Buhari fired FRC boss for 2019 ambition – Gov Fayose

Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose has attacked President Muhammadu Buhari over the sack of the Executive Secretary of the Financial Regulatory Council (FRC) of Nigeria, Jim Obazee.

In a statement by Lere Olayinka, Fayose described the sack of Obazee as a ploy by President Buhari led administration to draw more attention come 2019.

Fayose said, “When they realised the implication of their action on President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2019 ambition, especially the personality like Pastor Adeboye that’s involved, they quickly sacked an innocent man who must have acted on instruction.

“Obviously, their attention is more on 2019, not on justice and any love for the sustenance of Christianity in Nigeria.

Mind you, they have only suspended the implementation of the regulation, they did not abrogate it. It is obvious that they have an agenda. And if you look at the president’s pattern of life, he is a sectional leader, whose appointments reflect sectionalism and nepotism.”

Fayose further said the sack was a cover-up to stem the tide of negative public reactions towards the implementation of the controversial law that stripped the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye and others of their positions.

Speaking further, Fayose said: “If men of God like Pastor Adeboye, Pastor W. F. Kumuyi, Bishop David Oyedepo, Bishop Mike Okonkwo and others cannot be GO of their church beyond 70 years of age, how do we now justify a man like President Buhari who is over 74 and still willing to be president beyond 2019 that he will be 77?”

Fayose reiterated that though the law was purportedly made by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, it was implemented by President Buhari.

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Donald Trump to attend Nigeria’s oil, gas roadshow

The incoming President of the United States of America (USA), Mr. Donald Trump, is billed to attend a roadshow put together by the Federal Government as part of efforts to attract investment into the oil sector.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachikwu, made the disclosure while unveiling his goals and those of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources for 2017 in Abuja.

According to him, “We are going to be seeking to attract investments and complete all the MoUs we have in China and India. We are looking to do a roadshow to the UK, we are looking to do a roadshow to the US with President Donald Trump coming in,’’ he said.

The Minister said Nigeria would exploit the relationship built by President Muhammadu Buhari in taking a roadshow to the UK and the US.

“We are going to accelerate Federal Government’s revenues, look into areas where we could have made more money, so as to support the 2017 budget financing.

“We are looking to draw on the relationship that the President has built over time. We are going to be conducting oil blocks allocations and marginal flow awards to try and raise money for the government,” Kachikwu said.

He assured that Nigeria’s refineries would be revamped to produce at 60 per cent capacity.

“We need to start the revamping of the refineries. The president has given us marching orders on that. We still remain committed on our goal of 2018 to reduce importation by 60 per cent and 2019, stop the importation of petroleum products substantially.

“Now, we are going to continue to focus on downstream issues. Although we have liberalised, there are still some challenges.

“We are going to see how we work within the liberalisation infrastructure such that we are able to take away the low-hanging difficulties.

“We are also going to focus on the Niger Delta. It’s been too long a lingering issue. We are going to be working with every aspect of the Presidency to try and find solution to this.

“On the other hand, we are going to run at a rocket pace. We have so much to do. First, we are going to firm up our policies, be able to gazette all our oil and gas policies and then pass the PIB,” he stated.

Kachikwu praised Nigeria’s “influential role” in stabilising oil prices, saying he expects oil to trade in the $60s for the better part of 2017.

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Sen Dino Melaye reacts to Ahmed Lawan’s nomination as New Senate Leader

Senator Dino Melaye, representing Kogi west senatorial district has reacted to the emergence of Ahmed Lawan (Yobe North) as the new Senate leader of the National Assembly.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus in the Nigerian Senate on Tuesday wrote the Senate President Bukola Saraki over the appointment of a new leader.

Melaye in a phone chat with Channels Television, Politics Today anchored by Sulaiman Aledeh on Tuesday night said: “Senator Ahmed Lawan’s nomination by APC Caucus as Senate Leader has come to stay”.

“Nothing new about changed of leadership, the leader of the senate is in the position as result of the decision of the member of the senate.

“Due process was followed.

“The names on the signatory weigh above simple majority and duly signed by the stipulated number by law”.

“He said the leadership of the APC in senate met and we felt to change figures of the party in the state and drive home a united APC by working closely with Mr. President.

This is purely a caucus decision of the APC, he said.

