Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Osinbajo to sign 2017 budget tomorrow

Barring last-minute change of mind, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo will assent the 2017 appropriation bill into law on Thursday by 9:00am at the presidential villa
A reliable source confirmed that the acting president has communicated the date and time to the leadership of the National Assembly.
Recall that on May 17, Osinbajo said that he would assent to the 2017 budget.

Information Minister Lai Mohammed had earlier told State House reporters after the Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by Osinbajo that the decision on who to sign the budget would be taken when the document is transmitted to the Presidency.

But Osinbajo, via a Twitter statement by his spokesman Laolu Akande, said the question on who would sign the budget was clear.

According to the statement, when the time comes, everything is set and he is satisfied, the acting president will sign the budget.

“Just so we are clear: when the time comes, everything is set and he is satisfied, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo will assent to the 2017 budget,” the statement read.

 Daily Trust

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I’m not unaware of your views, Tambuwal tells critics

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State, on Wednesday, said he was much aware of various views on him by his critics within and outside the state.
The governor stated this during an interactive session with Journalists in Sokoto as part of the activities marking his two years in office.
He said being a digital governor with vast knowledge in the social media, he took ample time to read both subjective and objective comments by the people.
The governor further admitted that he often has cause to review them and do the needful.
Tambuwal answered various questions ranging from; his frequent travel out of the state, the ongoing verification exercise within local government civil service, loan profile under his administration and his view on Buhari’s anti corruption war, among others.
He said his frequent travel out of Sokoto was not sometimes pre-determined, adding that, official and personal issues due arose to that effect.
“Just few days ago, former President Obasanjo invited me to chair an event organised for the youth at his Library. The invitation was impromptus and I had to honour it even without been a governor.” Tambuwal explained.
On the ghost workers syndrome in the state, the governor vowed that the ongoing verification exercise of civil servants would continue, even if it would cost him his second term bid.
His words: “For instance, somebody from Zamfara state bought some offers that representing that 270 staff salaries from Tureta local governments would be coming to his purse on monthly basis.
“We discovered the fraud and they were removed. The culprit even have the guts of sending a text message to the SSG threatening legal action.
“Another example is Binji local government. The council had not been getting N10 million as its monthly allocation but its salary is N30 million,” the governor lamented.
The Governor disclosed that no fewer than N300 million are still unclaimed at the Jaiz bank, waiting for genuine workers of the local government to come and claim them.
On the loan profile under his administration, Tambuwal said the loans were secured in good faith and meeting his government obligations to the people.
The governor the state was not owing salaries and allowances of workers while all pensions have been cleared up-to-date, saying, he could not sleep with his two eyes closed while his workers were not paid.

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Kaduna Assembly Screens Nominees For Board Of Fiscal Responsibility

The Kaduna State House of Assembly at its preliminary sitting yesterday screened the nominees for the Governing Board of Fiscal Responsibility Commission.
The nominees scheduled to be  screened are five but only four of them were present for the screening. Those screened are Aliyu Yahaya Sa’ad, as member representing Private Sector in the state, Lawal Danladi as member representing Zone 1, Isa. A. Shika as member representing Zone 2, and Mary Luka as member representing Zone 3, while Segun Onigbinde as member representing CSO who engages in causes relating to Probity, Transparency and Good Governance was absent for the screening.
The House resolved to give Mr.  Segun Onigbinde another chance to appear for the screening, noting that if he fails, it would advise the executive to nominate another person and he be withdrawn.
Hon. Labari Shelly Tella (Jema’a constituency)? said he believes the nominees are old enough to know what will be good for Kaduna State and its people and he believes that they would work within that capacity.
Meanwhile, the House at plenary also passed into Law the Bill to Establish the Kaduna State Mortgages and Foreclosure Authority, 2017
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Osibanjo signs new laws that allows the use of motor vehicles and other movable assets as collateral for bank loan , Yemi Osibanjo signs new laws that allows the use of motor vehicles and other movable assets as collateral for bank loan

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has signed two new laws that will facilitate access to more affordable credit facilities for businesses in the country. The new Acts are the Secured Transactions in Movable Assets Act, 2017 (otherwise known as Collateral Registry Act) and the Credit Reporting Act, 2017.

In a statement released by Osibanjo's spokesman, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo’s spokesman, he said; 
"The passage of these Acts would facilitate the achievement of the goals of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) set up by President Muhammadu Buhari in July 2016 and chaired by the Vice-President to progressively make Nigeria an easier place for businesses to start and thrive. "
Read the full statement below..
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has signed into law two bills from the National Assembly that will ultimately facilitate access to more affordable credit for Nigerians.

The bills which have now become ‘Acts’ are the Secured Transactions in Movable Assets Act, 2017 (otherwise known as Collateral Registry Act) and the Credit Reporting Act, 2017.

‘The Collateral Registry Act’ ensures that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria can register their movable assets such as motor vehicles, equipment and accounts receivable in the National Collateral Registry, and use same as collateral for accessing loans. This in turn will increase their chances at accessing financing and tackle one of the major obstacles faced by MSMEs.

On the other hand, ‘The Credit Reporting Act’ provides for credit information sharing between Credit Bureaus and lenders (such as banks), as well as other institutions that provide services on credit such as telecommunication companies and retailers.

(A Credit Bureau is defined as a company that collects information relating to the credit ratings of individuals and makes it available to financial institutions, who need such information to determine an individual’s credit-worthiness and whether or not to grant loan applications to such individuals.)

Access to credit is critical to economic growth and is considered to be the motor for driving private sector development. However, in Nigeria more than 70 per cent of private enterprises, typically MSMEs, have limited or no access to credit. Credit applications get rejected due to insufficient credit history and information for the lender to use to make a reasonable judgement, as well as unacceptable collateral. The two new Acts remove those obstacles for MSMEs.

Traditionally, banks only give loans to businesses that can provide fixed land and property as collateral. This shuts out MSMEs which usually own only movable assets like motor vehicles and equipment. The Collateral Registry Bill, 2017, will give confidence to lenders to utilise the Registry and thereby make credit available to MSMEs and individuals through the use of their movable assets as collateral.

The Credit Reporting Act now enables lenders to make reasonable judgement on whether or not to extend credit to an individual, and reduces the cases of bad loans.

On February 21, 2017, the leadership of the National Assembly publicly committed to passing the two bills as part of the 60-Day National Action Plan for Ease of Doing Business initiated by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC). That promise was kept by the National Assembly last week with the bills forwarded to the Acting President for assent.

With the passage of these Acts, the existing Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Guidelines regulating the operations of the National Collateral Registry and Credit Bureaux have now been replaced by formal legal frameworks.

The passage of these Acts would facilitate the achievement of the goals of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) set up by President Muhammadu Buhari in July 2016 and chaired by the Vice-President to progressively make Nigeria an easier place for businesses to start and thrive.

