TOP STORIES: Buhari Unveils Agenda 2050 Weeks Before Vacating Office.

President Muhammadu Buhari has unveiled Nigeria Agenda 2050, a plan he said is aimed at increasing real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth by seven per cent.

       

The agenda was launched shortly before the week’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday.

This is coming barely two months after the FEC approved the policy document on March 15 and nearly three months after the National Economic Council endorsed the Agenda.

Buhari, who will on May 29 vacate office as Nigeria’s president for the incoming administration to be led by President-elect, Bola Tinubu, said the agenda for 2050 would create at least 165 million new jobs and reduce the number of Nigerians living in poverty to 2.1 million by 2050, from the 83 million estimated in 2020.

At the launch, the Nigerian leader said, “This vision is a product of a dynamic knowledge-based economy to provide sustainable development by 2050. “The goal is to increase per capita income of Nigeria to $33,328 per annum to be placed amongst the world’s top economies by 2050.
“I hope this document will prove useful for subsequent administrations.”

House of Reps Joins Senate, Approves Buhari’s N22.7trn Loan Request.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to restructure the N22.7 trillion loan borrowed by the federal government from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

           The decision comes after the Senate had earlier granted approval. Under the Ways and Means provision, the government can borrow from the apex bank in cases of short-term or emergency finance needs to fund delayed government expected cash receipts of fiscal deficits.

The federal government had assured that it would repay the loan, which amounted to N22.7 trillion as at December 2022, by using securities such as treasury bills and bonds issuance.

Presenting the report at the Committee of the Whole on Thursday, the relevant committees said: “That the House do consider the Report of the Committees on Finance, Banking and Currency and Aids, Loans and Debt Management on the Restructuring of Ways and Means Advances and approve the recommendations therein (Laid: 2/5/2023), approve the requested additional N1 trillion Ways and Means advances for the implementation of the 2022 Supplementary Appropriation Act as passed by the National Assembly.

“Approve the securitization of the total outstanding Ways and Means amount under the following terms: amount N23,719,703,774,306.90, Tenor 40 years Moratorium on Principal Repayment 3 years, pricing/Interest Rate 9 per cent per annum.”

President Buhari initially proposed the restructuring of the loan in December 2022 and requested both chambers of the National Assembly to approve the proposal, but some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators kicked against it.

The opposition lawmakers demanded that records of what the funds were spent on be provided before approval is given to his request.

Following the uproar the request caused in the senate, Senate President Ahmad Lawan appointed the Senate Leader, Ibrahim Gobir, to chair an ad hoc committee and liaise with relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) on the spending.

However, the lawmakers failed to consider the request during plenary in January, despite their promise to do so before proceeding on the election break.

The Red Chamber finally approved the request during plenary, after the Senate Leader, Ibrahim Gobir, presented a report of the committee before the lawmakers at Wednesday’s sitting.

25 dilapidated barracks in Lagos are prepared for modern renovation- IGP.

Usman Alkali Baba, the Inspector General of Police, announced that 25 dilapidated police barracks in Lagos State would be demolished and rebuilt with contemporary features.

       

This information was provided during a press briefing at the Ikeja headquarters of the Lagos State Command. Twenty-five dilapidated barracks in Lagos are prepared for modern renovation.

The Police spokesperson, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, noted that the Lagos State Government will be a partner in the project. He explains that the IGP has ordered that a one-month notice be given to the current residents of the troubled barracks to temporarily vacate their homes until the project is finished and the Police can arrange payment for the temporary housing, base on the current cost of renting apartment.

The affected barracks are Ijeh Police Barracks, Obalende Highway Police Barracks, Ikeja, K9 Police Barracks, Keffi Street, South-West, Ikoyi, Falomo Police Barracks (A and B), Ikoyi, Bar Beach Police Barracks, Victoria Island, MOPOL 20 Barracks, Ikeja, Women Police Barracks, Obalende and MOPOL 2 Police Barracks, Keffi Street, South-West, Ikoyi.

