Posts Tagged ‘Yemi Osinbajo’

President Buhari writes National Assembly as he resumes duties

In line with constitutional provision, President Muhammadu Buhari has written the National Assembly, notifying the legislature of his return to office, after returning from medical vacation in London. Buhari President Buhari had returned to the country on Saturday, August 19, 2017, and in a letter dated August 21, 2017, he told the Senate as well as the House of Representatives, that he was resuming office. According to Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), the letter stated in part: “In compliance with Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), I write to intimate that I have resumed my functions as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with effect from Monday, 21st August, 2017, after my medical follow-up in the United Kingdom.” President Buhari had left for London on May 7, 2017, and handed the reins of government to the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, who functioned as the Acting President.


Osinbajo orders 24 hours power supply for Ariaria Market Aba

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Nigeria’s Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has directed the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to intervene and ensure that the Ariaria International Market in Aba, Abia States, enjoys 24 hours supply of electric power.
The city of Aba is noted for its huge commercial activities, while the Ariaria Market is one of the most popular markets in the southern part of the country.
Mr Osinbajo’s directive, according to a statement issued on Tuesday by the Presidency, followed a “strong and persuasive case” made for the market by the Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu.
A team from the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) is said to have already visited the market for a technical study to collect data that would determine the market’s power requirements.
The leadership of various clusters in the market is said to have agreed to assist the REA with all the support required to implement the project.
The President, Aba Chamber of Commerce, Emma Nwakpadolu, thanked the acting president, the federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, and the Abia State government for their plans for the market.
The federal government’s delegation to Ariaria was led by the Managing Director, REA, Damilola Ogunbiyi, while the Abia government delegation was led by Chinenye Nwogu and the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Communications, Sam Hart.

2019: Senate restricts Osinbajo, others

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The Nigerian Senate has amended a section of the constitution to restrict a vice president or deputy governor who serves out the tenure of his or her principal in office, in the event of death or permanent incapacitation, to one fresh term of four years.
The bill tagged, “Restriction of tenure of the president and governor Bill’ garnered 88 votes when it was considered. The Bill seeks to restrict a person who was sworn in as president or governor to complete the term of the elected president/governor from contesting for the same office for more than one term.
However, despite calls from various ethnic, religious and political leaders that the country should be restructured, the Senate rejected the Devolution of Powers Bill.
Using electronic voting, and with 46 for and 48 against, Senators voted against the proposal, which had been challenged on Tuesday by Adamu Aliero, who argued it should not stand without reviewing the revenue sharing formula to give more money to states. If it had succeeded, the Bill would have effectively set restructuring in motion. The bill had sought to alter the Second Schedule, Part I & II to move certain items to the Concurrent Legislative List to give more legislative powers to states.
It had also intended to delineate the extent to which the federal legislature and state assemblies could legislate on the items that have been moved to the Concurrent Legislative List.
The red chamber threw out the contentious Bill on resource control, voted to abrogate state/local government joint accounts and guarantee existence of democratically constituted councils. It also passed the bills seeking to include former National Assembly presiding officers in the Council of states, to ensure ministerial nominees sent to it include their portfolios and are sent within 30 days of inauguration of the president and of governors for states and for INEC to deregister political parties over failure to secure an elective seat, independent candidacy, abolition of state Independent Electoral Commission and autonomy for state Assemblies. The controversial reduction of age qualification Bill, which was initially rejected by lawmakers during their retreat in Lagos, also scaled the hurdle.
On the whole, 29 of the 33 bills that were considered succeeded.
Other bills shot down were those on state creation and boundary adjustment, citizenship and indigeneship and Land Use Act.
Authorisation of Expenditure Bill, which seeks to alter sections 82 and 122 of the Constitution to reduce the period within which the president or governor may authorise the withdrawal of monies from the consolidated revenue fund in the absence of an appropriation act from six months to three months also got the nod.
Also passed were financial autonomy for state legislatures, distributable pool account, local government and the legislature bill.
The Senate rejected a clause which had provided a 35 per cent affirmative action for women at the federal level and 20 per cent at the state level.
It also passed the political parties and electoral matters, presidential assent, time frame for submitting the names of ministerial or commissioners nominees, appointment of minister from the FCT, change of names of some local government councils, independent candidature and the police bills.
If the political parties and electoral matters passes the final hurdle, INEC would have the power to de-register any political party that fails to win any elective office.
Bills on the separation of the Office of Accountant-General, Office of the Auditor-General, Separation of the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and of the state from the office of the minister or commissioner for justice, judiciary, determination of pre-election matters and civil defence bills were also debated and passed.
Similarly, procedure for presidential veto in constitutional alteration, removal of certain Acts from the Constitution, investments and securities tribunal, deletion of the NYSC Decree from the Constitution, deletion of the Public Complaints Commission Act from the Constitution and deletion of state Independent Electoral Commission were considered and passed.
The conclusion of the constitution review exercise is coming 19 months after the Senate constituted its Constitution Review Committee, which was headed by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu.
President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who presided, said with the exercise, the upper chamber has laid a solid foundation for future generations.
He said with the passage of the amendment bills, issues, which hitherto hampered the development of the country would be resolved.
“We have laid the foundation for a far reaching reforms and political developments. We have addressed the issues that have tied us down for many years. We have made provision for compulsory savings. We have made laws to strengthen our anti-corruption laws. We have passed a law to allow our young people to vie for elective offices. We have laid a good foundation for a new Nigeria that will place us among comity of nations. I want to thank you for making the Eight Senate for this history possible,” Saraki said.
There are currently 107 senators, including Saraki. Twelve of them did not attend yesterday’s plenary.
In all, about 95 senators were present and voted. Suspended former Leader of the Senate, Ali Ndume was not present. Anambra Central Senatorial District is yet to be filled and at the moment, there is no representative in the Senate from that area.
For any section of the constitution to be amended, two-third majority of 109 senators must vote in the affirmative.
For Section 9 of the Constitution to be altered, two-fourth majority of 109 senators must vote as well. These are the procedures adopted in the National Assembly during constitution amendment exercises.
As soon as the House of Representatives passes alteration bills and a conference committee meets to harmonise the differences, the document will be sent to the 36 State Houses of Assembly for concurrence.

Protect our people in the North, Southern leaders tells Osinbajo

Leaders from the three southern geopolitical zones met in Lagos just as Southeast and South-South governors entered into another meeting in Enugu, to articulate common positions on issues. Eight of the 11 governors from the two regions had arrived as the meeting got underway last night.

The leaders also lamented the proliferation of Fulani herdsmen settlements in the south and asked the Federal Government to take actions to check their activities.The southern leaders, who met in Lagos, comprising mostly former office holders, also warned that an attack on any southerner would be seen as an attack on all southerners, just as they tasked the Federal Government to push the implementation of the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference.

Among those present, yesterday, were the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah; Afenifere chieftains, Ayo Adebanjo, Senator Femi Okurunmu, Chief Supo Shonibare; former Director-General of the Nigerian Intelligence Agency, NIA, Chief Albert Horsfall; former chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Senator Bassey Ewa-Henshaw; former Managing Director of the NDDC, Mr. Timi Alaibe; Coordinator of Ijaw Monitoring Group, IMG, Joseph Evah; Afenifere Spokesman, Yinka Odumakin,  Goddy Uwazurike, Olorogun M.O Taiga, among others.

Speaking to newsmen at the end of the meeting last night, Horsfall said Southern leaders were unhappy that up till date, no action has been taken by the Federal Government against the northern youths who gave quit notice.

He said Acting President Yemi Osinbajo must inform Nigerians the actions and plans the federal government has made to protect southerners living in the north.

He said: “We are disconcerted that up till now, no action appears to have been taken  regarding the October 1 threat issued by Arewa youths who threatened the Igbo living in the north. We, therefore, demand that the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo inform Nigerians of what actions and steps that have been taken to protect the Igbo and all Southerners who live in the North against the threats of the Arewa youths. We reiterate that any threat or action against anyone from the South will be treated as a threat or action against all Southerners.”

The forum also stated that the FG should as a matter of urgency implement the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference, saying it is the only positive solution that is feasible and can solve the country’s problems.

He said: “We note with gratitude the statement by the Acting President that the issue of restructuring will be addressed soon and we urge him to follow his statement with immediate action by acting on the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference.

“The issue of restructuring and change was an integral part of the All Progressives Congress (APC) manifesto.

“We want the 16-point agenda that was submitted by the South-South delegation submitted in their meeting with the Acting President to be acted upon immediately to avoid youth restiveness and sustain the current peace.

“There is an urgent need to restructure Nigeria to achieve true federalism. We will not be distracted by individuals who claim ignorance of what restructuring means or those who try to imply a non-existent sinister plan to break up Nigeria because of the demand for restructuring. We affirm our commitment to the unity of Nigeria and also insist on the urgent need to restructure Nigeria to achieve true federalism.

“For the avoidance of doubt, restructuring is a return to the Constitution at independence which our founding fathers bequeathed to us. That Constitution allowed the states autonomy in the management of their affairs.

“The states will be federating units with their own rights to have their own constitution. The states will have control of resources and make agreed contributions to the Federal Government for general services.

“We will identify those areas of our constitution which should allow for effective administration in the states.  “It is important that action be commenced immediately to ensure that the entire changes are implemented by December 2017.”

The forum also noted what it described as the menace of armed Fulani herdsmen and the proliferation of Fulani armed settlements in the South.

Horsfall said: “We want to alert the international community and we also want the federal government to take appropriate actions against them. We want the government to make an official statement on this and take appropriate action to put them in check.”


Northern elders cautions Osinbajo over mischievous elements

BREAKING: Osinbajo arrives KatsinaThe Northern Elders Forum, NEF, yesterday cautioned Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, has been cautioned by the Northern Elders Forum, NEF to be wary of mischievous elements plotting to overheat the polity due to the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari. In a communiqué issued after its two-day emergency meeting in Kano, the Northern Elders Forum warned those seeking undeserved political advantage to desist from such moves.

The communique read by the NEF Deputy Chairman, Chief Paul Unongo, stated that the “North is conscious of its obligations and rights and will not hesitate to discharge and defend them without reservations.”

The communiqué, which was jointly signed by forum spokesman, Professor Ango Abdullahi, and Deputy Leader, Chief Wantaregh, Paul Unongo, further stated:  “We are aware that attempts are being made to exploit the absence of President Buhari to achieve dubious political goals.”

The Forum therefore advised Acting President Osinbajo to, “exercise responsibilities, as he did in the past, with commitment, sensitivity, and respect for the constitution. We urge him to ignore mischief which seeks to pitch him against the president or the Nigerian people whose mandates they both exercise.”

The communiqué noted that, “the task of governing the nation will continue uninterrupted until the return of President Buhari. We therefore appeal to all persons with responsibility to cooperate fully to sustain a united, focused and committed administration.

“While commending the sterling contributions of Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara in providing the necessary leadership to stabilize the polity, we appeal to the executive and legislative arms of government to work together to pass the 2017 budget without further delay.”

The eldest forum aligned itself with the ongoing war against corruption in the country, adding that, “we also expect that the war against corruption will not suffer a setback, and current investigations and activities will not be stalled due to the absence of President Buhari.

On the clamour for restructuring, the elders Forum said the North is not afraid of the call to restructure the country, pointing out that, but warned that the call comes with sentiments, “which tend to create tensions around our coexistence as a nation that is diverse and united.

“For the record, the Forum wishes to state that the North welcomes honest and sincere discussions on all aspects of our existence, and remains available to engage any group to discuss and advance the nature of our union.”

According to the communique, Northern Elders Forum is welcoming the release of 82 Chibok girls, however, called for adequate attention to the rebuilding of the North East ravaged by Boko Haram insurgency.

The northern elders commended the leadership style of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and charged, “all persons who exercise leadership responsibilities to be sensitive to the fact that they need to work harder to reduce poverty, youth delinquency and unemployment.

“Northern governors in particular are reminded that they carry huge responsibilities to exercise mandates which expire in 2019. The Forum stands ready to assist in improving good governance and accountable leadership.”

They also prayed for the return to full health of President Muhammadu Buhari. We commend the steadfast respect for the constitution in the manner the President assigns responsibility to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo whenever it has become necessary for him to travel to seek for medical treatment.

How Jonathan’s kinsman in trouble over $289m special votes for NIA

It has been reported that a former boss of the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) may have  some questions to answer from the Presidential Investigative Panel on   the $289 million allegedly withdrawn from the company’s accounts ostensibly for national security.

NAPIMS is a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The investigative panel, headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, is currently probing  the $43.4million haul made recently from the Orborne Towers,  Ikoyi, Lagos, and the  N200m curious contract awarded by the Presidential Initiative on the North-East.

The erstwhile NAPIMS boss, said to be a kinsman of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, was in charge of the company when the huge withdrawal was made during the last political dispensation.

