Buhari Departs Abuja For UK-Africa Summit

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has departed Abuja for London.

He is expected to participate in the inaugural UK-Africa Investment Summit holding on Monday, January 20th, 2020.

The summit is hosted by the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and it is expected to bring together African leaders, international business chief executives, and heads of international organisations.

Apart from highlighting new perspectives on UK-Africa Partnership for Prosperity, issues of Sustainable Finance and Infrastructure; Trade and Investment; Future African Growth Sectors and Clean Energy and Climate, are expected to dominate presentations and discussions during the Summit.

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President Buhari is accompanied by Governors Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya and Okezie Ikpeazu of Gombe and Abia States.

While in the United Kingdom, President Buhari will hold a meeting with the Head of the Commonwealth, Prince Charles in Glasgow, Scotland.

President Buhari and his delegation will also have bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Johnson as well as heads of multilateral organisations.

He is expected back in Abuja next Thursday.

No Law Compels Buhari To Publicly Declare His Assets, Says Adesina

 

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari is not under compulsion by any law, to declare his asset since his re-election in February 2019.

Mr Adesina who was on Channels Television Politics Today on Monday confirmed that President Buhari has already declared his assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau.

He questioned the Freedom of Information requests sent by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) to the Presidency, asking that President Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and 36 state governors and their deputies should declare their assets within 7 days, stating that there is no law compelling the President to declare his assets publicly.

“I can say for a fact that he has done because I am privy to it, and SERAP asking the president to declare publicly, on the basis of what law? The president will do what the law requires of him and what the law requires is that he should declare his asset which he has done. Declaring publicly is not in our laws; it can only be a voluntary thing.”

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The President’s spokesman pressed further to say that if the FoI is invoked in this case, it is left with the CCB to release the information, and it will also take the discretion of President Buhari to declare his assets where necessary.

“If the FoI act is invoked, it will be left with the Code of Conduct Bureau to release because the FoI act will not be for the president, the president has declared and it’s already deposited with the code of conduct, so it’s for them to respond if it is invoked.

“In 2015, they elected to make it public, if they want to make it public this time, they will do. Has the asset been declared? Yes, it has. If the president says they should release, it will be released, but there is no law that compels him to do it and we should obey the law,” he stated.

In SERAP’s request, dated 3 January 2020 and signed by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation stated that “The Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the FoI Act, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which is part of our laws, read together, impose transparency obligations on all public officials to publicly disclose information concerning their asset declarations submitted to the CCB, and to clarify any updated review of such assets.”

The organisation added that the non-public disclosure by public officials of their summary of assets seriously undermines the effectiveness and integrity of the constitutional and statutory obligations to submit asset declarations.

Guinea Bissau President-Elect Appreciates Nigeria’s Support For Election Success

President-elect of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissico Embalo, on Sunday paid a thank you visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja.

He praised President Buhari for his support leading to his emergence as winner in the elections and expressed his appreciation for the warm and friendly disposition of Nigeria towards him and the people of his country.

He informed President Buhari of his invitation and selection as the Guest of Honour at the Presidential inauguration coming up next month.

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Embalo was accompanied by the country’s Foreign Affairs Minister Suzi Barbasa as well as the country’s ambassador to Nigeria, Henrique Da Silva.

The president-elect, who is a businessman-turned-politician, was Prime Minister of Guinea Bissau under incumbent President Jose Mario Vaz between 2016 and 2018.

He founded the Movement for Democratic Alternative (MADEM-G15) on which platform he won December 29th rerun.

See photos from the visit below…

Buhari’s Statement On Overseas Treatment Is Self-Indicting, Says PDP

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s comment on overseas treatment as self-indicting and raises public apprehensions on high-level deceits in governance.

The PDP said the comment is ‘ridiculous’, owing to what they say that President Buhari leads on the medal table of persons who patronize foreign hospitals for treatment and even check-ups.

According to a statement by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan on Sunday, the administration of President Buhari has failed to provide adequate healthcare in the country, stressing that he cannot turn around to preach to other citizens against foreign treatment.

