The leadership of the northern cattle and foodstuff dealers under the aegis of Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN), has agreed to end the blockade of food supplies to the south.
The association commenced its strike on Thursday, February 25, 2021, asking for N475 billion in compensation from the federal government for the destruction of their businesses and property in Ondo and Oyo States in January and February.
While the strike lasted, the prices of foodstuff, including beef and vegetables, soared in Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous city and economic capital among other parts in the South.
However, after an extensive dialogue and deliberation with the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello on Wednesday, the union agreed to call off the strike embarked upon by her members.
“The union led by the president, Dr Mohammed Tahir, Chairman of the union across the 36 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory alongside other critical stakeholders earlier met with the Governor of Kogi State for dialogue which was fruitful,” Onogwu Muhammed, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor told Vanguard.
In his remarks, Dr. Tahir commended governor Bello for wading into the crisis and ensured it was resolved noting the governor has demonstrated leadership which both parties greatly appreciated.
With this development, the union members will commence the movement of their products especially cattle, vegetables and other foodstuffs to the Southern part of Nigeria and vice versa.
The Buhari administration deserves credit for diminishing corruption in the public service and will continue to vigorously support prevention, enforcement, public education and enlightenment activities of anti-corruption agencies.
We are currently analyzing the sources of data used in arriving at the latest Transparency International (TI) report on Corruption Perceptions Index in Nigeria since by their own admission, they don’t gather their own data.
This report is not an accurate portrayal of the facts on ground.
In the coming days, the Government’s Technical Unit on Governance Research (TUGAR) will be providing more detailed information on the sources of the TI data.
While this is being awaited, the examination carried out on their 2019 report showed that 60 percent of their data was collected from businesses and other entities with issues bordering on transparency and the ease of doing business at the ports.
Although this is a government ready to learn from mistakes and make corrections, the economy of this country, in its fullness, is bigger than the sea ports we have.
We are also not unaware of the characters behind the TI in Nigeria whose opposition to the Buhari administration is not hidden.
We have repeatedly challenged TI to provide indices and statistics of its own to justify its sensational and baseless rating on Nigeria and the fight against corruption. We expect them to come clean and desist from further rehashing of old tales.
A Naira denominated review that excludes recoveries in Dollars, Pounds, Euro shows that a sum of N1.2tn was recovered by EFCC between 2009 — 2019. N939bn of that total was recovered between 2015 – 2019 with less than N300bn recovered in the first six years.
Additionally, preventative instruments deployed by this administration such as Treasury Single Account (TSA), Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) coverage expansion and the removal of 54,000 ghost workers from federal civil service saving us N200bn annually serve as evidence that perception is not reality.
Reality is based on verifiable facts and data. And any evidence-based analysis would prove that whether it is by prevention or punitive measures in recoveries and prosecution, this administration would be rising fast up these rankings rather than standing still.
Organizations should be factual in their analysis and be prepared to rely on inputs outside of sensational media reports and age-old narratives which have not been updated to reflect today’s reality in Nigeria concerning its globally-respected war on corruption.
In the existential fight against this multi-pronged malice and manifestations of corruption, President Muhammadu Buhari has avowed that he would take-no-prisoners, guided by respect for the rule of law.
We invite Nigerians to stand with an administration that has done so much on asset recovery, prosecution, legislation, political will and leadership by example in the fight against corruption.
Equally, we urge our friends in the media, development partners and the civil society organizations to continue to support efforts to strengthen accountability, transparency, ethical values and integrity in Nigeria’s public sector.
President Buhari has put his hand to the plough and will not relent in working with those passionate about the welfare, stability and prosperity of future generations to come in Nigeria.
Malam Garba Shehu, is the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity.
President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the immediate resignation of the Service Chiefs, and their retirement from service.
Those involved are the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
President Buhari thanks the outgoing Service Chiefs for what he calls their “overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to our dear country,” wishing them well in their future endeavours.
The new Service Chiefs are: Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
The President congratulates the new Service Chiefs, and urges them to be loyal and dedicated in the discharge of their responsibilities.
Femi Adesina Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity) January 26, 2021
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of former Military Administrator of Lagos State, Brigadier General Mohamed Buba Marwa (rtd), as the New Director General (DG) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
Until this appointment, Mohammed Buba Marwa was the Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Drug Abuse.
