Decision To Lift 100 Million Nigerians Out Of Poverty Not By Accident, Says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari presided over a Virtual Ground Breaking Ceremony of the Kano-Katsina-Jibya-Maradi with a branch line to Dutse Railway Project in State House on February 9. 2021.
President Muhammadu Buhari presided over a Virtual Ground Breaking Ceremony of the Kano-Katsina-Jibya-Maradi with a branch line to Dutse Railway Project in State House on February 9. 2021.

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari says the administration’s policy of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty is a deliberate one that will be pursued with remarkable grit and determination.

Speaking on Tuesday at a meeting with the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC), which was also attended by Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo at the State House in Abuja, he stated that the policy did not come by accident or “something we just bumped into.”

The President agreed with the Council that the country required a poverty reduction strategy that would usher in a “rapid, sustained, sustainable and inclusive” economic growth.

In a short speech after the presentation of the report on the national poverty reduction strategy developed by the PEAC, President Buhari requested the Council to present the document to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday as part of the consultation process.

He also aligned with the Council’s position that the programme of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty was a challenging one, but one that could be achieved.

President Buhari wondered what became of the nation in the past, “with all the resources available to it” that no such coordinated, holistic agenda on poverty reduction was contemplated.

“I was shocked, hearing from you that, of the vast agricultural land resources available to the nation, only two per cent of it is under irrigation”, he said with an assurance that his administration would make the best use of the land.

“Thank you for shaking us up.  We are now awake, we will not doze off again. We didn’t just bump into this, we believe it is something we can deliver on,” he added.

The PEAC Chairman, Professor Doyin Salami, who led the presentation, said the plan had so far gained an overwhelming approval of stakeholders across the country.

It had earlier been presented to the Vice President; secretaries to governments of all the 36 states, the governors, as well as development partners, including the World Bank, IMF and AfDB, and civil society organisations, and the organised private sector actors.

Professor Salami welcomed the country’s exit from recession but cautioned that the strength of the economic growth must be driven in a way that it would overtake population growth.

As presented, the poverty reduction strategy requires the nation to aim to raise agricultural productivity, address the wide disparity among states and the regions in the distribution of poverty, ensure macro-economic stability, and take advantage of the different economic endowments of the country in the promotion of industrialisation.

In defining the principles of the new strategy, the Council said the approach would be multi-dimensional.

“Poverty is not only the lack of cash.  It is defined by lack of access to shelter, health, education, and jobs which must all be addressed,” it stated.

While nothing that there had in the past been varied attempts to eradicate poverty in the country, the Council submitted that it was the first time Nigeria would consolidate on the achievements of the past and avoid past mistakes.

“It is the first time that everyone is coming on board – Federal Government, states, the private sector, development partners and the civil society. Poverty reduction must not be left to the Federal Government alone, it is everybody’s responsibility,” it said.

To this effect, the Council suggested the setting up of a “National Council on Poverty Reduction,” made up of all these stakeholders, and it was accepted by the President.

According to the President’s media aide, Garba Shehu, the poverty reduction strategy benefited from extensive consultations among all stakeholders in both the public and private sectors to achieve “ownership and sustainability”.

COVID-19: Nigeria To Receive Four Million Doses Of AstraZeneca Vaccine Very Soon – FG

File photo of the SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha, addressing reporters at the PTF briefing in Abuja.

 

The Federal Government has said that Nigeria would receive four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine very soon.

The chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha disclosed this on Monday during a press briefing in Abuja.

He said the “PTF has been assured that Nigeria shall receive the initial four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines very soon and Nigerians will be adequately informed on developments.”

According to him, “multi-sectoral machinery will be deployed to enhance the logistics to the “last-mile administration” processes that have been put in place.”

Mustapha also called for the cooperation and support of all Nigerians, noting that “this will involve community mobilization, training, transportation, storage, operations, etc.”

READ ALSO: Taraba Resident Doctors Suspend Strike, Lose Member To COVID-19

The real work involves every sub-national entity, the Communities, the citizens, and the Civil Societies. We crave your cooperation and support to achieve this. The Honorable Minister of Health and the Executive Director (NPHCDA) will elaborate on this during this briefing.

While reassuring the citizens that no stone will be left unturned in the effort to access “safe and efficacious vaccines,” the PTF Chairman pleaded for patience and vigilance, pleading on the masses not to procure uncertified vaccines from the black market.

READ FULL SPEECH HERE:

REMARKS BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE PRESIDENTIAL TASK FORCE ON COVID-19 FOR MONDAY, 22nd FEBRUARY, 2021

​I welcome you to the National Briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF) for today, Monday, 22nd February 2021.

2.​The issue of vaccines continues to dominate discussions and major policy and financial decisions by various countries of the world. As you are aware, NAFDAC in the course of the week granted emergency use authorization for the use of AstraZeneca vaccines in Nigeria. This decision was reached after due process by the regulatory body.

3.​Despite this milestone approval, which will obviously be a game-changer, the PTF wishes to underscore the need to continue to take responsibility by observing all the non-pharmaceutical measures. Vaccines remain critical in the battle but we must remain well informed because of the intense transmission which is putting enormous pressure on the hospitals, intensive care units, and health workers in our different communities. Let me state that decisions made by leaders and citizens will determine the level of our success in tackling the acute phase.

4.​The PTF has been assured that Nigeria shall receive the initial four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines very soon and Nigerians will be adequately informed on developments. The multisectoral machinery will be deployed to enhance the logistics to the “last-mile administration” processes that have been put in place.  This will involve community mobilization, training, transportation, storage, operations, etc. The real work involves every sub-national entity, the Communities, the citizens, and the Civil Societies. We crave your cooperation and support to achieve this. The Honorable Minister of Health and the Executive Director (NPHCDA) will elaborate on this during this briefing.

5.​The PTF wishes to reassure Nigerians that no stone will be left unturned in the effort to access safe and efficacious vaccines. We, therefore, plead for patience and vigilance. We also plead with Nigerians not to procure uncertified vaccines from the black market.

  1. ​There have been preliminary results from the COVID-19 Seroprevalence Household Survey, which is on-going. It is to measure the seroprevalence of antibodies to COVID-19 in the population of selected states (Lagos, Enugu, Gombe and Nasarawa) by sex and age group based on fraction of asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic or subclinical infections. The survey was carried out by WHO protocol on SARS-COV-2 sero epidemiology and the outcome is quite encouraging. The DG NCDC will elaborate on this.

7.​In terms of numbers, statistics show that global cases and deaths have continued to decline. Most countries have registered significant declines in cases but amongst the top 5, the decline in Brazil is still minimal. The African Region has shown high decline and South Africa continues to record a sustained daily decline in cases. The WHO Country Rep will elaborate on this.

8.​As at 21st February, 2021, Nigerian statistics show the following:

Cases: ​​152,074

Fatalities:​​1,839

Recoveries:​​128,668

Active Cases:​21,567

No. of Tests:​1,489,103

9.​At the last briefing we informed you on the emerging issues on international travels involving the Emirates and the KLM airlines. Discussions are still ongoing through the Foreign Affairs and Aviation Ministries. Once again, we wish to assure Nigerians that our conclusions shall be in the interest of Nigerians. The Hon. Minister of Aviation will update you during this briefing.

  1. ​I now invite the HM-Health, DG-NCDC and the National Incident Manager to brief you.

11.​I thank you for listening.

 

Stop Giving Ethnic Colouration To Crimes, FG Tells Nigerians

File Photo of Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola

 

The Federal Government has asked Nigerians not to give ethic colouration to crimes, saying the morality of the African race and Nigeria, in particular, abhors all forms of criminal activities.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said crime is evil to the nation.

Aregbesola, who received a delegation from the Executive Intelligence Management Course (EIMC) 14, of the National Institute for Security Studies (NISS), said Nigerians must equate security with the global picture of a society that puts its emphasis on the dignity of man and human development.

