Pass all requests for meetings with me through Abba Kyari, Buhari tells ministers - Mega Icon Magazine
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Pass all requests for meetings with me through Abba Kyari, Buhari tells ministers

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday told incoming ministers that all requests for meetings with him should pass through his chief of staff, Abba Kyari.

Mr Buhari said this in his closing remark at a presidential retreat for minister’s designate in Abuja.

“In terms of coordination, kindly ensure that all submissions for my attention or meeting requests be channelled through the Chief of Staff, while all Federal Executive Council matters be coordinated through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation,” Mr Buharisaid,

The president’s speech at the event was sent to PREMIUM TIMES by the presidency.

Mr Kyari has been criticised by some Nigerians including members of the ruling party, APC, for his influence over the president.

The First Lady, Aisha Buhari, is one of those who have complained about the powers Mr Kyari wields in the presidency.

After Mr Buhari’s re-election in February, some APC members protested against the re-appointment of Mr Kyari, a longtime ally of the president.

The president, however, reappointed him to the position.

Read Mr Buhari’s full speech to the ministers-designate below.

Protocols

After two days, we have come to the end of a successful retreat. However, you will agree that our work is just beginning.

2. These last two days have been very instructive for me personally, because I have had the opportunity to know many of you new Ministers-Designate better. I was also pleased to see that you have all equally enjoyed debating and deliberating on the various challenges before us over the next 4 years.

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3. Ladies & Gentlemen, majority of our people are poor and are anxiously hoping for a better life. A Nigeria in which they do not have to worry about what they will eat, where they will live or if they can afford to pay for their children’s education or healthcare.

4. Our responsibility as leaders of this great country is to meet these basic needs for our people. As I mentioned yesterday, this Administration inherited many challenges from our predecessors to mention a few:

· A country in which 18 local governments in the Northeast were under the control of Boko Haram;

· Decayed infrastructure in which our rail lines and roads had severely deteriorated;

· A rent seeking economy that depended largely on oil revenues and imports;

· Significant unpaid pensions, subsidy debts, legacy contractor debts. I can go on and on.

5. In our first term, we laid the foundation to rebuild our country. We recaptured those 18 Local Governments previously held by Boko Haram, whose activities are now limited to sporadic attacks against soft targets. Our investments in road and rail infrastructure are without precedent, and many of you can attest to this. We also focused on diversifying the economy from oil towards agriculture and industrialization. Despite reduced revenues from oil and gas compared to past governments, we have broadly addressed many of the legacy debts they left behind.

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6. Whilst we have obvious successes to celebrate, the challenges ahead are significant as you would have observed in detail over these two days. Nevertheless, from the quality of the deliberations, it is clear that solutions to our problems are well researched and have been well articulated.

7. We have discussed solutions relating to addressing Insecurity; Macroeconomic Stability; Agriculture and Food Security; Energy Security for Petroleum products and Electricity; Transportation and Critical Infrastructure; Industrialization and SME Development; Human Capital Development; Social Inclusion; Anti-Corruption; Housing Financing and Consumer Credit.

8. Public service is not easy work, and at times it can be thankless. I am therefore charging you all to see this opportunity to serve as an honour, to give your best to deliver on this mandate, for a more prosperous Nigeria, not for some, but for all Nigerians.

9. You will find that working collaboratively and purposefully will enable us to achieve quicker results, recognizing that four years is not a very long time. For the new Ministers, make sure you engage and benefit from the experience of the older Ministers and former Governors in the cabinet.

10. In terms of coordination, kindly ensure that all submissions for my attention or meeting requests be channeled through the Chief of Staff, while all Federal Executive Council matters be coordinated through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

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11. I would like to thank the Office of the SGF for coordinating this successful Presidential Retreat. I would also like to thank the National Assembly leadership, the Party Chairman, Chairman of the Governors Forum, and resource firms, for the active engagements and contributions.

12. Once again, the challenges that lie ahead of us as a country are significant. But I have no doubt in your individual capacities and our collective patriotic commitment to deliver a better Nigeria for us, our children and a brighter future for all.

Thank you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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FG, States, LG’s Received N716.2bn In December 2019

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The Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) has shared a sum total of N716.298 billion to the Federal Government, States and Local Government Councils for December 2019.

The Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, Henshaw Ogubike, in a statement  said the total sum comprised revenue from Value Added Tax (VAT), Exchange Gain and the Statutory Revenue.

Henshaw stated that from the total revenue, the Federal Government received N287.929 billion, the State Governments received N191.302 billion, and the Local Government Councils received N143.698 billion.

Oil Producing States received N50.279 billion as 13 percent derivation revenue and the Revenue Generating Agencies received N43.089 billion as the cost of revenue collection.

The statement reads, “A breakdown of the distribution showed that from the gross statutory revenue of N600.314 billion, the Federal Government received N271.361 billion, the State Governments received N137.638 billion, the Local Government Councils received N106.113 billion, the Oil Producing States received N50.149 billion as 13% derivation revenue and the Revenue Collecting Agencies received N35.053 billion as cost of collection.

