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Jonathan Carpets Buhari Over Boko Haram

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President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, sent a strong message to former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, pleading with him to spearhead the campaign to persuade members of the Boko Haram sect to accept dialogue, as a means of ending the orgy of violence in the North.

Furthermore, President Jonathan asked Buhari to emulate the role he ( Jonathan) played by visiting the  militants in their vast hideouts in the Niger Delta to plead with them to lay down their arms and accept the general amnesty granted by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on June 25, 2009.

The President said he expected Buhari to lead the way in persuading the Boko Haram insurgents in the North to stop bombings and enter into dialogue with the Federal Government with a view to ending the violence in the region, which is threatening to disrupt the economy of the region and Nigeria.

Jonathan, who sent the message to Buhari through his Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, accused the former Head of State of making false allegations against him during his interview in London last week.

During the interview with the BBC, Buhari had said that the Federal Government should be held responsible for the worsening state of insecurity in Nigeria, accusing the leadership of not taking steps to halt the slide, which has claimed many lives and property in the region.

Buhari said: “The problem of terrorism is not confined to the North alone. Insecurity generally should be blamed on the Federal Government.

“The world is very much concerned about two things — the issue of security and economic wellbeing of a nation. Security is number one. A nation can only be economically viable if there is security. But how did all these crises start? How did the crises begin and assume this dimension?

“Until now, everyday, they abduct people and receive ransoms. How was the problem reduced? How did it start? What method was employed to convince them to mellow down?

“Similarly, what we should look at is, how did the Boko Haram start? We know all these. Security is the responsibility of the government.

“It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to know how this thing started and how to go about it.”

But Okupe asked Nigerians to demand from Buhari what he had done as a leader in the North and a former Head of State to halt the attacks by the sect.

He said: “Nigerians should ask him (Buhari) that as a former Head of State and as someone who wants to be president again, what he has done to end this insurgence in the country.

“Or is it when he becomes President, he will stop the insurgence? No, it does not work that way. He should emulate President Jonathan who went to the creeks of the Niger Delta canvassing peace and dialogue with the militants of the Niger Delta.

“Everybody knows that it was General Buhari, who vowed to make Nigeria ungovernable for President Jonathan if he loses the last presidential election. It was in Minna, that he said that once votes are countered and he loses that people should go for blood. He said in Hausa language. General Buhari is the person who sowed the wind that the nation is now reaping in whirlwind.

“He is not in any position to apportion blames on the issue of violence in the North or in Nigeria in general. He is a protagonist of violence. The only position he sees for not being the President is to call for violence. This government has tried as much as possible to contain some of Buhari’s unguarded statements. I don’t think anybody in Nigeria will take Buhari very serious when he makes such comments.

“If there is anybody to blame, General Buhari comes number one on that list. Have you ever seen General Buhari visit Borno State or condemn the acts of the Boko Haram or condole whether Christians or Muslims that have been killed?

“A man who can traverse the whole length and breadth of Nigeria, yet he cannot use that clout that he has and get leaders together to put an end to the insurgence in the country. And yet he finds it comfortable to blame other people. What has he done as a former Head of State to help Nigeria and Nigerians stop the militancy in the North or in other parts of the country?”

Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Chief Victor Giadom (left), chatting with his Agriculture counterpart, Hon Emmanuel Chindah, during the Open Governance Forum organised by the Ministry of Information and Communications in Port Harcourt last Thursday.

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90% Of Money Laundered Via Real Estate, EFCC Reveals

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says about 90 per cent of money laundering is done through the real estate sector.
The commission’s Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, stated this while featuring on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, yesterday,
According to him, although the sector is monitored via the special control unit, more needed to be done.
According to Bawa, “One of the problems we have now is the real estate. 90 to 100 per cent of the resources are being laundered through the real estate.”
He said there are so many issues involved, but that they were working with the National Assembly to stop what he called “the gate keepers” as there would be reduction in looting if there is no one to launder the money.
Bawa, the EFCC boss, gave an example of a minister who expressed interest in a $37.5million property a bank manager put up for sale.
He said, “The bank sent a vehicle to her house and in the first instance $20million was evacuated from her house.
“They paid a developer and a lawyer set up a special purpose vehicle, where the title documents were transferred into.
“And he (the lawyer) is posing as the owner of the property. You see the problem. This is just one of many; it is happening daily.”
The EFCC chairman also revealed that he receives death threats often.
Asked to respond to President Muhammadu Buhari’s frequent “Corruption is fighting back” expression, Bawa said he was in New York, USA, last week, when someone called to threaten him.
“Last week, I was in New York when a senior citizen received a phone call from somebody that is not even under investigation.
“The young man said, ‘I am going to kill him (Bawa), I am going to kill him’.
“I get death threats. So, it is real. Corruption can fight back,” he said.
On corruption in the civil service, he said there were a lot of gaps, especially in contracts processing, naming “emergency contracts” as one.
Bawa said, “A particular agency is notorious for that. They have turned all their contracts to emergency contracts.”
However, he said, EFCC has strategies in place to check corruptions, one of which is “corruption risk assessments of MDAs”.
According to him, “I have written to the minister and would soon commence the process of corruption risk assessments of all the parastatals and agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to look at their vulnerability to fraud and advise them accordingly.”
Asked if the scope of corruption in the country overwhelms him, Bawa, the EFCC boss said, “Yes, and no.”

