President Muhammadu Buhari started his weekly activities in the Presidential Villa on Monday, Nov. 5, when he declared open the 11th Edition of the E-Nigeria 2018 Conference and Exhibition in Abuja, organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
Speaking at the event, the President said the Federal Government is saving a total of N24.7bn per month as a result of the implementation of the Treasury Single Account and the elimination of ghost workers from the civil service.
The President asked NITDA to report any Ministry, Department and Agency that fails to clear its IT projects with it before implementation.
Receiving the Association of Retired Career Ambassadors of Nigeria (ARCAN) led by Ambassador Oladapo Fafowora, on Monday at the Presidential Villa, President Buhari reassured Nigerians that his administration will sustain massive investments to upgrade and develop the country’s transport and power infrastructure.
The President told the retired Ambassadors that Nigerians will never forget the “lost opportunity between 1999 and 2015,” when the nation had huge resources at its disposal. “There is no part of the country I haven’t been to, having attempted to be President four times.
“I know the condition of our roads. The rails were literally killed; there was no power despite the admittance of some previous leadership that they spent $16 billion on the sector.
“Today, we are getting our priorities right and we believe that of the three fundamental issues we campaigned on – security, the economy and fighting corruption-, we have remained very relevant and Nigerians believe we have achieved something,” the President said.
On Tuesday, Nov. 6, President Buhari felicitated with President Paul Biya on his inauguration for another term of office following his victory in the Oct. 7 presidential election.
The Nigerian leader commended his Cameroonian counterpart for sustaining the long history of good neighbourliness with Nigeria and cooperating in the current push against Boko Haram insurgents.
Also on Tuesday, President Buhari received leaders of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) at State House, led by Rev. Dr. Dachollom Datiri, during which he told them that he was distressed and depressed by the atrocious ethno-religious killings in the country.
He appealed to Nigerians to learn to live together in peace and harmony, adding that religious, community and traditional leaders need to do more in promoting peaceful co-existence among Nigerians at different walks of life.
The President also received the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at the Presidential Villa.
President Buhari, also on Tuesday, received report of the Tripartite Committee on the Review of National Minimum Wage at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The report was submitted by the committee’s chairman, Amal Pepple.
The committee which recommended N30, 000 as the new national minimum wage also submitted a draft bill that will be sent to the National Assembly.
On Tuesday night, President Buhari received a group from the South-east under the aegis of “One on One Nigeria” in the State House. The President told them that his government was trying to organise the country after what he described as mind-boggling mismanagement by the previous administrations.
According to Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President said whereas bountiful resources were available to the country from 1999 to 2004, they were frittered away, leaving the infrastructure in deficit.
The President added that if they had managed the country well, PDP wouldn’t have been in opposition today.
On Wednesday, Nov. 7, President Buhari presided over the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Fielding questions from State House Correspondents, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said the President would soon review the minimum wage tripartite committee report and make his decision known.
Mohammed said the President will study the recommendation and get back to the Tripartite Committee.
Meanwhile, on his part, the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Danbazzau announced that FEC approved N12.66 billion to buy equipment for the Fire Service, in addition to the procurement of 116 Green Maria vehicles for the Nigeria Prison Service, and data control and communication centre for the Nigeria Immigrations Service (NIS).
The council also approved N628 million as variation for the Abuja runway, bringing the total project to N6.5 billion.
Earlier before the commencement of the meeting, the President swore in the chairman and members of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
The President also swore in 23 commissioners of the National Population Commission (NPC).
On Thursday, Nov. 8, President Buhari was at the opening ceremony of the 41st Conference/73rd Executive Session of the African Parliamentary Union at the ECOWAS Commission Secretariat, Asokoro.
In his remarks at the event, the President told the parliamentarians that Nigeria has made progress in checking the advancement of Boko Haram, noting that terrorism, armed banditry and organised crimes have continued to be a security challenge for African countries.
At the State House Conference Centre, President Buhari inaugurated the National Action Plan for Revitalisation of Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene where he declared a state of emergency on Nigeria’s water supply, sanitation and hygiene sector.
Buhari said the declaration has become imperative to reduce the high-prevalence of water-borne diseases in different parts of the country, as the situation has caused preventable deaths.
On Friday, Nov. 9, the Presidency announced that President Buhari will travel to Paris to participate in the first edition of the Paris Peace Forum slated for Nov. 11 to Nov. 13.
While in Paris, President Buhari will also join other world leaders to commemorate the centenary anniversary of the Armistice signed on Nov. 11, 1918 between the Allied Forces and Germany in the forest of Compiegne in France to end the First World War.
Shortly before leaving for Paris, the President received the CEO of Vlisco Group, David Suddens, at the Presidential Villa during and pledged the commitment of his administration to revive the ‘good old days’ when the cotton and textile industry employed hundreds of thousands of Nigerians.
The President, according to statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, welcomed the proposed investment of $200 million by the company in Nigeria, which will, in turn, create 700,000 jobs.
“I am very much aware of your company’s effort especially your investments in the textile industry, and it is one area that we are trying to develop because it will create employment and boost agriculture.
“To get cotton to grow again in the country is like going back to the good old days when the textile industry used to employ more than hundreds of thousands of people.
“I am very excited about the prospects of reviving the industry because it will keep farmers busy, create employment which brings more security, help the economy, transfer of technology and of course we have a large market to absorb the products,” the President said.
The President also received a delegation of the Nigeria Conservation Foundation.
Speaking on climate change, the President said his administration will continue to keep the issue of reviving the Lake Chad on the front burner and exert more commitment from the developed countries to do the needful.
President Buhari said it was regrettable that the issue of the receding Lake Chad had not been addressed till recent times. “The problem of climate change is real. The desert encroachment is aggravating it. The population explosion in Nigeria is another big challenge.
“The drying up of Lake Chad is a serious thing for Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin countries. Nigeria is much more affected because fishing, animal husbandry and farming are affected very seriously.
“We are trying to prick the conscience of the developed countries that have the resources and the technology to quickly execute the inter-basin transfer from Congo Basin to Chad Basin,” he said.
Read also: Presidential Villa roundup from Oct. 21 to Oct. 27, 2018