NNPC’s Failure To Remit Funds Has Plunged Many States Into Distress – El-Rufai

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

Amidst the nation’s dwindling economy, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has lamented that the inability of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited to remit any revenue into the federation’s account since the beginning of this year has put many states into severe financial distress.

El-Rufai raised the concern at the 2022 Tax Dialogue organised by the Kaduna State Revenue Service held in the state capital on Monday.

He said the federal and state governments now rely on revenues and taxes generated by the Federal Inland Revenue Service and Nigerian Customs Service for survival.

According to him, the situation has led to the inability of most states to pay salaries and fulfil their social contract to citizens.

READ ALSO: ‘Are We Drinking The Petrol?’: Sanusi Queries 66m Litres Daily Fuel Consumption, Wants NNPC Disbanded

Also speaking at the event, the Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami emphasised the importance of tax dialogue as a tool for engendering tax compliance and a means of strengthening tax systems.

While emphasising the importance of dialoguing on tax payment, the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Jamoh also stressed the need for inclusivity, fairness and pooling expert ideas to aid tax policy formulation and administration.

According to them, tax authorities must create effective communication and trust strategies and also ensure taxpayers receive value for taxes paid, which are the two key drivers of voluntary tax compliance.

Last month, El-Rufai said the Federal Government has failed in the oil and gas business and should get out of the sector.

He said nothing has changed with the commercialisation of the NNPP in July 2022, adding that NNPC is Nigeria’s biggest problem and should be privatised.

“This year, NNPC has not brought N20,000 to the federation account. We are living on taxes. It is PPTs, royalties, income tax and VAT that is keeping this country going because NNPC claims that subsidy has taken all the oil revenues. I don’t believe it,” El-Rufai noted.

Terrorism, Banditry Pose Major Threat To 2023 Polls, Census – El-Rufai

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State says banditry and insurgency still pose a major threat to the 2023 general elections and population census if not nipped in the bud.

He made this known on Friday when he received the state’s quarterly security report presented by the state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan on Friday.

According to the report, a total of 446 people were killed while 1,789 others were equally kidnapped by bandits across the state in the last six months.

The government also disclosed that 152 bandits were killed and 624 others arrested by troops in different parts of the state during the period under review.

READ ALSO: FG Won’t Be Stampeded By US, UK Terror Alerts – Lai Mohammed

On his part, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who was present at the presentation, insisted that the security situation in the country has tremendously improved, lamenting that the security alert issued by the United States embassy in Nigeria, has just just set the nation in panic mood and as well terrorised the citizens.

Kaduna, located in the North-West zone, has had its own share of hightened attacks by bandits and terrorists in the past five years, with several lives lost,  thousands kidnapped and means of livelihood disrupted.

10 Kaduna Teachers Killed, Several Others Kidnapped In 2022 – Union

 

 

The Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) says no fewer than 10 of its members have been killed by bandits in different parts of Kaduna State since the beginning of 2022.

The union also said several of its members are still in the custody of bandits in Birnin-Gwari, Chikun, Kaura and Sanga local government areas of Kaduna during the period under review.

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Addressing a news conference on Wednesday, the state Kaduna State Chairman of the union, Ishaya Dauda, said the constant attacks against his members by bandits posed a major concern to the union, as his member can no longer discharge their duties freely due to fear of being kidnapped or killed.

He however, commended the Kaduna State Government for the deployment of vigilante groups to secondary schools in vulnerable areas, which he noted is yielding positive results.

Insecurity: Osinbajo Tasks Military On Technology-Driven Solutions 

A file photo of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has admonished the Nigerian Army and other security agencies to come up with technology-driven solutions to address contemporary and emerging security challenges such as cybercrime, cross-border crimes and other forms of asymmetric warfare.

He gave the charge at the combined convocation ceremony of cadets of Regular Course 69 and postgraduate students of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna State.

Addressing the graduating cadets, Osinbajo, who expressed concerns on the increasing rate of asymmetric conflicts, hybrid warfare, insurgency and armed criminal activities perpetrated by criminal non-state actors, tasked the officers and men of the nation’s Armed Forces to confront the enemies with unconventional skills that will advance development on both on and off the battlefield.

The Vice President accompanied by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State and top military officers join in the procession of the 32nd combined convocation ceremony of the Nigerian Defence Academy.

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Among the graduands are 239 cadets of the 69 regular course and 1,656 students of post graduate school.

The Minister of Defence who is also he chairman of governing Council of the NDA, Major General Bashir Magashi (retd.) declared the convocation open.

Addressing the cadets, Osinbajo reminded them to be prepared to face the complicated security environment as they join their counterparts in the field.

