ADAMAWA APC: STOP ENDANGERING OUR LIVE’S TO COVID-19 BECAUSE OF YOUR DESPERATION.

News Rendezvous

The Adamawa APC has shown an outrageous act of civil disobedience to the measures put in place to curtail the spread of COVID-19 by wilful breaching and ignoring the state restrictions.

We condemn this act in its totality considering the efforts the State Government has and is still making to secure the freedom of the citizens as they implement successful public health policies in response to the COVID—19 pandemic.

To be clear: we all know in modern day politics in this part of the world, most crowds around desperate politicians are rented. But it should not be at the detriment of our lives and safety.

The truth is that only few politicians excite crowds to such a point where many would brave the odds and flock to rallies to listen to them. Gone are the days of speakers like Nnamdi Azikiwe, Bola Ige and maybe Tafawa Balewa. Gone are the myths that surrounded men like Awolowo and J.S. Tarka that made many troop out to come and see if it was true that they grew so tall while speaking that their heads reached into the sky.

Gone are the entertainers like Adegoke Adelabu who once drove his Volkswagen car to a political rally and allow crowds to enter in through one door and out the other to spite Awolowo whom he claimed was too elitist to permit such a thing. Politicians these days are too predictable, rhetoric too common and the only person I can think of who still draws huge crowds without mobilisation is Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.

Now, crowds do not necessarily translate into acceptability or votes. Uncle Bola Ige in his book People, Politics And Politicians Of Nigeria: 1940-1979 said in relation to crowds that spectators will always be drawn to spectacles – people come to political rallies for different reasons and crowds are not always an indication of acceptance so I think the APC might be counting its chicks before they are hatched with the celebration of the carefully taken pictures of crowds they see at their political rallies. The desperation to make APC appear to many as an acceptable party in Adamawa may not be an exact reflection of what is actually on ground.

Now, crowds work in curious ways but usually in tandem with crowd mentality – a coinage from herd mentality where one goat jumps over a cliff and the rest follow – crowds tend to think in a particular dimension and here, I have a small concern for APC’s image in the mind of the crowds. They see the fanfare, they see the carefully sewn clothing and adornment but they also notice the fact that when they were in power, APC could not pay workers salaries, students couldn’t seat for WAEC and NECO, Hospitals were dilapidated, insecurity rising, gratuities increasing, education only for the rich, communal clashes always on the news, to mention but a few.

The crowds would notice that APC has nothing to tell them in respect to development because Governor Fintiri has now defined development in a way they can see, feel and touch.

A long shot to the way crowds think of course but then again: it’s called crowd mentality and it can work for or against a politician.

We hold that Adamawa APC should apologise to the government and people of Adamawa State for breaching and ignoring the state restrictions.

VANDI ZIRA (PRO)
Concern Northern Zone Forum

ADSU Schedules 2nd Feb. 2021 for School Resumption -Tells The Public to Disregard Fake News on Academic Calendar

News Rendezvous

The Adamawa state university, has fixed 2nd of February, 2021 as the tentative date for school resumption.

The date was scheduled following an emergency Senate meeting held 14 January, 2021.

This is contained in a press statement issued by the university information and protocol officer, Belmond Benson, and made available to newsmen, Thursday, in Yola, Adamawa state.

The statement reads, “The Adamawa State University Senate has approved Tuesday, 2nd February, 2021 as the tentative date for reopening of the Institution for resumption of Academic activities.

“The date was approved by the Senate at an emergency meeting held today 14th January, 2021.”

The statement adds that, “It should be noted that all non-pharmaceutical COVID-19 protocols would be strictly observed everywhere on campus and every student must undertake to abide by all the COVID-19 protocols both within and outside the campus.

“Students are expected to make arrangements to provide themselves with face masks and hand sanitizers to compliment the effort of Management.

“The general public is urged to disregard any information in circulation with regards to academic calendar or resumption date.”

