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Spending Spree… Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila Goes Auto Shopping

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The seven deadly sins — pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth — are perhaps the most disdained vices known to mankind.

But in matters of political gravity, especially when viewed through the lenses of an expectant populace, there is one vice that stands far above them: extravagance. The pursuit of power for the sake of wealth, and wealth for the sake of flaunting; the acquisition of luxury items on a whim for sums that could sustain an average family through three generations.

But whoever wishes to accuse Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives of this crime would find he is conversant enough with the law to mount a vehement defence of himself. Based on his pedigree in the business and political terrains before he reached his current zenith, he is certainly loaded enough to splurge on whatever he wishes without necessarily inviting the opprobrium of those who prefer he squarely faces the critical task of resuscitating the nation’s dwindling fortunes through vigorous legislative performances.

Close sources have it that the speaker who represents Surulere I Constituency in the lower chamber has loosed the purse strings and upended a mountain of money in exchange for the most eye-catching collection of cars at the premises of upscale automobile dealer Skymit Motors. A man whose sense of taste ascends beyond the average into realms where only true connoisseurs dwell, Gbajabiamila’s choice of autos couldn’t be just any random model driven by the average person who calls themselves a millionaire courtesy of a mere few million quids in their account.

According to those in the know, the speaker shelled out over three hundred million Naira for his new fleet of luxury wonders on wheels. They allegedly include a bulletproof S-Class Mercedes Benz, and Toyota Land cruiser. Naturally, the figures being bandied about have raised more than a few eyebrows with not a few wondering whether he’d already succumbed to the temptation to dip his hands into forbidden places.

Perhaps his supporters need not be unduly worried on that score. Femi has demonstrated time and time again that he has the wherewithal to acquire the best of anything without caring whose ox is gored. Recall that during the occasion of his wife Salamatu’s 50th birthday bash last year, the fifth-term legislator surprised her with the gift of a glittering white G-Wagon valued at around 100 million.

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Inside Story

Twitter Ban: Buhari raises ministerial panel to meet Jack, other company executives

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President Muhammadu Buhari has made a move to dialogue with Twitter over the suspension of the microblogging platform after weeks of stand-off.

Pantami, Lai Mohammed, Malami, others to meet Twitter on behalf of FG

Press Release

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the composition of the Federal Government’s Team to engage with Twitter over the recent suspension of the operations of the microblogging and social networking service in Nigeria.

The approval was announced in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who will chair the team.

The Federal Government’s team also comprises the Attorney General of the Federation and Honourable Minister of Justice, Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Honourable Minister of State for Labour and Employment as well as other relevant government agencies.

Following the indefinite suspension of its operations in Nigeria, for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence, Twitter wrote to President Buhari seeking to engage with the Federal Government over the suspension, with a view to charting a path forward.

Segun Adeyemi

Special Assistant To The President (Media)

Office of the Minister of Information and Culture

Abuja

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Inside Story

Those thinking that Nigeria will break up are dreaming, they will be disappointed, says VP Osinbajo

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has declared that those waiting for Nigeria to break up will be disappointed, insisting that Nigeria will remain united as a strong nation to the frustration of those waiting to see the country broken into pieces.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja at the maiden edition of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Progressives Youth Conference, Osinbajo said the country is stronger together than in little parts.

In the area of disruption and disruptive innovation, the principle that we are stronger together than in little part is a sound principle and it is my respectful view that those who advocate the breaking up of the country are terribly wrong,” he said.

He added: “Our size is crucial for geopolitical and economic relevance. Our people will be better served by a large populous and diverse country. As with all big and diverse countries, our business is to make this union work; it is to give everybody a sense of belonging.

All of those waiting on the sidelines, hoping that this big country called Nigeria will break up into bits so that they can pick up the pieces, will be very sorely disappointed and I am very sure that those of you who are seated here today will prevent that from happening.”

The vice president acknowledged the need for all Nigerians to be guaranteed a fair chance at improving their human condition and urged the youth to be a part of conversations that will ensure this.

He asked the young generation not just to say it was time for them and for the older people to give way, stressing that such was unlikely to happen.

Osinbajo, however, stated that it was the strength of the ideas and the depth of the youths’ organisation and not age that would retire those ahead of them.

