Buhari Not In Support Of Fuel Subsidy Removal – Petroleum Minister

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Newsnight on January 24, 2022.

 

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, says President Muhammadu Buhari is not in support of the removal of subsidy on the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol.

Rather, he explained that the Federal Government planned to complete consultations before coming out with a clear policy direction on the matter.

“I will tell you categorically that at this moment, the complete removal of subsidy is not on our plate at all,” said Sylva during this week’s edition of Channels Television’s Newsnight.

“The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not in support of removing subsidy at this time,” he said.

READ ALSO: FG To Make Transport Subsidy Payment Digitally For At Least Six Months

The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had in November last year hinted that Nigeria would effect the complete removal of fuel subsidy in June 2022 and replace them with a N5000-a-month transportation grant to the poorest Nigerians.

Amid mixed reactions over the issue, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, last Tuesday said President Buhari never directed the removal of fuel subsidy.


NOTE: Watch Newsnight on Channels TV at 9pm on Monday.


Sylva, on his part, explained that the President’s position in opposing fuel subsidy was predicated on its effect on citizens at the bottom of the pyramid.

He also identified some of the options the authorities were considering regarding the issue.

“We are working out the processes,” said the minister. “Of course, we all know that it is a desirable policy direction. Of course, we know that it will have some impacts on the people and that is why we are trying to work out some of those things.

“Until those details are worked out properly with (the organised) labour, and with all the stakeholders in the sector, we will not remove the subsidy. At this moment, it is not on our plate, I can tell you that.

“This is something that needs to be worked out between the Federal Government and the states because this is a federation issue. We are working with the governors to see how we can continue with this policy direction of subsidising fuel for the foreseeable future.”

Buhari Should Waste No Time To Sign Amended Electoral Bill, Says Fayose

 

Former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to swiftly sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

He made the call on Wednesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, about a month after President Buhari declined assent to the bill over the direct primaries clause.

“Now that the National Assembly has done the right thing, he (Buhari) should waste no time at assenting to the bill and let the process have enough time to adjust,” the former governor said.

Following the rejection of the bill by the President and calls by some individuals and groups to do the needful, members of the National Assembly took a decisive step on Wednesday.

While the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives bowed to pressure to include the indirect option as another mode of conducting primaries, lawmakers in the upper chamber went on to add consensus as a third option.

Former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on January 19, 2022.

 

In his reaction, Fayose believes President Buhari is fond of giving excuses for refusing to sign bills passed by lawmakers.

READ ALSO: Wike Promises Rivers LG Chairmen At Least N20m Each To Fight Oil Bunkering

He recalled how the President first rejected the bill in the build-up to the 2019 general elections and advised him to leave a good legacy behind when he leaves the office.

“It is becoming common of President Muhammadu Buhari to dodge assent. Remember before the 2019 elections, he was supposed to sign this thing to law; he did not, he gave excuses,” Fayose said.

“I am not saying what the National Assembly did is right or wrong, but President Buhari should leave office and leave with a name that people will remember that he turned around the electoral process.”

If President Buhari refuses to sign the document again after the National Assembly re-amends the document, Fayose stated that Nigerians would suspect that there was more to his action.

Away from the electoral bill, Fayose also spoke about the 2023 general elections and the preparations of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the contest.

He is confident that Nigerians will dump the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for its failure to meet up with their expectations since its victory in 2015.

Buhari Condemns Drone Strikes In UAE

File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.e

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the drone strikes in the United Arab Emirates that caused explosions and a deadly fire outside the capital, Abu Dhabi.

Three people were killed when a deadly drone hit fuel trucks near the country’s airport in Abu Dhabi on Monday, causing multiple explosions.

READ ALSO: Buhari Never Directed Removal Of Petrol Subsidy, Says Lawan

Few hours after the incident, the President issued a statement via his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, where he described the attack as a worrisome escalation.

Buhari said such attacks targeting innocent people and civilian infrastructure, leading to the loss of lives were condemnable by all reasonable opinions around the globe and should be stopped.

“On behalf of the government and the people of Nigeria, we express our deepest sympathies and condolences to the people and the friendly state of the UAE,” Buhari was quoted to have said.

President Buhari urged restraint to give dialogue and engagement a chance.

Buhari Never Directed Removal Of Petrol Subsidy, Says Lawan

A file photo of an attendant filling the fuel tank of a car.

 

The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan on Tuesday said that President Muhammadu Buhari has not directed anyone in his administration to implement the removal of petroleum subsidy.

He stated this after meeting with the President in his office, disclosing that he met Buhari to convey the concerns of his constituents on various issues including the proposed removal of subsidy.

