President Muhammadu Buhari says he will no longer nominate people he does not personally know for ministerial positions.
In a maiden meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly, Buhari also said that only those tested and capable of delivering on assigned mandates will make the ministerial list.
At the meeting held at the new Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday night, Buhari said he was under intense pressure to constitute the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
He however said despite the pressure, only those with track records, honesty and credibility would be appointed.
“Many at this dinner meeting are saying they want to see the list of the proposed cabinet so that they can go on leave peacefully.
“I’m very much aware about it; I’m under tremendous pressure on it. But the last cabinet which I headed, most of them, the majority of them I didn’t know them. I had to accept the names and recommendations from the party and other individuals.
“I worked with them for three and half years at least – meeting twice or two weeks in a month. So I know them.
“But, this time around I’m going to be quiet me – me in the sense that I will pick people I personally know,’’ he said.
He, therefore, enjoined the lawmakers to partner with the executive arm in leaving good legacies for the country as his administration was on its last lap.
The president advised the National Assembly to always avoid comparing their parliamentary procedures with that of advanced democracies such as the United States and the United Kingdom.
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, who spoke to State House correspondents after the meeting, refuted media report quoting him as saying that President Buhari would submit the ministerial list to the senate this week.
He said: “Let me take the opportunity to correct that. A senator raised a point of order under personal explanation.
“He said we should be sent the list of the ministers by the executive arm of government and in my response I said the executive is working so hard to ensure that the list of Nigerians that will help this administration work is going to be transmitted and we could even receive it this week.
“We could’ is conditional and I will urge everybody here to report it as it is,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that others at the meeting included the Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila and the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase.
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and other presidential aides also attended the meeting.(NAN)
IPPIS: FG stops salaries of ASUU members, strike looms
Following the refusal of the staff of the federal tertiary institutions in Nigeria to be enrolled on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS, the Federal Government has ordered that the salaries of the concerned staff be stopped immediately
The affected federal government staff, who will not be paid salaries from January, are members of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP and Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, COEASU.
According to a letter from the office of the Accountant General of the federation, signed by the Director of IPPIS, Olufehinti, O. J, dated January 21, 2020, and directed to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the minister was ordered not to release funds for the payment of January salaries of the tertiary institutions.
The letter captioned, “Request for stoppage of release of funds for January Salaries to federal universities, Polytechnics and colleges of education”, was silent on whether the non-payment of salaries will affect the non-teaching staff, who have enrolled under the scheme.
The letter reads, “I am directed to inform you that the preparation of January 2020 salary payroll and warrant of the federal tertiary institutions are on-gong and will be ready for submission on or before 29th of January, 2020.
“This is to give effect to the directive of the federal government that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies drawing personnel cost from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, CRF, should be enrolled on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS.
“In order to actualise this directive, you are please requested not to release the funds for payment of salaries to the tertiary institutions as their salaries will henceforth be paid on the IPPIS platform with effect from January 2020.”
Coronavirus: Wash your hands, cover nose and mouth when sneezing, FG warns
The federal government of Nigeria through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has warned Nigerians to protect themselves against the new deadly virus, Coronavirus.
The NCDC in a statement said to reduce the risk of spread of the virus, members of the public should wash their hands regularly with soap under running water and to cover their mouth and nose properly with handkerchief or tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing.
At least 17 people have reportedly died from the virus in China following an outbreak in the central city of Wuhan, and more than 550 cases have been reported globally.
According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
The NCDC stated, “There is no specific treatment for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus yet. However, many of the symptoms can be treated. Therefore, treatment is based on the patient’s clinical condition. In addition, supportive care for infected persons can be highly effective.
The “NCDC is currently coordinating a multisectoral technical group that is assessing and managing the risk of importation to Nigeria. It is in close communication with the WHO which is monitoring the situation globally. WHO is in direct communication with the government of China and other affected countries, and has released technical and travel guidance.”
NCDC called on travellers from Nigeria to Wuhan, China, to avoid contact with sick people, animals (alive or dead), and animal markets.
It added, “Travellers from Wuhan to Nigeria may be asked questions upon arrival by the Port Health Services unit at points of entry about symptoms of illness and travel history, and are advised to report immediately to the NCDC if they feel ill after a trip to Wuhan.”
Presidency reacts to alleged U.S. visa restrictions against Nigeria
The presidency has described as mere speculations the reported planned imposition of visa restrictions on some African and Asian countries including Nigeria by America’s government led by President Donald Trump.
Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, stated this in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday.
Some local traditional media organisations including online publications quoted foreign media outfits on Tuesday that the Donald Trump administration had concluded plans to add seven countries across the world, including Nigeria, to the country’s travel ban list.
The affected countries included Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania and Eritrea from Africa while Kyrgyzstan and Belarus from Eastern Europe and Myanmar from Asia.
The presidential aide, however, said: ”Yes, we have read the news that the Trump administration is planning to add a host of African, Asian and Eastern European countries to its travel restrictions list as reported by the U.S. media.
”We are not going to react to speculations. We urge you to wait for us to see what unfolds under the new policy, its scope, its reach, the implications, and its consequences before we react.”