In a statement by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Sunday, Buhari congratulated Agbese for years of consistency, resilience and patriotism.
According to the President, Agbese’s passion for journalism reflects his deep love for Nigeria as depicted in the subjects of his columns and books, and the analytical and investigative prowess given to the treatment of national issues.
He, therefore, commended him for sacrificing his time and talent in pursuit of a greater future for the country.
The President believed the veteran journalist made sacrifices for Nigeria’s return to democracy and strengthening of democratic institutions that must be acknowledged, and which would remain indelible in the sands of time.
Buhari extolled Agbese’s virtues of humility, discipline, focus and exceptional brilliance that had contributed to the dynamism and vibrancy of the Nigerian media industry.
The President prayed that God would grant Agbese, co-founder of Newswatch magazine, longer life, good health and more wisdom to keep serving the country through his profession.
Buhari greets Otunba Oyin Jolayemi at 80
The President, in a congratulatory message released by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Wednesday, congratulated the elder statesman for ”investments that have transformed the economy of the country, and greatly impacted on the citizenry.”
President Buhari affirmed that Otunba Jolayemi’s entrepreneurial spirit, which spurred investments in banking, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, deserved commendation, especially the growing profile of his companies and training of many to start their own businesses.
He acknowledged the visionary role Jolayemi had played as an industrialist for more than 40 years in the financial sector of the country, particularly raising infrastructure that served his businesses and community, and building confidence in the economy through international exhibition of his products.
The President believed the ”industrialist can joyfully look back, with three of his scions already involved in the family business, and be thankful to God for the grace of a good lineage.”
President Buhari joined family, friends and business associates of the philanthropist in celebrating the milestone, praying that the almighty God would grant him longer life and more strength.
Ministry of Defence, others make presentations as Buhari presides over virtual FEC
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday presided over the third virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the Council Chamber of the State House, Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Ministries of Defence, Environment, Works and Housing as well as Finance, Budget and National Planning are expected to make presentations during the meeting.
Others Ministers present along side with the President at the chamber, and are expected to make presentations include those of Water Resources, Justice, and Aviation while the remaining ministers would be participating in the meeting from their respective offices.
Those in attendance of the meeting included Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff to the President and Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
edited by Sadiya Hamza
Buhari condemns killing of UNIBEN student, Omozuwa
The president on his verified twitter page: @MBuhari on Tuesday directed the police to speedily and diligently investigate the case and ”ensure that all the culprits responsible for this barbaric act are brought to justice.
”I would like to offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Uwaila Omozuwa.
”I expect the Nigeria Police Force to speedily and diligently investigate this case and ensure that all the culprits responsible for this barbaric act are brought to justice,” the president stated.
Omozuwa, a 22-year-old microbiology student, believed to be a virgin, was raped and killed in a church where she went to conduct academic activities.
The killing of the university student has horrified many people across the country with human rights groups, public figures and government officials demanding justice for the deceased.
The Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, had on her twitter handle: @abikedabiri disclosed that one person had been apprehended in connection with the killing of Omozuwa.
She said the arrest was facilitated through the thumbprint of the suspect on the fire extinguisher used in attacking the victim.
Buhari commiserates with Delta fire victims
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday commiserated with victims of the Ogbogonogo fire disaster in Delta, assuring them that they would not bear the burden of the incident alone.
The president spoke through the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, who led a team to visit Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa at Government House, Asaba.
The team, accompanied by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo, conveyed the feelings of Buhari to the governor.
Buhari commended the measures taken by Okowa to curb the spread of the fire and also reducing its effects on traders.
“The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is with the State Emergency Management Agency to assist these hard working Nigerians, whose sources of livelihood were affected by fire.
“We need to let them know that once there is life, there is hope.
“We are also commending you and your team for the quick response which gave hope to the people.
“Immediately, we got wind of the incident, we sent relief materials to the state to cushion the effect of the fire on the people,” the president said.
Okowa expressed delight that Buhari was quick to respond to the fire incident.
He noted that only the creation of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development could have made that prompt response possible.
“We want to express our gratitude to you and through you (minister) to our president.
