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Daily Archives: November 8, 2018

Buhari declares state of emergency on sanitation, water

President Muhammadu Buhari has declared a state of emergency on Nigeria’s water supply, sanitation and hygiene sector.

Buhari made the declaration at the inauguration of the National Action Plan for Revitalisation of Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sector at state house conference centre on Thursday in Abuja.

He directed governments at all levels to intensify efforts and work towards meeting the nation’s water supply and sanitation needs.

Buhari warned that henceforth federal government’s support to state governments would be based on their commitment to implementing the National WASH Action Plan in their respective states and to end open defecation by 2025.

The president said the declaration had become critical to reduce the high-prevalence of water-borne diseases in different parts of the country, which has caused preventable deaths.

He described statistics on open defecation, access to piped water services and sanitation in the country as ”disturbing”.

“Access to piped water services which was 32 per cent in 1990 has declined to seven per cent in 2015; access to improved sanitation has also decreased from 38 per cent in 1990 to 29 per cent in 2015,” Buhari said.

“Our country now ranks number two in the global rating on Open Defecation as about 25 per cent of our population are practicing open defecation.

“WASH services at the rural areas are unsustainable as 46 per cent of all water schemes are non-functional, and the share of our spending on WASH sector has been declining from 0.70 per cent of the GDP in 1990 to about 0.27 per cent in 2015, which is far below the 0.70 per cent at the West African regional level.”

The president restated that the provision of potable water supply, adequate sanitation and hygiene were primarily the responsibilities of state and local governments.

According to him, water supply and sanitation are not being given the required attention judging from the high prevalence of water-borne diseases that are being reported in different parts of the country.

He said that the stakeholders could not and would not continue to allow the preventable occurrences to decimate Nigeria’s population.

Buhari said he is aware that Nigeria did not meet the MDG targets for water supply and sanitation that ended in 2015.

“The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets (6.1 and 6.2) for WASH are even more demanding as they require WASH services to be provided in adequate quantity and quality on premises at affordable prices,” he said in the speech.

“This cannot be achieved if we continue with ‘a business as usual’ approach.

“It is on this premise that I fully endorse the decision taken at the meeting of the Federal Executive Council in April this year to declare a State of Emergency on our WASH Sector.

“I call on all state governments to complement this effort by according the sector similar recognition to enable us work together to achieve the SDG targets for WASH by 2030.’’

At the federal level, Buhari pledged that his administration would continue to place priority on infrastructure development including those of water supply, sanitation and hygiene services.

“From the inception of this administration, we have demonstrated serious commitment to the development of the Water Sector by preserving the Ministry of Water Resources and subsequently approving the 15-year roadmap developed for the sector,” he said.

“The transformation being witnessed in the sector since then is highly commendable.

“I have no doubt that the on-going initiatives including the implementation of the Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) in the Ministry will take the water sector to improved performance and supply, thereby meeting the national aspirations as well as the SDGs.”

Shehu Sani: SURE-P, N-Power are handouts for political gain

Shehu Sani, senator representing Kaduna central, says the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) and the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) are largesse dispensed for political goals.

The SURE-P was created in 2012 during the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan while the NSIP was created by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to reduce unemployment.

Sani alleged that the programmes are aimed at throwing handouts and crumbs to the masses with the aim of pacifying them and retaining their support for the political establishment and the ruling parties.

According to him, the SURE-P was designed to build the support base of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while N-Power was designed to build that of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He described the programmes as “handouts thrown to the masses to purchase their conscience and loyalty”.

“The ideological basis and reasoning of both the SURE-P and NSIP programmes is to reinforce the iniquities, inequalities and plunder inherent in the prevailing socioeconomic system that institutionalized the class privilege of a few against a many,” he said.

“The SURE-P programme was designed to build up the grassroots support base of the PDP and the N-Power was designed to build the grassroots support base of the APC.

“SURE-P and NSIP are institutionalised state generosities and philanthropy presented as social intervention while actually intended to neutralise mass resistance against social injustice and inequality presided over by the political establishment and the ruling elites.

“SURE-P and N-Power are all hands outs thrown to the poor ‘to purchase their conscience and loyalty’.

“SURE-P was a larcenous bread of corruption and N-Power is a butter of social deceit. Nigeria’s poverty problems can’t be solved by a ration system of throwing peanuts.