“One thing we must all resist is the tendency of seeing crime in relation to one ethnic group or another, a criminal is a criminal no matter the ethnic group he or she belongs to. No ethnic group in Nigeria glorifies crime and criminality, so let us all condemn the crime. Our morality itself makes crime an unpopular vocation,” he said.

READ ALSO: Quit Notice: Ogun Youths Give Seven-Day Ultimatum To Killer Herdsmen

The Minister called on the National Institute for Security Studies (NISS) to see the need to develop a policy analysis that will ensure adequate reorientation of an average Nigerian to see crimes and criminality as they are.

He said the institution should begin to think of how it could help Nigerians change the narrative of crime tied to a particular ethnic group and stop prioritising tension and heating up the polity unnecessarily: as no good governance could be provided in the atmosphere of chaos.

SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:

Press Release

FG URGES NIGERIANS TO STOP ETHNOCISING CRIMES

The Federal Government has called on Nigerians to avoid the temptation of giving ethnic colouration to criminal activities in the country, saying the morality of the African race and Nigeria in particular, abhors all forms of crimes and criminality.

Minister of the Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola gave the advice today in his office in Abuja when he received a delegation from the Executive Intelligence Management Course (EIMC) 14, of the National Institute for Security Studies (NISS), led by its Commandant, Ayodele Adeleke.

Aregbesola observed that Nigerians must equate security with the global picture of a society that puts its emphasis on the dignity of man and human development, stressing further that crime is anathema to the nation.

“One thing we must all resist is the tendency of seeing crime in relation to one ethnic group or another, a criminal is a criminal no matter the ethnic group he or she belongs to. No ethnic group in Nigeria glorifies crime and criminality, so let us all condemn the crime. Our morality itself makes crime an unpopular vocation,” he said.

The Minister called on the National Institute for Security Studies (NISS), as a security training institution, to see the need to develop policy analysis that will ensure adequate reorientation of an average Nigerian to see crimes and criminality as they are.

According to him,  the institution should begin to think of how it could help Nigerians change the narrative of crime tied to a particular ethnic group and stop prioritising tension and heating up the polity unnecessarily: as no good governance could be provided in the atmosphere of chaos.

Aregbesola who said that every Nigerian has one thing or the other to offer towards the development of the country called on the philanthropist to join hands with Government to empower the less privileged in the society so as to help reduce the rate of poverty amongst the people, which he said, in most times is a contributory factor to crimes and criminality in most societies of the world.

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Shuaib Belgore who enumerated the functions of the Agencies under the supervision of the Ministry assured that the Ministry and its Services would continue to carry out their mandates which are geared towards the protection of lives and property of Nigerians as well as citizenship integrity.

Speaking earlier, the Commandant of the Institute, Ayodele Adeleke said that his team was in the Ministry to introduce the institution which was saddled with the responsibility of training top security personnel and also as part of its study requirements which he said, is to visit strategic Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government with the view to tapping from their wealth of experience that would help the institution to come up with quality suggestions and SWOT analysis on how to provide good governance for the people of Nigeria and West African sub-region, in a better and secured environment.

He said that the National Institute for Security Studies (NISS) was a leading centre for the provision of ‘Competence and enhanced training for middle and top level managers of security in order to advance the best practice in conflict prevention, mitigation and resolution.’

Adeleke pledged the commitment of the Institute to partnering with the Ministry of Interior and other relevant Agencies of Government, with the view to ending the security challenges confronting the country.

Mohammed Manga

Director (Press & Public Relations)

For: Honourable Minister

December 12, 2020

WTO Leadership: Okonjo-Iweala Thanks Nigerians, Buhari, U.S. For Support

In this file photo taken on September 19, 2016 former Finance Minster of Nigeria Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala looks on during the Opening Plenary Session: "Partnering for Global Prosperity," at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. Bryan R. Smith / AFP
In this file photo taken on September 19, 2016, former Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, claps at the Clinton Global Initiative held in New York. Bryan R. Smith / AFP

 

Former Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has thanked Nigerians and President Muhammadu Buhari for their support following her emergence as the sole candidate for the top job at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

She also extended her appreciation to the United States government after the country endorsed her to become the Director-General of the global trade body.

Okonjo-Iweala, who was vying for the job with the Republic of Korea’s Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee, showed gratitude via her verified Twitter handle on Friday.

 

While the majority of the member-countries of the organisation had endorsed the Nigerian candidate, Ms Myung-hee had enjoyed the support of former U.S. President Donald Trump in their bids to become the WTO DG.

On Friday, the Korean minister announced that she was abandoning her bid to lead the international trade body, leading to Okonjo-Iweala’s emergence as the sole candidate for the job.

Following the development, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, in a statement, said, “The United States takes note of today’s decision by the Republic of Korea’s Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee to withdraw her candidacy for Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

“The Biden-Harris Administration is pleased to express its strong support for the candidacy of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director-General of the WTO.

“Dr Okonjo-Iweala brings a wealth of knowledge in economics and international diplomacy from her 25 years with the World Bank and two terms as Nigerian Finance Minister.

“She is widely respected for her effective leadership and has proven experience managing a large international organization with a diverse membership,” it added.

Okonjo-Iweala, 66, was nominated as Nigeria’s candidate to lead the WTO by President Muhammadu Buhari in June 2020.

She is a Nigerian-American economist and international development expert who has a 25-year career at the World Bank, scaling the ranks to the second top position of Managing Director, Operations.

The Delta State-born economist served two terms as the minister of finance under former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan respectively.

Insecurity: Allow Nigerians Carry Licenced Guns, Ishaku Tells FG

 

Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku has asked the Federal government to allow Nigerians carry licenced guns to defend themselves amid the myriads of security challenges facing the country.

Ishaku stated this on Tuesday when 15 local government chairmen of the state paid him a condolence visit after the burial of one of them who was kidnapped and subsequently killed by gunmen.

He lamented the worsening state of insecurity, adding that the situation has gone to its lowest ebb and demands reawakening.

“The security in this country has gone to the lowest ebb and we have to all wake up. We as leaders have given our advises severally as to the change to the security architecture, you cannot keep doing one thing over and over and expect a different result,” he said.

“If we cannot be able to provide security for our citizens, then allow all the citizens to buy AK-47, because if everybody is licensed with AK-47, I swear nobody will come to your house, or peradventure he does then it depends on who is faster.

“In a situation where we are all gagged with one security system that has been unable to work, and we are told to sit down and be counting the day our turn will come, I do not agree with it.”

READ ALSO: We Are Not Interested In Profiling Hausas Or Fulanis But Criminal Elements, Says Abia Gov

Governor Ishaku sympathised with the families of those who lost their lives to insecurity, noting that the late Ardo-Kola LGA chairman, Salihu Dovo held a security meeting with stakeholders of the council before he was killed.

LG Funds: Ishaku Agrees With NFIU, To Reduce Political Appointees
A file photo of Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku.

 

He explained that while the victim was being whisked away by his abductors, he now recognised one of them and even mentioned his name which led to his death.

The governor also disclosed that so far four people have been arrested, asking the security agencies to arrest everyone in connection to the crime.

“At least 20 men went to his house, that’s the information I have, and they were all armed with AK47 rifles, let them fish them out at least for once we should set an example and make correction.

“Try and sensitize your traditional rulers on the fact that any new settler in their communities should be reported for screening of conduct and if sustained we will minimize the casualties within the society.

“Neither you the chairmen nor the chiefs do not have the right to give land and anyone who seeks same should report to the higher authority for scrutiny,” he added.

No One Has Immunity Against COVID-19, FG Cautions Nigerians

File photo of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu

 

The Federal Government has cautioned Nigerians to protect themselves amid the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic, warning that no one has immunity against the deadly virus.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, gave the warning in a series of tweets on Monday.

“We have a duty to protect ourselves and others in this difficult global health crisis; no one has immunity against this pandemic. Ignoring health warnings and refusing to comply with safety measures does more harm than good,” he said.

“Nigerians must ignore baseless conspiracy theories that seek to deny the reality of the pandemic by complying with the order to wear masks.”

READ ALSO: FG Can’t Appoint IGP Based On Ethnicity – Presidency

While lamenting that the COVID-19 pandemic is a major threat to public health, the presidential spokesman said, “wearing of masks, social distancing in public places and the basic hygiene are necessary measures that have to be taken to safeguard the well-being of our citizens.”

He asked Nigerians to always remember that the COVID-19 pandemic is not only a threat to the health of the population, but it is equally so to the national economy, and to every aspect of our everyday life.

Shehu asked the masses to wear masks, wash hands regularly with soap and clean water, adding that the social distancing among others would help curb the spread of COVID-19.

The presidential aide also reiterated the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to safeguarding the health of Nigerians, noting that protecting public health is one of the sacred duties of any responsible government.

FG’s Goal To Lift 20m Nigerians Out Of Poverty In Two Years Now Within Reach – Osinbajo

Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (File Photo)

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) has said that the Federal Government’s vision to lift at least 20 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next two years is now within reach.

Professor Osinbajo stated this on Tuesday in Abuja during the virtual flag-off of the cash transfer scheme, called the Rapid Response Register (RRR), to be facilitated through a wholly technology-based approach.

This followed the successful activation of the Economic Sustainability Plan’s (ESP) Cash Transfer scheme aimed at delivering financial support to at least 1 million urban-based households.

According to the Vice President, RRR is a means by which the urban poor and vulnerable population can be speedily identified using geographic satellite technology and other related means for the purposes of delivering cash to households affected by the fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

“The groundbreaking success of the RRR, now emboldens us to achieve our aspiration of a social security programme for a minimum of twenty million Nigerians in the next two years. This will be the largest of its kind on the continent. This (aspiration) is, at least from the perspective of this tested approach, now well within our reach,” a statement by the Vice President’s aide, Laolu Akande quoted him as saying.

Read Also: Nigeria Can Store Up To 400,000 Doses Of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine – FG

“The only constraint, of course, is the funding which we must look for because, this country deserves a social security scheme that will not merely alleviate poverty but also create wealth for the millions of those who are waiting for this opportunity.

“Our government launched the National Social Protection Policy (NSPP) in 2017 to provide the framework for institutionalizing the work we started since 2016 on reducing extreme poverty in Nigeria, based on our administration’s vision to create a comprehensive social security programme for the poor and vulnerable and thereafter the pledge to lift 100 million Nigerian’s out of poverty in ten years.”

The Vice President maintained that the launch of the (RRR) social protection method of targeting, which is the first strategy to be developed and tested in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, would enable Nigeria tackle poverty in a more systematic manner, leveraging technology to expand the scope of the interventions.

“As of 31st December 2020, we have identified and registered about 24.3 million poor and vulnerable individuals into the National Social Register; equivalent to about 5.7 million households. Through this project, we are currently injecting about N10 Billion directly into the hands of about 2 million poor and vulnerable people every month,” the Vice President said.

“This is about the largest evidence-based effort by any administration on poverty reduction and its impact on the lives of the poor is huge; by way of improving the livelihoods of the beneficiaries through enhanced household purchasing power; smoothening consumption; increasing savings and acquisition of household assets; and improving the local economy. There are many more ramifications.”

Earlier in her remarks, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, said the initiative would provide a gateway to other important government programmes, adding that Nigeria now has a database for impact tracking and the expansion of social interventions and related programmes, in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision of extending financial support to more Nigerians.

She said: “By design, this register links to other databases such as banking information of respondents and national identity numbers. It is also a process that is advanced in unifying national databank towards the delivery of social development in Nigeria. There is no doubt that in future, as has been demonstrated in the previous presentation, we would be reverting to the process used here and the register itself, to aid emergency assistance”.

On his part, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Mr Subham Chaudhuri commended the Federal Government for the initiative, noting that it as a critical component in the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While pledging the support of the World Bank for the project, Mr Chaudhuri emphasized the need for stakeholders to remain transparent in the selection and disbursement of the funds to the beneficiaries.

About 3,115 households received alerts of payments instantly at the flag-off of the project by the Vice President.

A total of 1 million households would be impacted directly under the scheme in the next 6 months.

The Cash Transfer scheme which is part of the ESP is designed to build a shock responsive framework for capturing and registering the urban poor and vulnerable populations across Nigeria. The RRR focuses mainly on the urban poor wards selected using scientifically validated methods of satellite remote sensing technology, machine learning algorithm and big data analysis.

Also present at the event were the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige; the representative of the European Union (EU) mission in Nigeria, Mr Ketil Karlsen, among others.

Report Anyone Who Asks You To Sell Your NIN, EFCC Tells Nigerians

A photo combination of the EFCC and NIMC logos, as well as a sample of the national identity card.

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has warned Nigerians against selling their National Identity Numbers (NINs).

It issued the warning in a statement on Thursday by the EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Mr Wilson Uwujaren.

The anti-graft agency also asked Nigerians to report anyone seeking to buy their NIN to the nearest office of the EFCC or other law enforcement agencies.

It explained that the warning became necessary as Nigerians struggle to acquire the NIN from the offices of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) across the country.

The EFCC revealed that it was informed that some corrupt persons were cashing in on the exercise to induce enrollees to sell their NIN for a fee.

It added that the buyers of the numbers were also trading with them to persons whose motives were anything but noble.

“The EFCC wishes to alert Nigerians that it is not only illegal to sell their NIN, they stand the risk of vicarious liability for any act of criminality linked to their NIN.

“In other words, they risk arrest and prosecution for any act of criminality linked to their NIN whether or not they are directly responsible for such crimes,” the statement said.

 

The statement comes ahead of the ultimatum issued to telecommunications operators in the country to disconnect Subscriber Identity Modules (SIMs) without NINs.

While thousands of Nigerians storm the NIMC offices daily for registration, the workers went on strike on Thursday in protest against poor working conditions and exposure to risk of contracting COVID-19, among other issues.

FG, States’ Budgets Are Too Small To Address Needs Of Nigerians, Says Akabueze


The Director-General of the Budget Office, Mr Ben Akabueze, has advised the government at the federal, state and local government levels to adequately address the needs of the people.

Akabueze, who featured as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, decried that the budgets were insufficient to meet the expectation of Nigerians.

He also stressed the need for more revenue generation aimed at improving the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“Our tax with GDP ratio is about the lowest in the whole world, not even talking about Africa.

“So, our budgets, not just of the federal, but of the sub-national governments are way too small to be able to address our needs in the way that people expect,” the budget office chief said.

He added, “Unfortunately, in the last five years, we have found ourselves first in recession in 2016 and just as we were turning the curve, the COVID-19-induced recession and during a recession, it is difficult to grow revenues.”

The Director-General of the Budget Office, Mr Ben Akabueze, was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on January 5, 2021.

According to Akabueze, the national budget does not equate to the Federal Government’s budget as perceived by most people.

He stated that all the analysis was always focused on the Federal Government’s budget, but the reality was that an aggregate of the budgets of the Federal, state, and local governments was way below the threshold where it should be.

The economist revealed that the aggregate public spending, as a percentage of Nigeria’s GDP, was about 50 per cent of the African average.

He explained that this was so because the nation’s public sector revenues were half of the African average.

Akabueze stated, “When people are talking about how much we are spending on education, they are talking about how much the Federal Government is allocating, whereas education is a matter on the concurrent legislative list… people really don’t look in that direction and expect the Federal Government’s budget to solve every problem.

“So, every community in the country is looking to see some provision for it in the Federal Government’s budget and it really cannot be that way.”

Peter Obi Blames Nigerians For Celebrating Criminality, Praising Looters

Peter Obi at the Presidential Election Petition Panel in Abuja on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. PHOTOS: Sodiq Adelakun/ Channels TV

 

Former Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, has called on Nigerians to stop celebrating people who loot the nation’s resources.

Obi who featured as a guest on Channels Television’s special end of the year programme on Thursday stressed the need for true democracy in the country.

He said, “I still blame the people who watch the sharing (of loots) go on and celebrate criminality. The people continue to praise those who steal money; they give them awards and titles.”

“We need to practice genuine democracy. It is not just the political class, but the people as well. People need to be part of this change.

“People are complacent. The people think you can leave it in the hands of the politicians; they have to demand that the right things happen,” the former governor added.

According to him, the actions of the politicians affect Nigerians directly and they must be committed that the right people are voted into office.

 

Looking For What To Grab

Obi, who was the vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections, decried that there were incompetent people who lacked the necessary capacity elected into political offices.

He attributed this to the present situation in which the country has found itself, stressing that the way to address the issue was to ensure Nigerians do the right thing and vote competent people into political offices.

“You saw the Financial Times publication saying we are a failed state, and you have to agree with them if you look at the state of the country; look at what happened in Katsina, what happened in Imo, where a Catholic priest was kidnapped. I can go on and on.

“We have become the highest in drug prevalence. We have overtaken India in under-five mortality. So, it affects the people,” the former vice presidential candidate said.

He added, “Our country is not productive, that is why our economy is not growing. While other nations are working hard to pull themselves out of poverty, ours are going the other way round. Everybody is looking for what to grab out of the system.”

NIN: Those Extorting Applicants Risk Seven-Year Jail Term – NIMC

We Are Set For Electronic Voting – NIMC

 

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has said that the ongoing enrollment for the National Identification Number (NIN) is free across the country.

In a tweet on Thursday, NIMC warned that those who extort applicants risk a seven-year jail term if found guilty of the offence.

While citing Sections 14, 20 and 21 of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) Act and Sections 10 and 12 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, NIMC said the offence is punishable in accordance with the laws.

The commission also asked Nigerians to report such cases of extortion for diligent prosecution to serve as a deterrent to others.

“The punishment for extortion if convicted is seven years of imprisonment as stipulated in Sections 14, 20 and 21 of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) Act and Sections 10 and 12 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act,” NIMC said.

“Report extortion via [email protected] or call 08157691214 or 08157691071,” the National Identity Management Commission added.

Christmas: ‘Salvation Will Surely Come’, PDP Asks Nigerians To Revive Their Hope

A photo combination of PDP logo and a Christmas tree.

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged Nigerians to use the Christmas and yuletide celebrations to rekindle hope and trust in God’s divine intervention in the affairs of the nation.

It made the appeal in a statement on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, to commemorate this year’s Christmas.

The party believes Christmas rekindles faith that all hope is not lost for Nigeria, claiming that the failures of the current administration have led to widespread economic hardship and worsened insecurity in the country.

It also decried that under the circumstances, most families have nothing to celebrate with as many were mourning the losses from the increased rate of insecurity.

“Nevertheless, we must keep hope alive and find strength in God’s unfailing intervention as demonstrated with the gift of salvation in the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Indeed, Christmas offers us a great lesson as a nation that no matter how long darkness, characterised by violence, oppression, economic repression, hunger, abuse of rights, disregard to the need of the people, and widespread corruption, as we have witnessed in the last five years, may appear to dominate, salvation will surely come as exemplified in the birth of the saviour,” the PDP said.

It added, “Our party, therefore, urges Nigerians to use this period to intensify their bond of unity, as well as comfort and reach out to one another in love so that the joy that Christmas brings would not be lost.”

The PDP stressed that Nigerian leaders must have some introspection, show remorse, and review their policies which it said have brought anguish to the people.

It prayed to God for healing, stability, and prosperity of the country, as well as blissful Christmas and yuletide celebrations.