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|Politics / Only Equity, Justice Can Silence Secessionist Agitators – Gen. Abubakar by Mrakeli: 5:15am On Oct 01, 2021|
Former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar, Thursday said the only sure way to solve the problem of agitations for succession in the country is for the government to ensure equity, fairness and justice in appointments and distribution of the commonwealth.
The former head of state stated this while speaking to journalists in Minna to mark 61 Independence Day Anniversary of the nation.
He said, “The nation has come a long way together as indivisible united entity, it cannot break up despite agitations for succession by some groups. However, such agitations are coming from those who felt shortchanged in the affairs of the nation. The government should ensure equity, fairness and justice in all social and economic undertakings.”
While stressing that succession is not an option in solving the problems confronting the nation, General Abubakar said Nigeria would be better as one peaceful nation.
He called on Nigerians to eschew bitterness and embrace peace, no matter the current challenges confronting the nation.
He said, “Agitations by some of Nigerians to opt out is due to perception of exclusion in the sphere of things and affairs in governance as well. I therefore, urge government to carry everybody along in terms of governance and appointments.”
On the security challenges bedeviling the country, the former head of state commended government efforts.
|Politics / 2023 Presidency: Gov. Yahaya Bello's Team Begins 'legacy Tour' by Mrakeli: 7:02am On Sep 30, 2021|
The traditional rulers and residents of the Central Senatorial District of Kogi have commended Governor Yahaya Bello (GYB) for his giant strides in the execution of legacy projects across the zone.
They gave the commendation when the Forum of Special Advisers (SAs) to the Governor, on an inspection tour to some key projects in the district on Wednesday, tagged: ”GYB Legacy Projects’ Tour”.
The first port of call by the forum was the newly established Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH), Osara in Adavi Local Governments Area of the state.
The Forum’s Chairman, Hon. Usman Ochidi, who doubles as the SA to the Governor on Project Monitoring, said the tour was to inspect and showcase the GYB Legacy projects across the three senatorial districts including both the completed and ongoing projects in the state.
He added that the objective was to promote and publicize those legacy projects to let the world be aware of the unmatchable achievements of the governor in all sectors of the state’s economy,
Ochidi emphasised that the governor was more than capable of doing more at the national level when he become the President of Nigeria come 2023.
”We want to tell the world that we have a detribalised candidate, who is less than 50 years and has what it takes to rule this country.
”We have a governor who believes in infrastructure development and security of lives and property; a governor that matches his word with action”, Ochidi said.
Responding, the CUSTECH’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Salawu Sadiku, appreciated the forum for the initiative, describing the governor’s achievement in education sector as ‘unprecedented’.
Sadiku noted that the governor through the establishment of CUSTECH had been able to solve the challenges Kogi students were facing in securing admission to study science and engineering courses in other universities.
He said that the governor had been moving at the ”speed of the spirit” ever since the university got approval from the National University Commission (NUC) on Dec. 17, 2020.
The VC added that the university had gotten approval to offer 11 courses and currently had over 240 students who had completed the first semester and presently in the second semester.
He, therefore, commended the governor for his total commitment to the infrastructural development of the university that would make it to compete favorably with any university in the world.
”We want you to convey our highest regards to His Excellency and his team, who are indefatigable in ensuring that the university is not only a reality but it will be able to compete favorably with any other university in the world in no distant time,” he said
A student of Statistics, CUSTECH, Yusuf Abdulrahman, thanked the governor for taking education to the next level in the state, and pray God to grant him perfect health to continue the good work.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Science and Technology, Dr Gabriel Ottah, described the speed of infrastructural development at CUSTECH as amazing courtesy the governor.
”It shows clearly that the governor is doing wonderfully and needs the support of everybody; if the governor could do it in Kogi State he can do it for Nigeria,” Ottah said.
The forum also paid courtesy visits to the Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Alh. Ado Ibrahim; the Chairman Okene Local Government Area, Mallam Abubakar Yusuf and the Adeika of Eika, the Chairman Traditional Council of Okehi, Mallam Abubakar Jatto.
The Ohinoyi commended the forum for the initiative to promote the good works of the governor across the state, saying he had done well in all sectors particularly in infrastructure and security.
The paramount ruler noted that he had prayed for an Ebira person to become governor of the state in his life while on the throne and God answered his prayer.
The royal father assured the forum of his continuous prayer for the governor as he aspired to become the president and prayed it would happen in his lifetime.
The Chairman of Okene LGA, Hon. Abubakar Yusuf, said the governor since he assumed office, had done greatly in curbing the high rate of insecurity that bedeviled the state in the past.
Yusuf emphasized that the achievements of the governor in the area of security could never be described by anyone, especially in Okene and across the state.
On his part, the Adeika of Eika, HRH Abubakar Jatto, also commended the governor for his tremendous achievements in Okehi and other LGAs of Kogi central especially in roads, infrastructures and security.
The monarch prayed that God would grant the governor the grace to become the president of Nigeria, saying he would perform greatly.
Other projects visited include: ongoing construction of Ultramodern Reference Hospital, Okene, the newly built palace of Ohinoyi; renovated and constructed projects at College of Nursing and Midwifery, Obangede, Okehi; and many rehabilitated and constructed roads in Okene, Adavi and Okehi LGAs.
Some residents, Aisha Muritala, Mariam Shaibu, and Ojo Obeiba, all commended the governor for rehabilitating many of their roads, and pray God to bless and make him president.
According to them, the roads were very terrible before but thanked God that His Excellency had rehabilitated the roads and we were very happy.
|Politics / 77 Oil Companies Owing Nigeria N2.659trn Unremitted Funds - NEITI by Mrakeli: 5:50am On Sep 29, 2021|
As Nigeria continues to grapple with revenue shortfall and has gone borrowing to finance its huge budget deficit with debt service gulping as much as 98 per cent of its revenue, it has been revealed that 77 oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria are indebted to the country to the tune of N2.659 trillion.
This is just as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is expected to once more make a huge deduction of N149.2 billion from the federation’s joint account when the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meets next month, a document seen by Akelicious yesterday revealed.
The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) which disclosed that 77 oil and gas companies were indebted to the federal government, attributed the debt to their failure to remit petroleum profit tax, company income tax, education tax, value added tax, withholding tax, royalty and concession on rentals.
Speaking in Abuja during an interaction with the media on the status of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) implementation in Nigeria, the Executive Secretary of the organisation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Orji, stated that when converted to dollar, the government was being owed $6.48 billion at today’s official exchange rate of N410.35.
He noted that a breakdown of the figures showed that a total of $143.99 million was owed as petroleum profit taxes, $1.089 billion as company income taxes and $201.69 million as education tax. According to him, others included $18.46 million and £972,000 as VAT, $23.91 million and £997,000 as withholding tax, $4.357 billion as royalty oil, $292.44 million as royalty gas, while $270.187 million and $41.86 million were unremitted gas flare penalties and concession rentals respectively.
In view of the government’s current search for revenues to address citizens’ demand for steady power, access to good roads, quality education, fighting insurgency and creating of job opportunities for the country’s teeming youths, Orji stressed that the monies needed to be recovered.
An analysis of what the sum of N2.65 trillion could contribute to economic development, he said, showed that it could cover the entire capital budget of the federal government in 2020 or even service the federal government’s debt of $2.68 billion in 2020.