“While the PDP does not approve of proliferated foreign medical tourism, especially by leaders and public office holders, our party holds that a leader who has failed to lead by example and whose government has neglected and wrecked our healthcare systems lacks all rectitude to issue directives against foreign treatment.

“Consequently, the PDP urges President Buhari to show an example by patronizing a Nigerian public hospital on his next medical appointment so that he can experience the healthcare reality that our citizens have been subjected to under his government.”

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The party stated that the current administration has not done enough to improve the healthcare sector in the country after the PDP had introduced ‘robust’ programmes.

“Mr. President can then discover that our health system has suffered untold neglect under his watch, leading to dilapidated infrastructure, empty drug shelves, decrepit and worn-out equipment, brain drain and a demoralized workforce worse than his 1983 recollections.

“It is even more disheartening that all the investments and robust programmes of successive PDP administration, including the comprehensive National Strategic Health Development Plan, Saving One Million Lives Initiatives, National Health Insurance Scheme, among others, have been degraded and impaired by the dysfunctional APC administration.

“Nigerians recall that under the PDP administration, new technologies and modern medical equipment were available in most federal medical institutions where cases such as cancer, kidney, heart and brain ailments for which Nigerians are now mostly seeking overseas treatment were effectively handled in our country.”

The party decried the budgetary allocation for healthcare since the APC took over administration in the country, stressing that the N427.3bn captured in the 2020 budget cannot meet the needs of over 186 million Nigerians.

“Under the PDP administration, the dreaded Ebola outbreak was managed without grave consequences. If such a medical emergency, God forbid, breaks out today, it would be devastating to our nation given the poor handling of our healthcare system by the APC administration.

“Even in the 2020 budget, only N427.3bn (4.5% of the budget) is provided for the health need of over 186 million Nigerians. Indeed, this is not the way to go,” the party added.

Third Term: APC Never Thought Of Presenting Agenda To President Buhari – Gov Sule

 

Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule has said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a party never thought of presenting the idea of a third term to President Muhammadu Buhari ahead of the 2023 presidential election.

The governor who was on Channels Television Politics Today said that to the best of his knowledge, the idea was never thought of, owing to the understanding the party has about President Buhari.

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He stressed that there are some people who belong to the school of thought that owing to his respect for the rule of law, President Buhari will not begin to manoeuvre and change the constitution in order for him to remain in power.

“Whether the President says he is leaving or not, people like us believe he will leave because of his credibility and his rule of law and he is ensuring that he will leave by the constitution.

“So this is not the president that will begin to manoeuver and change the constitution in order for him to remain in power.”

Engineer Sule debunked the insinuation that such news is being peddled in the party, stressing that even if it exists; it will never see the light of day.

“I think the APC had never even thought about a third term agenda if it did, I was never a part of it because the man being talked about will not accept it.

“Therefore I don’t think anybody will carry this kind of news and face the president about third term agenda, so if there is such news, I don’t think it will fly.”

My Govt Will Inaugurate 47 Road Projects, 13 Housing Estates In 2020 ― Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari says in 2020, his government will complete 47 ongoing road projects, including those leading to the nation ports, and major bridges including substantial work on the Second Niger Bridge. 

In a letter to Nigerians to commemorate the New Year, the President assured Nigerians that he will also complete within the course of the year 13 housing estates under the National Housing Project Plan.

He further revealed that the Lagos, Kano, Maiduguri and Enugu international airports will also be inaugurated in 2020.

The President also assured Nigerians that an agricultural rural mechanisation scheme that will cover 700 local governments over a period of three years will be launched as well as the Livestock Development Project Grazing Model in Gombe State where 200,000 hectares of land has been identified.

Speaking specifically about the first quarter of 2020, President Buhari said the training of 50,000 workers to complement the country’s 7,000 extension workers will be carried out.

Staying with the first-quarter goals, the President also promised that the commissioning of the Lagos – Ibadan, and Itakpe – Warri rail lines will be taken care of, while the Ibadan – Abuja, and Kano – Kaduna rail lines will also commence.

‘I Support Eco Greatly’, Adesina Tips Nigeria To Adopt ECOWAS Unified Currency

 

President of the Africa development bank (AfDB), Akinwunmi Adesina, has declared support for the recently adopted ‘Eco’ unified currency for West African countries.

The Eco which will be replacing the CFA franc has been adopted by eight ECOWAS francophone countries namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo, with Ghana also showing serious interest.

The adoption which was declared by the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) is expected to be introduced in 2020.

Adesina who paid a courtesy visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the statehouse on Tuesday revealed that some criteria’s would have to be met before the region can fully be integrated.

He explained that the initiative is a great idea, owing to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which will bring over $3.3 trillion in terms of trade to the region.

“I think that at the end of the day the biggest thing to happen to Africa is the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA); that free trade area itself is worth over $3.3 trillion in terms of trade.

“Obviously being able to trade in various currencies, it’s not optimum to trade in so many currencies. So it makes common sense to have a unified currency and of course for that to even been achieved – the Eco, I support Eco greatly, I think it’s a great idea to do.

“But obviously, there are a number of convergence criteria that would have to be met and I am sure that our President is talking with other presidents to be sure that they can meet those criteria and the region can be fully integrated,” he added.

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On the issue of pegging the Eco with the Euro in valuation, Mr Adesina stressed that the region needs to ensure well-integrated monetary and fiscal policies.

“The issue for us is going to be how to have a well-integrated monetary policy and fiscal policy within the region, which is the most important thing first, and then you figure out the rest later.

“But I am very encouraged with the progress of the Heads of State on this particular issue, and I am very confident that President Muhammadu Buhari will make even greater progress on that,” he expressed.

The AfDB boss who was recently endorsed by the ECOWAS Heads of State for a second term as President of AfDB said the bank is working towards bridging the roughly $68 billion to $108 billion infrastructure financing gap in the region.

He recommended that the $1.8trillion sovereign wealth and pension fund can be used to close very quickly the infrastructure gap talked about.

“When it comes to the issue of even trade and competitiveness, at the end of the day you have basic things that have to be done. Today Africa has an infrastructure gap of about roughly $68 billion to $108 billion infrastructure financing gap.

“When it comes to the issue of attracting capital to do that, there are three things that I will say: first, we have to also look at home. Today in Africa, the size of the sovereign wealth fund and pension fund and insurance pull of fund (mutual funds) is about $1.8trillion. If we can just tap a little bit of that, we will close very quickly the infrastructure gap that we are talking about,” he said.

Cabals Are Respectable Nigerians, They Deserve Respect – Garba Shehu 

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu (file photo)

 

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, has denied claims that cabals are powerful people controlling President Muhammadu Buhari in key decision making.

Shehu, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday said contrary to beliefs that cabals manipulate the President, they are respectable Nigerians who deserve respect because they have achieved a lot.

The presidential aide who accused Nigerians of coining the words recalled that people believed former Presidents Umaru Yar’adua and Goodluck Jonathan’s cabinets were influenced by cabals.

“A lot of people who are being dragged into this cabal thing, they are respectable Nigerians who have achieved a lot for themselves and for the nation. They are not there as hungry people who are there to grab things for themselves,” he said.

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Shehu who noted that it is a privilege appointed into the President’s cabinet said one wouldn’t have been chosen by the President if not for trust.

He, therefore, warned that Nigerians not to brand people cabals simply because they offered to serve the nation by being close to the President.

“Nigerians have formed the practice by labelling people that are in some advisable positions of the President as a cabal.

“People (cabals) should not be labelled negatively simply because they have offered themselves to support the President of this country,” he stated.

His comments come less than a week he reportedly said there is nothing wrong in having ‘cabals’ around the President Buhari in the daily running of the government.

Ensure Your Source Of Information Cut Across, Buhari Tells US Envoy

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the United States of America (USA) to ensure that its sources of information on Nigeria cut across all sectors owing to what he described as ‘misleading and manipulative’ narratives by some people.

Nigeria recently was placed on a Special Watch List of countries that had engaged in or tolerated the severe violation of religious freedom by the US Government.

President Buhari who received Letters of Credence of United States of America Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms. Mary Beth Leonard, said the recent listing of Nigeria for human rights concerns created an impression that some people were being unfairly treated or marginalized in the country.

