Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Presidency Happy With Saraki’s Handling Of Ministerial Screening

ABUJA —THE Senate, yesterday, screened 10 of President Muhammadu Buhari’s 37 ministerial nominees in an exercise that was both colourful and dramatic. The exercise also raised the issue of thoroughness as some of the nominees were hardly grilled as expected.

The exercise, which started after Senate President Bukola Saraki read out the names of the 16 nominees on the second ministerial list, which President Buhari sent to the Senate on Monday was an opportunity for the nominees to clear their names over some allegations as well as disclose what they would do if appointed.

Buhari Withdraws Ibeto From Ministerial Nominees

President Muhammadu Buhari has withdrawn the nomination of Ahmed Ibeto from Niger State as a Minister, bringing the total number of nominees to 36 from 37 earlier submitted.
This was just announced by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki at today’s plenary.
Meanwhile, the Senate has promised to improve on whatever gains it recorded yesterday, adding that it would use the feelings of the general public as the yardstick with which to adjudge self.
Chairman of the Senate Ad hoc Committee on Publicity, Senator Dino Melaye, who disclosed this on Wednesday, explained that what happened yesterday was the confirmation screening. He added that “We are not going to confirm in batches. We are going to confirm holistically.”
Daily Post.

Amaechi Will Not Be Screened – Senate

The Senate has said that former governor of Rivers State who was billed to be screened today will not be part of the exercise despite his name being reflected on the order paper.
This development follows the failure of Senator Samuel Anyanwu’s led Ad-hoc Committee on Ethics, Public Petitions and Privileges to submit their report at today’s plenary.

The Committee had reported that it was yet to submit its report on the petitions against Rotimi Ameachi to the Committee of the whole, hence, the Senate will have to stay action.
“You will recall that the Committee on Ethics, Public Petitions and Privileges has been investigating Mr Rotimi Ameachi, a ministerial nominee from Rivers State. As I speak, the report is yet to be concluded”, Anyanwu maintained.

Obasanjo Blames Colonialism For Africa’s Underdevelopment

Ibadan – Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday in Ibadan identified colonialism as an impediment to Africa’s progress and development.
Obasanjo spoke at the first edition of the International Conference of the African Studies Association of African (ASAA) held at the University of Ibadan.
The theme of the conference was “African Studies in the 21st Century: Past, Present and Future.”
“As we are all aware, colonialism devastated and depopulated the continent through transatlantic slave trade,’’ the former president said.

Don’t Abandon Jonathan’s Policies, Former Minister Tells Buhari

A former finance minister, Shamsudeen Usman, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to carry on with projects initiated by the immediate past administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan.
Speaking at the 56th annual conference of the Nigerian Economic Society on Monday, Mr. Usman said continuing with previous projects will ensure growth and development in the country.
He said Nigeria has over the years planned richly but lacked consistency in leadership and implementation.

“What is lacking is really leadership and consistency. So I am happy to know that our new president is providing that clear leadership, which is very critical, because it’s the message signal from the top,” said Mr. Shamdueen who was also a national planning minister.

Kachikwu: Lack Of PIB Costs Nigeria ₦3trn Yearly

Ibe Kachikwu, a ministerial nominee and group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has revealed that Nigeria is losing in excess of N3trillion annually to lack of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
“The investment that we are losing on an annual basis because of the lack of PIB, is in excess of $15b (N3tr) a year, and the reason is simple,” he said while addressing the senate on Wednesday.
“It would have been better that you didn’t start at all, then announce very flamboyantly that you were going to do PIB then step back from it, because it increases the level of uncertainty that no international investor wants to grapple with.

THE QUESTION: How Did Buhari Overlook Utomi, Ezekwesili, Falana And Abdullahi?

With the release of the second list of ministerial nominees by President Muhammadu Buhari, several All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwarts and technocrats were surprisingly overlooked.
Here are six candidates you would have sworn Buhari would give a chance.

Utomi, from Delta state, had been prominently mentioned in the media as one of the technocrats who would be appointed minister by Buhari. Utomi is highly regarded in business and politics as a man of high intellect and honesty. He is an advocate of a more ethical politics. He is the founder of Centre for Value in Leadership (CVL) and was the presidential candidate of the lesser-known African Democratic Congress Party in the 2003 and 2007 presidential elections. He joined the APC in 2014. Utomi campaigned vigorously for the APC in the last general election.

Fuel Not Scarce, Stop Panic Buying, NNPC Tells Nigerians

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Tuesday, called on Nigerians to desist from panic buying of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as fuel, stating that it has about 23 days of product supply in all its depots across the country.
Reacting to the resurgence of fuel queues in some cities across the country, the NNPC, in a statement by Mr. Ohi Alegbe, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, stated that its depots have about 927.461 million litres of PMS which is enough to serve the country for the next 23 days if no drop of the product is imported within the period.

Corruption In Nigeria Affects UK – Minister

The government of the United Kingdom yesterday has said the level of corruption in Nigeria affects it directly and it would take steps to protect the integrity of its financial system.
UK’s Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth, Grant Shapps, who was in Kaduna yesterday to meet with Governor Nasir El-Rufai, said there would be no impunity on the side of his government in tackling corruption, promising that it would take prompt action against anyone who commits criminal offence under UK jurisdiction.

“Where assets are recovered, we will return them to Nigeria as soon as we can so they can be used for Nigerian development,” he said.

Nigeria Is Technologically Ready For E-Voting But... – INEC

Nigeria is technologically ready for electronic voting and the country may adopt it as soon as the current electoral acts are amended to that effect, the Acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mrs Amina Zakari has said.  Mrs Zakari disclosed this in Abuja yesterday while answering questions from journalists shortly after a courtesy visit by the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr. Peter Olu Jack.

She said: “We have always used technology as far as electoral process is concerned so as to achieve free and fair elections. Anytime we have the time to recommend amendments we will be able to make amendmmsents and once that impediment is lifted INEC will partner with agencies to develop framework for electoral voting.”  According to her, “INEC shall however partner with NITDA to fashion a homegrown content that will be for Nigeria.”

Ogoni Spill: FG Set To Release First Tranche f $10m To Begin Clean-Up

Federal Government has announced plans to release the first tranche of $10 million to begin the process of cleaning up areas devastated by oil spills in Ogoniland.
Although actual date for the release of these funds has not been disclosed yet, there were indications that the funds would be largely deployed for logistic arrangements, including setting up of a board of trustees to manage the implementation of the clean-up.
An estimated $1.04 billion dollars would be required to effectively clean-up the entire oil spill areas in Ogoni land,according to a recent assessment report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

EFCC To Arraign Arinze, Internet Fraud Kingpin, Others In Asaba

Two suspected members of a syndicate involved in Internet fraud have been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
In a statement issued by Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC Head, Media & Publicity, The suspects, Arinze Ihekwo and Chinemelu Utaku, are to be arraigned on a 13-count charge bordering on alleged Internet fraud, Email hacking and obtaining money by false pretence before the Federal High Court, Asaba, Delta State.

Fayose Suspends Work On Ekiti Airport Project

•Farmer’s body taken to village for burial
Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose has suspended work in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.This followed a meeting with land owners and farmers at Jibowu Hall of the Government House yesterday.
An oil palm plantation farmer, Tijani Hakeem, was said to have died of shock after the destruction of economic trees on his plantation by government bulldozers.

It was gathered yesterday that Tijani’s remains were conveyed to his village in Kogi State for burial.
With the tension surronding the project concerning payment of compensation, the governor summoned a meeting.

Buhari: Selfish Elite Behind Criticism Of My Appointments

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday fired back at critics of the appointments he has made so far. He blamed the elite for orchestrating criticisms of his appointments into government positions.
The President spoke through his deputy, Prof Yemi Osinbajo at the opening of the 21st Nigerian Economic Summit (NES) in Abuja Buhari.

He described as unfortunate that Nigerians pay more attention to sectional and religious interests, rather than the competence of the appointees, claiming that misgivings on the elite.
The President noted that those seeking the promotion of selfish interests were fuelling complaints on where government appointees come from, adding that the fact that a northerner is in government does not necessarily mean good fortune for his people.

Why Buhari Must Work With Blders, By Maitama Sule

Elder statesman and Nigeria’s former Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) Alhaji Maitama Sule has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to work with the nation’s elders to achieve the needed change in his government.

Sule gave the advice in Abuja at the inaugural ceremony and the international conference of the African Society for Ageing Research and Development on Ageing, organised by the National Universities Commission (NUC) in collaboration with World Health Organisation, (WHO)
The theme was: “New Realities of Ageing in Africa: Implications for Research and Policy”.

Complete Ongoing Projects, Shun New Ones, Fashola Tells Oshiomhole

Former governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has advised Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State to shun the temptation of initiating new projects unless they are very critical to the well-being of the people, but should rather concentrate on completing ongoing ones before the end of his tenure in November 2016.

Fashola told the governor that he could not completely rebuild Edo State within eight years, as it is practically impossible for any administration to initiate and execute all the projects needed by people in the state.

40 Robbers Loot Lagos Banks, Kill Mother & Baby

LAGOS—No fewer than forty heavily armed robbers, yesterday morning, invaded two second generation banks in 4th Avenue, Festac area of Lagos state and carted away huge sums of money.
During the operation which lasted hours, a two-year-old toddler, Mmesoma Ndirika, and her mother, Jane, who were inside their apartment in an adjoining building, were reportedly hit by stray bullets from the bandits who were shooting sporadically in all directions.
Reports said both mother and child later died as a result of injuries they sustained from the bullet. A commercial motorcyclist who was also hit by stray bullets reportedly died later in an undisclosed private hospital.

It took the Police more than one and half hours to respond.

Recoveries by the Police
However, police authorities said they were able to recover about N27 million and other rounds of arms and ammunition abandoned by the bandits while fleeing from the scene. They could not give specific figure of casualties.

I Challenge Anyone To Bring An Invoice Of A N50m Bed — Fayemi

Called up for the exercise and grilled especially over his stint as governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi challenged anyone to produce an invoice of 50 million naira bed he was accused of buying in the state house during his tenure.”I challenge anyone to bring an invoice of a bed in the state house that is worth N50m. I did not spend irresponsibly on it. It is probably one of the cheapest state houses in Nigeria. I used my relationship to raise a lot of funds with institutions like the World bank, DFID etc. There is no country that does not borrow. I did not borrow to pay salaries.”

Our Priority Is To Bail Out The Poor – Buhari

ABUJA—The Federal Government said, yesterday, that its greatest priority is to bail out poor Nigerians from abject poverty by providing social protection that would lift their standard of living and also diversify the productive base of the economy to agriculture.
The Federal Government also said that it will strive to reform the judiciary and education system to fight corruption and curtail impunity in the system as there would be no mercy for looters of the economy, just as it justified the reason for granting financial bailout to states.
Speaking at the 21st Nigerian Economic Summit Group, NESG, tagged Tough Choices: Achieving Competi-tiveness, Inclusive Growth and Sustainability, President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said: “We want to bail out the poor by providing social protection.

BRT Lane Violation: Soldiers Beat Up LASTMA Officer

Irate soldiermen beat up an official of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA for daring to take photographs of them violating the BRT Lane on Ikorodu Road, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
This is coming as the Lagos State Government warns military officers against violating the BRT Law.
In a dramatic fashion, the military officers threw caution and decency into the wind when they descended heavily on LASTMA official, Peter Owolabi, for daring to take the photographs of their black Honda Accord car with number registration CP 839 YAB which violated the BRT laws at Obanikoro bus stop on Ikorodu road.
The unruly attitude of the personnel attracted the attention of members of the public, who jeered and admonished them to respect civil authority.

Buhari Hasn’t Added Value To Current Power Situation –Nebo

Former Minister of Power, Prof Chinedu Nebo, in this interview with ABIODUN NEJO takes a look at Nigeria’s ethnicity issue, the politics of power supply and the need to focus on areas of comparative advantage, among others. Excerpts:

Some people have identified diversity as one of the coun­try’s major problems, what is your take?
I do think that diversity is crucial to survival and striv­ing. If you become monotonous in anything, it is so easy to burn out and run out of line, but if there is diversity: intellectual diversity, cultural diversity, bio diversity, ori­entational diversity as the case may be, and even religious diversity, you will see that people are stronger and better formed out. I think one of the best things that have hap­pened to this country is in those days when people could be transferred to any part of the country. There weren’t such barriers in those days as they are now. State of origin didn’t come into it. I do hope that one day, people would be allowed to be the real indigenes of where they were born, not necessarily of where their father or mother or grand­father was born. So, I see the diversity that we have in Ni­geria as a very strong point.