Monday , 14 October 2019
Home » 2019 » September » 16

Daily Archives: September 16, 2019

Buhari Media Organisation congratulates Onigbinde for resigning

The Buhari Media Organisation has congratulated BudgIT co-founder, Seun Onigbinde, for resigning his position as the Technical Adviser to the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning.

The Chairman of the BMO, Niyi Akinsiju, said that Onigbinde took the honourable path by resigning even as he wished him well in his future endeavours.

Akinsiju said, “We congratulate him for taking the path of honour. We have always said that this matter has to do with principles and philosophy. We had nothing against his person.”

When asked if the implication was that government critics were not allowed to take up appointments, Akinsiju said those who criticise government constructively can take up appointments.

He, however, said Onigbinde was known to engage in name-calling and insulting the President and his supporters and as such should not have taken up the appointment.

The BMO chairman added, “We welcome criticisms but when you insult the President and even his followers, you have gone beyond the reasonable limit of criticism. If you do such, it can be assumed that you have taken an ideological position.

“If you don’t like a person, you cannot relate with such a person and it is illogical to say you want to work for that same person.”

When confronted with the fact that Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, of the Peoples Democratic Party appointed two opposition members into his government over the weekend, Akinsiju said the debate was not about party affiliation but ideology.

“A critic should criticise government policy and not a person who rains insults on people,” he said.

Onigbinde, who runs a pro-transparency group, had been trending on social media for nearly three days for accepting the appointment.

However, Buhari’s supporters, as well as the BMO, had kicked against the appointment, asking him to resign immediately.

At least three known critics of the Buhari government who were given appointments in recent time have been forced to resign.

In June, Dr. Festus Adedayo, who was appointed as Special Adviser to the Senate President was forced to resign while Olu Onemola, a former aide to ex-President Bukola Saraki who was retained by Senate President Ahmad Lawan, was forced to relinquish his appointment.


You shouldn’t have quit, Joe Abah tells BudgIT’s Seun Onigbinde

Political Economist and Public Service Reforms advocate, Dr. Joe Abah, has explained to Seun Onigbinde the implications of accepting public office appointment after being a critic of the same administration.

He told Onigbinde that, since he had opted to accept the job offer, he should have stayed on it.

Abah addressed Onigbinde, a co-founder of BudgIT who had resigned his recent appointment as Technical Adviser to the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning.

Criticisms had trailed Onigbinde, a critic of the Federal Government, immediately his appointment was announced last Friday.

On Monday, however, Onigbinde, in a public letter via his Medium page, announced his resignation.

Taking to his verified Twitter handle @DrJoeAbah on Monday, Abah tweeted his reaction.

He had tweeted,

Dr. Joe Abah


Just heard that @seunonigbinde has resigned. My reactions:
1. It would have been naive not to expect criticism
2. Don’t take the job if you can’t handle criticism
3. If you decide to take the job, don’t quit.
4. In future, be more measured. Criticism is different from extremism.

1,411 people are talking about this

South Africa apologises to Nigeria over xenophobic attacks

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has apologised to Nigeria over the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in his country.

Jeff Radebe, a special envoy from South Africa, tendered an apology on behalf of the government and people of the country to President Muhammadu Buhari at the state house in Abuja on Monday.

Radebe apologised on behalf of his president for what he called “acts of criminality and violence” that recently occurred, adding that “such do not represent our value system, nor those of the larger number of South Africans”.

He said South Africa was an integral part of Africa, and is fully committed to peace and integration of the continent.

The special envoy disclosed that 10 people died during the attacks – two Zimbabweans and eight South Africans. He said there was no Nigerian casualty.

He added that South Africa remains eternally grateful for the role Nigeria played in ending apartheid, and hoped that the coming visit of the Nigerian President would solidify relationship between the two countries once again.

Ramaphosa had dispatched three envoys to seven African countries, including Nigeria, to deliver messages of pan-African unity.

This is after he was booed in Zimbabwe last Saturday at Robert Mugabe’s funeral while addressing mourners.

According to a statement issued by Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, Buhari went down memory lane, recalling roles played by Nigeria in engendering a majority rule in South Africa, and ending the apartheid.

“Going back to historical antecedents, we made great sacrifices for South Africa to become a free state. I was a junior officer to Gen. Murtala Muhammad, and Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo. They were not operating in a democracy, but they got Nigerians to support them in the bid to see a free South Africa,” he said.

“Our leadership was quite committed to the cause. We made sacrifices, which younger people of today may not know. During my last visit to South Africa with the late President Robert Mugabe, it was very emotional, as Mugabe spoke about Nigeria’s contribution to free South Africa.”

The president thanked Ramaphosa, through the special envoy, “for coming to explain to us what happened in South Africa recently, leading to killing and displacement of foreigners”.

He responded to profuse apologies from the South African president, pledging that relationship between the two countries “will be solidified,” while describing the xenophobic attacks as “very unfortunate”.

