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Abuja Update

FEC approves N580m to acquire four armoured buses for NDLEA



Blessing Wika, Abuja

The Federal Executive Council has approved N580.50 million for the purchase of four armoured buses for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, announced this to State House Correspondents shortly after the weekly Council meeting chaired by President  Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Minister cited the recent feat by the agency when it busted a drug racket in Lagos state where they recovered N194 billion worth of cocain from an Ikorodu warehouse.

He said, “Today, a memo was presented by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, that is the Federal Ministry of Justice, which was relating to a parastatal under the supervision of the office of the Attorney General; the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

“The purpose of the memo was to seek approval of the council for the award of contract for the supply of four customised armoured security vehicles of 14 seater model for the NDLEA and the contract sum is N580,500,000 only inclusive of 7.5 per cent value added tax with a delivery period of 16 weeks,” Malami explained.

“It is common knowledge that recently, the NDLEA has been repositioned and arising from the support both in terms of our capacity building, hardware and associated things, they have been recording an extraordinary or unprecedented success. Recently, they seized about 1.8 tons of cocaine having a market value of about N194 billion.

“So, with all these successes recorded it is only logical that the criminals and their syndicate are now devising means inclusive of attacks on NDLEA personnel and it is with that in mind that the memo was presented for the procurement of such vehicles for the NDLEA and the council approved.”

Malami expressed concern that the recent gains on the war on drugs would prompt reprisal attacks on NDLEA from drug barons, hence the need for the vehicles.

He also said the Federal Government “is very happy with the successes being recorded by the NDLEA whereby it arrested 18,940 suspects and secured 2,904 convictions between January and July 2022.”

The AGF described the development in better detail, Malami said the 14-seater vehicles contract would be delivered in 16 weeks, by January 2022.

According to him, the decision to procure the armoured vehicles was taken to safeguard the lives of the personnel.

Abuja Update

Wike warns fake CofO peddlers in Abuja, to seek Presidential approval on inclusion of NIN on certificates



Nyesom Wike, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Tuesday warned peddlers of fake Certificates of Occupancy (CofO) to desist from the act.

Speaking at a meeting with estate developers in Abuja, the Minister expressed displeasure at the rate at which fake Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) were given, adding that henceforth, N5 million would be paid to acquire a C of O.

He said, “I can tell you authoritatively that I have saved not less than N110 billion for FCTA since I assumed office three months ago. Allocation of lands to three or more persons will no longer be allowed. C of O enables you to do business.

“When we make the right decision some people will be happy, some will not. We are ready for such a fight.

“When I was governor of Rivers State, we had three C of Os from FCT. Three. It turned out that all were fake. The C of O was coming from FCTA as a government, not as an individual. The plots are allocated or said to be allocated. We paid money. When I sent the Liaison Officer, the people from FCTA took him to the land and later, we discovered that it was fake land. 

“Look at the money we had paid. The people disappeared. We could not find them again. Over N57 million that we paid. Why? Because that was how it was being done in the FCT. I have said that it will not work again.

“I will seek Mr President’s approval to link any C of O to the NIN number so that we know when this house falls, we will know the owner. So that when a crime is committed on a property, we will know the owner. This is what happens in developed countries. The rich men will kick against it but anything that will help our people must be done.

“Support this move. There must be sanity in our system. You will attest to the fact that there are changes. How will you feel that at the end of the day, you have a C of O but it is fake or that your land is allocated to another person?” He explained.

The developers on their part also pleaded with the Minister to reduce the N5 million payment for C of O.

The minister, responding said, the payment can be made within four months after which the C of O can be handed over to the applicant.

Wike also declared that he has been able to save over N110 billion since he assumed office in August this year.

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Abuja Update

VP Shettima apologises for past administrations’ neglect of creative economy



…As Abuja hosts Art, Culture and Creative economy roundtable

Vice President of Nigeria, Senator Kashim Shettima  has apologised for the neglect of the creative economy by previous administrations in the country.

While addressing key players and stakeholders in the nation’s creative and entertainment industry during the Art, Culture, and Creative Economy Roundtable – A Creative Industry Intervention – organised by the Ministry of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the VP said the President Tinubh-led government is poised to increase the voices of Nigeria’s creative minds, empower the nation’s best talents, and harness the unconstrained potential within the country’s “diverse cultural tapestry.”

Hinging his speech on ‘Nigeria’s Creative Roadmap to the Future,’ Shettima said, “Ladies and gentlemen, this roundtable is an avenue for us to deliberate and recommit ourselves to fostering an environment that nurtures creativity, innovation, and inclusivity. More than ever, we see the need to amplify the voices of our creative minds, empower our best talents, and harness the unbridled potential that lies within the folds of Nigeria’s diverse cultural tapestry.

“This roundtable discussion isn’t just for us to chart a course that celebrates our past achievements. It’s for us to pave the way for an even brighter, more inclusive, and prosperous future for Nigeria’s creative economy. For it is through such synergy that we shall continue to ascend to greater heights and cement Nigeria’s rightful place as the unrivalled creative powerhouse of Africa.”

The VP told the industry’s stakeholders and key players that the Tinubu administration is set to make real its promise to turn the Nigerian creative industry into a critical segment of the global economy.

Describing Tinubu as the architect of Nigeria’s entertainment industry, Shettima said it is for this reason they refer to the President as ‘City Boy.’

He stated: “Thankfully, your President is the architect of the nation’s entertainment hub, and there’s a reason your industry refers to him as ‘City Boy.’ President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not only cosmopolitan, a man of arts and culture in tune with the realities of your industry, but he has also acknowledged your industry as a critical segment of the global economy.

“So, we are here to make true our promise to you and let you know that the time has come for your industry to be at the negotiation table in Abuja.

“The gathering of stars in this room today, each unique in its stardom, is a testament to why Nigeria stands as the envy of the creative universe. Our citizens haven’t merely entered the stage of arts, entertainment, and creativity; their brilliance has become a beacon of inspiration and admiration worldwide.

“I want to express our gratitude for the illumination they have cast upon the world, the delight they have infused into it, and, undoubtedly, the economic prosperity and employment they have brought to the thriving galaxy of their profession.

“The industries that have produced the stars in this room are products of sustained sacrifices. Young and old, the ferocity with which our talents have shone within and outside the shores of the country is a template for each sector in the country, and I confess to being utterly impressed.

“What is even more astonishing is that they built their collections of empires with minimal support from the government. This is why we are here. We are here to apologise to you and to form a synergy to maximise the potential of the fast-evolving creative economy, of which you are our shiniest pillars,” the VP said.

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Abuja Update

We are ready to provide land, security —Minister tells investors



Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, in a bid to drive investments in the nation’s capital has assured investors of land and security.

Speaking over the weekend in Port Harcourt, Rivers state during the opening of Hypercity 3, a chain store in Nigeria, the Minister called on foreign investors to look towards investing in Nigeria’s capital territory, as he assured them of the safety of their investments in the territory.

Wike, alongside the governor of Rivers State, Siminalayi Fubara, and his Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde, called on foreign investors to consider their domains when picking locations for setting up their companies in Nigeria.

The Minister promised to provide lands and the conducive environment for investment to thrive in the FCT and contribute to the development of the nation’s capital.

He noted that the government alone cannot provide jobs for Nigeria’s teaming youths, unless the private sector steps in.

In his words, “When I got the invitation, I pleaded with the management to move it to Friday so I can attend. When you approached me as governor, you promised to build this place.

“As a government, our duty is to provide a conducive environment. You promised to build four. Within one year, you’ve built three. You’ve provided employment for our people.

“It is not only the government that can bring development. Let it not be only that it is only in Rivers State. Come to Abuja and build some there. We’ll provide lands.”

Meanwhile, the Rivers state governor, Siminalayi Fubara said his administration would consolidate on the achievements on ground. 

“It is now on record that when Hypercity 3 was commissioned, I was also part of it. Our desire when we came onboard was to continue to uplift the development of the state based on consolidation.

“This is adding value to the economy of Rivers state. As a government, we will continue to give you security as all you need to succeed. This is because government cannot do it alone, private organisations need to join hands for the development of the state. The organisation should also expand to FCT and other places.”

Also, his Oyo state counterpart who made a similar appeal, noted that, “I’ve also told the MD of Hypercity that I will give him land free and tax holiday and I will also provide security for you. Oyo state is the gateway of the Southwestern part of Nigeria. This will also boost the economy of Oyo State.”

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