Others are Mounted Troop, Ribadu Road, Ikoyi and Queen Barracks, Apapa.
Including ” FPRO Annex Office and Barracks, Ijora Olopa, Iponrin Police Barracks, Surulere, Adekunle Police Barracks, Yaba, Federal Highway Patrol Office, Yaba, Alausa Police Barracks, Ikeja, Mounted Troop, Ikeja, Okesuna Police Barracks, Obalende, Mc Carthy Barracks, Obalende, Force Headquarters Annex, Obalende, Obalende Police Barracks, Obalende and Bourdillon Police Barracks, Ikoyi. New Staff Quarters, Ikeja, Elere Police Barracks, Agege, Onikan Officers Mess, Ikoyi and Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU), Milberton Street, Ikoyi.”

He said, ” In full compliance with the Lagos State Government’s recommendations on the poor condition of some Police Barracks that do not match up to the structural integrity test, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has deemed it necessary to carry out the demolition, redevelopment, and reconstruction of 25 Police Barracks and facilities in Lagos State.
”The Inspector-General of Police has announced plans for a series of sensitization and relocation efforts for police personnel living in the affected barracks between the dates of Monday 1st May and Wednesday 31st May, 2023.

‘ ‘Furthermore, the Inspector-General of Police has issued a directive that those living in these Barracks be issued a one-month notice to vacate their accommodation spaces. This directive will not be carried out all at once, but will be implemented gradually in phased stages to ensure that all officially recognized and lawful residents of the affected Barracks are properly catered for.

” The IGP’s directive is that all currently residing and legally seated residents of any of the affected barracks will receive a maximum sum of money equaling the rental cost for the location of their barracks for two years. Upon the successful curation and completion of these living arrangements, a formal notice to vacate will be issued.
” Adejobi also stated that “The IGP has provided an assurance that all officers who are in active service and living in these barracks legally, shall receive the keys to the new structures upon completion of the development of the improved housing area.

“The revolutionary drive of the Nigeria Police Force to redefine the physical landscape and outdoor environment of Police Barracks and other facilities in Lagos State is a clear-cut effort to modernize the current facilities, as well as create a conducive environment for officers to carry out their duties and responsibilities with honour and self-esteem, ”

Fielding questions from journalists, he assured that assuming the projects could not be completed within the time frame, the force would renew the rents till the barracks are completed.
Adejobi noted that government is continuum, therefore, the projects will be completed.

IGP Inaugurates Ultra Modern Area Command Office.

Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Alkali-Baba, on Thursday, inaugurated a new ultra modern Area Command office in Ringim Local Government.

     

     

     

The IGP also unveiled a 10-family staff quarters in Ringim for Garki, Babura and Taura Police Divisions.
Speaking at the inauguration, the IGP said the aim was to assist and enhance police operations in the area.
He said the edifice would enable the Police to work under a conducive environment, in terms of office and decent accommodation.

He said, this would enable them provide more services in terms of security and protection of lives and property in the area and beyond.

According to him, the gesture is expected to make the officers more dedicated and motivated to deliver enhance services.
The IGP said the police authorities had earlier provided 125 of such projects across the country, designed to improve operations and welfare of its personnel.

He promised that similar projects would be replicated in many states across the country, adding that: “the Federal Government would want to replicate all obsolete police stations and other buildings in all parts of the country as a model.
“I want to appeal to people of Ringim, that this new buildings belong to them, they should take its ownership and protect them from vandalism.

“This is because the project is meant to serve humanity and provide security in the area, so all stakeholders must contribute to its improvement,” he said.

Earlier, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Emmanuel Ekot commended the IGP for the gesture.
He said that new model police station and junior staff quarters were built in Kazaure LGA of the state. “We are overjoyed today, because this is a typical example of the multiple innovations that the IGP has introduced to the Nigeria Police.

“I assure you of our commitment to continue to maintain peace, security and tranquility in Jigawa state.” Ekot said.
Also, Gov. Muhammadu Badaru, commended the IGP for the projects and also congratulated the NPF for coming up with better ways to enhance its operations.

“Certainly, the state will benefit a lot from this area command office, and I congratulate you for changing your obsolete structures to modern ones, as this would make you more respected by the people.” Badaru said.
Represented by Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Abdulkadir Fanini, the governor appreciated the contributions of the police towards ensuring peace and security in the state.

IGP COMMISSIONS 10 PROJECTS, MOOT COURT IN POLAC, CHARGES CADET LAWYERS ON IMPROVED INVESTIGATION, PROSECUTION.

