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Osinbajo Commissions Fertilizer Plant, BUA Cement Factory in Edo

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  • Osinbajo Commissions Fertilizer Plant, BUA Cement Factory in Edo

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday inaugurated the 60,000 metric tonnes per annum Edo State Fertilizer Plant, Auchi; and a two million metric tonnes per annum BUA Cement Plant at Okpella,in Etsako West and Etsako East Local Government Areas of the state.

Inaugurating the BUA cement plant, the vice president said: “The construction of this plant is of course a big boost to the Nigeria economy, it will provide thousands of direct and indirect jobs both for skilled and unskilled workers from the commencement of the construction of the plant to the smooth running of the operations process.”

According to him, at the level of production obtained, it also means the consolidation of the Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in cement and a big boost to our export capacity.

“I am happy to note that for the construction of power production facility for this plant, the BUA group has used the most modern and efficient gas turbine which combines low and economically value cost with a very high degree of reliability.”

In Auchi, Osinbajo inaugurated the Edo Fertilizer Plant and Chemical Company Limited, a public, private venture which has the capacity to produce about 60,000 metric tones of fertilizer per annum.

The vice president who was accompanied by the Ministers of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh; and Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, commended the foresight of the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, for creating the enabling business environment which saw to the revitalisation of the fertilizer plant which had been non-functional for about 14 years.

Osinbajo expressed delight at the 500 direct jobs that have been created by the investment, stressing that much more employment opportunities would result from the ancillary economic activities that would be generated by the fertilizer plant.

Commending the governor for having the right attitude to development, he called on leaders across the country in different areas to dedicate themselves to activities that will improve the lot of their people.

“The President Muhammadu Buhari administration is committed to making it easy for investors to do business in the country. We want to achieve this through the promotion of transparency and efficiency. We want every state to be involved in this drive and create the enabling environment for business to thrive in their domain,” Osinbajo said.

He said the revitalisation of fertilizer blending plants across the country was the direct consequence of the presidential initiative to diversify the economy from crude oil, boost farming activities as well as develop the agricultural value chain.

The vice president added that agricultural activities in the country could be enhanced significantly if there was improved access to inputs, hence the drive to make fertilizer which is a major farm input, easily available and accessible to farmers in Nigeria.

Osinbajo explained that the blending plant would also complement Obaseki’s agricultural development initiative which is aimed at improving investment in agriculture via public private partnership (PPP) as well as creating jobs for youths across the three senatorial districts of the state.

In his remarks, Obaseki said the inauguration of the fertilizer plant signified a milestone in his administration as the facility was never operated for a day after it was fraudulently launched by the opposition party about 14 years ago.

He said what the opposition could not do for nearly a decade, his government, with the support of the Edo people, has done it in only about nine months.

The governor said: “The aim of revitalising this plant is to make the state self-sufficient in food production and enable farmers get fertilizer at affordable prices. We in Edo State are determined to make food available in the country.”

He added that the facility would go a long way in providing fertilizer for neighbouring states such as Kogi, Delta, Ondo and Anambra, among others as it was the only blending plant in the region.

Obaseki commended the leadership role played by the federal government in the execution of the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative as well as the management of WACOT for partnering the Edo State Government in revamping the plant.

“This achievement is an open call to other investors to bring in new technology, create more jobs and expand our economic opportunities,” he said.

The governor called on the traditional ruler, Otaru of Auchi; the community where the plant is located, to ensure the protection of the facility against vandalism as it creates a large range of opportunities for businesses in the community and the state.

Also speaking the Group Managing Director of WACOT, Mr. Rahul Savara, commended the Vice President for ianuguration the plant and governor Godwin Obaseki for fostering the partnership between the state and his company.

He said the presidential fertilizer initiative has made local production feasible and sustainable in the country, assuring that the Edo Fertilizer and Chemical Company would be made up of 95 per cent indigenous workers.

Speaking of the numerous benefits of having a fertilizer blending plant in the state, the Deputy Governor of Edo, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu said: “Many jobs will be created, it will boost business activities, farmers will no longer go through undue hardship before they get fertilizer to buy and productivity will increase. We are keying into the federal government policy to make fertilizer affordable and available in the country.”

In his remarks, the Otaru of Auchi, Alhaji Aliru H. Momoh, Ikelebe the III, said the inauguration of the plant demonstrates Governor Obaseki’s zeal to improve the economy as well as industrialise the state.

“The governor brought in people to revamp this plant and told us at the palace that within three months, it will become functional, we taught it was a joke, but thanks to Allah that we are here to witness the commissioning of the plant,” the traditional ruler said.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

In The Fight Against Corruption, No Individual is Bigger Than The State – Buhari

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Muhammadu 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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In Search For The New EFCC Chairman, Justice Ayo Salami Panel Advises Buhari to Look Outside The Police Force

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Justice Ayo Salami’s panel advised President Muhammadu Buhari to look outside the Nigerian Police Force for the new Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

A credible source confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari may have decided to follow the panel recommendation to avoid a similar fate to that of Magu, the former chairman.

The source also confirmed that the panel recommendation was a result of sleaze allegations against suspended acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu. Also, that search team would be constituted in the next few days to slim down the possibilities of finding the right candidate to bring into reality the President’s vision of a corrupt-free anti-graft agency.

The source further confirmed that “the sleaze and abuse of office allegations against Magu, a commissioner of police, were overwhelming,” and that he may be put on trial.

As advised by the panel, the new EFCC chairman should be in interim position for two years.

It was suggested that the recommendation from the Justice Ayo Salami panel might have pinned Magu, according to Femi Adesina, the presidential spokesman, he advised president Buhari to consider looking into other law enforcement or security agencies, as well as considering important and diligent staff of EFCC in his plans to appoint the next EFCC chairman, as s provided in the EFCC Establishment Act of 2004.

Following the Justice Ayo Salami panel recommendation, Salami said “Your Excellency, permit me to say that four successive chairmen of the EFCC from inception have been drawn from the police. Therefore, in appointing a new chairman of EFCC, consideration should be given to candidates from other law enforcement or security agencies and qualified core staff of EFCC as provided in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment Act 2004).

“It is also important to point out that at the moment, 970 policemen (114 drivers, 641 mobile policemen and 215 operations), are on secondment in the EFCC.

“Therefore, an exit plan for the disengagement of the police and other personnel within two years from now should be considered. This will address the issue of non-promotion of core staff for over nine years.

“Your Excellency, our thinking here is that whoever you are appointing other than a core EFCC staff, should be in transitional capacity of two years during which period, the arrangement would be made for the appointment of any of the core staff who has been commended by National Crime Agency, UK and other international law enforcement for their professionalism”.

Justice Ayo Salami appreciated the president for giving members of the panel an avenue to serve the country.

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Ezekwesili Presents Research Findings on Fixing Nigeria’s Politics

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A quest to understand the interconnection between politics and economic performance in a democratic society motivated Richard von Weizacker fellowship and research study at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin, Germany, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili said on Wednesday.

She stated this at the public launch of #FixPolitics, where she presented findings from her fellowship research on how to fix politics in Nigeria and Africa more broadly.

Ezekwesili invited 124 Nigerians from diverse fields of endeavour and geopolitical zones to collaborate on designing the research findings over the last one year as a Work Study Group. The group is the co-leadership organ responsible for an integrated citizens-led actions to fix the broken political system.

She pointed out that politics in Nigeria was not fulfilling the core requirement of a democratic system, which was to provide good governance for the common wellbeing of citizens.

“My research findings primarily reinforce that the poor state of affairs in Nigeria is the consequence of the quality of politics at play. Politics is at the heart of everything any society can or will become. The essential process of democracy is not complete without politics,” the 2019 Nigerian Presidential candidate said.

In her study, she established primarily that in a democratic system, “there are three triangular pillars which determine the kind of outcomes that politics will produce for the people.

Explaining the concept, the former World Bank vice president said, “On the right angle or demand side of the triangle is the electorate; on the left or supply side is the politicians, political class and parties; and at the top is the regulatory – constitutional, legal, electoral and institutional context within which the politics happen.”

According to her, these tripod pillars create an interconnecting network of actions that determine the outcomes of every political system.

“Every pillar or angle of the triangle must function effectively and concurrently with the other two to enable the right quality of politics that will deliver strong economic performance for a people.

“In evaluating the outcome of politics in Nigeria and Africa, my study established that the quality of the electorate, quality of political class and quality and lack of independence and capacity of political institutions constitute a structural and systemic problem for democracy and must therefore be fixed by citizens,” Ezekwesili said.

She also said, “The research found that Nigeria is ridden with politicians without competing ideas of how to solve the problems of citizens, who lack a culture of public service and subordinate the common good to their personal and narrow interests.

“The constitutional, legal, institutional and regulatory environment is compromised by the political class to more frequently act without independence, fairness and adherence to the rule of law. The political space is thus completely monopolised by the supply side of governance, that is the political class, thereby causing political, economic and social stagnation for the nation and people.

“Currently in our politics, voters generally lack the level of influence necessary to compel the right political processes and good outcomes that serve the good of all in society.

“The bright prospect is that evidence from the #FixPolitics research shows that citizens are the only angle of the triangle that can act and propel systemic change by collectively and decisively acting for their common good.”

To alter the status quo, Ezekwesili said only the electorate “have the incentive to correct the abnormality in a political system.”

She added, “It is the collective effort of citizens that can change the quality of political class and compel the kind of constitutional and electoral changes required to achieve good governance.”

Delivering a keynote address, former President Felipe Calderon of Mexico said there was an enormous gap between the interests of the citizens and that of the politicians, which he saw as a major problem to a democratic setting.

“To fix politics in Nigeria, the citizens and the politicians must work together and represent the same in practical life,” he said.

Calderon further said that “citizens must change their perception of politics and political participation rather than holding to a view that politics is for corrupt and dishonest people.”

According to him, corrupt people are quite the opposite of what politics stands. “To fix politics is what happens when the people participate and take responsibility to provide political participation with ethical sense and ethical parameters,” Calderon added.

In a goodwill message, former President of Malawi, Dr. Joyce Banda, said politics should be seen as an inclusive love affair and if institutionally implemented, “Africa will witness a great change in its democratic system.”

While dissecting the dynamics of democracy, three intergenerational panels with discussants like Prof. Atahiru Jega, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Aisha Yesufu, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Jude Abaga(also known as M.I Abaga), Cynthia Mbamalu, Yemi Adamolekun, Samson Itodo, among others, agreed that there was an emerging consensus to fix politics in Nigeria as the status quo was untenable and unsustainable.

Speakers like Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, Ayo Sogunro, Ndi Kato, Adewunmi Emoruwa, and Dr. Usman Bugaje highlighted that “there is a need for young people and women to fully engage in partisan politics, create platforms for political engagement, use politics as a tool for framing a shared vision based on a new dominant value orientation of public service, connect the elite with the grassroots and mobilise the Nigerian public to mount pressure on the legislature for the right constitutional and electoral changes.”

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