The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said
that with President Muhammadu Buhari piloting the affairs of Nigeria,
the country is in very safe and competent hands, hence there is no
cause for alarm.
The Minister said this at a mini town hall meeting with the staff of
the Nigerian Embassy in Madrid, Spain, and a cross section of
Nigerians living in the European country on Saturday.
He said contrary to the fake news being peddled on the Social Media,
Nigeria is making steady progress, especially in revamping the
economy, tackling insecurity and fighting corruption - the three
cardinal programmes of the Buhari Administration
''Don't believe everything you read on the Social Media. Nigeria is
neither at war nor in crisis,'' Alhaji Mohammed said. ''Contrary to
what you may be reading on the Internet, the Buhari Administration is
putting Nigeria on a solid footing, after the years that were eaten by
He said naysayers are spending millions of Naira to distort the true
situation of things in Nigeria and to make the Administration
The Minister said the Administration's achievements should be
evaluated against the background of the tough challenges that it has
faced since coming into office on 29 May 2015
''It is said that if you don't know where you are coming from, you
won't know where you are going,'' he said, listing the drastic fall in
the price of crude oil, the low foreign reserves at $24 billion, the
fact that the federal government was borrowing to pay workers'
salaries, and the fact that many states were unable to pay salaries as
some of those challenges.
Alhaji Mohammed also said when the Administration came into office,
unpaid pensions had run into billions of Naira in many states,
contractors had abandoned sites across the country because they were
being heavily owed, infrastructure was in poor state, power generation
was 2,690 megawatts, billions were being paid as 'fuel subsidies'
to fat cats, corruption was the order of the day, while 20 of the 27
local governments in Borno were under the firm control of Boko Haram.
''Today, the trend is being reversed, and the results are showing:
Foreign reserves is now $42.8b, the highest level in four years,
inflation has fallen for 12 consecutive months to 15.13%, 108 billion
Naira has been saved from removal of maintenance fees payable to banks
before Treasury Single Account (TSA), the nation is being saved 24.7
billion Naira monthly with the full implementation of the TSA and the
elimination of ghost workers has saved the nation 120 billion Naira.
''With improved macro-economic conditions, capital inflow is on the
upswing, reaching $1.8 billion in the second quarter of 2017, which is
almost double the $908 million in the first quarter, Nigeria’s stock
market is one of the best-performing in the world,
delivering returns in excess of 40 percent, Nigeria jumped 24 places
on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business
ranking, and earned a place on the List of Top 10 Reformers in the
world,'' he said.
The Minister also told the meeting that the Administration's
agricultural revolution is moving Nigeria close to self-sufficiency in
many staples, especially rice, that the home-Grown School Feeding
Programme has created jobs for 61,352 cooks, and it is providing 6.4
million school children in 33,981 schools across 20 states with one
meal a day, that power generation has increased to 7,000 megawatts,
that Boko Haram has been massively degraded and that the
Administration's is embarking on a massive infrastructural renewal.
Alhaji Mohammed, who urged the Nigerians to download the FGN-iAPP in
order to get authentic news from Nigeria, later fielded questions from
the Nigerians, with many of them seeking to know when Nigerians in the
diaspora will be able to vote, how they can access the national
identity card, how they can get authentic information from Nigeria and
what the federal government is doing to end the herder-farmer clashes.
Nigeria's Ambassador to Spain, Mrs. Susan Aderonke Folarin, led the
staff of the embassy to the town hall meeting, which was held at the
Twenty-three years after the end of the racist, repressive apartheid regime, South Africa remains a country with enormous resources and great wealth but also vast inequality and poverty.
Though successive ANC governments have made huge efforts to build homes and supply basic services to millions of people, they have been unable to meet expectations. Many people live without electricity or sanitation. Schooling and healthcare are often rudimentary. One recent survey found eight out of 10 nine-year-olds in South Africa are functionally illiterate. Levels of violent crime are among the highest in the world, with poor South Africans suffering most.
Jacob Zuma resigns as South Africa's president
Cape Town, the country’s second city, is running out of water. According to government statistics, the total number of people living with HIV increased from an estimated 4.72 million in 2002 to 7.03 million by 2016, though the rate of infection is declining.
Unemployment remains at an historic high of 27.7% across the general population, and as high as 68% among young people. Economic growth has been limited in recent years, averaging little more than half the rate of population growth of 1.2%. Zuma’s departure has sent the rand surging and will spur a rush of much-needed foreign investment.
Goldman Sachs has identified South Africa as the “big emerging market story” of 2018, and some analysts forecast growth of 2% this year.
But this is way short of levels that would generate the millions of jobs needed. The country’s enormous structural problems – such as a chronic lack of skilled workers – remain.Then there is corruption – from the police officer demanding cash to ignore a minor driving offence, to the huge sums mentioned in allegations of graft levelled at senior public figures.
Corruption has not just undermined public finances but also public confidence in the state. South Africa still has many strong institutions, particularly its judiciary, but there is limited faith in the police or public prosecutors. This week a court in Durban heard claims that officials had received bags of bank notes and diamonds from a businessman in exchange for access to legal documents.
Nor can the ANC rely on its extraordinary history and the reputations of the giants who led the anti-apartheid struggle to guarantee political power today. A younger generation of ANC politicians is pushing through, and they cannot counter accusations of incompetence or wrongdoing by appealing to the efforts made by their forebears to build a multiracial democracy against the odds. There is impatience and anger. Thirty per cent of the South African population is under 15, and for them the racist regime that fell in 1994 is ancient history, however toxic its legacy today.
The first task for Ramaphosa will be to unite the ANC before the campaign for the 2019 elections gets under way. The organisation’s political dominance is still not fundamentally threatened by opposition parties. But the ANC must limit losses – recent municipal polls saw serious setbacks – and avoid being forced into a coalition government. This will not be easy. The disaffected followers of Zuma will need to be co-opted, or marginalised, even though many remain in positions of power, and ideological disputes that have split the ANC remain largely unresolved.
Analysts described the ANC’s choice of leader in December as a turning point for the country, not just the party. Now Ramaphosa is in charge of both. Fifty-four million South Africans – and many others across the continent and the world – will be watching his every pronouncement to know whether the future will bring new hope or disappointment.
Enebeli said this when he responded to a divorce petition by his wife, Eunice, alleging lack of care for his children.
“I stopped giving her money for feeding and school fees of our children when she started living with another man.
“In my tradition, if a woman marries another husband legally or illegally and the former husband still gives her money for the welfare of the children, he will die and I am not ready to die now,” he said.
The respondent said that his wife sent him packing from their matrimonial home and that he was presently squatting with friends.
“Eunice forced me out of her house because I always fight her for leaving the children at home and going to sleep with other men,” he said.
According to him, Eunice lacks respect for him just because she has more money.
He begged the court to grant him the custody of the children so that he could train them.
“I don’t want another man to father or train my children while I am alive,” he said.
Eunice had urged the court to terminate their 16-year-old marriage for lack of care.
“My husband is an irresponsible husband and father.
“While he was still living with me, he refused to pay house rent, feeding or school fees of the children, I shouldered all the responsibilities.
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“I bought him a motlaunderingorcycle in addition to his fashion designing work so that he could be supportive but he is just lazy and abandoned the motorcycle,” Eunice said.
The 36-year-old food vendor said that her husband was threatening to poison her.
“Stephen always tells me that he will kill me with poison if I make any attempt to divorce him and that he will marry another wife,” the petitioner alleged.
The mother of three pleaded with the court to end the marriage as she was longer in love with him.
Delivering judgment, the court President, Mr Akin Akinniyi, said that the petitioner wasadamant on her request in spite of all mediation from the court and family.
Since the petitioner insisted on divorce after several interventions, the court has no choice than to dissolve the union in spite of the fact that the husband still claims he loves his wife.
“The court pronounces the marriage between Mrs Eunice Enebeli and Mr Stephen Enebeli dissolved today, both parties henceforth cease to be husband and wife.
“Both parties are free to go their separate ways without any hindrances and molestation, the court wishes you well in your new journey.
“The custody of the children should remain with their mother,”Akinniyi ruled.
As part of efforts to stem herdsmen and farmers clashes, the Ogun State Government is set to strengthen its Prohibition of Forcible Occupation of Lands and Landed Properties Law, otherwise known as the Anti Land Grabbing Law as well as give more force to its Conflicts Resolution Committee.
Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Barr. Taiwo Adeoluwa, stated this while briefing newsmen at the end of a Security Council meeting, chaired by the Deputy Governor, Chief (Mrs.) Yetunde Onanuga and attended by heads of security agencies, including the Nigeria Army, Department of State Security (DSS), Nigeria Police, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Nigeria Immigration Service and the Vigilante Service of Ogun State, held at the Governor’s office in Abeokuta.
The SSG, who said that the herdsmen/farmers’ issue has become “real and national”, added that the Prohibition of Forcible Occupation of Lands and Landed Properties Law, enacted by the State Government in 2016, has already provided solution to the challenge.
While reiterating that the state is open to every well meaning Nigerian and non Nigerians, willing to either live or do business, he stated that government would ensure that such individuals obey the laws and not indulge in any act, capable of breaching the peace enjoyed in the state.
“Ogun State is and will remain a unique Nigeria state. We are proudly Nigeria and all Nigerians will be welcome here. But of course, there are laws and rules every stakeholder must comply with.
"The one that is very important is the one known as the Anti Land Grabbing Law, but the correct title is Prohibition of Forcible Occupation of Lands and Landed Properties Law.
"Council took note that this law already provides for most of the contemporary challenges that confront us today as far as the issues of herdsmen, farmers and settlers is concerned. And of course, government reaffirms its determination to continue to fully implement this law.
"The law already prohibits forcibly entry upon lands. Council decided this morning that for us in Ogun State, we welcome everybody from across and even beyond, but we will continue to ensure that our laws are respected and obeyed.
“Council also took note of the existing Conflicts Resolution Committee, which is a standing committee, that has been put in place, since year 2012, when the crisis first arose. Government will further strengthen this committee to achieve its goal”, Adeoluwa said
He disclosed that the old Yewa North Local Government Area is the worst hit by the crisis, adding that traditional rulers and community leaders have also been directed to take census and identify herders in their communities, for proper monitoring of their activities.
The SSG, who noted that the state has recorded significant success in the area of security of lives and property of its residents, advised journalists to be responsible and avoid sensationalism in their reportage of the crisis.
“We are pleased with majority of our media practitioners for the way they have helped even security agencies to do their work, but we urge that you avoid media hype and sensationalism.
"As members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm, you have a bigger responsibility to see that there is peace in the land. When you get your stories or information, you have a responsibility to also analysis and present them in a way that will advance social order and protection of the public, Adeoluwa added.
The Chairman of Honeywell Group, Oba Otudeko, on Wednesday confirmed that the Honeywell companies are no longer indebted to Ecobank Nigeria.
Otudeko said Honeywell had paid a total of N3.5 billion to Ecobank as full and final settlement of all its obligations to the bank.
Otudeko made this statement when he gave evidence in the ongoing matter instituted by Honeywell against Ecobank before Justice I. Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos Judicial Division.
Led in cross-examination by Honeywell’s counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Otudeko affirmed that the Honeywell companies, following an agreement reached with the MD of Ecobank, Jibril Aku, and other executives of the bank on July 22, 2013, paid a total sum of N3.5 billion as full and final settlement of Honeywell’s obligations to the bank.
Prior to giving evidence, Ecobank’s counsel, O.A. Divine, sought to stall proceedings by making an application to adjourn the matter on the basis that yet another appeal and an application for stay of proceedings had been filed just on Wednesday at the Court of Appeal.
Olanipekun, however, objected to the oral application for adjournment, stating that the matter for the day was the delivery of a ruling regarding the issue of cross examination of Otudeko, who is Ecobank’s witness.
Olanipekun said the application was an abuse of court process as it was an attempt to arrest the ruling of the court.
After listening to arguments of the counsel, Justice Idris ruled that he was unable to place any value on the application to stay proceedings because the copy presented to the court by Ecobank’s counsel was not a certified true copy.
On the issue of the matter for the day, Justice Idris also affirmed that indeed the “ruling of the court cannot be arrested”.
He subsequently ruled that cross examination should proceed.
Olanipekun concluded the cross examination of Otudeko and Ecobank’s counsel declined to re-examine him.
The witness was thereafter discharged.
President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote has assured that the Apapa Port Wharf concrete road currently under construction by his company, AG Dangote would be delivered on schedule to save the people and businesses the hassles of the traffic gridlock being experienced now.
He gave the assurance yesterday when he visited the construction area in company with the Managing Director of the AG Dangote Construction Company, Mr Ashif Juma to assess the extent of work done.
The Apapa Port road which is the artery of the nation’s non-oil economy, has been in a state of disrepair over a long period of time with experts claiming that the nation is losing about N20 billion daily owing to the state of dilapidation of the road as imports are trapped in the ports for days as a result of traffic gridlock generated by the bad road.
Dangote Group, a pan African Conglomerate and a major stakeholder at the ports brokered a tripartite arrangement with Flour Mills, a leading Nigerian Food Company and Nigerian Port Authority, (NPA), taking over the road from the Federal Government and undertaking the reconstruction of the road into a lasting concrete pavement as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility.
The road construction in which both NPA and Flour Mills have financial outlay as their contributions while AG Dangote Construction, a subsidiary of the Dangote Group, is undertaking the construction, is to cost the three partners N4.3 billion
Dangote said the road will be completed in few months’ time and that Nigerians would be surprised to see the project delivered even before scheduled, saying efforts are being redoubled by his company to ensure quality job and timely completion.
According to him: by the time the road construction is completed, even some of the advanced countries would not be able to boast of the quality.”
He explained that what actually delay the take-off of the project was the gas pipeline that has to be relocated to pave the way for unfettered construction work “and having done that, you could see that the work is progressing at a very fast speed.”
The businessman while relying on the reports of the challenges encountered by the site engineers appealed to the authorities to help see to the disturbing issue of multiple check points being mounted by security agencies and which have been creating long queues of trailers and thus affecting free flow of work on the road project.
He also explained that his company has agreed with the federal government to do some palliatives on the Mile2 expressway road to ease the traffic congestion and ensure free flow of vehicular movement.
Dangote stated that the road was very strategic because Apapa and Tin Can Island ports handle about 80 per cent of the cargo that come into Nigeria and the condition of the road has made nonsense of businesses depending on the ports efficient operations.
He said that he more worried about the fate of small businesses and other port users that have imported cargo and whose charges are accumulating every day.
Mr. Juma took Dangote and his team round the construction area and showed him how they have been following the designs handed over to his company.
Speaking in similar vein, Group Managing Director of Flour Mills, Mr. Paul Gbededo said the three partners have shown how to be good corporate citizens saying by the time the road project is completed it would be one never seen before in the country.
The Federal Government remains resolute in dismantling the structural
conditions that make violent extremism to thrive in the country, the
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said.
The Minister, who stated this in Abuja at the public
presentation of the 'Policy Framework and National Action Plan for
Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism', identified such
structural conditions to include unemployment, poverty, lack of
education, corruption, and other social-economic factors.
He said the Federal Government has embarked on developmental
programmes as part of efforts to dismantle the conditions that feed
into violent extremism.
"For example, the Anchors Borrowers programme has created over 6.3
million jobs for farmers through rice farming. Equally significant,
the Federal government has served no fewer than 246.4 million meals to
Primary school pupils across 20 States under the National Home Grown
School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) to encourage children enrolment in
''According to a widely reported recent survey, no fewer than 10.27
million children have been enrolled in public primary schools in the
North West and North Central Zones of the country in the last one
year, representing an increase of 20% in some of the states. This was
attributed largely to the school feeding programme. Development
programmes like the school feeding scheme are at the heart our effort
to prevent violent extremism.,'' Alhaji Mohammed said.
He also said the N-Power programme of the Federal Government has
engaged and deployed over 200,000 young Nigerian to public primary
schools, primary healthcare centre, and in agriculture development
project centres across local government areas in the country, adding:
''This is with a view to helping build community resilience against
violent extremist group. That number is set to increase by 300,000
The Minister said the government is also taking a bold step to address
the issue of recharging the Lake Chad Basin, which has shrunk by 90%
between 1963 and now, thereby impacting negatively on the livelihood
of the people that depended on it for farming activities.
He said that as part of its soft approach in tackling security
challenges, the administration is equally engaging in dialogue with
different key stakeholders in order to find possible and lasting
solutions to the issue of herder-farmer conflicts, which is one of the
security challenges confronting the nation.
Alhaji Mohammed said the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture
is committed to developing narratives and communication strategies
that will completely dismantle and neutralize Boko Haram ideology and
"We did that when we launched the national sensitization campaign
against insecurity in December 2015. I am sure many of you would have
heard the slogan, 'if you see something, say something. We intend to
take that campaign further'.
"As you are very much aware, extremist groups thrive on two major
things: One is to get their ideologies and messages out to the public,
which today has been facilitated by the democratisation of the
cyberspace, for the purpose of recruitment and radicalization. The
second is publicity, which is the oxygen that they live on," he said.
While applauding the critical role the media is playing the fight
against terrorism, the Minister encouraged the media to sustain the
momentum and deny extremist groups the oxygen of publicity which they
Alhaji Mohammed hailed the leadership and political will demonstrated
by President Muhammadu Buhari, which has served as a morale booster
for the military to decimate Boko Haram and put the terror group on
He said the Sambisa Forest, which used to be the fortress of Boko
Haram, has become too hot for the terror group, which is now escaping
to the neighbouring communities.
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