“In 2021, if the money is recovered, the N2.659 trillion, it could fund about 46 per cent of Nigeria’s 2021 budget deficit of N5.6 trillion and is even higher than the entire projected oil revenue for 2021.
This is why NEITI is set to work with the government to provide relevant information and data to support efforts at recovering this money.
“The disclosure of this information is in line with NEITI’s mandate to conduct audits, disseminate the findings to the public to enable the citizen’s, especially the media and civil society to use the information and data to hold government, companies and even society to account.
“It is important that the process of recovering this humongous sum be set on course to support government in this period of dwindling revenues,” the NEITI helmsman said.
The executive secretary called on the companies to ensure that they remit the various outstanding sums against them before the conclusion of the 2020 NEITI audit cycle to the relevant government agencies responsible for collection and remittances of such revenue.
“NEITI will no longer watch while these debts continue to remain in its reports unaddressed. We will provide all necessary information and data to sister agencies whose responsibilities are to recover these debts into government coffers. We will do also share the information and data with our partner anti-corruption agencies with whom we have signed MoUs,” he added.
Within the short period the new management was appointed, Orji disclosed that his team had succeeded in ensuring the reconstitution and inauguration of the NEITI board and commencement of process of reviewing of NEITI Act to strengthen its powers and functions. In addition, he listed the timely publication and presentation of the reports; securing permanent office accommodation for the agency after 17 years of squatting on rent; sustained and diversified partnerships with key stakeholders and partners as part of the initiative’s achievement.
According to him, the appointment of NEITI into the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA); commencement of the development of a five-year NEITI strategic plan (2022-2026); NEITI audit automation project and Nigeria’s involvement in opening extractives programme, were further modest strides made by the organisation.
He stated that NEITI’s had further been appointed to lead the global EITI contract transparency network; designing of a new, functional and interactive website and reconstitution of the civil society and communication sub-committee, among others.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Chairman of the NEITI board, Mr. Olusegun Adekunle, assured that a lot more needed to be done in the EITI implementation in Nigeria, especially under the new PIA regime. He maintained that the solid minerals sector was begging for coordination, noting that the civil society and the media, being the third leg of the EITI tripod have critical roles to play in the Initiative.
“To effectively undertake this task of ensuring prudent management of extractive resources, there is need for effective oversight of the implementation of the EITI standard by all relevant frontline agencies of government and companies.
“NSWG looks up to you for you to effectively monitor these guidelines and to ensure that the standards are mainstreamed in the covered entities’ daily operations”, he said.
He reiterated the commitment of President Muhammadu-led administration to EITI implementation in Nigeria, noting that the administration was passionate about the EITI process.
The chairman assured members of the civil society and the media that the NEITI board under his watch would do all within its power to sustain the existing partnership and ensure a more robust and cordial relationship with civil society groups.
In his goodwill message, the Programme Manager, British Council/ Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Programme (RoLAC), Mr. Emanuel Uche, commended NEITI under the current management for the modest achievements made within a short period.
NNPC Set to Deduct N149.2bn from October FAAC
Meanwhile, the NNPC will again make a huge deduction of N149.2 billion from the federation’s joint account when the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meets next month, according to a document seen by Akelicious.
The NNPC FAAC presentation held on September 21, which detailed the corporation’s operations for the month of August, disclosed that as reported by THISDAY last month, the national oil company also withheld about N173.1 billion during the month to pay for what it terms under-recovery or value shortfall. An analysis of the document showed that net revenue to FAAC from the NNPC rose to N80 billion in August as against N67.280 billion in July, an increase of about N13.28 billion.
Year-to-date, the NNPC FAAC presentation showed that N714.7 billion had been paid as subsidy from January to August, with the eight month getting the lion’s share of N173.1 billion, while June came next with N164.3 billion, followed by May with N126 billion, then July in which N103.2 billion was spent on what the government terms under-recovery.
In the same vein, while no subsidy was paid in January, N24.3 billion was paid in February, N60.3 billion in March and N61.9 billion in April this year.
According to the NNPC, a pending N40 billion from June under-recovery would be subsequently subtracted from the federation account jointly run by the federal, state and local governments.
When the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) begins in earnest and the federal continues in its hesitation to stop payment of subsidy on petrol, it would be double jeopardy for the sub-nationals which would also be hugely affected by the deduction of the controversial 30 per cent frontier exploration fund.
“The value shortfall of N173,131,639,213.61, for July 2021 was charged. The balance of N40,000,000,000.00 for the June 2021 value shortfall will be deducted subsequently.
“The August, 2021 value shortfall of N149,283,084,869.20 is to be deducted from the September, 2021 proceeds due for sharing at the October, 2021 FAAC meeting,” the document disclosed.
In all, the overall NNPC crude oil lifting of 8.71 mbbls (export & domestic crude) in July 2021, recorded 0.87 per cent increase relative to the 8.66 mbbls lifted in June 2021, the corporation stated, with Nigeria maintaining 1.554 million bpd Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) production cut in July, 2021.
Crude Oil export revenue received in August 2021 amounted to $7.78 million, equivalent to N2.98 billion, while domestic gas receipts in the month was N5.69 billion.
According to the NNPC, feedstock valued at $64.66 million was sold to Nigeria LNG during the period, out of which $54.40 million was received during the month, the difference being Modified Carry Agreement (MCA) obligations, gas reconciliation and credit notes.
NLNG arrears amounting to $3.09 million was received during the period, while the sum of $151.26 million being miscellaneous receipts, gas and ullage (the amount by which a container falls short of being full) fees and interest income was received in August 2021.
In its July operations, for monies which were shared in August, NNPC had deducted a cumulative N215.3 billion from its contribution to joint Federation Account, being a combination of N175 billion value shortfall or subsidy and N40 billion Joint Venture (JV) cost recovery.
The data earlier obtained by THISDAY showed that NNPC paid N67.280 to the joint account in July, in contrast to the N47.162 in June. The July payment was about N20 billion higher than that of June.
Furthermore, in January, net revenue to FAAC was N90.8 billion, it was N64.161 billion in February, N41.184 billion in March, zero in April, N38.608 billion in May, N47.162 billion in June and N67.280 billion in July.
In June, the NNPC told the nation that Nigeria was losing about 42 million litres of petrol to the activities of smugglers across the country’s borders, increasing Nigeria’s estimated daily consumption of 60 million litres to 103 million litres, thereby worsening the subsidy payment regime.
Meanwhile, Brent oil, Nigeria’s crude benchmark, rose above $80 a barrel on Tuesday, the latest milestone in a global energy crisis, on signs that demand was running ahead of supply and depleting inventories.
The international crude benchmark hit the highest since October 2018, before paring some earlier gains to trade close to $80, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) also climbed above $75.
However, the jump to $80 was adding inflationary pressure to the global economy at a time when prices of energy commodities are soaring, especially in Europe and America.
Other things being equal, oil has rebounded from its collapse last year amid record output curbs from the OPEC+ group and a global economic recovery that has boosted demand.
|Politics / Buhari Won’t Undergo Another COVID-19 Test -presidency by Mrakeli: 6:51am On Sep 23, 2021|
A source in the Presidency has said that there will be no need to subject the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to another test so long as there was no contact between him and the Brazilian Health Minister, Marcelo Queiroga, who tested positive for COVID-19 at the ongoing United Nations General Assembly.