The event witnessed the award of certificates to the cadets and conferment of Honorary Doctorate Degrees to four Nigerians in recognition of their contribution to national security and development.

2023: ‘I Hope You Get 200’ — El-Rufai Mocks Obi’s Supporters Over Two-Million-Man March In Kaduna

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has mocked supporters of Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) over their plans to hold a “two-million-man march” for him in the state.

With the 2023 general elections barely six months away, Obi’s supporters have been holding marches to canvass support for the ex-Anambra State governor.

Recently, there was a march for the LP presidential candidate in Nasarawa State as well as Cross River State.

READ ALSO: No Law Forbids Me From Serving As APC Campaign Spokesman – Keyamo

Taking to Twitter on Monday, El-Rufai of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), said he hopes the Obi supporters are able to gather 200 people in the streets of Kaduna for the march.

According to the Kaduna governor, they can only get the figure they are projecting by “importing” people to the state.

“In Kaduna? Not Kaduna Twitter?” the governor who is completing his second term said.

“I hope you get Two Hundred persons on the streets, including those ‘imports’ that can’t open their shops on Mondays, and came on an overnight bus last night!! I just dey laff, wallahi tallahi!!”

TSO Endorses El-Rufai As Tinubu’s Running Mate

A photo combination of APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu and Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

Ahead of the July 17 deadline given by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for political parties to submit the lists of their candidates for the 2023 general elections, the Tinubu Support Organisation has endorsed Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai as the vice-presidential candidate.

Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had openly admitted that he is still searching for his running mate. Sources within the APC said the party’s candidate is considering Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum or his predecessor, Senator Kashim Shettima as preferred options.

READ ALSO: Arsonists Attack INEC Office In Enugu, Destroy Buildings, Ballot Boxes

But speaking during a press conference on Monday in Kaduna, TSO’s Director-General, Aminu  Suleiman, said the group arrived at the choice of El-Rufai after meeting with critical stakeholders from the northwest zone and beyond.

He believes that the choice of running mate is a critical success factor for the victory of Tinubu in 2023, hence the organisation having assessed all options wants the APC’s candidate for the vice president should come from the northwest,  which is the largest voting bloc in the country.

El-Rufai, the group added, is a very experienced person who has done well in both politics and governance at the federal and state levels and is the best candidate that can complement Tinubu as Vice  President.

“After due consultation with critical Stakeholders especially in the North-West, it is of the fact that El-Rufai is Asiwaju’s best choice for VP,” Suleiman said.

“The Tinubu Support Organisation is working tirelessly for the election of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the next President of Nigeria. TSO believes that the choice of running mate is a critical success factor for the victory of Asiwaju.

“We are glad that the APC has many outstanding individuals among its leaders. But having assessed all the options, it is the view of TSO that the APC’s candidate for VP should be chosen from the North-West, the single largest voting bloc in Nigeria.

“It is our view that the person that can best compliment Asiwaju as VP is Malam Nasir El-Rufai The Executive Governor of Kaduna State and we recommend that he should be chosen as the running mate.

“El-Rufai is a very experienced person. He has held office at the federal level and at the state level, and he has done well in every office. He has always stood for progressive policies. He is not afraid of difficult decisions. This is a man that is running a state government with appointees from all over Nigeria.

“His capacity is not in doubt. His personal ability is outstanding. He is firm. He is courageous. He is principled. We know that he resisted every pressure to be dragged into the presidential race. We appreciate him and his colleagues, the APC governors from the north, for sticking to the view that gentlemen should respect agreements.

“El-Rufai is a leader whose talents and energy should be brought back to the federal level. We appeal to all our leaders in the APC to support Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to choose El-Rufai as his running mate.”

Kaduna Govt Flags Off Distribution Of Free Learning Materials To Pupils

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

The Kaduna Government has flagged off the distribution of free uniforms and other learning materials to primary school pupils in the state to tackle the menace of out-of-school children in the state.

The exercise which is under the World Bank-assisted Better Education Service Delivery For All Programme (BESDA), is aimed to enroll more children into basic education in the next 12 years.

Speaking at the flag-off ceremony, the Kaduna State Deputy Governor,  Dr Hadiza Balarabe,  represented by her Special Adviser on Human Capital Development,  Sagir Aliyu, said the distribution of the free learning materials to pupils is in line with the Governor Nasir El-Rufai administration’s promise to make basic and post-basic education in Kaduna state free, accessible and compulsory for all children of school age.

READ ALSO: Priest Killed By Bandits Buried As Over 700 Colleagues Protest Rising Insecurity

“This flag-off is an important component of our 12-year free and compulsory education programme in Kaduna State,” the deputy governor said.

“As part of the programme, we are providing free school uniforms and free school feeding to children in public primary schools. We identify education as a major pillar to a society driven by human capital development.

“It is our desire therefore that no child of school age should be left behind on account of lack of money.”

Since its inception in 2015,  the administration of Governor Nasir El-Rufai in Kaduna State has introduced some reforms aimed at revamping the state’s education sector through improved planning and addressing some of the systemic barriers that hinder access to education.

Apart from the introduction of free meals during school hours, the government has also been providing free school uniforms and other learning materials to public primary school pupils and thereby freeing their parents from any financial burden.

El-Rufai: How Buhari Refused To Tell Kaduna Delegates Who To Vote At APC Pres. Primary

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has related how President Muhammadu Buhari refused to dictate how delegates from his state should vote at the All Progressives Congress’ presidential primaries.

The President had earlier said he had no annointed candidate in an election which was eventually won by Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Politics Today, El-Rufai said President Buhari told the delegates to “vote their conscience.”

“In many of our states, the delegate votes were divided,” El-Rufai said.

READ ALSO: APC Must Unite Behind Tinubu – Buhari

“Before I went to address the Kaduna delegates for the last time, I went to the President and I asked him, have you decided on who we should vote for? He said, I told you, go and vote for any of the five (candidates selected by APC Governors)

“I said, Mr President, the Kaduna delegates are your delegates, you are going to retire and live in Kaduna. So you can tell me who you want out of the five, and the President said ‘I want all five’.

“I said, what then should I tell Kaduna delegates. He said, tell them to vote their conscience; they are representing 10 million people in Kaduna state. It’s a heavy responsibility, and they should discharge it and pick the best candidate.

“Now I don’t know how the Kaduna delegates voted, but the feedback I got after the voting is that most of them voted for Asiwaju, some voted for Amaechi and some voted for Professor Yemi Osinbajo.”

Kaduna Govt Mulls Plan To Clear Three Communities, Relocate Residents Along Highway

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

The Kaduna State Government has said that it will consider the option of either relocating residents or clearing the three communities along the Abuja-Kaduna highway due to incessant attacks by bandits and terrorists on travellers in that area.

The three communities are Rijana, Kateri and Akilibu, all in the Kagarko Local Government Area of the state.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai, who lamented that there are higher levels of informants and bandits in the areas, said the only answer is for security agencies to look at the options including the total clearance of the three communities and the relocation of the residents to safer places.

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“The first concern I see from this report is the continuous mention of Rijana, Kateri and Akilibu axis in all these crimes, particularly the safety or lack of it on the Abuja-Kaduna road,” he said.

“We have been exploring what to do on these three settlements, whether to relocate them to near Kagarko, whether to clear the entire settlement and I will like the Security Council to deliberate on this and let’s look at the options.”

He explained that intelligence information at his disposal has shown that some inhabitants of the communities serve as informants to bandits and terrorists,  and as such, has exacerbated the attacks on the Kaduna-Abuja highway.

El-Rufai added, “It is very clear that there are the higher levels of informants and criminals in these locations. Why is it that anytime there is an attack or kidnapping on the Abuja-Kaduna road, it happens along this three-axis and nothing ever happens on the Kagarko side?

“There is something wrong with these three settlements and the government should not refuse to do anything or fail to do anything. We have to look at options, including the clearance of the settlements completely and the relocation of the people to where other more honest people who can watch them.”

The governor also expressed concern over the dangerous role of drug peddling and intake in the rising insecurity in Kaduna state.

He, therefore, directed the security agencies to beam their searchlight on such persons with a view to bringing them to justice and cutting down the supply chain.

VIDEO: ‘It’s Best To Keep Silent,’ Monguno Cautions El-Rufai On Intelligence Operations

 

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, has cautioned Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State against giving off intelligence to terrorists.

He explained that while the governor might have done so not to sabotage the efforts of the security agencies but to give respite to victims’ families, it was best to just keep mum sometime.

Monguno stated this on Thursday while briefing State House correspondents at the end of a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and the service chiefs in Abuja.

“Governor Nasir El-Rufai spoke about the security agencies, saying we know who they (terrorists) are, where they are,” he said. “Again, that is the danger; when you start talking too much, you give away a lot.”

READ ALSO: Police Declare 12 Wanted Over Killings In Isu-Aniocha, Anambra

Following the train attack in March, Governor El-Rufai had asked the security operatives to bombard the bandits’ hideouts in the forest rather than wait for them to attack.

He had affirmed that the camps and phone numbers of the bandits were known by the security agencies, stressing the need to take the fight to the terrorists.

 

“We know where their camps are. We know where they are. The SSS has their phone numbers. They listen to them, and they give me the report,” the governor had said. “We know what they are planning. We shouldn’t be waiting for them to attack. Why can’t we go after them?”

Disturbed by the incessant attacks on innocent residents and invasion of communities in parts of the county, President Buhari met with the various heads of security agencies on Thursday.

At the meeting, according to Monguno, the President expressed worry over the present situation and directed that all abducted persons still in captivity be rescued without delay.

In further advice to Governor El-Rufai, the NSA said, “Even if they say we know where they (terrorists) are, that in itself is already a problem.

“Once you say it, whether it is true or false, the person who has your people in captivity will move to another location. It’s just as simple as that. So, sometimes, it is best to just keep silent; mum is the word.”

El-Rufai’s Achievements Will Make APC Retain Power in Kaduna, Says Sani

 

The Senator representing Kaduna Central District, Uba Sani, has said he is confident that his party, the All Progressive Congress will retain power in Kaduna state in the 2023 General election.

This, according to him, is because Governor Nasir El-Rufai has done tremendously well for the people of the state.

Sani said this during a stakeholders’ meeting with ward and local government executive committee members of the APC in Kaduna North Local Government on Saturday.

Read Also: Buhari Praises El-Rufai After Commissioning Projects In Zaria

He explained that the APC-led Government in Kaduna State has since its inception in 2015, delivered on its campaign promises in the areas of infrastructure, education, healthcare and human capital development.

President Muhammadu Buhari with Governor Nasir El-Rufai while commissioning one of the projects by the Kaduna State government in Zaria on January 21, 2022.

 

He added that the interactive meeting was convened to look into and resolve all pending issues with a view to forging a united front as the country towards 2023.

The Senator, however, reminded the stakeholders that the interest of the APC, Kaduna State and the country, must always be uppermost in their calculations, urging them not to take the electorate for granted.

This comes just days after President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated several projects executed by the Kaduna State government.

Buhari Praises El-Rufai After Commissioning Projects In Zaria

President Muhammadu Buhari with Governor Nasir El-Rufai while commissioning one of the projects by the Kaduna State government in Zaria on January 21, 2022.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday continued the inauguration of projects executed by the Kaduna State government, with a stop at Zaria, heaping encomiums on Governor Nasir El-Rufai.

“I am pleased to be associated with your (El-Rufai’s) successes and initiatives,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his senior special assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu. “As they say in Hausa ‘Gani ya Kori ji’ (seeing is believing).”

Speaking at the palace of the Emir of Zazzau, Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, the President stated that within the context of scarce resources and prevailing economic reality, the Kaduna State government has done well for the people.

 

The President, who is on a four-day official visit to Kaduna, had on Thursday commissioned projects in Kafanchan and Kaduna metropolis in the state.

READ ALSO: Buhari Asks Police, Justice Ministry To Uphold Integrity In Hanifa Abubakar’s Case

On Friday, in Zaria – the northern senatorial district of Kaduna, he inaugurated the remodelled Sabon Gari market with 3,400 shops; the circular road with two spurs on River Road and Kufena Road; and the Queen Elizabeth Way.

At the Sabon-Gari market, President Buhari, while appreciating the governor for rebuilding one of the oldest markets in the state and paying compensation of over N300 million to traders, jocularly said he would consider opening a consultancy service in the market, where a ‘presidential block’ was named after him.

A crowd is seen at the entrance of the newly inaugurated Sabon Gari market in Zaria, Kaduna State on January 21, 2022.

 

In his remarks, Governor El-Rufai recalled that the President was in Zaria in August 2019 to commission Phase II of the Zaria water project, providing a basic amenity that was not available for the residents for over 30 years.

“Our state is an agricultural state, and this Emirate is associated with farming,” he said. “We know Mr President’s passion for agriculture, and we are grateful you appointed a son of the state to head the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.”

“We look forward to more agricultural interventions in the state,” said the governor who pledged that the people of Kaduna and their elected representatives would continue to stand by the principles and values associated with the President – honesty, integrity and commitment to public service.

The Emir of Zazzau, on his part, thanked the President for the intervention of the Federal Ministry of Health in providing a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine at Ahamdu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, in line with the desire of the people of Zazzau.

“Today, our people don’t have to travel to Kano, Sokoto or Abuja for medical screening with MRI machine,” he said.

The traditional ruler also commended Governor El-Rufai for the urban renewal projects of his administration, acknowledging that the Emir of Zazzau’s palace which has been in existence for centuries, was a major beneficiary of the projects.

While acknowledging the efforts of the government in the area of security, he solicited for more intervention by the Federal Government, describing Zaria emirate as a gateway to all the states in the North West, as well neighbouring Niger Republic.