FG Re-Inaugurates Privatisation Council

The Federal Government has reconstituted the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) after two years since its assumption of power.

The Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who chairs the NCP noted that the council had handled the privatisation and reformation of 142 public enterprises since inception.

This was made known in a statement from the Bureau of Public Enterprises.

According to the statement, the absence of the council in the last two years had prevented scheduled privatisation transactions as other agencies of government had taken over such responsibilities.

Osinbajo pointed out that the inauguration of the NCP is a critical step in the process of putting in place part of the institutional framework necessary for the actualisation of the socio-economic agenda of the administration.

“It is also a demonstration of our administration’s commitment to public sector reform and the central role of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) in this process. Even though the public sector has been at the centre stage in the provision of critical infrastructure and services cutting across the whole spectrum of the nation’s life since independence, the emerging importance and centrality of the private sector to the actualization of the economic agenda of the administration cannot be downplayed,”

The Acting President stated that apart from playing a dominant role of generating employment opportunities, the intervention of the private sector enhances the process of industrialisation, delivers critical infrastructure and services the country.

To him, the role can only be unleashed when government’s role of regulating and creating an enabling environment is robustly undertaken. “This will, in turn, offer the private sector the required comfort and assurance to make investments and expect a reasonable return on thereon,” he said.

He, therefore, pledged the administration’s commitment to giving all the required support to the NCP in carrying out its statutory responsibilities.

“In return, the Government expects the NCP to come up with creative out-of-the-box solutions for addressing the numerous challenges facing the privatisation and commercialisation programme such as non-performance by some privatised enterprises and post-privatisation challenges facing some of the privatised enterprises.

“The Government also expects the NCP to make measurable progress in respect of the outstanding transactions affecting some of the areas critical to the economic recovery of the nation. You must make deliberate and conscious efforts to learn from past experiences and guard against avoidable mistakes of the past,” he added.

Senate, CG Tussle: A Case Of Democratic Power Versus Military Mentality – Yinusa Tanko

ncp-chairmanHuman Rights Activist and National Chairman of the National Conscience Party (NCP), Yinusa Tanko, has described the situation between the Senate and the Customs Comptroller General, Colonel Hameed Ali, as that of democratic power versus military mentality in a democratic setting.

He made the position known while addressing the issues that led to the summoning of the Customs CG by the Senate and the compulsion to appear in his complete uniform.

“The senate is trying to consolidate its power to say, this is the representative of the people, this House represents the interest of Nigerians and so when we call you, Nigerians call you and you must answer to the question of Nigeria.

“Here, you have an ex-military man, who comes from a big military background, who is trying to show that I’ve been a military man and in this my own profession that I have learned, there are things that cannot go down well with me as an ex-military man.”

Although Col. Ali had argued that there was no law to his knowledge that compelled him to wear the uniform, the NCP Chairman stated that according to some of the Senators, Section 2 of the Customs Act compels the CG to be in his uniform.

According to him, it must be understood that this is a democratic setting and the processes that brought him in must be understood.

Meanwhile, many hold the opinion that the real issue which led to the summoning of the Customs Comptroller General had been pushed to the background, and the focus had shifted to whether or not he appeared in uniform.

On his part, the NCP Chairman admitted to the fact that some of the major issues had been ignored, while also advocating that policies should be made in the interest of Nigerians.

“People who take up offices do not really read up on the kind of laws governing those offices and this is why anyone who is applying into any leadership role should read up on the laws guiding that office.

“If You want to achieve an aim, in ensuring that the system is clean, where there is need for you to do some things in order to get to that particular place, do them so that you would not have this particular altercation that does not depict the kind of person that you are”.

Mr Ali had been summoned to explain the Service’s new directive on duties to be paid on imported vehicles.

Although he eventually appeared before the Senate on Thursday, he made good on his word of not appearing in his uniform.

The House, however, refused to engage the CG and fixed another date (March 22), for him to appear as required; failure to which the Senate leadership might be forced to issue an arrest warrant as initially threatened.

Seven Parties To Participate In Yobe LG Election – IPAC

IPAC, Yobe LG ElectionThe Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in Yobe State says seven political parties will participate in the Local Government (LG) election slated for February 11, 2017.

The State Chairman of IPAC, Mr Umar Kukuri, made the disclosure during an interview with reporters in Damaturu, Yobe State’s capital, in northeast Nigeria.

Mr Kukuri said: “The seven political parties have already conducted their various primary elections in which their respective candidates have emerged, submitted to the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) and screened by the electoral commission”.

The seven parties are PDC, SDP, CPP, ACD, APC, NCP and MPPP.

The IPAC Chairman hinted that campaigns had commenced across the state with political parties canvasing for support ahead of the poll.

