Jonathan Tasks Anti-graft Agencies On Convincing Performance

Nigeria’s anti-graft agencies have been asked to improve performance in order to gain the confidence of Nigerians.

While swearing in two Special Advisers, a commissioner of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Chairman, National Population Commission (NPC) and some of its commissioners, President Goodluck Jonathan advised them to make sure that everyone in the society would feel the impact of their activities.

He pointed out that the agencies, ordinarily, were not supposed to blow their trumpets but have been forced to do so because of the country’s peculiar environment where people are convicted publicly before receiving judicial convictions.

President Jonathan also urged the chairman of the NPC, Eze Duruiheoma, to ensure that the credibility of the establishment should not be mortgaged.

He stated that his administration relieved the former NPC Chairman, Festus Odumegwu, of his job on issues bordering on credibility.

“Ensure that population growth equates the economy so that the impact of the growth experienced in the economy is felt by the generality of the people,” President Jonathan told Duruiheoma.

The president urged the special advisers to be effective in the tasks before them, having the ability to relate with their colleagues both in the National Assembly and NEPAD and making no enemies, since they are commissioned to work for the development of the country.

Those sworn in include Eze Duruiheoma as Chairman of the National Population Commission, Bala Rugbayin, Aliyu Kwali as commissioners.

Others are Suleiman Makojuola Ajani and Fidelia Njeze who are Special Advisers on National Assembly and NEPAD respectively then Bako

Abdullahi that made the ICPC commissioners list.

President Jonathan Appoints New SAs And Chief Executives

President Goodluck Jonathan has approved fresh appointments to fill existing vacancies.

The new appointments are in furtherance of efforts to continually strengthen his administration, as contained in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati.

General Martin Agwai (rtd.) who was until now the Deputy Chairman and Acting Chairman of SURE-P has been named the Chairman of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme, SURE-P, with Mrs. Tanwa Olusi as his deputy.

The current Nigerian Ambassador to Switzerland, Mrs. Fidelia Njeze is now Special Adviser to the President on New Partnership for Africa’s Development, NEPAD, while Senator Suleiman Ajadi was named Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters.

The former Special Adviser to President Jonathan on Media and Publicity, Mr. Ima Niboro, has been named as the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN; with Mr. Sola Omole as the Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA and Alhaji Ladan Salihu as the Director-General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN.

General Agwai replaced Dr. Christopher Kolade, who resigned voluntarily as the Chairman of SURE-P in 2013. Both Ajadi and Njeze replaced Senator Joy Emordi and Dr. Tunji Olagunju who were both sacked.

“All the appointments are with immediate effect,” the statement read.

 

Rivers Float N5billion SME Fund

The Governor of Rivers state, Chibuike Amaechi has announced that the state government has floated the N5 billion Small and Medium Enterprises fund to drive innovation and entrepreneurship amongst the people of the state.

The fund he explained will be managed by independent bodies and will not be restricted to indigents alone.

He made this known at the opening of a two-day Wealth Creation and Poverty Reduction Summit organized by the Rivers State Office of the New Partnership for Africa Development (NEPAD) and Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA) in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

Noting that the old way of sharing money to people as empowerment strategy stifles sustainable wealth creation and empowerment of the people, the governor said his administration will rather provide a conducive environment for businesses to thrive in order to create employment and development.

He also disclosed that the major focus of his government will be in the areas of health, education, power and agriculture, as he condemned politicians who assume leadership positions without having a vision.

Amaechi stressed that the diversification of the nation’s economy where everybody can participate and acquire wealth in order to overcome poverty is the sure path to eliminate criminality.

Secretary to the Rivers State Government, George Feyii, suggested that some of the ills of society stems from poverty, but assured that the government was poised to tackle them, and make the youths self -reliant and productive.

The Special Adviser to the governor on NEPAD, Dr. Tex Wariboko assured the people of Rivers state of plans to reduce poverty and unemployment through a workable strategy.

Dr. Wariboko noted that NEPAD as a government agency has commenced series of programmes to reduce illiteracy and health problems as a way to check poverty.

