Aso Rock Presidential Villa

PROFILE OF MUHAMMADU BUHARI

Muhammadu Buhari is the new President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Muhammadu Buhari  was born on 17 December 1942 in Daura Katsina State.

Buhari is  a retired Major General in the Nigerian Army who was Head of State of Nigeria from 31 December 1983 to 27 August 1985, after taking power in a military coup d’état.

He ran unsuccessfully for the office of President of Nigeria in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections. In December 2014, he emerged as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress for the March 2015 elections.

Buhari won the 2015 general election, defeating the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. When he takes office on 29 May 2015 as scheduled it will mark the first time in Nigeria’s history that an incumbent elected President will peacefully transfer power to an elected leader of the opposition.

Buhari joined the Nigerian Army in 1961, when he attended the Nigerian Military Training College (in February 1964, it was renamed the Nigerian Defence Academy) in Kaduna. From 1962 to 1963, he underwent officer cadets training at Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot in England.

In 1971, Buhari married his first wife, Safinatu Buhari (First lady of Nigeria December 1983-August 1985). They had five children together, four girls and one boy. Their first daughter, Zulaihat (Zulai) is named after Buhari’s mother. Their other children are Fatima, Musa (deceased), Hadiza, and Safinatu.

In 1988, Buhari and his first wife Safinatu were divorced. In December 1989, Buhari married his second and current wife Aisha Buhari. They also have five children together, a boy and four girls. They are Aisha, Halima, Yusuf, Zarah and Amina.

In January 1963, Buhari was commissioned as second lieutenant, and appointed Platoon Commander of the Second Infantry Battalion in Abeokuta, Nigeria. From November 1963 to January 1964, Buhari attended the Platoon Commanders’ Course at the Nigerian Military Training College, Kaduna.

In 1964, he facilitated his military training by attending the Mechanical Transport Officer’s Course at the Army Mechanical Transport School in Borden, United Kingdom.

From 1965 to 1967, Buhari served as Commander of the Second Infantry Battalion. He was appointed Brigade Major, Second Sector, First Infantry Division, April 1967 to July 1967.

Buhari was made Brigade Major of the Third Infantry Brigade, July 1967 to October 1968 and Brigade Major/Commandant, Thirty-first Infantry Brigade, 1970 to 1971.

Buhari served as the Assistant Adjutant-General, First Infantry Division Headquarters, from 1971 to 1972. He also attended the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, India, in 1973.

From 1974 to 1975 Buhari was Acting Director of Transport and Supply at the Nigerian Army Corps of Supply and Transport Headquarters.

He was also Military Secretary at the Army Headquarters from 1978 to 1979 and was a member of the Supreme Military Council from 1978 to 1979.

Other roles include:

General Officer Commanding, 4th Infantry Division, Aug. 1980 – Jan. 1981

General Officer Commanding, 2nd Mechanized Infantry Division, Jan. 1981 – October 1981

General Officer Commanding, 3rd Armed Division Nigerian Army, October 1981 – December 1983

PROFILE OF GOODLUCK JONATHAN

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is the immediate past President and commander-in-chief of the federal republic of Nigeria. Goodluck Jonathan was born on November 20, 1957. He served as a deputy governor prior to December 2005 but got sworn as the governor after the erstwhile governor- Mr. Alamiesiegha was impeached.

Dr Ebele Jonathan was the Governor of Bayelsa from December 2005 to May 2007. Ebele Goodluck’s fate also earned him the president of Nigeria in February 2010 when the Nigerian senate confirmed him following the hospitalization of the then president Yaradua

Goodluck Jonathan was born in Otueke, in the then River state which has now become Bayelsa state. Ebele Jonathan obtained a BSC in Zoology and went ahead to obtain a PHD in Zoology at the University of Port-Harcourt.
President Goodluck Jonathan has worked as an education Inspector and an environmental protection officer before joining politics in 1998. Goodluck Jonathan is married to Dame Patience Jonathan; the marriage is blessed with 2 children.

President Goodluck Jonathan won at the polls in April 2011, and his victory was declared by the court as free and fair.

The President through his Transformation Agenda has brought significant changes to the country including its capital, Abuja. The expansion to ten lanes the Nnamdi Azikiwe Expressway and the Musa Yaradua Expressway especially has brought much relief to residents and visitors to Abuja.

Read Also: What Buhari told APC youths in Aso Rock

2016 Budget Speech: “The Budget of Change”

Delivered By:

His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari
President, Federal Republic of Nigeria

To

A Joint Session of the National Assembly (on December 22, 2016)

PROTOCOLS
I am honoured and privileged to present the 2016 Budget proposal. This is my first address before this joint session of the National Assembly. I have come here today, not only to address members of the National Assembly, but also to speak directly to the men and women who placed us here.

2. I know the state of our economy is a source of concern for many. This has been further worsened by the unbridled corruption and security challenges we have faced in the last few years. From those who have lost their jobs, to those young people who have never had a job, to the people in the North East whose families and businesses were destroyed by insurgents, this has been a difficult period in our nation’s history, lessons that we must not forget or ignore, as we plan for the future.

3. By June 2014, oil prices averaged $112 per barrel. But as at today, the price is under $39 per barrel. This huge decline is having a painful effect on our economy. Consumption has declined at all levels. In both the private and public sectors, employers have struggled to meet their salary and other employee related obligations. The small business owners and traders have been particularly hard hit by this state of affairs.

4. Fellow Nigerians, the confidence of many might be shaken. However, I stand before you today promising that we will secure our country, rebuild our economy, and make the Federal Republic of Nigeria stronger than it has ever been.

5. The answers to our problems are not beyond us. They exist on our farmlands; our corporations; in the universities in the hearts and minds of our entrepreneurs; through the gallantry of our Armed Forces; and the resolute spirit of Nigerians, especially the youth, who have refused to give up despite all the obstacles confronting them.

6. This Budget proposal, the first by our Government, seeks to stimulate the economy, making it more competitive by focusing on infrastructural development; delivering inclusive growth; and prioritizing the welfare of Nigerians.

We believe that this budget, while helping industry, commerce and investment to pick up, will as a matter of urgency, address the immediate problems of youth unemployment and the terrible living conditions of the extremely poor and vulnerable Nigerians.

7. In the medium to longer term, we remain committed to economic diversification through import substitution and export promotion. This will build resilience in our economy. It will guarantee that the problems we have today, will not confront our children and their children. This shall be our legacy for generations to come.

2015: A Year of Global and Domestic Challenges

8. Today, it is widely acknowledged that the global economy has slowed down. This is particularly the case with emerging markets such as Nigeria. However, despite the weak emerging market growth rates, our domestic security challenges, declining oil prices, and the attendant difficulties in providing foreign exchange to meet market demands, the Nigerian economy grew by 2.84% in the third quarter of 2015.

9. We have, and will continue to implement strategies that will maintain macroeconomic stability and manage the oil price shocks we are experiencing.

10. Upon the inauguration of this administration on 29th May 2015, we engaged key stakeholders from various sectors of our economy and interfaced with the heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in order to understand the true state of our nation. What we found prompted us to take certain strategic decisions.

11. On the economy, we injected new leadership at the helm of our revenue generating agencies including the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).

We implemented the Treasury Single Account (TSA) which, so far, has provided greater visibility of Government revenues and cash flows. We intervened to support States to navigate their fiscal challenges by restructuring their commercial bank loans and by providing facilities to enable them to pay salary arrears.

12. We have demonstrated a strong will to fight corruption. I am sure you will agree that the sheer scale of corruption and impunity of the past explains in part, the economic challenges we now face. On these initiatives, and the many more to come, we shall not be deterred. We will pursue the recovery of everything that belongs to the people of Nigeria. No matter where it is hidden. No matter how long it will take.

2015 Budget Performance

13. Distinguished and honourable members of the National Assembly, I now present a review of the 2015 Budget. That Budget was based on a benchmark oil price of $53 per barrel, oil production of 2.28 million barrels per day and an exchange rate of N190 to the US$.

14. The projected revenue was N3.45 trillion, with an outlay of N4.49 trillion, implying a deficit of N1.04 trillion. Due largely to under-provisioning by the previous administration for fuel subsidy and the costs required to support the military operations in the North East, the Government had to obtain National Assembly’s approval for a supplementary budget of N575.5 billion. I take this opportunity to thank all members of the National Assembly for the prompt passage of that Bill.

2016: Budget Assumptions

15. After reviewing the trends in the global oil industry, we have set a benchmark price of $38 per barrel and a production estimate of 2.2 million barrels per day for 2016. We have focused on non-oil revenues by broadening our tax base and improving the effectiveness of our revenue collecting agencies.

16. Also, with the full implementation of the Treasury Single Account, we expect significant improvements in the collection and remittance of independent revenues. To further support the drive for increased remittances, we will ensure that all MDAs present their budgets in advance, and remit their operating surpluses as required by section 22 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

17. We are determined to ensure that our resources are managed prudently and utilized solely for the public good. To set the proper tone, one of our early decisions was the adoption of a zero based budgeting approach, which ensures that resources are aligned with Government’s priorities and allocated efficiently. This budgeting method, a clear departure from previous budgeting activities, will optimize the impact of public expenditure.

18. In addition to the proper linkage of budgeting to strategic planning, we are enhancing the utilization of the Government Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (GIFMIS) to improve financial management. The recently established Efficiency Unit is working across MDAs to identify and eliminate wasteful spending, duplication and other inefficiencies. We engaged costing experts to scrutinize the 2016 budget proposals. They have already identified certain cost areas that can be centralized for economies to be made.

19. We have directed the extension of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) to all MDAs to reap its full benefits. We will also strengthen the controls over our personnel and pension costs with the imminent introduction of the Continuous Audit Process (CAP).

These initiatives will ensure personnel costs are reduced. Our commitment to a lean and cost effective government remains a priority, and the initiatives we are introducing will signal a fundamental change in how Government spends public revenue.

2016: Laying the Foundation for Sustainable Growth

20. The 2016 budget, as outlined, is designed to ensure that we revive our economy, deliver inclusive growth to Nigerians and create a significant number of jobs.

21. We aim to ensure macroeconomic stability by achieving a real GDP growth rate of 4.37% and managing inflation. To achieve this, we will ensure the aligning of fiscal, monetary, trade and industrial policies.

22. As we focus on inclusive growth, we are conscious of the current rate of unemployment and underemployment. This is a challenge we are determined to meet; and this budget is the platform for putting more Nigerians to work. I can assure you that this administration will have a job creation focus in every aspect of the execution of this budget.

Nigeria’s job creation drive will be private sector led. We will encourage this by a reduction in tax rates for smaller businesses as well as subsidized funding for priority sectors such as agriculture and solid minerals.

23. As an emergency measure, to address the chronic shortage of teachers in public schools across the country, we also will partner with State and Local Governments to recruit, train and deploy 500,000 unemployed graduates and NCE holders. These graduate teachers will be deployed to primary schools, thereby, enhancing the provision of basic education especially in our rural areas.

24. We also intend to partner with State and Local Governments to provide financial training and loans to market women, traders and artisans, through their cooperative societies. We believe that this segment of our society is not only critical to our plan for growing small businesses, but it is also an important platform to create jobs and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs.

25. Furthermore, through the office of the Vice President, we are working with various development partners to design an implementable and transparent conditional cash transfer program for the poorest and most vulnerable. This program will be implemented in phases.

Already, the compilation of registers of the poorest persons is ongoing. In the coming weeks, we will present the full programme, which will include our home-grown public primary school feeding and free education for science, technology and education students in our tertiary institutions. Indeed, this will mark a historic milestone for us as a nation.

26. Distinguished members of the National Assembly, I now present, the 2016 Budget proposals of the Federal Government. Based on the assumptions I presented earlier, we have proposed a budget of N6.08 trillion with a revenue projection of N3.86 trillion resulting in a deficit of N2.22 trillion.

27. The deficit, which is equivalent to 2.16% of Nigeria’s GDP, will take our overall debt profile to 14% of our GDP. This remains well within acceptable fiscal limits. Our deficit will be financed by a combination of domestic borrowing of N984 billion, and foreign borrowing of N900 billion totaling N1.84 trillion. Over the medium term, we expect to increase revenues and reduce overheads, to bring the fiscal deficit down to 1.3% of GDP by 2018.

28. In 2016, oil related revenues are expected to contribute N820 billion. Non-oil revenues, comprising Company Income Tax (CIT), Value Added Tax (VAT), Customs and Excise duties, and Federation Account levies, will contribute N1.45 trillion. Finally, by enforcing strict compliance with the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007 and public expenditure reforms in all MDAs, we have projected up to N1.51 trillion from independent revenues.

29. Although we are working to diversify our economy, we will not lose sight of the need to restructure the oil and gas sector which has been marred by corruption and plagued with inefficiencies.

Accordingly, I have directed the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to adjust its pricing template to reflect competitive and market driven components.

We believe this can lower input costs and attain efficiency savings that will enable PPPRA to keep the selling price for all marketers of petrol at N87 per liter for now.

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30. The current fuel scarcity with long queues at petrol stations all over the country causing social dislocation is very unfortunate. Government profoundly apologizes to Nigerians for this prolonged hardship and misery.

It is as a result of market speculators and resistance to change by some stakeholders. Government is working very hard to end these shortages and bring fuel to the pumps all over the country.

31. I have also directed the NNPC to explore alternate funding models that will enable us to honour our obligations in Joint Ventures (JVs) and deep offshore fields. We are confident that these measures can be achieved and will lower the burden that the traditional cash calls have imposed on our budget and cash flows as well as contribute towards shoring up our national reserves.

32. To deliver our development objectives, we have increased the capital expenditure portion of the budget from N557 billion in the 2015 budget to N1.8 trillion, in the 2016 budget. Distinguished and honourable members of the National Assembly, for the first time in many years, capital expenditure will represent 30% of our total budget. In future years we intend to raise the percentage allocation for capital expenditure.

33. This is a fulfillment of our promise to align expenditure to our long-term objectives, and a sign of government’s commitment to sustainable development. This increased capital expenditure commits significant resources to critical sectors such as Works, Power and Housing – N433.4 billion; Transport – N202.0 billion; Special Intervention Programs – N200.0 billion; Defence – N134.6 billion; and Interior – N53.1 billion.

These investments in infrastructure and security are meant to support our reforms in the Agriculture, Solid Minerals and other core job creating sectors of our economy.

34. We will invest to safeguard lives and property.

35. We will invest in equipping our farmers with the right tools, technology and techniques.

36. We will invest in empowering and enabling our miners to operate in a safe, secure and humane environment.

37. We will invest in training our youths, through the revival of our technical and vocational institutions, to ensure they are competent enough to seize the opportunities that will arise from this economic revival.

38. Indeed, the future looks bright. And I ask that we all work together to make this vision a reality. The 223% year on year growth in capital expenditure demonstrates our desire to make Nigeria more competitive, and start the journey to deliver sustainable development in our country.

39. In fulfillment of our promise to run a lean government, we have proposed a 9% reduction in non-debt recurrent expenditure, from N2.59 trillion in the 2015 Budget to N2.35 trillion in 2016. Furthermore, we have budgeted N300 billion for Special Intervention Programs, which takes the total amount for non-debt recurrent expenditure to N2.65 trillion.

39. As I mentioned earlier, the Efficiency Unit set up by this Administration together with effective implementation of GIFMIS and IPPIS will drive a reduction of overheads by at least 7%, personnel costs by 8% and other service wide votes by 19%.

Distinguished and honourable members, this budget will be executed to provide optimum value by ensuring every naira spent by this Government, counts.

40. We will devote a significant portion of our recurrent expenditure to institutions that provide critical government services. We will spend N369.6 billion in Education; N294.5 billion in Defence; N221.7 billion in Health and N145.3 billion in the Ministry of Interior.

This will ensure our teachers, armed forces personnel, doctors, nurses, police men, fire fighters, prison service officers and many more critical service providers are paid competitively and on time.

41. Distinguished and honourable members of the National Assembly, our 2016 borrowings will be principally directed to fund our capital projects. Furthermore, the sum of N113 billion will be set aside for a Sinking Fund towards the retirement of maturing loans; while N1.36 trillion has been provided for foreign and domestic debt service. This calls for prudent management on our part, both of the debt portfolio and the deployment of our hard earned foreign exchange earnings.

42. I am aware of the problems many Nigerians currently have in accessing foreign exchange for their various purposes – from our traders and business operators who rely on imported inputs; to manufacturers needing to import sophisticated equipment and spare parts; to our airlines operators who need foreign exchange to meet their international regulatory obligations; to the financial services sector and capital markets who are key actors in the global arena.

43. These are clearly due to the current inadequacies in the supply of foreign exchange to Nigerians who need it. I am however assured by the Governor of Central Bank that the Bank is currently fine-tuning its foreign exchange management to introduce some flexibility and encourage additional inflow of foreign currency to help ease the pressure.

44. We are carefully assessing our exchange rate regime keeping in mind our willingness to attract foreign investors but at the same time, managing and controlling inflation to level that will not harm the average Nigerians. Nigeria is open for business.

But the interest of all Nigerians must be protected. Indeed, tough decisions will have to be made. But this does not necessarily mean increasing the level of pain already being experienced by most Nigerians.

45. So to the investors, business owners and industrialists, we are aware of your pains. To the farmers, traders and entrepreneurs, we also hear you. The status quo cannot continue. The rent seeking will stop. The artificial current demand will end. Our monetary, fiscal and social development policies are aligned.

Conclusion
46. Mr. Senate President, Mr. Speaker, distinguished members of the National Assembly, in spite of the global economic uncertainties; we must remain steadfast in our commitment to steer this country back to greatness.

47. The Nigerian economy needs to move away from dependency on oil. Our growth must be inclusive. Nigerians must be part of the growth story. As a Government, we shall deliver security, jobs and infrastructure. This is the right of all Nigerians.

48. I know many people will say “I have heard this before”. Indeed, trust in Government, due to the abuse and negligence of the past, is at an all-time low. This means we must go back to basics. Our actions will speak for us. My team of dedicated, committed and patriotic Nigerians is well aware of the task ahead and I can assure you that we are taking on the challenge.

49. We will not betray the trust reposed in us.

50. We will welcome and be responsive to your feedback and criticisms.

51. We are here to serve. And indeed, Nigerians will get the service they have longed for and which they rightly deserve.

52. We as a Government cannot do it alone. We will require the support of all civil servants, the organized labour, industry groups, the press and of course, our religious and traditional institutions. This is a call for all of us to stand and serve our country.

53. This Budget represents a major step in delivering a new opportunity for Nigeria. It demonstrates our confident optimism that despite the challenging times, we have the will, resourcefulness and commitment to deliver prosperity to our people. And by the Grace of Almighty God and the sheer will and determination of the Nigerian people, we will come out stronger and more united than ever.

54. Thank you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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PROFILE OF UMARU MUSA YAR’ADUA

Late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was the President of Nigeria and the 13th Head of State from 2007 to 2010. He was also governor of Katsina State before being elected President in 2007.

He became president through a presidential election held on 21 April 2007 on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and was sworn in on 29 May 2007. He died in office on 5th May 2010 about a year to the end of his tenure as president.

Yar’Adua was born on the 16th of August 1951 into a Fulani family in Katsina. He started his education at Rafukka Primary School in 1958, and moved to Dutsinma Boarding Primary School in 1962. He attended the Government College at Keffi from 1965 until 1969. In 1971 he received a Higher School Certificate from Barewa College.

He attended Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria from 1972 to 1975, obtaining a B.Sc. degree in Education and Chemistry, and then returned in 1978 to achieve an M.Sc. degree in Analytical Chemistry.

Umaru Yar’Adua married Turai Umaru Yar’Adua of Katsina in 1975; they had seven children (five daughters and two sons).

Yar’Adua was a member of the leftist People’s Redemption Party in the Second Republic (1979–83). During the Transition Programme of President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Yar’Adua was one of the foundation members of the Peoples Front, a political association under the leadership of his elder brother, the late Major-General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua.

Yar’Adua was a member of the 1988 Constituent Assembly. He was a member of the party’s National Caucus and the SDP State Secretary in Katsina and contested the 1991 Governorship election, but lost to Saidu Barda, the candidate of the National Republican Convention. In 1999, he ran for the same position and won. He was re-elected in 2003. He was the first governor to publicly declare his assets.

In the year of 2000, during his administration as governor, Katsina became the fifth northern Nigerian state to adopt sharia, or Islamic law. According to a public hearing that was carried out shortly after his death in May 2010, there has never being a Governor like him in the history of Katsina State.

In the presidential election, held on 21 April 2007, Yar’Adua won with 70% of the vote (24.6 million votes) according to official results released on 23 April. The two main opposition candidates, Muhammadu Buhari of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and Atiku Abubakar of the Action Congress (AC) rejected the results and went to court to contest the results.

After the election, Yar’Adua proposed a government of national unity. In late June 2007, two opposition parties, the ANPP and the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), agreed to join Yar’Adua’s government.  On 28 June 2007, Yar’Adua publicly revealed his declaration of assets from May (becoming the first Nigerian Leader to do so), according to which he had ₦856,452,892 (US$5.8 million) in assets, ₦19 million ($0.1 million) of which belonged to his wife. He also had ₦88,793,269.77 ($0.5 million) in liabilities.

This disclosure, which fulfilled a pre-election promise he made, was intended to set an example for other Nigerian politicians and discourage corruption.

Yar’Adua’s new cabinet was sworn in on 26 July 2007. It included 39 ministers, including two for the ANPP

President Buhari’s Nationwide Broadcast on the 55th Independence Day Anniversary.

October 1st is a day for joy and celebrations for us Nigerians whatever the circumstances we find ourselves in because it is the day, 55 years ago; we liberated ourselves from the shackles of colonialism and began our long march to nationhood and to greatness.

No temporary problems or passing challenges should stop us from honoring this day. Let us remind ourselves of the gifts God has given us. Our Creator has bequeathed to us Numbers – Nigeria is the ninth most populated country on the planet. We have in addition:

• Arable land

• Water

• Forests

• Oil and gas

• Coastline

• Solid minerals

We have all the attributes of a great nation. We are not there yet because the one commodity we have been unable to exploit to the fullest is unity of purpose. This would have enabled us to achieve not only more orderly political evolution and integration but also continuity and economic progress.

Countries far less endowed have made greater economic progress by greater coherence and unity of purpose.

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Nonetheless, that we have remained together is an achievement we should all appreciate and try to consolidate. We have witnessed this year a sea change in our democratic development. The fact that an opposition party replaced an entrenched government in a free and fair election is indicative of the deeper roots of our democratic system.

Whatever one’s views are, Nigerians must thank former President Jonathan for not digging-in in the face of defeat and thereby saving the country untold consequences.

As I said in my inaugural speech, I bear no ill will against anyone on past events. Nobody should fear anything from me. We are not after anyone. People should only fear the consequences of their actions. I hereby invite everyone, whatever his or her political view to join me in working for the nation.

My countrymen and women, every new government inherits problems. Ours was no different. But what Nigerians want are solutions, quick solutions not a recitation of problems inherited.

Accordingly, after consultations with the Vice President, senior party leaders and other senior stakeholders, I quickly got down to work on the immediate, medium-term and long-term problems which we must solve if we are to maintain the confidence which Nigerians so generously bestowed on us in the March elections and since then.

As you know, I toured the neighboring countries, marshal a coalition of armed forces of the five nations to confront and defeat Boko Haram. I met also the G7 leaders and other friendly presidents in an effort to build an international coalition against Boko Haram.

Our gallant armed forces under new leadership have taken the battle to the insurgents, and severely weakened their logistical and infrastructural capabilities. Boko Haram are being scattered and are on the run. That they are resorting to shameless attacks on soft targets such as I.D.P. camps is indicative of their cowardice and desperation. I have instructed security and local authorities to tighten vigilance in vulnerable places.

On power, government officials have held a series of long sessions over several weeks about the best way to improve the nation’s power supply in the safest and most cost effective way.

In the meantime, improvement in the power supply is moderately encouraging. By the same token, supply of petrol and kerosene to the public has improved throughout the country. All the early signs are that within months the whole country would begin to feel a change for the better.

Preliminary steps have been taken to sanitize NNPC and improve its operations so that the inefficiency and corruption could be reduced to a minimum. Those of our refineries which can be serviced and brought back into partial production would be enabled to resume operations so that the whole sordid business of exporting crude and importing finished products in dubious transactions could be stopped.

In addition to NNPC, I have ordered for a complete audit of our other revenue generating agencies mainly CBN, FIRS, Customs, NCC, for better service delivery to the nation. Prudent housekeeping is needed now more than ever in view of the sharp decline in world market oil prices. It is a challenge we have to face squarely. But what counts is not so much what accrues but how we manage our resources that is important.

We have seen in the last few years how huge resources were mismanaged, squandered and wasted. The new APC government is embarking on a clean up, introducing prudence and probity in public financing.

At an early stage, the federal government addressed the issue of salary arrears in many states, a situation capable of degenerating into social unrest. The APC government stepped in to provide short-term support to the owing states and enabled them to pay off the backlog and restore the livelihood of millions of Nigerians.

Fellow Nigerians, there have been a lot of anxiety and impatience over the apparent delay in announcement of ministers. There is no cause to be anxious. Our government set out to do things methodically and properly. We received the handing over notes from the outgoing government only four days before taking over.

Consequently, the Joda Transition Committee submitted its Report on the reorganization of Federal Government structure after studying the hand over notes. It would have been haphazard to announce ministers when the government had not finalized the number of ministries to optimally carry the burden of governance.

Anyway, the wait is over. The first set of names for ministerial nominees for confirmation has been sent to the senate. Subsequent lists will be forwarded in due course. Impatience is not a virtue. Order is more vital than speed. Careful and deliberate decisions after consultations get far better results. And better results for our country is what the APC government for CHANGE is all about.

I would like to end my address this morning on our agenda for CHANGE. Change does not just happen. You and I and all of us must appreciate that we all have our part to play if we want to bring CHANGE about. We must change our lawless habits, our attitude to public office and public trust.

We must change our unruly behavior in schools, hospitals, market places, motor parks, on the roads, in homes and offices. To bring about change, we must change ourselves by being law-abiding citizens.

Happy Independence Celebrations. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria. God Bless.

BUHARI’S MEN – TRANSITION COMMITTEE

The president-elect has nominated an 18-member transition committee. The members are;

Ahmed Joda

He is the chairman of the 18-member transition committee, nominated by General Muhammadu Buhari. The 85 years old Ahmed Joda is an administrator, journalist and politician. He was a permanent secretary in the defunct Northern Nigerian public service in the 60s.

He was among a class of super permanent secretaries in the 1970s that played a major role during the Nigerian Civil War. In the 1960s, he worked with Ahmadu Bello in the Northern regional government.

Joda was born in Girei in Adamawa State. He attended Yola Elementary and Middle schools before proceeding to Barewa College. In the 1950s, he attended Pitman College, London and gained practical experience in journalism while staying in Britain.

After completing his secondary education in 1948, he was admitted to Moor Plantation, Ibadan. He worked briefly at an agricultural centre in Yola before entering the field of journalism at Gaskiya Corporation, Zaria. He later worked for the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission serving as the editor of NBC Kaduna and then joined the Northern Nigeria civil service as Chief Information Officer and later permanent secretary in the regional Ministry of Information. In 1967, he became a federal permanent secretary in the Ministry of Information and subsequently moved to Lagos.

After, the civil war, he was seconded to the Ministry of Education when the ministry was involved in rehabilitation of facilities in the old East Central State, launching of the Universal Primary Education and the establishment of the Nigerian Universities Commission.

In the mid 1970s, he became permanent secretary in the Ministry of Industry at a time the Nigerian government was trying to launch a national steel programme. He has also served as chairman and board member of various bodies including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Nigerian Communications Commission, Pastoral Resolve, SCOA, Nigeria, Chagouri and Chagouri Construction, Flour Mills, Nigeria, and the Nigerian LNG.

Doyin Salami

Dr. Doyin Salami, the vice-chairman of the committee, holds a PhD from Queen Mary College, University of London.

He is a member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria and had been a member of the Federal Government’s Economic Management Team.

He is currently a full-time member of the faculty at Lagos Business School (LBS), where he is senior lecturer. In addition, he is also an executive director of the UK-based African Business Research Ltd.  At LBS, he leads sessions in economic environment of business and had also served as director of programmes for five years until January 2005.

Dr. Salami’s research interests include: issues in corporate long-term financial management; macroeconomic policy; corporate competitiveness and risk management; and characteristics of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

In addition to teaching, Salami is a consultant. His consulting activities included assignments for the Department for International Development (DFID), World Bank, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Presently, he is retained as a consultant by British American Tobacco (BAT), BGL Securities Ltd; Coca-Cola Nigeria and Equatorial Africa (CCNEAL), Kakawa Discount House and he has facilitated or participated in corporate retreats for Zain Nig Ltd., MTN, and African Petroleum Plc., among others.

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Tam David West

Prof. Tam David West is a former minister of petroleum and energy under General Muhammadu Buhari  military government between 1984–1985, and  minister of mines, power, and steel under the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida (1986).

He was eventually removed as minister and arrested by the Babangida regime for allegedly contributing to the economic adversity of the country. He was discharged and acquitted of these charges by Nigeria’s Special Appeal Court on August 8, 1991.

He had earlier served as commissioner of education and a member of the Executive Council of Rivers State (1975–1979), as a member of the 50-person Constitution Drafting Committee for the Federal Military Government of General Murtala Muhammed.

David-West was born in Buguma, Kalabari, in what is now Rivers State. He received his higher education at the University of Ibadan (1956-1958) and earned a BSc degree at Michigan State University (1958–1960), an MSc degree at Yale University (1960–1962), and a PhD degree at McGill University (1964–1966).

David-West was consultant virologist and senior lecturer at the University of Ibadan in 1969 and was subsequently promoted to professor of virology in 1975.

Festus Odimegwu

Another member of the transition committee, Mr.  Festus Odimegwu, is a former Managing Director of Nigeria Breweries Plc and immediate past chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC). He replaced Chief Samaila Makama at NPC.

Odimegwu was an appointee of President Goodluck Jonathan after he helped to rally the organised private sector to support the enthronement of the Umaru Yar’Adua presidency in which Mr. Jonathan served as vice president.

He remained close to President Jonathan, who appointed him chairman of the National Population Commission. He however left the position in controversial circumstances after he made comments considered critical of a section of the country.

While at the Nigerian Breweries, he embarked on a modernisation programme that has further strengthened the distance between NB and its competitors.

He also served as a Director of Dangote Cement Plc until March 2012. He served as Director of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc between 2004 and December 31, 2011.

He served as Director of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc. He graduated with B.Sc Chemistry from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and M.Sc Brewing from Beriot Watt University, Edinburgh, UK.

He was Chairman & CEO, FS Group of Companies Ltd and a non-executive Chairman, Royal Lifestyle Services Group of Companies Ltd. Odimegwu was also a non-executive chairman of Quintessentially Nigeria Ltd.

Nike Aboderin

Nike Aboderin, a member of the committee is also a representative of the private sector on the transition committee.

Her private sector experience was majorly in the banking sector where she rose to the position of Group Head, Large Corporates at Skye Bank Plc in 2014. She also had a stint at Citibank Nigeria.

She was Special Adviser to the Ogun State governor between July 2011 and August 2014. She was a member of the executive council and was responsible for the trade and investment portfolio, reporting directly to the governor.

She was once Head, Treasury/ Financial Services of Premium Securities Ltd. (FBN (Merchant) Bank Ltd.)

Olawale Edun

Another private sector operator on the committee list is former commissioner of finance, Lagos State from 1999-2004. He has considerable experience in Economics and International Finance at national and international levels.

He worked at Chase Merchant Bank Nig. Limited (later Continental Bank Plc) – including spells at Lehman Brothers and Chase Manhattan Capital Markets, New York, USA and The World Bank / International Finance Corporation, Washington DC, USA .

He returned to Nigeria in 1989 as co-founder and executive director of Investment Banking and Trust Company (now Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc. He is the founder and current Chairman of Denham Management Limited (now Chapel Hill Denham Group).

He serves on the board of African Paints Nigeria Plc, among others. He is also the Chairman, LiveWell Initiative, a health education and literacy non-government organisation (NGO) as well as Sisters Unite for Children – another NGO which assists street children.

Bola Adesola

Bola Adesola is a banker and a lawyer by profession. She joined Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited in 2011 as the managing director/chief executive officer.

Her main responsibilities include the provision of leadership for the Group in Nigeria, through the development of overall country strategy/direction; the provision of leadership on corporate governance issues; and the achievement of the overall country’s financial and headcount budgets.

Prior to joining Standard Chartered Bank, Adesola served in senior leadership capacities in Citibank, Nigeria and Tanzania for a period spanning over nine years. She also served as Managing Director of Kakawa Discount House Nigeria and executive director in First Bank Nigeria, with responsibility for managing the business in the Lagos Directorate including retail, corporate and commercial banking.

Boss Mustapha

Mr. Boss Mustapha was one of the governorship candidates in Adamawa State. Although he did not clinch the ticket eventually, he remains one of the architects of the APC success in the state. In fact, he was said to be one of those who enjoined many of PDP members to pitch tent with the APC.

He is said to have been shortlisted on the committee on the grounds of his credibility and contribution to the success of the party. He is also said to a strong believer of the Buhari project, a major factor said to have enhanced his membership of the committee.

Muhammed Hayatudeen

Muhammed Hayatudeen is remembered as perhaps, the first Nigerian bank managing director to turn around a sick and dying financial institution.

He used his wealth of experience in 1992 to transform the hitherto dormant Federal Savings Bank into a thriving commercial bank.

His effort led to the establishment of the now defunct FSB International Bank.

Hayatudeen is one of the moving spirits behind the Nigerian Economic Summit that has set the agenda for restructuring the Nigerian economy and putting it on a firm foundation. The Nigerian Economic Summit served as a precursor of the Vision 2010 where Hayatudeen also played a prominent role.

He had earlier worked in the Northern Nigerian Development Company where he retired as managing director. He set up a private consulting firm which he managed before coming to FSB.  He is an Economics graduate of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria.

He served as member of numerous regulatory bodies such as the Technical Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation (TCPC)

Abubakar Malami

Abubakar Malami, SAN, was born April 17, 1967 in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State. He attended Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto. Between 1995 and 1996 he worked as Magistrate II, Kebbi State Judiciary. He was a member of the Local Government Election Tribunal for the 2003 Election and National Publicity Secretary, Muslim Lawyers Forum of Nigeria – 2002 – 2004.

He  served in various capacities including being a state counsel and magistrate in Kebbi State and teaching law at the Usman Dan Fodio University before going into  private legal practice. He was also the National Legal Adviser to the defunct  Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).

Audu Ogbeh

Audu Ogbeh, an Idoma, was born on July 28, 1947, in Otukpo, Benue State. He attended King’s College, Lagos (1967 – 1968), then studied at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (1969 – 1972)

He also attended  the University of Toulouse, France (1973 – 1974) before returning home to commence a teaching career at the Institute of Education, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (1972 – 1976) and headed the Department of Humanities, Murtala College of Arts, Science and Technology (1977 – 1979).

Ogbeh began his political career in 1979 when he ran for office in the Benue State House of Assembly on the platform of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), becoming deputy speaker of the Assembly.

In 1982, he was appointed Federal Minister of Communications, and later became Minister of Steel Development. His term of office ended in December 1983 when a military coup brought Major-General Muhammadu Buhari to power.

Ogbeh’s political influence  blossomed when  he was appointed National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in  2001 replacing Chief Barnabas Gemade. He held this position until January 2005, when he was forced to resign due to his criticism of President Olusegun Obasanjo’s handling of a crisis in Anambra State.

He returned to his farming career afterwards. As at 2009, he was chairman and managing director, Efugo Farms, Makurdi, and a member of Eisenhower Exchange Fellowships Incorporated, based in Philadelphia, United States of America. Ogbeh later became a member of the Action Congress of Nigeria ( ACN) and played a prominent role in the merger that gave birth to the APC.

John Odigie Oyegun

Chief John Odigie Oyegun was born on August 12, 1939 in Warri, Delta. He attended St. Patrick’s College, Asaba and proceeded to the University of Ibadan where he obtained Bachelor’s degree in Economics. Oyegun served as a federal civil servant and in various capacities as a development planner.

He served in the Federal Civil Service for 13 years and  was appointed Permanent Secretary at the age of 36, thus making him the youngest at that time. In 1985, Oyegun retired voluntarily from the Civil Service.

The former Edo governor was to have his first taste of politics in 1992. After retiring from the Federal Civil Service, Oyegum. was elected the civilian governor of Edo on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) under the transition to democracy launched by the then Military ruler, General Ibrahim Babangida between January 1992 to November 1993.

Oyegun joined  forces with Pro-democracy activists who campaigned for a return to civil rule using the umbrella body of NADECO.  He later became a prominent member of the now defunct All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) and chaired the technical committee set up by the party to advice it on sensitive national issues.

But in 2012, Oyegun parted ways with the ANPP and joined the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and shortly afterwards, they went into merger talks with ANPP, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). On June 13, 2014, the former governor was elected the first substantive national chairman of the APC.

Ogbonnaya Onu

Chief Ogbonnaya Onu was born on December 1, 1951 to a family of His Royal Highness, late Eze David Aba Onu, Eze Adul of Uburu in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi  State.

He obtained grade one with distinction in his West African School Certificate examination at Izzi High School, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State. He also obtained distinctions in physics and chemistry at the Higher School Certificate examination at the College of Immaculate Conception (CIC), Enugu.

Onu went ahead to study Chemical Engineering at the University of Lagos, graduating in 1976 with a first class honours degree in Chemical Engineering. For emerging tops with first class honours, Onu enrolled for his Doctorate degree in Chemical Engineering without passing through a Master’s degree at the University of California, Berkeley, United States of America.

Onu continued in  pursuit of  his academic career, taking up teaching appointment at St. Augustine’s Seminary, Ezzamgbo, Ebonyi state and later at the Universty of Port Harcourt.

He was appointed the first head of the department of Chemical Engineering. He later acted as Dean Faculty of Engineering and was later elected into the Governing Council of the University.

Onu has held many administrative positions and served on the boards of several establishments. He was President Raw Materials Society of Nigeria and Visitor, Abia State University, Uturu.

The APC chieftain began his political life in 1991, when he was elected first governor of the old Abia state. He later became the first Chairman Conference of Nigerian elected Governors in 1999.

The former governor also emerged as the presidential flag-bearer of the then All  People’s  Party (later known as All Nigeria Peoples Party). He and other progressive politicians initiated the process of merger of a coalition of  opposition political parties in the country which has metamorphosed into the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi

Outgoing Rivers State Governor and Director-General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, played more than just the role of an average party man in the success of the Buhari election. Amaechi, among others, was believed to have put in huge financial commitment to the Buhari campaign, aside buying into the vision of change. It is not expected, therefore, that he would be part of the Buhari presidency from the scratch.

Although from the South-south region as President Goodluck Jonathan, Amaechi, against the many labels of a traitor, greed and over-ambition, was the first to wage a potent war against his own, citing incompetence, corruption and orchestrated security to cow and intimidate the opposition. His idea of change seemed impossible ab initio; he however trudged on until the dream was realised on March 28.

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Senator Hadi Sirika

Senator Hadi Sirika, a former pilot and senator from Katsina North Senatorial District, is currently the vice-chairman of the Senate Committee on Millennium Development Goals (MGDs). A very close ally of Buhari, Sirika is one person who stayed the course, despite the menacing challenges.

Also a member of the Senate Committee on Aviation, Sirika always believed that President Goodluck Jonathan lacked the gravitas to run a complex nation like Nigeria but has a rather poor grasp of his brief and a number of topical issues. He has always hoped that whenever Buhari emerges president, things might begin to take a different turn. He is close and honourable enough to deserve membership of the transition committee.

Solomon Dalong

Fifty-one years old Solomon Dalong is the son of a retired Director of Health in the Taraba State Civil Service. Immediately after passing out from the Law School, he took up a job as Personal Assistant to the late Chief Solomon Lar. He was then appointed Adviser Emeritus to President Olusegun Obasanjo. This job lasted till 2003.

In 2004, he took up an appointment with the Faculty of Law, University of Jos, as a lecturer. As a lecturer, he has had the opportunity of attending leadership trainings, courtesy of international human rights organisations.

In 2005, Dalong combined his job as a lecturer and study while pursuing a post-graduate degree in Law. His LLM programme successfully ended in 2007 and he was appointed Chairman of Langtang South Local Government Area the same year.

His tenure as council chairman ended in May 2008. He then returned to the University of Jos. He made an attempt at representing Langtang North and South at the National Assembly but lost.

His condemnation of the political class is a family thing, as power abuse is said to irritate him. He is coming on board the committee on the strength of credibility and personal recognition.

Mallam Adamu Adamu

A renowned public analyst and columnist with Daily Trust, Mallam Adamu Adamu, to many, needs no introduction. He is a public commentator with a distinct style – fearless, educated and bold enough to express his views and opinions both locally and internationally.

An indigene of Bauchi State, Adamu was one of the few who constantly criticised the government of former Governor Adamu Mu’azu, now the PDP national chairman.

Beyond his state, he has written on so many issues happening in other states of the country. He has also written so many times on international politics. He has been an ardent follower of Buhari for many years and was indeed, part of those who accompanied the General to Bauchi State during the 2007 elections to sell the candidacy of Governor Isa Yuguda as the then ANPP gubernatorial candidate.

By virtue of his relationship with Buhari, many see Adamu as anti-PDP. He was even said to have once boasted that if the 2007 elections were rigged, he would be on the street demanding for justice. Adamu was very critical of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. He is on board on account of his relationship with Buhari, and he is secretary of the committee.

Lai Mohammed.

Lai Mohammed is the publicity secretary of All Progressive Congress. He played a major role on publicity and propaganda during the electioneering campaign of the president-elect General Mohammadu Buhari.

BUHARI’S PROMISES

Some of the promises  made by President Buhari and the APC

1. Public declaration of assets and liabilities

2. Generation, transmission and distribution of at least 20,000 MW of electricity within four years and increasing to 50,000 MW with a view to achieving 24/7 uninterrupted power supply within 10 years

3. Ban on all government officials from seeking medical care abroad

4. Implementation of the National Gender Policy, including 35% of appointive positions for women

5. Revival of Ajaokuta steel company

6. . Making our economy one of the fastest-growing emerging economies in the world with a real GDP growth averaging 10% annually. [In another instance, the APC promised 10-12% annual GDP growth]

7. Empowerment scheme to employ 740,000 graduates across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

8. Establishment of a free-tuition and scholarship scheme for pupils who have shown exceptional aptitude in science subjects at O/Levels to study ICT-related courses

9. 720,000 jobs by the 36 states in the federation per annum (20,000 per state)

10. Three million Jobs per year

11. Vocational training, entrepreneurial and skills acquisition schemes for graduates along with the creation of a Small Business Loan Guarantee Scheme to create at least 5 million new jobs by 2019.

12. Churches and Mosques would not pay taxes under national laws, but if they engage in businesses, the businesses would pay tax.

13. Provision of allowances to the discharged but unemployed Youth Corps members for Twelve (12) months while in the skills and entrepreneurial development programme

14. State and community policing

15. Creation of a Social Welfare Programme of at least Five Thousand Naira (N5000) that will cater for the 25 million poorest and most vulnerable citizens upon the demonstration of children’s enrollment in school and evidence of immunisation to help promote family stability

16. Recruitment and training of at least 100,000 officers into the Nigerian police force and establish a Federal anti-terrorism agency.

17. One free meal (to include fruits) daily, for public primary school pupils

18. Building an airport in Ekiti state

19. Eradication of state of origin, replacing that with state of residence to ensure Nigerians are Nigerians first, before anything else.

20. Establishment of Crime Squad to combat terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery, militants, ethno-religious and communal clashes nationwide

21. Working with the National Assembly towards the immediate enactment of a Whistle Blower Act

22. Economic stability for the ECOWAS nations and maintaining a strong, close and frank relationship with West Africa, South Africa, UK, USA, Canada, and other African countries

23. Establishing a conflict resolution commission to help prevent, mitigate and resolve civil conflicts within the polity.

24. All political officer holders earn only the salaries and emoluments determined and approved by the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission RMFAC.

25. Permanent peace in the Niger Delta and other conflict prone areas such as Plateau, Taraba, Bauchi, Borno and Abia.

26. As against fears in some quarters, Buhari while speaking with catholic bishops in Abuja back in February, promised not to Islamise Nigeria.

27. Nationwide sanitation plans to keep Nigeria clean

28. Preserving the independence of the Central Bank

29. Simplifying immigration process to foster faster visa processing at points of entry.

30. Special incentives to facilitate the education of the girl child

31. Full implementation of the National Identification Scheme to generate the relevant data.

32. Making Information Technology, Manufacturing, Agriculture and Entertainment key drivers of our economy

33. Balancing the economy across regions by the creation of 6 new Regional Economic Development Agencies (REDAs) to act as champions of sub-regional competitiveness

34. Putting in place a N300bn regional growth fund (average of N50bn in each geo-political region) to be managed by the REDAs.

35. Amending the Constitution and the Land Use Act to create freehold/leasehold interests in land along with matching grants for states to create a nationwide electronic land title register on a state by state basis

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