‘Why Bauchi Gov’t Engaged 60 Percent Youth In Political Appointments’

 Bauchi state government has stated that it engaged about 60 per cent of youths in political appointments in order to give them ownership of the state’s resources.

Commissioner Bauchi state ministry of youth and sports Adamu Manu Soro who was speaking on Tuesday during a youth townhall meeting organized by the northern states governors forum held at command guest house Bauchi said youth’s inclusiveness in governance is paramount as they have the energy and talents to bring development to the nation.

The commissioner explained that the northern states governors forum with northern states emirs and chiefs have held a meeting in November this year in Kaduna where they resolved to set up a committee on youth engagement, priorities and inclusiveness in governance in Nigeria to be headed by the emir of Zazzau.

According to him, other recommendations were to identify and develop different platforms for youth involvement in governance and youth empowerment in general.

He said the townhall meeting could serve as a forum for the youth to discuss national development and stability urging the participants to pass the message to others.

“It is my plea to all the youth and youth organizations representatives to see this as a forum to prescribe the expected dosage that will enhance youth engagement, youth priorities and youth inclusion in governance in Nigeria”. He said.

He commended youth of the state for not joining the end SARS protests that turned violent in parts of the nation and resulted to loss of lives and properties meant for the development of the country.

Earlier, the convener of the townhall meeting and special assistant to governor Bala Mohammed on youth empowerment Khalid Barau said the meeting is apolitical as youth drawn from various places converged regardless of their political inclinations.

He added that issues to be discussed by the participants include education, drug abuse, youth employment and empowerment am
ong others.

​Abia, Kebbi, Kwara residents pay highest for petrol in November – NBS

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says Abia, Kebbi and Kwara residents paid the highest amount for petrol (Premium Motor Spirit) in the country in November.

The bureau stated this in its “Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) Price Watch” publication for November and released on its website on Thursday in Abuja.

According to NBS, Abia residents paid N178.70 per litre for the product while Kebbi residents paid N174.76 and Kwara residents N172.33.

It, however, stated that Zamfara paid N161.73, Bauchi -N161.78 and Kaduna – N163.83 per litre being the lowest average prices for the product.

NBS further stated that the average price paid by consumers for petrol increased by 14.62 per cent year-on-year and month-on-month by 3.79 per cent to N167.27 in November from N161.17 in October.

Similarly, the average price paid by consumers for Automotive Gas Oil (Diesel) increased by 1.79 per cent month-on-month and decreased by -0.59 per cent year-on-year to N223.74 in November from N219.80 in October.

The bureau said that states with the highest average price of diesel in the month under review were Benue at N263.33, Kebbi at N258.57 and Taraba at N251.67.

The lowest average price of diesel which is N182.50 was in Kwara, followed by N192.67 in Osun and N196.33 in Nasarawa.

Fieldwork for the report was done by more than 700 NBS staff in all states of the federation supported by supervisors who were monitored by internal and external observers.

Fuel prices were collected across all the 774 local governments across all states and the FCT from over 10,000 respondents and locations.

The price reflected actual prices households bought fuel together with the prices reportedly sold by the fuel suppliers.

The average of all these prices was then reported for each state and the average for the country was the average for the state.

​Nigeria reopens border crossings with neighbours

The Nigerian government says it is re-opening four border crossings with Benin and Niger more than a year after they were shut in an effort to stop the smuggling of agricultural produce and weapons.

Other border points will re-open at the end of December.

Last month after some initial reluctance Nigeria ratified its membership of the African free-trade zone.

When it officially launches in January it will become the second-largest free trade area in the world. It aims to significantly increase the value of intra-African trade.

Business owners have long complained that moving goods across Africa’s often chaotic borders is a major hindrance to economic growth.

​How President Buhari fights corruption – Garba Shehu

Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to President Buhari, Garba Shehu has explained how the number one citizen fights corruption and sanitizes government processes since his time in office.

Shehu in celebration of the President’s birthday shared on Facebook an opinion article he wrote titled: ‘ANTI-CORRUPTION HERO, PRESIDENT BUHARI LEADS BY EXAMPLE’, where he gave details of how the president politely rejected an expensive gift from a young Nigerian and how he insisted on using vehicles from the previous administration to cut cost of governance.

Part of the article reads: “One of the earliest rules set by the leader at the inception of the administration was that “I will not be corrupt and I will not let anyone of you to be corrupt.”

The chance to spell out this message clearly to the senior government officials and the business community was when he met with the big companies handling government contracts: roads, railways, bridges, buildings and others.

