Presidency Seeks To Strengthen Whistle-blower Policy

Presidency Seeks To Strengthen Whistle-blower PolicyThe Presidency has commenced efforts to strengthen the mechanism of the Whistle-blower Policy, following breakthroughs recorded in the war against corruption and unaccounted wealth.

According to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, the enthusiastic response of Nigerians to the Whistle-blower Policy has boosted the tempo of the anti-corruption crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

He told State House correspondents on Wednesday that the government is considering ways of enhancing the structural capacity of the whistle-blower mechanism.

Mr Shehu noted that government is also considering empowering the mechanism by either bringing it under the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), or some other body to imbue the process with a strategic national purpose.

“In a word, government thinks that the whistle-blower mechanism is too important to be left without a strategic, national direction,” he observed.

Worst Betrayal Of Voters’ Mandate

The President’s spokesman commended the zeal and patriotism of Nigerians for responding positively to the whistle-blower incentive policy, aimed at exposing hidden looted funds across Nigeria.

According to him, “no public policy can succeed or go far enough without public support and participation”, and “when the citizens realise they are victims of corruption, they may feel encouraged to join the efforts to expose looted funds”.

Mr Shehu explained that the recovery of huge amounts of looted funds through the efforts of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and whistle-blowers “is a revelation about the mindless, callous and reckless scale on which Nigeria had been robbed by unpatriotic and egregiously selfish public officials”.

He said President Buhari’s election in 2015 was “a divine intervention in response to the desperate cries of Nigerians for urgent change”, adding that “stealing by officials under a democratic government at the expense of people’s welfare is worst betrayal of voters’ mandate”.

Presence Of Illegal Weapons

The President’s spokesman also disclosed that government was getting suggestions to bring the issue of illegal weapons in the hands of citizens that are used to fuel intra and inter-communal violence under the purview of the Whistle-blower Policy.

“Yes, it is true, the Presidency has received suggestions that call for the Whistle-blower Policy to be extended to the possession of illegal weapons by powerful individuals in the country.

“The government will look at all that and make a pronouncement. Nigerians would be encouraged to expose the presence of illegal weapons in the homes of powerful politicians and other public figures who may use those deadly arms for sinister political agenda,” he said.

Shehu stressed that those exposing looted funds deserve all the encouragement and protection to sustain their enthusiasm, with a view to encouraging more citizens to participate in what he called the “major aspect of the anti-corruption crusade”.

Commending Nigerians for their support, the Buhari administration assured the citizens that all recovered funds would be applied to their welfare and happiness, adding that no country can achieve progress with corruption.

Garba Shehu Clarifies Buhari’s London Check Up Controversy

garba-shehuThe Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, says President Muhammadu Buhari will still return to his doctors in London, for follow-ups over his health condition.

Mr Shehu, who was reacting to reports on the matter, dismissed claims that President Buhari is no longer going to London, adding that the Presidency is not aware of the cancellation of the trip.

He told Channels Television that reports had it that the President had changed the plan to return to London for another round of medical treatment, two weeks after his return from the United Kingdom, adding that instead, his doctors will be arriving on Friday to carry out further medical examination on him.

The Presidential spokesman, however, refuted this, insisting that there is no change in the plan for a second trip to London.

President Buhari had on January 19, traveled to London where he spent almost 50 days undergoing medical examination.

Foreign Investment: Presidency Defends China Trip

Foreign InvestmentSix billion US dollar is what the Presidency claims that Muhammadu Buhari’s trip to China has attracted as the Asian country appears to be the new bride in Nigeria’s foreign investment drive.

The President’s Media Adviser believes that the country hasn’t seen anything yet and more investments will flow in within the next few days.

Mr Femi Adesina was the guest of Channels Television programme, Sunday Politics, where he answered some of the questions raised by Nigerians concerning President Buhari’s recent trip to China.

“It is not like going to the market and then you come back home at the end of the day and they ask how much you have sold, because investments take time to yield but this trip to China has been particularly productive because it is a continuation of what has been started by the previous administration.

“Like it is said, government is a continuum, some of the things started by the Goodluck Jonathan administration have now been consummated by this administration through this trip.

