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Killings: CAN declares three-day prayers, fasting

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The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria has declared July 9 to July 11 as National Day of prayers and fasting programme against the killings across the country.

The association also called on all Nigerians, both within and outside the country to take part in the programme.

The President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, made the announcement in a statement signed by Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant, Media & Communications to the CAN president, on Thursday in Abuja.

Ayokunle said that the decision was hinged on the willful and persistent killings of fellow citizens in general and Christians in particular and mostly in Plateau and Benue states where mass burial has become the norm.

He said: “CAN is worried, disturbed and disappointed that despite all the clarion calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to re-organise his security team by replacing all the security chiefs, he has consistently not responded to such calls.

“From all indications, the President seems to be satisfied with their poor performance and the attendant problems that have led to the avoidable loss of lives and property.”

He called on all Christians in the country and diaspora to participate in the three-day prayers and fasting programme for God to end all the senseless, unwarranted, and selected killings in the country.
Ayokunle said: “If the government has failed us, we are very sure that our God will never fail.”

He disclosed that all the National Executive Committee’s members of the CAN, the church and denominational leaders have been invited to participate in a peaceful protest march to both the National Assembly and the States House to impress on the government to see the need to effectively stop the unprecedented killings.

Ayokunle said that the association has also directed its leadership at the state and local government levels to organise the same peaceful protest march to the Government House and the Local government headquarters respectively on July 11.

He said: “We will tell the government enough is enough.

“I appeal to all members to be law-abiding before, during and after the peaceful protest.”

He expressed disappointment to the ungodly and unlawful counsel from the Presidency for people living under the threat of the Fulani herdsmen to give away their land or face death.

He said: “The only time such a directive was given was during the tyrannical leadership of Ahab when he killed Naboth, who refused to let go of his inherited land to the greedy, wicked and the ungodly king Ahab.

“Although, he succeeded in killing Naboth, the wrath of God did not spare his family despite his remorselessness.

“Those who use violence to take away what belongs to others are unfit to be called humans.”
The CAN leader, however, called on Nigeria to rise up and speak against such a position and killing of innocent citizens.

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NEWS

Coalition thumbs up FMBN over workers -friendly policy

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A group, The Coalition of Civil Societies and Media Executives for Good Governance in Nigeria (COCMEGG), has commended the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) for its policy aimed at assisting Nigerians to own houses.
The commendation was contained in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja by its President, Omoba Kenneth Aigbegbele, and Publicity Secretary, Comrade Inuwa Sule.

According to the group, the commendation was “in recognition of the transformational development and giant strides of the FMBN, in its appraisal of the bank’s efforts in carrying out its regulatory roles and functions as enshrined in the Act establishing the bank and in making homeownership affordable, available and less cumbersome to the nation’s workers thereby driving the growth of the economy and its allied sectors.”

It added that the bank, under the leadership of Arc Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, had raised the hope of Nigerians who desired to own houses.

“The World Bank estimated that Nigeria has a housing deficit of about 17 million units and the FMBN has designed the NHF to mobilise funds to provide the citizens with affordable residential houses through accredited PMBs with the lowest rate possible.

The introduction of the zero equity on loans to workers is a novel initiative commenced by the bank for the implementation of a new approved condition for accessing loans from the National Housing Fund (NHF).

“We commend the paradigm shift from the old to the new and applaud the gigantic development strides in the welfare of staff, development of critical infrastructure as well as maintenance culture of infrastructure adopted by the Dangiwa-led management in keeping abreast of the mortgage industry globally,” the statement read in part.
Continuing, it read: “COCMEGG passes a vote of confidence on the hierarchy of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), under Arc Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, for its forthrightness, vision and strategies in ensuring that the average workers, middle income earners and the common man in the streets have a home to lay their heads.”

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NEWS

Buhari lacks vision, capacity to develop Nigeria – Saraki

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The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, has said that the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, lacks the vision, capacity and the patience to develop the country.

Saraki made the comment on Thursday when he led his Presidential campaign team on a courtesy visit to Governor Seriake Dickson at Government House, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

The Senate President asked Nigerians to replace the current leadership provided by the APC, saying that the party had caused disunity in the country.

Saraki stressed that the country was in dire need of a leader like him with a demonstrable capacity to unite the deeply divided country and create a sense of belonging through fair distribution of appointments in the country.

He argued that it was indeed impossible for anybody to give what he doesn’t have as shown by the inadequacies of the current APC leaders.

He further said that the country was in need of a young vibrant leader with the capacity to withstand the rigours of governance at all times.

He said that running governance must be accompanied with the inseparable willingness and capacity to give all-round attention to the demands of the job.

The Senate President, who also spoke on the raging debate on restructuring, stated that it would be wrong to perceive restructuring as a move to develop a few states.

Saraki said that restructuring would create opportunities for the respective states of the federation to actualise their developmental potential and ensure national growth in the interest of the future generation of Nigerians.

“2019 is a very crucial election for this country; we are at the crossroads as we have never been so disunited as we are today.

