Buhari Holds Meeting With New SGF, Boss Mustapha

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met the newly appointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, at the State House in Abuja.

It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari on October 30, 2017, appointed Mr Mustapha as the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation. This was after the President accepted the recommendation of the panel to terminate the appointment of the suspended Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Babachir Lawal.

See photos of Mustapha’s visit to Buhari at the State House, today, below:

Buhari Approves New Heads For BPE, PPPRA, 21 Others

Buhari Approves New Heads For BPE, PPPRA, 21 OthersNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday approved the replacement of Heads of 23 Federal Government agencies.

A statement by the Director of Press in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Bolaji Adebiyi, said all the appointments take immediate effect.

The statement named Barrister Julie Okah-Donli as the Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), and Barrister Mary Ikpere-Eta as the Director-General of the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD).

Mr Bayo Somefun is the Managing Director for the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), while Tijani Suleiman, Jasper Azuatalam and Kemi Nelson are Executive Directors of the Fund.

The Federal Mortgage Bank (FMB) has Arc. Ahmed Dangiwa as its Managing Director, while Melvin Eboh is the Executive Director (Org. Resourcing), Mrs Rahimatu Aliyu is the Executive Director (Loans Department, Securities Issuance and Market Development), and Umaru Dankane is the Executive Director (Policy and Strategy Loans Set-Up and Pay Off).

For the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Alex Okoh is the new Director-General, as Abdulkadir Saidu Umar becomes the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).

Ibrahim Musa Goni is the Conservator-General/ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Park Service (NPS), while Service Compact (SERVICOM) has Nnenna A. Akajemeli as its National Coordinator/ CEO.

Some other appointments include: Dr. Nasiru Mohammed Ladan, Director-General of National Directorate of Employment (NDE); Saliu Dada Alabi, Director-General of the Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS); and Professor Jef. T. Barminas, Director-General of the National Research Institute for Chemical Technology.

Others are: Dr. Haruna Yerima, Director-General Nigeria Institute for Social and Economic Research (NISER); Sunday Thomas, Deputy Commissioner for the Nigeria Insurance Commission (NAICOM); Tunde Erukera, Executive Secretary of Consumer Protection Council (CPC); and Barr. Mohammed Bello Tukur, Secretary of the Federal Character Commission.

For the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), Dikko Aliyu Abdulrahman is the Director-General (Subject to Senate Confirmation), while Funso Doherty is the Chairman. PENCOM Executive Commissioners are Akin Akinwale, Abubakar Zaki Magawata, Ben Oviosun and Nyerere Ayim.

Also, the Federal Capital Development Authority has Umar Gambo Jibrin as its Executive Secretary, the Nigeria Agriculture Insurance Corporation has Mrs Folashade Joseph as its Managing Director, while Cecilia Umaru Gaya is the Director-General of Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON).

Other appointments are: Mrs Luci Ajayi, Executive Secretary for the Lagos International Trade Fair Management Board; Barrister Emmanuel Jimme, Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority; Lanre Gbajabiamila, Director-General of Nigeria Lottery Regulatory Commission; and Jalani Aliyu, Director-General of the Nigeria Automotive Design and Development Council.

Court Sentences Falae’s Kidnappers To Life Imprisonment

Court Sentences Falae's Kidnappers To Life ImprisonmentAn Ondo State High Court has sentenced the seven persons accused of kidnapping a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Olu Falae, to life imprisonment.

Mr Falae was kidnapped on September 21, 2015, at his farm in Ilado, a rural agrarian settlement near Akure, the state’s capital in southwest Nigeria.

He was later released by his captors after spending four days with them.

Speaking to reporters, the prosecution counsel, Mrs Adesola Adeyemi-Tuki, said that the prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed the offence.

“Part of the ransom were found inside his (the first defendant) vehicle at Minna where he was tracked to. Also, some of them made confessional statements and there were other evidences that corroborated their statements,” Adeyemi-Tuki said.

The lead counsel to the accused, Abdulrahman Yusuf, however noted that his team would study the judgement to know the next step to take.

“We were able to knock out armed robbery and conspiracy, so they were left with kidnapping and the judgement for kidnapping is life imprisonment. They were convicted for kidnapping and thereby sentenced to life imprisonment, each of them,” he said.

