President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday changed Nigeria’s service chiefs, after much pressure from different groups and influential individuals.
In a statement by spokesman to the president, Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President, Femi Adesina, the new service chiefs are Major-General Leo Irabor named as Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru as Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo as Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao as Chief of Air Staff.
Here are a few details about the new officers:
Chief Of Defence Staff, Major-Gen LEO Irabor
Major Gen. LEO Irabor is a RC 34 officer who attained that rank in 2014 and has served as Theatre Commander in the NE.
He hails from the vicinity of Agbor in Delta State. He takes over from General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin
Major Gen. Irabor who is the immediate Chief of Training and Operations, Defence headquarters, took over from the erstwhile Commander, Major General AA Tarfa.
On the 26th January 2021 he was appointed the new CDS by His Excellency, President Buhari.
Major General Lucky E.O. Irabor was the Chief of Defence, Training and Operations at the Defence Headquarters, Armed Forces of Nigeria.
He is an Alumnus of the Ghana Armed Forces Staff College Ghana, the National Defence College Bangladesh and Harvard Kennedy School of Government Executive Programme, USA.
Irabor is a trained Engineer from Obafemi Awolowo University and holds two Masters Degrees from the University of Ghana, Accra, and Bangladesh University of Professionals, Dhaka.
As the CDTOPs, he oversees training and operations in the Armed Forces of Nigeria under the direction of the Chief of Defence Staff.
Specifically, he undertakes periodic reviews of a broad range of policies and activities relating to training and operations in the Armed forces.
In addition, he is the Chairman of the AFN Committee on COVID-19. The committee is working to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease in the establishments of the armed forces in line with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control protocols.
The committee is also giving support to the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 including the deployment of medical personnel across the country to boost the available manpower in the management of the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria.
The General was formerly the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, North-East Nigeria as well as Force Commander Multinational Joint Task Force in the Lake Chad Basin Area. The operations focused on counter-terrorism/counterinsurgency.
He is a distinguished awardee of several militaries, ECOMOG and United Nations Awards and Medals.
Chief of Naval Staff, Rear-Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo
Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo was Director of Search and Rescue Defence Headquarters until his redeployment as Chief Staff Officer Naval Training Command in 2017.
He was born on 22 April 1966 and hails from Nasarawa LGA in Kano State.
He enlisted into the Nigerian Navy on 24 September 1984 as a member of Regular Course 36 and was commissioned Sub-Lieutenant on 24 September, 1988.
He is an underwater warfare specialist with a sub specialisation in intelligence.
The senior officer has attended several military courses which include Sub-Technical course and Officers Long course both at NNS QUORRA. He also attended Junior Division 48/89 and Senior Course 26 both at AFCSC Jaji.
Other courses attended include the National Defence Course at the South African National Defence College.
Until his latest appointment as the CNS, he was the Director of Procurement at the Defence Space Administration.
He holds a Master’s degree in Transport Management from LAUTECH.
Major-General Attahiru Ibrahim, Chief of Army Staff
Before the appointment of Maj Gen Attahiru Ibrahim as the new Chief of Army Staff, he was in charge of the 82 Division, Nigerian Army.
He was born on 10 August, 1966 in Doka, Kaduna North Local Government Area, Kaduna State.
A graduate of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Armed Forces Command and Staff College and Nigerian Army School of Infantry, he commenced cadets training in January 1984 and was commissioned in the rank of Second Lieutenant in December 1986 as an Infantry Officer.
General Attahiru has held several appointments on the staff, instructional and in command in the course of his military career.
He was on a tour of duty with the United Nations in Sierra Leone as a Military Observer, where he facilitated the United Kingdom military engagement, Operation BARASS in September 2000.
He was an Operations Officer and later Company Commander in NIBATT 19 ECOMOG Operations in Liberia.
Also, he had the unique privilege of having commanded with distinction all through the chain of command in the Nigerian Army. Prominent among these appointments are Commanding Officer 146 Battalion Nigerian Army (Operation HARMONY IV) in the Bakassi Peninsula, Commander 13 Brigade Nigerian Army (Operation PULO SHIELD), General Officer Commanding 82 Division Nigerian Army.
He was one time Theatre Commander Operation Lafia Dole (the Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency Outfit in North Eastern Nigeria).
It is on record that he brought relative stability to the region with the surrender of several Boko Haram combatants.
He was unit adjutant, 7 Battalion Nigerian Army, Sarti; Chief of Staff, 1 Brigade Nigerian Army, Sokoto; General Staff Officer Grade 1 Training/Operations and as well as Staff Duties/Plans at the Headquarters 1, 2 and 81 Divisions of the Nigerian Army.
