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The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has said the integrity test being conducted on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAs) software being proposed by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, would last between six and eight months.
ASUU has been on strike in protest against the Federal Government’s preferred Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and wants UTAs instead.
Speaking with State House correspondents on Tuesday after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Ngige revealed that the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) was conducting an integrity test on the software.
According to the Minister, even if the software passed the integrity test, the university teachers don’t have the money to procure the necessary hardware for its implementation.
Ngige explained that the Federal Government did not make provision for the procurement of the UTAS hardware in the budget.
“I am waiting for the NITDA’s full report. The preliminary report they gave me shows the software integrity test will take them about six to eight weeks and after that, we go to the hardware.
“But the big issue is, who will provide the hardware?
“ASUU does not have the finances to do so. Has the government budgeted for it now as we speak? So, that one is a major problem. But we don’t have to dissuade anybody, we don’t have to tell anybody not to carry on, we like local content development, we need our things to be home grown. So, we are really encouraging them,” Ngige said.
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Adamu, has declared that he’s in control of the police.
Adamu said he’s in control of the activities and modus operandi of the police force.
The IGP made the declaration in response to an accusation by a retired Army General, Garba Wahab that he’s not in control of the Force.
He stated this in a statement signed by the Spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, on Tuesday.
He insisted that the retired General spoke out of ignorance.
According to the statement: “The attention of the Nigeria Police Force has been drawn to comments and reactions during an interview session on Channels TV Sunrise Daily program of 13th November, 2020 where one Major General Garba Wahab (rtd) commented that “…rather than improving the improvement (sic) …the IGP is sitting down there with all the paraphernalia of office deprived of actually having control of police… he is not in control”.
“The Force wishes to categorically state that the Rtd Major General is wrong in his assertion as IGP Adamu is firmly in control of the administration and operation of the Nigeria Police Force. It notes that the comments by Rtd Major General Garba Wahab shows that he spoke purely out of ignorance and from a jackboot mentality that lacks proper understanding of democratic policing culture, rooted in the Rule of Law. It reiterates that the retired Officer clearly spoke on a subject outside his areas of core competence.
“It is noteworthy that since his assumption of office as the 20th indigenous Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni, a global policing icon, has in the past twenty-three months of his leadership of the Force, shown sterling qualities in what the operational/administrative command and control of the Force should be.”
Dr. Garus Gololo, a Chieftain of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), on Tuesday, called for the probe of some Ministers and Permanent Secretaries under President Muhammadu Buhari.
Gololo was reacting to calls from the Senate Public Account Committee (SPAC), that the Acting Auditor-General of the Federation, Mr. Adolphus Aghughu should probe the financial transactions of big revenue generation agencies in the country.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Mathew Urhoghide had specifically requested for holistic and comprehensive auditing of the accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Authority (NIMASA), among others.
Responding to questions from newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, Dr. Gololo said, there are some Ministers and Permanent Secretaries under the present administration that should be probed too.
Though Gololo did not mention any ministry in particular, he said, despite huge budgetary allocations to those ministries, departments and agencies every year, there are little or nothing to show for it.
“The success of this government does not depend on the Presidency alone. Let the Ministers invite the President to go and commission completed projects across the country. Let them show us what they have been using our money for”, Gololo said.
He appreciated the determination of the President to expose and probe the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir Lawal and the former Acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, urging that same searchlight be beamed on other appointees of the government.
“In addition to that, I would also want the various allegations of budget padding, contracts inflation, constituency projects siphoning and others mounting on members of the National Assembly probed.
“If the President must succeed in his quest to get this country rid of corrupt eggs, then it must be holistic, so as to have a clean record of achievements”, Gololo added.
The APC Chieftain, while throwing his weight behind the many empowerment programs of the Buhari-led administration, also called on the President to ensure strict supervisions of the process, so as not to taunt his image.
