The Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, has declared support for Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum’s request for President Muhammadu Buhari to engage mercenaries to fight Boko Haram.
Ishaku said they should be involved to assist the Nigerian military in its ongoing fight against terrorists.
Darius spoke, yesterday, in Maiduguri when he, alongside Governors of Adamawa – Ahmadu Fintiri; Bauchi – Bala Mohammed; and Gombe – Inuwa Yahaya; paid Zulum a sympathy visit in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
It would be recalled that last Saturday, Boko Haram insurgents had slaughtered more than 43 farmers from the Zabarmari community.
The massacre has been regarded as one of the most gruesome killings by the Boko Haram sect.
Ishaku said they were saddened and traumatized by the heinous crime.
“I will key into your (Zulum) request, which you said that the Federal Government should invite some mercenaries to come and help us out of this problem, because what you can’t do, what you can’t solve. I think we should invite who can solve it for us.
“We cannot continuously be mourning, there has to be a time to stop the mourning. All of us in the North-East Governors’ Forum, we are pleading with the Federal Government to find a solution to the issue of Boko Haram because, if we neglect it, it will become even worse,” he said.
The Taraba helmsman also appealed to the Federal Government to fix the infrastructural deficit in the North-East.
“We call on the Federal Government to look at the North-East with sympathy. It is embarrassing that in the 2021 budget, what is given to the North-East is 0.35 per cent. With all these problems, the insurgency, the insecurity, only 0.35 per cent was allocated for the region. This is very unfair.
“The Federal Government should look at the issue of infrastructure in the North-East. I, once again, call on the Federal Government to remember the Mambilla hydropower project. Without power, we will not, indeed, have any meaningful development”, Ishaku added.
In his remarks, the Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum expressed appreciation to the delegation for the visit.
Also miffed by the current state of insecurity in the country, some elders in the country under the aegis of Coalition of Nigeria Elders for Peace and Good Governance (CONEPAGG) have urged the Federal Government to seek foreign help to tackle the worsening situation.
The elders, whose call was necessitated by the latest killings of innocent farmers in Borno and Sokoto states by both insurgents and bandits, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to save Nigeria of further loss of lives of its citizens by not only immediately removing the service chiefs but also completely rejigging the entire security architecture.
They equally appealed to the United Nations Security Council to intervene in Nigeria’s growing deteriorating security situation, asking the international security body to consider stiff sanctions against any member state that refuses to sell arms to the country.
They stated their positions in a statement, yesterday, and signed by the National Coordinator, Engr. Zana Goni; Coordinator for South-West, Prof. Adebola Adeboye; Coordinator for South-East, Dr. Ugwuanyi Emeka; Coordinator in North-West, Sheik Ibrahim Mohammed; Coordinator in North-Central, Barrister Peter Shima; Coordinator, North-East, Hajiya Zainab Bulama; and Coordinator of South-South region, Dr. Solomon Dagogo; respectively.
The elders said their action followed an emergency meeting convened to air their feelings and present their demands to the Nigerian authorities as well as appeal to the necessary international bodies for possible intervention in the country’s worsening security situation.
“As concerned Nigerians with love for our dear country, we had to urgently summon this emergency meeting to appraise the current security situation and proffer possible solutions.
“Today, December 1, 2020, we are here in Abuja to appraise the security situation in the country, particularly in the North, and make some necessary and urgent demands on the President, Muhammadu Buhari; the National Assembly and the United Nations Security Council,” the statement read.
They condemned the gruesome killing of farmers in Borno State by insurgents, describing the action as inhuman and barbaric.
“We condemn, in the strongest possible terms ever, the barbaric, senseless, and gruesome killing of over 43 Nigerian farmers in Borno State”, they said, adding: “Our hearts are with the families and people of Borno State.”
The elders also took a swipe at the presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, over a statement credited to him to the effect that the farmers died of carelessness, demanding that he be sacked immediately.
“We also describe as unfortunate, the senseless, irresponsible and insensitive statement credited to Mallam Garba Shehu, the spokesman of the president, who made a statement suggesting that the innocent farmers died out of their carelessness.
“Nothing can be more callous and insensitive as this statement at a time the whole country is mourning. We demand his immediate sack by Mr. President to serve as a deterrent to people who always put his government in a bad light,” the statement read.
According to them, “The insecurity in Nigeria, particularly in the North, has taken an alarming and dangerous dimension, and we strongly believe that now is the time to act swiftly or we will have ourselves to blame.
“Food security is already threatened, inflation and recession are already terribly with us. If nothing is done within these few days, Nigeria may collapse totally,” they added.
They said: “Our demand as Nigerians with repute and equal stake like other well-meaning Nigerians in the country from the executive are: Immediate sack of the current service chiefs and replace them with younger generals with federal character colouration that have the zeal and commitment to change the game on insecurity immediately.”
The other demands, according to the elders, are “total overhaul of the entire intelligence and security architecture of the country for effective results; increase in the budgetary provision and early release of funds by the Federal Ministry of Finance to security sector because we discovered that lack of timely release of funds to all the security agencies has hampered operation and quick response.
“Our police stations don’t even have fuel in their vehicles to respond to threats, allowances of troops in the North-West and North-East and Niger Delta have not been paid for months,” they claimed, asking: “How can we be that insensitive to the people on the frontline? How can our security be active with an empty stomach and low motivation?”
They called on the National Assembly to stop the consideration of the 2021 Budget until President Buhari sacks the service chiefs, saying the president’s retention of the security chiefs in spite of the resolutions of both chambers of the National Assembly, asking for change was an affront on the supremacy of the Legislature.
“Our demand for the Legislative Arm is one: Stop every deliberation on the 2021 Budget until Mr. President sacks the service chiefs and restructures the entire security architecture in accordance with the resolutions of the two chambers of the National Assembly to that effect. The action of the president in ignoring the resolutions is no doubt, an affront on the Legislature,” they said.
The second demand on the National Assembly from the elders, according to the statement, is for the Legislature to immediately commence debate on true federalism.
The elders called on the United Nations Security Council to, “as a matter of urgency, come to our aid in the fight against insurgency and banditry because the most powerful nation in Africa is about to be consumed with insecurity and hunger.
“We demand that they sanction any member state that refuses to sell arms and military hardware to Nigeria going forward,” they said.
In the statement, the elders appealed to the youths to believe in Nigeria and continue to pursue their demands for a better Nigeria peacefully and legally without taking laws into their hands.
RSHA Strips Omehia’s Recognition As Ex-Gov …Urges Refund Of Earned Entitlements
The Rivers State House of Assembly has withdrawn the recognition of Sir Celestine Omehia as former governor of Rivers State, and also stopped the payment of all entitlements to him as a result.
The Assembly took the decision, yesterday, following a motion at plenary by the Leader of the House, Hon. Martin Amaewhule, who said he wanted the house to reverse its resolution taken in June 30, 2016, which gave Omehia the rights and privileges as former governor of the state.
Amaewhule, who represents Obio/Akpor Constituency 1 in the state, explained that the House did not have particulars of the Supreme Court judgement as at the time the resolution was passed in 2016.
The lawmaker presented four prayers in his motion that the state government should stop all the privileges and rights, including pension and monthly benefits that Omehia refund all monies received since the resolution was passed that he should not be addressed as ‘His Excellency’; and that the GSSRS given to him by the state government be withdrawn from him.
He also said the House should order Omehia to pay back to the state all monies received in that regard.
Amaewhule regretted that the House did not get particulars of the weekly law reporter at the time the House passed resolution, which he presented before the House to support his motion.
According to him, “The Supreme Court, in its judgement, did not recognise Omehia as governor, and this House should not disobey the Supreme Court judgement.
“The decision of the Supreme Court should be taken into recognition since it stated that he was never a governor.
“When the resolution was passed, members did not have particulars of the judgement, but now, we have better understanding of it”, he said.
In his contribution, the Chief Whip, Hon Evans Bipi, seconded the motion, and adopted all the prayers presented by Amaewhule.
Also speaking, Hon Christian Ahiakwo, Hon Michael Chinda, and Hon Kelechi Nwogu, noted that the House would not stand to disobey the Supreme Court, adding that since the law said he was never a governor,the House too should go in that line and stop all entitlements and privileges of Omehia as former governor.
All members present agreed that the monies received should be refunded to the state government seven days after the resolution was passed.
In his submission, Hon Samuel Ogeh, suggested that the state government should use all legal machineries to recover the monies, if Omehia fails to refund same as directed.
All members present voted in favour of the motion.
Consequently, the Speaker, Rt.Hon. Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani, directed the Clark of the House to convey to Governor Nyesom Wike the resolution of the House to de-recognise Sir Celestine Omehia as former governor of Rivers State.
The Assembly also directed Omehia to, within seven days, refund N600million in earned benefits and another N96.5million pension received so far.
The speaker further directed Omehia to stop using the titled, “His Excellency” and GSSRS.
GSSRS is an honorary title from the state government reserved for an incumbent or a former governor of the state.
By: Ike Wigodo
FG’ll Borrow N720bn In Fourth Quarter, DMO Confirms
The Debt Management Office (DMO) has released its Federal Government of Nigeria Bonds Issuance Calendar for the fourth quarter of 2022.
