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Buhari clocks 78, Tinubu, govs, N’Assembly leaders, others pay homage

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National leader of the All Progressives Party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, state governors, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and other prominent Nigerians have felicitated with President Muhammadu Buhari on his 78th birthday.

Tinubu, in his birthday message to Buhari, called him a “true patriot who wants the best for the nation.”

He said in the congratulatory statement, “I join with all patriotic and peace-loving Nigerians in supporting your efforts to move Nigeria forward and to find lasting solutions to the longstanding issues that have faced our nation for so long.

“You are a true patriot who wants the best for the nation and I join you in this desire. May Almighty Allah bless these efforts and support us so that at the end of the day we shall overcome and that Nigeria must stand as a prosperous and peaceful nation.”

Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said the Buhari administration had continued to make progress in some key infrastructure areas, especially the railways and the second Niger Bridge.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Olisa Ifeajika, the governor said, “On the occasion of your 78th birth anniversary on December 17, 2020, I heartily rejoice with you and your family on behalf of the Government and people of Delta State.”

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in a congratulatory message by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, said, “You have sacrificed the greater part of your adult life in service of our dear country. Therefore, you deserve to be celebrated.

“Your passion for Nigeria and quest for good leadership in our country made you to contest for presidential election four consecutive times before you were elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2015. Your integrity and forthright attitude to governance got you another mandate in 2019.”

Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola noted that despite several challenges bedeviling the country, President Buhari had made remarkable and impactful contributions to the growth and development of Nigeria.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, the governor said: “It is noteworthy to mention that, despite the noticeable challenges confronting our nation, you have made remarkable and impactful contributions to the growth and development of the country. You have been an incorruptible, honest and people-oriented leader.”

Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, said, “As you continue to serve our nation with an uncommon sense of patriotism and unwavering dedication, I thank Almighty God for granting you a life of great accomplishments and abiding fulfilment.

“I have no doubt that as you celebrate your birthday, you will be more concerned about the myriad of challenges facing the nation and how to resolve them to the advantage of our people.”

Senate President Ahmad Lawan noted that President Buhari, in all his years of leadership, had been showing “undeniable commitment to the unity, peace and even development of Nigeria.”

In a statement in Abuja, he added, “From the ongoing massive infrastructure projects across the country, series of programmes targeted at lifting the most vulnerable, like the social investment scheme, to the numerous bold initiatives of his government aimed at diversifying the economy, President Buhari is leveraging his integrity and good standing with the masses to courageously guide Nigeria through a difficult phase into future prosperity.”

Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege emphasised that President Buhari’s purposeful leadership, commitment to the cause of the masses, as exemplified in the people-oriented policies and programmes of his administration, have endeared him to many.

Gbajabiamila said President Buhari deserved to be celebrated at 78, given his commitment to a better Nigeria for the good of the citizens, adding, “Nigeria and Nigerians have gained a lot from your wealth of experience and selfless service to the country and humanity in your 78-year sojourn on mother earth.”

Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, said, “You are a visionary leader and a celebrated anti-corruption crusader in and outside the shores of Nigeria. You are a gift to this nation, and you deserve the best.”

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NURTW moves against highway crime, adopts vehicle e-tracking

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The National Union of Road Transport Workers says it will track members’ vehicles electronically as a way to address the spate of kidnapping and insecurity on expressways.

The union, during the National Executive Council meeting in Osogbo, Osun State capital, said it was imperative for them to use electronic tracking device in curbing the menace of kidnapping and insecurity on expressways in the country.

President of the union, Alhaji Tajudeen Baruwa, said the NURTW had lost many members to banditry while many were kidnapped.

He said, “We have resolved to use tracking to monitor our members’ vehicles. This will help us to alert our members of impending dangers.

“We admonish our members to be security conscious; the issue of insecurity in the country is worrisome. Many times our members are been kidnapped across the country, we have lost many members as a result of insecurity and there is no compensation from the government. So we really need to be careful and vigilant when we are on the steering. E-tracking will help passengers and our members after we put it to use”.

Baruwa thanked members for their support and confidence in his administration.

He said the administration was faced with serious financial challenges and the emergence of the COVID19 affected their revenue, adding that it was a miracle to have survived the devastating effects of the lockdown.

 

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EFCC arrests, grills ex-Imo governor, Okorocha

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested former Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha.

He was arrested in Abuja and was later questioned by the EFCC over issues bothering on alleged corruption.

Okorocha, currently representing Imo West at the Senate, was grilled at the EFCC Abuja office on Tuesday.

EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the development but did not give further details.

 “It is true, he was arrested today in Abuja but we are not giving details,” he said.

Okorocha had been accused by the Imo government of looting the state’s treasury through various malpractices.

He was in February arrested by police from the Imo State Command for allegedly unsealing Spring Palm Estate linked to his wife, Nkechi.

Okorocha was later released but about 14 of his loyalists are being tried.

The Imo State Government had sealed the Spring Palm Estate and other properties claimed to have been “diverted” by Okorocha and his family members.

But the Senator said the properties were legitimately by him and his family members.

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NBS: Used vehicles, motorbikes, PMS top Nigeria’s imports

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Used vehicles, motorcycles, premium motor spirit, popularly called petrol, and antibiotics were the major products imported by Nigerians from India, Spain, the Netherlands, United States and China in the fourth quarter of 2020, the National Bureau of Statistics has said.

The bureau stated this in its just released Commodity Price Indices and Terms of Trade Q4 2020, according to a Punch report.

It also stated that the major commodities exported from Nigeria to the five nations were crude oil and natural gas.

The NBS said, “The major export and import market of Nigeria in Q4 2020 were India, Spain, the Netherlands, United States and China.

“The major exports to these countries were crude petroleum and natural gas. The major imports from the countries were petroleum motor spirit, used vehicles, motorcycles and antibiotics.”

The bureau stated that the all-commodity group import index increased by 0.13 per cent between October and December 2020.

“This was driven mainly by an increase in the prices of base metals and articles of base metals (one per cent), boilers, machinery and appliances; parts thereof (1.03 per cent), and products of the chemical and allied industries (0.75 per cent),” it stated.

According to worldstopexports.com, Nigeria imported about half (49.6 per cent) of its imported goods by value from Asia in 2019; another 30 per cent from suppliers in Europe with 11.2 per cent arriving from North America.

Smaller percentages were said to come from fellow African nations (6.5 per cent), Latin America (2.3 per cent) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.3 per cent) led by New Zealand and Australia.

Given Nigeria’s population of 201 million people, its total $47.4 billion in 2019 imports translated to about $240 in yearly product demand from every person in the West African region country.

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