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We’re Facing Hard Times, Commercial Sex Workers Cry Out |RN

Commercial-sex-workers

commercial sex workers

Charity NwakauduAbuja 

       

The economic situation in the country knows no bounds as it has affected every business including that of commercial sex workers.

Commercial sex workers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are loudly complaining the decline in patronage. They believe the economic downturn is responsible.

A number of the women of low virtue who spoke to Daily Sun that since most average families are struggling to feed, the bugling situation has affected their business. They claim most of their patrons find it difficult to reserve money to come around for sex outside their homes.

For them the movement of some politicians to the rural areas for the 2019 general elections contributed to their poor economic fortunes. They confessed that from the build-up to the elections, most of their good customers have not been stable in the city and some of their rich clients that often visit Abuja have not visited. It has seriously affected their business.

One of the ladies, Hellen, who operates around Jabi Lake said she joined the business two years ago and has not experienced this kind of downturn in fortune: “This administration of Muhammadu Buhari changed everything, everybody is suffering, there is no money. In the past administrations, during campaigns and elections, people made money regardless of the type of business they operated because there was money in circulation.

“But this present administration is the opposite. This change is something else, who knows how the next level will look like. How can someone who is hungry and angry have feelings for women?”

Another lady, Joy, operating around Gimbiya Street in Area 11 agreed there is low patronage: “Before in a night I know the number of short time I get before going for the last game which is usually all night. But now, it is very difficult to get a customer. The few men that come around will be bargaining as if we are selling salt and pepper in the market.”

Fair skinned Loveth who operates around Wuse Zone 4 and Wuse II, attributed the low patronage to the relocation of politicians to the villages to cast their costs:

“Most of my patrons traveled home for the campaign and elections. Even some of my rich customers who used to visit Abuja for official matters, are no longer visiting because of elections.

“The main cause of this fortune downturn is the movement for elections and once we are through with it, everything will take its normal shape.”

A lady, known as lady B, agreed that the election is the main cause of the low patronage not hardship: “People are not yet back from their villages. Abuja is still scanty most of my patrons that went home for elections are not back. That is why nothing is happening.”

However, Janet said there is nothing like low patronage in her side because she does her job very well and no customer that ever patronized her that will like to miss her services:

“Since the beginning of campaign to these elections I have never spent a weekend in Abuja. I am either traveling with one of my clients or the other, based on the highest bidder. I have been busy all through; I just entered Abuja today. When you do your job perfectly, patrons will be begging for your services.”   (The Sun)

 

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Buhari Runs A Government With No Direction, Says Financial Times London |RN

Buhari-on-microphone

President Muhammadu Buhari

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

 

The Financial Times of London says President Muhammadu Buhari has been running a government that lacks a clear direction in the last four years.

The respected newspaper therefore called on the President to see his re-election as an opportunity to do the right thing.

The Financial Times said this in its editorial which has been read and shared thousands of times around the world.

It said there was no clear economic policy like that of Rwanda and Ethiopia.

It read in part, “With his renewed mandate, it is now Mr Buhari’s task to rebuild faith by running a dynamic and successful administration and by building the institutions that can lay firmer foundations than in his previous term.

“The omens from his first four years in office are not good. During that time, the former military leader ran a lacklustre administration with no obvious sense of direction. There was no coherent economic strategy of the sort being attempted by the likes of Ethiopia, Rwanda or west African neighbours Ghana and Senegal to produce the rapid growth needed to haul tens of millions of people out of poverty. It is an indictment of its leadership — both military and democratic — that the continent’s biggest oil producer should have more people living in absolute poverty than any other country in the world.”

FT advised the President to appoint more technocrats in his second term who can help turn things around.

The newspaper said the anti-corruption war must be more holistic and less selective.

FT added, “Mr Buhari’s priority this time must be to set out a coherent agenda, implemented by technocrats rather than ideologues, to turn things around. Nigeria desperately needs to create a level playing field for business in which access to foreign currency, permits, and other requirements is both predictable and rational.

“His much-vaunted crackdown on corruption must go beyond taking action against a few minor officials. Some big scalps would help. More important still is to implement systematic changes — whether by reforming institutions, using technology or by removing arbitrage opportunities — to create a more transparent environment. People should prosper in Nigeria based on what they know and how much value and employment they can create, not by their connections.”    (Punch)

 

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NEXT LEVEL: The Next Four Years Will Be Tough, Buhari Warns |The Republican News

                                            President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says the new four-year mandate given to his administration by Nigerians will be tough as he pursues his campaign promises of securing the country, transforming the economy and the fight against corruption.

The President stated this at a special meeting with his cabinet ministers, who were in the State House, Abuja, on Friday to congratulate him on his electoral victory.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had, on Wednesday, declared President Buhari, candidate of the All Progressives Congress, winner of the 2019 presidential election held on February 23.

Buhari was declared re-elected, having polled 15,191,847 votes, winning in 19 states, to defeat other 72 candidates including Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party who scored 11, 255,978 votes.

The President said: “My last lap of four years I think is going to be tough because people are very forgetful – that was why wherever I went I reminded them of the campaign by our party of the three fundamental issues – security because you have to secure a country or an institution to manage it properly.

“If you don’t secure it you can’t manage it no matter how much propaganda you put in place.

“Secondly the economy, the unemployed able bodies is the problem of this country as a whole – more than 60 per cent are youths – that meant 35 years and below – they need to be kept busy.

“I realised that and I think God had our prayers that the two previous rainy seasons were good and we had the for sight to get the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Central Bank to try and give soft loans to farmers so that able bodies that have land can go back to land.’’

The President, who also spoke on his campaign tour, stated that the successful completion of the tour had proven the opposition wrong that he was unfit to govern the nation.

He said the campaign tour did not only prove that he was medically fit but a clear indication that he was ready to continue in leading Nigeria for the next four years.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the highlight of the event was the presentation of congratulatory cards to the president by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha and the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winfred Oyo-Ita.

(NAN)

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Over 91 Million Nigerians Now Desperately Poor – World Poverty Clock |RN

Nigerian-kids

Nigerian kids

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

 

The number of extremely poor Nigerians has risen to 91.6 million, according to the World Poverty Clock.

This implies that virtually half of Nigeria’s population now live in extreme poverty.

The World Poverty Clock had named Nigeria the poverty capital of the world last June when it revealed that Nigeria had 87 million people living in poverty.

The latest figure shows that an additional four million Nigerians have since fallen under the poverty line.

The report adds that six Nigerians become poor every minute.

The World Poverty Clock is a tool to monitor progress against poverty globally.

It uses publicly available data on income distribution, production, and consumption, provided by various international organisations, most notably the United Nations, World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.

According to the World Poverty Clock which was created by Vienna-based World Data Lab, 91.16 million Nigerians were living below a dollar a day as of February 13, 2019.

The World Bank says a person can be said to be living in extreme poverty if they live below the poverty line of $1.90 which translates to N693.5 per day.

The President Muhammadu Buhari government had last year rejected the report, insisting that it had created jobs especially in the area of agriculture and reduced poverty.

However, British Prime Minister, Theresa May, reiterated the statistics during her visit to Nigeria last year.   (Punch)

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Nigeria’s Debt Hits N22.43trn, 85.06% Increase Under Buhari, Domestic Component 70.51%

                                File Photo: Naira and Dollars

Everest Amaefule, Abuja

 

Nigeria’s total debt now stands at N22.43tn, data obtained from the Debt Management Office have shown.

According to the DMO, the nation’s total debt as of September 30, 2018, stood at N22.43tn.

As of June 30, 2015, the country’s total debt stood at N12.12tn. This means that within the tenure of the present administration which came to power on May 29, 2015, the country’s total debt has risen by N10.31tn or 85.06 per cent.

Of the total debt, the external component of both the Federal Government and state governments’ debts including that of the Federal Capital Territory stood at $21.59bn.

