Posts Tagged ‘Muhammadu Buhari’

Real reasons F G re-introduced tollgates -Fashola

Image result for babatunde fasholaThe Federal Government on Wednesday announced plans to ensure the return of tollgates on federal highways.

The tollgates were abolished in 2003 by the administration of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, stated this while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.

According to him, FEC also gave approval for the repairs and rehabilitation of two road contracts that were awarded by the previous administration of President Goodluck Jonathan but without being cash-backed from N30.3bn to N46bn.

The new cost was in consonance with the reality of economic rates, market price indices for roads inputs such as cement, iron rods, diesel, petrol and lubricant and the changes in prices between 2010 and now.

Fashola said, “The first one is Ibadan-Lagere-Ilesha Bypass 22km and the contract was awarded in 2010, no budgetary funding and so the rate has become obsolete.

“The contractor wants new rate and that has necessitated the revision of the rate by N3.17bn. The old contract of N6.7bn has moved now to N9.8bn.

“There is also Suleja-Lambata-Minna road. This is a 101km. It was awarded in two phases. The first phase was awarded in 2010 – 40km and then the second phase covering kilometre 40 to 101 was awarded in March 2015 but they used the 2010 rate.

So, the contractor is now at a point where he said those rates were unsustainable; he can’t continue and we have recommended again that the reverse rate be considered and council approved them.

“It’s a revision by addition of N12.6bn. So the contract price moved from N23.6bn to N36.2bn.”

The minister also threw more light on the planned return of tollgates which, he said, had reached an advanced state.

Fashola said, “There is no reason why we can’t toll. There was a policy of government to abolish tollgates or dismantle toll plaza but there is no law that prohibits tolling in Nigeria today.”

The minister who said that government was also considering a cashless payment through the introduction of electronic mode of payment further announced that government needed to acquire more land to expand the width of the tollgates as it proposed to have 10 lanes.

President Buhari arrives South Africa to stop repeated attack on Nigerians

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in South Africa for a three-day state visit.

The state visit follows one in March 2016 by former South African President Jacob Zuma.

The president who is accompanied by a number of governors was received at the Waterkloof Airforce Base in Pretoria by the South African Minister for International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor and other ministers.

He will begin his state visit on Thursday with a military ceremony at the Union building with his host, President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Among issues of cooperation, the next steps to curb the repeated attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals are on the agenda.

Trending: ‘I will succeed Buhari as president of Nigeria in 2023’ – Pastor Tunde Bakare

It has been reported that Tunde Bakare, the founder and senior pastor of Latter Rain Assembly, a Lagos-based pentecostal church has declared he would be Nigeria’s next president come 2023.

Bakare, in a video which has gone viral on social medial, declared that he would succeed President Muhammadu Buhari as 16th president of Nigeria, saying this is why he was born.

“Take it to the mountain top if you have never heard it before. I am saying it to you this morning, in the scheme of things, as far as politics of Nigeria is concerned, President Buhari is number 15 and yours sincerely is number 16. I never said that to you before, I want to let you know it this morning; nothing can change it, in the name of Jesus. He (Buhari) is number 15; I am number 16,” Bakare said, placing his right hand on his chest.

Politics: Why Buhari closed Border revealed

Image result for buhariAs news spread through News Agency of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari  has revealed that the closure of Nigerian land borders for a limited period due to massive smuggling is already yielding positive results for the economy.

The President stated this when he received a delegation from the Nigerian Association for Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture at the State House, Abuja, on Friday.

The delegation also comprised of the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry and representatives of the Organised Private Sector.

Buhari said the closure was necessitated by the lack of adherence to business ideals by various stakeholders which was detrimental to the country and its people.

“After many years of diplomacy and aggressive regulatory oversight which yielded few results, we decided to close our land borders for a limited time to assess the impact of this measure.

“Within a few short weeks, we are already seeing a decline in the volumes of counterfeit smuggled goods in some of our major markets across the country.

