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Nigeria in a Terrible State of Under Development – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari says the country is in a terrible state of underdevelopment and more is needed to steer the economy from this path.

The president made these remarks on Tuesday when he held a virtual meeting with members of the presidential economic advisory council (PEAC).

The president described the guidance provided by the council as a tutorial.

“We are a country characterised by a large population of poor people, serious infrastructure deficit, lack of housing and a vulnerable economy now haunted by the COVID-19 pandemic and collapse of the oil sector and its effect on the gross domestic product (GDP),” he said.

During their presentation, the council led by Doyin Salami, commended the administration for implementing several of its recommendations.

According to a statement signed by Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, the council presented the government with a number of “tough choices to make in order to put the country’s economy on a higher growth path”.

Salami also said more needed to be done to increase efficiency, coordination and accountability among ministries, departments and agencies.

The council advised that existing institutional and administrative structures should be used while implementing the N2.3 trillion stimulus plan and that attention should be paid to sources of funding to avoid inflation.

It also advised that priorities, targets and time limits be set for all projects to make for their completion within the 12-month life-span of the ESP, and where this is not achieved, such projects should be rolled into the new economic recovery and growth plan (ERGP II).

Other recommendations included the promotion of export-oriented production strategies, ensuring the use of local resources; curtailing post-harvest losses in agriculture now put at between 40-60 per cent and above all, the need to make the economy attractive to “non-debt” private sector-funded investment in order to cut the rising cost of debt services.

The council also said there is a need to embark on mass housing schemes to create jobs financed through a public-private partnership arrangement and an urgent need to move away from multiple exchange rates to a unified currency exchange rate.

According to the statement, the president accepted the immediate need to activate the proposal by the council on the public policy coordinating office under the office of the secretary to the government of the federation.

Other members of the council are Mohammed Sagagi, Chukwuma Soludo, Ode Ojowu, Shehu Yahaya, Iyabo Masha, Bismarck Rewane and Mohammed Salisu.

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ECOWAS Seek To Mediate In Mali Crisis

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Envoys from Mali’s neighbours led by former President Goodluck Jonathan were scheduled to arrive in Bamako on Wednesday in a bid to mediate in an escalating political crisis ahead of new high-risk protests.

Representatives from the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are having to bridge apparently irreconcilable differences between President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and a protest movement that is demanding his resignation.

Fresh protests have been set for Friday, a week after demonstrations that ignited three days of clashes with the security forces, leaving 11 dead and 158 injured, according to an official tally — Mali’s bloodiest toll from political unrest in years.

The so-called June 5 Movement, an alliance of political, social and civil-society leaders gathered around a powerful imam named Mahmoud Dicko, is tapping into deep-seated anger.

Malians are worried and frustrated by an eight-year-old jihadist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and driven hundreds of thousands from their homes and swept into Niger and Burkina Faso.

Many are also incensed at perceived government corruption and the outcome of long-delayed parliamentary elections in March and April that handed victory to Keita’s party.

A rally on Friday will be a “ceremony of sacrifice and of prayer” for protest victims, opposition leader Mountaga Tall told reporters on Tuesday after opposition figures were released after several days in detention.

“He who asked for us to get killed is no longer our president,” he said.

“We are convinced that President IBK has neither the intellectual nor the physical capacity to lead the country,” he said, referring to the head of state by his initials.

Several barricades were set up in the capital Bamako after he spoke, and some tyres were burned, but otherwise the city was calm on Wednesday.

Keita’s office said that the ECOWAS delegation would include constitutional experts.

One of the potential solutions being explored by the authorities is to appoint new judges to the Constitutional Court, a tribunal that is a major target of protest anger.

The court tossed out about 30 results of the legislative elections in a move that handed seats to members of Keita’s party.

An ECOWAS mission to Mali last month concluded that the court’s decision was “at the root of the tension” and called on the government to review the contested results or stage new elections as soon as possible.

It also called for a “consensus government of national union.”

These recommendations have found a broad echo in the international community.

Keita, for his part, has made several gestures toward the June 5 Movement, including the dissolution of the Constitutional Court to enable a U-turn on the contested seats.

However, the dissolution creates legal as well as political complications, which the expected constitutional experts may be able to resolve.

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IGP Asks Magu To Redirect Bail Application To Presidential Panel

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The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, has asked suspended EFCC boss Ibrahim Magu, to direct his bail application to the presidential panel.

Mr Oluwatosin Ojaomo, Magu’s legal representative, had asked the IGP to grant bail to his client on “self-recognisance” — after the suspended EFCC chief had spent four days in custody.

In a letter dated July 14, 2020, and addressed to Mr Ojaomo, the IGP said the police force is not investigating and detaining Magu, so, it cannot grant the bail request.

It also advised the lawyer to redirect his request to the chairman of the presidential panel for appropriate attention.

The letter read in part: “The Inspector-General of Police directs that your attention be drawn to the fact that the Nigeria Police Force is not investigating CP Ibrahim Magu (your client), and he is accordingly, not being detained by the Police but by the Presidential Panel that is investigating the activities of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“The Inspector-General of Police, therefore, advises that you reconsider directing your request to the Chairman of the Presidential Panel for appropriate attention.”

Mr Magu was arrested on July 6 and whisked to the Presidential Villa in Abuja where he was grilled by the panel headed by Ayo Salami, a retired President of the Appeal court.

He was later moved to Area 10 Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) of the police in Abuja where he has since been detained.

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Nigeria’s Attorney-General, Malami, Hunts Down EFCC Officials Suspected Of Leaking Corruption Files To SaharaReporters

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Though the letter claimed that the suspension of the directors was linked to the probe of Ibrahim Magu by a panel headed by a former judge of the Court of Appeal, Ayo Salami, findings by SaharaReporters on Wednesday revealed that they were removed from office after being suspected of handing out vital information to the online news publication to expose the corruption-fuelled lifestyle of Malami.

ttorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has in response to series of reports exposing his alleged corrupt amassing of unexplained wealth by SaharaReporters turned his fury on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission where a number of staff suspected of being behind the leaking of corruption files on him to the online news medium had been suspended.

Among the 12 directors of the EFCC suspended by the Presidency on Tuesday are four believed to be among those investigating the activities of the AGF.

Malami had on Tuesday sent a letter to Acting EFCC Chairman, Mohammed Umar, informing him of the suspension of the directors.

Though the letter claimed that the suspension of the directors was linked to the probe of Ibrahim Magu by a panel headed by a former judge of the Court of Appeal, Ayo Salami, findings by SaharaReporters on Wednesday revealed that they were removed from office after being suspected of handing out vital information to the online news publication to expose the corruption-fuelled lifestyle of Malami.

A source, who confirmed the issue to SaharaReporters, said, “I just had one of the staff confirming that key staff working on most of the sensitive cases were suspended.

“The likes of Kabir Latona, Muhammed Abba, Ibrahim Buhari, Rotimi Oyedepo and Ola Olukoyede were all removed.

“The system of the Private Secretary of Magu was moved from the office and his telephone collected by the panel since Monday. The panel has constituted its self into a hunting agency.

“One of the affected staff confirmed to SaharaReporters that the Solicitor-General called the newly appointed acting chairman of the commission to confirm a letter of approval from the President confirming the suspension of the affected staff.

“These staff were never interrogated or interviewed until there suspension on Tuesday.”

In a desperate attempt to save face in light of the magnitude of the revelation that had been blown open, a group said to have been sponsored by the AGF staged a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday that made futile efforts to debunk the series of reports by SaharaReporters on Malami.

Apart from that, it was reliably gathered that the AGF had approached the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to arrest SaharaReporters journalists for alleged criminal libel.

 

 

Despite the allegations and evidence of corruption against Malami, Nigeria’s Presidency is yet to issue a statement on the mind-boggling Revelations.

Malami, it was gathered, in order to save his neck attended the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday (today) and sat close to President Muhammadu Buhari to paint a picture that their relationship was very tight when in fact news of his corrupt acts had become the talk of town.

Credit: Sahara Reporters

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