Tuesday, 31 December 2013

APC's New Year Message to Nigerians: Change is imminent

The All  Progressives Congress (APC) has assured Nigerians that the party is  ready, willing and determined to make all the necessary sacrifices to  reverse the prevailing gloomy situation in the country and bring about  the much-needed change for the better in the interest of the  long-suffering citizens.

In a statement on Tuesday by its Interim National  Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said Nigerians  should go into the New Year with an unyielding commitment to be part of  ongoing efforts to set the country on the path of growth and  development, rather than get into a state of funk on the basis of the  cumulative mis-governance of the past 14 years by the PDP-led Federal  Government.

Outrage In Ibadan As ATM Machines Fails To Dispense Cash

There was outrage in Ibadan metropolis today as customers were unable to access many Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) located in some banks.

The bank customers who had besieged the ATMs to withdraw cash for the New Year and other necessities as early as 6.30 were disappointed with a good number of the machines not functioning.

In some banks,the ATMs indicated "inoperative" as customers slot their cards into the machines which made customers to complain bitterly and pour out their angers. 

But few of the ATMs working recorded unprecedented patronage with long queues while the banking halls of most  banks were full to the brim.

The queues disrupted free flow of traffic on major roads where the banks are situated with security officials having hectic time controlling traffic. 

The rush was sequel to the notification banks gave their customers that they will be closing for the day between 12 and 1 pm.

Banks along Iwo road,Mokola, Challenge and other areas in the ancient city,many customers spend close to between four and five hours before getting cash in the banking halls or from the ATMs.

Full Text: New Year Message To The Nation From President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR December 31, 2013

Dear Compatriots,

I greet and felicitate with you all as we enter the year 2014 which promises to be a momentous one for our country for several reasons, including the fact that it is also the year of our great nation’s centenary celebrations. I join you all in giving thanks to God Almighty for guiding us and our beloved nation safely through all the challenges of the outgoing year to the beginning of 2014.

Exactly 100 years ago today, on January 1, 1914, the British Colonial authorities amalgamated what was then the separate Protectorates of Southern Nigeria and Northern Nigeria, giving birth to the single geopolitical entity known as Nigeria.  For us therefore, today is not just the beginning of a new year, but the end of a century of national existence and the beginning of another. It is a moment for sober reflection and for pride in all that is great about Nigeria.

Whatever challenges we may have faced, whatever storms we may have confronted and survived, Nigeria remains a truly blessed country, a country of gifted men and women who continue to distinguish themselves in all spheres of life, a country whose diversity remains a source of strength.  We pay tribute today, as always to our founding fathers and mothers, and all the heroes and heroines whose toil and sweat over the century made this country what it is today.

As I noted, a few days ago, the amalgamation of 1914 was certainly not a mistake but a blessing.  As we celebrate 100 years of nationhood, we must resolve to continue to work together as one, united people, to make our country even greater.

I assure you that our administration remains fully committed to the progressive development of our country and the consolidation of peace, unity and democratic governance in our fatherland. Despite several continuing domestic and global challenges, for us in Nigeria, the year 2013 witnessed many positive developments which we will strive to build upon in 2014.

We have diligently carried forward the purposeful and focused implementation of our agenda for national transformation in priority areas such as power, the rehabilitation and expansion of national infrastructure, agricultural development, education and employment generation.
You may recall that our 2013 Budget was on the theme, “Fiscal Consolidation with Inclusive Growth”, and I emphasized the need for us to “remain prudent with our fiscal resources and also ensure that the Nigerian economy keeps growing and creating jobs”. I am pleased to report that we have stayed focused on this goal.

Our national budget for 2014 which is now before the National Assembly is specifically targeted at job creation and inclusive growth. We are keenly aware that in spite of the estimated 1.6 million new jobs created across the country in the past 12 months as a result of our actions and policies, more jobs are still needed to support our growing population. Our economic priorities will be stability and equitable growth, building on the diverse sectors of our economy.

