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Insecurity: Buhari Fires Back at Obasanjo, Jonathan

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Says his critics are not patriotic

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday made a veiled reference to former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, insisting that those who are criticizing him over isolated security challenges in some parts of the country are not patriotic.

The president who spoke at an audience with the National Executives of the Buhari Campaign Organisation (BCO) in the State House, Abuja, on Tuesday.

Buhari, however, said: “Every country in the world has security challenges. While we have made significant progress in the fight against terrorism, we acknowledged that there are also new and emerging challenges like kidnapping and banditry.

“I assure you and Nigerians that we will not relent in our efforts to secure the country from criminal activities. Those who politicize the isolated cases of insecurity are not patriotic Nigerians.

“I’m confidence that this administration uses all resources at its disposal to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians and not just prominent Nigerians or those who make headlines.’’

It is recalled that Obasanjo had on Monday wrote an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, saying, “Nigeria is on the precipice and dangerously reaching a tipping point where it may no longer be possible to hold danger at bay”.

In the letter released by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi Obasanjo said he intended to use the open letter to address weighty issues. “I am constrained to write to you this open letter. I decided to make it an open letter because the issue is very weighty and must be greatly worrisome to all concerned Nigerians and that means all right-thinking Nigerians and those resident in Nigeria.”

Similarly, former Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday said insecurity has worsened in Nigeria since he left Aso Rock. He spoke as he paid a condolence visit to Reuben Fasoranti, the leader of Afenifere, a Yoruba socio-cultural group, whose daughter, Funke, was killed by gunmen on the Benin-Ore road last week.

He said: “The issue of security must be approached from a different dimension. We cannot continue the old way because it is getting out of hand. We hope the federal and state governments will do something about it.

“Every generation face problems and this generation must find ways to solve these problems. Every government faces a problem.

“The first commercial kidnapping, because it involved money, happened in 2006 when I was the governor of Bayelsa state. From that time, it moved to terrorism in the north. Now, it is a major problem in the country.

“The federal government in conjunction with state government must design a different approach to this issue.

“I was there as president and security challenge was there but now, it is getting worse every day and we can’t continue to use the same old method.”

On corruption, President Buhari said his administration would continue to be tough on its ongoing crusade against corrupt practices in the country.

“We will continue to be tough on the cancer of corruption as you may be aware the African Union in its deliberations last year appointed me as African Corruption Champion for the continent.

“This is because other countries have seen our dedication to fighting corruption and are keen to emulate our approach,’’ he added.

The president also reiterated the determination of All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.

He noted that policies and programmes put in place by the government to support farmers and small businesses had started yielding fruitful results.

“We remain committed to lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.

“Policies put in place to support farmers and small businesses are yielding positive results and we are determined to integrate them into the larger economy.”

In a related event, President Buhari on Tuesday said any person or administration that cannot secure a country or an institution, will not be able to manage it. President Buhari President Buhari also said that the successes recorded in degrading terrorists in the North East will be extended to various parts of the country experiencing challenges, assuring Nigerians that security still tops his list of priorities.

 The President, who received executive members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) led by the President, Dr Francis Adedayo Faduyile, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said offenders took advantage of the focus on the North East to commit crimes in other parts of the country.

He said: “If you cannot secure a country or institution, you cannot manage it. ” The President noted that efforts were still ongoing to improve employment level, following the success in getting many into the agricultural sector, stressing that opening up the economy for investments and getting the youths engaged will control crime rate. On health and education, President Buhari urged states and local governments to play stronger roles in complementing the efforts of the Federal Government, especially in getting more children into classrooms.

The President in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina said, “The issues of health and education are constitutional. If there are too many Almajiris in a state, then the government is not following the constitution. “

The states also have elites who are educated enough to remind their governments about their responsibility to Almajiris,.”

In his remarks, President of the NMA congratulated President Buhari for winning a second term in office, attributing his return to efforts made by the government to reposition the country, especially in health sector, like establishment of a cancer centre in University of Lagos Teaching Hospital.

Dr. Faduyile commended the President for always looking towards the NMA to appoint competent members for positions in the health sector, assuring that the medical association will continue to partner with the government to bring good health services to Nigerians.

 He said there was a need to make the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) compulsory for all Nigerians, including those in the informal sector, as some special treatments, like cancer, will require funds that might be beyond the reach of many.

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FCTA Moves to Curb Medical Tourism

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By Laide Akinboade, Abuja
Federal capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has pledged to provide the necessary support for the successful completion and operation of the African Medical Center of Excellence, with a view to reversing medical tourism.
The FCT Minister of State, Dr. Mariya Mahmoud, made this pledge during a site tour of the state of the art facility, of African Medical Centre for Excellence, billed to be operational in early 2025.


Mahmoud noted that the partnership between the African Export-Import Bank and Kings College Hospital London to establish the 170-bed hospital was a testament to the commitment to advancing clinical care, training, and research in specialty areas such as oncology, cardiovascular services, hematology, diagnostics, and general medical services.

