By Laide Akinboade & Johnson Eyiangho, Abuja
President Bola Tinubu has condemned the recent spate of kidnappings and bandit attacks, describing them as disturbing, ungodly and sinister.
Speaking when he received a delegation of Jam’iyyatu Ansaridden, an Islamic movement at the State House, in Abuja on Tuesday, President Tinubu said while security agencies are acting with dispatch to immediately tackle the challenge, all required resources, policies and plans will be rolled out soon for the massive education of Nigerian youths.
The president said education is the antidote to the troubles agitating the nation, adding, “There is no weapon against poverty that is as potent as learning.
“I can assure you that we are here to change the life of our people. We are here to promote peace, stability, and economic prosperity.
“We are dedicated to building a lasting peace with a focus on the comprehensive education of our children. We will get our teachers and their owners involved in an education process that will be relevant to the future of this country. It is important. Knowledge brought me here with your prayers and your support. Without knowledge, there is nothing to generate hope for mankind,” President Tinubu said.
The president also emphasized that it was important to promote updated knowledge through existing islamic learning institutions for youths in Northern Nigeria to speed up development in the region, in Nigeria, and throughout Africa.
“Please embark on special prayers. Embark on proper education for our youths. Kidnapping and banditry are not the way of God. Shedding each other’s blood is bad. And there can be no development without peace. It is only in the area of peace that we can eliminate poverty. We must work for peace in order for our economy to grow better,” the President concluded.
In his remarks, the Jam’iyyatu Ansaridden leader, Sheikh Muhammad Lamine Niass encouraged the President to continue implementing his reform initiatives while affirming that his movement, which is reputed for its promotion of peace and tolerance, would continue to pray for Nigeria’s peaceful development.
Worried by the spate of banditry in Abuja, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, on Tuesday, assured residents of Abuja of safety, urging them not to panic.
According to the minister, he and other security agencies were not sleeping over security challenges in the territory.
Wike spoke before an emergency closed-door meeting with heads of security agencies in the FCT, as well as chairmen of the six area councils.
There has been a public outcry over the death of Nabeeha Al-Kadriyar, who was kidnapped along with 22 others in the Bwari Area of the FCT, and 13-year-old Folasade Ariyo, who was kidnapped alongside with 11 others.
Among them were three of her siblings and their mother at the Sagwari Estate Layout, in Dutse-Alhaji Area of Abuja.
Following the killing of Ariyo and two others, the kidnappers had proceeded to demand N700 million in ransom for the rest of the victims after initially demanding N60 million, leading the father of the late Ariyo, Mr Oladosu Ariyo, to solicit help from the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
While addressing the press, Wike said himself and the area council chairmen would join hands to proffer solution to the security challenges in FCT, noting that they owed a duty to make sure Abuja was safe.
“All of us are aware of the security situation in the Federal Capital Territory, particularly Bwari and some other areas that have witnessed security challenges.
“Our concern is that for the Federal Capital Territory that has virtually every Nigerian, we owe a duty to make sure that this place is safe, to do all we can, and we assure Nigerians who reside here, and that there is no need for panic.
“We are taking every step to make sure that those challenges are things that we must have to resolve.
“So, this meeting is practically to look into such challenges and see how we are able to resolve the problems.
“And that is why we invited all the council chairmen, because they also have a responsibility in their various area councils.
“For the press, it is just for you to know that we are not sleeping, security agencies are also not sleeping.
“We will provide every support that they require in order to allay the fears of the citizens.
“This time around, we will not be happy where area council chairmen abdicate their responsibilities and travel out.
“We have got reports that council chairmen travel anytime, and then if anything happens, of course, they will not call anybody’s name, they will call the FCT Minister.
“We cannot fold our hands, we have invited them to a meeting this afternoon to see how we can resolve the problem,” the Minister said.
Contrary to the FCT minister’s assurance, former Vice-president Atiku Abubakar has said kidnappers and other criminal elements are having the freedom to visit houses and hotels in and around FCT, kidnapping citizens without resistance.
According to Atiku, this is because of the failure of the Federal Government to fulfil its constitutional obligations of protecting lives and property of the citizens.
Reacting to the state of kidnappings and killings in the last couple of days in and around the FCT on his X, formerly Twitter account @AtikuA on Tuesday, Atiku said it is imperative that the authorities address the dire security situation urgently to regain the trust of Nigerians.
