Connect with us

Top Story

We owe Nigerians a non-partisan roadmap for incoming govt — Buhari

Published

on

…Says collective electoral will, votes of Nigerians will be fulfilled under his watch

…Resist attempt to be used by politicians to create unrest — President charges Nigerians

…Says sustaining non-oil GDP growth focus for economy in 2023

By Moses Adeniyi

As he looks forward towards handing  over power in   2023, President Muhammadu Buhari has said his Administration owes Nigeria a transitional responsibility to provide for the incoming government “a non-partisan and objective roadmap for 2023,” a commitment he assured he would effect.

Buhari said the fact that governance is a continuum, places a transitional responsibility on his administration to provide an objective roadmap for the new government that would be elected in  2023, without reflection of party affiliation.

Buhari in his New Year speech for the year 2023, which would be his last as democratically elected President, said he has as his “personal commitment and executive promise” to see to the letter that the 2023 elections being diligently conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will be free and fair.

Buhari who acknowledged that Nigerians in the next five months, would have gone to the polls and elected a new president along with new governors and a plethora of other elected officials at both the national and state levels, said the collective electoral will and votes of Nigerians will be fulfilled under his watch by ensuring the candidates popularly elected emerge winner of the polls without compromise.

“The collective electoral will and votes of Nigerians will be fulfilled, even in the twilight moments of my watch,” he said.

Charging Nigerians to go to the polls to exercise their right to vote and elect a new Administration, he said 2023 is an important year for the country, assuring commitment to ensure “smooth transition of government, to whoever the people have decided upon.”

“This administration’s landmark Amended Electoral Act will ensure that we have free and fair elections across the nation,” he said.

He said Nigerians must also take responsibility to ensure they participate in ensuring that “the 2023 elections are free and fair by not engaging in anti-state activities and other nefarious acts that may affect the run of the polls.”

Assuring his government would clamp down on politicians seeking to create unrest to disrupt the election, he called on Nigerians to resist “every attempt to be used by politicians to create unrest in any form to disrupt the elections.”

“We, as government will ensure such activities are met with the full force of the law,” he said.

The message partly reads, “This year is particularly important to me because this message is in essence valedictory. After having the honour of serving you, my compatriots, for the last seven plus years, my tenure as your President in the most revered tradition of our ongoing and maturing democracy must necessarily come to an end. In the next five months, we would have gone to the polls and elected a new president along with new governors and a plethora of other elected officials at both the national and state levels.

“All these electoral and democratic principles are working in concert because of the transcendent beliefs, beyond partisan politics, of you the great citizen of Nigeria. In addition is my personal commitment and executive promise to see to the letter that the 2023 elections being diligently conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission will be free and fair. The collective electoral will and votes of Nigerians will be fulfilled, even in the twilight moments of my watch.

“Reflecting on year 2022 allows us as a government to examine our legacies of successes and challenges. As we celebrate our wins and review obstacles, we all must understand that governance is a continuum, which still places a transitional responsibility on this administration to provide for the incoming government a non-partisan and objective roadmap for 2023.

“We as Nigeria; one country united under the will of God and actively growing as an indivisible entity, have been enabled year after year, decade after decade, to weather all stormy waters and emerge stronger and better where others have fallen and disintegrated. This has made us a unique nation across the globe and our continent.

“In the year 2023, Nigerians go to the polls to exercise our right to vote and elect a new Administration; it is an important year for our country to ensure that we have another smooth transition of government, to whoever the people have decided upon.

“This administration’s landmark Amended Electoral Act will ensure that we have free and fair elections across the nation.

“We as Nigerians must also take responsibility to ensure we participate in ensuring that the 2023 elections are free and fair by not engaging in anti-state activities and other nefarious acts that may affect the run of the polls.

“We must also resist every attempt to be used by politicians to create unrest in any form to disrupt the elections. We, as government will ensure such activities are met with the full force of the law.”

Security

On security, he called for support of citizens to assist security agencies by providing the community intelligence much needed in their efforts to combat insecurity in the Country.

He said, “As our security agencies continue to make the country proud, we must continue to assist our patriotic forces by providing the much needed community intelligence.

“It is our collective responsibility to ensure that Nigeria remains safe and peaceful for us all. Therefore, we have a duty and obligation to support our troops and intelligence agencies by being alert and reporting anything suspicious.

“The fight against insurgency in the North-East region has continually recorded very clear wins in the past year. The Federal Government, and the Borno State government, have started the journey of returning internally displaced persons to their ancestral homes earlier taken by the insurgents.

“Also, over 82,000 insurgents with their families have surrendered to the Nigerian military. A number of surrendered insurgents are currently being processed by the rehabilitation (Operation Safe Corridor) programme.

“The fight against banditry, kidnapping and other crimes in the North-West and other regions is gaining momentum and showing very clear results. One of which is the resumption of Train Service along the Kaduna to Abuja corridor.

“In the aftermath of the #EndSARS, our administration took heed and instituted the ongoing Police Reform programme based on a new Presidential Vision for Policing in Nigeria.

“This new vision is framed in a clear road map that transcends the tenure of this administration and it is predicated on six principles: a) Building Trust and Legitimacy b) Leadership, Accountability and Oversight c)Technology and digital media d) Community Policing and Crime Reduction e) Officers Training and Education f) Funding, Officers’ Welfare, Wellness and Safety.

“This reform programme is very much in its foundational phase but has recorded noteworthy successes in improving police welfare and their emoluments. Other gains have been the ongoing training of 500 police cadet trainers to enable a better training regimen for the 2022 first batch of the 10,000 new cadets with an additional 10,000 set for 2023.

“In support of these reforms has been the provisioning of new material for the Nigeria Police to steadily improve on its constitutional responsibility to enforce law and order, protect lives and property as well as street level peace and security.

Economy 

On the economy, Buhari said despite the the ongoing global economic crisis, his government has been able to weather the storms.

“Inflation across the globe is at its highest, the Federal Government has been resolute through its economic interventions to remain above water during this period.

“2022 brought a combined impact from ongoing wars and aftereffects of COVID-19. Though creating its own fiscal challenges, we have continued to subsidise our energy costs to buffer households from inflationary pressure of high energy costs,” he said.

He added that in 2023, the Government is focused on building on “the Gross Domestic Product and sustain the huge surge in the non-oil GDP growth.”

Emphasising commitment to youth empowerment, he said year 2023 would be a time when his Administration work to solidify on delivering key strategic priorities under the “SEA” – (Security, Economy and Anti-Corruption) Agenda of his government.

“The Nigerian Start up Bill has been passed as an Act. This is considered a huge step in lowering our unemployment figures by boosting job creation and supporting the entrepreneurial drive of our youths. If you recall in my 2021 New Year speech, I had mentioned the need to secure the future of our youth recognizing that our young people are our most valuable natural resource, at home and abroad.

“In this regard, we worked with the legislature to develop an enabling law to turn their passions into ideas that can be supported, groomed and scaled across regions. 2023 will see the implementation of the Nigerian Start Up Act nationwide.

“The year 2023 would, indeed, be a time when we would work to solidify on delivering key strategic priorities under our ‘SEA’ – (Security, Economy and Anti-Corruption) Agenda. Some of the key priority areas we would direct our attention and strengths to include:

“Focus on SECURITY; we will continue to engage, push back and dismantle the operations of both internal and external extremist and criminal groups waging war against our communities across the Nation.

“We will also focus on ensuring that free and fair elections would be held come February 2023. Our security forces are working in partnership to ensure the wins we have got in war against insurgency, banditry, secession and other crimes are sustained and more wins acquired.

“For the ECONOMY; our focus would be on maintaining and building economic growth through the national economic diversification agenda that supports the goal of national food self-sufficiency and growth in non-oil sources.