On this particular issue, the President had this important message:”We have been informed that percentage cuts- 10 percent or more are built into contracts, to be shared among government leaders and civil servants. This must stop. We will not accept kickbacks.

“We have equally been informed that handlers of major contracts build homes for government leaders. You buy expensive cars and maintain them for the beneficiaries. When they or close relations fall ill, you take them to hospitals abroad, including the use of air ambulances when that is warranted at no cost them.

“Our finding is that nothing you give is free. All such costs are built into government contacts. We don’t want that to continue.

“Most of you have built the reputation over the years for doing good jobs, delivering them on time. So we will continue to patronize your services. But the the high costs will be checked.

“From now going forward, the added costs and all this padding must end. If we ask for quotations from you, tell us the actual cost that the project entails. No ten percent, no added costs.”

An eerie silence greeted the riot act as read by the President. No one in room complained against the assessment of the President nor was there a dissent.

A young Nigerian designer, very successful abroad produced a gold wristwatch of the famous Rolex brand and embossed the picture of the President on its face. The President Commanded the success of the young man’s brand oversea, asked him to keep the name of Nigeria flying but directed that the gift be politely returned. The young entrepreneur picked up his precious wristwatch and left.

Among the key arguments for the Petroleum Industry Bill now being debated in the two chambers of the National Assembly is that it seeks to curb what critics say is the “absolute power of a president to award, revoke and renew licenses.” At the pleasure of past leaders, influential individuals had oil wells gifted to them.

In an interview he once gave, the immediate past Minister of State, Petroleum Resources and Chairman of the Board, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Dr. Ibe Kachikwu said President Buhari as Minister and head of government never, not even once did he direct him to issue the gift of oil well, this or that license, contract or any sort of authorization but allowed all to come through due process.

President Buhari equally abhors ostentatious living style. When a Permanent Secretary, at those early briefings announced to him that he was in receipt of N400 million from the treasury for the purchase of new cars for his office, the President’s question was, “what is wrong with the cars left behind by the former President? They are alright for my use.” He continued to use those Jonathan cars until just a year ago when one of the two Mercedes Benz cars broke down on the way to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

That his austere and disciplined lifestyle were not a make-believe was on public display when the enterprising photographer, Bayo Omoboriowo captured the President in a picture he was watching a football match at home in Daura.

Without meaning to do that, that iconic picture put out for the public to see the austere furnishings including a TV set not bigger than 36 inches wide. A picture tells more than a thousand words.

Nigerians in thousands were caught saying, “wow, is this all that the President could have at home?”

In seeking a holistic approach against corruption, the President has spoken all the time for the place of effective audits and other systemic checks. He has promoted the adoption of e-government initiatives and innovative technology. He found very progressive policies on the drawing boards, the Bank verification Number, BVN; the Treasury single Account and the IPPIS Payroll service which the previous government failed to implement and promptly put the mechanism in place for their implementation. Arising from this, gains from savings are today being counted in trillions of naira.

In dealing with contractors and contacts, that is where you find oil in the hands of many leaders.

Everyone knows by now that President Buhari does not use power, discretionary or otherwise, to issue contracts. Open bidding is the way to go and when approvals are needed, President-in-Council insists that the path to due process must be followed. The bidding process must be disclosed, company directors must be listed and a due process certificate must accompany the request for each approval.

Because cash or cheque payments are no longer in fashion, contractors get paid without person to person interaction to reduce corruption. Using information technology, the arrival of the “alert” tells the contractors that the their payment is on account. Each government payment of five million Naira and above must be on public display in the GIFMIS (Government Integrated Financial Management Information System) that seeks to stem the tide of corruption.

President Buhari believes that the road to reduced corruption in Nigeria and elsewhere is not an easy one. One experience he never forgets to speak about is that in which the counterrevolutionary elements who threw him out of office as Military Head of State in the 80s locked him up in detention, set free all those he detained and returned to them in full the proceeds of their corruption. Now he says, I follow the due process of the law. Beyond that, we will auction whatever we have taken from the corrupt, use the money to serve the people so that there will be nothing to be returned when others succeed us after the completion of our term.

As I write, Committees under the Ministry of Justice have been set up to sell off all seized assets – aircraft, boats, cars, buildings, factories and so forth.

Beyond the unyielding determination to lead by setting examples, President Buhari strongly believes that there must be consequences for corruption. When government leaders or officials commit acts of corruption and there are no consequences, the ones that come after them will engage in corruption with even greater vigar.

Our President is determined to keep this lesson in place, and the best way to showing the seriousness of commitment is to lead by example.”