As of June 30, 2015, the external debt component of the country’s total debt stood at $10.32bn. This means that the external debt component rose by $11.27bn or 109.21 per cent.

On the other hand, the omestic debt of both the Federal Government and the subnational governments stood at N15.81tn.

Analysing the debt statistics further showed that the domestic debt of the Federal Government alone stood at N12.29tn as of September 30, 2018.

The domestic debt of the Federal Government as of June 30, 2015, stood at N8.4bn while that of the states and FCT stood at N1.69tn.

The DMO added that the debt statistics as of September 30, 2018, was only slightly different from the statistics as of June 30, 2018.

On the difference between the debt statistics of the two quarters, the DMO said, “External debt declined by 2.02 per cent to $21.59bn due largely to the redemption by Nigeria of a $500m Eurobond which matured on July 12, 2018.

“The Eurobond which was issued for a tenor of five years in 2013 was the first Eurobond maturity for Nigeria and Nigeria’s ability to repay it seamlessly boosted Nigeria’s position as a good credit in the International Capital Market.

“The domestic debt of the FGN, states and the FCT grew by 1.19 per cent from N15.63tn in June 2018 to N15.8tn in September 2018. This increase of N185bn was attributed to the FGN (N135bn) and states and FCT (N50bn).”

It added, “The combination of an increase in the level of domestic debt and a decrease in the external debt stock resulted in a slight shift in the portfolio composition.

“As of September 30, 2018, the share of domestic debt was 70.51 per cent compared to 69.83 per cent in June 2018.

“This trend is expected to be reversed in Quarter Four 2018 as the new external borrowing of N849bn (about $2.78bn) provided in the 2018 Appropriation Act is expected to be raised within the quarter.”

The current strategy of the Federal Government is to raise external debt component to 40 per cent and to raise the local debt component to 60 per cent in order to take advantage of the lower interest rate on foreign debts.  (Punch)

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EXPOSED: Leaked Tapes: ‘Nigerians Are Hungry, Crying, Poverty Growing |RN

Amaechi: I’m not aware of any recording

Though the veracity of the tapes is still not clear, Amaechi was heard in the recording saying the Buhari administration has brought misery to Nigerians.

Aidoghie Paulinus and Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja, (with agency report)

Controversy has continued to trail leaked audio tapes exposing where Transportation Minister, Chibuike Amaechi, allegedly lamented the situation in the country under President Muhammadu Buhari.

Although the veracity of the tapes is still not clear, Amaechi was heard, in the audio recording, figuratively saying the Buhari administration has brought only misery, poverty and hunger to Nigerians.

In the audio recording, shared with PREMIUM TIMES, by spokesperson for the Atiku Abubakar Campaign, Phrank Shaibu, Amaechi, who is director general of Buhari’s Presidential Campaign Organisation, said in the three years Buhari has been in power, Nigerians are lamenting.

He said in the audio recording: “These are not things you publish ooo. If you publish them, you will never sit with me any day.

“Three years of Buhari oo, everybody is crying, crying…pressmen are crying, farmers are crying, workers are crying, politicians are crying, students are crying, three years oo!

“The rate of poverty is very high. The people are hungry. Nigeria will divide!”

The audio recording presented Amaechi as describing the president as a leader who neither listens nor cares about what is written about him, as the voice said: “The president does not listen to anybody. He doesn’t care. You can write what you want to write. The president doesn’t care. Does he read? He will read, he will laugh. He will say ‘come, come and see, they are abusing me here’. In fact, there was one case of somebody in Onitsha, a trader in Onitsha who couldn’t sell his goats during Sallah; and, I was with Oga on the plane and the man was busy abusing Buhari. He said, ‘Amaechi, come, what is my business with Onitsha goat seller?’”

Reacting to the audio recording, Amaechi dismissed it, saying he was not aware of such audio now being played on several internet platforms.

He vehemently denied knowledge of any audio recording to Daily Sun, yesterday evening.

“I am not aware of any audio recording.”

