Buhari bad business for corrupt politicians, civil servants – Presidency

A presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, says the Buhari government is bad business for a number of parliamentarians, civil servants and

A presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, says the Buhari government is bad business for a number of parliamentarians, civil servants and security agents.

Mr Shehu said corrupt politicians, public officers, police officers, Customs and Immigration officials who hitherto benefited from corrupt practices during previous administrations were uncomfortable with the Buhari administration.

Mr Shehu, who is the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, stated this in a special feature titled: “The Real Price of Changing the Change (1)’’, issued in Abuja on Sunday.

According to the presidential aide, as Mr Buhari is busy fighting corruption, the corrupt politicians and civil servants are equally busy praying for return of the old order where they had their days illegally amassing public wealth.

He said: “The list of people who oppose the Buhari government and yearning to `change the change’ include a number of parliamentarians, policemen, customs officials, immigration officials, civil servants now rooting for other political parties, not leaving out those various businesses and platforms owned by these political parties directly or indirectly.

“The Buhari win in 2015, and the possibility of four more years have crumbled their dreams of endlessly looting the state and the growing list of achievements of the administration is not doing any good for them.’’

Mr Shehu observed that top opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members had been granting interviews and addressing zonal political rallies talking about “CHANGING THE CHANGE” in next year’s general elections, without defining what exactly that means.

He, however, stated that Nigerians needed to be reminded of what the reversal of the achievements of the three years of the Buhari government would amount to.

“The real meaning and cost of the `Changing the Change,’ is that if they win the next election, they will not take us back to where we were in 2015, they will mostly reverse the progress the APC has brought to the nation.

“The main reason for the defeat of the PDP in 2015 was corruption. The present administration at the centre led by President Muhammadu Buhari has so far presented a corrupt-free image of itself,’’ he said.

He added that the Buhari administration had also succeeded in abolishing grand corruption at the top, as attested to by the American President, Donald Trump.

President @MBuhari’s visit to President @realDonaldTrump in the Oval Office and Press Conference in the Rose Garden.

He said the government had significantly brought down the level of corruption in the country but, however, warned that corruption was fighting back.

“Although he said he was unafraid and would not bend, the President’s concern, and fear on the part of many is that if a corrupt leader takes over, it will be happy days all over again for former Oil Minister Diezani Allison-Maduekwe who has so far forfeited 153 million dollars, N23.4 billion, and 4 million dollars and 5 million dollars in separate accounts.

“Change the Change’ would mean she will get the money back. So would the former Managing Director of the maritime agency, NIMASA, get back GBP 578,080 seized from him and the Ikoyi apartment owners have back their 43.4 million dollars; N23 million and GBP 27,800.

“The hidden owner of the Lagos cash shop may then step forward to reclaim their N449.6 million; the ex-Naval Chiefs will have returned to them the already forfeited N1.8 billion; the Governors Forum paid back their N1.4 billion and the major oil marketers, from whom the EFCC has so far seized N328.9 billion will smile their ways to the bank.

“The banks themselves will equally join the party, happily getting back N27.7 billion they `ate’ from taxes they failed to remit; the scion of the Akinjides, Jumoke will have N650 million awarded to her,’’ he said.

Mr Shehu further stated that those scammers in INEC who coughed out N1 billion would equally get the money back and charges standing against them in court may be dropped.

“But the happiest of them all will be Mrs Jonathan, who will get the first priority when the refunds start coming for obvious reasons.

“The former First Lady would not anymore need lawyers to keep her mountain of gifts, counted in huge millions of dollars, billions of Naira, hotels and buildings,’’ he added.

He equally noted that the early casualties of ‘changing the change’ may include initiatives like the Whistle Blower policy by which the government was able to recover stolen or concealed assets through information provided by citizens.

According to him, this has changed the ethical and moral tone of the business transaction space in the country.

The whistle blower is entitled to between 2.5 and five per cent of amount recovered.

The presidential aide said that `change the change’ might also result to scrapping the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), which he described as the biggest tax revolution since independence.

“The Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) now being implemented, and about which many of our rich citizens are unhappy may be scrapped.

“A recent report shows that there are four million new taxpayers, including companies and individuals, resulting in N700 billion increase in tax revenue in 2017,’’ he said.

According to him, Mr Buhari is also bad business for importers of diesel and generators because he had raised electric power availability from 2,600 MW in 2015 to 7,000 MW.

He said the Buhari-administration was targeting 10,000 megawatts by the end of 2018.

“Another formidable group unhappy with the change and wish it reversed are the importers of diesel and generators. Nigeria ranks as the second biggest importer of generators all over the world.

“Buhari is bad business for them because he has raised electric power availability from 2,600 MW in 2015 to 7,000 MW and is targeting 10,000 megawatts by the year’s end.

“Increased power availability means less purchase of generators and less consumption of diesel.

“Noticeably, they are rooting for parties that are bent on changing the change,’’ he maintained.

The presidential aide also identified other rooters of `changing the change’ campaign to include the beneficiaries of the malaria economy which costs Nigeria N132 billion and 300,000 lives annually.

According to him, this is an economy now threatened by the administration’s National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) by which tens of millions of long-lasting Insecticide-Treated Nets (ITN) are being freely distributed.

“A part of this order is now made in Aba, Nigeria,’’ Mr Shehu explained. (NAN)

PHOTOS: Nigerian police officers caught on camera taking bribe

Two police officers have been caught on camera extorting motorists along Ijebu Ode-Ibadan Road in Ogun State. One of the

Two police officers have been caught on camera extorting motorists along Ijebu Ode-Ibadan Road in Ogun State.

One of the police officers, whose badge identified him as Oyewole Afolabi, was caught by PREMIUM TIMES collecting N50 from a bus driver who was conveying passengers to Ibadan from Ajah, Lagos State, on Sunday.

The second officer, Eniola Olaiya, was captured on camera by PREMIUM TIMES as the same driver crossed the Oyo State border with Ogun State into Ibadan.

Police officers have continued the culture of extortion at checkpoints despite decades of condemnation by the Nigerian public and foreign think-tanks. Mounting roadblocks is one of the easiest ways for officers to shakedown motorists.

Oftentimes, they compromise their official duty by taking arbitrary ‘fines’ from motorists whose vehicle licence or insurance papers are outdated or missing. Where all vehicle and driving credentials are intact, officers found other ways of harassing road users to squeeze out as much as they could within the pace of a few seconds.

The bus driver who was extorted in this particular instance told PREMIUM TIMES if he had refused to cooperate with the officers, he could be ‘unnecessarily’ delayed for several hours.

“If we don’t give them, they will delay us unnecessarily,” the driver said under anonymity to avoid a backlash from officers because he plies the route regularly. “In fact, we add police extortion fee to passengers transport fare. I can’t run from them because I follow this road everyday.”

On Saturday evening, PREMIUM TIMES forwarded multimedia evidence of the officers’ conduct to Abayomi Shogunle, head of police complaints unit in Abuja. Mr Shogunle, an assistant police commissioner, promised to examine images and get back later on.

In recent decades, especially in the advent of Internet, hundreds of officers have been caught on camera soliciting bribes at roadblocks and the action posted online.

Although most of the officers often escaped severe disciplinary measures, some of them have not been so lucky in recent years. In 2013, 
a sergeant was dismissed after a viral video showed him soliciting bribes from motorists in Lagos.
In June 2017, 
four officers were dismissed for extorting a citizen in Ijebu Ode Area Command, the same jurisdiction where Mr Afolabi was caught on camera by PREMIUM TIMES.

Nigeria Police taking bribe

Last December, the police in Ekiti 
sacked an officer for allegedly killing a motorist who reportedly refused to comply with bribe demands at a checkpoint. Ayo Famodimu faced an orderly room trial before and subsequently placed on trial for the murder.

As part of measures to curb the bribery menace amongst officers, successive Inspectors-General over the past decade have proscribed mounting of roadblocks, but the orders are usually abandoned within a few weeks.

Some unofficial accounts said officers are poorly remunerated and bribe earnings often go towards maintaining their stations and equipment. It is common to see a police vehicle that broke down due to a lack of fuel or poor maintenance.

Okechukwu Nwaguma of the Network for Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) acknowledged the challenges confronting the police rank and file, but said the brazen extortion of motorists will never be justifiable.

“The argument has always been made by low-level officers that there is no adequate provision for their operation or welfare,” Mr Nwanguma said. “It is even worse for them when senior officers send them out to extort motorists then deny involvement if they get caught.”

Nigeria Police taking bribe

“Still, nothing justifies this humiliating conduct by officers and we hope it would stop soon,” Mr Nwanguma said. “It it would stop, the government would not only improve on the welfare and operation equipment for the police, there must also be a stringent training measures that would help officers live up to the highest ethical standards found amongst their counterparts across the world.”

LG Election: Kaduna votes with electronic machines as opposition complains

Local government council elections held in Kaduna on Saturday amid complaints of late arrival of materials and low turnout of

Local government council elections held in Kaduna on Saturday amid complaints of late arrival of materials and low turnout of voters.

The election in 21 of the state’s 23 local government areas was conducted using electronic voting machines — the first time in Nigeria.

At all the polling unit visited in Unguwan Dosa, Kawo, Unguwan Shanu, Badarawa, Barnawa, Television, Kakuri, few voters were seen queueing to get accredited and vote for their preferred candidates. At some unit, officials were yet to arrive as at 12: 30pm.

Yakubu Aliyu, a resident of Maiduguri Road, said he voted early. He applauded the state government for introducing the electronic voting system.

“Although few people turned out at most polling centers, the process was quiet simple and fast. Many people have voted. It took me not five minutes to vote. This is commendable,” he said.

Voting started late in some areas of Zaria, Sabongari, Lere, Ikara, Kachia, and Jaba.

Sani Bitrus from Jaba Local Government told PREMIUM TIMES that they were witnessing late arrival of the election officials.

Accredited voters did not see ballot papers. Instead, they faced an electronic voting machine displaying the logos of the political parties participating in the election.

By pressing the logo of a preferred political party, the voter registers a choice that is recorded and acknowledged by the machine.

Complaints

But a former spokesperson to former governor Ramalan Yero, and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ahmed Maiyaki, accused the state government and the state electoral body of deliberately disenfranchising the people by not arriving at polling unit early, and not being present in some polling units.

“We are aware of the plan by APC to rig the local government election. We are not going to accept that,” Mr Maiyaki said.

“As I am taking to you right now, there were no electronic machine at many polling units up till this afternoon. All over the place there are reports of absence of voting machine and it is deliberate.

Kaduna LG Polls – Premium Times Mohammed Lere.

Kaduna LG Polls – Premium Times Mohammed Lere.

Kaduna LG Polls – Premium Times Mohammed Lere.

Kaduna LG Polls – Premium Times Mohammed Lere.

Kaduna LG Polls – Premium Times Mohammed Lere.

Kaduna LG Polls – Premium Times Mohammed Lere.

Kaduna LG Polls – Premium Times Mohammed Lere.

Kaduna LG Polls – Premium Times Mohammed Lere.

Kaduna LG Polls – Premium Times Mohammed Lere.

Kaduna LG Polls – Premium Times Mohammed Lere.

“And again there is clear used of money at various polling centers. In Igabi Local Government, the story is not different. I am telling that the state has failed and we are watching and we are not going to accept the result as it is clear they want to rig the results.

” All of us here are supervising the election, I am here at the PDP situation room here and I am telling clear and loud, this is a failure.

Meanwhile a visit to some polling unit in the state reveal low turnout and in many, are still expecting election materials.

When contacted, an APC chieftain in Kaduna, Hassan Mohammed, said he was not aware of any plan by the party to disenfranchise Kaduna voters from exercising their civic rights.

“The APC is accepted by the people of the state and there is no plan in anyway to stop the people from electing their chairmen and councilors. It is that feeling of defeat that the PDP is already experiencing and they have started their usual noise,” Mr Hassan said.

An official of the state electoral commission, Mohammed Mustapha, told PREMIUM TIMES that the commission was doing all it could to see that no citizen of the state missed out of the election.

“Yes we are having little hitches here and there, like arrival of voting materials to some units but as I speak to you now many polling units have finish capturing voters and just waiting for voters to come.

“Everybody will vote and we are prepared to make sure the elections succeed.”

WHO prepares for worst case Ebola scenario, hopes to deploy vaccine

The WHO is preparing for the worst case scenario in an Ebola outbreak in a remote area of Congo, including

The WHO is preparing for the worst case scenario in an Ebola outbreak in a remote area of Congo, including spread to a major town.

WHO Deputy Director-General of Emergency Preparedness and Response, Peter Salama, on Friday told a regular UN briefing in Geneva that he hoped the Democratic Republic of Congo would give the green light within days for the deployment of an experimental vaccine, but warned that the drug was complicated to use and was not a magic bullet.

He said the WHO had alerted the nine neighbouring countries but currently regarded the risk of regional spread as “moderate”.

The vaccine is called “rVSV-ZEBOV”.

WHO said 17 people have died since inhabitants of a village in the country’s northwest began showing symptoms resembling Ebola in December.

This is the ninth time Ebola has been recorded in the Democratic Republic of Congo since the disease made its first known appearance – near the vast central African country’s northern Ebola river – in the 1970s.

“One of the defining features of this epidemic is the fact that three health professionals have been affected,” Health Minister Oly Ilunga said in a statement. “This situation worries us and requires an immediate and energetic response.”

Most of the cases so far have been recorded around the village of Ikoko Impenge, near the northwestern town of Bikoro.

Congo’s long experience with Ebola and its remote geography mean outbreaks are often localised and relatively easy to isolate.

But Ikoko Impenge and Bikoro are situated not far from the banks of the Congo River, a major artery for trade and transport upstream from the capital Kinshasa.

The Congo Republic is just on the other side of the river.

A spokesman for the director of epidemiology in Congo Republic said government experts would meet on Thursday to discuss measures to prevent it crossing the border.

Nigeria’s immigration service said on Thursday it had increased screening tests at airports and other entry points as a precautionary measure.

Similar measures helped it contain the virus during the West African epidemic that began in 2013.

Officials in Guinea and Gambia both said they had heightened screening measures along their borders to prevent the spread.

Democratic Republic of Congo’s health ministry said it had dispatched a team of 12 experts to the northwest to try to trace new contacts of the disease, identify the epicentre and all affected villages and provide resources.

Ebola is most feared for the internal and external bleeding it can cause in its victims owing to damage done to blood vessels.(Reuters/NAN)

Death toll from burst Kenya dam rises to 32: Interior ministry

The death toll from a burst Kenyan dam has risen to 32, interior ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka said on Thursday.

The death toll from a burst Kenyan dam has risen to 32, interior ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka said on Thursday.

Floodwater from a flower-farm dam that burst after days of torrential rain in Kenya’s Rift Valley and swept through 450 homes, the local governor said on Thursday.

Nakuru county governor Lee Kinyanjui told Reuters as many as 2,000 people had been affected by the rupturing of the dam on Wednesday night.

Engineers had been sent to carry out safety checks on three other nearby reservoirs.

East Africa, much of which suffered severe drought last year, has been hit by heavy rain over the last two months that has displaced hundreds of thousands of people in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and Uganda.

Even before the dam-burst, rains had killed 132 people and displaced 222,000 in Kenya alone, according to the government.

The St. John Ambulance service said at least 21 people had been killed downstream of the dam.

The Kenya Red Cross said 39 people had been rescued from the mud.

“The water has caused huge destruction of both life and property. The extent of the damage has yet to be ascertained,” Kinyajui said.(Reuters/NAN)

Police personnel grumble over salary deduction

Some police personnel have lamented the reduction in their salaries for the past few months saying the situation has worsened

Some police personnel have lamented the reduction in their salaries for the past few months saying the situation has worsened their economic plight.

The police officcers, cutting across states, said they have had portions from their salaries deducted especially for the months of February, March and April. The officers who are not named to in order to protect their identities as requested said efforts to get explanations from the police authorities have not been fruitful.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the Force Headquarters, FCT Police Command and the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation have been besieged by police officers across the country seeking explanations on why their salaries are being cut.

A sergeant, who serves as a driver to one of the Assistant Commissioners of Police in Abuja, said N15,000 was being deducted from his salary monthly since the beginning of the year. He said this had adversely affected his spending power. He said despite formal complaints made by him to the authorities, he is yet to be given a reason for the deduction.

Similarly, a female Inspector who is serving in the Lagos Command said she came to Abuja to complain about the monthly deduction of N27, 000 from her salary for the past few months. She said the salary she recieves is hardly enough to cater for her family and that the deduction had added to her financial plight. She appealed to the police authorities to look into the matter so as to bring reprieve to ”many of her colleagues who are also affected”.

”It is not only me that is affected. I can count over 30 officers, mainly of junior rank who have been affected. Imagine someone earning a little over N40, 000 having N15, 000 deducted from his or her salary. I even know some senior officers who earn close to N100, 000 but are now recieving N40, 000 to N50, 000. We learnt that this new payment system (Integrated Personnel and Payment System) employed by the government is the reason for the anomaly. But we need explanations from our ‘ogas’. We also need to know if we will get the deductions paid back to us,” the officer, who asked not to be named said.

A female officer at the Force Headquarters also said her March salary was cut and even though she had laid a formal complaint, she is yet to get the funds back or any explanation.

Another police officer, who did not give her rank said though she was not affected, she knew at least five Inspectors who are affected by the deductions.

Nigeria Police

”I know at least five Inspectors who say that N27, 000 is being deducted from their salaries monthly. Of course we know there are some normal deductions like tax and pension which we are already used to and is known. But nobody seems to know what these new deductions are for. You need to to visit the pay office or Accountant General office to see police men and women with numerous complaints.”

The police officers also complained about the lateness in the payment of their monthly salaries, urging the authorities to look into the matter.

”Most times, we collect our salaries 10 to 15 days into a new month and this is not good enough. This is even worse when it there is a public holiday or festivities. The little we get paid needs to be given to us at least on time so as to dissuade us from engaging in corrupt acts,” one of the officers said.

Police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, has however explained the short payment of salaries as experienced by some of its personnel.

In a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES, he confirmed the development but added that the issue is being treated appropriately.

He said the salaries for the months of February, March and April were particularly affected. He urged the officers affected to exercise patience as the matter would be resolved.

”The Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation has assured the Nigeria Police Force that salary short payment for police personnel for the month of April, 2018 was due to system error and is being promptly resolved. All other issues relating to payment of salary to Police personnel are being addressed. The affected personnel will according to OAGF get the salary differential paid on or before Monday, May 7th, 2018.

”Commissioners of Police and their supervising Assistant Inspectors General of Police in charge of State and Zonal Commands, and Heads of other formations and detachment in the Force have been directed by the Inspector General of Police to lecture and educate their personnel who have any complaint from payment of February, March and April 2018 Salary that their complaints are being rectified.

”Affected police personnel are enjoined not to panic as the Force is doing everything in conjunction with Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to ensure that all the identified problems in the payment of salary of Police personnel across the country are permanently resolved.”

In February, an Assistant Commissioner of Police and head of the Nigerian Police’s Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Abba Kyari, decried the poor funding of the force which he said had led to poor remuneration for its personnel.

Mr Kyari, famous for leading the team that arrested the alleged notorious kidnapper, Chukwudi Onuamadike, aka Evans, also said in the piece published by the Guardian that Nigerian police officers are poorly paid and only have access to “less than 20 per cent” of what they need to operate properly.

“Google and read about the funding of Nigeria Police and salaries, we physically get less than 20 per cent of what we need to operate properly,” Mr Kyari reportedly said in the comment section of a Facebook post he put up to mourn the death of a police sergeant who was killed by kidnappers.

Ex-U.S. diplomat to Nigeria slated for top State Department position

A career diplomat who was U.S. ambassador to Guinea and Ethiopia under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush has

A career diplomat who was U.S. ambassador to Guinea and Ethiopia under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush has been chosen for the top Africa policy post in the State Department, it is understood.

Although no White House announcement has been made, the selection of Tibor Nagy to be Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs has been approved by the President and the new U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, according to several sources who have direct knowledge of the Trump administration’s somewhat murky vetting process.

His nomination has been anticipated for a number of weeks but – after Rex Tillerson was dismissed on March 13 – was apparently delayed until after Mr Pompeo took office.

Mr Nagy spent two decades in the foreign service, mostly serving in Africa. His two ambassadorial postings followed diplomatic assignments in Zambia, Seychelles, Togo, Cameroon and Nigeria, and in Washington, DC.

