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October 1st is a day for joy and celebrations for us Nigerians, whatever the circumstances we find ourselves in because it is the day, 55 years ago; we liberated ourselves from the shackles of colonialism and began our long march to nationhood and to greatness.

No temporary problems or passing challenges should stop us from honouring this day. Let us remind ourselves of the gifts God has given us. Our Creator has bequeathed to us Numbers – Nigeria is the ninth most populated country on the planet. We have in addition arable land; water; forests; oil and gas; coastline; and solid minerals

We have all the attributes of a great nation. We are not there yet because the one important commodity we have been unable to exploit to the fullest is unity of purpose. This would have enabled us to achieve not only more orderly political evolution and integration but also continuity and economic progress.

Countries far less endowed have made greater economic progress by greater coherence and unity of purpose.

Nonetheless, that we have remained together is an achievement we should all appreciate and try to consolidate. We have witnessed this year a change in our democratic development.

The fact that an opposition party replaced an entrenched government in a free and fair election is indicative of the deeper roots of our democratic system. Whatever one’s views are, Nigerians must thank former President Jonathan for not digging-in in the face of defeat and thereby saving the country untold consequences.

As I said in my inaugural speech, I bear no ill will against anyone on past events. Nobody should fear anything from me. We are not after anyone. People should only fear the consequences of their actions. I hereby invite everyone, whatever his or her political view to join me in working for the nation.

My countrymen and women, every new government inherits problems. Ours was no different. But what Nigerians want are solutions, quick solutions not a recitation of problems inherited.

Accordingly, after consultations with the Vice President, senior party leaders and other senior stakeholders, I quickly got down to work on the immediate, medium-term and long-term problems which we must solve if we are to maintain the confidence which Nigerians so generously bestowed on us in the March elections.

And since then, as you know, I toured the neighbouring countries, marshalled a coalition of armed forces of the five nations to confront and defeat Boko Haram. I met also the G-7 leaders and other friendly presidents in an effort to build an international coalition against Boko Haram.

Our gallant armed forces under new leadership have taken the battle to the insurgents, and severely weakened their logistical and infrastructural capabilities. Boko Haram are being scattered and are on the run.

That they are resorting to shameless attacks on soft targets such as I.D.P. camps is indicative of their cowardice and desperation. I have instructed security and local authorities to tighten vigilance in vulnerable places. On power, government officials have held a series of long sessions over several weeks about the best way to improve the nation’s power supply in the safest and most cost-effective way.

In the meantime, improvement in the power situation is moderately encouraging. By the same token, supply of petrol and kerosene to the public has improved throughout the country. All the early signs are that within months the whole country would begin to feel a change for the better.

Preliminary steps have been taken to sanitize NNPC and improve its operations so that the inefficiency and corruption could be reduced to a minimum.

Those of our refineries which can be serviced and brought back into partial production would be enabled to resume operations so that the whole sordid business of exporting crude and importing finished products in dubious transactions could be stopped.

In addition to NNPC, I have ordered a complete audit of our other revenue generating agencies mainly CBN, FIRS, Customs, NCC, for better service delivery to the nation.

Prudent house-keeping is needed now more than ever in view of the sharp decline in world market oil prices. It is a challenge we have to face squarely. But what counts is not so much what accrues but how we manage our resources that is important.

We have seen in the last few years how huge resources were mismanaged, squandered and wasted. The new APC government is embarking on a clean up, introducing prudence and probity in public financing.

At an early stage, the federal government addressed the issue of salary arrears in many states, a situation capable of degenerating into social unrest. The APC government stepped in to improve short-term support to the owing states and enabled them to pay off the backlog and restore the livelihood of millions of Nigerians.

Fellow Nigerians, there have been a lot of anxiety and impatience over the apparent delay in announcement of ministers. There is no cause to be anxious. Our government set out to do things methodically and properly. We received the handover notes from the outgoing government only four days before taking over.

Consequently, the Joda Transition Committee submitted its Report on the reorganization of Federal Government structure after studying the handover notes. It would have been haphazard to announce ministers when the government had not finalized the number of ministries to optimally carry the burden of governance.

