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58 Million Nigerians Live Below Poverty Line, Says NASSP |The Republican News

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…….FG targets 108 poor and vulnerable communities in Nasarawa

From: Linus Oota, Lafia

No fewer than 58 million Nigerians still live below the poverty line, so says National Social Safety net program (NASSP), the office of the vice president.

This is in spite of Federal Government’s efforts to reposition the economy through various programmes.

Coordinator of NASSP, Mr Peter Papka, stated this in Lafia, Nasarawa State, during a three-day training programme on community-based targeting for identification of the poor and vulnerable people in Nasarawa organise by NASSP in partnership with Nasarawa State Government.

Papka said that the distribution of the nation’s resource has not translated into the diversification of the sources of income for most families, adding that the community-based single register of the poor and vulnerable is aimed at reducing extreme poverty in the country.

Represented by the head of National Social registry, Mr Vicent Oriokpa, Papka said the single register was established on the basis of a well-thought out community-based targeting approach where communities would be able to identify poor households in the communities.

In Nasarawa State, Papka said six poorest local government areas were selected base on poverty index, while 18 participants representing 108 communities in those councils are participating in the training. He noted that the programme would enable the Federal Government to fulfil its obligation of providing succour to the citizenry, especially the poorest and vulnerable ones.

The selected local governments for the program in the state are Kokona, Akwanga, Nasarawa, Awe, Lafia and Wamba.

He added that the Federal Government, through NASSP, was building strong institutions and systems to sustain poverty reduction interventions.

Speaking while declaring the training open, Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura said the social intervention programme as articulated by the Federal Government was in conformity with his quest to liberate the people of the state, especially the downtrodden from excruciating poverty.

Represented by the commissioner for information, Alhaji Abdulramid Kwara, Governor Almakura said his administration had designed a welfare programme aimed at achieving social safety nets in the state, noting that free education from primary to secondary school his government has offered among other programs is a step towards poverty reduction. (The Sun)

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Economic Legacy: APC Chief, Balarabe Musa Tackle Goodluck Jonathan |RN

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Former President, Goodluck Jonathan

Niyi Odebode,  John Alechenu,  Olusola Fabiyi and Olaleye Aluko

The National Vice-Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (South-East), Chief Emma Eneukwu, and a  former governor of the old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, have berated former President Goodluck Jonathan over his claim that his government had good economic programmes.

Jonathan had, at the Non-Elective National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party held in Abuja on Saturday, said his government had a sound economic team.

Related: Corruption: We Didn’t Plug All Loopholes, I Did Well, Had Good Economic Team, Says Jonathan

He recalled that in 2012, there were flood disasters in many parts of the country, stressing that the floods damaged homes and farmlands on the plains of River Niger and River Benue, adding that despite the devastating effects of the natural disaster, there were no food shortages or arbitrary increase in prices.

On the economic front, he said his government provided focused leadership through institutional reforms which he said impacted positively on the fundamentals for growth, especially in the last four years of his time in power.

But Eneukwu, in an interview with one of our correspondents on Sunday, accused the former President of throwing the country into a mess.

He said, “Even a blind man in Nigeria knows that (Goodluck) Jonathan threw this country into a mess. Billions and billions of naira are being refunded and found in private houses. Is the money not being refunded by people who served under Jonathan?

“The man shouldn’t talk, he should bury his head in shame; his administration is almost the worst I can think of.  He never checked people who worked under him; it was free-for-all corruption.”

Also commenting on Jonathan’s statement, Balarabe Musa, said past presidents, including Goodluck Jonathan, played on Nigerians’ short memories.

Describing Jonathan’s handling of the economy as worse, Balarabe said, “Of course, Nigerians have short memories. What is our attitude to all the former presidents, particularly as to how they handled our economy?

“We seem not to have realised that they did less than the present. They are now heroes in a way. They are almost now gloating and trying to decide the fate of the country.

“The ex-President is not only to blame for our failures, his own was even worse. In the present, we have seen competence in a few things, but in his own (Jonathan) case, he showed competence in nothing. He allowed corruption to fester during his own time. But we are not sure if the present administration is not doing worse. This is because the state of the economy can only be reasonably determined by the state of the people.”

Meanwhile, the ruling All Progressives Congress has asked the Peoples Democratic Party to forget its idea of returning to power in 2019.

It alleged that the damage caused the country by the PDP when it was in power for 16 years was enough testimony of its alleged ineptitude.

The PDP had said during its Non-Elective National Convention that it was ready to take over the government at the centre in 2019.

Different members of the party who spoke at the event asked members of the former ruling party to get set to return to power in 2019.

But the spokesperson for the APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, told our correspondent that the PDP was merely dreaming.

He said while there was nothing wrong in dreaming, it was wrong for the PDP leaders to think that Nigerians would trust them with power again.

He said what “Nigerians are thinking now is restructuring,” which he said, was not the focus of the PDP.

Abdullahi, who was a former minister of sports, said, “The PDP will not come back to power in 2019. For me, it is a mere expression of a wish, which will not come to pass.

“They are talking about what they wish and not what is on the ground. The biggest issue now that Nigerians want is the restructuring of the country. The PDP does not think that way.

“Does the PDP, which was in power for 16 years, has anything like that in its manifesto, the answer is no. So, the party should forget it.”

When reminded that something close to it was in the report of the 2014 Constitutional Conference which the present APC government had refused to implement, Abdullahi said the last administration was also not ready for the implementation.

“What did that government do with the report which was submitted to it about a year before the election? Nothing. So, how can they be talking about restructuring,” he asked. (Punchng.com)

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N19trn Debt: NESG, Utomi, Rewane Others Call For Caution

Kemi-Adeosun-Ogun

                              Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun

Everest Amaefule and ’Femi Asu

Economic and financial experts have raised the alarm over the nation’s rising debt burden, calling on the Federal Government to spend more on capital expenditure and exercise care in its quest for more borrowing.

The experts, who spoke in separate interviews with our correspondents on Tuesday, reacted to the N7.1tn increase in the nation’s total debt in two years to N19.16tn as of March 2017.

A professor of Political Economy and management expert, Pat Utomi, said, “A country is not different from a household, more or less generally, in terms of how it manages its finances. So, if your personal debt profile is going up at that rate, will you be comfortable?

“However, there are times that you need to spend your way, literally speaking, out of a challenge of output; recession being one of those. But I think that even at that, you need a certain level of care to make sure that you don’t get into an unsustainable debt scenario.”

Utomi expressed hope that the government would be more careful even if the recession required spending.

“My big worry is that the impact of the borrowing may not be reflected on output, in the sense that if we get into a double whammy where our debt balloons, but we don’t have the necessary stimulation of production, especially when our consumption is very external in its orientation, we need be very careful to watch all of those,” he added.

The Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Bismarck Rewane, said it was wrong for the government to be mainly borrowing to support recurrent expenditure.

He said, “We need to move away from debts for recurrent expenditure to debts for capital expenditure, which is projects-specific. The debt level itself is not dangerous, but the debt service level – the debt burden – is very high.

“We are using 66 percent of our independent revenue to pay interest. So, interest rates must come down substantially, or else, we are in trouble.”

The Board Chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, a private sector think tank and policy advocacy group, Mr Kyari Bukar, said the amount of debt should not be a cause for concern considering the low debt to Gross Domestic Product ratio of the country.

“What one needs to pay attention to is the debt service amount versus the capital expenditure of the budget. The debt servicing and the ability to service the debts are the key areas of concerns that we should pay attention to,” he said.

The 2017 Appropriation Bill, which was passed into law by the National Assembly recently, provided N1.84tn for debt servicing compared to the N2.17tn provided for capital expenditure for all sectors of the economy.

“The kind of debt I will like to see happen is the debt where the money that is borrowed goes into productive sectors such as investment in railways, health care, education and other critical infrastructure. However, if we borrow to pay salaries, it starts to become a problem,” Bukar added.

A professor of Economics at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Sheriffdeen Tella, said, “It is not healthy to continue to increase our debts. In fact, the growth in the last two years has been quite alarming, and so there is a need for us to slow down on it. It is not the debt itself that is important, but the interest rates that you pay on such debt and the usage of the debt.

“If the government is going to spend more, as people have advised, the normal thing is that when you have a problem of depression, you go into expansionary fiscal and monetary policies. The expansionary fiscal policy, which is government spending more, must be based on the budget.

“When we say the government should spend more, the budget must be approved early enough; and so, when the government is spending on time, even if it is not much, the economy will expand on the basis of that.”

Some other stakeholders called for the appropriate utilisation of the N7.1tn borrowed by the Federal Government and the 36 states of the federation in the last two years.

The Managing Director, SHI-Logistics Limited, Dr Mike Omotosho, said the increasing debt meant that the burden of servicing it would increase.

Doubting the correct use of borrowed funds, Omotosho said it was wrong for the government to use debt to finance routine government expenses.

He stated, “First if we compare the percentage of our debt to our Gross Domestic Product, it is foolhardy to think we will not feel the negative effects in the long run.

“Borrowing in itself is not the main problem but what we spent the money on. In the last two years, I doubt if we have spent up to N2.5tn on infrastructure and other key policies that can help the economy and the people.”

He added, “This means that over 60 percent of the debt has gone into recurrent expenditure. There is no way the nation will not pay for this pretty soon. We had the N6tn budget in 2016 and about N2.4tn, representing about 40 percent, went into debt servicing. Now, that the debt profile has jumped up, imagine what will go into debt servicing.

“Our policymakers hardly consider the negative impact of debt when they go on a borrowing spree. I would have preferred we take the right way out of our quagmire rather than a decoy easy way that is filled with traps.”

An associate professor of Finance at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Uche Uwaleke, said there was no problem if the government utilised the loans to finance projects that would pay back the monies borrowed.

However, he added, if the funds were utilised to fund consumption, then the government had succeeded in mortgaging the future of the nation.

Uwaleke said, “A country like Nigeria with huge infrastructure deficit will have to borrow if it must develop at a fast pace.”              (Punchng.com)

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2.1 Million Nigerians Lost Their Jobs In 2016, Says NBS |The Republican News

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Statistician-General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer National Bureau of Statistics, Dr.Yemi Kale

Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja

The National Bureau of Statistics has said that the number of Nigerians who became unemployed rose by 2.1 million to 11.55 million at the end of 2016 from 9.48 million at the beginning of the year.

The NBS stated this in its unemployment report, which was released on Monday night.

The NBS report stated that the unemployment rate was highest for persons in the labour force between the ages of 15-24 and 25-34, which represents the youth population in Nigeria.

For instance, it stated that the unemployment rate was highest for those within the age bracket of 15 to 24, rising from 25 per cent to 25.2 per cent.

For the 25 to 34 age group, the unemployment rate, according to the report increased from 15 per cent to 15.4 per cent.

It noted that unemployment and underemployment were higher for women than men in the fourth quarter of 2016.

For instance, 16.3 percent of women in the labour force were unemployed as of the end of the fourth quarter of 2016, according to the report.

On the other hand, it added that 12. 3 per cent of males were unemployed in the fourth quarter of last year.

The report stated, “The economically active population increased from 108.03 million to 108.59 million; this represents a 0.5 percent increase over the previous quarter and a 3.4 percent increase when compared to fourth quarter 2015.

“In the fourth quarter of 2016, the labour force population increased to 81.15 million from 80.67 million in the third quarter of 2016, representing an increase of 0.6 percent in the labour force during the quarter.

“This means about 482,689 persons from the economically active population entered the labour force during the quarter, that is individuals that were able, willing and actively looking for work.”      (Punchngcom)

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Buhari 2 Years On: Economy Struggles To Exit Recession |The Republican News

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President Muhammadu Buhari

As the nation marks two years of the President Muhammadu Buhari-administration, the economy is struggling to recover from its worst recession in 25 years, which has hit many Nigerians hard, ’FEMI ASU writes

Still smarting from the far-reaching impact of the recession that the economy slid into shortly after the start of the second year of the President Muhammadu Buhari-administration, many Nigerians are eager to see recovery.

But the Gross Domestic Product report released last week by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the recession failed to end in the first three months of this year contrary to expectations.

The nation’s GDP contracted by 0.52 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the first quarter of 2017, representing the fifth consecutive quarter of contraction since the first quarter of 2016.

The economy had shrunk by 1.5 per cent in 2016, the first full-year contraction in 25 years.

After several months of slowdown in growth on the back of the steep fall in crude oil prices, the economy contracted by 0.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2016, 2.1 per cent in the second quarter, 2.2 per cent in the third and 1.3 per cent in the fourth.

Amid the sustained low oil prices, the resurgence of militant attacks on oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta last year disrupted the nation’s oil production and worsened government’s revenue woes.

But analysts have said that the way the government handled the economy, particularly the delays by monetary authorities in implementing a flexible foreign exchange policy, exacerbated the impact of weaker oil earnings on the economy.

While the nation has seen a slowdown in the negative growth rates in the last two quarters, the Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, said the journey to recovery would take time.

“Two years, we have gone down into the pit and we are coming back out. But the recovery journey is slow, painful and it is going to take time. Even if we get 0.1 per cent positive growth, we are out of recession. But that is not enough to make people comfortable,” he told our correspondent on Sunday.

The Chief Executive Officer, Cowry Asset Management Limited, Mr. Johnson Chukwu, said the Buhari’s government performed below par in its first two years, given the current state of the economy compared to what it was in 2015.

He said, “When the government took over in 2015, the unemployment rate was 7.5 per cent; as of the end of the third quarter of 2016, when the last report was made available, the unemployment rate had gone up to 13.9 per cent. In 2015, the inflation rate was below nine per cent; in April 2017, it was 17.24 per cent.

“In 2014, the GDP grew by 6.22 per cent; in 2015 when the government took over, it grew by 2.78 per cent. In 2016, it contracted by 1.5 per cent. Those are the highlights of parameters you use to measure an economic performance.”

Chukwu said the government should take responsibility for the deterioration of the economy, adding that the government would need to move at a fast pace in driving its economic recovery and growth plan.

The nation’s inflation rate, which climbed to 18.72 per cent in January, fell for the first time in 15 months to 17.78 per cent in February, 17.26 per cent in March, and 17.24 per cent in April.

The stock market has rebounded significantly in recent times as the market capitalisation of listed equities hit the $10tn mark on Friday from N8.716tn on April 21, when the Central Bank of Nigeria established a forex window for investors and exporters to boost liquidity in the forex market.

The foreign reserves, which rose to $30.988bn on May 4 from $25.84bn on December 30, 2016, have declined to $30.494bn as the CBN continued effort to prop up the naira by supplying the forex market.

The naira, which slumped to an all-time low of 520 to the dollar on the parallel market in February, stood at 382 to the dollar on Friday.

Electricity generation in the country has yet to reach the peak generation of 5,074.70 megawatts achieved on February 2, 2016. It stood at 4,206.10MW on Sunday, according to data from the System Operator.

The Global Chief Economist, Renaissance Capital, Charles Robertson, in an emailed report, noted that Nigeria’s per-capita GDP had fallen to around $1,740, from over $3,000 in 2014.

“We think most metrics in Nigeria will be demonstrating improvement in 2017, provided that oil prices and production do not plunge. We are cautiously positive on equities and bonds at an exchange rate of around N400/$,” he said.

Analysts at SBM Intelligence, in a new report on the Buhari’s administration, said perhaps the biggest economic item that dominated the conversation over the last year had been the government’s management of the foreign exchange market and its far-reaching impact on economic performance.

They said, “In this regard, the central bank and the Ministry of Finance have shown less than convincing mastery in handling this hot button issue.

“The announcement in June 2016 of a currency float, which was initially met with delight from investors and the market, turned to be the start of a multi-exchange rate system that bred a mix of frustration and confusion, while doing little to achieve the CBN’s intent of reining in the distortionary effect that short sellers and black marketers were having on the national currency.”

Rewane said the country would not get back to its five-year average growth rate until 2019/2020.

“The government needs to invest and spend. If you are going to be spending only N7tn in a year, which is four per cent of your GDP, that is not going to cut it. You need to do almost three times that for the impact to be felt. As far as I am concerned, everything directionally is okay but in nominal terms, we are still way below what we should be doing,” he added.  (Punchng.com)

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Democracy Day: Be Prepared To Make Sacrifices, Osinbajo Tells Nigerians

 yemi-osinbajo1

                                            Yemi Osinbajo

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

The acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Sunday said Nigeria was in dire need of those who could make sacrifices to make the nation great.

He said the country was in need of teachers who were prepared to teach; doctors who were prepared to provide quality health services and those who were willing to fight corruption, despite all odds.

Osinbajo spoke at the 2017 Democracy Day Interdenominational Church Service held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.