Further told that the audio is gaining momentum on different online websites, the immediate past governor of Rivers State said: “Do I do website?”

Meanwhile, the PDP has said that Amaechi has a huge responsibility to defend himself on the alleged audio tape.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, told reporters in Abuja, yesterday, that if the president believes the alleged tape is normal, it is not the business of the opposition party.

“What is out in the public domain is just a demonstration to Nigerians about the lies, deceptions, contrivances and beguilement that APC deployed to win the 2015 election.

“It shows that they have no plans, no agenda, no vision in whatever form as far as governance is concerned for Nigerians…”    (The Sun)

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2019: Kidnappings, Killings, Hardship Not Enough Reason To Vote Out Buhari – Sani, ACF Scribe

As the 2019 general elections approach, Secretary General of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Mr. Anthony Sani, has said kidnappings, killings and economic hardship in the land are not enough reasons to vote out President Muhammadu Buhari at the coming polls.

Sani noted that even in advanced countries where democracy is being practised, bombings and killings cannot be ruled out, and citizens of such countries never called for dethronement of their Presidents. The ACF scribe therefore called on Nigerians to be patient with Buhari and give him a second chance to take the country to the promisedland. He spoke to NOAH EBIJEin Kaduna.

Sir, how has our country, Nigeria fared in the past year 2018, considering the fact that it witnessed a lot of challenges like kidnappings, bombings and killings by Boko Haram and herdsmen?

Nigeria has been going through challenges just like any other growing nation. And the government is trying its best to overcome the challenges. Such challenges should bring about purposeful leadership and the best in every one rather than frustrations. This is noteworthy considering that order, justice, liberty, peace, common decency and prosperity for all, are never natural order of things but attained through ceaseless hardwork by both leaders and the led.

This government inherited many of these challenges and there was even prediction by some group in America that the country would reach a tipping point by 2015, and the government promised to tame some of the challenges. The government is now three and half years old, it is therefore left for fair minded and public spirited Nigerians to do the fact-check and know whether the fight against Boko Haram has yielded positive results by way of reduction of spread and frequency of attacks or not, whether killing of high profile Nigerians has reduced or not compared to the past or not, as well as noting whether there are consciously directed efforts to tame kidnapping and killings by gunmen compared to the past or not. The records should inform judgement of Nigerian voters during elections.

I say so because challenges are natural concomitant of mechanism of community living. And that explains why there are still reports of killings by gunmen in developed democracies, including America that is 241 years old, and the fact that people rate their leaders on the basis of effectiveness of consciously directed efforts at overcoming the challenges. Nigerians should use the records for informed judgement during elections.

How worried are you that Nigeria is rated as the 3rd world most terrorised country?

Whatever level of worries does not result in wiping away terrorism in Nigeria but what is required has to do with consciously directed efforts to reduce the challenges substantially. I have stated that these challenges predate this regime, which promised to tame them. Whether Nigeria is number one, number two or number three among terrorist nations is beside the point. It is the efforts by the government at taming the menace that should concern most Nigerians as to whether there are notable improvements or not.

There is no doubt that there is economic hardship in the land, and people are blaming it on bad leadership. What do you think is the way out because some people have already concluded to vote out President Buhari in 2019 as the only way to solve the problem of hardship?

The complaints by Nigerians of failure of leadership is not new. Even developed countries complain of failure of leadership. This is precisely because however developed a country is, there would still be people who would suffer from poverty, since no nation can wipe out poverty completely. Recall the import of what Jesus Christ told Judas that “the poor would always be with you”. And that is why multi party democracies provide for people to retain performing leadership and vote out feckless leaders at specified periods.

This government inherited an economy that was in shambles that made the president to admit he almost considered abdication. The recession was foretold by the trio of Soludo, Sanusi and Ngozi Iweala which explained the setting in of the recession in the third quarter of 2015.

The government has exited the recession and trying to diversify the economy starting from agriculture and solid minerals. These cannot be a day’s job. But it is left to Nigerians to decide whether the efforts have yielded enough improvement over those of the past or not.

