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President Buhari appoints Dr Yakusak as new CEO of NEPC

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President Buhari appoints Dr Yakusak as new CEO of NEPC

… Challenges ministers to redouble efforts, promote performance culture in MDAs***

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Dr Ezra Yakusak as Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC).

Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, confirmed this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to the presidential aide, the appointment is for an initial term of four years in accordance with the provision of Section 7 (1) of the NEPC (Establishment) Act, 1987.

”The appointment is with effect from Nov. 27, 2021,” he added.

Until his appointment, Yakusak, who holds a Ph.D. in commercial law from Ahmadu Bello University, was the Director, Policy and Strategy, NEPC.

He has also served as Secretary to the Governing Board of the Council.

In the meantime,  President Muhammadu Buhari has 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 the administration.

Also read: Buhari approves N13.3bn for take-off of Community Policing Initiative

The president 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 had done and areas needed to improve on 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,’’ he said.

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.

According to him, 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.

The president further instructed the Office of the SGF to immediately commence engagement with stakeholders to agree and push forward a framework for the institutionalisation 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.

While underscoring the need for synergy between the fiscal and monetary authorities, the president assured Nigerians that his administration would continue to implement fiscal measures to improve domestic revenues.

He added that the Federal Government would continue to mobilise external funding support to build a more resilient economy.

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

“We will sustain all ongoing 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 the 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 would be geared towards removing all bottlenecks that militate against access to government support schemes by SMEs.

“Government will adopt a holistic approach to industrialisation 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.

The president also directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to ensure all relevant MDAs to complete all processes needed for effective take-off of the National Single Window platform by first quarter of 2022.

The president, who also spoke on the administration’s determination to build systems to fight corruption and improve governance, said: “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 would prioritise 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.”

He commended the SGF, Boss Mustapha, and his team for successfully organising 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 industrialisation; 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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In Osogbo, Tinubu restates commitment to job creation, credit for business owners

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In Osogbo, Tinubu restates commitment to job creation, credit for business owners

…Carpets Governor Adeleke for poor governance***

All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, took his message of Renewed Hope to Osun State on Thursday where he assured the people and party supporters of his commitment to create jobs for the unemployed and make credit available for business owners.

Speaking in Yoruba to a mammoth crowd of people who thronged the venue of the campaign rally at Freedom Park Osogbo, Tinubu said his administration would empower the people with the skill that will make them employable while ensuring that the youth will no longer spend years in university due to lecturers’ strike action, stating that his pledge to the people will remain a binding covenant.

“I make a social covenant with you today that the unemployed among you will get jobs. Those with no skill will be provided the relevant skill that would put food on their table. When we get to government, we will make soft loans available for market women and business owners.”

Taking a swipe at the current Peoples Democratic Party government of Governor Ademola Adeleke in Osun State for poor governance of the state, the APC presidential candidate charged the people that the APC administration will soon return to continue the good work.

“They were given a little opportunity to rule for some months and they started misbehaving, killing and creating unrest in Osun state.”

From his prepared speech which he didn’t get the time to read, Asiwaju Tinubu congratulated Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola, who was declared winner by the governorship election petition tribunal.

He praised Oyetola’s tenacity, diligence, consistency and determination, which made him not give up until he got his stolen mandate back.

On his plans for Osun, Tinubu noted that the state, which is highly blessed with diverse resources, should be a destination for business and tourism across the country, promising to help achieve this if he becomes the president.

He said, “Osun is a beautiful state filled with virtuous, industrious and welcoming people. We will support Osun to become a manufacturing, industrial, agricultural and tourism paradise.

“You have fertile soil, abundant mineral resources, and a rich culture and history capable of attracting tourists from across the world.

“A vote for me is a vote to develop all parts of this state and this country. Rural areas will not be forgotten but will be developed to support more economic activities and create better lives for the people.

“At the same time, our growing urban population – you city boys – will enjoy decent jobs and a living wage.”

Tinubu urged the people of the Osun State not to be deceived by the empty promises of Peoples Democratic Party Candidate Atiku Abubakar and Labour Party Candidate Peter Obi, saying both have nothing to offer.

While he said Atiku was only interested in stealing the nation’s resources and pocketing them for himself and his cronies, Tinubu likened Obi to the unprofitable servant who buried his talents, saying while Obi was Anambra State governor, he failed to use the state’s resources to develop it, rather saving them for no purpose.

“None of the other major candidates in this election have the capacity, integrity, knowledge or determination necessary to do what must be done. Only I, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, am prepared and up to the task of leading this country, our cherished homeland, back toward its best destiny.

“Do not vote for the candidate of the poverty development party, Mr. Privatise, Atiku Abubakar. When, as the Vice President of this country, he had a chance to make a positive difference, he chose the lesser path.

