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Weekend News: Diezani Alison-Madueke, Buhari, etc

Caught in the eye of the storm and being the butt of news jokes and reports, a determined Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, has ensured she got the ear of President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, by flying on the same plane with him to London. Or so we think based on reports.

The Punch newspaper reports today that there was a mild drama at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja yesterday May 22, as the elegant woman “ran to catch up with” Buhari. This perhaps is a kinder report than other online new sites have published.

But what else should a female government official do who believes so much in what she has to say to an incoming president, especially if she is convinced it is for his ears only for now?

Both Buhari and the minister on Friday morning travelled out of the country to London on the same flight. They both boarded a British Airways flight that left the airport at about 4.30am on its way to Heathrow Airport, London.

It was learnt that the President-elect, who reportedly arrived the airport before the minister, was cleared first and he went straight into the aircraft. Huhuonline had reported earlier the rumour that Alison-Madueke had secured (or at least requested such) a seat right next to or close to Buhari. This should be in the first class cabin.

Good for her if she got to speak to Buhari, one on one. Alison-Madueke’s urge to see Buhari is not expected to be a request to hide anything. Rather, it might be a genuine attempt to explain some of the most important things to Buhari, before he gets to read her hand over note.

Alison-Madueke and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, supervising minister of the Nigerian economy are amazons who bestrode government paths hitherto uncharted by women and ministerial responsibilities that daunt even the best of men. They both deserve to have their day with Buhari one on one, before bitter members of the public (and they have every right to be bitter) judge them guilty without a fair hearing.

Over 50 Presidents and Heads of Government are being expected in Nigeria to attend the Presidential inauguration on May 29, even as the Inauguration Committee says it has expended below N2 billion for the planning and execution of the epoch-making event. This was made known yesterday in Abuja at a press briefing by Chairman of the Media and Publicity Sub-Committee of the Presidential Inauguration Planning Committee, Chief Edem Duke. He said that attendance of this large number of world leaders “is a plus for the image of Nigeria, that we have attracted such positive attention to this inauguration”. Duke added that invitations for the inauguration of President-elect Muhammadu Buhari are already being extended and “as we speak, the 54 countries of the continent of Africa have been invited.” He added: “Very many of the Heads of State will be coming. N2 billion is really quite cheap considering how the outgoing government used to quash funds, yes?

Already, the scarcity, which is worsening by the day, following shortfall in supply (importation), compared to demand, has negatively affected all commercial, economic and social activities across the country, which is the seventh largest oil producer in the world. Gradually, the number of filling stations with products to dispense is reducing, with petrol selling between N120 and N200 per litre, depending on location. Correspondingly, the number of black marketers has increased, with hawkers, including women and teens, found on the major roads. Similarly, more black market depots have emerged and are thriving, with some filling stations with the product more willing to sell directly to them than customers/end users. The erratic power supply is putting more pressure on demand for the products, with some Nigerians warning that the scarcity would persist until early June this year, when the incoming government must have taken over and negotiated with the major importers on new terms and payments.

THE relative peace that was witnessed in Ado Ekiti ,Ekiti State capital after a bloody clash between commercial drivers and some traders of Northern extraction on Wednesday was yesterday shattered when some unknown arsonists set ablaze the popular Oja’ba Market in the heart of the town.
It will be recalled that the scuffle started on Tuesday evening between some commercial drivers and some traders of northern extraction, when a wife of one of the drivers was molested and his hand bag stolen around New Garage/Irona area in the state capital. There is no clue yet as to the people suspected to have carried out the arson despite the fact that the state government had imposed dust-to-dawn curfew in the state capital. But a good number of residents are suspicious that enraged traders of Northern extraction might be responsible for the arson, to avenge their losses.

Kaduna State governor-elect, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai yesterday advocated structural and systemic reforms of the Nigerian civil service and the adoption of a zero-budget system among others as key issues to be implemented if the incoming administration must succeed. El-Rufai who spoke on the second day of the policy dialogue organized by the All Progressives Congress, APC called for the abrogation of the permanent secretary cadre in the civil service asserting it to be an aberration in the presidential system operated in Nigeria. El-Rufai who accused the outgoing administration of maintaining a culture of greed and corruption that turned it into a master in destroying every good legacy it inherited, further affirmed that the administration was handing over the worst human development indices any government would ever pass on to a successor.


National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC has sealed Lagos – based confectionaries and multinational food outlet, Chocolate Royale over what it described as “unethical practices” and non-adherent to Good Manufacturing and Hygienic Practices. Vanguard gathered that the outlet was sealed following a tip-off and intelligence report which indicted the company of illegal importation, storage and use of expired ingredients and food products for preparing of food and confectionaries served to unsuspecting customers. The company was also accused of operating and maintaining illegal cold-rooms at their Managing Director’s resident where large quantities of various expired and spoilt food ingredients worth millions of naira were uncovered. The Agency claimed that it’s  action became necessary following avalanche of complaints of violation and affront of the company to the regulatory body’s regulations. Announcing the closure of the facilities located at Plot 267A Etim Inyang Crescent and the Managing Director’s residence on No 1, Karimu Kotun Street, all in Victoria Island, Lagos, the Director, Investigation and Enforcement of NAFDAC, Mr. Kingsley Ejiofor disclosed that  some top officials of the company were equally arrested for interrogation for willfully obstructing the NAFDAC operatives in the course of their duties during the exercise which lasted over, nine hours. The expired products worth over N1bn had been evacuated from both premises in six vans, Ejiofor confirmed.


Have a pleasant Saturday, May 23, 2015 and enjoy our other news and views of todayHAMILTONSTYLE.


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