Buhari had ordered the evacuation of Nigerians from South Africa in the wake of the crisis. The first batch of returnees arrived in the country last Wednesday.

The president also sent a special envoy to South Africa to register the government’s displeasure over the incident, and recalled Nigeria’s high commission to the country.

Again, Dangote’s tomato processing factory shuts down

The Dangote tomato processing factory located in Kano has been shut down after farmers engaged to supply the factory with raw materials abandoned tomato farming at the start of the rainy season in May.

The factory resumed operations in March after being idle for three years.

According to Abdulkareem Kaita, the managing director of Dangote Farms, the company is losing at least N30 million every month that it remains shut.

The factory, which is Nigeria’s largest, has the capacity to process 1,200 tonnes of tomato a day.

The plant needs about 40 trucks of fresh tomatoes per day with each truck handling 30 tonnes of produce.

Dangote launched the company in March 2016, to reduce importation of tomato paste, estimated at 400,000 tonnes annually.

Nigeria is reported to be Africa’s third-largest importer of the commodity, importing from China and some other Asian countries.

Upon resumption of operations in March, the company was only able to produce 20% of its capacity due to inadequate supply of tomatoes.

“We knew tomato is a seasonal crop before we started as it’s the case in China and Europe,” Bloomberg quoted Kaita to have said.

“What we set out to do was reduce the post-harvest loss yearly to feed the factory.”

The farm has already acquired a 5,000-hectare of farmland to cultivate a high-yield variety of tomatoes to supply the factory with raw materials and at the same time introduce the variety to other farms to increase their productivity.

“With this, the output of the farmers would tremendously improve and the processing factory would record ample supply,” Kaita said.

“The effective implementation of the government’s policy in restricting tomato paste importation will guarantee more investment in the tomato value chain, which will eventually lead to self-sufficiency in few years to come.”

In February, Audu Ogbeh, the former minister of agriculture, had said the federal government would ban the importation of tomato paste before the end of 2019.

Buhari disbands Osinbajo’s economic team — appoints Soludo, Salami, Rewane to advisory council

President Muhammadu Buhari has constituted an economic advisory council to replace the current economic management team headed by Yemi Osinbajo, the vice president.

According to a statement signed by Femi Adesina, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, the team will report directly to the president.

Doyin Salami, a senior lecturer at the Lagos Business School and former member of the monetary policy committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is the chairman of the council.

The other members of the committee are:

Mohammed Sagagi as the vice-chairman

Ode Ojowu – member

Shehu Yahaya – member

Iyabo Masha – member

Chukwuma Soludo – member

Bismark Rewane – member

Mohammed Adaya Salisu – secretary (senior special assistant to the president, development policy)

“The Economic Advisory Council (EAC) will advise the President on economic policy matters, including fiscal analysis, economic growth and a range of internal and global economic issues working with the relevant cabinet members and heads of monetary and fiscal agencies,” the statement announcing their appointment read.

“The EAC will have monthly technical sessions as well as scheduled quarterly meetings with the President. The Chairman may, however, request for unscheduled meetings if the need arises.”

The vice president’s economic team, which was made up of ministers and governors, has been in place since 2015.

BudgIT founder Seun Onigbinde resigns govt appointment


Following public criticisms that have greeted his appointment to the budget ministry, Seun Onigbinde has now turned down the appointment.

Mr Onigbinde, co-founder of BudgIT, a civic group committed to government financial transparency, announced his resignation on Monday.

Mr Onigbinde had last week announced his decision to accept a technical adviser position at the budget ministry.

Many Nigerians, particularly on social media, however criticised the appointment.

Some supporters of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, like the Buhari Media Organisation, also criticised the appointment based on Mr Onigbinde’s past criticism of the Buhari government.

See the post by Mr Onigbinde announcing his resignation below.


Kindly recall that I sent out a note recently on my interest to seek new experiences and that I would be working as a Technical Adviser to the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning for a short period.

It is clear that recent media reports about my appointment have created a complex narrative, which I believe would engender an atmosphere of mistrust, as I planned to proceed.

Upon further reflections on the furore that has been generated by my new role as the Technical Adviser to the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, I humbly resign the appointment.

I am very grateful to the Honourable Minister, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, for believing in my expertise and I also thank everyone who sent his or her congratulations to me in the short period. I have also been humbled by the faith and belief that numerous persons have expressed in me.

My sincere interest is to see a Nigeria that grows and optimises resources for the benefits of all Nigerians.

My loyalty to the good cause of our nation, Nigeria compelled me to accept the call to provide technical skills and this experience has more than strengthened it.

I also want to wish the Nigerian Government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, well. I will always be of help to the federal government in my capacity as the Director of BudgIT, a critical fiscal transparency group, as I have been to several agencies. I would also work to ensure that BudgIT continues to build civic awareness on the right of every Nigerian to know how public resources are managed.