Akelicious had on Tuesday reported that Queiroga tested positive for the virus after attending the UNGA in New York that was inaugurated by his President, Jair Bolsonaro, according to an official statement.
Queiroga, who had received a COVID-19 vaccine, was the second member of the Brazilian delegation to test positive for the virus since arriving in New York for the UN gathering.
The 55-year-old health minister will quarantine in the US even as the rest of the delegation has returned to Brazil.
Speaking with Akelicious on Wednesday, the source said that the recent developments have nothing to do with Buhari and will not require additional tests on the President, especially when there was no known contact between both leaders.
|Business / Dangote Seeks Loans For Lagos Refinery As Costs Hit $19B by Mrakeli: 7:03am On Sep 16, 2021|
President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote is in talks with some of the world’s biggest oil traders to help finance his mega refinery project in Lekki, Lagos, Reuters has reported quoting close sources to the project.
The 650,000 barrel-per-day refinery, once complete, will be the continent’s largest plant and redraw major trade flows of crude and fuel in the Atlantic basin.
The refinery has been delayed by several years and the cost has ballooned to $19 billion from Dangote’s earlier estimates of $12-14 billion.
Construction was also delayed due to COVID-19 outbreaks among workers at the site and delays getting materials, two sources with knowledge of the project said.
Many industry sources do not expect any products before the second half of next year.
Hit by economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and soaring construction costs, Dangote needs a cash injection.
Nigeria’s state oil firm NNPC has agreed to buy a 20% stake in the refinery for about $2.8 billion but Dangote is looking for outside cash.
NNPC’s head Mele Kyari said a process was on-going to raise $1 billion with Afreximbank to fund part of its stake purchase.
The billionaire has held talks as recently as a month ago with executives from the world’s top two oil traders – Trafigura and Vitol.
Trafigura and Vitol declined to comment. A spokesperson for the Dangote Group did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Two sources with direct knowledge said the option of raising another $500 million from a trade house or consortium was being actively explored.
The details of a potential loan from a trading firm have not been finalised but the trader could receive a long-term contract to supply crude and receive cargoes of refined products as repayment.
Swiss traders like Vitol along with Nigerian firms, have cashed-in for years in gasoline-short Nigeria by supplying mega tenders and being part of lucrative crude-for-fuel swap deals for over a decade.
Getting a hold of Dangote’s fuel will give the trader a stranglehold on a key set of new oil flows. Nigeria’s new oil bill, approved last month after nearly 20 years of political wrangling, has added fuel-import licence requirements that experts fear will give Dangote an effective monopoly.
Under the new laws, the regulator will prioritize local refiners for import licences and volumes would be based on production capacity or market share.
While Nigeria will remain open in theory to international trading houses, a partnership with Dangote would be the only way to guarantee a foothold in Africa’s biggest economy
Despite being Africa’s biggest oil producer and exporter, Nigeria depends almost entirely on fuel imports after allowing its significant refining capacity, 445,000 barrels-per-day, to become dilapidated over several decades.
Many past and current Nigerian officials, including President Muhammadu Buhari, have announced plans to refurbish them but political will has been lacking.
The Natural Resources Governance Institute, a non-profit policy think tank, has previously pointed to the moribund refineries as a key focus of oil corruption and waste in the country.
|Politics / Power Goes To The South In 2023, Anyone Against This Is Nigeria's Enemy -igbokwe by Mrakeli: 4:32pm On Sep 14, 2021|
The Senior Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Drainage and Water Resources, Joe Igbokwe, has said that power is coming back to the south after President Muhammadu Buhari's tenure in 2023.
Igbokwe said this on his Facebook page on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, a few hours after Abdullahi Adamu, a senator representing Nasarawa West Senatorial District and a former governor of Nasarawa State, said it is ridiculous to zone presidency to the south in 2023. The chieftain of the All Progressives Congress said that the 2023 presidency should be on merit and not zoning. He added that the constitution does not support rotational presidency or zoning arrangement.
|Politics / Imo Govt Spends N2bn For Underground Balloon Project by Mrakeli: 9:53pm On Sep 13, 2021|
The much hyped special technology innovation to control flood in Owerri, the Imo State capital cost the state government a whopping two billion naira.
Information and strategy Commissioner in Imo state, Chief Declan Mbadiwe Emelumba made this known to journalists in Imo State.
Emelumba disclosed that the Underground Balloon Tunnel Cost Imo state government 2 Billion Naira for the construction of the project on the Egbu road.
The Balloon Project is one of the signature projects of Governor Hope Uzodinmma administration which was among those commissioned during the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He made the revelation during a press conference in his office before the presidential visit while responding to question on cost implication of the project.
Chief Emelumba further noted that the project was the main point of attention for the presidential visit of president Buhari, adding that the balloon projects have improved economic lives of Imo people.
“The Balloon underground is a massive project of the governor and he is not making noise about it , before now people living around that area packed out due to bad road but go there now and see what has been achieved in a short time”.
He added that the balloon tunnel is a special tunnel that is designed to decongest water after any rainfall, opting that it is a good one that will stand the test of time.
|Politics / Senator Adamu Berates El-rufai, Masari, Others Over Anti-open Grazing Stance by Mrakeli: 9:42pm On Sep 13, 2021|
Senator Abdullah Adamu, yesterday, carpeted all the governors from both the North and South, who have expressed support for anti-open grazing law.
Adamu, who was a one-time Governor of Nasarawa State, also insisted that the law, which has been passed by some state assemblies, would not stand the test of time.
The politician, who expressed these positions while fielding questions from journalists in Abuja, pointed out that while movement of herders with their cattle is constitutional; the anti-open grazing law being promulgated by some states is unconstitutional.
This was as the legislator dampened the hope of Southerners ahead of 2023, by declaring that rotational presidency was not provided for by the 1999 Constitution as amended.
Reacting to recent acceptance of anti-open grazing law by Governors Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State and Bello Masari of Katsina State as earlier adopted by the entire 17 Southern states’ governors, Senator Adamu said that their decisions to embrace the law restricting grazing of cattle in the open was wrong.
He argued that, in as much as it is not lawful for herders to use their cattle to destroy people’s farms, it is also totally unconstitutionally for anybody to restrict their movement or criminalise cattle rearing business, citing provisions of free movement and legitimate business in the 1999 Constitution.
The lawmaker blamed the federal, state and local governments for not making sufficient provisions to protect the herders as well as the farmers in the process of pursuing their legitimate businesses.
|Politics / Umahi: South East Loses ₦10 Billion Every Sit-At-Home Day by Mrakeli: 8:56pm On Sep 13, 2021|
Chairman, South East Governors forum and Governor of Ebonyi state, Chief Dave Umahi on Sunday evening said the zone loses over N10 billion in every sit-at-home the people of the region observe.
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|Celebrities / Daddy Freeze Shames Ibiyeomie, Releases Rare Family Photos by Mrakeli: 6:50am On Sep 09, 2020|
On-air-personality and critic popularly known as Daddy Freeze has released pictures of his father, mother, wife and a child to disgrace the founder of Salvation Ministries in Port Harcourt, Pastor David Ibiyeomie.
Recall that Pastor Ibiyeome on Sunday had threatened to kill Daddy Freeze for insulting Bishop David Oyedepo.