Briefing State House correspondents in Abuja, the Senate President said that lawmakers are worried about the agitations and protests across the country on the matter, which prompted the discussion with the President.

READ ALSO: Work Ongoing On Review Of 1999 Constitution – Lawan

“He didn’t tell anybody that we should go remove petroleum subsidy. And those of us who represent the people know how people are already stressed over and again . . . it is going to be too much for them,” Lawan said.

Lawan further questioned the claim that Nigerians consume a hundred million litres of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) daily.

The Senate President explained that while it is impossible to consume that much within the boundaries of the country alone, there is a need to critically investigate to discover the truth.

Speaking further, he blamed the smuggling of petroleum products on the failure of the government to contain the menace, a situation that has pushed the burden of payment on the ordinary citizen.

He said, “I know and I agree that the subsidy is very heavy. But I think we must never transfer the burden to the citizens. I believe that we need to look at the quoted figure of maybe 100 million liters that people claim we’re consuming.

“Is it real? I mean is it either under-recoveries of subsidy? Is it really 100 million liters per day? How on earth are we consuming that? We need to look at this critically and see how we can find the truth.

“I am not convinced that within the boundaries of Nigeria we are consuming 100 million liters, probably neighbouring countries may be benefiting from this. Can’t we do something about it? It is a failure on us if we are not able to control it.”

PDP Governors Ask Buhari To Restructure Nigeria’s Security Architecture

 

Governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to restructure Nigeria’s security architecture.

The governors, who met in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Monday, made their demand via a communique issued to journalists after their meeting.

They took a swipe at the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government in confronting the numerous security challenges, noting that the strategies deployed to confront terrorists, kidnappers, bandits and other criminals is still a major problem for the current administration.

PDP governors in a meeting in Rivers State on January 17, 2022.

 

“The meeting expressed regrets that Mr President is unwilling, from his recent comments discountenancing the proposals for state policing, to participate in reviewing the structural problems of tackling insecurity in Nigeria,” the communique read.

READ ALSO: PDP Governors Arrive In Rivers For Meeting To ‘Rescue, Rebuild Nigeria’

The governors want “Mr President to reconsider his position and consider decentralisation and restructuring of the security architecture as the most viable solution, together with proper arming, funding and training requirements for security agencies.”

In decrying the state of the economy, the PDP governors said the “Nigerian Economy has continued to deteriorate and Nigerians have become numb and accustomed to bad economic news as exemplified by the inconsistent and differential exchange rate regime, high interest rates, unsustainable unemployment figures and borrowing spree some of which have not been applied to important projects, and other bad economic indicators.”

They said that under the PDP government in 2015, the exchange rate was N198 per Dollar, it is now almost N500 to a Dollar under APC In 2015.

On unemployment, they knocked the Federal Government for the increasing number of unemployed Nigerians.

According to them, the unemployment rate was 7.3% under PDP, adding that it is now 33%, one of the highest in the world under APC.

The governors added, “In 2015, the Pump price of Petroleum was N87 per litre, it is  now N165 per litre and climbing under APC. Debt Servicing now under APC takes over 98% of the Federal budget. The tales of woe is endless.

“In particular, it is clear that the APC Government is a massive failure when compared with the records of PDP in government. The PDP handed over a $550 billion economy (the largest in Africa), but under APC, Nigeria is the Poverty Capital of the world.”

On the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, the governors asked the National Assembly to quickly conclude deliberations on the bill.

Specifically, they urged the federal lawmakers to either override President Buhari’s veto or delete areas of complaints.

The governors explained that an early concluded Electoral Act is vital for credible elections.

Buhari, Sanwo-Olu Pay Condolence Visit To Ernest Shonekan’s Family

President Muhammadu Buhari at the Shonekan residence in Lagos State on January 13, 2022.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday visited the Lagos residence of a former Nigerian leader, Ernest Shonekan.

Shonekan, the head of the Interim National Government between August 26, 1993, and November 17, 1993, died on Tuesday at a hospital in Lagos.

Two days after his demise, Buhari was in the Shonekan’s Ikoyi residence to commiserate with the deceased family.

READ ALSO: Former Nigerian Leader Ernest Shonekan Dies At 85

The President was accompanied by Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his Ogun and Yobe counterparts, Dapo Abiodun and Mai Mala Buni.

See photos below:

President Muhammadu Buhari at the Shonekan residence in Lagos State on January 13, 2022.

Buhari Visits Ogun State, Commissions Projects

President Muhammadu Buhari has paid a visit to Ogun State to commission some projects.

He arrived on Thursday morning and was received by dignitaries including the state Governor Dapo Abiodun; Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Ogun State former Governor Gbenga Daniel, among others.

The President in the company of Governor Abiodun commissioned the 14km Epe/ Ijebuode Express Road in the state.

 

At the Sagamu interchange, President Buhari was joined by Ogun State Governor Abiodun; Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi; Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu; Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Rauf Olaniyan.

At the interchange, President Buhari commissioned the Ogun city gate and the 42km Abeokuta/ Sagamu road.

Other projects to be commissioned include two housing projects. 527 units of a low and medium Housing Scheme at Kobape and the high-brow, 83 duplexes at the Kings Court Estate at Oke Mosan in Abeokuta, the state capital.

Thereafter, the President is expected to hold a town hall meeting with critical stakeholders and party faithful at the June 12 cultural centre in the state capital.

These projects according to the state government are expected to bring direct benefits to residents of the state and improve the socio-economic development of the state as one of the emerging economies in the country.

Buhari Endorses Establishment Of Diaspora Investment Trust Fund

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday endorsed the establishment of the Nigerian Diaspora Investment Trust fund (NDITF), a private sector investment window through which Nigerians in the diaspora can invest in the country.

At the presentation of a compendium entitled “+600 diaspora icons @ 60”, published by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission at the State House, President Buhari said that Nigeria is open to embracing the diaspora direct investment by compatriots abroad.

The President noted that the foreign exchange remittances by Nigerians in the diaspora have not only helped families but enhanced the development index of Nigeria while pledging support for the establishment of the diaspora intervention fund to support the commission to fulfill its mandate.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Amina Mohammed Reappointed UN Deputy Secretary-General

Buhari described the 327-page compendium as a historical record of the worth of our compatriots globally, adding that the distinguished list in the publication is a reminder of what Nigerians are capable of doing to the delight of the global community.

President Muhammadu Buhari receives a compendium “+600 Diaspora Icons” in State House on January 11, 2022. Credit: State House

 

“Irrespective of the few bad eggs among us, and every nation has such bad eggs, Nigeria remains a great country, populated by great people, living at home or abroad, making us proud,” Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina.

“This compendium attests to that fact and the names of people and the fields they have excelled in speak about their resilience and how exceptional Nigerians, both at home and abroad, have become.”

According to the President, it is the duty of Nigerians to extol and celebrate compatriots that excel in their chosen careers and professions.

He added, “No one else will do so for us. Rather, other people will tend to capitalise on the few bad eggs and characterise us in their own narratives, narratives that seek to characterise us in a bad light. We must not allow that to happen.

“As we launch the compendium of excellent Nigerians today, we are also celebrating some of our best, nationally and globally.

“I call on every Nigerian, irrespective of where they may be, to continue to be of exemplary behaviour and with determination to offer quality services that contribute to the progress of humanity.”

 

Nigeria Owes A Great Debt To Ernest Shonekan, The Peacemaker – Buhari

A photo combination of President Muhammadu Buhari and Ernest Shonekan.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has mourned the demise of Ernest Shonekan, the Nigerian leader who headed the Interim National Government, saying Nigeria owes a great debt to him.

Shonekan, who was the interim head of the Nigerian Government between August 26, 1993, and November 17, 1993, died on Tuesday at a hospital in Lagos.

President Buhari in a statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, said he received the news with profound sadness.

READ ALSO: Former Nigerian Leader Ernest Shonekan Dies At 85

He extended condolences to Shonekan’s wife, Margaret as well as the government and people of Ogun State.

“President Buhari believes that Nigeria owes a great debt to Chief Shonekan, the peacemaker, who even at the twilight of his life never stopped believing and working for a prosperous and democratic country,” the statement read.

“The President notes that Chief Shonekan demonstrated to all that the love for country and commitment to her development, peace and unity transcend the trappings of office and the transient nature of political power.

“On behalf of the Federal Government, the President extends deepest condolences to Chief Shonekan’s wife, Margaret, loved ones, as well as the government and people of Ogun State.

“As an internationally-respected statesman, President Buhari affirms that, with courageous wisdom, Chief Shonekan left his flourishing business career to become the Head of Government, at a delicate time when the country needed someone of his calm mien and pedigree to save the ship of state from sinking.

“The President prays that the memory of the departed Head of Government will remain a blessing to Nigeria even as he finds perfect peace with Almighty God.”

Buhari To Visit Ogun State On Thursday

File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari will embark on a state visit to Ogun State on Thursday, January 13.

The President was billed to visit the Gateway State on December 21, 2021 but the official visit was postponed indefinitely.

In a statement issued on Sunday by Kunle Somorin, the Chief Press Secretary to Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, the Commander-in-Chief is expected in the South-Western state this week.

READ ALSO: Man Arrested For Stabbing Mistress’ Husband To Death In Ogun

During the visit, Somorin said President Buhari will inaugurate some of the infrastructural projects executed by Governor Abiodun.

The President will be welcomed at the Gateway City Gate Monument Park, Sagamu Interchange, at 10 a.m, where the first project will be commissioned by him.

Apart from the Gateway City Gate, other projects expected to be inaugurated by President Buhari include Ijebu-Ode Mojoda-Epe expressway and two housing estates –  the 527-Unit low and Medium Kobape Housing scheme Kobape and the Highbrow, 83 duplexes at Kings Court Estate at Oke Mosan, Abeokuta.

The governor’s spokesman stated that invited guests are expected to be seated by 9.30 a.m at the City Gate by the Sagamu Interchange and Abeokuta expressway while observing all COVID-19 safety protocols strictly.

Nigeria Will Work With ECOWAS To Assist Mali, Says Buhari

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to assist Mali in every way possible within the ambits of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The president made the promise on Thursday when he received a special envoy from Mali’s Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga at the State House.

Buhari, according to a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adeshina, said that every country has its issues and even Nigeria had fought her own civil war, it is impossible to know the totality of the internal politics within Mali.

READ ALSO: 950 Terrorists, 537 Bandits Killed In Seven Months – DHQ

“I am pleased you have briefed the ECOWAS Chairman too,” said President Buhari. “Nigeria will work within ECOWAS limitations to assist Mali. Every country has its issues. We fought our own Civil War before, so we may not know the totality of the internal politics of each country. But we will make as much sacrifice as we can for Mali, within ECOWAS requirements.”

He also met with the head of the ECOWAS Mediation Team and former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan in a parley, at the state house.

At the parley, a special meeting of ECOWAS to further deliberate on the political situation in Mali, was scheduled to hold in Ghana on January 9.

WE’LL MAKE AS MUCH SACRIFICE AS WE CAN FOR MALI, WITHIN ECOWAS REQUIREMENTS, SAYS PRESIDENT BUHARI

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday received a Special Envoy from Col. Assimi Goita, the Transitional President of Mali, promising that Nigeria would do her level best for the sister country, within the requirements of ECOWAS.

Col. Abdoulaye Maiga, Mali’s Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization, led a team, which briefed President Buhari on Conclusions from the National Conference on State-Rebuilding, held in Bamako, December 27-30, 2021.

Responding to the comprehensive briefing, the President said nobody could love Mali more than Malians themselves, counselling that everyone should work within the tenets of ECOWAS, in order to restore constitutional order to the West African country at the shortest possible time.

“I am pleased you have briefed the ECOWAS Chairman too,’’ said President Buhari. “Nigeria will work within ECOWAS limitations to assist Mali. Every country has its issues. We fought our own Civil War before, so we may not know the totality of the internal politics of each country. But we will make as much sacrifice as we can for Mali, within ECOWAS requirements.”

The Special Envoy expressed gratitude to Nigeria for support to his country in terms of bilateral relations, and for the help rendered to the ECOWAS Mediation Team, led by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He said the vision of Col. Goita was speedy return to democracy, adding that Mali wants to review laws guiding elections, “and professionalize the process.”

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President

(Media and Publicity)

January 6, 2022

2023: Why I Won’t Disclose My Preferred Successor’s Identity – Buhari

 

Like many of the major political office holders in the country completing their term, it is believed that the President also has a candidate whom he prefers to succeed him.

However, President Muhammadu Buhari is not willing to reveal the identity of his anointed candidate for the safety of such a person.

READ ALSO: Chinese Loans: Anybody That Will Help Nigeria’s Infrastructure Is Welcome – Buhari

While responding to a question about who his preferred candidate was during an exclusive interview with Channels Television on Wednesday, he said “It is (a) secret.”

“No, I wouldn’t say because he may be eliminated if I mention. I better keep it,” the President stated with a smile.

President Muhammadu Buhari speaks during an exclusive interview on Channels Television on January 5, 2021.

 

When asked if he was interested in who eventually succeeds him, he responded, “No. Let him come, whoever it is.

“All important things, I’ll make sure that they are on record. Nobody should ask me to come and give any evidence in any court, otherwise whoever it is, he will be in trouble because all important things are on record.

“I think my legacy is that I try to make sure that we conduct ourselves with integrity. That means we stopped all the stealing as much as the system can allow; we stopped misappropriation and for Nigerians that is very important.”

President Buhari stated his readiness to sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, if the National Assembly would include the options of consensus candidate and indirect primary to the mode of selecting a candidate for an election, as against the initial direct mode as the only option to conduct primaries by political parties.

“There should be options, you can’t dictate to people and say you are doing democracy. Give them other options so they can make a choice,” he said.