In 2013, we commenced implementation of the National Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) aimed at industrializing Nigeria and diversifying our economy into sectors such as agro-processing, light manufacturing, and petrochemicals. We have also negotiated a strong Common External Tariff (CET) agreement with our ECOWAS partners which would enable us to protect our strategic industries where necessary.

I am pleased to note that as a result of our backward integration policies, Nigeria has moved from a country that produced 2 million metric tonnes of cement in 2002, to a country that now has a capacity of 28.5 million metric tonnes. For the first time in our history, we have moved from being a net importer of cement to a net exporter. Foreign direct investment into Nigeria has also been strong. In fact, for the second year running, the UN Conference on Trade and Development has named Nigeria as the number 1 destination for investments in Africa.

We are witnessing a revolution in the agricultural sector and the results are evident. We have tackled corruption in the input distribution system as many farmers now obtain their fertilizers and seeds directly through an e-wallet system. In 2013, 4.2 million farmers received subsidized inputs via this programme. This scheme has restored dignity to our farmers.

Last year we produced over 8 million metric tonnes of additional food; and this year, inflation fell to its lowest level since 2008 partly due to higher domestic food production. Our food import bill has also reduced from N1.1 trillion in 2011, to N648 billion in 2012, placing Nigeria firmly on the path to food self-sufficiency.

The sector is also supporting more jobs. Last year, we produced 1.1 million metric tonnes of dry season rice across 10 Northern states; and over 250,000 farmers and youths in these States are now profitably engaged in farming even during the dry season.

This Administration is also developing our water resources which are key for both our food production and job creation goals. In 2013, we completed the construction of nine dams which increased the volume of our water reservoirs by 422 million cubic metres.  Through our irrigation and drainage programme, we have increased the total irrigated area by over 31,000 hectares creating jobs for over 75,000 farming families while increasing production of over 400,000 metric tons of assorted irrigated food products.

Fellow Compatriots, I have always believed that the single greatest thing we can do to ensure all Nigerians realize their potential and play a full part in our nation’s future, is to invest in education. The education of our young people is a key priority for this Government. We take this responsibility very seriously and I urge all other stakeholders in the sector to recognize the national importance of their work, and to help advance the cause of education in our nation.

Between 2007 and 2013, we have almost tripled the allocation for education from N224 billion to N634 billion – and we will continue to vigorously support the sector. We have improved access to education in the country with the construction of 125 Almajiri schools, and the establishment of three additional Federal Universities in the North, bringing to twelve, the number of universities established by this administration.

In 2013, we rehabilitated 352 laboratories and constructed 72 new libraries in the Federal Unity Schools; and also rehabilitated laboratories of all the 51 Federal and State polytechnics across the country.

In the Health sector, we are building strong safety nets and improving access to primary health care under the Saving One Million Lives programme. In 2013, we recruited 11,300 frontline health workers who were deployed to under-served communities across the country. Over 400,000 lives have been saved through our various interventions. We have reached over 10,000 women and children with conditional cash transfer programmes across 8 States and the FCT and we intend to scale up this successful initiative.

Our national immunization coverage has exceeded 80%. And for the first time in the history of the country there has not been any transmission of the Type-3 Wild Polio virus for more than one year. We have also eradicated the guinea worm that previously affected the lives of over 800,000 Nigerians yearly. In tertiary health care, we upgraded medical facilities across the country. Two of our teaching hospitals – the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital in Enugu, and the University College Hospital in Ibadan – commenced open heart surgeries this year after the installation of new facilities.
Fellow Nigerians, I have dwelt on some of our administration’s achievements in 2013 to reassure you that we are working and results are being achieved on the ground. As we enter our Centennial year, there is still much work ahead. We are determined to sustain our strong macroeconomic fundamentals, to strengthen our domestic institutions, and to invest in priority sectors. These investments will create more jobs for our youth. Government will at the same time, continue to scale-up investments in safety nets and the MDGs to take care of the poor and the vulnerable so that they too can share in our growth and prosperity.
In 2014, we will continue to prioritize investments in key sectors such as  infrastructure development, power, roads, rail transportation and aviation. In the past year, the Federal Government completed the privatization of four power generation companies and 10 power distribution companies. We are also in the process of privatizing 10 power plants under the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP).
We shall boost investments in transmission to ensure power generated is properly evacuated and distributed. In this regard, we have already mobilized an additional $1.5 billion for the upgrade of the transmission network in 2014 and beyond.  Government will also strengthen regulation of the sector, and closely monitor electricity delivery to increase this beyond 18 hours per day. We will complete the privatization of the NIPP projects, accelerate work on our gas pipeline infrastructure and also continue to invest in hydro-electric power and clean energy as we monitor the effects of climate change on our economy.

Our administration believes that the cost of governance in the country is still too high and must be further reduced. We will also take additional steps to stem the tide of corruption and leakages. We have worked hard to curb fraud in the administration of the pension system and the implementation of the petroleum subsidy scheme. We have introduced a Pensions Transition Arrangement Department under a new Director-General. This department will now ensure that those of our pensioners still under the old scheme receive their pensions and gratuities, and are not subjected to fraud. Prosecution of all those involved in robbing our retired people will continue. The Petroleum Subsidy Scheme is also now being operated under new strict guidelines to tackle previous leakages in the scheme and prevent fraud.

Foreign travel by government personnel will be further curtailed. This directive shall apply to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government. Our strategy to curb leakages will increasingly rely on introducing the right technologies such as biometrics and digitizing government payments.

I am therefore pleased to inform you that we shall complete the deployment of the three electronic platforms in 2014 – namely, the Treasury Single Account (TSA), the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) and the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) – which are all geared towards improving efficiency and transparency in our public finances. Through these reforms, we have already saved about N126 billion in leaked funds and intend to save more.

To sustain Nigeria’s ongoing agricultural transformation, we have planned further investments in the sector. We will provide input subsidies to five million farmers nationwide using the e-wallet system.  This Administration recently launched a self-employment initiative under theYouth Employment in Agriculture Programme (YEAP), called the Nagropreneur programme.This scheme would encourage our youth to go into commercial agriculture as entrepreneurs and we plan to develop over 750,000 young Nagropreneurs by 2015.

We will also establish new agro-industrial clusters to complement the staple crop processing zones being developed across the country. In 2014, this Administration will continue to work with the private sector to improve financing in the agricultural sector. For example, we will launch the Fund for Agricultural Finance in Nigeria (FAFIN) which will serve as a private equity fund to invest in agri-businesses across the country.

Our Small and Medium scale enterprises (SMEs) will be the bedrock of Nigeria’s industrialization. We have about 17 million registered SMEs, and they employ over 32 million Nigerians. When our SMEs grow, more jobs will be created for our youth. Therefore, in 2014, this Administration will focus strongly on implementing the Nigeria Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP) to address the needs of small businesses. Our interventions will include helping SMEs with access to affordable finance, business development services, and youth training. In addition, our new CET policies will enable us to support our emerging industries.

We will also intensify our investment promotion efforts abroad, to ensure we bring the biggest and best companies from around the world to invest in Nigeria.

Dear Compatriots, the housing and construction industry is a critical sector in most developed economies. When the housing sector booms, it creates additional jobs for architects and masons, for electricians and plumbers, for painters and interior decorators, and for those in the cement and furniture industries.

Today, I am pleased to inform you that this Administration is reinvigorating our housing and construction sector. We have established the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) which will increase liquidity in the housing sector, provide a secondary market for mortgages, and thereby increase the number of people able to purchase or build homes at an affordable price in the country.

