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No One Travels Until Closure of Budget 2020 Defence, Buhari Rules

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President Muhammadu Buhari has placed a temporary ban on foreign travels by all members of his cabinet and other government officials.

The new directive was announced Friday evening by Willie Bassey, the director of information in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

“Sequel to the presentation of the 2020 Appropriation Bill by Mr President to the National Assembly, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the immediate suspension of international travels by all Cabinet Members and Heads of Government Agencies so as to enable Honourable Ministers personally lead the process of Budget defence at the National Assembly,” the statement said.

“The suspension of such travels will enable functionaries and agencies of the Executive Arm to provide the required cooperation with the Legislature in order to ensure timely passage of the Appropriation Bill.

“Honourable Ministers who have already secured approval to travel are by this directive, required to revalidate such approvals with Mr President after confirming the Schedule of Appearances with the relevant committees of the National Assembly.

“Furthermore, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have been directed to liaise with the relevant committees of the National Assembly for their Schedules of Budget defence.”

President Buhari had on Tuesday presented the year 2020 N10.33 trillion budget proposal to a joint session of the National Assembly.

The President said the early presentation of the financial estimate to the National Assembly was to enable the country to return to the January-December budget cycle.

Shortly after the presentation of the budget, the Senate gave October 31 as the deadline for all government agencies to defend their budget estimates to enable the passage of the document in December.

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said all Ministries, Departments and Agencies(MDAs) should appear before the Committees for the defence of their Budget estimates without delay.

On Friday, Mr Lawan reiterated that position, saying the National Assembly would not allow Ministers or Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government to frustrate it from passing the budget by December.

“The National Assembly will do the right thing; which is to work on the budget and pass it,” Mr Lawan said at the unveiling of the Legislative Agenda of the House of Representatives.

“We will not allow anyone to frustrate our desire to pass the 2020 Budget before the end of this year. So, it is an opportunity for all those concerned with defending their budgets, to take the advantage,” Mr Lawan said.

The Senate President has been consistent in his desire to reverse the current unpredictable financial year to a more predictable January to December cycle of budgeting.

To achieve what some people consider a tall order, the leadership of the ninth National Assembly has repeatedly warned government officials to take advantage of the opportunity to defend their budget estimates on schedule.

Mr Lawan, who is also the Chairman of the National Assembly, said: “one thing that we have collectively decided in the National Assembly, is to pass the budget 2020 before the end of the year.

“Already, the House has suspended plenary; the Senate will do same on Tuesday next week for the consideration of budget defence by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.

“Only the window of October is available for budget defence. Any Minister or Head of Agency who decides to travel out of Nigeria, without defending his or her respective budget would have no opportunity to do so.”

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Mamman Daura’s Daughter’s Release of Clip at this Time is Mischievous, Didn’t Share Video Where She Abused the First Lady, Aisha Buhari – Presidency Source

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A source within the Presidency has debunked claims made by Fatima, daughter of Mamman Daura who is one of President Buhari’s closest allies on being attacked by First Lady, Aisha Buhari at the Aso Villa, The Nation reports.

Recall that in an interview with BBC, Fatima denied report of her father arranging a second wife for President Buhari. She also denied claims that her dad is allegedly the head of ”a cabal” which controls the Buhari presidency (Aisha Buhari had in the past alleged that some persons have taken control of her husband’s government).

Fatima also revealed that she recorded the viral video of Aisha Buhari screaming at some persons in the Villa in 2017. According to her, she recorded the video to prove that the First Lady was violent to her and her family members after President Buhari asked them to vacate an apartment they were given in the villa after he assumed office in 2015.

However The Nation reported that a Presidential source debunked the claim, alleging that Mamman Daura’s daughter failed to tell the full story on why they were asked to vacate the apartment.

According to the source, the apartment was needed for the then recuperating Yusuf after his Power Bike accident.

 

She said: “By now the airwaves are awash with Fatima, Mamman Daura’s daughter, consenting to the fact that she indeed shot and leaked the now infamous video clip which showed the wife of the president in a very angry mood.

“The incident happened over a year ago when the wife of the president, on the instructions of the president, asked the Dauras to vacate their living quarters inside the Villa for a sick Yusuf Buhari who was recuperating after an accident.

“For this reason, the quarters were needed and the Dauras were asked to move to another part of the Villa. Long before the accident, Yusuf’s mother had requested in writing for the Dauras to vacate the place because the building is officially designated for the biological children of any serving president.

“The IG of police, DG DSS, NSA and the vice president who was the acting president, were all notified of this request. Despite this, the Dauras deliberately refused to comply with the instructions of the security agencies. Mamman Daura’s daughter, Fatima, did not say this in her interview.

“What really was the intent for the video being released now if not for mischief? Fatima didn’t showcase her part in the drama where the door was locked against the first lady to deny her access to some areas of the Villa, neither did she acknowledge the abuse she first vented before the first lady reacted under the instruction of DG Lawal Daura, who was brought into government by Mamman Daura.”

Source: LIB

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Brazil/Nigeria Match: Why I Used Okoye Instead of Ezenwa – Rohr

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Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has explained that he decided to replace injured first choice goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho with Fortuna Düsseldorf’s Maduka Okoye during the Brazil versus Nigeria friendly match in Singapore because he felt the home-based Ikechukwu Ezenwa was match rusty.

Brazil forced Nigeria to a 1-1 draw in the friendly game played on Sunday.

Speaking after the match, Rohr noted that Ezenwa, who is number two in the pecking order of goalkeepers, has not tasted action since the conclusion of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, while Okoye was active for Fortuna Düsseldorf’s reserve team in the Regionalliga West.

“We decided to put in Maduka because Ezenwa didn’t play for months, not even in the CHAN Team,’’ Rohr said in an interview with the Super Eagles Media Team.

“He didn’t have any experience of competition in the last three months so we decided to play with Maduka because he was playing for his club.”

Rohr regretted that Uzoho had to leave the game because of injury, praying the goalkeeper would recover soon.

He added: “Francis had a great match, we regret so much his injury, he will have examinations tomorrow so we will see exactly.

“He is playing again in his club so he can come back with us to play. I hope he will not be out for a long time because we have two important matches to play, against Benin in Nigeria and Lesotho, so we have a lot of work to do.

“He is playing well in his club so he can come back with us. I hope he will not be out for a long time because we have two important matches to play. So, we have a lot of work to do.”

Uzoho, who was impressive in the game left the pitch in the 65th minute as a result of the injury.

The Omonia Nicosia goalkeeper is now a doubt for next month’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Benin and Lesotho.

The German was impressed with the general performance of his players, saying, ‘they caused many problems for Brazil.’

Rohr lauded his team’s fighting spirit and solidarity for the duration, despite Brazil leveling in the second half through midfielder Casemiro.

The 66-year-old insisted the Eagles gave their more flamboyant opponents “problems” despite conceding possession to the South Americans.

“The team did very well, big solidarity, because Brazil wanted to win the game,” Rohr added.

“They scored very early in the second half and when they scored we had another 44 minutes to play, so, it was really not easy but with a lot of solidarity, fighting spirit and also counter attacks especially our wingers; they were very strong today, and we gave them problems.”

The Guardian

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Customs Places Indefinite Ban on Exports, Imports Through Land Borders

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The Nigeria Customs Service on Monday announced an indefinite ban on importation and exportation of goods through the land borders.

Comptroller-General, NCS, Col. Hameed Ali (retd), who stated this at a press conference in Abuja, also said Niger Republic had placed a ban on export of rice to Nigeria as a result of Nigeria’s border closure.

This came as the Nigeria Immigration Service said it had stopped 1,111 foreigners from entering Nigeria since August 20, 2019 when the country’s land borders were partially closed.

Ali said, “For now, all goods, whether illicit or non-illicit, are banned from going and coming into Nigeria. Let me add that for the avoidance of doubt, we have included all goods because all goods can equally come through our seaports.

“For that reason, we have deemed it necessary for now that importers of such goods should go through our controlled boarders where we have scanners to verify the goods and how healthy they are to our people.”

The closure of borders is being enforced by the NCS and NIS, in collaboration with the Nigerian armed forces and the Nigeria Police Force. It is being coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

Ali said the aim of the exercise was to better secure Nigeria’s borders, address trans-border security concerns and strengthen the economy.

The customs boss said it was disturbing that some neighbouring countries were circumventing the ECOWAS protocol on transit.

He said, “For clarity, the ECOWAS protocol on transit demands that when a transit container berths at a seaport, the receiving country is mandated to escort same without tampering with the seal to the border of the destination country.

“Unfortunately, experience has shown that our neighbours do not comply with this protocol. Rather, they break the seals of containers at their ports and trans-load goods destined for Nigeria.”

Ali said the closure of the borders had curbed the smuggling of foreign rice into Nigeria and addressed the diversion of petroleum products from Nigeria to neighbouring countries.

According to him, 10.2 million litres of petrol had been stopped from being diverted out of the country since the borders were closed, while producers of local food were making increased earnings.

On security, the customs boss stated that so far, 317 suspected smugglers and 146 illegal migrants had been arrested.

He said, “Also, some items seized are 21,071 pieces of 50kg bags of parboiled foreign rice; 190 vehicles; 891 drums filled with petrol; 2,665 jerry cans of vegetable oil; 66,000 litre-tanker of vegetable oil; 133 motorcycles; 70 jerry cans of petrol and 131 bags of NPK fertiliser used for making explosives. The estimated monetary value of the intercepted items is about N1.43bn.”

He explained that 95 per cent of illicit drugs and weapons used for acts of terrorism and kidnapping in Nigeria came through the porous borders.

He said following the closure of Nigeria’s borders, “Niger Republic has already circulated an order banning exportation of rice in any form to Nigeria.”

According to him, no date has been fixed to reopen the borders, adding that Nigeria will only end closure when its neighbours have fully complied with the Economic Community of West African States Protocol on Transit.

He said, “The government, through diplomatic channels, will continue to engage our neighbours to agree to comply with ECOWAS protocol on transit.

“Goods that are on the prohibition list in Nigeria, such as rice, used clothing, poultry products and vegetable oil should not be exported to the country.

The Punch

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