2019: Buhari Shops For New VP; Pencils Fayemi, Kalu As Osinbajo's Replace,Replacement
The possibility of Yemi Osinbajo running on the same ticket with President Muhammadu in 2019 is slim because of the close ties the vice president has with Bola Tinubu, a source has disclosed.

The Daily Independent, citing a close source in the All Progressives Congress (APC) reports that the possibility of Osinbajo running on joint ticket with Buhari is very remote.

The source said: “It is very clear that Osinbajo is just bidding time with President Buhari. Everyone knows that he  (Osinbajo) is a right hand man of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Even when the presidency claimed that Tinubu opposed his selection as running mate to President Buhari, the man himself came out to counter the claim saying Tinubu nominated him for the post.

“Given the current situation, we don’t see President Buhari running with Osinbajo in 2019 if he wants to contest again. The president from his body language is already looking beyond Osinbajo because he knows that if push comes to shove, he knows where the loyalty of the vice president lies.”

the source added that the Kayode Fayemi, a former governor of Ekiti state and now minister of solid minerals and a former governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu who recently decamped to the APC are likely replacements for Osinbajo.

2019: Buhari Shops For New VP; Pencils Fayemi, Kalu As Osinbajo's Replace,Replacement

2019 & Mega Party With Atiku, Others: Tinubu Hastily Reacts, Drops BOMBSHELL
Sequel to media reports over the purported formation of new mega party, which reportedly will be announced by March 2017, the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu  has denied ever insinuation such, or his involvement.

In the report, Tinubu was reportedly working with the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic party faction of Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi to form the party in preparation for 2019 Presidential election.

According to the former governor of Lagos state, he would not do anything to undermine the success of APC, a party that he laboured to build with other concerned Nigerians.

This is a party I labored with others to build.We would not abandon it for another. Millions of Nigerians who voted are watching and praying

He also vowed not to abandon his position as a progressive politician. He noted that in the bid to make Nigeria great again, it is quite natural for things to be amended and he has accepted this.

The former Lagos State Governor, made these disclosure via several tweets in his twitter handle @AsiwajuTinubu

Below are the tweets:

21 Days To Xmas Prices of Goods Crash In The Market Amidst RECESSION; See Price List
Naij News - Amidst the recession Nigeria is presently battling, the prices of some basic food items have crashed.

The rise in the price of the commodities came after President Muhammadu Buhari said he was disturbed by how people tend to make brisk profits by increasing the prices of food and fruits at times like this.

A survey conducted by NAIJ.com at Ile-Epo market, it was discovered that the prices of some food items have witnessed a relative reduction as a result of its availability.

Iya Zainab, who sells kitchen utensils while commenting on the reduction in prices of the products, said manufacturers decided to cut down the products prices in order to attract many people to make purchases.

She said: "Buyers come into the market and not patronizing us, this is affecting us the traders and as well the manufacturers. The rush of the festivity has not been there lately, this then led to the decision by the manufacturing companies to reduce the prices of their product, in order to attract sales.

"There will be an increase in the sales of our products due to the reduced rates; we expect positive response from our customers as the year ends."

It was also learnt that the prices of food items have increased while others have reduced. For fruits like pineapple, pawpaw, orange and water melon, the prices have reduced while imported fruits like, plum, grape, and pear are more expensive.

Tomatoes, fish, fruits, dry pepper and crayfish among others staple foods have reduced a bit as the festive period draws near.

Traders who sell fish, chicken and turkey at the market, however, said they are happy to announce the reduction in the prices of the commodities, adding that they can only sell at the price they bought.

Iya Tolu, a trader who sells fish said: “A carton of Titus fish that sells for N30,000 in previous weeks now goes for N27,000 while a carton of Kote cost N15,000. This was due to the fall in the exchange rate, because we buy from neighbouring countries.”

Another trader in the market who sells meat, Alfa Saliu, says despite the hike in previous weeks, the turnout has been encouraging.

He said that although customers complained about the prices, they still buy and some in large quantity, because they cannot do without cooking food.

In the market also, the price of vegetable oil and palm oil has gone up. Traders say the current administration is responsible for the hike.

“Before I use to buy 20 gallons of palm-oil, but now I end up buying 5 gallons; because the money for the 20 gallons is what amounts to the price of 5 gallons.

"Now you buy a keg for N20,000 and then you buy ten kegs for N200,000, this means things has gone from bad o worse. Because now, the goods are available in the market but the people do not have the money to buy them, this leads to shortage at the end of the day,” Mama Ifeanyi, a trader who sells who sells palm-oil in the market, laments.

Meanwhile, the price of rice, beans, garri and other foodstuff items have been relatively low as observed in the market.

Checks showed that this was due to the availability of some goods and the weather conditions of others.

Emeka, a trader who spoke to our correspondent said, the price hike was as a result of the rise in dollar and restriction placed on some imported products.

He said: "The price deference is just N500 for rice while the prices of other foodstuff items are reasonable. A bag of dry pepper that cost N70,000 before now costs N55,000. Also, a bag of rice that was sold in previous weeks from N18,000 - N21,000 now ranges from N14,500 - N17,500. Same goes for crayfish that cost N35,000 before now cost N24,000.

"The patronage was low before because the exchange rate was high, which led to the increase of the food items. But now, the exchange rate is going down gradually and consumers are happy and ready to patronize us.

"The price of ogbono is N95,000. The fresh one before is N100,000. And the new opne is from N120,000 - N130,000 called Badagry ogbono. The fresher the ogbono, the higher the price. So far, the patronage has been encouraging because consumers are glad of the reduction in the prices of these basic food items."

In the same vein, a basket of Hausa tomatoes which goes for N12,000 now sells from N8,000 - N9,000. This according to traders depends on the size of the basket and the freshness of the tomatoes.

Sekinat, a trader who sells perishable goods in the market, informed that the poor economic situation affected the price and availability of the goods negatively.

“People have been complaining of the poor economic situation of the country in recent times, which led to the hike in prices of various goods in the market as well as its availability. The rise in the price of perishable goods was due to the market forces, cost of transportation and farmers influence. But now, tomatoes are affordable and available likewise pepper and onion at a cheaper rate.

Here in this market, you will get a basket of pepper for N4,000 and a bag of new onion for N26,000. we sell onion from N50. Same goes for pepper and tomato. Now we beg customers to patronize us because if we do not sell it on time, it gets rotten,” she added.

As discovered during the survey, other items like tomato paste, semolina, spaghetti and wheat have witnessed a reduction in price.

A carton of a bag of Dangote spaghetti and Honeywell spaghetti which cost N3,200 before, now cost N2,900. While a bag of Semolina 1okg and Mama Gold wheat flour now cost N2,800.

A businesswoman identified as Mrs Ajibade has a different view of the current market situation.

She hints that her business used to yield huge profits until the recession period.

READ ALSO: Rising food prices: Sales drop, buyers lament

“I sell baby clothes, shoes and general baby items. Recession is affecting my business. Before I use to travel out to buy my goods, but since the exchange rate has gone up, I buy from people who travel and the price is very high. Because I sell quality and not quantity. A baby gown that cost N3,000 now sells for N6,500. And a baby that cost N2,500- N3,000 now sells from N5,500 upwards.

“The patronage has reduced; it is not encouraging at all. Some customers come to buy wears, and when you give them the price they shout and walk away. We open our shops and by the end of the day, we do not make any sales. During this period, I record a huge turnover of profit but now it is not so. Because things are very expensive. Most of the goods that are imported have gone up, so the prices tend to be doubled,” she explained.

Below is our weekly table of price changes before and now:

21 Days To Xmas Prices of Goods Crash In The Market Amidst RECESSION; See Price List
Photo Credit: Naij News

Apple Self Driving Car
Photo Credit: Idownloadblog
Apple has acknowledged for the first time that it is investing in building a self-driving car.

In a letter to US transport regulators, Apple said it was “excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation”.It added that there were “significant societal benefits of automated vehicles” to be realised.

There have long been rumours about the firm’s plans but it has not publicly admitted them.

However, Ford, which itself plans to have self-driving cars on the road by 2021, has said it was working on the basis that Apple was building one.

The tech firm has already registered several car-related internet domains, including apple.car and apple.auto.

A company spokesman for Apple said that the letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was prompted by its “heavy investment in machine learning and autonomous systems” and that it wanted to help define best practices in the industry.

The five-page letter, written by Apple’s director of product integrity Steve Kenner, urges the regulator to not introduce too many rules on the testing of self-driving cars, saying that “established manufacturers and new entrants should be treated equally.”

It also proposes that companies in the industry share data from crashes and near-misses in order to build a more comprehensive picture than one company could manage alone, and therefore enable the design of better systems.

However, it adds that an individual’s privacy should not be compromised by the sharing of such data. It suggests that the industry and regulators “address privacy challenges associated with the collection, use, and sharing of automated vehicle data”, with collaboration from privacy experts outside the automotive industry.

Google is already testing self-driving cars on the roads. In October, electric carmaker Tesla announced that all the cars it now builds will have the hardware installed to drive on their own.

In the UK, an autonomous vehicle was test-driven in Milton Keynes in the summer, with further trials in London planned.

2019: Disappointed Northern Elites DESSERT Buhari, Shop For Replacement; Shortlist 6, Others; See List
Disappointed by bad governance, hunger, hardship that hallmark the administration of President Muhammadu, the North has ruled out blanket support for the President if he decides to seek for a second term in 2019. 

Report according to New Telegraph suggests that top northern politicians and powerful political blocs have begun shopping for Buhari’s replacement ahead of the next general elections.

A spokesman for the Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), Prof. Ango Abdullahi, on telephone conversation with our source newspaper, pointed out that the forum only supported the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 election because it fielded General Muhammadu Buhari as its presidential candidate “who happens to be a northerner.”

Multiple sources confirmed to New Telegraph last night that different interest groups in the North have put machineries in place to get an appropriate candidate to replace Buhari in 2019.

It was further learnt that different groups from the North have sent emissaries to possible candidates, such as Atiku Abubakar, Ibrahim Dankwanbo (Gombe governor), Rabiu Kwankwaso, Sule Lamido, Ibrahim Shekarau, among others on the need to replace the president in the 2019 election.

It was gathered that among the grouse of many in the region is the mass hunger and poverty that has attended the Buhari presidency. A source with one of the presidential hopeful told New Telegraph last night that: “More than in 2015, we are receiving requests from different interest groups who are telling us that they want to work with us. I can tell you that most of the groups are from the North. Their complaints are the same – the economy.

They are telling us that there must be another change in 2019. The mood generally in the North is dampened. Buhari is not as popular as he was in 2015 now.”

An aide to another presidential hopeful simply said that the North has “donated Buhari to Nigerians who wanted change.” “In 2019, we are going to take him out of that seat for sure.

We are consulting now and trying to fix the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). If we get that right, then, we are ready to sack Buhari. At least, it is clear to Nigerians now that the man has failed. He is unelectable.”

But it was learnt that the president’s men are already plotting his reelection in 2019. Sources said Buhari’s nephew and confidant, Malam Mamman Daura; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal, and former SGF, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe as well as some state governors are the drivers of the president’s second term agenda. Buhari’s anchormen, including ministers, have been holding series of meetings on the president’s re-election.

“At appropriate time, we will dispel this noise of non-performance. The president has been faithful to his promises. Though we are in a challenging time,president has done well in governance,” one of the ministers told New Telegraph last night. Abdullahi, who ruled out a blind support for Buhari in case he runs for a second term, said that if other northerners indicate interest in the presidency, “we will put all the cards on the table and evaluate all the candidates and see what they have in store for the north.”

He, however, said that the north has so far been short changed by the present administration because the ministerial appointments that it got are not commensurate with the votes that APC received in the last election from the region.

The former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, however, said that it is rather too early to say that the north is shopping for Buhari’s replacement, “but when the time comes, we will tell our people which way to go.”

The NEF spokesman said that the forum has not met Atiku Abubakar in order to seek for its support ahead of the 2019 presidential race, adding that he has heard that the former number two citizen is said to be eyeing the presidency.

“Like everybody else, I have heard of series of meetings going on, but I have not been told by any credible source.

As for meeting with any politician towards 2019, all I will say is that nobody has met us,” he said.Like Abdullahi, former governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, said that he heard that the north is shopping for Buhari’s replacement to field in 2019, describing the move “as a viable alternative if the north wants to retain power.”

According to him, the president is so incompetent and overwhelmed by the burden of office, “so there is no way he can succeed.” “However, the tragedy of the situation is that the north has no alternative to Buhari because money power is the deciding factor in politics and elections in this country. That is why the north can’t get the right person,” he argued.

The leader of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) dismissed Atiku as an alternative northern candidate because of his record of alleged corruption.

Musa also ruled out Governor Nasir el Rufai, arguing that he is not performing as governor of Kaduna State and so he is not qualified to be president.

“So, the north is in a kind of dilemma because, whereas Buhari has failed as president, it has no alternative to him in 2019 because of the dominance of money in politics and the fact that those who want to replace him are not credible,” he noted.

The opposition politician also ruled out the rabid support that Buhari received in the north in 2015, in case he decides to seek re-election in 2019. “Virtually every northern elite that supported him since 2003 when he first contested for the presidency, is not with him,” he said.

The former governor predicted that Buhari would lose the coming election if he decides to run for the presidency in 2019 because he is not just politically unreliable, but he will also be hampered by limited resources unless he is sponsored by foreign powers.

According to him, the level of poverty in the country and the prevailing awareness will limit the president’s access to the treasury in order to fund his campaign.

“Unless he decides to fund it with recovered looted funds, the amount which Nigerians do not know, there is nowhere he can get the kind of money to run for the presidency, after losing the goodwill that he enjoyed from the people,” Balarabe added.

Speaking in the same vein, a member of the House of Representatives in the Second Republic and a social critic, Dr. Jun-aid Mohammed, described Buhari as a monumental failure as president.

“Although I have not heard of plans to replace him and field another northerner in 2019, I will not be surprised if this happens,” he told our correspondent yesterday.

“President Buhari has been a monumental failure and the north shouldn’t support him in 2019 if it wants to retain power. Anti-corruption has always been the hallmark of northerners in government, but this government is the most corrupt in the history of Nigeria.

“All northern leaders, from Tarka to Aminu Kano and Sardauna, are not nepotistic, but the Buhari administration is the most nepotistic that has ever been since independence. “So, the north is justified culturally, politically and morally to replace Buhari in 2019 if it chooses to do so.

The north has been categorical when it wants power, it also didn’t hesitate when to let it go. And when it wanted it back, it said so categorically. Now, it must show clearly that it wants to retain power by replacing Buhari,” Mohammed said.

The Russian-trained medical doctor however said that “if Buhari decides to contest in 2019, he will be defeated, except if he rigs the election and there will be violence which may lead to the break-up of Nigeria.”

Speaking to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, a chieftain of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) dismissed what he described as “doomsday scenario of failed politicians who cannot speak for the north.”

According to him, President Buhari is still lionized by the masses of this country, especially in the north where he commands a cult-like followership.

“Buhari’s victory in 2015 was a result of the resolve of the masses to vote for change and to keep vigil over the votes cast until results were counted and declared.

“The victory was not as a result of any elite consensus or machinations. It was a revolution of the masses and the elite just had to key into it or else they will be swept aside by the wind of change.

“Buhari’s war against corruption, whereby billions of looted funds have been recovered and the adherence to the rule of law, including the degrading of Boko Haram capabilities in the North-East, have further endeared the people to him. If elections are held today, he will win fair and square,” he added.

New Telegraph gathered that although Buhari’s handlers are trying to make incursion into the South-East, many leaders in the zone are not convinced or persuaded by the Buhari presidency.

Thus, many believe that his running battles with splinter agitator groups in the zone and the lack of reasonable appointments for the zone under his watch are good reasons not to return him again.

“The man should not even think of a second term. He should just leave after this term,” said a leader in the zone.

Gooodluck Jonathan
Over N450 billion fresh fraud has been discovered in 33 federal Government agencies, including the Central Bank of Nigeria during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The fraud, which according to Punch Newspaper has prompted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission resolved to grill some ex-ministers who served under the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan as well as some serving and ex-permanent secretaries and directors of budget and finance in charge of revenue-generating Ministries Departments and Agencies.

 The fresh investigation, it was learnt, was sequel to a report by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, that the Federal Government would prosecute any official of revenue-generating agencies indicted in the audit report, which revealed that N450bn was not remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund Account.

The unremitted amount, which involved about 33 revenue-generating agencies of government, was for the 2010 to 2015 fiscal period which falls under the leadership of Jonathan.

Some of the agencies are the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Shippers’ Council, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, National Health Insurance Scheme, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and Nigerian Communications Commission.

Others are the Nigerian Postal Service, National Information Technology and Development Agency, Nigerian Television Authority, Bureau of Public Enterprises, National Pension Commission and Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc.

The list also has the Raw Materials Research and Development Council, Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, and the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria.

It was gathered that the commission would this week interrogate the affected officers, a majority of whom served between 2010 and 2015.

A source at the EFCC said, “We will invite the permanent secretaries of some of the agencies because the permanent secretaries are the chief accounting officers. We will also invite the directors of finance and budget in some of these agencies while the ministers that we believe may have approved such spending will also be invited.

“We discovered that many of these infractions had been taking place but never received much attention from the Federal Government because of the excess oil money during the Jonathan administration. Now that the Federal Government is cooperating fully with us, we will look into the matter thoroughly.

“We discovered that many agencies have never paid any money and never generated any operating surplus including some whose salaries, overheads and capital are paid by the Federal Government. In addition to that, they generate revenue which they spend without any form of control.”

The EFCC told our correspondent that many of the heads of the agencies were already under probe or were already being prosecuted.

The detective noted that a former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi, and some directors of the agency were already being prosecuted for an alleged N34.5bn fraud.

The source at the EFCC said, “We are aware that money which was meant to be deposited into the Consolidate Revenue Fund Account was diverted while agencies were making extra-budgetary expenses. In some instances, such was done with the collusion of ministers.

“You are aware that a former Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah, gave approval to the NCAA to spend N255m on two cars. We have already charged her.’’

The National Assembly had argued that the 31 agencies listed as revenue-generating had their budgets shrouded in secrecy which had let to abuse.

For instance, in the case of the NCAA, the purchase of the two vehicles for Oduah was not listed in the budget by the agency.

The ministry’s own budget too had no plan to purchase any car for the minister or other officials.

Oduah’s spokesman, Joe Ibi, had told The PUNCH that the cars were to protect Oduah from “imminent threats” bred by the minister’s purported radical reforms in the aviation industry.

It was the secrecy that had ostensibly helped NCAA and others spend freely with little or no oversight.

All the funds used by the NCAA were internally generated from charges on airlines, passengers and fines etc as stipulated by the Civil Aviation law.

Between 2009 and 2012, the agency raised N35.3bn and spent all of it on its internal needs, according to the National Assembly Budget and Research Office.

Adeosun had said, “Some agencies have never credited the Consolidated Revenue Fund despite having salary, capital and overhead (expenditures) financed by the Federal Government. Indeed, cost to income rates of 99.8 per cent has been the average, meaning that they spend all their internally generated revenue and subventions released to them.”

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