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Restore Professionalism in EFCC, PDP Charges Bawa

February 28, 2021

Press Statement

  1. Restore Professionalism in EFCC, PDP Charges Bawa

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) charges the new Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulraheed Bawa, to re-engineer and restore professionalism in the anti-graft agency.

The party urges Bawa to avoid the pitfalls of his immediate predecessor in office, by resisting all partisan pressures to use the agency as a tool for political persecution, harassment of dissenting voices, settling of personal scores as well as for personal enrichment, as witnessed under the last chairman.

The party notes that such tendencies eroded professionalism in the EFCC, compromised its activities and diminished the public confidence with regard to fairness, impartiality and even-handedness in the handling of cases.

The new EFCC Chairman is reminded that the EFCC was articulated and established by the PDP administration to fight corruption and not as a tool for oppression and intimidation of innocent Nigerians for political and other unjustified reasons.

The PDP notes that for the first time, the Chairman of the EFCC is drawn from the pool of trained investigators of the commission and Nigerians expect the new chairman to bring the benefits of his training to bear by sanitizing the system and restoring professionalism in line with international best practices.

Furthermore, our party urges the new EFCC Chairman to bear in mind that, given his young age and training, he should exhibit the ideals of the Generation-Next Nigeria in reciprocation of the confidence Nigerians repose in him.

Signed:

Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

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GOVERNOR ABUBAKAR SANI BELLO OF NIGER STATE RECEIVES SCIENCE COLLEGE KAGARA ABDUCTEES….SAYS GOVERNMENT TO PUT UP A SYSTEM TO IDENTIFY ROOT CAUSES OF BANDITRY

GOVERNOR ABUBAKAR SANI BELLO OF NIGER STATE RECEIVES SCIENCE COLLEGE KAGARA ABDUCTEES….SAYS GOVERNMENT TO PUT UP A SYSTEM TO IDENTIFY ROOT CAUSES OF BANDITRY

Thirty-eight (38) Students including staff and their relatives abducted from the Government Science College Kagara have regained their freedom.

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello received the abductees at the Government House, Minna.

Addressing the kidnapped victims in a solemn mood, Governor Sani Bello thanked Allah for their safe return, and enjoined them to see their experience as one of the lessons of life and should not be discouraged in their educational pursuit.

He said it is a joint effort between the State government, security agents and traditional leaders as well as other relevant stakeholders.

The Governor said beyond the release, Government will put up a system to look at the root causes with the view to finding solutions.

He also thanked the security agencies, Nigerlites and indeed Nigerians for their efforts and prayers while the abductees were in captivity.

Among the 38 released and received abductees, 24 are students, 6 staff and 8 staff relatives. However, one of the abductees is hospitalized due to excessive exhaustion.

The released victims arrived at the State Capital earlier this morning and were taken to a government-owned facility for clean-up and medical examinations due to the state of their physical appearances.

The kidnapped victims will remain under medical examinations for few days before they will be reunited with their families.

The released abductees were kidnapped on the 17th of February, 2021 when bandits stormed the Government Science College Kagara and abducted students, staff and relatives while a student, Benjamin Habila was shot dead at the school premises by the gunmen.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has welcomed the release of the abducted students of Government Science College, Kagara in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistance on Media and Publicity Garba Shehu.

The President who applauded the efforts of the Niger State Government and the Nation’s security and intelligence agencies for their efforts in securing the release also sympathized with the kidnapped victims and their family members on their ordeals.

“We are happy they have been released”, President Buhari said.

Mary Noel-Berje
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Niger State.

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Femi Fani Kayode rejects APC membership, says I’m still in PDP

Femi Fani Kayode rejects APC membership, says I’m still in PDP

The National Working Committee (NWC) members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday visited the former aviation minister, Chief Femi Fani Kayode

The committee was led by the National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.

The former minister of aviation reiterated his commitment to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and expressed no intention of leaving the party.

“If I had any concerns, such concerns are out of the windows already now.
I’m a part of you and I will remain a part of you”, FFK stated.

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PRESIDENT BUHARI HAILS CHIEF MARC WABARA AT 70

PRESIDENT BUHARI HAILS CHIEF MARC WABARA AT 70

President Muhammadu Buhari joins family, friends and associates of All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Chief Marc Wabara, in celebrating his 70th birthday, February 26, 2021, congratulating him for many years of worthy service to the nation and humanity, with distinguished contributions in both public and private sectors.
President Buhari felicitates with the party stalwart for the milestone, lined with recognitions and awards, for contributions in the banking sector, insurance, real estate, before fanning out to the oil and gas sector, where he has remained consistent in encouraging others in entrepreneurship.

