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AT AQABA PROCESS VIRTUAL MEETING, PRESIDENT BUHARI HIGHLIGHTS NEXUS BETWEEN COVID-19 AND SECURITY

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AT AQABA PROCESS VIRTUAL MEETING, PRESIDENT BUHARI HIGHLIGHTS NEXUS BETWEEN COVID-19 AND SECURITY

Federal Government will sustain efforts to make adjustments to new lifestyles and be sensitive to the security underpinnings, as experts try to find vaccines for COVID-19, and a possible acceptable cure, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.

In his remark at the AQABA Process virtual meeting in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Wednesday, President Buhari said Nigeria developed a robust framework led by Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to coordinate and oversee the country’s multi-sectoral inter-governmental efforts at containing the spread and mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This was done while currently monitoring effects of the measures and taking steps to mitigate these effects as quick as possible. This was in a bid to ensure sustained human security across the population.

“Earlier, we had established the National Humanitarian Coordination Committee with the responsibility of providing among others a national vision for humanitarian actors and settling disputes that may arise from interactions between security services and the humanitarian community. This committee was timely as a stop gap measure in coping with the effects of COVID-19.’’

President Buhari said the government had also taken measures to tackle the devastation of social and economic dimensions of the pandemic with a focus on the most vulnerable citizens in the society through provision of palliatives as well as other economic stimulus packages.

The President said the measures came at a cost, but will be sustained, while citing Mali as an example where social and economic challenges took a toll on government and pushed democracy to a “breaking point.”

“Such situation could create a vacuum that can be exploited by terrorists and violent extremists.’’

The President told the gathering of Heads of Governments that the security landscape in Nigeria and across West Africa continued to evolve with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that various systems in society came grinding to a halt as a result of the urgent measures taken to slow down the spread of the disease.

“These measures were taken while being mindful of the toll that the virus has had in the various epicentres across the world where medical structures were strained up to breaking point while dealing with mass casualties as a result of infections from the disease.

“These measures are not without their challenges as livelihood were drastically affected and civic lifestyle is being tested to its limits. The whole instruments of government are now mobilized to confront what has now turned both a health emergency and an economic crisis.’’

The President noted that the government will continue to monitor activities of terrorists online to control radicalization of citizens by terrorist groups, and other violent cells, following huge traffic online due to COVID-19.

President Buhari said the migration to cyber space posed greater risk for radicalization, especially with the growing constraints on physical contacts and movements.

“It is important to state that the spread of COVID-19 has led to the movement of activities to cyber space. Furthermore, lock-down policies and restrictions of movement in affected areas means that people would move their day to day social and business activities to cyber space. This, however, comes with an increase in the risk of individuals being radicalized online.’’

President Buhari appreciated His Majesty King Abdullah II for the invitation to the meeting, also thanked Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for hosting the meeting under the AQABA Process.

Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
September 2, 2020

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We are sorry Osinbajo Apologize

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Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has finally spoken on the ongoing #EndSARS protests across the country and the rest of the world.

There have been calls for the vice-president, who is a professor of law, to speak up on the demand by the youth to end police brutality in Nigeria.

On Friday night, the vice-president apologised to Nigerians for the slow response of the federal government to the issues.

“Dear Nigerians, I know that many of you are angry, and understandably so. We could’ve moved faster and for this we are sorry,” he wrote.Advertisement

“I fully understand how many young people feel. Many feel that we have been too silent and have simply not done enough. These feelings of frustration are justified.

“There are far too many people who have been brutalised at the hands of the police and this is unacceptable. We must take responsibility for protecting young people, even sometimes from those who are paid to protect them.

“Over the past week, we have been following the protests, and I have had a number of discussions with key people in the administration that you deserve to be informed about. Transparency, after all, is a key tenet of government.”Advertisement

He said he has held meetings with governors, the executives of the national assembly and other key stakeholders to ensure justice is served fast.

“We understand that you want to see action from us and I’m here to tell you that work is ongoing. I chaired a meeting of 36 state governors and the Minister of the FCT (NEC), where we resolved to set up judicial panels of inquiry so we can see justice served, and fast,” he added.

“The reason being that only state governors, by law, can set up judicial inquiries in their states. The hearings will be public.