“This validates our action as a Government when we insist that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement must not only promote free trade, but legal trade of quality made-in-Africa goods and services,” he said.

Buhari says everyone must play by the rule when it comes to trade and business activities that are central to Nigeria’s economic development.

He added that his administration would ensure that the trade and business sector continues to flourish in job creation.

He urged the Association to continue its ‘‘positive and patriotic contribution’’ towards achieving a free trade area that employs Africans to produce quality made-in-Africa products.

”We will soon finalise the National Action Committee on the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area. Your Association is a member of this committee.

“I expect you to continue your positive and patriotic contribution to support us in achieving a free trade area that employs Africans to produce quality made in Africa products,’’ the President said.

In her remarks, Hajiya Saratu Aliyu, President FEWACCI, NACCIMA and OPS, commended the recent decision by the President to constitute a new economic team to steer the Nigerian economy on the path of sustainable growth.

On the Economic Advisory Council, she said: “NACCIMA, FEWACCI and, indeed, the OPS, are full of hope that a new era is on the horizon with the calibre of persons on the team which reassures us at the OPS that Government is ready to turn around the story of Nigeria.”

How parties merged to defeat Jonathan in 2015 election- President Buhari

Related imageIt has been gathred that President Buhari talked about some ‘behind the scene’ incidents that led to defeat of the People’s Democratic Party in the 2015  election, in a book written by the Director-General of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) Comrade Salihu Mohammed Lukman.

Buhari revealed that only the Southwest was a secured constituency when the merger talks between four parties; Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) was initiated. He also admitted that the merger became neccesary when it dawned on opposition parties that they can’t defeat the PDP individually.

 “At one point, we in the four former opposition parties, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), came to the painful realisation that there was no way we could defeat the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as separate entities without coming together as a united force.

“So, having agreed to come together, we decided to set up committees to look into how we can best merge to form a formidable opposition party. After that each of the four parties developed the terms of reference for the committees on the modalities of the negotiations for the merger.

“We, however, made it clear that none of the committees has the power to take any final decision on the merger. Their work was mainly to discuss with their party members and report the outcome of the discussion to the leadership of their parties.

“The understanding was that the final decision regarding how to go about the merger would be made by the executives of each of the parties. We wanted to make the process as democratic as possible” he said.

The President however noted that Nigeria would have been worse if the merger talks between the National Leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and the Interim (pioneer) National Chairman of the new party, Chief Bisi Akande had failed.

“The decision to come together and agree to merge to become a strong opposition party that will face PDP was historic. In my reckoning, it was one of the most significant political development in contemporary Nigerian political history. I hope historians will record the events correctly,” he stressed.

“I would recall speaking to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande at the commencement of the merger negotiations about the need to have a broad-based national political party, because at that point the South-West geopolitical zone of the country was the only secured constituency, while there were sharp divisions in the other geopolitical zones (North West, North East, North Central, the South East and the South South).

“We eventually succeeded in coming together. It was a major sacrifice made by the leadership of the respective political parties. And the significance of this event was underscored by the fact that the future of Nigeria was tied to it. Which is why for historians and political scientists, it becomes a major research question.

“I always wonder what would have been the political, economic and security consequences to the country without the merger of the old opposition parties and seizing political power from the ruling PDP democratically.

“I wonder how many people have taken the time to reflect on this development and make projections as to what could have happened if the opposition had failed to come together to take away power from PDP.

Also reacting to the criticism he has faced over his performance in office, President Buhari insisted that his government prevented the nation’s downward slide under PDP government.

 

“I have been constrained to go public several times to remind Nigerians where this country was economically and socially and the deplorable conditions of the nation’s infrastructure, despite the unprecedented huge earnings from oil exports between I999-20l4, and how the then ruling PDP squandered nation’s resources and opportunities.

“Fortunately, we have been able to reverse this downward slide in such a short period of time, even under more challenging circumstances from 20I5 to date.