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Reps Commend Gaidam for Support to IDPs

 ...Ask FG to Compensate Yobe, Others for BH Costs

 Members of the House of Representatives have commended H.E Governor Ibrahim Gaidam for the effort he made so far in the rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and the reconstruction of facilities and infrastructure destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents in parts of the state affected by their terrorist activity.
Chairman of the House Committee on IDPs and Refugees Hon. Muhammad Sani Zoro who led members of his committee and those of the committee on emergencies and disaster preparedness on a fact-finding mission to Yobe State said, during a courtesy call on the governor at Government House Damaturu this afternoon, that the commendation followed a motion moved by Hon. Goni Bukar Lawan from Yobe State, who called attention to the effort of Governor Gaidam in devoting the lean resources of the state to helping victims of Boko Haram insurgency.
"The House unanimously resolved to commend Your Excellency for the effort and decided to write a commendation letter to you signed by the Clerk of the National Assembly - meaning the entire institution of the National Assembly", Zoro said.
Zoro added that the House found the Yobe Model which encouraged the integration of IDPs within host comunities as exemplary. "By the law of internal idsplacement, this is the best way to manage internal displacement", he said.
Zoro said the House also resolved to call on the federal government to pay 'massive compensation' to Yobe, Borno and Adamawa States for the resources and funds they expended in catering to a myriad of challenges and needs as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency.
The House Committee Chairman also spoke about the need to give the three most affected states the means to directly use funds to support rehabilitation and reconstruction of the affected areas.
He explained that this is important because the federal agencies responsible for humanitarian interventions in the Northeast, such as the National Commission for Refugees and the Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative are 'weak' and 'not capable' of addressing all the problems of the region.
He said the problem of corruption is also a challenge in the humanitarian intervention universe, a fact which has made some international organisations to withold some of their to assistance to IDPs because of lack of transparency in the conduct of some of the organisations.
Zoro said the federal government and partner international organisations such as the United Nations who want to channel humanitarian assistance through the state governments should not hesitate to do so "provided certain guidelines are followed for how the funds could be used because the interventions of the state governments are also systematic".
On his part, H.E Gov. Gaidam thanked the leadership of the House of Represenatives for their concern, saying the visit by the two committees will afford members the opportunity to interact with stakeholders and have a sense of the devastations and destructions of public and private property caused by Boko Haram.
The governor said that the failure of the previous Goodluck Jonathan-led federal government to finance the war against Boko Haram fully and effectively made his administration to deploy the meagre resources at its disposal to helping the campaign against Boko Haram insurgents through the payment of allowances to security operatives, procurement and maintenance of vehicles, logistics, medical assitance to security agents and provision of relief and medical assitance to victims, amongst others.
He said that by the end of the first quarter of 2015, the Yobe State Government had spent a total of N15.8 billion in Boko Haram-related expenses.
The governor regretted, however, that despite the huge costs to the Yobe State Government, the Jonathan administration gave the state N150 million only in "sharp contrast to the huge budgetary allocation to the security sector by that administration".
H.E Gov. Gaidam commended the effort of the Buhari administration and the Nigerian security forces and vigilante groups for the return of peace in the state.
He called on the House Committees to follow up on their call for compensation to be paid by the federal government and called for more support to help victims of Boko Haram violence rebuild and reclaim their lives.

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Katsina state government project verification committee uncovers 32 'ghost projects'

A Katsina state government project verification committee has uncovered a total 712 projects believed to have been executed and paid by the administration, 32 of them were found not executed, 6 abandoned just as 12 others not documented.

The total 712 projects are valued at about N8.4b and were said to be executed by six MDA's; Ministry of Education and Health, Science and Technical Board, State Universal Basic Education, Universal Basic Education commission, and the Sustainable Development Goals SDG's 

Presenting, the report, the acting chairman of the committee, Umar Rigoji said 581 of the projects have been executed and completed satisfactorily, 52 poorly and partially executed while 26 are ongoing.

He said, each project site was visited and fully assessed before reaching a verdict adding that 'for those poorly or partially executed, unexecuted and or abandoned government may look at the terms and conditions governing them and seek for legal redress'

In his remarks, governor Aminu Masari commended the committee for the work and assured the consultants and staff at the MDA's must be made accountable saying that the administration has been receiving complains especially on the social media which prompted the constitution of the independent verification committee.

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Freed Chibok girls won’t return to former school –FG

The Federal Government has said the freed Chibok schoolgirls would not return to their former schools in Chibok, Borno State.
Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Al-Hassan stated this while formally receiving the girls from the director of the Department of State Services (DSS) Medical Centre, Anne Okoroafor, at the National Women Development Centre, Abuja, yesterday.
The Federal Government also clarified that the rescued 106 Chibok schoolgirls were not under compulsion to remain within its care as any of them who wished to join their parents was free to do so.
No fewer than 219 girls were abducted from their school in April 2014. While the government rescued 103, three others were said to have escaped from Boko Haram captivity. At least 113 are still in the hands of the terrorists.
Although, the rescued girls have met their parents under strict government supervision, none of them has returned to live with their parents in Chibok.
The 82 girls, while in the custody of the DSS underwent  several medical tests and treatment. Some of the  them were said to have had bullet and bomb fragments in their bodies and were made to undergo surgeries.
The girls were warmly received by their other 24 counterparts, who had been in the camp since they regained freedom October last year.
Alhassan explained that the girls who would be camped till September would undergo remedial preparation in five subjects – English Language, Mathematics, Biology, Agricultural Science and Civic Education – after which they would be enrolled in schools in other parts of the country.
The minister also said 20 teachers had been engaged for the girls who would be grouped into four classes.
She reiterated the resolve of government to give the best care to the girls through the Presidential Rehabilitation and Re-integration Committee headed by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
Alhassan further disclosed that a fully-equipped medical facility has been set up at their camp with two doctors and two nurses, while the National Hospital, Federal Staff Clinic and the DSS Medical Clinic, were open to handle referral cases.
She added that an ambulance would be dedicated to the facility for emergencies.
As part of the comprehensive rehabilitation package, the minister disclosed that each of the girls would receive compulsory training in information and communication technology as well as two other skills of their choice.
“Here, we have 24 girls; remember that these were rescued last year. They are being joined today by 82 others, who have been certified fit to live on their own; they don’t have any medical issues any more apart from the one that we need to put a limb for. This place is their common room; it will accommodate the 106 of them.
“We have more handlers for the girls now; more doctors, nurses and matrons. And the programme will end at the beginning of next academic year in September when we will enrol all of them back to school,” Alhassan stated.
She further explained that the 24 others had missed the 2016/2017 school year because by the time they were ascertained fit by the experts, the academic year had gone far.
Shedding light on the condition of the 82 girls, Dr. Okoroafor who took care of them in the last three weeks, confirmed that they were fit for the programme.
“We have done the needful for them, profiled them and done all the investigations; whatever we found out during the investigation, we have treated them. Some of them require ongoing medical treatment like you can see one of them has problem with her hand; one is an amputee and one or two others who have some medical issues that we are still treating them for. But I can say to you that they are all stable and comfortable for us to release them. They are stable not just medically but psychologically”.
Representative of the Acting President, Mr. Nicholas Audifferen assured that government would stop at nothing to ensure the girls attained whatever heights they could.
The United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which had been partnering the ministry, were represented by Mr. Samuel Manyok (Child Development Specialist) and Mr. Eugene Kongnyuy, respectively.
There were indications that henceforth there will be tight security at the camp.

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Gov. Sani Bello Creates 3 New Ministries in Niger

In an attempt to harness the full potentials and enhance efficiency in service delivery of Niger State, government has created three new ministries and directed the immediate recruitment of 250 graduates into the state civil service.
The state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello who announced this in a statewide radio and television broadcast to mark this year's Democracy Day and the 2nd anniversary of his administration in Minna, the state capital also approved the appointment of 17 new Permanent Secretaries for efficiency and vibrancy of the state civil service.
The new Ministries are; Ministry of Forestry and Animal Resources, Ministry of Solid Minerials Development and Ministry of Culture and Tourism. This brings the number of ministries in the state to 18 from 15.
The governor said the decision to create the new Ministries was informed by the desire to further enhance the full potentials of the state and in fulfillment of the restoration agenda policy of his administration.
According to the governor, in order "to further harness our full potentials in the state, government had decided to create additional three ministries namely; Ministry of Forestry and Animal Resources, Ministry of Solid Minerials Development and Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
"I have also directed the State Civil Service Commission to immediately recruit and inject 250 graduates from the 25 local government areas into the state civil service. In addition, I have also approved the appointment of 17 new Permanent Secretaries based on merit and with immediate effect," the governor disclosed.
Governor Sani Bello observed that the state public service has been intensely exposed to damaging partisanship and external influences that have compromosed its integrity and created negative perceptions which make relations with political leaderhip and public school image difficult to manage.
To this end, the governor announced an overhaul in the top brass of the state civil service by directing 16 Permanent Secretaries to proceed on immediate retirement leave while 8 serving Permanent Secretaries are retained and two others who have been in acting capacity had their appointments confirmed.
Gov. Sani Bello said the on-going exercise and changes in the civil service was designed to allow for emergency of a new crop of leadership and to reinvigorate the service and entrench equity and fairness.