General Manager of RSSDA, Tonye Sokubo who represented the Executive Director said the programme is part of the numerous activities by the agency geared towards sustaining development through the core areas of agriculture, scholarships and job creation as mandated to it by law.

 

 

Post Privatization: Jonathan Predicts Annual Investment of $10 Billion In Power By Private Sector

President Goodluck Jonathan has declared that following the complete privatization of power generation and distribution in Nigeria, an annual investment of about $10billion is expected from the country’s power sector over the next decade.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum on Africa which opened on Wednesday in Cape Town, South Africa, a statement by Dr Reuben Abati quoted the President to have stated that “having realized government alone cannot build the infrastructure that the country needs; the Federal Government has completed the biggest transfer of power assets in Africa to private investors.”

The President advised African countries to find innovative ways of addressing the continent’s massive infrastructure deficit, stating that to speedily overcome the infrastructural deficit that currently limits the pace of their economic development, Nigeria and other African countries must find innovative ways of funding essential infrastructure in areas such as power supply, energy and communications.

Observing that it is estimated that Africa requires about $100 billion annually for infrastructure development in the next decade, whereas only a quarter is being spent today, President Jonathan said that it was clear that Africa could not “thread this path alone”.

 Continent wide infrastructure

Noting that without a common framework as a basis for collaboration little progress will be made in the development of infrastructure across Africa, President Jonathan commended the African Union Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank and the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) for establishing the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).

The President said that he was delighted that PIDA will build on plans established under previous initiatives such as the NEPAD Medium to Long Term Strategic Framework and the African Union Infrastructure master plans.

He said that Nigeria will continue to support the development of continent wide infrastructure such as the Nigeria-Algeria Gas Pipeline Project and the Lagos-Abidjan Highway Project.

President Jonathan however disclosed that in the light of recent developments in the global gas industry and the collapse of gas prices, the Nigeria-Algeria Gas Pipeline Project concept is being reviewed to determine its continued viability.

“My expectation is that PIDA will hasten Africa’s integration through trade and migration which has been a priority and central element of the continent’s development strategy. On our part, we are committed to the integration of Africa’s infrastructure and its development,” the President said at the session which was dedicated to the development of Infrastructure in Africa.

He welcomed PIDA’s alignment with the vision of the Economic Community of West African States vision of the free movement of the free movement of people, goods and services.

He thanked the World Economic Forum and other critical stakeholders for supporting Africa’s progress towards the development of “21st Century infrastructure”.

“I urge you all not to relent in your efforts,” he concluded.

Bill To Revitalise NEPAD Passes Second Reading

The Senate has begun moves to revitalise the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) as the bill seeking to establish NEPAD Commission passes second reading in the Senate.

The sponsor of the bill, Senator Simeon Ajibola recalled how NEPAD was adopted as a policy development framework in 2001 in response to the problem of poor governance in Africa.

However, the Senator noted that despite the initiation of NEPAD, the implementation of its objectives has been confronted with a number of challenges which he claimed has now necessitated the need to establish a commission.

Also supporting the bill, Senate deputy leader, Abdul Ningi, expressed concern that since former President Olusegun Obasanjo left office in 2007, the structure of NEPAD had been weakened.

Moves to stop funding of illegal institution

The Senate has also condemned the appropriation of funds for government institutions and agencies which exist without legal backing.

This was a major issued raised when a bill for an act to establish the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun was debated during the plenary on Tuesday.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu observed that a number of institutions and universities such as the Petroleum Training Institute, University of Uyo and River Basin Authorities are not backed by law.

NEPAD Identifies benefits of Fuel Subsidy Removal

NEPAD

At the validation of the second progress report on the implementation of the national programme of action, the director for governance at Nepad Nigeria; Mr. Ebenezer Omotosho said that the deregulation of petroleum sector will encourage the private sector to participate in the industry.

Mr. Omotoso explained that by exporting the nation’s crude oil, Nigeria is losing more than thirty by-product of the mineral that would have fed other sectors in the country.