Nigerians Beginning To Doubt Our Change Agenda, Admits Lai.

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Nigerians Beginning To Doubt Our Change Agenda, Admits Lai.


Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says the government is aware that Nigerians are now doubting its change agenda, but he has assured them that the Buhari administration is “working around the clock to provide  relief for the citizenry.”


“As a government that was propelled into office by the power of the people, we cannot but feel the pains of our compatriots, and we deeply empathise with them,” he said in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by Segun Adeyemi, his special adviser.


“Our message to our compatriots is that this administration under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari is working round the clock to ease the pains of Nigerians, and that very soon, the efforts of the government will begin to yield fruits for the benefit of Nigerians.


“We understand the skepticism of Nigerians in questioning whether this indeed is the change they voted for. I can tell Nigerians that our change agenda is real, and that indeed Nigerians will get the change they voted for.”


On the scarcity of petrol in the country, the minister said that immediate measures were being taken to end the situation just as medium and long-term solutions were being worked out to prevent a recurrence.


“Petroleum supply and distribution have been ramped up across the country by the NNPC to ensure product availability in the country, but repeated trips to filling stations and the backlog are making it impossible to immediately feel the impact,” he said.


“Monitoring has also been intensified to ensure full compliance with approved prices. Violations of approved prices and hoarding of petroleum products attract severe penalties, including giving out of petroleum products free to the public, sealing off of fuel stations found to be hoarding petroleum products, payment of fine as well as withdrawal of marketer’s license.”


Mohammed said that in the medium term, the supply constraints owing to foreign exchange challenges were being resolved through collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria on innovative ways of closing the gaps in accessing foreign exchange.


He also announced the willingness of the international upstream oil companies to support major oil marketing companies with some of the required foreign exchange, thus complementing the efforts of the NNPC, which has been solely importing the refined products, in addition to the fact that the corporation is pursuing an improved model for crude-oil-for-refined-product exchange to eliminate inefficiencies.


“The ultimate is to ensure self-sufficiency in refined products supply by ramping up our local Refining capacity. All local refineries will be made to run at a minimum 70 percent capacity utilisation in the weeks ahead. This is in addition to the initiative of increasing the combined capacity of the domestic refineries through co-locating smaller but cost efficient modular refineries within the existing refineries premises,” the minister said.


Regarding unstable power supply in the country, Mohammed blamed the lack of gas supply to the power generating stations for it. He said the NNPC was seeking alternative sources of gas supply after the attack on the Forcados export pipeline forced the cut off of gas supplies to the stations.


The minister said even the gas supply that was cut off following the attacks on the Forcados pipeline would soon be restored as Shell, the operators of the pipeline, has awarded the contract to repair it.


In addition, he said, work was nearing completion on the transmission projects in five states in the southeast and south-south that would ensure that the power stations in those regionswere able to work at full capacity, thus adding another 800MW to the national grid.


“While we give no excuses for the challenges currently being faced by Nigerians, because they voted for us specifically to address those challenges, we appeal to them to bear with us as we strive to provide the much-needed relief in the days ahead,” he added. 

Nigeria Billionaire, Ifeanyi Ubah, Gets 10-Match Ban, N2.5m Fine For Slapping Goalkeeper 

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Nigeria Billionaire, Ifeanyi Ubah, Gets 10-Match Ban, N2.5m Fine For Slapping Goalkeeper 


Nigeria’s League Management Company has slammed a N2.5 million fine and a 10-match ban on billionaire businessman, Ifeanyi Ubah, who was caught on camera slapping Heartland FC goalkeeper, Ebele Obi. The LMC toughened its punishment for Ubah after video evidence nailed him. 


The regulator however said in a statement on Thursday that the billionaire businessman can appeal against the ruling if he deems so. The statement read: “Chief Dr Ifeanyi Ubah, proprietor of FC Ifeanyi Ubah, is suspended from all NPFL match venues for the next 10 matches. “He has now been fined N2.5m because LMC found him guilty of encroaching field of play & assaulting Heartland player Ebele Obi. 


“The fabled billionaire is expected to offer a letter of apology & an undertaking to be a good ambassador of the NPFL. “The LMC further bans all self- procured security services other than those sanctioned by the LMC from all NPFL match venues henceforth. “Four of the 10-match NPFL ban is suspended for a probationary period till the end of the season. “Ubah has up till 5pm on Saturday to appeal this decision if he objects the ruling,” the statement concluded. 0 0


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Pastor Fails To Resurrect After Telling People To Bury Him Alive

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Pastor Fails To Resurrect After Telling People To Bury Him Alive


Five members of the same family were charged with the murder of a prophet who had been called to their their home in the village of Mazonde, Zimbabwe to help them cleanse their house of evil spirits.


According to local newspaper, Zed 24 News, the accused family identified as Leanmore Mutero, Tonderai Muswere, Michael Muchengeti, Manasa Mutero and Nicholas Mutero, appeared at the High Court in Harare facing a murder charge for participating in the death of self-professed Prophet Shamiso Kanyama, who accidentally died during a healing ceremony.


Pastor Kanyama had reportedly asked his followers to bury him alive so that he could summon more cleansing powers to heal the family that had been plagued by mysterious deaths.


Zed 24 News reports that High Court Justice Owen Tagu heard how on that day, the late pastor had been invited to attend the home in the Muzarabani district, which is situated along the Mozambique-Zimbabwe border, by their priest, Zvidzai Muchengeti.


The five men had requested the priest to help them clean their home of evil spirits, because it was causing mysterious deaths in their family.


Responding to their request to perform a healing ceremony, Kanyama had ordered his followers to dig a grave and bury him alive because that was the way he summoned more healing powers to ward off evil spirits. However, the plan backfired on the prophet when instead of being resurrected as he supposed, the men dug up the grave again to find him dead.


Kanyama helped to dig his own grave before praying and jumping inside, Father Zvidzai, who has turned State witness, told the High Court. He continued that after laying face down in the grave, he ordered his followers to start covering him with soil.


“He pegged a grave-shaped pit in front of my hut and asked for help to dig the pit,” Zvidzai continued. “Deceased requested to be buried alive so that he would gain power to drive away the evil forces.”


Fearing for the life of the prophet as the men were in the process of filling the grave, he requested the men to stop what they were doing, Joseph Taderera told Justice Tagu.


However, they ignored his pleas when Kanyama urged them to continue the process of burying him alive, stating that he would rise from the grave unharmed.


“I warned the men about the danger of their actions, but my advice fell on deaf ears because Kanyama shouted, telling me that I am disturbing his angels, and urged them to continue filling the grave, saying that he would later come out alive,” Taderera said.



Why I won’t sign 2016 budget in a hurry — Buhari

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Why I won’t sign 2016 budget in a hurry — Buhari


President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday explained why he would not hurriedly assent to the 2016 passed by the National Assembly.


He said he would critically review the document before assenting to it, according to a statement by Femi Adesina the special adviser to the President on media and publicity.


Speaking at a meeting with the United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, in Washington DC, President Buhari said in view of the controversial alteration and padding of the budget proposals, he needed to review the appropriation bill to be certain that its contents tallied with the authentic budget proposal presented to the National Assembly.


“Some bureaucrats removed what we put in the proposal and replaced it with what they wanted,” Mr. Buhari said. “I have to look at the bill that has been passed by the National Assembly, ministry by ministry, to be sure that what has been brought back for me to sign is in line with our original submission.”


Declaring that his administration will continue to vigorously prosecute its war against corruption, President Buhari sought and received an assurance from Mr. Kerry that the United States Government will facilitate the repatriation of all stolen Nigerian funds found within the American banking system.


“It will greatly help our country if you assist us to recover all our stolen funds which we can establish to be within your financial system,” the President told Mr. Kerry.


Responding, the Secretary of State said that he has been told that the stolen Nigerian funds were in “billions of dollars”.


“It’s not easy to hide that amount of money and we are pretty good in tracing them,” Mr Kerry assured President Buhari, adding that relevant United States Government Officials will meet with the Chairman of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to discuss further cooperation in that regard.


Mr. Kerry applauded the Buhari administration’s success in rolling back the Boko Haram insurgency, saying the United States will continue to give Nigeria all possible support to ensure that the terrorist sect is finally eliminated as a threat to national and regional security.


The Secretary of State also praised President Buhari’s clear order that Nigeria’s Armed Forces must show greater regard for the human rights of persons in the theatre of operations against Boko Haram.