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Ahmed Lawan replaces Ali Ndume as Senate Majority Leader

The Nigerian Senate has named a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Ahmed Lawan as the new leader of the upper legislative chamber.

He replaces Senate leader, Ali Ndume.

At the resumption of plenary on Tuesday, Senate President Bukola Saraki read a letter written to the Senate by the All Progressives Congress caucus, informing the lawmakers of its decision to name Senator Lawan as the new Senate Leader.

But in a swift reaction, Senator Ndume told journalists that his removal as Senate leader came as a surprise as he was not aware that he had been removed and replaced.

The reason for the removal of Senator Ndume was not made known, but recently the senator had told reporters that the non-confirmation of Ibrahim Magu as EFCC Chairman did not amount to a rejection.

The Senate Spokesman, Sabi Abdullahi, later restated the Senate’s position, insisting the lawmakers rejected Mr Magu, as opposed to Senator Ndume’s statement.

It is the first day of legislative proceedings for the year.

Lawmakers welcomed each other back to work after the Christmas and New Year holiday.

They settled down for the business of the day and the Senate President reeled out the areas that the upper chamber would give priority-one of which is the consideration of the 2017 budget.

As legislative proceedings for the day wound down, Senator Saraki announced a change in the leadership of the Senate.

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FG hires 8 auditing firms to monitor bailout funds given to states

The Minister for Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adetiba has confirmed the appointment of eight auditing firms hired to evaluate the compliance rate of state governments with the implementation of the Fiscal Sustainability Plan (FSP).

A total of 35 states had in June 2016 signed to comply with actions contained in the plan. Only Lagos State backed out of the agreement.
A statement issued by the Director, Information, Ministry of Finance, Mr. Salisu Dambatta, announced the appointments on Tuesday.

The eight accounting firms are PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG Professional Services, Ernst & Young, PKF Professional Services, Muhtari Dangana & Co., S.S. Afemikhe & Co., Ahmed Zakari & Co., and Ijewere & Co.
The Federal Government had given the FSP condition before commencing the disbursement of the N510 billion budget support facility to the states to enable them to pay workers’ salaries.

About 27 states were owing workers’ salaries before the Federal Government released the conditional loan.

Adeosun said firms are “expected to vigorously monitor, evaluate and verify the performance of the states against the agreed milestones set by each state government under the Fiscal Sustainability Plan.”

According to her, the state governments that fails to implement the FSP will be taken off  the facility with immediately.

The statement said the ministry has been monitoring the states  since June 2016, adding that the auditing firms were hired because of the need for  independent monitoring and verification of the states against the agreed milestones.

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Tunde Bakare calls for restructuring of Nigeria

The Senior Pastor of the Latter Rain Assembly, Tunde Bakare, has joined the call for the restructuring of Nigeria’s federalism.

 He made the call during a church service, in which he delivered a ‘state of the nation’ address.

The former vice-presidential candidate said that it has become important, more than ever, to create a system whereby states of the federation can be independent.

Bakare began by reviewing his 2016 forecast, which he reminded the church, came to pass, before making his 2017 forecast, anticipating a better year.

“Years from now, generations yet unborn will point to this year as a turning point for the Nigerian nation,” he said.

He then spoke on the need to reduce the 36 states of the federation, into the 6 geo-political zones; a move he believes would make the states healthier and more financially robust.

“These 36 states overwhelmingly sustained by allocations from Abuja cannot guarantee functional infrastructure such as world class roads, railways, airports, housing and urban development,” he said.

In further justifying his recommendations, he said: “We must restructure to correct the flaws in our federal system. A federated state is defined as a territorial and constitutional community forming part of a federal union.

“In a true federal system, previously sovereign states agree to confer their individual sovereignties on a central government.

“In other words, the states create the federal government, as was the case with the original 13 American colonies. In Nigeria, the federal government creates the states.”

Support For President

Pastor Bakare also said that the President is on course with his anti-corruption fight although he also admitted that there is need for things to be done faster.

“We have seen some progress in the anti-corruption war with the relevant agencies recently extending the fight to elements within the judiciary suspected to have been major impediments to the successful prosecution of the war”.

He disagreed with those who see President Muhamadu Buhari’s administration as clueless and called for more support for the President’s administration, as he believes in his capacity to do things in the interest of the country.

Furthermore, the pastor stated that he wants to see an immediate action on the part of the President, especially in reviewing appointments at the federal level.

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