Buhari Says Reverend Father Mbaka Is ‘A Man Of Courage’

Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka and Muhammadu BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari has described Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka of the Adoration Ministries in Enugu, south-east Nigeria, as a man of courage for delivering what he called ‘honest exhortation’.

The President said that the cleric’s exhortations early this year to the nation was one of the bests he had heard from the pulpit.

Receiving Father Mbaka, who was on a courtesy call at State House, in Abuja, President Buhari expressed his appreciation of the Catholic priest’s exemplary courage.

“Thank you very much for what you have done and said.

“It brought you out to the whole country as a man of courage. It was honest and well delivered.

“It has gone into the records as one of the best concerns expressed from the pulpit, not because it favoured me and my party, the All Progressives Congress, but because it was good for the country,” the President told Father Mbaka.

“Change will Come”

He also reaffirmed his conviction that “change will come to the country, with a lot of hard work, despite the security and economic problems”.

He appealed for the continued understanding and patience of Nigerians.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who was present at the meeting with Father Mbaka, described the priest as a man “who stood for truth and propriety, and declared corruption unacceptable”.

He added that the Buhari administration “is committed to truth and justice, and won’t encourage corruption in any way”.

Father Mbaka, who in the run up to the 2015 presidential election, told his teeming followers that former President Goodluck Jonathan would not be re-elected because of pervading corruption and insecurity in the land, said he was happy with the mission and methodology of the Buhari administration.

He also wished the President a happy 73rd birthday and prayed for the nation after the meeting with the President.

Buhari To Ministers: You Must Be Agents Of Change

Muhammadu-Buhari-Nigeria_presidentA retreat for ministers-designate has begun at the Presidential Villa, in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.

President Buhari asked the ministers-designate to “count themselves privileged to have been chosen among millions of their compatriots to be the drivers of the change that the ruling party promised Nigerians”.

The President said that the government officials’ determination to succeed must be equal to the nation’s challenges.

While recalling that his election was hinged on his promise to tackle corruption, insecurity and improve the economy, he said that the ministers-designate must be agents of the change promised by his administration.

According to Nigeria’s number one citizen, the diversification of the nation’s economy would be the focus of his government.

The retreat is being attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, all ministers-designate and other presidential aides and top government officials.

The event is being organised by the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, David Lawal, and it is holding at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had on Tuesday submitted the list of screened and confirmed ministers to President Muhammadu Buhari.

After receiving the document, President Buhari gave the indication that some of the new ministers would have to operate without portfolio.

This is hinged on the fact that the Federal Government, according to Buhari, could not afford to have an elaborate federal cabinet.

“The constitution certainly said there must be one member of the cabinet from all the states. The constitution did not say I must have 36 ministries.

“I will exploit that detail because of the economic imperative to have less ministers,” he told the Senate President.

Britain Pledges To Assist Nigeria To Recover Stolen Funds

UK-Minister-Grant-ShappsThe British Government has reaffirmed its commitment to collaborate with Nigeria in its fight against corruption and to also render other technical assistance towards ensuring that Nigeria’s stolen funds are brought back for developmental purposes.

The country’s Minister for Africa, Rt Hon Grant Shapps, made the pledge while speaking at the launching of a 100 Million Pounds Accountability and Governance Programme in Kaduna State, North West Nigeria.

The programme is aimed at fighting corruption and enthroning good governance in Nigeria.

The Minister noted that for Nigeria to overcome the challenges of poverty, unemployment, insecurity, illiteracy among other problems, government at all levels must collectively tackle corruption and ensure accountability and transparency in governance.

Rt Hon Shapps, who is also Head of the Department for International Development (DFID), gave the assurance that the British Government would continue to assist Nigeria with technical support and capacity building of its officials to tackle corruption and fight poverty.

He added that the accountability programme would support Nigeria to build transparent institutions and enhance scrutiny in public expenditure as well as increasing citizens’  awareness in governance.

