Gowon Visits President Buhari At The Villa

Yakubu Gowon Visits Muhammadu Buhari At The Villa Former Military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), says the safe return of President Muhammadu Buhari to Nigeria, after receiving medical attention in the United Kingdom has proven critics wrong on the President’s state of health.

General Gowon said this during an interview with State House correspondents after a private meeting with President Buhari on Tuesday in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory.

The former Military Head of State who also came to pay a welcome visit to the President from his medical vacation, said “the other thing is to thank him very much indeed for ringing me when he was in London, to commiserate with me on the death of my sister and this was rarely very gracious of him.

“I’m sure that also helped to make Nigerians to rejoice, especially those who are sending all those unfortunate messages about him. It was a good thing that was done and Nigerians know that yes he’s still well and for him to be able to ring.

“This is rarely the purpose of what brought me here and then to encourage him to continue to his work to the best of his ability”.

He then wished President Buhari well as he braces up to tackle the challenges confronting the country.

President Buhari Meets With Army, Air Force Chiefs

President Buhari Meets With Army, Air Force ChiefsPresident Muhammadu Buhari has met with the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Baratai, and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Abubakar Sadique.

The meetings took place one after the other on Tuesday in the President’s office at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

While the meetings may have discussed the increasing spate of insecurity in the country, President Buhari is said to have tasked the service chiefs to live up to their responsibilities.

Fielding questions from State House Correspondents, General Buratai said he met with the President to give him an update on security issues under the purview of the Nigerian Army.

He said the President was happy with the military and assured that the Nigerian Armed Forces would continue to live up to its responsibilities.

Also speaking to reporters, Air Marshall Sadique described his meeting with the President as routine.

He assured Nigerians of the resolve of the Air Force to ensure that the country was secure while citizens carry out their activities freely without any fear.

FEC Celebrates Acting President Osinbajo At 60

osinbajo The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has reiterated its commitment to getting Nigeria out of recession before the end of 2017‎.

The resolve was made during the FEC meeting chaired by the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who clocked 60 on Wednesday.

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Although members of the Council may not have rehearsed very well, they honoured Professor Osinbajo with a warm song.

The meeting was brought to a close with the cutting of the birthday cake as some of the ministers joined the Acting President in a photo session.

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Briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, said the 2017 budget has been structured to pull Nigeria out of recession.

The Minister added that the government was anxious to get the budget passed in order to begin its implementation.

He also noted that the release of the budget would fast-track the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) recently released by the Ministry of Budget.

The Council thereafter, approved the contract for the construction of the Greater Abuja Water Supply Project at the cost of $470 million.

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Mohammed Bello, stressed the importance of the project to provide potable water to residents of the greater part of the FCT.

FEC Approves Funds To Boost Power, Agriculture Efficiency

FECThe Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved 701 billion Naira payment assurance for power generating companies in Nigeria.

The fund, kept by the Central Bank of Nigeria, is to enhance evacuation of power by the Transmission Company of Nigeria to the various power distribution companies in the country without wastage.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, briefed State House correspondents on the approval after the FEC meeting presided over by the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osibabjo.

He said the guarantee is an instrument meant to resolve liquidity problems encountered by the power generating companies in payments to gas suppliers.

Also approved by FEC was the sum of 263 million Naira for the growing of gum arabic seedlings in the country.

The Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, said the fund was approved to strengthen the capacity of Nigeria in producing the gum, as the country ranks second in the world behind Sudan.

He said $43 million was earned from the export of gum arabic in 2016, and that 17 states are involved in the gum’s cultivation across Nigeria.

Mr Ogbeh added that the FEC also approved the distribution of improved cassava stems to farmers in the southern part of the country.

The cassava stems, to be provided by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, are to improve Nigeria’s cultivation of cassava which is a primary source of ethanol and industrial starch production.

President Buhari Meets With Gowon

Buhari GowonPresident Muhammadu Buhari has met behind closed doors with a former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (Rtd) at the Presidential Villa.

The meeting was held inside the President’s office for about 30 minutes.

The former military leader did not speak to reporters after the meeting.

The meeting of the two leaders was the second one in two months. The first was in August, just before the former head of state travelled abroad.

Among other matters, the August meeting focused on the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption campaign, which the former leader expressed support for.

In a chat with newsmen after the meeting, he encouraged the Nigerian leader to deal with the situation which he said had created serious setback to Nigeria nationally and internationally.

He also expressed delight at the Federal Government’s determination so far in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents and efforts to rescue the missing Chibok girls.

General Gowon said at the time that the government would soon get credible information that would lead to the rescue of the girls abducted in April 2014 from their school’s dormitory in Borno State.

He urged Nigerians to be patient with the President who he said took over power at a time Nigeria was witnessing dwindling crude oil price.

It was the same month that President Buhari agreed to the idea of swapping Boko Haram prisoners for the Chibok girls and just as Gowon predicted, the government went on to secure the release of 21 of the abducted Chibok girls.

The release was the outcome of negotiations between the Nigerian government and the Boko Haram, brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss Government.

President Muhammadu Buhari has also said his government would sustain efforts to free the remaining girls, kidnapped by the jihadist group.

 “About 100 more (girls) are still in the hands of the terrorists,” Buhari told reporters in Berlin after a meeting with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. “We hope we’ll get some … intelligence to go about securing the balance.”

FEC Approves Completion Of Kaduna Power Plants

FEC, Kaduna Power PlantsThe Federal Executive Council has approved the completion of the 215 megawatts power plant in Kaduna State which had been abandoned since 2009.

The government also assented to the completion of the 40 megawatts of power from the Gurara Hydro Electric Plant (Phase One) to connect the Kaduna/ Mando transmission substation also in Kaduna State, northwest Nigeria.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, briefed reporters on the development after the meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr Fashola said the two approvals revealed the commitment of the present administration to create jobs and expand the transmission of power across Nigeria.

“We are now in a position that we can complete this programme by next year and add 215 megawatts of power to the grid and particularly dedicate some of that power to Gurara in Kaduna to support the industrial complex there,” he told reporters.

The second project was the construction of substation to evacuate power from the Gurara Hydro Electric Power Plant (Phase One).

The government had earlier approved a contract for the completion of the 10 megawatts wind power project abandoned in Katsina State since 2012.

On her part, the Minister of State for National Planning, Mrs Zeinab Ahmed, updated reporters on the social investment programme the All Progressives Congress (APC) government promised Nigerians during the campaigns..

She said 11 states were ready so far for the school feeding programme that is targeted at at least 5.5 million school children.

The Minister added that 500,000 undergraduates expected to benefit from the job creation programme would earn 30,000 Naira monthly.

She further stated that the government was aware of its promise to give 5,000 Naira monthly to the extremely poor for a period of two years.

FEC Approves 30bn Naira For Mining, Okays Railway Concession

FEC Approves 30bn Naira For Mining, Okays Railway ConcessionThe Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved 30 billion Naira intervention fund for mining exploration in Nigeria.

The Minister of Mining and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, gave the figure at the end of the FEC meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Dr. Fayemi, alongside his counterparts at the Information and Transportation Ministries, Mr Lai Mohammed and Mr Rotimi Amaechi, briefed journalists on Wednesday in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

The Council, he said, stressed the importance of inter-ministerial coordination and for the ministry to work with the ministries of transportation; power, works and housing; as well as environment on safer mining practices.

The Minister added that the mining ministry would also work with that of health, ‎to help build a multi-sectoral focus on mining and also encourage private sector investment.

On his part, Mr Amaechi hinted that the Council approved a negotiation with General Electric (GE), towards contracting the railways across Nigeria.

‎He said the narrow gauge railways to be contracted would to a great extent, assist the agriculture and mining ministries in the transportation of extracted minerals.

The Transportation Minister further identified the railways to be rehabilitated at no cost to the government.

One of them is the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railway which would include: Port Harcourt, Aba, Umuahia, Enugu, Makurdi, Jos, Gombe and Bauchi to Borno.

