Buhari Nominates Environment Minister Amina Mohammed To AU Committee

Amina Mohammed, Renewable Energy, JatrophaPresident Muhammadu Buhari has approved the nomination of the Minister of Environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed, to serve in the African Union (AU) Reform Steering Committee.

The committee, headed by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda is tasked with ongoing institutional reforms of the AU Commission and its organs.

The committee, which comprises eminent persons from the continent, will work on part-time basis to produce a report for presentation to the 28th African Union Summit in January 2017.

In a statement by a spokesman for the President, Garba Shehu, the Presidency described the Minister as a versatile and accomplished development practitioner in the public, private and civil society sectors.

She has over three decades’ experience and had served as the Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on MDGs, serving three Presidents over a period of six years.

Until her appointment as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in November 2015, she was the Assistant Secretary/Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary General on Post-2015 Development Planning.

Boko Haram: We’re Making Progress In De-Radicalisation Process, Buhari Says

Muhammadu Buhari at UN General Assembly speaks on Boko HaramPresident Muhammadu Buhari says that advances being made against Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria’s northeast go beyond degradation through just force of arms.

At a bilateral meeting with President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, in New York, on Monday on the sidelines of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly, President Buhari said, “the de-radicalisation process is also going on, and we are achieving some measure of success.

“Even suicide bombing is becoming rare, as the local people are themselves rejecting indoctrination by the insurgents”.

The President assured existing and potential investors in Nigeria of adequate protection of their lives, investments and property, as the security situation in Nigeria was very much better and conducive.

Promotion Of Economic Partnership

President Buhari said Nigeria was working hard to diversify the economy and expressed willingness to collaborate with South African businessmen especially in the areas of mining and agriculture, for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

A statement by a spokesman for the President, Femi Adesina, said President Zuma told President Buhari that he was interested in the promotion of economic and trade partnerships between the two countries.

President Zuma recollected his visit to Nigeria earlier this year which he described as “very successful.

At another bilateral meeting with President Macky Sall of Senegal, both President Buhari and the Senegalese President expressed their happiness at the good cropping season being experienced in their countries as it portends bumper harvests which would ultimately translate into an enhancement of the quality of lives of their people.

The two Presidents also reviewed the situation in Guinea Bissau and concluded that political leaders in the country needed to make sacrifices to guarantee peace and development of the country.

Nigeria Seeks Unity In Guinea Bissau

Guinea BissauThe Nigerian government has appealed to political leaders in Guinea Bissau to embrace unity and avoid any act that could plunge the nation into further crisis.

In a meeting on Monday with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Guinea Bissau, Mr Modibo Toure, President Muhammadu Buhari decried the lingering political crisis in the West African country.

“They must accept responsibility for leadership to stabilise their own country,” the President warned.

He pointed out that the country’s political leaders, not outsiders that could effectively resolve the political crisis in Guinea Bissau.

A statement by the spokesman for the President, Mr Garba Shehu, said that President Buhari told the visiting envoy that Nigeria would welcome increased support from ECOWAS and the United Nations to stabilise the country and prevent breakdown of law and order.

President Buhari said Nigeria had a responsibility to the region and the rest of Africa and assured him that “we will not shirk on our responsibility, in spite of the hardship confronting us”.

Mr Toure had requested that Nigeria should use its clout in the regional bloc, ECOWAS, to break the deadlock in Guinea Bissau.

He warned that the nation faced a very grim future if the country continued without a functioning government.

No Benefit From Previous Naira Devaluations – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Naira devaluation President Muhammadu Buahri says he is still not convinced that the vast majority of ordinary Nigerians will derive any tangible benefit from a devaluation of the Naira.

The Nigerian President made the remark at a meeting with members of the Council of Retired Federal Permanent Secretaries on Friday.

According to a statement by a spokesman for the President, Femi Adesina, President Buhari insisted that he still held the conviction which motivated his principled resistance to devaluation in his first tenure as Head of State.

“When I was military Head of State, the IMF and the World Bank wanted us to devalue the Naira and remove petrol subsidy but I stood my grounds for the good of Nigeria.

“The Naira remained strong against the Dollar and other foreign currencies until I was removed from office in August, 1985 and it was devalued.

“But how many factories were built and how many jobs were created by the devaluation?

Treasury bills-nigeria-Delta
Nigeria’s lowest Naira note, the Five Naira, is hardly used in the nation due to rising inflation. In the past one year, the currency has lost value against the dollar in the black market

“That is why I’m still asking to be convinced today on the benefits of devaluation,” President Buhari told the retired Permanent Secretaries led by Otunba Christopher Tugbobo.

President Buhari welcomed the Council’s pledge of support for the successful implementation of his administration’s Change Agenda, especially in the priority areas of improving security, curbing corruption and revitalising the national economy.

“I am glad you have rightly identified the key issues we campaigned on.

“We need a dynamic bureaucracy which will not mislead us into taking wrong decisions,” the President said.

The Council of Retired Federal Permanent Secretaries was established in 2004 to serve as a platform for retired permanent secretaries to offer constructive advice to government on key policy issues.

