President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Abuja says the contentious issue of restructuring, true federalism or devolution of powers remains a constitutional matter, with which only the National Assembly can deal, reiterating his position on devolving more power to the people.
President Buhari received members of the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) led by Co-Chairmen, Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar and President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), His Eminence, Rev. Dr. Samson Supo Ayokunle, at the State House.
At the meeting, the President said:
“On the contentious issue of restructuring or true federalism or devolution of powers, like you all know, this is a constitutional matter with which only the National Assembly can deal.
“I remain an unapologetic believer in devolving power to the people and that is why I signed the Executive Order granting autonomy to State Legislature and Judiciary. Unfortunately, this was met with some resistance at the state level and led to a more than two months strike action that has cost the country a lot of pain.
“Luckily the National Assembly has nearly completed the constitutional review process, which I hope would address some of the burning issues agitating the minds of our people.’’
President Buhari assured that efforts were already on to create a more conducive environment to address both direct and indirect causes of challenges including areas of job creation and employment generation, while appreciating religious leaders for their significant roles in national development, particularly in shaping perspectives.
“Your role is critical in putting the correct perspective out to Nigerians,’’ he said.
Obasanjo Breaks Silence, Insist President Muhammadu Buhari Isn’t From Sudan But He Is Not The Buhari He Used To Know
There has been this controversy surrounding the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari about him being cloned. The president has proven beyond all doubts that he isn’t JIbril of Sudan as reported by the proscribed leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra, Maazi Nnamdi Kanu.
Maazi Nnamdi Kanu claimed that the president was cloned and he was strictly warned to thread with caution and only say what he know.
President Muhammadu Buhari has come out to clear the air regarding the statement made by Nnamdi Kanu to sabotage him. He debunked the claims that he died and was replaced by a clone, calling the speculation “ignorant rumors.” He outrightly denied the claim made by Nnamdi Kanu and also Femi Adesina, a presidential aide came out to lecture the masses about the cloned Buhari controversy. He gave an in depth explanation and analysis to educate those who still thinks the president is cloned. This is President Muhammadu Buhari, the Daura man whom Nigerians voted for in 2015.
Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in a zoom meeting yesterday with Toyin Falola, a historian, spoke about the security challenges in the country and other areas Muhammadu Buhari needs to tackle.
He disclosed that he used to know Muhammadu Buhari as a military man when he worked with him, but the current Buhari who is the democratic President of Nigeria has fallen far below the standards expected from him.
In his words;
“It’s nonsensical to believe that President Muhammadu Buhari is from Sudan but he has changed from the man I used to know back then in the military”
See screenshots of Obasanjo’s assessment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s way of handling issues now and when he was a military head of state.
– The presidency has dismissed claims that President Muhammadu Buhari failed Nigerians
– Lauretta Onochie, reply the allegation made by Dele Momodu, saying the president only disappointed criminals in the country
– Momodu had alleged that President Buhari, like the PDP, did not keep to his promises to citizens before he was elected into office
The presidency has reacted to a remark by a renowned journalist, Dele Momodu, who has claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari failed to deliver on his campaign promises.
In a tweet on Friday, January 8, Momodu has said that he opted for President Buhari in 2015 after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) woefully disappointed the nation for 16 years in power.
The famed journalist noted that he chose Buhari as he was the best electable candidate at the time.
However, Momodu said he had to switch to Abubakar Atiku upon discovering that President Buhari has also failed Nigerians.
The presidency said President Buhari failed Nigerians by not dishing out cash to criminals (Photo: @MBuhari)
“I did not bring Buhari. I did what most reasonable Democrats would have done in the circumstance of PDP’s failure after 16 years in power by trying the next most electable candidate and when he failed tried the next, Atiku, and that is the essence and risk and flaw in Democracy!”
Reacting to this comment, Lauretta Onochie, a presidential media aide, said that the president only failed to dish out money to fraudsters.
She said on Twitter:
“He “Failed” because he won’t dish out cash for photos that can easily be obtained on Instagram and other picture apps.”
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) had lambasted the PDP for criticising the administration of President Buhari.
The ruling party in a statement released on Tuesday, January, and sighted by Bioreports said the lead opposition party lacks the moral authority to criticise the Buhari-led government.
John Udoedehe, the national caretaker committee secretary of the APC, highlighted the PDP’s alleged misdeeds when it was the country’s ruling party between 1999 and 2015.