The other is the Lagos-Kano railway, which would also comprise: Lagos, Abeokuta, Ibadan, ‎Ilorin, Kano, Funtua and Zaria to Kaura Namoda.

Corruption Plays Key Role In Nigeria’s Setback – Gowon

Yakubu Gowon, Corruption, NigeriaA former military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, has described corruption as one of the problems that have created serious setback to Nigeria nationally and internationally.

While in a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, General Gowon encouraged the Nigerian leader to deal with the situation.

After the meeting held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, the former military leader briefed reporters.

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President Buhari and General Gowon having a meeting

General Gowon commended President Buhari’s determination and effort in the fight against corruption and called on Nigerians to give him the needed support.

He also expressed delight at the Federal Government’s determination so far in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents and efforts to rescue the missing Chibok girls.

General Gowon believes that the government would soon get credible information that would lead to the rescue of the girls abducted over two years ago from their school’s dormitory in Borno State.

He urged Nigerians to be patient with the President who he said took over power at a time Nigeria was witnessing dwindling crude oil price.

Jonathan Urges Niger Delta Militants To Sheathe Their Swords

Muhammadu-Buhari-Goodluck-JonathanNigeria’s former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday called on Niger Delta militants to sheathe their swords and let peace reign in Nigeria.

He added that no one should make any attempt to balkanise Nigeria.

Dr Jonathan said this while speaking to State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, which lasted for about 15 minutes at the Presidential Villa.

“You’ll see that it’s not just about me. All the traditional rulers, elders and opinion leaders of the Ijaw ethnic nationalities have been in touch to see that peace reigns in the country.

“The emphasis is that we need a united Nigeria and I always emphasise that Nigeria is great, not just because of oil.

“We are great because of our size (the human resources we have and the diversity we have). So if we balkanise the country into small components, we will all be forgotten by the world.

“We are all working collectively to ensure that these issues are resolved,” he said.

Dr Jonathan, who arrived the Presidential Villa at about 2PM, said he was there to give a brief of his recent external engagements to President Buhari

“I have come to brief the President about some of my engagements… leading the AU election monitoring team in Zambia.

“I came to brief the President about some of these external engagements,” he said.

The former President also touched on the fight against corruption, where he said it will be sub-judicious to speak on them as almost all the matters were in court.

He, however, promised to talk at the right time.

Senate Tags Pipeline Attacks Counterproductive

Senate, Pipeline, MilitantThe Senate has described the blowing up of gas installations by the Niger Delta militants as counterproductive to the region, its economy and its people.

Chairman of Senate Committee on Petroleum Downstream Sector, Senator Kabiru Marafa, stated this on Friday, while speaking with State House correspondents.

He had just held a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Senator Marafa pleaded with the militants to embrace dialogue with the Federal Government.

He described President Buhari as a listening leader that is ready to deal with the problems in the Niger Delta region.

Nasarawa Ready To Access Loan From Federal Government

nasarawaThe Nasarawa State Government has already submitted an expression of interest to access the concessional loan granted to states facing financial discipline by the Federal Government.

Speaking to Channels Television, the State Commissioner of Finance, Dr. Dominic Bako, said that he was optimistic that the state would fulfil the 22 conditions given by the Federal Government.

He said that the state had already put to practice some of the conditions for a long time.

He added that the conditions were in the best interest of the state to prevent diversion of funds.

He guaranteed that in line with the vision of the Federal Government, the loan would be properly utilized.

FEC Adopts New Debt Management Strategy

FEC, Debt Management StrategyThe Federal Executive Council (FEC) has resolved to adopt more of externally borrowing strategy to achieve its aim of stimulating Nigeria’s economy and providing the infrastructure that the nation needs.

This was one of the decisions reached at the council meeting on Wednesday in Abuja, during which a new Debt Management Strategy was approved for the country.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, presided over by Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

Mrs Adeosun explained that the government decided to produce a new debt management strategy for 2016 to 2019.

This was because the previous one had expired in December 2015, stressing the need for a new one.