“Wherever you go, people ask questions: where do you belong? We need to address the issue of unity in this country; it is time for everybody to have a seat on the table, a time for everyone to have a sense of belonging in this country. It is not about me.

“There is a new order in the world today, wherever we go, we see leaders that have a vision, that are ready to develop their countries. A lot of us talked about the Asian tigers, but they did not come by chance, or trial and error, they became tigers because they have visionary leaders.

“They are leaders that are ready to defend their countries, that have an idea of what they want to do. As I keep on saying, you cannot give what you don’t have.

“Where we are now, we have a leadership that has no vision for us. We must bring visionary leadership to the presidential level so we can move this country forward.”

In his remarks, Governor Dickson said that the time had come for the country to move away from the evil of bigotry and indeed a leadership founded on feelings of sectional superiority.

He restated the position of the elders and leaders of the Niger Delta that the 2019 election would be a referendum on restructuring.

He said, “We must get quickly to that point where we build a new Nigeria; where to be appointed as Director General of the Department of State Services or the Chief of Army Staff, the Inspector General of Police, the Chief Justice of Nigeria and to be whatever you want to be, you don’t need to come from a particular tribe, or someone who worships one type of God or another.”

The presidency, in its reaction, described Saraki’s comment as crude, condemnable and derogatory of the President.

In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, the Presidency, however, called on Buhari’s supporters to display restraint in language and conduct.

Noting that Saraki’s sole aim of joining the PDP was contesting for the President, Shehu said the Senate President had shown himself to be a very dangerous person who could go any length to promote his personal interests.

The statement read, “The Presidency wishes to react to the crude speeches hitting the news from Senator Bukola Saraki, who recently joined the PDP with the sole ambition of running as the president of Nigeria.

“In response to the condemnable and extremely derogatory speeches by the PDP aspirant, we urge all Buhari supporters to display restraint in language and conduct and to always put across their points of view in a decent language.

“Throughout his political career, Senator Saraki has shown that he is a very dangerous person who can go any length to promote his personal interests. The language of his campaign is such that cannot be used against a domestic help.

“Does he just know that the President lacked vision? This is someone that the Senator had worked with very closely for more than three years.

“Amazingly, he never said all that he is now saying against him. Rather, his words for and on the President were always respectful and reassuring.

“That’s the man he called ‘My Father,” about him “there is no cause for alarm…a President who is healthy, witty and himself.’ What then changed, all of a sudden?

“Is he saying these blatantly false and crude things against the President because he is running for the same office? Could it be that he is targeting President Buhari because the party he just joined does not have any real issues to highlight?”

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THE NATION

Why we resort to contractor-financing of pipeline projects – NNPC

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has explained why it has resorted to contractor-financing of its pipeline and other facilities development in recent times in the Industry.

Delivering the Keynote speech at the Nigerian International Pipeline Technology and Security Conference (NIPITECS 2018) Tuesday in Abuja, the NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, stated that the recourse was to get around the prevalent funding challenge in the country, saying this has enabled the corporation to aggressively build the pipeline infrastructure within the Gas Master Plan as exemplified in the recent award of the Ajaokuta-Abuja-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline and all ongoing downstream pipeline infrastructure rehabilitation effort.

The NNPC GMD who was represented at the event by Dr. Babatunde Adeniran, Chief Operating Officer, Ventures, affirmed that pipelines remained the cheapest way of moving products across any distance, noting however that pipeline operation and construction in Nigeria had been an expensive undertaking.

He challenged members of the Pipeline Professionals Association of Nigeria (PLAN) and other stakeholders to proffer solutions that could lead to a dramatic change and expansion of pipeline business in Nigeria.

Dr. Maikanti Baru said such solution must be able to resolve the challenge which has hindered the growth and viability of pipeline venture in the country.

The GMD explained that emphasis should not be on what has been done in the past but to seek quicker, better, cheaper and more effective ways of how things should be done to achieve the feat.

“The poser I will like the conference to address is: Is cost really an inhibitor or is it the security challenges or financial models that are not properly structured and above all how do we make the pipeline business a financially viable investment?’’ he said.

Continuing, the GMD probed: “How do we build partnership with the required technical expertise to assemble new technology based-industries that are cheap to operate and can deliver products that are both locally and internationally marketable?”

He also wondered if Nigeria had a financially capable environment that could provide funds at rates that would be competitive and low enough to produce adequate returns.

He averred that the answer to these posers would enable NNPC restructure and develop policies that would encourage infrastructure development in the country.

Earlier in his welcome address, Engr. Geoff Onuoha, Chairman of PLAN, expressed delight at the high level of support accorded the association by the NNPC Management, assuring that the pipeline professionals would not only pick up the gauntlet and tackle the challenge posed to the group by the NNPC GMD, but would continue to work with other stakeholders to ensure the in-country viability of pipeline business.

Engr. Chidi Izuwah, the Acting Director General/Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, commended the NNPC Management for embracing the contractor-financing model in the AKK project, noting that such an option should be replicated wholesomely in respect of other mega industry projects.

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