An inside source within the anti drugs agency has since confirmed the appointment to Channels TV, that Brigadier General Mohammed Buba Marwa is the new DG, NDLEA.
It is evidently clear that some persons are hell bent to destroy this country and we shall resist it by all means.
We were misinformed and misled to believe that soldiers killed peaceful protesters at the Lekki toll gate, whose bodies are yet to be seen, family members yet to be seen crying and the hospitals they were taken to yet to be seen or shown to us. We have not heard parents or relatives of the deceased coming out to cry. The governor confirmed only one death which was not as a result bullet, and it is yet to be confirmed if the incident happend at the scene of the protest at Lekki.
The burning and destruction of Public infrastructure, media houses and attacks on the Oba of Lagos and other personalities has shown the evil intent of some anarchist. We shall not allow this, and the best way to resist this madness is by resisting to be tempted to respond to their evil act, but to allow the constituted authority to do the needful.
Our young people up here in the North must keep calm and refuse to be tempted to see the violence from a regional, tribal or religious angle because that is their intention. Those in Plateau that have subconsciously allowed themselves to be used must wake up and note that they are only playing to the gallary of some evil persons.
We shall soon mobilize young people of influence from this part of the country to have a talk and see how to prevail on other young people with tendencies not to contemplate taking laws into their hands. Violence has never defeated violence.
We urge all voices of young progressive Nigerians both those for and against SARS to speak up against this insincerity and intent to burn down our country.
The IPOB guys have proven a point and we must resist them by refusing to be violent while we note that not all Igbos are members of IPOB.
President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Abuja assured Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance and Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that the country will explore every opportunity and deploy its entire energy to ensure that she becomes the Director-General of World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Dr Okonjo-Iweala is one of two candidates contesting for the top position of the multilateral institution.
President Buhari, who received the former Managing Director (Operations) of the World Bank at the Presidential Villa, said she deserved more support to get the top job because of her profile and diligence in serving the country, and the world.
“I assure you that we will do all that we can to ensure that you emerge as the Director-General of WTO, not only because you are a Nigerian, but because you are a hardworking Nigerian. You deserve this,’’ he added.
The President assured Dr Okonjo-Iweala that he will make more phone calls, and send letters to some world leaders for more support.
“I did the same for Dr Akinwunmi Adesina for President of the African Development Bank. Both of you served the country under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). You are both highly qualified. We will continue to support you. I will immediately make those calls,’’ the President told Dr Okonjo-Iweala.
In her remarks, Dr Okonjo-Iweala, a renowned development economist, thanked the President and his ministers, particularly the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investment for supporting her staunchly.
“I feel very proud of Nigeria. I am getting so much support from you, Mr President, Chief of Staff, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investments. The ministers have been working around the clock to ensure that I succeed,’’ she said.
The former Minister of Finance also appreciated ECOWAS leaders for their endorsement, mentioning in particular the outstanding contributions of President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic and immediate past Chairman of ECOWAS as well as President Alhassan Quattara of Cote d’Ivoire.
She asked the President to “make one final push within the week to beat the Koreans and bring this to Nigeria by sending a few letters and placing telephone calls to some world leaders, and also thank others for their support.’’
“Mr President, put a smile on my face,’’ she said, “I am very proud of the country.’’
The statement was made available today by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for listening to the voice of the Nigerian people over their dissatisfaction with the operations of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force.
Lawan said with the courageous decision to dissolve the police unit, the President and his government have shown themselves as responsive to the feelings of the people.
“I am applauding the President because it is a demonstration of good leadership to yield to the demand of the populace in difficult situations like this,” Lawan said.
He also commended the Inspector-General of Police for the decision and challenged him to come up with measures for the transformation of the Nigeria Police into an effective law enforcement and crime fighting agency that is also a true and respected friend of the Nigerian people.
The Senate President said the measures should fully address all the issues that earned the dissolved SARS the odium of the Nigerian people, and in particular of the articulate Nigerian youths.
“The expectation is that this situation offers us another opportunity to reform the operations of the entire Force.
“I also reiterate my call for the prosecution of all security personnel whose extra judicial killings and other acts of misconduct brought us to this sorry pass.