Seun Kuti, the Nigerian musician, singer and the youngest son of famous afrobeat pioneer Fela, has announced the revival of his father’s political party, the Movement of the People.
The youngest son of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti said the party was established in opposition to the country’s elites.
Mr Kuti has claimed the police threatened to close his family’s nightclub, The New Afrika Shrine, in Lagos, if he held a meeting of his movement there. There were local media reports of a heavy police presence around the venue on Tuesday morning.
In a small conference broadcast live on social media, Kuti explained that the Movement of the People (MOP) was a coalition of socialist, progressive organisations. Representatives of the factions also spoke at the meeting.
The original Movement of the People was set up by Fela in 1979.
He intended to run for the presidency under its banner but was barred from taking part.
The revival of the MOP was announced as a young Nigerian man involved in recent protests against police brutality was released on bail.
Twenty-seven-year-old musician Eromosele Adene was detained on 7 November. His lawyers say there was no charge made against him.
His supporters have claimed he was detained for his involvement in the #EndSARS protests.
Other protesters have had their accounts frozen without warning. The central bank has listed potential involvement in terrorism as a reason for the action.
The rights group Human Rights Watch has described the move as a “gross abuse of power”.
President of Dangote Industries Limited and Africa’s biggest philanthropist, Aliko Dangote, has urged all operators in the private sector to commit one per cent of their profits to fund the health sector challenges in Nigeria, to enable the country tackle crisis like the coronavirus pandemic successfully.
Dangote emphasised that such an allocation, which would be separate from the corporate tax usually paid to the government, would improve needed funding to boost the nation’s ailing health sector, as Nigeria continues to grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The renowned entrepreneur made these suggestions while responding to questions posed to him by a moderator Francine Lacqua during the virtual Bloomberg New Economic Forum (NEF), at a session titled, “Cross-Sector Mobilisation in Times of Crisis: Public Health Perspective.”
Other speakers alongside Dangote, who made their remarks at the Bloomberg NEF session hosted by the Dangote Group included, Founder and Chief Executive of Flagship Pioneering and Co-founder and Chairman of Moderna, Dr. Noubar Afeyan, and Co-founder and Chief Strategist at Partners in Health Care, Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, USA, Dr. Paul Farmer.
Responding to a question from Lacqua on if funding was one of the main barriers to actually dealing with health crisis effectively, Dangote replied, “Yes, I agree with you. It is more to do with funding. Like what we are doing in Nigeria as a foundation (Aliko Dangote Foundation), we are trying to sponsor a bill to our Congress where we want them to impose a tax. This is a separate tax, not a corporate tax, of maybe about one per cent of all our profits, in the private sector, so that they will fund health.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), has stated that the average price per litre paid by consumers for national household kerosene increased from N347.98 in September to N352.93 in October this year.
The Bureau made this known in its ‘National Household Kerosene Price Watch (October 2020)’, as obtained from its website by newsmen yesterday.
According to the bureau, the increase is by 1.42 per cent Month on-Month and by 8.69 per cent Year-on-Year.
The report also revealed that states with the highest average price per litre of kerosene were Taraba residents who bought the product at N437.50, Ebonyi at N423.81 and Benue N410.
It said that states with the lowest average price per litre of kerosene were Bayelsa whose residents bought at N230.95, Rivers at N285.19 and Oyo at N310.
“Similarly, average price per gallon paid by consumers for kerosene increased by 0.27 per cent Month-on-Month and by 1.91 per cent Year-on-Year to N1, 233 in October from N1, 229 in September.
“States with the highest average price per gallon of kerosene were Katsina N1, 369, Jigawa N1, 361 and Enugu N1, 359.
“States with the lowest average price per gallon of kerosene were Delta N979, Osun N1,005 and Ogun N1,079.
The NBS, however, said that in arriving at the statistics, field work was carried out by its staff in all states of the federation supported by supervisors who were monitored by internal and external observers.
