The Presidency welcomes the judgment by the UK Court granting Nigeria’s application for an extension of time and relief from sanctions in a $10 billion arbitration case with Process and Industrious Development Limited (P&ID) in Nigeria.
In our view, the judgment is right, just and provides a strong prima facie case that the fraudulent gas deal with P&ID and the subsequent judgment debt of $10 billion against Nigeria was a clear attempt to cheat the country of billions of dollars by a company that had not invested one Naira in our country.
On the arbitration award, it is a source of huge satisfaction that the UK Court, among others, had ruled that:
‘‘Nigeria has established a strong prima facie case that the Gas Supply and Processing (GSPA) was procured by bribes paid to insiders as part of a larger scheme to defraud Nigeria.
‘‘There is also a strong prima facie case that that (P&ID) main witness in the arbitration, Mr Quinn, gave a perjured evidence to the Tribunal, and that contrary to that evidence, P&ID was not in the position to perform the contract.’’
The Presidency expresses delight with the processes that led to this outcome in the English Court, noting that it has given relief to the Nigerian government to further protect our national assets from criminally-minded organisations and individuals.
The views of the UK court thus provide sufficient grounds for the Federal Government to go ahead and challenge the frauds perpetrated by the company and overturn the arbitration award.
President Muhammadu Buhari therefore commends the team of lawyers who represented Nigeria in the matter with P&ID, and reassures all well-meaning Nigerians and the international community of his unwavering commitment to fight corruption in all its forms and manifestation.
The statement was issued today by Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity.
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.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) published on Monday August 24, 2020, the 2nd Quarter (Q2) 2020 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates, which measures economic growth.
Nigeria’s (GDP) declined by –6.10% (year-on-year) in real terms in the second quarter of 2020, ending the 3-year trend of low but consistently improving positive real growth rates recorded since the 2016/17 recession. Consequently, for the first half of 2020, real GDP declined by –2.18% year-on-year, compared with 2.11% recorded in the first half of 2019.
The overall decline of -6.1% (for Q2 2020) and -2.18 per cent (for H1 2020) was better than the projected forecast of -7.24% as estimated by the National Bureau of Statistics. The figure was also relatively far better than many other countries recorded during the same quarter. Furthermore, despite the observed contraction in economic activity during the quarter, it outperformed projections by most domestic and international analysts. It also appears muted compared to the outcomes in several other countries, including large economies such as the US (-33%), UK (-20%), France (-14%), Germany (-10%), Italy (-12.4%), Canada (-12.0%), Israel (-29%), Japan (-8%), South Africa (projection -20% to -50%), with the notable exception of only China (+3%).
The government’s anticipation of the impending economic slowdown and the various initiatives introduced as early responses to cushion the economic and social effects of the pandemic, through the Economic Sustainability Programme (ESP), contributed immensely to dampening the severity of the pandemic on growth.
On the fiscal side, a robust financing mechanism was designed to raise revenue to support humanitarian assistance, in addition to special intervention funds for the health sector. Adjustments to the national budget as well as emergency financing from concessional lending windows of development finance institutions were critical in supporting governments’ capacity to meet its obligations. On the monetary side, moratorium on loans, credit support to households and industries, regulatory forbearance and targeted lending and guarantee programs through NIRSAL were some of the measures implemented in response to the pandemic during the second quarter.
It is equally worth noting that since the start of the third quarter, the phased approach to easing the restrictions being implemented centrally and across States have resulted in a gradual return of economic activity, including the possibility of international travel.
More importantly, the anticipated health impacts of the pandemic have been managed without overwhelming the health infrastructure, which would have further compromised the ability to re-open the country to travel,
commerce and international trade. Indeed, this has provided greater confidence and ability for authorities to initiate the conduct of nationwide terminal examinations and resumption of the next academic year.
Finally, it is anticipated that while the third and fourth quarters will reflect continued effects of the slowdown, the Fiscal and Monetary Policy initiatives being deployed by government in a phased process will be a robust response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Furthermore, as the country begins the gradual loosening up of restrictions, and levels of commercial activity increase by people returning to their various livelihoods and payrolls expand, it still remains imperative that all the necessary public health safeguards are adhered to so the country avoids an emergence of a second wave.
The statement is signed by Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, today 26th August, 2020.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Chief Executive Officers for nine of the agencies under the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.
According to the approval letter, which was conveyed to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, by Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to the President, on Tuesday, Mr. Buki Ponle was appointed Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria while Mr. Nura Sani Kangiwa was named the Director General, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism.
Mr. Francis Ndubuisi Nwosu was appointed the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Press Council; Mr. Ebeten William Ivara, Director General, National Gallery of Arts; Mr. Olalekan Fadolapo, Registrar/CEO of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria and Prof. Sunday Enessi Ododo, General Manager/CEO, National Theatre.
Others are Mr. Ado Mohammed Yahuza, Executive Secretary/CEO, National Institute for Cultural Orientation; Prof. Aba Isa Tijjani, Director General, National Commission for Museums and Monuments and Mrs. Oluwabunmi Ayobami Amao, Director General, Centre For Black And African Arts And Civilization.
