Connect with us

Government

Looters Behind N/Delta Militants, Says Buhari

Published

on

nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari has alleged that those who stole the nation’s wealth are behind the Niger Delta militants blowing up oil and gas installations in the oil-rich region.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said the president made the allegation while interacting with Nigerian professionals in New York. Adesina said the professionals comprised top flight aeronautics engineers, physicians, I.T experts, a Judge, a top policewoman, entrepreneurs, professors, and many others. Adesina said the parley provided Buhari opportunity to bring them up to speed on how and why Nigeria got into trouble. He said the president assured them that with all hands on deck, including the best brains in the Diaspora, the country would bounce back in the shortest possible time.

The president said: “Those who stole Nigeria dry are not happy. They recruited the militants against us in the Niger Delta, and began to sabotage oil infrastructure. We lose millions of barrels per day, at a time when every dollar we can earn, counts. It is a disgrace that a minimum of 27 states, out of 36 that we have in Nigeria, can’t pay salaries. “We got into trouble as a country, because we did not save for the rainy day. For example, between 1999 and 2015, when we produced an average of 2.1 million barrels of oil per day, and oil prices stood at an average of $100 per barrel, we did not save, neither did we develop infrastructure.

Suddenly, when we came in 2015, oil prices fell to about 30 dollars per barrel. “I asked; where are the savings? There were none. Where are the railways? The roads? Power? None. I further asked: What did we do with billions of dollars that we made over the years? They said we bought food. Food with billions of dollars? I did not believe, and still do not believe. “In most parts of Nigeria, we eat what we grow. People in the South eat tubers, those in the North eat grains, which they plant, and those constitute over 60 per cent of what we eat. So, where did the billions of dollars go? We did a lot of damage to ourselves by not developing infrastructure when we had the money.

“Talking of our military, they earned respect serving in places like Burma, Zaire, Sudan, Liberia, Sierra-Leone, and then, suddenly, that same military could no longer secure 14 out of 774 local governments in the country. Insurgents had seized them, calling them some sort of caliphate, and planting their flags there; till we came, and scattered them.” Buhari said that he raised the morale of the military, changed the leadership, re-equipped and retrained them, which earned the support of USA, Britain, and some other countries. The president said: “They helped us, and today, the pride of our military is restored.

Boko Haram ran riot, killing innocent people in churches, mosques, markets, schools, motor parks, and so on. And they would then shout Allahu Akbar. But if they truly knew Allah, they would not do such evil. Neither Islam, nor any other religion I know of, advocates hurting the innocent. But they shed innocent blood, killed people in their thousands. Now, we have dealt with that insurgency, and subverted their recruitment base. “But I prayed so hard for God to make me President. I ran in 2003, 2007, 2011, and in 2015, He did. And see what I met on ground. But I can’t complain, since I prayed for the job. In the military, I rose from 2nd Lieutenant to Major-General. I was military governor in 1975 over a state that is now six states. I was head of state, got detained for three years, and headed the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), which had N53 billion at that time in Nigerian banks. “God has been very good to me, so I can’t complain. If I feel hurt by anybody, I ask God to help me forgive. He has done so much for me. “After 16 years of a different party in government, no party will come and have things easy. It’s human. We need quality hands to run Nigeria, and we will utilise them. I will like to welcome you home when it’s time. But I’ll like you to be ready. “I am very pleased with this meeting. Wherever you go in the world, you find highly competent and outstanding Nigerians. They not only make great impact on their host countries and communities, their financial remittances back home also help our economy, particularly at a time like this, when things are down.” The statement said all the Nigerian professionals pledged to contribute their quota towards re-launching their fatherland to a new dawn.

Buhari Appeals for Urgent Global Humanitarian Action in North-East

Meanwhile, President Buhari yesterday appealed to the international community not to further delay or downplay the need for humanitarian intervention in the North-east and the Lake Chad Basin.

He said: “It is time for collec- tive global action to invest in the people of Nigeria’s North-east and the Lake Chad Basin region,” the president told a high-level event on “The Humanitarian Crisis in the Lake Chad Basin: A Turning Point,” in New York, on the margins of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA71).

“We are renewing the call for re-dedicated international action to end the humanitarian needs of victims and address the root causes of terrorism itself,” he said at the event jointly-sponsored by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the African Union, the European Union and the Orga- nization of Islamic Cooperation.”

Buhari noted that the complexities and severity of humanitarian crisis across the world had increased in recent times, resulting in devastating repercussions.

He said: “Political and socio-economic structures as well as the growth trajectory of many countries have been negatively affected leaving traumatised populations. The dual impact of Climate Change and terrorism cum insurgency has created deeper implications for peace and security, social harmony and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

While commending the Multi- National Joint Task Force for degrading Boko Haram, he said that the Nigerian government had been fully responsive to the urgency to save innocent lives, protect victims of Boko Haram atrocities, guarantee stability and facilitate the resumption of normal social and economic activities in the North-east of the country. “The Government of Nigeria is not overwhelmed by the enormity of this humanitarian challenge. Rather, we remain resolute in defeating terrorism in all its forms. We have put in place a robust people-driven counter-terrorism strategy built on a combination of revamped security operations and a human rights-based approach to help bring about rehabilitation, reintegration and reconstruction,” the president said. According to him, Nigeria has been providing food support, reintegrated healthcare, shelter, psycho-social support and access to water and sanitation amenities for those in need. He said: “We are also engaging highly respected community and religious leaders to discourage vulnerable youth from being radicalised.” Buhari expressed delight that displaced persons have begun to return to their communities in Konduga, Mafa, Benisheck and Ngala in the North-east.

On the missing Chibok schoolgirls, the president said that the unfortunate incident had remained in “our national consciousness,” adding that the administration “is working hard to ensure the release of all Nigerians held captive by Boko Haram, including the Chibok girls. We are ready to ensure their swift rehabilitation, reintegration and the continuation of their studies once returned to their families.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

Continue Reading
Comments

Government

Ekiti Governor Unveils Multi-Billion Naira Relief Programmes Amid Economic Crisis

Published

on

Biodun Oyebanji

Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji, has announced a comprehensive relief package aimed at alleviating the hardship faced by the people of the state.

The relief programs encompass various sectors to cushion the impact of the economic downturn.

One of the key initiatives entails clearing salary arrears amounting to over N2.7 billion owed to both State and Local Government workers.

This move signifies the government’s commitment to addressing the financial burdens faced by its workforce.

Furthermore, Governor Oyebanji has approved a substantial increase of N600 million per month in the subvention of autonomous institutions, including the Judiciary and tertiary institutions.

This augmentation is intended to enable these institutions to implement wage awards in alignment with State and Local Government workers’ salaries.

In addition to addressing salary arrears, the relief programs extend to pensioners, with the approval of payments totaling N1.5 billion for two months’ pension arrears.

Moreover, an increase in the monthly gratuity payment to state pensioners and local government pensioners will provide additional financial support, totaling N200 million monthly.

The relief initiatives also encompass agricultural and small-scale business sectors.

The allocation of funds for food production and livestock transformation projects underscores the government’s commitment to enhancing food security and economic sustainability at the grassroots level.

Governor Oyebanji emphasized that these relief programs are part of the state’s concerted efforts to mitigate the adverse effects of the economic downturn and foster shared prosperity.

The comprehensive nature of the initiatives reflects a proactive approach towards addressing the challenges faced by Ekiti State residents.

Continue Reading

Government

President Tinubu Orders Immediate Settlement of N342m Electricity Bill for Presidential Villa

Published

on

power project

President Bola Tinubu has directed the prompt settlement of a N342 million outstanding electricity bill owed by the Presidential Villa to the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC).

This move comes in response to the reconciliation of accounts between the State House Management and the AEDC.

The AEDC had earlier threatened to disconnect electricity services to the Presidential Villa and 86 Federal Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) over a total outstanding debt of N47.20 billion as of December 2023.

Contrary to the initial claim by the AEDC that the State House owed N923 million in electricity bills, the Presidency clarified that the actual outstanding amount is N342.35 million.

This discrepancy underscores the importance of accurate accounting and reconciliation between entities.

In a statement signed by President Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, the Presidency affirmed the commitment to settle the debt promptly.

Chief of Staff Femi Gbajabiamila assured that the debt would be paid to the AEDC before the end of the week.

The directive from the Presidency extends beyond the State House, as Gbajabiamila urged other MDAs to reconcile their accounts with the AEDC and settle their outstanding electricity bills.

The AEDC, on its part, issued a 10-day notice to the affected government agencies to settle their debts or face disconnection.

This development highlights the importance of financial accountability and responsible management of public utilities.

It also underscores the necessity for government entities to fulfill their financial obligations to service providers promptly, ensuring uninterrupted services and avoiding potential disruptions.

Continue Reading

Government

Abuja Electricity Distribution Company Issues Ultimatum to 86 Government Agencies Over N47bn Debt

Published

on

Power - Investors King

The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) has issued an ultimatum to 86 government agencies, including the Presidential Villa, owing a collective debt of N47 billion.

The notice comes as a response to the prolonged failure of these agencies to settle their outstanding electricity bills.

According to the public notice released by the AEDC management, some of the highest debts are attributed to prominent entities such as the National Security Adviser (owing N95.9 billion), the Chief of Defence staff barracks, and military formations (indebted to the tune of N12 billion).

Also, several ministries, including the Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory and the Ministry of Power, have sizable outstanding bills.

The AEDC has expressed its frustration over the inability of these government bodies to honor their financial obligations despite previous attempts to facilitate payment.

In response, the company has warned of imminent disconnection of services if the outstanding debts are not settled within 10 days of the notice.

The outstanding debts are attributed to various factors including the devaluation of the naira, cash scarcity resulting from demonetization programs, high inflation rates, removal of fuel subsidies, and foreign exchange challenges.

These financial burdens have adversely impacted the operations of the AEDC, contributing to a loss of N99 million in foreign exchange alone.

As the deadline for payment approaches, government agencies are under pressure to address their outstanding debts to avoid service disruptions.

The AEDC remains steadfast in its commitment to ensuring that all entities fulfill their financial obligations, underscoring the importance of prompt payment for uninterrupted electricity services.

Continue Reading
Advertisement




Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending