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NLC, CSOs Hit The Streets Of Ikeja To Demand N30,000 Minimum Wage

Sahara Reporters - 8 January 2019 - 10:35am


Sequel to the adjournment of the meeting with the Nigerian government on Friday January 4, 2019, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and other civil society organisations have held a series of protests to press home their demand for the implementation of the agreed N30,000 minimum wage.

At the Lagos version of the protest on Tuesday, the labour unions and the CSOs maintained that non-implementation of the new minimum wage could lead to an indefinite strike action in the country.

Speaking on why they embarked on the strike, Comrade Adedoyin Adesina, Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in Lagos State, said: "The reason for the protest is not far-fetched, as there was an initial agreement to pay the N30,000 minimum wage, but there has been failure to transmit the agreement to the National Assembly to legislate it into law. On the other hand, there have been complaints from some state governors that they cannot afford the N30,000 minimum wage".

He added that the wage should be shared responsibilities and government should "cut down on flagrant spending" for the welfare of the workers.

Speaking on the need for the protest, Comrade Tokunbo Korodo, Chairman of the United Labour Congress (Lagos State chapter), urged President Muhammadu Buhari to send the bill to the Senate for implementation.

He, however, stressed that state chapter of labour unions would ensure that each state governor complies with the minimum wage through several civil actions.

On his part, the Lagos NLC Chairman, Comrade Idowu Adelakun, also affirmed that workers would further embark on indefinite strike if the Nigerian government do not implement the new minimum wage.

After over five hours of protest, the labour group submitted a letter to the state government stating reason the new wage should be implemented.

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BREAKING: Arrested Daily Trust Editor Released By The Army

Sahara Reporters - 8 January 2019 - 10:22am


Breaking bannner

Uthman Abubakar. the Maiduguri Bureau Chief of Daily Trust newspaper, has been released by the military authorities.

He was arrested on Sunday, when officers of the Nigerian Army conducted a series of raids on some Daily Trust offices across the nation. See Also Breaking News BREAKING: Soldiers Shut Down Daily Trust Office In Borno... Arrest Editor, Reporter 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

Editor-in-Chief of Daily Trust, Mannir Dan-Ali, announced the release shortly after speaking to the editor, who was brought back to the Maiduguri office by an unnamed Major who handed him over to a security officer at the office.

The released editor maintains that he was courteously treated, but said his mobile phones and laptop are still with the military.

According to Abubakar, the Army told him that they need time to finish the forensic checks they are carrying out on the equipment.

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Genny And The Lion: A Netflix Story By Oluwatunmise Kareem

Sahara Reporters - 8 January 2019 - 10:03am


Netflix

It was always sure to come to this, this generation has gone against 100-year-old conventions and she is still going to do it again. We still don't quite understand the effect of a time when information is so easy to transmit; when media is so easy to access and the channels they are aplenty.

Have you heard? Aunt Genny's movie premiered on Netflix; a whole Genevieve Nnaji. I was already thinking about the N2,000 I'd have to pay to watch it at the cinema, or if we'd be showing it in school and just like that, I saw it on my Instagram, that it's available on Netflix. Whattt!!?

I sharparly buzzed my people in the abroad, got password, logged in and I watched. On an 11dollars per month subscription, six of us watched 'Lionheart', the week it came out. LIONHEART!!! She now came the following week to say it's available in cinemas. You say wah? Apparently, major distributor didn't want to collect it, but as per Aunt Genny naa, we can't be mad at her for 24 hours.

It was surreal, but it didn't seem right. 2018 was the year four out of the top six grossing Nollywood movies of all time were released. Nigerians spent 600m in December at the cinemas. 'Chief Daddy' grossed 250m in 20 days. It has begun. The cinema culture is in full effect and the millions have started rolling in for the 'Kings of Boys' and the 'Merry Men'. Even 'The Vendors' are having a field day. And then a whole Queen Genny came out of the bottle with a lion's heart and it was so easy to watch. Kai, it's not right. This could start a plague that could damage Woods.

True, we don't know the numbers involved in the deal with Netflix, and it's a global market of unprecedented audience, but I'm pretty sure for the company to stay profitable maintaining such a humongous library on 11dollars per month subscriptions, the numbers can probably not organise one 'Wedding Party', talk less of 2.

What many may not realise is that this is a global war something, low key. Last year, at the Cannes, the cool kids of Hollywood and other film industries didn't want to have lunch with Netflix; they vehemently kicked against its films getting into the festival. Same thing with the Oscars. They feel threatened by the new kid trying to run their friends (the cinemas) out of business. 

The movie industry as a whole EARNED 36.4billion dollars in 2018, thanks to the cinemas who make sure the movies are not available elsewhere at least for 90 days. Netflix alone is valued at about $138 billion, about $500million more than Disney, but it earned $178m in 2018, while Disney earned $54.73billion.

Tech companies like Netflix have these outrageous valuations because of the potential of their distribution channel, the Internet. Plot twist, Disney is launching its own streaming platform in 2019. We die here. Meaning, they'll no longer supply Netflix movies. AT&T is moving into the space too, Amazon is already in the ring. This kind of moves are the reasons why 2019 is going to be a defining moment in the movie and movie distribution industry. It's not like we don't love Netflix and Co., but they have their own place in this chain. Three months after the cinemas, it's obvious how they are trying to hasten a reduction of this window.

Aunt Genny already picked a side in 2018. She went with Netflix, a potential 200m gone from the cinemas' pockets.

God forbid that Kemi Adetiba's next one would premiere on Amazon Prime or something. She should kuku kill us first. Mo Abudu? she's with Sony, no shaking. Kunle Afolayan is a gentleman, he'll not deny us our popcorn. AY please be carevul, taink you.

The point is, yeah it's cool to Netflix and chill, but not to movies like 'Lionheart'. These kind of movies should come out in 2018 and some people should be looking for it till December 2020, all while it's getting sold out at cinemas and movie fests worldwide. This is the beauty of the whole industry.

The movie is a total heartwarmer BTW, make sure you watch it.......... at the cinemas :).

Oluwatunmise Kareem is CEO, Openhouse Media Africa/Openhouse Cinemas

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Three, Including Islamic Cleric, Killed In Borno As Hundreds Flee From Boko Haram Attack

Sahara Reporters - 8 January 2019 - 9:10am

At least three civilians, including an Islamic cleric, have been killed, while hundreds are fleeing their communities after multiple attacks by Boko Haram in Borno State.

The insurgents attacked three villages — Auno, Sajeri and Dala Lawanti — in Konduga Local Government Area, near Maiduguri, between the hours of 6pm and 9:30pm on Monday, burning down scores of houses in the process.

Bukar Babagana, a resident of Sajeri, told SaharaReporters that the villagers fled their homes when the insurgents began shooting sporadically.

"They came around 9:20pm, shooting sporadically, so we ran into bush. When we returned this morning, our houses had been looted and set ablaze, and food items carted away,” he said.

"Three persons were killed. One Islamic cleric, Mallam Ali, was shot in the head, while two others were attacked with machetes.”

Another resident, Mohammad Abu, said "hundreds of people have fled to Ngomari airport area of Maiduguri to take refuge”.

A security source said the attack on Auno was repelled by with troops with the support of local hunters after a two-hour exchange of fire power on both sides.

Auno village is a community along the Maiduguri-Kano Highway, some 24 kilometres away from the epicentre of the insurgency.

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Introducing Jennifer Douglas Atiku, The Con Artist By Churchill Okonkwo

Sahara Reporters - 8 January 2019 - 8:48am


As the saying goes, “if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Ordinarily, I would not have bothered about Jennifer Atiku, a con artist who per the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs report helped Atiku Abubakar “bring over $40 million in suspect funds into the United States.”But the fact that she has shown up in the kitchen, campaigning for her husband Atiku Abubakar to lead Nigeria means that she is ready for the heat. 

Ndigbo has a saying that not asking questions before eating causes death without illness and that a child who asks questions does not go astray. Those of us that have cared to question the credibility of people aspiring to lead our great nation have asked questions about the Atikus and we have plenty of answers to characterize them as con artists.  

So, permit me to introduce to you Jennifer Iwenjiora Douglas Abubakar, the 4thwife of Atiku Abubakar. Originally an indigene of Onitsha, Anambra State and an NTA News correspondent in the 1980s who later moved to and became a citizen of the United States. It was while in the US that the Atikus got involved in illicit financial transactions that are now haunting them. 

Per an investigation report by the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, “From2000 to 2008, Jennifer Douglas, a U.S. citizen and the fourth wife of Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President and former candidate for President of Nigeria, helped her husband bring over $40 million in suspect funds into the United States through wire transfers sent by offshore corporations to U.S. bank accounts.”

The transferred money made Atiku an “employer of labor” and a proud owner of American University of Nigeria (AUN), a school, whose tuition fees more than 99% of Nigerian students cannot afford. Atiku established the AUN at a time when public universities were collapsing under him and Obasanjo. Jennifer Atiku helped her husband establish the American University of Nigeria at a point poor Nigerian students were languishing at home due to strike action by university lectures over poor funding. 

When interviewed, “Ms. [Atiku] Douglas indicated that all of the funds [used to set up AUN] came from her husband and professed little familiarity with the offshore corporations actually sending her money.” Mind you, she is a lawyer and a Ph.D. holder for that matter. 

While Nigerians are insisting that Atiku is unfit to hold public office for the illicit transfer of millions of Dollars used to acquire the license for American University of Nigeria (AUN), his wifeJennifer Douglas Atiku who helped in the transfer sneaked in Edo State and told us that the “PDP Govt will ensure uninterrupted education calendar.” What an insult on our intelligence. 

For attempting to trick Nigerians this election season by persuading us to believe that her husband and the PDP will wave their magic wand and save the education sector, Jennifer Douglas Atiku is a con artist. 

Here is another damaging report from the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, “In a 2008 civil complaint, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that Ms. Douglas received over $2 million in bribe payments in 2001 and 2002, from Siemens AG, a major German corporation. While Ms. Douglas denies wrongdoing, Siemens has already pled guilty to U.S. criminal charges and settled civil charges related to bribery and told the Subcommittee that it sent the payments to one of her U.S. accounts.”

So, Jennifer Douglas Atiku cannot be trusted when she said that a “PDP government would create an environment for business to thrive with a view to ensuring that the citizens were lifted above poverty.” Jennifer Douglas Atiku is deceiving Nigerians when she said that “there is an urgent need to get every sector of the country working again to enable citizens to enjoy a better life.” But when the United States became too hot for her and Atiku, they sold their house in Maryland, United States and resettled in Dubai.

You see, the truth is that you don't look for something in the pocket of people that are looking for something. A spider’s cobweb isn’t only its sleeping spring but also its food trap. Nigerians should not allow themselves to be caught in the cobweb of the con artists, Atikus. 

As an old joke says if you want to know if a politician is lying, see if their lips are moving. The sweet mouth of the Atikus appears to be the trap they used to deceive Nigerians in the past and what they are attempting to use again today. 

The fact that Jennifer Atiku could boldly be campaigning for her husband based on improving education standard in Nigeria as she did over the weekend in Edo state knowing fully well her involvement in that illicit transfer shows that character of Atikus.

What Nigerian would want Jennifer Atiku to know is that no matter how beautiful and well-crafted a coffin might look; it will not make anyone wish for death. We will not die on February 16th, 2019. 

Everyone knows history is written by the victors, clearly, the slogan “get Nigeria working again” is a con promoted by a con artist or as my good friend Andy will put it, it is bullshit recounted by the bullshitters. 

As the saying goes, you must attend to your business with the vendor in the market, and not to the noise of the market. In the noisy atmosphere leading to the 2019 elections, it is my duty to attend to the important business of providing facts to Nigerians.

Birds sing not because they have answers but because they have songs. While I may not have the answers to the Nigerian problems, I have some songs that will ensure that Nigeria is not returned to Babylon on May 29th, 2019.

 

Happy New Year Nigerians!

Together, we can. 

You can email Churchill at Churchill.okonkwo@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @churchillnnobi

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Politicians Use Music To Sell Manifestoes But Never Support The Industry, Says Kenny Ogungbe

Sahara Reporters - 8 January 2019 - 8:12am


Nigeria’s foremost music executive, Kenny Ogungbe, has said politicians in Nigeria do not really support the entertainment industry, but use them during election seasons for campaigns.

Ogungbe, who is the founder of Kennis music, the record label that was instrumental to the success of Nigerian singer, 2Baba, stated this in an interview with Sahara TV at Wizkid's 'VIP Experience' concert, which held in December 2018.

According to him, many politicians do not invest in entertainment, but "during politics, they will use musicians to gather people together at their campaign grounds, and they will use music to sell their manifestoes".

Speaking further, he advised entertainers not to get involved or align with political parties, as this can be used against them by other political parties.

"If a popular one (artist) is involved, you will be zeroing in on a particular party. Let's say Davido. He is known to be PDP. Anywhere there is APC, they see him as PDP and they will cut him off. If you're APC, if you go to PDP, they cut you off, but if you’re a big artiste, I will advise you to stay (out) and allow them to do their campaigns. After winning, you now celebrate the winner, because the winner will be the one in government,” he said. 

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NAF Buries Five Pilots Killed During Boko Haram Operations

Sahara Reporters - 8 January 2019 - 7:42am


The five officers of the Nigerian Air Force who died in the helicopter crash that occurred last Wednesday during counter-insurgency operations in Borno State have been buried.

The crew members were on board the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Mi-35M Helicopter which crashed while providing air support to troops of 145 Battalion, Damasak in Borno State. See Also Boko Haram BREAKING: Air Force Releases Names Of Five Officers Killed In Borno Helicopter Crash 0 Comments 1 Week Ago

The officers were buried at the National Military Cemetery in Abuja on Tuesday.

The officers are: Flight Lieutenant Perowei Jacob - Pilot in Command (aged 332; Flight Lieutenant Kaltho Paul Kilyofas - Co-Pilot (aged 29); Sergeant Auwal Ibrahim - Flight Technician (aged 31); Lance Corporal Adamu Nura - Gunner (aged 27), and Aircraftman Meshack Ishmael - Gunner (aged 25).

Service chiefs, serving and retired officers, as well as friends and family members were on ground to pay their last respects to the officers as they were buried.

They were buried with full military honours.

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PDP Suspends Deputy National Chairman

Sahara Reporters - 8 January 2019 - 5:30am


Senator Gamawa Babayo Garba

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suspended Senator Gamawa Babayo, its Deputy National Chairman (North), for engaging in "anti-party activity".

A statement signed by Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP National Publicity Secretary on Monday, noted that decision followed a petition submitted against Babayo.

The statement read: "The NWC found merit in the petition on allegation of dereliction of duty and anti-party activity as contained in Section 58 (1) e,f,g,h of the PDP Constitution.

"Therefore, in exercise of Section 29 (2) a, b and c, the NWC hereby invokes Section 59 (1) d of the constitution of the PDP on the Deputy National Chairman (North) and accordingly suspends him from the party immediately."

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World Bank Group President To Step Down February 1

Sahara Reporters - 8 January 2019 - 4:23am


Five years and 18 months after, Korean-American, Jim Yong Kim, says its time to step down as President of the World bank Group.

A statement by the global development finance institution on Monday gave February 1, 2019, as the date Kim is expected to resign. The release said World bank CEO, Kristalina Georgieva will fill in in acting capacity.

The group, which has the United States of America as its major shareholder, said it worked towards a two-pronged goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030, and boosting shared prosperity, focusing on the bottom 40 per cent of the population in developing countries under Kim’s leadership.