The appointments take effect from 1 Sept. 2020, as announced by Segun Adeyemi, the Special Assistant to the President on Media, Office of the Minister of Information and Culture, Abuja 26th August, 2020.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, is a statement issued today says. When Asks: “Why can’t we have time limits for all cases?
In what is deemed a significant contribution to the ongoing public discourse on the need to urgently reform the administration of justice system in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari’s voice has brought a sharp focus to the matter especially regarding the slow pace of trials in the courts.
Represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, the President entered the discourse on Wednesday at the opening session of the virtual 2020 Nigerian Bar Association’s (NBA) Annual General Conference themed “Step Forward” which coincides with the body’s 60th anniversary.
Speaking on the theme of the conference which he said translates into “taking responsibility”, President Buhari explained that the situation has become necessary given the current and pre-existing challenges confronting the system.
According to the President, “why can’t we have time limits for all cases? Why can’t we put in place the rules that will say that a criminal trial all the way up to the Supreme Court must end in 12 months, and that a civil trial must not exceed 12-15 months? I think that, for me, will be stepping forward.
“Step forward means taking responsibility. It may also mean making progress, boldly taking on the challenges of the future.”
The President listed a few areas where “I believe we need to step forward and resolve some of the nagging problems of our systems of administration of justice.”
Going personal on the issue of delay in trials, the President referred to his experience at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunals in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2019. He said until recently, court trials had been “terribly slow” and capable of frustrating genuine efforts aimed at promoting general progress of the society.
He said “I am not a lawyer but I have been both a casualty and a beneficiary of the judicial process. I was before the courts for two and a half years- 27 months from 2003 in the now famous case of Buhari and Obasanjo. It took me two and a half years to fight for a four-year Presidential mandate.
“In 2007, I was again in court for 20 months, almost two years, also as petitioner and later then appellant in the case of Buhari and INEC. And in 2011, again as petitioner in the case of CPC and INEC. I spent another 8 months in court. At the end, I lost all three cases. I wondered then why it needed to take so long to arrive at a verdict.
“In 2019, my status improved, I was now no longer petitioner, I became first respondent in the case of Atiku and Buhari and the whole process took barely 6 months.”
Still on the areas requiring reform, President Buhari said “the second issue for me is the multiple and sometimes conflicting orders of courts. Recently, my party, the APC, had an internal crisis. In the six-week period before I chaired the meeting of the party to resolve the issues, there were at least 10 different conflicting rulings of the courts across the country.
“Again I am not a lawyer, but surely these sort of multiple and conflicting rulings of courts sometimes ex parte, really make a mockery of the judicial process.”
Continuing, the President said “third issue is the seeming bias towards technicality over the clear common sense justice of cases. If justice is to be seen to be done, then the outcomes of cases must make sense to the average person and not just to the refined minds of learned persons alone. Justice must make sense to lawyers and non-lawyers alike.”
My fourth issue, the President said, “is on the appointment of judges. I believe that we must continuously improve on the selection processes for appointment of the men and women who serve as judges.”
“First we must cast our nets wider in search of judges, especially at the appellate level. Second we must put in place primarily merit-based selection processes including mandatory tests and interviews for all applicants for judgeships.
“While our Constitution urges Federal character for balance, this is not an excuse for mediocrity. If a particular zone is to produce a judge why can’t we find the best talents in that zone. Our country has excellent men and women everywhere,” the President said.
President noted that “Reform is urgent because the fabric of our society is stitched together by our system of justice and law enforcement. We cannot afford to have the stitches come undone.”
While urging stakeholders in the sector to further leverage technology to enhance the speed of court processes, the President said “digitization of court processes, records and services is very much the new frontier of justice delivery and will dramatically enhance access to justice and affect trial timelines.”
Speaking on his administration’s efforts at addressing security concerns, President Buhari said his government acknowledges the apprehensions of the people, and restated the commitment to address them.
He however noted that “the fight against insecurity and to establish law and order, requires the full cooperation of all especially the various structures for law enforcement and administration of justice at all levels,” referring to how both the Federal Government and the States need to work together on prosecuting criminal cases for instance.
“If like some of us, you listen to the radio, you will often hear ordinary people asking questions about why criminals have not been sent to jail. So for example, they would ask why a suspected murderer has not being prosecuted. Of course the question many will ask is, ‘so, what is Buhari doing about that?’.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad restated the commitment of the judiciary to adapt to changes within and around its environment, citing the adoption of virtual court proceedings as an example.
He said the judiciary under his watch will not condone practices that have, over the years, negatively impacted the image of the justice sector, noting that abuse of court processes, among others would no longer be tolerated.
The week-long event will feature discussions and presentations by distinguished personalities and scholars with a focus on the theme “Step Forward”. He concluded.
President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Abuja assured Nigerians and the international community that his administration will use the remaining years in office to improve access to quality education, health care and enhance productivity, while listing nine priority areas.
The President, who received Letters of Credence from Ambassadors/High Commissioners of eight countries at the State House, said efforts were being made to sustain Nigeria’s position as profitable investment destination with unequalled incentives in all sectors, especially large market and flexible tax system which investors from various countries can take advantage of.
The Ambassadors/High Commissioners who presented their Letters of Credence are: Hocine Latil of Algeria; Luong Quoc Thinh of Vietnam; Dr Benson Alfred Bana of Tanzania; Traore Kalilou of Cote d’Ivoire; Abakar Saleh Chahaimi of Chad; Jamal Mohammed Barrow of Somalia; Brahim Salem El Mami Buseif of Sahrawi Arab Republic and Mohammed Alibak of Iran.
The President told the diplomats about Nigeria’s priority, and the need to streamline on people-focused policies.
“In our efforts to achieve a realistic domestic and foreign policy, as well as national development, we have identified the following nine priority areas to guide our policy directions over the next few years. “Build a thriving and sustainable economy; Enhance social inclusion and reduce poverty; Enlarge agricultural output for food security and export; Attain energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products and expand transport and other infrastructural development.
“Expand business growth, entrepreneurship and industrialization; Expand access to quality education, affordable healthcare and productivity of Nigerians; Build a system to fight corruption, improve governance and create social cohesion; and improve security for all.’’
Describing Nigerians as the “nation’s most prized assets’’, President Buhari said the nine priority mandates were already reflected in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, a medium-term initiative pioneered by the government to restore economic growth and development while leveraging the resourcefulness and resilience of the citizens. The President urged the diplomats to use the opportunity of working in the country to improve relations with their governments and people. “I have no doubt that you might have prior and in-depth knowledge of Nigeria’s huge potential which you will hopefully see for yourselves. I therefore, urge you to go around the country, see things for yourselves and report to your home governments. This is important as you all are representatives of both your sending and host states.’’ President Buhari said Nigeria will remain steadfast in pursuing deeper and valuable relations among nations, without discrimination. “Nigeria strongly supports joint action to ensure a democratic and fair world order based on strict respect for the norms of international law, the United Nations Charter, recognition of the unquestionable value of cultural diversity, national sovereignty, and the right of all countries to decide their future freely, without external pressure.
“Nigeria does not divide its partners into big and small; we value and respect every country, and with every country we are ready to pursue dialogue, as well as build cooperation on the basis of equality and constructive mutual respect.
“These include our cooperation in strengthening regional, continental and global peace and security, resolving complex issues, settling conflicts, as well as addressing dangerous threats to mankind, among which include terrorism, proliferation of small arms and light weapons, human trafficking, cybercrimes, poverty, communicable diseases and epidemics.’’
Speaking on behalf of the Ambassadors/High Commissioners, the Ambassador of Algeria to Nigeria said each of the diplomats brings greetings and agenda from their home governments, but the bottom line remains to enhance cooperation and seek advancement in mutual areas of interest.
“On behalf of my colleagues, we thank you for receiving us. We know that your schedule is tight. As the giant of Africa, you are always focused on resolving conflicts in the continent, while taking care of your domestic issues as well.’’
The Algerian ambassador said the African ambassadors will leverage the opportunity to further enhance implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and learn from each other.
Femi Adesina Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity) August 25, 2020
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.
This is the Approved 2020 reversed budget and Nõ 25 specifically laid the argument to rest
The project was approved, appropriated, and domiciled in the National Directorate of Employment, NDE, for execution while other’s projects are domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
The rule of law must be applied in everything we do under the current President, Muhammadu Buhari. As he is, so he expects all of us to be. Let’s abide by our laws.
The DG of NDE, Dr. Nasir Ladan, along with his team at the NDE, designed the programme and carried out the pilot scheme of the same programme in the selected eight states.
Let’s stop complicating simple issues by taking advantage of a docile media that does not investigate to inform Nigerians correctly.
NDE will complete the good job they started. God bless Nigeria.
Mr. Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, today responded to the Resolution passed by the Senate on the Service Chiefs.
Mr. Adesina said: “The Senate Tuesday adopted a resolution calling on the Service Chiefs to resign or be sacked due to the multi-pronged security challenges in the country.”
“The Presidency notes the resolution, and reiterates that appointment or sack of Service Chiefs is a Presidential prerogative, and President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, will do what is in the best interest of the country at all times.” He concluded.
The Presidency issued a statement yesterday through Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity.
The statement in which the President wishes Mr Geoffrey Onyeama speedy recovery, reads thus:
“President Muhammadu Buhari wishes Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, quick recovery as he goes into isolation after testing positive to Covid-19 on Sunday.
President Buhari described the minister as a strong pillar of his administration, commending him for tirelessly working to stem the spread of coronavirus in the country as a member of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, and ensuring safety of Nigerians abroad.
“The country is eternally grateful to Geoffrey Onyeama for his diligence in attracting international support to Nigeria to defeat the coronavirus pandemic and boost the economy. I wish him speedy recovery,” the President said.” He concluded.