Buhari presides over FEC, leaves for Turkey; Buhari approves payment of pension to 160 ex-Biafran war veterans; NNPC Has 2 Billion Litres Of Petrol For Yuletide Period; Senate asks FG to remove ‘power’ from Fashola’s three-in-one portfolio . . .
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday presided over the meeting of Federal Executive Council (FEC) in the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The meeting which started at about 10 a.m., was attended by the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, acting Secretary to the Government of the Federation and cabinet ministers. The president who was scheduled to leave Abuja for Turkey immediately after the Council’s meeting departed soon afterwards.
The President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said prior to the summit, Buhari was invited by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. Buhari would be on working visit to Ankara, the Turkish capital. A statement by Mr. Adesina, on Tuesday, said Buhari would participate in the ninth D-8 Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, on Oct. 20. He said the President would during the visit have a private discussion with his Turkish counterpart, while delegations from both countries would hold discussions in various fields including defence cooperation, security, educational and migration issues.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the payment of pension to soldiers, policemen and paramilitary officers who fought on the Biafran side during the Nigeria-Biafra War (1967-1970). The Biafra war veterans were dismissed from service by the Nigerian government for their participation in the Nigerian civil war.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Pensions Transition Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) announced that payment will commence on Friday, October 20, in Enugu, capital of Enugu state (the then “Biafran capital”).
The statement read inter alia, below:
“The general public would recall that Nigeria witnessed an ugly civil war between July 1967 and January 1970 and as a result of that unfortunate period in our history, some members of the armed forces, the Nigeria police and the paramilitary officers who took part with the secessionist were dismissed from the service.
The dismissal of those officers was commuted to retirement in year 2000 through a presidential amnesty granted on 29th May, 2000 by the administration of the then President Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR.
A verification exercise was conducted for the pardoned officers by the defunct Police Pension Office and recently PTAD on one hand and the Police Service Commission on the other.
Despite the presidential pardon and verification of these officers many of them remained unpaid years after the pardon. However, the present administration under the able leadership of president, C-in-C of the armed forces, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has graciously given approval for the payment of pension entitlements to these officers and their next of kin.
PTAD is commencing the payment of pension benefits to the retired war affected police officers on Friday 20th October, 2017 in Enugu. 162 officers will be payrolled and 57 Next of Kin who have also not been paid their death benefits will be paid in the first batch.”
− The Pensions Transition Arrangement Directorate (PTAD)
This development is obviously a welcome one to the Igbos (ex-Biafrans) and comes at an auspicious time when many critics, especially from the defeated “ex-Biafrans” and other stakeholders in the southeast have accused the Buhari administration of marginalising the Igbos of the south-east.
On Tuesday, the NNPC announced that it has stored over 2 billion liters of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, to ensure a hitch-free holiday in Nigeria during the upcoming yuletide and new year. According to the NNPC, Nigerians have no need to worry about fuel scarcity ahead of the yuletide.
Adequate measures are in place to ensure that motorists have unimpeded access to fuel ahead of the end-of-year festivities. This is to avoid the perennial fuel scarcities associated with the so-called ember months. Since 1999 till 2015, Nigerians have become accustomed to panic buying and hoarding of petrol from December till February in the new year.
Speaking after his investiture as a special marshal by the Federal Road Safety Corps, the Group Managing Director (GMD), NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, said adequate measures were in place to ensure that motorists had unimpeded access to fuel.
The senate has urged the federal government to appoint a separate minister for the ministry of power to ensure optimal performance. The ministry of power is combined with those of works and housing, with Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN overseeing them all. This followed a resolution on a motion on ‘The Need to Establish and Delegate Special Purpose Vehicles to Execute and Operate Major Power Sector Development Projects’.
The motion was sponsored by Mustapha Bukar (APC-Katsina).In his remarks, Ike Ekweremadu, deputy Senate President, who presided at plenary, said every talk about growing the economy would not work unless the power sector was repositioned.