“He chose to use his position to enrich himself, his family and his friends. He sold Nigeria’s most prized assets for a fraction of their value. In the name of privatisation, he stole from your future to enrich himself.

“Worse, he has learned nothing. He has gone everywhere telling the Nigerian people that he is coming back to finish the job. He has promised that this time he will not steal your prosperity.

“You should not believe him or his greedy co-conspirators. The nation does not need the return of its Privatiser-in-Chief. Reject him and his band of foul jesters. They have no serious plans for this country. They resort to cheap and vile antics because they have no substance and no solutions.

“Be equally wary of the false messiah, Mr. Stingy, Peter Obi. This man’s promises are bold and his boasts are plentiful. Yet, when he was given the responsibility to lead just one state, he was overwhelmed by it.

“He could only stash away the money he was supposed to be using to develop the state. All the people of Anambra could hope for was that whoever came next would have better ideas.

“A governor is not a banker, expected to hold fast to his customer’s deposit. Obi was expected to build good roads, schools and hospitals”, he said, emphasizing that Obi rather, saved the money.

In another development, the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai has that Northern Governors we’re all solidly behind the APC Campaign.

“Let me assure you 100%, the entire Northern Governors of the APC are completely, wholeheartedly supporting the Next President Bola Tinubu…” stated Nasir El-Rufai, even as Gov. Masari says: “Give Me Names of Northern APC Governors Not Supporting Tinubu?”

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Fr. Alia emerges Winner of APC rerun Governorship Primary Election in Benue

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Fr. Alia emerges Winner of APC’s rerun Governorship Primary Election in Benue

Fr. Hyacinth Alia has been declared the winner of the rerun primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue having polled 410,682 votes.

Chairman, Rescheduled Election Committee, Sen. Basheer Lado, announced Alia as winner in Makurdi on Thursday.

Lado said the first runner-up was Dr. Matthias Byuan who polled 14,592 votes while the second runner-up was Sen. Barnabas Gemade who scored 5,125 votes.

Prof. Terhemba Shija scored 2,217 votes, while Mr. Michael Aondoakaa and Mr. Iorwase Hembe scored 3,815 and 638 votes, respectively.

“The winner of the exercise is Alia. Having scored the highest vote cast. I declare him as the winner,’’ Lado said.

Alia’s candidature was later ratified by members of the party through a voice vote.

The party chairman, Mr. Austin Agada had put a question to members seeking to know whether the result was a true reflection of what transpired in the field and they answered in the affirmative.

“Having ratified Alia’s candidature, I therefore, declare that Alia is the governorship candidate of the party in Benue,’’ Agada said.

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2023 Presidency: Kwankwaso Neither Met Nor Discussed with Atiku — NNPP

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2023 Presidency: Kwankwaso Neither Met Nor Discussed with Atiku — NNPP

… Johnson reiterates, Kwankwaso not stepping down for, nor working with any candidates or Atiku***

 New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) says its Presidential Candidate, Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso, has neither met nor discussed with his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) opponent, Atiku Abubakar or his representatives, on any working relationship on the 2023 presidential election.

The spokesperson, Kwankwaso/NNPP Presidential Campaign Council, Ladipo Johnson, disclosed this in a statement he issued on Wednesday in Abuja.

Johnson said that it was apparent that Kwankwaso was finishing the race stronger than other presidential candidates, especially Abubakar of the PDP.

He said this was clear as Abubakar seemed to be “gasping for air as his platform crumbles and is seeking a solid branch to hold on!”

Johnson said his response was important due to the statement by Abubakar that he was “in touch with Kwankwaso”.

He said the response was also key because of the false statements on social media that three million members of the Kwankwasiyya movement in the North East had moved to the PDP.

The spokesperson described it as orchestrated moves by Atiku’s campaign to pass a false and mischievous narrative to Nigerians that Kwankwaso was joining his team.

“The fact of the matter is that neither Atiku and Kwankwaso nor their representatives have met in private or at all to discuss any working relationship.

“They have only met during town hall meetings in the last few months!

“Nigerians will recall that earlier in the campaign the false narrative being pushed was that Kwankwaso was only strong in Kano!

“He suddenly has three million members leaving him in the North East?”

Johnson reiterated that Kwankwaso was not stepping down for, nor working with any of the candidates or Atiku Abubakar.

“We are in this race to win and uplift the standard of living of all Nigerians.

“Opponents who have seen the ground game and the grassroots campaign of Kwankwaso now understand, 24 days to the polls, that the voters at the grassroots, the average man and woman, have decided to vote for Kwankwaso and the NNPP as their party of choice.”

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