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resident Muhammadu Buhari has approved the following appointments:

Engr. Babachir David Lawal - Secretary to the Government of the Federation

Alhaji Abba Kyari - Chief of Staff to the President

Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd.) - Comptroller-General, Nigerian Customs Service

Mr. Kure Martin Abeshi - Comptroller-General, Nigerian Immigration Service

Senator Ita S.J. Enang - SSA to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate)

Hon. Suleiman A. Kawu - SSA to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives)

The appointments are with effect from today, August 27, 2015.

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Engr. Lawal, the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation hails from Hong Local Government Area, Adamawa State. He graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1979 with a Bachelor of Engineering Degree and worked with the Delta Steel Company, Aladja, Nigerian External Telecommunications Limited and Data Sciences Limited before establishing his own ICT and Telecommunications consulting firm in 1990. He is also a member of the Nigeria Computer Society, the Nigeria Society of Engineers and the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria.

Alhaji Abba Kyari, the new Chief of Staff to the President holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees from the University of Cambridge and the University of Warwick in Law and Sociology. He has worked with the New Nigeria Development Company, New Africa Holdings, African International Bank, United Bank for Africa, Unilever, and Mobil in various capacities over the years.

The new Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Ali holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Criminology. He was military administrator of Kaduna State from 1996 to 1998.

The new Comptroller- General of Immigration, Mr. Abeshi hails from Nasarawa State. He joined the Nigerian Immigration Service in 1989 as an Assistant Comptroller. His educational qualifications include a Masters Degree in Public Administration.

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Swedish celebrity photographer and author, Ingrid Mårn, will launch her new book titled: “Smiles from Around the World: The World is Beautiful and Connected”. The launch will take place at Zebrano’s of Soho in Central London, W1D 4DS on Monday 14 September 2014 from 6.00 p.m. – 9.00 p.m.

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President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja urged Nigerian lawyers not to sacrifice the integrity of the country’s legal system in a bid to cover the misdeeds of their clients, no matter how lucrative the brief may be.

Speaking at the opening of the 55th Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), President Buhari called on Nigerian lawyers to support his administration’s war against corruption and help the country return to the path of rectitude by making Nigerian courts functional and effective again.

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President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja assured indigenous companies operating in Nigeria's oil and gas sector of the full support and protection of his administration.

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At a meeting with members of the Independent Petroleum Producers Association in the Presidential Villa, President Buhari commended their determination to increase the participation of Nigerians in the country's oil industry and promised to do all within his powers to address the challenges which they currently face.

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Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has said some of the past polices and planning including budgeting of government did not reflect the needs and the conditions of the majority of the people in Nigeria who have become disempowered in the process.

Speaking during a courtesy visit by members of the Alumni Association of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPPS), at the State House, Abuja, the Vice President said the important thing now is how policies could address the need of the people. “This is the main challenge”, he noted.

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Vice President of Nigeria: Prof. Osinbajo

 

According to him, "governments have not been accountable to the people, otherwise policies should have roots in the real conditions of the people."

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Young African artists make some fantastic work, many talented people however do not get the exposure or possibilities they need to be able to exhibit and sell their work to an audience that is willing and able to buy and invest in their art. UAAF, a non-profit organization, aims at linking these artists in Africa and buyers in the Netherlands to offer these young artists a better chance for using and keeping their talents.

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There have been terror attacks here and there which are still ongoing. Is there any country on earth that has never experienced any terror-linked attack? I doubt! These attacks have always resulted in a monumental loss of human lives and property. Governments the world over are increasingly becoming helpless and frustrated as to the mechanism to employ that would stand toe to toe with these vermin whose only language the world understands is destruction to advance or propagate their retrogressive ideologies. Be that as it may we must first identify the root causes of terrorism to enable us know how to effectively tackle the menace.

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Iyoha John Darlington

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Last year, from the 29th to the 31st of August we saw a new type of fashion event in the Netherlands.
This weekend was home to the first ever Africa Fashion Week Amsterdam (AFWA), which consisted of
a 3-day interactive celebration of fashion, culture, music and talent within the World Fashion Centre in
Amsterdam. The event was hailed in the media as a great success, which saw thousands of visitors
watch dozens of models glide down the runway in hundreds of African inspired or designed outfits to the
delight and excitement of its audiences.

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For Nigeria to become part of the modern civilisation in the 21st century, Nigerians need to approach their challenges with a common front and a common purpose, and ready to correct the maladies that plague the political system from the bottom up. This is a clarion call for all citizens – irrespective of party affiliations, ethnicity, race, religion or gender – to come together and steer the nation away from an impending danger. Today, Nigeria is not only frightening, but fundamentally tarnished.

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By Ekenenyie Ukpong
Research Fellow on African Affairs
University of Leeds, England

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President Muhammadu Buhari has terminated the appointment of the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Alhaji Sanusi Ado Bayero who was appointed two weeks before handing over by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The termination of Alhaji Bayero's appointment is with immediate effect.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed a Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption headed by Professor Itse Sagay, a prominent professor of law and civil rights activist.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has received with sadness news of the transition of one of Nigeria's foremost traditional rulers, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II.

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President Muhammadu Buhari charged government agencies to harmonize the collection and usage of biometric data in the country, instead of replicating their efforts in this regard.

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President Muhammadu Buhari said that his administration will give the fullest possible attention to boosting power supply in Nigeria because it was convinced that steady electricity will launch the country into faster socio-economic development.

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Speaking after being briefed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, President Buhari said that his administration  had already identified the critical problems in Nigeria's power sector and was taking appropriate actions to address them.

The President said  that his administration had also prioritized certain measures in its action plan to  boost electricity supply in Nigeria.

"The problems besetting our power sector are not difficult to identify. Therefore, priorities can be easily set in order to tackle them.

"The problems are more with transmission than generation, and we equally need to secure the power infrastructure round the country.

"We will address all these issues," the President assured.

Ambassador Igali told the President that power generation in Nigeria which  was 1,750 MW in 1999,  had now peaked at 4,600 MW.
He added that gas was available to take generation to 5,500 MW in a short time, but that the country needed to expand its electricity  infrastructure to accommodate additional power generation.

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President

(Media & Publicity)

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President Muhammadu Buhari extends hearty congratulations to Nigeria's team at the just concluded Special Olympics in Los Angeles, United States.

President Buhari commends the team for their diligence, dedication and wonderful performance at the games in which they won a total of 71 medals, including 34 gold medals.

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The victorious atheletes 

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The President applauds the special athletes' inspiring victories in Los Angeles which, he believes, epitomize the true Nigerian spirit and his personal conviction that whatever challenges we face as a nation, we can overcome them dedication, hard work and perseverance,  and rise to the highest possible levels of accomplishment.

President Buhari assures the athletes that the Federal Government and  all Nigerians are very proud of their exhilarating and dominant performance at the Special Olympics in which they won medals in  all featured  events.


The President looks forward to receiving members of the team at the Presidential Villa to celebrate their brilliant victories in Los Angeles.

Garba Shehu

SSA to the President

(Media & Publicity)

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President Muhammadu Buhari warmly felicitates with the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie Oyegun as he marks his 76th birthday anniversary on Wednesday, August 12, 2015.

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Chief John Oyegun at 76

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President Buhari congratulates Chief Oyegun

On the happy occasion of Chief Oyegun's 76th birthday, President Buhari joins members of the APC National Chairman's family, his friends and political associates across the country in celebrating his very remarkable  life of  service to his people and country.

The President commends the exemplary patriotism, selflessness and  dedication to the progress and well-being of Nigeria which Chief Oyegun has demonstrated throughout his long and very successful career as a top civil servant and political leader.

President Buhari also salutes  Chief Oyegun's integrity, wisdom, hard-work and visionary leadership which, contributed in no small measure, to the successful formation of the APC and the party's historic victory in the last general elections.

The President prays that Almighty God will grant the APC National Chairman continued good health and many more years of worthy contributions to national development.

Garba Shehu

SSA to the President

(Media and Publicity) 

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President Muhammadu Buhari praised the contributions of Nigerian youths to the outcome of the 2015 elections.

President Buhari, who was speaking on the occasion of the 2015 International Youth Day, commended Nigerian youths for the significant role they played in making the 2015 elections “a model for democratic governance in Africa.”

The President said that he was very concerned, however, that economic growth in Nigeria has not translated into “commensurate and improved social outcomes, especially for our 60 million young people who make up the majority of the population".

President Buhari noted that “although educational attainment by Nigerian youth has increased significantly in the last decade, the relevance of curricula, quality of education and skills required to meet the demands of the job market still remains a challenge for the country".

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The President assured Nigerian youth that his administration “is poised to provide an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive so as to ensure greater opportunities for jobs to be created for our young people.”

He said that his government was also determined to provide adequate infrastructure to boost the ability of “our job creation institutions to increase opportunities for our young people.”

Apart from paying special attention to the growth of small and medium scale enterprises, the President said that his administration will also explore the option of boosting intervention funds to encourage domestic industrialization and manufacturing.

President Buhari reaffirmed the commitment of the APC administration to fulfilling  its campaign promises to Nigerian youth.

“Change for us is not a mere political slogan, but the beginning of a new era desired by the majority of Nigerians," the President concluded.

Garba Shehu

SSA to the President

(Media & Publicity)

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President Muhammadu Buhari said that the prosecution of persons who have stolen national resources will begin in a matter of weeks.

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Speaking at a meeting with members of the National Peace Committee led by Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar in the Presidential Villa, President Buhari declared that his administration was irrevocably committed to doing all within its powers to break the vicious cycle of corruption, unemployment and insecurity in Nigeria.

"Nigeria has to break this vicious cycle before we can make progress," the President said, adding that his administration was diligently getting  facts and figures  pertaining to the nation's stolen funds, before proceeding to the prosecution of identified culprits.

President Buhari told General Abdulsalami and members of his committee that the Federal Government, under his leadership, will not only ask for the return of  stolen funds that have been stashed in foreign banks, but will also ensure that those who stole the funds are put on trial  in Nigeria.

The President also said that as part of its actions to address the national problems it inherited, his administration was reorganising Nigeria's revenue generating institutions.

The President explained that a single treasury account had been established for all Federal revenue to ensure greater probity, transparency and accountability in the collection, disbursement and utilisation of national funds.  

"We have really degenerated as a country. Our national institutions, including the military, which did wonderfully on foreign missions in the past, have been compromised. But we are doing something about it. The military is now retraining and morale has been resuscitated.

"As Petroleum Minister under Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo  in the 1970s, I could not travel abroad until I had taken a memo to the Federal Executive Council asking for estacode. Now, everybody does what he wants.

"That is why security-wise and economically, we're in trouble," President Buhari told his guests, adding that those who have stolen the national wealth "will be in court in a matter of weeks and Nigerians will know those who have short-changed them."

Gen. Abubakar and members of his committee  urged the Federal Government to be guided by the rule of law in its fight against corruption.

Members of the National Peace Committee who accompanied Gen Abubakar on the visit were Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, His Eminence, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, President of the Christian Association of  Nigeria (CAN) and  Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria.

Others were Justice Rose Ukeje (rtd), Prof Ameze Guobadia, Vanguard Newspaper Publisher, Sam Amuka, Dame Priscilla Kuye, Senator Ben Obi, Dr. Yunusa Tanko, and Dr Arthur-Martin Aginam.

The National Peace Committee, formed before the 2015 general elections,  was granted  permission by the President to transform to a National Peace Council

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President

(Media & Publicity)

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President Muhammed Buhari called for an explanation from the Ministry of Finance on the foreign loans obtained for rail projects but diverted to other purposes.

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Speaking at the end of a presentation on the Ministry of Transport by the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Mohammed Bashar at the Presidential Villa, President Buhari said that  it was disappointing to find that foreign loans obtained in line with signed agreements were moved from one project to another.

“I hope that due process was followed before such diversions were carried out.  Taking money from one project to another has to be done properly,” the President warned.

President Buhari was reacting to the specific instance of the diversion of a substantial part of the loan of USD1.005 billion from the Chinese Exim Bank, obtained for the construction of a standard gauge rail line linking  Lagos to Kano but which was moved elsewhere. 

The Permanent Secretary had informed the President that only USD 400 million of that loan remained with the Ministry of Finance.

The President regretted that government had, over the years, failed to meet its counter-part  funding obligation on some projects, leading to such projects being left uncompleted or abandoned.

He added that there was a clear need  to streamline, harmonize, and prioritize on-going projects in the transportation sector.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry also briefed the President on other challenges facing the transport and maritime sectors such as  encroachment on railway land, lack of security on inland waterways and the confused nature of agreements between the Nigeria Ports Authority and ports concessionaires.

 

Garba Shehu

SSA to the President

(Media & Publicity)

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President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday in Niamey, Niger Republic, expressed confidence in ability of the Nigerian military to overcome and eradicate Boko Haram.

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President Buhari talk tough on Boko Haram

Speaking at an interactive session with journalists after talks with President Issoufou Mahamadou of Niger, President Buhari declared that the Nigerian Army which has earned a good reputation across the world, remains a virile fighting force.

"I am four days in office today and we have already started the process of ending the insurgency," the President said.

He disclosed that in the course of the over five hours meeting he held with heads of Nigeria's Armed Forces and Security Agencies yesterday, on-going operations against Boko Haram were reviewed for better results.

President Buhari said that because of the peculiarities of terrorism, the movement of terrorists across borders and the unconventional nature of the war against terror, Nigeria will continue to seek the support of neighbouring countries in its bid to overcome Boko Haram.

The President said that his visit to Niger was to seek more support from the country in bringing a quick end to the atrocities of Boko Haram.

President Buhari said he would hold similar meetings on security and the war against terrorism with the Chadian authorities after leaving Niamey on Thursday.

The President said Nigeria would also require the assistance of other nations and multi-lateral institutions to rebuild areas that have been adversely affected by the Boko Haram insurgency and rehabilitate displaced persons.

In his remarks, the President of Niger commended President Buhari for making Niger the first country he will visit after his inauguration.

"Your decision to move the military command of Nigeria to the North East has further strengthened our conviction that the war against terrorism will soon come to an end," he told President Buhari, while assuring him that Niger will continue to support Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram.

At the opening of bilateral talks between Nigeria and Niger earlier, President Buhari praised his hosts' contributions to the on-going multi-national effort against terrorism, insurgency and cross-border crimes.

"Permit me also to acknowledge the consistency with which the government and people of Niger Republic have stood beside Nigeria under all circumstances. I would like to convey the appreciation of Nigeria for the sacrifices by Niger in the on-going efforts to counter the menace of the Boko Haram insurgency.

"Niger Republic has over the years, proven to be a reliable ally to Nigeria both at bilateral and multilateral levels. It is our hope and aspiration that this special relationship would be further consolidated during my administration.

"My administration will bring new impetus and a renewed commitment to the efforts to wipe out the menace of the Boko Haram insurgents. As a first step, we have directed the relocation of the command post of the counter-insurgency operations to Maiduguri until such a time that the insurgency is completely defeated.

"Another issue of concern to us which is closely associated with the insurgency in the region is the influx of refugees and other displaced persons. We are aware that currently, there are over one hundred and fifty thousand displaced persons comprising refugees and returnees taking refuge in various parts of Niger.

"Our administration will work closely with governments of the affected States to continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the displaced persons and their host communities.

"The ultimate objective however, remains to end the insurgency and facilitate their return to their homes," President Buhari said.

Garba Shehu

Senior Special Assistant to the President

(Media and Publicity)

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THE VOICE June/July 2015

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Achievers Awards

Kente 2015