I am also frankly not very impressed with the notion that the role and power of young people are somehow postponed until elders have gone, or that there’s some kind of generational queue to which we all must subscribe.
Even if that was true at some point, today, that notion stands on very weak legs indeed,” he said.

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Buhari’s agricultural revolution yielding fruits – Lai Mohammed

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says the agricultural revolution embarked upon by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is yielding desired fruits.

The minister stated this on Monday in Birnin-Kudu near Dutse, Jigawa when he inspected Malam Alu Integrated Agro and Allied farm complex.

The complex also housed a 50-metre-high pole, hoisting the Nigerian flag – the tallest flag pole in Nigeria and the second tallest in Africa.

Mohammed said the integrated farm project with full automation soilless tomato green house, poultry, fish pond, dairy and fertilizer blending plant was a clear testimony to the success of the Buhari’s agricultural revolution.

“At least, two programmes of this administration, the Anchor Borrowers Programme and the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, have succeeded in revolutionising agriculture in Nigeria.

“For those who may not remember, the Federal Government inaugurated the anchors borrowers programme in Nov. 2015 through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to help boost the nation’s agricultural sector.

“Today, that programme has catalysed the production of such crops as rice, maize, wheat and tomato, just to name a few, boosted local production and reduced heavy importation.

Then, there is the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, which is aimed at stimulating local production of NPK fertilizer by reviving moribund fertilizer plants and the local blending ferilizer industry.

“This has helped in making fertilizer available to Nigerian farmers at affordable prices and saving 200 million dollars in Forex and N60 billion in budgetary provision for fertilizer subsidy, and of course creating thousands of jobs in the process,’’ he said.

The minister said many farmers across the country had taken advantage of the programmes to create the kind of massive farm as the Malam Alu agro and Allied farm.

He said the Federal Government’s ’s initiatives coupled with the ingenious programmes of the state government had made Jigawa a shining example of the success of the agricultural revolution.

“I implore other farmers and other states to take advantage of the anchor borrowers programme and the presidential fertiliser initiative to revolutionise agriculture in their areas,’’ he said.

Speaking on the tallest flag pole in the complex, the minister said the initiator of the project, Hon. Farouk Adamu used one stone to kill two birds by showcasing successes in agriculture and tourism.

“He is not only showcasing success in agriculture, he is also helping to make Jigawa a choice destination for tourists by erecting the tallest Nigerian flag pole in the country.

“This is good thinking for which I commend him,’’ he said

The minister said the fact that the state government had succeeded in making Jigawa one of the most peaceful states in the country, showed monumental achievement spanning agriculture, tourism and security.

The Jigawa Governor, Badaru Abubakar said the Buhari’s agricultural revolution programme had impacted positively on the development of the state.

He disclosed that Jigawa was the third largest rice producer in the country, the largest producer of sesame and hibiscus and the state would soon take the lead in groundnut production

“These all happened because of the massive support we received from President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The anchor borrower programme has been very remarkable and the federal fertiliser initiative has supported our farmers to get easy access to fertiliser at cheap and competitive prices.

“Because of the massive irrigation project supported by the Federal Government, we now have planting all year round and where we have not seen water in the last 14 years, water is now flowing,’’ he said.

Speaking on the flag, the governor said he would be willing to approve request by the Federal Government to take it over as national monument.

On his part, the chairman of the integrated farm said he was inspired to come home to invest because of the encouragement by the Federal Government for people to invest in agriculture.

Aliyu said the complex, spanning 70 hectares contained poultry with 120,000 layers, Dairy with 400 heads of cow, fertilizer blending plant with capacity of 40 tons per hour and a Green House that produced 20 tons of tomato weekly.

He said the tallest flag erected in the complex was to attract local and international tourists to the farm complex and the state.

The event was attended by the Emir of Dutse, HRH Nuhu Sanusi, political and other traditional leaders in the state.

In the company of the minister to the event were, the Directors-General of Nigeria Television Authority, Yakubu Ibn Mohammed, Radio Nigeria, Monsur Liman and National Orientation Agency, Garba Abari.

Others were, the D-Gs of National Commission for Museum and Monument, Prof. Abba Tijani and Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation, Folorunsho Coker.

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