“N-Power is a repackaged SURE-P programme that only encourages the culture of social dependency on state handouts.”

Safety concerns: Fayemi shuts ‘Oja Oba’ market, orders refund

The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has ordered the closure of the new ultramodern market in Ado Ekiti over alleged structural defects.

The governor, according to a press release by his Chief Press Secretary, Olayinka Oyebode, took the decision following the inspection of the Oja Oba market.

The new market was built by the immediate past governor, Ayodele Fayose, while a part of it had been allocated by him before leaving the office.

But the statement said it was discovered during an inspection that the market complex was not ready for use because of structural defects.

The statement added, “A structural evaluation of the complex shows that some considerable construction work would be required to fix the inherent structural defects which have made the building unsafe for use.

“As this process would take some time, the Governor has therefore directed that the process of allocation of shops be stopped immediately.

“The Governor also directed that all subscribers with proofs of payment for shops in the market should be refunded.

“The Ministries of Works and Commerce are to work out a seamless process for the refund.”

But Fayose’s Special Assistant on New Communication and Public Media, Lere Olayinka, dared Fayemi to revoke the allocation.

Nigerian traders hail Buhari, ECOWAS for reopening shops in Ghana

The Nigerian Union of Traders Association Ghana (NUTAG), has commended President Mohammadu Buhari-led government, ECOWAS, Ghanaian authority and others for their intervention in the reopening of Nigerians shops in Ghana.

The President of NUTAG, Mr Chukwuemeka Nnaji, said this in a telephone conversation with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) from Kumasi Ghana on Thursday.

NAN reports that hundreds of shops run by Nigerians were reportedly shut following an impasse with the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA).

The closure of the shops was allegedly in compliance with authorities mulling some legislation compelling foreigners to have one million dollars (R14.3 million) as minimum foreign investment capital to do business in Ghana.

Nnaji who confirmed the reopening of the shops by the authority in Ghana said that the government of Nigeria had worked so hard to achieve the feat.

“Yes, the Government of Nigeria has worked so hard to bring this success. All our shops are now opened. We want to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for his intervention,” he said.

He recalled that President Buhari had sent a special envoy led by Foreign Affairs Minister, and President of ECOWAS Commission, Jean Claude Brou, to Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo over the matter.

“We also commend the ECOWAS president, Jean Claude Brou, and his commissioners and other envoys sent to Ghana so many times over the issue.

“We also want to thank the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, for their efforts,” he said.

Nnaji noted that the Minister had on Nov 2, summoned the Ghanaian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Amb. Rashid Bawa, over the situation on the reopening of the shops.

He commended the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Amb. Olufemi Abikoye, and his Ghanaian counterpart, Bawa, on their efforts in resolving the impasse.

Nnaji also expressed the union’s appreciation to Ghanaian President Akufo-Addo for his efforts and the role played in ensuring that the closed shops were reopened.

NAN also recalled that President Akufo-Addo had assured Nigerians in his country of freedom to operate their businesses without harassment.

Akufo-Addo said this while receiving President Buhari’s Special Envoy to Ghana, led by Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Geofrey Onyeama.

He urged Nigerians to go about their normal businesses in Ghana.

“As far as the traders are concerned, the shops are re-opened; people are back to work.

“Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act will never be applicable to ECOWAS citizens; so people can get on with their normal lives,” he said.

I’m not responsible for interrogation of Oshiomhole by DSS, says Amosun

Senator Ibikunle Amosun, governor of Ogun state, says he is not behind the interrogation of Adams Oshiomhole, national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), by the Department of State Services (DSS).

Oshiomhole was reportedly detained and quizzed by the DSS after some APC governors alleged that he received bribes during the party’s primary elections.

The APC chairman was pressured to resign during the interrogation. He reportedly travelled out of the country after his encounter with the secret police.

Amosun fell out with the leadership of the party after it chose Dapo Abiodun as his state’s gubernatorial candidate. The governor’s preferred candidate is Abiodun Akinlade.

Speaking with journalists at the presidential villa after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, Amosun said he does not “have to hide under a finger to fight” anyone.

“I think you are probably giving me an oversight role and I am not a security person, so clearly I think that question will not be for me. I don’t have to hide under a finger to fight,” the governor said.

“If there is need for me to put my views across, you know me by now that I will do it.”

When asked to comment on Oshiomohole’s reported trip out of the country, the governor said he is “not well suited” to respond to such a question.

