PRESIDENT BUHARI URGES OIC TO SUPPORT FG’S EFFORTS TO RESETTLE IDPS

President Muhammadu Buhari said Thursday in
Mecca that the Federal Government will welcome
support from the Organisation of Islamic
Cooperation (OIC) for its ongoing efforts to rehabilitate parts of the country affected by the
Boko Haram insurgency.
Speaking at a meeting with the Secretary General of
the OIC, Mr Iyad Ameen Madani, President Buhari
urged the organisation to send a fact-finding
mission to the ravaged states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states to see the damage done by
terrorists.
The President told Mr. Madani that the fact-finding
visit will help the OIC to determine the scope of
assistance it can offer to Nigeria for the
rehabilitation and resettlement of internally displaced persons.
President Buhari also challenged the OIC to act
urgently in support of the restoration of peace, law
and order to Libya which, he said, had been
breeding the terrorists causing mayhem in West
and Central African countries following the fall of the Ghaddafi regime.
President Buhari agreed with Mr. Madani that Islam
has been wilfully misrepresented by terrorists.
The President said that it is only by educating
people properly about Islam that terrorists will be
deprived of legitimacy and a basis for the recruitment of followers.
He therefore urged the OIC to assist the Federal
Government in bringing true knowledge and
enlightenment to all Nigerians.

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PRESIDENT BUHARI WELCOMES IDB FINANCING OFFER

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Mecca
welcomed an offer by the Islamic Development
Bank (IDB) to organize a financing roundtable in
Abuja to mobilize more funds for investment and
development of infrastructure in Nigeria. The President of the IDB, Dr Ahmed Mohammed Ali
made the offer at a meeting with President Buhari
who is currently on an official visit to Saudi Arabia.
Dr. Ali assured President Buhari that the IDB will
work with its traditional partners such as the Saudi
Fund, the Kuwait Fund, Arab Bank for Development in Africa and the Abu Dhabi Fund, to increase the
quantum of funding available to Nigeria.
Welcoming the offer, President Buhari restated his
government’s determination to revamp and
diversify the Nigerian economy rapidly.
“The days of Nigeria as a big oil producer with plenty of money are gone. We need all the support
we can get to diversify our economy as quickly as
possible.
“We also need to rehabilitate our infrastructure,
develop the domestic capacity to feed ourselves
and export the surplus,” the President told Dr. Ali. President Buhari welcomed the plan by the IDB to
fast track the take-off of the Bilingual Education
Program, aimed at integrating the Almajiri system of
education with Western education in Nigeria.
The IDB has already provided US$ 98 million for the
Bilingual Education Program in Adamawa, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Osun and
Yobe.
The bank plans to support similar projects in other
states of Nigeria.

WE’LL URGENTLY DEVELOP AGRICULTURE AND OTHER SECTORS TO OVERCOME HARSH EFFECTS OF LOWER OIL PRICES – PRESIDENT BUHARI

President Muhammadu Buhari said late
Tuesday in Riyadh that his administration was
fully committed to increasing the productivity
of Nigeria’s agriculture and solid minerals
sectors to save the nation from the harsh
effects of lower crude oil prices.
Speaking at a meeting with leading members
of the Council of Saudi Arabia’s Chambers of
Commerce and Industry, President Buhari said
that with declining revenues from crude oil
exports, Nigeria’s hopes of economic
resurgence now lie in the rapid development of
its immense agricultural and solid mineral
resources.
Inviting Saudi Arabian businessmen to invest
in both sectors, the President said that his
administration will welcome greater foreign
investment in support of its efforts to rapidly
diversify the Nigerian economy.
President Buhari said that Nigeria had
regrettably depended too much on crude oil
exports to the neglect of other resources and
was now paying a harsh price for failing to
diversify its economy early enough.
“With the downturn in the global prices of oil,
we now have to prospect our solid minerals.
We have to return to agriculture. Mining and
agriculture are our hopes now. We will
welcome investments in these areas. We will
appreciate an in-flow of more resources and
expertise to help us achieve our objective of
economic diversification,” the President said.
The governors of Osun, Ogun, Katsina, Borno,
and Zamfara states, who were part of the
President’s delegation, took turns to address
the Saudi Arabian businessmen on investment
possibilities in their states, assuring them of
good returns.
The Chairman of the Council of the Saudi
Arabian Chambers of Commerce and Industry,
Dr Abdulrahman Al Zamil said that agriculture
was a very important area of investment for
its members, adding that they were already in
Brazil, the United States of America and
Sudan, “where we have huge farms.”
Declaring that they were willing to invest in
Nigeria, Dr Abdulrahman Al Zamil said that
the Saudis were the leading investors in Egypt,
Morocco, Tunisia, Kenya and Ethiopia.

PRESIDENT BUHARI APPOINTS VISUALLY CHALLENGED MAN AS SPECIAL ASSISTANT.

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed
a visually impaired man, DR. SAMUEL
INALEGWU ODE ANKELI as his Senior Special
Assistant with responsibility for his dealings
with persons living with disability.
Dr. Ankeli headed the Directorate of Persons
With Disability at the Buhari/Osinbajo APC
presidential campaign headquarters, the first
of any such department in a political party in
Nigeria.
He led a team that successfully mobilized a
large number of the more that 24 million
disabled persons in the country to support the
APC candidate and his running mate in the
2015 presidential election campaign.
Dr Ankeli hails from Benue State. He went to
school in Giwa, near Zaria and Kaduna before
reading veterinary medicine at the Ahmadu
Bello University, Zaria.
He worked with the Benue State government
before quitting to give time to his activist role
in the promotion of the wellbeing of the blind
and people with all kinds of disability. He
leads a very active religious and sporting life.
He is married and has children.

JAMB cancels special centres, says registration will not be extended

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation
Board, JAMB, on Sunday said it would not
create any special centre for the 2016 Unified
Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the
UTME, which will be Computer Base Test
(CBT) mode all through, is expected to begin
on Monday, February 29.
This is contained in a statement signed by the
Head, Media and Information of the board,
Fabian Benjamin.
According to the statement, the attention of
the board was drawn to protests by some
alleged prospective candidates in Edo and
Lagos states over the closure of the board’s
registration portal in preparation to the UTME.
“The board sincerely sympathises with the
plight of these prospective candidates.
“It is indeed the wish of the board that the
Nigerian youth desirous of tertiary education
are given ample opportunity to register for its
examination.
“This is why it began the sale of its
application document in August 2015, which
is about seven months ago.
“In the advertisement for the sale of the
registration documents, the board clearly
stated that the sales would close by January.
“But due to public appeal it extended the
registration process to February,” the
statement read in part.
The board further stated that it could not
allow candidates to register perpetually,
adding that it had a time table and it adheres
strictly to it. It noted that this was to allow
tertiary institutions to begin admission
processes early.
“We all must work to enshrine the culture of
discipline in the system and ensure that
tertiary institutions calendars are not
truncated.
“It is most unfortunate that some candidates
waited until our website was withdrawn before
making attempts to register,” the board
stated.
It noted that every aspiring candidate was
expected to know the procedure as proper
publicity involving the media was done.
More than one million candidates have so far
registered for the examination on the all CBT
platform within and outside the country.
More than 500 centres were also accredited
for the conduct of the examination within and
outside Nigeria.
NAN