Buhari intensifies efforts to boost power supply in Nigeria
By Ismaila Chafe
The Federal Executive Council (FEC), in the course of the week, approved 53.1 million dollars and N2.1billion as local component for the procurement and installation of electricity conductors to boost power supply across the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting of the Council, which was chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja, also approved the introduction of an Electronic Cargo Tracking Note Scheme for the country.
The conductors, when installed, would help address the challenge of constant tripping of circuit breakers due to overloading of electricity lines.
The president had earlier hosted the Director-General of National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr Gambo Aliyu; the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Molly Phee; and Ambassador of the United States to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, on Monday in Abuja.
At the meeting, Buhari directed the transition committee to ensure that the achievements of the HIV programme are clearly highlighted in transition notes and a sustainability roadmap articulated for the incoming administration.
The transition committee is headed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha.
Also on Monday, Buhari during a telephone conversation with the President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, called for a lifting of the blanket visa ban clamped down on Nigerians by the Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Sheikh Al Nahyan doubles as the Emir of Abu Dhabi.
The Imo Traditional Council on Tuesday in Owerri honoured President Muhammadu Buhari with a traditional title, ‘Nwanne di namba’, (meaning a brother in Diaspora) title.
The Council appreciated the Nigerian leader for love shown to the South East, and sustained legacy of promoting peace and harmony in the country.
Buhari thanked Eze Imo, Dr Emmanuel Okeke, for the recognition, assuring that he will continue to demonstrate his love for the South East and citizens.
The president was in Imo to inaugurate projects and present the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Sen. Bola Tinubu to the electorates in the state.
He thanked indigenes of Imo for continuous support for his administration, government of the state and All Progressives Congress (APC), asking for more support to consolidate on the gains.
Buhari on Thursday before departing for African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, addressed the nation where he approved the reintroduction of old N200 note as legal tender alongside the new N200 note until April 10.
He said the approval was necessitated by the need to cushion the hardship being experienced by citizens following the implementation of the new monetary policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
In the nationwide broadcast, Buhari also directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to intensify collaboration with anti-corruption agencies in checking the activities of those bent on frustrating the smooth implementation of the currency re-design policy.
The president also inaugurated the High-Level Advisory Council on Support for Women and Girls, calling for upscaling of efforts for more inclusion of women in development policies and projects.
Buhari made this known at the inauguration of an Advisory Council, Adolescent Girls’ Initiative for Learning and Empowerment Project, and National Women’s Economic Empowerment Policy Dialogue on Thursday in Abuja.
According to the president, the three initiatives will target reduction of poverty and building of a sustainable economy.
Buhari also received briefing from members of the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on cashless policy and Naira swap at the State House, Abuja, on Thursday.
At the meeting, the president explained that the cashless policy and Naira swap by the Central Bank have short and long term benefits for the country in dealing with insecurity and corruption.
At the AU Summit in Addis Ababa, the president pledged Nigeria’s readiness to host the Secretariat of the Sahel Climate Fund, including equipping and provision of accommodation to the top management staff of the fund.
The “Sahel Climate Fund” is the financial body of the Sahel Region Climate Commission (SRCC).
The body is one of the three climate Commissions for Africa created in Marrakech, Morocco, in 2016, at the Summit of African Heads of State and Government.
It was organised at the initiative of King of Morocco, on the sidelines of the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Speaking at the 2nd Heads of State and Government of SRCC during the 36th AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Friday, Buhari said as an active member of the Commission, Nigeria would support the operationalisation of the secretariat toward effective implementation of climate change activities in the region.
While in Addis Ababa, the Nigerian leader called on African Union (AU) member countries to strengthen early warning systems to rein in conflicts in the continent.
He also urged all AU member states to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.
The Nigerian positions and interventions on these issues were conveyed by the president during separate meetings at the ongoing 36th AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The Summit is meeting under theme “Acceleration of the African Continent Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Implementation”.
NAN reports that the president will return to Abuja on Feb. 20, 2023. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola