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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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Umahi: ‘I Rented 2,000 Persons To Cheer Buhari In Abakaliki If Not APC’ll Be Booed

Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye , Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki

 

The Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, has disclosed how he rented 2,000 persons to beef up the crowd that came to cheer President Muhammadu Buhari at the Abakiliki Township Stadium. He said he did that to save the president from seeing empty seats because his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) was not on ground in the state.

He has also debunked allegations that he is paying any amount he likes to workers in the state saying that if he is doing that, he would have long been exposed in the media.

Umahi was reacting to APC gubernatorial candidate, Sonni Ogbuoji’s allegation at the presidential campaign rally at the Abakaliki Township Stadium, that Ebonyi workers have had to endure poor pay, no gratuity for retired workers and even some of them have been reduced to mere slaves that do not deserve any form of promotion.

Speaking to journalists shortly after seeing off President Muhammadu Buhari to his helicopter on his way to Calabar, Umahi denied that the 5,200 workers he inherited had been reduced to 3,200. He said rather than do that, he released the sum of N4 billion to the workers to access soft loans to help them to do any form of agricultural business of their choice. He added that he even had to allow them to use Fridays to engage in any business they prefer that would help them generate additional income.

The governor said: “You see, when they have nothing to accuse you of, they  come up with something. In the first place, the staff I met, I have never retired anyone of them and I don’t think two percent of the workforce has been retired. But I have said that there is no need to employ more people because the condition of those in service – not only in Ebonyi State but also, nationwide  – is not palatable. So you have to take care of those you have employed before you think of employing more people.

“That is why I made available N4 billion to the civil servants to take loans within a range they can pay back ; even if any of them has up to 25 years to stay in service, the loan will last for 25 years.

“I gave them Fridays free to go and do any agric business of their choice.. Because, I know there is no amount of money you will pay civil servants that will be enough for them; there is always nothing left after paying salaries for you as a governor to work with. Because, the essence of one being in government is to do something for the people; but when you use 100 percent of your earnings to pay salaries, then what are they working for? So, I devised a means whereby everyone should be doing something more useful and that is why we made available soft loan to them.

“If it’s true that I pay the civil servants anything I like, I will be on the pages of newspapers always; you know civil servants are not the type that will keep quiet. Ask them (APC members in the state) what is the GDP of the state like;; ask them the factors and indices that make up the GDP, they won’t know. I am a trained engineer and all my life I have been in business, employing thousands of people, and so I understand what governance and administration are all about.”

He described Ogbuoji as spent force who has nothing to campaign with.

The governor said as the Chairman of South East Governors Forum, he decided to organise 2,000 people to fill the stadium to welcome President Buhari  because he didn’t want him to feel he was not liked by the people of the state or the region, that has benefited from his administration’s projects.

Umahi said: “They have nothing to talk about but complaints. The last time Mr. President was here, they wrote a 15-page petition against me and Mr President said to me, don’t allow your frustration to overwhelm you. We have performed beyond human expectations and that is their problem; they have nothing to campaign with.

“When I was a deputy governor, they were all the people we helped. Then, and if you saw their venom against Mr. President when he was contesting in 2015, you would doubt the morality of human beings. So they have nothing to campaign about.”

On the allegation that he bamboozled the president, pretending to be his supporter while he was doing everything underneath to frustration his re-election bid, the governor said: “I don’t understand what they mean by support. We belong to two different political parties and so the support for Mr. President as a governor, is what we are doing.

We are not castigating Mr. President; rather, we are supporting him; that is our  support for him. We acknowledged publicly what he, Mr. President ,is doing for Ebonyi State, that is the support we are giving to him.

“Morally and ethically, I am not supposed to come out and start shouting while I’m still holding the ticket of PDP and saying ‘vote APC president.’  But there are many ways of giving support, as the chairman of South East Governors Forum; we have given Mr. President a very good landing opportunity in the South East and definitely he will have more votes that he had the other time.”

On the allegations that he initially denied the APC use of the Abakiliki Stadium, Umahi said: “The first time they wanted to use the stadium, But ;they had two factions of the party, and they were likely going to fight and destroy our property. So, I said no; they should clear with the Commissioner of Police and come up with one set of leadership so that they can use the stadium and I was going to give it to them free of charge.

“Today, not only did we give them the stadium which of course is important of  me it to give them when Mr. President is coming;, we renovated the stadium and painted the seats. We called them for a security council meeting; some of them came and we asked them what they want.

“ere Now, the crowd you saw there at the stadium, 2,000 of them were from me because I know they have nobody. But for it not to seem like Ebonyi people don’t love Mr. President, I had to make available 2,000 persons to come and cheer the president. That is why if you check the crowd, while they were castigating me unduly, the crowds were not clapping’, the people were not happy. But for the respect they have for Mr. President, they could have booed them. I had to do what I because L’m not into extreme politics; I’m into politics for development.”  (The Sun)

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APC Accuses Ohanaeze Of Sabotaging Buhari’s Campaign |The Republican News

• We scheduled meeting before election timetable –Nwodo

Magnus Eze, Enugu

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the Ohanaeze Ndigbo of frustrating the party in the South East, including President Muhammad Buhari’s visit to Anambra and Enugu states today.

They alleged that the fixing of meeting of the Imeobi, the highest decision making organ of the body, today, by the Chief Nnia Nwodo leadership, was a design to diminish the import of the President’s visit.

Deputy Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Chuks Ibegbu said Ndigbo would, at the meeting take a position on which direction they will cast their votes, particularly on the presidential election.

APC National Vice Chairman, South East, Chief Emma Enukwu said the “Ohanaeze is the only socio-cultural group that has taken a position on 2019 election with adoption of a candidate, but power belongs to God.”

Also, a chieftain of the apex Igbo organisation, who belongs to the APC in Enugu State, Prince Richard Ozobu, on Monday, faulted Nwodo for scheduling such an important meeting on the day the President is visiting two states in the region.

Ozobu said: “I’ve been a frontline player in Ohanaeze for many years and Imeobi meeting has never held on a Thursday but Saturdays.

“I can clearly tell you that Nwodo fixed this Imeobi meeting in bad faith. There is no emergency in Igboland to warrant the message he sent across that emergency meeting of Imeobi holds Thursday. This is to show the least, Nwodo’s disdain for President Buhari and he should not hoodwink the entire Igbo nation into his personal calamity.”

But, Ohanaeze, in a swift reaction denied that the Imeobi meeting was scheduled to sabotage the campaign tour of the APC presidential candidate.

Nwodo said in Enugu, yesterday, that the NEC of Ohanaeze Ndigbo had chosen the date without knowing the campaign timetable of the ruling party.

He explained that it was even the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige and the Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi that called his attention to the clash. He disclosed that Ohanaeze Ndigbo has in deference to Ngige and Umahi, shifted the time for the meeting from 10:00am to 4:00p.m “on the same day at the instance of Dr. Ngige.

The body noted that they were aware of the extra cost implications due to those that would have gone after the meeting, but would now be accommodated in hotels, apparently to give all Igbo sons and daughters scheduled for the meeting opportunity to be there. The statement added that although Ohanaeze Ndigbo is apolitical, it could aggregate the collective interest of Ndigbo for a candidate that answers to their wish and inclination but would not be dragged down to the level of vile politicking.

Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has called on Ndigbo to vote massively for President Buhari in the February 16 poll because of the long term benefits to them.

Addressing a meeting of APC faithful in Enugu, he said: “We want to be on the side of history, we want to be on the side of victory because in years to come, we will look back and we want our children and our grandchildren to say this was the moment when the South East got its act together, united and followed a path of victory and a path of sustainable development for the South East and for Nigeria.”   (The Sun)

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Obasanjo Slams Buhari: ‘You’re sick In Spirit, Body, Soul |The Republican News

Romans UgwuAbuja, with agency report

 

Less than 24 hours after former President Olusegun Obasanjo President Muhammadu Buharia of behaving like late General Sani Abacha, he has fired yet another shot at the incumbent.