“This visit is a thoughtful visit concerning the fire at Ogbogonogo Market.
“We have a warm relationship with NEMA and we are supporting the activities of your Ministry as it concerns assisting the needy in society.
“As a State Government, our youths are participating in different skill acquisition and wealth creation programmes.
“We have different programmes to support widows. We also have programmes for the less-privileged and the vulnerable.
“We appreciate this visit,” the governor said.
Buhari condoles with Dan Suleiman over wife’s death
President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with elder statesman and former military Governor of Plateau, retired Air Commodore Dan Suleiman over the death of his wife, Marie.
The president’s condolence message was conveyed in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Tuesday.
“Buhari condoled with all family members and associates of the matriarch, whose investment of love in her family and community will always be remembered,” he said.
The president prayed that the almighty God will receive the soul of the deceased, who would be laid to rest at the weekend.
He also prayed that God would comfort the family she left behind.
Reps approve Buhari’s loan request
The House Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management, had presented its report through the Chairman, Rep. Ahmed Safana (APC-Katsina) at the House Committee on Supply.
Safana observed that out of the total borrowing of $22,898,446,773 as contained in the October 2019 re-forwarded request of President Muhammadu Buhari, a sum of $17,065,496,773 is for funds proposed to be borrowed from China Eximbank Bank.
He said out of the $22.799 billion loan, China Eximbank is to provide larger chunk of the fund worth $17.066 billion at 20 years maturity, 7 years moratorium, 0.5 per cent management fee, 2.75 per cent interest rate, 0.3 per cent commitment fee and 3-7 years duration.
The lawmaker said that the World Bank is to provide $2.854 billion at average repayment maturity of between 20 – 25 years, 1.25 per cent interest rate, 0.25 per cent commitment charge, 0.25 per cent front-end fee and five years duration.
He said that the African Development Bank (AfDB), is to provide $1.889 billion at average repayment maturity of 20 years, 0.75 per cent service charge, 0.5 per cent commitment charge, 5 years grace period, 1.127 per cent interest rate and 5-8 years duration.
According to him, Agencie Francaise de Development (AFD) is to provide $480 million at 15-20 years maturity, 4-7 years grace period, 2.6 – 2.9 per cent rate in USD based on Libor floating market rates (1.3 per cent in Euros in Euribomarket rates) depending on loan maturity, 0.5 per cent commitment fee, 0.5 per cent appraisal fee and five years duration.
He said German Development Bank is to provide $200 million at 15 years maturity, 5 years grace period, 3.99 per cent interest rate, 0.25 per cent commitment fee of the undisturbed amount and 0.4 per cent management fee of the loan.
He also said that the Islamic Development Bank is to provide $110 million at average repayment maturity of between 25 years, Service Charge not exceeding 2 per cent, 2.5 per cent interest rate and four years duration.
The breakdown of the approved loans include, $350 million World Bank Development Policy Operation loan for Kaduna and $110 million Islamic Development Bank Health Systems Projects Loan for Katsina State.
Reacting to the adopted report, the Deputy Minority Leader, Rep. Toby Okechukwu said that the approval does not meet the expectations of the people down south.
“First and foremost, there are certain strategic projects that ought to be there, one is the Western Corridor Rail line, which goes from Lagos to Kano and the Eastern Corridor Rail line that goes from Port Harcourt through Enugu to Makurdi, Plateau down to Maiduguri.
“They were established the same day, they commenced the same day, and they were completed the same day they were operating.
“So to take one in exclusion of the other is not appropriate,” he said.
According to him, it is an infrastructural sufficiency to give impetus to the eastern corridor passing through South South, South East, North Central and North East.
“If you check all these areas, what you will see is that we have trouble from Boko Haram to agitations to militancy; we have challenges in these areas and when you don’t undertake economic activities that will improve it, you are not helping.
“So it is our considered opinion that they should have been a priority; we appreciate the effort of Mr. Speaker in terms of trying by all means for the past 4 months to accommodate these Lines but of course there was no initiation for it.
“This is where you find out that the budget or loan approval is as good, but we need to think globally,” he said.
Okechukwu, however, appreciated the provision that says that the South East should be prioritised in the next borrowing plan.