In 2014, we will work in a number of pilot states where the State Governors have agreed to provide fast-track land titles, foreclosure arrangements, and serviced plots. This new institution will enable us to create over 200,000 mortgages over the next five years at affordable interest rates. In addition, those at the lower end of the economic ladder will not be left behind as this new initiative will expand mass housing schemes through a re-structured Federal Mortgage Bank and other institutions to provide rent-to-own and lease-to-own options. I am confident that very soon, many more hardworking Nigerian families will be able to realize their dream of owning a home.
In this our centenary year, we will continue our efforts, through the Saving One Million Livesinitiative to strengthen primary health care services. We will scale up interventions in reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health, nutrition, routine immunization, HIV/AIDS, malaria elimination, tuberculosis, neglected tropical diseases, and non-communicable diseases. We will pay greater attention to the provision of universal health coverage. Besides the implementation of new initiatives such as my comprehensive response plan for HIV/AIDS, we shall continue to collaborate with global health partners to deliver our health sector transformation agenda.

I am glad that the issues responsible for the long-drawn ASUU strike have been resolved and our children are returning to their campuses. We are committed to making our tertiary institutions true centers of learning for our young people. We will therefore focus on upgrading hostels, laboratories, classrooms, and halls.  As the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals approaches, we will continue to expand access to basic education for all Nigerian children. Working with State Governments, we shall decisively tackle the problem of the large numbers of out-of-school children in this country. We will also invest in technical and vocational education to promote skills development for our youth across the country.

Nigerian entrepreneurs still lack access to affordable financing, with medium-to-long-term tenors. To address this gap, a new wholesale development finance institution will be established in 2014 to provide medium-to long-term financing for Nigerian businesses. We are working with partners such as the World Bank, the Africa Development Bank, the BNDES Bank in Brazil, and KfW in Germany, to realize this project. Our existing Bank of Agriculture and Bank of Industry will be re-structured as specialized institutions to retail financing from this new wholesale development bank.

In addition to the foregoing, our administration will also do all within its powers to ensure the success of the forthcoming National Conference. The report of the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Conference is undergoing urgent review and the approved structure, guidelines and modalities for the conference will soon be published as a prelude to its commencement and expeditious conclusion.

It remains our sincere hope and expectation that the success of the national conference will further enhance national unity, peace and cohesion as we move ahead to the 2015 general elections.

In keeping with our avowed commitment to progressively enhancing the credibility of Nigeria’s electoral process by consistently upholding the principle of one man, one vote, our Administration will also ensure that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) receives all required support to ensure that it is adequately prepared for the next general elections.

As peace and security remain prerequisite conditions for the full realization of our objectives, we will also do more in 2014 to further empower our security agencies who are working in collaborative partnerships with our friends in the international community to stem the scourge of terrorism in our country and enhance the security of lives and property in all parts of Nigeria. The allocation of over N600 Billion to Defence and Policing in the 2014 Budget attests to this commitment.

Fellow compatriots, the task of making our dear nation a much better place for present and future generations cannot be left to government alone. I therefore urge you all to be ready and willing to do more this year to support the implementation of the Federal Government’s Agenda for National Transformation in every possible way.

Let us all therefore resolve as we celebrate the new year, and Nigeria’s Centenary, to place the higher interests of national unity, peace, stability and progress above all other considerations and work harder in our particular fields of human endeavour to contribute more significantly to the attainment of our collective aspirations. I urge all Nigerians, no matter their stations in life, to rededicate themselves to contributing meaningfully to further enrich our national heritage. The time for that re-dedication is now, not tomorrow. 

I wish you all a happy and rewarding 2014. God bless Nigeria. Happy New Year.

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR
Federal Republic of Nigeria
December 31, 2013

Court Of Appeal Uphold Conviction Of Producers “My Pikin” Teething Powder

The Court of Appeal Lagos Divisions has upheld the judgment of the Federal High Court which sentenced two employees of Barewa Pharmaceutical Company Limited producers of “My Pikin” teething mixture to seven years imprisonment earlier.

The National Agency for Food Drugs, Administration and Control had dragged the convicts to court after the product allegedly killed over eighty children across the country.