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, CFR, has charged law cadets on training at the Nigeria Police Academy (POLAC), Wudil, Kano State, to be deliberate in developing refined mooting and advocacy skills necessary for insightful investigations and improved prosecution of criminal matters in courts. The IGP gave this charge while commissioning the newly completed Moot Court Building for the Faculty of Law at the Academy during his one-day visit.

 

According to a statement by Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the IGP also commissioned other newly completed projects within the Police Academy including an ICT Building, a Digital Forensic Laboratory, an Indoor Sports Complex, Indoor Shooting Range, Post Graduate Hostel, Administrative Building, Gate House, newly constructed road network, and a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervention sponsored Lecture Auditorium.

Ajay Banga Emerges New World Bank President.

The World Bank has announced the appointment of Ajay Banga as its next president, taking over from David Malpass on June 2.

         

                                  Ajay Banga

The development lender has high hopes for Banga, who will lead the institution during a critical time as it seeks to improve its response to climate change.

Following a board vote, the World Bank released a statement expressing confidence in Banga’s leadership, adding that it looks forward to working with him on the organisation’s evolution process.

“The Board looks forward to working with Mr. Banga on the World Bank Group Evolution process,” the bank wrote.

Banga has been appointed for a five-year term.

Tinubu Refuses Wike’s Request to Repay Rivers for Flyovers on Federal Road, reveals role Gov Wike played In his victory.

The incoming president, Bola Tinubu has said he could not have won the 2023 presidential election without the support of Wike. Tinubu’s statement was made on Wednesday during the commissioning of the 12th flyover project carried out by Gov. Wike in Port Harcourt.

         

During his speech, Governor Wike made a plea to the President-elect to reimburse Rivers State for the cost of the projects carried out on the federal government’s road after he is sworn in as President on May 29.

The governor stated that a letter requesting the refund had already been prepared for the incoming governor of the state, Siminialaye Fubara, which he would sign when he assumed office and ask the President to approve the refund.

In response to Wike’s demands, Tinubu asserted that he did not owe the governor anything, emphasizing that the roads were being used by the people of Rivers State.

“You can’t chuckle at me and make a demand. You are the one using the road. I commend your effort. You have to lobby me.” “I will not marginalise any region but will leave legacy projects across the length and breadth of Nigeria.”

He said, “the 12 flyovers and the demands you made for refund l, I owe you nothing, it’s your road. “I say thank you for your contribution to my victory”: Tinubu to Wike

Tinubu said though he fought very hard to emerge the victor in the election, Wike’s structural support cannot be undermined in the narrative. The president-elect then commended the governor of Rivers State for fighting for the unity of the country, fairness and justice.

Peter Obi Is Really Crossing The Line, He Needs To Relax – APC.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the 2023 Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi of crossing lines with his assertion on reclaiming a stolen mandate from the 2023 elections.

     

The APC through its National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka wondered how someone who came a distant third during the election can be laying claim to victory and going about saying he’s going to reclaim a stolen mandate.
Speaking during an interview with Arise TV, Morka stated that Obi thinks everyone is obsessed with him, but in reality, people have moved on, and it’s time for the LP candidate to do the same.

The APC spokesperson added that Obi needs to relax and allow his lawyers to handle his case at the tribunal, rather than accusing the APC of attacking or digging up facts about his personal life.

Morka also accused Obi of being too sanctimonious for someone who volunteered to venture into politics and run for the presidency of Nigeria, saying running fior the presidency of any country is never a walk in the park.
The APC spokesperson went further to accuse Obi of making a political capital of exploiting people’s vulnerabilities.

Tinubu Will Be Fair To Everyone Including Peter Obi – Felix Morka.

The National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Felix Morka, has promised Nigerians that the administration of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu would not exclude anyone.

       

He noted that Tinubu’s mission to unify the country would be more obvious by the appointments he will make after assuming office. The APC chieftain stated this on Wednesday while fielding questions during an interview with Arise Television.

Morka said that the President-elect would treat everyone fairly including the Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate, Peter Obi.

According to him, Tinubu was not unaware of the division in the country, adding that the former Lagos governor would be coming in with a sense of duty in that regard.

Labour Party Crisis: Apapa Denies Being Tinubu’s Stooge, Speaks On Peter Obi’s Suit.