According to pastor Ibiyeome, Daddy Freeze was insulting Oyedepo because he had no father and that if he had one, he should show his picture for the world to see.
Ibiyeome said Daddy Freeze had no wife as the one he has had left him.
The founder of Salvation Ministries further stated that the day Daddy Freeze insults Oyedepo, I will deal with him and arrest him. Who gave birth to you? Do you have a father? Show us his picture.
“Oyedepo will not talk but I can’t be alive and you insult my father. I curse the day you were born. I will tear you into pieces you bastard. He is insulting him because he has no father.
“You can never insult a father if you have one, be warned. A man whose wife left him, has no good job, will be insulting my father and people will be laughing online. I will never be alive to see such and do nothing again.”
Reacting to the threats, the critic, Daddy Freeze raised the alarm on Tuesday that Ibiyeomie was after his life and that he should be held responsible should anything happen to him.
Barely 24 hours after raising the threat alarm, Daddy Freeze displayed the photos of his father, mother, wife and two children on Tuesday on his Instagram and Twitter pages for Ibiyeomie to see.
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|Politics / Constitution Amendment: Send Your Position To The Committee, Senate Replies NEF by Mrakeli: 5:36am On Sep 01, 2020|
The Senate on Monday responded to the claim by the Northern Elders Forum that the proposed amendment of the 1999 Constitution was needless.
The NEF in a communique issued at the weekend and signed by its Secretary, Dr Hakeem Baba -Ahmed dismissed the move by the Senate as mere jamboree to waste taxpayers money.
The NEF further argued amongst its submissions that it was “convinced that this repetitive initiative of the Senate is of no value and a predictable waste of time, resources and energy of the nation, and should not be supported by Nigerians being alarmed by the waste in governance at this difficult time when the economy is facing unprecedented challenges.”
But the Senator representing Osun Central and Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Ajibola Basiru said the NEF’sclaim that the exercise would be a mere jamboree was misplaced.
The Senate further asked NEF to put its position in a Memorandum and submit to the Constitution Review Committee led by Deputy Senate President, Omo Agege.
He said: “Even though they are entitled to their views, the question to ask is; does it mean that if former legislatures cum executive (administrations) have possibly or allegedly failed in this regard, then it can never be achieved?
“Their statement even implied an agreement by them that there is a need for fundamental restructuring exercise which is the purpose of the present endeavour of the 9th National Assembly. Their views can be encapsulated in a memorandum to the Constitution Review Committee. The thematic areas advertised for constitutional reforms cut across some of the concerns they raised and therefore we shall be glad to engage them through proper legislative channel rather than news media.”
|Politics / Technology Minister Receives Committee’s Report On Innovation, Economy From NIPS by Mrakeli: 1:17am On Aug 29, 2020|
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has received the interim report of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) on science, innovation and economy.
Onu, received the report on Friday in Abuja with the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology’s joint committee on review and strategy, for the implementation of the annual presidential parley report(s) from 2008 to 2019.
The committee, which was set up by the minister, was to examine ways and means by which the socio-economic development of Nigeria could be galvanised, using Science, Technology and Innovation.
Receiving the report, Onu said the report of the committee would enable the country to refocus its economic outlook, in the light of the shortfall in oil prices and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The minister said the input of science and technology would be very crucial to the new economic blueprint that would emerge in the new national and world order in post- COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the him, for Nigeria to increase her Gross Domestic Product (GDP), there is need to increase her exports and significantly reduce her imports.
This, he said, could only be accomplished through the application of science, technology and innovation, as encapsulated in the knowledge and innovation-driven economic order, being championed by the ministry.
He mentioned the policies to include Executive Order 5, Science and Technology Roadmap 2017 to 2030, National Methanol Fuel Production Policy, the National Strategy for Competiveness in Raw Materials and Product Development.
Onu also mentioned the national leather products policy among others, while noting that these policies were put in place to ensure economic diversification and development of a new economic order in the country.
”This can be done and must be done,” he said.
Dr Peter Ekweozor, Chairman of the committee and Director of the Environmental Science Tecchnology Department of the ministry, said the committee had examined the reports of NIPSS set 1 – 42.
Ekweozor said after the examination, the committee came up with policies that would propel the socio-economic development of the country.
He maintained that the committee had made concrete recommendations and implementation strategies that would drive the recommendations.
The chairman further said that in the course of its assignment, the committee met with various stakeholders including the organised private sector.
|Politics / Let’s Live With COVID-19 Till Vaccine Comes, Wike Tells Rivers People by Mrakeli: 6:40am On Jun 02, 2020|
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has told Rivers people to live with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and its consequences until an effective vaccine is discovered.
The state, he told newsmen yesterday in Port Harcourt, might be compelled to reinstate relaxed measures, soon, if people continued to flout established regulations on social distancing and the compulsory wearing of face masks.
Wike regretted that Rivers had painfully lost 12 persons, and probably more, to COVID-19.
According to him, the loss of any life is a monumental tragedy, not only to the immediate families, to humanity.
“We pray for the success of the global search for vaccines and therapeutics; but until then, the responsibility is still on every one of us to strictly and effectively comply with the established mitigating measures,” he said.
The governor regretted that government had observed that the advisories, directives and regulations on social distancing and the compulsory wearing of face masks are being ignored at alarming proportions in the state, much to the collective discomfort and peril of all.
“Those who continue to exhibit or encourage such callous behaviours or trivialise the fatal power of this virus or still live in denial of its existence are either insane or the worst enemies of mankind,” he said.
Wike threatened to bring the full weight of the law to bear on every recalcitrant person, business or institution, irrespective of status or station, who decides to treat the existing orders and regulations for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in the state with contempt.
Meanwhile, Wike has kicked off a free bus scheme with the aim of cushioning the effect of the pandemic in the state.
The first phase of the scheme had 28 Coaster buses with over 20 drivers that are expected to ply routes to Oyigbo, Eleme and Obio Akpor councils.
Akelicious gathered that the ticket to enjoy the free ride is the face mask.
Each of the buses has one driver and two bus assistants, who must maintain physical distancing in the buses.
The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, and his transport counterpart, Sam Ejekwu, enjoyed a ride together in one of the buses shortly after the scheme was flagged off yesterday.
But residents have lamented high transport fares since the enforcement of physical distancing in vehicles.
Some residents noted that transporters hike the fares since the state government began enforcement of physical distancing in commercial vehicles.
The development brought further hardship among the people, as some were seen trekking long distances to avoid the extra pay.
|Religion / COVID-19: Fr. Ejike Mbaka Cancels Wednesday Prayers by Mrakeli: 12:59pm On Mar 24, 2020|
In In compliance to social restriction orders and joining the whole world to manage the spread of COVID-19, fiery Enugu Catholic priest Rev Fr. Ejike Mbaka has cancelled Wednesday prayers for this week.
A statement from the adoration Ministry made available to Everyday News read: “The Wednesday prayer of Adoration Ministry Enugu Nigeria a.k.a “E no dey Again Programme” will not hold tomorrow March 25, 2020.
“This is in adherence to the Diocesan regulations and in joining the whole world to manage COVID-19 pandemic.
“On that date all worshippers are urged to stay safe and continue to pray for God’s intervention in the pandemic.”
|Health / Coronavirus: Ecobank Shuts Abuja Branch by Mrakeli: 7:47am On Mar 24, 2020|
Ecobank Nigeria Limited, on Monday, closed its Wuse II branch in Abuja over Nigeria’s first coronavirus death.
The bank said the victim, Mr. Sulaiman Achimugu, a former Managing Director of the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company, visited the branch twelve days before his death.
In a statement on its verified Twitter handle, the bank said, “Nigeria, very sadly, this morning recorded its first death, which unfortunately was one of our valued customers. Our most sincere condolences to the family.
“Our attention has been drawn to the fact that the deceased was at our Wuse II, Abuja Branch on 12 March 2020, twelve days ago.
“The deceased did not show any symptoms at the time of the visit.
“In line with the best standards and our COVID-19 response plans, we have, therefore, immediately temporarily closed the branch and all staff at the location have been put in mandatory self-isolation for 14 days, in full compliance with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control guidelines and to ensure their wellbeing and those of our customers.
“We have promptly informed the NCDC.
“We are further requesting, through this communication, that anyone who visited the branch between 12 March 2020 and now should take the necessary mandatory recommended step of self-isolation for 14 days and contact the NCDC.”
|Politics / Obaseki To Leverage On Meteorological Data To Drive Investment by Mrakeli: 3:37am On Mar 24, 2020|
As part of efforts at building a total society that caters for the collective needs of all citizens, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, said he will leverage on meteorological data to drive investments and boost economic growth in the state.
The governor said this yesterday during the commemoration of the World Meteorological Day. The theme of this year’s event was: “Climate Change and Water – Count Every Drop, Every Drop Counts.”
This was as Obaseki said that the state government was applying weather, climate and water information towards improving the safety and well-being of the people of the state, reduce poverty and improve public health.
He noted that climate, water and other related environmental services are useful inputs for socio-economic planning and development, which informed the decision to leverage on available meteorological data to enhance the state’s decision-making process.
Obaseki said: “As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark the Meteorological Day, it is imperative to identify the role of weather, climate and water information on planning and decision-making process. That is why in Edo State, we are committed to building capacity and leveraging meteorological data in attracting investment to grow our economy.
“As part of our commitment to weather and climate, meteorology weather stations have been installed at the University of Benin (UNIBEN) and the Edo State Polytechnic, Usen in partnership with the Nigeria Meteorology Agency (NiMET) to strengthen teaching and research in Environmental Sciences and Climate Change.
The institutions have also concluded plans to commence programmes in Meteorology and Climate Change.”
The governor added: “We have the Centre of Geospatial Information Science (CGIS) at the Edo State Polytechnic to attend to the use of geospatial science. Specifically, we have been applying weather data to boost farming and economic development, while also utilising mapping and geo-informatics for informed siting of social amenities across the state.
“These have aided our administration’s efforts at building a total society that caters for the collective needs of all Edo citizens, as well as ensuring an even spread of rural and urban development across the state.”
The World Meteorological Day is celebrated every year on 23 March by the United Nations and its organisations to commemorate the entry into force in 1950 of the convention that created the World Meteorological Organization.
The day also highlights the contribution of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services towards the safety and well-being of the society.
|Business / Coronavirus Recession Will Be Worse Than 2008-2009 Says IMF by Mrakeli: 2:49am On Mar 24, 2020|
The coronavirus pandemic will cause a global recession in 2020 that could be worse than that seen during the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, but the world's economic output should recover in 2021, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Monday.
IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva welcomed extraordinary fiscal actions already taken by many countries to boost health systems and protect affected companies and workers, and steps by central banks to ease monetary policy, adding, "even more will be needed, especially on the fiscal front."
Georgieva issued the new outlook after a conference call of finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 of the world's largest economies, who she said agreed on the need for solidarity across the globe.
"The human costs of the coronavirus pandemic are already immeasurable, and all countries need to work together to protect people and limit the economic damage," Georgieva said.
More countries are imposing lockdown measures to contain the rapidly spreading virus.
Georgieva said the outlook for global growth was negative, and the IMF now expected "a recession at least as bad as during the global financial crisis or worse."
Earlier this month, Georgieva had warned that 2020 world growth would be below the 2.9 per cent rate seen in 2019, but stopped short of predicting a recession. Trade wars pushed global growth last year to the lowest rate since a 0.7 per cent contraction in 2009.
On Monday, Georgieva said a recovery was expected in 2021, but to reach it countries would need to prioritize containment and strengthen health systems.
"The economic impact is and will be severe, but the faster the virus stops, the quicker and stronger the recovery will be," she said.
Georgieva said the IMF would massively step up emergency finance, noting that 80 countries have already requested help and that the IMF stood ready to deploy all of its $1 trillion in lending capacity.
Advanced economies were generally in better shape to deal with the crisis, but many emerging markets and low-income countries face significant challenges, including outward capital flows.
Investors have already removed $83 billion from emerging markets since the start of the crisis, the largest capital outflow ever recorded, Georgieva said.
The IMF is particularly concerned about low-income countries in debt distress and was working closely with them to address those concerns, she added.
The IMF called again on members to contribute funds to replenish its Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust to help the poorest countries.
UN chief Antonio Guterres said Monday that the world body wants $2 billion to help poor countries combat coronavirus and warned that a massive, co-ordinated package would also be needed to deal with the pandemic's social and economic impact around the world.
"The package needs to make households be afloat, make businesses be afloat, keep societies being afloat," Guterres told a virtual news conference.
"This will require a double-digit of GDP [gross domestic product] support in the developed world and creating the conditions through the IMF, through the swaps among central banks, through the creation of new facilities," he said.
The spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus has drawn comparisons with devastating periods such as the Second World War, the 2008 financial crisis and the 1918 Spanish flu.
"We need a much stronger co-ordination," said Guterres, adding that he had written to the world's 20 largest economies [G20] and would join their virtual meeting later this week.
"Co-ordination in making sure that not only the developed countries can respond effectively to the disease, but that there is massive support to the developing world not to let the disease spread like wildfire," he said.
Guterres said he would launch a $2 billion humanitarian appeal on Wednesday.
He also called for a global ceasefire so the world can focus on fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
"It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives," Guterres said.
The United Nations has been trying to mediate an end to conflicts in countries including Syria, Yemen and Libya, while also providing humanitarian assistance to millions of civilians.
"End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world," he said. "It starts by stopping the fighting everywhere. Now. That is what our human family needs, now more than ever."
|Politics / Declare State Of Emergency On Coronavirus - Falana To Buhari by Mrakeli: 12:56pm On Mar 23, 2020|
Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
The federal and state governments had put measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus. Such measures include travel ban, suspension of events, closure of schools and ban on large gatherings.
However, some of the directives, particularly involving the ban on large gatherings, have been ignored by some political and religious leaders.
In a statement on Monday, Falana said Buhari needs to declare a state of emergency to further establish the urgency and seriousness of the directives.
He said the declaration will ensure that disobedience by political and religious leaders will become a punishable offence.
“In order to stem the dangerous trend the Federal Government should put necessary legal measures and mechanisms in place without any further delay,” the statement read.
“In particular, the attention of the Nigerian people ought to be drawn to section 45 of the Constitution which provides that the fundamental rights of citizens to personal liberty, freedom of movement, freedom of assembly and association etc may be infringed upon or restricted in the interest of public health and public safety.
“Therefore, President Muhammadu Buhari should, as a matter of urgency, issue a proclamation of a state of emergency in the entire Federation pursuant to section 305 (1) of the Constitution.
“Once the proclamation is issued by the President and published it is required to be approved by a resolution supported by two-thirds majority of each house of the national assembly.
“Once the measures are set out
in the said proclamation they will have the force of law capable of being enforced by the police and other security agencies. If President Buhari does not declare a state of emergency state governors are advised to issue Executive Orders to address the health challenge.”
The lawyer also asked for the decongestion of detention facilities in the country including correctional centres and police stations.
He said convicts who are suffering from diabetes, tuberculosis, asthma and terminal diseases should be released from custody forthwith.
Nigeria currently has 36 cases of the virus, spread across least five states and the federal capital territory (FCT).
|Politics / God Is With Trump, He Remains The President Of US And Leader Of The World – Ffk by Mrakeli: 6:48am On Feb 06, 2020|
Fani Kayode congratuates Trump on his impeachment Victory.
Recall that President Trump won impeachment acquittal in the U.S. Senate.
Majority of senators expressed unease with Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine that resulted in the two articles of impeachment. But the final tallies — 52-48 favoring acquittal of abuse of power, 53-47 of obstruction of Congress’ investigation.
FANI KAYODE WROTE:
Guilty 48. Not Guilty 52.
@real Donald Trump remains President of the United States & leader of the free world. Thanks be to God for honoring His word. @real Donald Trump, go forth in power, continue to put ur enemies to shame & prepare for ur 2nd term! The Lord is with you!
|Education / 2020 UTME: JAMB Registers 700,000 Candidates In 2 Weeks by Mrakeli: 3:32am On Jan 27, 2020|
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says 700,000 candidates have so far been registered for the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) nationwide in two weeks.https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/01/2020-utme-jamb-registers-700000-candidates-in-2-weeks/amp/
|Politics / ‘I Am Not A Spare Tyre, I Have Roles In Governance’ Says Baba Tela, by Mrakeli: 7:19pm On Jan 26, 2020|
The Deputy Governor of Bauchi State, Sen. Baba Tela, on Sunday said that he does not consider himself a spare tyre in the governance of the state.
Tela assreted that he has a constitutional role to play in his capacity.
He made this known to newsmen on Sunday in Azare, headquarters of Katagum Local Government Area of the state.
Also, Buhari congratulates Gov. Lalong of Plateau on Knighthood.
Tela was reacting to insinuations that deputy governors were like spare tyres of a vehicle and cannot offer anything to the people of the state.
“I am not a spare tyre, I have a specific duty and have a specific role, and the constitution is very clear on the role of the deputy governor and the governor in running of a state or running of the country.
“So, I think we should stick to the constitution, once we stick to the constitution, we won’t have any problem.
“It depends on the way you put things to any person, it doesn’t mean that a spare tyre does not have its own uses.
“Have a puncture at the middle of the night 120kms or 150kms away from the town and then you will know the importance of a spare tyre.
“So, it is not like spare tyres even doesn’t have their own functions, they do.
“We relate as senators and we relate as governors and deputy governors, and it may even interest you to know that I was in the Senate before my governor and he always gives me that respect.
“He always does that and I always appreciate it, but he is the governor and I respect his position as the governor and I know that he is the governor,” Tela said.
He described Gov. Bala Muhammed as a simple and down-to-earth person who carries everybody along.
“Even when he takes a decision and he later finds out that you have a superior argument, he will apologise and go with you,” Tela said.
Meanwhile, the deputy governor has said that the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state was so low and promised that the administration was equally making efforts to raise it in a way that would not negatively affect the people.
Tela assured that he and his boss were ready to work for the people and for the development of the state and country at large.
|Politics / APC Wins Reps Seat In Cross River by Mrakeli: 9:32am On Jan 26, 2020|
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Mr Alex Egbonna of the All Progressives Congress (APC), winner of the House of Representatives election for Yakurr/Abi Federal Constituency in Cross River.
Dr Alalibo Johnson, State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), announced the result on Sunday at the collation center in Ugep, Yakurr Local Government Area.
Alalibo said that, the APC candidate got 29,716 votes to defeat his closest opponent, Mr John Lebo of the Peoples Democratic Party, who secured 26,039 votes.
The commission also declared Mr Davies Etta of the PDP as winner of Abi constituency seat in the State House of Assembly.
The PDP candidate garnered 13, 349 votes to defeat his closest rirval, Mr Eyeng Iwqara of the APC who had 8, 792 votes.
The REC, however, said that, INEC cancelled election in Afafanyi/Igonigoni Ward, consisting of eight polling units with combined total of 5,616 registered voters, due to violence.
Full details at https://www.akelicious.net/apc-wins-reps-seat-in-cross-river/
|Politics / 26,000 Babies Will Be Born In Nigeria Today, 392,078 Globally, Says UNICEF by Mrakeli: 7:19am On Jan 01, 2020|
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has disclosed that no fewer than 26,039 babies will be born in Nigeria today being New Year’s Day.
Babies born Nigeria today will account for almost seven per cent of the estimated 392,078 babies to be born on New Year’s Day globally, the third-highest in the world, after India and China.
UNICEF revealed that India will have the highest number of newborns as 67,385 babies would be born in that country followed by China with 46,299, while 16,787 babies would be born in Pakistan, 13,020 in Indonesia, 10,452 in the United States of America, 10,247 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and 8,494 in Ethiopia.
However, Fiji in the Pacific will most likely deliver 2020’s first baby, the United States, it’s last and globally, over half of the births are estimated to take place in eight countries.
Nigeria Representative of UNICEF, Peter Hawkins, who disclosed this in a statement yesterday lamented that for millions of newborns in Nigeria and around the world, the day of their birth is far less auspicious and often their last.
He lamented that in 2018, 2.5 million newborn babies died in their first month globally and about a third on their first day, adding that Nigeria recorded, 318,522 deaths of newborn babies.
Hawkins observed that most of the children died from preventable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections like sepsis, adding that over 2.5 million babies were born dead each year, while over 400,000 stillbirths occur in Nigeria yearly.
Hawkins said in the last three decades, Nigeria and the world have experienced remarkable progress in child survival, reducing the number of children who die globally before their fifth birthday by more than half.
“In Nigeria, this number reduced by about 500,000 between 1990 and 2018, but there has been slower progress for newborns. Babies dying in their first month accounted for 47 per cent of all deaths among five-year-old children in 2018, up from 40 per cent in 1990.
“The figures are 29 per cent, up from 21 per cent in 1990. UNICEF’s Every Child Alive campaign calls for immediate investment in health workers with the right training, who are equipped with the right medicines to ensure every mother and newborn is cared for by safe hands to prevent and treat complications during pregnancy, delivery, and birth,” he said.
|Politics / PDP, Atiku Should Gracefully Accept Court Verdict, Says Lawan by Mrakeli: 6:43pm On Oct 30, 2019|
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has asked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and its presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, to gracefully accept the final verdict of the Supreme Court.
The apex court had on Wednesday, dismissed an appeal filed by the PDP and Atiku for lacking in merit after challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential election of February 23, 2019.
Lawan in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Ola Awoniyi, said that after the end of litigation, attention should be shifted to showing support to President Buhari as he hopes to build the country.
