*NASS, condemns Shiite protests, seeks release of El-Zakzaky
By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
There are indications that President Mohammed Buhari has finally agreed to the restructuring of Nigeria and the operation of true federalism that would see the devolution of powers to federating units.
Buhari had on some occasions demurred to the restructuring of the country on the grounds that its advocates were not on same page over what exactly it would entail for the nation.
Former governor of Ogun State and chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Segun Osoba who disclosed this said President Buhari has approved the report of the committee on Devolution of Power and true federalism set up by the APC and chaired Kaduna state Governor, Nasir El-rufai.
The former Governor, who was in the Villa to present his book – “Battlelines: Adventures in Journalism and Politics” to Buhari, who featured in it prominently, maintained that the APC even had restructuring as devolution of powers from the Federal Government to States, enshrined in its manifesto.
Osoba therefore, appealed to Nigerians, especially statesmen and other activists agitating for restructuring of the country, to be patient with the President and the APC adding that steps would be taken to get the National Assembly start debate on legalising the relevant aspects of the report.
“But I can tell you, all this noise about restructuring, we APC put devolution of power, true federalism in our manifesto and we’ve moved far from there to where a committee was set up headed by the governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai. “That committee has submitted its report, that report has been presented to us in the caucus and the president was there, the president endorsed the outcome. I want Nigerians to please, give us time.
“I hope and pray that at the right time, the government or the party would send that report to National Assembly for debate.
“I would say with all authority that restructuring lies with National Assembly. The president is not a military president, he cannot change anything by decree, sovereignty in Nigeria now is vested in the National Assembly.
“Those agitating for sovereign national conference must go through the National Assembly and unless the national assembly surrenders part of its powers by an Act, there can never be sovereign nations conference.”
According to the former governor, agitation for referendum, there must be an act of the national assembly to create that referendum, it’s not the president that would by fiat or by executive order, order for referendum.
Explaining further he said that the process must go through the National Assembly.
“That is why “I plead with our elders: Pa Edwin Clark, Pa Adebanjo, Professor Banji Akintoyin, all across Nigeria, they met the 8th senate and they heard what that National Assembly has done in terms of the review of the constitution.
“They should come back and tell us! We can no move forward until we recognize the importance and the powers vested in the National Assembly. And for restructuring, let us go through the legal route.”
He recalled his bow his relationship with President Buhari started saying, “the president and I have been close since the civil, he was a young officer – a lieutenant in the 1st Division.
“It was the first division that started the civil war from Nsukka end and as fortune would have it, I followed the president to when he was a governor in the north eastern region and became the oil minister. From there on he appointed me on June 12 1984 as the Managing Director of Daily Times. It was the crowing peak of my professional life that prepared me for governance.
“I have written a book in which the president featured a lot even with pictures during the civil war.
“So I have now come to present the book formally to the President and to autograph it to him. Part of the book was he riding on the train from the north to Ifo, Ogun State to spend his holiday when he was in Form One in 1946. So we have had some historical reminiscences not just now. “
On what he discussed with the President at the meeting Osoba said MR President asked about the situation in Ogun State.
“I took the time to brief him on the efforts that the governor is making to ensure peace and u it’s in the state. I have told him that governor Dapo Abiodun is starting on a very good note and he said the governor has also briefed him,” he said.
On agriculture he said that President Buhari told him that he has given instruction that the central bank should give Ogun State maximum support in agriculture.
On politics, Osoba said that he assured Mr President that the incident that occurred in Ogun state would never ever happen again and the president thanked me.
Speaking further he said that the essence of the visit was to discuss situations in Ogun state and assessment of governor Dapo Abiodun’s administration.
Asked to clarified on the claim that late Moshood Abiola supported some members of SDP to join Abacha’s military government he said: “there have been a lot of blackmail and denigration of people. For example, people like Jakande, Onagoruwa, late Alex Ibru, they said that they went and collaborated with Abacha which is not true.
“Solomon La, Abububakar Rimi and all others were all in a meeting in MKO Bashorun Abiola’s house on a Sunday after Abacha seize power on November 17, 1993 and kicked us out, the following Sunday we met in Bashorun MKO Abiola’s house and we debated with chieftains of SDP and we that produced him as president and made June 12 possible and there we agreed that those that may be invited to come and serve in deter to the country, they should serve but remain loyal to the mandate and use their influence to perhaps persuade the military to return the mandate to Abiola.
“So when people said we didn’t know about those people…. Iyor Cha Ayu was one of them, he was former senate president, I can call many of them who were at the meeting in which MKO Abiola presided.
“So I have to clear this doubt that Abiola had knowledge and gave approval to serve in Abacha’s government.
Asked if serving in the military government made impact to the return to democracy in 1999, the former governor said, the democracy that we are into today is the one in which Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar presided over.
Asked what advised he has for the president regarding the ministerial list, Osoba said, “I have said it, I am one of the founders of APC, I would not discuss in details because I have access, I am part of the presidency because the president is our president.”
Meanwhile, members of the House of Representatives yesterday asked the federal government to as a matter of urgency release the detained leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
Recall that El-Zakzaky was detained following the alleged death of a soldier who died during the December 2015 clash with soldiers and his supporters, (Shiite group).
His supporters were accused of blocking a major road that was to be used by the army chief Tukur Buratai. However, despite several courts granting him bail; the government has insisted on detaining him. In view of that therefore, his followers have embarked on several protests, demanding his immediate release. Reps urge IGP to flush out bandits, kidnappers from Sokoto.
The group latest protest took another dimension yesterday as they were accused of shooting and injuring security officials who held them back from entering NASS premises. They were equally accused of damaging vehicles at the National Assembly environment.
Minority leader, Mr. Ndudi Elumelu, filed a motion calling on his colleagues to investigate the matter and ensure adequate security measures are in place at the legislative chamber. Some of his colleagues, who supported his motion, argued that the circumstances surrounding the matter are similar to what led to the emergence of the Boko Haram terrorists’ group. “If the court has given an order for the release of the man, we should call on the government to release him. The discourse should not be on the invasion of the national assembly alone”, said Onofiok Luke from Akwa Ibom.
Mr Bamidele Salam from Osun state said El-Zakzaky’s continued detention is injustice and “injustice to one is injustice to all.”
His words, “I want to urge the federal government to look into the matter of the leader of this movement and allow the rule of law to take its course. “If we are able to secure the national assembly, what happens to the man and woman in the market elsewhere?”. Simon Davou from Plateau state said rather than detain el-Zakzaky against court orders, the government should release him and ensure surveillance, with enough security operatives to monitor his activities.”
UNGA 78: Nigeria, 192 UN Members Adopt Plan Against Pandemics
Nigeria and other UN Member States have pledged to prevent a repeat of the devastating health and socio-economic crises caused by COVID-19 and shore up the world’s ability to head off another pandemic.
All 193 UN Member States adopted a political declaration at a high-level meeting on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response at the ongoing 78th session.
Adopting a milestone political declaration at the first-ever summit on pandemic prevention and response, nations also committed to get back on track to reach the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
“[This] is a historic milestone in the urgent drive to make all people of the world safer, and better protected from the devastating impacts of pandemics,” Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the UN World Health Organisation (WHO), said.
“I welcome this commitment by world leaders to provide the political support and direction needed so that WHO, governments and all involved can protect people’s health and take concrete steps towards investing in local capacities, ensuring equity and supporting the global emergency health architecture that the world needs.”
The declaration was the result of months of intense negotiations to refine and agree on actions at the national, regional and global levels. It will be submitted to the General Assembly in due course for formal endorsement.
The political declaration asserts the need for Member States to conclude negotiations on a formal agreement on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, known also as the Pandemic Accord – and make targeted amendments to International Health Regulations – by May next year.
It also calls on States to address the negative, physical and mental health impacts of health-related misinformation, disinformation, hate speech and stigmatization, especially on social media platforms.
Instead, it calls for public information campaigns based on science and the facts.
Member States also committed to strengthening health work forces and rapid response capacities, surveillance, and local manufacturing abilities, so countries can meet their own needs to prevent, prepare for and respond to pandemics.
Speaking at the summit, UN Secretary- General, Antonio Guterres, recalled that the global response to COVID-19 showcased both human ingenuity and exposed society’s shortcomings.
While rapid test and vaccine development were notable achievements, there were also a lack of preparedness, disproportionate impacts on the world’s poorest and vaccine hoarding by wealthy nations.
“We must not repeat the mistakes of the past when the next pandemic strikes – as we know it will – and other health threats emerge,” he said.
Reiterating the importance of the declaration, the UN chief urged countries to support the WHO, including increasing their financial contributions.
Tinubu Attends NASDAQ, Rings Closing Bell
President Bola Tinubu on Thursday, rang the bell at the National Association of Securities Dealers Automatic Quotation System (NASDAQ), becoming the first African Head of Government to do so.
The president rang the bell at the world’s financial capital, New York and became the first African President to perform such task.
NASDAQ is world’s second largest stock exchange.
Tinubu, while performing the task, was in company of some Nigerian business leaders and officials of the Nigerian Exchange Ltd. (NGX).
The President also used the opportunity, presented by the historic moment, to advance his foreign investment push in front of financial markets at the famous stock exchange.
“It’s a great honour for me to be here. I am happy to bring Nigeria to your doorsteps and I am honoured that we are here, today, with a bubbling Nigerian stock market that will evolve in the West African sub-region.
‘’The greatest economy in Africa is Nigeria. There is an immense opportunity in Nigeria, where you can invest your money without fear,” the President said.
He said that his government would address longstanding problems and impediments, such as the recent economic policies taken since assumption of office in May.
He said these include restoration and unification of the foreign exchange rate market to a stable and trustworthy level.
According to him, this will allow new investors to bring their money and be free of worries about whether they can take it out at any point in time.
“You’re free to take in your money and bring out your money. I count on you to invest in Nigeria,” the President said.
Tinubu Woos Investors at Nigeria-US Business Roundtable
President Bola Tinubu has assured prospective investors of his administration’s determination to adopt necessary fiscal and regulatory measures toward the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
At the Nigeria-U.S. Executive Business Roundtable, the President said he recognised that investment capital is cowardly in nature.
He said that was the reason behind his bringing successful Nigerian industrialists and public officials to share their experiences and operational plans, respectively.
Tinubu said this was in addition to all he had done to boost the confidence of the global investment community in Nigeria, by reforming the fiscal, monetary, regulatory and tax policy environment.
“Nigeria is an opportunity that is impossible to replicate or find elsewhere in any part of the world. We have brilliant young people who both innovate and consume at a large scale.
‘’Our entrepreneurial spirit is a major part of what makes our market totally unique, aside from demography.
‘’Nigerians build businesses and Nigerian businesses partner with other businesses to conduct larger business.
‘’There is enough value to spread around. Be careful of what you hear about Nigeria. You may be dissuaded out of a major opportunity that others will take up.
‘’We are here for you. We will give you all the support you need to succeed and succeed abundantly,” the President said.
On behalf of the U.S. Government, U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo, told U.S. business leaders he came back from Nigeria on an official visit that later became a fact-finding mission.
“In Lagos, I saw, first-hand, some of the major reforms you implemented as the Governor of Lagos and the transformative effect on Nigeria’s commercial capital.
‘’People have attested to the fact that the reforms you have put in place as President are quickly enhancing confidence.
‘’American business is paying attention to that and from what we have seen for ourselves, Nigeria is proving to be a new frontier for investment.
‘’We will encourage our companies from our end as those reforms continue to deepen,” Adeyemo said.
The American Business Council President, Mr Sops Ideriah, said that the extensive turnouts at the roundtable by American business chief executives was impressive.
According to him, the turnouts served as a testament to the degree to which confidence is rising in response to the actions and words of the President.
He said that this was with respect to ease of doing business, investment promotion, and his willingness to intervene to clear the historical concerns of American business people about doing business in Nigeria.
“Having all the stakeholders in the room, His Excellency, the President of Nigeria being here, from government actors at the federal and state level to ministers and tax authorities present, as well as private sector industrialists in Nigeria.
‘’We are very positive about the potential of Nigeria and we are just reinforcing to our colleagues the message about the economic opportunities that exist there,” Ideriah said.
Acting Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Zacch Adedeji, assured the American captains of industry that the nation’s apex tax authority would not focus on taxing the seed.
He said it would focus only on the proportionate taxation of the fruit of fully formed industry, through efficient policy synergy with Nigeria’s sub-national authorities.
“The President is a business enabler, not a handicapper. Everything we do will be geared toward making your tax assessment and payment processes as digitally efficient and transparent as possible.
‘’We are not after the seed, but the fruit and we will keep to this commitment,” Adedeji said.(NAN)
NNPCL Signs Membership of UN Global Compact
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, has signed up as a participant of the United Nations Global Compact, thereby becoming the first state-owned oil company to join the global initiative.
Group CEO of NNPC Ltd, Malam Mele Kyari, signed the Letter of Commitment, at the ongoing UN General Assembly (UNGA), signifying its participation in the UN Global Compact in New York.
A statement by the NNPC Ltd management, on Thursday, said the company signed up in a short ceremony on the sidelines of President Bola Tinubu’s session during the Global Africa Business Initiative (GABI) at the ongoing general assembly.