The Ikoyi cash is believed to be part of the leftover of the NAPIMS funds.

But he won’t be the only to face the panel.

The committee said yesterday that it will invite “all relevant officials and private individuals who may be connected to both cases.”

For now, it is unlikely that Dr. Jonathan will be summoned by the committee, contrary to widespread speculations.

Media reports had suggested that Jonathan gave the go ahead for the release of the $289 million to the NIA and other security agencies from the account of NAPIMS.

It was also gathered yesterday that there will be no soft handling of anyone implicated in the $43.4million haul and the  N200m contract award.

Two top government officials – Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ayo Oke – were sent home last Wednesday over their suspected involvement in the matters.

President Muhammadu Buhari is understood to have told the investigative panel not to spare the rod or give soft landing to anyone found wanting.

Buhari demanded a thorough job no matter whose ox is gored, sources told The Nation.

The panel announced yesterday that its assignment will take place behind closed doors to avoid speculations and distractions.

Sources told The Nation that Buhari’s instruction to the Osinbajo Committee is straight forward.

“The President directed that there should be no cover up for anybody no matter how highly placed. He said there will be no soft landing for the suspended officials or any official or anyone closer to him who is involved,” a highly placed source said.

“And Buhari demonstrated this on Wednesday when the affected officials were suspended. Before the announcement was made, SGF Babachir Lawal earlier wanted to see him but he sent a message to him to go and see the Vice President.

“As a matter of fact, he had expected that one of the two suspended officials would have resigned given overwhelming public opprobrium on the allegations against him but he refused. “The President then decided that he cannot be bearing the burden of anyone.

“So, this committee is not the Kangaroo type or a soft landing panel to save anybody.”

The committee yesterday shed light on its mode of operation.

It said its sessions will be closed to the public to avoid speculations and distractions.

The committee made the clarifications through a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to the President (Office of the Vice President), Mr. Laolu Akande.

It said: “The Presidential Committee ordered earlier this week by President Muhammadu Buhari to probe certain allegations against the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engineer Babachir Lawal, and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Mr. Ayo Oke has commenced its work in earnest.

“President Buhari on Wednesday established the three-man panel headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, with Attorney-General & Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami and National Security Adviser, Rtd Major General Babagana Monguno as members, to investigate allegations of legal and due process violations made against the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF and the discovery of large amounts of foreign and local currencies by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) in a residential apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos.

“In the discharge of its work, the panel is expected to invite all relevant officials and private individuals who may be connected to both cases.

“It will also obtain and scrutinize documents that may throw some light on the issues raised in both cases. All its proceedings will however be in closed sessions to avoid speculations, allow for full disclosure and enhance the pace of proceedings.

“The panel which is expected to submit its report to the President at the expiration of the 14-day deadline, will conduct its work with utmost diligence and without fear or favour.”

Investigation confirmed last night that ex-President Jonathan might not be summoned by the Osinbajo Panel.

On the alleged huge withdrawal of funds from the account of NAPIMS  termed Special Intervention Funds for the NIA,the source said: “”Since Jonathan’s kinsman was in charge of NAPIMS, it was convenient for the former administration to withdraw some funds from the account of the agency.

“Apart from NIA, some security agencies and offices benefitted from the Special Intervention Funds.

“The Presidential Investigative Committee may interact with a former Group General Manager and some select officials of NAPIMS who disbursed the Special Intervention Funds.”

A separate source said:”There are so many documents, EFCC investigative report, Senate Committee report and public officers involved in some of the projects or activities and funds being probed.

“The committee is unlikely to summon ex-President Jonathan. He is actually not on our radar. Let each public official carry his or her own cross.”

The three-man committee is expected to:

  • enquire into the circumstances in which the NIA came into possession of the funds,
  • how and by whose or which authority the funds were made available to the NIA,
  • and to establish whether or not there has been a breach of the law or security procedure in obtaining custody and use of the funds.”

Trending: Lagos-Ibadan’s N458b speed rail project takes off

Image result for Yemi OsinbajoNews reaching us have it that major step to giving Nigerians a modernised railway was taken yesterday when Acting President Yemi Osinbajo inaugurated the construction of the Segment II of the Lagos-Ibadan Rail Project at the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) Compound in Ebute Metta, Lagos.
It will be extended to the Lagos Ports Complex in Apapa to facilitate movement of goods.
Prof. Osinbajo said the Federal Government was committed to delivering a fast and efficient rail service system between Lagos and Ibadan with the completion of the project next December.
He spoke of government’s determination to revive the railway culture.
The Federal Government awarded the project to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) at the cost of $1.5 billion (about N458 billion).
Governors Akinwunmmi Ambode (Lagos), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Minister of Transportation Chibuike Amaechi, Oba of Lagos Rilwan Akiolu, All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman John Odigie-Oyegun, Deputy Chairman Segun Oni, Senators Gbenga Ashafa and Olusola Adeyeye, Aminu Isa, among others witnessed the event.
He said the Federal Government through the Ministry of Transportation had feasibility studies on 13 new train routes to connect state capitals in accordance with the vision of the government.
Describing the event as historic, Osinbajo said the project would create jobs, stimulate the expansion of agro-allied industries and boost economic activities in towns along the corridor.
When fully on stream, the speed train, Osinbajo added, would carry about one million passengers per annum, while freight traffic along the route is also expected to hit two million metric tonnes cargoes per annum.
“This ground breaking event, which signals the first formal day of construction work on the project, signals the determination of the government to modernise the railway system.
“It also underscores the activation of the campaign promises of President Muhammadu Buhari to deliver to Nigerians world class rail project, that will not only be safe and convenient, but reliable and affordable.”
The Acting President said the project would be instrumental to the government’s march towards economic recovery and its road plans.
He said government had provided adequate marching funds for the smooth continuation of the project in the 2016 and the 2017 budgets.
He listed the reduction of freight cost, increase in the lifespan of roads, enhancement in the export potentials of the nation’s agro-allied products, among the many advantages of the speed trains.
He praised the commitment of the China-Exim Bank, the Chinese government, the Federal Ministry of Finance and Transportation for their dogged commitment on delivering on the administration’s agenda to bequeath a new train service deal for Nigerians.
Amaechi described the project as a step in the right direction to “optimise the Federal Government’s change agenda in the transportation sector.
He said contrary to old set pattern, the transportation sector is an economic index for growth and development.
The minister explained that the project involved the construction of anxillary facilities among which is the construction of eight railway stations along the corridor at Apapa, Ebute-Metta, with intermediate stations at Agege, Kajola, Papalanto, Abeokuta, Omi-Adio, a passing station at Olodo while the Ibadan station will be an intermediate station with technical operation.
The station at Kajola in Ogun State, Amaechi added, would be a locomotive workshop, rolling stock depot and marshalling yard.
Amaechi said traffic volume forecast is that the project would handle over 3.2 million tons of goods/cargoes per annum in its first year of operation, while passenger services can take 16 pairs of passenger trains.
“This train service will in the near future be extended from Ibadan to Ilorin, Minna, Kaduna and Kano and a link to the Federal Capital via Kaduna.
The minister said the project captured the acquisition of land for joint estate development partnership as well as private sector logistic park and goods platform in order to “generate the revenue for the sustenance of the rail line and in the actual repayment of the loan.”
He allayed the fears that the project could be abandoned by the government as it did in 2006, saying: “On this very one, work will not only start, but it will be completed in record time.”
Ambode described the project as a new dawn in the transportation architecture of Nigeria, adding that the speed train which is a fast and convenient means of transportation would foster regional integration and growth.
The governor, who assured that work would soon begin on its Red Line, said once all these come on stream, government would spend less on road repairs while billions of hours lost to traffic as a result of traffic snarl due to over-concentration on the roads would be a thing of the past.
CCECC President Zhao Dianlong thanked the government for believing in the firm to deliver a world class train service.
According to him, the work would create 4,000 direct jobs and increase the value in building/engineering sector among others.
Dianlong said the CCECC work portfolio raked in $188.4billion last year, with total profit put at $99.8 billion.
He said the CCECC, established in 1979, is among the top 250 global Civil Engineering Companies and had been delivering world class projects since it entered the Nigerian market 35 years ago.
Oba Akiolu urged the company to employ qualified Nigerians as senior managers and ensure that only qualified hands work in order to avoid handing over to Nigerians a bad job.
Ashafa, Chairman, Senate Committee on Land Transport, described the project as a fulfilment of the promises of the APC.
“One major aspect of this project is generation of employment. At least 250,000 jobs will be created through this project.
“Many people will be employed directly for the construction of the railway project.
“The project will bring a positive change to the economy of the people and traders will also benefit in the development,”Ashafa said.

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