Buba Sinks Over 300 Boreholes in His Constituency -Calls on Other Elected Officials to Deliver on Promises

News RendezvousThe Adamawa lawmaker representing Gombi/Hong at the federal house of representatives, Yusuf Buba Yakub, had called for wider participation of political stakeholders towards deepening the gains of democracy across the country.Buba said wilder participation by all stakeholders to address the developmental needs in his constituency, has become critical and paramount.Buba Yakub Said, “I’ have sunk over 300 hundred boreholes across my onstituency.”Speaking against the backdrop of pictures making the rounds on the social media depicting acute water shortages in Kulda, a village in Hong Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Yusuf Buba Yakub says, “Have personally sunk over 300 boreholes in the entire Federal Constituency and calls on other stakeholders to contribute their quota.”Buba in a statement issued by his media aide, Nkem Anyata-Lafia, “As at the last count, I have sunk over 300 boreholes personally in the whole of the Constituency.”This represents one borehole for each of the 254 Polling Units of the Constituency.”If the Local Government Area whose primary responsibility is to provide such basic needs of the people like water, primary health care and rural roads can do half of what I have done, such villages like Kulda and the reported lack of water will not be existing in Hong LGA or in any part of the Constituency today.”I am proactive and developmentally minded that was why I set up the Captain Buba Industrial Village to train and empower Constituents in various skills.”But this is a clarion call by all principal stakeholders in the State, Local and National leadership spectra to do more to develop their land and offer a new lease of life to the people.”Some few weeks ago, the Member representing the area had flagged off a number of projects and commissioned some completed ones; one of which was at the behest of President Muhammadu Buhari.”Some of these projects, included a hospital project at Gombi North, a flood and an erosion- control project, a road project, a water project at Gombi, Garkida, Hong, Pella, Uba, among other areas.”It was important to highlight some of the above realities in the light of the prevailing circumstances in some areas of the Constituency and as part of efforts towards addressing part of the infrastructural deficits in the area and more commitment was required by all to achieve comprehensive results.”

Covid-19: Fintiri to Shutdown Business, Groups, Not Obeying Containment Rules

News Rendezvous

The Adamawa state governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, has warned that though the earlier rules imposed by the state to contain the spread of Covid-19 remains in effect, several organisations, business, have continued to flaunt the protocols.
The governor of warns that gatherings of more than fifty people are still banned, individuals are expected to wear Facemask in public gatherings and washing of hands and hand sanitiser must be observed and that any group found not to be in compliance to these rules would be shutdown.
This is contained in a statement issued by the press secretary to the, Humwashi Wonosikou, ane made available to newsmen, Monday, in Yola, Adamawa state.
The statement reads, “The Adamawa State Government has appealed for cooperation and support from the general public in its efforts to contain the new spike in COVID-19 pandemic.
“Governor Fintiri is worried with the lack of compliance to COVID-19 restrictions as Coronavirus Pandemic has emerged as a truly global health crisis.
“I am disappointment that mandated measures to reduce transmission which include advocacy of behaviours like wearing of face masks, social distancing, washing of hands, and restrictions on public gatherings have not been adhered to by the people as guidelines on Restriction Of Movement and Matters Incidental Thereto issued in March, 2020 that is still in force and advise the public to adhere to the provisions.
“Social gatherings of more than 50 people at a time is also still in force.”
Outlining the protocols for the containment of coronavirus in the state the statement reads, “The general public is hereby called upon to adhere strictly to the provisions of the guidelines namely;
“1. Compulsory use of face masks in any public gathering or public transport.
“2. Social distancing in any gathering.
“3. Ensure washing of hands and use of sanitizers.
“4. Hospitality businesses such as Clubs, Cinema halls, Event centres, Conferences and Congresses and other similar gatherings with population beyond 100 remain banned.
“5. Movement between 10 pm and 5 am is also not allowed.
“6. Leaders at Worship centres are therein advised to ensure use of face mask by all, while ensuring social distancing.
“Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has also pointed out that this is done following identification of a new variant of the COVID-19 virus and directives in line with safety measures by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and what Adamawa State Government can do to intensify things to help bring the rate of infections down.
“The Governor has therefore warned that Any Club, Event centre or business premises so directed found contravening this rule will be closed down.
“While security agencies have been directed to ensure strict adherence to these protocols and any other protocol imposed by the Federal Government.
“I am of the view that we should not wait, as happened earlier, for this virus to again spiral out of control before taking action.
“The world is facing a surge in Coronavirus cases and hospital admissions, We want people to follow the rules in order to avoid stricter measures which looks increasingly likely, meanwhile, Government will ensure that all health facilities are prepared and ready to handle any eventualities.”

