Blair Holds Talks With Nigerian Governors’ Forum

tony blairA Former Prime Minister of Britain, Mr Tony Blair, is meeting with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to discuss areas of collaboration.

The meeting, which is being held at the Presidential Villa Abuja, is hosting the Tony Blair Foundation in the first of series of meeting with development partners geared towards good governance.

Mr Blair told the Governors that the dwindling oil prices and the attendant cash crunch called for change in the way things were done.

According to him, the Blair Foundation can collaborate with government at the state to bring about change in the country.

Before the meeting with the governors, Mr Blair held talks with the Chairman of the Forum, Governor Abdul’Aziz Yari of Zamfara State, where they discussed how the foundation could help state governments in the areas of health, education and Agriculture.

President Buhari Registers For National ID Card

Muhammadu-Buhari-at-meeting-with-Nigerian-officialsPresident Muhammadu Buhari has been registered for his National Identity Card by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) inside the Presidential Villa Abuja.

After the registration, the President  told reporters that the exercise was very important to confirm the nation’s population, those who are entitled to vote and those who are 18 years and above. He said it would complement the Permanent Voters Card.

President Buhari called on Nigerians, who want their votes to count from whichever party or constituency, to ensure that they and their families are properly captured.

The Director General of the NIMC, Mr Chris Onyemenam, also said that the exercise was not a one-off thing and that there was no time limit.

He said it was a continuous exercise and that every enrollment centre that had been established would remain open forever, like branches of banks.

He added that the commission was taking deliberate steps to ensure that enrollment centres were opened in each local government.

Also from the data base, a record of seven million Nigerians have registered and in collaboration with other agencies, in the next three month the number will be quadrupled

NIPP Stations Will be Ready By June 2013- FG

The federal government says the 10 power plants under the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) will be ready this year.

Governor of Ekiti state, Dr Kayode Fayemi disclosed this while briefing State House Correspondents after the 25th meeting of the board of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo in the Presidential Villa.

The board confirmed the June 2013 deadline for distribution companies to finish their work while transmission companies will terminate their contracts by December 2013.

The board also noted that there was substantial gas available though still not enough, adding that the NNPC and Shell have given assurance about the supply of the product.

The board said it has budgeted N5.3 billion for its operations this year promising that issues of insecurity and settlement of administrative bottlenecks are now a thing of the past.

The NIPP was planned in 2004 as a fast track project with 10 power stations to address the issues of low electricity generation in the country.

Since its inception the project has been fraught with delays from insecurity to embezzlement of fund.

I expect at least 36 medals in next Olympics – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has raised the bar of performance in sports ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil as he charged Nigerian Athletes to bring home with 36 medals which must include at least five gold medals.

Also present at the retreat which took place on Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja was Vice President Namadi Sambo, the Senate President, David Mark, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal.

Others were members of the Federal Executive Council, sports administrators, security chiefs, captains of industries among others.

The president charged the state governors to look into areas of advantage so as to contribute one athlete in their own chosen advantageous area who will be amongst the Team Nigeria 2016 contingent.

Mr Jonathan said: “Every state has some level of comparative advantage in one form of sports or the order and if every state will promise Nigerians that we will give you a medal in this area and another medal in this area that means we are expecting 36 medals.

“Out of these 36 medals, at least five will be gold. I also believe that the private sector will play a key role. We know that in some countries, the private sector plays some key roles in sporting activities and not just trading or manufacturing sporting wares.”

The president further promised his administration’s commitment to ensure that Nigeria becomes the best sporting nation in Africa and among the top four sporting nations in the Commonwealth and ultimately rule the world.

Jonathan said the vision was not only realistic but was also achievable with hard work, greater sense of purpose and dedication.

The purpose of the retreat according to the president was to chart a new course for sports in Nigeria and reclaim the country’s past glory as well as restore happiness and glory to the sporting events.

Mr Jonathan observed that apart from its benefits in bringing joy to Nigerians, especially when the nation’s teams do well, no other sector of national life has a greater force for mobilising and uniting the people around a common purpose than sports.