He said that loan approval should have waited until the feasibility study is completed so that the South East and North East are sufficiently accommodated.
I’ll stand by you, Buhari tells AfDB President Adesina
Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman, in a statement, quoted the President saying:
“In 2015, when you were to be elected for the first term, I wrote to all African leaders, recommending you for the position.
“I’ll remain consistent with you, because no one has faulted the step I took on behalf of Nigeria.’’
The President pledged that Nigeria would work with all other leaders and stakeholders in AfDB to ensure that Adesina was elected for a second term built on the record of his achievements during his first term.
The African Union had already endorsed the incumbent AfDB President as sole candidate for the continent, but some other stakeholders are trying to ensure that Adesina is re-investigated on some allegations, and rendered ineligible to run.
Giving a background to what was happening in the bank, Adesina, a former Nigerian Minister for Agriculture, said the 16 allegations raised against him were trumped up, “and without facts, evidence, and documents, as required by the rules and regulations of the bank.”
“My defense ran into 250 pages, and not a single line was faulted or questioned.
“That was the end of the matter, according to the rules. It was only if I was culpable that a fresh investigation could be launched.
“I was exonerated, and any other investigation would amount to bending the rules of the bank, to arrive at a predetermined conclusion,’’ Adesina said.
“You helped me to get elected in the first place, and you have supported me robustly all along, and the African Union unanimously endorsed my re-election,” he declared.
Adesina also described the new Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, as “a man of integrity, and of global standing.”
AfDB President visits Aso Villa, meets Buhari
NAN reports that the agenda of the meeting between the president and Adesina was unknown as at the time of filing this report.
Buhari noted that a report dated May 5, 2020, signed by Niale Kaba, Chairman of the Bureau of the Board of Governors, indicated that Dr Adesina had been exonerated of allegations against him by whistleblowers.
The allegations were thoroughly investigated by the Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors, and a recommendation made to Governors of the African Development Bank, and African Development Fund.
“On the basis of the results contained in the report of the committee, I am of the view that we should adopt its conclusions by declaring that the President is totally exonerated of all the allegations made against him,’’ the report by Kaba indicated.
However, the U.S Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, had called for an independent probe into the allegations by a group of whistleblowers against the AfDB President.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, had, in May, written a letter to some former leaders on the African continent to rally their support for Adesina, who has come under severe pressure mounted by the US government as he seeks a second term at the helm of affairs of the bank.
Buhari approves ministry’s request for security of telecoms infrastructure
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a request by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, for provision of security for telecommunications infrastructure across the country.
Pantami said this in a statement signed by Mrs Uwa Suleiman, the Spokesperson for the Minister, and made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.
As part of Federal Government policy, the minister had championed efforts to identify telecommunications infrastructure as critical national infrastructure, with a view to protecting them from vandalism and theft.
The minister said also that the president had directed that necessary physical protective measures be put in place to safeguard telecommunications infrastructure across the country.
He explained that the Nigerian telecommunications industry, depended on a number of infrastructure that played critical roles in the smooth delivery of telecoms services in the country.
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, has led to a massive migration to digital platforms and has increased the level of importance of Critical National Infrastructure to the sustenance of our economy and the security of the nation.”
Pantami, however, said that the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) Defence Headquarters (DHQ) Nigeria Police Force (NPF) Department of State Security Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) had been notified of the president’s directives.
He thanked the president and commended the security agencies for the commitment they demonstrated in securing the infrastructure.
The minister urged all the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to ensure that they further reduced the prices of data and calls for the citizens, adding that this was to reciprocate the gesture.
He also requested the MNOs to submit a comprehensive list of their facility locations all over the country.
“We are also working toward the reinforcement of these directives through appropriate regulatory instruments
“The implementation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) and the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, both unveiled by the president, have repositioned the ICT sector.
“This is evident by the recent Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which showed that the ICT sector contributed an unprecedented 14.07 per cent to the total GDP in the first quarter of 2020.
“We are confident that this will address the challenge of vandalism of our critical national infrastructure.
It will also go a long way in supporting the implementation of the National Broadband Plan (2020-2025),” the minister said.
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