Anyway, the wait is over. The first set of names for ministerial nominees for confirmation has been sent to the Senate. Subsequent lists will be forwarded in due course. Impatience is not a virtue. Order is more vital than speed. Careful and deliberate decisions after consultations get far better results. And better results for our country is what the APC government for CHANGE is all about.

I would like to end my address this morning on our agenda for CHANGE. Change does not just happen. You and I and all of us must appreciate that we all have our part to play if we want to bring change about. We must change our lawless habits, our attitude to public office and public trust. We must change our unruly behaviour in schools, hospitals, market places, motor parks, on the roads, in homes and offices. To bring about change, we must change ourselves by being law-abiding citizens.

Happy Independence Celebrations. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria. God bless you all.
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Speaking to world leaders at the 70th General Assembly of the United Nations on Monday in New York, President Muhammadu Buhari called on the international community to strengthen efforts to dismantle safe havens for the various proceeds of corruption.

He urged his colleagues to also make more efforts to return Nigeria’s stolen funds and assets that have found their way to their respective countries. While reaffirming his administration’s commitment to fight corruption and illicit financial flows, he encouraged everyone to work collectively to overcome the 21st century evils of corruption, cross-border financial crimes, cyber crime and human trafficking plaguing the modern society.

The President also promised that Nigeria would be in the front line against the war on terror and ensure that peace is restored especially for the people of Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon where Boko Haram’s violence is mainly perpetuated.
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Barely 48 hours to September 30, the deadline given by President
Muhammadu Buhari, to release the list of his long-awaited ministerial
nominees, the social media was again abuzz on Monday, with a list of
politicians and technocrats who are speculated to make the ministerial
nominees to be sent to the Senate tomorrow.

However, this list is
not an official list from the Presidency. Again, this is not likely the
real list because some names such as that of Dr Kayode Fayemi, Femi
Falana and Engineer Segun Oni are all from Ekiti State. According to the
constitution, the President must appoint a minister from each state.

Here is the list below:

Prof. Tam David West

Femi Falana (SAN)
Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazu (rtd)
Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola
Wale Edun
Abubakar Malami (SAN).
Mrs. Ifueko Omoigui-Okaru
Chief Bode Mustapha
Engineer Segun Oni
Dr Kayode Fayemi
Dr. Abba Ruma
Chief Kanu Agabi
Donald Duke
Babatunde Raji Fashola
Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi
Rotimi Akeredolu
Rabiu Musa Kwankwanso
Festus Odimegwu
Engineer Funsho Kupolokun
Yinka Folashade Oredola
Bisola Adegbenro
Isaiah Danjuma (son of TY Danjuma)
Dele Momodu
Kehinde Lawanson
Chief Bayo Ojo (SAN)
Pat Utomi
Charles Chukwuma Soludo

Meanwhile, as Nigerians await the official announcement from President Buhari:

 Who would you want to be on the list?
* Who would you want removed from the aforementioned names?

Source: Vanguard
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The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC‎) n a petition dated September 23,  requested that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Investigation (EFCC) investigate the alleged mismanagement of the US$2.2 million by the Nigerian government and the controversial decision to ‎refund to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) spearheaded by Nigeria’s former Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

This petition came in two (2) days after GAVI announced the appointment of Ms. Okonjo-Iweala as chair of its 28-member Board.

Her appointment, coming only months after she spearheaded the decision to pay ‎the US$2.2 million to the Geneva-based organization, being a refund for funds allegedly mismanaged by Nigerian health officials despite protests by officials of the health ministry that all GAVI grants had been judiciously used is seen as an act of sabotage, aimed at placating an international organisation at the expense of National integrity and reputation.

As reported by Premium Times, CSNAC stated that with the appointment of Ms. Okonjo-Iweala as Chair of GAVI’s Board, there is every reason to suspect conflict of interest in the “unprofessional and unpatriotic” refund of $2.2m to GAVI by the former minister.

Olanrewaju Suraju, CSNAC’s Chairman, said in the petition to the EFCC, “CSNAC is therefore, by this petition, requesting an extended and thorough investigation into the abuse of office, unprofessional conduct and conflict of interest associated with the activities of GAVI in Nigeria and, the actions of Dr. Okonjo-Iweala in connection with the refund,”

CREDIT: Onobello
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President Muhammadu Buhari arrived New York, Thursday September 24th for a series of meeting and the 70th United Nations General Assembly accompanied only by 21 delegates. He will be in the country till September 29th.
It would be recalled that in 2013, over 600 persons accompanied President Goodluck Jonathan to New York. This new development like the Independence Day Celebrations budget is a laudable effort at management by the Presidency.