Obasanjo, in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation, Yoruba, the former president said Buhari is sick in the spirit, body and soul. The elder statesman said Buhari needs to rest and allow another person to take charge of Nigeria, ahead of the February 16 presidential election.

“Buhari is sick in the spirit, body and soul. Let’s beg him to go and rest. He has tried his best. Let give chance to another person..

“When people ask me that, ‘what if the next person is not suitable?’ I tell them ‘that is the beauty of democracy.’”

In an open letter on Sunday, titled: Points for concern and action, Obasanjo specifically accused the president of taking the country back to the Abacha era and also, accused the Buhari government of derailing the country’s democracy by using security institutions to fight perceived critics.

“EFCC, Police and Code of Conduct Tribunal are also being equally misused to deal with those Buhari sees as enemies for criticising him or as those who may not do his bidding in manipulating election results. Criticism, choice and being different are inherent trade mark of democracy. If democracy is derailed or aborted, anarchy and authoritarianism will automatically follow,” Obasanjo said in the letter.

The interview was on its website (www.bbc.com/yoruba/afrika-46942779), yesterday evening, BBC Yoruba, with release of the full interview, today, at 6:00am.

In the interview, Obasanjo also said although he has reservations about Atiku, he would be a better alternative than Buhari.

In a swift reaction, the All Progressives Congress (APC) described Obasanjo as someone whose nuisance value is high.

Reacting to the latest attack on Buhari, from Obasanjo, APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, told Daily Sun, yesterday night, that everything that is supposed to be said about his attacks to Buhari has been said.

Insisting that Obasnjo’s utterances have become inconsequential, Issa-Onilu said Obasanjo should not forget that he has only one, un-influential vote.

“Whatever he is saying now is not different from what he said on Sunday. I have reacted enough to what he said. If mine was not enough, what Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and others said about him should be enough.

“We don’t want to give Obasanjo that privilege of replying to everything he says. APC is done with Obasanjo.

“He is not worth the attention the media is giving to him. It is not true that Nigerians want to hear from him.

“His nuisance value is becoming very high. APC has more important things to do than replying to Obasanjo. He has only one vote and can decide where to take it to.”  (The Sun)

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2019: A Clarion Call For Change |The Republican News

Chris Nwokeji

With less than two months to go, Nigerians are still pondering which presidential candidate to vote for in the general election of 2019. It will be definitely fun to watch the winner of the election. In the build up of 2015 presidential election, many Nigerians were meant to believe that corruption increased by unimaginable proportions, leading to hardship, hunger, frustration and withdrawal. In fact, one of the strong points the opposition had against the government of Goodluck Jonathan was his seeming inability to curb insurgency. Criticisms were rife. The government was given many ill-labelling that actually smacked of giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it.  The common unfortunate label was ‘clueless.’

Three years after Jonathan, insurgency and daily killing of innocent people seem to have increased throughout Nigeria. Today, some Nigerians are not current in what happens in other parts of the country and the rest of the world due to lack of or inadequate supply of electricity to power their televisions and other modern media devices to access news and current affairs and importantly, information disseminated in the social media.

The power of television is not really in persuading viewers to take one side of an issue or another but is used for decision making; deciding what issues would be given attention and those to be ignored.

Newspapers are the major source of information for the vast majority of Nigerians. Over two-thirds of Nigerians report that they receive all or most of their news from the newspaper. Prior to the invention of television, Newspapers had always reported news, politics, business, entertainment and sports just as they do today. Additionally, the masses of Nigeria always read the news sections of their daily paper and topical issues in the editorial columns.

In Nigeria, the importance of television in transmitting information is a relatively new occurrence. As a result, households with television were reported at 40 percent in 2010, according to the World Bank development indicator. At the end of 2017, 22 percent of Nigerians had television in their homes, thus, showing a decrease in the number of households with television. In most developed countries, television is really the first form of mass communication that reaches nearly everyone such as youths and children.

More importantly, television presents to adults, youths and children visual images rather than printed words. It is quite unlike Nigeria where Newspapers are major source of information due to lack of adequate supply of electricity.

Electricity plays an important part in our everyday lives, at home, school, business or job and our daily activities rely heavily on the use of electricity. It is used at homes and businesses to run electronic components and appliances such as lighting, television, fan, refrigerator laptop, radio, air conditioner, microwave oven and others. In industry, electricity is used to operate huge machines that make foods, cups, clothes, paper, toiletries and many other things. According to World Bank, 90 million Nigerians have no access to electricity. Truth is, Nigeria is blessed with large oil, gas, hydro and solar resources with the potential to generate 12,522 megawatts(MW) of electricity power from existing plants but most days is only able to generate between 4,000- 5,000 megawatts which is grossly insufficient. In short, our leaders are cruel and inhuman because they know that without electricity, Nigeria can never develop and the masses would continue to be separated from the rest of the world.

Since the beginning of this government, many Nigerians are confused at the appropriateness of the anti-corruption war, believing that corruption has increased by unbelievable proportions, leading to hardship, hunger, frustration and withdrawal, practically losing faith in the administration. It is true that the maintenance of law and order is a prime function of the government and is essential to development. The sole aim of government is to provide its people happiness, stability and security. In addition, government is about increasing human and material resources for economic growth and to improve political development and provide support for cultural expression.

Perhaps not to be left out are those policies and programs designed to deal more directly with the people such as access to reasonable prices of food supplies, clean water, affordable healthcare, education, housing, electricity, road, infrastructure, and allowances for the unemployed, the aged, the disable, the blind and the deaf. Again, at no time in the history of Nigeria have the prices of staple foods gone up by 400 percent. For example, in May of 2015, the price for a bag of 50Kg rice was between #6,000 and #7,500. Now the same brands sell at between #18,500 and #20,000 for each. At no time in Nigeria has the price of petrol gone up by nearly 700 percent. At no time in Nigeria has the price of electricity from national grid and the resultant blackouts quadrupled. At no time in Nigeria has Naira been so weakened without any conscious effort by the Central Bank to rectify the currency.

The government seems to have over blown its anti-corruption war and people are beginning to see it as a way to persuade or influence people rather than arresting those that have emptied the nation’s treasury. Furthermore, the President continues to arrest members of other political parties and some organized groups that are opposed primarily ideologically to the government while much more are stolen under his watch. In addition, regardless of one’s ideology, ethnicity, language or background, now is the time for those in positions of leadership in Nigeria to speak out concerning a broken political system. This administration has widespread examples of corruption, ineptitude, ineffectiveness, cluelessness, unproductivity and a disorganized and unschooled group of people flaunting as leaders.

As politicians and leaders of this great nation, we must encourage each other to voice our concerns whenever Nigeria is going in the wrong direction. Perhaps, Nigerians need to understand the importance of upholding the constitution of Nigeria. Moreover, a constitution is a plan for running the government. For example, the freedom of speech, press and politics are some of those rights. It guarantees the voting rights of men and women and also protects citizens’ rights in every aspect.

All things considered, l think it’s the wrong time for us to start blaming or criticizing the former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan. Noteworthy here is that Atiku Abubakar was the vice-president of Nigeria under president Olusegun Obasanjo while Peter Obi a former Governor of Anambra State, representing the People’s Democratic Party and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (which shares ideological principles  and cooperation with the PDP) respectively. On this basis, one may conclude that Nigerian economy grew rapidly and achieved higher on many other macroeconomic metrics when the president of Nigeria was of PDP than now it is of the APC. For instance, the previous administrations tried reducing poverty by creating jobs monthly, but instead, the present government refuses to create jobs for our teeming youths across the country. Nigerians are yet to see any substantial foreign investment attracted by this administration for the interest of our citizens. Nonetheless, our government is doing all it can to prevent creating jobs in Nigeria. The corporate tax rate of 30 percent for business is too high. Proponents of tax reform argue that lower tax rates will boost business profits, therefore, creating more jobs for our teeming youths and citizens.

  Consequently, the youths should understand that it is time for a clarion call for what kind of economic policies are in place for creating jobs for  them. This is no time to point fingers at one another to rationalise considering a President and members of his party who refused to listen to the masses of Nigeria. With less than two months to go, the politicians will always make you believe that you have freedom of choice while you don’t. The APC government are owners.

Prof. Nwokeji writes from the US

(The Sun)

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Buhari’s Performance On NTA Live Programme Shameful – Ortom |RN

Rose EjembiMakurdi

 

BenueState Governor, Samuel Ortom, has described  President Muhammadu Buhari’s overall performance during the live programme on NTA, on Wednesday night, as shameful and a confirmation that he had lost control to cabals in his government.

The governor said this, yesterday, at NKST Church, Buruku, while interacting with officials of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), during his reelection campaign in the local government area.

The governor, who was reacting to the televised comments on president Buhari on the matter, said the poor outing gave credence to what the president’s wife had said that he has lost control and a cabal has taken charge.

On the planned cattle routes by the Federal Government, Ortom insisted there are no cattle routes in his state and stressed that even if there were such routes which were gazetted, he would have de-gazetted them, as the current population of the state had made such routes untenable.

“At the time such routes were contemplated in the 60s, the entire population of the country was about 40 million, while the current population is about 200 million, thereby, foreclosing the possibility of such routes.”

The governor, who said he battled and overcame financial, social vices as well as security challenges during his first term, said his focus on these areas impacted negatively on his performance, adding that if given a second mandate, the end of his administration would be better than his rough beginning.

Governor Ortom said the All Progressives Congress (APC)-controlled federal government failed to forestall attacks on the state by Jihadists, who openly declared their conquest and occupation agenda on the state and, thereafter, failed to give the people justice when they demanded it. “This development coupled with the deliberate neglect of  Benue people, by not giving them strategic positions in government, prompted me to seek an alternative platform on which to pursue my reelection.”    (The Sun)

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Buhari Surrounded By Rogues, Says Bakare |The Republican News

Serving Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Tunde Bakare, has said President Muhammadu Buhari cannot be a clean man surrounded by rogues; after some Nigerians alleged that some of those around him are dipping their hands in the national treasury.

Baker also said Buhari did not appoint ministers for six months because there was no money to pay them.

In an interview aired by Heritage Media, in Calgary, Canada, on Tuesday, monitored by TheCable, the cleric criticised Buhari’s appointment of those he described as square pegs in round holes.

“In Nigeria, what I have found out is we put square pegs in round holes, and round pegs in square holes. For example, the person in charge of Budget and (National) Planning is a lawyer.

“What experience has he gotten other than federal character? You can begin to look at each ministry the same way and, in the civil service, that is supposed to be the memory bank of government, they’ve promoted mediocrity

“What percentage of our annual budget goes into education, and what percentage has gone into grass cutting and cutlery?

“When it was made public that there were no sufficient drugs in the Aso Villa clinic, the nation should have known where their health is,” Bakare said.

The cleric said former President Olusegun Obasanjo had the best cabinet, with the best and brightest minds from across the world, adding that Buhari has not been able to do same because of his political party.

“The allegations by the Nigerian public is that those around the president are also stealing, and some names have been mentioned.

“You cannot be a clean man surrounded by rogues, if you don’t deal with those rogues, they would colour you with the same tar.

“Development under President Buhari has been slow because, as he said, he inherited an empty treasury.”   (The Sun)

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