In a speech shortly after the signing, Kyari said the NNPCL’s participation in the UN Global Compact was a further testimony to Nigeria’s commitment to work with global partners towards attaining a just Energy Transition.
Kyari added that with this development, NNPCL supports the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact on human rights, labour, environment, and anti corruption.
He described the NNPCL as a dynamic global energy company with businesses and operations across the entire spectrum of the energy value chain.
“We are committed to making the UN Global Compact and its principles part of our strategy, culture and day-to-day operations of our Company.
“We will engage in collaborative projects which advance the broader development of goals of the United Nations, particularly the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Kyari added.
Earlier in her remarks, the Executive Director, UN Global Compact Network, Nigeria, Ms Naomi Nwokolo described NNPCL’s move to become a participant of the UN global initiative as pivotal step in fostering a culture of ethical business conduct, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility.
With Nigeria being one of the largest producers of crude oil in Africa, a transition from an energy system driven by fossil fuels to one based on renewable energy will have far reaching positive impact, serving as a catalyst for sustainability in-country, on the continent and the world at large.
The UN Global Compact, formally inaugurated in July 2000, is a voluntary UN agreement designed to encourage companies around the world to develop, implement, and disclose responsible and sustainable corporate policies and practices. (NAN)
Minister Calls for Creative Ideas to Overcome Economic Challenges
By Raphael Atuu, Abuja
Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Professor Joseph Terlumun Utsev has called on Nigerians to come up with creative ideas and suggestions on how best to overcome challenges facing the country.
Engineer Utsev made the call on Wednesday, when he received members of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) in his office in Abuja.
According to him, the administration of President Bola Tinubu was committed to making lives meaningful for all citizens and was ready to welcome creative ideas that will enable the country surmount its challenges and better the living condition of citizens.
He acknowledged the key role the Nigerian Economic Summit Group has played over the years in promoting and championing reforms of the Nigerian economy and called for synergy between the group and the Ministry to achieve the desired result.
Acting Chief Operations Officer and Senior Fellow Economic Policy, Strategy and Competitiveness, Dr Tayo Aduloju had explained that the group, which is non – profit, non -partisan private sector organization with a mandate to promote and champion the reform of the Nigerian economy into a modern globally and competitive one was at the ministry to seek partnership in the areas of providing useful ways of improving water , sanitation and hygiene in the country as well as how to make water a business .
The Minister had earlier played host to a delegation from the World Bank led by Jun Matsumoto, which were at the ministry to also seek partnership for the promotion of irrigation farming and effective utilization of dams for agriculture.
Read Our ePaper
No Casualty as Three-storey Building Collapses Story Building — NEMA
ShareThe National Emergency Management Agency on Saturday confirmed that there was no casualty in the three-Storey building that collapsed at...
Minister of Information Charges Advertising Agencies on Value Orientation
ShareMinister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, has urged the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) to support...
Kogi APC Alleges Vandalism on Campaign Office in Dekina
ShareFrom Joseph Amedu, Lokoja The Kogi State All Progressives Congress (APC), has said that its campaign office in Dekina Local...
Group Moves to End Cultism in Benue South
ShareFrom David Torough, Makurdi A Socio-cultural organization, Ede-ma Development Association (EDE-MA), has backed Edumoga Youth Movement (EYM) and Edumoga Youth...
NYSC Tasks Employers on Welfare, Security of Corps Members
Share From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja Ag. Director, North Central Area Office, National Youths Service Corps (NYSC),Mrs Biodun Olobukola has challenged...
UNGA 78: Tinubu Harps on Sustainable Environment for Investment in Africa
Share President Bola Tinubu has emphasised the importance of creating sustainable environment for investment opportunities in Agriculture to strive in...
30 Cleft Lip, Palate Patients Get Free Medical Surgery in Kogi
ShareFrom Joseph Amedu, Lokoja No fewer than 30 Cleft lip and Palate Patients in Kogi state have benefited from the...
Fintiri Inaugurates Human Capital Development.Council
ShareFrom Yagana Ali, Yola. Adamawa state Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has inaugurated the State Human Capital Development council. At the...
Relief for Kaduna Ginger Farmers as FG Intervenes
ShareFrom Nicholas Dekera, Kaduna Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, has assured the Ginger farmers, whose farmlands...
FG Appeals for Calm over Tuition as Varsities Resume
ShareMinister of State for education, Hon. Dr. Tanko Yusuf Sununu has appealed to students, parents and lecturers in our Institutions...