“For example, we know China is well endowed in the area of infrastructure, while Nigeria today has plenty infrastructural deficit. So we have a lot to gain in the areas of power, agriculture, housing, railway, transportation generally and so many other areas,” he said.

 

Buhari’s China Visit Yields Billions In Investment For Nigeria – Presidency

Muhammadu-Buhari-China-Nigeria-Power-InvestmentPresident Muhammadu Buhari has expressed satisfaction with the outcome of his working visit to China, which has yielded additional investments in Nigeria exceeding six billion dollars.

President Buhari believes that the several agreements concluded with the Chinese during the visit would have a huge and positive impact on key sectors of the Nigerian economy including power, solid minerals, agriculture, housing and rail transportation.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu disclosed the President’s views in a statement on Friday.

“In the power sector, North South Power Company Limited and Sinohydro Corporation Limited signed an agreement valued at 478,657,941.28 dollars for the construction of 300 Mega Watts solar power in Shiriro, Niger State.

“In the solid minerals sector, Granite and Marble Nigeria Limited and Shanghai Shibang signed an agreement valued at 55 million dollars for the construction and equipping of granite mining plant in Nigeria.

“A total of one billion dollars is to be invested in the development of a greenfield expressway for Abuja-Ibadan-Lagos under an agreement reached by the Infrastructure Bank and Sinohydro Corporation Limited.

“For the housing sector, both companies also sealed a 250 million dollars deal to develop an ultramodern 27-storey high rise complex and a 2.5 billion dollars agreement for the development of the Lagos Metro Rail Transit Red Line project,” the statement read.

Other agreements announced and signed during the visit include one billion dollars for the establishment of a Hi-tech industrial park in Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone in Igbesa, Ogun State.

The Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone and CNG (Nigeria) Investment Limited also signed an agreement valued at 200 million dollars for the construction of two 500MT/day float gas facilities.

“An agreement valued at 363 million dollars for the establishment of a comprehensive farm and downstream industrial park in Kogi State was also announced at the Nigeria-China business forum.

“Other agreements undergoing negotiations include a 500 million dollars project for the provision of television broadcast equipment and a 25 million dollars facility for production of pre-paid smart meters between Mojec International Limited and Microstar Company Limited,” the statement read.

About 100 Nigerian businesses and 300 Chinese firms participated in the Nigeria-China business forum, which took place a day after President Buhari began his visit to China.

Presidency Reacts To Brouhaha Over Buhari’s Telegraph Interview

BuhariThe State House has described as misconstrued, the various interpretations of President Muhammadu Buhari’s comments in an interview granted to the UK’s Telegraph newspaper on February 5.

In a statement released in Abuja on Tuesday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, said that the wave of negative reactions to the President’s remarks about the reputation of Nigerians abroad was as a result of an incomplete understanding of President Buhari’s point.

“President Buhari was asked about the flood of migrants from Nigeria and the fraudulent applications for asylum put in by people desperate to leave their motherland at any cost, and it was this question that elicited his response,” Mr Shehu said, encouraging Nigerians to avail themselves of a full text of the interview, which has now been made available on the Telegraph’s website.

The President’s spokesman added that it was preposterous for anyone to imagine that the President of Nigeria would describe all the citizens of the country he leads as criminals, when he himself is a Nigerian – obviously not a criminal – and when there are many Nigerians of honest living making their country proud all over the world.

“Unfortunately, there are also Nigerians giving their country a bad image abroad and it is to those Nigerians that the President referred in his comments,” he said.

Mr Shehu maintained that people may play politics and online games with the President’s comments, but the fact of the matter remained that Nigeria’s reputation abroad has been severely damaged by her own citizens.

“These Nigerians who leave their country to go and make mischief on foreign shores have given the rest of us a bad reputation that we daily struggle to overcome,” he said.

The President’s aide called attention to the many efforts of President Buhari to clean up Nigeria’s image such as the war on corruption, stating that “Acknowledging you have a problem is the first step to preferring a solution.

“President Buhari is very aware of the problems the people of Nigeria face both at home and abroad; and he is not shying away from admitting them even as he focuses on solutions to bring them to a permanent end,” he said.

President Buhari Reaffirms Commitment To Privatisation

LaKE CHAD-BuhariNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to the Federal Government’s privatisation and conversationalist policy.

President Buhari made this revelation in Abuja on Thursday during an audience with Peugeot’s Executive Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, Mr Jean-Christophe Quemard.

He stressed that greater consideration would be given to the technical and managerial competence of prospective buyers of government-owned companies.

According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President said that a higher premium will  be placed on the technical competence and financial clout of bidders in future privatisation exercises to avoid the running aground of privatized companies by ill-equipped and incapable investors.

Speaking after being briefed on plans by Peugeot to stage a comeback to Nigeria after the collapse of the privatization of Peugeot Automobiles Nigeria Limited, the President noted that “privatization could only succeed and yield desired benefits if buyers of government-owned companies possess essential  skills and resources”.

Mr. Quemard assured President Buhari that Peugeot was ready to reinvest in vehicle assembling in Nigeria, provided that the right indigenous partners are found.

The Peugeot Chief Executive for Africa and the Middle-East briefed the President on the company’s three-phased plan to resume vehicle assembly in Nigeria with 4,000 cars in 2016, rising up to 10,000 cars by 2021.

Nigeria Will Continue To Support Africa’s Political Stability And Peace – Buhari

Buhari-NigeriaThe Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, has said that all efforts to achieve political stability and maintain peace in Africa would continue to receive his nation’s full support.

President Buhari gave this assurance on Wednesday in Abuja, while in a meeting with Special Envoys of President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi.

President Buhari also said that under his leadership, Nigeria would remain at the forefront of efforts to achieve enduring peace, security and progress in all African nations.

According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President said “whatever happens elsewhere in Africa also affects Nigeria directly or indirectly”.

The President further declared that African leaders must do their best to achieve greater peace, political stability and security within their countries, in order to give more attention to the urgent task of improving the living conditions of their people.

Thanking the envoys, Major General Evariste Ndayishimiye and Ambassador Dieudonne Kwizera, for briefing him on recent political developments in Burundi, President Buhari expressed the hope that all stakeholders in the country would resolve their differences peacefully and learn to work together for the development of Burundi.

He also welcomed ongoing efforts by President Nkurunziza towards peace and national reconciliation in Burundi.

Presidency Cautions PDP Over Buhari’s Achievements

Mhammadu-Buhari- over pdp talks about achievements The Presidency has advised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to stop what it describes as a pathetic effort to play-down President Muhammadu Buhari’s achievements in his first 100 days in office.

Reacting to the PDP statement claiming the economy is going down under the APC-led administration, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, blamed the PDP for the state of the economy.

He said under the PDP administration, the country witnessed an acceleration of poverty, which united Nigerians for change.

According to the President’s aide, “it is ridiculous for any sane government to artificially rebase the economy and claim to transform Nigeria into the largest economy in Africa as the PDP administration did.”

He also alleged that the defeated former ruling party was artificially manipulating statistics to create the illusion of impressive economic performance.

The media aide said the Buhari-led administration has successfully blocked leakages and other avenues for corruption, practices which he said the previous administration lacked the will or the desire to stop.

The PDP had described as alarming, the damage so far done on the nation’s economy by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC since it took office at the centre, three months ago.

The party said the shambolic state of the nation’s economy within the period, which they alleged represents the worst in the nation’s contemporary history, is a direct fallout of uncertainty created by the inability of the Buhari-led government to chart a clear-cut economic policy, worsened by abuse of regulations, and flagrant violation of constitutional provisions.

It cited  a decline in Nigeria’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with about 2.35 per cent, while at the same time claiming that job creation has dropped by 69 per cent.

Presidency Responds To PDP Senate Caucus On Fight Against Corruption

nigeria's presidencyNigeria’s Presidency has refuted claims of selective prosecution of alleged corrupt public officials, following allegations credited to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The Presidency maintained that Buhari does not interfere with the work of anti-corruption agencies.