He noted that the worsening poverty and hunger in the country is escalating kidnapping and insecurity, particularly in Abuja.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate in the Feb. 2023 General Elections said, “The escalating violence and lawlessness in our nation deeply distresses me as bandits and kidnappers continue their reign of terror unchecked.
“Our youths and innocent citizens are being murdered daily. Just last Saturday, we lost Nabeeha to her captors.
“Yesterday [Monday], the tragedy deepened with the murder of more victims, including Folorunsho Ariyo, a 13-year-old student.
“Folorunsho was one of the 10 people kidnapped from Sagwari Estate Layout in Dutse, Bwari Area Council of the FCT, on Jan. 7th, 2024.”Nabeeha, her father, alongside sisters were abducted in the Bwari Area Council of the FCT on Tuesday night (Jan. 9, 2025) but was killed a few days later by the abductors when the family could not meet the deadline to pay the ransom the kidnappers demanded.
The president met with service chiefs and other heads of security agencies at the State House, Abuja last night.
The meeting was attended by: the Chief of Defense Staff, General Christopher Musa; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Taoreed Lagbaja; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogala; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar; the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun; and heads of some other security outfits.
Although there was no official briefing on the meeting, it was believed it would review the recent security situation in the country, propose ways of taming rising free reign of criminals, including kidnappers and bandits.
Insecurity: State Police Bill Passes Second Reading in Reps
By Ubong Ukpong, Abuja
A bill seeking to alter the provision of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to provide for the establishment of state police passed through second reading in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
Entitled “A Bill for an Act to Alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Provide for Establishment of State Police and for Related Matters (HB.
Leading the debate on its general principles, one of the co-sponsors, Hon.
He noted that in recent times, the nation’s collective security has been greatly challenged and state policing is not only inevitable, but urgently desired to tackle the mounting challenges of insecurity.
The lawmaker explained that the establishment of State Police is a clarion call for a tailored, community-centric policing system; and an acknowledgment that our states are uniquely positioned to address the security challenges within their borders.
Listing some of the key innovations of the proposed alteration, he said, “the transfer of “Police” from the “Exclusive Legislative List” to the “Concurrent Legislative List”, a move that effectively empowers States to have State controlled policing; the introduction of a comprehensive framework to ensure cohesion as well as accountability and uniform standards between the Federal Police and State Police; the provision of prescribed rigorous safeguards preventing unwarranted interference by the Federal Police in State Police affairs, emphasising collaboration and intervention only under well-defined circumstances.
Others included: “the establishment of State Police Service Commissions as distinct from the Federal Police Service Commission with clearly defined roles and jurisdictions; a re-calibration of the National Police Council to include the Chairmen of the State Police Service Commissions, emphasising the collaborative and consultative nature of policing in our federal system, a recognition of the possible financial challenges which may be faced by States Police, by empowering the Federal Government to provide grants or aids subject to the approval of the National Assembly, thus ensuring adequate resources for effective policing, etc.”
Shagaya added that the alterations proposed in the Bill are not just alterations to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but also the building blocks of a more secure, accountable and resilient Nigeria.
Contributing in support of the bill, Hon. Ahmed Jaha stated that the bill is timely as security is the responsibility of all and everybody’s business.
He noted that with community policing and Nigerian police working in tandem, they will rid our communities of all forms of crime.
Also, Hon. Babajimi Benson supported the bill, commending the Deputy Speaker for initiating it.
On his part, Hon. Awaji-Inombek Abiante in supporting the bill noted that Nigeria has had enough of insecurity and establishing state police is a way to improve the situation.
The bill when put to vote got the support of the majority of the members.
It was later referred to the Committee on Constitution Review by the Deputy Speaker who presided over the session.
He urged members who have further inputs on the bill to channel such concerns to the committee.
MOFI Launches N100bn Fund to Stimulate Investments
By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) has launched a N100bn project preparation fund to stimulate investments in Nigeria.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive of MOFI, Mr Armstrong Takang disclosed this at the Public Wealth Management Conference in Abuja on Tuesday.
The conference which was declared open by Vice President Kashim Shettima had in attendance the Minister of Finance Wale Edun, the Chairman of the MOFI Board Dr Shamsudeen Usman, a former Finance Minister Dr Olusegun Aganga, Chairman of Heirs Holdings Tony Elumelu and other top officials in the public and private sectors of the economy.