 

President Buhari’s laudably slim delegation list includes: the Governors of Kaduna, Niger and Cross River states. Also on his entourage are former governors Rotimi Amaechi and Kayode Fayemi. The Senator from Katsina, Hadi Sirika and a former member of the House of Representatives, Abike Dabiri, are also in the group.

Others on the plane to New York include Major General Monguno (Rtd), the National Security Adviser; Femi Adesina, the Presidential Special Adviser on Media; Sarkin Abba Kalu, Special Adviser Household Matters; Lawal Kazuare (State Chief of Protocol), Nura Rimi, Presidential Liaison Officer; Lt. Col M. L Abubakar (Aide de Camp); Bashir Abubakar, Chief Security Officer; Sabi’u Yusuf (Personal Assistant); ACP Abdukarim Dauda, Dr. Suhayb Sanusi Rafindadi, Chief Personal Physician; and Ya’u Abdulahi, Chief Detail.

For his first visit to the General Assembly as elected leader, President Buhari reportedly received meeting requests from about 21 world leaders, but he will only be able to meet with the Presidents of Brazil, Russia and Poland; former US President Bill Clinton, Microsoft Founder Bill Gates and Pope Frances.

As reported by SaharaReporters, President Buhari will also be skipping the meeting scheduled with Nigerians in the Diaspora, all functions with non-governmental organizations, and the traditional dinner with the business community.
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The immediate former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele
Jonathan yesterday during his visit to Ikenna, where himself and his wife had gone
to pay the Awolowos a condolence visit on the passing away of their mother,
grandmother and great grandmother, said if not for the death of the aged woman
and how important she was to the nation, himself and his wife wouldn’t have
been seen publicly like this. He said they had planned to “Hide” for 12 months
shortly after leaving office, but mama’s death was one which they couldn’t over
look. His words after the cut.

“Within this period, myself and my wife have been hiding; we
don’t even go out. We thought we’ll be hiding for at least 12 months. But in
this particular case, we cannot hide. So, we’ve come for the condolence and to
encourage our brothers and sisters that we are together,” he said.

On the passing of Mrs. Awolowo,  Jonathan said it was a great loss, but that he
took solace in the fact that death is an inevitable end that would come when it
would come.

“So, we know it would come for all of us one day and here we
are today,” he said.

“We have been coming here because the former secretary to
the government did mention that the last time I came here it was associated
with the last presidential electioneering campaign. But before, I’ve been here
severally to see mama in one way or the other,” the former president said.

“We are mourning her today; me and my wife, we are not
mourning because mama has passed on. For me, we believe that it’s a rare
privilege to add extra 29 years to the Biblical two scores and ten; it’s not
easy.

“Ordinarily, we wouldn’t have been mourning but mama was a
rare mother. She was a woman of virtue described in the Bible and she was a
mother to all of us; a mother that her milk of kindness we still need, her milk
of encouragement we still need, her milk of advice we still need and today
she’s no more with us.

“But for me and my wife and members of our delegation, some
of them include the former leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Mulikat
Adeola. Of course, Gbenga Daniel has been here severally but he was the one who
led us into this hall. My good friend, Jide Adeniji, the former chairman of
FERMA and others. Mrs. Kuku from Bayelsa State and others that joined us; we
have come to pay our last respect,” he stated.
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The trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki for “false declaration of assets” commenced at the code of conduct tribunal in Abuja on Friday as the tribunal has ordered. Saraki refused to appear in person as ordered by the code of conduct tribunal but was represented by his lawyer, Mahmud Magaji. It appears he is hiding behind the directive by a federal high court asking the Tribunal and Saraki to appear for justification of the case on Monday. Consequently, the federal government prosecuting counsel, M.S. Hassan, has asked the court to with immediate effect issue a bench warrant for the arrest of Saraki.

 He told the Tribunal that Saraki, for failing to respect a competent court, should be arrested within the next two hours by the police authority in Abuja and brought to court immediately.
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Nigeria’s president Buhari has reportedly ordered the relocation of Aso Villa chapel because of its closeness to his bedroom. According to Daily Times, the president is not comfortable with the noise that originates from the chapel when worship is going on.

