News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

Presidential Villa roundup for Feb. 18 to Feb. 24, 2018

President Buhari receives Katsina State Senior Citizen’s Forum in Daura

On Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, President Buhari received Katsina State Senior Citizen’s Forum in his country home in Daura.

In his remarks to the Forum, the President called on all citizens of the country, particularly the elites, to be prepared to make sacrifices as a foundation for national growth and development.

The President said that in the life of a country, there are occasions when citizens must forgo personal pleasures and pay the ultimate price for the progress and unity of the nation.

On Monday, Feb. 19, 2018, President Buhari, while receiving representatives of social groups in Daura Emirate in Daura, his hometown, said all mismanaged and misappropriated national assets recovered will be sold off and proceeds paid to the treasury for the benefit of the country.

President Buhari added that his administration will continue to pursue a robust, effective and legitimate anti-corruption campaign that safeguards the treasury and commonwealth of all Nigerians.

President Buhari’s meeting with Katsina State Senior Citizen’s Forum in Daura continued on Monday

Also on Monday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo embarked on a one-day private visit to Kigali, Rwanda.

On Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, President Buhari departed Katsina State, for Yola, Adamawa State, after a five-day private visit to his home in Daura.

In Yola, the President paid a courtesy call on Lamido of Adamawa, commissioned a radio constructed by the State government and attended an anti-corruption summit.

In his keynote address at the summit, the President declared that his administration had not relented in fighting corruption in the last two and half years.

The VP was also busy on Tuesday as he received a delegation from the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on a courtesy visit to the Presidential Villa.

In a statement released by the SSA Media & Publicity to the Vice President, Mr Laolu Akande, Prof. Osinbajo told the visiting delegation that the Buhari administration, in line with its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, would continue to ensure the implementation of policies to drive socio-economic growth and prosperity.

According to him, “I think that no one is in doubt that we have very great policies and we will ensure that these things are implemented and are done as faithfully as possible.”

Later on Tuesday, the Vice President attended the Inaugural Foreign Service Public Lecture held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs auditorium.

From left: Keynote Speaker, Amb. Oladapo fafowora; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama, during the 1st Annual Foreign Service Public lecture in Abuja on Tuesday

At the forum, Prof. Osinbajo said Nigeria’s Foreign policy must leverage achievements in the entertainment industry and sports to project the country’s interest.

According to him, “Indeed, our foreign policy challenge is to be relevant to the times, to project our potential and our influence to the world, and to advance our political, cultural, social and economic vision.

This is not as simple as it seems because the world is changing in various ways.”

Also on Tuesday, the SSA Media & Publicity in the Office of the Vice President released a press statement explaining what the Federal Government has done and is currently doing to address the menace of farmers/herders clashes.

On Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, President Buhari presided over the meeting of the Federal Executive Council.

Briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting, the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the President had directed the military and other security agencies to immediately take charge of Government Girls Technical College, Dapchi, following Boko Haram attack on the school on Monday and the abduction of over 100 school girls.

From Left: President Muhammadu Buhari; Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN) and Minister Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh during the Federal Executive Council Meeting in Abuja on Wednesday. Photo by Callistus Ewelike

He added that Buhari had asked him, the Minister of Defence, Monsur Dan-Ali, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, to visit the school on Thursday.

At the FEC briefing, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said the Council approved the construction of the Ibadan-Kaduna rail lines at the cost of $6.7 billion.

Also speaking, FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello, said the Council approved reconstruction of the Clinton Drive at the cost of N1.9 billion and N273 million water treatment chemicals in the territory.

On the scorecard for the Ministry of Justice, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami said the Federal Government had saved over N4.5 trillion from high profile cases prosecuted by his ministry between 2015 and last year.

Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, the Minister of Science & Technology, briefed the council on the implementation of projects approved in the last three years, including the high nutrient biscuits developed by the Ministry and proposed for inclusion in the current Nigerian School Feeding Programme.

He said the biscuits will provide at least a third of the desired major macro and micronutrients requirement stipulated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) Food and Nutrition Board.

Cross section of Ministers during the Federal Executive Council Meeting in Abuja on Wednesday

On his part, the Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama, said the Federal Government has released a sum of $60 million for 65 critically distressed Nigerian missions in serious debts and crisis, as a special intervention fund to rescue the embassies.

The Office of the Vice President issued a press statement announcing the Federal Government’s approval to the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, to commence degree programmes in three faculties.

This came after the Vice President joined President Muhammadu Buhari and other cabinet members for the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting.

On Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, the President presided over the Council of State meeting attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki and former Nigerian leaders, Generals Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo and Abdulsalami Abubakar as well as some former Chief Justices of Nigeria and State Governors.

The Council of State recommended that the Federal government should increase its support for the agricultural sector to 1 billion dollars, according to Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, who spoke to journalists after the meeting.

The Council also approved some appointments made by President Buhari for the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, the Federal Judicial Service Commission and the National Population Commission, according to Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra.

Gov Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State (r) with his Kano State counterpart Abdullahi Ganduje during the National Council of States meeting at the Presidential Villa on Thursday

The Council also deliberated on the current security situation in the country and observed a minute silence in honour of former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Dahiru Musdapher, who died on Jan. 22, 2018.

The President met the APC Governors Forum later on Thursday evening.

Speaking to State House correspondents, the Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum, Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo said the President told them to give him more time to decide whether or not he would seek re-election in 2019.

Okorocha added that the President promised them that he would soon address the nation and the caucus of the party on the matter.

The Vice President joined President Muhammadu Buhari at the National Council of State meeting held at the Exco Chambers of the Presidential Villa on Thursday.

The Vice President later attended the closing ceremony of the Nigerian International Petroleum Summit where he assured oil and gas operators of the Federal Government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for industry’s growth.

L-R: Dr Ibe Kachikwu, VP Yemi Osinbajo and Chief Don Etiebet at the first Nigeria International Petroleum Summit

According to him, “It is clear that Africa must increasingly look within for solutions to resolve the challenges that impede the growth of industry, commerce, and economy generally.”

“In addition, the increasing number of African countries joining the league of oil and gas producing states calls for greater cooperation amongst the old and new in the industry.”

On Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, President Buhari received in separate audiences the Olu of Warri, His Royal Majesty Ogiame Ikenwoli and Dr Ado Ibrahim Atta 111, the Ohinoyi of Ebira land.

During his audience with the Olu of Warri, the President assured the people of Niger Delta that his administration would continue to support rapid development in the region by consolidating on all ongoing projects and initiating new ones to create more economic opportunities and jobs for the people.

The President told the Ohinoyi of Ebira Land that he was very appreciative of the royal father’s continued support of his administration.

The Ohinoyi of Ebira land commended the President for his renewed interest in reviving the Ajaokuta Steel and expressed the hope that the project will come back to life and be inaugurated under Buhari’s administration.

President Muhammadu Buhari (l) with the Ohinoyi of Ebira Land, Dr Ado Ibrahim Atta III during a meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Friday

Later on, Friday, President Buhari in a statement, assured the families of students reportedly abducted from the Government Girls Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State that no effort will be spared to bring succour to them.

The President said he had sent more troops and surveillance aircraft to the entire North East territory on a 24-hour basis to recover the schoolgirls abducted from the school.

The Presidency also responded to Transparency International latest report on Nigeria.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said while the Presidency welcomes constructive criticisms from the anti-corruption watchdog, the organisation has a responsibility to reflect the larger picture of the concrete and verifiable achievements of the Buhari administration since it came into office in May 2015.

The statement described as “very misleading and unfair conclusions’’ TIs assessment of the Federal government’s efforts in this anti-corruption crusade.

Also on Friday, the country’s number two citizen met with the committee in charge of the harmonization of national identity in Nigeria to assess the work done so far by the committee.

The committee comprised heads of government identity agencies in the country and representatives of development partners.

The committee is working towards harmonizing identity database in Nigeria for easy identification and planning.

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