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Nigerian Govt’s Plan To Sell National Assets Irresponsible – Atiku

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The campaign organisation of the candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Abubakar Atiku, has described the plan by the Nigerian government to sell some public asset to fund the 2018 budget as irresponsible.

The organisation in a statement on Wednesday likened the decision as selling one’s “family house to take a trip overseas on holiday.”

The government had announced a couple of months ago that it intended to raise N289 billion from the sale of 10 public assets to fund the budget.

But on Wednesday, Mr Atku’s campaign organisation lampooned the decision as ridiculing President Muhammadu Buhari, who had accused the PDP of failing to build public infrastructure in the 16 years it was in power at a lecture in Lagos earlier in the week.

The organisation, which claimed that most of the asset listed for sale were built during successive PDP-led administrations, wondered what asset the government was planning to sell if as the president claimed, the PDP did not build any infrastructure while in power.

The organisation claimed that some of the assets listed for sale were the creation of Mr Atiku, when he was vice-president and head of the Economic Management Committee during the Obasanjo administration.

“His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, supervised the successful policy of privatisation. Privatisation works because it is a long-term strategy to engender efficiency in the economic system and expand the frontiers of private sector activity. Its primary goal is NOT to raise money for short-term stabilisation of what is clearly a fragile fiscal system. The government’s planned sale of assets will cause long-term pains and only provide short-term gains.”

According to the campaign organisation, rather than sell public assets, what the government needs to devise is alternative means of revenue rather than its almost complete reliance on the proceeds of oil and cutting of recurrent expenditures.

“We knew that such a day would come, which is why His Excellency Atiku Abubakar has on various occasions made it clear that what is needed at this time is fundamentally fiscal restructuring to eliminate our addiction to oil revenues and strengthen our internal revenue generating capacity and a restructuring of the budget in favour of capital spending, the statement explained.

“It makes no sense to sell public assets simply to fund a ‘business-as-usual’ budget that is essentially 70% recurrent. It is irresponsible to part with valuable assets simply to consume the proceeds (Like selling your family house to take a trip overseas on holiday).”

It also tongue-lashed some of the government’s recent fiscal decision which favours spending money on some of its social intervention programmes.

“For instance, last month, the PDP presidential candidate questioned the wisdom behind the Federal Government sharing $322 million Abacha loot to certain Nigerians, only to obtain a $328 million loan from China, allegedly for ICT development.

“Rather than share that money, the Buhari administration ought to have put that $322 million in an escrow account to be used for funding the 2019 budget.

“Also, we recall that $43 million was found in an Ikoyi apartment. While we note the failed promise of the Buhari administration to come clean on who was behind those monies, we make bold to say that those funds should equally have been placed in escrow for use in funding the 2019 budget.”

The campaign organisation added that at the core of agenda of Mr Atiku is the creation of national asset rather than selling them off like the incumbent administration plans to do.

“It is our hope that the Buhari government will accept this patriotic pro bono advice and retrace its step accordingly.”

Sourced From: Premium Times Nigeria

 

Tribune

Nigeria records 55 new COVID-19 infections, total now 165,110

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Tribune Online
Nigeria records 55 new COVID-19 infections, total now 165,110

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has recorded 62 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 165,110. The NCDC disclosed this on its official Twitter handle on Friday. “55 new cases of #COVID19Nigeria; Lagos-21, Yobe-19, Ogun-6, Akwa Ibom-3, Kaduna-2, Plateau-2, FCT-1, Rivers-1.” YOU SHOULD NOT MISS THESE HEADLINES FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE COVID-19: Nigeria Recorded […]

Nigeria records 55 new COVID-19 infections, total now 165,110
Tribune Online

Sourced From: Tribune Online

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This Day

Military, Police Ring Abuja to Forestall Boko Haram Attack

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•Deploy more personnel as army chief vows to wipe out terror group
•Security beefed up at N’Assembly

Deji Elumoye and Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

Abuja, Nigeria’s seat of power, is under a massive security cordon following threats of attacks by insurgents and the increasing wave of banditry in the contiguous states of Kaduna, Kogi, Nasarawa and Niger States, THISDAY’s investigation has revealed.