Pastor Tunde Bakare, former vice presidential candidate and serving overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church (CGCC), has dispelled reports credited to him that he President Muhammadu Buhari as president in 2023.
Speaking exclusively with Daily Independent, Bakare, who was a running mate to President Buhari in the 2011 presidential election on the platform of the defunct Congress for Progressives Change (CPC), said his position on the outcome of the just concluded presidential election in the United States of America (USA), which was won by Joe Biden, was misconstrued by the media.
He said: “I’ve realised that the Nigerian press, sometimes for the sake of their sale, use headlines that, when you read the entire story, you will be wondering, ‘what has this title got to do with this?’
“I can’t stop the press from doing whatever they will with what I said, but I will say to you that there is a difference between ambition and a vision that is clear to you. The companion of ambition is anxiety.
“You’ve been trying to scheme to make it happen, you pursue it and so on, but if it is a clear vision from heaven and it is clear in your spirit, it’s a question of time.
“Whoever is going to deal with God must have to be patient. The vision upon my head, like Daniel will say, I saw in 1967.
“It is not today. Go and interview some of my classmates in secondary school, they will tell you that I shared it with them.
“Speak to my wife also. Before I proposed to her, I spoke about it also.
“That was probably one of the reasons he encouraged me to step in when President Buhari asked me to be his running mate. I don’t want you to continue asking people.”
Bakare, who said he does not belong to any political party at the moment, said however he had a significant role to play in the emergence of the 16th president of Nigeria in 2023.
“My destiny is intertwined with that of Nigeria. By the grace of God, I have a role to play.
“When I wrote the book on my mum titled, ‘The Woman Who Saw the Future’, page 85 of that book says: ‘By the time the 16th president will come into manifestation, I have a significant role to play and it is a role of destiny. I shared it with Mr. President himself.
“There is no place where the president and I sat down and said, ‘Oh, you will succeed me in 2023’.
“And I’ve not openly, anywhere, joined a political party and say this is the political party I’m going to use; neither have I put any structure in place.
“But I do know this, if God said to Samuel, to the House of Jesse, anoint one of his sons, I have provided myself a king in his house, King Saul can do whatever he wants to do, God has already said goodbye.
“All the Adonijahs of this world can have war chests and buy chariots to become the next king after David, if it belongs to Solomon, they may not invite him to their party.
“They will hail Adonijah and say ‘Hail King Adonijah’ before he will know that Solomon is the preferred choice.
“If it’s true or false, it’s a question of time. Be patient! These things will come into manifestations in the days to come.
“I believe very strongly that God is raising me to shepherd this nation just as I have shepherded the church.
“I can’t wait to step into the fray, add my own quota alongside other people, men and women of goodwill who want Nigeria to stop being a potentially great nation, to work for that great nation to manifest. Responsibility is a price of greatness and if we are responsible, we should think deep alongside others and create a blueprint that will transform Nigeria.”
While clarifying his statement on Joe Biden’s emergence, Bakare said he was merely emphasising the fact that nobody should be written off in a contest.
According to him, “I said, look at Joe Biden. Everyone more or less, wrote him off.
“They called him Sleepy Joe. They said he even made a blunder choosing a black lady (Kamala Harris) who joined lesbians together as husband and wife as his running mate. So, Biden had lost that election before it happened.
“Many churches also stood by Donald Trump saying he will win a second term.
“Joe Biden looked harmless but he won the election. Go and investigate, the bulk of the voters are young people.
“God will raise young princes of this nation who will do what is right very soon. That is the context in which I narrated what I said.
“I have no relationship with Joe Biden or with Donald Trump, but we know that whatever happens in America can have a domino effect on the entire world.
“So, if Joe Biden who nobody thought could muster any serious support ended up with the number of millions of votes he got, then we have to be careful in writing people off.
“Although Biden had unique experience, not only as a senator but also as a former vice president for eight years and he has attempted these thrice, he lost the primary twice.
“When the time comes, he has it. President Buhari tried three different times until he got it the fourth time.”