“I feel that without coming together, we would not have been able to achieve this feat. And Nigeria will be the worse for it. We remain the only hope of the country in terms of charting a politically stable and economically prosperous future for our people.

“I will, therefore, encourage us to continue leading this country effectively, now that Nigerians have entrusted us with a mandate once again to chart the course for the future of our beloved nation.

“There is no doubt that we have the popular support of Nigerians. l have seen this myself when I went around the 36 states and FCT during the electioneering campaigns. The turnout of people and messages of goodwill across the country was what no individual, party or government could organize or buy. It was purely a demonstration of confidence in our Administration and its political platform, the All Progressives’ Congress (APC), the product of the merger.

“The multitudes that trooped out to see me and hear me out was reassuring that Nigeria, despite its cultural diversities, are united on the imperative of change.

“Our duty as leaders is to ensure that we keep this nation united, build a better future for the citizens and the coming generation” he said.

Adebanjo, Balarabe Musa, Sagay disagree on ex-president’s letter

Adebanjo, Balarabe Musa, Sagay disagree on ex-president’s letterLots of reactions emanated yesterday when former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s released a public letter to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Obasanjo enumerated the huge security challenges in the land, proposed some solutions and asked Buhari to act now so that Nigeria can remain one.

But the letter sparked a huge dispute, with civil society organisations and notable personalities taking various positions.

Some, including elder statesman Chief Ayo Adebanjo, the Executive Director of Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Adetokunbo Mumuni and the President, Campaign for Democracy (CD), Usman Abdul, backed the former president.

But Second Republic Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, and frontline politician Tanko Yakasai said Obasanjo lacked the pedigree to speak truth to power.

Those who backed the former president cautioned against trashing Obasanjo’s counsel.

Chief Adebanjo said the security problems had reached a critical point, requiring immediate attention.

CD and SERAP demanded an immediate and concrete response to the challenges.

They urged the President to take concrete steps to address the situation.

But, to Musa the former president is not clean enough to speak on the country’s challenges. Yakasai said there was nothing patriotic in Obasanjo’s letter.

Musa, who accused Obasanjo of doing worse things when he was in the saddle, said: “It is typical of Obasanjo, a typical agent provocateur and his target is to destabilise Nigeria. Since he left office, this is how he has been behaving. He is an agent provocateur and people should see him as that. When he was president of Nigeria, didn’t he notice things the way they are today?

“He did worse as president. He didn’t care about what others said just as it is today. Obasanjo is not clean enough to tell us anything. Obasanjo is not the right person for us to rely on.

“If Obasanjo had the support of the (South) west when he was president from 1999, he would have done worse than Buhari is doing now but he didn’t have the support of the (South) west. Instead, it is the North who made him the President; that’s why he could not be worse than Buhari.

“Buhari is definitely bad enough. There is no doubt about it, but if Obasanjo had the support of the (South) west he would have done worse but he didn’t have that support at all.”

Adebanjo said Buhari must act immediately to demonstrate his commitment to keeping the country together.

Adebanjo said: “I endorse what he (Obasanjo) has said hundred per cent. The situation in the country, like Obasanjo has said, has got to a critical point that needs immediate attention. It is not a question of we shall do this or we are doing this. The thing has got to a boiling point.

“The situation in the country has got to a position where we have to decide two things: are we going to do restructuring now or we are going to do de-amalgamation? It has come to that stage. We are talking of restructuring because we believe under restructuring we can take care of our security if we do it properly then we can stay together. Anything that is not immediate now is just praying for time.

“He must do something positive immediately to show that he wants to keep the country together and all the complaints he sees to it. They are killing us right, left and centre; kidnapping us; no arrest has been mad,e not to talk of prosecution. You want to beat us and ask us not to cry?”

Mumuni said Obasanjo’s letter conveyed a general message of how Nigerians feel presently.

He urged the Presidency not to dismiss the issues raised in the letter by the former president.

Mumuni said: “What Obasanjo has said in the letter are symptomatic of what Nigerians feel generally about the security situation in Nigeria. It is not too different from what Nigerians feel about the security situation in the country.