The lead judgment of the Court of Appeal read by Justice Dauda Bage however reversed the order of winding-up and forfeiture made by the lower court.

Tambuwal New Year's Message

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Aminu Tambuwal has challenged INEC to get its acts together ahead of the twenty fifteen elections.

This charge was contained in the Speaker’s New Year message to Nigerians.

He urged Nigerians to remain positive about the country and prayed to God for a prosperous and peaceful twenty fourteen.

The speaker commended the government and people of Yobe state on the successful conduct of Local government polls.

Breaking News: Canada Designates Boko Haram As Terrorist Organisation

Canada has formally designated Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation under the country’s Criminal Code.

Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Steven Blaney made the announcement in a statement posted on the Ministry’s website.

The Minister noted that Boko Haram is an organisation that is responsible for over three hundred attacks in Northern Nigerian which have resulted in the death of over one thousand people.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Seven Persons Burnt To Death In Auto Accident In Bayelsa State

Seven persons have been burnt to death in a ghastly motor accident along the Zarama axis of the East West road in Bayelsa State.

A Toyota Hiace Bus belonging to ABC Transport Company was traveling from Warri to Calabar and collided with a Toyota Siena car which was also traveling from Warri to Aba.

Eyewitness account say the two vehicles were on high speed and one was trying to overtake the other when they hit each other and fell at both sides of the road.

According to the eyewitness,the Toyota Hiace Bus suddenly burst into flames and seven persons were rescued and rushed to the Okolobiri General Hospital in Bayelsa State.

The Sagbama Unit Commander in Bayelsa State of the Federal Road Safety Commission FRSC Chukwuma Ukaegbu confirmed that fifteen passengers were on board the Toyota Hiace bus and eight were rescued while one person got injured in the other Toyota Siana car.

Lagos State Government Cancels The Restriction Of Vehicular And Human Movement During Monthly Environmental Sanitation

The Lagos State Government has cancelled the restriction vehicular and human movement during tomorrow's monthly Environmental Sanitation Exercise. 

The cancellation is to allow free movement of persons who may be travelling during the festive season and to allow for hitch-free preparation for the New Year.

Commissioner for the Environment, Tunji Bello in a statement urged all and sundry to ensure that the festival is celebrated in a clean environment.

Tunji Bello also enjoined Lagosians to still observe the monthly exercise as well as clean their homes and immediate environment irrespective of the lifting of the restriction order which is only for the month of December, as the monthly cleaning exercise will commence in the New Year.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

President Goodluck Forwards OBJ's Letter To The National Human Rights Commission

President Goodluck Jonathan has forwarded the letter written to him by former President Obasanjo to the National Human Rights Commission for investigation into the alleged rights violations contained in the letter.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mohammed Adoke forwarded the letter of the ex-President to the commission to look into the allegations in pages nine and ten of the letter.

You may recall that President Jonathan had denied the allegations in his response to the letter and is requesting the commission to probe allegations that he is training snipers to deal with his perceived enemies.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Pictures: Gov. Uduaghan Commissions 130 Buses, Pledges To Continually Boost The State Mass Transit Programme

 Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State having a test drive shortly after the commissioning of 100 Units 18 setters Toyota Hiace and 30 Innoson Marcapolo Buses in Asaba, 

The Buses Commissioned By The Governor

Pictures: Future Award 2013

Pictures: Gov. Fashola Renders Account Of Stewardship To Commemorate Administration’s 2,400 Days In Office In Lagos East Senatorial District

Cross section of Residents, invited guests and other stakeholders during the rendering of account of stewardship to commemorate the 2,400 Days in Office of the Lagos State Governor at the Lagos East Senatorial District, Shomolu Local Government Secretariat, Shomolu, Lagos on Monday, December 23, 2013.

