the fear of losing spots at FIFA’s international competitions.

He highlighted a number of factors militating against the growth of Nigerian football leagues as well as the challenges Nigerian clubs were facing, including the situation whereby several players were not being paid their salaries.

Kayode mentioned some European leagues, as well as the South-African league as examples of places where governments have no hand in the management of their leagues.

“In Germany, the only involvement of government is infrastructure,” he said, maintaining his earlier stance that the Federal Government of Nigeria has to withdraw its direct involvement with the management and funding of the game.

Super Eagles

Tijani also had some words for the players and handlers of the Super Eagles as Nigerians look forward to the team’s next African Cup of Nations qualifier.

“Are we going to win? I don’t know. Stephen Keshi to me is a hero, he’s done so much but…why holding us to ransom with players who are not going to perform? The likes of Mikel, I don’t know why.

“Muda Lawal in midfield? Mikel? I can never compare a Mikel or some of these players who are holding us to ransom.

“I was in Sudan with them, they were talking about playing on synthetic (pitch), I am in shock! Rashidi Yekini scored in Sudan in 1993 and that was not even a pitch!” he said passionately.

Muda Lawal Highlights Q2 Performance Of Nigerian Economy

DG_LCCIThe Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr Muda Lawal on Thursday highlighted various aspects of the economy that have been affected both positively and negatively since the turn of the second quarter of the year.

Speaking on Channels Television’s business programme, Business Morning, he said that economic performance assessment depends on the perspective at which one is looking at it, noting that “there are macroeconomics, which has to do with a lot of exchange rates, inflation, foreign reserves and global developments as well.

“There are policy issues, which came up during the second quarter, things like the automotive policy, pronouncements on the cashless policy, the new guidelines for Bureau de Change, the privatisation of the Bank of Industry and Bank of Agriculture, which is a major issue for us, the pending Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and the budget that was signed very late.”

Mr Lawal, giving a rundown of institutional issues that affected the economy, further listed issues like the “cargo clearing at the ports, the Pre Assessment Report (PAR) that is issued by the Nigeria Customs Service, issues of logistics, particularly by small businesses” as “major issues affecting virtually almost every business in the country” adding that above all “we have security issues”.

While noting that all the aforementioned have impacted on the economy in different ways, Mr Lawal noted that some macroeconomics variables were favourable as they trended during the 2nd quarter, adding that “the exchange rate, particularly in the official market, is still stable relatively, and that has given some level of comfort to investors.

“In the Inter-bank and the parallel markets, there was even a slight appreciation between what we had in the first quarter and the second.

Mr Lawal, however, berated what he said was a gap that exists between the official exchange rates and what is obtainable in the Bureau de Change, noting that “that in itself is an indication of a kind of a distortion in the market”. He warned that “it could become an incentive for round tripping and sharp practices within the foreign exchange market.”

Mr Lawal also shed more light on the inflation issues that have affected the economy, “Inflation rate at eight per cent is still tolerable because it is still a single digit threshold, although there was a slight increase of 0.1 per cent when you relate what you had in May to what you had in April”, adding that “generally in terms of inflation we are not doing very badly”.