Tag Archives: #Garba Shehu

How President Buhari Is Tackling Foods Inflation In The Country

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed the concern of his administration about the sudden spiral of food prices, at a time when the economy is already mired in a slowdown occasioned by the global coronavirus situation.

The President assures Nigerians that the situation is transient. His administration has already begun looking and putting in place measures to ameliorate the situation.

While Providence has been kind to us with the rains and as such an expectation that a bumper harvest would lead to crashing of food prices and ease the burdens on the population, government’s concern is that the exploitative market behaviour by actors has significantly increased among traders in the past few years and may make any such relief a short lived one.

This year has indeed tested us in ways that globalization has never been tested since the turn of the century. These challenges have disrupted lives and supply chains all over the world, and Nigeria has not been spared.

The effect has been deeply felt in the delays encountered in procurement of raw materials for local production of fertilizer (damaging standing crops before harvest) and the speculative activities by a number of rice processors who are ready to pay for paddy at any price to keep their mills running non-stop.

But of all these problems, the most worrisome are the activities of “corrupt” middlemen (with many of them discovered to be foreigners) and other food traders who serve as the link between farmers and consumers found to be systematically creating an artificial scarcity so that they can sell at higher prices.

In dealing with these problems, the administration has, in line with its ease of doing business mantra, avoided imposing stockholding restrictions, in order not to discourage investments in modern warehousing and cold storage.

The President has just approved the release of food items from the strategic reserves, including 30,000 tons of maize to animal feeds producers to ease the high cost of poultry production.

President Buhari’s administration has raised some of these issues with the various food producer associations involved, particularly those of rice and other grains.

With their cooperation, the high food prices should soon be a thing of the past.

In addition, investments in the agro-allied sector by the private sector will significantly increase domestic production of farming inputs especially fertilizer, further crash prices, create employment and ease the pressure on our foreign reserves.

One of these major investments is the Dangote Fertilizer plant which is projected to come on stream by the 4th quarter of 2020.

Additionally, key government agencies and policymakers with the responsibility and visibility on market activities remain focused on removing structural impediments to the production and free movement of agricultural products.

President Buhari once again assures Nigerians of his dedication to bringing this issue to a swift end.

Nigerians have already suffered grave economic losses owing to the coronavirus pandemic, and the Buhari administration will do all in its power to ensure that our people do not continue to suffer additionally from high food prices.

The statement was made available yesterday by Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity.

Trade Union Congress SHOULD PARTNER THE PRESIDENT AGAINST CORRUPTION, NOT STAMPEDE HIM – Presidency

The Senior Special Assistant to the President
on Media & Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, yesterday, in a swift response to planned ‘Nationwide Protest’, said:

“The reported plan by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to embark on a nationwide protest over the alleged President Buhari’s “inaction over the high-level of corruption uncovered at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)” is ill advised and totally uncalled for, considering that there are ongoing investigations in the cases by both the Executive and Legislative arms of government.

These processes must be allowed to run their full courses.

It is against the norm in a democratic society as well as the natural laws of justice to seek “action,” meaning punishment against offenders before proper investigation, trial and conviction.

The President has made it clear that the allegations that have surfaced clearly “constitute a breach of trust” and as the investigations take hold and close out, all those found wanting will face the wrath of the law.”

Malam Garba further states that:

“The TUC, as an enlightened group of labour Unionists, should indeed voice their indignation whenever such acts are being unearthed.

However the expectation will be for it to also raise the bar higher, in terms of the debate concerning the impact of such allegations on our ability, to create and retain employment, attract investment, improve the living conditions of its members and citizens, and how a preponderance of these heinous crimes decimates any gains being made in other spheres.

The world is confronted with a global public health crisis, decline in economic growth, and expanding areas of conflict by non-state actors.”

“All these ills in their singular or combined form are consuming every nation. Nigeria is no exception; we must hold the line and lock arms that way we rid ourselves of these existential issues whilst we grapple with those that are our own homegrown problems.

This administration is committed to doing just that, and organizations like the TUC should be extending a hand in supporting such a fight that is in our collective interest.” He concluded.

The Presidency Issued Statement On The Suspension Of Mr. Ibrahim Magu

Finally The Presidency Has Issued Statement On The Suspension of Ibrahim Magu, The Former Acting Chairman of EFCC.

The statement issued today and signed by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, reads:

“A series of documented allegations were made against the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Following a preliminary review of the allegations leveled against the Acting Chairman and several other members of his staff, there were grounds for a detailed investigation to be conducted.

Hence, an investigative panel was constituted in compliance with the extant laws governing the convening of such a body.

As is the proper procedure, when allegations are made against the Chief Executive of an institution, and in this case an institution that ought to be seen as beyond reproach, the Chief Executive has to step down from his post and allow for a transparent and unhindered investigation.

The EFCC does not revolve around the personality of an individual, and as such cannot be seen through the prism of any individual.

Therefore, the suspension of Mr. Ibrahim Magu, allows the institution to continue carrying out its mandate without the cloud of investigation hanging over its head.

The EFCC has many good, hardworking men and women who are committed to its ideal and ensuring that the wealth of our country isn’t plundered and wherein there is an act of misappropriation such person(s) are brought to justice.

Meanwhile, Mr. Magu is being availed the opportunity to defend himself and answer the allegations against him. This is how it should be, as is the fact that under the Laws of Nigeria every citizen is presumed and remains innocent until proven guilty.

We must realize that the fight against corruption is not a static event, but a dynamic and ever evolving process, in which the EFCC is just one actor; and as we continue to work towards improving our democratic process so shall every institution of ours also embark on that journey of evolution.

What is however important is that there must be accountability and transparency and our people must realize that they would be held to account. This is the building block in the fight against corruption, the establishment of the concept of Accountability and the recognition of the Rule of Law.

Those who see Mr. Magu’s investigation, as a signal that the fight against corruption is failing, have unfortunately, missed the boat.

There is no better indication that the fight is real and active than the will to investigate allegations in an open and transparent manner against those who have been charged to be custodians of this very system.

Under this President and Government, this is our mantra and guiding principle. There are no sacred cows, and for those who think they have a halo over their heads, their days are also numbered.

Mr. Magu was not immune – and regardless of the obvious embarrassment that potential acts of wrongdoing by him, given the office he held, may appear for the government.

No other administration in the history of Nigeria would have moved to bring into the light and public domain such an allegation.”