There has been a wave of kidnappings in the outskirts of the federal capital, notably Pegi, Tuganmaje and Kuje among others, which the police have battled in recent times.

The security situation in and around the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was heightened by the pronouncement of the Niger State Governor, Mr. Sani Bello, that Boko Haram fighters who he said sacked 50 villages in the state and hoisted the terror group’s flag, were about two hours drive away from the FCT.

Security has also been beefed up at the National Assembly as operatives, yesterday, thoroughly screened every vehicle approaching the National Assembly complex in Abuja.

The deteriorating security situation nationwide prompted the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, to warn that the 2023 general election may not hold, demanding the declaration of a state of emergency as well as the convocation of a national conference.
However, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, yesterday restated the Nigerian Army’s determination to annihilate Boko Haram.

But the Governor of Katsina State, Hon. Bello Masari, cautioned against declaring a state of emergency, saying doing so isn’t the solution to combat the security challenges facing the country.
The security of the nation’s airports was also in focus yesterday as the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) said there was no threat to them.

THISDAY’s investigations showed increased presence of troops, police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) personnel and intelligence operatives at the three strategic entrances to the city notably, Keffi, Zuba and Gwagwalada.

More checkpoints were also mounted around Gwagwalada and Keffi.
THISDAY also observed increased intelligence deployment at the entrance and the borders of FCT with contiguous states.

Beyond the borders, there were more deployments and police patrols inside the city and increased intelligence deployments as well.
Security sources told THISDAY: “There are deployments here and there but they are routine. Alertness is key to a secure environment.”

It was also learnt that security agencies were involved in frenzied meetings throughout yesterday.
The meetings, coordinated by the office of the Chief of Defence Staff under the new joint operational strategy of the armed forces, were aimed at coordinating a joint response to possible threats of attack to the FCT.

“I understand the security teams have been meeting for some days now and if you look around you, you will notice that there are increasing patrols and numbers of security personnel. The threats are not been taken lightly,” a source said.

National Assembly workers, lawmakers and visitors also had a harrowing experience accessing the legislative complex due to heightened security in the area.
Security operatives thoroughly screened every vehicle approaching the National Assembly complex in Abuja, impeding both human and vehicular traffic.

The Sergeant-at-arm of the National Assembly and other security agencies supervised the operations, leading to huge traffic build-up inside the complex.

Legislative staff, visitors and lawmakers were seen patiently waiting for their cars to be searched so that they could go ahead with the business of the day.
Some staff and visitors at some point got tired of waiting and were seen alighting from their cars to trek from the gate to the complex.

Meanwhile, the ONSA has said there is no threat to the nation’s airports.
A statement by the Head of Strategic Communication, Mr. Zachari Usman, said the reports of threats to the airports were an internal correspondence of security threat assessment misconstrued as security threat to the airports.

PDP Demands State of Emergency

In a related development, the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, yesterday demanded the declaration of a state of emergency, warning that the 2023 general election might not hold if the federal government failed to tackle insecurity.

He called on the federal government to summon a national conference to address the spike in insecurity.
Secondus added that the national caucus of the party will meet today to discuss the state of the nation.

Addressing members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) in Abuja, Secondus said: “We are worried Abuja is not even safe. It is no longer politics. We got alert of plots to bomb and burn down our airports.

“We urge the federal government to declare a national state of emergency in security. There is the need to call a national conference to discuss the insecurity in the country.

“There may not be any election in 2023 in Nigeria due to insecurity. This government must listen to the people. The Buhari government should call a national confab to discuss security and state of the nation. It is no longer politics. This time we are not playing politics. Let’s keep politics aside and move the nation forward.”
He said the country had been grounded, regretting that there had been no matching response from the federal government.

Secondus said in the past, terrorism in the North was confined to the North-east, but with the report of Boko Haram occupying villages in Niger State, terrorism had spread to the North-central
“Herdsmen are also menacing in the West; gunmen causing havoc in the East; and the militants in the South; all killing, looting, raping, maiming and burning down homes. The situation is bad; Nigerians all over are living in fear,” he said.

The Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, said the problem of Nigeria was outside of the PDP headquarters, while pledging the support of the Senate to the declaration of state of emergency in security.

Abaribe said he deliberately decided not to speak on the floor of the Senate but to allow the APC senators to speak so as to avoid being accused of giving a partisan colouration to the issue of insecurity.

He stated that only electoral reforms would give victory to the opposition party in the 2023 general election and ensure a democratic defeat of the APC-led federal government.
Also, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, commended the NEC and the PDP leadership for their collective efforts at resolving the House leadership crisis.

The NEC meeting adopted the position of Secondus, calling on the federal government to convoke a national conference to discuss the state of insecurity in the country, according to a communiqué read by the National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan.

Army Chief Vows to Wipe Out Boko Haram

The army yesterday reiterated its commitment to wipe out Boko Haram.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, told reporters in Maiduguri, Borno State that Boko Haram had been defeated in many encounters and would continue to be defeated until it’s annihilated from Nigeria.

“We will take on Boko Haram decisively, and we are committed to the focus of the operations, which is the total annihilation of Boko Haram from Nigeria,” he said.

The COAS, who was visiting the headquarters of Operation Lafiya Dole in Maiduguri for the fifth time since his appointment four months ago, said the visit was to boost the morale of the troops, reassure them and listen to any issues affecting them.

Earlier, the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj. Gen. Farouq Yahaya, lauded the visit, which he said had continued to boost the morale of the troops.
“We are honoured, we are grateful, we are encouraged by those visits. You provided us guidance, logistics and other things we required. We are most grateful for those visits,” Yahaya said.

State of Emergency Won’t Solve Security Challenges, Says Masari

Katsina State Governor, Hon. Aminu Masari, has, however, said declaration of a state of emergency won’t solve the security challenges facing the nation.
Masari, who spoke yesterday with journalists after meeting with the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari at the State House, Abuja stated that he was against the recent call by the House of Representatives for the declaration of a state of emergency in the security sector as it would not solve the problem.
According to him, declaring a state of emergency will not achieve the desired effect as the security structure and personnel to be used to execute the emergency are already overstretched in a bid to safeguard lives and property.

Sourced From: THISDAYLIVE

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The Nation

UFC: Usman gets N584m after beating Masvidal

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Kamaru Usman has raked in a mammoth £1.1million, about N584.2 million after his impressive knockout victory over Jorge Masvidal on Saturday night, Sportivation.com.ng reports.

The Nigerian Nightmare has been handsomely rewarded for his stunning performance and he was the best-paid fighter on the card which was witnessed by 15, 000 fans in Florida.

According to Daily Mail, Usman earned £538,000 to show up, £459,000 pay-per-view bonus, a £43,000 sponsorship bonus and a well deserved £35,000 Performance of the Night bonus.

Jorge Masvidal also earned £358,000 to show, £186,000 in pay-per-view money and a £28,000 sponsorship bonus.

This is the biggest payday of Usman’s career so far and the Welterweight champion also benefited from the fact that Masvidal is also a top draw for the fans.

Kamaru Usman is a Nigerian-American professional mixed martial artist, former freestyle wrestler and graduated folkstyle wrestler.

Sourced From: Latest Nigeria News, Nigerian Newspapers, Politics

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Premium Times

Insecurity: Lagos bans occupation of abandoned buildings

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The government said that no worker should stay back beyond 6:00 p.m. within premises of buildings undergoing construction.

The post Insecurity: Lagos bans occupation of abandoned buildings appeared first on Premium Times Nigeria.

Sourced From: Premium Times Nigeria

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