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We’ve Spent N9bn To Upgrade RSUTH, Wike Confirms

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says his administration has spent N9billion in upgrading structures and installation of new equipment at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH).
He said the fact that 40 per cent of the 2021 budget of the state is dedicated to provision of quality healthcare delivery was a further demonstration of the priority placed on the sector.
Wike made the explanation at the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of a Renal Centre at RSUTH, last Friday.
The governor said he made promise to Rivers people that the best would be provided to them in all sectors of the society within his capability because of the mandate they gave to him.
“As we came on here, I just looked around and I see the changes in this teaching hospital. I can say that we have put not less than N9billion in this teaching hospital.
“If you look at the budget, the health sector alone, what it’s taking from the Rivers State Government is not less than 40 percent of the 2021 budget.”
Speaking further, Wike said the state government cannot afford to implement free medical service programme in the present economic circumstance.
While dismissing the request for a subvention for RSUTH, Wike, however, commended the chief medical director and his team for their commitment to turnaround the fortunes of RSUTH.
“I have never seen anywhere that health services can be totally free. They’re telling me that people who come here can’t pay. I have never declared that this state is going to take over the health fees of anybody.”
Also speaking, the former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, who performed the flag-off, noted that Wike’s achievements in the health sector in particular, surpass what former governors of the state had done.
Sekibo said that the governor has given equal attention to every section of the health sector by providing complete health infrastructure that was positioning the state as a medical tourism destination in Nigeria.
Earlier, the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike, lauded Governor Nyesom Wike for his interest in the health of Rivers people.
He noted that the renal centre, when completed, would become another landmark development project in the health sector that would handle and manage all kidney-related ailments.
In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Friday Aaron, commended Wike for approving the renal centre.
Aaron explained that chronic kidney disease was a major burden globally with estimated 14 million cases in Nigeria.
According to him, over 240,000 of these cases require renal replacement therapy in the form of dialysis and renal transplant.
The CMD said the building that would house the centre was expected to be completed in six months and consists of two floors.
The ground floor, according to him, would house the haemodialysis unit with eight haemodialysis machines.
He further explained that the first floor of the centre would house the surgical component where most of the sophisticated equipment for kidney transplant would be installed.
Aaron said Wike has released the funds required to build, equip the centre as well as for the training of personnel locally and internationally.

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Power Generation Falls 23% To 3,172MW

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Power supply in Nigeria has failed to improve on last week’s performance, as it fell by 22.9 per cent from peak generation of 4,115Megawatts on Saturday to 3,172.20MW as at 5pm, yesterday, latest data from the System Operator has shown.
According to the data, most power plants were operating far below capacity due to gas shortage with Olorunsogo Power Plant 335MW capacity; and Sapele Power Plant, 450MW capacity; completely out.
Egbin was generating at 746MW; Omoku 37.20; Omotosho (NIPP) at 105MW; while Afam was generating at 80MW.
The data showed that on the average power generation in the past seven days were 4,120.9MW on Sunday, June 6; 4,249.4 on Monday, June 7; 4,000.9MW on Tuesday, June 8; 3,720.7 on Wednesday, June 9; 3,517 on Thursday, June 10; 3,765MW on Friday, June 11; and 4,115MW on Saturday, June 12.
The International Oil Companies (IOCs), had last warned that despite Nigeria’s huge gas reserves a lot needs to be done to attract investment to the sector to develop gas reserves to boost power generation in the country.
Speaking at the just concluded Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, the Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria/MD SPDC, Osagie Okunbor, said with 203trillion Cubic Feet of gas reserves, what was needed in the country is to deliver projects that would produce the gas.
“The challenge is not just growing the reserves but in producing these reserves for the benefits of our country. Essentially growing the reserves and delivering on the production is a function of two or three elements.
“I like to see infrastructure that is required for the development of these resources at two levels. Soft infrastructure is often the one that is more important than and that is the one that is actually drives most of what you see at site.”
“Soft infrastructure refers to the enabling environment and nothing pleases me as much seeing both the Senate President and the speaker of the house give very firm commitments about trying to pass the PIB this month.
“That is probably the big one of the enabling environment to provide the kind of stability we also need all sorts of other issues we need to that we have discussed severally in terms of sanctity of contract, stable policies and collaboration and I think we are well on our way there”, he added.

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