As part of a broader strategy to deal with these challenges, Takang said MOFI, as the trusted custodian and the shareholder for the Federal Government of Nigeria’s investment assets is executing a number of initiatives aimed at contributing towards building a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
According to him, the conference would foster collaboration among stakeholders, facilitating the exchange of insights, experiences, and best practices in managing public assets.
He said by working together, stakeholders can find innovative solutions to the challenges the economy is currently facing.
He explained that efficiency and transparency and accountability are at the heart of effective public wealth management, pointing out that the conference will be used as an avenue to optimize the performance and returns from federal government’s assets under MOFI’S management, ensuring that they deliver maximum value for the Nigerian people.
He stated that given the importance of public wealth in rebuilding the economy, especially at a time when there is a need for more focus on domestic resource mobilisation, now is the time to encourage the exploration of innovative mechanisms such as public-private partnerships and alternative financing models.
By unlocking hidden value in public assets, Takang said the country can attract investments and drive economic growth for Nigerians.
He also disclosed that the conference would provide potential investors with data-driven insights on federal government assets, noting that by presenting compelling investment opportunities, MOFI can attract the capital needed to fuel economic development and create jobs for Nigerians.
Speaking also at the event, Usman said MOFI will leverage and explore innovative strategies that will unlock the full potential of the government’s public assets.
He said, “We are starting a journey that other nations such as Singapore or Sweden, or more recently Saudi Arabia have undertaken before.
“We will blend the lessons learnt from such country’s experiences with the unique circumstances of Nigeria. We are committed to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to achieve our project.
“From the 10 year plan, we have in line with Mr. President’s emphasis on delivering results, identifying a number of key deliverables, and setting specific key performance indicators to track and report our performance.
“We aim to maximise returns, attract investment, and guarantee sustainable economic growth.”
Foreign Investment Drops by 80 Percent
Meanwhile, foreign investment into Nigeria dropped by 80 percent to $3.9bn in 2023 from the $5.3bn that was invested in the country in 2022, analysis of a report of Capital Importation into Nigeria has shown.
The report which was released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that Nigeria attracted $1.1bn in Q1 2023, $1.03bn in Q2, $654.6m in Q3 and $1,08bn in Q4.
In 2022, $1.57bn was imported into the country in Q1, which reduced to $1.53in Q2. It further went down to $1.15bn and $1.06bn in Q3 and Q4 respectively.
However, the report said the S$1.08bn that was imported into the country in Q4 2023 was slightly higher than the $1.06bn recorded in Q4 2022, indicating an increase of 2.62 per cent.
“In comparison to the preceding quarter, capital importation rose by 66.27 per cent from the $654.6m in Q3 2023,” the report added.
It said other investments ranked top accounting for 54.64 per cent ($594.7m) of total capital importation in Q4 2023, followed by portfolio investment with 28.46 per cent ($309.76m) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) with 16.90 per cent ($183.9m).
Wike Gives Ultimatum to Illegal Land Owners in FCT Communities
By Laide Akinboade, Abuja
Minister Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Nyesom Wike on Monday gave ultimatum to illegal settlers in Chika Aleita Abuja Science and Technological Village to leave.
Wike stated this during an inspection tour of the technology village in company of his counterpart in the Ministry of Science and Technology, Uche Godfrey Nnaji, in Abuja.
Issuing the order, Wike said the fast encroachment was aided by inability of the past administration to take action and stop individuals from building illegally despite the payment of compensation.
He noted that the money expended in providing infrastructure to the village will not be a waste.
“I will give Development Control a go ahead to demolish because I heard they have been compensated since 2018.
“We want to take over the place so that infrastructure can come in. It will even attract investors. I can tell you that they have been compensated.
“No amount of propaganda can stop us from doing the right thing,” The FCT Minister said. .
Earlier, the Minister of Science and Technology, informed Wike that leaving illegal settlers that have encroached the buffer of the village constitutes a big risk and loss to the country’s investment drive to the village that is a the replica of London technology village.
He said the government of Great Britain was able to generate 6 billion pounds in six years.
Nnaji noted that the country stands the chance of making more if right environment is put in place.
The Abuja technology village was the creation of Federal Government during the return of democracy to the country.It is a Free Trade Zone expected to incubate science and technology but subsequent administrations failed to execute the project.
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