The President affirms that the APC chieftain’s vision and selflessness impacted greatly on nationhood as he used his versatile experience of schooling, working and living in various parts of the country to always push for unity and welfare of citizens.

As Chief Wabara turns a septuagenarian, President Buhari urges him to continue sharing his wealth of experience, knowledge and wisdom in the development of the country, especially his passion for building people and institutions.

The President prays for longer life, good health and strength for the versatile financial expert, consultant and loyal party stalwart.

Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
February 25, 2021

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PRESIDENT BUHARI CONGRATULATES FIRST INDIGENOUS NRC MD/CEO, ELDER NATH OKORO ON 90TH BIRTHDAY

PRESIDENT BUHARI CONGRATULATES FIRST INDIGENOUS NRC MD/CEO, ELDER NATH OKORO ON 90TH BIRTHDAY

President Muhammadu Buhari sends warm greetings to the first indigenous Managing Director of Nigerian Railways Corporation (NRC), Elder Nath C.U. Okoro, on his 90th birthday, congratulating the resourceful consultant for paying close attention and solidifying the foundation of rail transportation in the country.

President Buhari felicitates with friends, family and associates of Elder Okoro on the auspicious milestone, which calls for celebration of long life and strength, particularly considering his contributions to national development, with the commendable record of founding the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT).

As the former MD of NRC turns 90, the President notes his love for the country, and passion for ensuring an effective transportation system, serving as the Principal Consultant, Federal Urban Mass Transit Programme (FUMTP) and President of the Chartered Institute of Transport, Nigeria, now known as Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT).

As the former Vice President, West Africa, of the Union of African Railways (UAR), the President extols Elder Okoro for always representing Nigeria with honour and dignity in sub-regional and global associations, and ensuring that the interest of the country comes first in all negotiations.

The President prays that almighty God will grant him good health and strength to see the fruits of his dreams for the railways.

Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
February 25, 2021

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PRESIDENT BUHARI MOURNS ZAKI YAMANI, SAYS HE WAS AN INSPIRATION

PRESIDENT BUHARI MOURNS ZAKI YAMANI, SAYS HE WAS AN INSPIRATION

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sadness over the death of former Saudi Arabia’s longest serving Oil Minister, Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani, who died at a London hospital at 90.

Reacting to the passing of Yamani, President Buhari said “Yamani was one of the greatest and most skillful negotiators I ever met when I was Minister for Petroleum Resources during the Murtala/Obasanjo regime.”

According to the President, “the late Yamani was a towering figure in the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC because of his remarkable leadership skills and fierce commitment to protecting the interests of oil producing countries.”

President Buhari recalled that “the 1973 oil embargo drew world attention to the tremendous influence of Yamani in the affairs of the oil cartel.”

“Whether you love him or loathe him, there is no denying the fact that Zaki Yamani was a powerful force in OPEC affairs who commanded respect and admiration of friends and foes alike,” he said of the late Saudi Oil Minister.

The President added that “as one of the younger Oil Ministers representing their countries at OPEC, I was awed and inspired by Yamani’s remarkable leadership skills and diplomatic finesse.”

He described Yamani as a lucky man who survived terrorist captivity after being taken hostage by the notorious terrorist ‘Carlos the Jackal’ in 1973.

President Buhari extended his condolences to King Salman, the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques and the government of Saudi Arabia over what he called “this immense loss of a world statesman and consummate Oil Minister.”

Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
February 24, 2021

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Regional forum explores inclusive green growth as a sustainable path to Africa’s development

ECA PRESS RELEASE

 

Regional forum explores inclusive green growth as a sustainable path to Africa’s development

 

Addis Ababa, 23 February 2021 (ECA) – “Current growth trajectories suggest that many countries will fail to achieve the SDGs by the 2030 deadline,” said Jean-Paul Adam, Director of Technology, Climate Change and Natural Resource Management at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

The ECA director underscored the importance of “reconstructing our socioeconomic systems by leveraging opportunities presented by green and low carbon development trajectories with a view to building a resilient, inclusive and sustainable Africa.”

It is against this backdrop that deliberations at the seventh Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD2021) will evolve around the theme “Building forward better: towards a resilient and green Africa to achieve the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.”

The regional forum is an annual ECA event aimed at advancing an integrated implementation of the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063. It serves as a multi-stakeholder platform for follow-up and review of progress and challenges in the implementation of the two Agendas, while strengthening learning and advocating effective policy measures and actions.

Mr. Adam noted that “If we are to leave no one behind, a whole-of-society approach is needed,” together with concerted and ambitious efforts to transform our world during the 10-year window provided by the decade of action to deliver on the SDGs.

