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Buhari Tasks Ministers On Project Delivery

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…Directs SGF to Convene Quarterly Coordination Meetings On Nine Priority Areas

President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Abuja directed cabinet ministers and permanent secretaries to redouble their efforts and work in synergy toward total delivery of this Administration’s set target to improve livelihood of all Nigerians.

The President, who gave the directive at the end of the two-day Mid-term Ministerial performance review retreat, also instructed the ministers to ‘‘ramp up implementation’’ of their mandates along the Nine Priority Areas of this Administration.

A statement by Femi Adesina Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity) said President Buhari also stressed the need for synergy between the fiscal and monetary authorities in the country to keep the economy on the trajectory of growth.

He noted that intensive discussions at the retreat provided an opportunity to reflect on what this administration has done and areas it needs to improve and refocus attention.

‘‘The retreat provided an opportunity for us to undertake an objective assessment of our stewardship in line with the contract we signed with the Nigerian people to deliver on our electoral promises.

‘‘From the assessment report and discussions at this retreat, I am glad to note that progress has been made towards the achievement of our objectives.

‘‘The independent performance assessment report presented on day one of the retreat, indicates that significant progress has been achieved in the delivery of the Ministerial Mandates.

‘‘Distinguished participants, the discussions at the retreat have prompted the need for us to ramp up implementation on the deliverables.

‘‘We must close the gaps in our implementation efforts to ensure that we attain set targets by 2023,’’ the President said.

To achieve this, President Buhari, therefore, directed the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) to immediately begin the process of convening quarterly coordination meetings for each priority area based on the collaborative results framework.

He explained that the aim of these meetings is to ascertain status of implementation across the nine priority areas, identify bottlenecks, and proffer immediate solutions.

‘‘All Ministers and Permanent Secretaries must be in attendance. These are not meetings to delegate,’’ he said.

Further, the President instructed the Office of the SGF to immediately commence engagement with stakeholders to agree and push forward a framework for the institutionalization of the Central Delivery Coordinating Unit.

‘‘All Ministers and Permanent Secretaries are to promote a robust performance culture across the Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) by setting up intra-ministerial delivery task teams,” he said.

Similarly, the President directed the Head of Service to, as a matter of urgency, invest in capacity strengthening of the Planning, Research and Statistics departments in all MDAs.

‘‘This should be done in collaboration with the Central Delivery Coordinating Unit,’’ he said.

Underscoring the need for synergy between the fiscal and monetary authorities, the President assured Nigerians that this Administration will continue to implement fiscal measures to improve domestic revenues and mobilize external funding support to build a more resilient economy.

President Buhari pledged that issues around expanding access to quality education, affordable healthcare and productivity of Nigerians will be given priority attention within the period of this administration.

‘‘We will sustain all on-going efforts in rebuilding our health system through targeted investment in the health sector, especially our vaccination drive to halt the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

‘‘This Administration remains committed to providing the education and training required for employment and entrepreneurship, particularly using technology to impact the relevant skills on our youths.

‘‘Our Social Investment Programmes will be sustained in the coming years.

‘‘We will continue to reach out to the poorest and most vulnerable households through the National Cash Transfer Programme and other initiatives of Government,’’ he said.

According to the President, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has been directed to come up with a legislative framework for social protection that also guarantees its funding stream.

He added that in view of the critical role of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in economic growth and development, efforts will be geared towards removing all bottlenecks that militate against access to government support schemes by SMEs.

‘‘Government will adopt a holistic approach to industrialization that is aligned with Nigeria’s aspirations and requirements, working closely with key stakeholders in the private sector. We will continue to support SMEs in view of their multiplier effect on the economy,” he said.

On the National Single Window Project, the President also directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to ensure all relevant MDAs involved in the implementation of the project complete all processes needed for effective take-off of the National Single Window platform by first quarter of 2022.

The President also spoke on the administration’s determination to build systems to fight corruption and improve governance, saying:

‘‘We will continue to address the issues that foster corruption and impair transparency in the management of public resources. Efforts will be geared towards improving coordination and synergy between anti-corruption agencies.’’

On infrastructure, the President promised that the Federal Government will prioritize funding and ensure that all high-priority ongoing infrastructure projects are completed before the end of this Administration.

He announced that the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund would continue to support the delivery of legacy infrastructure projects across the country.

On his assessment of the retreat, the President said:

‘‘I am confident that the lessons we have learned in the last two years of implementing our policies, programmes and projects will serve as the needed tool to propel every Ministry to remain committed, towards the achievement of our developmental objectives.”

The President commended the SGF, Boss Mustapha, and his team for successfully organizing the retreat, as well as the resource persons that added immense value to the process.

The Nine Priority areas set out by the administration include: building a thriving and sustainable economy, enhancing social inclusion and poverty reduction; enlarging agricultural output for food security and export as well as attaining energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products.

Others are expanding transport and other infrastructural development, business growth, entrepreneurship and industrialization; access to quality education, affordable healthcare and productivity of Nigerians.

The administration has also prioritised building a system to fight corruption, improve governance and create social cohesion as well as security for all.

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Freedom At Last, as Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame are Release

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Two former governors Jolly Nyame and Joshua Dariye have been released by the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS).

They were serving jail terms for corruption allegations until they were granted a presidential pardon by President Muhammadu Buhari a few months ago.

The Council of State had approved the pardon alongside 157 other convicts in April this year.

The former governors were convicted by Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the Federal High Court, Abuja in 2018.

Dariye was convicted of stealing N1.16 billion while serving as Plateau governor from 1999 to 2007 and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. But his term was eventually reduced to 10 years by the Court of Appeal in Abuja, while his conviction was affirmed by the Supreme Court.

Nyame, who was Taraba governor from 1999 to 2007, was convicted of stealing N1.6 billion from the state’s treasury and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. The judgment was also upheld by the Supreme Court.

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Former NARSDA Boss, Prof Seidu Mohammed Passes On

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Former Director-General of the National Space Research and Development Agency, NARSDA, and one-time governorship aspirant,  Professor Seidu Muhammed Ogah has been confirmed dead. It was gathered that he died in Abuja.

A statement by Agency disclosed that the former NARSDA boss died at Nisa Premier Hospital in the early hours of Monday. .

”It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the passing of Prof Seidu Mohammed Onailo, our former Director-General, National Space Research and Development Agency, NARSDA which occurred on August 8, 2022, at Nisa Premier Hospital in Abuja,” the statement read.

The 62-year old former NARSDA boss,  a Professor of Space Science,  hailed from Abejukolo in Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State and is survived by his wife, children and other relatives.

He was a visiting Professor of Remote Sensing and GIS, Kaduna State University. He obtained his Ph.D. in Environmental Remote Sensing from Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria in 2004, and received his M.Sc. degree in Soil Survey /Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System from International Institute for Geo-information and Earth Observation (ITC) Twente University, Enschede, The Netherlands in 1993, where he studied as a European Economic Commission Scholar.

He also served as a senior lecturer in the department of Geology, University of Jos from 2007-2009. Over the years, he made significant contributions to the development of models for desertification assessment and predictions in the North West region of Nigeria. This model has been applied by the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) as well as other Nigerian institutions in studying the menace of desertification in the country. The model is currently being used to study the green belt region in West Africa.

An erudite scholar prolific writer,  he had over 40 publications in applied space science. He has made tremendous contributions to the implementation of the space programme in Nigeria.

Under his leadership at NARSDA, Nigeria launched three satellites. He was the Chairman, Governing Board, African Regional Centre for Space Technology Education, Ile-Ife as well as the Chairman, Board of Directors, GeoApps + Limited.

He was also a Fellow of the Nigerian Association of Radio and Planetary Sciences, the Astronomical Society of Nigeria, the Nigerian Institute of Physics, the Cartographic Association of Nigeria as well as a fellow and board member of the International Academy of Astronautics.

Meanwhile, reactions and condolence messages have been coming in, as the people mourn the demise the thoroughbred intellectual.

Reacting to the death of the foremost academic and researcher, prominent indigene of Abejukolo and Special Assistant to the Minister of Aviation, Dr James Odaudu said the death was a great loss to the people of Omala Local government, Igala Kingdom, the Nigerian nation and the academic world.

Late Prof S. O Mohammed

“Professor Seidu Mohammed was not only a leader of the people of Omala Local government, Kogi State and the entire nation, but an intellectual colossus whose academic works have been of immense benefit to scientific research, especially in the area of remote sensing”.

Director-General of the National Productivity Centre, Dr Kashim Akor in a message of condolence to the family and people of Kogi State described the death of the space and remote sensing expert who developed and advanced space technology across the continent, as a colossal loss to Nigeria.

He further described the space Professor as a rare gem who had distinguished himself both in the academic, administrative and space management across the world.

He said during his tenure he resolved alot of thorny issues in the country with the aid of space technology, as he was still rendering professional advises to the current handlers.

Also reacting, former Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris commiserated with the people of Kogi State, particularly Omala local government over the sudden death of Professor Seidu Onailo Mohammed who also served as Director General, Directorate of Rural Development DRD during his first term between 2003-2007.

Idris who expressed shock over the sad development, described his death as a great loss to Kogi State and Nigeria at large.

He recalled how he contributed greatly to the rural electrification efforts of his administration,  having served as Director General at that point in time, during his administration in Kogi State.

The former Governor stated that his death came at a time when his services were needed both at the state and national level, praying to Almighty God to forgive him his shortcomings while on earth.

His burial is expected to be held at Abejukolo in Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State Tuesday according to Islamic rites.

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Hanifa : Court Sentences School Proprietor to Death

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Remember Hanifa the little girl who was abducted on December 4, 2021 on her way home from Islamiyya and subsequently discovered to have been killed by  her teacher and school proprietor, after demanding N6m ransom, at Dakata, Nasarawa Local Government Area of Kano State?

Well, Justice has been served as Kano State High Court on Thursday sentenced the Proprietor of Nobel Kids Academy and North West Preparatory School, Abdulmalik Tanko, the principal suspect who masterminded the kidnap and killing of the 5-year old school girl, Hanifa Abubakar, to death.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Usman Na’abba, sentenced him to death by hanging while delivering his judgment on Thursday.

Details later….

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