President Buhari also swore in seven new ministers recently screened and confirmed by the Senate. The first batch sworn in included Henry Ikechukwu Ikoh – Abia State, Umana Okon Umana – Akwa Ibom State, Odum Odih – Rivers State, and Ademola Adewole Adegoroye – Ondo State.
The second batch of the ministers who were sworn in comprised Umar Ibrahim El-Yakub – Kano State, Goodluck Nnana Opiah – Imo State, and Egwumakama Joseph Nkama – Ebonyi State.
Before the swearing-in, a minute of silence was observed in honour of Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, the 4th Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Secretary-General, who died at the age of 63 on Tuesday night in Abuja.
Those physically in attendance at the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting were the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, and Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
Other Ministers who were also in attendance include the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; Labour and Employment Minister, Chris Ngige; Education Minister, Adamu Adamu; Communications and Digital Economy Minister, Isa Pantami; Mines and Steel Minister, Olamilekan Adegbite; Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; Minister of State for Budget, National Planning, Clem Agba, and Minister of State for Industry Trade and Investment, Maryam Katagun.
Similarly, the erstwhile Minister of State for Health, Dr. Adeleke Mamora was also redeployed to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation as the substantive Minister.
Newly appointed Minister Umanna Okon Umanna is the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, while the erstwhile Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, was moved to Niger Delta Affairs in the same capacity while Umar Ibrahim El-Yakub is the new Minister of State for Works and Housing.
New FEC members Goodluck Nanah Opiah, Ekumankama Joseph Nkama, Ikoh Henry Ikechukwu, Odum Udi and Ademola Adewole Adegoroye are Ministers of State in the Ministries of Education, Health, Science and Technology, Environment and Transportation, respectively.
Buhari, Jonathan, Obasanjo, Babangida, Abdusalami, Osinbajo, Atiku, others to spend N13.8billon from N27.5 trillion 2024 budget
The Eyewitness Reporter
The Federal government has earmarked the sum of N13.8 billion in the 2024 budget as the cost of upkeep of
former presidents, vice presidents, heads of state, Chiefs of General Staff, retired heads of service, permanent secretaries, and retired heads of government agencies and parastatals.
The beneficiaries include former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari, ex-vice-presidents Atiku Abubakar, Namadi Sambo and Prof Yemi Osinbajo.
Also expected to benefit from the windfall are ex-military Heads of State, General Yakubu Gowon and General Abdusalami Abubakar, as well as a former dictator and self-styled military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, and a former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (retd.).
Also, N1tn was provisioned for the public service wage adjustment for government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (including arrears of promotion and salary increases, and payment of severance benefits and minimum wage-related adjustments).
A breakdown shows that the entitlements of former presidents/heads of state and vice presidents/chief of general staff will cost N2.3bn. At the same time, N10.5bn is proposed as benefits for retired heads of service, permanent secretaries and professors.
The payment of severance benefits to retired heads of government agencies and parastatals is proposed to cost N1bn.
Other allocations include N65bn for the Presidential Amnesty Programme for the reintegration of transformed ex-militants; N1bn for the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Energy; and N108bn for unnamed special projects.
The government is also proposing the sum of N40bn to offset electricity debts owed to power distribution companies by all MDAs.
President Bola Tinubu unveiled the N27.5 trillion budget estimates for the 2024 fiscal year.
The budget was presented to a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday, where it is currently undergoing scrutiny and deliberation for final approval.
In his presentation, he declared, “The 2024 Appropriation has been themed the Budget of Renewed Hope.
The proposed budget seeks to achieve job-rich economic growth, macro-economic stability, a better investment environment, enhanced human capital development, as well as poverty reduction and greater access to social security.
News Alert: Wale Adeniyi revives CG conference, holds 2023 edition December 13-15 in Lagos.
Ukraine blocks Russia’s reelection bid at IMO council elections
The outcome is another blow for Russia after it failed in its bid to return to the UN’s top human rights body in October, in an election seen as a key test of Western efforts to keep Moscow isolated.
Last year, Moscow also failed to win enough votes for re-election to the UN aviation agency’s governing council.
The London-based International Maritime Organization (IMO) is responsible for regulating the safety and security of international shipping and preventing pollution and comprises 175 member state countries.
Russia has been a member since 1958 and has been consistently re-elected to the IMO Council.
With voting on Friday, 40 countries were elected by secret ballot to the IMO Council, which supervises the work of the body.
In October, Russia said the IMO was departing from its impartial role due to “external pressure” which it said was impacting the fair treatment of all member countries.
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