- FG Okays N327m Vehicles for 38 Mine Inspectors’ Vans
The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the purchase of 38 units of four-wheel Nissan Patrol, totalling N326.781m for the mines inspectorate division of the Ministry of Mines and Steel.
The council also ratified the Lake Chad Basin Water Charter, paving the way for the document to be sent to the National Assembly for enactment into law.
The decisions were taken at a meeting of the council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Sulaiman Adamu; and the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting.
Fayemi said the 36 states of the federation as well as the Federal Capital Territory would benefit from the procurement.
“For a decade, no vehicle has been purchased for the mines and steel inspectorate division to oversee what is going on in our various states,” he said.
He said the procurement of the vehicles was meant to tackle illegal mining activities and other various challenges facing the sector.
But the Chairman, Zuma West Africa Limited, Dr. Innocent Ezuma, urged the Federal Government to go beyond the purchase of vehicles and equip the officers as well.
He said, “The mines inspectors are required to be visiting the sites and the quarries. They need vehicles to move around. Mining is in the bush and not in city centres. They should be able to ascertain the mines that are working.
“It is not good that they should visit the sites in the vehicles of those that they are inspecting; it is not tidy. So they should be properly equipped.
“Apart from vehicles, they should be provided with safety booths, clothing and walkie-talkies. There are locations you cannot reach with normal telecommunications networks.”
Fayemi added that the procurement also demonstrated government’s commitment to support made-in-Nigeria products.
The minister stated, “Over the last two to three months, all the approvals we have got for vehicles – not just ours in mines and steel ministry but the ones for the Prisons Service, Immigration and EFCC – are procurements authorised to buy vehicles from local assembly plants so that we can begin to strengthen our automotive industry.
“The government remains committed to that and this approval is a further confirmation of the government’s commitment to that promise.
“It also speaks directly to our determination to begin to focus lot more seriously on the activities of the informal or illegal miners.”
He said each states and Abuja would get one vehicle each while Lagos would get two.
Adams said the council ratified the Lake Chad Basin Water Charter, adding that the treaty, which was signed in 2012 by all member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, required 95 per cent of member countries to ratify it before it comes into effect.
With this ratification, the minister said the next stage was for the document to go to the National Assembly for an enactment into law.
Zabarmari Massacre: Buhari to Provide More Resources for the Nigerian Military
President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to provide more resources to the military in the aftermath of the Zabarmari massacre.
On Saturday, Boko Haram killed 43 people with around 70 people still missing in Zabarmari, a village in Borno State.
Reacting to the massacre, Buhari, through his official Twitter handle @MBuhari said “Nothing is more important than ensuring the security of lives and property of Nigerians. Everything is secondary when security is at stake. I will ensure that more resources are made available to the military and other security agencies to prosecute the war against terrorism.
“As we mourn all the lives lost in Zabarmari, the Armed Forces have been given the marching order to take the fight to the insurgents, not on a one-off, but on a continuous basis, until we root out the terrorists.
“We will intensify our cooperation with neighbouring countries on bilateral and multilateral levels, to ensure that there is no hiding place for the terrorists.
“As I noted earlier, the massacre by Boko Haram in Zabarmari is nothing short of senseless, barbaric, gruesome and cowardly. It reinforces our resolve to root out all forms of insurgency and insecurity not just in Borno but everywhere across Nigeria.”
Boko Haram Kills Rice Farmers in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria
Rice farmers were killed on Saturday morning in the Northeast Nigeria by suspected Islamist militants, Boko Haram, according to a Reuters Report.
The report also noted that 30 of the people killed were beheaded while over a dozen others were still missing.
However, resident of the Zambarmari Village where the attacks took place said a total of 70 people were feared dead.
Another resident and Amnesty International were quoted as saying at least 10 women were among those missing.
In another statement by Edward Kallon, the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, it was armed men on motorcycles that led the brutal attack on civilians harvesting their fields.
“Armed men on motorcycles led a brutal attack on civilian men and women who were harvesting their fields,” Edward Kallon stated.
“At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack,” he added, noting that several women are believed to have been kidnapped.
“The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year. I call for the perpetrators of this heinous and senseless act to be brought to justice,” Kallon said.
On Sunday, Governor Babaganan Umara Zulum of Borno State, who was at the burial told journalists that at least 70 farmers were killed on Saturday.
The Governor, therefore, called on the Federal Government to recruit more Civilian Joint Task Force members, Soldiers and civil defence fighters to protect farmers in the region.
He added that people are facing desperate choices.
“In one side, they stay at home they may be killed by hunger and starvation, on the other, they go out to their farmlands and risk getting killed by the insurgents,” he said.
In The Fight Against Corruption, No Individual is Bigger Than The State – Buhari
In response to the suspended acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, President Muhammed Buhari, lamented that the anti-corruption war becomes endangered “when persons entrusted with the responsibility of that magnitude become suspects themselves.”
Buhari, whose vision is to put an end to corruption in Nigeria, believed that every aspect of the nation’s life is enshrined in corruption and it’s of major concern when leaders of institutions saddled with the mandate to fight the menace are found in the waves of the corruption they claimed to be fighting.
This act is a great abomination not only because it strikes at the root but it also trivialises and undermines the anti-corruption crusade itself, the President explained.
He further said that in a bid to put an end to this great abomination, he had set up Ayo Salami Panel to unravel the mystery behind the mystique of Magu’s alleged involvement in corruption that his administration is fighting.
Buhari said that his administration is ready and willing to go all out in the fight against corruption, and no one is too big nor above the law to become a victim of anti-graft’s sledgehammer.
The president said, “However, the stark reality of widespread corruption becomes poignant when allegations of corruption touch on the leadership of an institution set up by law to coordinate and enforce all economic and financial crimes.
“It is an abomination that strikes at the root and undermines the government’s anti-corruption programme.
“It was in response to the serious allegations against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that I set up a panel headed by the Honourable Justice Isa Ayo Salami, retired President of the Court of Appeal, via an Instrument dated 3rd July 2020 pursuant to the Tribunals of Inquiry Act (Cap T21, LFN, 2004).
“We recognise that there are more grounds to cover in the war against corruption, and we are prepared to go out to possess those lands by cutting off any stream that nourishes the seed of corruption and supports its growth.
“Let it be known that in the fight against corruption, no one is too big to tackle, as no individual is bigger than the Nigerian State!”
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