The Labour Party’s (LP) Acting National Chairman, Alhaji Lamidi Bashiru Apapa, rejected claims that he is a stooge for President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

       
He made the statement during the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Bauchi on Wednesday. Apapa, a long-time member of the LP, said he was surprised that the party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, didn’t know him.

Apapa detailed his history within the party and explained that he was appointed as acting Chairman to save the LP from being destroyed by the Julius Abure-led faction. He also dismissed rumours that his leadership planned to withdraw the lawsuit filed by the LP challenging the presidential election results.

Organ Harvesting: Senate Joins Reps, ECOWAS Parliament To Seek Leniency For Ekweremadu.

The Nigerian Senate is seeking leniency for the former Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Beatrice, ahead of their sentencing in the United Kingdom (UK).
The decision of the upper legislative chamber followed a motion sponsored by the Senate Minority Whip, Chukwuka Utazi.

         

The lawmakers asked the UK court to temper justice with mercy in the sentencing of the lawmaker which is scheduled for Friday at the Central Criminal Court, Old Bailey, London.

Recall that the senator representing Enugu West was convicted for attempting to harvest an organ from a 21-year-old for the treatment of his daughter, Sonia Ekwereamdu.
While speaking on the floor of the senate, on Wednesday, Utazi said the upper legislative chamber is not contending the verdict but asking the UK court to be lenient in its sentencing.

He recalled that Ekweremadu was a former Deputy Senate President for 12 years and the former Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament and has made enormous contributions to the development of democracy in Nigeria, West Africa, and beyond.

He added that Ekweremadu and his wife are first-time offenders with no previous criminal records and that since the matter is in the United Kingdom, a novel approach in sentencing be adopted by tempering justice with mercy.

Utazi said though not an excuse in law, Ekweremadu might have been ignorant about the organ transplant process in the western country, adding that the publicity already given to the trial is enough warning to the lawmaker and his family in the future.

The motion was adopted after it was put to a vote by Senate President Ahmad Lawan, who said Ekweremadu has contributed a lot to parliament in Nigeria.

Details Of APC NWC Meeting On Zoning, Others Emerge.

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu, has announced that the party is not in a hurry to decide on zoning presiding officers for the 10th National Assembly.

             

 The statement was made after a lengthy APC National Working Committee meeting on Wednesday. Adamu emphasized that the party will not make any formal announcement regarding the zoning arrangement without input from President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

He also acknowledged the need to accommodate various interests within the party, urging patience in reaching an understanding.
National Publicity Secretary Barrister, Felix Morka added that there is no specific timeline for the unveiling of the zoning arrangement, stating that extensive consultation is essential for a smooth and peaceful decision-making process.

To address the ongoing crisis at the party’s national secretariat, Morka disclosed the formation of a troubleshooting ad-hoc committee.

It Is Worse Than Rigging – Buba Galadima Discloses Only Regret As Buhari Leaves Office In May.

A chieftain of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Buba Galadima has disclosed his only regret as President Muhammadu Buhari prepares to hand over power to his successor.

           
Galadima lamented that his regret is that Buhari has left Nigeria’s polity doubled by religious and monetization issues. The NNPP chieftain stated this while fielding questions on Arise Television Morning Show program.

He argued that the situation in the country is worse than rigging an election.

Assessing Buhari’s administration, Galadima said: “My only regret in this country is that Buhari has left Nigeria’s polity doubled by religious and monetization issues.

“This is worse than rigging because you can not go and win an election on the basis of the quality of service, on the basis of your credibility, on the basis of your public service, on the basis of what you have done. But it is only on the basis of money.”

Results Uploaded On INEC Pmortal Shows APC Didn’t Win 2023 Election, We’ll Prove It In Court – PDP.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign council on Wednesday claimed the All Progressives Congress (APC) did not win the 2023 presidential election in Nigeria.

       

The PDP also countered narratives that it lost the 2023 polls because Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso left for the Labour Party (LP) and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), respectively.

The PDP in a submission made by a spokesperson of its presidential campaign council, Daniel Bwala during an interview with Arise TV said it is pantophobia and an expression of ignorance to the greatest respect for the APC to suggest that the PDP lost the election because Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso left the party.

