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Buhari Names Chief of Staff, SGF Coordinators of Govt Functionaries

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PMB re-appoints Boss Mustapha and Abba Kyari
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By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday, announced that his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha would from now coordinate some of his executive functions as he directed the ministers-designate to at any given time meet either of the duo depending on the issue at stake.

The President announced the new order to his new cabinet members at the end of the two-day presidential retreat for ministers designate and other top government functionaries at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

President Buhari said, “In terms of coordination, kindly ensure that all submissions for my attention or meeting requests be channeled through the Chief of Staff, while all Federal Executive Council matters be coordinated through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation”.

While outlining some of the challenges before the administration in the next four years, Buhari wondered if the timeframe would be enough to deliver on the fresh mandate.

He noted that majority of Nigerians “are poor and are anxiously hoping for a better life” – one in which they do not have to worry about what they will eat, where they will live or if they can afford to pay for their children’s education or healthcare.

The President also tasked the Ministers designate expected to be sworn-in on Wednesday (today) that their responsibility as leaders of “this great country” was to meet these basic needs for our people. 

Speaking further, President Buhari lamented the rot his administration inherited from the previous government under the opposition, emphasizing that this administration inherited many challenges.

“A country in which 18 local governments in the Northeast were under the control of Boko Haram; decayed infrastructure in which our rail lines and roads had severely deteriorated;

“A rent seeking economy that depended largely on oil revenues and imports, significant unpaid pensions, subsidy debts, legacy contractor debts. I can go on and on,” Buhari narrated. 

He scored his administration high boasting that despite those challenges, his government has “largely succeeded in laying the foundation to rebuild our country.”

He said, “We recaptured those 18 Local Governments previously held by Boko Haram, whose activities are now limited to sporadic attacks against soft targets. Our investments in road and rail infrastructure are without precedent, and many of you can attest to this. 

“We also focused on diversifying the economy from oil towards agriculture and industrialization. Despite reduced revenues from oil and gas compared to past governments, we have broadly addressed many of the legacy debts they left behind.

 “Whilst we have obvious successes to celebrate, the challenges ahead are significant as you would have observed in detail over these two days. Nevertheless, from the quality of the deliberations, it is clear that solutions to our problems are well researched and have been well articulated.

“We have discussed solutions relating to addressing Insecurity; Macroeconomic Stability; Agriculture and Food Security; Energy Security for Petroleum products and Electricity; Transportation and Critical Infrastructure; Industrialization and SME Development; Human Capital Development; Social Inclusion; Anti-Corruption; Housing Financing and Consumer Credit.

“Public service is not easy work, and at times it can be thankless. I am therefore charging you all to see this opportunity to serve as an honour, to give your best to deliver on this mandate, for a more prosperous Nigeria, not for some, but for all Nigerians.

 “You will find that working collaboratively and purposefully will enable us to achieve quicker results, recognizing that four years is not a very long time. For the new Ministers, make sure you engage and benefit from the experience of the older Ministers and former Governors in the cabinet”

Earlier, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mustapha who is expected to coordinate the activities of most of the cabinet members and measure their outputs, said they are to consolidate and accelerate on the agricultural agenda to achieve full food sufficiency Increase revenue, implement measures to reduce leakages and drive cost optimisation.

The administration will also ensure effective coordination between monetary and fiscal policy, invest in human capital development with strong focus on early education and health insurance.

The second term administration will also facilitate investment in oil and gas sector by ensuring speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill and Deep Offshore Oil and Exploration & Production Bill includes resolving the liquidity challenge in power sector and facilitate private sector investment.

“It was emphasized that we need to work effectively with all other arms of government such as state government, national assembly for major high impact initiatives such as provision of large scale land for agriculture and food security, passage of critical legislations.

“The work we have done here has been critical to laying the foundation for what we will accomplish in this administration. But this work alone is not why we are here. Now it is time to turn our words into actions – to take everything that we have learned, all the strategies and approaches that we have discussed, and go execute our priorities.

“This work begins now. The people of Nigeria are looking to this administration for results – and they expect them quickly. I will like to reiterate that the Federal Government is committed to delivering on and implementing all agreed initiatives within the stipulated timelines. 

“To ensure effective implementation, the initiatives will be cascaded to the relevant ministries, whose ministers will champion the responsibility for driving implementation and execution. 

“As ministers, you have leading roles in framing issues within your policy domain and developing, implementing and tracking policies and in communicating the impacts and results. It is your responsibility to take ownership over the success of these initiatives.

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Police Demote Inspector for Attempted Extortion in Lagos 

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The Police Command in Lagos State has demoted a police Inspector to a Sergeant for trying to extort money from a drone operator.

The command’s spokesperson, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the demotion on Saturday.

“The disciplinary process of the police officer that harassed one drone operator on Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge has been concluded.

“He has been reduced in rank from Inspector to Sergeant,” he said.

Report says that on April 6, 2024, Hundeyin responded to a viral video showing two police officers demanding a permit from a drone operator on the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge.

He said that the police officers acted within the ambit of the law to demand to see a permit.

“For emphasis, Nigerian aviation laws stipulate that a permit must be obtained from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for the operation of drones weighing more than 250 grams anywhere within the country.

“Nonetheless, the Police Command in Lagos totally condemns the unprofessional conduct of the officers in attempting to extort the drone operator as can be seen in the concluding part of the video.

“The Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, CP Adegoke Fayoade, has, therefore, directed the Commanding Officer of 49 PMF Akodo, from whose squadron the police officers were duly posted to the bridge, to produce the men for appropriate disciplinary actions,” he said. (NAN)

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NAFDAC Partners Centre on Fight Against Drug Counterfeiting

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it has partnered with the National Counter Terrorism Centre, Office of the National Security Adviser (NCTC-ONSA) to strengthen its fight against drug counterfeiting, abuse and unwholesome foods.

This is contained in a statement signed by the Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof.

Mojisola Adeyeye, and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Saturday.

Adeyeye noted that the partnership also included the fight against unauthorised handling of chemicals which was part of the things fuelling terrorists operations and other criminal activities in the country.

The NAFDAC boss said the agency sealed the partnership when a delegation from the NCTC-ONSA, led by its National Coordinator, Maj.

-Gen. Adamu Garba Laka, paid her a courtesy visit in Abuja.

According to her, NAFDAC is a World Health Organisation (WHO) Maturity Level 3 Regulatory Authority and is highly endowed with experts in terms of human resources, and well equipped WHO Pre-qualified Laboratories.

Adeyeye said that NAFDAC, being a regulatory agency, is supposed to have 12,000 staff but the staff the agency has at the moment is barely 2,000 in a country of more than 230 million people.

“Indonesian Regulatory Agency has over twenty thousand staff and the population of Indonesia is about 280 million.

“NAFDAC staff work around the clock. We are not just a civil service organisation but a regulatory body that is mandated to protect lives on a daily basis from food to drugs to water, precursors and chemicals that can fall into the hands of the terrorists.”

Adeyeye thanked the Office of the National Security Adviser for returning NAFDAC to the ports in 2018, a year after her assumption of office as the Director-General of NAFDAC.

“So, this partnership between the two strategic agencies in the country at this point is very apt to safeguard the lives our citizens,” the NAFDAC boss said.

Adeyeye recalled that NAFDAC was out of the ports for seven years between 2011 and 2018 for reasons she said herself was not aware of, while sharing her passion and commitment for a better and secured country.

She said that there was need for NAFDAC to return to the Ports, adding that a lot of things went wrong when NAFDAC was pulled out of the ports.

She added that anything bad was coming to Nigeria in terms of drugs, precursors, adding that tramadol was rampant in the country.

“Our young people were getting mad at this period. Suicide bombing was at the peak. At this period, I said do we really know what we are doing?

“NAFDAC is charge with drug regulation. We are in charge of chemical and NAFDAC was removed from the ports for seven years. That is part of why terrorism became big in the country.