The Chapel was built by former president, Olusegun Obasanjo who is said to have strategically located the chapel so he can “enjoy worship and prayers from the comfort of his bedroom”. President Buhari is a Muslim and has reportedly complained about the noise from the chapel. Some aides of the president had already made efforts to stop the use of the facility by Christian worshippers on August 30. As a prelude, security agents prevented the Villa Chapel choristers from entering the building for their weekly rehearsal on Saturday, August 29, 2015.

However, uproar over the development ensued, which caused Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, a Christian who also worships at the chapel, to contact Buhari before the security men gave way for service to be conducted that day.

In a move that suggests the Presidency is not giving up in its bid to relocate the chapel, the children’s church section of the chapel has been shut and some rooms have been converted to shops for storing food items.

“We had to beg them to allow us to remove our property,” said an official of the church who did not want to be named. “The children’s church has been turned into a store. As a result of the unforeseen development, we had to collapse some facilities to accommodate the children and keep our worship going. That was why the Chaplain said that the church had not been shut but ‘we only had some procedural issues that needed to be sorted out’.”

Femi Adesina, the Presidential spokesman, has denied that the chapel will be moved.

[via Daily Times]
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24 hours after President Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
declared their assets, Sen. Shehu Sani representing Kaduna Central
Senatorial District, has also declared his assets. According to a
statement he released today September 4th, Senator Sani who has 2 wives and 6 children, says he has a total of N22 million in
three bank
accounts, owns two residential houses in Kaduna, two
houses under lease in Kaduna, two uncompleted office apartments in
Kaduna, one residential house in Abuja, one family inherited house in
Kurfi, Katsina State, and one family inherited house in Minna, Niger
State.
He also added that he owns several cars, and bought N5million
worth of shares in 2007 but which crashed in 2008. According to him,
declaration of assets is a moral challenge to all public office holders.
“In line with moral example set by President Muhammadu Buhari
and Vice
President Osinbajo, and in conformity to the standard of transparent
and exemplary leadership, and in submission to the public and popular
demand for integrity test to all public office holders, in a new Nigeria
on a filtration process for a politically cleaner and decent future, I
have decided to voluntarily make this public declaration. President
Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo public
declaration of their assets is a moral challenge to all public holders.
Their declaration challenges all men of conscience and docks all men who
lay claim to self dignity and self worth. Their public declaration
hangs a chain of guilt on the neck of all


 public office holders. To refuse to publicly declare assets is to
continue to carry the burden of a moral thorn of guilt in a nation whose
generation of leaders for so long stands in the dock of ethical court.
There are no saints and angels in politics, but the citizenry deserve
to know the moral truth behind the facade of uprightness. A clean broom
is needed to clean a dirty space. I chose to publicly
declare and be pelted than to walk with the stain of suspicion and
mistrust splashed on all public office holders by a generation of
curious citizenry”the statement read.
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President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Abuja urged Nigerian accountants to support his administration’s efforts to restore greater probity, prudence, transparency and respect for financial regulations to the management of national resources.
Speaking at an audience with members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) at the Presidential Villa, President Buhari warned that with declining prices of oil exports which remain the mainstay of the national economy, Nigeria must begin to properly manage its available resources or face developmental stagnation and decline.
“You should help us to go back to the days of real accountability in the management of public funds.

“The annual audits of government MDAs which your members undertake must be taken more seriously. People must be made to properly account for whatever government funds are entrusted to their supervision.

“Let your audit reports on our MDAs be thoroughly, professionally and dispassionately done to ensure greater probity in the management of our national resources and sustainable development,” the President told the ICAN delegation led by Otunba Samuel Olufemi Deru.

 The ICAN President hailed the renaissance of the nation’s value system and the reinvigoration of the war against corruption which are being witnessed under President Buhari’s leadership.
“The values you hold dear – those of integrity, transparency and accountability – are the foundation of the accountancy profession.
“It is therefore heartening and commendable that you are engaging our members and their firms in the anti-corruption crusade.
“We pledge our collective and institutional support for your unparalleled commitment to build a caring, secured, politically united and economically prosperous nation that will be the pride of Africa,” he told President Buhari.

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