He asked SIEC to ensure a free and fair election that would be accepted by all the political parties and observers nationally.

Kukuri also appealed to the political parties to conduct themselves according to the rules of the game and avoid issues that could breach peace in the state before, during and after the election.

He praised security operatives in the state for ensuring peace in the previous elections and urged them to maintain the same tempo during the imminent poll.

Hitch Free Election

The chairman further commended the Yobe State government for conducting the election despite the security threat poised by the Boko Haram insurgents.

“The council wishes to appreciate the Yobe State government for promoting democracy throughout the conduct of the local government election.

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“It is noteworthy that the Yobe State government had consistently conducted LG elections in spite of security challenges faced by the state. While states without such challenges failed to conduct LG elections, the council elections are being conducted in Yobe.

“As democrats and proud citizens of the state, it is to the credit of the state government that the council elections of 2015 encouraged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct the 2015 general elections in the northeast region that was bedevilled by serious security challenges,” he said.

Mr Kukuri assured the people of the state that IPAC would work with all the participating political parties to ensure a hitch-free election.

The last time Yobe State held an LG election was in 2014 at the heat of the Boko Haram insurgency.

El-Rufai Supports Auction Of Non-Productive National Assets

Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai, AssetsAs the controversy to privatise some of Nigeria’s assets rages on, Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, says a sale to boost liquidity would be in order.

The Governor, who is a former Director-General of the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE), made the observation on Tuesday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

However, he recommended that only non-productive assets should be sold.

Governor El-Rufai also condemned critics of the proposed plan whom he said should not just take ideological positions to analyse the privatisation.

Instead, he asked them to propose solutions to help Nigeria out of its present economic recession.

Area Of Focus

Meanwhile, an economist, Mr Bayo Rotimi, has highlighted the area of focus the government should consider in its proposed privatisation plan.

He advised the government to focus on institutions “that have constituted themselves into a drain pipe on the national treasury”, especially those that the Nigerian tax payers were keeping afloat.

Mr Rotimi also asked Nigerians to hold the government accountable on how the proceeds from the sale of assets would be utilised.

He criticised the idea of individual ministries selling their own assets, stressing that “the law has empowered the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and the BPE to carry that out”.

The economist further emphasised the need for the preferred bidders to have the required technical capacity, the ‘management know how’ and the financial muscle to run the institutions effectively.

Nigeria Should Privatise Assets Through Proper Channels – Bayo Rotimi

Bayo-Rotimi-Nigeria-Assets-PivatisationAs Nigerians continue to react to the Federal Government’s proposed plan to sell some of its assets, an economic and financial analyst believes the process should be carried out properly and with utmost transparency.

Channels Television hosted Mr Bayo Rotimi on Tuesday who observed that the only way the government could earn the trust of its people was to let the privatisation of its institutions go through the proper channels.

“Government Must Deliver”

He noted that the law had provided for the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to be in charge of sale of government assets.

“Essentially for government to earn the trust of its people, the government must deliver on what it says.

“I am insisting (that privatisation) goes through proper channels; through the NCP and the BPE.

“Let us, the people of Nigeria, monitor the process (and) let us flag any irregularities that we notice (and) let us hold the bidders accountable,” he said.

Hold Government Accountable

The economist also asked the citizens to hold the government accountable on how the proceeds from the sale of assets would be utilised.

He criticised the idea of individual ministries selling their own assets, reiterating that “the law has empowered the NCP and the BPE to carry that out.

“The citizenry has to be alive to their responsibilities.

“I believe that citizens must hold their government accountable.

“If the privatisation agencies sell assets that belong to the collective, first and foremost, we must see that those assets were sold through a transparent process.”

“Drain Pipe On The National Treasury”

Bayo-Rotimi-Nigeria-Assets-Pivatisation2Mr Rotimi further stressed the need for the preferred bidders to have the required technical capacity, the ‘management know how’ and the financial muscle to run the institutions effectively.

He asked the government to focus its proposed privatisation plan on institutions “that have constituted themselves into a drain pipe on the national treasury”, especially those that the Nigerian tax payers were keeping afloat.

“With regards to potential sale of stake in the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), personally, I do not support that (because) it is a company that is thriving.

“It is a company that is delivering dividend to the Nigerian people and those dividends have come in very handy in the last year and it will continue for the foreseeable future,” the economist said on Sunrise Daily.

Ondo Election: ACPN, NCP Elect Their Candidates  

ACPNThe Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) has elected Adetuwo Ogunjumelo as the party’s governorship candidate in the November 26 Ondo election.

Ogunjumelo who had 91 votes in the primary election held in Akure, the state capital, narrowly defeated his closer rival, Remi Okunrinboye who got 90 votes.