“I always refer to NCTC-ONSA as one of the agencies that helped us to go back to the ports. I commended the relentless efforts of the NCTC-ONSA in supporting NAFDAC to return to the port,” she stressed.

Adeyeye said that NAFDAC will continue to work with the organisation to ensure that sanity returns to the country, while issuing a stem warning to criminals who deal with substandard and falsified medicines to desist.

The D-G thanked the security agencies for their support during the recent relocation of the Open Drug Market in Kano to the Coordinated Wholesale Centre in Dangwauro and Justice Simon Amobeda for watershed judgement.

She said that the judgment affirmed the relocation of the market.

On his part, Maj. Gen. Laka said that his team were in NAFDAC office to solicit the agency’s support in deploying of some its officers to the NCTC to operate in its Forensic, Toxicology, Biological and Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Laboratories.

He said that the embodiment of knowledge in the area of science and research standout NAFDAC in the community of World Regulatory Authorities.

He pledged his continuous support to the NAFDAC in the area of operations, research, Laboratory testing and investigation.

He also sought NAFDAC’s support to the Centre in the area of operationalisation of the laboratory equipment and analysis for it to achieve its objective.

Laka equally thanked NAFDAC D-G for releasing one of her staff to the Centre and requested for more staff from the agency. (NAN)

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Bwari Residents Appeal to FCTA for Water, Transport Aid

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Some residents of Bwari Area Council have appealed to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), to improve on water supply, transport services and rehabilitation of public schools in the council.

The residents spoke in separate interviews on Saturday in Abuja.

They lauded the Minister of FCT, Mr Nyesom Wike’s administration, for the ongoing and completed road projects at the various communities in the different area councils.

They, however, asked that more basic amenities be put in place to improve on the livelihood of residents.

Mr Haruna Zamayi, a public servant, said it was beautiful to see the administration working hard to ensure access to roads at the community level.

He, however, said that if the development could include provisions of other basic amenities at the local level, it would go a long way to improve the lives of residents.

“We believe that these roads will definitely link the rural areas to the urban and bring development in the capital city, so it is really a good and beautiful thing.

“I will also like to see the water board giving constant supply of water to residents in Bwari especially, as we cannot be the host supplying water to the city, yet keep buying water from local vendors.

“Transportation should be considered too; it is either we have new vehicles that can convey people at cheaper or susidised rates or they fix the old broken ‘El-rufai’ buses and keep them running,” he said.

He said that transportation from the satellite towns to city centre was a major challenge to especially government workers going to work every day, in spite of hike in fuel price.

Similarly, Ms Roseline Yuhe, an educationist and school proprietor, advocated for an improved learning structures for public schools in the area.

According to Yuhe, many public schools in the area, suffer from poor infrastructure, including inadequate classrooms, lack of proper sanitation facilities and poorly maintained buildings.

She said: “Learning takes place in a conducive environment not in dilapidated structures.

“You see a block of classrooms with damaged roofing or ceilings, yet pupils are made to stay inside to learn.

“Overcrowded classrooms are big challenge too and unfortunately extended to some private schools and this makes it difficult for teachers to manage classrooms effectively,” she said.

She urged the administration to look into addressing the challenge, while prioritising the education of children at the rural level with utmost attention.

Another resident, Mrs Christy Chibuzor, trader at the Bwari town market, also appealed to the administration to improve on the security of the area.

Chibuzor, who said though the Nigerian Police Force and other joint security forces were putting their best to secure lives and property in the area, however, added that crime was still increasing.

“Armed robbers keep disturbing some particular places in this town, like the Pambuara-Ushafa areas, Tudun-Fulani and so many other places and most times, they abscond before the police arrive.

“Even though we have heard less of incidents of kidnappings unlike last year to early this year, some of these criminals still operate on low key.

“We are hoping and trusting that the minister will not be tired or relent in the good work he has started, “she said.

Chibuzor also called on governments at all levels to have a review on taxes imposed on essential goods and services, adding business was slow and too much burden on average Nigerian. (NAN)

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