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Buhari Swears – in Ministers, Creates Three New Ministries

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By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

At last, President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday, inaugurated a new cabinet for his second term in office, three months after his inauguration on May 29, 2019.

The President commenced the event with the administering of oath of office on the reappointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, and the 43 Ministers who are now part of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

The swearing in ceremony took place at the Aso Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmed Lawan; Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Idris Wase; All Progressives Congress (APC) national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole; and senior presidency officials in attendance.

  

It was also witnessed by family and friends of the new ministers; APC national leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State; Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State; the Chief of Defence Staff and military service chiefs, as well as the Inspector-General of Police.

Also present was the embattled Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, who is being investigated over an alleged N3billion fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. 

She had been absent from public functions in the past few days, particularly the induction retreat organised for the incoming ministers in Abuja, at which she was listed as one of the resource persons. 

President Buhari in his remarks, charged the ministers to work closely and harmoniously with fellow cabinet members as well as with the Permanent Secretaries in their respective Ministries.

This, he said, has become necessary considering the fact that, the task of moving the country to the Next Level requires dedication, focus, and collective efforts.

He reminded them of his earlier charge to channel cabinet memos through the SGF and requests for meetings and presidential matters through his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari.

Buhari warned that failure to follow appropriate vertical and horizontal channels of communication in the work of the cabinet among them would be sanctioned with requisite repercussions. 

The President said: ”The core objectives of this Administration are to improve security, achieve diversified, inclusive economic growth and fight corruption. I am convinced that we can build a buoyant economy that supports inclusive growth and creates broad-based prosperity for every Nigerian – one that will absorb the two million Nigerians entering the labour market each year, as well as reduce the backlog of over 20 million unemployed or underemployed Nigerians.

”We must also intensify efforts to reduce internal security threats and eliminate corruption at all levels so as to ensure that our citizens have a safe and corruption-free environment where they can live and conduct their businesses, without fear and intimidation.

All these are only possible if we are relentless about delivering on the priorities that are vital to our overall objectives – and on the specific actions and targets that have been identified to guide policy direction and implementation as specified in our roadmap.

We have also agreed on the appropriate Key Performance Indicators and deliverables to be achieved in the road map on Government priorities – 2019 – 2023. 

”I am pleased to note that at the end of the retreat, we have agreed and prioritized the key strategic initiatives required to drive socio-economic growth in our country, which must be accomplished, because the people of Nigeria expect nothing less from us. 

”Our primary business over the next four years is to work together towards delivering the results that the people of Nigeria expect from us.  We have a great opportunity as an Administration to build on the progress already made in order to fundamentally shift Nigeria’s trajectory on the path of steady growth and development.

”While recognizing the existing challenges, and the urgent need to surmount them, we must not fail to note the progress we have made since inception.  

”Our economic policy, which is the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, is still robust and on course with the necessary policies and initiatives to sustain the country’s exit from recession, engender growth and promote the value chain of infrastructural development.  We believe that we can sustain our legacies and developmental strides if they are based on sustainable policies and good governance.”

While assigning portfolios to the Ministers, Buhari announced three new Ministries, namely Ministry of Police Affairs, which he had scrapped in 2015; Ministry of Special Duties and International Affairs;  as well as Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management.

The Ministers who were sworn-in in groups of fives and three, making a total of nine batches; were seven female and 36 male Ministers as screened and cleared by the Senate last month.

Meanwhile, a one-minute silence and special prayer were observed in honour of late Mr. Tijani Yusuf, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on General Duties, who died two weeks ago; before the new Ministers took a group photograph with the President. 

Ministers at the State House

The Ministers and their portfolios as announced by President Buhari at the ceremony are: Dr. Ikechukwu Ogah (State, Mines & Steel); Mohammed Musa Bello (FTC); Godswill Akpabio (Niger-Delta); Chris Ngige  (Labour & Employment); Sharon Ikeazor (State, Environment); Adamu Adamu (Education); Maryam Katagun (State, Industry)

Timipre Sylva (State, Petroleum); George Akume (Special Duties); Mustapha Shehuri (State, Agriculture); Goddy Jedy Agba (State, Power); Festus Keyamo (State, Niger-Delta); Ogbonnaya Onu (Science); Osagie Ehanire (Health); Clement Ike  (State, Budget); Richard Adebayo (Industry); Geoffrey Onyeama (Foreign Aff.); Ali Isa Pantami (Communication); Emeka Nwajiuba (State, Education); Suleiman Adamu (Water Res.)

