Follow us

Gain from far-reaching global audience of NUJE Europe, contact us to place your adverts today!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Nigerian Amina Muhammed becomes 5th Deputy Secretary-General of United Nations

Shettima, Amosun in UN headquarters as Amina Mohammed takes oath of office

By Lawal Mustafa AbdulRaheem

Ms. Amina J. Mohammed

Nigerian Minister of Environment, Ms.Amina J. Muhhammed has been sworn-in Tuesday to become the 5th Deputy Secretary General of United Nations. The swearing-in ceremony held in New York was witnessed by many chiefs of UN who assembled to give accolade to the second female to occupy the post since the year 1997 deputy position was formalised by UN General Assembly.

NUJ Europe reports that Ibikunle Amosun, governor of Ogun state and his Borno state counterpart Shettima Mustafa were among the Nigerian politicians who witnessed the swearing in of Amina Mohammed as Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations at headquarters in New York.

Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN, administered the oath on Mohammed.

Born in 1961, and educated in Nigeria and the UK, Ms. Mohammed is married with six children. She was the Minister of Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from November 2015 to December 2016, where she steered the country’s efforts on climate action, protecting the natural environment and conserving resources for sustainable development.

One of the notable projects that the ministry of environment embarked upon under her watch was the flagging off of the cleanup of Ogoni land.

Prior to this, she served as Special Adviser to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning, where she was instrumental in bringing about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals.

She provided advice on issues including poverty, public sector reform and sustainable development, and coordinating poverty reduction interventions.

An adjunct professor of Development Practice at Columbia University, Mohammed has served on numerous international advisory boards and panels including the UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda, the Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development, the Global Development Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the African Women’s Millennium Initiative, Girl Effect, 2016 African Union Reform and the ActionAid International Right to Education Project.

Speaking in Abuja during a valedictory service organised in her honour last week, Mohammed said the development of Nigeria and Africa, will be her priority at UN.

Before joining the UN, Ms. Mohammed worked for three successive administrations in Nigeria, serving as Special Advisor on the Millennium Development Goals, providing advice on issues including poverty, public sector reform and sustainable development, and coordinating programmes worth $1 billion annually for MDG-related interventions.

The new post of Deputy Secretary-General was established by the General Assembly at the end of 1997 as part of the reform of the United Nations, to help manage Secretariat operations and to ensure coherence of activities and programmes. The purpose was also to elevate the Organization's profile and leadership in the economic and social spheres.

Ms. Mohammed began her 35-year career in the private sector with architects and engineers responsible for the project management of health, education and public sector buildings.

RE: CBN's Reintroduction of Charges on Cash Deposits - A Sad Commentary on CBN's Insensitivity to the Plight of Nigerian Consumers.

Press Release

Re: CBN's Reintroduction of Charges on Cash Deposits - A Sad Commentary on CBN's Insensitivity to the Plight of Nigerian Consumers.

