Buhari Will Re-present Borrowing Request To National Assembly – Adesina

femi adesina on Buhari's borrowing requestThe presidency in Nigeria says it will provide details requested for by the Senate and re-present the President’s borrowing request earlier returned by the Senate for lacking details.

A spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Femi Adesina, gave a hint on Sunday about the preparedness of the Presidency to re-present the document to the Senate on Channels Television’s programme, Politics Today.

“You notice that what the Senate said was that it needed more details about that bid for loan. It was not that it rejected it completely.

“If on the basis of that you do not re-present, it does not show you as a serious government in the first place.

“This is not a flippant government and before it asked for that kind of loan, it did its homework properly and if the Senate says it needs more details, that will be provided and re-presented,” Mr Adesina stated.

On whether there is perceived political undertone to the return of the document to the executive arm of government, the President’s spokesman said: “It is not about pride or individuals’ interests, but it is about our country. The Presidency is out to serve the people.

“It is an opinion of somebody in the Senate to say that the loan request document was shoddy

“You do not know at any particular time what is motivating that person to speak.

“At any given time, they are under-currents and you need to understand them at any given time”.

Giving further explanation to what he called under-currents, Mr Adesina said: “I meant politics. But what should be at play now should be national interest rather than politics.

“I think that politics is coming too much into play rather than the interest of the people”.

He also mentioned that the Presidency was planning to forward the 2017 budget to the National Assembly soon.

“We are recording better timing as regards the budget and it will come as soon as possible,” he stated.

Earlier on Sunday, a political analyst, Professor Abubakar Momoh, had expressed lack of confidence in the economic team of the current government.

He made the statement considering the current economic recession hitting the nation hard.

But Mr Adesina dismissed the opinion, saying “Nigeria is going through troubled times and we need level headed people that will lead us through this period”.

On whether the President will rejig his cabinet, as had been recommended by critics, the President’s spokesman said that President Buhari had the prerogative to rejig the cabinet if he felt they were under-performing.

ASUP Recommends Ways To Nigeria’s Economic Recovery

Agriculture-tomato-farmingKano state Deputy Governor, Professor Hafiz Abubakar has canvased the need for a paradigm shift in Nigeria’s agricultural policy and investment in order to achieve a desired result in the economic diversification efforts.

He made the call while declaring open the 13th national conference of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) holding in Kano.

Professor Abubakar said that for a long time Nigeria’s agricultural policy has been concentrating on promotion of production aspect, while ignoring other value chain of the sector.

“For Nigeria to fully harness its potential in agriculture, there should be holistic approach to promote agricultural value chains of production, processing and marketing,” he said.

Going by the UN prediction that in the next 35 years Nigeria will be the third most populous nation in the world, Hafiz challenged politicians to down play political mobilization and promote economic mobilization in view of the huge challenges facing the country.

He noted that the crisis of Fulani herdsmen and farmers in most parts of Nigeria is “without any doubt a product of population explosion which forced the migration of herdsmen to areas where the grazing routes are yet to be taken over by residential buildings”.

Meanwhile Rector of Kano State Polytechnic, Professor Mukhtar Kurawa said mobilisation for mass economic activities in the country is a necessity for all stakeholders.

He added that the future of Nigerians depends heavily on how well they commit their energy to addressing the economic challenges of the country.

“The theme of this year’s conference is on the diversification of the Nigerian economy amidst global economic crisis, the idea of which is to provide sustainable measures that will help restore the nation’s current recession, therefore at the end of the conference, we will provide a communique of our recommendations on economic bail out in the country”.

During this five day conference, leadership of ASUP will be engaging and receiving opinions from farmers, members of Kano business community and all other stakeholders on economic mobilization of the country.

Electoral Institute Urges Continuous Use Of Card Readers

Elections, Card Readers, Electoral InstituteAn organ of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) responsible for research and training for electoral officers, the Electoral Institute (EI), has urged the commission to sustain the use of smart card readers in future elections.

The Director of the institute, Professor Abubakar Momoh, made the appeal at a forum in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Professor Momoh explained that the meeting was convened to discuss the gains and challenges of the use of smart card readers in the 2015 elections.

“The whole idea of this round-table is to have a conversation around what went wrong with the card readers in the 2015 general election (and) what were the unintended consequences and backlash from the use of the card readers.”

The EI boss described the use of the card readers in the 2015 elections as a game changer.

He stated that the innovation of the technology had helped to reduce instances of over-bloated voters register.

A former INEC National Commissioner, Mr Nuhu Yakubu, also appealed to INEC to sustain the use of the card readers in future elections.

Mr Yakubu was of the belief that the technology had set a new standard for elections in Nigeria.

“The use of the smart cards and the companion card readers had become the minimum standard for the conduct of elections by the commission.

“This must not only be sustained but be improved upon in future elections,” he said.

Other resource persons at the event highlighted some of the challenges experienced with the use of card readers during the last general polls which include rejection of cards, poor battery issues and inability to capture fingerprints among others.

Electoral Institute Stresses Need For Electoral Reform

Electoral Institute, Electoral ReformThe Electoral Institute says Nigeria needs to improve its electoral service delivery and get the reform process right in order to stabilise its democracy.

The Director-General of the Electoral Institute, Professor Abubakar Momoh, made the remarks on Thursday during a meeting with stakeholders in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

He said that although series of talks and committees had been formed to establish a panacea to credible elections, the independence of the nation’s electoral body had come into question.

Highlighting the role of the media, Professor Momoh pointed out that the issues of rising poverty, corruption and erosion of public institutions should not easily sway media practitioners.

He said that the media has a huge role to play in solving the many challenges bedevilling the nation’s electoral process.

The guest lecturer, who is a professor of Political Science at the University of Ibadan, Adigun Agbaje, posited that the attitude of politicians was largely to blame for Nigeria’s eroding democratic values.

Other experts at the gathering also cited the experience at the Edo State governorship election as one of the ways politicians erode the foundation of democracy.

They maintained that the culture of impunity during elections must be addressed.

The stakeholders said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s renewed focus on reforming the electoral process should be sustained to the letter.

The Federal Government had constituted an Electoral Reform Committee headed by a former Senate President, Mr Ken Nnamani.

The government said the committee was set up, not as an imitation of the Justice Mohammed Uwais’ panel, but to improve on the preceding one.

Electoral Institute To Develop Election Violence Mitigation Tool

electionThe Electoral Institute is planning to develop an election violence mitigation tool to aid the prevention of electoral violence across the country, instead of intervening at the points of violence.

The Director General of the Institute, Professor Abubakar Momoh, said that militarization, which is usually government’s response to election violence, is not a solution but rather development of mitigation strategies and standard instruments that will predict risk factors and triggers and nip violence in the bud.

The Acting Executive Director of the Cleen Foundation, Benson Olugbuo, also recommended two to three years early preparation for elections, saying it is a key tool to mitigation against electoral violence.

From Kogi State, to Bayelsa State and then to Rivers, there have been series of election violence that have resulted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declaring elections in those states inconclusive.

There have also been losses of lives and property resulting from these cases of violence and a constant deployment of the Police and the military to the trouble spots.

Another challenge to stopping electoral violence is the failure to try and sentence perpetrators and instigators of electoral violence in a law court.

This has been blamed for the increasing spate of cases of violence which heightens with every election as there is as yet, no form of deterrence for sponsors and perpetrators.