Connect with us

Government

Buhari Resumes, Meets AGF, NNPC GMD, May Attend Council Meeting Wednesday

Published

on

Buhari
  • Buhari Resumes, Meets AGF, NNPC GMD, May Attend Council Meeting Wednesday

After weeks of absence due to ill-health, President Muhammadu Buhari resumed work on Tuesday and met separately with the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Buhari’s resumption at his office was bound to stem speculation and growing concerns about his health, which presidency sources informed media have been grossly exaggerated.

A source on Tuesday reiterated the statement by one of the president’s spokesmen Garba Shehu that Buhari had been advised by his doctors to rest more and take things slowly after his medical vacation in the United Kingdom, adding, however, that now he has resumed work, he would likely chair the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday.

Since his return from the UK, Buhari has not attended any public function and was unable to attend two cabinet meetings last month and the Jumat service last Friday at the Presidential Villa.

The president was also absent at the May Day rally organised by the labour unions for the second time since assuming office in 2015, a development that caused commotion at the Eagle Square, Abuja.

Briefing State House correspondents after his closed-door meeting with the president, Malami said Buhari expressed concern over the perceived failure of the National Assembly to pass some bills meant to aid the fight against corruption, describing it as a major setback for the anti-graft war.

Malami, who disclosed that the assets recovered by the anti-graft agencies are scattered all over the country, added that the non-passage of the bills was worrisome to the president because it has resulted in a stalemate in stock taking and management of the proceeds of the anti-corruption war.

He made reference to Proceeds of Crime Bill which he said contains the legal backing for the establishment of an Asset Management Agency as one of such bills whose non-passage constitutes a threat to the progress of the anti-corruption war.

According to him, assets recovered by anti-corruption agencies are scattered across the country without any legal framework to aid their gathering and management.

He also explained that he had visited the president to brief him on developments in his ministry as well as the submission of the report of the Electoral Reform Committee to his office.

“It was a routine briefing to the president as it relates to general issues – the issues that have to do with anti-corruption.

“Mr. President is worried that the anti-corruption bills that are pending before the National Assembly, there has not been any expeditious determination on the passage of the bills and indeed the Asset Management Agency was also part of the discussion.

“Mr. President is worried that the assets that have been gathered over time by the agencies of government that are responsible for the fight against corruption are scattered all over the place.

“And embedded in the Proceeds of Crime Bill is the Asset Management Agency which is the agency put in place by the presidency for the purpose of managing the associated assets that are recovered.

“So, Mr. President is indeed worried and the discussions bordered on how best we can handle it. There are also limited issues that relate to the parastatals under the Ministry of Justice that were discussed.

“As you are aware, this afternoon, the Electoral Reform Committee that had been put in place submitted its report to my office.

“I equally briefed Mr. President on that and in addition to the report, there are bills that have been presented for the consideration of the Federal Executive Council as they relate to amendment to the electoral process.

“The whole essence of the meeting was to seek the view of Mr. President and the direction as to what to do next as it relates to the Electoral Reform Committee report that has been submitted and to consider routine processes under the Ministry of Justice,” he said.

Malami also disclosed that the presidential committee probing the allegations of corruption against the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir Lawal, and Director-General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr. Ayo Oke, over the discovery of N13.3 billion in an apartment in Ikoyi, would submit its report to Buhari on Wednesday.

The committee is chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo. Malami and National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno (rtd.) are also members of the committee.

Malami, who declined to make comments on the committee’s findings, said doing so would be pre-emptive, adding that the vice-president who is the chairman of the panel would brief the president on its findings after submitting the report today.

“Well, you know the presidential committee that is investigating the NIA and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation is supposed to make its submission by tomorrow.

“So it is pre-emptive now to discuss anything considering the fact that the committee is under the chairmanship of the vice-president who is supposed to brief the president in that respect and the schedule for the committee’s assignment has not elapsed,” Malami said.

Lawal and Oke were suspended by Buhari on April 19, after which the president constituted a three-man committee chaired by the vice-president to probe them.

While Lawal was accused of violations of due process in the award of contracts on the humanitarian crisis in the North-east, Oke was suspended over his claim that the money discovered in the Lagos flat belonged to the agency.

The committee was tasked with investigating “how and by whose or which authority the funds were made available to 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”.