Whistle-blower remanded in prison over false information on Ekweremadu

An Abuja Magistrate Court has remanded one Ahmed Echoda in prison for allegedly providing false information to the police in connection with the raid on the house of Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu.
Echoda was arraigned yesterday for allegedly misleading the Nigerian Police with information that led to the raid on Friday.
Although the one-count charge indicated two defendants, only Echoda was present in court to take his plea.
According to the charge, the men Echodo and Maiwada Adamu were accused of conspiring to falsely inform the office of the IGP that Ekweremadu’s residence at number 10 Ganges Street, Maitama, Abuja and occupied by Oliver Ogenyi is being maintained and used for criminal activities, such as the maintenance of arms and ammunitions.
Echodo pleaded not guilty and the Magistrate, Umar Kagarko subsequently ordered that he be remanded in prison pending ruling on his bail application fixed for June 5.
Ekweremadu on Saturday said his official Guest House in Maitama, Abuja was raided by the Police on Friday.
The deputy senate president commended the  Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris for prosecuting the false whistle blower.

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Wife of The President Aisha joins Buhari in London

Wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha, left Nigeria, yesterday, for the United Kingdom, 23 days after her husband left for further medical consultations.
In a one paragraph statement, accompanied by photographs of Aisha, arriving Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, her Special Assistant on Media and Publicity,  Adebisi Olumide-Ajayi, said the First lady is off to spend sometime with her husband.
“Her Excellency will spend some time with her husband, President Muhammadu Buhari, who is presently on medical vacation.
“She expressed her appreciation to the millions of Nigerians who have been praying for his quick recovery and safe return.”
Buhari travelled for further medical consultations on May 7, 2017 while his wife has been busy with her pet project, Future Assured in the North East, with the focus on empowering women, the girl-child education and providing care for internally displaced persons in the North East.
The president left Nigeria on January 19, 2017, on medical vacation to London and returned after 49 days.
On his return, the president disclosed he had never been that sick to the point where he needed blood transfusion. Buhari also said he would go back abroad for further medical treatment, which he did 23 days ago.
This time around, the president said he would not entertain visitors as he recuperates.

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Buhari’s anti-corruption bill scales Senate’s hurdle

The Senate yesterday passed an Executive Bill on anti-corruption, more than 15 months after it was presented by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The law is crucial to the president’s drive to the recovery of looted funds stashed abroad.
The bill received rapid legislative action when it was read the first time on February 15, and then the second time on March 10, 2016.
But since then not much was heard about it in both chambers even as the president continued to sign a string of anti-corruption treaties with some foreign countries like the UAE and the U.K.
Tagged “the Mutual Assistance in Criminal matters Bill” it is meant to facilitate the identification, tracing, freezing, restraining, recovery, forfeiture and confiscation of proceeds of crime, among others.
The bill, which is to provide mutual assistance in criminal matters between Nigeria and other foreign states, will provide a legal framework to strengthen the fight against corruption, terrorism, economic and financial crimes, money laundering and other related offences.
The bill will also facilitate the voluntary attendance of persons in the requesting state.
It is also intended to facilitate the temporary transfer of persons in custody to assist in investigations or appear as witness, facilitate obtaining and preserving of computer data, and providing any other assistance that is not contrary to the law of the requesting state.
The passage of the bill came weeks after the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami raised the alarm that the lawmakers were slowing the pace of the fight against corruption by delaying the passage of the bill.
The Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, Senator David Umaru (APC, Niger), said the enactment of the law is paramount to the anti-corruption drive of the government. He pointed out that it would eliminate territorial jurisdictional constraints in the prosecution of cross border crimes.
He said the globalisation and advancement in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have made it imperative for a legislation to promote cooperation for the prosecution of cross border offenders and transnational organised Crimes.
“The passage of the bill will help combating corruption and improve Nigeria’s image in the international community. It will also serve as a fiat for Nigeria to be admitted as a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), “he said.
He added that the scope of the bill had been widened from the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters in the Commonwealth (Enactment and Enforcement) Act 2004, to assume international dimensions in participation and laundering of the proceeds of crime.
 In his remark, the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki said the passage of the bill would restore confidence of foreign investors in the country.
 “This anti-money laundering legislation is a key component of President Muhammadu Buhari’s war on corruption agenda.
“This act will facilitate the needed cooperation with other states to prevent individuals from escaping prosecution by fleeing to another country.
“This is the kind of innovative and cooperative anti-corruption scheme that will truly discourage money laundering. I and my colleagues applaud the President’s creativity and determination to discourage this kind of corruption, “he said.
Addressing newsmen, the Senate Spokesperson, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger) said the passage of the bill showed that the Senate was not against the Anti-Corruption war being waged by President Buhari.
Bill still pending at House
At the House of Representatives, the bill was read for the first time on February 17, 2016, and since then nothing has been heard about it.
The bill, supposed to come for second reading is said to be delayed due to a number of reasons.
It was gathered that both the Senate and the House had decided to stay action on the bill, along with anti-money laundering bill, in order to “sort out some grey areas.”
However, somewhere along the line, the Senate decided to continue work on the bill, while the House was still consulting.
A source close to the House leadership told Daily Trust last night that some key members of the leadership had been consulting widely on the bill in order to avoid a situation where the opposition would “kill it during debate.”
“It has been under consideration since it was presented, but the truth of the matter is that we want to avoid making mistakes so that the opposition lawmakers would not cash in on that. We’ve observed that there are a number of grey areas to be addressed.
“As a matter of fact, we have met with the Attorney General, the EFCC and other relevant stakeholders to sort things out.
“If we don’t do all this fine-tuning, the bill may not scale through. Of course you know the House is different from the Senate.
“But the consultations will come to an end soon. I believe the House will soon debate the bill and refer it to the relevant committees,” the source said.
Attempts to get the official position of the House from the spokesman, Rep Abdulrazak Namdas (APC, Adamawa) were not successful as he was said to be out of the country.
Nigeria, UAE’s MoUs on recovery of stolen funds
Nigeria and United Arab Emirates on January 19, 2016 in Abu Dhabi, signed bilateral agreements on recovery and repatriation of stolen funds and extradition of culpable officials.
The Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and his counterpart in the United Arab Emirates, Bin Saeed Albadi, signed the Judicial Agreements on Extradition, Transfer of Sentenced Persons, Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal Matters, and Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal and Commercial Matters, which included the recovery and repatriation of stolen wealth.
The pacts were among a series of other bilateral agreements signed by members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s delegation to the UAE for the World Energy Forum.
The Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal and Commercial Matters allows the UAE government repatriates stolen monies stashed in that country.
As the Nigerian Senate legalised the pacts, experts said Nigeria can now demand the repatriation of funds stashed in the UAE and demand the extradition of Nigerian fugitives resident in that country.
Billions of dollars of Nigeria’s loots are believed to have been stashed in banks or invested in real estates in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
A retired diplomat, Ambassador Sulaiman Dahiru said the next action now is for the Nigerian mission in UAE to be informed of the details of the agreement and then pursue the repatriation of looted assets back to the country.
“What’s next for the government now is to pursue the repatriation of the looted funds. And in pursuing it, clear instructions would be given to our embassy there to work very hard and get the funds repatriated.
“There is a standing agreement between Nigeria and UAE and since the Senate has legalise it, all the details of the agreement in the custody of either Ministry of Justice or EFCC would be made available to the Nigerian mission in UAE for it to start working on the repatriation of stolen asset,” he said.
With this agreement, Dahiru said it was quite possible for Nigeria to see more of looted assets in UAE recovered and repatriated to the country.
“Once the law is signed by the president or acting president, the next thing is to work very hard and get the looted money repatriated”, he said.
He said efforts must be made to identify Nigerians who had stolen from the treasury and stashed illicit funds in UAE with their names submitted to the authorities there.
“It is possible that the government of UAE may have the names of Nigerians who have properties in that country. What needs to be done is to ensure that they are identified and their stolen properties repatriated back to Nigeria,” Dahiru added.

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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Minister Of Communications Commissions Nigerian Army Information And Call Centre (NAICC)

The Minister of Communication, Barrister Abdurraheem Adebayo Shittu today Tuesday 30th May 2017, commissioned the newly established Nigerian Army Information and Call Centre (NAICC), at the Headquarters, Nigerian Army Abuja.

This is in line with the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai's determined efforts of making the Nigerian Army accessible, accountable and responsive in the discharge of its Constitutional duties.

The newly commissioned Nigerian Army Information and Call Centre (NAICC) is equipped with modern communication gadgets which is manned by specialists from various corps to monitor and receive complaints from the public through the short code of 193 using any of the telecommunication service providers in the country. 

The NAICC is expected to also receive calls or complains from troops serving in various parts of the country. Thus, saving them the stress of using the Social Media.

National Cash Transfer Programme: Payment of N100million Commence in Bauchi

The payment of N5,000 monthly stipend under the National Cash Transfer Programme of the Federal Government Social Investment will commence in Bauchi State today.

The officials of approved mobile money operator (MMO) who were saddled with the responsibility of ensuring payment/ cash out to beneficiaries at their various localities stated this yesterday after meeting with the Chief of Staff Government House and State Chairman of the Social Investment programmes

A total of 10,800 beneficiaries from 360 communities of 12 benefitting Local Government Areas of Bauchi State are expected to receive N10,000 each being payment of stipends for the month of December 2016 and January 2017 within the next one week.

In another development, the Bauchi State Government wishes to inform its citizens and general public that the N-Power registration portal would be re-open June 13, 2017 as indicated by the NSIP.

The Governor Mohammed Abubakar led administration through the office of his Special Assistant, NGOs hereby assures the good people of Bauchi State of its continued commitment to partner with Federal Government and other partners to improve their living standards.


Shamsuddeen Lukman Abubakar
SA Communications to His Excellency the Governor of Bauchi State

Boko Haram remains defeated —Lafiya Dole Commander

Outgoing Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Lucky Irabor, yesterday, insisted that Boko Haram had beendefeated. He noted that statement credited to Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State that the terrorists group was only decimated and not defeated was not applicable in military operations.

General Irabor supported his analogy of the defeat by disclosing that no single local government area or piece of territory in the North-East epicentre of the insurgency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states was in the hands of the terrorists group.He said: “Boko Haram has been defeated. They no longer have the capacity to carry out the ferocious attacks on communities like they used to do in the past. Their logistics base has been taken out. They can no longer move in convoys and wreak havoc on communities. “The governor could be looking at the situation from the fact that civilauthority has been affected by displacements of the civil populaceand people are yet to fully return toreclaimed communities, but it is a gradual process. That is understandable. 

If I were in his shoes, I would think the same way.”On why troops were still being killed in battle when Boko Haram had reportedly been defeated, Irabor said: “The defeat of the terrorists and reclaiming of territories is not a guarantee that peace is absolute right now. Peaceis a state that is futuristic. ‘’That is why we are still around carrying out clearance operations. It does not mean that the end has come completely. “We also need other stakeholders to play their roles to reach the near absolute peace required. By this, I mean the citizens, returnee IDPs, the state government and others will make absolute peace possible.”Commenting on the milestones made so far in clearance operations, the commander said:  “We have made significant gains interms of reducing the arsenals available to Boko Haram. Within the period, so many Chibok girls have been released, though through negotiation but I want to say they were released due to pressure of the military’s action closing in on them.”Describing allegation of late payment of allowances to troops or in some cases, non-payment, as strange, General Irabor said he was not aware of anything of such, noting that in the past when such issues occurred, they were resolved. He said issues of death benefits were being handled by the Army Department of Administration, saying there was procedure for such payments.

Troops rotation has commenced with 600 soldiers Regarding complaints of non-rotation of troops, contrary to the operational guidelines of military operation, the theatre commander said:  “We are making arrangement for that. Some of us have been here a long time. But rotation has started. As I am speaking, over 600 troops have been rotated in the last one month. Many troops will be inducted shortly into the operation”. To win the hearts and minds of the citizens of the North East in the fight against Boko Haram, especially in the liberated communities, Irabor said the military frequently provided medical services for the people, teaching support to children, while also educating the citizens on their roles to understand personal security as well as assist the military in general. “We also assist with some infrastructure, such as partial road construction, provision of water and we educate them on the effect of commercial activities that could be injurious to their well being and safety, especially if such commercial activities inadvertentlyhelped in funding Boko Haram activities,” he said.Repentant Boko Haram cleric says Insurgents’ practices unislamic May 24, 2017

FCT Minister Says "Abuja is one of the major fastest growing cities in the world"

The FCT Minister Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has said that the Federal Capital Territory is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. 
He stated this yesterday in Abuja while briefing newsmen on the scorecard of the administration in the last two years. 
Malam Bello said a lot has happened in the FCT between February of 2016 and now when he gave a rundown of his observations of what he found on ground in the administration and the city.
He said most of the promises he made to the residents of the FCT have been fulfilled in line with the social change agenda of Mr. President.
 On infrastructure, the minister said successful milestones have been achieved particularly with the Abuja light rail system. 
 “By the grace of God, we are going to start the movement of passengers towards the end of this year and then, by first quarter of next year, we will commence full commercial services,” he said.

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I’ve fulfilled my promises — el-Rufai

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai yesterday said he has fulfilled all the electoral promises he made to the people.
The governor said this in a state-wide broadcast to mark his two years in office.
“In the last two years, we have done as we have promised. We have steadily implemented the Restoration Programme. No segment of our campaign platform has been left untouched,” he said.‎
The governor said ‎despite recruiting over 7000 personnel within the last two years, the state’s  2016 recurrent expenditures showed a N5bn reduction in personnel cost to N21.8bn from N26.8bn in 2015.
He said in 2016, the Kaduna State government raised N23bn as taxes, levies and interest earnings, describing it as the highest ever in the history of the state.
‎In education, the governor said his administration raised primary school enrolment from 1.1m in July 2015 to 2.1m by September 2016, adding that 29% more students sat for WAEC in 2016 than in 2015.
“We renovated 400 of the 4250 public primary schools in the state before we decided to move to a programme of school reconstruction to accommodate the growth in population.
“We have broadened access, improved teacher quality and enhanced school facilities. We are emphatic that basic education shall remain free for the first nine years. We abolished levies, provided uniforms and fed 1.5m pupils every school day from January to July 2016. And to further expand access, we have passed a law to abolish street trading and hawking,” he said.
On health, the governor said he had pledged to improve access to healthcare and to improve health outcomes for people and has done so, adding that his government has secured accreditation for Barau Dikko Hospital as a teaching hospital while the Doka hospital on the Abuja-Kaduna Road is being transformed into a trauma centre.
On infrastructure, the governor said his government is fixing 414km of intracity roads, while over 2500 solar street lights have been installed.
The governor said this is in addition to encouraging farmers in the state through several initiatives. He said ‎the security situation in southern Kaduna has improved.
El-Rufai said in the remaining two years,  his administration will be initiating the BRT scheme, complete more water projects, build and equip more schools, strengthen the health sector, build more modern markets and neighbourhood centres and activate more of the investment projects.

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Our Kwankwasiyya Legacies Will Outlive Us In Kano – Kwankwaso

Former Kano State governor, Musa Kwankwaso is one man who cannot be ruled out when when the achievements of the state for the past 50 years of its existence are enumerated. In this interview with Stanley Nkwocha and Durojaiye Hassan, he talks about the Kwankwasiyya movement which became the hallmark of his political strides in the state as well as other issues of governance.
What was it like growing up; did you ever see yourself becoming governor of a big state like Kano?
I was not born in Kano but in Kwakwaso town, which is about 25km away from the city. I started my primary education and finished there. From there I got admission into craft school, Wudil, and then into technical school and the polytechnic, Kaduna and of course to Middlesex university. I came back in 1991 and with all the training and education I had from technical school upwards I started work under the ministry of water resources which was then called WRECA – Water Resource and Engineering Construction Agency. It responsible for the construction of the state. When I came back in 1991, I decided to join politics but in 1992, I contested election as a member representing my local government. I was so lucky that when I came to Abuja I contested and I won the election and of course Abacha came and kicked us out. Even though it was a short period it was very eventful. From there, there was constitutional conference which I represented six LGAS from Kano in 1995 and of course, after that, we participated in the Abacha experiment, that time, I was in DPN and when Abacha died, Abdulsalam came and there was the PDP and other parties, five parties were introduced and I was lucky also to win election; after winning the election in 1999 we were there for four years and lost the election in 2003.
I am happy to say that Obasanjo, the then president, appointed me minister of defence. I was minister till the end of 2006. From there I resigned my appointment and contested gubernatorial election in Kano but the government and the party decided that I should withdraw which I did and I was appointed an adviser. I was there till Obasanjo handed over and Yaradua nominated me to be an ambassador. Specifically he wanted me to go to china, but I told him that I wanted to re-organize PDP again and take over from the party then, the ANPP. Of course they insisted, but I didn’t want to leave the country. At the end of the day I was given member of the NDDC, until 2010 when I decided to voluntarily resign because what I saw in the NDDC was not very good. Some of us were very angry then. In a matter of months, the president had to dissolve the board. From there we went back to Kano where we worked so hard to strengthen the party and I contested governorship election again in 2011.
In the 2015 presidential primary, I contested with Mohammadu Buhari in Lagos. I didn’t win the ticket for many obvious reasons, but for somebody who started very late in 2014/15, very late, everybody was saying that the contest was between Buhari vs Atiku and others. I became second which I think was very encouraging. So, when I went back, my people decided that for some reasons they wanted me to come and represent Kano central. I had a total vote of 758,000 over 780,000 but in the contest itself, because the same day was the presidential election, it gave us the opportunity to see many people that were supporting Buhari and all supporters. That was why we had about 1.9million votes in Kano and we were so happy that other parties could not match us. We had about 484 councilors and 44 chairmen in a very peaceful election, nobody was scratched. Also, the  40 state assembly members are all APC, 24 House of Rep members, 3 senators, the governor and of course the presidential election. So, I am happy to say that if you add all these contests, primary and secondary election, I contested 15  times, including the one in 2015 and the one in 2014 in Lagos, and I won 13 times. So, I thank Almighty God. If you look at  it from that angle, I am also happy that we have done  so much. Our philosophy is that one should do his utmost best at every opportunity given to him/her. That is the kwankwasia philosophy.
We have done our best in Kano State; you are a witness to that and anybody who went to Kano before 2011 and on the day I handed over will be happy that so many things have been done to change the face of the state. I am happy we succeeded in that and I hope that all governors that will come after that will continue to consolidate on our own achievements.

Kano was 50 years on May 27. You had the opportunity of leading the state between 1993 and 2003 and again between 2001 and 2015. What did you find worrisome and what strategy did you put in place to deliberately change that.
Personally, I joined politics not because I had no job, but because I believed I had something to offer. It was  tug of war between me and the leadership of my agency back then in 1991, many of them thought I should stay because they saw a future in me. They said it was just a matter of time and I would become a director and so on an so forth. But inward, especially for somebody who had travelled much, somebody who had spent about ten years in Europe where we have seen their politics, their strengths, weaknesses, and where we read history and geography, not only of Britain or Europe but across the world, I believed there was need for me to play some role not only in the ministry or agency of a state but at the national level. That was why when I came back and decided to contest the election and of course become a legislator at the national level. So, that was the beginning and I am happy to say that my exposure helped me a lot in all this position that I was opportune to hold over the years. I was so happy that I was able to go round the world to see things for myself, to see areas where people failed and of course avoid these areas and areas that people had worked and succeeded. So, it is not only that in 1999-2003 we had worked so hard, we had just taken over from the military and what we did was so much that what we did was not initially appreciated because we took over from the military and  everybody believed at that time that anybody could do at least what we did.
Therefore, in the 2003 election, many things came to play against us, especially the sentiment of religion and sharia at that time, which was started in Zamfara State. Of course, it went across the Northern part of the country. At that time people didn’t care about  your performance, people didn’t talk much about water supply, agriculture or education, people were talking about going to paradise and so many people  came out and worked against. At that particular time, sentiments were so high and coincidentally, then President Obasanjo was contesting against Muhammadu Buhari. The issue of Christian vs Muslim came in; the issue of North vs South came in; but to me, based on my experience and belief, I maintained that party is supreme and that if you are in a political party you stand by your candidate. At the end of the day, many governors in 2003 were so scared and said ‘vote for so so candidate or any candidate of your choice at the presidential level, but vote for me at the governorship level’. I never did that, I stood by my party and I stood by our presidential candidate, even when people were saying ‘which one are you voting, is it mosque or church?’ Of course in Kano if you think that you know what people will choose, you are deceiving yourself. If you go to other parts of the country like Enugu and use that sentiment, you will know what people will choose. So we stood our ground, we worked so hard but a lot of confusion and the issue of vice president wanting to contest in 2003 against the sitting president crept in.  That, we felt, was not proper. At the end of the day, there was a lot of anti-party activities in our state.

What was your reaction when you lost the election?
We lost the election anyway and I was the first governor to accept defeat. Not only that I accepted defeat, I took the deputy governor then, who is the governor now, together with my commissioners and went to the then governor-elect and congratulated him because we see politics like any game. You go into it bearing in mind that you win this time, or you lose next time.
So, we lost the election. Right inside me I wasn’t happy that we lost the election, but I knew I didn’t lose the election because I didn’t perform or because I did anything wrong to the people. I love them, they love me, but sentiments just came but I was lucky that Obasanjo appointed me minister of defence. It was as if I lost the election in kano, but I got the seat as minister. Many people would ask me, ‘which one is better, which on is more difficult, which one do you like most’ and all sorts of questions but the issue then was that I spent four years as governor, but I equally spent almost four years as minister of defence. With that experience, I got a brand new constituency, very important constituency which I am still happy to enjoy today because I believe the constituency still believes that I am a member of their extended family.
That was a good experience I had, to be in the ministry of defence for a period of time and member of the NDDC board and adviser in that eight years. At the end we launched a comeback bid in Kano. At the end of the day, it was difficult because the president of our party at that time, or the government at that time was not behind me. They were not supporting us, the government of the day at that time was under an opposition party. We were in another party, and we had no adviser, no commissioners, no chief executive, we had no contracts or appointments to give to anybody. But you see, we did some programmes when and we were doing those programmes, we never thought that those programmes were very important and we would benefit from them. For example, take the issue of feeding. We were feeding pupils five times a week in all our primary schools. By the time I left, that programme was stopped. Even when the federal government selected Kano to be part of the two states in the North West to be supported I was a member of the committee. For one month we sent N284 million, but they refused to do it thinking that it was my baby. So, at the end of the day they refused to do it. By 2011, all those children in the school, many of them were 18 and above and were ready to vote and they came out. They were not interested in what you will give them: money or anything.
They did it free of charge and I believe that was when Kwankwasia was really launched in Kano. People were coming out to voluntarily vote. In 2011 and 2015, people were voting in Kano based on ideology, based on belief in good governance. We had no federal government, no Police to support us, no SSS. We had no government in Kano, we had no money but young men and women came out. These were those who benefited from us. We empowered thousands and thousands of young men and women in various trades and sent so many people to schools within and outside the country and in 2011, they were ready because they had seen the difference between our first four years and the four years that followed that our first term. They came to the conclusion that four years was better than eight years. Therefore, they came out, supported us under that difficult circumstances and we won election in Kano, both the gubernatorial and the assembly polls. So, that really encouraged me to say that look, it is good to be good because I have seen it. If you ask me, how much did you spend to become governor in 2011, I will tell you zero Naira. Everything we did, either campaign materials or logistics, people provided money, to the extent that after the election we even had surplus, if you asked somebody to come and take his money he will say no go and celebrate with that money.
So, we thank the Almighty God, we saw the advantages of being good and that was why all those programmes were not only brought back. They were also improved, we introduced new ones to the extent that many people could not understand how we executed them, but we are very happy that we did because we had already started harvesting what we had done in the second term. Now if you look around in Kano, you will see physical developments. We have the best street lights in the country. We have been adjudged to be the best, we were given so many trophies because Kano was the most lighted state in Nigeria. We had trophies from various organization now, in terms of road network, every road that leads into Kano we dualised them; we fixed street lights, we put drainage, walkways. We have more walkways than many cities. In fact, I don’t know of Abuja now, but we had fantastic road network with walkways and  our flyover are the best in the country, they are all there, and of-course, in many places. I embarked on a very important project on Jakara River, one river that cuts across so many local governments. I was personally involved in that project.
But our main area of concentration was education because we believed education is key for us as a government that was why we introduced the feeding of children in all our primary schools and we re-introduced it. You know, the poverty level in this part of the country is very high and that was very much welcomed by the children and their parents. We trained and retrained teachers, paid them on the 28 of every month, built thousands of special classrooms, story buildings, tiles, aluminum roofs. So many things were done to accommodate the increase of young men and women and children that were going into primary schools.
Our activities in Kano helped us to increase the number of children going into primary School from 1 million to about 2.4 million before we left in 2015 and at the secondary school level, we were able to build 47 technical schools, myself and himself attended two, craft school and technical school. The craft school I attended was upgraded to technical school some years ago and now we have four. By the time I went to Kano in 2011, we had four, but we established 44 and none of those four was even bigger than any of those schools we built with facilities. We built over 200 secondary schools in four years. We built schools for Islamic studies because we succeeded in stopping this almajari system which didn’t help anybody in the country or in this part. We stopped street begging. In addition to that we decided to build some institutes. We built 26 institutes, five under ministry of health; one nursing school, one post basic midwifery and of course, two midwifery schools. Some are under education, some under agriculture. We built 26 at the end of the day and when we were going many of them were attached to either the Kano State University of Science and Technology which we built in 2001. Now I understand they have students population of over 20,000  and of course, there is the North West University in the city of Kano, which was built in 2012, during our second term. Most of these institutes were handed over to these universities and now they are making progress. We brought in special training at all levels.
So there were so many good programmes and projects that we did in addition to what people are seeing today.

Under your watch, Kano had legacies that would never go away from the state in the next 100 years. What was your source of motivation in doing all this?
This movement is based on the political ideology of Malam Aminu Kano. You know Aminu Kano lived and died for the less privileged- the talakawas who could not afford to go to the hospital.  Even when there are no school fees they still feel the children should go and help them in the farm, otherwise they cannot get enough food for the year. So, Mallam fought for the talakawas. Unfortunately, Mallam was not able to be governor, was not able to be president but all his ideology was there in books. Those of us who had little opportunity, because we were very young, we were not even in the field when he died, but we heard little directly from him and people around him who were our leaders in those days.
So, we decided to build the kwankwasia ideology based on that foundation laid by Mallam Aminu Kano. That is why you always see us in red cap, white gown and black shoes. These red, white, black, was the colour of the PRP flag and that was the colour of Mallam Aminu Kano himself. We decided to take that because we have always believed that if we can adopt that ideology, it will help us and it will help everybody. Not only that, we were able to say it and put it into practice, Unlike Mallam Aminu Kano himself. Our own period of four years was not a time when we had more money than other governments before us or even after us, but it was that ideology which has a lot of things in there, like good leadership, hardwork, commitment, transparency etc. All these are part of kwankwansia. These are the driving force; these are the things that keep us not only in Kano, but in all the Northern states. Young men and women are aspiring to be like Mallam Aminu Kano, like kwankwanso and so on and so forth, which is very good and many of them are in the background. In fact, out of the over 2600 that went abroad, ABU just employed 37 of them to be assistant lecturers and they are in so many universities, at least across the north, and in the next few years you will find out that many of them are the professors, heads of department, vice chancellors.
We are so lucky because we sent our best to many countries where they have now offered them to do PhD in their universities under their scholarship. We sent about 23 to Texas, USA, and they gave most of them Ph.D and they are all medical doctors. So, we had done so much right from primary, secondary and tertiary education. All our teachers who were not qualified- we had many teachers who had no NCE, the minimum requirements- we sponsored all of them to go and do their NCE and many of them have graduated, many are about to finish in many state and federal institutions. So, a lot is being done in these areas. What is important is how we are able to mobilize the people to understand our direction. They worked so hard to support our election and that is why we were able to make 100% and God willing, if there is election today in Kano today or tomorrow you will be seen 100% support.


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Monday, 29 May 2017

Double registration saga: I did not endorse Omebije as Yahaya Bello’s replacement – Ex-Gov. Idris

Erstwhile governor of Kogi state, Ibrahim Idris, has denied endorsing a former Deputy Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Emmanuel Omebije, as Governor Yahaya Bello’s replacement following calls for hisremoval by top members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state. It could be recalled that the call for Bello’s resignation or impeachment was based on the accusation that he engaged inmultiple voter’s registrationwhich is in violation of the electoral laws of Nigeria. 
Ex-governor Idris made the denial through a statement he personally signed and issued in Abuja on Sunday night. According to him, those peddling the rumour that he gave Omebije his blessings to mobilise supporters against Bello are self-seeking politicians who wish to drag him into the murky political waters of the state. He added that, in his capacity as an ex-governor in Kogi, he is father of all irrespective of party differences and affiliations and as such cannot be caught fanning the embers of disunity and discord in the state.
The statement reads: “My attention has been drawn to the spurious rumour that I have endorsed a former Deputy Speaker of Kogi state House of Assembly, Emmanuel Omebije, as Governor Yahaya Bello’s replacement.“ I want to state clearly here for the avoidance of doubt that the rumour lacks any iota of truth. It is outright falsehood orchestrated by some self-seeking politicians in the state, who desperately wish to drag me into the murky political waters of the state.“I also want to state categorically that, in my capacity as an ex-governor in Kogi, I am obligated to sue for peace and to maintain unity among Kogi people instead of fanning the embers of political discord through unfounded endorsements and counter endorsements.“I urge all Kogites of goodwill to discountenance the rumour as my primary concern is to galvanize support for the present administration to deliver dividends of democracy to the people
“I further wish to appeal to all and sundry to come together and to remain resolute in the quest to take Kogi to greater heights.”

Loot recovery, prosecution process slow — Osinbajo

 He, however, stressed that the nation's law does not recognise a time bar for the prosecution of corruption and other crimes.

The acting president, in his Democracy Day speech released early this morning, vowed that the government would not relent in its efforts towards apprehending and bringing corruption suspects to justice.

He disclosed that the government was re-equipping its prosecution teams, "and  part of the expected judicial reforms is to dedicate some specific courts to the trial of corruption cases."

He said: "In the fight against corruption,  we have focused on bringing persons accused of corruption to justice. We believe that the looting of public resources that took place in the past few years has to be accounted for. Funds appropriated to build roads, railway lines, and power plants, and to equip the military, that had been stolen or diverted into private pockets, must be retrieved and the culprits brought to justice.

"Many have said that the process is slow, and that is true, corruption has fought back with tremendous resources and our system of administration of justice has been quite  slow. But the good news for justice is that our law does not recognize a time bar for the prosecution of corruption and other crimes."

He said the government was also institutionalizing safeguards and deterrents by expanding the coverage of the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

"We have introduced more efficient accounting and budgeting systems across the Federal Government. We have also launched an extremely successful Whistleblower Policy. The Efficiency Unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance has succeeded in plugging leakages amounting to billions of naira, over the last two years. We have ended expensive and much-abused fertilizer and petrol subsidy regimes.

"We have taken very seriously our promise to save and invest for the future, even against the backdrop of our revenue challenges, and we have in the last two years added US$500m to our Sovereign Wealth Fund and US$87m to the Excess Crude Account. This is the very opposite of the situation before now, when rising oil prices failed to translate to rising levels of savings and investment," he said.

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Demand for toads rises in Jigawa

Toad sellers are recording high sales in Hadejia, Jigawa, due to the growing demand of the aquatic animal, the News Agency of Nigeria, reports. The toad is a brown, tailless amphibian with a short stout body and short legs, typically having dry warty skin. Not a popular delicacy in the North, hitherto, toads are now in high demand in some communities of the central and southern parts of the country. A NAN check at the Hadejia Market showed that toad sellers were making brisk businesses due to a significant increase in the demand for the animals.
A long stick, which contains about 20 toads, was sold for N1,000 and asmall stick with 10 toads attracts N450. Toad sellers described the trade as lucrative in view of the growing market. A seller, Alhaji Haruna Shuaibu, saidthat he was making good sales due to the rise in the demand of toads.Shuaibu explained that toad demand had surpassed supply, adding that toads were very rare in the dry season.“ Toad trade is good. 
It has attracted many people due to its lucrative nature. Buyers are comingto the market from other states to buy. They prefer dried toads, but some buy fresh ones,” he said.According to him, traders at the market transport hundreds of sticks of toads to other parts of the country on a weekly basis. 
Zakari Hadi, a toad hunter, said thathe was making between N2, 000 and N3, 000 from the sales of toads, adding that this enables him to meet his basic financial needs.Hadi said that he used nets to trap and catch toads, adding that the animals were available at ponds in the area.

Kaduna Electric Donates Furniture To Kaduna School

The Management of Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company has donated 200 units of two-seater classroom furniture to Sardauna Memorial College Kaduna in an apparent response to calls by government at various levels and well-meaning individuals,.‎
Presenting the furniture to the Principal in the presence of a crowd comprising the old boys association, officials of the State ministry of education, teachers and students of the college, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Kaduna Electric, Engineer Garba Haruna described the gesture as “the fulfillment of the Company’s corporate social responsibility to it franchise area”.
According to him, “Kaduna electric is a responsible corporate citizen of kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara states and shall always identify with, and support the yearnings and aspirations of the government and people of the four states.
He called on the school authority to ensure that the furniture are put to proper use for the benefit of the present crop of students and even the future generation.
The electricity boss also used the occasion to appealed to electricity users in the Company’ franchise area to be alive to their responsibility, stating that the Company must be supported to grow. “The Company and it host communities are in a mutual beneficial relationship”, he further stated.
Earlier, the Principal of the College, Malam Baba Sidi Muhammad Sunusi expressed the appreciation of the College and promised to ensure that the furniture are properly maintain for long lasting benefits to the students.
Also, the President of the Sardauna memorial college old boys Association, SAMOBA who was represented by the Vice President, Mr. Joshau Gambo commended the Management of Kaduna Electric for the kind gesture, stressing that it shall go a long way in making teaching and learning environment more conducive.
He called on other well-meaning individuals and corporate bodies to emulate what he called “patriotic disposition” of the electricity distribution company
The Kaduna Zonal Director of the state ministry of education also pour encomiums on the electricity distribution company urging it to continue to provide support to noble projects like this.

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Buhari has failed, Nigerians must reject APC, PDP in 2019 – Sheikh Gumi

Sheikh (Dr) Ahmad Abubakar Gumi has declared the President Muhammadu Buhari APC-led administration as a failure.The Islamic scholar said this in his assessment of Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last two years.He noted that the general assessment of government’s performance was below the expectation of Nigerians, and urged Nigerians to reject both the APC and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) if they really desire a new lease of life.His words: “The problem is that no matter how good you are as a leader, you should have a team. 
If you put Maradona in a bad team, no one will pass the ball to him in order to score a goal. The APC government has failed for lack of a team”. “Every failure has reasons. When a patient dies inthe hospital, there is usually a post mortem examination to determine the direct cause of death. We have symptoms but they may not be the cause of death. “The widespread suffering in the country is a symptom of an underlying disease afflicting the nation that needs to be tackled. But if the government has been listening all along, it could have alleviated the problem or it could have donemore than it is doing.“I can imagine somebody who has nothing. How is he surviving? How is he paying his children’s school fees? How can he treat his children when they are sick? How can he feed? 
So, when you look at all these indices, you will know that it is a miracle that we are still existing. “So, if we want to do a post mortem on this government, you have to look far beyond the inception of the administration. Like I said, they inherited some of the defects and the solution would have been to manage Nigeria as a critically ill patient”.Gumi, a medical doctor, also stated that Nigeria is not united. He said the APC took over a dividedcountry and that what political scientists needed to do at that time was to design a template without dividing Nigeria.“ Now, there is too much hostility and bad blood in the country. All I know is that all Nigerians are one. What we need was someone to correct us”, he told New Telegraph.
“This is the time to bring people together, the kind of leader that Nigeria needs at this critical time is the one that can pacify. Not one that will show that he is clean and the other person is dirty. No. He should show that we are all dirty, let us all come and clean ourselves.“So, the so-called clean party which has the broom, who is it trying to sweep? It is so antagonistic. It is so provocative that it has divided the country. If your house is also dirty, you cannot clean someone’s house. People thought that change is coming when it was not possible to effect that change.
Gumi fumed that top officials were getting away with stealing and corruption and cited examples.“ The allegations of corruption are already been made against the (suspended) Secretary to the Government of the Federation, of a government that is fighting corruption. And the government cannot do anything besides suspension.“ The present administration came to rule Nigeria using the slogan of war against corruption and this is disrupting the unity of the country. The unity of the country is more important than the money that people stole; more important than thecurrent underdevelopment that we are witnessing”.
Asked the way out of Nigeria’s problems, Sheikh Gumi advised that before 2019, politics has to change completely and drastically. “No more APC or PDP”, he declared, adding that “once they continue, Nigeria’s problems will continue. 
What I am saying is that they should metamorphose, they should change. When you see a butterfly, there was a time when it was a larva.“ The parties have to change; PDP has to change, APC has to change or it will break because it is an alloy which is not well moulded. We want these parties to change because of the future of our children.“The major defect of APC is that it is a party which was grown by the power of individuals; Buhari in the North and Tinubu in the South West. And there is danger in this kind of politics. Look at Mugabe now, he has suppressed and pinned down everybody in Zimbabwe and he has been winning elections in quote.
“If we continue along this path, Nigeria will be like that. When we have somebody who feels thathe is the Messiah, then we are in trouble becauseas I am speaking to you now, not everybody in the North can speak to you like this.”
Daily Post 

Sokoto villagers heave sigh of relief after bandits surrender arms

​For many villagers in Isa Local Government Area of Sokoto State, it was horrific  and traumatic dwelling in localities beset by frequent ruthless attacks by bandits.

The men of the underworld were noted to have perpetuated their nefarious activities across the local government area. The Isa-Sokoto road was very much dreaded, forcing  many commuters to use the much  longer but safer  route  Sokoto- Goronyo- Sabon Birnin road. “Our people could not go to farms or market to transact business for fear of being attack by the bandits. Life in the area was at a standstill, people where living in fear, especially at night,” recalled Sarkin Kudun Karamawa, Alhaji Aliyu Usman, village head of Kamarawa,  one of the villages in Isa. He confirmed that a greater percentage of the villagers had to relocate to Shinkafi  in Zamfara State and other neighbouring villages for their safety. “Kamarawa was almost deserted by its inhabitants,” he stated. “It was hell living with the bandits as they didn’t spare anyone and they came to us at will. I was also a victim of their criminal activities when they came to my house one night and took away my cattle and donkey. One of the cows refused to be dragged away so they inflicted injury on its mouth with a sharp object, dumped it and went away,” here collected. 

It was therefore to the overwhelming relief of the locals when bandits laid down their arms. When in January this year, retired Col. Garba Moyi disclosed that 27 bandits had pledged to renounce their criminal activities in Isa Local Government Area of Sokoto State, many were sceptical. However, few weeks later, the police commissioner in Sokoto, Mohammed Abdulkadir, confirmed that the repentant bandits had surrendered 40 arms which included AK-47 rifles, pump action guns and pistols, among others. In a bid to assist the repentant bandits to be productive and re-integrate fast into the society, the state government set up amnesty committee for the council.

The local government chairman revealed that under the amnesty programme, 67 penitent bandits had  surrendered their arms in the locality. According to the chairman, the initial 55 of them  who surrendered their arms had been  rewarded with cash, plots of land  and farmlands, totalling  N30.5million. Those who surrendered sophisticated weapons, such as  AK 47, SMG rifles and G3 rifles, among others,  were given N500,000 while those who submitted locally fabricated arms received between N100,000 and N200,000. Each of them was also given an assistance of between N 100,000 to N 200,000, to restart life.

The council boss said that the amnesty programme had enhanced peace and security in the area. “The repentant bandits were hitherto involved in kidnapping, cattle rustling and armed robberies, among other crimes. They are now assisting the various security personnel with surveillance and intelligence gathering.”He was full of appreciation to Governor Aminu Tambuwal for initiating the amnesty programme and effectively funding it.One of leaders of  those who gave up their arms, 64-year-old Ibrahim, alias Hanazuwa, told Daily Trust on Sunday that he was into banditry to avenge the killings and stealing of cattle by vigilante groups and locals in the southern, north central  and eastern parts of Nigeria.“Those people killed all our people, stole their cattle as well as made their children orphans and their wives widows.

 The situation compelled us to also take weapons and do to others what they have done to our people,” he revealed. He added: “This banditry is a spill-over of what you hear is happening is some parts of Nigeria. We had to take arms which we bought with what we got from the sale of our cows. We can afford both locally-made and sophisticated arms which we use to harass people and take away their cattle.”What made them penitent and  lay down their arms? For Ibrahim: “I was moved by the sermon we received from clerics and counselling from experts, which made me to embrace the state government’s amnesty programme with all my heart.” “I now want to end my life well as a good Muslim to meet Allah in a decent manner and get His forgiveness.”Ibrahim expressed resolve to support the amnesty programme to achieve success. He, however, advised government to honour all pledges made to the second batch of those who have repented and surrendered their arms.Another ex-bandit who gave up his arm, Muhammad Tukur, 40, only re-echoed Ibrahim’s call on government to ensure other repentant bandits are given what had been promised them.This, he said, would go a long way in giving confidence in the amnesty programme.

Sarkin Kudun Karamawa, Alhaji Aliyu Usman, spoke on some events that led to  the surrendering of arms by some of the  former bandits. He recalled: “At the peak of the bandits’ activities, the late Sarkin Gabas of Gebe was consulted for his advice on how to curb the menace of banditry in the area. He invited the then Isa Local Government sole administrator who visited the area and promised to do something but was slow in  action. “Because the situation was getting out of hand, I volunteered and went to Sokoto to the member representing this area at the State House of Assembly, Hon Habibu Halilu Modachi and to Chairman Sokoto State APC Alhaji Usman Dan Madamin Isa who is the son of the soil. ”Usman noted that it was during that time that the father of one of the leaders of the armed bandits in Kagara village, Yano, came to him and declaredthe son’s intention to surrender his weapons and take to the right path.“Yano came to my house one night and declared the same message he sent to me through his father. He requested that my son should accompany him to a destination and together they went to a place in the forest where they met a group of bandits holding a meeting. The area is close to Bangi town in Niger Republic.They discussed issues concerning their intention to surrender. 

After the encounter,  two of the armed bandits came to me here at Karamawa and declared their intention to quit armed banditry,” he narrated. The Sarkin Kudun Karamawa said after their visit, he went to Wakili of Gebe village who insisted that they inform the council chairman about the development. “The chairman was informed and a date was set aside for their formal declaration to surrender their weapons in public,” he revealed.

The village head harped on the need for  people not stigmatize the repentant  bandits and urged communities to ensure peaceful coexistence. He commended the state and local governments for their roles in the matter in tackling the menace of banditry. Some of the commercial drivers who ply the Sokoto-Isa road daily were gleeful over the restoration of normalcy in the area.Muhammadu Bako, 50, a commercial driver, said it was almost an every hour affair for the bandits to launch their attacks. “They attacked innocent people driving to or fromIsa in the morning, afternoon or night. Even when your vehicle develops a problem, you have to manage it and continue going till you reach a safeplace before you park and examine it.

 That was the situation,” he stated.He recalled: “We enjoyed a temporary peace threeyears ago when a concerned business man in thearea donated three bulletproof vehicles which patrolled the area. The bulletproof vehicles scared away the bandits. It led to the killing of one of their leaders sometime back. After the vehicles developed problems the bandits resumed their activities because the security wasrelaxed. Now that the bandits have decided to surrender their arms, there is no much problem on the roads even as villagers and communities along the road are contributing to maintaining thepeace. ”Sani Attahiru, 55, who spent 15 years plying the road from Isa to Sokoto, said he was a victim of the bandits’ assaults.“They attacked my vehicle on two different occasions while I was conveying some passengers, and twice gave me a sound beating. Now I can travel to Sokoto peacefully and at any time of the day. I can pick a load to Sokoto even at 12 midnight,” he stated cheerfully.

Attahiru  applauded the efforts of the local government Chairman and the state government towards ensuring security in the area.The driver called for sustained efforts at ensuringpeace and order on the road and in the communities.

Daily Trust