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Breaking: Buhari reacts to European Union’s election report

Buhari-speaks-NTA
President Muhammadu Buhari has said the European Union Observation Mission’s report on the 2019 general elections is a welcome development.

“The Presidency has welcomed the report of the European Union (EU) on the 2019 general elections in Nigeria, promising to analyse it fully and act on the recommendations,” presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said in a statement Saturday night.

“The administration of President Buhari will work with all Nigerian citizens, state institutions, parties, civil society, the media and other experts to make sure that the improvements recommended by the EU are implemented, and that these areas of concern are addressed,” he added.

The European Union observer mission during the presentation of its report said Nigeria’s 2019 general elections were not transparent and were marred by violence and harassment of voters.

“Overall, the EU EOM concluded the 2019 elections were marked by severe operational and transparency shortcomings, electoral security problems and low turnout,” said EU Chief Observer, Maria Arena, at a press conference in Abuja on Saturday.

She added that the polls were “marred by violence and intimidation, with the role of the security agencies becoming more contentious as the process progressed.”

However, the Chief Observer also said the country made significant improvements from previous elections it held.

Arena said the current administration implemented many of the recommendations the mission made in 2015.

She listed some of the “prominent items” that were recommended and have been implemented to include “the development and maintenance of a functional voter register, the merger of the accreditation and voting processes for ease for voters, improving the sanction powers of INEC, increasing the number of polling units, immediate display of results in collation centres, more involved participation of civil society and citizen observation among others.”

The EOM has since 1999, observed all general election in Nigeria and had highlighted “serious issues” with the electoral processes in the country.

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Buhari renames Abuja stadium after MKO Abiola

President Muhammadu Buhari has renamed the Abuja National Stadium after the late Chief MKO Abiola.

“Today, I propose the renaming of the Abuja National Stadium. Henceforth it will be called the Moshood Abiola National Stadium,” Buhari said during the Democracy Day speech.

Abiola, the presumed winner of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election died while in prison when General Abdulsalami Abubakar took over after Abacha’s death.

He was imprisoned by the Abacha military government for refusing to renounce his mandate as the elected President of Nigeria.

Twenty one years after, the controversy around the sudden death of Abiola on the day he was due to be released from prison has not resolved.

Successive governments ignored aside calls for Abiola to be honoured and for the federal government to recognise June 12 as democracy day.

On June 6, 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari conferred Abiola with nation’s highest honour, the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic, GCFR – the honour is exclusively conferred only on presidents and former presidents, and also declared June 12 as Democracy Day.

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12 things to know about 2019 budget

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari Monday signed the country’s budget of N8.826 trillion.

The spending plan was approved by the two chambers of the national assembly and was passed to the presidency on April 30, 2019.

Here are important facts about the 2019 budget:

The 2019 budget is signed 24 days earlier than 2018 budget which was signed on June 20, 2018.

The president presented N8.826 trillion to the national assembly on December 19, 2018.

The national assembly increased the budget by N90 billion – from N8.826 trillion to N8.92 trillion.

The 2019 budget of 8.92 trillion is about two hundred billion lower that than of 2018 budget.

It took the national assembly 4 months to pass it. It was sent back to the president on April 30, 2019.

The deficit of N1.86 trillion proposed by Buhari was also increased to N1.908 trillion.

The budget has a capital expenditure (roads, hospitals, schools, and other infrastructure) of N2.094 trillion.

Of the N2.094 trillion capital expenditure, the federal ministry of power, works and housing has the highest allocation of N394.906 billion followed by the Transportation Ministry which got N179.384.

Other key components of the budget:

Recurrent expenditure of N4.055 trillion
Statutory transfers of N502 billion
Fiscal deficit of N1.908 trillion (1.37%)
Special intervention fund of N500 billion
Deficit to GDP of 1.37percent.

N10 billion was budgeted as federal government intervention fund for victims of bandits attack in Zamfara State

N23 billion was budgeted for payment of severance package for members of the national assembly; allowances for incoming legislators and their legislative aides.

N66 billion increments in the budgetary allocations of key security and defence institutions, including the army, navy, air force and the police.

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Breaking: Buhari travels to Saudi Arabia for five days

The president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed in a statement on Wednesday, May 15 that he was invited by the ruler of Saudi Arabia, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, to perform the Umrah.

“To this effect, the President, accompanied by close personal aides, will embark on the journey on Thursday, 16th May,” Shehu said.

Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that can be performed at any time of the year unlike Hajj which has specific dates.

“Umrah is an optional but recommended pilgrimage to Makkah that can be made at any time of the year,” Shehu noted.

President Buhari is expected back in the country on Tuesday, May 21, days before he’s sworn in for a second term on May 29.

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Old Vs New — What’s in the Electoral bill that Buhari has refused to sign?

Four the fourth time, President Muhammadu Buhari refused to sign the amended electoral bill into law.

Buhari failed to sign the electoral bill for the fourt time

The President’s decision may signal another tug of war between the Executive and Legislature when the National assembly resumes from recess.

According to Buhari, signing the electoral bill into law at a time when the nation is close to the 2019 general elections may give way for confusion and disruption of the polls.

He, however, asked the National Assembly to specify in the electoral bill that the amendments to the Act would come into effect and be applicable to elections commencing after the 2019 polls.

However, a close look at the “old” electoral Act and the proposed “new” electoral bill reveals that the amended version falls into three categories: THE GOOD, THE FILLERS and THE SUSPECT.

Here are the highlights of only the good and the suspect, as the fillers will add nothing to the vexed issue.

THE GOOD

There is an introduction of subsection (5) to Section 8 (containing four subsections in the old) of the act, which addresses the appointment of secretaries and other staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The proposed amendment seeks to penalise any INEC official who knowingly refuses to disclose his political affiliation before being employed by the commission. The penalty is a fine of N5million, an imprisonment of at least five years or both.

INFERENCE: To enhance the non-partisanship status of the commission.

There is Section 38 in the old, which covers the failure of nomination by a party and mandates the commission to postpone the election dates for this reason. The amended version includes a new subsection (2) which makes postponement of election unnecessary once there is at least one valid nomination by a political party.

INTERFERENCE: This saves time and prevents the electoral processes from dragging unnecessarily.

We also have Section 44, which stipulates that INEC must ensure the ballot papers contain the symbols of the political parties. The amended version inserts of new subsections 3, 4, 5 which, in a nutshell, state that political parties must be invited to inspect their identities and show whether they approve or disapprove of their of how they are represented on the electoral materials after two days of invitation. And any party that fails to honour the invitation shall be deemed to have agreed with symbols of its party as presented.

INFERENCE: To forestall the usual litigation after elections where parties claim their parties’ logos, symbols or names are omitted, or misstated.

There is Section 49, which addresses the issues of ballot paper, confirmation of voters’ names. The amended version seeks the inclusion of Subsections 1 and 2, which recommend the use of card reader and other technological devices in elections.

INFERENCE: Simply to forestall irregularities and inconsistencies that often mark and mar our electoral results.

There is Aection 53, which addresses the question of over-voting and stipulates that the results of a polling unit where the number of votes cast exceeds that of registered voters should be declared null and void. The proposed amendment states that the results should be cancelled when the number of votes cast exceeds that of ACCREDITED voters.

INFERENCE: This reflects the current practice in Nigeria when accreditation precedes voting.

THE SUSPECT

Section 63(4) of the “old” electoral act addresses the issue of counting of votes and forms. This subsection says the presiding officer should count and announce the result at the polling units. The amended version to this subsection strikes out COUNT and simply states that the presiding officer should announce the result.

INFERENCE: This makes the process liable to manipulation.

Section 91 addresses the limitations on election expenses. The following is the list of maximum limit on election expenses that can be incurred by candidates, according to the old and the proposed:

Presidential election N1billion (Old)- N5billion (New)

Governorship election M200m (Old)- N1bn (New)

Senatorial Seat N40m (Old) -100m (New)

Federal House of Representatives N20m (Old) – N70m (New)

State Assembly N10m (Old) – N30m (New)

Chairmanship election N10m – N30m

Councillorship N1m (Old) – N5m (New)

Even 91(9) that prohibits any individual or entity from donating more than N1million has been amended to N10million.

INFERENCE: Is this a ploy to make our political space an exclusive preserve of the money-bags? Or to make the anomaly of vote buying a permanent feature of our elections?

And the most vexed and suspect is Section 25, which addresses the days of election. The proposed version tinkers with the sequence of elections. The elections will now be from the national assembly to the state assembly, then governorship and presidential, and not the other way round.