Udoedehe said the PDP should keep quiet and bury its head in shame instead of reminding Nigerians of its “ignominious era”.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, December 31, signed the 2021 Appropriation Act.
<p class="has-drop-cap has-vivid-red-color has-text-color" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">The President signed the 2021 budget in Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja, five days after the bill was transmitted to him by the National Assembly.The President signed the 2021 budget in Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja, five days after the bill was transmitted to him by the National Assembly.
The National Assembly had on December 21, 2020, passed the 2021 Appropriation Bill with an aggregate expenditure of N13, 588, 027,886, 175 trillion.
It comprises total Capital Supplementation of N1,060,751,051,650 and total Capital Expenditure of N4,125,149,354,222, Statutory Transfer stands at N496,528,471,273; recurrent Expenditure of N5,641,970,060,680 and Gross Domestic Product, GDP growth rate of 3.00 Percent.
The National Assembly also provided the sum of N3,324,380,000 trillion for debt servicing.
The lawmakers increased the budget estimate by the sum of N505, 607,317,942 from the estimate of N13, 082, 420, 568,233 presented to the joint sitting of National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari on October 8, 2020.
Present with the President to witness the ceremony were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Senate President Ahmad Lawan; Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha; Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, among others.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday said the country was not doing the right thing to improve its poor economy and tackle poverty.
The former president, who said this in his New Year message at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State, cautioned Nigerian leaders to stop blaming God for insecurity, bad economy, poverty and other challenges confronting the country.
Obasanjo said this on Tuesday as the President, Major General Muhammadu (retd.), urged Nigerians to return to agriculture. He said the country’s oil industry was in turmoil.
But economic experts dismissed Buhari’s statement, saying government was not serious about diversification of the economy.
In November, Nigeria entered its second recession in five years. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, in its Gross Domestic Product report for third quarter, the GDP fell by 3.62 per cent in the three months to September. The GDP is the broadest measure of economic prosperity.
Obasanjo, who sent his New Year message to Nigerians in an interview with journalists, assessed economic strategies of government. He also explained how the country could improve its economy. He stated, “When we do the right thing; We are not doing the right thing now. When we do the right thing, the economy will be what it should be.”
The former president also advised leaders to stop blaming God for Nigeria’s woes. According to him, with enormous resources available in the country, Nigeria does not have to be poor and no Nigerian must go to bed hungry.
He described 2020 as a year of many challenges, but urged Nigerians to work and pray hard in order to achieve “a glorious 2021.”
Prayer must go with work –Obasanjo
Obasanjo said, “I like the motto of a school which says ‘work and pray.’ Some people say it should be ‘pray and work’, but it doesn’t matter to me in what order I put it, but prayer must go with work and work must go with prayer.
“And I believe we need to work hard in this country as we pray hard so that the coming year, the year 2021 will be a glorious year for us. But it will not happen unless we work to make it happen.
“We do not have to blame God for our situation. We have to blame ourselves. Nigeria does not have to be poor; no Nigerian must go to bed hungry. That we have a situation like that is a choice by our leaders and followers alike. My prayer is that God will make year 2021 a better year for all of us, but it will not happen without work.”
Describing 2020 as a challenging year, Obasanjo stated, “We have gone from one form of insecurity to bad economy and on the top of it is the COVID-19. Some people, either for insecurity or for bad economy or fo r COVID-19 have gone to the great beyond, I will say those who have departed, particularly in this year of challenges, may their souls rest in perfect peace.”
I will fight food inflation in 2021, oil industry in turmoil – Buhari
Also on Tuesday, Buhari said Nigerians must return to agriculture, saying the country’s oil industry was in turmoil.
Buhari also said his regime would fight food inflation in 2021, adding that Nigerians must be able to produce their food.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President spoke at the fifth regular meeting with the Presidential Economic Advisory Council at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The statement was titled “President Buhari: Government will wrestle food inflation in the coming year.”
Shehu quoted the President as giving his words that his regime would keep a keen eye on food inflation in 2021 while giving a directive to the Central Bank of Nigeria not to give any money for food importation.
He said Buhari directed that the CBN “must not give money to import food. Already, about seven states are producing all the rice we need. We must eat what we produce.”
The presidential aide said Buhari wondered where the country would have found itself in view of the devastating economic crisis brought about by COVID-19 if the country had not embraced agriculture.
The President stated, “Going back to the land is the way out. We depend on petroleum at the expense of agriculture. Now the oil industry is in turmoil. We are being squeezed to produce at 1.5 million barrels a day as against a capacity to produce 2.3 million.
“At the same time, the technical cost of our production per barrel is high, compared to the Middle East production.”
Buhari was also said to have emphasised the place of agriculture in the efforts to restore the economy but agreed that measures must be put in place to curtail inflation in the country.
“We will continue to encourage our people to go back to the land. Our elite are indoctrinated in the idea that we are rich in oil, leaving the land for the city for oil riches.
“We are back to the land now. We must not lose the opportunity to make life easier for our people. Imagine what would have happened if we didn’t encourage agriculture and closed the borders. We would have been in trouble,” the President added.
According to the statement, the meeting, which was for a review of, and reflections on the global and domestic economy in the outgoing year, was attended by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, as well as ministers of finance and humanitarian affairs. It agreed on a number of measures.
The statement read, “In specific terms, it noted the sharp deterioration in international economic environment and its impact on Nigeria’s continuing but fragile economic recovery; that Nigeria’s economic growth continues to be constrained by obvious challenges including infrastructural deficiencies and limited resources for government financing. It emphasised the need to make the private sector of the economy the primary source of investment, rather than government.
“The meeting reviewed progress towards structural reforms in response to the economic crises, including the institution of the Economic Sustainability Plan, the changes in electricity tariff and fuel pricing regime, the partial re-opening of the Land Borders, the movement towards unification of exchange rates and budgetary reforms through Finance Bill 2020 and 2021.”
Govt not serious about diversification – Utomi
Meanwhile, economic experts have dismissed Buhari’s promise to tackle food inflation and encourage agriculture next year.
A Nigerian professor of political economy and management expert, Pat Utomi, said the government plans for diversification had become a refrain, something he said he had been hearing since he was a graduate student in the 1980s.
He noted that the government had always been insincere about a diversification plan from oil.
He said, “This refrain about agriculture has been going on for at least 35 years that I know of. As a graduate student in America in the 1980s, I was at the airport in New York and I saw Times Magazine and News Week had the same headline that oil prices as a result of the Iranian revolution had crossed the mythical $40 per barrel that was not possible.
“Within a few months, oil prices began to crash again. The economy was in a serious crisis in 1982 and at a time, Nigeria did not sell any barrel of fuel again.
“Over those years, the refrain of the Nigerian government has been to diversify away from oil and every year, nothing serious was done about it. You know when a country is going by a long term vision, then you will deduce if it will be dominant in the world.
“Nigeria never managed to put any prospective plan that will show a future to be built on the agricultural value chain. So whenever, I see a budget speech, I just decide that we are jokers and not serious about where we are going.
“The basic logic is that those who have run Nigeria are revenue driven, seeking easy cash to do the little they can and move on. There is nothing futuristic in the plan of Nigeria.
“Whenever there is a crisis like the times we are in now, we hear talks of diversification. The moment there is a rise in oil prices, we return to our bad habits.”
Suggesting a way forward, the professor said the citizens should get serious and honest people to rule.
We are facing hunger, insurgents dislodging farmers – Mailafia
On his part, a former Deputy Governor of the CBN, Dr Obadiah Mailafia, said it was no longer sustainable for the country to rely heavily on crude oil revenues.
He said, “That model is no longer going to work. Our public finances are on the verge of collapse. So, in that sense, I agree with the President on the urgency of what needs to be done. But by just saying that we should all go back to agriculture, it is a mantra that we have been hearing over the years and it is no longer interesting.
“Many farmers are finding it difficult to go back to their farms because of rural banditry. Just recently, we saw how insurgents slaughtered many farmers in Borno. What we are facing is looming hunger. There is hunger in the land. Food prices are getting out of control; the supply side is affected.
“Secondly, I think it is too simplistic to say, ‘Go back to agriculture.’ The kind of agriculture we are doing is not even sustainable. What will save this country is an agriculture-led mass industrial revolution that engages surplus labour both in the rural and urban areas through the process of industrialisation using agriculture as the base.”
Mailafia stressed the need for rural infrastructure, such as roads, rail and power, as well as access to affordable inputs, affordable credit and institutional support services.
A professor of Economics at the Ekiti State University, Abel Awe, described the budgetary allocation to the agriculture sector as “abysmally low”.
