Buhari Meets Trump

Here are 7 important things Donald Trump told President Buhari and Trump had a meeting at the Oval office where they discussed Nigeria’s security and economy. Here are 7 key things Donald Trump told Buhariplay Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and US President Donald Trump meet at the White House...

Brain drain and emigration of Nigerian Professional

CALABAR— Nigerian Vanguard
The World Health Organisation, WHO, has called on both the Federal and state governments to, as a matter of national interest, check the migration of trained health workers to other countries with a view to curbing its underlying negative effect on the health sector. File photo National Data Officer, WHO’s Code of Practice on International Recruitment of Health Personnel, Dr. Tony Udoh, made the call during the second stakeholders meeting on Project Brain Drain to Brain Gain, organised by African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation held in Calabar, Cross River State.

Udoh stated that the Federal and state governments should address the issue of health workers’ migration through appropriate policy and mutual bilateral relationship with affected countries. He said that the project was a culmination of concerns from Africa and some developing countries about the trend of loss of trained health workers moving from Africa to developed countries, a situation which he said needed to be stopped. On her part, Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Inyang Asibong, identified the migration of the health workforce as a complex issue created by source countries due to poor management, insufficient remuneration, low motivation and uneven performance of health workers.

Tinkering not yet over for Nigeria’s 2016 Budget

ABUJA — Nigerian Vanguard
FOR the third time, the 2016 Appropriation Bill has been returned as President Muhammadu Buhari was said to have picked holes in the re-worked budget and returned it to the National Assembly for further legislative work. File: Buhari during the 2016 budget presentation to the National Assembly. File photo: Buhari during the 2016 budget presentation to the National Assembly. It was reliably gathered that the re-worked budget was sent to the President at about 1.15 am, yesterday, but was returned to the National Assembly at about noon, yesterday.
It was also gathered that principal officers and members of the review committee from both legislative chambers met, yesterday, at about 3.20pm till about 5.30pm in the Senate wing to reconsider the observations made by the President on the budget. Vanguard’s attempts to get some of the principal officers and the review committee members to confirm or deny the story proved abortive as some of them switched off their phones, while those whose phones were active ignored calls and refused to respond to text messages.
A source close to the committee confirmed that the budget was actually submitted to the President but that he refused to touch it due to some issues he was not comfortable with. He said: “The budget got to the State House at about 1.10 am and Mr. President went through it early this morning (yesterday) and still had some issues with some of the figures. “I cannot tell you exactly what it was but I think the insertions made by the lawmakers were not significantly altered. “You know the lawmakers had moved some allocations for key projects that are dear to the President to other areas, especially to their constituency projects. “Of course, they have changed some but I believe Mr. President is not satisfied with the reconciliation they made. I think this is one of the reasons it was returned.” He also disclosed that the President would assent to the budget today should the lawmakers make all the corrections and transmit the document to him tonight (last night). He said: “I can assure you, Mr. President is desirous to sign the budget because he is aware and has acknowledged that Nigerians are going through hardship.
President Buhari with the 2016 Budget
President Buhari with the 2016 Budget

So, if the budget is cleaned up this night and sent to him, he will sign it as soon as possible. That I know very well.” Further probe into the matter revealed that the N500 million diversion of funds to constituency projects is “what is giving the president headache.” A lawmaker, who is not a member of the review committee but a member of the standing committee on appropriation, told Vanguard in confidence that the “President wants a situation where the insertions should be reduced to about N50 million before he will sign the budget.” The reviewed copy, which was sent yesterday morning did not cut substantially from the N500 million. At press time, the review committee meeting was still ongoing as the members struggled to ensure that all the observations of the President are put in order before presentation.

Nigeria’s 2016 Budget warming up from the works.

ABUJA —Nigerian Vanguard Report
President Muhammadu Buhari is warming up to receive a reworked copy of the 2016 budget any time this week from the National Assembly following the agreement by the lawmakers to remove most of the unbudgeted items they introduced into the fiscal document for pecuniary gains. Reliable sources close to the NASS told Vanguard that the lawmakers had realised that it was wrong for them to have usurped the functions of the executive by introducing items not contemplated by the Presidency into the budget and illegally transferring capital votes to such items. The source said that given the furore that had attended the budget, the National Assembly Committee on Appropriation and Finance had opted to drop its tough stance against the Presidency and remove the vexatious issues that made President Buhari to reject the budget.
2016 Budget
A top source close to the budget document told Vanguard that the lawmakers had agreed to expunge all the illegal projects estimated at about N500 billion, which they inserted into the document for the President’s assent. The source said that the lawmakers had since read the body language of the President that he is not going to shift his grounds as far as the budget is concerned and had decided to remove the vexatious areas to allow peace to reign in the interest of Nigerians. Under the new arrangement, the lawmakers are willing to slash N500 billion which they illegally transferred from key national projects to ‘constituency projects’ to a more reasonable and tolerable N75 billion. The lawmakers came to the decision when they got wind of the resolve of Buhari not to listen to any of them until the distortions done to the budget were removed with immediate effect.
A senior Federal Government official, who is familiar with the budget, confirmed to Vanguard, last night, that the Presidency would not have minded if the insertions done by the lawmakers were not significant enough to affect the overall performance of the budget. “Now if they have reduced their distortion from N500 billion to a manageable N75 billion, it is very likely that the President would gladly assent to the budget,” the official said last night on condition of anonymity. “This President does not want to sign a budget that will not allow him to deliver on his promises to Nigerians and draw the country backwards instead of moving forward,” the source added. Asked if the Presidency would still take steps to sanction those who colluded to distort the budget, the source said the Presidency was keener on implementing measures to reflate the budget than imposing sanctions on erring elements for now. NASS may forward reworked copy to Buhari today.

Nigerian CCT Vs Senate

While Senate President, Saraki wants the CCT Chairman, Danladi to step down from presiding over his (Saraki) trial, the latter argues that the former’s request lacks merit as long as Saraki presides over the Senate. Saraki’s Counsel based his demand on the fact that Danladi has a case to answer with the EFCC, whereas Saraki  himself, does not only have case with EFCC, but is also under trial and at the same time presiding over the Senate of the Federal Republic.

 

He who comes to equity must do so with clean hands. Both parties seemingly have their hands not only tainted but soiled with indictment by competent Institution of the land. It therefore follows that Saraki would succeed in unseating the CCT Chairman, only if he himself steps aside from the Senate President. This development is an interesting one as it brings to test of the strength of Nigerian Institutions: as The CCT and The Senate (as well the National Assembly) with all their ‘sacredness’, ‘sanctity’ and ‘hallowedness’. No wonder while one of the world leaders recently said that the bane of Africa’s development is the entrenchment of strong personalities and establishment of weak Institutions. It is abnormal for strong personalities to

triumph over weakened institutions. This is why we, in Africa have a long way to go.

 

If there is any change Nigerians need in our society this time around, it is such change that would start with strengthening of our National Institutions such that rule of law will be given the pride of place where no citizen is above the law. Can Nigerians rightly expect President Buhari to bring this product in his ‘change basket’?

Danladi Umar
Danladi Umar

Bukola Saraki
Bukola Saraki

Enjoyed this blog? Please spread the word!

Skip to toolbar