1. Last week, the CBN released a directive to Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to commence punitive charges on cash transactions as it rolls out its cashless policy nationwide starting March 1, 2017. Under this rehashed policy,individual transactions over N500k and corporate transactions in excess of N3m will attract varying percentages of penalties between 1-5%. CBN's explanation for this unpopular policy, touts this as its strategy to force consumers to go cashless.
2. While we applaud the CBN's efforts at encouraging a cashless economy, we are gravely concerned about the impact assessment of its implementation strategy, especially in a biting recession as consumers are currently experiencing. Any penalty charges levied on deposits or withdrawals especially within this period, is an extra burden on already overcharged and heavily exploited bank customers.
3. It is pertinent to note that an effective cashless economy requires seamless, real time, 24/7 functioning infrastructure which is currently not the case in Nigeria's experience. Consumers grapple with bank system shutdowns, non dispensing ATMs, frequent network failures, inadequate equipment deployment, significant e-frauds and poor customer service across the sector. Little wonder why some consumers still prefer cash transactions.
4. An effective cashless economy requires over 90% of the cash in the economy to circulate within the formal sector.  According to the National Bureau of Statistics in its 2015 GDP report, the informal sector of the Nigerian economy was about 41.1% which was about N38.7 trillion three years ago! CBN policies should thus be geared towards improving access and promoting inclusion; both of which the new directive negates.
5. There are many positive ways for CBN to achieve market compliance with its cashless policy that will add value to consumers, excite the market and generate willful and eager compliance. It is thus curious that CBN prefers to employ punitive measures that further alienates the market, impoverishes consumers and generates resistance to an otherwise beneficial policy
6. If CBN's genuine motive is truly to force compliance, the apex bank should explore incentives and not disincentives. Instead of penalizing cash transactions, why not introduce the same up to 5% interest to accounts that achieve minimum of 80% cashless transactions monthly? This will not only encourage existing customers to go cashless, it will attract a great percentage of cash circulating in the informal sector into the banking system thus improving statistics on access as well as deepening inclusion. Such an incentive will also improve liquidity and encourage savings, thus reducing cost of funds so banks can provide traditional banking services like loans to oil the economy.
Mrs Sola Salako, President, Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria (CAFON) Convener, #NoBankingDay
7. Excessive bank charges is one of the major reasons why many Nigerians still prefer to operate outside the formal sector. Punitive measures like these charges on cash transactions, rather than attract the over 40% cash in the informal sector into the banking system, has the potential of not only keeping them out, but also preventing new cash from coming into system. Why should any customer who runs a cash business be motivated to bring such to the bank when he will be penalized for cash lodgments?
8. The only beneficiaries of this punitive strategy are the deposit money banks and CBN itself as the circular indicated that both parties would be sharing the proceeds of this controversial penalty on a 60:40 ratio. This brings to question the real motive for the punitive charges; is it truly to force compliance or merely a cover up for CBN's collusion to aid deposit money banks in increasing their profits without offering commensurate traditional banking services?
9. CBN is aware of the deposit money banks' habitual tendencies of excessive and sometimes illegal charges on customer accounts. The apex bank's Consumer Protection Department (CPD) reportedly ordered DMBs to refund over N6 billion to aggrieved consumers in 2015 alone! In spite of the CPD's efforts, consumers are still daily exploited and overcharged for all kinds of spurious reasons which the apex bank is yet to effectively curb. Approving additional charges for cash movement is therefore tantamount to aiding deposit money banks to continue exploiting their customers for profit instead of providing banking services to support them like their counterparts do globally.
10. The fact that this policy was the outcome of the Bankers Committee's uncomfortable alliance with CBN increases the suspicion about the true motive of these punitive charges. It is mind boggling that CBN as the Regulator of deposit money banks, would take regulatory and policy decisions in conjunction with the regulated institutions! There is no greater proof of conflict of interest than this.
11. How would CBN expect DMBs to consent to any policy except that which will be in their pecuniary interests? Why would CBN share its regulatory functions with an anti- competitive body like the Bankers Committee, made up of the CEOs of all regulated institutions? At best, the Bankers Committee is no more than a trade association yet, CBN as apex regulator in that sector, chairs the 'trade association' and shares proceeds of regulatory policies with them! Wherein then, lies the primary responsibility of CBN which is to  act as government's bank, protect the interest of the citizens and regulate conduct in the financial sector?
12. How do you effectively and impartially regulate institutions you share profit with?
13. It is very ironic that the new CBN directive is scheduled to commence on March 1, 2017, exactly one year after consumers observed #NoBankingDay in protest of excessive and illegal banking charges. This is a sad commentary on CBN's insensitivity to the plight of millions of consumers who are victims of exploitation in the banking industry under its watch. Instead of assuming its expected role as  "Moses", the deliverer from unexplainable charges, CBN has rather assumed the role of the proverbial "Pharaoh" in the book of Exodus who added to the burden of Israelites.
14. It should be noted that the #NoBankingDay Protest 2017 was shelved this year in consideration of the harsh economic environment in order to avoid causing more damage to the economy. However, while Nigerian consumers have shown great sensitivity to government's effort to revive the economy, CBN has not shown commensurate concern to the plight of the Nigerian consumer.
15. Since it appears that consumers can no longer look to CBN to protect them from exploitation by DMBs, it may encourage more organized consumer resistance activisms until both CBN and DMBs recognize that even in the financial sector, the Customer must be King.
16. We therefore call on CBN to revisit this directive and adopt more consumer sensitive options in achieving its goals of stabilizing the Nigerian economy.


Sola Salako
Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria (CAFON)
Convener, #NoBankingDay
28th February 2017

Monday, 27 February 2017

LIVE - OSCAR BLUNDER: See Picture going so wrong! La La lands over Moonlight error

Having been announced the winner of the best film at the 2017 Oscars on Sunday night and right in front of 10 million viewers glued to TV,  La La La was turned down just about to receive the gong which was eventually  handed over to Moonlight after a mistake was noticed in what was the most dramatic moment in the history of the AcademMoonlig
 It was an extraordinary scenes, the La La Land team were halfway through their victory speeches, when it was noticed that the wrong film name had been read out by Warren Beatty and that Moonlight was actually the winner. WATCH THIS AGAIN: 

"There's a mistake. Moonlight, you won best picture," Fred Berger, the La La Land producer announced to the gasps of a shocked crowd. He held up the card clearly showing the winner was Moonlight.
The stars and crew of La La Land shuffled off the stage and handed their gold statuettes to a jubilant Moonlight team.
Beatty said he had been given the wrong envelope to open. "I opened the envelope and it said Emma Stone, La La Land," he said, adding he had not done it "to try to be funny".

The La La Land team on stage before they were stripped of their award
The La La Land team on stage before they were stripped of their award Credit: Reuter
Emma Stone said backstage: "I was holding my best actress card the whole time so whatever story you heard, I don't know what happened, but I wanted to tell you that."
Casey Affleck won best actor for Manchester By The Sea while Stone won best actress and Damien Chazelle best director both for La La Land.

Viola Davis and Mahershala Ali won supporting Oscars for Fences and Moonlight respectively.
 Below are some mouth-watering pictures of attendees:

Just As the after-parties begin: Elton John, Lily Collins and Samuel L Jackson arrive

Still reeling from what's already being called the biggest mistake in Oscars history, the glitterati are off to their after-parties. Here's some photos from the arrivals so far:

David Furnish and Elton John at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party 
David Furnish and Elton John at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party Credit: Matt Baron/BEI/ShutterstockLily Collins arrives at the Vanity Fair after-party  Lily Collins arives at the Vanity Fair after-party

Samuel L Jackson takes a selfie with Jaden Piner, Alex R. Hibbert and guests during the 89th Annual Academy Awards Governors Ball 
Samuel L Jackson takes a selfie with Jaden Piner, Alex R. Hibbert and guests during the 89th Annual Academy Awards Governors Ball.

Viola Davis delivers moving speech after winning best supporting actress



Best supporting actor

WINNER: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)
Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)
Dev Patel (Lion)
Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)

Best makeup and hairstyling

A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond
WINNER: Suicide Squa

Best costume design


WINNER: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land

Best documentary

Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated
WINNER: OJ: Made in America

Best sound editing

WINNER: Arrival
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land

Best sound mixing

WINNER: Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
13 Hours

  Kevin O’Connell wins at the 21st attempt for sound mixing for Hacksaw Ridge. 

Best supporting actress

WINNER: Viola Davis (Fences)
Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)
Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

Best foreign language film

Land of Mine
A Man Called Ove
WINNER: The Salesman
Toni Erdmann

Best animated short

Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and Cigarettes

Best animated feature

Kubo and the Two Strings
My Life As a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
WINNER: Zootopia

Best production design

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hail, Caesar!
WINNER: La La Land

Best visual effects

Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
WINNER: The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best film editing

WINNER: Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land

Mahershala Ali becomes the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar

Best documentary short

4.1 Miles
Joe’s Violin
Watani: My Homeland
WINNER: The White Helmets

Best live-action short

Ennemis Interieurs
La Femme et le TGV
Silent Nights

Best cinematography

WINNER: La La Land

Best score

WINNER: La La Land

Best song

Audition (La La Land)
Can’t Stop the Feeling! (Trolls)
WINNER: City of Stars (La La Land)
The Empty Chair (Jim: The James Foley Story)
How Far I’ll Go (Moana)

Best original screenplay

Hell or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
WINNER: Manchester by the Sea
20th Century Women

Best adapted screenplay

Hidden Figures
WINNER: Moonlight

Best director

Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)
Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge)
WINNER: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)

Best actor

WINNER: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)
Ryan Gosling (La La Land)
Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)
Denzel Washington (Fences)

Best actress

Isabelle Huppert (Elle)
Ruth Negga (Loving)
WINNER: Emma Stone (La La Land)
Natalie Portman (Jackie)
Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)

La La Land mistakenly named best picture

Best picture

Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
WINNER: La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
WINNER: Moonlight

The La La Land team on stage before they were stripped of their award.
Credit: Reuters

Sunday, 26 February 2017



By Dr. Kayode Ajulo

It is no news that Nigeria's President Buhari is sick. It's also no news that he has stayed beyond the original 10 days vacation which he communicated to the National Assembly. The President also did write the National Assembly informing the arm of government of the need to extend his vacation (indefinitely) on medical grounds.

Expectedly, the indefinite extension of the President's Vacation has elicited mixed views in the polity; it has been greeted with vehement criticism from many, especially the opposition People's Democratic Party.

While some said it is in order and urged Nigerians to pray for his recovery and safe return, others call for his removal or resignation, stating that a political cabal with the presidential corridor has started holding the country to ransom and cautioned that Nigerians should not be taken for a ride as a result of the healthiest situation of the President.

The President’s letter stated that the extension was to enable him (President) complete and receive the results of a series of tests recommended by his doctors.

Nigeria, like any democratic state around the world, is a Republic with her affairs governed by rule of law as against cacophony of opinions, mob rule and rule of whims and caprices of some individuals or groups.

It's in this light that I dare state categorically that there is no vacuum neither has the country plunge into any constitutional crises to warrant calls for the removal or resignation of the President.

Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution as amended is to the effect that when the President presents a written declaration of his inability to discharge the functions of his office to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, such a declaration is to vest such functions and capacity of his office to the Vice President in Acting capacity. And this the President has done.

This declaration is valid until the President presents another declaration to the contrary. The Vice President for all intents and purposes is vested with all the powers of the office of the President, and as such,  the murmur or clamor become unnecessary.

By virtue of this, Vice President Osinbajo is right in carrying out the duties of the office of the President. The President is also under no obligation to write or give explanations to the public regarding the purpose of his absence apart for his public engagements and communication with his people as he deems fit, which is purely political, but which I think should be left with his Presidential aides to deal with.
Dr. Barrister Kayode Ajulo

He has transmitted his written declaration to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to the effect of his absence. The prevalent side comments by certain individuals to the effect that the President leave office or give explanations regarding his health status is of no importance, superfluous and cannot be backed up by any law.

This is because, the only people empowered to do so by virtue of section 144 of the constitution is a two-third majority of the Federal Executive Council, declaring the inability of the President to carry out his functions. It is based on this majority vote that the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives will set up a medical committee which must include the President's Personal Physician to look into the health status of the President and deliver its report.

Until this is done, no one has the right to inquire into the health status of the President or demand that he step down by reason of his health. Meanwhile, as patriots and fine citizens, this trying time for the nation's leader is suppose to be a time country me and woman will rise up and pray in agreement,  and ensure that we show concern as worthy nationals.

It is therefore ludicrous  and unpatriotic that some persons are demanding the President's resignation or removal  of the President when the provisions of section 144 of the constitution is yet to be evoked or complied with, when we should all agree to wish him well as he champions the country's resolve to conquer her woes.

*Dr. Ajulo is the Principal Partner, Kayode Ajulo & Co. Castle of Law, Executive Director, Egalitarian Mission for Africa and was National Secretary, Labour Party.

The Diary of An Acting President: 38 days of Osinbajo’s acting presidency - Daily Trust Reviews

 It is 38 days since Professor Yemi Osinbajo took over the mantle of leadership in Nigeria as acting president following the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari, who has been on vacation. Daily Trust on Sunday reviews some of the actions the acting president has taken so far.

 Written and compiled by Nuruddeen M. Abdallah, Isiaka Wakili & Clement A. Oloyede

Pic Illustration: Major Actions Executed By Acting President Osinbajo

 This is the third time Osinbajo is acting as president. The first was in February 2016 when the president embarked on a five-day vacation, and the second time was in June 2016 when President Muhammadu Buhari went on a trip to the United Kingdom to treat an ear infection. 

Unlike the era of the late President Umaru Yar’adua’s health crisis, Buhari had transmitted a letter to the National Assembly, informing them of his vacation and surrendering power to Osinbajo. President Buhari began a two-week vacation in London but later extended it indefinitely to address yet-to-be-disclosed medical concerns. Since then, the acting president has been riding out the storm.

Following a directive from the acting president, the dollar came crashing, 24 hours after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) released $500 million to the banks, stabilising at 450 from N525. This is one of the effects of the directive issued after the National Economic Council meeting to the CBN to review its foreign exchange policy that weakened the national currency.

The name of Justice Walter Onnoghen was also forwarded to the National Assembly as acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, less than 24 hours to the expiration of his three-month acting period, saving the country another constitutional controversy.

A presidential task force was set up to address the skyrocketing prices of foodstuff across the country, while seven bills passed by the National Assembly were signed into law. Four others were rejected.
Face-to-face talks were held with communities in the creeks of the oil-rich Niger Delta on how to stabilise the region, fix their infrastructure and ensure a hitch-free flow of crude to the international market.
Osinbajo has so far presided over five meetings of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), awarding contracts worth billions of naira, among others.

January 20: After the Davos summit

Osinbajo was attending the 2017 World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland when Buhari travelled to London and he became acting president. On his return in January 20, he swung into action by having an engagement with service chiefs who briefed him on the situation in The Gambia at that time. He also received briefing from some members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

January 23: Unveiling 59 strategies for economic recovery 

On January 23, Osinbajo presided over the Presidential Business Forum, during which 59 strategies for implementing the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) were unveiled. He later received the special envoy of President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti.

January 24: Micro enterprise clinic launched

On January 24, Osinbajo launched the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Clinics at the Old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa. He later proceeded to preside over a meeting of the Presidential Enabling Business Council.

January 25: Presided over his first FEC meeting

The acting president has so far presided over five weekly meetings of the Federal Executive Council since President Buhari left for the United Kingdom. The first was on January 25.

January 27: Met with the World Food Programme chief

On January 27, the acting president held a meeting with the executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP), Ms Ertharin Cousin.

January 30: Met with Senate Leader over budget

On January 30, Osinbajo had an audience with Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan over the 2017 Appropriation Bill.

January 31: Met with Ortom, Saraki, Dogara, Kogi APC 

On January 31, he also received the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom.  He later met with Senate President Bukola Saraki and the House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara, over the economy and the 2017 budget.
A delegation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftains from Kogi State visited him in the evening of January 31.

February 1: Inaugurated NPC commissioners 

Shortly before presiding over the FEC meeting on February 1, during which the Presidential Task Force on Food Security, mandated to reduce prices of food items in the country, was constituted, Osinbajo had inaugurated five commissioners of the National Population Commission (NPC).

February 2: Met Saraki, Doagara again

The acting president again met with the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on February 2.

February 6: Economic Recovery Forum opened

On February 6, Osinbajo declared open, the Agenda for Consultative Forum on Economic Recovery and Growth Plan. He told the forum that the nation was in a very serious economic situation, but assured that the government remained committed to putting the economy on the path to sustainable growth.
Osinbajo assured the nation that President Buhari is hale and hearty and would return home as soon as he completed the necessary tests recommended by his doctors in the United Kingdom after his reported telephone conversation with the president.

February 7: Sent Onnoghen’s name for confirmation 

The acting president, on February 7, sent the name of the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, to the Senate for confirmation.
He later issued a statement assuring Nigerians that with the federal government’s complete focus on improving the economy, the current recession would soon be history. “We are committed to a continuous engagement with our people to explain government policies, receive advice and criticism,” he said.
Later in the day, the acting president met with the then outgoing Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko.

February 8: Met Kano Emir, as FEC approved N21bn roads contract

On February 8, Osinbajo chaired a meeting of the Federal Executive Council, which adopted measures to reduce prices of food items in the country. The meeting also resolved to restrict importation, from ECOWAS countries, of finished products that could be produced locally. That was in addition to the approval by the FEC, of N21 billion for the construction of the Ilorin-Omu Aran-Kabba Road, Section I.
Later in the day, the acting president held a closed-door meeting with the Emir of Kano and former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Muhammadu Sanusi.

February 9: Met Oba of Lagos, Labour, CSOs, Asset Recovery Committee

On February 9, Osinbajo met with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and applauded them for joining the ongoing anti-corruption campaign in the country. He gave the commendation when leaders of the NLC and TUC visited him and jointly presented an 18-point demand to the federal government. He also received the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu.
Later in the evening, Osinbajo chaired a meeting of the Presidential Committee on Asset Recovery. The meeting was attended by the Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Idris, the director-general of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura; the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu and the chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Ekpo Nta.

February 10: Visited the creeks in Bayelsa

Osinbajo headed for Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital on February 10 in continuation of his interactive engagements with oil-producing communities in the Niger Delta region.

February 13: Met Governor Wike in Rivers

Similarly, on February 13, the acting president was in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to meet stakeholders of the oil producing communities. During the meeting, he rolled out the framework for the clean-up exercise of Ogoni land.

February 15: FEC approved N126bn roads contracts, national health policy 

The Federal Executive Council meeting he chaired on February 15 approved the award of N126 billion road projects spread across Kano, Bauchi, Adamawa, Kwara, Gombe, Enugu an Kaduna states. The council meeting also approved the National Draft Health Policy 2016.

February 16: Directed the CBN to review foreign exchange policy

On February 16, the acting president inaugurated the National Road Safety Advisory Council, mandated to advise the Federal Executive Council and the National Economic Council on how to improve road safety management in the country. He chairs the council.
He presided over the first National Economic Council meeting of the year on February 16. The meeting directed the CBN to review the foreign exchange policy. The meeting also resolved that fresh $250 million be injected into the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF). The CBN subsequently released about $500 million through the interbank market, where the 23 banks bought $371m.

The dollar crashed between N400 and N450 against the earlier N525.

The naira also gained against other currencies such as the Pound Sterling, which traded at 645 a day earlier but slipped to 610 while the Euro came down from N537 to N507 at the end of trading yesterday.
Also during the week, the CBN began moves to fund commercial banks with additional Forex to carter for school fees, medicals and personal travelling allowance (PTA) and business travel allowance (BTA) at a special rate.

February 17: Signed 7 bills into law

On February 17, the acting president signed seven bills into law. They were Oaths (Amendment) Act 2017; Defence Space Administration Act 2017; Veterinary Surgeons (Amendment) Act 2017; National Film and Video Censors Board (Amendment) Act 2017; Pension Rights of Judges (Amendment) Act 2017; Nigeria Institute of Soil Science (Establishment) Act 2017 and Mortgage Institutions (Amendment) Act 2016.

February 18: Attended Barrow’s inauguration in The Gambia

The only function Osinbajo had so far attended outside Nigeria as acting president was the inauguration of the new president of The Gambia, Adama Barrow, which took place in Banjul on February 18. The Presidency did not announce that Osinbajo was going for the inauguration; his aides only released the photographs of the event two days after.

February 19: No money earmarked for vice president’s residence

On February 19, Osinbajo said that no money was earmarked for the proposed new official residence of the vice president following reports that he budgeted N250 million for an iron gate to the proposed residence, which had been under construction since 2010 despite lingering economic crisis.
February 20: Met wheat and rice task force

Osinbajo, on February 20, presided over a meeting of the Presidential Task Force on Wheat and Rice. He assured that the nation would attain self-sufficiency in food security. The meeting was attended by the governors of Kano, Jigawa, Kebbi and Ebonyi states, as well as ministers of agriculture and finance.
Osinbajo could not make his proposed visit to Ondo State where he was expected to commission Governor Mimiko’s N1.5 billion event centre due to ‘bad weather’.

February 21: Adopted 60-day action plan for business

 On February 21, he chaired an expanded meeting of the Presidential Enabling Business Council. The meeting, which was attended by Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara and other government officials, adopted a 60-day national action plan for business. Osinbajo asked the nation to expect changes in business visas, as well as seaports and airports.

February 22: Approved N32bn for Kaduna bypass 

The Federal Executive Council meeting he chaired on February 22 approved N32 billion for the resuscitation and completion of the 50km dual carriage Kaduna eastern bypass highway. The Council also approved $39.9 for the construction of the Cameroon-Nigeria border link bridge at Ikot Efiem. The council also approved the Revised National Policy on Environment.

Osinbajo also withheld assent to four bills recently passed into law by the National Assembly.

He asked the House of Representatives for approval to borrow $500 million out of the $1 billion Eurobond from the International Capital Market (ICM). He said the $500 million would be used to fund the 2016 budget deficit.
After the FEC meeting, the acting president hosted the commander of the United States-Africa Command, General Thomas Waldhauster and the American ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington.

February 23: Met economic team, Saraki, Dogara over budget

On February 23, the acting president, at his Aguda House residence in Aso Rock Presidential Villa, presided over a meeting between the National Economic Management Team and the leadership of the National Assembly over the 2017 budget.

He summoned Inspector-General of Police Idris Ibrahim over the kidnap of two German archaeologists, Prof. Peter Breunig and Mr. Johannes Behringer in Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

February 23: Unscheduled visit to Lagos airport

The acting president also paid an unscheduled visit to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, as part of the 60-day action plan for business reforms in the country. The visit took many airport workers by surprise. Osinbajo inspected facilities and interacted with airport officials.

February 24: Sacked 10 NCAA directors, met poultry farmers

Less than 24 hours after his unscheduled visit to Lagos airport, the federal government announced the sack of 10 directors of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). Three new directors and a general manager were also appointed for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
He also met with representatives of the poultry farmers in the country. He said the government was planning urgent relief for poultry farmers in the country to save the industry from collapse.
Those in attendance were the comptroller-general of the Nigeria Customs Service, Hameed Hali, CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele and Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun.

How Osinbajo spends his day 

Before he became acting president, as vice president of Nigeria and a senior pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Lagos, he was used to attending the church’s weekly Holy Ghost night vigil along the Lagos-Ibadan highway. Each time he attended the programme, the vice president’s wing of the State House always appeared deserted, especially on Fridays, with only a few members of staff and aides sighted in their offices.
Now, a close monitoring of the acting president’s itineraries and programmes shows that he is, for obvious reasons, keeping vigil only at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja, attending to state matters.
Except he has any official function to attend outside the State House, the acting president resumes in the office as early as 9.00am and most times, remains there, holding meetings, treating files and discharging other duties till about 9.00pm. And when occasionally he travels at weekends, it is strictly on official duties.
Since Osinbajo became acting president, the vice president’s wing of the Presidential Villa, from where he operates, has been a beehive of activities. He only moves to the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa for the weekly meetings of the FEC and the monthly meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC).
Osinbajo has continued to combine his duties as acting president with the various responsibilities assigned to him as vice president who heads some vital organs of the executive and several presidential committees. He chairs the National Economic Management Team (NEMT), which is the government’s think-tank responsible for the formulation of the country’s economic policy direction, as well as the NEC, saddled with the responsibility of guiding the president on his economic policies.
Osinbajo equally heads the Presidential Committee on Asset Recovery (PCAR); the Presidential Enabling Business Council (PEBEC); the Presidential Committee on the Reconstitution of Federal Government Boards of Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions; the National Council on Privatisation (NCP); the Federal Road Safety Advisory Council, among others.

Osinbajo is in charge - Spokesman 

The Presidency told Daily Trust on Sunday that Osinbajo is fully in charge of the affairs of the nation, contrary to some speculations. His senior special assistant on media and publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, said Osinbajo was doing everything expected of him as acting president.
“Mr. President is on vacation and has asked for time to rest. In accordance with the constitution, he handed over power to Mr. Vice President. This is a commendable and unprecedented act of a statesman. So the vice president, as acting president, is fully in charge as Mr. President requested in his letter to the National Assembly,” Akande said.

Above is an Editorial content of Daily Trust on Sunday

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Famine: Donors pledge $672m at Oslo summit to avert famine in Nigeria and Lake Chad

Norway leads funding commitments as summit raises one-third of $1.5bn needed to avert famine by reaching 3 million people within five months

Nigeria’s foreign affairs minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, speaks at the Oslo humanitarian conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region in Oslo, the Norwegian capital. Photograph: Ntb Scanpix/Reuters

A third of the $1.5bn in emergency funding sought by the UN this year to prevent a famine in Africa’s stricken Lake Chad region has been raised at a summit in Oslo.
The US has not yet made any new pledge of money.
Aid agencies must get food to almost 3 million people by July to avert a famine in the region. The conditions for a largely neglected crisis have been created by drought, chronic poverty and Islamist insurgents Boko Haram, the UN said on Friday.
More than 10 million people are in need of life-saving aid in the region, where – as in Yemen and Somalia – humanitarian agencies have warned of the looming threat of famine.
On Monday, famine was declared in parts of South Sudan.

Ads by AdClickMedia
Lose Weight While Eating What you Like, It Works!
Lose your belly in 7 Days!, use tips from Fat Loss Factor to help you achieve your goals! Dont hesitate GET STARTED!
Ads by AdClickMedia

The summit’s host country, Norway, led efforts by pledging $192m (£153m) of the $672m promised by international donors for the next three years. Further contributions are expected later this year from the UK and the US.
Despite worries among many that the arrival of Donald Trump in the White House could sound the deathknell for large-scale US support for relief efforts in Africa, the UN emergency relief coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, voiced hope that the US would continue to retain its position as the largest aid donor to the region, and principally Nigeria.
Initial examinations suggested all of the $672m pledged at the conference was new money, said O’Brien. He said two unnamed countries had indicated they would pledge substantial contributions.
“Clearly the Americans are in transition so we have to wait for that to move forward,” O’Brien said.

“This is the first out of the stalls of the big four pledging conferences that we have got lined up for the year and, in my personal view, to raise $672m of new money in a morning is spectacular, when the overall ask is $1.5bn for the calendar year.”

O’Brien added that, based on past experience of emergency response being maintained even in the face of broader policy adjustments, he was not pessimistic about the prospect of the US remaining the largest international contributor to the Lake Chad region.
His comments followed reports that the Trump administration is preparing to order sweeping funding cuts to the UN and other international organisations.

Matthew Nims, the deputy director of USAid’s office of food for peace programme, said the threat of famine in Nigeria was greater than ever. “A lot of us in this business knew this was coming,” said Nims. “We could see this and I think we – the governments in the region, those around the table here – need to accept that there was a failure on all our parts to see where we have come to.
“All of us know that it’s also not the only country. If you look at 2017 it may be the great year of transition on many levels, but we don’t want it to be the year when famine becomes a more commonplace word. We are in unprecedented times of food insecurity.”

Jamie Drummond, co-founder of the advocacy organisation One, welcomed the new funding pledges. “History of sorts has been made today in Oslo and the good news is that key countries and partners assembled, admitted the challenge and put meaningful funds on the table.
“However, the devil lies in the details and the angels of accountability need a bit more help than we’ve heard so far. Local citizens’ groups on the ground, backed by anti-corruption partners globally, need to be able to look more closely at what is new, what is not, and any discrepancy between what is pledged in Norway, and what is actually spent on lifesaving services delivered for citizens in each clinic and classroom across the region.”

One is putting in place a resource tracker to allow pledges to be tracked.
The Oslo summit, taking place after UN agencies warned the crisis was “drastically deteriorating” in parts of northern Nigeria and neighbouring areas of the Lake Chad region, also brought what many regarded as a shift in the attitude of the Nigerian government.
For the first time, the government produced a figure – $1bn – that it was planning to direct to the country’s stricken north. Nigeria’s foreign minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, said the crisis could not have come at a worse time, with the country suffering from severe financial constraints caused by the falling price of crude oil and the need to continue funding its military operation against Boko Haram.

Local cereal vendors are seen with displaced people at an IDP camp in Dikwa, Borno state, Nigeria
Local cereal vendors are seen with displaced people at an IDP camp in Dikwa, a town in Nigeria’s Borno state. Photograph: Florian Plaucheur/AFP/Getty Images
With the focus primarily on monetary pledges, much less was said about sensitive issues such as how to rehabilitate former Boko Haram fighters, the fate of thousands of young men who are believed to be in the custody of the Nigerian military, and the threat posed by endemic corruption to aid spending and rebuilding efforts.

Ads by AdClickMedia

Lose Weight While Eating What you Like, It Works!
Lose your belly in 7 Days!, use tips from Fat Loss Factor to help you achieve your goals! Dont hesitate GET STARTED!
Ads by AdClickMedia
On Thursday, a separate conference of NGOs heard a call from Ilaria Allegrozzi, Amnesty International’s Lake Chad researcher, for the wider recovery effort to have a greater dimension focused on the rehabilitation of Boko Haram fighters who, she added, had been “portrayed as devils, people beyond any repair or help”.

Ads by AdClickMedia

Lose Weight While Eating What you Like, It Works!
Lose your belly in 7 Days!, use tips from Fat Loss Factor to help you achieve your goals! Dont hesitate GET STARTED!
Ads by AdClickMedia
The outspoken governor of Nigeria’s north-eastern Borno state, Kashim Shettima, said some rehabilitation of former fighters had taken place but insisted the group’s make-up had to be seen as a “triangle”.
“At one end there are the ideologically driven Boko Haram, who will resist any reintegration. Then you have the forcefully conscripted Boko Haram. Then there are the fortune seekers who join for economic reasons,” he said.  

Ads by AdClickMedia

Lose Weight While Eating What you Like, It Works!
Lose your belly in 7 Days!, use tips from Fat Loss Factor to help you achieve your goals! Dont hesitate GET STARTED!
Ads by AdClickMedia
 Boko Haram militants have killed about 15,000 people and forced more than 2 million from their homes during a seven-year insurgency.Efforts to provide assistance to northern Nigeria have assumed an added urgency ahead of the next planting season in the region, which is due to start in May, with farming communities needing seeds, tools and help to replace destroyed resources.

Lose Weight While Eating What you Like, It Works!
Lose your belly in 7 Days!, use tips from Fat Loss Factor to help you achieve your goals! Dont hesitate GET STARTED!
Ads by AdClickMedia
“In the worst-affected areas, famine continues to loom – and millions will remain trapped in cycles of severe hunger if we don’t enable farmers to start cropping now,” said Dominique Burgeon, director of the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s emergency and rehabilitation division.

Lose Weight While Eating What you Like, It Works!
Lose your belly in 7 Days!, use tips from Fat Loss Factor to help you achieve your goals! Dont hesitate GET STARTED!
Ads by AdClickMedia
Culled from The Guardian

Send in Your Report or Opinion to NUJ Europe


Email *

Message *

mixed ads