Bwala added that the results that have been uploaded by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) show that APC did not win the 2023 presidential polls.
He added that despite splinter groups emerging from the PDP, the party still won the elections and would prove it in court.

The PDP presidential campaign spokesperson also questioned the submission by President Muhammadu Buhari that opposition parties lost the 2023 election due to overconfidence.
Bwala added that Buhari might be trying to soothe the ego of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for a post-presidency peace of mind because he reportedly didn’t support his candidature both during the APC primaries and the actual elections but the former Lagos State Governor still emerged victorious.

Sudan Crisis: 2023 Hajj threatened as Nigerian airlines refuse to sign agreement with NAHCON.

The current crisis in Sudan is threatening Nigeria’s participation in the 2023 Hajj in Saudi Arabia as the four Nigerian airlines approved to fly intending pilgrims from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Thursday refused to sign airlift agreement with the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).

       

The airlines approved by President Muhammadu Buhari; Air Peace; Azman Air; Aero Contractors and Max Air alongside Saudi Arabian airline, Fly Nas, were scheduled to sign the agreement with the Hajj body but only Fly Nas, which was assigned 40 per cent of the 95,000 of the Nigerian intending pilgrims, signed.

The refusal of the airlines, according to NAHCON Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, was as a result of the ongoing Sudanese crisis, which he said meant the airlines would have to find alternative routes other than Sudan to fly to and from Saudi Arabia.

Addressing journalists after the agreement signing ceremony held at the Hajj House in Abuja, the NAHCON Chairman informed that the agreement with the airlines had been planned before the crisis in Sudan erupted and expressed the hope that the Sudan crisis would abate before the commencement of airlift operations.

While saying that there is a ceasefire in Sudan now, which he said nobody knew how long it would last, Hassan, however, assured that all matters with the Nigerian airlines would be resolved between now and Tuesday next week.
“As you can see we have signed an agreement with Fly Nas, which is the Saudi airline. Fly Nas is carrying about 40% of the pilgrims. We have adjourned till Tuesday in order to deliberate further with the Nigerian airlines.

“This time around the Chief Executive Officers or Chairmen will discuss with us and we intend to have some in-depth discussions before we come to an agreement.

“Of course, the reason why this is delayed is because of the Sudan crisis. We are told that the Sudan airspace has been shut down. It means that the airlines will have to go through another route, which from indication is longer than passing through Sudan.

“We are hopeful that the Sudan conflict will abate and if it does, it means that we will go back to where we are. We have planned our agreement prior to the Sudan crisis. And we know that as we speak that there is a ceasefire in Sudan, how long that will last, we don’t know,” Hassan said.

He added that NAHCON and other stakeholders would keep working towards ensuring successful Hajj operations this year and called on people of goodwill to join in praying for an end to the crisis in Sudan.

“We will keep working, hoping and praying that the ceasefire will last long and the war itself will come to an end so that pilgrims from all over the world, not just Nigeria, will be able to travel to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj. We require all men of goodwill to join us in praying to Allah to intervene in matters.”

Asked what would happen should the crisis prolong, the NAHCON boss said, “we are on the drawing board. We know that Nigerian pilgrims are not in a position to add anything to the cost of Hajj. So, we will put on our thinking cap on what best we can do in a situation like this.”

Speaking earlier,  NAHCON Commissioner Operations, Inspectorate and Licensing, Abdullahi Magaji Hardawa, said the world would not wait for Nigeria to participate in this year’s Hajj exercise and as such the Hajj body would prepare to participate.

He said they were aware of challenges and NAHCON as an organisation had responsibility, adding that the commission would not prevent the airlines from operating profitably but would not allow the pilgrims to be shortchanged.

“The Commission (NAHCON) is aware of the challenges. Hajj is time bound and nobody is going to wait for Nigeria. Therefore, we are bound to continue to prepare such that we will be able to effectively participate in the exercise,” the commissioner said.

Hardawa informed that in order to cushion any eventualities, President Buhari had, while granting approval for the airlines, approved a 65 per cent waiver of all aviation-related charges for them.

He submitted that the refusal of the Nigerian airlines to sign the agreement was not because they were greedy but the current situation was responsible for their decision, adding that NAHCON would allow them to do more consultations. The commissioner, however, assured that NAHCON would ensure pilgrims get value for their money this year.

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