Mr Philip Asiodu, the Pioneer Chairman of the Council, said that its members want the present administration to succeed because Nigeria had already lost many opportunities for progress.

“We are non-partisan. The interest of Nigeria is paramount to us and we are anxious that you should succeed,” Mr Asiodu told the President.

Buhari Promises China Speedy Completion Of Mambilla Power Project

Muhammadu-Buhari-in-China-Power-project-promise on Mambilla Power Project Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has pledged his government’s commitment to honouring all agreements concluded between Nigeria and China especially on power project.

President Buhari gave the assurance in Beijing on Wednesday at a meeting with the Premier of the State Council of the Peoples Republic of China, Mr Li Keqiang.

He said that his administration would conclude all power projects agreed with provious administrations, including the 4,000 megawatts Mambilla Hydro-Electric Power Project.

President Buhari regretted the failure of past governments to meet Nigeria’s obligations in joint projects with China.

A statement by a spokesman for the President, Garba Shehu, said the President told the Chinese Premier that his administration was committed to completing the projects, in the shortest possible time, to ensure that the joint power, rail, road and aviation projects directly and quickly improve the lives of Nigerians.

President Buhari said that he was particularly keen on actualising the Mambilla Power Project because of its huge potential to boost employment and national economic growth.

The Chinese Premier commended ongoing efforts by the Buhari Administration to improve Nigeria’s infrastructure.

He assured the President that China was ready to work with his administration to complete all joint projects, including the Mambilla Power Project.

Buhari Orders Investigation Into Recent Benue Killings

President-Muhammadu-BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari has ordered an investigation into the clashes between herdsmen and indigenes of communities in Benue State in central Nigeria.

A statement by a spokesman for the President, Garba Shehu, said Mr Buhari expressed deep shock at the latest incident during the past week, which led to hundreds of deaths in four communities in Agatu, Benue State.

He ordered security agencies to get to the root causes of the problem.

“We Will Act Immediately”

“We will conduct an investigation to know exactly what happened. The only way to bring an end to the violence once and for all is to look beyond one incident and ascertain exactly what factors are behind the conflicts,” he said.

President Buhari stressed that all Nigerians must learn to live together as one, in peace and unity.

“We are all one nation and one people. There should not be any reason why Nigerians of any group or tongue cannot now reside with one another wherever they find themselves after decades of living together.”

The President further expressed condolences to the government and people of Benue State, particularly the people of the Agatu communities, assuring them that the government would do everything possible to ensure that no such incident ever occurred in their midst again.

“Once the investigations are concluded, we will act immediately to address the root of the problem,” he said.

General Danjuma To Lead Committee On Northeast Rehabilitation

Theophilus DanjumaPresident Muhammadu Buhari says a committee to rehabilitate infrastructure and resettle Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria’s northeast is soon to be formally inaugurated.

The committee, to be led by a frontline statesman, Lt.-Gen. Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (rtd), would also include Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.

Speaking at the State House, Abuja on Friday, in response to a goodwill message delivered to him by a group, Women In Politics Forum (WIPF), President Buhari announced that all forms of assistance and aid in this respect generated locally and from foreign countries, as promised by the Group of Seven of Industrialised Countries (G7), would be channelled through the committee when it is inaugurated.

A statement by a spokesman for the President, Mr Garba Shehu, said President Buhari had compiled a list of damaged infrastructure, including schools and bridges and handed it to the leaders of the G7 and the United States.

“I didn’t ask for a Kobo (in cash). It is up to them to choose what they will undertake. Already, some of them have sent teams to verify our assertions,” the President, however, stated.

Source Of Concern

President Buhari decried the impact of the Boko Haram violence on women and children, declaring that they were its worst victims.

“In the North-East, what I saw for myself and on those clips is a source of concern for people with conscience.

“They are mostly women, and children who are orphaned. Some of them don’t even know where they come from. This is the pathetic situation in which the country has found itself,” The President told the women.

He said that the fight for the return of the Chibok girls is ongoing and “continues to be a most worrying issue” to his government, emphasising that the administration would do all within its powers in making the best efforts to secure their freedom.

‘Gender Equity’

The President acknowledged the case made by the WIPF for better representation of women in his government and assured them that women would fare well in the composition of parastatals and their boards in the first quarter of this year.

He also defended the records of the administration in response to criticism that it is slow, arguing that steps must be taken with caution to avoid mistakes.

“People say we are slow. We are trying to change structures put in place by our predecessors in office for 16 years. If we hurry it, we will make mistakes. That will be a disaster.”

President Buhari assured them that the country had a budget proposal for the New Year that is good for employment and manufacturing.

“By the end of the second quarter, the full impact of these positive measures will be felt,” he told the visiting women.

The WIPF, made up of women leaders from 26 registered political parties led by Mrs Ebere Ifendu of the Labour Party expressed their full support for the government’s war on corruption and insecurity.

They asked the administration to usher in laws to promote gender equity as well as action towards the implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act.

The Women’s group made the record of being the first organisation to be received by the President in the New Year.