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In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, President Buhari urged the envoy to use the opportunity of her posting to Nigeria, with her experience, knowledge, and energy to get the facts on the country.

“I know that those with access have created an impression of being marginalized.

“I sit here with a clear conscience. I took an oath and I am honouring the office.

“It is not an easy task to work for the unity of the country, and I am doing my best. During your stay in the country I am asking you to ensure that your sources of strategic information cut across,’’ he added.

President Buhari said he took some time to explain the situation in the country when he met with President Donald Trump in Washington DC as the American President expressed concern with reports of attacks on segments of the society.

Third Term: Buhari Is A Democrat, He Respects The Constitution, Says Presidency

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

The Presidency has reiterated that President Muhammadu Buhari is not seeking a third term agenda as suggested by uninformed commentaries.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, stressed that there are no circumstances under which a constitutional amendment with regard to extending the two-term limit will be carried out.

He stated that President Buhari will be serving his full term in office which ends in 2023.

“The Presidency wishes to correct internet-based gossip and uninformed media commentary regarding presidential term limits, given credence by so-called support groups, staging street demonstrations asking President Muhammadu Buhari to do a third term.

“There are no circumstances – nor set of circumstances – under which President Buhari may seek to amend the Constitution regarding the two-term term limit on holding office as President.

“President Buhari intends to serve his full second elected term in office, ending 2023 – and then there shall be a general election in which he will not be a candidate.”

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Mr Shehu noted that despite the fact that there were attempts to change the constitution in the past, it does not make the move right and such an attempt will be rejected under President Buhari.

“There is not even the faintest possibility that this will change.

“It is important to note that there was a past attempt to change the Constitution to allow for the then incumbent president to stand for a third term. That attempt was wrong, unconstitutional – and rightly rebuffed. No such attempt will happen under this President.

“President Buhari is a democrat. He respects the Constitution. Any activity aimed at altering the two-term limit will not succeed and shall never have his time nor support.”

“The President will have nothing more to say on this matter – apart from to repeat this statement, ad infinitum – that he will not be seeking, accepting, nor standing for a third term,” he added.

Wherever There Is Disorder, You Cannot Kill Corruption – Ashimolowo

 

President of Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) Global, Matthew Ashimolowo has said that corruption can only be reduced to its barest minimum if there are order and a system that kills the act.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Newsnight programme, Mr Ashimolowo stated that President Muhammadu Buhari has good intentions, but needs subordinates that can pilot the affairs.

“The President has good intentions, a good passion but in my own opinion, he is just like every good leader should be; must have a helicopter view of what he wants. But the microcosms should be dealt with by the subordinates under him.

“If the president says he wants a government that kills corruption, then the people around him should now come up with the systems that make corruption difficult.

“We need those who will take the vision of the president and turn it to systems so that even if you wanted to do it, you were not allowed.”

 

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He added that despite the fact that corruption cannot be killed, it can be reduced through a system that is captured at the lower level.

“Wherever there is disorder, you cannot kill corruption, for you to kill corruption, you must create order and people who like corruption, hate your order.

“Corruption can be stopped, maybe not 100 percent.

“When we talk about corruption, the passion of the president is so right that there is a need for a system that makes the helicopter view of the president captured at the microcosm level.”

President Buhari Joins Other African Leaders For ECOWAS Session Today

President Buhari with R-L: Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama, President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou and ECOWAS President Jean Claude Brou during the 55th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS in Abuja on 21st Dec 2019. Credit: State House

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday joined other African leaders for the 56th Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of state and Government.

The President arrived at 11:08am for the Banquet Hall venue of the State House in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

In his welcoming address, the President said the greatest challenge facing the Ecowas region is terrorism, citing the recent killing of about 70 military personnel in Niger Republic.

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He however restated the Nigerian government’s commitment towards devising new strategies and initiatives for inclusive economic growth among the people of the region.

Participants at the session included the President of the ECOWAS commission, Jean-claude Kassi Brou, the Chairman of the Authority and President of Niger Republic Issoufou Mahamadou.

Others were former Head of State Yakubu Gowon, President of the African Development Bank, Akinwunmi Adesina as well as the Representative of the United Nations’ Secretary General, Mohamed Ibn Chambas.