INFERENCE: The unofficial word out there is that the President would abandon the lawmakers if he contested first. But if his election was the last, he would dance to their tunes till the very end. Knowing how bills are typically driven by personal interests in this part of the world, it’s hard not to think the lawmakers’ minds are working this way, and even harder not to think Buhari will never sign

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PDP ruined Nigeria – Buhari

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, left the country in ruins after ruling the country for 16 years.
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Speaking at a meeting with a select group of South-east leaders, Buhari criticised the previous administrations for “lack of conscience” while “vandalising” the country.

“The state of infrastructure we inherited was terrible – no roads, the railway was killed and power,” said Buhari.

“They lacked conscience because anybody with conscience will not do what they did.”

Buhari, who will seek re-election in February, said “anybody” could be given the chance to lead the country but not the camp of the PDP because they were reckless with the country’s resources.

“Let anybody lead this country but not the PDP. They were so reckless with the resources of the country,” the President said.

“If you ruin the economy, send your children abroad to get education, won’t they come back?” he asked, adding: “I said it 30 years ago that this is the only country we have.”

The president said the ruling All Progressives Congress got it right from the very beginning that the major problems facing the country were mainly on security, corruption and the economy.

In 2015, Buhari wooed voters with his promises to lift the nation’s troubled economy, end decades of corruption and win the war against insurgency.

But three years after, critics and opposition condemned his administration stating that it has failed to uphold his promises to improve the country’s economic growth.

Recently, a report by Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization in USA, put Nigeria atop the world poverty statistics ahead of India.

Buhari, however, said “we must stay here and salvage it together.”

Source: GuardianNG

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Breaking: FG set to announce new minimum wage – NLC president

NLC-members
Nigeria government is set to announce the new minimum wage as the tripartite committee completes its assignment for onward submission to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ayuba Wabba, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) president, made this known while speaking with newsmen on Monday, October 8, in Abuja, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

According to him, the committee reconvened and deliberated on a new minimum wage figure that was acceptable to all employers of labour in the country.

“I want to assure workers that all has been concluded and will be passed for signing within the week.

“I also want to appreciate the Organised Private Sector, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) for their resolve to pay the new minimum wage when it is signed into law,” he said.

The NLC president, however, refused to disclose the figure arrived at by the tripartite committee on the new national minimum wage.

Wabba said the presidency would make it public after deliberation by the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting.

NAN reports that the organised labour, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the United Labour Congress (ULC), on Sunday, September 30, suspended its warning strike on a new minimum wage embarked upon on Wednesday, September 26.

The organised labour had embarked on the strike after a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government for failing to reconvene meeting to come out with its own figure on the new minimum wage.

The three unions had demanded N65,500 as new minimum wage for workers, while the private employers and some state governors were proposing N25,000.

Earlier, NAIJ.com reported that the federal government had said that it will soon address the agitation for the upward review of the national minimum wage in a manner that will make workers and all Nigerians smile.

The disclosure was made by the secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha, on Sunday, October 7, at the 22nd choir anniversary of the Christ Apostolic Church, Living Water DCC Headquarters, Abuja.

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Breaking: Buhari leaves Nigeria for China

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President Muhammadu Buhari will Friday depart for China to participate in the 7th Smmit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) scheduled to hold September 3 – 4, 2018 in Beijing.

The president’s first engagement in Beijing will be an interactive session with the Nigerian Community in China at the Nigerian Embassy.

Before the formal opening of the FOCAC Summit, President Buhari in his capacity as current Chair of ECOWAS, is expected to deliver remarks at the High-Level Dialogue between Chinese and African leaders, business representatives and African entrepreneurs.

The Nigerian President is scheduled to join President Jinping and other African leaders for the opening and roundtable sessions of the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit under the theme: “Towards an even Stronger China-Africa Community with a shared Future.”

After the FOCAC Summit, President Buhari will hold bilateral meetings with President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang to discuss infrastructure financing for strategic projects in Nigeria and the upgrading of Nigeria-China relations “from strategic partnership to comprehensive strategic partnership.”

The president will also use the occasion of his audience with the Chinese leadership to assess the progress made so far in Chinese interventions in Nigeria’s key priority infrastructure projects, particularly on-going projects in the railway and power sectors.

