Posts Tagged ‘Muhammadu Buhari’

 President Buhari’s speech on the fight against Coronavirus

Full text of President Buhari

President Buhari’s speech on the fight against Coronavirus

ADDRESS BY H.E. MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE COVID- 19 PANDEMIC SUNDAY 29TH MARCH, 2020

1. Fellow Nigerians,

2. From the first signs that Coronavirus, or COVID-19 was turning into an epidemic and was officially declared a world-wide emergency, the Federal Government started planning preventive, containment and curative measures in the event the disease hits Nigeria.

3. The whole instruments of government are now mobilized to confront what has now become both a health emergency and an economic crisis.

4. Nigeria, unfortunately, confirmed its first case on 27th February 2020. Since then, we have seen the number of confirmed cases rise slowly.

5. By the morning of March 29th, 2020, the total confirmed cases within Nigeria had risen to ninety-seven.

6. Regrettably, we also had our first fatality, a former employee of PPMC, who died on 23rd March 2020. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family in this very difficult time. We also pray for quick recovery for those infected and undergoing treatment.

7. As of today, COVID-19 has no cure. Scientists around the world are working very hard to develop a vaccine.

8. We are in touch with these institutions as they work towards a solution that will be certified by international and local medical authorities within the shortest possible time.

9. For now, the best and most efficient way to avoid getting infected is through regular hygienic and sanitary practices as well as social distancing.

10. As individuals, we remain the greatest weapon to fight this pandemic. By washing our hands regularly with clean water and soap, disinfecting frequently used surfaces and areas, coughing into a tissue or elbow and strictly adhering to infection prevention control measures in health facilities, we can contain this virus.

11. Since the outbreak was reported in China, our Government has been monitoring the situation closely and studying the various responses adopted by other countries.

12. Indeed, the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was one of ten global health leaders invited by the World Health Organisation to visit China and understudy their response approach. I am personally very proud of Dr Ihekweazu for doing this on behalf of all Nigerians.

13. Since his return, the NCDC has been implementing numerous strategies and programs in Nigeria to ensure that the adverse impact of this virus on our country is minimized. We ask all Nigerians to support the work the Federal Ministry of Health and NCDC are doing, led by the Presidential Task Force.

14. Although we have adopted strategies used globally, our implementation programs have been tailored to reflect our local realities.

15. In Nigeria, we are taking a two step approach.

16. First, to protect the lives of our fellow Nigerians and residents living here and second, to preserve the livelihoods of workers and business owners to ensure their families get through this very difficult time in dignity and with hope and peace of mind.

17. To date, we have introduced healthcare measures, border security, fiscal and monetary policies in our response. We shall continue to do so as the situation unfolds.

18. Some of these measures will surely cause major inconveniences to many citizens. But these are sacrifices we should all be willing and ready to make for the greater good of our country.

19. In Nigeria’s fight against COVID-19, there is no such thing as an overreaction or an under reaction. It is all about the right reaction by the right agencies and trained experts.

20. Accordingly, as a Government, we will continue to rely on guidance of our medical professionals and experts at the Ministry of Health, NCDC and other relevant agencies through this difficult time.

21. I therefore urge all citizens to adhere to their guidelines as they are released from time to time.

22. As we are all aware, Lagos and Abuja have the majority of confirmed cases in Nigeria. Our focus therefore remains to urgently and drastically contain these cases, and to support other states and regions in the best way we can.

23. This is why we provided an initial intervention of fifteen billion Naira (N15b) to support the national response as we fight to contain and control the spread.

24. We also created a Presidential Task Force (PTF) to develop a workable National Response Strategy that is being reviewed on a daily basis as the requirements change. This strategy takes international best practices but adopts them to suit our unique local circumstances.

25. Our goal is to ensure all States have the right support and manpower to respond immediately.

26. So far, in Lagos and Abuja, we have recruited hundreds of adhoc staff to man our call centers and support our tracing and testing efforts.

27. I also requested, through the Nigeria Governors Forum, for all State Governments to nominate Doctors and Nurses who will be trained by the NCDC and Lagos State Government on tactical and operational response to the virus in case it spreads to other states.

28. This training will also include medical representatives from our armed forces, paramilitary and security and intelligence agencies.

29. As a nation, our response must be guided, systematic and professional. There is a need for consistency across the nation. All inconsistencies in policy guidelines between Federal and State agencies will be eliminated.

30. As I mentioned earlier, as at this morning we had ninety-seven confirmed cases. Majority of these are in Lagos and Abuja. All the confirmed cases are getting the necessary medical care.

31. Our agencies are currently working hard to identify cases and people these patients have been in contact with.

32. The few confirmed cases outside Lagos and Abuja are linked to persons who have travelled from these centres.

33. We are therefore working to ensure such inter state and intercity movements are restricted to prevent further spread.

34. Based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, I am directing the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11pm on Monday, 30th March 2020. This restriction will also apply to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two States.

35. All citizens in these areas are to stay in their homes. Travel to or from other states should be postponed. All businesses and offices within these locations should be fully closed during this period.

36. The Governors of Lagos and Ogun States as well as the Minister of the FCT have been notified. Furthermore, heads of security and intelligence agencies have also been briefed.

37. We will use this containment period to identify, trace and isolate all individuals that have come into contact with confirmed cases. We will ensure the treatment of confirmed cases while restricting further spread to other States.

38. This order does not apply to hospitals and all related medical establishments as well as organizations in health care related manufacturing and distribution.

39. Furthermore, commercial establishments such as;
a. food processing, distribution and retail companies;
b. petroleum distribution and retail entities,
c. power generation, transmission and distribution companies; and
d. private security companies are also exempted.

40. Although these establishments are exempted, access will be restricted and monitored.

41. Workers in telecommunication companies, broadcasters, print and electronic media staff who can prove they are unable to work from home are also exempted.

42. All seaports in Lagos shall remain operational in accordance with the guidelines I issued earlier. Vehicles and drivers conveying essential cargoes from these Ports to other parts of the country will be screened thoroughly before departure by the Ports Health Authority.

43. Furthermore, all vehicles conveying food and other essential humanitarian items into these locations from other parts of the country will also be screened thoroughly before they are allowed to enter these restricted areas.

44. Accordingly, the Hon. Minister of Health is hereby directed to redeploy all Port Health Authority employees previously stationed in the Lagos and Abuja Airports to key roads that serve as entry and exit points to these restricted zones.

45. Movements of all passenger aircraft, both commercial and private jets, are hereby suspended. Special permits will be issued on a needs basis.

46. We are fully aware that such measures will cause much hardship and inconvenience to many citizens. But this is a matter of life and death, if we look at the dreadful daily toll of deaths in Italy, France and Spain.

47. However, we must all see this as our national and patriotic duty to control and contain the spread of this virus. I will therefore ask all of us affected by this order to put aside our personal comfort to safeguard ourselves and fellow human beings. This common enemy can only be controlled if we all come together and obey scientific and medical advice.

48. As we remain ready to enforce these measures, we should see this as our individual contribution in the war against COVID-19. Many other countries have taken far stricter measures in a bid to control the spread of the virus with positive results.

49. For residents of satellite and commuter towns and communities around Lagos and Abuja whose livelihoods will surely be affected by some of these restrictive measures, we shall deploy relief materials to ease their pains in the coming weeks.

50. Furthermore, although schools are closed, I have instructed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to work with State Governments in developing a strategy on how to sustain the school feeding program during this period without compromising our social distancing policies. The Minister will be contacting the affected States and agree on detailed next steps.

51. Furthermore, I have directed that a three month repayment moratorium for all TraderMoni, MarketMoni and FarmerMoni loans be implemented with immediate effect.

52. I have also directed that a similar moratorium be given to all Federal Government funded loans issued by the Bank of Industry, Bank of Agriculture and the Nigeria Export Import Bank.

53. For on-lending facilities using capital from international and multilateral development partners, I have directed our development financial institutions to engage these development partners and negotiate concessions to ease the pains of the borrowers.

54. For the most vulnerable in our society, I have directed that the conditional cash transfers for the next two months be paid immediately. Our Internally displaced persons will also receive two months of food rations in the coming weeks.

55. We also call on all Nigerians to take personal responsibility to support those who are vulnerable within their communities, helping them with whatever they may need.

56. As we all pray for the best possible outcome, we shall continue planning for all eventualities.

57. This is why I directed that all Federal Government Stadia, Pilgrims camps and other facilities be converted to isolation centers and makeshift hospitals.

58. My fellow Nigerians, as a Government, we will avail all necessary resources to support the response and recovery. We remain committed to do whatever it takes to confront COVID-19 in our country.

59. We are very grateful to see the emerging support of the private sector and individuals to the response as well as our development partners.

60. At this point, I will ask that all contributions and donations be coordinated and centralized to ensure efficient and impactful spending. The Presidential Task Force remains the central coordinating body on the COVID-19 response.

61. I want to assure you all that Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies with a role to play in the outbreak response are working hard to bring this virus under control.

62. Every nation in the world is challenged at this time. But we have seen countries where citizens have come together to reduce the spread of the virus.

63. I will therefore implore you again to strictly comply with the guidelines issued and also do your bit to support Government and the most vulnerable in your communities.

64. I will take this opportunity to thank all our public health workforce, health care workers, port health authorities and other essential staff on the frontlines of the response for their dedication and commitment. You are true heroes.

65. I thank you all for listening. May God continue to bless and protect us all.

President Muhammadu Buhari
29th March 2020.

How Buhari moved to safe Oshiomhole from A P C Crisis

The crisis is threatening the position of the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, who was restrained by a court order on Wednesday to stop parading himself as APC chairman, following an ex parte motion filed in court by a group opposed to him. President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the leader of the party, has raised a three-man team to liaise with those who have an axe to grind with Oshiomhole. There were indications also last night that the President might ask the National Caucus of the party to wade into the crisis.  But it was learnt that APC governors may shun the emergency meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee slated for Tuesday, March 17, because it was ‘illegally convened’ by the Deputy National Secretary, Victor Giadom. Although Giadom summoned the meeting as Acting Secretary, his authority is no longer tenable following the appointment of Arc. Waziri Bulama as substantive National Secretary.Besides, the APC constitution stipulates that a 14-day notice must be issued ahead of a NEC meeting and a seven-day notice for an emergency NEC meeting.It was gathered that none of the conditions for holding a NEC meeting was fulfilled at press time. A reliable source, who spoke in confidence, said the President and his kitchen cabinet are unhappy that his administration is being distracted by the crisis over the fate of the national chairman. The source said: “The President has raised a three-man compact team to reach out to the governors to allow peace to reign by sheathing their swords. He also asked the team to give assurance that he will try to reconcile all. “The team has been engaging some of the aggrieved governors and party leaders on the way forward. “It pains the President that his administration is being distracted at a time he had rolled out plans to make a difference in his second term. He could not understand why APC has to be embroiled in an unnecessary crisis.” “The President is contemplating convening a National Caucus meeting to resolve all grey areas and issues. “We are hopeful that our leaders can resolve the issue at hand because the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is about to capitalize on our differences.

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.

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