It described its two key achievements under Kim as getting record replenishments for the International Development Agency and the raise of $13billion for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

“It has been a great honour to serve as President of this remarkable institution, full of passionate individuals dedicated to the mission of ending extreme poverty in our lifetime," Kim was quoted as saying.

“The work of the World Bank Group is more important now than ever as the aspirations of the poor rise all over the world, and problems like climate change, pandemics, famine and refugees continue to grow in both their scale and complexity. Serving as President and helping position the institution squarely in the middle of all these challenges has been a great privilege.”

While noting the steps its outgoing president put in motion to even out investments and guard against climate shocks.

The statement continued: “The Bank Group’s Fund for the Poorest, IDA, achieved two successive, record replenishments, which enabled the institution to increase its work in areas suffering from fragility, conflict, and violence.

”In April 2018, the Bank Group’s Governors overwhelmingly approved a historic USD$13 billion capital increase for IBRD and IFC that will allow the Bank Group to support countries in reaching their development goals while responding to crises such as climate change, pandemics, fragility, and underinvestment in human capital around the world.

“Over the past 6+ years, the institutions of the World Bank Group have provided financing at levels never seen outside of a financial crisis. Recognizing the power of capital markets to transform development finance, the Bank Group during Kim’s tenure also launched several new innovative financial instruments, including facilities to address infrastructure needs, prevent pandemics, and help the millions of people forcibly displaced from their homes by climate shocks, conflict, and violence. The Bank is also working with the United Nations and leading technology companies to implement the Famine Action Mechanism, to detect warning signs earlier and prevent famines before they begin.

"During his term, President Kim emphasized that one of the greatest needs in the developing world is infrastructure finance, and he pushed the Bank Group to maximize finance for development by working with a new cadre of private sector partners committed to building sustainable, climate-smart infrastructure in developing countries.”

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World Bank Group President To Step Down February 1

Sahara Reporters - 8 January 2019 - 4:23am


Five years and 18 months after, Korean-American, Jim Yong Kim, says its time to step down as President of the World bank Group.

A statement by the global development finance institution on Monday gave February 1, 2019, as the date Kim is expected to resign. The release said World bank CEO, Kristalina Georgieva will fill in in acting capacity.

The group, which has the United States of America as its major shareholder, said it worked towards a two-pronged goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030, and boosting shared prosperity, focusing on the bottom 40 per cent of the population in developing countries under Kim’s leadership.

It described its two key achievements under Kim as getting record replenishments for the International Development Agency and the raise of $13billion for the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

“It has been a great honour to serve as President of this remarkable institution, full of passionate individuals dedicated to the mission of ending extreme poverty in our lifetime," Kim was quoted as saying.

“The work of the World Bank Group is more important now than ever as the aspirations of the poor rise all over the world, and problems like climate change, pandemics, famine and refugees continue to grow in both their scale and complexity. Serving as President and helping position the institution squarely in the middle of all these challenges has been a great privilege.”

While noting the steps its outgoing president put in motion to even out investments and guard against climate shocks.

The statement continued: “The Bank Group’s Fund for the Poorest, IDA, achieved two successive, record replenishments, which enabled the institution to increase its work in areas suffering from fragility, conflict, and violence.

”In April 2018, the Bank Group’s Governors overwhelmingly approved a historic USD$13 billion capital increase for IBRD and IFC that will allow the Bank Group to support countries in reaching their development goals while responding to crises such as climate change, pandemics, fragility, and underinvestment in human capital around the world.

“Over the past 6+ years, the institutions of the World Bank Group have provided financing at levels never seen outside of a financial crisis. Recognizing the power of capital markets to transform development finance, the Bank Group during Kim’s tenure also launched several new innovative financial instruments, including facilities to address infrastructure needs, prevent pandemics, and help the millions of people forcibly displaced from their homes by climate shocks, conflict, and violence. The Bank is also working with the United Nations and leading technology companies to implement the Famine Action Mechanism, to detect warning signs earlier and prevent famines before they begin.

"During his term, President Kim emphasized that one of the greatest needs in the developing world is infrastructure finance, and he pushed the Bank Group to maximize finance for development by working with a new cadre of private sector partners committed to building sustainable, climate-smart infrastructure in developing countries.”

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In New Audio Released By Omokri, Amaechi Describes Nigerians As 'Cowards’

Sahara Reporters - 8 January 2019 - 4:12am

Another audio clip credited to Rotimi Amaechi, Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, has surfaced.

Amaechi has been in the news over the past few days over some audio clips bearing his voice.

In an earlier audio released by Phrank Shaibu, an aide of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Amaechi had said: “This country can never change, I swear. The only way this country can change is in a situation where everybody is killed. This country is going nowhere. When Magnus (Abe) was secretary to the Rivers State Government (SSG), I told him that this country is hopeless and helpless and he told me, ‘Oga, stop it’. This cannot be coming from a governor.

Video of AUDIO: Amaechi Describes Nigerians As 'Cowards’ AUDIO: Amaechi Describes Nigerians As 'Cowards’ AUDIO: Amaechi Describes Nigerians As 'Cowards’...

“But two months in Abuja, Magnus came to meet me and said, I agree with you; this country is hopeless and helpless. All they do in Abuja is to share money.”

In a fresh audio published by Reno Omokri, former media aide to former ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, on Tuesday, Amaechi seemed to have suggested that Nigerians are cowards.

“Nigerians [are] cowards," he said in the eight-second-long video. "The reason why Nigerians behave the way they behave is that there is no enforcement.”

The context in which Amaechi made the comment is, however, still unclear.

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FIRS Raises N2.5trillion From Oil In 2018

Sahara Reporters - 8 January 2019 - 3:52am


Babatunde Fowler, Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), says the tax collector received N2.467trillion from the oil sector in 2018.

He disclosed that the body earned N2.85trillion from non-oil sources as well. In all, FIRS earned N5.32trillion in 2018, N1.4trillion below its N6.7trillion goal for 2017. Still, the body has a target of N8trillion in 2019, 1.3trillion higher than its 2018 target. Fowler made these details available at the opening of a stakeholders retreat organised by the body in Lagos on Monday.

Speaking on the comparison between oil and non-oil collections since 2015, Fowler said: “We are also quite aware that our focus has to be on non-oil revenue and in the past three years, when you look at the percentages in terms of contribution of oil tax revenue, in 2015 non-oil contribution to tax revenue accounted for 65 per cent, in 2017 it was 62.5 per cent and in 2018 it was 53.62 per cent. So, certainly, our non-oil tax revenue is growing in absolute figures, from 2016 to 2018. In 2016 it was N2.149trillion, in 2017 it was N2.5trillion and in 2018, N2.85trillion.

“That does not mean we have left behind the oil tax revenue; it has improved from N1.5trillion in 2016 to N1.52trillion to N2.467trillion in 2018. We collected a total of N5.320.52trillion, which was an increase of N1.292trillion over the collection of 2017, making it the highest in the history of the Federal Inland Revenue.

“In actual figures, in 2016, we collected N3.3trillion, 2017 was N4.027trillion and in 2018, we realised N5.320trillion. He explained that the body collected four per cent in cost on non-oil revenue for the year in focus. We also collected four per cent in terms of cost of collection, but only for non-oil revenue collected. On all revenue collections, we do not get any commission and we have been able to make sure that our services are more efficient and convenient to tax payers. According to him, in 2016 tax collection cost was 2.6 per cent, in 2017 it was 2.49 per cent and in 2018, it was 2.14 per cent- a trend he attributed to the "agency’s efficiency and technology deployed to tax collection".

On the 2019 milestone, Fowler said: “The 2019 budget has not been approved but we hear in the corridors of power that the target for FIRS is in the region of N8trillion. And with their support and the support of all tax payers, we believe it is achievable".

The former head of revenue collection in Lagos State said Value Added Tax (VAT) crossed the N1trillion mark in 2018, thanks to the automated collection method introduced. Fowler described taxes as the most sustainable means of revenue for government, stating that non-oil revenue had increased as a result of the improved performance of the economy excluding petroleum.