The service had ‘The Dry Bones Shall Live Again’ as its theme.

Buttressing his point with the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-37, the acting President advised Nigerians against emulating the politician and the cleric in the story that looked the other way when they saw the man that was attacked by thieves and left for dead.

He urged them to emulate the Good Samaritan, whom he described as a nobody, that took compassion on the victim, poured oil on his wounds, and took him to the hospital.

Osinbajo said, “When we look at our country, it is not the state it fell into that is the story but the story is how the people react when you see the nation that needs to be helped.

“While the politician and cleric look the other way when they saw the man that was half dead, the Good Samaritan had compassion on him, bandaged him and took him to the hospital.

“Who truly loves the nation? Is it the priest that said a prayer and walked past or the politician that looked and walked past or the Samaritan that took the wounded to the hospital, paid some money and said ‘treat him, on my return, I will offset the bill’?

“The nation requires those that can make the sacrifices to make it great. They are those whom Jesus spoke about; people that may not be of note but are prepared to make the nation great again. Some are doctors, teachers, young graduates.

“There is sacrifice of integrity against corruption. When you speak against corruption, it fights back, so you must be ready to make sacrifice no matter how highly placed or small you are. Teachers who are prepared to teach, doctors who are prepared to provide health services, no matter what.

“Make the sacrifices required to make our nation great whether you are a leader or a follower.”

Osinbajo concluded his address by praying that God would heal President Muhammadu Buhari and bring him back safely to resume his duties.

Earlier in his sermon, Apostle Sunday Popoola of the Apostle of the Word Communication Ministries and Founder of Christ Family Assembly Churches had warned those contemplating a coup in the country to desist from it because, according to him, such moves would not succeed.

“If you are out there like me, you will know that Nigerians are fed up and are waiting for something to spark. We need to be patient with the present government which has something to offer. Coup cannot work now and will not succeed,” he said.

The clergyman also called for genuine reforms in the nation’s civil service.  (Punchng.com)

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Recession: We Never Had This Bad – Rep