“Now that the litigation is over, we should all rally as one people behind the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, in his commitment to building the great nation of our dream.
“The petitioners should gracefully accept the final verdict of our court of law while the winners should demonstrate magnanimity by extending the hand of fellowship to the opposition with a view to carrying all Nigerians along in the arduous task of nation-building,” Lawan said.
He urged President Buhari and his government to continue to focus on good governance so as to deliver on the President’s agenda of improving the lives of Nigerians and putting the nation on the path of sustainable development.
Lawan said the ninth National Assembly will continue to produce good legislation and pursue the harmonious relationship between the organs of government and among Nigerians for the unity, peace, and progress of our fatherland.
|Politics / Breaking: Court Orders PSC, IG To Suspend Recruitment by Mrakeli: 4:24pm On Oct 23, 2019|
A Division of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday ordered the stoppage of the on-going recruitment of 10,000 police constables in the country.
The presiding judge, Inyang Ekwo has therefore ordered the Inspector General (I-G) of Police, Mohammed Adamu, the Police Service Commission (PSC) and other parties in the suit to maintain status quo until further pronouncement.
Justice Inyang Ekwo who gave the order at the hearing of the case brought by the PSC against the IGP, further urged all parties to stay within the bounds of the law until the matter is decided.
The PSC had brought the matter before court, asking it to stop Adamu from continuing the recruitment exercise, alleging that the power of the commission had been usurped.
In a suit No FHC/ABJ/05/1124/19, the Police service Commission had dragged the Nigerian Police Force, the Inspector General of Police and the Ministry of Police Affair who are the 1st 2nd and 3rd Defendants respectively in the suit to court.
The Attorney General of the Federation is on the verge of being joined in the suit as one of the Defendants.
The PSC sought an interlocutory injunction restraining the defendants, their officers and representatives including anybody or person acting on their behalf from appointing, recruiting or attempting to appoint or recruit by any means whatsoever any person into any office in the first defendant pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
Opening his argument on the matter, Counsel to the three Defendants, Dr Alex Izinyon SAN asked that the Attorney General of the Federation be joined as fourth defendant in the matter.
The counsel to PSC, Kanu Agabi SAN did not however disagree or raise any objection when Justice Ekwo was about to adopt it.
Meanwhile, the presiding judge had gone ahead to give the plaintiff four days from the date of the order to amend, file and service the processes and the first to third defendants another four days upon service by the plaintiff to amend file and serve their processes.
Ekwo thereafter cautioned the senior lawyers, saying that they represent the cream of the inner bar and since the issues between them has been brought to court, all parties must respect the rule of law and stay within bounds until the matter is decided.
“I need your assurance on that,” Ekwo added.
Meanwhile, Izinyon had gone further to argue that the issue that brought the motion was the issue of recruitment, which has passed, as recruitment of the 10, 000 constables had been concluded by the Police.
“I am giving you between now and the fourth of November to return to court.
“Are you telling me that between now and the fourth of November, you still need to go on with what you are doing?” Ekwo had queried.
Izinyon responded: “We have finished what we are doing, with the greatest respect. And with the greatest respect, the police service commission is aware.”
At that point, Ekwo had to interject and reiterated his initial stance as saying; “The case is not between you and me.”
“You have submitted to the jurisdiction of the court. You stay within the jurisdiction of the court,” Ekwo said.
In his own argument, Agabi, told the court that he had nothing more to add, saying that the judge has said it all. “We are before the court.” he held
Arguing further, he said, “Now my learned brother is saying they have already completed it. What an embarrassment it would be to the nation and to the police if this court should decide that whatever they were doing were illegalities. What an embarrassment.”
The matter has since been adjourned to November 4, 2019.
|Politics / Buhari Sends Message To Canada’s Trudeau Over Poll Victory by Mrakeli: 11:29am On Oct 23, 2019|
President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a message of congratulations to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on his election victory and expressed optimism that Nigeria-Canada relations will continue to blossom.
Buhari also rejoiced with the Liberal Party of Canada and Canadians generally on the outcome of the Federal election in the country.
Canada and Nigeria are major trading partners, with trade totalling $948.4 million recorded in 2018.
Nigeria and Canada also belong to the Global Counter Terrorism Forum and several other international organisations,
President Buhari said he expects continued relationship with Prime Minister Trudeau across a wide range of shared values and interests.
He hoped that both countries will continue to stand together on issues of peace and security that guarantee a better and more secure world for all.
Buhari recalled the visit of Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, to Nigeria in October 2018. He said it provided an opportunity for Nigeria to appreciate the humanitarian assistance of Canada to civilian populations affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.
|Politics / 2023: Junaid Mohammed Need A Doctor To Examine,advice Him -NUF by Mrakeli: 2:58am On Oct 23, 2019|
The attention of NDI-IGBO UNITED FORUM (NUF) WORLDWIDE has been drawn to various vituperative, wasteful and vain utterances of one northern politician said to be a second republic lawmaker. Most recent of such uncouth diarrheic vomit was a divisive statement credited to him in support of his preference to Senator Ahmed Tinubu’s Presidency in 2023 instead of an Igboman.
A quick check reveals that this Niger Republic migrant has not hidden his acute hatred for the Igbo tribe coupled with his inordinate penchant for undeserved publicity incurable distorted reasoning
In 2012, one Russian Trained Doctor turned bigot called Dr Junaid Mohammed said Igbo Presidency not feasible in 2015. He spoke vainly like a Presidency maker.
In October 2017, same man uninvitedly declared that Igboman cannot be President in 2019. Not done yet, in the wake of IPOB attack on Senator Ike Ekweremadu in August 2019, same Junaid used the platform again to unleash his contaminated venom on Igbos saying that Igbos can’t be trusted with Presidency. What’s the relationship between the attack and Igbo Presidency if I may ask?
Most recently, the barking dog that has lost control best considered as author of confusion and monumental burden to Nigeria, Junaid lost his balance as a balanced personality. He fell short of fueling the battle between Osibanjo and Tinubu in a subterranean manner. NUF wouldn’t have bothered with his busy body like a professional prostitute boldly positioned on a busy road seeking for devourers but we got involved by saying that “I will rather have Tinubu as President than have an Igbo…..because they are ambitious.
These are some catalogue of such statements credited to this claimed Nigerian living, dreaming and dreading Igboland and Igboman. It’s worrisome that a man as young as Junaid cannot learn and talk like respected statesmen. What has IPOB attack on Ekweremadu got to do with Mohammed. Has his Boko haram children and grandchildren in the North listened to his call to end insurgency that’s threatening the cooperate existence of Nigeria with avalanche of attacks that has given birth to IDPs? Didn’t Nigerians especially North vote President Buhari even in the face of coordinated terrorist attacks? Why use the occasion of IPOB attack on one of their own to bully a race? Who has bullied the North even in the act of unprovoked attacks on Nigerians by a group with roots in the North?
Junaid would have ended his 2023 pontification on his choice candidate without drawing Igbo into his unfortunate hate speech and analogy. Gladly the unchained Junaid used the single pronoun “I” meaning he spoke for himself only and not for the Northerners given the fact that several respected Northern Nigerians have spoken in support of 2023 Igbo Presidency. A thousand Junaid can’t punctuate the emerging wave of the Nigerian President of Igbo extraction. Junaid is equally mischievous because he just pitched Osibanjo against Tinubu. That alone, is an “unfatherly” act.