“I have told you those things are beyond my pedigree and you are asking me questions that I am not well suited for,” Amosun said.

“The one that I have to talk about we have said it loud and clear that it doesn’t event need add anything.”

Reps recommend sack of NEMA DG, indict Osinbajo-led board over ‘illegal’ approval

The House of Representatives has indicted the governing board of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo over “illegal approval of N5.8 billion north-east intervention fund.”

The lawmakers also recommended the dismissal of Mustapha Maihaja, director-general of NEMA, over alleged fraud.

At plenary on Thursday, the lower legislative chamber adopted a report of its committee which also recommended the prosecution of Maihaja.

The ad-hoc committee was set up to investigate the NEMA DG over alleged corruption at the agency.

The committee in its report accused the NEMA DG of “corruption and embezzlement of N33 billion emergency intervention fund” meant for the agency.

The committee findings read: “On the emergency intervention of food security to the North-East to support the population ravaged by insurgency, a sum of N5,865,671,939.26 was approved and released in June 2017 vide a memo raised from the Office of the Acting President, directing the Hon. Minister of Finance and the Accountant General of the Federation to so act.

“The details further specified a directive to the Governor of CBN from the Ministry of Finance to pay the sum from the Consolidated Revenue Fund Account which the AGF is to raise a mandate for. This is in contravention of approval of NASS on the issuance of Euro Bond from which the Hon. Minister authorized the payment.

“Committee noted the flaws and infractions on the authorization granted and removal of such huge sum of money from the Consolidated Revenue Fund Account of the Federation in violation of the Constitution … due process was not followed as taxes and interest accruable to government were not deducted and remitted to the FIRS on the sums released and paid into the accounts of the different corporate entities shown above, this created colossal loss of revenue to the Federal Government.”

It said out of about N5.8 billion, “NEMA got N829,026,456 for logistics and it claimed it spent it as follows, without satisfactory evidence”.

The committee said it also discovered that the federal government “lost a total sum of over N33 billion as a result of mismanagement or outright embezzlement of funds occasioned by the actions or inactions of the Managing Director of NEMA, Engr. Mustapha Yunusa Maihaja.

“It is hereby consequently recommended that the Director General of NEMA, Engr. Mustapha Yunusa Maihaja, be relieved of his duties by Mr President, Commander in Chief, Federal Republic of Nigeria and handed over to relevant authorities for prosecution.”

I’m not stupid says Prince Charles

Britain’s Prince Charles said he would stop speaking out on issues he feels strongly about when he becomes the King of England.

Speaking ahead of his 70th birthday next week, the son of 92 year-old Queen Elizabeth said he is “not that stupid”.

He said that the role of monarch was completely different to his current position as Prince of Wales.

“The idea, somehow, that I’m going to go on in exactly the same way, if I have to succeed, is complete nonsense because the two – the two situations – are completely different,” he told the BBC.

Asked whether his public campaigning will continue, he said: “No, it won’t. I’m not that stupid.”

Britain has a constitutional monarchy, where the monarch has a formal role in the formation of governments but an obligation to remain neutral and no practical political power.

Charles has been outspoken on topics such as the environment and social issues.

In September, Charles said in an interview with GQ magazine that “My problem is I find there are too many things that need doing or battling on behalf of.”

But he told the BBC that he would operate within “constitutional parameters” as king.

“I do realise that it is a separate exercise being sovereign. So of course I understand entirely how that should operate,” he said.

But he defended his activism as heir to the throne, which includes founding the Prince’s Trust charity in 1976 to support vulnerable young people.

He said: “If it’s meddling to worry about the inner cities as I did 40 years ago, then if that’s meddling I’m proud of it.”

Charles was four when his grandfather George VI died and his mother ascended to the throne at the age of 25.

In that time, Charles has sometimes courted controversy of the kind that Elizabeth has sought to avoid.

Beside his outspoken views, Charles faced intrigue around the acrimonious end to his marriage to first wife, Princess Diana.

There is also hostility in some quarters to his second wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

Camilla told the BBC that his drive to get things done spurred his activism.

“He would like to save the world,” she said.

In 2013, it was revealed he had held 36 meetings with government ministers over three years.

Two years later, Britain’s top court ruled that dozens of his letters to ministers – dubbed the ‘black spider memos’ because of his scrawled handwriting – could be released.

Topics included rural housing, food in hospitals and the fate of the Patagonian Toothfish.

