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Those who will make my cabinet – Buhari

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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)

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THE NATION

NITDA DG, Isa Pantami, wins outstanding promoter of local content for national development award

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The efforts of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in the development and promotion of local content in ICT sector has been further affirmed by an array of industry players and stakeholders at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos on 19th July, 2019. The Director General/CEO of NITDA, Dr. Isa Pantami, was awarded the prestigious Titans of Tech Award in recognition of his outstanding leadership in the promotion of local content for national development.

In a statement by Mrs, Hadiza Umar, NITDA’s head of Corporate Affairs & External Relations, the IT agency’s unwavering commitment to local content under Dr Pantami, has enhanced the purchase of indigenous brand of ICT devices by over 60% within the last three years. Local hosting of data doubled in value and local software consumption has significantly increased as attested to by the diversity of IT experts and business people at the Award ceremony.  The cumulative effect of these efforts, is that ICT contribution to GDP reached an unprecedented mark of 13.63% in Q4 of 2018.

Organisers of the Award further recognised the purposeful approach of Dr Pantami to ICT regulation in Nigeria. Organisers and stakeholders opined that the leadership of Dr Pantami is restoring confidence in indigenous technology development which has led to more foreign direct investment in the IT sector than any other sectors since 2018.

The Award was received on behalf of Dr Pantami by Dr Vincent Olatunji, the Director of e-Government Development and Regulations department of NITDA.

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THE NATION

TCN suspends KEDCO from electricity market

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The management of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), says it has issued suspension and disconnection orders to Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) from the electricity market.

The suspension order was posted on TCN’s twitter handle @TCN_Nigeria on Sunday.

According to the twitter handle, the suspension order was as result of KEDCO’s default in the Market Conditions/Market Participation Agreements.

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THE NATION

How we spent $1bn security fund – Presidency

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The Presidency has dismissed Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) allegation that the one billion dollars drawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was spent by the Muhammadu Buhari administration on the 2019 general elections.

The Peoples Democratic Party in a statement on Sunday asked Buhari to explain to Nigerians what his administration had done with one billion dollars drawn from the ECA in 2017 and meant to address the nation’s security challenges.

The amount was approved by the National Economic Council in December, 2017, to be used to purchase weapons to fight insurgency across the country.

However, Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, said “this unverifiable allegation’’ clearly indicated that the PDP was suffering from socio emotional distress.

He said PDP ”thinks that all governments in the world run on the basis of freewheeling looting as they did their own.

”Here is what happened to that 1 billion dollars. It’s on record that the Buhari administration paid about 490 million dollars for a dozen Super Tucano fighter aircraft in a direct, government-to-government (no Contractors or Commission Agents) transaction with government of the United States.

”Various other military procurement have been made. Balance of expenditure stands at about 880 million dollars or so. The PDP spent Defence procurement funds on their failed 2015 political campaigns as proven in court. That is not to say every succeeding government, more so one led by a Buhari will do the same.”

The presidential aide added that, barring considerations of national security, the details of the stage of implementation, the procurement made and the suppliers would be obtained and made available on Monday.

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