The minister further added; “The potential impact of this initiative in reversing medical tourism and reducing healthcare worker migration is commendable.
“I am encouraged by the prospect of over 1000 workers being employed to support the hospital’s operations.
“Therefore, I am fully committed to ensuring that the Federal Capital Territory Administration provides the necessary support for the successful establishment and operation of the African Medical Center of Excellence.
“We are happy to see, that the 6.5 hectares of land, which was donated by the Federal Capital Territory Administration, on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, as part of the host country agreement, has been developed to accomodate this hospital.”
While conducting the minister round the project, the Chief Executive Officer, African Medical Center of Excellence, Mr. Brian Deaver, commended the FCT Administration for the strategic partnership.
He used the occasion to inform the minister that the management staff of the medical centre are looking forward to further contributions of the Administration to improvement in the management of non communicable diseases in the territory.
Deaver stressed that the potential benefits of the location of this hospital in Abuja is significant, just as he expressed confidence that the partnership would yield positive outcomes for the healthcare sector in the region.

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Ortom, Ode, Asemakaha Felicitates  With Alia on 58th Birthday

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From Attah Ede, Makurdi  
Former Governor of Benue State, Chief Samuel Ortom, the incumbent Deputy Governor, Barr Sam Ode and the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of Benue Investment and Property Company (BIPC), Dr Raymond Asemakaha, Wednesday, extended their felicitations to the State Governor, Rev Fr.

Hyacinth Alia on his  58th birthday celebration.

The former governor in  a statement signed by  his Media Aide,Terver Akase and made available to newsmen in Makurdi, prayed God to grant Governor Alia the wisdom and health to steer the affairs of the state.

 He maintained that God would grant Alia the enablement to surmount all challenges fronting his administration and wished him a memorable birthday celebration and many more years ahead.

The statement  read in part: “Your Excellency, as you celebrate, I pray that God grants you wisdom, good health and strength to enable you to continue to steer the affairs of our dear state.
“Leadership comes with its numerous challenges, but I have no doubt that with God’s grace and guidance, all problems are surmountable.”
Similarly, the Deputy Governor of the State, Barr. Sam Odeh, on behalf of the State Executive Council (SEC), prayed that Governor Alia’s birthday would be a celebration of his uncommon passion for speedy transformation of the state.
“On behalf of the Benue State Executive Council, I write to warmly felicitate with Your Excellency, Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia, Executive Governor of Benue State on the occasion of your 58th birthday anniversary.
“As you mark your years of existence on earth today, we heartily join your family, the good people of Benue State and the entire nation in wishing Your Excellency a very happy birthday.
“May your 58th birthday be a celebration of your positive energy and uncommon passion for speedy transformation of Benue State. As Governor of our dear state, you have, in the last one year, demonstrated pragmatic leadership with selflessness and dedication, by rendering quality service to the good people of Benue.
“Your ability to turn challenges into opportunities is truly admirable. We have every reason to celebrate you today, because your transformation drive has brought the state to national and global prominence with many laudable initiatives and partnerships that are now yielding positive results in various sectors of Benue economy.
“Happy Birthday! Your Excellency, you are truly a special gift to the state and a beacon of inspiration for us all. May your birthday mark the beginning of a new chapter filled with even greater successes and fulfillment.
“We pray that the Almighty God will continue to uphold, keep and strengthen you for His glory and to the benefit of humanity. Congratulations and happy birthday!, Ode stated”.
On his part, the MD/CEO, BIPC, Dr Raymond Asemakaha, on behalf of the management and staff of the company, said  the governor had so far demonstrated visionary leadership, tireless efforts, and unwavering commitment to the transformation of Benue State.
Governor  Alia’s exemplary governance and dedication to the welfare of the people are truly inspiring, stressing that this milestone birthday marks the beginning of another remarkable year filled with wisdom, good health, and unparalleled success.

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CBN Unveils Strategy to Boost Remittances

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has activated plans to double foreign-currency remittance flows through formal channels by granting 14 new International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) Approval-in-Principle (AIP).
This was disclosed in Abuja on Wednesday, by the Bank’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Mrs.

Hakama Sidi Ali, who stated that the initiative will help increase the sustained supply of foreign exchange in the official market by promoting greater competition and innovation amongst IMTOs to lower the cost of remittance transactions and boost financial inclusion.

She said, “This will spur liquidity in Nigeria’s Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEX), augmenting price discovery to enable a market-driven fair value for the naira.

“It will be recalled that the CBN Governor, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso, had recently declared: “We’ve set ourselves a target to double remittance flows into Nigeria within a year, a goal I firmly believe is within reach.
“We are wasting no time driving progress to remove any bottlenecks hindering flows through formal channels permanently. We have a determined pathway and a sequenced approach to tackling all challenges ahead, working hand in hand with key stakeholders in the remittance industry,” she stated.
Continuing, Sidi Ali, said that the CBN viewed increasing formal remittance flows—one of the major sources of foreign exchange, accounting for over 6% of GDP—as a means of reducing the historical volatility in Nigeria’s exchange rate caused by external factors, such as fluctuations in foreign investment and oil export proceeds.
The increase in the number of IMTOs is one of the primary actions initiated by the CBN’s remittance task force, overseen by Governor Cardoso as a collaborative unit pulling together specialists to work closely with the private sector and market operators to facilitate the ease of doing business in the remittance ecosystem in Nigeria.
The task force was established as a direct result of an executive learning session with IMTOs during the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings held in Washington DC, United States of America, in April 2024. The task force will meet regularly to implement strategy and monitor the impact of its measures on remittance inflows.

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