“Whosoever is involved in corruption should face the law. Corruption has no political party, religion nor ethnic group,” a statement by a spokesman to the President, Mr Garba Shehu, read.

‘Plead Your Innocence’

The Presidency described allegations of selective fight against corruption as wild, and that such claims should not have come from respected, noble and distinguished members of the hallowed Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Mr Shehu stated that “the claim is false and belongs to the past, and not the present. Public officials and other leaders accused of corruption by relevant agencies should plead their innocence, not plead malice”.

The Presidency also condemned the allegations of alleged harassment by the officials of the Department of State Security (DSS), stressing that “any individual or group of individuals who consider their legitimate political and civil rights infringed upon by the DSS or the Independent National Electoral Commission or anyone or institution at all is advised to seek protection and redress under the constitution and laws of Nigeria.

Mr Shehu also assured that impunity would not be condoned under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch, and that the Rule of Law will govern every facet of governance.

Buhari Congratulates Nigeria’s Special Athletes

buhariNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has congratulated the Nigerian team at the just concluded Special Olympics which took place in Los Angeles, U.S.A.

According to a statement released by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, President Buhari praised the team of 42 athletes for their diligence and dedication, that led to the acquisition of 71 medals at the games.

“These victories are a reflection of the true spirit of Nigeria.

“Despite whatever challenges we face individually or as a people, we know that we can still overcome them and excel,” President Buhari said.

He added that the country was particularly proud of the athletes for winning a medal in every single event featured at the Games.

“Our special athletes have indeed proved themselves special.

“Nigeria’s team to the Special Olympics has given us all a reason to smile and celebrate. I look forward to celebrating with the entire team at the State House in Abuja,” President Buhari said.

The President added that at a time like this, when his government is working hard to correct past mistakes, it was encouraging to receive such good news.

 

President Buhari Condemns Latest Terrorist Killings

president buhariNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has condemned the latest attacks and killings by Boko Haram in Borno State, north-east Nigeria.

This came after the attack on Kukawa village on Thursday in Borno State, which left at least 90 people dead.

According to a statement released by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President urged Muslims around the world to reject with one voice, the claim by attackers to be acting in the name of Islam.

“President Buhari considers the murder by the terrorists of up to 150 innocent men, women and children in Kukawa a very heinous atrocity which must be unreservedly condemned by all people of conscience,” the statement read.

The President believes that these last desperate acts of fleeing agents of terrorism underscore the urgent need to bring to early fruition the efforts of his government to form a more effective  international coalition against insurgency and terrorism in Nigeria and neighbouring countries.

President Buhari conveyed his heart-felt condolences to families of the victims of Boko Haram’s dreadful killings in Kukawa.

He had also called on the international community to unite and forge a stronger worldwide consensus for more effective action against global terrorism.

In a condolence message to the government and people of Egypt on the recent murder of the country’s Attorney General, Hesham Barakat and the killing of about 70 Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula by terrorists, President Buhari restated his conviction that concerted global action was needed to overcome terrorism in all parts of the world.

Apple Music Changes Policy After Taylor Swift Stand

swiftIn reaction to a statement by Taylor Swift saying she was refusing to allow the company to stream her album 1989, Apple Music has reversed its payment policy.

In an open letter to Apple, Swift said she was withholding the record as she was unhappy with the three-month free trial offered to subscribers.

On Twitter, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, said Apple Music will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period.

Swift had said the plan was “unfair”, arguing Apple had the money to cover the cost.

”I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company,” the 25-year-old said, describing Apple as one of her “best partners in selling music”.

”Three months is a long time to go unpaid, and it is unfair to ask anyone to work for nothing.

”We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”

Apple Music launches on 30 June. It will cost $9.99 (£6.30) per month in the US for one person or $14.99 for families.

After hearing news of the company’s decision on Sunday night, Swift tweeted:SWIFT

Meanwhile, Mr Cue said he did not know if the ‘Shake It Off’ singer would now make her album available on Apple Music, but he praised her for taking a stand.

“When I woke up this morning and I saw Taylor’s note that she had written, it really solidified that we needed to make a change,” he said.