By Tony Udemba

Oghene Emma Egoh is a member of the House of Representatives, representing Amuwo Odofin federal constituency of Lagos State, on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He stated his concern for the growing hunger in the land and the discriminatory approach by the present government in its war against corruption, just as he described the whistle-blower policy as capable of reducing the spate of corruption in the country. He also spoke on insecurity and other topical issues.
What are your views concerning the fight against corruption?
There is no doubt that the government is doing its best in the on-going fight against corruption in the country, especially given the spate of discoveries of huge sums of funds both in local and foreign currencies  in the houses and business premises of some yet to be identified persons. Certainly with these discoveries,   the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, is doing its best in fighting corruption which has continued to ravage the nation for too long. While this is going on,  a major concern  to most Nigerians is the pattern of discoveries of these huge sums of cash,  as exemplified by grave silence maintained by the EFCC on the ownership of the discovered funds , the premises from where the funds were hidden.  Simply put, EFFCC must tell the public the names of the owners of the recovered funds, as well as the owners of the properties where the funds were traced to. These are some of the questions on the lips of most Nigerians.
Nigerians must be saved the puzzle of guessing about the ownership of the funds.  It is not just enough to tell us that they discovered billions in some apartments or premises in Ikoyi, Victoria Island or some other places, EFCC should go the extra mile and ensure that the names of those behind these hidden funds are made public.  The truth is that everyone is getting tired of these unending entertainment going on in the country.  Rather, everyone is anxiously waiting to know the true owners of the discovered funds.
What is your take on the perceived targeting of PDP members in the anti-corruption war?
There is no gainsaying that some members of our great party, PDP, are being targeted in the on-going anti-corruption war. We are greatly concerned about  this sad development going on in the country, and continue to insist that those agencies that are in charge of the fight against corruption must operate in line with the laws and constitution of the nation. In fighting corruption emphasis must be placed on ensuring that the due process of the law is followed, and certainly not in victimizing political opponents or perceived enemies of the government.  What we want is fair treatment to everyone irrespective of political inclinations.
A situation where political opponents are hounded  into detentions, tried in the media, even before proper investigations start, is totally unacceptable. Certainly that is not the proper way of fighting corruption in the country.
How would you rate the whistleblower’s policy of the government?
I would want to commend the government for the introduction of the whistleblower policy, and most importantly for the successes so far recorded by the policy. At least we have seen, and continue to see, also on weekly basis lots of discoveries of huge sums of cash, both in local currencies been hidden by unknown individuals and personalities, in people’s homes and business premises.   It has not been too long that this policy was introduced in the nation, but you can see the amazing results recorded so far.
What is your reaction to the proposed introduction of modular refinery system in the Niger Delta region?
The proposed policy by the federal government to set up modular refineries in the oil-rich Niger Delta region is a welcome development. If fully implemented by the government it will certainly bring to a terminal end many years of illegal oil bunkering and youths restiveness in the area. The policy also has the potentials to address issues of unemployment, militancy, cultism and other violent criminal activities in the region.  But, like I said for this policy to be successful, the government must firstly, undertake a comprehensive census of operators of illegal petroleum refineries in the area to ensure that it has an accurate data of operators of such illegal refineries, as well as their locations.
Secondly, government has to ensure that these illegal operators are part of the new arrangement, and that  they are carried along as stakeholders in the project. The truth is that if they are carried along and made to be part of the modular refineries policy arrangement of the government , certainly all the issues of crude oil theft and illegal oil refining will stop, and become a thing of the past. Again, government must ensure that these operators of illegal refineries are re-orientated and trained to understand the concept and operations of modular refineries. While the government might be considering foreign technologies for the modular refineries, my advice is that it should consider some of our local technologies with the capability of providing such solutions.
What is your take on the economic difficulties in the country?
It is unfortunate that many Nigerians are passing through hard times and find it increasingly difficult to fend for their families. If you go round the country you don’t need to be informed about the level of hardship and the many challenges our citizens are passing through. We have never had it this bad.
The costs of food items and other essential commodities are in the upwards swing and simply out of the reach of the ordinary citizens. People are really suffering in the land, and I would like to urge the federal government to as a matter of urgency come up with palliative measures to bring down the costs of living and cushion the effect of the current difficulties in the country.
Another face of difficulties in the country is the astronomical rise in the number of unemployed persons in the county. The growing number of unemployed persons in the country is simply too alarming and a big problem for the nation if not properly managed . Though this presents a critical picture for the future of the nation and its socio-economic development, there is no doubt that the situation demands an urgent attention of the governments at all levels.  There is the need for the government to urgently come  up with effective policies and initiatives aimed at boosting employment opportunities in order to positively engage the huge number  of job seekers.
What is your take on the growing insecurity in the country?
It is quite unfortunate that for some years now the nation has been grappling with  the challenges of insecurity of various shapes ranging from  terrorist attacks, armed robberies, kidnappings, herdsmen attacks, youth restiveness  and other types of violent crimes. The situation is further made difficult to curb due to the rising army of unemployed persons and the challenges of an under-equipped police force.   The truth is that with a huge population of unemployed persons , it might be difficult to tame the increasing rise in  armed robberies and other  violent crimes across the land.
Again, if you  look at the sophistication of crimes  today in the country, you will no doubt agree with me that there is the urgent need for the federal  government to provide the police with adequate funding to enable them procure sophisticated weapons and equipment to frontally combat  criminal activities  across the country. I know that the government is doing its best in the fight against insecurity, but I strongly believe that the government has to do more in order to safeguard lives and property in Nigeria.
What are your views on the frequent executive – legislators faceoff ?
The three arms of the government work together, and act  as checks and balances to one another for the smooth running of the government. There is no doubt that there may be disagreements between the executive and legislative from time to time, but certainly these disagreements does not mean that they are fighting or quarrelling. One thing you must know is that in democracy there is bound to be agreements and disagreements. That is the beauty of our democracy.
What is your take on the crises facing PDP?
Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is like a big family, and you will agree with me that even in big families people are bound to have quarrel. But, the most important thing is that sooner after such quarrels they still have to come together in reconciliation to forge ahead, and even be more united than before.  Though some PDP members are in court today,  I am assuring you that sooner or later, the matter will be settled and PDP will be back again in full force. Certainly I have no doubt in my mind that our great party, PDP will come out of this crises to become more stronger and united as the biggest political party in Nigeria and Africa. I am calling all our members to continue to keep faith with the party. Our party is repositioning itself to retake power in 2019.  (The Sun)

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