“I hope that the steps taken by the Inspector-General of Police will be followed with more comprehensive reform of the Police,” Lawan said.
The statement was made available yesterday by Ola Awoniyi, the Special Adviser on Media to the President of the Senate.
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigerian farmers stand to reap the benefits of his government’s reforms as he continues to accord the highest priority to agriculture, describing it as the country’s largest employer of labour and engine of growth.
At a meeting with Katsina State Elders Forum at the State House in Abuja on Thursday, the President said his administration will continue to take steps to enhance output and productivity by ensuring the availability of cheap agricultural credits, farm inputs, fertilizer and the introduction of latest technologies.
President Buhari said the choice of practicing farmers as ministers in charge of agriculture, first Chief Audu Ogbe and now, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, was a reflection of his strong wish to protect the interest of farmers and the attainment of national food self-sufficiency.
He agreed to look into the request of the Katsina Elders for the expansion of existing irrigation schemes at Zobe and Sabke dams to enhance employment and profitability in agriculture, saying that a situation in which 60 per cent of the state is productive in rain-fed agriculture for three to four months, and idle for the rest of the year was unacceptable.
The President told the meeting that he had charged his ministers of agriculture to work with the states to rediscover the lost animal grazing routes and reserves as a means to ending the frequent outbreak of violence between farmers and herders.
He also pressed the necessity of educating school-age children, saying that once the opportunity of early education is lost, it often turns out very difficult for them to make up.
According to him, “This is the best preparation we can give to them. We destroy their lives by denying children education.”
President Buhari also broached the issue of armed banditry and kidnapping that had bedevilled Katsina and other northwestern states and gave assurances that the situation will be overcome in the same way the farmer-herders attacks were subdued.
The leader the delegation, Alhaji Aliyu Balarabe Saulawa representing the Chairman, Alhaji Ahmadu Kurfi, Maradin Katsina, commended the President for returning peace to most parts of the state and for the various infrastructure projects, including the Kano-Jigawa-Katsina-Maradi rail link.
They welcomed the recent decision by government to elongate the service of teachers and improve their condition of service.
Garba Shehu Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity) October 9, 2020
Nigeria’s Sixtieth Independence Day Anniversary, Today Thursday 1st October, 2020. Except of President Buhari’s Adress To The Nation:
I speak to you today as your President and fellow citizen on this epoch occasion of our country’s 60th independence Anniversary. As President, I wish to renew my appreciation to Nigerians for entrusting me with your hopes and aspirations for a better and greater Nigeria.
Today, it is my unique privilege to re-commit myself to the service of this great country of great people with profound diversities and opportunities. We are bound by destiny to be the largest and greatest black nation on earth.
At this stage in our nationhood it is important that we reflect how we got here to enable us work TOGETHER to get to where we aspire to be as a strong indivisible nation, united in hope and equal in opportunity.
On October 1st 1960 when Prime Minister Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa received the constitutional instruments symbolizing Nigeria’s independence, he expressed his wish that having acquired our rightful status as an independent sovereign nation, history would record that the building of our nation proceeded at the wisest pace.
This optimism was anchored on the peaceful planning, full and open consultation and harmonious cooperation with the different groups which culminated in Nigeria emerging as a country without bitterness and bloodshed.
Our founding fathers understood the imperative of structuring a National identity using the power of the state and worked towards unification of Nigerians in a politically stable and viable entity.
That philosophy guided the foundation that was laid for our young nation of 45 million people with an urban population of approximately 7million occupying an area of 910,768 square kilometers. These demographics led to development challenges for which major efforts were made to overcome.
Today, we grapple with multiple challenges with a population exceeding 200million occupying the same land mass but 52% residing in urban areas.
Sixty years of nationhood provides an opportunity to ask ourselves questions on the extent to which we have sustained the aspirations of our founding fathers. Where did we do the right things? Are we on course? If not where did we stray and how can we remedy and retrace our steps?
Upon attaining independence, Nigeria’s growth trajectory was anchored on policies and programmes that positively impacted on all sectors of the economy. However, this journey was cut short by the 30-months of civil war.
