Former Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdulahi Is New APC Spokesman

Former Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdulahi Is New APC SpokesmanThe former Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdulahi, is set to replace Mr Lai Mohammed as the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) after north central leaders adopted him.

His election held on Thursday at the Zonal Congress of the party in Abuja.

Among the delegates to the congress were Governors Simon Lalong of Plateau and Sani Bello of Niger States.

The congress was chaired by the National Vice Chairman of APC from the zone, Zakari Idde.

Abdulahi was unanimously confirmed via a voice vote by the delegates, after the Nasarawa State House of Assembly Deputy Speaker, Godiya Akwashiki, nominated him and was seconded by Senate Spokesman, Aliyu Abdullahi.

Mr Abdullahi told journalists after his emergence that he would adopt a fresh strategy on his new job as he was aware that the post is different from his former position of sports minister, as they “demand different approaches”.

“I have a fair understanding of what I am expected to do even though you never know until you really get there.

“What I can assure is that I will do the best I can, not only in the improvement of our party but also in contributing to the progress of this country especially at this challenging period,” he said.

On the pressure that comes with the office of the National Publicity Secretary for a ruling party, Abdulahi said that he had the experience to manage this.

“However, what I know is that every human being is under pressure. Mr President, the ruling party chairman and everybody including the journalists are under pressure. There will always be pressure because the expectations of people are very high.

“So, irrespective of the economic challenges, we have to continue to weather the storm especially now that I am brought in to be part of the process. All I can reassure is that I will give the best I can to ensure that we continue to move forward,” he said.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, held the position until hi appointment as Minister by President Muhammadu buhari.

Gov. Bello Urges Royal Fathers To Be Watchdogs

Royal FathersNiger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello has charged the traditional institution to remain the watchdogs of their domain for further maintenance of peace and to curtail any act capable of breaking law and order.

He made the appeal on Saturday, while presenting staff of office to the 17th Emir of Borgu, Barrister Muhammed Sani Haliru Dantoro, Kitoro IV in New Bussa, Borgu Local Government area of the state.

The Governor stressed the need for caution and vigilance on the part of the royal fathers so as to help fish out questionable characters in the society.

“I call on all traditional rulers to be more interested in what happens in their communities. You remain security watchdogs in your domain and by extension the state. You must avoid any criminal connivance, as this is capable of ruining any leader,” the Governor advised royal fathers.

He commended the support he has been receiving from state council of traditional rulers and called on the new Emir to extend same.

The Governor also urged him to bring his wealth of experience to bear in positioning his Emirate for greatness.

The newly installed Emir of Borgu, Barrister Muhammed Sani Haliru Dantoro, Kitoro IV promised to be fair to all his subjects and called on them to come up with meaningful ideas on how to move the Emirate forward.

The royal father, whose late father was a former Senator during the botched 3rd republic, called on political leaders in the country to bury their differences for the development, progress and unity of the country.

The royal father, who was apparently referring to the crisis within the ruling party said, “Let all leaders of change bury their differences, work for the unity and for the progress of the country in the memory of my late father”.

President Muhammadu Buhari, a turbaned chief of the emirate was represented by the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello and Hon. Abu Bawa Bwari, Minister of State, Ministry of Solid Minerals.

Other attendees include, the Governor of Sokoto State, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Idris Ibrahim and former military governor of the state, Colonel Lawan Gwadabe and Ambassador designate, Hon. Ahmed Ibeto

The ceremony was witnessed by many royal fathers from across the six geo-political zones with the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad, Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi and Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahay Abubakar leading the pack.

Blame Parents For Child Beggars In Northern Nigeria – Gov. Bello

Child beggars, Almajiris, Northern NigeriaNiger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, has blamed parents for the influx and high rate of child beggars, otherwise known as Almajiris, on the streets of across major towns in the northern region of Nigeria.

He accused parents of abandoning their responsibilities of bringing up children under the guise of religion by sending their wards far away from home to seek Islamic knowledge without anything to support them.

The Governor made this observation when he paid host to the new State Comptroller of Immigration, Mrs. Tamuno Oyedeji in his office in Minna.