It is noteworthy that since the last FOCAC VI Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa in December 2015 – the first attended by the Nigerian leader – and his successful State visit to China in April 2016, the current administration has pushed forward practical cooperation with China in the areas of infrastructure construction, trade, investments, finance, power, agriculture, education cooperation, among others.

It would be recalled that President Buhari has consistently acknowledged Chinese support for infrastructure development in Nigeria.

In January 2018 while receiving the Board of Directors of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group, the President had said:

‘‘We send our gratitude to the Chinese for all their support to Nigeria. Since independence, no country has helped our country on infrastructural development like the Chinese. In some projects, the Chinese help us with 85 per cent payment, and soft loans that span 20 years. No country has done that for us.’’

President Buhari will be accompanied to Beijing by his wife, Aisha, who is scheduled to participate in a Spouses’ Programme on China-Africa at the Great Hall of the People, under the theme, ‘‘Joining Hands for a Future of AIDS.’’

Also on the President’s entourage are Governors Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, Akinwunmi Ambode, Mohammed Abubakar and Rochas Okorocha of Bauchi, Lagos, Jigawa and Imo States respectively.

Others are Senators Abdullahi Adamu, George Akume, Godswill Akpabio and Aliyu Wamakko representing Nasarawa, Benue, Akwa Ibom and Sokoto States respectively.

Also accompanying the President are: the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; Minister of FCT, Muhammad Bello; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah; Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma; Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu; Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, and Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika.

Others are the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar; and the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Maikanti Baru.

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I Don’t Know If It’s Nigeria That Is Paying For Buhari’s Treatment:Femi Adesina

Femi Adesina, special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity, says he is not sure if it is the federal government that is responsible for the medical bill of his principal.

Buhari has been receiving medical attention in London for the past 99 days and the issue of the cost has generated heated controversy between his supporters and opponents.

Before he left Nigeria on May 7, the president had spent 49 days in the United Kingdom, treating an undisclosed ailment.

When he appeared on Politics Today, a programme on Channels Television, on Monday, Seun Okinbaloye, anchor of the programme, asked Adesina, “Who is paying for the president’s treatment?”

“Does it matter at this point?” The presidential spokesman asked, to which Okinbaloye fired back: “We need to know, he is our president. He is a public official. This shouldn’t be shrouded in secrecy.”

Then Adesina said: “I do not know who is paying, but as a president, he has a right to be treated by the country.”

“Nigeria is taking care of the bill?” Okinbaloye asked, and Adesina responded, “Most likely. I don not know for sure.”

The presidential spokesman also discussed his experience with his principal at the Abuja House in London.

Adesina was in the delegation that met Buhari during the weekend.

“The president I saw was sharp, he was smart, he was lucid. The president I saw was almost completely mending,” Adesina said.

“But like I said in the statement we issued, he will come when his doctors say ‘it’s time to go home’.

Dismissing the position that Buhari has not returned to the country because he is too frail to travel, Adesina said: “We can’t depend on the word out there, but I can depend on what I saw with my eyes. I saw the president and I know that he has recovered considerably.

“Once the doctors certify him, he will surely come back… If you know the president, at the peak of his performance when he just assumed the presidency and went to different parts of the world, you will know that he is a man of tremendous energy and tremendous ability.

“If a man was heal and he has mended, that means he can do what he used to and even more.”

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A Must Read For All Nigerians The Full Breakdown Of ‘’2017 Budget Of Recovery & Growth’’ As Presented By President Buhari

 

Christened the “Budget of Recovery & Growth”, President Muhammadu Buhari said the N7.28 billion budget was higher than the N6.07 trillion 2016 Appropriation by about 19.95 per cent.

Below is the total breakdown;
Budget size: N7.298tn
Assumptions, projections
  • Benchmark crude oil price – $42.5 per barrel
  • Oil production estimate – 2.2 million barrels per day
  • Average exchange rate – N305 to the US dollar
  • Aggregate revenue available to fund the federal budget is N4.94tn
  • Deficit – N2.36tn (about 2.18% of GDP)
  • The deficit will be financed mainly by borrowing which is projected to be about N2.32tn.
  • N067tn of borrowing will be sourced from external sources while, N1.254tn will be borrowed from the domestic market.
Expenditure Estimates
The proposed aggregate expenditure of N7.298tn will comprise:
1. Statutory transfers – N419.02bn
2. Debt service – N1.66tn
3. Sinking fund – N177.46bn (to retire certain maturing bonds)
4. Non-debt recurrent expenditure – N2.98tn
5. Capital expenditure of N2.24tn (including capital in Statutory Transfers)
Recurrent Expenditure
A significant portion of recurrent expenditure has been provisioned for the payment of salaries and overheads in institutions that provide critical public services. The budgeted amounts for these items are:
1. N37bn for the Ministry of Interior
2. N01bn for Ministry of Education
3. N87bn for Ministry of Defence
4. N87bn for Ministry of Health.
Capital Expenditure: N2.24tn (30.7% of total budget) – These capital provisions are targeted at priority sectors and projects.
Key capital spending provisions in the Budget include the following:
1. Power, Works and Housing: N529bn;
2. Transportation: N262bn;
3. Special Intervention Programmes:
4. Defence: N140bn;
5. Water Resources: N85bn;
6. Industry, Trade and Investment: N81bn;
7. Interior: N63bn;
8. Education N50bn
9. Universal Basic Education Commission: N92bn
10. Health: N51bn
11. Federal Capital Territory: N37bn
12. Niger Delta Ministry: N33bn
13. Niger Delta Development Commission: N61bn
  • N100bn provided in the Special Intervention programme as seed money into the N1tn Family Homes Fund that will underpin a new social housing programme.
  • N14bn allocated as counterpart funding for the Lagos-Kano, Calabar-Lagos, Ajaokuta-Itakpe-Warri railway, and Kaduna-Abuja railway projects.
Statutory Transfers
Budgetary allocation to the Judiciary increased from N70bn to N100bn (to enhance the independence and efficiency of the judiciary)
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OBAMA REVEALS US STANCE ON BUHARI’S ADMINISTRATION

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United States President Barack Obama says his government has confidence in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to special adviser to the president Buhari on media and publicity,Femi Adesina, the US leader said this during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 71st edition of the UN General Assembly.

Obama described Buhari as a man of “integrity and honesty,” declaring his administration would assist Nigeria within the short period it has left.

“We have confidence in your leadership. There are some difficulties you face, but this administration is willing to assist in the short time we have left,” Adesina quoted Obama as saying.

“You have made real progress in defeating the brutal organisation called Boko Haram, and that was achieved because of your leadership.”

Obama also reportedly offered a hand of fellowship to Nigeria “in the final and comprehensive defeat of Boko Haram, resolution of the Niger Delta crisis, which would help ramp up oil production and increase revenue, resolving the humanitarian crisis in the North East, recovering stolen money, and revamping the economy”.

READ ALSO: PRESIDENCY LAUNCH “#CHANGEBEGINSWITHME” CAMPAIGN

He described Nigeria as a big and important country in sub-Saharan Africa, and said his country looked forward to a framework for sustained partnership between the two nations.

In the meeting, Buhari assured Obama of the progress of his administration, and the efforts being taken towards resolving the economic crisis.

He also expressed optimism that the problem of militancy in the Niger Delta region would soon be resolved.

“We are making definite progress on how many factions of the militant groups exist, their leadership and operational basis, and we have equally sought the cooperation of the oil majors,” Buhari said.

“In a short while, I believe the issues would be resolved.”

He thanked America for helping in the area of security by providing armaments, training for Nigerian troops, and sharing of intelligence, which has been crucial to the degradation of Boko Haram.

Buhari added that Nigeria was open to support in combating the humanitarian crisis currently ravaging the north-east region.

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APC REPLIES PDP OVER CALL FOR BUHARI’S RESIGNATION

Buhari

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described the Peoples Democratic Party’s call for the resignation of President Mohammadu Buhari as ‘ridiculous’.

The APC said that the call was not worth the ink it is written with.

APC in a statement issued today in Abuja and signed by its national secretary, Mai Mala Buni, said it would not return Nigeria to the voodoo economics which was the hallmark of the PDP years in government.

“The attention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is drawn to the latest ridiculous demand by a faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari returns the country to the voodoo economics and reckless fiscal policies the country was subjected to during the immediate-past PDP administration.

“The PDP faction by its demand to return the country to the years where looting of the public treasury was the order of the day, has taken its orchestrated plot to deflect attention from the economic mess it left behind to new insensitive and shameless heights”, the statement read.

“Instead of this charade by the PDP, we advise the PDP and their cronies to apologise to Nigerians and toe the path of honour by returning public funds stolen under its watch.

“While the PDP attempts to fraudulently re-write history and misrepresent facts on its misrule of the country, Nigerians are traumatised on a daily basis on disclosures of the startling level of pillage of the country’s commonwealth perpetuated under its watch.

“Instead of saving for the rainy day, past PDP administrations and their cronies literally looted the public treasury blind, using the loot to build luxury hotels and other properties, stashing loot in farmlands and hidden bank accounts.

“While the APC-led administration is open to and welcomes positive and constructive contributions on resolving the country’s economic challenges, the Party assures Nigerians that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is already employing all legitimate and innovative means to restore the country’s battered economy back to health in the quickest possible time.

“The results of the fiscal and economic agendas embarked by the President Buhari administration to tackle the effects of the country’s diminishing crude oil revenues, falling value of the Naira and resuscitate the economy will be evident soon.

“The APC appeals for patience and cooperation from Nigerians as the President Muhammadu Buhari administration works assiduously to pull the country out of the present hardships and restore the country on the path growth in all facets”, the statement added.

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PRESIDENT BUHARI ADDRESSES NYSC MEMBERS IN DAURA

President Muhammadu Buhari, today, addressed the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members in Daura, Katsina State.

Reports stated that in the mood of the Sallah celebration, the serving corps members paid a visit to the president in his Daura home.

It will be recalled that the director of media and publicity (NYSC), Bose Aderebigbe, recently revealed that the scheme is in dire need of funds and resources.

According to her, the sum of N10, 500, budgeted by the government to buy NYSC kit is no longer enough to purchase the complete set of quality kits.

Photos…

 

 

Corpers

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WHAT THE MILITANT THINK OF BUHARI – PROF WOLE SOYINKA

Buhari

Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate, has said Niger Delta militants aren’t convinced the Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government is responding to them with a great degree of seriousness.

The literary icon noted that he was personally approached by some of the militant groups, hence his appeal for a positive response to their demands.

Soyinka made this known on Thursday while holding press conference to speak about the activities of Wole Soyinka Foundation.

“I wish to make an appeal to the government to respond positively to the outreach from the militant groups. That is the request which has been made by some of the groups. At the moment, they feel that the government of President Buhari is not seriously responding to them.

“And I will make a personal appeal to the government to respond positively and let us see where it ends. But I am not part of any international group, I was approached personally and I have been responding personally to some of these groups just as I did when President Jonathan was in power and MEND was the umbrella group of the insurgents.

“So, I make that appeal once more to the government to please respond to the efforts of these militant groups to arrive at a holistic and comprehensive solution. When I was ambushed at the villa the other day, I did say that I would answer questions on my visit to the Villa at a press conference that I had already planned, which is this one as a matter of fact.

“What I have to say is that today is not the day I will talk about that visitation and the real reason is this, I had a meeting with the House of Lords in London. The meeting was not about the main subject that took me to Aso Rock which, among other things, is the problem we have in the Delta.

“But I used that opportunity to meet a certain number of international figures, parliamentarians, royal heads to pass on a message internationally to prospective interveners in what is happening in the Delta at the request of some of the militant groups.

“That meeting was reported in the media and it was badly distorted. Let me make a plea, it is bad enough distorting whatever happens on certain subjects. But on an issue like the insurgency in Nigeria, the Delta, in particular, we have very delicate grounds and the media has a huge role to play in that.”

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FOR REAL? WE BROUGHT IN BUHARI TO SAVE NIGERIA – OBASANJO

buhari, obasanjo

 

A former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has said that he and four other eminent Nigerians brought President Muhammadu Buhari to power just to salvage the country from its current woes.

He said they took the decision when they felt that the country was on the edge of collapsing.

Obasanjo said, “Three or four of us from different part of the country got together and said to ourselves what do we do?

“We said what is the problem with us and why are we still not growing. We got talking and knew we needed to do something.

“What do we need to deal with for this Nigeria of ours to become what God has created it to be. A land flowing with milk and honey, that is the intention of God for creating Nigeria.”

The former President, who was quoted as making this statement on Thursday at a reception held in his honour at the Government House, Yola, Taraba State, said so far, Buhari had not disappointed the country.

He said, “So far, Buhari has not disappointed us. I trust him, he will not fail Nigerians. I know he will overcome the challenges the country is currently facing.”

He, however, said Nigeria needed to get its acts right in the area of politics, governance and leadership for the country to develop.