Acknowledging that the United States has been of great help to his administration in the retraining and re-equipping of the Nigerian Armed Forces that has resulted in the significant success already achieved against Boko Haram, President Buhari said the Federal Government was now working very hard to restore full normalcy in the North Eastern states.


“Boko Haram no longer holds any local government area. We are reconstructing damaged facilities and preparing the police to take over and reassert civilian control over areas affected by the insurgency,” the President told Mr. Kerry.


U.S. pledges to help trace, recover “billions of dollars” stolen from Nigeria

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U.S. pledges to help trace, recover “billions of dollars” stolen from Nigeria


The United States government has said it will help Nigeria recover public funds running into “billions of dollars” stolen from Nigeria and believed to be hidden in the banks in the US and other countries.


US Secretary of State, John Kerry, made the pledge on Thursday in Washington DC while responding to comments by President Muhammadu Buhari on the commitment of his administration to the war against corruption and the need for the US government to help repatriate the country’s stolen wealth stashed abroad.


“It will greatly help our country if you assist us to recover all our stolen funds which we can establish to be within your financial system,” the president told Mr. Kerry.


Mr. Kerry in his response told Mr Buhari that he had learned that the money stolen from the country ran into “billions of dollars” and that the country’s officials were ready to work with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in find and return the stolen funds.


“It’s not easy to hide that amount of money and we are pretty good in tracing them,” Mr. Kerry assured President Buhari.


Soon after it was inaugurated, the Buhari administration initiated a campaign against corruption.


Several former officials, who are believed to have siphoned public funds, have been charged to court and are now facing trials.


Notable among them is the immediate past national security adviser, Sambo Dasuki, who is facing charges of misappropriating $2.1 billion dollar meant for the procurement of arms for the armed forces to fight the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast.


Meanwhile, Mr. Kerry, while hailing the successes of the Buhari administration in curtailing Boko Haram, said the U.S. will not relent in giving Nigeria all possible support to make sure that the terrorists are completely defeated.


He, however, said the Nigerian military should do more to respect the human rights of the people within the its theatre of operation.


Mr. Buhari thanked the US for its support in the fight, against Boko Haram, saying the government was doing everything to make sure life returns to normal in the northeast.


“Boko Haram no longer holds any local government area. We are reconstructing damaged facilities and preparing the police to take over and reassert civilian control over areas affected by the insurgency,” he said. 

Okowa Flags Off FAST TRACK 90 Scheme  …Assures of C of O Issuance Within 90 Days

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Okowa Flags Off FAST TRACK 90 Scheme 

…Assures of C of O Issuance Within 90 Days


Delta State Government has launched its FAST TRACK 90 scheme to fast track the issuance of Certificate-Of-Occupancy [C-of-O] to property owners.

Governor Okowa at the event assured that the innovative policy would enhance the ease of doing business and property owners would now be able to obtain C of O within 90 days.


 The policy according to the Governor was meant to remove all the inherent bottlenecks associated with acquiring legal titles for landed property which were disincentives to investments, stressing that with the new policy, land owners can obtain C of O with digital electronic features within a maximum of ninety days.


“One of the biggest disincentives to investors anywhere in the world is the high cost and delays associated with acquiring the legal titles to landed property, in Delta State, the process of obtaining Certificate of Occupancy [C of O] has over the years become very long, arduous, unwieldy, and opaque, often resulting in unofficial payments far in excess of the approved amount“, he said.


’FastTrack 90’, an innovative policy of this administration designed to enhance ease of business in the state, has been initiated to overcome the bottlenecks that have become a recurring decimal in obtaining C of Os, it will take a maximum of ninety days for land owners to obtain their C of Os from the Ministry of Lands and Surveys and the new system is fast, transparent and in line with global best practices”, the governor added.


Senator Okowa explained that property owners would pay two hundred thousand naira to obtain the new C of O, while those in possession of the old C of Os would pay fifty thousand naira to migrate to the new one emphasising that “the new C of O is electronically generated, secure and fraud proof and its implementation starting in June, 2016”.


 He urged all property owners in the state to ensure that they get the new C of O as it “serves as protection against government acquisition, validates your ownership of the property and eliminates needless disputes and contentions” as the new C of O can’t be duplicated, as it has unique protective features.

Governor Okowa reiterated the state government’s commitment to putting the necessary structures, institutions, processes and systems in place that would engender good governance, all-inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.


Earlier, Hon  Martins Okonta , Special Adviser on Land and Legislative Matters and Mr Abayomi, Managing Director, QueensBridge Capital Investment Ltd,  in their addresses said that Fast Track 90 Scheme was an opportunity for  property owners to fast track the process of acquiring C of O within ninety days and check sharp practices inherent in the issuance of old C of Os in the state. 


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Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge, Commissioner for Special Duties Government House, Hon. Henry Sakpra, Senator Emmanuel Aguariavwodo Special Adviser, Oshimili South Local Government Chairman, Hon. Chuks Obusom, Chief Kingsley Esiso Special  Adviser, Member House of Representative, Hon. Oyemachi Mrakpo today inspected Ultra Modern Delta State Library, in Asaba.

Buhari withholds assent to 2016 budget as NASS fails to send details

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Buhari withholds assent to 2016 budget as NASS fails to send details


President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to sign the 2016 budget a week after the document was sent to him by the National Assembly, presidency officials said Tuesday, further delaying the implementation of a budget the government hopes will help Nigeria out of its present economic crisis.


A top presidency official said Mr. Buhari could not sign the budget because the passed budget had no details.


The official said almost a week after the National Assembly passed the 2016 Appropriation Bill, details of the approved Appropriation Bill were yet to be transmitted to the president.


The source said Mr. Buhari had been anxious to give assent to the Bill, but that he was concerned that signing the budget without details may give approval to an un-implementable spending plan.


“The president has not been able to sign the Bill into law because he does not know what is contained in the details and what adjustments the National Assembly made to the proposal sent to them last December,” the official told PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday.


The source, who did not want his name disclosed as he was not authorised to comment on the issue in his official capacity, said the delay in transmitting the details could mean that the National Assembly either did not complete work on the budget, or were “playing politics” with the passage of the document.


He said the president was disappointed that his desire to see the immediate implementation of the provisions to ease the tension in the economy and polity would have to tarry a little longer till when the details were transmitted to him and the adjustments are found to be implementable.


The harmonised N6.06 trillion budget was finally passed by both chambers of the National Assembly last Wednesday after weeks of bickering over controversial allocations in the N6.08 trillion proposal submitted by Mr. Buhari on December 22, 2015.


Details of the approved appropriation showed that N1.59 trillion was allocated for capital expenditure, and N2.65 trillion for recurrent expenditure, while about N1.48 trillion was approved for debt servicing.


The lawmakers also approved about N2.2 trillion as deficit, with N500 billion going for social intervention projects and N351.4billion for Statutory transfers.


The final assent to the budget is sure to suffer another delay for at least one more week as Mr. Buhari leaves Abuja Wednesday to attend a Nuclear Summit in Washington DC, USA.


When contacted, the Senate spokesperson, Abdullahi Sabi, said he would not comment on the issue, but he assured that the National Assembly would not do anything to sabotage the collective interest of all Nigerians.


The chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje, did not answer several calls to his telephone on Tuesday. He did not also respond to the text message sent to him on the issue. 

Governor Okowa Commended for Even Spread of Projects – Tete 

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Governor Okowa Commended for Even Spread of Projects – Tete 


WARRI- Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has been commended for his developmental strides attained in the areas of human capital and infrastructural development in the state so far. 


He was commended for ensuring even spread of development in the nooks and crannies of the state. The Deputy Chief Whip of Warri South Local Government Legislative Arm in Delta State, Hon. Augustine Tete, who spoke to newsmen during the weekend when the Governor embarked on projects inspection in Warri and it’s environ, pointed out that the Governor has performed excellently well in the face of dwindling state revenue, and within the short period of 10months.


In particular Augustine Tete mentioned his successes in the area of road constructions and rehabilitations, upgrade of technical schools as well as the comprehensive health insurance scheme for the people and his empowerment package for the youths in the state has no comparison in Nigeria.


Tete who declared that he has no regrets to have thrown his support behind the Governor’s bid to govern the state, affirmed that the Governor has made him very proud as a citizen of the state and what he has seen of the state capital, Asaba in recent time. He thus called on the people of the state to rally round the Governor to succeed. The lawmaker assured the present administration in the state of an unflinching support and solidarity of the people in his Ward.