According to his university biography, he was born in Hungary and came to the United States at age eight as a political refugee. Nagy has spent most of the past 15 years in Lubbock, Texas where he was vice provost for international affairs at Texas Tech University.

“I’m pleased they picked someone with experience in diplomacy,” Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said in a telephone interview.

“Tibor knows how the Department functions.”

Editor’s Note: This story was first published by our partners, AllAfrica.com. We have their permission to republish.

PHOTO NEWS: Osinbajo visits Ondo primary school

VP Yemi Osinbajo has visited Alagbaka State Primary School, Akure, Ondo. Mr Osinbajo is on a two-day visit to the

VP Yemi Osinbajo has visited Alagbaka State Primary School, Akure, Ondo.

Mr Osinbajo is on a two-day visit to the state.

He was at the school on Friday to assess the ‘Home Grown School Feeding Program’.

He was accompanied by the governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, Ministers and other government officials.

Osinbajo visits Ondo primary school. [Photo credit: NOVO ISIORO 4th May, 2018]

Osinbajo visits Ondo primary school. [Photo credit: NOVO ISIORO 4th May, 2018]

Osinbajo visits Ondo primary school. [Photo credit: NOVO ISIORO 4th May, 2018]

Osinbajo visits Ondo primary school. [Photo credit: NOVO ISIORO 4th May, 2018]

Osinbajo visits Ondo primary school. [Photo credit: NOVO ISIORO 4th May, 2018]

Osinbajo visits Ondo primary school. [Photo credit: NOVO ISIORO 4th May, 2018]

Osinbajo visits Ondo primary school. [Photo credit: NOVO ISIORO 4th May, 2018]

Osinbajo visits Ondo primary school. [Photo credit: NOVO ISIORO 4th May, 2018]

Osinbajo visits Ondo primary school. [Photo credit: NOVO ISIORO 4th May, 2018]

Osinbajo visits Ondo primary school. [Photo credit: NOVO ISIORO 4th May, 2018]

Osinbajo visits Ondo primary school. [Photo credit: NOVO ISIORO 4th May, 2018]

U.S. govt spends $4.6 billion in 14 years on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria – Official

The US President Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has spent about $4.7billion in the past 14 years to fight

The US President Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has spent about $4.7billion in the past 14 years to fight HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.

The Country Director, US Public Health Service, Mahesh Swaminathan, stated this on Thursday at a press conference attended by Nigerian officials on the forthcoming Nigeria Aids Indicators and Impact Survey (NAIIS) in Abuja.

NAIIS is a national household survey to be conducted by the Nigerian government with support from PEPFAR and other partners.

The survey, which will begin in June, will last for about six months and cover the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), aims to reach a sample size of about 170,000 people.

“PEPFAR in collaboration with the Global Fund is partnering with Nigeria to fund this survey. Despite previous efforts that has been made, the US government is glad to support this survey. The result from the survey will help us control the HIV epidemic in the country,” he said.

Mr Swaminathan said PEPFAR will continue to work with the Nigerian government to reach more people living with HIV and also put more people of them on treatment.

The Director-General of the National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), Sani Aliyu, said the planned HIV survey is the largest in the world and Nigeria is the 12th country conducting this survey.

“This survey, which aims to reach about 170,000 people in the country is the largest to be conducted in the world. It will assess the uptake of HIV behaviors in the 36 states of the Federation and the FCT,” Mr Aliyu said.

“NAIIS will offer household based HIV counselling and testing, as well as Hepatitis B and C testing. Those who test positive for any of the tests will be referred to suitable health facilities to receive appropriate service,” he said.

Mr Aliyu said, the results of the survey will provide key information that will guide the government to plan and develop more effective programmes to control HIV and Hepatitis in Nigeria.

In his remarks, the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, said the survey will go a long way to provide accurate data of those living with HIV in the country.

Represented by his Senior Special Assistant, Community Health and Health Management, Araoye Segilola, Mr Adewole said the survey would improve the health indices of the country, and enable government deploy resources to where they are most needed.

“Before now, Nigeria has no precise data of people living with HIV/AIDS. The survey will provide precise data of those affected by the epidemic. The data will help us plan better, provide resources, procure drugs and distribute them to the right people at their various locations.” he said.

