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I Am Upset With The Level Of Poverty In Nigeria, The Elites Should Come To Our Rescue —– Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said he is upset with the level of poverty in Nigeria.

The president made his feelings known when he hosted Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Ministers, Service Chiefs, Heads of Security Agencies and Chief Executives of Federal Government Agencies and Institutions to a breaking of fast at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He also frowned at the inability of the Nigerian elites to address the welfare and educational needs of the less-privileged members of the society.

He challenged the elite to do something very urgent to ameliorate the pathetic situation.

He stated that already Federal Government had introduced people friendly programmes like the School Feeding and `Trader Money’ to alleviate the hardship being experienced by the less-privileged individuals across the country.

He, therefore, commended the Vice-President for successfully managing the school feeding and `trader money’ programmes.

“When I drive around the country what upset me very much is the status of our poor people in this country – you see young people, the so-called Almajiris with tore dresses, with plastic bowl. They are looking basically for what to eat.

“The question of education (to them) is a luxury. I think Nigerian elite we are all failing because I think we should have a programme that will at least guarantee some basic education for our people no matter how poor they are.

“So, I welcome the Vice-President for initiating the School feeding programme. If you check in your localities the enrolment into schools improved because a lot of children can get at least one good meal a day. This is the position of this country.

“But, culturally some of us are quiet merciless, we don’t care about what happen to others we just keep on moving forward.

“This `market money’ I warned the Vice-President I don’t like him to be mobbed, especially the way I see hefty women coming and confronting him, he should be very careful.

“These are very good initiatives. Initially, I was quite reluctant but I must admit that they are very good programmes and they endear this government to a lot of poor people because of these N5,000 or N10,000 being given to them as loans.

They are fantastic programmes and I have to admit quite honestly that the Vice-President was ahead of me by insisting on them.

“But he knows me if he insists I will say `okay go and do what you like.’ He did it and I’m very pleased as he is being very successful,’’ he said.

Vice-President Osinbajo, who spoke on behalf of the members of the cabinet, thanked the president for inviting them, both Muslims and Christians, to the breaking of fast with him.

He said that regardless of ethnic and religion affiliations Nigerians must continue to be their brothers’ keepers and must work towards building a united nation.

He, however, condemned some politicians, who were bent on dividing the people along ethno-religious lines.

On the Ramadan period, Osinbajo said: “Mr President I must say that there are some reasons I had always look forward to the Ramadan session. But some of those reasons are now being seriously challenged.

“The first of those reasons is that during the Ramadan meetings are usually very short. But, unfortunately last Wednesday Mr President seemed to have destroyed that very good notion by taking us through the longest FEC meeting in the history of the Federal Executive Council.

“So, we shouldn’t expect anymore that meeting will necessary be short during the Ramadan.

“The second is that some of my friends are far less troublesome during the Ramadan. People like Lai Mohammed, Abba Kyari, Adamu Adamu they are usually very well behaved during the Ramadan. But I’m not even sure that that is true anymore.

“So, I think that all we can truly expect now from the session is possibility of what it was meant to do which is to remind us of some of our responsibilities to ourselves as brothers and to our fellow men/women especially our roles as leaders.

“I think is auspicious that this particular Ramadan falls at the eve of the new term in office.

“So, it is an opportunity for us to remind ourselves over the core mandates which is the welfare and security of majority of our people,’’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that those, who joined the President for the fast-breaking meal known as Iftar, included some heads of federal government agencies and institutions.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, the Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority, Alhaji Yakubu Ibn Muhammed, and the Chairman, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, Abdullahi Mukhtar, were among the dignitaries at the event.

(NAN)

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: Churches, Mosques Remain Shut In Lagos, Says Commissioner

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The Lagos State Government on Tuesday said that churches and mosques in the state might not be reopened soon for worshippers.

The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, said this on the sideline of the 2020 Ministerial Press Briefing commemorating the first year in office of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The Federal Government had on Monday, June 1, lifted the ban on mosques and churches in the country, based on guidelines and protocols agreed with state governments.

Elegushi said that the reopening of the worship centers was not possible soon, as the state was the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

”Even before the pronouncement by the Federal Government, we have been having meetings with the religious leaders, we even had one with Safety Commission, looking at the possibility of reopening of religious houses.

”We also had one with the leaders of the two faiths and I want to tell you categorically that at that meeting, the possibility of reopening religious houses was ruled out totally.

”They claimed that they cannot take such responsibility of ensuring that only 20 or 50 people are praying behind them.

”Like an Imam said, he doesn’t know what is going on at the back immediately he is leading a prayer. He said if more than 20 or 50 people are staying at his back he is not going to take responsibility for their presence.

”So, in the meeting, we ruled out in totality the issue of reopening the religious houses until we have a clear coast for us to do so.

”The Federal Government mentioned it, but it never ruled out the state in achieving that pronouncement, so all states will have to look at the possibility of doing so in their respective states.

”We all know Lagos is still having more figures. So definitely that will speak to our decision,” he said.

The commissioner, however, said that the governor of the state would come out with further directives on the matter.

(NAN)




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BIG STORY

BREAKING: Senate Approves Buhari’s $5.513bn External Loan Request

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The Senate on Tuesday approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s $5.513 billion external loan request to finance the revised 2020 budget.

The approval followed the presentation and consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, Senator Clifford Odia (Edo Central) by the upper chamber.

Buhari has in his letter of request, said that the $5.513 billion external loan is to enable the Federal Government to fund the 2020 revised budget.

However, the components of the external loan which is to enable the Federal Government to execute its priority projects and for projects to support State Governments in stimulating their economy which has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic was stood down by the Senate due to lack of requisite details.

Details shortly….




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BREAKING: Buhari Meets AfDBPresident, Akinwunmi Adesina

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President Muhammadu Buhari is in a closed-door meeting with the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, in the State House.

Adesina had been in the eye of the storm over allegations of impropriety at the bank, a situation which had been a subject of inquiry by the Bank’s Ethics Committee.

The Committee cleared the AfDB President but the United States Department of Treasury dismissed the verdict, calling for an independent investigation of the allegations against Adesina.

AfDB, a regional multilateral institution, is owned by African countries but the United States of America (USA) is a major investor.

Nigerian and other African leaders have been rallying support for Adesina, who is completing his renewable five-year-term.

Details shortly…




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