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FIRS Raises N2.5trillion From Oil In 2018

Sahara Reporters - 8 January 2019 - 3:52am


Babatunde Fowler, Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), says the tax collector received N2.467trillion from the oil sector in 2018.

He disclosed that the body earned N2.85trillion from non-oil sources as well. In all, FIRS earned N5.32trillion in 2018, N1.4trillion below its N6.7trillion goal for 2017. Still, the body has a target of N8trillion in 2019, 1.3trillion higher than its 2018 target. Fowler made these details available at the opening of a stakeholders retreat organised by the body in Lagos on Monday.

Speaking on the comparison between oil and non-oil collections since 2015, Fowler said: “We are also quite aware that our focus has to be on non-oil revenue and in the past three years, when you look at the percentages in terms of contribution of oil tax revenue, in 2015 non-oil contribution to tax revenue accounted for 65 per cent, in 2017 it was 62.5 per cent and in 2018 it was 53.62 per cent. So, certainly, our non-oil tax revenue is growing in absolute figures, from 2016 to 2018. In 2016 it was N2.149trillion, in 2017 it was N2.5trillion and in 2018, N2.85trillion.

“That does not mean we have left behind the oil tax revenue; it has improved from N1.5trillion in 2016 to N1.52trillion to N2.467trillion in 2018. We collected a total of N5.320.52trillion, which was an increase of N1.292trillion over the collection of 2017, making it the highest in the history of the Federal Inland Revenue.

“In actual figures, in 2016, we collected N3.3trillion, 2017 was N4.027trillion and in 2018, we realised N5.320trillion. He explained that the body collected four per cent in cost on non-oil revenue for the year in focus. We also collected four per cent in terms of cost of collection, but only for non-oil revenue collected. On all revenue collections, we do not get any commission and we have been able to make sure that our services are more efficient and convenient to tax payers. According to him, in 2016 tax collection cost was 2.6 per cent, in 2017 it was 2.49 per cent and in 2018, it was 2.14 per cent- a trend he attributed to the "agency’s efficiency and technology deployed to tax collection".

On the 2019 milestone, Fowler said: “The 2019 budget has not been approved but we hear in the corridors of power that the target for FIRS is in the region of N8trillion. And with their support and the support of all tax payers, we believe it is achievable".

The former head of revenue collection in Lagos State said Value Added Tax (VAT) crossed the N1trillion mark in 2018, thanks to the automated collection method introduced. Fowler described taxes as the most sustainable means of revenue for government, stating that non-oil revenue had increased as a result of the improved performance of the economy excluding petroleum.

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Amina Zakari Is PDP's Baggage By Chima Amadi​

Sahara Reporters - 8 January 2019 - 1:56am


INEC National Commissioner, Amina Zakari

INEC National Commissioner, Amina Zakari

The INEC has been in the eye of the storm over the announcement by its Chairman that Commissioner Amina Zakari will Head an in-house committee to oversee the management/ administration of the elections day facility/Collation Centre at the International Conference Centre. The main opposition party, the PDP in rejecting this appointment cited the fact of Amina Zakari’s relationship by marriage to the president.

Although the INEC Chairman has given extensive clarifications that the Committee’s work amounts more or less to a Floor Manager’s role during an event, the PDP is having none of that , instead hinting that the INEC Chairman was acting out some hidden script that was authored by the ruling party to undermine the outcome of the 2019 General Elections. Perhaps, this intervention would not have been necessary if the highly respected Timi Frank, a man not known to engage in frivolities, had not alluded to some secret meeting in the Villa attended by the INEC Chairman in the company of Amina Zakari with the Chief of Staff to the president wherein the INEC Chairman was "instructed" to appoint Amina to the said Committee and to ostensibly reverse the committee reshuffling that saw Amina lose her Headship of the Elections Operations and Logistics Committee.

The PDP and its surrogates banking on the conservative nature of the Elections Management Body(EMB), especially its resolve not to engage political parties in any media wars are fouling the already charged political air with outright falsehoods and the dangerous weaving of contrived conspiracies that are capable of eroding the credibility that every EMB should have as elections approach. While I do not speak for the INEC or indeed, its Chairman, I consider myself a stakeholder in the Nigerian project, especially on issues of elections given my membership of the PDP since 1998 and also my over two decades of participation in elections in Nigeria as an Observer and expert commentator on politics and democracy. 

I have therefore decided to take a moral stand to unwrap the real sinister intentions of those who resort to deliberately maligning institutions of State in the hope of gaining or scoring cheap political points. The purpose of this intervention will, therefore, be to unravel who the real Amina Zakari is and whose interests she has been protecting all through her career in the INEC. I will then posit that Amina's influence has been reduced not so much for the change in her duties at the INEC but as a result of the innovations that have been introduced in the system. 

Amina Zakari is an indirect niece of president Muhammadu Buhari, by marriage. This relationship has been and is still being exploited by the family. Indeed, Amina's brother is the minister of water resources in Buhari's government. These are facts. Amina benefitted from this relationship when she served as a consultant with Afri Projects Consortium, the lead company that drove the implementation of the PTF projects then Headed by General Buhari. However, Amina's foray into national consciousness was not influenced by Buhari. Between 2004 to 2007, Amina Zakari served as a Special Assistant to President Olusegun Obasanjo, who drafted her to the FCT. It is in this role that she amassed the political contacts that would later lobby for her to become a National Commissioner at the INEC. Let me be clear, by 2010, it was clear to everyone that General Buhari was going to take another shot at the presidency, there was no way that the PDP would take the advice of someone they knew would be on the ballot with its candidate in the choice of a National Commissioner in 2011.

How come Amina Zakari's membership of the Commission and her filial relationship with Buhari could not prevent a humiliating trouncing of her uncle at the polls in 2011? So, the talk of President Goodluck Jonathan consulting Buhari and accepting Amina as his nominee is baloney, but even if that was  remotely true, Amina's actions in the INEC has not served any purposes for the president but has benefitted my party, the PDP, to the detriment of the integrity of elections until the current helmsman in INEC came on board to restore sanity to the Commission. I will buttress this position with numerous instances, relying on my 20 years of engaging with INEC and insider knowledge of election operations in Nigeria. 

When in 2014 it became clear to the PDP that the technological innovations that Jega was introducing were going to be a bulwark against the tradition of votes allocation, a massive campaign was kickstarted to do away with the PVC and Smart Card Reader technology. This campaign played out in the media. Unbeknownst to many, the battle was not restricted to shaping opinions against the use of the PVC and SCR, it extended into the Commission. The arrowhead of those who called for the abandonment of the innovation was Amina Zakari. Amina Zakari, Prince Adedeji Soyebi, and another National Commissioner, Ambassador Lawrence Nwuruku, a card-carrying member of the PDP, led the groundswell of opposition against the deployment of technology in the 2015 elections which created a sharp divide in the Commission. In fact, Jega had to beat a retreat in implementing full use of technology in the transmission of results because of the opposition mounted by these Commissioners who were apparently carrying out the instructions of external forces. I was therefore amused that the same party raised hell when PMB wrongly rejected the Electoral Act Amendment on account of the electronic transmission of results clauses in the Bill.  

One of the issues the PDP raised against president Buhari's ill-advised and very vexatious withholding of assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill is related to the use of incident forms during elections. However, not many Nigerians may know that these forms were first muted by Amina Zakari to the Commission under Jega as a way of cushioning the effect of the SCR. We now know that the PDP, especially states in the South-South were the biggest beneficiaries of the extensive use of incident forms introduced by Zakari. Let us take a look at the numbers.  In Kano and Katsina, out of the 3,943,080 that were accredited to vote in both States in 2015, 851,062 used incident forms, representing about 22% of the total votes cast. Comparatively, in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States, out of the 2,717,479 persons that were accredited to vote, a whopping 2,525,460 used incident forms, representing an outrageous 93%. Amina's 'ingenious' contribution to democracy in Nigeria came through for the PDP.