“With Mr. President’s approval, SARS has been completely disestablished, and none of its former members will feature in any police tactical units.”Advertisement

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Source-The CableNews

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NEC TO GOVS:TAKE CHARGE OF POLICE TACTICAL UNITS

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STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENT

NEC TO GOVS:
TAKE CHARGE OF POLICE TACTICAL UNITS

*JUDICIAL PANELS OF INQUIRY FORMED TO INVESTIGATE POLICE BRUTALITY IN ALL STATES, FCT
*PANEL HAS 6 WEEKS TO COMPLETE ASSIGNMENT

  • COUNCIL ALSO DIRECTS SPECIAL FUND IN ALL STATES TO COMPENSATE VICTIMS OF BRUTALITY

Rising from its monthly meeting the National Economic Council has directed the immediate establishment of State-based Judicial Panels of Inquiry across the country to receive and investigate complaints of Police brutality or related extra judicial killings with a view to delivering justice for all victims of the dissolved SARS and other police units.

The Council specifically resolved that State Governors and the FCT Minister should take charge of interface and contact with the protesters in their respective domains.

At a meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, and attended by State Governors, the Judicial Panels which would be set up in all the States would include representatives of Youths, Students, Civil Society Organizations and would be chaired by a respected retired State High Court Judge.

The Council also directed that State Governors should immediately establish a State-based Special Security and Human Rights Committee to be chaired by the Governors in their States, to supervise the newly formed police tactical units and all other security agencies located in the State.

The idea of the Special Security and Human Rights Committee in all States of the Federation and the FCT is to ensure that police formations and other security agencies in the State consistently protect the Human Rights of citizens.

Members of the Special Committee would also include Representatives of Youths, and Civil Society. The head of Police tactical units in each of the State would also be a member of the Committee.

Regarding the Judicial Panel of Inquiry, each State Government is to set up the Panel, chaired by a retired High Court Judge, with other members selected by the State Governor as follows:
*Two representatives of Civil Society groups
*One Retired Police Officer of high repute
*One Youth Representative
*One Student Representative

  • One Representative of the State Attorney-General Ministry and a representative from the National Human Rights Commission.

The terms of reference for the Judicial
Panel is to –
*receive and investigate complaints of Police brutality or related extra judicial killings;
*evaluate evidence presented/other surrounding circumstances, and draw conclusions as to the validity of the complaints; and
*recommend compensation and other remedial measures, where appropriate.

The Panel’s assignment should be concluded within a maximum of six (6) months, unless it shows convincing reasons why the State Governor should allow an extension.

There would also be Human Rights Public Complaints Team of between 2 to 3 persons to receive complaints on an ongoing basis. That team would be established by the Special Committee on Security and Human Rights.

It was resolved that each State Government shall also set up such a Complaints Office to which members of the public can relate by telephone or social media channels.

It shall be the duty of the officers of the Complaints Office to liaise with the leadership of security agencies, attempt resolution of complaints or otherwise guide the complainants.

Also NEC directs all State Governors to immediately establish a Victims Fund to enable the payment of monetary compensation to deserving victims.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS OF TODAY’S NEC MEETING

Council also received update on Nigeria’s COVID-19 response efforts from the Director General of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu.

According to the report, state performance in testing in the last month showed that state testing in September compared to August recorded decline in 18 States and improved testing in 19 others.

The NCDC DG also listed priority intervention areas as, strengthening States’ Health Security Architecture (Strong State Epidemiology team, Functional EOC, Functional Molecular Lab, Defined Treatment Centre, Response Vehicles, Communication equipment, Resources to deploy) and the establishment and sustenance of sample collection sites.

Other highlights of the meeting are as follows:

UPDATE ON ACCOUNT BALANCES

The Honourable Minister of State for Budget and National Planning reported to Council that the under listed accounts as at 14th October, 2020 are as follows:

a.
Excess Crude Account -$72,409,346.76

b. Stabilization Account -N47,193,630,556.96

c. Development of Natural Resources Account -N154,330,148,020.34

PRESENTATION ON STRATEGY FOR GROWTH OF MICRO, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES (SMES) AND JOB CREATION BY MINISTER OF INDUSTRY, TRADE AND INVESTMENT

Council received a presentation from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment titled Strategy for Growth of Micro, small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES) and Job Creation.

· The objective of the presentation is to bring NEC up to speed on Ministry’s Term Goals and Projects and seek NEC’S support in the resolution of key challenges to achieving our goals.

· The presentation noted that part of the mandate of FMITI is to accelerate the growth of the industrial sector and enhance productivity and boost the development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as engine of economic growth, etc.

Council was invited to:
Establish land banks in each state earmarked for investment in agriculture and agro –processing;

Ensure fair compensation for land, standardize and ensure clarity in compensation rates in each state;
Adapt the 2015 approved list of taxes and levies;
Set up and investment promotion agency/one stop shop for investment-related issues including facilitating investment linkages
MSME Council should be set up in each states. These Councils should build a database of the residents MSMES which can be used to facilitate the integration of local MSMEs into the supply chains of large resident corporate.

PRESENTATION ON THE 2021-2023 MEDIUM-TERM EXPENDITURE FRAMEWORK AND 2021 FGN BUDGET PROPOSAL BY THE HONORABLE MINISTER OF STATE FOR BUDGET & NATIONAL PLANNING

According to the presentation, disruptions in the macroeconomic environment caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, necessitated Mr. President’s presentation of a revised 2020 budget on 28th May, 2020, which was signed into law on 10th July, 2020.

▪ The Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the revised 2021-23 Medium Term Expenditure Framework & Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP), as well as the 2021 FGN Budget, on the 30th of September, 2020.

▪ In response to the developments affecting the supply of foreign exchange to the economy, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) adjusted the official exchange rate to N360/US$1, and more recently to N379/US$.

▪ The projected aggregate revenue inflow into the Federation Account (Main Pool) is N6.77 trillion, while N1.70 trillion is the projected inflow in the VAT Pool Account.

▪ Out of the Main Pool Account, FGN is projected to get N3.54 trillion while States and Local Governments are projected to get N1.80 trillion and N1.39 trillion, respectively.

▪ From the VAT Pool Account, FGN is projected to get N255.46 billion while States and Local Governments are projected to get N851.52 billion and N596.07 billion, respectively.

CONCLUSION

▪ Several measures are being instituted to improve government revenue and entrench a regime of prudence with emphasis on achieving value for money. The goal of fiscal interventions will be to keep the economy active through carefully calibrated regulatory/policy measures designed to boost domestic value-addition, de-risk the enterprise environment, attract external investment and sources of funding, etc.

Laolu Akande

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity

Office of the Vice President

15th October, 2020

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Politics

SARS :• APC Blames PDP For Creating SARS, Hails Buhari

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SARS :
• APC Blames PDP For Creating SARS, Hails Buhari

The spokesman for the ruling All Progressives Congress has blamed the Peoples Democratic Party for creating the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the police which was scrapped by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Sunday.

The spokesman for the APC, Yekini Nabena, said this in a series of tweets on Sunday while reacting to the scrap of the police outfit.

“Who created SARS? PDP,” Nabena tweeted.

Nabena, in a further statement signed on behalf of the APC, said the scrapping of SARS showed the resolve of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to ensure police reforms.

He, therefore, called on civil society organisations and Nigerians as a whole to work with the IG to ensure that the reforms are holistic.

The APC spokesman wrote, “The APC welcomes the disbandment of the Special Anti Robbery Squad and views the responsive decision as a major and concrete step towards. President Muhammadu Buhari affirmed resolve to achieve better policing and necessary reforms.

“From the recent #BlackLivesMatter social movement to other global clamours for review of police operations particularly in regard to citizens they are empowered to protect, the need for police reforms in Nigeria is urgent and continuous.

“With benefit of experience and public outcry over the operations of the now disbanded SARS, the APC is confident that the new policing arrangement promised by the Inspector-General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, will balance the need to effectively combat armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes in the country and ensure humane, professional and accountable police operations.

“We call on Nigerians to take advantage of the citizens’ and strategic stakeholders’ forum which is being formed to regularly interface with Police leadership at all levels and advise on police activities as they affect the general public.”

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