We came out of the civil war with a focus on reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation that enabled the country to put in place world class development structures and a strengthened public service that well served the government. This positive trajectory continued with a return to democratic government which was truncated by another round of military rule.
For a cumulative 29 of our 60 years existence as a nation, we have been under military rule.
My summary of our journey so far as a nation is necessary to appropriately chart where we need to go and how to get there TOGETHER.
Today, I am aware that our economy along with every single economy in the world is in crisis. We still face security challenges in parts of the country, while our society suffers from a high loss of moral rectitude which is driven by unbridled craving for political control.
An underlying cause of most of the problems we have faced as a nation is our consistent harping on artificially contrived fault-lines that we have harboured and allowed unnecessarily to fester.
In addition, institutions such as civil service, police, the judiciary, the military all suffered from a general decline.
We need to begin a sincere process of national healing and this anniversary presents a genuine opportunity to eliminate old and outworn perceptions that are always put to test in the lie they always are.
The stereotype of thinking of ourselves as coming from one part of the country before seeing ourselves as Nigerians is a key starting point to project us on the road to our deserved nation’s evolution and integration.
To start this healing process, we are already blessed with the most important asset any nation requires for such – OUR PEOPLE – and this has manifested globally in the exploits of Nigerians in many fields.
It has been demonstrated time and time again that Nigerians in the diaspora frequently excel in science, technology, medicine, sports, arts and many other fields.
Similarly, the creativity, ingenuity and resourcefulness of the Nigerian at home have resulted in globally recognized endeavours.
I am convinced that if we pursue our aspirations TOGETHER we would be able to achieve whatever we desire. That informed our adopting the theme TOGETHER to mark this epochal event.
Together we can change our condition for the better and more importantly, together we can do much more for ourselves and for our country.
I chose the path of self-reflection because this is what I do on a daily basis and I must confess that at most times, I always felt the need for a collective reflection as I know that the foundation for a solid future which this administration is laying can only be sustainable if there is a collective commitment by Nigerians.
Nigeria is not a country for Mr. President, any ruling or opposition party but a country for all of us and we must play our part, irrespective of challenges we face, to make this country what we desire.
To achieve this, we must focus our minds, TOGETHER as a people, on ways of resolving the identified critical challenges that underlie our present state. These include:
a. Evolving and sustaining a democratic culture that leaves power in the hands of the people;
b. Supporting the enthronement of the rule of law, demanding accountability of elected representatives and contributing to good governance;
c. Increasing our commitment to peaceful co-existence in a peaceful, secure and united Nigeria;
d. Harnessing and Optimizing our tremendous human and natural resources to attain our goal of being in the top twenty economies of the world and in the process;
e. Lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years;
f. Strengthening institutions to make them stronger in protecting National Interests; and
g. Imbibing tolerance in diversity.
I am a firm believer in transparent, free, fair and credible elections as has been demonstrated during my period as a democratically elected President.
The recent build-up and eventual outcome of the Edo State elections should encourage Nigerians that it is my commitment to bequeath to this country processes and procedures that would guarantee that the people’s votes count.
The problems with our electoral process are mainly human induced as desperate desire for power leads to desperate attempts to gain power and office.
Democracy, the world over and as I am pursuing in Nigeria, recognizes the power of the people. However, if some constituencies choose to bargain off their power, they should be prepared for denial of their rights.
This call is made more urgent if we realise that even after a transparent, free, fair and credible election, desperation leads to compromising the judiciary to upturn legitimate decisions of the people.
It is necessary to, therefore support the enthronement of the rule of law by avoiding actions which compromise the judiciary.
Fellow Nigerians, our history has shown that we are a people that have the capacity to live peacefully with one another.
As a government, we remain committed to our constitutional oath of securing the lives and properties of the citizenry. I, however, call on the citizenry to also support government by providing the necessary community level intelligence in addressing these challenges.
In moving forward together, it is important to strengthen our economy to provide sustainable means of livelihood for as many Nigerians as possible so as to eradicate absolute poverty from our midst.
I want to re-emphasize my dedication and commitment, a dedication and commitment that propelled my public service career and informed my quest to continually seek for an opportunity to improve the lives of Nigerians, set the country on the path of prosperity and lead the country to a better future.
This administration has been focused on rebuilding and laying the foundations for a sustainable Nigeria. Of course, we have met and are still meeting the challenges inherent in any rebuilding initiative – more so that of a nation like Nigeria that has undergone avoidable levels of deprivation – but can be surmounted if we all work together.
I wish to re-iterate that our people and our spirit of excellence remains our most important asset.
In this wise, the need to return to our age-old ethical and high moral values would be necessary and this informed my launching of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy on Monday 28th September, 2020.
The policy would not implement itself and the first contact of the visibility of its implementation is the Public Service whose on-going reforms would be expected to be sustainable and give a radical re-direction in providing services to all Nigerians.
Fellow Nigerians, in addition to public health challenges of working to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, we have suffered a significant drop in our foreign exchange earnings and internal revenues due to 40 per cent drop in oil prices and steep drop in economic activities, leading to a 60 per cent drop in government revenue.
Our government is grappling with the dual challenge of saving lives and livelihoods in face of drastically reduced resources.
In this regard, sustaining the level of petroleum prices is no longer possible. The government, since coming into office has recognized the economic argument for adjusting the price of petroleum. But the social argument about the knock-on effect of any adjustment weighed heavily with the government.
Accordingly, in the last three years, we have introduced unprecedented measures in support of the economy and to the weakest members of our society in the shape of:
c. School Feeding Programme
d. Job creation efforts
e. Agricultural intervention programmes
No government in the past did what we are doing with such scarce resources. We have managed to keep things going in spite of the disproportionate spending on security. Those in the previous Governments from 1999 – 2015 who presided over the near destruction of the country have now the impudence to attempt to criticize our efforts.
In the circumstances, a responsible government must face realities and take tough decisions.
Petroleum prices in Nigeria are to be adjusted. We sell now at N161 per litre. A comparison with our neighbours will illustrate the point;
a. Chad which is an oil producing country charges N362 per litre
b. Niger, also an oil producing country sells 1 litre at N346.
c. In Ghana, another oil producing country, petroleum pump price is N326 per litre.
Further afield, Egypt charges N211 per litre. Saudi Arabia charges N168 per litre. It makes no sense for oil to be cheaper in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia.
Fellow Nigerians, to achieve the great country we desire, we need to solidify our strength, increase our commitment and encourage ourselves to do that which is right and proper even when no one is watching.
Fellow Nigerians, let us collectively resolve to continue our journey beyond the sixty years on the clear understanding that as a nation we are greater together than being smaller units of nationalities. By the special grace of God we shall come through any transient challenges.
It is my sincere hope that by the end of this anniversary on September 30th 2021, we will all be proud of taking this individual and collective self-assessment for the progress of our great Nation.
President Muhammadu Buhari will Thursday depart Abuja for Bissau to attend ceremonies celebrating the National Day of the Republic of Guinea Bissau, September 24.
The President will join the Heads of State and Government of Senegal, Cote d’ Ivoire, Rwanda, Mauritania, Togo and Liberia to mark the 47th independence anniversary of Guinea Bissau.
In Bissau, President Buhari will also commission a road named in his honour by the host government.
The Nigerian leader and other invited Heads of State will attend an official lunch hosted by President Umaro Sissoco Embaló of Guinea Bissau.
Nigeria and Guinea Bissau established diplomatic relations in 1974.
Following a military coup in that country, Nigeria in 2012 deployed troops under the auspices of ECOWAS Mission in Guinea Bissau (ECOMIB) to maintain peace.
President Buhari had in response to a request for assistance by the Government of Guinea Bissau, during its last legislative elections, donated $500,000 dollars, 17 vehicles and 350 electoral kits to support the country’s electoral process.
In May this year, the President received President Embalo in Abuja, during which the Nigerian leader congratulated his counterpart on his confirmation as President, assuring him of Nigeria’s support to the new government in Guinea Bissau.
The Nigerian troops were only withdrawn on September 10, 2020 after the return of stability to the West African country.
The President will be accompanied by top government officials including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, the Minister of Defence, Major-General Bashir Salihi Magashi (Rtd), the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno (Rtd) and the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar,
President Buhari will return to Abuja at the end of the ceremonies on Thursday.
The statement was made available yesterday by Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity.