Buhari Pledges Action As NIPSS Submits Report On Universal Healthcare Delivery

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has received the report on ‘Funding Universal Healthcare Delivery in Nigeria’ by the Senior Executive Course 41 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS).

He pledged that his administration would ensure that all Nigerians have access to affordable, efficient and equitable healthcare services without the risk of impoverishment.

The President who hosted members of the Course on Friday in Abuja directed relevant agencies of government to review the submission of the report and ensure its integration into ongoing policies and programmes.

He recalled that he had approved the study theme for the 2019 Senior Executive Course in late 2018 because of his desire to address the challenges in Nigeria’s health delivery system and improve the wellbeing of the citizens.

 

“Nigeria is a signatory to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and is committed to achieving Universal Health Coverage aspirations by 2030.

“This government is unrelenting in its commitment to ensuring that all Nigerians have access to affordable, efficient, and equitable healthcare services without the risk of impoverishment,” President Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

He added, “Your findings and recommendations are very innovative and useful. I, therefore, commend the Management, Staff, and Participants of Senior Executive Course 41 for this report.

”I assure you that the Ministry of Health and all relevant agencies will be directed to review this submission and ensure its integration into our ongoing policies and programmes.”

The President also used the occasion to congratulate the Board, Management and Staff of the National Institute on its 40th anniversary.

He noted that the Institute, despite its funding challenges, has credibly discharged its responsibilities as the nation’s apex multi-disciplinary think-tank.

President Buhari assured them of his continuous support, saying whatever challenges they have would be addressed properly.

He also congratulated the participants of the Senior Executive Course on successfully completing the programme, felicitating with them in advance of their formal graduation ceremony in Kuru.

Earlier in his remarks, the Director-General of NIPSS, Professor Habu Galadima, said in exploring the theme, the participants during the 10-month period of the course engaged in series of lectures and seminars, brainstorming sessions, as well as study tours.

These, according to him, include both domestic and international tours with a view to obtaining clear perspectives on funding universal healthcare delivery in Nigeria.

“I can inform Mr President confidently that this report is a product of thorough and painstaking engagement with relevant stakeholders and critical analysis of the issues and challenges in funding universal healthcare delivery in Nigeria,” Galadima told President Buhari.

He added, “It is our prayer that the government will adopt many of the usable recommendations as part of the ongoing efforts at making healthcare accessible and affordable to all citizens.”

The Senior Executive Course 41 had 66 participants.

8th National Assembly Sometimes Keeps Budget For Seven Months – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari meets with the Conference of Speakers at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on November 21, 2019.

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari says the leadership of the 8th National Assembly sometimes kept the budget for months after presentation before passing it.

He disclosed this to the Conference of Speakers who visited him on Thursday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

“The 8th National Assembly sometimes kept the budget for seven months and I had to call the Senate President and the Speaker then.

“I told them by delaying passage of the budget, you are not hurting Buhari, but the people” the President was quoted as saying in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

He decried that the delay persisted in spite of his efforts to seek more understanding from the former leaders of the Assembly.

READ ALSO: Senate Passes Finance Bill Proposing VAT Increase, Others

President Buhari urged lawmakers in the country to always place the interest of the people first in all deliberations and negotiations.

He said the autonomy of state legislatures has been constrained by the Constitution, adding that the laws of the land have upheld the standard for all public officers and institutional operations.

According to the President, the Constitution must be adhered to or altered to reflect some dynamics and realities of the country.

“I try as much as I can to always be loyal and obedient to the Constitution so long as it is humanly possible,” he said.

President Buhari also gave assurance that his administration would keep pursuing the prosperity of all Nigerians by creating more jobs for the people, and plugging the weaknesses exploited by many to make quick money.

He added that he would ensure equity and fairness that put the ordinary Nigerian on top priority, as well as continue to focus on health, education, infrastructure and improving lives through social intervention programmes.

The President said, “We have in the last four years dedicated significant resources to key social services sectors especially in health, education, as well as our massive social investment programmes.

“We have also started restoring our infrastructure to levels that this country expects. I also want to assure you that we remain committed to ensuring that equity and fairness prevail in governance.”

“I will ensure that we consult your conference to further enhance the positive impact of our interventions across the country,” he told the Speakers.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Conference of Speakers and Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, commended the President for the fight against corruption and insurgency, and efforts to ensure financial autonomy for the legislature and judiciary.

He, however, said the legislatures would be further pleased if the President issues an executive order directing the Accountant General of the Federation to separate funds for the state legislature and judiciary at the source.

Obasa also urged the President to consider supporting the devolution of powers to states on some issues on the exclusive list, such as railway and the police for more effective governance.

Corruption: Buhari Asks NASS To Speedily Pass Special Crimes Court Bill

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on the National Assembly to fast-track the passage of the Special Crimes Court Bill.

He made the call on Tuesday at the National summit on “Diminishing Corruption in the Public Service”.

The President also urged the judiciary to embrace and support the creation of special crimes court in the country.

“The fight against corruption is of course not only for government and anti-corruption agencies alone. All arms and tiers of government must develop and implement the anti-corruption measures,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

President Buhari added, “I invite the legislative and judicial arms of government to embrace and support the creation of special crimes court that Nigerians have been agitating for to handle corruption cases.”

He noted that the passage of the bill was a “specific priority” of the present administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (EPRG) 2017-2020.

READ ALSO: Nigerians Yet To Benefit From N1trn Constituency Projects, Says Buhari

The President also spoke about his recent directive to all agencies of government to enroll in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

He, therefore, directed the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to beam its searchlight on public institutions that were yet to comply.

President Buhari explained that the new directive on IPPIS was intended to halt the padding of personnel budgets and the diversion or misappropriation of capital budgets.

He said, “I am aware that the Commission recently conducted system studies and review of many MDAs to evaluate systems and processes relating to transparency and accountability in personnel and capital spending through which you successfully blocked over N9 billion from being diverted from 2019 personnel budget.

“That was a proactive prevention measure. I have directed that all agencies of government must get on the IPPIS in order to eliminate the padding of personnel budgets.”

The summit was organised by ICPC in collaboration with the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

The President used the occasion, which marked the launch of the Constituency Projects Transparency Group (CPTG) Report Phase One, to reiterate his appeal to all well-meaning Nigerians to join in the fight against corruption.

He insisted that the war against corruption cannot be won without prevention, enforcement, public education, and enlightenment.

“I encourage the ICPC and other law enforcement agencies to intensify their efforts in public education, enlightenment, and engagement with citizens.

“I also urge our development partners, civil society organisations, and the media to continue to support our efforts to strengthen ethical values and integrity in Nigeria,” President Buhari said.

Sokoto South: Senate President Swears In PDP’s Abdullahi Danbaba

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, shakes hands with Senator Abdullahi Danbaba (Sokoto South) shortly after the lawmaker was inaugurated on November 19, 2019.

 

 

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has sworn in Mr Abdullahi Danbaba as the senator representing Sokoto South Senatorial District in the National Assembly.

Senator Danbaba was inaugurated at about 10:55 am shortly after the adoption of the votes and proceedings of Tuesday’s plenary.

The Clerk of Senate, Nelson Ayewoh, administered the oath on the lawmaker.

READ ALSO: Nigerians Yet To Benefit From N1trn Constituency Projects, Says Buhari

Thereafter, the Senate President directed the Chief Whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, to “give him a befitting seat”.

This comes three weeks after the Court of Appeal in Sokoto returned Senator Danbaba of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the lawmaker representing Sokoto South in the National Assembly.

In his judgement on October 30, Justice Fredrick Oho set aside the judgment of the Sokoto State Election Petitions Tribunal which dismissed the appellant’s petition in favour of the respondent, Abubakar Shehu-Tambuwal of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Meanwhile, the Senate has received six aviation sector bills from President Muhammadu Buhari for consideration and passage into law.

President Buhari’s request was contained in a letter addressed to and read by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on the floor of the Senate.

The letter read: “Pursuant to Section 58 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), I formally request that the following Six (6) Bills be considered for passage into law by the Senate.

“The bills are: Civil Aviation Bill, 2019; Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria Bill, 2019; Nigerian College of Airspace Management Agency (Establishment) Bill, 2019; Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (Establishment) Bill, 2019; Nigerian Meteorological Agency (Establishment) Bill, 2019; and Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (Establishment) Bill, 2019.”

After reading the letter, the Senate President directed the clerk to ensure that the bills were gazetted and distributed to the members of the chamber.

Nigerians Yet To Benefit From N1trn Constituency Projects, Says Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigerians, especially those at the grassroots are yet to benefit from the constituency projects by members of the National Assembly.

He noted that despite spending huge sums of money running into hundreds of billions of naira on such projects, the people were yet to feel the impact.

The President made the remarks in his speech at the national summit on ‘Diminishing Corruption in the Public Service’ which held on Tuesday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

 

The Worst Fears

“It is on record that in the past 10 years, N1trillion has been appropriated for constituency projects yet the impact of such huge spending on the lives and welfare of ordinary Nigerians can hardly be seen,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his media adviser, Femi Adesina.

The President added, “The first phase report of tracking these projects by ICPC confirms our worst fears that people at the grassroots have not benefited in terms commensurate with the huge sums appropriated for constituency projects since inception.

“I am, therefore, delighted that through the effort of ICPC, some contractors are returning to the site to execute projects hitherto abandoned and that project sponsors are being held to account.”

READ ALSOKaduna Poly Rector Seeks Joint Action Against Kidnappers

President Buhari commended the new Board of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for major enforcement and preventive initiatives in this regard.

According to him, steps taken by the anti-graft agency include the System Study Review, tracking of zonal intervention projects (constituency projects), and collaboration with the National Social Investment Office.

“The ICPC has my full support and the support of this government to hold fully to account contractors, complicit public servants and project sponsors who divert funds meant for constituencies or other people-oriented welfare projects of our government or who by other means reduce the quality and value of such projects meant for our people,” the President assured.

On assets recovery, he reaffirmed that his administration would continue to support anti-corruption agencies to recover all ill-gotten wealth and prosecute offenders.

President Buhari insisted that all fully recovered physical assets would be sold and the proceeds remitted to the nation’s treasury.

Enforcement activities by anti-corruption agencies, according to him, have continued to reveal that some public officers possess properties and assets way beyond their legitimate sources of income.

He stated that asset recovery cases in court also revealed that some “criminally-minded” public officials were quick to disown such properties during investigations and in court.

“Recovered assets will continue to be deployed in the provision of needed infrastructure and social welfare programmes. The National Social Investment Programme is already utilising recovered funds to touch the lives of vulnerable Nigerians.

“I, therefore, commend the partnership between the ICPC and the National Social Investment Office to ensure that beneficiaries of government social intervention programmes are not short-changed along the line by unpatriotic officials,” the President said.

 

A Catalyst For Insecurity

He described corruption as the cause of many major problems facing Nigeria and reiterated his administration’s commitment to tackling it.

President Buhari believes corruption is a catalyst for poverty, insecurity, weak educational system, poor health facilities and services, among many other ills of the society.

He, however, gave assurance that his administration was working hard to overcome corruption which he said has inhibited the ability of the government to deliver infrastructure and basic services to the people.

“That is why I have reiterated on many occasions that corruption is an existential threat to Nigeria.

‘‘Corruption is furthermore, a major threat to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and the socio-economic transformation we are all working hard to bring about in Nigeria,” the President told the gathering at the summit.

A highpoint of the event was the presentation of integrity award to an Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Abubakar, and Mrs Josephine Ugwu of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), by the President.

Abubakar was awarded for rejecting $412,000 (N150 million) per container bribe offered to him by drug traffickers to import 40 containers laden with tramadol.

On the other hand, Ugwu is a former cleaner at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos who had on different occasions returned millions of naira found in the course of her duty, including the sum of $12 million forgotten in the toilet by an airport user.

Buhari Receives Bayelsa Governor-Elect, David Lyon

Photo: State House

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has received the Bayelsa State Governor-Elect, David Lyon at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Mr Lyon who won the November 16 Governorship election in Bayelsa state, was accompanied to the State House by the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Governor of Jigawa, Abubakar Badaru.

READ ALSO: Yahaya Bello, Supporters Jubilate Over Kogi Election Victory

Also, Kebbi State governor, Atiku Bagudu and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva were present at the meeting.

See photos below:

 

Kogi Election: Buhari Congratulates Yahaya Bello, Commends INEC

President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Yahaya Bello on his re-election as Governor of Kogi State, while commending INEC and security agencies for “discharging their responsibilities under difficult conditions.”

The President tweeted his congratulations on Monday after INEC announced Bello as the winner of the Kogi elections, which was marred with reports of violence, according to observers.

However, Buhari noted that it “was a race well run and a victory well won.”

“I urge him (Bello) to see his renewed mandate as another opportunity to build on the foundations already laid towards improving the lives of the people of Kogi State,” the President said.

“I commend INEC & security agencies for discharging their responsibilities under difficult conditions. The violence that took place, and loss of lives, by thugs doing the bidding of their political sponsors, is condemnable. There is no room in our democracy for electoral violence.

“I commiserate with the families and loved ones of all those who lost their lives. All political actors and stakeholders must take deliberate steps to eschew electoral violence as a peaceful and orderly process is vital to our quest for enduring democracy.

“Let me enjoin Governor Bello to imbibe the spirit of magnanimity in victory by extending a hand of partnership to opposition candidates, and also ask that all those dissatisfied with the outcome of the election should, in seeking redress, approach the courts.”

Buhari Congratulates Lyon, Condemns Violence In Bayelsa

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari and Bayelsa State Governor-elect, David Lyon, at the Aso Villa in Abuja in October 2019.

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Bayelsa State, David Lyon, on his “impressive victory”.

He felicitated with the governor-elect in a statement on Monday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

The President also commended APC supporters in particular and Nigerians in general in Bayelsa who exercised their civic rights in a peaceful manner, despite the pockets of unrest recorded in some parts of the state.

He, however, condemned the loss of lives in the state, particularly prior to the election and, commiserated with the families of the victims.

“Violence during elections vitiates our commitment to demonstrate to the world and upcoming generation that we are a people capable of electing leaders in a peaceful and orderly manner,” President Buhari was quoted as saying in the statement.

READ ALSOINEC Declares APC’s David Lyon Winner Of Bayelsa Governorship Election

He noted that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies did their best within the ambit of the law to ensure free, fair and credible elections.

According to the President, it is unfortunate that pockets of unrest, mostly sponsored by desperate politicians were recorded during the poll.

He promised to work with the incoming government to improve the lives of the people in Bayelsa while ensuring the security of lives and property of all citizens.

President Buhari also urged the governor-elect to carry other divergent interests along in the next phase of governance.

He appealed to those aggrieved by the outcome of the election to seek redress through the constitutionally established channels.

Buhari Calls For Fairness In Bayelsa, Kogi Governorship Elections

President Buhari

 

President Muhammadu has called for fairness and transparency in Bayelsa and Kogi governorship elections, both of which are due to hold this Saturday, November 16.

In a statement released by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, on Thursday, the President said citizens and law enforcement should behave in an orderly manner while the contestants follow due process in contesting the eventual results.

“I call on voters in Bayelsa and Kogi  States to exercise their franchise in a peaceful and orderly manner and in line with the law in all situations,” Mr. Buhari was quoted as saying.

“Law enforcement officials must ensure that citizens are allowed to vote without harassment and intimidation and any attempt to steal or hijack ballots must be stopped using all legal means.

“In all democratic elections, there are bound to be winners and losers and the elections in Bayelsa and Kogi will not be different. All candidates should be ready to accept the outcomes and wherever they are dissatisfied, they should follow the due process of the law in seeking redress. There must not be a resort to self-help.”

Supreme Court Set Date To Give Reasons On Dismissal Of Atiku’s Appeal

 

The Supreme Court has set the date to explain the dismissal of the appeal filed by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar which challenged the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as winner of the February 23, 2019 presidential election.

The set date is Friday November 15, 2019.

The apex court had in a unanimous summary judgment delivered on October 30, 2019, dismissed the appeal filed by Atiku and his party.

READ ALSO: Senate Wants Deep Blue Sea Project Fast-Tracked To Fight Piracy

Chief Justice of Nigeria Ibrahim Muhammad while delivering the summary judgment had announced that the court would later offer its reasons to the general public on why it dismissed the appeal the way it did.

Atiku and PDP had in their joint appeal filed in September, challenged the entire judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal which affirmed the election of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Presidential Election Petition Tribunal had on September 11, 2019 dismissed the petition of Atiku and the PDP against the election of Buhari on the grounds that the petitioners failed to substantiate the allegations made in their petition.

Eid-El-Maulud: Follow Examples Of Prophet Muhammad, Buhari Charges Muslims

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has charged Muslims to follow the ‘Shining Examples’ of Prophet Muhammad as they celebrate his birth.

In his goodwill message, President Buhari asked that Muslims put into practice, the great virtues famously known with Holy Prophet Muhammad and end the indiscriminate killing of innocent people.

“Putting into practice the great virtues for which the Holy Prophet Muhammad is historically famous and revered would have a far greater impact on changing our attitudes and behaviours than the best sermons ever will.

“The indiscriminate killing of innocent people, the kidnapping of female students and forcing them into marriage and conversion is contrary to teachings and personal examples of the Prophet Muhammad.”

READ ALSO: SERAP Sues Buhari, NASS, Others ‘Over Failure To Account For Security Votes Since 1999’

He added that the major challenge facing the image of Islam is violent extremism which has been hijacked by a minority who uses religion to cover up their criminal motives.

“Violent extremism is the single biggest challenge facing the image of Islam today which has been hijacked by a minority of misguided elements who are using religion to cover-up their criminal agenda.

“There is an urgent need for increased vigilance by Muslims in order to frustrate and stop the spread of violent ideologies that are causing human havocs and tragedies around the world.

“Extremism is like cancer that needs to be attacked in its early stages before it grows malignantly out of control and harms the society.”

President Buhari also advised Muslims not to allow their children to be lured and recruited by extremists who will ultimately destroy their lives and future.

While wishing the Muslim Ummah a peaceful celebration, the President urged them to use this occasion to renew their resolve in promoting tolerance, love, harmony and peaceful coexistence in the country.

Presidency Confirms Sack Of Osinbajo’s Aides, Gives Reasons

N5.8bn Approval: Reps Insist Osinbajo Has Questions To Answer
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (file)

 

 

The Presidency has confirmed the sack of some political appointees in the office of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

Mr Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, gave reasons for the action in a statement on Friday.

The statement came amid reports that dozens of persons appointed in the office of the Vice President have been relieved of their duties.

The Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) was reported to have distributed letters to the affected aides on Wednesday.

Professor Osinbajo is said to have scores of aides deployed in strategic positions in government such as the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).

READ ALSOOverhaul Of Nigeria’s Seat Of Government Ongoing – Presidency

Barely two days after the news of the sack surfaced, Mr Shehu confirmed that there has been “a streamlining of staff” going on for a while.

The President, according to him, had always had fewer staff than the Vice President and there were always plans to reduce the number of staff at the Aso Villa.

The presidential aide said, “The Presidency wishes to confirm that there is, on-going, an unprecedented overhaul of the nation’s seat of government, arising from which a number of political appointments have either been revoked or not renewed in the second term.”

Shehu explained that the exercise to relieve the appointees of their duties was in line with the directive of the President, adding that a number of political appointees among the few that served in President Muhammadu Buhari’s office were not returned for the second term.

According to him, the exercise aims to streamline decision-making, cut down multiple authorities and reduce the cost of running the present administration.

“The office of the Vice President, His Excellency Yemi Osinbajo has, in compliance with the directive of the President, equally been shed of a number of such appointees.

“In carrying out these exercises, the overriding objective is to save taxpayer money and deliver needed service to the public,” the presidential aide added.

He, however, denied reports of a rift between the President and the Vice President, stressing that the exercise was not targeted to undermine Professor Osinbajo’s office.

Read the full statement below:

BUHARI, OSINBAJO WILL, TOGETHER, SCRIPT A GLORIOUS FUTURE FOR NIGERIA

The Presidency wishes to confirm that there is, on-going, an unprecedented overhaul of the nation’s seat of government, arising from which a number of political appointments have either been revoked or not renewed in the Second Term.

The exercise, which has been ordered by the President, is to streamline decision-making, cut down multiple authorities and reduce the cost of administration.

It is also an appropriate response to the general perception that the Presidency has an oversized and bloated workforce which acts as a drag on efficiency.

As may have been noticed by discerning members of the public, a number of political appointees among the few that served in the office of the President were not returned for the Second Term.

The office of the Vice President, His Excellency Yemi Osinbajo has, in compliance with the directive of the President, equally been shed of a number of such appointees.

In carrying out these exercises, the overriding objective is to save taxpayer money and deliver needed service to the public.

As far as the President is concerned, there is no scope for an excuse for administration after getting a huge mandate to run the country for four more years.

In the light of this, the Presidency wishes to strongly deny rumours of a rift between President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

The relationship between the two leaders remains excellent and trusting. Together, they will script a glorious future for the nation.

The media reports of a soured relationship are originating from the minds and mouths of mischief-makers, who are desperate for entertaining stories from the Aso Rock Villa with which to titillate the public.

This ulterior motive is the basis of the wrong interpretation given to the recent exercise in the Presidency.

There has been a streamlining of staff going on for a while.

The President has always had fewer staff than the Vice President, and there were always plans to reduce the number of staff at the Villa.

The streamlining was not personal or targeted to undermine the Vice President’s office, as the so-called insider sources quoted by the media appear to make it seem.

The President is in absolute control of his government.

The media should stop attributing non-existent powers to some people.

There cannot be anyone too powerful for President Buhari to control.

Garba Shehu

Senior Special Assistant to the President

(Media and Publicity)

November 8, 2019