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NEMA: Osinbajo saved thousands of Nigerians by approving N5.8bn – Adagbon

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With international organistaions and local agencies running out of funds, and with food shortage at its crescendo, the acting President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo approved N5.8 billion for supply of food to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the NorthEast, thereby saving hundreds of thousands of Nigerians who were going to die out of starvation. The noble action of the Vice President has been misinterpreted in some quarters even though he acted within the ambit of the law. In this interview, Gloria Adagbon, a human rights activist makes a case for the Vice President and warns against politicizing everything.

 

Why didn’t the acting President involve NASS in the process before releasing N5.8bn?

Given that the law allows the Vice President to release such funds in an emergency, he seized the opportunity to do so. The national assembly has proven to be anti-progressive, it took them over six months to pass the budget, we could not let Nigerians die away while they padded the North East Emergency budget. The acting President needed to act and that was why he constituted the Presidential Committee which included Minister of fast Finance, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Minister of Agriculture, CBN governor, Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, SSA to the President, Office of the Chief of Staff, SSA to the President Planning and Coordination among others. It was an emergency and it would have been suicidal to go through the national assembly, given their greed and self-centeredness. The process was transparent, FG bought local grains from Nigerian farmers and the Nigerian Police, Nigerian Military including the Air Force, were actively involved providing essential and logistical support. There is nothing clandestine by the process, it was there for all to see.

 

Why was procurement process ignored before money was released?

The procurement process wasn’t ignored or bypassed. Like I explained earlier, this is an emergency and the acting President needed to act fast. Waiting for the agencies to ponder over procurement would have translated to massive loss of lives. The VP was never going to allow that happen under his watch as Acting President. Section 43 of the BPP Act empowered him to approve the funds in an emergency, which was what he did. He acted in good faith and he saved hundreds of thousands of lives by doing this. We must understand that international organisations including the World Food Programme, UNHCR, International Committee of the Red Cross and others were involved in this process, this was carried out transparently and in order. The international aid agencies like WFP were already dealing with shortage of funds to provide humanitarian aid, as funding was cut down by about 85%. This necessitated urgent collaboration between the Government and NGOs, in order to save lives of Nigerian citizens

 

Why didn’t the VP oversee and ensure the distribution of the rice donated by the Chinese govt?

You will recall that the acting President kicked off the multi-billion naira relief intervention plan for grain distribution in the NorthEast. At the time, about 1.8m people would be reached regularly and 40,000 metric tonnes comprising rice, maize, sorghum and soya beans grown locally by Nigerian farmers would be distributed. But to ask the acting President to monitor NEMA activities alone and leave other pressing issues in the country is ignorance on the part of such persons. Agencies were set up to be managed on day-to-day basis by persons that have been appointed and were qualified to do so. It’s not the duty of the acting President to micro-manage and monitor the delivery or distribution. Duties were delegated, and this was done appropriately.

 

What is the scope and job duties of the VP as NEMA chairman?

He has an oversight function he does not oversee the day to day running of the agency. It’s like asking the Chancellor of a university why some lecturers involve in sex for marks. This falls on the lap of the Vice Chancellor because he is involved in the day-to-day administration. It’s important to understand that the role of the chairman is somewhat ceremonial and that is why you will not find his picture or profile on the website of the agency. People demanding that he did not act as chairman are uneducated and mischievous, and if adults cannot understand the organogram of agencies, you fear for the kind of orientation of what they are passing on to the younger generation.

 

Why is the House calling for the reinstatement of the six NEMA directorsand sack of the NEMA DG?

This is the clearest case of corruption fighting back. The directors in NEMA were accused of corruption and financial misappropriation. EFCC found monies in their accounts that could not be accounted for, but instead of insisting that these directors be probed, House of Reps led by a certain Ali Isa jumped to their defence insisting that they be reinstated. The House had claimed that Civil Service Rule was grossly abused, and natural justice turned upside down even after the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita and acting EFCC chairman Ibrahim Magu had appeared before the Committee to explain that their suspension was in order. EFCC explained that they were suspended in order to allow detectives unfettered access to vital documents. The directors knew what investigators would find and they immediately got corrupt lawmakers to make noise out of nothing. This is a shame and that is why this administration has insisted that if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us.

 

Did the VP release N5.8bn or N33bn?

The VP only approved N5.8billion as against the N33billion peddled about in the media by some unscrupulous persons. These are agents of fake news who are trying all they can to tarnish the blistering career of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo but unfortunately for them, Nigerians are wiser now. We know our left from our right and we can see clearly. If you have read all the reports from NEMA to the House of Reps report, you will find that the VP approved N5.8 billion which was very much in order. We must not allow agents of fake news to derail us in our fight against corruption.

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THE NATION

Firm hails Abdullahi’s appointment as NITDA DG

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An Information Communication Technology hub in sub-Saharan Africa, Global IT, has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi as the Director-General/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

Country Director of the Global IT Rasheed Bakare, in a commendation letter to the President, praised the appointment of 39-year-old Abdullahi, whom he described as a digital guru and an industry key player with passion to improve on his predecessors’ achievements in NITDA.

Bakare said: “Abdullahi, for a couple of years, has shown and proved to be a world-class professional who will use his wide network to take NITDA to the next level, in line with the vision of Mr. President and the agency’s role as the clearing house for IT projects and infrastructural development.”

Global IT advised Abdullahi to live above board and justify the confidence reposed in him by the president.

Abdullahi is a graduate of Computer Science from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, and a Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT Sloan – trained strategist with 15 years of experience in IT operations, business transformation and solution architecture across the private and public sectors.

He attended Leadership and Management courses at Harvard University in the United States of America (USA), University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom (UK) and IMD Business School in Switzerland.

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THE NATION

Yaba Psychiatric Hospital doctors’ strike enters 4th week

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The strike action embarked on the 31st of July 2019 by the  Association of Resident Doctors, Federal  Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Yaba has entered its fourth week.

The doctors are protesting what they have described as a “severe lack of doctors to provide seamless delivery of mental health service.”

The strike action was reviewed on Monday August 19th, 2019 when the doctors deliberated for over six hours to review their ongoing industrial action.

The review meeting was called due to timely interventions of key stakeholders.

After their deliberations, the resident doctors in a statement made available to the press “resolved to CONTINUE our industrial action to insist on standard mental health  care for our clients and quality work experience for our overworked doctors, until such a time the Hospital Management deems it fit to meet our singular demand!”

Find below their resolutions:

“1. The Hospital Management is insensitive to the plight of over 535 in-patients and 220 outpatients daily who now receive suboptimal, if not pernicious,  mental health service in the 20 days that this industrial action has been allowed to fester without goal-directed interventions

2. The Hospital Management has blatantly refused to replace the annual exit of resident doctors  for the past four years. Instead, they have let  patient load and clinical work increase significantly for hapless resident doctors  whose health and academic pursuits have suffered irreparably

3. In light of the above, the Hospital Management’s insistence on employing only FIVE locum doctors is highly provocative of our demands. It hardly improves the status quo which already puts overworked resident doctors at the brink of academic failure, health challenges and malpractice suits

Our Resolution

We have resolved to CONTINUE our industrial action to insist on standard mental health  care for our clients and quality work experience for our overworked doctors, until such a time the Hospital Management deems it fit to meet our singular demand!

To this end, we call on Nigerian citizens and the  Presidency under the able leadership of  President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the Hospital Management to do the needful in line with the Next Level Agenda of this administration.

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THE NATION

Meet Kashifu Abdullahi, new DG of NITDA and ‘architect’ of cashless banking in Nigeria

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President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi as the new Director-General/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA.

The appointment was disclosed by the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu.

Below is the profile of the new NITDA helmsman

Born on February 21, 1980, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi is a graduate of Computer Science from the prestigious Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi.

Mr Abdullahi is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology – MIT Sloan – trained strategist with 15 years of experience in IT operations, business transformation and solution architecture, across both private and public sectors.

He attended Leadership and Management courses at Harvard University in the USA, University of Cambridge in the UK and IMD Business School in Switzerland.

As the 1st Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) in Nigeria’s Public Sector, he is also a certified project manager and solution architect. He also has many professional certifications in networking, telecommunications, service management and Solution design such as: Huawei telecommunications engineer, Cisco design professional, ITIL, Prince2, etc.

He has worked at Galaxy Backbone as Network Engineer, IP Network Field Engineer, Senior Network & Lead, IP Operations Team, and Senior Solution Architect & Lead, Technical Solution Design Team between 2004 to 2013.

In 2014, he joined Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as a Technology Architect, where he dedicated his time to developing Technology Architecture Repository that gives 360 view of the Bank’s IT infrastructure and easy decision on new IT investment. He was part of the team that executed software license rationalization which has increased cost savings for the bank in license annual subscriptions.

Mr Abdullahi was a key resource in the development of IT standards for the apex bank, which has reduced mean time to deploy/integrate new system by over 20%. One of his major achievements as a Technology architect was the production of 7 Solution Architectures for critical IT initiatives that helped in achieving cashless society in Nigeria.

He joined NITDA in 2017 as Technical Assistant to the Director General/CEO. Being the IT regulatory body in Nigeria mandated to implement National ICT policy, he Managed execution of strategy which has increased ICT contribution to Nigerian GDP by over 13% in Q2 2018.

The new DG coordinated Local Content initiatives that has increased ICT local production by over 200% in 2017.

He also overhauled IT clearance process and encouraged shared services among agencies. This has helped Federal Government saved over 16Bn NGN from IT projects.

Mr Abdullahi also oversaw procurement process that has reduced cost of major projects by over 5% in two consecutive annual procurement cycles.

Additionally, he managed project execution that has implemented over 300 IT infrastructure intervention.

Mr Abdullahi is a member of both British Computer Society (BCS) and Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) in addition to many memberships to his credit.

He is a recipient of 100 Leading Telecom and ICT Personalities in Nigeria – By Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON).

Mr Abdullahi is from Hadejia, Jigawa State, and he is married with children.

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