“The ongoing infrastructure revolution by our administration will see us deliver the key projects across the Nation in power, rail, roads, ports and technology.

Anti-corruption

On the anti-corruption drive of our administration, we have created new records in this fight, growing from 117 convictions in 2017 to 3,615 convictions as at December 2022. We as a government are committed to ridding our nation of all forms of corruption, through the collaboration with all the arms of Government to effectively prosecute this fight.

Felicitation

In felicity, he said: “As we welcome the New Year, let us look with hope to 2023, a year to move forward as a nation towards unity, progress and prosperity.

“I offer my own personal felicitations, mindful of the various opinions and interpretations of our executive legacies.

“I welcome and accept both the accolades and criticisms in equal measure secure in the conviction that I did my best to serve our dear country Nigeria and I pray that the next President will also pick up the baton and continue the race to make Nigeria one of the leading countries of the world by the end of this century.

“Long Live the Nigerian spirit of oneness, togetherness, and unity. Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria. A happy and prosperous New Year.”

Top Story

Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund hits $2.5bn

Published

on

…As NSIA grows income by 1,122% to N1.18 trillion in 2023

Latest statistics from the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) has revealed that the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Fund has hit $2.5bn.

The NSIA was initially allocated an initial sum of US$1 billion in seed capital in 2013.

The record N1.184 trillion Total Comprehensive Income recorded by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) in 2023 was largely driven by four tactical strategies, including cost efficiency, efficient balance sheet management, infrastructure investment and a focus on projects that yielded sustainable earnings.

This was disclosed by Aminu Umar-Sadiq, NSIA Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer who spoke to the media on Thursday, on the Authority’s recently released financial result.

NSIA’s total Comprehensive Income surged 1,122 percent to N1.18 trillion in 2023, relative to N96.96 billion reported in 2022. Total Comprehensive Income (excluding foreign exchange gains) equally rose from N21.39 billion in the previous year to N164.69 billion, marking a 670 percent growth.

Presenting the Authority’s 2023 financial performance to the media in Abuja, Umar-Sadiq explained that the renewed focus of the Authority which manages the country’s $2.5bn played a key role in delivering such impressive results.

According to him, the focus area on efficient balance sheet management ensured the timely availability of both local and foreign currency investments, thereby optimising currency utilization. This strategy also ensured optimal asset allocation and utilisation and retained a substantial portion of the balance sheet in foreign currency.

Also, with the focus on sustainable earnings, the NSIA directed efforts towards swiftly stabilising infrastructure projects. This, according to him, entailed engaging with instruments that guarantee consistent and reliable returns, further bolstering the Authority’s financial stability.

Umar-Sadiq further disclosed that the NSIA pioneered investment initiatives, particularly in environmentally sustainable ventures, with notable successes achieved through partnerships in green climates with organisations like CarbonVista.

It also prioritised cost efficiency, striving to transition towards digitised, streamlined operations that effectively addressed prevailing challenges. This shift, he said, optimised resources and enhanced operational effectiveness, further contributing to NSIA’s “excellent” financial performance.

As contained in its financial statement, NSIA in the last 10 years has continued to show resilience and growth in asset performance while creating value within the economy. Its net assets have grown from N156 billion ($1 billion) in 2013 to N1.189 trillion, an equivalent of $2.47 billion as at 2023.

In 2023 alone, Total operating income rose substantially from n101.1 billion in the previous year to N1.176 trillion, representing a 1,064 percent year-on-year increase.

NSIA strategically optimised its asset allocation, resulting in a Total Comprehensive Income of N1.184 trillion for 2023 – a remarkable 1,122 percent growth from N96.96 billion in 2022.

Amidst a challenging global financial landscape, the Authority’s core Total Comprehensive Income (excluding foreign exchange gains) rose from N21.39 billion in the previous year to N164.69 billion, marking a 670 percent increase attributable to the Authority’s robust strategic asset allocation and adherence to best-in-class enterprise risk management processes.