While stressing the need for strong actions to be meted against corrupt citizens, Rt Hon Grant Shapps stated that corruption in Nigeria also affects the United Kingdom directly, hence the need for both countries to come together strongly and tackle the monster.

He urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to take action towards ensuring transparency in the oil and gas sector, developing a realisable budget at all levels, cutting waste and leakage in the public sector and empowering the law enforcement agencies to discharge their responsibilities effectively.

Speaking during a courtesy visit to Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, the British High Commissioner in Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, highlighted some of the areas of collaboration with the state which include providing technical and financial assistance in the fight against corruption and developing the education and health sectors, among others.

According to him, where public institutions are weak, corruption is bound to thrive.

High point of the visit was an interaction with over 150 physically challenged persons in Kakuri area of Kaduna State, where the Minister promised that Britain would focus attention in empowering indigent people especially those in rural communities.

 

 

UK Minister Pledges Support For Nigeria’s Energy, Prosperity And Security

NigeriaThe UK’s Minister for Africa, Grant Shapps, has pledged to support Nigeria’s stability and development at the start of his first visit to the country.

Arriving in Abuja, Grant Shapps praised the UK’s close relationship with Nigeria and set out how the two countries would work together to increase prosperity, trade and security.

During his visit he would meet with ministers and senior government officials, including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno and the Kaduna and Lagos State Governors.

He would also see how the UK’s investment in Nigeria’s solar energy market can provide a clean and reliable answer to the country’s problem of energy access.

“The UK has a strong relationship with Nigeria and we will continue to promote vital investment, tackle corruption and create a safer and more prosperous future for the country.

“From a trade relationship worth over £6 billion every year to our military cooperation against Boko Haram, Nigeria is a country whose security and prosperity truly matters to the UK.

“With more than half of Nigeria currently living without electricity, it is vital that more people can access clean and reliable solar energy. Not only will this transform people’s everyday lives, it is a tremendous opportunity for growth.

“I am determined that Britain will build on its close relationship with Nigeria by sharing our skills, knowledge and expertise,” Grant Shapps said.

The UK is providing a comprehensive package of support to Nigeria, including expanded military training and intelligence cooperation, anti-corruption capacity building and investigative support.

This is in addition to an annual development programme worth £218 million, contributing to the increasing prosperity at the heart of a thriving trade relationship worth £6.1 billion per year.

Grant Shapps’ visit follows a series of meetings between the UK’s Prime Minister and President Buhari, most recently at the United Nations General Assembly, and the UK Foreign Secretary’s attendance at the President’s inauguration in May 2015.

 

NLC Urges Public Office Holders To Declare Assets

NLC-Issa-aremuThe Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), has called on all public officers in the country to promptly make public the details of their assets.

The Union made the request in a statement issued by its factional Deputy President, Issa Aremu on Sunday in Kaduna.

While commending President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for making their declared assets public, the NLC deputy president challenged other elected and appointed public officers such as governors, state and federal legislators to follow suit by making their assets public.

He stressed that the action of the president and his vice had made the war against corruption all inclusive, and also imposes a moral burden on all public office holders.

According to the statement, “in a country whereby the common wealth had been serially looted by a few individuals, only those who make sources of their wealth available to public interrogation will command genuine legitimacy to manage the affairs of Nigerians, while those who fail to declare their assets would be seen as looters of the nation’s treasury”.

Senate Congratulates Buhari, Osinbajo

SenateThe Nigerian Senate has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on their successful inauguration as President and Vice President of Nigeria on May 29.

In a motion moved by the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, the Senate also congratulated Federal Lawmakers who have been elected State Governors, urging them to observe the rule of law and continue to maintain the integrity of the National Assembly.

Senator Boluwaji Kunlere, however, drew the attention of the Senate to the incidents which occurred in Niger and Kaduna States, where government officials were allegedly harassed at the inauguration ceremonies in the states.

President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in as the President and Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Friday, May 29, at the Eagles Square in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had been sworn-in moments before this.

Past Nigerian leaders as well as other world leaders converged on the Federal Capital Territory to witness the inauguration ceremony.