He was Deputy Director Military Secretary 2 at the AHQ MS (A) and one-time Director Army Public Relations and spokesperson for the Nigerian Army. He was later Director Staff Duties and Deputy Chief of Policy and Plans at the Army Headquarters.
Ibrahim was equally privileged to serve as Chief of Defence Transformation and Innovation and Chief of Defence Logistics at the apex organ of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Defence Headquarters Abuja.
In that position, he worked with the US Defence Logistics Agency on the Vertically Integrated Logistics Approach (VILA) Programme towards enhancing the operational readiness in the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
He was also privileged to be an instructor at the Depot Nigerian Army, Nigerian Defence Academy and the Nigerian Army School of Infantry.
He was later a Chief Instructor at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji-Nigeria.
General Attahiru has been exposed to leadership and professional development programmes at globally renowned institutions. For instance, he was at the National Defence College Kenya for the National Defence Management and Security Studies Course and at the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army Special Forces Academy Shijiazhuang-Hubei Province, China for the Basic and Advanced Special/Operations Commando Forces Courses.
He has undertaken leadership and security policy courses at the prestigious Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University USA, Graduate School of Media and Communication, Agha Khan University Kenya, Bournemouth University Disaster Management Center and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.
The General has several honours and awards to his credit. He holds a Masters degree in Strategic Management and Policy Studies from the Nigerian Defence Academy; Masters of Science in Human Resources Management and Development from Salford University in the United Kingdom; and Graduate Diploma in International Studies from the University of Nairobi, Kenya.
He is married with children.
Isiaka Amao, New Chief of Air Staff
Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao was born on 14 September 1965 in Enugu. He hails from Osogbo LGA in Osun State.
Amao was the Chairman of the Nigerian Air Force 53rd Anniversary Celebration Committee in 2017.
He was formerly the Deputy Theatre Commander Operation Lafiya Dole and later redeployed as the Director of Policy at HQ NAF.
He was in January 2020 appointed as the Chief of Policy and Plans (COPP).
He attended Nuhu Bamali Pry School Kaduna from 1971-77, Command Secondary School Kakuri Kaduna from 1977-82, Federal College of Freshwater and Fisheries Technology (FCFFT) New Bussa from 1994-96, University of Madras India from 2002-2003, Kaduna Polytechnic from 2005-2006 and National Defence University China from 2012-2013.
He enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force on 19 January, 1984 as a member of 35 NDA Regular Course and was commissioned as Pilot Officer on 20 December 1986.
He started his Primary Flying Training at 301 Flying Training School (FTS) Kaduna from 1987-1989; did the Basic Flying Training at 303 FTS Kano from 1990-92 and Tactical Fighter Training at 99 Air Combat Training Group (99 ACTG) Kainji from 1993 – 99. Thereafter, went for Instructor Pilot Course at 301 FTS Kaduna from 2004 – 2005.
The senior officer had served in following NAF Units: 99 ACTG Kainji as Trainee/Sqn Pilot from 1993 – 2004, 301 FTS Kaduna as Instructor Pilot/Sqn Pilot from 2004 – 2007, HQ NAF Abuja as Air Assistance to Chief of Air Staff from Sep 08 – May 10, Nigerian High Commission London as Deputy Defence Adviser from May 10 – Aug 12 and Ag Defence Adviser from Nov 11 – Feb 12, Defence Headquarter as Assistance Director of operation from Aug 2013 – Jan 14, 99 ACTG as Commander from 25 Jan 14 – 20 Jan 15, 75 Strike Group (75 STG) as Commander from 20 Jan 15 – 16 Feb 16, Air Component Commander of operation Zaman Lafiya/Lafiya Dole (North East operation) from 13 Feb 15 – 16 Feb 16, doubled as Acting Deputy Theater Commander (Air Ops) for operation LAFIYA DOLE from 4 Jan 16 – 16 Feb 16, Director of Policy (DOPOL) at HQ NAF, Abuja from 16 Feb – May 27 and Director of Operations (DOO) at HQ NAF, Abuja from 27 May – 6 Sep 16, Director of Training (DOT) at HQ NAF, Abuja from 6 Sep 16 – 22 Dec 16 and Director of Operations (DOO) at HQ NAF from 22 Dec 16 – 29 Jan 18.
Until the latest appointment, he was the Air Officer Commanding Tactical Air Command (TAC).
He is a fighter pilot and has participated in various operations such as: Draw Down of AFISMA operation in Mali from Aug 2013 – Jan 14, operation ZAMAN LAFIYA from 20 Feb – 19 Jul 15 and operation LAFIYA DOLE (North East operations) from 19 Jul 15 – 16 Feb 16. His decorations include: Forces Service Star (FSS), Meritorious Service Star (MSS), Distinguished Service Star (DSS), General Service Medal (GSM), River Benue Star (RBS), Passed Staff College (psc) and Fellow National Defence University (FNDU) China.
The senior officer has attended several military courses which such as Junior Division Course at Armed Forces Command Staff College (AFCSC) Jaji from Jun – Dec 1986, Senior Division Course at Defence Services Staff College India from 2002 – 2003, Defence Course at National Defence University China from 2012 – 2013, Aircraft Accident Investigation in Civil Airline at NCAT Zaria and Aircraft Accident Investigation Course at Karachi, Pakistan.
He has the following academic qualification: MSc in Defence and Strategic Studies from University of Madras, India, Master of Military Science and Strategy (MMSc) and Advance Diploma in Defence and Strategy Studies from NDU China, Post Graduate Diploma in International Relations and Diplomacy from Kaduna Polytechnic, National Diploma in Freshwater and Fisheries Technology from FCFFT New Bussa and Nigerian Defence Academy Certificate of Education.
AVM Amao is married to Mrs Elizabeth Olubunmi Amao and they are blessed with three boys.
East-West road, 43 others to be completed without delay – Fashola
All 44 road projects in the approved phase two of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme including the East-West road will be completed without any delay or break.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), stated this, stressing that sustainability of funding for the critical infrastructure in Nigeria would be guaranteed.
Fashola, who spoke in Abuja, noted that unlike in the past, when there was inadequate funding of infrastructure, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had secured alternative sources of funding that could guarantee sustainability from the beginning of the projects to their completion.
He said the tax credit scheme remained a new model that encourages partnership with private companies where taxes are paid in advance to enable the government invest in notable projects that would be beneficial to its citizens.
The minister said the Federal Government had focused on nine major axes of Nigeria, adding that the A1 – A4 axis covered the Northern part of the country, while the A5-A9 axis covered the East and West of the country.
He said the successful completion of all the roads would lead to sustainable mobility for Nigerians.
“The roads like Akure – Ado –Ekiti and East-West which people have been complaining about would be adequately catered for with the approval of the second phase of the NNPC Tax Credit Scheme,” he said.
On payment of compensation, Fashola noted that it would not be paid to anyone occupying the government’s Right of Way (RoW) and appealed to members of the communities occupying the areas to vacate.
Permanent Secretary of the ministry, represented by the Director overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Folorunsho Esan, said in line with the Executive Order 7 (2019), phase one was approved on October 27, 2021.
He stated that with the completion of phase one, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has also approved phase II of the scheme to fund 44 critical road infrastructure to the tune of N1.96 trillion naira.
Esan said that as it was done with phase one, phase two would be governed by a set of guidelines to be issued to each contractor, adding that there would be a funding intervention agreement to be implemented in addition to the standard condition of the contract governing the execution of the projects.
He said that the availability of this new funding window will ensure steady cash flow and a timely completion of projects.
He also stated that the NNPC intervention which began in October 2021 with phase one has now occupied the top of the log with a portfolio well in excess of N2.6 trillion.
On the part of NNPC, the Group Chief Executive Officer, Mallam Mele Kyari, who was represented by the Chief Financial Officer, Umar Aliya, said that funding would not be an issue anymore as the company is committed to fully funding the next phase.
“We are committed to setting aside funds for phase II. Funding would not be a problem. What is important to us is that our consultant will need to validate the value for money and the quality of work. We will not compromise the quality and timely completion of work,“ he said.
“There is no need for excuses. As for us, on our part, we are committed and we implore the contractors to do quality work and do it on time so that the road projects can be open for use to Nigerians,” he added.
The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) Mohammed Nami, explained that most of the roads captured by Executive Order 7 to be executed by the NNPC were mostly road projects inherited by the administration of Muhammadu Buhari.
“So, we are appealing to Nigerians to trust Executive order 007 so that government will continue to provide the physical infrastructure that our people need,“he said.
Nigeria ranks 150 out of 180 countries in 2022 Transparency International Corruption Index
The Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC), Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani, has announced that Nigeria ranked 150 out of 180 countries in the 2022 Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI).
This according to Rafsanjani is four places lower than the 154th position in the country’s 2021 CPI results.
Rafsanjani made the announcement on Tuesday at a press briefing held at CISLAC meeting hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
He however added that in terms of points, the country has retrained 24 points it had in 2021.
He also noted that the data index used for the CPI is not collected by CISLAC/TI- Nigeria but by Independent and reputable organisations with sound research methodologies.
“While Nigeria moved four places up on the country ranking, it has maintained it’s previous score of 24 which is it’s lowest score on the CPI since 2012, which suggests a slowdown in the steady decline observed in the previous three CPI’s, he said.”
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The CISLAC boss lamented the rate of corruption in the country and reserved some blames for the Judiciary.
“Nigeria as a country has reached a point where citizens should come out in their millions to protest against corruption, thus, with the expectations that this regime could address the issue of corruption, yet the world continues to face corruption with the help of high profile officials,” he lamented.
Among other recommendations, CISCLAC called on the executive arm of government to stop granting pardon to corrupt politicians recklessly.
As a means to curb and tackle the incessant corruption in Nigeria, CISLAC also recommended as follows:
1. The presidency, INEC, political parties, security actors and other relevant bodies should ensure that the 2023 general election are free, fair and credible.
2. The relevant anti-graft agencies should ensure that high profile corruption cases are pursued to their logical conclusion for the benefit of Nigeria and her citizens.
3. Agencies given the mandate to recover assets under the proceeds of Crime (and Management) Act 2022 should ensures that they establish a database where information about assets in their custody is easily accessed by citizens in line with the Act and the proactive provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2011.
4. The Federal government should address the lingering issue of oil theft in the country.
5. The relevant agencies should investigate those behind the important of toxic fuel to Nigeria in 2022.
6. The National assembly should ensure transparency in the implementation of the constituency projects. The relevant agencies should ensure that those found guilty are brought to book.
7. With the election fast approaching, the judiciary should ensure more than ever to deliver justice.
The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) developed by theTransparency International (TI) in 1995 is an annual ranking of countries on the prevalence of corruption within each country, based upon surveys by experts and business executives. It’s aims is to serve as a basis for critical reflection on tangible ways to strengthen the fight against corruption.
No single government can solve Nigeria’s problems – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said that no single government can solve Nigeria’s problems.
Buhari, at a state- of- nation dialogue on security, economy and administration of justice in Abuja, stated that efforts of successive governments were required to see the country through its challenges
The President hoped that the event, which was organised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), would contribute to Nigeria’s development. Buhari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, reminded lawyers that they owed the nation some responsibilities.
“I would say no one government in this country would be able to solve the problems of Nigeria. But as we build on the precedent set by successive governments, not discarding completely what has been put in place, we would in the course of our desire to build a Nigeria of our dreams, be able to pick one or two things, on which we can concentrate and move.
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“As a government, the outcome of this dialogue can be transmitted to us so that whatever resolutions are reached, that would become part of the documents would prepare us as we transit and hand over to an incoming government.”
Kebbi State Governo, Atiku Bagudu, who also attended the event, said one of the ways to tackle insecurity was to give priority to primary education in the country.
He said most of the causes of insecurity were a result of the breakdown of the social contract towards the people.
Bagudu, therefore, advocated more investment in primary education to turn the situation in the country around.
The governor pointed out that in developed countries, as much as $27,000 is spent on a child, while in Nigeria, a rich state like Lagos, spends far less.
He said: “They (children) have not been provided education. The challenges of inclusion are the most current. We need to include more people and so we have to mobilise more resources.”
Bagudu praised the NBA for the theme of the dialogue, which according to him, is holding ahead of the general election.
Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Amina Mohammed, condemned the attacks on facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
She also frowned at attacks on some candidates for the general election, as well as fake news and hate speeches focusing on religious and ethnic identities.
The UN chief said: “INEC has been making great strides in improving the transparency, accountability and credibility of Nigeria’s electoral process. The increase in the number of registered voters from 84m to 93m is encouraging and suggests Nigerians are enthusiastic about the electoral process.
“However, we continue to witness attacks against the institution. Fake news, hate speech, based on religious and ethnic identities, violence against candidates as well as INEC facilities and staff since the political campaigns began.”
Mohammed hoped that the elections would provide an opportunity for Nigerians to unite and shape the future of the nation.
She said as Africa’s largest economy with a youthful population, Nigeria cannot afford to fail.
The UN chief said Nigeria must be steeped in economic, social and environmental principles and must be guided by Agenda 2030 and its 17 goals.
“The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an urgent to-do list, a blueprint for global and local action. We needed it to develop peace and prosperity and a thriving natural environment for current and future generations.”
NBA President Yakubu Maikyau (SAN) said there was a need to continuously engage government at all levels on issues affecting the country and the citizenry.
He urged members of the Bench and Bar to always ensure that justice was served without fear of favour.
The New Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Solomon Arase, encouraged the deployment of technology to secure the country.
Arase, who added that government cannot solve security problems alone, said the establishment of reform panels over insecurity was a waste of time.
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