The calendar contains N720billion borrowing plan for the period.
According to the calendar, on October 17, the DMO will re-open a 14.55per cent, April, 2029 bond valued at between N70billion and N80billion, with six years, six months term-to-maturity and an original tenor of 10 years.
The office will also re-open a 12.50 per cent, April 2032 FGN bond valued at between N70 billion to N80 billion, with a term-to-maturity of nine years, six months, and original tenor of 10 years.
On the same date, the DMO will re-open a 16.24percent. 2037 FGN bond, valued at between N70billion and N80billion, with term-to-maturity of 14 years, six months, and original tenor of 20 years.
On November 14, the DMO will, again, re-open the 14.55per cent, April, 2029, FGN bond valued at between N70billion and N80billion, with term-to-maturity of six years, five months.
Also, on November 14, it will re-open the 12.50per cent, April, 2032, FGN bond valued at between N70billion and N80billion, with term-to-maturity of nine years, five months.
On the same date (November 14), the office will also re-open the 16.24, April, 2037, FGN bond valued at between N70billion and N80billion, with term-to-maturity of 14 years, five months.
Then, on December 12, the DMO will re-open the 14.55per cent FGN bond valued at between N70billion and N80billion, now with a six years, four months term-to-maturity.
Also, on December 12, it will re-open the 12.50, April 2032 FGN bond, valued at between N70billion and N80billion, with term-to-maturity of nine years, four months.
Again, on December 12, it will re-open the 16.24per cent FGN bond valued at between N70billion and N80billion, with term-to-maturity of 14 years, four months .
CBN Disburses N2.1trn Real Sector Support Facility
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disbursed the sum of N2.1trillion under the Real Sector Support Facility Initiative.
The bank’s Director of Corporate Communications, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi, disclosed this afternoon, at the on-going 17th Abuja International Trade Fair, yesterday.
According to him, the disbursement was to 426 projects across the country, as part of CBN’s efforts to grow the nation’s economy.
Nwanisobi, who was representedby the Deputy Director, Internal Communications, Mr. Sam Okogbue, said, “For the records, under the Real Sector Facility, the Bank released the sum of N66.99billion to 12 additional projects in manufacturing and agriculture.
“Cumulative disbursements under the Real Sector Support Facility (RSSF) currently stood at N2.10trillion disbursed to 426 projects across the country.”
On the theme of this year’s fair, “Creating an Export Ready Market through SME Digitalisation,” the CBN spokesman said that the apex bank was determined to assist players in the sector to produce goods that meet international standards for export.
He said, “The Bank’s management is delighted that your chamber is spearheading conversations on the need to grow the nation’s economy through Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
“This also underscores the CBN governor’s continued calls on Nigerians to not only support the thriving of the SMEs in the production of commodities in which they have comparative advantage but to produce, add value and export and earn foreign exchange.”
He added that the bank’s participation was an opportunity to sensitize members of the public on its policies and programmes, especially its strategic interventions for a sustainable economic development in Nigeria.
According to the director, “As part of efforts towards creating export market, particularly for non-oil commodities, driven by SMEs, the Bank, in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee in February, 2022, initiated the RT200 FX Programme aimed at boosting earnings of stable and sustainable inflows of foreign exchange as well as insulating the Nigerian economy from shocks and other challenges arising from foreign exchange shortages.
“Our records show that the initiative has started yielding the expected results as importers and exporters have been taking advantage of the payment of incentives of N65 for every $1 repatriated and sold at the I&E Window to authorized dealer banks for other third-parties’ use and N35 for every $1 repatriated by exporter for own use on eligible transactions.
“The bank has continued to support the creation of export ready market, especially those that would add to Nigeria’s economic growth and development, through her interventions in different sectors of the economy.
“It is important to emphasize here that we take the issue of export-readiness of businesses seriously, hence we have always encouraged business to embrace our concept of Produce, Add Value and Export (PAVE).
“The PAVE concept aims to make Nigerians consume what they produce, add value to such products and export the surpluses. It is an initiative similar to the export-led industrialization policy of South-East Asia, which changed the economic fortunes of countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. PAVE, which is designed to be the key for fast-tracking a bucket of substitutes to crude oil export, encourages backward integration for the local production of items in which we have comparative advantage.
“If it worked for the South-East Asians, it surely can work for us in Nigeria. I, therefore, urge SMEs to ensure that their products and services are export-ready and can compete globally.”
In his remarks, the President of the ACCII, Mr. Mustapha Abubakar, said that the fair provided a platform for networking and creating business relationships among companies.
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