Lawal is being investigated over the management of the Presidential Initiative on the North-east (PINE) in his capacity as SGF.

He was alleged to have awarded a N220 million tree-cutting contract to his company, Rholavision Engineering Limited, in contravention of public sector rules barring government officials from awarding contracts to companies in which they have an interest.

During his briefing, Dr. Baru said he met with the president to update him on operations of the NNPC and its subsidiaries, and on the relative stability in the nation’s oil and gas sector in recent weeks.

He said the president expressed delight over the reported stability in the oil and gas sector.

“I briefed Mr. President on the state of the NNPC and its subsidiaries and also on the situation of fuel supply, crude oil production, gas production and by extension, ability to supply gas to the power sector,” he said.
“We had an extensive briefing as you can see; I passed here over two hours ago. I spent quite some time with him to discuss these national issues.

“He was happy with the state of the corporation and told us to continue with the efforts that we are doing and if we need any executive attention we should not hesitate to come back to him,” Baru said.

Baru disclosed that following the peace and stability being enjoyed in the Niger Delta, oil production peaked at two million barrels per day (mbpd) on May 2.

He also said NNPC has no plan to increase the prices of petroleum products.

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

FG Declares June 12 Public Holiday for Democracy Day Celebration

Published

on

The Federal Government has declared Wednesday, June 12, a public holiday in commemoration of this year’s Democracy Day celebration.

The announcement was made in a statement signed by Aishetu Ndayako, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Interior, on behalf of Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, the Minister of Interior.

The statement urged Nigerians to reflect on the struggles and sacrifices of the nation’s founding fathers and to ensure that Nigeria remains a united, secure, peaceful, and indivisible entity.

“As we mark another Democracy Day in the history of our dear country, let us all reflect on the efforts of our founding fathers and ensure that Nigeria remains a united, secured, peaceful, and indivisible entity,” the statement read.

A Historic Shift

The designation of June 12 as Democracy Day dates back to June 7, 2018, when former President Muhammadu Buhari announced that the day would henceforth be celebrated as Democracy Day.

Prior to this declaration, Democracy Day was observed on May 29, the date marking the inauguration of the Fourth Republic in 1999.

President Buhari’s decision was rooted in the historical significance of June 12, 1993, the day of what is widely regarded as Nigeria’s freest and fairest presidential election.

Despite the election’s annulment by the then-military government, Buhari emphasized that the democratic credentials of the process should be honored.

Honoring a Legacy

To further commemorate the significance of June 12, Buhari posthumously awarded Chief Moshood Abiola, the presumed winner of the annulled 1993 election, with the nation’s highest honor, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR).

The statement from the Ministry of Interior also highlighted President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to implementing positive reforms aimed at reviving Nigeria’s economy and enhancing national security.

A Call for Unity

The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, called on all citizens and friends of Nigeria to appreciate the progress that has been made in the country’s democratic journey and to look forward to a brighter future.

“As we celebrate Democracy Day, we must appreciate the progress that has been made and remain hopeful for a better future for Nigeria’s democracy,” the minister said.

This year’s Democracy Day comes at a crucial time as Nigeria continues to navigate economic challenges and security concerns. The public holiday on June 12 provides an opportunity for Nigerians to reflect on the importance of democracy and the ongoing efforts to strengthen the nation’s democratic institutions.

As the nation prepares to observe the public holiday, there is a sense of anticipation and hope that the values of democracy will continue to guide Nigeria towards a prosperous and harmonious future.

The government’s declaration serves as a reminder of the enduring legacy of June 12 and the importance of upholding democratic principles.

Continue Reading

Government

Guilty on All 34 Counts: Trump Convicted in Hush Money Case

Published

on

donald-trump

In a historic and unprecedented legal decision, former President Donald Trump was found guilty on all 34 counts in his “hush money” trial, making him the first former U.S. president to be convicted of a crime.

The verdict was delivered by a jury of 12 New Yorkers on Wednesday, concluding a six-week trial in Manhattan.

The charges against Trump centered around falsifying business records to cover up a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election.

The jury found Trump guilty on all counts, concluding that he authorized a scheme to falsify checks and related documents to keep the alleged affair from becoming public knowledge.

Prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office presented evidence showing that the conspiracy to cover up the payment began during Trump’s 2016 campaign and continued into his first year in the White House.

