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Don’t go with official vehicles, Buhari tells ministers

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President Muhammadu Buhari

Don’t go with official vehicles, Buhari tells ministers

Two days to the end of the eight-year administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, and handover of power to the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on May 29, the Presidency has said ministers will not be allowed to leave office with their official vehicles.

It said they would only get what the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission prescribes as their severance benefits.

It noted further that Buhari and the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), would also leave behind their armoured, luxury vehicles, which would be taken over by their successors, Tinubu and his deputy, Kashim Shettima, respectively.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, gave the clarification in an interview, following the usual practice of government officials leaving office with their official vehicles.

Across the country and at all levels of government, it has become a norm for heads of the executive arm and some heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies to leave office with government vehicles; some sold the vehicles to themselves at a rate many people describe as ridiculous; some allocate huge funds for themselves for the purpose of buying vehicles; while some buy or convert government properties to personal use after their tenure.

Shehu stated that Buhari, Osinbajo and the ministers would not leave office on May 29 with the vehicles allocated to them.

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He said, “As we speak today, nobody is entitled to official cars. What they use are project vehicles. These ones can only be boarded and sold after four years of usage. That is when the book value has been exhausted.

“This is as far as the law recommends as we speak. So, don’t expect that because ministers are leaving, they will carry their vehicles under Buhari. It is not going to happen. If the ministers are not taking their vehicles along, you don’t expect the president to take any. It is not going to happen.”

The presidential spokesperson explained that the law already provides for former presidents and their deputies to get a certain number of vehicles at certain intervals, and that there was no need for them to take government vehicles.

He stated, “Former Heads of State have a prescribed number of vehicles they are entitled to, which may be changed after a certain number of years. And the President has kept to this by supplying that number of vehicles to all former Heads of State each time it is due. The President will not place himself above the others; that I can assure you.”

‘Vehicles too sophisticated’

Meanwhile, a top source in the Presidency has explained that the vehicles used by the President and the Vice-President were purpose-built and could not be used by private citizens, which the occupants of the offices become after leaving office.

The source noted that apart from the high cost of the vehicles, they come with high-end customisation, including security and other features.

The source said the vehicles, including Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Toyota Land Cruiser sport utility vehicles, buses and luxury vans, meet certain comfort, security and durability requirements.

Findings revealed that the President and the Vice-President use armoured 2019 Mercedes Benz Maybach S650 bullet-proof sedans, which some experts estimate to be worth at least N300m.

The Buhari-led government earmarked N907m in 2018 for a phased acquisition of new vehicles and spare parts for the presidential fleet.

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The 2019 budget also allocated N843m for the purchase and maintenance of motor vehicles.

The high cost is due to the extensive customisation, security features and the limited production of the armoured luxury vehicles.

It was gathered that the President’s official vehicle is a five-seater sedan, fitted with massage and heated seats. With a 5.5-liter 12-cylinder turbocharged engine, it revs at 5,000 per minute, with 510 horsepower. It also has miles per gallon rating of 25mpg on the highway and 15 mpg in the city.

The 2018 allocation meant that Buhari would no longer use the defective 2014 Mercedes Benz S350 passed to him by his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan.

In 2022, N1.6bn and N30m were allocated for car-related expenses in the offices of the President and the Vice-President respectively.

However, as Buhari and Osinbajo leave office on May 29, a source in the Presidency said both officers would leave behind the high-end luxury vehicles that have chauffeured them for the past few years.

Like Shehu, the source stressed that since the country caters for all past Heads of State, there was no need to leave office with such expensive vehicles.

The source explained, “Past presidents are already under the care of the government. In the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, there is a department that monitors the affairs of past Heads of State. That department takes care of everything past presidents need.

“He (Buhari) cannot take those vehicles. Those are bulletproof vehicles that cost a lot of money. They don’t come cheap. They will be used by the next President. What will he be doing with them as a private citizen?

“I know there are governors and heads of ministries, departments and agencies who after using a vehicle for a while, they may leave office with it. But that does not apply to the Office of the President and the Vice-President.”

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BREAKING: FG extends N25,000 salary increase to all workers

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BREAKING: FG extends N25,000 salary increase to all workers

All cadres of workers in the Federal Civil Service will benefit from the N25,000 wage increase for six months, the Presidency has said.

President Bola Tinubu announced earlier in his Independence Day broadcast the increment for low-grade federal workers as intervention to cushion the effect of subsidy removal.

But at a meeting between the Federal Government and labour unions in Aso Rock on Sunday evening, an agreement was reached that all workers should benefit from the increment.

Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief of Staff to the President, who chaired the meeting, announced this at the end of the dialogue.
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The Federal Government had invited labour unions to the meeting as a measure to prevent nationwide strike.