“I think a combination of our strategic and tactical activities is what helped us transition from N96 billion net returns in 2022 to over N1 trillion in net returns in 2023,” Umar-Sadiq told journalists.

“Whilst of course there is a component of foreign exchange gains in this, you will see that even on the core basis, we actually grew our returns by over 650 percent, to 160 billion,” he added.

Besides, the NSIA embarked on several infrastructure-focused activities in 2023, and “largely achieved what it set out to do in the financial year.”

Some of those projects include the 10MW Kano solar project which is the largest grid-connected solar PV plant in Nigeria; launch of strategic platforms including $202m MEDSERVE and $63m Equilease; $50mn launch of Renewables Investment Platform for Limitless Energy (RIPLE) and a strategic partnership agreement with the IFC, among other initiatives.

In addition to its financial performance, the NSIA boss informed that the Authority emerged tops at the 2023 Global SWF Governance, Sustainability, and Resilience Ranking, after scoring a perfect 100 percent, with esteemed SWFs like Temasek and NZ Super Fund.

Umar-Sadiq explained that the GSR Scoreboard analysis reflects the Authority’s substantial progress from a previous score of 84 percent, showcasing its enhanced sustainability practices including improved policies, a robust framework, climate investment leadership, and impactful reporting.

For 2024, the Authority will lay strong emphasis on enhancing fiscal responsibility within the institution to maintain stability and credibility, as well as attracting foreign investments.

The MD was confident of an excellent financial performance in 2024, noting over $500 million investments in domestic infrastructure which has created some 545 direct and indirect jobs.

He also underscored commitment to operationalising existing platforms to effectively attract foreign capital to complement its existing resources and emphasized the need for scalability to maximise the Authority’s impact within its operational sphere.

NSIA strategic priorities in 2024 are outlined in four key areas – operationalising its subsidiaries; broad and ambitious digitisation strategy and cost-efficiency strategy in place; focus on pioneering initiatives in new sectors, driving innovation and strategic growth to stay at the forefront of economic development; and building strong relationships with regulators, strategic partners, and development finance institutions (DFIs).

NSIA Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Bisi Makoju, further shed light on the organisation’s financial performance, emphasising efficient fiscal management within the Authority,

According to her, a significant indicator of NSIA’s fiscal discipline is its core income ratio analysis for the year 2023 which showed a remarkable drop to 8.6 percent, as against 30.2 percent in 2022.

“This signifies that NSIA is spending significantly less than what it is earning and kept expenses below the inflationary rate,” she emphasised.

“Despite a challenging economic environment with inflation reaching approximately 28 percent by the end of 2023, the Authority’s year-on-year change in expenses stood at approximately 18.4 percent.”

Continue Reading

Top Story

Mixed reactions trail Adeleke’s proposed new logo for Osun state

Published

on

By Ismail Azeez, Osogbo

Following the condemnation that trailed the unveiling of a new logo for Osun state, Governor Ademola Adeleke has directed the holding of a logo crafting competition between April 19th and 26th.

Governor Adeleke had on Wednesday, assented to a bill adopting a new logo for the state.

Adeleke, through a statement signed by his spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, said the new symbol is a signal of a new rebirth for Osun state.

However, the opposition party has condemned the new Logo, describing the bill on creating a new logo for the state as a waste of the taxpayers money which at the end will not make any impact.

A statement signed by the chairman of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Wale Adebayo, in Osogbo, Osun state capital, said that the whole idea about the new logo project was misplaced, as it amounts to climbing a tree from the top.

“We at the APM align with the critical mass of the state to say we are not impressed with the new logo project, it’s simply a waste of taxpayers’ money.

“The people need leadership that can transform their lives and concerns, provide employment opportunities for them and not logo. What has the administration given to the masses since it was sworn in? Absolutely nothing, people need the leadership of the state to solve their problems. The quality of leadership, the contentment of your citizens and the level of security in your state is what should matter.”

But, in another press statement issued on Thursday, signed by Governor’s Spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, said, “those submitting a design are to take into account the prototype logo in terms of its contents and style.

“The submission can be made in person both soft and printed copy to the Office of the Commissioner, Ministry of Information and Public Enlightenment.

“Entries can also be submitted online via [email protected] or [email protected], with bio data and contact details of the designer. The subject should be with the subject ‘OSUN STATE LOGO.’

“The best design will be announced on April 28 and will be  unveiled on April 30th during the new edition of Ipade Imole.

“Commenting on the one week competition, Governor Adeleke noted as follows:

“As a listening leader,  I have asked that we open the change of logo to more public input through this one week competition.

“The best three designers will be invited and compensated,” the statement added.

Continue Reading

Top Story

PDP NEC endorses Damagum-led NWC

Published

on

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at its 98th meeting in Abuja, yesterday gave a nod for the Amb. Umar Damagum-led National Working Committee (NWC) to continue in office.

Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum and Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, while fielding questions from journalists after the NEC meeting, expressed delight that contrary to expectations of the party’s enemies, the meeting was held in s peaceful atmosphere.

The camp of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, had moved to have Damagum return to his position as Deputy National Chairman (North) to let the North Central produce a substantive National Chairman to complete the truncated tenure of former Chairman, Dr. Iyiorchia Ayu.

Bala said, “You can see there was no dissension and rancour. It was planned that the party will have an implosion. PDP is more than that, we have given beyond all these.

“This party is a united party that is guided by experience and constitutionality. There were a lot of permutations and mischievous thinking outside there.

“But we looked at all the issues and we worked along our guidelines and constitution. There is no problem or dissension among members.”

On the issue of a new chairman from North Central, the PDPGF Chairman said, “In the next two months we will see a lot of activities.”

“Leadership is a responsibility. We said in September we would have come out from our congresses.

“We will look at the issue of leadership and look at the issue of our constitution where it will be. And we will do it with no rancour.”

Also speaking shortly after the NEC meeting, Damagum told reporters that the position he occupies is not a matter of life and death for him.

He said, “This is not a matter of life and death. I am still an elected member of this NEC. Even If I revert to deputy national chairman I’m still a member of NWC. The issue of surviving or not does not emerge.”

National Publicity Secretary of the party, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, who read the communique after the NEC meeting, said, “The NEC of our great Party, at its 98th meeting today, Thursday, April 18, 2024, thoroughly assessed the State of affairs of the Nation and the Party and resolved as follows:”

“NEC commends all the Organs of the Party for their collective resilience, steadfastness and commitment towards the unity, stability and sustenance of our great Party despite daunting challenges.

“NEC also commends members of the PDP, with particular reference to the youths and women for their courage in resisting the antics of the divisive and anti-people All Progressives Congress (APC), especially, its desperation to emasculate the opposition and foist a one-Party State on our nation.

“NEC expresses concern over the ill-implemented policies of the insensitive APC administration, leading to worsening insecurity, harrowing economic hardship, soaring unemployment rate, high cost of food and other necessities of life with pervading misery and despondency across the country.

“NEC expresses serious apprehensions over the spate of acts of terrorism and violence including the escalated cases of mindless killings, mass abduction of innocent Nigerians and marauding of communities in various parts of the country.

“NEC condemns the insensitivity, nonchalance, incompetence and arrogance in failure of the APC administration which continues to conduct itself in a manner that shows that it has no iota of interest or commitment towards the wellbeing of Nigerians.

“NEC also condemns the creeping totalitarianism and tendencies towards a One-Party State which is inimical to the peace, stability and corporate existence of our nation as well as the development of Democracy and good governance in the country.

