FEC Approves 3-Year Fiscal Strategy In Preparation Of 2017 Budget

FECThe Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved a three-year Fiscal Strategy Framework from 2017 to 2019.

The document, known as the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), kick starts the process for the preparation of the 2017 budget.

This is the outcome of the Council Meeting, which held in the Presidential Villa and presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning Sen. Udo Udoma, who briefed State House correspondents said the Federal Government intends to intensify efforts in pursuing a non-oil driven economy.

According to Senator Udoma the government will devote more resources to critical infrastructure projects like roads, rail and ports.

He put the oil benchmark projections as follows: 2017, $42.5 per barrel; 2018, $45; and 2019, $50 and a production target of 2.2 million barrels per day.

Udoma added that the government also projected a “conservative” exchange rate N290 to a dollar, with the expectation that the Naira would stabilize.

He said the government consulted widely with the private sector, governors and experts before arriving at the framework.

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.

Nigeria Is Learning From Iran To Diversify Its Economy – Buhari

Muhammadu Buhari, Iran, Economy President Muhammadu Buhari says that the Federal Government is understudying the experiences of countries like Iran who thrived in adversity to diversify the Nigerian economy.

He said on Monday in Abuja that his administration is working assiduously to ameliorate the challenges faced by the economy within a short period.

President Buhari made the statement while he received a special envoy from the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran at the State House, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

He said that the Iranian economy remains an inspiration for Nigeria in the deployment of technology to harness and export gas, grow food for the populace and promote entrepreneurship in education.

“The progress made by Iran within a short period of 30 years is really commendable. Within the period, you have been able to harness gas flaring, and you are now exporting. You have recorded strides in security, manufacturing, agriculture and technology.

“You have also achieved a lot in nuclear research. I must also congratulate you for successfully negotiating with America and the European countries on the development of your nuclear energy,” he said.Buhari-Iran-Envoy

A Great Economy
The President noted that Nigeria had all the potentials for growing into a great economy through more inclusive planning, consistency in government policies and commitment to the realisation of development targets.

“In Nigeria, we are learning. We are learning the hard way through hardship, and we are learning very quickly on how to explore other sectors of the economy like gas, solid minerals and agriculture for growth.

“We are grateful for your support and cooperation in opening up the Nigerian economy for diversification,” he told the envoy.

In his remark, the Iranian envoy, who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that the Iranian government would support the ongoing restructuring of the Nigerian economy.

“We are very keen to see a better and stronger relationship with Nigeria, which is the largest country in Africa and a major global player,” he said.

Zarif said he came into Nigeria with a delegation of more than 70 members of the Iranian business community who had already started discussions in investing in sectors like banking, education, scholarship, agriculture, energy, tourism and technology development.

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.

We Are In A Hurry To See Agricultural Projects Take Off – Buhari

Muhammadu-Buhari-Nigeria-Norway-Fisheries-DevelopmentNigeria’s President on Thursday said he is in a hurry to see projects take off in the agricultural sector to enhance food security and create jobs for teeming unemployed youths.

President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed this Thursday at State House, Abuja, while receiving Ambassador Nasser Bourita, a Special Envoy of King Mohammed VI of Morocco.

“For us in Nigeria, it is like starting all over again. There was a time we had so much money and took things for granted. But with the fall in the international price of oil, we are now readjusting,” the President said.

The President welcomed the plan by Morocco to establish a fertilizer plant in Nigeria, which would not only serve the country, but the entire West African sub-region.

The envoy, who is also Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, said his country had developed a strategy to deal with religious extremism, and had largely been successful in fighting terrorism.

We Will Not Hide Anything From Nigerians – Buhari

Muhammadu Buhari, NigeriansPresident Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will not hide anything from Nigerians in its resolute commitment to restoring the economic fortunes of the country and delivering prosperity to her citizens.

The President said this while receiving the Northern Christian Leaders Eagles Eyes Forum at the State House in Abuja on Friday.

According to his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, the President appealed to the religious leaders not to lose hope in the unity, stability and progress of the country.

President Buhari noted that the Federal Government would continue to prioritise the safety of lives and property.

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Truth About Nigeria

He added that the government would also equip Nigerian farmers with the right tools, technology and techniques to boost agriculture.

“You must tell your followers the truth about the country. We have nothing to hide because we have no other country but Nigeria.

“Tell them to give us a chance to stabilise the country. Your concern for the security, unemployment, anti-corruption campaign and the frequent altercations between herdsmen and farmers are genuine concerns.

“I know the Ministry of Agriculture and the Governors Forum are doing a lot to resolve the lingering crisis between herdsmen and farmers, we must give them a chance,” he said.