Commissioner for Establishment, Training & Pensions, Mrs. Florence Oguntuase (left), her Counterparts from Rural Development and Environment, Hon. Cornelius Ojelabi (2nd left), Mr. Tunji Bello (2nd right) and Special Adviser to the Governor on Works & Infrastructure, Engr. Ganiyu Johnson (right) fielding questions during the rendering of account of stewardship to commemorate the 2,400 Days in Office  of Lagos State Governor at the Lagos East Senatorial District, Shomolu Local Government Secretariat, Shomolu, Lagos on Monday, December 23, 2013.

Commissioner for Establishment, Training & Pensions, Mrs. Florence Oguntuase (left), her Counterparts from Rural Development and Environment, Hon. Cornelius Ojelabi (2nd left), Mr. Tunji Bello (2nd right) and Special Adviser to the Governor on Works & Infrastructure, Engr. Ganiyu Johnson (right) fielding questions during the rendering of account of stewardship to commemorate the 2,400 Days in Office  of Lagos State Governor at the Lagos East Senatorial District, Shomolu Local Government Secretariat, Shomolu, Lagos on Monday, December 23, 2013.

Cross section of Traditional Rrulers and Chiefs, Residents, invited guests and other stakeholders during the rendering of account of stewardship to commemorate the 2,400 Days in Office of the Lagos State Governor at the Lagos East Senatorial District, Shomolu Local Government Secretariat, Shomolu, Lagos on Monday, December 23, 2013.

Pictures: Governor Rotimi Amaechi During The APC Rally In Port Harcourt

Saturday, 21 December 2013

APC Has Taken The Right Step To Make Nigeria Great Again -Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that the All Progressives Congress APC, has taken the first step towards making Nigeria a great nation again.

He stated this when he met with leaders and governor’s of the APC at his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun state.

The meeting is said to be in continuation of their consultations on political developments in the country.

APC leaders including its National Chairman Bisi Akande, Bola Tinubu, General Muhammadu Buhari and Mallam Nasir El-Rufai attended the meetings.

The governors of Imo, Kwara, Rivers, Adamawa, Kano, Lagos, Oyo and Ogun were also part of the APC delegation.

Kano Pillar Set To Appoint Three Italian Coaches Ahead Of Next Year's CAF Champions League

Nigeria champions Kano Pillar are set to appoint three Italian coaches ahead of next year’s CAF Champions League.

The Kano State Deputy-Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje announced that the Nigerian champions have finalized an agreement for the Italian coaches to join the team.

Ganduje said the coach, goalkeeper trainer and physiotherapist will team up with Pillars as part of an agreement signed between pillars and G Sports Consultants in Dubai, who have agreed to produce kits with one million dollars for the club.

STF To Deploy Personnel To Recreational Centers Ahead Of Christmas Celebration.

The Special Task Force on Security in Plateau state says it would deploy personnel to search visitors at recreation centres during Christmas and New Year celebrations.

This piece of information is contained in a statement signed by the media coordinator of the Special Task Force in Plateau State Captain Salisu Mustapha in Jos.

Captain Mustapha said the task would be carried out jointly with local security operatives.

He said the search was to ensure that firearms were not smuggled into the recreation centres.

The Task Force has further banned vehicles from entering recreations centres during the celebration.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Why I Joined APC - Rotimi Amaechi

Rivers State Governor and Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has again given reasons why he left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Amaechi said he joined the APC to protect the interests of Rivers State which have been neglected by the PDP federal government.

He said the state suffers neglect and victimization in the absence of federal government projects in the state and the ceding of oil wells in the state to neighbouring states.

He urged people of the state to be politically conscious and become agents of progressive change to vote out the ruling PDP at the Federal level

Governor Amaechi spoke while having an interactive session with medical doctors in the state in Port Harcourt on Thursday.

Amaechi said APC holds the light to the country’s rapid development. He also said the party is the alternative to the PDP to reduce general impoverishment in the country.

He said one of the reasons for his disagreement with the Federal Government is over the Soku oil wells  in Rivers State which were ceded to Bayelsa state and which the Rivers State government contested in court.

Jonathan Makes History As Nigerian President To Delegate Budget Presentation To National Assembly

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the economy Doctor Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has presented the twenty fourteen budget estimate of four point six trillion naira to the National Assembly.

The Minister laid the budget at a joint session of the National Assembly without giving any details of the figures and fiscal assumptions.

She told newsmen after emerging from the Senate chamber that the budget will create new jobs and confirm President Jonathan’s transformation agenda for several sectors of the economy.

Sack Oduah Now - Reps Tell Jonathan

The House of Representatives has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to sack the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah for contravening the twenty thirteen Appropriation Act.

The resolution followed the consideration and adoption of the report of the House Committee on Aviation which investigated the alleged purchase of two armoured cars.

The report said the BMW armoured cars were neither provided for in the Act nor was due process followed in the purchase and directed the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA to terminate all transactions and loan agreements with First Bank of Nigeria.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Government Set To Sanction Telecommunication Companies Over Poor Services

Telecommunication service providers who fail to render good quality services to subscribers after December thirty one risk prosecution by the Federal Government.

The Minister of Communication Technology Omobola Johnson disclosed this at a stakeholders meeting in Lagos.

The minister said should on-going investigation show that any service provider had deliberately short-changed Nigerians through poor services such an operator may be prosecuted and risk jail terms of up to five years.

The Director-General of the Consumer Protection Council Dupe Atoki also spoke on the council’s plan to protect the interest of telecom subscribers.

Breaking News: ASUU Calls Off Strike

The Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU has called off its strike.

The announcement was made a while ago by the leadership of the union.

The union directed all is members to return to the classroom while expressing the hope that the Federal Government would keep to its commitment.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Supreme Court Judgement On Bode George & Others Unfortunate -EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission note with concern two separate decisions by court on December 13, 2013 in cases investigated by the Commission. 

The first was the acquittal of former Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Chief Olabode Goerge and five others by the Supreme Court. The other was the acquittal of former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai and two other by a Federal Capital Territory High Court.

Without going into the merit or otherwise of the Supreme court ruling, it is unfortunate that the apex court disagreed with the decision of the two lower courts- the Lagos High Court and the Court of Appeal- which upheld the conviction of the accused persons based on the evidence presented by the Commission.

While this turn of event is saddening, the Commission as a law abiding institution always respected judicial pronouncements and this will be no different.

On El- Rufai and others, the trial judge, Justice Sadiq Umar believes the Commission failed to establish a prima facie case against the accused persons. This is against the weight of the evidence presented by the Commission in court. Consequently, the EFCC has resolved to pursue an appeal against the ruling at the Court of Appeal.

Impeach Jonathan Now - APC Tells National Assembly

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the National Assembly to rise beyond partisanship and save Nigeria from imminent collapse by immediately kick-starting the process of impeaching President Goodluck Jonathan for gross misconduct.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said it is issuing this call with a high sense of responsibility and the strong belief that the impeachment of the President is a legitimate constitutional option available to the National Assembly not only to protect the nation's democracy but also to ensure the country's unity.

''Our country is drifting dangerously and our people are divided now perhaps more than at any other point in our history, with the exception of the civil war period. There is a total failure of leadership, even as insecurity, unprecedented corruption, palpable impunity, massive unemployment and hunger stalk the land.

''Since the raison d'etre of any government is the security and welfare of the citizenry, and the present administration has failed to live up to the justification of its existence, there can be no other definition of gross misconduct than that.

''Therefore, the time has come for the head of that government, on whose desk the buck stops, to be removed through the provisions stipulated in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This is the patriotic thing to do,'' it said.

APC warned that if the National Assembly fails to act and do so very fast, it will share with the clueless and feckless Jonathan Administration the eternal blame for bringing to naught the hard work of the nation's heroes past and for crashing and dashing the hopes of millions of Nigerians, especially the youth who are the leaders of tomorrow.

Pictures: Mandela's Funeral In Qunu South Africa