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Buhari meets APC govs, urges patience from Nigerians

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Buhari-11-1-2015

Buhari

PRESIDENT-ELECT, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), has called on Nigerians to exercise patience in the task of rebuilding the country, stating that Rome was not built in a day.

Buhari, who spoke yesterday when he met with the All Progressives Congress (APC) governors at his Defence House residence in Abuja, said the problem of infrastructure deficit, insecurity, falling standard of education, non-payment of workers’ salaries and youth unemployment were some of the daunting challenges that would require patience and careful planning to fix.

Accompanied by his Vice President-elect, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, he elicited the support of the governors to enable his administration redress the multifaceted problems bedeviling the country.

Recalling how members of the legacy and other progressive elements overcame the challenges during the formative years of the APC, he applauded the governors for deeming it fit to congratulate him on his victory at the recently concluded general elections.

Buhari, who later met behind closed doors with the governors, explained that there was nothing wrong with the terms of reference for his transition committee considering that his administration requires all the information on the nation’s state of affairs to be able to hit the ground running.

Though he did not elaborate on how he intends to fix the country, he hinted that much sacrifice would be required from Nigerians to block avenues of leakage in the economy. According to him, “the expectation is too high and I have started nervously to explain to people that Rome was not built in a day.

“We would strive to rebuild the economy. It is unfortunate that we have the security challenges. Today, salaries are not being paid in spite of the revenue we earned from 1990 till date. For this to be corrected, please give the incoming government a chance.

“So, this time, under this system, to bounce back with the issue, especially with the backlog of salaries, which are of immediate concern to individuals and states, I think we should look for a better way to address the issue and think of how to persuade people to give us a chance to organise the economy immediately and get something to pay salaries.”

Meanwhile, United States (U.S.) President, Barack Obama, is said to be considering a high-powered delegation to Buhari’s May 29 presidential inauguration. Government sources hinted yesterday that Obama would send a strong delegation to the inauguration and is now considering who might lead the American representatives to the event.

Besides, at least two U.S. ivy universities, Harvard and Yale, have since held special review sessions, where scholars were invited from around the country and the world at large to give lectures and seminars on the outcome of the Nigerian elections.

Three names are already being mentioned in official U.S. and diplomatic circles, including Obama’s wife and American First Lady, Michelle, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State, John Kerry. From the Congress also, some senior members are said to be planning to attend the event, including the Chairman of House of Representatives Sub Committee on Africa, Chris Smith.

According to Nigeria’s Ambassador to the U.S., Prof. Ade Adefuye, “I have been told that an ‘unusually large’ American delegation will attend the presidential inauguration on May 29,” and that a very senior member of the U.S. Government is expected to lead the delegation, but no confirmation has been made as yet.

He said he has been in consultations with the U.S. State Department on the issue of the delegation, adding that President Goodluck Jonathan has already extended an invitation to the U.S. Government, which he noted, he is now doing a follow-up on.

 

 

 

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3 Comments
  • FRANCIS MARY

    I am even expecting President Obama to attend. God bless GMB, God bless Nigeria

  • Okey

    Now that the electioneering campaigns and histrionics are over, I think it is time to face the bigger picture. And any person who wants to help Gen. Buhari must be real, honest and genuinely committed about it. There should be no holier-than-thou, and “they caused wahala for me” grandstanding. Because, to rephrase Emeka Ojukwu, “We Are All Involved.”

    In the last few days, our usual “experts” who have been with us played and one role in government after another but without making a difference, have awash the media spaces with the call for the implementation of the Oronsonya Report, as a primary measure of cutting cost for government. That report, in a nutshell, is a call for a reduction in the public sector workforce. But in a plain and understandable language, it is a call for RETRENCHMENT. For me, that’s the elites’ tenuous response to a major problem. And I equally think that is the major plank or subterfuge behind the Governors’ visit to the President-elect yesterday. They are simply but indirectly asking Gen. Buhari to “Make a response (statement) that will enable us reduce our workforce/staff strength in our various states.

    But my candid advice to Gen. Buhari is that he should not give in to that bogey. For it will incite the poor hardworking Nigerian civil servants against him and demonize before the Nigeria public.

    WHAT IS/ARE THE WAY OUT ? They Two:

    1) I don’t want to engage the word “Corruption, not “Because we are all involved (as I will demonstrate now) but because I hate this posture of “Sinners’ political party” and “Saints’ political party.” All the wastes that are committed in the public/civil service are committed by personnel from Level 14 – Per-Sec, Commissioner/Minister in the Executive are and the entire legislators in the Legislative arm -state and federal (Because we are all involved). Now;

    i) Is it true that a State House of Assembly legislator, every quarter, collects from the state, funds in in name of “Allowances/Offices Running” that are capable of sustaining the salaries of 200 Nigerians each on 50,000 per month ?

    ii) Is it it true that a House of Reps Member, every quarter, collects from state, funds in name of “Allowances/Office Running” that are capable of sustaining the salaries of 400 Nigerians each on 50,000 per month ?

    iii) It true that a Senator, every quarter, collects from the sate, funds in name of “Allowances/Office Running” that are capable of sustaining the salaries of 600 Nigerians each on 50,000 per month ?

    iv) is it true as once alleged by Festus Keyamo that cars bought by individual Nigerians at N5 Million a unit, cost N7.5 Million a unit when government officials buy the same car for government use, even in bulk purchases ? In all countries I know, government departs buy at reduced rate because they in bulk.

    v) is it true that a China made laptop sold in Alaba Market for N75, 000 are purchased by government departments in the same Alaba Market for N250,000 a nit ?

    vi) Is it true that Nigerians go to South Africa, Dubai, even Ghana to organize capacity building / worships to be attended by Nigerians at government expenses ? unless, such is paid for by a foreign body/organization/country from from our airport to the venue to and fro, please, under you such capacity buildings / workshops should be organized by ABU, Unilag, UNN, or Nigerian Universities and such moneys paid to these institutions.

    vii) Is it true that government officials stay in five star hotels when travel on behalf of government ? Please, we should henceforth the needful.

    viii) Is it true that culverts and bridges built by Nigerian communities or philanthropists to our rural people cost ten times more when same are constructed by government even though the quality remains the same (which reminds me of UBE classroom block built by a PDP, sorry the federal government under Obasanjo, in one of the states in the west, which cost the state government many times more when it built hers, even though her own is inferior to that of the federal govt).

    ix) Is it true that a Governor can inaugurate himself back to office for a single day event at the cost of N700 Million ?

    x) Is true that a a (one) kilometer of road could cost N1 Billion in the states ?

    xi) Is it true that while civil servants are not paid and sleep on empty stomach, state Governors are busy disbursing money to contractors for Governor’s lodges ?

    xii) Is there any sanity still left in a Governor whose toiling civil servants have not been paid their salaries junketing in a private jet at the expense of the state when Prime Minister David Cameron has had visited Nigeria in a commercial flight ?

    xiii) Is it true that moneys that go to brief -case consultants (actually “couriers) are usually more than the cost of projection execution and realization ?

    xiv) Is it true that some of the contracts marked as “executed/completed” by the Ministers / Commissioners are actually not executed ?

    xv) Is it true that Legislature – state/federal go on oversight function but after their host has over-sighted their pockets, come back with a report of “Project satisfactorily executed” ?

    xvi) Is it true that when contractors are awarded road construction, covered-culverts, foot bridges, etc, factored and paid for, but in the end the contractor -foreign/local will leave the culverts uncovered and foot bridges undone, while officials of federal/state highways “okay” the road for final payment ?

    Besides so many other “Is it trues ?,” these theatrics called Governors should please tell the world, how manage Peter Obi executed super projects, owe no civil servant a dime and still N3O Billion to his successors. Or, Peter Obi operated in a different country ?

    Therefore, these Governors must be central in helping to assist Gen. Buhari by going home to do soul-searching, be realistic to themselves, have a human conscience and face and be fair to their people. After these, corruption will be frozen and quantum funds will be freed for the development of their state. At the federal level, Gen. Buhari should do the needful. For instance, no federal legislator received more that N12 Million a quarter as ALLOWANCES / OFFICE RUNNING under Obasanjo. At the states’ level he should give them the first quarter of the new administration to do soul-searching and be honest to themselves and their people. If they fail to do that, the federal government should rein them in. THERE SHOULD BE NO NEED TO PLUNGE THE CIVIL SERVANTS IN RETRENCHMENT IN THESE HARD TIMES whilst leaving the very realistic steps to solution, just for sake the parasitic elites.

    2) I will not say that there is no malfeasance in the oil sector, but the truth is that oil subsidy will severely hamper and embarrass Buhari’s administration or even bring it to halt, if we are not realistic about it. After the 2012 nationwide protests, we thought/think we have reduced waste going through subsidy, but that is lie. The truth was/is that the pump price of pms was raised from late President Yar’Adua’s N70 a litre to N97 a litre. The difference of N37 cushioned the weight on government and made it appear as if there was “savings after protests and probes.” But the lie in that belief became bare when, during the campaigns, APC forced Jonathan to back down to N87 a litre, and the loss of that N10 is choking government seriously as at now.

    With the fall in world oil prices and America’s politics with shale oil (because they still buy from Saudi Arabia), it will be extremely difficult for Buhari to pay even salaries without re-adjusting pms pump price to, at least, N100 a litre. That’s the truth. (never mind the election gimmick of N45 a litre promise by APC, and thank goodness, Prof. Tam Davist has come say, I (David-West) said, no Buhari). So in the interim, we cannot realistically run away from re-adjusting the price upwards whilst we fix our refineries in the long run. Even then, our refineries when fully operational will serve only 1/3 of our local consumption needs. Which means construction of additional four (4) new refineries should equally be a priority as a long term measure. I think China has agreed to assist us (Jonathan’s administration) in that regard on a generous terms, – one refinery in Jigawa, one in Lagos and one in Bayelsa. Buhari can site additional one in Enugu, there is enormous land there. we should resist the West, America in particular, from truncating that agreement.

    In sum, Gen. Buhari should resist the quest and ploy of the Governors to use his name and imprimatur to carry out retrenchment in their workforce. He should ask them to cut executive costs, resort to prudent costing in the execution of projects ans stop being wicked to their people – that will free more than enough moneys to run their states. Secondly, himself and and his media people should appeal and solicit the understanding of Nigerians, so he could re-adjust the pms pump price a little upward to enable him attend to priority agenda whilst assuring us that when eight refineries (old and new) are fixed/built, pms pump price will come down to N45 a litre.

  • Paddy8

    My best wishes to President Buhari. I pray that Nigeria becomes the strongest in Africa, one of the leading economies in the world. I wish Nigeria a lot of peace, no blood shed, prosperity,corruption free country. The main objective of the government should be to remove poverty ,illiteracy from Niegria. As President Obama in his campaign said- “Yes- we can- Let us do it”