Zainab Ahmed (Finance, Budget and National Planning); Muhammad Mahmood (Environment); Sabo Nanono (Agriculture); Bashir S. Magashi (Defence); Muhammad Buhari (Petroleum); Sen. Hadi Sirika (Aviation); Abubakar Malami (Justice); Ramatu Tijjani (State, FTC); Lai Mohammed (Information)

Gbemisola  Saraki (State, Transport); Babatunde Fashola (Works & Housing); Adeleke Mamora (State, Health); Mohammed H. Abdullahi (State, Science & Tech.); Zubair Dada (State, Foreign Aff.); Olamilekan Adegbite (Mines & Steel); Tayo Alasoadura (State, Labour); Rauf Aregbesola (Interior); Sunday Dare (Youth & Sports); Paulen Talen (Women)

Rotimi Amaechi (Transport); Maigari Dingyadi (Police Aff.); Sale  Mamman (Power); Abubakar D. Aliyu (State, Works & Housing); Sadiya Umar Faruk (Humanitarian, Disaster Management & Social Development). 

NEWS

Rivers Assembly Screens, Confirms Eight Commissioner Designates

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The Victor Oko-Jumbo-led faction of the Rivers State House of Assembly, on Tuesday screened and confirmed eight nominees for possible appointment as commissioners in the state.

Reports says that the screening took place at the temporary legislative chambers located within the state Government House.

The Oko-Jumbo-led three-member legislature is loyal to the state Governor, Siminalayi Fubara.

The commissioner designates are to fill some of the vacancies created by the recent resignation of nine commissioners loyal to the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Chief Nyesom Wike.

During the sitting, Oko-Jumbo read the correspondence from the governor, requesting the screening and confirmation of the nominees.

He expressed the assembly’s commitment towards supporting the governor to provide democracy dividends to Rivers people.

The factional speaker said that the screening was part of the assembly’s responsibility in the governance of the state

Responding, the House Leader, Mr Sokari Good-boy and Deputy Speaker, Adolphus Timothy, unanimously adopted the request.

They said that most of the nominees had previously served the state at various capacities without blemish.

The commissioner designates include, Mr Charles Bakee, Mr Collins Onunwo, Dr Peter Medee and Mr Elloka Amadi,

Others are, Mr Basoene Benibo, Mr Sydney Gbara, Dr Ovy Chukwuma and Mr Solomon Eke.(NAN)

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Police Arrest Suspect for Allegedly Defrauding Thai Citizen of $216,000, N30m

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Police in Lagos State have arrested a suspect, Chimereze Chinedu, for allegedly defrauding a citizen of Thailand of $216,000 (₦317,725,271) and N30 million.

Police spokesman in the state, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the arrest in a post he shared on his X (formerly Twitter) handle @benHundeyin on Tuesday.

He said that the suspect was arrested by detectives of the State Criminal Investigative Department (SCID).

“Chinedu defrauded his victim under the pretense of selling 37 tricycles to her.

“He further expanded his fraudulent activity by forging letters of SCID, Lagos, showing that the tricycles were seized by the police and further extorted N30 million from the victim to purportedly secure the release of the tricycles,” he said.

The image maker said that the suspect was arrested on May 10 in Enugu State following weeks of diligent investigation and technical support from the International Criminal Police Organization, (INTERPOL)

The spokesman said that the suspect was currently in detention, as investigations continued to uncover details towards identifying and apprehending his accomplices.

According to Hundeyin, the Lagos State Command remains steadfast in its commitment to combating internet fraud and ensuring that perpetrators are brought to justice. (NAN)

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Death Penalty for Drug Traffickers not Proven Effective, Says UNODC

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The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has said that the move by the Nigerian Senate to impose death penalty for drug trafficking offenders would not yield the desired result.

UNODC Country Representative, Oliver Stolpe, said this at a two-day Media Personnel Training organised in collaboration with NDLEA and other partners on Tuesday in Abuja.

Reports says that the training is centered on Anti -Corruption, Police Accountability, Wildlife Crime and Sensitisation on Drugs Prevention, Treatment and Care, (DPTC).

“Our stance as UN is clear on the death penalty we are principally and categorically against it. And from a very practical viewpoint, I have to say, it doesn’t make sense,” he said.

Stolpe maintained that the UN had always advocated for clear distinction between crimes of drug trafficking as opposed to the issue of drug use.

He said that it was always considered primarily to be a health issue saying that it should be dealt with as such.

According to him, addiction is a health condition, it is not a choice.”

On the need for an updated drug data for Nigerians, Stolpe observed that the current national drug survey for Nigeria was last done six years ago, (2018), and therefore does not reflect the current situation for Nigeria.

He said “the drug use survey of 2018 remains as far as I can tell the most cited study in the media.

“This data is outdated and I think a very critical question that media could ask at that point is really well, how can we still refer to 2018 data to describe today’s levels of drug use?

Stolpe enjoined the media to keep the good work while ensuring that information were disseminated efficiently and effectively. NAN)

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