“NEC, after due consideration demands that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu should urgently convene a special National Security Council meeting to proffer a holistic solution and measures to curb the disturbing insecurity with its attendant negative consequences on our national life.

“NEC also demands that President Tinubu should immediately rejig his Economic Team to bring in persons of proven integrity and competence without bias and vested interest to assist in repositioning the economy.

“NEC further demands that the Federal Government should review all policies and programmes which are stifling the economy with a suffocating effect on the lives of citizens; including the increase in price of fuel without cushioning measures, hike in electricity tariff, increased taxation and implementation of adverse fiscal policies.”

According to him, it was also agreed at the meeting that all Organs, leaders, critical stakeholders and indeed all members of the PDP should close ranks, put aside every personal or group interests and work together in the overall effort to reposition and return the PDP to power at the center in the interest of the Nigerian people.

Other key decisions taken include the consideration and approval of the Timetable for Party Congresses across the country.

It  also  approved the Reconstitution of the Party Disciplinary and Reconciliation Committees to further ensure the stability of the Party.

The body also approved the extension of the life of the Party Constitution Amendment Committee to allow it to receive new amendment proposals for inclusion in its deliberation and final report for consideration by NEC.

Ologunagba equally announced that “NEC commended the efforts of the National Working Committee in its effort towards rebranding the Party including the new look PDP Logo which is widely accepted by Party members and Nigerians in general.”

Earlier, in his opening remarks the BoT Chairman, Sen. Adolphus Wabara, expressed concerns about the attitude of party leaders toward observing constitutional provisions and conventions with respect to party leadership positions.

He cited the controversy surrounding the position of the Ag. National Chairman as well as the National Secretary.

Wabara said, “We cannot ignore the fact that our party is facing internal strife, fueled by inactions, disagreements and misunderstandings that threaten to undermine the very foundation upon which the PDP stands.”

“The recent events have brought to light the urgent need for reconciliation, unity, and collective action to steer our party back on course.

“As the custodians of our party’s values and principles, it is incumbent upon us to address the crises that have arisen from the recent challenges surrounding the leadership and actions of the National Working Committee.”

Also in his opening remarks at the beginning of the NEC meeting, Damagum gave an account of his stewardship since he assumed office about one year ago.

He said, “Let me specially welcome you to this all important meeting, the first of its kind coming after the 2023 general elections.”

“As you are all aware that the last general elections came with lots of unexpected challenges that robbed us of victories.

“These challenges were both internal and external. However, the outcomes of the general elections were appropriately challenged by our well selected legal teams in all the Election Petition Tribunals down to the final Court where the final verdicts were delivered.

“As a law abiding party, we accepted the verdict of the final Court but not without many reservations.However, we must give kudos to our legal team for their tenacity and professionalism while the case lasted and our party faithful who were always physically available during each sitting to give moral support to the party.”

He congratulated all elected governors and legislators of the party for winning their elections, especially those who were returned by various electoral tribunals.

Presenting his report on off-cycle elections under his watch, Damagum said, “NEC will also recall that there have been off-cycle elections that have been concluded.

“The outcome of the off-cycle elections in the trio states of Imo, Bayelsa and Kogi have come and gone with our party retaining Bayelsa state.

“Preparation is also on in Edo and Ondo governorship elections. With the support of all concerned we are confident that soon we will congratulate ourselves.”

On the state of the nation, the PDP Acting National Chairman said, “It is no longer news that Nigerians are suffering under the hard and unfriendly APC-led government.

“The rate of unemployment, poverty, insecurity is so high that most Nigerians go to bed without food in their stomach. Our farmers can no longer go to their farms because of fears of being killed.

“Industries are closing down and moving to neighbouring countries as a result of unstable power supplies, unfavourable government economic policies.

“Young Nigerians and professionals of various fields now sleep in various embassies so as to procure their papers and JAPA.”

He also spoke of efforts being made to reconcile and unite aggrieved members in the overall interest of the party.

Continue Reading

Trending