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Anti-corruption Campaign

The President also thanked the Christian leaders for their support to the Federal Government’s anti-corruption campaign and other policies geared towards reviving the economy.

“It is saddening that some of those who stole from our national resources put the money in their personal accounts.

“However, it is gratifying that those who stole money and shared funds meant for the purchase of arms for our military are regretting their actions and they will regret more.

“Those caught in corruption will have themselves to blame,” he said.

In his remarks, leader of the Forum, Pastor Aminchi Habu, called on Nigerians to support the President’s anti-corruption war and his vision to restore the lost glory of Nigeria.

“In your administration, I see a new Nigeria where the fear of bribery, corruption and extortion is the beginning of wisdom.

“I see a new Nigeria, where tribalism, religion and ethnicity is no longer a barrier that separates us but a bond that unites us for a greater tomorrow,” he said.

Nigeria Is Paying For Years Of Mismanagement – President Buhari

Buhari, MismanagementPresident Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria is paying dearly for incompetence in managing high revenue that accrued from oil, particularly over the past decade, and for allowing the decay of critical infrastructure.

Speaking at the State House, Abuja on Monday, while receiving the Chief Global CEO of Unilever, Mr Paul Polman, the President said that his administration is working very hard to change the structure of the Nigerian economy battered by several years of mismanagement.

”We refused to save for the rainy day. Now the rain is beating us. No money, no savings, nothing. And we are thoroughly wet from the rains,” he said.

President Buhari said Nigeria was paying the price for turning herself into a mono economy, but assured that the country would soon be able to feed itself, and even export, with the current emphasis placed on agriculture.

He gave the assurance that the Federal Government would fast-track the implementation of strategies to ease doing business and attract more investors into Nigeria.

“We want to create jobs, and supporting manufacturing is one way to do it. As soon as we have stabilized our budget, I would personally be interested in the manufacturing sector, particularly in the generation of essential raw materials,” the President said.

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The Chief Global CEO of Unilever said that the conglomerate had been in Nigeria for 93 years, making it the oldest manufacturing concern in the country.

“Our products are more Nigerian than other Nigerian brands. Despite the economic downturn, there are opportunities to further advance our business here.

“The situation to invest and continue to invest here is very encouraging,” Mr Polman said, adding that Unilever had invested about N15 billion in Nigeria in the past three years.

Gully Erosion: Imo Lawmakers Seek FG’s Intervention

Gully Erosion, Lawmakers in the Imo State House of Assembly have called on the Federal Government and appropriate authorities to come to the rescue of the people of Ozuomee Urualla in Ideato North Local Government of Imo State before the community is submerged totally by gully erosion.

This plea was made during an emergency visit by some lawmakers from the Imo State House of Assembly to a recent gully erosion site that submerged farmlands and cut off a major road in Ozuomee Urualla.

The lawmaker representing Ideato North in the Imo State House of Assembly, Honourable Arthur Egwim, said that the menace of gully erosion in the area has become a daily occurrence that has continued to sack communities and farmlands.

He said that most communities in the area have been abandoned since everybody now live in fear of being submerged by this natural disaster.

Honourable Egwim said that the level of damage done by the gully erosion cannot be handled by the state government alone but will need the assistance and intervention of the Federal Government through the appropriate agencies to ensure that life is restored to the community.

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.

Buhari Advocates Dialogue In Resolving Political Crisis In Burundi

Buhari and Pierre BuyoyaNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has urged the people and government of Burundi to explore dialogue in resolving the current political differences in the country.

Receiving the former Burundian President, Mr Pierre Buyoya, on Tuesday at the State House in Abuja, President Buhari said that Nigeria would continue to support peace processes in the continent through the African Union (AU), which had already intervened in Burundi.

The President said that since President Pierre Nkurunziza rejected the proposal of a “stabilising force from the AU, we can’t impose it on him, but we will continue to opt for dialogue.

“Nigeria has been playing a key role in the continent through the AU. We participated fully in ensuring a truce in Mali, and we want citizens to enjoy the impact of the truce, although the terrorists are not helping matters.

“Nigeria is always committed to regional and continental peace, and we will continue to do our best,” he said.

President Buhari told the former President of Burundi, who is the High Representative of the AU Mission to Mali and the Sahel, that he remained hopeful that there would be an amicable solution to the situation in Burundi.

In his remarks, the former President commended Nigeria for the role it played in restoring peace to Mali, noting that the AU was working to promote security in the Sahel, particularly through fighting trans-border terrorism.

He also urged Nigeria to use its clout to work for peace in Burundi, warning that the “country is gradually inching towards a civil war.”