Also, speaking on restructuring, Bakare who advocated geo-economic restructuring with emphasis on devolution of powers said the APC-led Federal Government owes Nigerians explanation why it has failed to implement the report of APC Committee on True Federalism headed by Governor Nasir El-Rufai.
“Well, they have done something on restructuring but not as much as one would have expected. But you cannot say they’ve not done anything because under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Nasir El-Rufai committee was formed to look into the issue of true federalism and restructuring.
“They made fantastic, formidable recommendations to the government and to APC. Why the government has not implemented it and what is hindering them, they will have the questions to answer in the days to come. But they still have the opportunity within the next one or two years because there is no army that is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.
“I’m emphasising geo-economic restructuring so that we don’t put the cart before the horse. Let us begin with the devolution of powers. Let us make the centre less attractive, not weak, strong state and strong centre. And states that have commonalities in culture, ethnicity, language and proximity can come together and form geo-political zones without disrupting the structure. But let them put their resources together to develop their own area.
“Nigeria needs redemption right now and we are praying to God so that it can be properly restructured and it can be better than it ever was in our trajectory”, he said.
Industry stakeholders, yesterday, expressed concerns over the state of Nigeria’s petroleum downstream and of other African countries in the face of emerging global issues.
With over $30 billion yearly import of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) into Nigeria alone, the stakeholders insisted that environmental and health challenges of imported petroleum products, closure of refineries across the world, logistic challenges, import of used cars and other emerging issues could double existing challenges in the country.
They argued that these developments can spike energy security problems amid growing poverty, poor capacity utilisation of existing refineries and low investment appetite for fossil fuel related projects.
The experts spoke at a webinar hosted by the University of Port Harcourt, in conjunction with Nigeria Society of Chemical Engineers (NSChE), as part of the activities marking the 5th International Conference on Gas, Refining and Petrochemicals. The keynote speaker, who is the Executive Secretary, African Refiners and Distributors Association (ARA), Anibor Kragha, speaking on “Getting the Petroleum Refineries Back on Stream: Sustainability and Socio-Economic Considerations,” said populations explosion will force Africa to target sustainable financing options to build refineries and transport infrastructure.
Kragha disclosed that investors were getting worried about investing in capital-intensive fossil fuel industry, which requires high operational & HSEQ performance amid volatile, internationally impacted margins, high regulatory and country risk and potential conflicts with global climate change policies
He insisted that Africa needs a unique sustainable financing and energy transition to produce and distribute cleaner fuels in line with global standards, safe, secure, economic and efficient petroleum supply chain as well as concerted efforts towards global climate change policies for alternative fuels. He said Africa has no option than to reduce Sulphur in petroleum products to 10 parts per million (ppm) as well as a greater vehicle control system to phase out abandoned vehicles.
To him, efficient, safe, sustainable and economic refinery operations will provide significant positive, multiplier socio-economic benefits to Nigeria and other countries.
Kragha added that rigorous analysis of investments, risks and socio-economic benefits remained essential to attract financing for African refinery and downstream projects, adding that government support, particularly fiscal and regulatory certainty, is required to attract requisite brownfield and greenfield refinery investments
“African countries must follow natural supply chains to promote regional investments and harmonize product quality as well as tariffs to encourage free trade,” he said.
The Conference Chairman, Tony Ogbuigwe, said peak oil would be sooner than expected, stressing that prevailing challenges have changed the industry’s outlook, especially demand for oil.
Apart from the challenges posed by COVID-19, emerging issues such climate change, electric vehicles and other actions have created disturbing situations leading to closure of refineries across the world. He said it remained pitiable that Nigeria spends as much as $30 billion yearly in importing petroleum products in the face of low utilisation of refineries.
He insisted that Nigeria and other Africa countries must build new refineries and ramp up utilization or risk energy security issues.
Canvassing a robust refining and petrochemical sector, Ogbuigwe said Nigeria needs to release the potential of existing refineries by adopting an Independent Joint Venture (IJV) model.
He urged the government to divest 51 per cent equity or more of its present stake to private sector core investors, as proposed in the current PIB.
To address ‘dirty fuel’ issues in the sector, he encouraged private investors to invest in hydrodesulphurization to meet extant regulations, and enable the product to be sold across the region.
In his opening remark, the Chief Host and Acting Vice Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Stephen Okodudu, said while Nigeria is a leading producer, it remained sad that it continues to import refined products.
Stressing the need to change the narrative, he charged stakeholders to do everything possible to ensure that the country becomes self-sufficient in refined petroleum products.
Okodudu said giving its dynamics; the university is doing everything possible to build capacity in the downstream sector through a series of programmes.
National President, Nigeria Society of Chemical Engineers, Onochie Anyaoku, said the country needs to examine and initiate actionable solutions to reposition the oil and gas value chain.
To him, the window of opportunity in the sector is fast closing as investment in fossil fuels is drying up. He said outlook for energy demand and mix clearly indicates that Nigeria has at best a 10-year investment window to harness resources in the sector or otherwise remain underdeveloped, and called for a blueprint to confront the government and other policymakers to act fast in harnessing the sector’s potential.
Former Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, has promised Nigerians that if he yields to the clarion call by some Nigerians to contest presidency and wins, he would ensure that the perceived political “unbalanced equation” of things in all parts of the country is “balanced.”
The senator, representing Imo West Senatorial District, disclosed this, yesterday, at his residence at Spibat, in Owerri capital city, when a South-East-based political pressure group, known as Igbo for Rochas Movement 2023, led by Jeff Nwoha, staged a call of beckoning for him to contest for the presidency in 2023.
According to the former two-term governor of Imo State, Nigeria needs to be fixed to bring it on track. He said that there was need for the country to be on the right pedestal.
“It is a wake up call to balance this unbalanced equation in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Nigeria can only vote for person that can guarantee peace and unity of Nigeria. If I must run, it is not for the profit of the job, but for peace. If I must run, there will be free education. If there is any problem, I have the capacity to fix it,” he said.
Okorocha said that his offering of free education for the less fortunate, had made 6,000 to graduate and 25,000 undergoing training in Foundation Colleges.
THE worsening insecurity in the country has taken another dimension with more killings and abductions.
Suspected bandits abducted 12 senior police officers who were travelling to Zamfara State from Borno State.
The incident occurred along the Katsina-Zamfara highway about two weeks ago, the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported yesterday.
Police spokesman Frank Mba did not respond to calls and messages to his cellphone to confirm the incident.
The officers, all Assistant Superintendents of Police, were on their way to carry out a special assignment, the report said.
It was gathered that the kidnappers have demanded N800, 000 for each of the victims.
The wife of one of the victims said her husband had called to inform her of the abduction.
The abducted officer had reportedly instructed his wife to sell his house to raise the money.
The woman said she knew the families of eight other abducted officers.
The Katsina State Police Command said it is investigating the abduction.
Its spokesman Gambo Isah told our correspondent: “The Commissioner of Police Sunusi Buba has already ordered a thorough investigation, to find out where it happened and when it happened if it actually happened. We are not yet very sure of the facts.”
The Zamfara State Police Command spokesman Muhammad Shehu said they had no report of any such abduction.
16 killed in Kaduna
Gunmen have killed 16 persons in Kaduna State in the past three days, the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said.
According to him, many were injured when gunmen attacked Giwa, Zangon Kataf, Igabi and Kajuru local government areas between Sunday and yesterday.
He said the District Head of Gidan Zaki in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area (LGA), Haruna Kuye, and his son, Destiny, were killed at home early yesterday.
The deceased district head’s daughter and widow sustained machete and gunshot wounds. The gunmen also abducted many others.