Professor Jega was very much aware of Amina's unwholesome affinity with politicians and waited patiently until the last minute to neutralise her. Just a few days to the 2015 elections, Jega removed her as the Head of the Elections and Party Monitoring Committee of the INEC and moved her to the Planning Committee which had basically finished all its elections planning. Perhaps this deployment was instrumental to the success of the 2015 elections. 

Interestingly, with the advent of a new government and a new party, Amina's covert actions have always been in alignment with the interests that paved the way for her to come into the national limelight, the PDP.
As Acting Chairman of the INEC, following Jega's departure, Amina almost bungled the Bayelsa elections. Under her watch, over one hundred thousand ghost voters, many with almanack pictures as identification were introduced into the Bayelsa Voters Register.  It was not until the appointment of Professor Mahmood Yakubu as the INEC chairman that this anomaly was corrected through the deployment of the Automated Fingerprint Identification System(AFIS). Many of these ghost registrants were in areas that were considered the PDP's stronghold in Bayelsa.

While many were too eager to lampoon the INEC for the Kogi debacle in 2015, only a handful may be aware that the needless quagmire would have been avoided if Amina did not try to save the PDP from crushing defeat in the hands of the APC under late Abubakar Audu. The Kogi election was to be won at first ballot when Amina surprisingly decided to proceed to Kogi rather than remain in the INEC Headquarters as Head of the Elections Operations Committee. Amina drafted to the field another PDP appointee and someone she relentlessly lobbied to continue as national commissioner, Prince Soyebi. Amina would move to Dekina local government area which is the home of the PDP candidate, Idris Wada. It was the crises in Dekina that led to the declaration of the election as inconclusive. This writer was at the collation centre in Lokoja and witnessed first hand how the PDP Returning Officer and party agents were insisting that the election is inconclusive rather than be concerned about the victory of the Party's candidate.

Since the Osun election is already in court, I would refrain from commenting in details about it but, agent Amina was handy for the party in the first election. As an accreditated observer, I was left shocked to realise that Amina as Head of the Elections Operations of INEC chose to travel out of the country without waiting for the rerun election that was scheduled just about five days after the first one. At the Collation Centre in Oshogbo, Amina's man-Friday, Prince Soyebi could explain to the world which party's Returning Officer he was continually talking with on phone while collation was going on. 

Consequently, not too many followers of events at the INEC were surprised when the INEC chairman announced changes in the Headship of committees within the Commission, a move that effectively brought Amina's reign and influence over elections to an abrupt end. The question that jumps out of this narrative is: why is the PDP washing its hands off Amina since she is their creation and has paid back adequately? Instructively, Amina Zakari was the Head of the Collation Centre sub-Committee in 2015, the same sub-Committee that the PDP is now rejecting, there is no record of the party objecting to that appointment since she was related to a man that would be on the ballot with the party's candidate. 

The PDP's Press Release on the announcement of Amina's Headship of the Collation Centre sub-Committee cited a conflict of interest as its reason for rejecting Amina's appointment. This reason is just hogwash. A party that had no qualms in nominating card-carry members of her party into the Commission cannot now lecture the nation on ethics and propriety. I was disgustingly amused when I sighted Ambassador Lawrence Nwuruku, a former INEC National Commissioner, and Mr Nasir Ayilara, former  INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner representing Kwara State, at the last PDP National Delegate Convention in Port Harcourt, proudly hanging their delegate cards on their necks. It is not also hidden that the former Governor of Abia State, Ochendo Theodore Orji was once an INEC Administrative Secretary. The current governor of Bauchi State was an INEC Commissioner appointed by the PDP. In all these, where was the party's sense of propriety? 

If the PDP takes a critical introspective look at its position on Amina, they would realise that they are inadvertently conceding that President Mohammadu Buhari and by extension the APC are better character judges than the PDP ever was. Out of the 12 serving National Commissioners of INEC, only Amina and Prince Adedeji Soyebi were original appointees of the PDP. In castigating Amina, the PDP has tacitly admitted that the 10 National Commissioners appointed by Buhari have better character traits than appointees it sponsored initially to the Commission. The PDP cannot distance itself from Amina, they created her and turned her into what she has become today. She is their baggage, and they must embrace her. Perhaps, the improvements in elections management have ensured that the Party is no longer getting value for money from Amina leading the bigwigs to conclude that she has become a rogue agent. 

That the party would think that out of the 12 National Commissioners, 37 Resident Electoral Commissioners, 38 Returning Officers, and the hundreds of people that would be in the ICC, one woman has the powers to determine the outcome of elections tells Nigerians all they need to know about the quality of opposition in Nigeria.

The reality which any discerning person would know is that elections in Nigeria have drastically improved and has moved away from the ignoble days of votes allocation. Perhaps, the PDP is still holed up in the past and is refusing to ask some of us within its fold that engage with the process to enlighten its apparatchiks on current trends in elections management. Why would they not have this medieval mentality when rumours have it that they have engaged the discredited Maurice Iwu as one of their elections consultants.PREPOSTEROUS! 

To put it succinctly, not even the chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu can rig elections in Nigeria. What is the role of the Collation Centre in determining the outcome of elections in the current dispensation? The improvements introduced by the current chairman in the elections process and management has decentralised results handling and collation. So, the collation centre is merely a glorified viewing and tabulation centre. Let us not forget that president Jonathan conceded defeat even before pending results had made its way to the collation centre. That was possible because the results from the various polling units were already in the public domain. Any party with a functional situation room and parallel votes tabulation facility would know the outcome of the elections even before those at the INEC Collation Centre. So what is all the fuss with the appointment of Amina to oversee refreshments and welfare, a condescending floor manager position from her lofty height as the head of the Elections Operations Committee? 

This needless stoking up of tension within the polity makes many to wonder why the PDP is chasing shadows and engaging in irrelevant distractions rather than run an aggressive issues-based campaign to present a credible alternative to voters. The disaster that the APC has become means that any well-oiled opposition can wrestle power from it, but the pretenders to the throne seem to want to continue in this tactless pursuit of shadows-the party appears to be unconcerned that the Inspector General of Police, who in my opinion represents the greatest threat to its 2019 ambitions still has a job after attaining his mandatory retirement age. The end game will perhaps be to have an excuse for a defeat if its lacklustre campaigns come back to haunt it. 

Dr Chima Amadi is a public policy consultant and can be followed on Twitter @AMADICHIMA

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Amina Zakari Is PDP's Baggage By Chima Amadi​

Sahara Reporters - 8 January 2019 - 1:56am


INEC National Commissioner, Amina Zakari

INEC National Commissioner, Amina Zakari

The INEC has been in the eye of the storm over the announcement by its Chairman that Commissioner Amina Zakari will Head an in-house committee to oversee the management/ administration of the elections day facility/Collation Centre at the International Conference Centre. The main opposition party, the PDP in rejecting this appointment cited the fact of Amina Zakari’s relationship by marriage to the president.

Although the INEC Chairman has given extensive clarifications that the Committee’s work amounts more or less to a Floor Manager’s role during an event, the PDP is having none of that , instead hinting that the INEC Chairman was acting out some hidden script that was authored by the ruling party to undermine the outcome of the 2019 General Elections. Perhaps, this intervention would not have been necessary if the highly respected Timi Frank, a man not known to engage in frivolities, had not alluded to some secret meeting in the Villa attended by the INEC Chairman in the company of Amina Zakari with the Chief of Staff to the president wherein the INEC Chairman was "instructed" to appoint Amina to the said Committee and to ostensibly reverse the committee reshuffling that saw Amina lose her Headship of the Elections Operations and Logistics Committee.