They argued that Trump, along with his associates, created false records to mislead voters and conceal the payment.

Trump, who has consistently denied having any sexual encounter with Daniels, responded angrily to the verdict. Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom, he called the trial “a disgrace” and accused the judge of bias.

“This was a rigged trial by a conflicted judge who was corrupt,” Trump stated.

He vowed to continue fighting the verdict, saying, “The real verdict is going to be Nov. 5 by the people, and they know what happened here and everybody knows what happened here. We’ll fight to the end.”

The conviction comes at a critical time for Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president in the 2024 election. Despite the conviction, there is no constitutional barrier preventing him from running for office again.

Legal experts note that the Constitution’s requirements for presidential candidates—being at least 35 years old, a natural-born citizen, and a U.S. resident for 14 years—do not include any disqualification for being a convicted felon.

Judge Juan Merchan has scheduled Trump’s sentencing for July 11. The defense has until June 13 to submit any motions, with the prosecution required to respond by June 27.

Trump’s legal team indicated they would prefer a sentencing date in mid to late July.

Trump’s conviction adds to the already intense political climate as the nation prepares for the 2024 elections. The trial has drawn significant media attention and public scrutiny, reflecting deep divisions within American society.

The trial highlighted broader issues regarding campaign finance and the use of hush money in politics. It also raises questions about the integrity of presidential candidates and the lengths to which they might go to protect their public image.

As the legal and political ramifications of this verdict unfold, Trump’s conviction on all 34 counts marks a significant chapter in U.S. history.

Continue Reading

Government

President Tinubu to Inaugurate Newly Paved Roads to Apapa, Tin Can Ports

Published

on

Bola Tinubu

President Bola Tinubu is set to inaugurate the newly constructed paved roads leading to the Apapa and Tin Can Island ports in Lagos on Saturday.

This development is anticipated to bring significant relief to port users and operators who have endured years of hardship due to the previously dilapidated roads and severe traffic congestion in the area.

The commissioning of these roads marks a major milestone in the government’s efforts to improve infrastructure and boost economic activities around the nation’s busiest ports.

The newly paved roads are expected to enhance the flow of goods and services, reduce operational costs for businesses, and alleviate the chronic traffic bottlenecks that have plagued the Apapa and Tin Can Island areas.

President Tinubu, who is scheduled to arrive in Lagos on Saturday morning, will perform the inauguration as his first assignment of the day.

The ceremony signifies a commitment to addressing the infrastructural challenges that have long hindered the efficiency of Nigeria’s maritime sector.

Mohammed Koko, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), highlighted the importance of this project earlier this year.

He emphasized the NPA’s “zero tolerance for all forms of impediments to the free flow of traffic” and reiterated the agency’s dedication to improving port operations.

“Our zero tolerance for all forms of impediments to free flow of traffic is no fluke,” Koko said, noting that the rehabilitation efforts are aimed at consolidating gains achieved first in Apapa and now extending to Tin Can.

In January 2024, President Tinubu directed the Federal Ministry of Works to urgently and comprehensively repair the access roads to the Lagos Port Complex and Tin-Can Island Port Complex.

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, echoed the urgency of this directive, pointing out that the poor condition of the port access roads had significantly increased internal logistics costs for importers and exporters.

“The dilapidated port access roads increase the cost of internal logistics for importers and exporters,” Oyetola noted.

The improved road infrastructure is expected to curb the exodus of businesses from the Apapa and Tin Can Island areas, which had been driven away by the severe logistical challenges.

The restoration of these critical routes is also anticipated to enhance Nigeria’s competitiveness in international trade by facilitating smoother and more efficient port operations.

Following the inauguration of the port access roads, President Tinubu is also scheduled to flag off the Lagos to Calabar coastal road project at Victoria Island in Lagos.

Also, he will virtually inaugurate the newly rehabilitated 3rd Mainland Bridge, further underscoring his administration’s commitment to revitalizing Nigeria’s infrastructure.

The series of inaugurations and project launches underscore a broader strategy to enhance connectivity, reduce operational bottlenecks, and stimulate economic growth through improved infrastructure.

The completion of the Apapa and Tin Can Island port roads is a pivotal step in this direction, promising a new era of efficiency and productivity for Nigeria’s maritime sector.

Continue Reading
Advertisement




Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending