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Buhari Lists Conditions For Restructuring

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday gave conditions to be fulfilled before the government can go into the restructuring of the country.

He pointed out that there should be a proper definition of what Nigerians want before the government can delve into restructuring the country.

The President also noted that many Nigerians who have been calling for restructuring have been doing so without defining what the restructuring should be.

Buhari, who spoke during the interactive session with Nigerians living in France, was in the country for the Peace Forum attended by about 70 world leaders in Paris.

The Nigerian community, which was made up of Nigerian Diaspora Organization (NIDO), All Progressives Congress (APC) members in France, students and friends of Nigeria, asked the President questions ranging from restructuring, security, anti-corruption, education and opportunity for Nigerians in the diaspora to vote in 2019 general elections.

The President said; “There are too many people talking lazily about restructuring in Nigeria. Unfortunately, people are not asking them individually what do they mean by restructuring? What form do they want restructuring to take?

“Do they want us to have something like the three regions we used to have? And now we have 36 states and the FCT. What form do they want? They are just talking loosely about restructuring.

“Let them define it and then we see how we can peacefully do it in the interest of Nigerians.

“They are just saying they want Nigeria restructured and they don’t have the clue of what the form the restructuring should be.

“So, anybody who talks to you about restructuring in Nigeria, ask him what he means and the form he wants it to take,” he stated.

He also gave reasons why Nigerians in diaspora might not vote in the 2019 general elections.

According to him, it will be very difficult for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to put in place structures to accommodate them with just about three months to the 2019 elections.

Noting that the increasing Nigeria population in the diaspora supports the calls for their participation in electing Nigeria leaders, he said that it might not happen in the 2019 general elections as INEC had been more focused on strengthening and consolidating on its achievements to conduct credible elections within the country.

But he said that Nigerians in diaspora would definitely participate in future elections.

Buhari said “We want to secure the Nigeria votes first before we go foreign. We are going to strengthen the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to be more independent and viable …. so that they can recruit more committed and educated Nigerians to be in charge and use technologies to get the votes from all the constituencies.

“So, with the way the economy is now, I think with the elections in three months’ time, it will be very difficult for INEC and the government to organize quality survey of those that are outside,” he said.

Responding to the question on education in Nigeria, the President said that his administration is doing its best to invest more in infrastructures, education and other sectors.

The Nigerian elites, he said, disappointed Nigeria and the Nigerian masses under the sixteen years administrations of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

According to him, so much waste has gone down the drain from the huge resources earned in during the PDP administrations in the country between 1999 and 2015.

He said that there was nothing to show for the earnings including the $16 billion said to have been spent on power.

He urged Nigerian elites, both at home and diaspora, to do more in contributing to the educational sector of the country, expressing surprise that the elites tolerated the fall in standards and structures of educational institutions despite the huge oil earnings.

He said; “So, really I have seen it all and I was disappointed in the Nigerian elites. What have they done in these sixteen years?”

“What do we have with our oil production down to half a million and the price per barrel went down to about $30, what could we have done with the infrastructure?

“You should find out the damage done by the main opposition now to the economy and the integrity of the country.

“So, we are now trying to improve infrastructures and do more in education and other areas.

“We are currently reviewing investments in the entire infrastructure of the country like road, rail and power, including investing more in education. We will certainly need to do more in education,’’ he said.

He added “I am doing my best now to utilize our resources to develop the country. We are already getting results on road, rail and power. My frustration is that some people still have plenty stolen money stashed in Europe, U S and other countries.’’

According to him, return of stolen assets in some safe heavens will bolster the administration’s current effort of investing more in critical infrastructure that directly impact on the livelihood of Nigerians.

He said that the war against terrorism will be reinforced with new weapons and hardware for the military

The challenge of abduction and kidnapping in some parts of the country, he said, will receive more attention with better gathering of intelligence.

According to him, God and technology in form of card readers and Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) won the Presidential elections for him in 2015 despite not succeeding in three earlier times.

“We campaigned on three key issues; security, improving the economy, and fighting corruption, and we have not been controverted by anyone that we have not recorded some results,’’ he said.

Speaking earlier, the Nigerian Ambassador to France, Dr. Modupe Irele, said that the Nigerian community in France had demonstrated high sense of responsibility, dedication and morality.

According to her, the large number of professionals had been encouraged to also contribute to the country’s development.

“Nigerians here are law abiding, peaceful and resourceful,’’ she said.

President Buhari’s commitment to change, she noted, will make Nigeria the envy of other African countries.

Speaking to journalists at the end of the interactive session, Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, said that it was very important for President Buhari to attend the Peace Forum in Paris.

He said “President Muhammadu Buhari has been preaching for peace, especially when he came on board, he met our country religiously and ethnically divided.

“I think it is important that he meets with other world leaders to discuss how peace can be promoted among the nations and various people of the world.

“There is no way you can promote peace where there is massive corruption. Massive corruption deprives people of development, and if there is no development, there won’t be any peace.” he said

Willy Obiano of Anambra State said that it is important for Nigeria to be emphasizing peace.

In the education sector, he said that the state has invested a lot of money into the sector in the last four years.

He said “We revamped 1482 primary and secondary schools. We have sent our teachers to Singapore and Germany for training.

“More importantly, what my administration has done in Anambra State with respect to education is to reach the … end of Anambra State.” he said

House of Reps member, Nasir Ali Ahmed, representing Nasarawa Federal constituency of Kano State, said that the interactive session was a very successful meeting.

He hoped that a lot of the Nigerians living in France will come back home to contribute their quota to Nigeria’s development.

Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, a Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Affairs, recently nominated Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Diaspora Commission, who facilitated the meeting, said that a lot of Nigerians living in France are already doing many things at home for the economy.

“So, we will continue to engage with them and continue to stress the positivity about our country, Nigeria,” she said

Stressing that there are some Nigerians in prisons in France, she said that Nigerians are being encouraged to obey the laws of the land wherever they go.

She also pointed out that the new commission is not a charity organization, but aims to tap into the enormous resources of Nigerians in the diaspora.

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Kwara State Election Materials Found In Abuja, Result Sheets Meant For Lagos Found In Kwara

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Malam Atahiru Madami, the Kwara State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), has said that both Presidential and Senatorial election result sheets meant for the state were found in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Abuja.

Madami said this on the sideline of the distribution of sensitive materials to each of the 16 local government areas in Kwara state at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Ilorin on Wednesday.

“The result sheets for presidential and senatorial elections are with the FCT INEC. It was a mix-up and they will send it to us this evening”.

He added that the result sheet meant for Lagos state senatorial election also found its way to Kwara state.

Madami stated that the mix-up was of the reasons the elections were postponed on Feb 16.

He said with the postponement of the election, such situation would not repeat itself again, adding that preparations were on to ensure hitch free elections on Saturday.

He called on the electorate to come out en-masse and vote the candidates of their choice on Saturday

He promised to deliver a free and fair election.

He stated that the card readers for Kwara state have been reconfigured 100 per cent.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that INEC in the early hours of Feb.16 postponed the election slated for the same day, on account of logistics challenges.

INEC chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu said: “Following the careful review and implementation of its logistic and operational plan and the determination to conduct free, fair and credible election, the commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the elections as scheduled is no longer feasible.” (NAN)

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Transcorp Sets Record Performance With Profit After Tax Of N20.6bn

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Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), Nigeria’s leading diversified listed conglomerate, has announced its audited results for the year ended 31st December 2018, with a 94% growth in Profit After Tax (PAT) of ₦20.6bn in 2018 compared to ₦10.6bn in the prior year.

The Group recorded an unparalleled improvement within the year as turnover grew by 30% to ₦104.2bn. Profit Before Tax (PBT) increased to ₦22.4bn from ₦12.3bn in 2017, depicting an 82% year on year growth.

“We’re proud to have ended the year on a high-note while sustaining a strong performance, which is a reflection of our sound business strategy,” said Valentine Ozigbo, Transcorp’s President and Chief Executive Officer, who took over at Transcorp in January 2019. “We will continuously strive to deliver significant value to our stakeholders while achieving our long-term goals,” he said.

He further stressed that “This result was achieved due to the increased revenue from the power and hospitality segments of the group. In addition, we were able to cut down on our loss from Forex arising from financing activities by 30% year-on-year as we experienced a relatively stable exchange rate during the fiscal year-ended 2018, this no doubt impacted our Profit before tax as it soared 82% year-on-year.”

Mr. Ozigbo added ”Transcorp Power Ltd has continued to explore opportunities created by the eligible customer framework initiated by the Federal Government. We are at an advanced stage of negotiations with a number of eligible customers, which will translate into transactions in the months ahead. Our hospitality subsidiary, Transcorp Hotels Plc, also maintained its history of profitability in 2018, displaying the impact of our recent US$100m upgrade at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja and the immense value placed on the hotel’s best-in-class hospitality services.”

Reflecting on the results, the Chairman of Transcorp, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, CON, stated, “We remain committed to our purpose of improving lives and transforming Nigeria by powering our industries and businesses while providing our local and international guests with unrivalled hospitality services. This is our way of creating sustainable value for all our stakeholders.”

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RRS Nabs Robbery Syndicate Terrorising College Road/Faagba/Abbattoir Areas Of Lagos [PHOTO]

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The hands of the law have finally caught up with a group of robbers after the operative of Rapid Response Squad (RRS), a unit of Lagos State Police Command arrested the syndicate believed to have been terrorizing College Road, Fagba, and Abattoir areas of the state.

As for this group of boys, their diversity in terms of language and ethnicity was never a barrier as they were united in forming a gang with the sole interest of robbing Lagosians of their valuables.

The robbers were arrested on Valentine’s day at around 9:00 p.m at College Road, Ifako – Ijaiye area of Lagos, after the gang had robbed more than five passers by of their valuables brandishing knives and other harmful objects.

The suspects, whose names are: Lekan Akinyemi (23), Chimeze Ofulie( 18), Babangida Abdullahi (22), Abubakar Umaru (30), Samuel Oyinloye (24), Timileyin Oladipupo (27) and Habeeb Olayinka. 

All the suspects said they came from different parts of the country but reside in Abattoir, Agege, Lagos.

The suspects had on Thursday, robbed one Agafe Augustine after he alighted from a taxi at College Road, Ifako Ijaiye. Amongst the items collected from him by the gang were; an android phone, N14,000 and a handbag.

According to Agafe, “I allowed them to rob me because they were many and were holding dangerous objects but I trailed them to an open place before raising alarm. This drew the attention of some RRS officers on patrol in the area and they arrested some of them”.

He added “ they equally robbed some other victims amongst whom were a lady in company of her boyfriend. They dispossessed them of their phones and  stabbed her boyfriend who refused to let go of his mobile phone after parting with his wallet”.

In his confessional statement to the crime , one of the suspects said they specialise in robbing passersby  at  night collecting their mobile phones, bags, jewelry and wallets.

Investigation by the police revealed that one of the suspects, Timileyin Oladipupo popularly known as ‘Timi Yahoo’, specialised  in working on SIM cards of the stolen phones to determine which ones are internet banking enabled  to facilitate the gang access to transfering money from victims’ accounts.

The suspect disclosed “I have worked on so many SIM cards given to me by Lekan and other groups in Agege Abbatior and what I do is to further increase our gain from the robbery by transfering victim’s money from their bank accounts after using some softwares to determine how much are lodged inside their accounts and we also share the proceeds”.

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police  Mu’azu Zubairu  who ordered the arrest of all the gang members, added that they be transferred to SARS for a thorough investigation.

He noted that the gang be charged to court as soon as investigations are completed.

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