The PDP and its surrogates banking on the conservative nature of the Elections Management Body(EMB), especially its resolve not to engage political parties in any media wars are fouling the already charged political air with outright falsehoods and the dangerous weaving of contrived conspiracies that are capable of eroding the credibility that every EMB should have as elections approach. While I do not speak for the INEC or indeed, its Chairman, I consider myself a stakeholder in the Nigerian project, especially on issues of elections given my membership of the PDP since 1998 and also my over two decades of participation in elections in Nigeria as an Observer and expert commentator on politics and democracy. 

I have therefore decided to take a moral stand to unwrap the real sinister intentions of those who resort to deliberately maligning institutions of State in the hope of gaining or scoring cheap political points. The purpose of this intervention will, therefore, be to unravel who the real Amina Zakari is and whose interests she has been protecting all through her career in the INEC. I will then posit that Amina's influence has been reduced not so much for the change in her duties at the INEC but as a result of the innovations that have been introduced in the system. 

Amina Zakari is an indirect niece of president Muhammadu Buhari, by marriage. This relationship has been and is still being exploited by the family. Indeed, Amina's brother is the minister of water resources in Buhari's government. These are facts. Amina benefitted from this relationship when she served as a consultant with Afri Projects Consortium, the lead company that drove the implementation of the PTF projects then Headed by General Buhari. However, Amina's foray into national consciousness was not influenced by Buhari. Between 2004 to 2007, Amina Zakari served as a Special Assistant to President Olusegun Obasanjo, who drafted her to the FCT. It is in this role that she amassed the political contacts that would later lobby for her to become a National Commissioner at the INEC. Let me be clear, by 2010, it was clear to everyone that General Buhari was going to take another shot at the presidency, there was no way that the PDP would take the advice of someone they knew would be on the ballot with its candidate in the choice of a National Commissioner in 2011.

How come Amina Zakari's membership of the Commission and her filial relationship with Buhari could not prevent a humiliating trouncing of her uncle at the polls in 2011? So, the talk of President Goodluck Jonathan consulting Buhari and accepting Amina as his nominee is baloney, but even if that was  remotely true, Amina's actions in the INEC has not served any purposes for the president but has benefitted my party, the PDP, to the detriment of the integrity of elections until the current helmsman in INEC came on board to restore sanity to the Commission. I will buttress this position with numerous instances, relying on my 20 years of engaging with INEC and insider knowledge of election operations in Nigeria. 

When in 2014 it became clear to the PDP that the technological innovations that Jega was introducing were going to be a bulwark against the tradition of votes allocation, a massive campaign was kickstarted to do away with the PVC and Smart Card Reader technology. This campaign played out in the media. Unbeknownst to many, the battle was not restricted to shaping opinions against the use of the PVC and SCR, it extended into the Commission. The arrowhead of those who called for the abandonment of the innovation was Amina Zakari. Amina Zakari, Prince Adedeji Soyebi, and another National Commissioner, Ambassador Lawrence Nwuruku, a card-carrying member of the PDP, led the groundswell of opposition against the deployment of technology in the 2015 elections which created a sharp divide in the Commission. In fact, Jega had to beat a retreat in implementing full use of technology in the transmission of results because of the opposition mounted by these Commissioners who were apparently carrying out the instructions of external forces. I was therefore amused that the same party raised hell when PMB wrongly rejected the Electoral Act Amendment on account of the electronic transmission of results clauses in the Bill.  

One of the issues the PDP raised against president Buhari's ill-advised and very vexatious withholding of assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill is related to the use of incident forms during elections. However, not many Nigerians may know that these forms were first muted by Amina Zakari to the Commission under Jega as a way of cushioning the effect of the SCR. We now know that the PDP, especially states in the South-South were the biggest beneficiaries of the extensive use of incident forms introduced by Zakari. Let us take a look at the numbers.  In Kano and Katsina, out of the 3,943,080 that were accredited to vote in both States in 2015, 851,062 used incident forms, representing about 22% of the total votes cast. Comparatively, in Rivers and Akwa Ibom States, out of the 2,717,479 persons that were accredited to vote, a whopping 2,525,460 used incident forms, representing an outrageous 93%. Amina's 'ingenious' contribution to democracy in Nigeria came through for the PDP.

Professor Jega was very much aware of Amina's unwholesome affinity with politicians and waited patiently until the last minute to neutralise her. Just a few days to the 2015 elections, Jega removed her as the Head of the Elections and Party Monitoring Committee of the INEC and moved her to the Planning Committee which had basically finished all its elections planning. Perhaps this deployment was instrumental to the success of the 2015 elections. 

Interestingly, with the advent of a new government and a new party, Amina's covert actions have always been in alignment with the interests that paved the way for her to come into the national limelight, the PDP.
As Acting Chairman of the INEC, following Jega's departure, Amina almost bungled the Bayelsa elections. Under her watch, over one hundred thousand ghost voters, many with almanack pictures as identification were introduced into the Bayelsa Voters Register.  It was not until the appointment of Professor Mahmood Yakubu as the INEC chairman that this anomaly was corrected through the deployment of the Automated Fingerprint Identification System(AFIS). Many of these ghost registrants were in areas that were considered the PDP's stronghold in Bayelsa.

While many were too eager to lampoon the INEC for the Kogi debacle in 2015, only a handful may be aware that the needless quagmire would have been avoided if Amina did not try to save the PDP from crushing defeat in the hands of the APC under late Abubakar Audu. The Kogi election was to be won at first ballot when Amina surprisingly decided to proceed to Kogi rather than remain in the INEC Headquarters as Head of the Elections Operations Committee. Amina drafted to the field another PDP appointee and someone she relentlessly lobbied to continue as national commissioner, Prince Soyebi. Amina would move to Dekina local government area which is the home of the PDP candidate, Idris Wada. It was the crises in Dekina that led to the declaration of the election as inconclusive. This writer was at the collation centre in Lokoja and witnessed first hand how the PDP Returning Officer and party agents were insisting that the election is inconclusive rather than be concerned about the victory of the Party's candidate.

Since the Osun election is already in court, I would refrain from commenting in details about it but, agent Amina was handy for the party in the first election. As an accreditated observer, I was left shocked to realise that Amina as Head of the Elections Operations of INEC chose to travel out of the country without waiting for the rerun election that was scheduled just about five days after the first one. At the Collation Centre in Oshogbo, Amina's man-Friday, Prince Soyebi could explain to the world which party's Returning Officer he was continually talking with on phone while collation was going on. 

Consequently, not too many followers of events at the INEC were surprised when the INEC chairman announced changes in the Headship of committees within the Commission, a move that effectively brought Amina's reign and influence over elections to an abrupt end. The question that jumps out of this narrative is: why is the PDP washing its hands off Amina since she is their creation and has paid back adequately? Instructively, Amina Zakari was the Head of the Collation Centre sub-Committee in 2015, the same sub-Committee that the PDP is now rejecting, there is no record of the party objecting to that appointment since she was related to a man that would be on the ballot with the party's candidate. 

The PDP's Press Release on the announcement of Amina's Headship of the Collation Centre sub-Committee cited a conflict of interest as its reason for rejecting Amina's appointment. This reason is just hogwash. A party that had no qualms in nominating card-carry members of her party into the Commission cannot now lecture the nation on ethics and propriety. I was disgustingly amused when I sighted Ambassador Lawrence Nwuruku, a former INEC National Commissioner, and Mr Nasir Ayilara, former  INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner representing Kwara State, at the last PDP National Delegate Convention in Port Harcourt, proudly hanging their delegate cards on their necks. It is not also hidden that the former Governor of Abia State, Ochendo Theodore Orji was once an INEC Administrative Secretary. The current governor of Bauchi State was an INEC Commissioner appointed by the PDP. In all these, where was the party's sense of propriety? 