In his speech, UNAIDS Country Director, Erasmus Morah, said the US family is excited to be working with the Nigeria government to fight HIV in the country.

He stated that the survey will not only reveal the prevalence of HIV in Nigeria, it will also help discover the locations of people living with the HIV virus.

Mr Morah, however. sai, it will be a shame if the federal and state government are not able to build the capacity of Nigerian institutions after this very large survey.

Why Police IG, others disrespect National Assembly – Ohaneze President

The President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, John Nwodo, has suggested that too much powers in the hands of the executive is

The President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, John Nwodo, has suggested that too much powers in the hands of the executive is the reason for the disregard of the legislative arm of government by some public officials.

The Nigeria political system which saddles exorbitant powers in the hands of the executive could be blamed for the situation, he added.

Mr Nwodo spoke on behalf of a delegation of leaders of the South and Middlebelt who visited the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on Thursday.

Sanni Onogu, Chief Press Secretary to the Senate President provided details of the meeting.

Mr Nwodo said the recent invasion of the Senate by thugs that forcefully snatched the mace and the refusal of the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to honour the summons of the Senate were clear examples of the Executive’s disregard for the National Assembly.

He said the visit was vital as the National Assembly is the ‘conscience of the people.’

“We have come to you at a very difficult time in the history of our country,” Mr Nwodo said. “We are visiting the National Assembly because of its unique position in our constitution. The democratic system we run in our country rests on the three organs of government.

“For these three arms, the other two function in accordance with laws made by this arm. This arm characterises democracy because in a military government you will have both the judiciary and the executive.

The leader of Ohaneze Ndigbo, John Nwodo

“But it is only in a democratic government that you have the parliament. The parliament is a microcosm of the people because every section of the country has by adult suffrage delegated its voice to this parliament.

“So we believe that by visiting you today, we are coming to speak to the conscience of the country. We ask that these discussions today be as frank as possible because in situations like this, unless the National Assembly rises like one man, with a conscience, commitment and patriotism, to unveil the facade of partisan politics, partisan advantages, and face the real issues, we stand of the edge of a precipice.

“We have watched the helplessness of the National Assembly where members of the executive even refuse your invitations to come and make explanations contrary to provisions of the constitution.

“We have found the helplessness of the Senate when you can be invaded in spite of the security adornment in this place controlled by the executive and the seat of the Senate President is almost invaded but for the personal security of the aides of its leadership.”

Mr Nwodo blamed the Nigerian political system for the continued disrespect for the National Assembly.

For him, governance and economy has failed in Nigeria.

“This is because our system makes the tail wag the dog rather than the dog wag the tail. This cannot be in a fountain of legislative authority for executive implementation, and yet they toy with the system.

“We have come to tell you that it is in our view that it is because we have this over-concentration of powers in the Federal Government contrary to the agreement that our forefathers entered into for the nation called Nigeria. That governance has failed in our country. That economic development has failed,” he said.

To ameliorate the situation, he called for the revisit of the power devolution clause that was rejected in ongoing constitution amendment process as promised by the National Assembly.

“We believe that many of the problems that we have in our country emanate from the constitution of our country. We know that the National Assembly has had debate on devolution of powers and we know, Mr President, that you did promise the nation that you will have a revisit to this issue.

“We have come to ask you to bring up the revisit. We consider it urgent and inevitable because we believe that all problems we have today in Nigeria emanate from the fact that our constitution is not right for a country constituted by people of diverse culture, diverse religion, diverse political persuasions as our country,” he said.

Mr Saraki said the National Assembly is ready to play its role to ensure that the country continues on the path of democracy and growth.

On the call to revisit clauses that were rejected during the ongoing constitution review process, he said the National Assembly is ready to reconsider the clauses and that it would do so after the passage of the 2018 budget.

Other members of the delegation were Olu Falae, Irangate Idongesit, Victor Attah, Stella Omu, Banjo Akintoye, Ayo Adebanjo, Yinka Odumakin, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Chigozie Ogbu, Ihechukwuma Maduke, Basset Henshaw, Dan Suleiman, Alfred Mulade, Anaba Saraigbe and Maryam Yunusa.