Aruwan said two persons were killed when assailants attacked Fatika, Kaya and Yakawada villages in Giwa local government area.
The commissioner added that 11 persons were killed in Monday’s attack at Albasu village in Igabi LGA.
The commissioner said the military under the auspices of Operation Safe Haven informed the Kaduna State Government of the killings.
“The security report further stated that the act was carried out by about five men wielding AK-47 rifles and machetes, who also tried to burn the house and a vehicle.
“Three empty cases and a live round of 7.62mm special ammunition were recovered at the scene.
“Troops in collaboration with other security agencies are carrying out investigations and trailing the assailants,” Aruwan said.
It is important for Nigeria’s leaders to see young people as assets or else they will not eventually have a peaceful retirement.
The Deputy Secretary-General (DSG) of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed, gave the advice on Tuesday when she visited the secretariat of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), as part of her tour of some West African States. including Ghana, Sierra Leone, Chad, and the Niger Republic.
A statement from the NGF Secretariat spokesperson, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, noted that the advice was in reaction to the #EndSARS protest in some parts of the country.
In her response to pleas by the governors for assistance from the UN, Mohammed said the organisation does not write cheques but creates an environment for those who have the cheques to do so.
She, however, commended the governors for the mature manner in which they handled the demonstrations, although she regretted that some ugly influences eventually contaminated the protests.
Welcoming the DSG to the secretariat, NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, listed some of the challenges of governance in the country and how the COVID-19 pandemic affected Nigeria’s economy.
He stated that while the virus hit Nigeria later than other countries, its impact has been ravaging with over 64,090 confirmed cases and 1,154 deaths.
Other impacts, the governor noted, included the fall in oil prices, contracting tax base, loss of sources of livelihood, unemployment, youth restiveness, increasing inflation rate, worsening exchange rate, and decline in productivity due to necessary lockdown measures initiated globally and nationally.
Governor Fayemi explained that as a responsive group, members of the NGF worked collaboratively, co-opting ideas and welcoming support from critical stakeholders, including partners and the private sector.
“In the wake of the pandemic, we worked with the Federal Government to ensure the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Presidential Task Force (PTF), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development got all the support they required in delivering swift containment measures,” he told the DSG.
He added, “At the National Economic Council (NEC) level, we developed a COVID-19 response plan encompassing health, economic and socio-economic, immediate to medium-term measures needed to combat the virus and its impact.”
The NGF chairman said the pandemic compelled governors to see the “need for retooling ourselves on how best to become accountable to the electorate.”
Adamawa State Governor, Umaru Fintiri, and his Imo State counterpart, Governor Hope Uzodinma, attended the meeting in person while many others joined by zoom from their respective states.
The Nigerian Air Force has said there was no helicopter crash in Bama.
Speaking to our correspondent, the spokesman for the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, said the military had done a thorough investigation and had found out there is no crash anywhere in Bama.
There had been reports early on Tuesday that Boko Haram members shot down a Nigerien helicopter bringing United Nations health workers to Bama, Borno State, killing five passengers.
But Daramola said the question that should have been asked was what “is Nigerien helicopter during between Cameroonian and Nigerian border. The story is a figment of the imagination those that reporter it.”
He said, “I can tell you authoritatively that there was no crash in Bama and Boko Haram did not shoot down any helicopter.”
Also speaking to our correspondent, the spokesperson for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), Ms. Eve Sabbagh said she was surprise by the report.
She equally said the rumour that it could be a UN helicopter was untrue.
She said, “None of our helicopters crashed.”
The Chairman of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council, Prof. Doyin Salami, has said Nigeria needs to create 19 million jobs yearly to solve the unemployment problem in the country.
Salami spoke on Tuesday at a webinar on privatisation organised by the Nigerian Stock Exchange, in collaboration with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council.
He said, “Right now, Nigeria’s economic challenge is a very significant and potentially severe one. Yes, I know our economy hasn’t performed well; we have seen so far this year a contraction in the economy, and prospects are that for the rest of the year, the economy will continue to contract.
“If Nigeria’s economy is going to grow, investment is going to be at the heart of that growth. Up until now, our attention has typically been focused on the Federal Government especially in terms of the balance of its recurrent and capital spending.”
According to the foremost economist, Nigeria currently has an investment to GDP ratio of between 15 to 18 per cent.
“If we are going to make any meaningful progress, we need an investment to GDP ratio that does not fall at any time perhaps over the next decade below 25 to 30 per cent. So, no matter how we look at it, investment is going to be the fundamental catalyst for growth,” he said.
He noted that the rate of underemployment and unemployment in the Nigerian labour force stood at around 54 per cent.
Salami said, “When you look at it in terms of the youth element of our labour force, it is somewhere around 64 per cent. More than half of Nigeria’s labour force is either unemployed completely or underemployed.
“Now if we are going to remedy this, Nigeria needs to be creating roughly 19 million jobs. If we are going to do that, it cannot be the responsibility of the government sector. The whole revenue profile of the government sector in Nigeria, federal and state, is somewhere around 10 per cent.”
He stressed the need for the country to generate investment levels that could support growth that must exceed the rate of growth of population, currently estimated at about 3.2 per cent.
The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Tuesday, alleged that his Ebonyi State counterpart, David Umahi, left the Peoples Democratic Party to pursue a presidential bid.
This is as Umahi at a media briefing in Abakaliki on Tuesday said his decision to dump the Peoples Democratic Party, was premised on his conviction that the All Progressives Congress was more amenable to working in the interest of the South East zone.
Umahi, explained that he was leaving the PDP because of the injustice meted out to the people of the zone despite several years of loyalty.
But Wike said, in a statement by his Special Assistant (Media), Kelvin Ebiri, on Monday, that contrary to Umahi’s claims, the PDP had not been unfair to the South-East.
Wike noted that Umahi’s defection did not come to committed PDP members as a surprise because the Ebonyi State governor had been fraternising with the ruling party over time.
He said, “My friend, Umahi wants to be president. There is no problem about that. You have a right to be president. Nobody can stop you. You are educated. You have been a governor for two terms, so you are qualified to say I want to be president of Nigeria.
“My reaction to Governor Umahi’s defection is not that he has no right to defect, but to say he is defecting because of injustice meted to the South-East that is insulting to the South-East.”
While demanding that Umahi should retract his alleged false claims against the PDP, Wike argued that under the PDP, the South-East had over the years produced Senate Presidents; National Vice Chairman of the PDP and Secretary to the Federal Government.
He urged the PDP National Working Committee and the National Executive Committee to take decisive steps to ensure that PDP does not die in Ebonyi State.
Umahi, at the briefing, had explained that he was leaving the PDP because of the injustice meted out to the people of the zone despite several years of loyalty.
He equally dismissed speculations that he was dumping the PDP to pursue a presidential ambition.
Umahi said, “I have been a successful governor for two terms and a successful business man in business, where I also have a calling.
“I am not driven by selfish interests but because we need to protest against marginalisation. We have benefited more from the APC government. I didn’t start this protest today. I have no regrets. In life, you have to be courageous.
“The South-East has remained faithful to PDP, voted for its candidates yet had not been considered fairly in Nigerian polity. The APC is amenable working for the South-East zone than the PDP.”
The governor also faulted claims made by the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Senator Walid Jubrin, that the South-East never requested for the party’s presidential ticket.
Umahi saud contrary to Jibrin’s claims, over 50 organisations, the Ebonyi Assembly, as well as the PDP State Working Committee had demanded that the position should be zoned to the South-East.
According to him, the quest for the emergence of a President of Igbo extraction come 2023, was in the interest of Nigeria’s peace and progress.
However, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan said, “The PDP is not aware of the defection of any of our governors. Our governor in Ebonyi State raised some issues which as a party, we are looking into them.”