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Buhari: Lack of Employment Major Contributor To Insecurity

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President Muhammadu Buhari has voiced concern that the lack of employment prospects and opportunities in most rural communities has remained a major contributor to insecurity.

President Buhari spoke on Thursday while hosting a delegation of Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria (FEPSAN).

The President said that for decades, previous government policies had focused on urban development at the expense of rural inclusion.

“In the last four years, we have worked hard to bridge some of these economic imbalances through our various agricultural and financial policies to attract employment opportunities to rural areas.

“As we continue to expand our security operations to bring an end to these challenges, it is important to note that peace and prosperity can only be sustained if we collectively and actively support investments that take opportunities to our rural citizens.

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“I therefore urge our governors, bankers, investors and entrepreneurs to look beyond our cities when it comes to investments.

“As we have seen from Nigeria’s 5-year fertiliser revolution, if investors are willing to endure the short term ‘start-up’ pains, they will surely benefit from long term sustainable and substantial gains,” he said.

Says $1.3bn fertilizer will be ready plant in months

President Buhari revealed that a new basic chemicals platform worth $1.3b that will produce ammonia and fertilizers in Nigeria will be ready for commissioning in the coming months, saying the new plant will be built in partnership with the Kingdom of Morocco.

“His Majesty, the King of Morocco and I, have agreed to extend the current Phosphate supply agreement between the Kingdom of Morocco and Nigeria.

“We both believe that to consolidate and expand on the successes recorded thus far, we must secure raw material supplies to our blenders.

“Furthermore, to improve the balance of trade between Nigeria and Morocco, the two countries have signed an agreement to develop a $1.3 billion Basic Chemicals Platform in Nigeria that will produce Ammonia, Phosphoric Acid, Sulphuric Acid and various Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK) and Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) fertilisers using Nigeria’s gas reserves,” he said in a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina.

The President added that the new plant when completed would complement the existing Dangote and Indorama Chemicals facilities which produce urea, ammonia and other industrial raw materials.

“When we combine these projects with the existing 44 blending plants, Nigeria will indeed become a regional and global fertiliser power house,” he said.

The President lauded Governor Muhammad Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State, Mr Thomas Etuh and his FEPSAN team, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, security and intelligence agencies and all Federal and State Government agencies for their collaboration in making the project possible.

In his remarks, Mr Thomas Etuh, FEPSAN President recounted that in their first meeting with the President five years ago, he gave the association a mission to reduce Nigeria’s reliance on import, enhance fertiliser availability and affordability and create jobs over a 4-year period.

Etuh told the President that from 3 blending plants operating at 40 per cent capacity in 2016, today Nigeria has 44 blending plants most of which are operating at full capacity.

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Leadership

Eid: Buhari asks Nigerians to pray against banditry, kidnapping

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Wednesday asked Nigerians to pray against kidnapping, banditry and blackmail.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President made the call in his Eid-il-Fitr message.

The statement was titled ‘On the occasion of Eid, President Buhari calls for unity and solidarity’.

Shehu quoted the President as saying, “On this blessed occasion, I wish that the Eid festival brings with it peace, safety, security, brotherhood and love amongst all.

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“Unity and solidarity among all citizens, Muslims and Christians are imperative especially at a time when our country is faced with multiple challenges which are surmountable only when we come together as one.

“It is important that we remember how we share, through our faiths, common bonds that should serve to unite us and not allow ourselves to succumb to those who seek to divide us, using our two great religions, for their own selfish advantages.

“We should jointly pray against the tragic incidents of kidnapping and banditry and the desperate quest for political power expressed through blackmail against the existence of our country as a united entity.

“We must resist the temptation to retreat into our communities. I urge our political and religious leaders as well as traditional rulers to encourage our citizens to turn towards one another in love and compassion.”

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Leadership

Insecurity: Southern Governors ban open grazing, ask Buhari to address nation

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The governors in 17 states of the southern part of Nigeria have demanded the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to address Nigerians on the challenges of insecurity and restore the confidence of the people.

The Forum stated this in a 12-point communique read by its Chairman, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, at the end of its four hours meeting held in Asaba, the Delta State capital.

The governors affirmed that the people of Southern Nigeria remain committed to the unity of Nigeria on the basis of justice, fairness, equity, oneness, and peaceful co-existence between and among its peoples with a focus on the attainment of shared goals for economic development and prosperity.

He said, “Southern Governors expressed very grave concern on the security challenges currently plaguing the nation and strongly urged that Mr. President should address Nigerians on the challenges of insecurity and restore the confidence of our people.

“We observed that the incursion of armed herders, criminals, and bandits into the Southern part of the country has presented a severe security challenge such that citizens are not able to live their normal lives including pursuing various productive activities leading to a threat to food supply and general security.

“Consequently, the meeting resolved that open grazing of cattle be banned across Southern Nigeria.

“Agreed that the progress of the nation requires that urgent and bold steps be taken to restructure the Nigerian Federation leading to the evolution of state police, review of revenue allocation formula in favour of the sub-national governments and creation of other institutions which legitimately advance our commitment to and practice of true federalism.

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“In view of widespread agitations among our various peoples for greater inclusiveness in existing governance arrangements, the Federal Government should convoke a national dialogue as a matter of urgency.”

The forum expressed concern about the continued gridlock on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway.

The meeting, therefore, recommended the activation and establishment of ports in other states of the federation to create new jobs and promote socio-economic activities in the country.

The Southern Governors also expressed concern on the economic implications of another lockdown on the country and therefore suggested greater coordination and cooperation between Federal and State Governments in evolving strategies for dealing with the pandemic.

Fifteen governors were in attendance at the meeting.

They are Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Dr Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), and Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos).

Others are Douye Diri (Bayelsa), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), David Umahi (Ebonyi), Willie Obiano (Anambra). Imo and Akwa Ibom States were represented by their deputy governors, while Osun and Cross Rivers states were absent at the meeting.

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Business

Buhari sends delegation to Ghana over Nigerian traders’ plight

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has directed that a ministerial delegation be sent to Ghana to resolve the prolonged conflict between Nigerian traders and Ghanaian authorities.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, disclosed this on Monday.

According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Ifedayo Sayo, the minister spoke at a meeting.

The statement was titled, ‘FG delegation to visit Ghana over Nigerian traders’ conflict with Ghanaian counterparts.’

“President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that a ministerial delegation be sent to Ghana to resolve the lingering conflict between Nigerian traders and Ghanaian authorities,” the minister was quoted as saying.

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Adebayo, who said he would be leading the delegation, added that members of the delegation “will also engage in further dialogue with Ghanaian authorities with a view to finding a lasting solution to the problem.”

He disclosed that the delegation is expected to embark on the visit between May 31 and June 1, 2021.

Other member of the delegation include the Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada; the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo; the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Yewande Sadiku; Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa; and the President of National Association of Nigerian Traders, Dr Ken Ukaoha.

There has been lingering controversy over $1 million levy imposed on Nigerian traders and foreign investors by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre.

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