Buhari Approves New Board For NTA, Others

Buhari at his office The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) has a new board led by a former Newspaper Editor and former Presidential Spokesman, Mr Duro Onabule.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday approved the new board which consists of six other Executive Directors.

They are: Dr. Steve Egbo, Administration and Training; Abdul Hamid Salihu Dembos, Marketing; Mohammed Labbo, News; Fatima M. Barda, Finance; Stephen Okoanachi, Engineering; and Wole Coker, Programmes.

Some other appointments were also announced in a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

“At the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Aliyu Hayatu is new chairman, while Buhari Auwalu and Yinka Amosun, are Zonal Directors, Kaduna and Lagos, respectively.

“Under the Ministry of Information and Culture, the following agencies have new appointees: Nigerian Film Corporation, Dr. Chika Maduekwe, General Manager; National Theatre and National Troupe of Nigeria, Comrade Tar Ukoh, Artistic Director; National Council for Arts and Culture, Mr Olusegun Runsewe, Director-General; National Film and Video Censors Board, Folorunsho Coker, Director-General,” the statement read.

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, will also serve as the Chairman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), while Mr Mustapha Maihaja is to serve as the agency’s Director-General.

According to the statement, other members of the NEMA Board are: “The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr David Babachir Lawal; Captain Talba Alkali, representing Ministry of Transport and Aviation; Ambassador Rabiu Dagari, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Dr. Ngozi Azadoh, Ministry of Health; Mr Muhammadu Maccido, Ministry of Interior; Mr Ajisegiri Benson Akinloye; Ministry of Water Resources, Air Vice Marshal Emmanuel Anebi, Nigerian Armed Forces; and AIG Salisu Fagge Abdullahi, Nigerian Police Force”.

The President’s spokesman said the appointments are to take immediate effect.

Senate Committee Denies Receipt Of Court Injunction From SGF

Shehu Sani says Senate Committee did not receive court injunction from SGFThe Senate Ad Hoc Committee Chairman investigating the humanitarian crisis in North-East Nigeria, Senator Shehu Sani, says his committee is not aware of any court order barring the probe of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

The Committee, in an interim report released in December 2016 accused the SGF, Mr Babachir Lawal, of awarding a 200 million Naira contract to a company in which he allegedly had an interest.

Speaking at Thursday’s plenary, Senator Sani noted contrary to reports that the Committee has not received any letter from the SGF informing the Committee of any court injunction.

He also disclosed that 20 companies which were awarded contracts to address the humanitarian crisis in the North-East cannot be traced.

Mr Lawal was scheduled to appear before the Committee on Thursday, March 23 but in a letter to the Committee, he asked the lawmakers to reschedule the appointment because of an engagement.

Reacting to the SGF’s request, Senator Sani told the Senate at plenary that in the interest of fair hearing, the Committee has postponed the meeting to accommodate the SGF.

The contracts were awarded by the Presidential Initiative for the North-East, a committee under the supervision of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in the person of Babachir Lawal.

Centenary City: House Seeks Prosecution Of Anyim, Bala Mohammed

Centenary City Project: House Seeks Prosecution Of Pius Anyim, Bala MohammedThe House of Representatives has called for the prosecution of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Pius Anyim, for his role in the Centenary City Project.

The lawmakers also sought for the prosecution of former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed.

The call was one of the recommendations adopted by the House on Thursday, after considering the report of its Committee which investigated the matter.

The lawmakers also approved the recommendation that the Code of Conduct Bureau, as well as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission should investigate the roles played by both former public officers in the project.

Buhari’s Letter On Babachir Has Raised More Questions Than Answers – Ismael Ahmed

Ismael Ahmed APC member on Lawal BabchirA member of the All Progressives Congress’ Board of Trustees, Ismael Ahmed, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s latest letters to the Senate have whipped up more questions than answers.

The letters were for the confirmation of Mr Ibrahim Magu, as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and another written in response to a request that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Lawal Babachir.

Mr Ahmed was particular about the letter focusing on the SGF, which critics said was a defense for the SGF by the President, but on the renomination of Mr Magu, he said: “The president is within his right to renominate the rejected acting chairman of the EFCC, Mr Magu.

“Some of the concerns that were raised as impediments for not going ahead with the confirmation by the Senate initially, have been taken care of and it is left for the Senate to begin the legislative process, get to the confirmation hearing and determine whether the EFCC acting chairman is fit to be confirmed or not”.

On the issue of the SGF, he pointed out that “the issue of corruption is a very sensitive issue to Nigerians and incredibly so for this government because it is an anchor upon which we were elected into office.

“The President, I think in his own wisdom, thought it was necessary to write back a response on the reasons he could not carry out some of the things that they (the Senators) decided that he should. He felt that that was necessary, but as a politician, I will tell you that I do not think that the Senate were expecting a response from the President.

“I thought the letter would have raised more questions than answers, from the side that the president was trying hard to protect some of his appointees.

“I wouldn’t have written the letter,” he emphasised.

The member of Board of Trustees of the APC, however, pointed out that the letter was not a defense for the SGF, but written to give the Senate a leeway to continue with its investigation.

Babachir Lawal
There are allegations that border on conflict of interest against Mr Lawal Babachir

A lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani, who doubted that the letter was from Mr Buhari, had described the letter as a funeral for the anti-corruption crusade of the President.

Critics have also said that the letter did not show the moral standard of the current government that had in the pinnacle of its campaign manifesto, a glaring desire to fight corruption.

Conflict Of Interest

Mr Ahmed, however, said that it was too early to judge that the apc-led administration had lowered the moral standard of fighting corruption, but insisted that writing such a letter comes with such a political implication.

“The moral standard is high for the administration to deal with anyone involved in corrupt practices.

“I am sure that if we were in the stock market, our shares would have fallen since that letter was written,” he said.

The APC member insisted that the Mr Babachir’s being in office will not affect investigations into allegations that he awarded contracts to a company that he had a stake in.

Highlighting the All Progressives Congress’ commitment to fighting corruption, he emphasised that awarding a contract to a company he had a stake in was inimical to the office he occupies and tantamount to conflict of interest.

He also insisted that if investigations showed the SGF was culpable, he should be sacked and prosecuted.

IDP Funds: Arewa Forum Wants Fair Hearing For SGF Lawal

Babachir LawalThe Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has called for fair hearing for the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir Lawal, in the allegation of abuse of office leveled against him by the Senate.

After its National Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, the ACF National Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim, said “the forum remains on the side of justice for all and therefore supports the probe of the SGF on the corruption allegations levelled against him”, saying such will give him fair hearing.

The forum also demanded constant security surveillance and intelligence gathering around troubled areas of Kaduna, Zamfara and Taraba states where lives and property have been lost, to forestall future occurrences.

Mr Ibrahim said: “It is not in the character of the ACF to take sides on allegations of corruption against any government official or private individuals without proper investigation. The rule of natural justice demands that before you pronounce any body guilty of an allegation, you must give him a fair hearing.

“The anti-corruption war cannot be applied selectively, all are subject to thorough investigation. Those found culpable are punished in accordance with the law.

“We, therefore, support the courage of President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate allegations of corruption against top government officials of his administration. This clearly demonstrates his total commitment to doing what is right irrespective of who is involved. It is our hope that the Attorney General of the Federation will avail the officials concerned a fair hearing in the interest of justice.

“ACF is equally calling on Nigerians to support President Buhari in this very difficult anti corruption war. The challenges are enormous which requires collective duty to put all hands on deck to save our dear country from insecurity and corruption”.

On the killings in Kaduna, Taraba, Zamfara and Benue states, Mr Ibrahim the ACF expressed concerns, saying it is worried about the recurrent communal clashes between farmers and herdsmen in some Northern States like Zamfara, Taraba, Benue and Kaduna.

“This seemingly intractable security challenge in the north which have continued to hinder our socio-economic development is disturbing and unacceptable.

“The recent communal clashes in some communities in Gassol Local Government Area of Taraba State and that of Jama’a and Kauru Local Government Areas in Southern part of Kaduna State where innocent lives were killed and property destroyed, are worrisome and condemnable.

“So, in consideration of these and other insecurity situations in the region, ACF in collaboration with Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation is proposing to host a Northern Security Summit in February next year that will address the numerous issues of cattle rustling, kidnapping, communal clashes etc. The Summit is aimed at complementing the efforts of Government to finding lasting solutions to the problems.

“We commend the efforts of the affected state governments in their unwavering commitment to the pursuit of peaceful co-existence through dialogue and peace building processes among the communities in their States.

“We urge the Security Agencies to step up surveillance and intelligence gathering to forestall future occurrences,” he suggested.

The ACF spokesman, however, expressed the groups condolences and sympathy to the families that lost their loved ones during the incidents.

The Senate had called for Mr Lawal, over his involvement in a 223 million Naira contract, meant for the humanitarian crisis management in the northeast Nigeria.

In an interim report by the Senate’s ad-hoc committee investigating the mounting humanitarian crisis in the northeast, the committee stated that the Presidential Initiative on the Northeast awarded contracts to top government officials, friends and family members.

The investigation of the committee further showed that a 223 million Naira contract was awarded to Rholavision Engineering Limited, which is anchored by the SGF to carry out information and communication technology services.

Senate Seeks Resignation Of Babachir Lawal

Senate Seeks Resignation Of Babachir LawalSenate has called for the resignation of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, over his involvement in a 223 million Naira contract, meant for the humanitarian crisis management in the northeast Nigeria.

In an interim report by the Senate ad-hoc committee investigating the mounting humanitarian crisis in the northeast, the committee stated that the Presidential Initiative on the Northeast awarded contracts to top government officials, friends and family members.

The investigation of the committee further showed that a 223 million Naira contract was awarded to Rholavision Engineering Limited, which is anchored by the SGF, Babachir Lawal, to carry out information and communication technology services.

In the report it further stated that although Mr Babachir resigned the directorship of the company in September 2016, he is allegedly still the signatory to the accounts of the company.

Lawmakers however say this is against civil service rules and the SGF must be prosecuted.

Senate Asks Buhari To Conduct Census In 2018

Senate, Legislature, Aliyu Abdullahi,The Nigerian Senate has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to issue a proclamation for a population and housing census to be held in 2018.

Moving the motion on the floor of the Senate, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi expressed displeasure with the inability to conduct the exercise this year due to inadequate funding.

The lawmakers directed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the National Population Commission and other relevant agencies to make adequate provision in the 2018 budget as a critical prerequisite towards the proposed 2018 population census.

The last time Nigeria held a census was in 2006 and that exercise was steeped in controversy with allegations of fraud.

Many Nigerians complained of being left out of the exercise as well as boycotts, protests and enumerators complaining of not being paid for their work.

Regardless of these complaints, federal lawmakers are mindful of the importance of census to national planning and have asked the executive to abide by the recommendation of the United Nations that census be conducted every 10 years.

Some of the lawmakers also stressed the need for the provision of funds in the 2017 budget to aid planning for the census.

To address concerns of irregularities, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, asked relevant agencies to take advantage of the development in technology to conduct a credible census exercise.

The Senate also asked relevant committees to join the Federal Government in the planning towards the forthcoming population census to achieve a credible exercise.

Buhari Approves Governing Boards For NPA, NIMASA

Muhammadu Buhari-NPA-NIMASANigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the composition of the governing board of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

The approval was contained in a statement by the spokesman for the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Bolaji Adebiyi.

The new NPA governing board has 11 members with Mr Emmanuel Adesoye as its Chairman.

The members of the board are: Supo Shasore, Suleiman Halilu, Constance Harry Mashal, Umar Shu’aibu, Charles Sylvester, Hadiza Usman, Mohammed Koko, Dr. Sekonte Davis, Professor Idris Abubakar and Mrs I. J. Uche-Okoro.

Similarly, President Buhari approved a governing board for the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

The NIMASA board also has 11 members, with Major General Jonathan India Garba as the Chairman.

The members of the board are: Asekomhe Kenneth, Mohammed Muazu, Ebele Obi, S. U. Galadanchi, Ms Nene Dike, Dakuku Peterside, Rear Admiral Adeniyi Osinowo, Bashir Jamoh, Joseph Fashakin and Gambo Ahmed.

FG Seeks Improved Engineering Curriculum In Universities

2016 BudgetThe Federal Government asking the professional engineers in the country to work with relevant institutions towards improving the practice of engineering in the Nigeria.

This is according to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal in Akure the Ondo State capital during the 25th Engineering Assembly of the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN).

Mr Lawal decried the absence of up-to-date curriculum at the nation’s university as one of the major causes of low quality engineers in the country.

The Ondo State Governor, Mr Olusegun Mimiko, on his part, emphasised on the need to paying attention to the development of local industries.

At the end of the meeting, experts recommended the total reviewing of engineering curriculum in Nigerian universities to meet with current global demands, discourage industrial action by tertiary institutions lecturers and the implementation of research and innovation work been neglected at various universities.