He asked, “Who are the people that will go to farms? What stimulate packages does the government have to encourage them to go back to agriculture? If they are ready to go to farms, is the government ready to create the enabling environment? What of the issue of insecurity and harassment by herdsmen?
“People cannot go farms these days because of insecurity. The President said we should go to farms; has he addressed the insecurity there? We say people should go to farms; how secured are the farms now? Look at the Middle Belt now which is the food basket of the nation; do you do agriculture in a terrible environment?”
Buhari has revealed those responsible for Nigeria’s problems. President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday revealed that the elites are responsible for what Nigeria is and what it can become. Buhari also said that the fast-growing young and dynamic population that feels alienated and disempowered as a threat to national stability.
President Buhari stated these at the graduation ceremony of 78 participants of the Senior Executive Course 42 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) on Saturday.
According to the President, his declaration was based on the premise that his administration set its sights on lifting 100 million people out of poverty over the next decade.
Buhari said the country has come a long way from the era in which the government was the principal actor in the economy, adding that the administration has come to recognise that prosperity and growth lie in unleashing the Nigerian genius for enterprise and industry that is domiciled in her private sector.
President Buhari, who was represented by Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State, said that was why the government was building a new ethic of collaboration in which the public sector sees its role as enabling the private sector to perform optimally.
“Job creation and youth empowerment can be undertaken at scale by the private sector, but it requires government officials to encourage enterprise by promoting the ease of doing business. “For many Nigerian entrepreneurs, the government is perceived more as a hindrance than a help whether in terms of taxation, infrastructural deficits and the general lack of an enabling environment.”
According to him, while the administration will continue to pursue the course of digitization of governance processes, it is important to point out that neither laws nor technology can totally eliminate the role of discretion in bureaucracies.
He said as people of authority, a measure of discretion is inherent in official capacities.
“This too is part of your unique privilege. Your high station affords you the license to make choices based on your preferences and perceptions as well as to register dissent with directives that conflict with your values through official channels.
“This institution and this course in particular were established to enrich the exercise of official discretion with sound judgment and strategic discernment.
“The bureaucracies to which you belong will either rise or fall on how ably you wield your discretionary powers.”
President Muhammadu Buhari has sacked the Director-General, National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Dr Nasiru Mohammed Ladan Argungu.
Dr Argungu was relieved of his post in a memo issued last week Friday, December 4, 2020, taking effect from Monday, December 7.
According to a statement issued by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, President Buhari has also directed the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Barr Festus Keyamo (SAN), to appoint an Acting Director-General from the senior Directors of the agency to replace Argungu in the meantime.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has relieved Dr. Nasiru Mohammed Ladan Argungu from the position of the Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment. The directive which was given on Friday, the 4th of December, 2020, is to be effective from Monday, December 7th, 2020.
“Meanwhile, the Supervising Minister of the Agency, the Hon Minister of State, Labour and Employment, has been directed to nominate an Acting DG from amongst the most Senior Directors based on competencies and seniority to take over from Dr. Argungu until a substantive holder of the post is appointed by Mr. President” the statement said.
While the nation is mourning the gruesome killing of about 43 rice farmers by the dreaded Boko haram sect, a former minister in the Obasanjo government and former world bank vice president, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili has made some stern demands on Buhari’s health status.
As seen on her Twitter page, the fmr minister urged the Federal government to commence a verified health check on the president.
According to the fmr minister commonly called “madam due process”, she said that at this stage and depth of fragility of the Nigeria-State, it was very important that the privacy surrounding some presidential rights should give ground to the citizens right to know the state of health of the president, Muhammed Buhari
She added that with the current situation in the country, the citizens must really assess the physical or mental capability of the president to carry on the duties of the office.
On how to make this work, she advised the formation of an Independent Panel to be formed by citizens who will, in turn, help make the critical medical assessment of the state of mind and body of president Buhari.
Ever since the killings were announced, there have been quite a number of agitations from different quarters calling not he president to fire his service chiefs, others have called for the president’s resignation adding that the killings have formally announced a large scale terrorism which is waiting to explode in the north.
According to pictures and witnesses, the farmers were beheaded and their heads placed on their bodies.
The execution styled killings has once again, put fear and great apprehension in the region.
President Buhari, speaking through his media aide, Garba Shehu had expressed shock at the killings and even mentioned that he had given the military all they needed to exterminate the insurgents.
Nigerians however, feel differently as the citizens have called on the president to for once, stand up and act as the commander in chief before things get out of hand.