His son, William, said that he would like Charles to spend more time with his grandchildren.

“When he’s there, he’s brilliant,” William said. “We need him there as much as possible.”

(Reuters/NAN)

Nigerian banks have to reform to survive what is coming, Osinbajo warns

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says there is a need to reform Nigerian banks for them to meet up with the inevitability of the Fintech revolution.

Speaking at the ongoing first ever Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg on Thursday, the Osinbajo said there are no plans to take the banks’ lunch, but the banks have to reform to survive.

He said the “Fintech companies, as you know, are challenging some of the old laws on banking and all of that”.

“The major issue is that technology is clearly going to disrupt the financial space, and is doing so already, so banks have to reform,” Osinbajo said.

“They have to invest in some of the Fintech companies themselves, and they have to see this revolution as inevitable.

“I think that what we are seeing today is the reform around that space, and many of the banks are looking up and understanding that this is going to happen, and it’s already happening”.

He, however, allayed the fears of the banks by saying the government is, and will, work with them, the regulators, and the Fintech companies to ensure development in the sector.

“I think the first thing is to allay the fears of the bank that lunch isn’t being taken away. Banks, of course, are jittery about some of what is happening in the Fintech space,” Osinbajo added.

“They need to be assured that this isn’t about taking their lunch but that we cannot avoid what is coming to us now.

“What we are saying is that payment system, lending, all sort of financial systems, even insurance are happening much faster.

“So we have to change regulation and we must ensure that we give space to these tech companies because what is happening is that there is a quick convergence between technology and financial products.

“So much faster than many of the banks are able to cope with, so what we are trying to do is work with the banking system, the Central Bank of Nigeria for example, we are sitting with the Fintech companies, banks, and the telcos.

“The telcos are in this space now and many of them are challenging some of what used to be traditional banking businesses.”

Osinbajo, who spoke alongside the presidents of Ghana, Guinea, and South Africa, on the presidential panel in Johannesburg, acknowledged that there is a regulatory challenge in the financial space.

FG spends N3.5m to feed El-Zakzaky monthly, says Lai Mohammed

Lai Mohammed, minister of information, says the federal government spends N3.5 million every month to feed Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).

Despite the bail granted to him by a federal high court, El-Zakzaky has been denied freedom since December 2015 and has remained in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

In a video trending online, the minister asked not to be quoted before proceeding to say: “It costs the government about N3.5 million every month to feed him.

“Honestly, don’t quote me, but these are the facts.

“So please. We don’t want to inflame passion. The issue is a very sensitive matter. But that is the situation. The Islamic Movement of Nigeria are a different kettle of fish.”

The leader of the Shi’ites is facing trial over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, and distrust ion of peace.

In recent weeks, his followers clashed with security agencies in Abuja, leading to multiple fatalities.

Below is the video and reactions from Nigerians.

Olu_bounty@olu_natty

Lai Mohammed is surely an aberration. Making this kind of statement shows that this administration is feckles.

AdForumCo@AdForumCo

#AdForumCo
”It costs the Federal government N3.5m every month to feed detained Shi’ite leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky” Lai Mohammed

Ibadan Lord ??@degosTee

Lai Mohammed: “It costs the Nigerian government N3.5m per month to feed ElZakzaky”

Are they feeding him manna imported from Heaven? At this point, I bet the devil himself is no longer sure if he’s still the father of lies.

Stevintee@Stevintee

Lai Mohammed beats Lucifer at his own game.

Your Body Go Tell You??@TheNigerian__

Lai Mohammed: It costs 3.5 Million monthly to feed El Zakzaky

Google:

Kayode Ogundamisi

@ogundamisi

“It costs the Nigerian government N3.5m per month to feed ElZakzaky.” – Lai Mohammed.

Lai Mohammed did it again…….

Is ElZakzaky being fed with raw gold?

Lérd Chigbo ā@itschigbo

Buhari: Osinbade any update?

PYO: Lai Mohammed has distracted them. They’ve stopped talking about your WAEC forgery

Matthew Ottah™@MatthewOttah

Lai Mohammed really knows how to take the piss! How would he say El-zakzaky meals cost N3.5million a month? Is he the prime minister of prisoners? Does his daily diet include exotic imported Ostriches, Gorrillas, Zebras & Giraffes? Lying to Lai Mohammed is now an extreme sport