He stated that gone were the days when people go afar to seek Islamic knowledge stressing that there were enough Muslim Clerics spread across the region and it was callous and inhuman to send a child from far towns to Minna in other to acquire Islamic education.

Governor Sani Bello, who described the development as unacceptable, lamented that these children are left not catered for, stressing that the state government would do everything possible to protect such vulnerable children so that they don’t become menace to the society.

“We are also fine-tuning some laws in this regard with the hope that it would bring enduring solution to the problem. But in the main time, we have decided to send these child beggars on the street back to their parents”, the Governor added.

The Governor then pledged to sustain the joint patrol with the Immigration Service in the state in order to intensify patrol within the state and across its borders with Niger and Benin Republics to check irregular migrants.

He called on officers of the service to put an eagle eye and pay attention to entry flights into the country, especially those returning pilgrims, in other to apprehend those who might sneak in illegally.

Governor Sani Bello promised to assist the state command of the Immigration Service with logistics to boost its monitoring and surveillance across the state.

The new State Comptroller, Mrs. Tamuno Oyedeji acknowledged the continued support of the state government to the Immigration Service.

She gave the assurance that they would work with relevant stakeholders to ensure sustainable peace and stability in the state.

Niger Governor Commissions 50 Million Naira Beji Electrification

Niger State, Abubakar Bello, Beji ElectrificationThe Niger State Governor, Sani Bello, has commissioned a 50 million Naira Beji electrification project in Bosso Local Government to complete the community’s long awaited connection to the national greed.

The Governor, during the commissioning at Beji, regretted that the town had been in darkness and has been neglected since the creation of Niger State despite promises made by the immediate past government adding that connecting the town to the national greed was long overdue.

Bello stated that the commissioning was in fulfilment of his administration’s campaign promises to the people of Beji and environs while assuring to do more for other communities.

In his remark, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructural Development, Abdulmalik Cheche, said that it was worthy of commendation that the present administration deemed it necessary to electrify Beji.

In fulfilment of APC’s promise to the community, he said that the project would surely boost the economic base of the people.

Cheche said that the project cost the state government about 50 million Naira and gave the assurance that the administration of Governor Sani Bello would gradually fulfill all its promises.

He charged the people to take ownership of the project and guard the equipment jealously to the benefit of their people, promising that other communities would benefit same within the next one year.

He also commended them of their peaceful conduct throughout the execution of the work and charged them to sustain the tempo.

He added that the project was meant to impact the three senatorial zones of the state. Wushishsi, Gbako, katcha, Shiroro and Chanchaga local governments will benefit from the project.

In same vein, the State Assembly member representing Bosso Local Government, Abdulmalik Madaki Bosso, applauded the state government for the stride.

He expressed joy that his constituency became the first to benefit from the electrification project but warned the residents to desist from vandalism.

Niger State Governor Promises Better Healthcare Services

Healthcare ServicesNiger State Governor, Sani Bello, has assured the people of the state that his administration will ensure the provision of good, functional and accessible medical services.

He gave the assurance when he flagged off the project tagged ‘500 Free Eye Surgical Operation’ jointly organised by the state government and a Saudi Arabia based non-governmental organisation at the IBB Specialized Hospital, Minna.

The Governor assured rural dwellers of his administration’s commitment to ensuring that adequate healthcare facilities are provided to rural areas where more indigent patients with various kinds of ailments abound.

Flagging off the free eye treatment, Bello said that the programme would concentrate on removal of cataract, rectifying of eye lenses as well as giving of glasses where necessary in order to reduce blindness in the state.

“We discovered that some people in rural areas have been carrying different diseases such as Cataract, Hernia and Goiter for 30 to 40 years and cannot afford treatment.

“We will sustain this type of projects and more of this programme will come up, it is going to be a continuous process.

“Hopefully by next week we will have another intervention. Another set of surgeons will carry out free operation for those suffering from Hernia, Goiter and other diseases,” he said.

Conducting the Governor round the male and female wards where those operated on were kept, Niger State Eye Coordinator, Dr. Jibril Isah, explained that the free eye cataract surgery was for 500 people with 20 persons from each local government area of the state.

Isah said that 108 persons have since been operated on by 12 experts involved in the five-day exercise. According to him four surgeons each from Saudi Arabia, National Eye Center Kaduna and four from the state were attending to the patients.

He further said that aside from the surgery, the Saudi Arabia partner provided 1,000 eye glasses and eye drops to aid the exercise.

The Commissioner for Health and Hospital Services, Dr. Mustapha Jibrin, said that the state government was expending 11 million Naira on the exercise.

One of the beneficiaries, Abdullahi Abubakar, who spoke on behalf of others, expressed gratitude to Governor Sani Bello for the kind gesture shown to them and prayed for a successful administration.

Niger State Governor Orders Payment Of LG Workers

Sani-Bello-Niger--WorkersNiger State Governor, Sani Bello, has directed the immediate release of March salary to the staff of local government councils in the state.

He hinged the delay in payment on the ongoing verification of the entire workforce on the Niger State government payroll and that of the 25 local government councils of the state.

The Governor gave the directive on Wednesday when he paid an unscheduled inspection to the venue of the ongoing verification exercise of local government staff at the Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi International Conference Centre in Minna.

Majority of the council workers said that they were not opposed to the staff audit but expressed displeasure at suffering being experienced in the conduct of the exercise.

Moved by the plight of the workers who came from afar for the exercise, Governor Bello directed the release of the salaries of the council workers immediately, in order to ease hardship on their families.

“I want to appeal to you all to be patient, I have directed the release of everybody’s money (March Salary) and you people should go back to your councils,” he said.

The Governor noted that government was not unmindful of the hardship experienced by the civil servant, insisting that the verification must be carried out so as to fish out ghost worker in the system.

“I wish to assure every one of you that the verification exercise was not a punitive measure targeted at anybody (but) the staff audit is a necessity.

“You all can bear with us that since the inception of this administration, we have always paid workers as and when due but we need to get our figures right, hence this exercise,” he added.

Justifying the staff audit, Governor Bello lamented that the revenue accrued to the state from the Federation Account could not accommodate the wage bill of the state.

“We have a very high wage bill we cannot accommodate. This month (March) alone, the whole money we got from (the) Federal Government is 2.69 billion Naira and our wage bill is N2.4 billion. We have to borrow over 400 million Naira from the bank, so, the verification must continue,” he said.

He pleaded with the council workers to exercise patience and told them that the verification exercise would be rested for a while to enable government fine-tune some identified lapses in the exercise and continue it in a more organised manner.

Governor Bello Asks Judiciary To Embrace Zero Tolerance For Corruption

Niger-governor bello on JudiciaryThe Governor of Niger State, Sani Bello, has emphasised the need for the judiciary to embrace the change philosophy and zero tolerance for corruption mantra endorsed by the present administration.

Governor Bello made the call on Wednesday in Minna, the capital of Niger State, during a dinner and launch of a book entitled “Triennium of Chief Judgeship: Policies, Milestones and Legacies of Honourable Justice Fati Lami Abubakar, CON” and written in honour of the eminent Jurist on her retirement as the Chief Judge of Niger State.

Governor Bello maintained that the “judiciary cannot afford to be in the back seat in this new partnership for good governance”.

“It is essential at this point to re-emphasise the dire need for our Judges and all accompaniments of the judiciary to embrace the change philosophy and the zero tolerance for corruption drive that this administration endorsed.

“As custodians of judicial system, you all have the most moral obligation to steer the state from a society bedevilled by the incessant injustice,” he stressed.

The Governor then urged officers in the temple of justice to strive to bridge the gap between accusations and corresponding prosecution.

He also counselled the judiciary to consciously do everything possible to continuously gain the confidence for members of the public.

Governor Bello commended the retiring Chief Judge for her achievements and described her as a peculiar person with high sense of passion for human development; one who has a story with good ending and has lived an exemplary life in service.

A former Chief Justice of the country, Hon Justice Alfa Belgore, who chaired the occasion, recalled the landmark achievements of Justice Abubakar both in the bar and bench.

He said: “She is a role model, a faithful wife, compassionate mother and an exemplary public servant”.

Justice Fai Lami Abubakar, who was so elated by the volume of encomium showered on her, attributed her achievements to God and to the implicit confidence people had in her.

Also at the occasion were a former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, the husband of the honouree and a former military head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, former governor of Kaduna State, Mr Abbah Rimi, former Niger State Governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu and Senator Zaynab Kure.

Niger State Governor Tells Nigerians To Be Hopeful

nigerThe Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has urged Nigerians to remain hopeful for a better tomorrow as the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC) is poised to re-position the country to the path of glory in the comity of nations.

Governor Bello, in a message to mark this year’s Christmas celebration, prayed for a brighter future for the nation.

“Though the country maybe going through hard times, we should not be despair. We should not be despondent. This hard time will soon be over.

“All we need do as a people is to be hopeful, united, support the government and be committed to the change mantra of the All Progressives Congress to move the country forward,” Governor Bello advised.

He recalled that Jesus Christ was given birth to at a critical moment of human history and noted that his birth which is being celebrated worldwide today brought hope, reconciliation and restoration of man to his creator.

“It is in the light of this that I want to advise all Nigerlites and indeed all Nigerians, irrespective of our religious differences to remain focused and hopeful for a better tomorrow.

“We have a government both at state and national levels that are poised to make the difference and put the nation on the path of glory.”

The Governor also congratulated Christians in the state and wished them a peaceful celebration but called for moderation and caution during the yuletide season.

He assured the people of the state of his resolve to pursue the restoration agenda of the ruling party in the state in the New Year and called for patience and understanding.

Dangote’s $ 12billion tops Forbes list of Africa’s wealthiest

For the second year running, Nigerian business mogul, Aliko Dangote has topped Forbes Africa’s 40 richest list with a net worth of $ 12billion, up from $10.1 billion in November 2011.

According to Forbes, most of his net worth lies in Dangote Cement PLC, a company which operates in 14 African countries.

The list of wealthiest Africans features 12 Nigerian business tycoons including telecoms and oil magnate, Mike Adenuga, who was ranked in the 5th position with a net worth of $4.6 billion from his companies.

Former Zenith Bank’s boss, Jim Ovia, was ranked in the 19th position with a net worth of $825 million while Abdulsamad Rabiu, who heads BUA Group is ranked 21st with a net worth of $675 Million.

Folorunsho Alakija, who is one of the only two women on the list was ranked 24th with a net worth of $ 600 Million.

Mrs Alakija was amongst the notable newcomers on the list and according to Forbes, she joined the wealthy list “due to her stake in the prolific Agbami oil field.”

73 year old former Minister of Defense, Mr Theophilus Danjuma with a net worth of $600 Million was ranked at the 24th position, while the founder of Honeywell Group, Oba Otudeko, who also sits as the chairman of a number of blue-chip companies in Nigeria, was ranked 26th with a net worth of $575 Million.

At the 27th position is Mohammed Indimi with a net worth of $550 Million from the oil and gas sector, while 82 years old, O.B. Lulu-Briggs also made the list on the 31st spot with a net worth of $500 Million from the oil sector as well.

On the 37th position is Sani Bello, former Nigerian military governor from Kano state and a one-time ambassador to Zimbabwe with a net worth of $425 Million.

The last Nigerian mentioned on the list is Hakeem Belo-Osagie, the 57 year old Harvard-trained Petroleum Economist and chairman of Etisalat Nigeria, with an estimated $400 Million net worth from the oil sector.

South African, Nicky Oppenheimer, came in the second rank following Aliko Dangote for the second year running as the second richest on the continent, with a $6.4 billion fortune – down $100 million from the previous year.

According to the statement by Forbes, “South Africa, the continent’s economic giant, is home to 12 of Africa’s 40 richest, followed by Nigeria, with 11. Egypt comes next, with 8 list members, and Morocco with 5.”