If the PDP takes a critical introspective look at its position on Amina, they would realise that they are inadvertently conceding that President Mohammadu Buhari and by extension the APC are better character judges than the PDP ever was. Out of the 12 serving National Commissioners of INEC, only Amina and Prince Adedeji Soyebi were original appointees of the PDP. In castigating Amina, the PDP has tacitly admitted that the 10 National Commissioners appointed by Buhari have better character traits than appointees it sponsored initially to the Commission. The PDP cannot distance itself from Amina, they created her and turned her into what she has become today. She is their baggage, and they must embrace her. Perhaps, the improvements in elections management have ensured that the Party is no longer getting value for money from Amina leading the bigwigs to conclude that she has become a rogue agent. 

That the party would think that out of the 12 National Commissioners, 37 Resident Electoral Commissioners, 38 Returning Officers, and the hundreds of people that would be in the ICC, one woman has the powers to determine the outcome of elections tells Nigerians all they need to know about the quality of opposition in Nigeria.

The reality which any discerning person would know is that elections in Nigeria have drastically improved and has moved away from the ignoble days of votes allocation. Perhaps, the PDP is still holed up in the past and is refusing to ask some of us within its fold that engage with the process to enlighten its apparatchiks on current trends in elections management. Why would they not have this medieval mentality when rumours have it that they have engaged the discredited Maurice Iwu as one of their elections consultants.PREPOSTEROUS! 

To put it succinctly, not even the chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu can rig elections in Nigeria. What is the role of the Collation Centre in determining the outcome of elections in the current dispensation? The improvements introduced by the current chairman in the elections process and management has decentralised results handling and collation. So, the collation centre is merely a glorified viewing and tabulation centre. Let us not forget that president Jonathan conceded defeat even before pending results had made its way to the collation centre. That was possible because the results from the various polling units were already in the public domain. Any party with a functional situation room and parallel votes tabulation facility would know the outcome of the elections even before those at the INEC Collation Centre. So what is all the fuss with the appointment of Amina to oversee refreshments and welfare, a condescending floor manager position from her lofty height as the head of the Elections Operations Committee? 

This needless stoking up of tension within the polity makes many to wonder why the PDP is chasing shadows and engaging in irrelevant distractions rather than run an aggressive issues-based campaign to present a credible alternative to voters. The disaster that the APC has become means that any well-oiled opposition can wrestle power from it, but the pretenders to the throne seem to want to continue in this tactless pursuit of shadows-the party appears to be unconcerned that the Inspector General of Police, who in my opinion represents the greatest threat to its 2019 ambitions still has a job after attaining his mandatory retirement age. The end game will perhaps be to have an excuse for a defeat if its lacklustre campaigns come back to haunt it. 

Dr Chima Amadi is a public policy consultant and can be followed on Twitter @AMADICHIMA

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Categories: audio

Buhari Declines Live Interview, Agrees To Recorded Session

Sahara Reporters - 8 January 2019 - 1:40am


President Muhammadu Buhari has declined to be interviewed live on television.

Arise News published an interview with the president on its Youtube page on Monday.

While presenting the intro to the interview, tagged: '90 Minutes with President Buhari', Charles Aniagolu, the presenter, stated that Buhari declined to feature live on television, and chose a recorded session instead.

His terms were agreed to and the Board of Editors from ThisDay engaged the president for 90 minutes.

Speaking on the interview conducted with the president, Aniagolu said: “Straightaway, Mr Buhari declined to be interviewed live on camera by Arise News, preferring instead to hold a recorded session only with ThisDay newspaper. And so, the Board of Editors from ThisDay spent over an hour questioning the president about the substance of his major policy signature issues such as lapses in security, the fight against corruption, the economy, poverty alleviation and the infrastructure deficit.

Eniola Bello, Managing Director of ThisDay newspaper; Kayode Komolafe, the Deputy Managing Director of ThisDay newspaper, and Segun Adeniyi, chairman of ThisDay Board of Editors, who was also former spokesman of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, conducted the interview and spoke on their experience.

Speaking on why the president declined to be interviewed live, Eniola Bello, the Managing Director of ThisDay newspaper who was in charge of setting up the interview and liaising with the presidency, said: “At the initial stage, we wanted a live interview with the Arise crew. But midway, they said ‘No’. We had set up the equipment, but around 1pm on Sunday, we were told that because of our lead story in ThisDay, reporting the pending interview, that there had been some pressure to, if not, reduce the way we were going to go to the villa.

"So, Arise crew was not allowed to come in. They said they will get NTA to record it for us, then we could take the tape from NTA. Essentially, that was what happened."

According to a publication by ThisDay earlier on Sunday, the newspaper had initially announced that Buhari would feature as its first guest in the series of presidential debates.

It read: “As part of its many contributions to the enhancement of the country’s electoral culture and improvement of the process of electing leaders, THISDAY Newspapers and Arise News Television are beginning a presidential debate series Sunday at 10pm, with President Muhammadu Buhari and candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as the first guest.

“Although, debuting Sunday with President Buhari as the first guest, other candidates like former Vice President and candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, are to follow in no particular order but based on their availability and schedule for the interview.

“The first of its kind, the first leg of the debate series, which is billed to hold at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, is to be anchored by panellists from both THISDAY and Arise, led by the Chairman of the two media outfits, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena.

“On the THISDAY arm of the panelists are the Managing Director of the newspaper, Mr. Eniola Bello; his deputy, Mr. Kayode Komolafe; Chairman of the Editorial Board, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi; Editor of THISDAY, Mr. Bolaji Adebiyi; Editor, THISDAY on Sunday, Mr. Shaka Momodu, and his counterpart on Saturday, Mr. Yemi Adebowale. From the Arise wing are the Managing Director, Ms. Ijeoma Nwogwugwu; Managing Editor, Adebajo Awosemo; Arise News Anchor, Charles Aniagolu; Arise News Anchor, Adesua Omoroun; Arise News Anchor, Tundun Abiola, and Arise News Anchor, Ndee Amagbuo.”

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Lagos: Agbaje, Sanwo-Olu, 8 Others To Debate Jan 14​

Sahara Reporters - 8 January 2019 - 1:09am


The governorship candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Lagos State, Jimi Agbaje and Babajide Sanwo-Olu, will be among the 10 candidates, who will take part in a debate to be organised by the Lagos West Diocese of the Anglican Communion.

The Bishop in charge of Archbishop Vining Memorial Church, Rt. Rev. James Odedeji, confirmed that 10 governorship candidates had indicated willingness to take part in the debate, which would take place on January 14, 2019 at the church premises.

He said the debate committee wrote letters to all the candidates but only 10 have indicated interest so far.

“In line with our tradition as Anglicans, we are organising a special debate for the governorship candidates of political parties that will participate in the March 2, 2019, election. We expect the candidates to tell Lagosians their plans on social services, taxation, economy, as well as the fight against corruption among others.

“We are doing this without support from any quarters. We neither solicited for, nor received any, whether in form of financing or logistics. It is solely organised and funded by the Anglican Diocese of Lagos West, in collaboration with the Diocese of Lagos, Badagry and Lagos Mainland only.

“Towards ensuring that the debate retains its integrity, we have invited the organised private sector, other Christians and other religious bodies to witness the debate. The panel is made up of practitioners from the electronic and print media.

“Since 2007, this diocese has been organising this debate and no governor has emerged in this state without passing through this debate. The task of rebuilding Nigeria is for all and we all have the task of electing good leaders in the country.

“We officially wrote letters to all the governorship candidates, but only 10 have written back. We want to use the debate as a platform through which voters can access all the candidates and make informed decision on whom to vote for,” Odedeji said.

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Lagos: Agbaje, Sanwo-Olu, 8 Others To Debate Jan 14​

Sahara Reporters - 8 January 2019 - 1:09am


The governorship candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), in Lagos State, Jimi Agbaje and Babajide Sanwo-Olu, will be among the 10 candidates, who will take part in a debate to be organised by the Lagos West Diocese of the Anglican Communion.

The Bishop in charge of Archbishop Vining Memorial Church, Rt. Rev. James Odedeji, confirmed that 10 governorship candidates had indicated willingness to take part in the debate, which would take place on January 14, 2019 at the church premises.

He said the debate committee wrote letters to all the candidates but only 10 have indicated interest so far.

“In line with our tradition as Anglicans, we are organising a special debate for the governorship candidates of political parties that will participate in the March 2, 2019, election. We expect the candidates to tell Lagosians their plans on social services, taxation, economy, as well as the fight against corruption among others.

“We are doing this without support from any quarters. We neither solicited for, nor received any, whether in form of financing or logistics. It is solely organised and funded by the Anglican Diocese of Lagos West, in collaboration with the Diocese of Lagos, Badagry and Lagos Mainland only.

“Towards ensuring that the debate retains its integrity, we have invited the organised private sector, other Christians and other religious bodies to witness the debate. The panel is made up of practitioners from the electronic and print media.

“Since 2007, this diocese has been organising this debate and no governor has emerged in this state without passing through this debate. The task of rebuilding Nigeria is for all and we all have the task of electing good leaders in the country.

“We officially wrote letters to all the governorship candidates, but only 10 have written back. We want to use the debate as a platform through which voters can access all the candidates and make informed decision on whom to vote for,” Odedeji said.

News AddThis :  Original Author :  Sun News Online Disable advertisements : 
Categories: audio

Direct Your Rage Against Boko Haram, Leave Media Alone, CUPP Tells Buhari​

Sahara Reporters - 8 January 2019 - 1:02am


The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has expressed displeasure on the recent invasion of Daily Trust newspaper Abuja and Maiduguri offices and arrest of some of their journalists by military operatives.

A press statement issued by Daily Trust newspaper CEO/Editor-in-chief, Mannir Dan-Ali read in part, “For four hours on Sunday, January 6, armed soldiers who came in five vehicles occupied the head office of Media Trust Limited, publishers of Daily trust titles sending away journalists and other staff. Before the siege was called off at about 9:30pm, the soldiers ransacked the newsroom and carted away dozens of computers and effectively strangulated the production of the Monday edition of paper.

"Earlier in the day at about 4 pm, another detachment of soldiers and plain cloth security officials went to the Maiduguri regional office of the company and conducted a search at the end of which they took away the Regional Bureau Chief, Uthman Abubakar and a reporter, Ibrahim Sawab. Neither the company nor the families of the two reporters have heard from them since. A production staff who was taken away from the Abuja head office alongside our computers was released after a period of detention at the Mogadishu Barrack in Abuja.”

Reacting to this, the National Spokesperson of CUPP, Ikenga Ugochinyere has bemoaned this action by military operatives against the media. He noted that the press, which is an integral and indispensable part of the society, exists for the society and it derives its powers to function from the constitution.

According to him, “As stipulated in Chapter II section 22 of the 1999 constitution, The press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people. This provision implies that the press shall be a watchdog over the excesses of government, and shall ensure that government delivers it promises to the people. The government on the one hand shall ensure that the press informs the people about its programmes and actions.”

“The free society which comprises of people of different ethnic, religious, socio-economic backgrounds are also entitled to free information, as such chapter II section 39 subsection (1) of the 1999 constitution states, Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference.”

“Without prejudice to the generality of subsection I of this section, every person shall be entitled to own, establish and operate any medium for the dissemination of information, ideas and opinions.”

He stated that the existence of these constitutions defines the society with many elements such as the media, police, government, armed forces, citizenry among others operate.

He lamented that the Buhari APC-led administration has said on several occasions that they want a free and fair elections in February but their actions are totally different from what they say.

“How can you say that you hope for credible polls in 2019 when the media which is the integral part of ensuring credibility are being oppressed. Nigeria is going through a lot right now, poor economy, poverty and especially insecurity issues bedevilling the northern part of the country. The President should be more interested in solving these insecurity issues rather than oppressing the press who are just doing their job as written in the constitution.”

“The North-Central, North-East and North-West zones were the apex of killings in 2018, with states like Borno, Benue, Plateau, Zamfara, Kaduna, Kogi, Nasarawa and Taraba being the centre of these killings. 2018 has been an omen of death and tears for our people. No states were spared in the terrible murders. Thousands of Nigerians across the country were slaughtered through the Boko Haram attacks, kidnappings, armed robbery, herdsmen and farmers clashes and so on.”

The coalition hereby demand for the immediate release of the journalists of Daily Trust newspapers and full compensation for any damage that occurred in the process of the siege.

“The Presidency and its APC cohorts should save themselves the little dignity they have left, and do something right for once. Focus on your rage against Boko Haram and let the press do their works,” Ugochinyere said

News AddThis :  Original Author :  This Day Newspaper Disable advertisements : 
Categories: audio

Direct Your Rage Against Boko Haram, Leave Media Alone, CUPP Tells Buhari​

Sahara Reporters - 8 January 2019 - 1:02am


The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has expressed displeasure on the recent invasion of Daily Trust newspaper Abuja and Maiduguri offices and arrest of some of their journalists by military operatives.

A press statement issued by Daily Trust newspaper CEO/Editor-in-chief, Mannir Dan-Ali read in part, “For four hours on Sunday, January 6, armed soldiers who came in five vehicles occupied the head office of Media Trust Limited, publishers of Daily trust titles sending away journalists and other staff. Before the siege was called off at about 9:30pm, the soldiers ransacked the newsroom and carted away dozens of computers and effectively strangulated the production of the Monday edition of paper.

"Earlier in the day at about 4 pm, another detachment of soldiers and plain cloth security officials went to the Maiduguri regional office of the company and conducted a search at the end of which they took away the Regional Bureau Chief, Uthman Abubakar and a reporter, Ibrahim Sawab. Neither the company nor the families of the two reporters have heard from them since. A production staff who was taken away from the Abuja head office alongside our computers was released after a period of detention at the Mogadishu Barrack in Abuja.”

Reacting to this, the National Spokesperson of CUPP, Ikenga Ugochinyere has bemoaned this action by military operatives against the media. He noted that the press, which is an integral and indispensable part of the society, exists for the society and it derives its powers to function from the constitution.

According to him, “As stipulated in Chapter II section 22 of the 1999 constitution, The press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people. This provision implies that the press shall be a watchdog over the excesses of government, and shall ensure that government delivers it promises to the people. The government on the one hand shall ensure that the press informs the people about its programmes and actions.”

“The free society which comprises of people of different ethnic, religious, socio-economic backgrounds are also entitled to free information, as such chapter II section 39 subsection (1) of the 1999 constitution states, Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference.”

“Without prejudice to the generality of subsection I of this section, every person shall be entitled to own, establish and operate any medium for the dissemination of information, ideas and opinions.”

He stated that the existence of these constitutions defines the society with many elements such as the media, police, government, armed forces, citizenry among others operate.

He lamented that the Buhari APC-led administration has said on several occasions that they want a free and fair elections in February but their actions are totally different from what they say.

“How can you say that you hope for credible polls in 2019 when the media which is the integral part of ensuring credibility are being oppressed. Nigeria is going through a lot right now, poor economy, poverty and especially insecurity issues bedevilling the northern part of the country. The President should be more interested in solving these insecurity issues rather than oppressing the press who are just doing their job as written in the constitution.”

“The North-Central, North-East and North-West zones were the apex of killings in 2018, with states like Borno, Benue, Plateau, Zamfara, Kaduna, Kogi, Nasarawa and Taraba being the centre of these killings. 2018 has been an omen of death and tears for our people. No states were spared in the terrible murders. Thousands of Nigerians across the country were slaughtered through the Boko Haram attacks, kidnappings, armed robbery, herdsmen and farmers clashes and so on.”

The coalition hereby demand for the immediate release of the journalists of Daily Trust newspapers and full compensation for any damage that occurred in the process of the siege.

“The Presidency and its APC cohorts should save themselves the little dignity they have left, and do something right for once. Focus on your rage against Boko Haram and let the press do their works,” Ugochinyere said

News AddThis :  Original Author :  This Day Newspaper Disable advertisements : 
Categories: audio