On the unfathomed excuse that Igbos are ambitious, we submit and accept with all trappings that we are ambitious. Ambition drives hard work, performance and results. Junaid was ambitious to have studied in Russia. Not satisfied as a doctor, ambition pushed him in as a lawmaker. However, his present ambition of not seeing an Igboman become President will end in futility and self destruction. When it happen, we shall be glad to read an epitaph in his tomb that says, “here was man who shamefully and effortlessly fought a destined race against producing President of Nigeria and committed suicide when the race won the Presidency.”
To avert this catastrophic self destructive tendency, first, the Northern Leaders and respected elders should visit Dr Junaid Mohammed and call him to order unless he’s speaking their minds. Furthermore, his children should consider the option of counselling their father so as to punctuate his unsolicited views and save them the opprobrium of disgrace. The Northern Youths should have reasons now to caution their grandfather to tame his tongue to avoid pitching them and their glorious posterity against other tribes in a country where all tribes and race have equal rights and privileges.
When all these fail, NDI-IGBO UNTED FORUM (NUF) WORLDWIDE would engage a team of medical doctors from Nigeria and Russia to reexamine his mental status because of his sworn disdain for Igbos. NUF can no longer fold it’s arms and watch a misfit insult a whole race again notwithstanding our non violate posture. We want to tell Junaid and his likes that are in minority that when the chips are down, Ndi-Igbo will relegate party affiliations to the background and pursue common Igbo interest. Someone should visit him and sound it clear to him that the fragile Ndi-Igbo bloc he used to know is gone and buried as we have a united and indivisible race committed to actualizing this mandate. We enjoin well meaning brothers and sisters from other zones and especially the North to support Ndi-Igbo ahead of 2023. Our collective ambition as a country desperate to have a country built around justice, equity and fairness is same ambitious disposition we have in NUF.
God bless Nigeria.
Mazi Agodi KANU
Secretary General, NUF.
|Politics / ‘if You Fail To Fight For Your Right, Death Awaits You’– Nnamdi Kanu To Biafrans by Mrakeli: 7:57am On Oct 09, 2019|
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Leader, Chief Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has lamented that death awaits “all Biafrans” agitating for the Republic of Biafra if they don’t rise up and fight for their rights.
The IPOB leader made this comment during his second broadcast of the month on Radio Biafra on Monday, October 7.
During the broadcast, Kanu said death awaits all Biafrans except they rise up and fight President Muhammadu Buhari led government as well as the Nigerian security agents.
“There is something I want all Biafrans to know including Ibibio, death awaits us all, except we rise up and fight these people (Nigeria and the Nigerian security agents).”
Meanwhile, Naija News reports that Kanu’s statement is coming after he said last week during an “emergency broadcast” that the Republic of Biafra will come in his time.
“Here we (IPOB) remain whiter than whiter and whiter than snow, that is why we have been able to accomplish what many nations have not been able to accomplish.
“We do not take the praise, every praise and adoration for all we that we have become, for all that we have accomplished in this very noble quest to restore Biafra belongs to Chukwu Okike Abiama in heaven, it doesn’t belong to man.
“Every praise redirects towards heaven and because of that because of that, Biafra shall come in our time,” Kanu had said.
|Politics / SIM Registration: NCC Makes NIN Compulsory by Mrakeli: 6:18am On Oct 07, 2019|
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said that registration of new Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards will now require the presentation of the National Identity Number (NIN).NCC, which said the enforcement of the new rule takes effect soon, noted that the move became necessary following the rising criminality in the country.
According to its Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, the policy is in line with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) Act 2007 relating to NIN regulations, which provide that a person must provide his/her unique number to register a SIM card.Consequently, Danbatta said the NCC, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, had set in motion mechanisms for compliance.
Meanwhile, Nigeria added 1.95 million new subscribers to its networks between July and August.Speaking at the third yearly conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) at the weekend in Lagos, Danbatta, who was represented by the Head, Online Media and Special Publication, Omoniyi Ibietan, promised that all avenues must be explored to cage the rising cases of insecurity in the country.
The event was themed “Economy, Security and National Development: The Way Forward.”The EVC said: “Permit me to quickly take you through a few things that the NCC, as the country’s independent telecommunications regulatory authority, has been doing towards engendering security of lives and property for economic development in our country.
“This will be discussed under the sub-theme, ‘NCC, SIM Registration, Security and National Development’.”According to him, the Nigerian telecoms industry, in the past 18 years, has recorded tremendous growth. Danbatta added: “Today, the number of active telephone lines in the country is about 175 million, representing a tele-density of 91.65 per cent. The number of Internet users is 122.6 million, while broadband penetration currently stands at 35 per cent. The cumulative investment profile in the sector is over $70 billion.
“At 11.39 per cent contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the telecoms sub-sector remains a major actor in the national economy. “Indeed, as at the second quarter of 2019, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector’s contribution to the GDP was 13.88 per cent.
“Today, the positive impact of the telecoms sector, either voice or data, resonates in other sectors of the economy.” The NCC boss pledged that his organisation remained committed to using telecoms to support the current tripartite agenda of the Federal Government, which are, to improve the economy, enhance lives and property, as well as fight corruption.
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|Politics / Governor Sanwo-olu Reveals When Bad Roads In Lagos Will Disappear by Mrakeli: 6:23pm On Oct 01, 2019|
The governor of Lagos Babajide Sanwo-Olu has urged residents of the state to exercise patience over the slow rate of repairs on the bad roads across the metropolitan city. The Nation reports that, Sanwo-Olu made the appeal during a question and answer session at an independence day event called ‘The Platform’ at Iganmu area of Lagos. The governor assured that work would begin in earnest on the roads once the current heavy rainfall stops.
The rains, he noted, has been falling since he was sworn into office earlier this year.
He also warned that not all of the roads would be repaired at the same. Governor Sanwo-Olu’s plea came just as Legit.ng reported that the gridlock along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway caused by the ongoing reconstruction of the road by Julius Berger Construction Company bites harder, residents working in Lagos now take refuges on the Island, mainland and in churches. Hundreds of residents are said to be living in the adjourning communities along the ever busy expressway but working in Lagos now squat in various places ranging from churches to relatives and friends.
The residents who spoke to newsmen lamented the lackadaisical attitude of the contractor (Julius Berger) handling the road that reputably has 250 vehicles on it every day.
|Politics / Ad Hoc Committee Members On Ports' Decongestion And Restoration Wound Down Its T by Mrakeli: 4:44pm On Sep 23, 2019|
Today, the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on ports decongestion and restoration wound down its tour of locations. The 14-man committee which has Hon Baba Yusuf Yakub as the chairman was at Onitsha River Port to see things for themselves. At the public hearing which was held at the hall of the All Saints Cathedral Complex, Onitsha, after the tour of the facility by the members had the heads of many agencies and stakeholders in attendance. Among the agencies invited to make contributions on the way forward were National Inland Waterways (NIWA), Nigerian Shippers' Council, Customs and Excise, Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Trader Association (ASMATA), Importers' Association, and the representatives of Anambra State Government etc. They all agreed to the importance of a decentralized port system in Nigeria and called for immediate resuscitation of the Onitsha River Port as well as the other Eastern Ports.
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