Niger Govt. Claims N6bn Found With Ex-commissioner

Niger State, Abubakar Bello,Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello says the six billion Naira found in the account of a former commissioner in the state by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), belongs to the state government.

The EFCC had weeks ago announced the discovery of two bank accounts containing two billion Naira each with the funds suspected to be the proceeds of crime.

The governor told journalists in Abuja that an additional two billion Naira had been traced to the ex-commissioner, bringing the total amount discovered to six billion Naira.

According to the governor, the funds are believed to have been siphoned through inflated Hajj subsidies offered by the state government to pilgrims.

The governor, who commended the EFCC for its efforts in recovering stolen funds, promised that the funds would be deployed to developmental projects.

The EFCC has since declared the ex-commissioner wanted.

Supreme Court Affirms Bello As Niger State Governor

Niger State, Abubakar Bello,The Supreme Court on Friday in Abuja upheld the election of Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello.

The court declared that the case by a governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mustapha Babangida, lacked merit.

In the judgement delivered by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, the appellant did not participate in the election, even though he is an APC card-carrying member.

Mr Babangida had asked the apex court to nullify the election of Governor Bello and called for a fresh election.

He earlier dragged the APC to the Federal High Court in Minna, claiming among other reliefs that the party was biased and that the governor’s emergence as the APC flag bearer was null and void.

Ruling on the case with Suit No. FHC/Minna/255/2015 and dated February 3, 2016, Justice Onnoghen said after considering the issues, citing the case of Audu and Nyako and Section 87 sub-section 9 of the Electoral Act, 2010, the appellant did not participate, neither did he fail in the elections.

The CJN prepared the lead judgement and mandated the presiding judge, Justice Kumai Bayang Akaahs, to read the judgement, saying the appellant had no right to take the matter to court.

Counsel to the appellant, Mohammed Mohammed, called for an amendment of Section 87 of the Electoral Act which denied his client the right to sue, while counsel to the respondent, Yunus Usman, hailed the ruling of the apex court.

Briefing journalists on the judgement, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Nasara Danmallam, said the legal battle is over.

The commissioner further called on Mr Babangida to join Governor Bello in moving Niger State forward.

My Advice On Govt. Matters Will Be Confidential – Atiku

Atiku Abubakar, Ibrahim Babangida, Niger, GovernmentA Former Nigerian Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday said his advice on government matters will now be confidential and not for public consumption.

Mr Abubakar made the declaration after a closed door meeting with former Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), which lasted for two hours in Minna, the Niger State capital.

He noted that any advice that needs to be given to the government would be given confidentially, describing the use of media to advice the government as a great disservice.

“If I have to advise (the) government, I will advise them in confidence because I was in government before. My advice will not be on the pages of newspapers,” he said.

The former vice president, however, noted on the state of the nation that was not the duty of an individual to restructure Nigeria, adding that “It is up to Nigerians to decide on the restructuring of Nigeria”.

On his mission to Minna, he explained that the purpose of his visit was to greet the former president on his return from his medical vacation abroad.

“I came to visit General Babangida and to wish him well since he returned from medical vacation abroad,” he said.

Mr Abubakar, who arrived at the Minna Airport in his private aircraft, was received by the Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello.

He then proceeded to the Uphill residence of the former military leader where the meeting took place.

Governor Bello Uncovers Plot To Cause Crisis In Niger State

Niger State, Fulani, Abubakar BelloNiger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, says he has uncovered a well-planned attempt to use religion and tribal lines to create disaffection in the state by some individuals.

The governor, who made the assertion  on Wednesday in Minna, urged the people of the state to be at alert.

He also briefed reporters on his ‘on the spot’ assessment of the recent Fulani and Gbagy clash at Sabon Daga in Bosso Local Government Area of the state.

“What happened at Sabon Daga was very unfortunate and avoidable (because) I can’t imagine how hips of yam can lead to loss of lives and property.

“Those behind this devilish act will soon be exposed. I urge you all to desist from using inciting statements that are capable of instigating crisis in our communities.

“I am aware of a well-planned attempt to use religion and tribal lines to cause disaffection in the state, we know them.

“They are the elites who are using illiterates to their advantage while their own children are busy watching television and laughing at home. They should have a rethink,” he warned.

Governor Bello assured the residents that we would leave no stone unturned in curbing the situation.

He said his administration would inject more funds into security in the next three months while confirming an external influence in the crisis.

The governor lamented that the monies meant for the development of the state were being spent on providing succour to affected victims of various clashes.

Governor Bello, Mourners Offer Prayers For Late Kure

Abdulkadir Kure, Governor Bello, Mourners Offer Prayers For Late KureNiger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, on Monday led a group of mourners in prayers at the residence of late Mr Abdulkadir Kure.

Mr Kure, who died on Sunday at a hospital in Germany, was a former governor of Niger State in north-central Nigeria.

Multitude of sympathisers stormed the deceased’s residence for series of prayers at the Government Reserved Area (GRA) in Minna, the state’s capital.

The prayers were kick started by a league of Islamic leaders led by the Chief Imam of Minna, Sheikh Ibrahim Abu Fari.

Governor Sani Bello led the entire State Executive Council while officers of the 31 Artillery Brigade and Training Doctrine Command (TRADOC) of the Nigerian Army in Minna were also there to pay tribute to the departed former governor.

The event was witnessed by former military president, General Abdulsalami Abubakar and Niger State Deputy Governor, Mr Ahmed Ketso, as well as some lawmakers including Senator Philip Aduda, Senator Bala Ibn Na Allah and Honourable Abdullahi Mahmud.

Members of the State Executive Council during the eight-year administration of late Kure were also in attendance.

Niger Governor Reshuffles Cabinet

Niger, Abubakar BelloNiger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, on Tuesday made a minor change in his cabinet.

The governor redeployed the Commissioner for Land and Housing, Haliru Jikantoro, as well as his counterparts in Agriculture and Rural Development, Aliyu Abdullahi and that of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Kabiru Musa.

A statement by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, after the last State Executive Council meeting for the year 2016 revealed that there would be more changes in 2017.

Governor Bello, who thanked the commissioners and council members for their cooperation and contributions, was not so impressed with their performances saying he could only give a pass mark of 60%.

“I commend every one of you but you must all sit up because 2017 will be a year of fulfilled promises. I can give you a pass mark of 60% but much is expected of you by next year.

“Everybody must sit up because we must deliver the dividends of democracy to the electorates,” he said.

Governor Bello redeployed the Mr Jikantoro to Local Government Affairs while Mr Abdullahi is to take over from him.

He also directed Mr Musa to take over from the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.

Similarly, the Permanent Secretaries of Ministry of Health, Dr. Umar Ibrahim Tiffin, that of Justice, Mr Ndagi Wali and the Director of Hospital Management Board, Dr. Makunsidi are to report to the Head of Service for new redeployment.

The Director of Planning and Statistics in the Ministry of Health would also resume at the Hospital Management Board.

While wishing all members a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in advance, Governor Bello tasked them to show more commitment in carrying out their functions in accordance with his mandate.

He said that “more changes will come with the new year”.

Niger Governor Woos Indonesian Investors In Textile Manufacturing

Niger stateNiger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has urged Indonesian investors to cash on the abundant availability of high quality cotton in the state to establish textile manufacturing companies.

The governor made the call on Wednesday at a meeting with the Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Harry Purwanto, at his office in Minna, the state’s capital.

He acknowledged the uniqueness of Indonesian fabrics and informed the envoy that Niger State was endowed with abundant and high quality cotton.

Governor Bello assured the Indonesian business community of conducive business environment that would guarantee profitable return on their investment.

He commended their Small Medium Enterprise (SME) sector and noted that his administration was eager to partner Indonesia with a view to developing and perfecting the SME sector in Niger State.

“We are impressed by the way your country handles her SMEs. We are ready to partner with you to develop our SMEs the way you have developed yours,” he told the visiting ambassador.

The governor also called for collaboration in the areas of agriculture, tourism and youth development, which he said were the priority areas of focus of his administration.

He further acceded to the request for allocation of land for an industrial park in Tegina, Rafi Local Government area of the state for the manufacturing of Indonesian products.

On his part, Mr Purwanto expressed the readiness of Indonesian investors to collaborate with the State government in developing Nigeria’s vast natural and economic potentials.

He said his country and Nigeria had a lot in common and stood to benefit from the over half a century diplomatic relationship.

The ambassador disclosed that a team of investors had earlier visited Nigeria, with the sole aim of establishing an industrial park.

He also commended the efforts of the Niger State Governor towards making the state conducive for its inhabitants.

How Niger State Succours Women And Girls In Recession

Niger State, Women, GirlsThe increasing rate of poverty and unemployment have become worrisome for the Niger State government, especially in the face of Nigeria’s economic recession.

One the efforts being made by the State government to aid its people in this trying time is an empowerment programme to train 250 women and girls in making of soap, cosmetics, air freshener, perfume and fish farming among others.

The scheme, which was initiated by the Niger State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, was flagged off on Tuesday in Minna by wife of the State Governor, Dr. Amina Bello.

Dr. Bello said the programme was a deliberate strategy for poverty alleviation in the state and stressed the need to be financially and economically independent.

She urged the beneficiaries to pay more attention to the whole exercise to enabled them have the prerequisite knowledge for effective and efficient productivity when they are on their own.

The governor’s wife also assured them that she would sustain her programme on the treatment of every women infected with VVF in Niger State to better their lives.

In her welcome address, the Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Roseline Abara, urged the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the opportunity given to them.

Mrs Abara explained that training was aimed at making them self-reliant in their homes, adding that the beneficiaries would be provided with the necessary requirements to start with after their training.

On her part, the Permanent Secretary at the ministry, Princess Rachel Yisa, disclosed that the programme cut across all the 25 local governments in the state.

She also urged the trainees to choose centres designated in each of the senatorial zones nearest to them to ease transportation.

Niger State Govt. Promises To Support Impactful Projects

Niger stateThe Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has said that his administration will always support and partner with any lawmaker that executes projects that have direct positive impact on the lives of the people.

Mr Bello made the disclosure while he received in council, the National Assembly member representing, Suleja, Tafa and Gurara federal constituency, Mr Abubakar Lado Suleja, who had spent over 485 million Naira for various constituency projects since he assumed office.

He applauded the effort of the lawmaker, which he admitted have direct bearing on the lives of the ordinary people, especially the youths, while urging other legislatures in the state to emulate the kind gesture.

The Governor believes that if similar paths of development are being carried out by other lawmakers, “the problems associated with the present recession experienced would have been minimized tremendously”.

Mr Suleja, while presenting his scorecard to the Niger State Executive Council, said that he had spent a total of 485,797,000 million Naira, on various projects, and intervention programmes in his constituency.

The lawmaker reiterated his commitment to sustain the tempo throughout his tenure at the lower chamber of the National Assembly.

He mentioned that he would soon invite the state Governor and his team, when he would be distributing empowerment materials and equipment, worth over 100 million Naira, to the successful applicants.

Suleja stressed that he has systematically affected lives in the three local governments he represents, both in foreign and local scholarships, especially in the health sector, which according to him, they are presently lacking.

Furthermore, he said that his programme which includes infrastructural development of schools, roads water, rural electrification, subsidies to farmers, skills acquisition and vocational training of over 4,500 applicants was carried out regardless of faith or gender.

Be Governor To All, Abubakar Bello Tells Edo State’s Obaseki

godwin-obasekiNiger State’s Governor, Abubakar Bello, has urged the newly sworn-in Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, to operate an all-inclusive government that gives all Edo citizens a sense of belonging.

He believes such leadership ideal would fast-track development in the state.

A statement by the spokesman for the Governor, Jibrin Ndace, said the inauguration of Governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Phillip Shuaibu, offered fresh hope for consolidation in the state.

The Governor advised Mr Obaseki to ensure that he would build on what he called ‘solid foundation’ already laid by former Governor Adams Oshoimhole.

Live Up To Your Vision

He pointed out that since the people of Edo state had opted for continuity, it was time to translate the confidence reposed in the APC-led government into improved social welfare and service delivery to the citizens.

The Governor, who expressed confidence in the capacity and ability of Mr Obaseki to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Edo people, enjoined him to live up to campaign promises of ‘EDO PEOPLE: Let’s GO Further, Together’, and APC Manifesto of Relief, Recovery and Reform, urging them to be magnanimous in victory.

“I urge you to live up to your vision of building ‘a modern and progressive Edo State where every citizen is empowered with opportunity to live life in its fullness.’ Above all, you must realise that you are now governor of all, irrespective of political, ideological, religious and ethnic differences,” the Governor said.

Governor Bello further commended the effort of former Comrade-Governor Oshiomhole and urged all stakeholders to rally round Governor Obaseki for the progress and development of the state.

Governor Obaseki, who was elected governor on the platform of the All Progressive Congress(APC) on September 29, was sworn on 12 November.

He is an alumni of the University of Ibadan (UI) and the Columbia University in the United states.

We Shall Soon Overcome Economic Recession – Osinbajo

We Shall Soon Overcome Economic Recession – OsinbajoVice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has predicted that the country shall soon overcome the present challenges and the biting economic recession.

He said this at the Minna Choral Society (MCS) 8th annual Festival of Songs and Concert, in Minna, Niger State capital.

He, however said that strict adherence to divine instructions is the panacea to bailing the country out of the present recession.

Drawing inference from the theme of the concert, “More than Conquerors”, the Vice President said, “in all our numerous challenges, we are more than conquerors. We will overcome our challenges and difficulties”.

Osinbajo noted that despite the challenges being faced as a nation, “God still loves this country so much that He will not let us down. We can count on God no matter the situation”.

Citing from Romans 8:37, the Vice President said that he was convinced that no situation will make Nigeria go down but advised that obedience to divine instructions is a guarantee for victory over the current challenges.

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, who was also in attendance at the concert, challenged all to imbibe the teachings of God as prescribed in the holy books for the country to experience a turning point.

“Are we practising what is in the holy books? Are we our brother’s keeper? It is only when this is done that we can make a turning point in this country and make our country crisis free.”

Gov. Bello decried the deteriorating state of morality in youths and called on all youths to shun every act that will undermine the existence of the nation.

He assured them of his determination to give them opportunities to express their God-given talents.

He then commended the choristers and urged them to use the opportunity provided by MCS as a foundation for a greater tomorrow.

Nigeria To Give Preference To Local Drug Manufacturers

http://www.channelstv.com/2016/10/26/saraki-loses-appeal-against-cct-trial/The Federal government of Nigeria says it will give special preference to the local manufacturing of essential pharmaceutical products to ensure affordable and accessible health care facilities.

The Vice President, Professor Yomi Osinbajo, gave the assurance on Tuesday at the opening of the 89th Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) held in Minna, said they must resist counterfeit and sub-standard in the efforts to ensure patronage by Nigerians.

He stated that the government was not unaware of the challenges confronting the industry but assured that efforts are on to remove the barriers and ensure competition of the variety products.

Represented by the Minister of Health, Professor Issac Adewole, who emphasised the vital roles played by the Pharmacists in Nigeria, taking cognisance of our population while he applauded them of their selfless service to the people both in public and private sector.

He further said that the government was making efforts to ensure stable and sustainable economic development and reduce dependence on oil and shift attention to other sectors of the economy.

The Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, in his speech called for greater priority to be given to quality, affordability, accessibility of healthcare in Nigeria and increase funding to ensure provision of health facilities and services.

The Governor was represented by the Niger State Speaker of the State Assembly, Honourable Ahmed Marafa. he says the state will partner with the PSN to ensure affordable healthcare facilities in the state.

He also urged them to intensify efforts in curbing sub-standard pharmaceutical drugs.

The National President of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Mr Ahmed Yakasai, in his speech stressed the need to be result oriented and update their professional experience and knowledge.

Mr Yakasai informed the gathering that a new approach of ‘Pharma Cyntricism’ had been embraced, considering the economic recession in Nigeria, expressing optimism that it would push social and economic development.

He disclosed that PSN had so far assisted the IDPs in Bornu State with free pharmaceutical drugs worth 50 million Naira. He said such assistance would be sustained.

Many Pharmacists and friends of PSN received awards from the association during the event and witnessed exhibition of various pharmaceutical drugs to mark the ceremony held in Minna, the capital of Niger State.