“He addressed the issues of Boko Haram and herdsmen and what Nigerians feel is happening within the geo-political space. I will want the President (Buhari) to look at those issues very closely and take positive and concrete action in order to address the insecurity that Obasanjo has addressed in the letter.

“Instead of casting aspersion on Obasanjo, it will be fair if those issues are looked into more deeply and concentrated so that effective and prompt action will be taken to address the problems that he has addressed.

“What Obasanjo has said is not too different from what Nigerians feel all over Nigeria in terms of the security situation. I don’t want them to see it as Obasanjo has come again, he has stated raising alarm. The alarm, I think, has been conscientiously raised in the interest of the continuation of the Nigerian state.”

The CD president urged the Presidency not to take what Obasanjo said in his letter for granted, adding that country has been polarised.

Abdul said: “We should not take our ex-president (Obasanjo) for granted, no matter what. He is a General (rtd) and he is a two – time President of this nation and I think some of those advice he is giving our current president, Muhammadu Buhari, today is not out of point.

“The days of politicking are over. Now, we are talking about governance and issues around governance have to do with the collective existence of the stakeholders at the helm of affairs.

“For me, I look at his judgement in the letter to be an advice that is worth taking because one, too many killings in the country, insecurity is very high and the state of the nation today is highly polarised.

“I am a Fulani, but there are certain places I am afraid to go to. Obasanjo has spoken and he has spoken well. Calling for a national security summit is advisable.

Alhaji Yakasai took a swipe at the former president, describing his open letter as “selfish, unpatriotic and an invitation to chaos and disaster”.

Reacting in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Kehinde Akinyemi, Yakasai said: “I don’t see patriotism in General Obasanjo’s letters. In fact, all the letters written by General Obasanjo to all Military Heads of State and Presidents of the Federal Republic of Nigeria are not guided by patriotic considerations.

“My experience with Nigerian political situation is that the top echelons of the military are always fighting one another, either when in the service or when on retirement.

“It is from this angle that I always view most of the writings of Gen Olusegun Obasanjo to any military officer who is a Head of State or President in Nigeria as unpatriotic. Even the ones he wrote to former presidents Goodluck Jonathan and the late Umar Musa Yar’Adua were not patriotic. They were guided by selfish interest.

“Gen. Obasanjo did it during the administration of Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida’s era. He did it during the late Gen Sani Abacha’s regime, which later resulted to accusations that he was trying to overthrow the government, which eventually led to his imprisonment.

“Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo also wrote a number of letters during General Abdulsalami Abubakar’s regime; and he is still writing letters in this current presidency of General Muhammadu Buhari. So, this attitude of writing unpatriotic letters has been part of General Olusegun Obasanjo.

“I have read the contents of the letter written by former President, General Olusegun Obasanjo. Apart from one thing, I found out that everything said by General Obasanjo has been said either by him or by other Nigerians.

“The only thing different is the call he made for convening another national conference, which I vehemently did not support.

“It is more surprising that Gen Olusegun Obasanjo, who is supposed to have assumed the position of an elder statesman, is making such a call at this period, with the current debates going on through the social media (which has no regulatory laws in Nigeria or elsewhere, for that matter) asking for a National Conference!

“The actions of Gen Olusegun Obasanjo are, indeed, an open invitation for disaster for this country with the kind of hate speeches and messages that are flying all over the country.”

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) said it was still studying the letter and will speak on it soon.

In a statement  by its National Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, the ACF said: “Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) is studying Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari and will make its position known soon.”

Lagos lawyer Wahab Shittu said Obasanjo’s letter was very timely and should be examined on its merits.

He said: “I think this time around, the former president has spoken as a patriot and a statesman who’s really interested in the unity and cohesiveness of the country.

“He spoke as one who is worried about the grave security implications in the land and he is in a position to speak authoritatively on this subject.

“He has been part of a civil war. He fought the civil war and had the opportunity of leading this country twice; first as a military head of state and twice as a civilian president.

“He is a man of international standing so I think his views should be taken very seriously.  But the only thing I want to add is that though the bulk stops at the president’s table, we know that we have governors who are chief security officers of their respective states.”

Another lawyer, Chief Goddy Uwazurike, said Obasanjo has been used by nature to unravel the nation’s intractable problems.

The lawyer said: “The present letter is apt because truly we are teetering on the precipice. The insecurity in this country has assumed an alarming sword dangling on our faces. Obasanjo spoke because he is a statesman.

“He spoke for the safety of the fragile peace we have now. The only afrodisiac that evil requires to thrive is for men of conscience to sit on the fence or stand aloof!  Let other members of the patriarchal class speak up now. “No matter how much anyone dislikes Obasanjo, no one can take away his fortuitous role in affairs of this country. He has never shied away from taking on national issues. Where other statesmen avoid controversial issues, Obasanjo will frontally tackle the problem”

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also threw its weight behind Obasanjo’s call for dialogue over insecurity.

Stating that Obasanjo’s message had vindicated its position on the state of the nation, the PDP lamented the worsening insecurity.

In a statement by its spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan, the party described Obasanjo’s open letter as patriotic, momentous and that it captured the apprehensions of majority of Nigerians across the board.

“The PDP therefore counsels President Buhari to listen to the pulse of our nation; accept his failure and seek help from other well-meaning Nigerians so as to take back our nation from this imminent precipice.

“The party also calls on all Nigerians across the divides, irrespective of creed, ethnicity and political leaning, to close ranks, eschew all primordial and parochial interests and work together for the stability of our dear nation.”

Eminent professor of law Itse Sagay (SAN) agreed with the substance of Obasanjo’s letter disagreed with the mode of transmission.

He accused Obasanjo of seeking publicity, adding that it was “childish and immature” to make the letter public.

Sagay told our correspondent: “As far as I’m concerned, Obasanjo’s main motive is publicity, the capacity to embarrass the President, and for adulation.

“He sustains a mentality of being superintendent-general of Nigeria and not accepting that he is no longer in power. It’s all part of it.

“What he said could have easily been communicated by phone; the letter could have been delivered privately. I find writing it to the whole country immature and childish. He made a serious point, and then spoilt it by the way he presented it.

“If he had said it quietly to the President, it would have been acceptable. Is he not embarrassed that he’s the only former president doing it? Gowon and Abubakar are there, just to mention two. Even Jonathan, who was defeated by Buhari, is there. It’s too childish and immature. It takes away from the quality and the strength of the message he’s trying to deliver.”

Sagay, however, urged the President to sustain efforts in tackling rising insecurity.

“Is the President not already doing that? Can he be the President and not be concerned? Already, the Vice President has spoken of steps being taken – that the roads are going to be heavily monitored by the Police and soldiers.

“I don’t disagree too much with Obasanjo on substance. It is his style that I disagree with, as well as the so-called conference of ethnic stakeholders. I don’t see its relevance. We’ve held so many other conferences out of which nothing came except mutual abuse and insults.

“I think what the President should do is to sustain a very vigorous onslaught and not rest until the bandits and insurgents are rooted out and Nigeria is made safe again.

“He is already doing it and he must sustain it so that we can be free of this menace to our freedom and peace of mind,” Sagay said.

 

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Why Buhari sacked NHIS boss Yusuf

Image result for Prof Usman YusufNews emanated that President Muhammadu Buhari has finally approved the termination of appointment of the executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof Usman Yusuf. Vanguard reports that after terminating Yusuf’s appointment, who has been on administrative leave, the president approved the appointment of Prof Mohammed Nasir Sambo as the new executive secretary.

It was gathered that in a statement issued on Monday night, July 1, the director of press and public relations, federal ministry of health, Boade Akinola, said the change at NHIS followed the recommendations in a report by an independent fact finding panel on the leadership of the health agency.

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