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Buhari And I Won’t Be Found Deceiving Nigerians —- Osinbajo

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Buhari administration is concerned about the plight of ordinary Nigerians and would continue to carry out programmes that would improve their lives, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) has said.

Osinbajo said this on Monday on Brekete Family, a reality radio talk magazine programme on Human Rights Radio, Abuja, where he was featured.

During the programme, the Vice President emphasized: “The focus of our government is on how things can be better for the common man.

“We are not in the business of trying to deceive Nigerians.

“You can accuse me and the President of anything, but you will never find us deceiving Nigerians.”

While making references to the Buhari administration’s National Social Investment Programme, the VP noted that the administration is able to do so much more with fewer resources.

This, he said, is possible because “the President has ensured that nobody steals money from the treasury.

“The major problem Nigeria had before now was the fact that people stole from the nation’s coffers.

“Once the country is able to stop corruption, it would be better.

“The first thing we did was tackle unemployment by employing young men and women through the N-Power job scheme, which has so far employed 500,000 young graduates.”

The paid volunteer programme has a two-year duration, but it has now been extended for a batch.

Osinbajo said every state has N-Power, noting that there are plans to employ more because of the number of graduates.

He said: “This is a social safety net for young unemployed Nigerian graduates.

“So far, we have given about 400,000 MarketMoni loans, but the target is to give one million loans to artisans and traders, while TraderMoni loans is a N10,000 interest-free loans to petty traders, of which two million are expected to be reached in the first phase.”

He also highlighted the Federal Government’s Energizing Economies Initiative, which provides clean, affordable, and constant power to economic clusters such as big markets and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises across Nigeria.

Last week Friday, the Vice President commissioned the Sura market Independent Power Project in Sura shopping complex in Lagos State, a 1.5MW independent mini-grid power supply system to provide clean and affordable electricity to over 1,000 shops in the market.

The Buhari administration’s Energizing Economies Initiative, which is being implemented by Rural Electrification Agency, is designed to provide clean, stable and affordable electricity to Nigerians in these economic clusters.

So far, thousands of shops in Sabon Gari in Kano State, Ariaria Market in Aba, Isinkan market in Akure in Ondo State, Edaiken market in Benin in Edo State and Sura market in Lagos have been provided solar power through the initiative.

Osinbajo told his radio audience: “Power is a major problem in Nigeria and our efforts is to solve this through alternative energy such as solar power.

“We are not relying on the national grid alone.

“We are also encouraging the private sector to provide power.

“The new strategy of the government is to put power in different places so as to make life easy for Nigerians without relying on the national grid.

“We are still working on the national grid.

“This country is very big, that’s why we have to decentralize.”

Speaking further on the benefits of the N-SIP, the Vice President assured Nigerians that the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme was authentic and was a major part of the administration’s plan to improve the lives of Nigerians.

Osinbajo said: “Currently, it feeds daily over nine million schoolchildren in public primary schools in 26 states.

“Also, the products are sourced from local farmers, which improve the local economy.”

Osinbajo further stated the administration’s commitment to developing the Niger Delta region and how its engagement has helped to maintain peace and stability in the region, which has also improved oil production and the country’s revenue.

The host of the programme, Ahmad Isah, popularly known as Ordinary President, as well as studio audience and callers, praised the Vice President and the Buhari administration for its commitment to the welfare of Nigerians and improving the country’s fortunes.

Isah also praised the administration’s efforts in paying the pension arrears of staff of Nigeria Airways and its Social Investment Programmes.

Likewise, callers and members of the studio audience commended the Buhari administration and the Vice President for showing exemplary leadership.

“Because of the importance he attaches to the family, development, and progress of this nation, the Vice President (having just returned from a trip to Lagos) came directly from the Abuja airport to be with us today,” Isah noted.

Noting that the government will look into complaints raised during the edition of the programme, the Vice President stated that he would choose liaison officers to look into complaints from listeners/viewers of the programme.

This was applauded by the audience and listeners.

One of the callers described the decision “as the best thing that has happened to us.”

During the programme, the Vice President met with Olympic medallist, Jerry Okorodudu, who had appealed for his salary arrears to be paid by the Ministry of Sports.

On his arrival to and departure from the popular Abuja radio station, the Vice President received a very warm welcome from a section of Nigerians who lined up the road leading to the station to receive him.

BIG STORY

Implement N30,000 New Minimum Wage Before May Day, Labour Tells FG

Peter Okunoren

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) wants the Federal Government to commence the implementation of the new National Minimum Wage for workers in the country before the May Day Celebration.

Mr Najeem Yasin, Acting President of NLC, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.

He commended the Senate for approving the minimum wage bill of N30,000 on Tuesday and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly sign the bill into law.

NAN recalls that the House of Representatives had earlier approved N30,000 as new national minimum wage before embarking on break for the 2019 general election.

The Nigeria Governors Forum had proposed N24,000 while the Federal Government forwarded N27,000 to the National Assembly.

“We commend the Senate for passing the minimum wage bill of N30,000 but the battle for the minimum wage was not yet over; workers will not rest until the bill is signed and implemented.

“But it is not yet over because we want them to make sure that the process gets to the logical conclusion and for the quick implementation of that N30,000. Nigerian workers are happy and commend them.

“We want the federal government to ensure its implementation before the May Day celebration, which is the Workers Day celebration. Government should greet workers with the commencement of the implementation,” the labour leader said.

Yasin, who is also the National President of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), called on the federal government to ensure effective sanctions for employers who refused to implement the N30,000 National Minimum Wage.

“We have been fighting for this N30,000 for a long time and the governors have been opposed to it. But now, it has been passed. Nigerian workers are now looking forward to the signing the bill into law,” Yasin said.

Mr Amechi Asugwuni, NLC Deputy President, also called on President Mohammadu Buhari to follow the path of honour and immediately sign into law the new pay rise document once he received it.

He, however, disagreed on call by the Senate for a review of the Revenue Sharing formulae which gave federal government 56 percent, states 24 and local government 20 percent.

He argued that the minimum wage bill was an independent bill which should not be subjected to adjustments in sharing formulae by the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission.

According to him, such calls could further slow down the already overdue implementation of the new minimum wage.

Also, Mr Joe Ajaero, President, United Labour Congress (ULC), commended the Senate for the passage of the N30,000 minimum wage.

Ajaero called on the federal government to ensure that the process of the national minimum wage implementation should not be beyond March and April.

“Government should ensure that this year May Day should be a day to celebrate the implementation of the national minimum wage. I want to say that by May 1, all employers of Labour should have implemented it,” he added. (NAN)

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Buhari’s Prayer Warrior Kidnapped, Abductors Demand N300m Ransom

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The kidnappers of a famous Islamic scholar and prominent reciter of the Holy Quran, Sheikh Ahmad Sulaiman, have demanded a ransom of N300 million before his release.

PRNigeria gathered that the abducted Sheikh Suleiman, a prayer warrior and fanatical supporter of President Muhammdu Buhari, had offered prayers for the re-election bid of Mr. President at some political rallies organised by All Progressives Congress (APC), in the build to the 2019 general elections.

The Islamic Scholar was returning to his base in Kano, after attending a religious function in Kebbi State when they were abducted.

However, in an audio clip obtained by PRNigeria, the kidnappers are demanding a colossal sum of N300 million as ransom, before releasing the revered cleric from their hideout.

The supposed ringleader of the abduction gang, spoke in Hausa, with a close associate of the kidnapped Quranic reciter, saying they were mandated by an influential politician to abduct and kill Sheikh Sulaiman, who their sponsor allegedly claimed is a terrorist.

“However, after taking a close observation, we noticed that our victim has no semblance to a terrorist. We discovered that he is rather a God-fearing Muslim and very knowledgeable preacher. We also interrogated him, and he told us everything about himself,” the kidnapper told the reciter’s sympathiser, in the nine-minute telephone chat.

When asked by his caller what they should offer for the speedy release of the notable Islamic teacher, the Hausa-speaking gang leader with Fulani’s accent, said they were never interested in carrying out the murderous assignment, in the first place.

“But it will be unfair that we fritter the three hundred million naira the politician gave us without executing his work,” he said, adding that, “So, we are intending to give him back his money since we may not be able to do his bidding. And again, we will also express our displeasure to him for wrongly accusing the Sheikh to be an insurgent, when in reality, he wasn’t.

“But in the meantime, you (his people) should first raise the three hundred million we will return back to the politician. And then, you will also give us money for fueling the vehicle we used to convey him to Kebbi.

“But if you people cannot raise the money we demanded, we will not hesitate to eliminate Mallam, and collect the additional sum the politician promised us if we should kill him.”

Katsina is becoming a den for kidnappers as there is hardly a day without a reported case(s) of kidnapping in the state.

PRNigeria gathered that kidnapping cases have been reported in most local government areas of Katsina State especially in Jibia, Dandume, Faskari, Sabuwa, Danmusa, Safana, Kankara, Batsari, Dutsinma, Kurfi, Funtua and Katsina metropolis.

While many of the abductions were not reported for undisclosed reasons, the recent reported kidnapping cases included that of a group of Islamic caregivers of about 20 members of First Aid Group who were abducted in Jibia and that of an 80-year-old Mother-in-Law to Governor Aminu Masari who was abducted at her Dandume Crescent, Sabon Gari area of Katsina metropolis.

Early in the year, Governor Aminu Bello Masari has blamed the continued kidnapping and other heinous crime on informants who support the bandits saying Katsina State is under kidnappers’ siege.

He said the daily security reports reaching him indicate that no day passes without a reported case of kidnappings, armed robbery and cattle rustling.

According to him, “Kidnappings, cattle rustling and armed robbery are now the order of the day in Katsina. Informants have made it difficult for security agencies in the state to operate effectively.” (PRNigeria)

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BREAKING: Senate Approves N30,000 Minimum Wage

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The Senate on Tuesday approved N30,000 as the new national minimum wage.

This decision was reached after the upper chamber’s ad-hoc committee on new minimum wage headed by Senator Francis Alimikhena submitted its report.

The Senate then went on to request the Federal Government to submit a supplementary budget to cover the new wage structure for consideration and approval.

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