The third aspirant, Mrs Ayoade Jegede got 10 votes.

The election was monitored by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

A total of 194 party delegates from across the 18 Local Government Areas of the state voted in the election.  Three votes were voided in the process.

The National Secretary of the party, Paul Isamade, while speaking to newsmen, expressed satisfaction on the conduct of the election, saying it was free and fair.

He appealed to the two aspirants to join hands with the candidate to achieve success.

The candidate, appealed to the people of the state to vote for him with a promise to create an enabling environment for development.

He said that he would improve on the internally generated revenue of the state.

NCPIn the same vein, the National Conscience Party (NCP) also elected Davies Oluwasuyi as its candidate for the governorship election.

Oluwasuyi emerged the party’s candidate after delegates to the party primary endorsed him unopposed, following the failure of the other aspirant to return his nomination form.

Copy One Another’s Achievements, Balarabe Musa Urges Governors

Balarabe Musa, Immunity ClauseThe second republic governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, has appealed to state governors in Nigeria to learn from the achievements of one another and replicate such in their respective states.

The elder statesman made this plea in Akure the Ondo State capital where the State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko hosted a political meeting ahead of the governorship election in the state.

He said that this was what himself and his former colleagues who were governors in the second republic wanted to do but were distracted by political rivalry.

The Nigerian Governors Forum, according to him should be a platform for the governors to visit other states and learn from one another.

Musa who is also the National Chairman of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), the umbrella body of political parties in Nigeria added that one of the main objectives of the CNPP is to support any person legitimately elected into political office to perform.

On his part, the National Chairman of the National Conscience Party (NCP) Dr. Yinusa Tanko, commended the good policies and programmes of Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko in the areas of health, education, transportation and urban renewal.

Governor Mimiko, in his response emphasized that progressivism can only be translated to practical terms through the policies and programmes that have direct positive impact on the people.

He promised that his government has been embarking and will continue ‎to embark on such programmes.

Yobe Holds National Assembly By-Election

Yobe National Assembly Election The National Assembly by-election is currently holding in Yobe State, northeast Nigeria.

The election is taking place in order to fill the vacant seat left by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Khadija Ibrahim.

Mrs Ibrahim represented the Damaturu, Gujba, Gulani and Tarmuwa Federal Constituency before her nomination to serve in the President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet.

The election is holding in Damaturu, the state capital, as well as Gujba, Gulani and Tarmuwa Local Government Areas, constituting the federal constituency.

The streets of Damaturu, like other affected council areas remain deserted, as security operatives continue to search for vehicles and people using the road.

Reports say that electoral officials arrived most venues on Saturday morning in good time for the polls.

The Minister for State Foreign Affairs Khadija Bukar Ibrahim while casting her votes at the Emir of Damaturu polling station commended INEC and electoral officers for the conduct of the exercise.

She also praised the conduct of the electorate whom she said conducted themselves in orderly manner.

Four political parties: National Conscience Party (NCP), Advance Congress for Democracy (ACD), All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are participating in the by-election.

555 PVCs Of Dead Persons Found In Ogun State

ogunAt least 555 Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) belonging to dead residents from the 21 Local Government Areas of Ogun State have been discovered by the electoral commission while giving out the cards to voters.

The dead residents were registered in 2011.

The discovery was made known on Monday by the Ogun State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Timothy Ibitoye.

Briefing reporters in his office at the Presidential Boulevard in Abeokuta, the state’s capital, Mr Ibitoye gave a breakdown of the number of PVCs distributed so far and the number of registered voters in the state.

While putting the records straight on the number of registered voters, the INEC commissioner said 1,795,794 voters registered in the state, as against 1,370,340, being quoted in some quarters.

Mr Ibitoye said the commission had distributed 860,076 PVCs, representing 63 per cent of the total registered PVCs while about 425,454 were still being expected from Abuja.

However, the Ogun INEC informed the residents of its readiness for the forthcoming election, saying that elections would be conducted in all the 3,210 polling units across the 236 wards of the 20 Local Government Areas of the state.

The Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun, had earlier appealed to the INEC to speed up the distribution of the PVCs in the state.

The State government had organised a mobilisation and sensitisation forum, with the aim of educating the electorates on the forth coming general elections.

Zamfara State Candidates Sign Peace Agreement

Candidates contesting for various elective positions in Zamfara State have signed a peace agreement as part of pro-active measures to forestall violence before, during and after the forthcoming general elections.

The exercise which was supervised by the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police in charge of zone 10, Mr Bala Hassan had in attendance governorcandidatesship, National Assembly, and State House of Assembly candidates from various political parties, heads of security agencies, traditional rulers and foreign observers.

Addressing the candidates, the AIG enjoined them to comport themselves orderly during their campaigns and warned that the police and other security agencies would deal decisively with any candidate or group found to be involved in political violence. He also cautioned them to stop making unguarded utterances that are capable of breaching the peace before and during the elections.

On his part, the State Governor and Candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Abdulaziz Yari expressed confidence on the capability of the Police to provide adequate security during the elections, and also added that the President has the constitutional powers to deploy the military for the elections if he deem it fit based on the security challenges facing the country.

The purpose of the gathering was to remind candidates and their supporters of the political parties codes of conduct signed in 2013. The code of conduct stipulates the ways political parties should conduct themselves during their campaigns and elections.

Speaking earlier, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Abubakar Wara urged political parties to approach the elections in accordance with the provision of the Electoral Act.

He Assured them of the commission’s readiness to conduct a credible, free and fair election.

The candidates at the event were unanimous in their call for a level playing ground for all parties by the security agencies. They also harped on the need for the police and all other security agencies to remain neutral.

The candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and incumbent governor of the State, Abdulaziz Yari, his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart and former governor of the State, Mahmud Shinkafi, and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Sani Shinkafi were in attendance at the event held at the State Police Headquarters.

Others were the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPA), Peoples Progressives Alliance (PPA) and People for Democratic Change (PDC), Mega Party,KOWA, NCP, CPP, Labour Party,SDP, ACD, PPN and ACPN.

Ogun INEC releases Names Of Governors and Deputies

INECAhead of the 2015 general elections, the Ogun state Independent National Electoral Commission has released names of governorship candidates of various political parties ,for the All Progressives Congress.

The incumbent governor, Ibikunle Amosun has  Mrs Yetunde  Onanuga  as his deputy, the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) has Gboyega Isiaka  as its candidate,while Bilau Adekunle is his deputy.

The Nigeria National Peoples Party, NNPP has Adesina  Akani as the standard bearer, the deputy governor is yet to emerge

For HDP Olanrewaju  Sokunbi, is the governorship candidate while, Adeyemo Adewale remains as the deputy governor, just as the Social Democratic Party,SDP has Babalola Akin Odunsi, a Senator currently representing the Ogun west senatorial district as the standard bearer with  Olubukunola Onabanjo, daughter of the first civilian governor of the state, chief Bisi Onabanjo as the deputy

Onafadeji Benjamin is to fly the flag of the  National Conscience Party, NCP as his deputy is yet to be unveiled ,the Labour Party,LP has Olabode Simeon as its candidate,the party is yet to present its deputy candidate.

The Peoples Party of Nigeria,PPN ,is to be represented by Eyiowuawi Rasaq and Okeowo Oluremilekun as his deputy

Electoral Act Must End Political Cross Carpeting – Tanko

Yinusa TankoThe Chairman, Inter Party Advisory Council, Yinusa Tanko, believes that the recognition given to the idea of cross carpeting by politicians should be expunged from the Electoral Act.

Speaking on Channels Television, he noted that the lack of laws that would stand the test of time had been the reason why the Nigerian political system had lost its values.

He wondered why any politician should be allowed to trade the trust given to him by the people with another party that they did not support.

Tanko revealed that the discussions at the recently held National Political Summit bordered on issues concerning all political parties, including that of cross carpeting. He noted that if the recommendations are well adopted, it would bring sanity to the system.

He disclosed that the major step needed after the summit was to ensure that the next Electoral Act does not allow any elected politician to cross carpet into another party.

How much influence a political party has on the success of the candidate also came to the fore, as it is believed that some persons boost the party’s chances by their popularity rather than being helped by the party to win elections.

Tanko insisted that the candidate was bound by the political party he contested on and could only ride on his personal popularity on the platform of another party. This was after sharing the view that Nigeria was not yet mature for independent candidature.

He also believed that political parties would be able to agree on putting an end to the issue of cross carpeting as the issue has not favoured any of the political parties and it had become important for all the parties to jointly work against it.

Tanko said that his party the NCP would not accept any candidate from another party; no matter how popular he is, as long as he is occupying an office under his party.

“What is wrong is wrong”, he said, noting that his party was built on strong values.

He explained that the IPAC was a common front where parties discuss internal issues and there were plans to come up with ways of calling political parties with disciplinary issues to order.

This, according to him, includes utterances made by politicians, stating that issues of education, housing and development should form the core content of their public statements. While admitting that politicking had a place in contests, he advised that such should be based on developmental issues.

He revealed that the organisation embarked on this campaign in Anambra State leading to the governorship election to sensitize the people about what to pay attention to but could not do same in Ekiti due to certain constraints.