“From the Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N114.806, the Federal Government received N16.015 billion, the State Governments received N53.386 billion, the Local Government Councils received N37.369 billion and the Revenue Generating Agencies received N8.036 billion as cost of revenue collection.”

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It added that in December 2019, there were significant increases in revenues from Companies Income Tax (CIT), Value Added Tax (VAT) Oil and Gas Royalties and Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT), while import duty increased marginally.

Meanwhile, as of January 15, 2020, the balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was $324.968 million.

 

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Nigeria, Ghana, Others Reject Eco Common Currency

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No fewer than Six Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries on Thursday rejected the move by eight other francophone nations in the region to adopt the Eco common currency.

Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, all English-speaking countries and Guinea, the only francophone country, criticized the move by Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo who had agreed to change the name of their common currency, CFA francs to Eco.

At an extraordinary meeting of the Ministers of Finance and Economy, and the Governors of Central Banks in the West African Monetary Zone, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed said that the declaration is not in line with the decisions of ECOWAS Heads of States.

“While the meeting applauds the decision of the francophone West African countries to the link, the meeting also noted with concern, the declaration by his Excellency, Alassane Ouattara, Chairman of the authority of the Heads of States and Governments of the West African Economy and Monetary Union on the 21st December 2019 to unilaterally rename the CFA francs as eco by the year 2020.

“WAMZ Convergence council wishes to emphasize that this action is not in line with the decision of the authorities of the heads of states and government of ECOWAS for the adoption of the eco as the name of an independent ECOWAS single currency.”

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At the end of the meeting, delegates recommended that an extraordinary general meeting of ECOWAS heads of state and governments in the West African Monetary Zone be convened to discuss the matter.

“The council reiterates the importance for all ECOWAS member countries to adhere to the decisions of the ECOWAS authority heads of states and government towards the implementation of the revised roadmap of the ECOWAS single currency programme.

“The council recommends that an extraordinary summit of the authority of the heads of state and government of the WAMZ member state be convened soon to discuss this matter and other related issues.”

In December 2019, the adoption of Eco common currency by the eight francophone countries was lauded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), showing readiness to engage with the regional authorities, owing to its proven track record in the conduct of monetary policy and external reserve management.

Ghana had in December, lauded the move and said that the country is determined to do whatever they can to join the Member States of UEMOA soon.

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Ibadan schools demolition: Oyo govt to investigate, prosecute offenders

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The Government of Oyo State said on Friday that it has launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the illegal demolition of classrooms in two state-owned Primary schools within Ibadan metropolis.

Information had reached the Government early on Thursday to the effect that some unknown individuals in Egbeda and Ona-Ara Local Government Areas of the State illegally entered the premises of two primary schools and demolished blocks of classrooms.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa,  indicated that the Governor had promised to prosecute the perpetrators.

The statement indicated that some individuals had unlawfully entered the premises of the Community Primary School, Ayepe, in Egbeda Local Government Area and Methodist Primary School, Gangansi in Ona-Ara Local Government Area, where they demolished blocks of classroom without authorization.

The Government described the act as illegal, untoward and totally condemnable, adding that it would not sit down and watch saboteurs destroy public properties for whatever reasons.

According to the statement, the individuals who destroyed the classrooms got no approval from the State Universal Basic Education Board, which holds the schools in trust for the Government and the people.

“While the State Government is desirous of working with good-spirited members of the society in managing public infrastructure, the administration will not condone lawlessness and failure to adhere to due process,” the statement read.

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The statement added: “The Government frowns on the demolition of blocks of classrooms at the Community Primary School, Ayepe and Methodist Primary School, Gangansi in Egbeda and Ona-Ara Local Government Areas respectively by some hoodlums purportedly on the order of a National Assembly member from the state.

“The act, to say the least, is untoward, illegal and totally condemnable. No one, no matter how highly placed, is allowed to unlawfully enter a public school premises and demolish buildings under whatever guise without approval from Government.

“We see this as an act of provocation and lawlessness and as a Government; we will not sit down and watch some lawless individuals have their ways in sabotaging Government by destroying school properties or embarking on renovations of public property using lawless means simply for political showmanship.

“Governor Seyi Makinde has mandated the relevant security agencies to commence investigation into the circumstances that led to the demolition of the classrooms in the two aforementioned schools.

“The Governor has also given directives that the law enforcement should bring the perpetrators to justice so as to serve as deterrents to other individuals who may want to follow such path of lawlessness.

“Governor Makinde has said it times and again that his administration is open to working with public-spirited individuals to bring about massive improvement in the infrastructure in the education and other sectors in the State. But that partnership must follow due process.

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“Any individual or politician with the intention to collaborate in building infrastructure in Oyo State schools should know that the schools are public properties under the trust of the Government and they should approach the Government for appropriate approvals.

“Anything short of this is lawlessness and as a Government that has sworn to defend the laws of the land, the Government of Oyo State is ever ready to put every tendency towards lawlessness under the check of the long arms of the law.”

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