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Eid-el-Kabir: Buhari admits Nigerians going through hardship

President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to Nigerians to be patient with his government as it addresses the hardship in the land.

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Buhari admits Nigerians are suffering

President Muhammadu Buhari has admitted that Nigerians are going through severe hardship occasioned by rising prices of foodstuffs and others.

The president, in his Eid El-Adha greetings restated the determination of his administration to create a just, harmonious and prosperous country in which the safety of life and property is assured.

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Reflecting on current challenges facing the country, the President stated that “COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the economies of all countries, including Nigeria, in addition to the fact that floods have caused large scale destruction to agricultural farmlands, thereby impacting negatively on our efforts to boost local production in line with our policy to drastically reduce food importation.”

This, he explains, has led to food inflation which the government is working hard to address.

According to Buhari, “no government in our recent history has invested as heavily as we are doing to promote local production of about 20 other commodities, through the provision of loans and several other forms of support to our farmers.”

He said, “apart from the destruction caused to rice farms by floods, middlemen have also taken advantage of the local rice production to exploit fellow Nigerians, thereby undermining our goal of supporting local food production at affordable prices.”

“As an elected president who enjoys the goodwill of the ordinary people that gave us their mandate, let me assure you that we are continuing with measures to bring relief to Nigerians, including making fertilizer available at affordable prices to our farmers,” he tells Nigerians.

The President also notes that the current insecurity in the country “has produced severe and adverse effects on agriculture because farmers are prevented from accessing their farms by bandits and terrorists.”

“Let me also use this opportunity to reassure Nigerians that we are taking measures to address our security challenges. We have started taking delivery of fighter aircraft and other necessary military equipment and hardware to improve the capacity of our security forces to confront terrorism and banditry,” he added.

Speaking on the significance of the Eid El-Kabir celebration, the President appeals to Muslims “to demonstrate the good virtues of Islam through personal examples and practices:

“Taking advantage of the celebration to exploit fellow citizens through outrageous prices of food and rams is inconsistent with fine virtues of Islam.

“As practising believers, we shouldn’t seek obscene profits by making life difficult and miserable for others. We should not seek happiness at the expense of others. Remember that Islam is a religion of charity that urges us to love our neighbour as we love ourselves.

“I urge all Muslims to continue to live in peace and harmony with their fellow Nigerians of other faiths in the spirit of peaceful coexistence. Let us pray for the progress of Nigeria at all times. Let us expose undesirable elements among us who are creating security problems for the country.”

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Former Ogun First Lady celebrates 96th birthday

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Mama Lucy Onabanjo, wife of the first civilian Governor of Ogun State, the late Chief Victor Olabisi Onabanjo (Aiyekooto) celebrated her 96th birthday on Tuesday.

Lucy Onabanjo is the oldest surviving former first lady.

Born in Ijebu Ode on October 26, 1925, Mama Onabanjo was trained as a teacher.

It was after her training as a teacher that Lucy started dating the Late Bisi, who was working with a local newspaper called Gaskiya Tarfi Kobo (Truth is more than a Kobo).

Few months after meeting Bisi , she walked down the aisle and said “I do.”

The humble ceremony would blossom into a life of civil service from teaching to the Government House, Abeokuta and beyond.

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It’s illegal to pay petrol subsidy from federation account, Sanusi tells FG

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Former Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi II, has said the federal government is indulging in illegality by paying petroleum subsidy from the federation account.

The former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor spoke virtually as a panelist on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the just concluded Nigerian Economic Summit held in Abuja.

He also said the Nigerian daily oil consumption data is suspect thus there is endemic corruption in fuel subsidy payments.

“This money coming from petrol belongs to the federation account, and the federal government doesn’t have the constitutional right to pay subsidy on behalf of the federation.

“So it is a fundamental constitutional issue because this is money that should go to the federal, states and local governments. Yet money that belongs to the federation is carried out as federal government expenditure. So, there are so many complex issues, legal and economic issues. We need to stop these issues” he said.

He also advocated for the end of fuel subsidy and electricity subsidy, saying the money saved should be invested in critical sectors like education and health adding that the long-term gains far outweigh the short-term pains.

“I have said this before even as a CBN Governor under the previous government. What I say is not of a particular government. Take petroleum subsidy.

“In 2015 or 2016, Minister Ibe Kachukwu said Nigerian was importing 30 million litres of PMS per day after eliminating corruption. In 2019, the NNPC said we are importing 59 million litres per day after oil prices have gone up. And I have been asking the question, what happened between 2015 and 2019 that our oil consumption has almost double?” he asked.

He noted that “this is what also happened under the previous government. When oil prices go up, NNPC said they are importing more because of the arbitrage. Thus, when the oil prices go high, there is an incentive to inflate the number” he noted.

On electricity tariff, he said it should also be stopped as even poorer countries are paying cost reflective tariffs and enjoying uninterrupted electricity.

The Chairman, the Nigerian Governors Forum and the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Kayode Fayemi, also agreed that subsidy payments had to end for resources to be free up for critical investments.

He also said that the government must focus on education and healthcare provision.

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PHOTOS: South-west govs visit Tinubu

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