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CBN and NNPC Accepts Funding of Accommodation and Feeding of Returnees

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CBN and NNPC Accepts Funding of Accommodation and Feeding of Returnees

The Minister of Foreign Affairs ‘Geoffrey Onyeama’ on Monday May 18th , announced that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will take care of the hotel accommodation and feeding bills of Nigerians who were recently evacuated from countries they were stranded in.

It was reported earlier that the evacuees were directed by the federal government to pay N297,000 for their 14-day mandatory isolation.

Following the criticism which directive sparked off, Onyeama said he approached the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and Group Managing Director of NNPC who both agreed to pick the bill.

He further revealed that the initial decision was taken due to paucity of funds even though they were not happy with it.

According to Onyema, on Friday night after getting all the barrage from around the world including saying that they were somehow conspiring with hotels to fleece Nigerians and make money for themselves and other form of accusation.

They continued never the less trying to find a way through—as rightfully said “two heads are better than one”. However, the honorable Minister of Environment, Dr. Mahmoud Abubakar suggested to Onyema to try NNPC and CBN since they have corporate social responsibility funding.

“I got in touch with Governor of the CBN and used as much persuasive channel as possible to get him over and told him I will do the same with GMD of NNPC and the Governor of the CBN, very generously and very kindly, agreed and said the amount that I was talking about was over N1 billion because we have over 4,000 Nigerians out there, and if over 3,000 or something of them come back the cost of accommodation and feeding and everything else is over a billion that we don’t have.” Said Onyema.

“He said he was ready to explore and share the cost with NNPC. I spoke to the GMD of NNPC and he said he was going to consult and we kept our fingers crossed.

“Thanks be to God, today he got back to me to say he was ready. he was going to meet up with the Governor of the CBN and together they would fund this portion. A very very important portion, the accommodation and feeding of evacuees. So we go forward in a better environment.”

The Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation have agreed to fund the cost of quarantine, accommodation and feeding for returnee-Nigerians from foreign countries. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, disclosed this in Abuja yesterday at a briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

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He said: “The governor of CBN, very generously and very kindly, agreed; he said the amount I was talking about, over N1bn because we have over 4,000 Nigerians out there… he said he was ready to explore and share the cost with NNPC. “And I spoke to the GMD of NNPC and he said he was going to consult. And thanks be to God, today, he got back to me to say he was ready, he was going to meet up with the CBN governor and together, they’ll fund this portion; a very important portion, the accommodation and feeding of evacuees”, the minister added.

The minister said the government ran out of funds and found itself in a situation where either it stopped evacuation for lack of funding or it passed the cost to the evacuees. He said the decision to seek support from the CBN and NNPC was taken in national interest

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Dr. Isa Pantami: A Terrorist Sympathizer or Victim of his NIN policy, The Presidency’s Statement (Highlights)

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Dr. Isa Pantami: A Terrorist Sympathizer or Victim of his NIN policy,
 

The Allegations on Dr. Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy

The calls for resignation and pressure on the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, over his alleged links to extremist groups like Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram in addition to his pro-Taliban views has continued unabated.

The campaign which started with unconfirmed media reports that the United States Government had allegedly placed him on a security watchlist over alleged links with the late founder and leader of the dreaded Boko Haram group, Mohammed Yusuf, later snowballed into a series of other allegations which border on his extreme Islamic views and activities in the past.

Pantami, an Islamic cleric, in his initial reaction to the allegation of being on US security watchlist due to his extremist views, denied the allegations, saying that he had always preached against the Boko Haram sect for over 15 years over its condemnable doctrines and practices at the expense of his life.

He alleged that those behind these allegations are those who are not happy with his implementation of the good policies of President Muhammadu Buhari on security especially the government policy on National Identification Number (NIN) and threatened legal action against the publishers.

The Minister in his statement said, ‘’News Wire Nigeria your retraction through your independent investigation has been noted. However, investigative journalism requires the investigation before publishing, not after. Further, major publishers will meet my lawyers in court on this defamation of character.

My lectures against the doctrines and all other evil people have been available for over 15 years, including debates that endangered my life against many criminals in Nigeria. If you can’t understand Hausa, get an objective Hausa speaker to translate for you objectively.

For your information, by the Almighty, no amount of intimation will stop Isa Pantami from implementing the good policies of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR on security.”

Nigerians Demands Dr. Isa Pantami’s Resignation- (See their reactions)

As the calls from Nigerians for the resignation of the 48-year-old Minister continued, over his religious views, Pantami, for the first time on Saturday, April 17, 2021, according to some media reports, acknowledged his past religious views but said that he has since renounced those radical comments.

He blamed his past radical leanings on age, immaturity and limited knowledge as well as based on his understanding of religious issues at the time, adding that he has changed several positions taken in the past based on new evidence and maturity,

However, despite renouncing his past radical views, more people on social media and even public figures, have joined the agitation for his resignation, saying that his views as a student cannot be blamed on age.

Some Nigerians have expressed their views on the matter with a good number of them insisting that the Minister has to resign. A Twitter user, Chris Chukwu, said Nigerians are not going to sleep on this issue because he is a threat to National security.

@Festus Ogun said that if the President refuses to sack Pantami, he should be prepared for #EndSARS part 2.

Effiong John, while stating why President Buhari would not sack the Communications Minister said that a terrorist apologist will not sack another terrorist apologist.

A human rights activist Comrade Deji Adeyanju said that a terrorist sympathizer is a terrorist.

Ayemojubar lamented that Nigeria has been taken over by terrorists.

Another Twitter user, Abiodun Sanusi said that sympathizing with Isa Pantami is the same as showing sympathy for Osama Bin Laden.

However, while responding to Governor Wike’s reaction to the issue, a former presidential aspirant, Omoyele Sowore said that the Rivers State Governor was only grandstanding as he was some time ago, caught on tape threatening to kill an INEC official.

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Some Nigerians have, however, expressed their support and sympathy for the Minister as they believed that he is being victimized for some of the government’s policies that he is driving.

A Twitter user Khaleel Kumo said that #Pantami must go is purely hypocritical and directed at anything good that comes out from Islam.

A Twitter user Faarees asked that the #PantamiMustGo must stop trending and Nigerians should go and link their SIM with their NIN.

Musbey in his defence for Pantami said that as long as you are a practising Muslim and successful, they will hate you.

NYCN Urges President Buhari to ignore the extremism charges on Dr. Ali Isa Pantami

The National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore religious extremism charges being made against the minister of communications and digital economy, Dr Ali Pantami.

The group said the attacks were aimed at getting rid of the “best brains’” in the government. In a letter addressed to Buhari on Tuesday, NYCN said the recent media report, which emanated from audio and video sermons delivered by the minister, has made some Nigerians to call for his resignation or removal by the Nigerian leader.

The letter with reference number PRES/GCFR/FGN/NYCN/01/21 drew the president’s attention to what it described as a wider plot by people with sinister motives to discredit other top federal government’s functionaries.

In the letter signed by NYCN president, Solomon Adodo, the group said, “The programme of building a digital economy for Nigeria to join the league of advanced countries of the world is a task the indefatigable Sheikh Pantami is pursuing to the delight of young people of this country.”

NYCN said the current furor emanated from the views expressed by Pantami in the distant past, lamenting that the minister’s statements had become a sinister political tool for those who are bent on looking for ways to get rid of the best brains in the current administration.

It said Pantami had unfortunately been “singled out as a major target in this subtle and sinister campaign against your government and the Nigerian State.”

The group said, “It will be very regrettable to pay any serious attention to the machinations of the enemies of the ‘Change and Next Level Agenda’ in the light of the fact that the grand plot is to fan the embers of divisions and disintegration, designed to destabilize and make mockery of your government.”

The Presidency’s Statement

In defense of the Communications Minister, the Presidency through the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity said that Pantami, made those extremist remarks when he was in his 20s and has since then retracted them and changed his views.

The Presidency pointed out that this currently manufactured dispute has nothing to do with the Minister’s prior words but rather concerns over his actions in the present which include leading the charge against illegal data deductions and pricing, deregistering 9.2 million SIMs thereby ending the ability for criminals and terrorists to use mobile networks undetected.

Also reacting to alleged links of Pantami to the death of the late former Governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa, the Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State chapter, Rev. John Hayab, warned against linking the death of Yakowa to Dr Isa Pantami.

He called on Nigerians to ignore such insinuations and release of some documents with doubtful authenticity, which endangers national peace.

Read the Statement below;

Today, there is an unfortunate fashion in public discourse that makes leaders in politics, religion, and civil society liable in the present for every statement they have ever made in the past – no matter how long ago, and even after they have later rejected them.

This insidious phenomenon seeks to cancel the careers of others on the basis of a thing they have said, regardless of when they said it.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami is, currently, subject to a “cancel campaign” instigated by those who seek his removal. They do not really care what he may or may not have said some 20 years ago: that is merely the instrument they are using to attempt to “cancel” him. But they will profit should he be stopped from making decisions that improve the lives of everyday Nigerians.

The Minister has, rightly, apologized for what he said in the early 2000s. The views were absolutely unacceptable then, and would be equally unacceptable today, were he to repeat them. But he will not repeat them – for he has publicly and permanently condemned his earlier utterances as wrong.

In the 2000s, the Minister was a man in his twenties; next year he will be 50. Time has passed, and people and their opinions – often rightly – change.

But all discerning Nigerians know this manufactured dispute is nothing to do with the Minister’s prior words, but solely concern his actions in the present.

This Administration is committed to improving the lives of all Nigerians – and that includes ensuring they are not over-charged or under-protected for those services on which modern life depends.

The Minister has been leading the charge against illegal data deductions and pricing; he has revolutionized the government’s virtual public engagement to respond to COVID-19 and save taxpayers’ money; he has established ICT start-up centres to boost youth entrepreneurship and create jobs; he has changed policy to ensure locally produced ICT content is used by ministries, starting with his own; and he has deregistered some 9.2 million SIMs – ending the ability for criminals and terrorists to flagrantly use mobile networks undetected. In two short years, Minister Pantami has driven the contribution of the ICT sector to the GDP to more than 18 percent, making it one of the top two playing a critical role in the emergence of the economy from the COVID 19-induced recession.

In putting people first, the Minister and this administration have made enemies. There are those in the opposition who see success and want it halted by any means. And there is now well-reported information that alleges newspaper editors rebuffed an attempt to financially induce them to run a smear campaign against the minister by some ICT companies, many of which do indeed stand to lose financially through lower prices and greater consumer protections. The government is now investigating the veracity behind these claims of attempted inducement, and – should they be found to hold credence – police and judicial action must be expected.

The Administration stands behind Minister Pantami and all Nigerian citizens to ensure they receive fair treatment, fair prices, and fair protection in ICT services.

Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
April 22, 2021

The very critical question is why are these allegations are coming up now after almost 2 years in office as a Minister. Is he a terrorist sympathizer, an allegation he has denied or is he a victim of some of the government policies whose execution he is spearheading?

These are questions that are still begging for answers.

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BREAKING!! No COVID-19 Vaccine, No Salary — Government Tells Civil Servants

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The Togo government said that #COVID19 vaccines are not needed, but warns civil servants that if they do not get the vaccine, they will lose their jobs.

“Togo government says #COVID19 vaccines are not mandatory but tells civil servants that they will not receive their salary if they do not get the vaccine.”

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Twitter makes Ghana its headquarters in Africa, Nigerians React

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Twitter makes Ghana its headquarters in Africa, Nigerians React

Twitter announced today that the company is now in Africa, with its headquarters in Ghana.

“Twitter is now present on the continent. Thank you Ghana and @NakufoAddo,” Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey tweeted today, April 12.

Abubakar Suleiman, the CEO of Sterling Bank, has weighed in on the conversation about Twitter making Ghana its headquarters in African.

Nigerians reacted to the fact that Ghana, and not Nigeria, was chosen to be the headquarters.

Then Suleiman tweeted: “First you tell the world Nigeria is a zoo.. Then you hear @TwitterSF has chosen @GhanaPresidency as their WA headquarters & you are wondering why.

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“If you can’t sell yourself, nobody will buy you. Nigeria remains the heartbeat of Africa, our current struggles notwithstanding.”

Bank CEO, Abubakar Suleiman blames Nigerians who bad-mouth the country for Twitter’s decision to make Ghana its headquarters in Africa

See Nigerians Reactions Below;

A number of his followers took to the comments to disagree with him and he doubled down, writing: “I think everyone sells. And we should showcase the good things in our country even as we critic the shortcomings..”

 

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