ARFSD2021 will take place on 1 – 4 March 2021 as a hybrid event, given ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. The pandemic continues to unmask and exacerbate deeply entrenched vulnerabilities, gaps, and inequalities within countries. In Africa, in particular, it has severely tested countries’ social, economic, political, and environmental resilience, exacting a massive toll on the poor and most vulnerable and jeopardising decades of hard-won development gains.

“The COVID-19 crisis is playing out against the backdrop of hitherto unseen climate change and biodiversity loss,” said Mr Adam who also emphasised that the climate crisis should not be treated as distinct from the health and economic crises instigated by the pandemic because “the three crises and their solutions are interconnected.”

Climate change is projected by the African Climate Policy Centre of the ECA to cost African countries between 2 and 5 per cent of GDP by 2030. The continent lost about 3.9 million hectares of forests each year – higher than any other continent – between 2010 and 2020.

 

-Ends-

 

Issued by:

 

Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia
Tel: +251 11 551 5826
E-mail: eca-info@un.org

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PRESIDENT BUHARI CONGRATULATES PROF IBE ON APPOINTMENT AS COMMISSIONER OF THE COMMONWEALTH SCHOLARSHIP COMMISSION

PRESIDENT BUHARI CONGRATULATES PROF IBE ON APPOINTMENT AS COMMISSIONER OF THE COMMONWEALTH SCHOLARSHIP COMMISSION

President Muhammadu Buhari congratulates Professor Kevin Ibeh, Professor of Marketing and International Business and Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) at Birkbeck, University of London, on his appointment as Commissioner of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.

President Buhari believes that the well-deserved appointment is an attestation of Prof Ibeh’s vast knowledge, hard work and experience, which have earned him respect in the academia.

As a former Commonwealth Scholar, the President believes that Professor Ibeh will bring his in-depth knowledge and track record in international development and higher education to bear on his new position of responsibility.

He is confident that the Nigerian-born scholar will bring fresh perspectives to his new position, joining other commissioners in promoting the objective of the Commission in ensuring opportunities for exceptional students and mid-career professionals to study in the United Kingdom.

Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
February 23, 2021

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We have focused on expanding access to education and healthcare as the fulcrum of human capital development

KADUNA UPDATE: Official launch of the Kaduna State Social Protection Policy

Remarks by Malam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, at the launch of the Kaduna State Social Protection Policy, held at the Council Chambers, Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna, on Tuesday, 23rd February 2021

PROTOCOLS

1. With solemn appreciation of the challenges of poverty and social exclusion, I welcome you all to the public launch of the Kaduna State Social Protection Policy. This policy was formally approved by the State Executive Council in the second half of 2020. The policy is a demonstration of our belief that a sub-national government should have a coherent statement of the values and principles governing its efforts to protect the poor and vulnerable.

2. In the absence of a well-established and properly coordinated social protection system, the poor and vulnerable are left to bear the harsh realities and conditions unassisted. The COVID-19 pandemic, with all its socio-economic disruptions, has shown us how much despair the poor and vulnerable go through on a daily basis. This Policy is indicative of the unwavering resolve of the Kaduna State Government to ensure a life of dignity for all its residents on the basis of right, and not charity.

3. To ensure that social protection is pursued in an inclusive and sustainable manner, this Social Protection Policy will be supported by a Social Protection Law, To ensure that Government delivers on its promise, a well-articulated Implementation Plan and Results Framework have also been developed.

4. As a party, one of our core objectives in APC is to protect the interest of farmers, workers, women, youth and persons with disability women, leaving no one behind. In Kaduna State, our governance agenda since 2015 has been anchored on promoting equality of opportunity. We have focused on expanding access to education and healthcare as the fulcrum of human capital development. This government has made education in the state free and compulsory for the first 12 years. We have also enacted the Child Welfare and Protection Law. Our public healthcare system offers free services for pregnant women and children younger than five years.

5. In 2018, we launched the Kaduna State Women Empowerment Fund (KADSWEF). The fund began by disbursing N200m to women across the State as MSME loans. Over 7,000 women benefited from the scheme and have since begun repaying their loans. Our officials have visited over 3,000 of these beneficiaries to assess their trades and we are happy with the results.

6. Just yesterday, the Kaduna State Executive Council approved measures to widen the digital payment infrastructure in order to help improve financial inclusion, especially for rural dwellers. Financial exclusion is a reflection of poverty and it complicates the access of poor people to financial services. A feasibility study we commissioned in 2020 revealed that 64% of Kaduna State residents do not have bank accounts. An overwhelming majority (89%) of persons without bank accounts are female.

7. To cater to the health needs of the populace, the Kaduna Contributory Health Insurance Scheme Law was enacted, and the Kaduna Contributory Health Management Agency (KADCHMA) was established to manage it. This Scheme was designed to widen the net of coverage and to ensure that all residents of the State, including the poor and vulnerable have access to quality healthcare. Beyond that, Kaduna State provides free medical treatment of children under the age of five and elderly citizens over the age of 65 across the State.

8. In September 2019, Kaduna State became the first government to pay the new national minimum wage on N30,000 monthly. As part of our commitment to ensuring that no one is left behind, we also raised the minimum monthly pension to N30,000 for workers who retired on the old defined benefit scheme. The state began implementing the new contributory pension scheme on 1st January 2017

9. In the coming weeks, a Social Protection Agency will be established by Government to ensure that all social protection programmes in the State are delivered in an integrated, inclusive and sustainable manner that optimizes resource utilization and achieves high impact. The Agency will utilize an Integrated Social Protection Management Information System, which will serve as a data repository to ensure that the poorest of the poor are prioritized in programme planning and benefits. This will also ensure the effective monitoring and evaluation of programme impacts on targeted poor and vulnerable residents of the State.

10. The government is aware of the enormous cost of providing social protection coverage for the poor and vulnerable. Yet, through this policy, we seek to guarantee minimum social protection floors for every poor and vulnerable person. For this purpose, the Kaduna State Government welcomes partnership with all key stakeholders (donor agencies, private individuals, NGOs, and CSOs) in the social protection space. Only in this sense will it be possible to achieve the laudable goal of this Policy, which is to achieve a Kaduna State where poor and vulnerable persons live productive and dignifying lives.

11. The task ahead is great, yet looking back at what we have achieved, we have reasons to believe in the possibility of actualizing the objectives of the policy. For this purpose, I will like to recognize and particularly appreciate the active support of Save the Children International through the Child Grant Development Programme (CDGP) in strengthening social protection in the State. Special thanks goes to Members of the State Steering Committee on Social Investment for this major milestone, and all donor partners, NGOs, and Civil Society Organisations who have assisted the State in one way or the other especially in the area of social protection.

12. Invited guests, ladies and gentlemen, Nigeria is going through trying times. We have the largest number of poor people anywhere in the world. Five percent of the poor people probably live in Kaduna State. Yet, whenever a programmme is designed to help the poor and vulnerable, we resort to a slot mentality in which important people are allocated slots, instead of targeting those poor and vulnerable people who deserve it. This is unfortunate. We must move away from slot mentality and use our social register to offer targeted support to those that truly need it. I appeal to all my colleagues, the political elites, to please drop this slot mentality and use the social register so that programmes targeting the poor and vulnerable actually go to the poor and vulnerable.

13. When we think of the poor and vulnerable, we must all remember that the welfare of each is bound up in the welfare of all. I hereby launch this Policy to the glory of God, and to the benefit of humanity and the good people of Kaduna State.

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Extension Won’t Help Your Flopped Membership Drive, PDP Mocks APC

February 22, 2021

Press Statement

Extension Won’t Help Your Flopped Membership Drive, PDP Mocks APC

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) mocks the All Progressives Congress (APC) over its flopped membership registration drive, noting that its three weeks extension will not change the public rejection that greeted the exercise and the APC as a party.

The PDP mocks the APC for becoming stuck with its phony exercise following serious confusion and violent disagreements in their fold, after their plot to announce humongous fictitious figures and presenting a heavily padded membership register was busted.

Our party is already aware of the confusion in the APC after genuine report from the field indicated a huge reduction in APC membership profile, given that more than half of its members across the federation refused to revalidate their membership while most regular Nigerians who they approached, responded with vehement apathy.

Nigerians are also aware of the bitter disagreement among desperate APC power mongers from Kogi, Lagos and Kaduna states over allocation of membership figures as well as location for final compilation of APC fictitious membership inventory.

The public now know why the APC desperately sidestepped its original membership register, in the fraudulent exercise, as revealed by the recent outburst of the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.

It is indeed instructive that Nigerians have rejected the APC despite being lured with money in Taraba, Kogi, Imo, Kaduna and other states; despite the threats in Kano as well as attempt at night registration in Enugu and some other states.

Such rejection only goes to validate the fact that majority of Nigerians are not ready to dine on the same table with the APC, even with the longest of spoons.

The PDP therefore counsels the APC not to waste its time with the shenanigan of an extension as such cannot change the reality of their rejection by Nigerians.

Our party commends Nigerians for not allowing the APC, a party that has brought so much devastation, pain and anguish and which has nothing to offer for the future of our nation, to beguile and trap them again with a fraudulent membership drive.

The PDP appreciates the overwhelming support our party has been receiving from Nigerians as we work together in the national consensus to rescue our nation from the misrule of the APC by reelecting the PDP come 2023, so as to return our nation to the path of peace, national cohesion and economic prosperity.

Signed:

Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary