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Presidency Mocks Opposition as Buhari Returns from Private Visit to London

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  • Presidency Mocks Opposition as Buhari Returns from Private Visit to London

The presidency yesterday lashed out at online media critics and opposition politicians, who had insinuated that President Muhammadu Buhari might extend his 10-day private visit to London, and said the president’s return to the country on schedule has put them to shame.

The president, who left the country from Maiduguri, the Borno State Capital, on April 25, arrived in Nigeria about 8.30 pm and was received by government officials at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Announcing the president’s return in a statement, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, attacked some online media which had speculated that the president would not return to the country within the scheduled 10 days.

According to him, such media outlets should eat their words and apologise to Nigerians at home and abroad whom he said had been misled by their cock and bull stories, saying press freedom does not give anyone the liberty to publish falsehood.

Promising that the federal government would always uphold press freedom, Adesina warned that such commitment, however, should not be construed as an opportunity for irresponsible publications and disinformation.

The statement read: “Some reckless online media, irresponsible political opposition and other bilious groups and individuals, had gone on overdrive since the president left the country on April 25, insinuating that he was going for hospitalization, and would not return after 10 days as stated. In their vain imaginations, they even stated that fictive doctors have advised President Buhari to stay longer for more intensive care.

“Now that the president has returned, can these apostles of evil imaginings swallow their words? Can they retract their tendentious stories as well as press statements and apologize to millions of Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora that they have fed with hogwash?

“Few days after the celebration of World Press Freedom Day, we daresay that this valuable freedom does not tantamount to liberty to mislead and hoodwink the populace through concocted and jejune publications.

“The Buhari administration will always respect and uphold press freedom, but the onus lies on those prone to passing off fiction as facts, to remember that freedom demands concomitant responsibility. Those who further share and disseminate falsehood are also encouraged to embrace responsible conduct.”

The president had been variously criticised by sections of the media, opposition politicians and social critics for travelling abroad on undisclosed private visit abroad at a time of worsening security challenges in the country.

But the presidency treated the criticisms with cold silence until yesterday when it found its voice upon the return of the president after some online media had speculated a possible shift in the date of his return to the country.

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.

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Government

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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