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Ministers, top civil servants must declare assets – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said that governors, ministers and top civil servants must declare their assets.

Buhari said the imperative for elected public officials and top civil servants in the category of permanent secretaries was a constitutional obligation.

The president, who had last week made public his assets, threw the challenge in Accra, Ghana, yesterday where he had gone on a one-day working visit to President John Dramani Mahama.

The Nigerian leader was responding to a question from the Ghanaian press during a joint press conference with Mahama after bilateral talks at the Peduase Lodge in Aburi on how he could impress it on other African leaders and public office holders to emulate him by making assets declaration a priority in governance.

Buhari said assets declaration had been engrained in the Nigerian Constitution, saying he had done such four times since 1975 that he had served the country in various capacities.

His words: “I recall that in 1975 when late Murtala Mohammed became the Head of State, we were lined up in the corridor – governors, ministers, members of the Supreme Military Council – and officials of Ministry of Justice were brought and every individual was made to declare his assets.

“So right now, all heads of state and government, governors, ministers, permanent secretaries will have to declare their assets because it is a constitutional requirement.

“In Nigeria, it is a constitutional issue and that is why I am blaming you gentlemen of the press. If you really want to do investigative journalism, you don’t have to worry me at this stage; I have declared my assets four times.

“When I was governor in 1975, I declared. After being Minister of Petroleum and as a member of Supreme Military Council, I declared. When I was Head of State and now as a President, I also declared.

“I have declared my assets and all that I have four times, and you (the media) have the right to go and demand for my declaration. Instead, I am being harassed.”

Buhari also challenged Nigerian journalists to go and look for details of his assets declaration instead of harassing him with further questions.

He said since he had declared his assets four times since 1975 that he had served in different capacities in the country, the journalists could be more investigative in their work if they could fish out the details.

Buhari said journalists who had been heckling him to publish the details of what he recently declared could do better by just using the law to dig up the records of his four separate declarations since 1975.

On security challenges, the president said the military was gaining ground and lot of progress was being made on the fight against Boko Haram to the extent that the terrorists were now isolated in the Sambisa forest, and would be routed very soon.

He said: “The first thing I did after I came into office was to re-organise the military and clear terms were given to them in terms of retraining, re-equipping and redeployment of troops.

“In the north-east, the military is gaining ground and Boko Haram has been severely limited to the Sambisa Forest.

“Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who moved out because of insurgency are gradually moving back to their constituencies and they are being integrated into their respective communities.”

He further assured the public that he would unveil other members of his cabinet before the end of September this year, failure of which Nigerians could then start to ask him questions.

“After I was sworn-in, I said I would have my cabinet in September and I expect that Nigerians should ask me questions after the 30th of September if I do not do that,” he stressed.

In his remarks, President Mahama commended Buhari’s efforts at galvanising West African nations to support their Lake Chad Basin counterparts to quash Boko Haram through the Multinational Joint Task Force.

He pledged to ensure Ghana plays her part well, including sharing relevant military intelligence with Nigerian authorities.

On the difficulties faced by Nigerians doing business in Ghana, Mahama explained that the law requiring them to pay capital/registration levy of $300,000 would be amended by the Ghanaian parliament as soon as the already approved biometric registration of ECOWAS traders, which begins next year, is completed.

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War: China, India, Tajikistan, others to send troops to Russia

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China’s People’s Liberation Army will send troops to Russia to participate in the “East-2022” drills.

The East-2022 is also called the Vostok-2022 and this was disclosed by the Chinese Ministry of Defense on Wednesday, according to CNN.

“China’s participation in the exercise is aimed at deepening practical and friendly cooperation with the armies of the participating countries,” the ministry added.

It further explained that the Asian giants’ participation would enhance the level of strategic cooperation among countries involved.

The exercise would further strengthen the ability to respond to various security threats, according to the defense ministry.

It, however, added that the exercise is unrelated to the current international and regional situation.

Other nations to join in the exercise are India, Belarus, Tajikistan, Mongolia and other countries.

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Buhari approves three orthopedic hospitals in Edo, Plateau, Taraba

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of three additional orthopedic hospitals.

Health Minister, Osagie Ehanire, made the announcement on Wednesday at the inauguration of the Primary Health Care(PHC) Leadership Challenge at the State House.

The event was organised by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) in collaboration with development partners.

Ehanire disclosed that the President approved siting of the orthopedic hospital in three regions.

“North-East has one; the North-Central has one and the South-South has one; in Benin, Jos and Jalingo respectively”, NAN quoted him saying.

Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed said N471.9 billion had been disbursed to states under the $1.5billion World Bank-Assisted States Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme.

She added that all the 36 states had fully domesticated the fiscal reforms in their public financial management system.

Buhari approves three orthopedic hospitals in Edo, Plateau, Taraba

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BREAKING: Electricity workers call off strike

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National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has called off its nationwide strike.

The decision followed an emergency meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige on Wednesday.

The minister’s spokesman Olajide Oshundun, announced that Ngige intervened in the industrial action.

NUEE Secretary General, Joe Ajaero, assured that electricity would be restored across the country tonight.

The workers shut down all Transmission Companies of Nigeria (TCN) offices earlier today.

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