Governor Abdulrazak Abdulrahman of Kwara State and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, participated virtually in the meeting.

Also in attendance were the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong.

Others are the Minister of State, Labour, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite, the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.

The labour delegation was led by NLC President, Joe Ajaero; Deputy President, TUC, Dr Tommy Okon; NLC General Secretary, Emma Ugboaja, TUC General Secretary, Nuhu Toro, among others.

BREAKING: FG extends N25,000 salary increase to all workers

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Full details of FG, Labour meeting on Sunday

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Full details of FG, Labour meeting on Sunday

The outcome of the meeting between Federal Government and labour leaders on Sunday may avert nationwide strike, it was learnt.

Part of the outcome shows that the government will commence payment of N75,000 to 15 million households at N25,000 per month,  from October to December 2023.

It was also agreed that VAT on diesel would be waived for the next six months, Newstrends learnt.

The details are contained in a press statement by Minister of Information and National Orientation Mohammed Idris.

The details of the deliberation between the government and Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress were made available on Sunday night.

The full statement is as follows:

The Federal Government, on Sunday, October 1, 2023 met with the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Unions Congress (TUC) on measures to address the dispute arising from the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

The parties noted the following:

i) The Federal Government has announced N25,000 only as provisional wage increment for all treasury-paid Federal Government workers for six months.

ii) The Federal Government is committed to fast-tracking the provision of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses to ease public transportation difficulties associated with the removal of PMS subsidy.

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iii) The Federal Government commits to the provision of funds for micro and small-scale enterprises.

iv) VAT on diesel will be waived for the next 6 months.

v) The Federal Government will commence payment of N75,000 to 15 million households at N25,000 per month, for a three-month period  from October-December 2023.

RESOLUTIONS:

In the light of the discussions held during the meeting, the following resolutions were reached:

i) The issues in dispute can only be resolved when workers are at work and not when they are on strike.

ii) Labour unions argued for higher wage award and the Federal Government Team promised to present Labour’s request to President Bola Tinubu for further consideration.

iii) A sub-committee to be constituted to work out the details of implementation of all items for consideration regarding government interventions to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal.

iv) The lingering matter of Road Transport Employees Association of Nigeria (RTEAN)  and National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Lagos State needs to be addressed urgently and Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who participated virtually, pledged to resolve the matter.

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v.) NLC and TUC will consider the offers by the Federal Government with a view to suspending the planned strike to allow for further consultations on the implementation of the resolutions above.

Governor Abdulrazak Abdulrahman of Kwara State and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, participated virtually in the meeting, chaired by the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila.

Also in attendance were the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, the Minister of State, Labour, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar  Atiku Bagudu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Doris Uzoka-Anite, the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.

The labour delegation was led by NLC President, Joe Ajaero, Dr Tommy Etim Okon, Deputy President, TUC,  NLC General Secretary, Emma Ugboaja, TUC General Secretary, Nuhu Toro, among others.

Full details of FG, Labour meeting on Sunday

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BREAKING : BUA group announces immediate reduction of cement price to N3,500/bag

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BREAKING : BUA group announces immediate reduction of cement price to N3,500/bag

One of the major companies in Nigeria, BUA Group , has announced a reduction of ex-factory cement price to N3,500 per bag.

The company, which made this known in a statement on Sunday, said the reduction will take effect from 2 October, 2023.

The statement titled : ‘BUA Cement reduces ex-factory cement prices to N3,500/bag effective October 2, 2023’, reads in full : “We refer to our previous pronouncements regarding our intent to reduce cement prices upon the completion of our new lines at the end of the year, in order to spur development in the building materials and infrastructure sectors.

As per the commitment made to reduce prices and following a periodic review of our operations for efficiency, the management of BUA Cement Plc wishes to announce and inform our esteemed customers, stakeholders, and the public that effective October 2, 2023, we have decided to bring the price reduction forward. As a result, BUA Cement would now be sold at an ex-factory* price of 3,500 Naira per bag so that Nigerians can begin to enjoy the benefits of the price reduction before the completion of our plants.

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Upon completion of the ongoing construction of our new plants, which would increase our production volumes to 17million metric tonnes per annum, BUA Cement PLC intends to review these prices further in line with our earlier pronouncements by the first quarter of 2024.

NOTE: all pending, undelivered orders which had been paid for at the old prices will be reviewed downwards to N3500/bag in line with the new pricing from October 2, 2023. Our licensed dealers are also enjoined to ensure that end-users benefit from this reduction in ex-factory prices as we will monitor field sales to ensure compliance.”

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BREAKING : BUA group announces immediate reduction of cement price to N3,500/bag

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