Leader of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Professor Ango Abdullahi and Chairman, Northern Elders Council (NEC), Ahaji Tanko Yakassai have reportedly and respectively kicked against the re-election of President Buhari. These are founding members of ACF and elder statesmen who are supposed to stand firmly with ACF. Do you think ACF membership will ever be the same again?

I hope you are aware of the fact that the two groups of Northern Elders Forum and Northern Elders Council were formed because they thought ACF was not politically partisan enough. ACF has been political on issues most northerners share but not partisan. This is because membership of ACF cuts across partisan lines, and any partisan disposition on the part of ACF would be counter productive. More so that the North is hardly one when it comes to partisan politics right from first republic through second republic to the current dispensation. And given the nature of partisan politics, you may wish to note that NEF is in factions where the one led by Alhaji Sani Zango Daura, Paul Talfa and co have endorsed President Buhari while Ango’s faction has passed vote of no confidence on the present regime.

What is more, most members of other fora and platforms in the North belong to ACF which serves as umbrella body. For example, Prof Ango has been a member of ACF and contested Chairman of NEC with Coomasie and was later made the chairman of the ACF’s political committee. It is not long ago that we started hearing him declaring ACF a rival of his Northern Elders Forum. Alhaji Tanko Yakassai has not resigned his membership of BoT of ACF. He has even resigned from partisan politics. I am therefore sanguine that after the topsy-turvy of the electioneering campaigns and temper comes down, most of them will be active members of ACF again. There is no cause for alarm. What has happened is a result of nature of partisan politics.

There are reports that a bill for change from presidential system of government is being considered in the National Assembly. What is your take on it?

I am not sure if the problems of this country have something to do with structure of the country or form of government. This is because we have tried the parliamentary system during the first republic and jettisoned it as feckless. We tried military dictatorship and said it was aberration, and now we are trying the presidential system, which we say is expensive. But when we consider the fact that all these models have worked in some other climes, then it is hard to avoid the conclusion that our problems are inability to manage our national resources prudently and not structure or form of government. See how Lagos state is performing creditably under the same structure and form of government, which some groups believe are not workable. I am therefore more in favour of effective and efficient management of our national resources which come with integrity and credibility devoid of corrupt practices that have collapsed our national ideals, moral values and of our sense of what is right and what is evil.

What is your view about the effect of the president’s refusal to sign the amended electoral bill on the coming elections?

The President has his own reasons for withholding his assent to the bill, one of which is the time factor that does not allow for proficiencies in exclusive use of electronic voting that include electronic transmission of results amid prevalent hacking. He would prefer there is enough time for INEC to master exclusive electronic voting before it is put to use, which cannot happen now. He seems to have a case there. The President also does not want fusion of votes of political parties that have not merged. He may want political parties to merge and promote true multiparty democracies based on distinct manifestos as against the current practice that are devoid of ideology that inspire defections.

Other areas of concern is ECOWAS protocol which does not make for any amendment less than 90 days to the day of the elections.

And so, given those observations and the fact that the current electoral act sired by opposition PDP which claims credible elections in 2015, I think there should be no qualm for its use in 2019. But if wishes were horses, I would have preferred a situation where the two arms of government should come together and single out the card reader for inclusion in the electoral act. This is because INEC has already mastered the use of card reader and the only draw back is its lack of legalization.

What was your reaction to Gov El-Rufai’s committee’s recommendations to the ruling party on restructuring?

Though Governor El-Rufai is a member of Northern States Governors Forum, a member of the ruling party and may have the ears of the President, I do not think the committee consulted the North on this serious issues of far reaching reforms of the polity that include recommendations for resource control, scrapping of local government, merger of some states and introduction of state police. That report cannot be outcome of consultations across the North. This is because the term restructuring means different things to different people, and those who want restructuring that will allow different sections to develop at different pace are those who want unbridled inequality to push the country to a tipping point.  (The Sun)

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