Sen. Binos Launches 3rd Medical Outreach in Guyuk. -Addressing Constituents Medical Need A Tops Priority

News Rendezvous

Senator Representing Adamawa South, Reverend Binos Dauda Yareo says the health need of the people is his priority hence the free medical outreach to people of the constituency.

The Senator stated this at the commencement of three day free medical outreach at Cottage Hospital Guyuk.

He said the people voted for him to provide dividends of democracy pointing out that the medical outreach would impact on the most vulnerable in the society adding that medical personnel in the team came from Abuja, Benue and Plateau states.

While reiterating his commitment towards reaching out to more people in the nine local government areas in the zone, the senator appreciated the gesture of Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, Chairman and Kwande Nuguraiya, as well as, the state Ministry of Health for providing the enabling environment for the exercise.

Leader of the Medical Team, Doctor Dah, said the senator began the outreach in Demsa and then Numan to provide health at no cost and appreciated the local government, as well as, traditional councils for the warm reception accorded them.

He stressed the importance of health and said all services and medication to be rendered have been paid for by the senator and enjoined the beneficiaries not to give out any money for any treatment during the exercise.

He said those who would undergo surgery would have their relatives donate blood while areas to be covered included dental and eyecare among others and expressed the hope that more people would be attended to.

Epidemiologist from the state Ministry of Health in a remark announced that testing for Corona Virus would be available and noted that preventive protocol would be observed during the three-day free health outreach.

Deacon Ephraimu Donkol, who represented the Chairman of the local government described the even as the real dividend of democracy pointing out that health is wealth.

He commended the effort of the senator and called on the people to take advantage of the exercise.

Representative of Kwande Nuguraiya, Mr. Domiti expressed delight over the commencement of the free medical outreach in Guyuk and urged people of the area to take advantage of the exercise.

He urged them to be patient as more people would be attended to and tasked them to adhere to prescription by the medical personnel.

At the palace of Kwande Nuguraiya, Dishon Dansanda commended Senator Binos for the medical outreach.

He said the senator is giving the people adequate representation at the Senate pointing out that the bill for the establishment of school of mining in Guyuk, which has passed second reading at the floor of the Senate will give the people a sense of belonging.

Christmas: Gov. Fintiri Calls For Peace And Love Among Citizens

News Rendezvous

The Adamawa state governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, has called on Christians and citizens in the country, to celebrate the Christmas season bringing into mind the legacy of peace, harmony and love that Jesus preached.

Fintiri said, the yelutide should be used as a moment for prayers for love, unity and prosperity of the state and the nation at large.

This is contained in a press statement issued by his press secretary, Ahamadu Umaru Fintiri, and made available to Newsmen, Friday.

The statement said, “Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri has extended his heartiest felicitations to the people of Adamawa State and to all Christians as they celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

“While wishing Christians a successful Yuletide celebration, Governor Fintiri urged them to use the festive season to pray for unity, peace and prosperity of the State.”

“The Yuletide season presents us an opportunity once more to love, share and forgive.

“I urge all to utilise the period to pray for unity, peace and prosperity of Adamawa State.

“We must also rededicate ourselves to the true virtues of faith in God, love for one another, honesty and peaceful-coexistence.” it added.

Gov. Fintiri use the occasion to challenge Nigerians and the people of Adamawa state to make the virtues of Christ more evident and practical in their daily dealings through spreading love to their neighbours and remember the underprivileged as they celebrate Christmas.

He described Jesus Christ as, “An embodiment of sacrificial love and advised Adamawa residents to exhibit unconditional love to one another, saying the impact will bring about a positive change that will lead to unity and development towards moving Adamawa and the Nation forward.

Saying, “We must therefore rededicate ourselves to the service of humanity in line with the true teachings of Jesus Christ which emphasises tolerance, patience, brotherly kindness, care for the needy and love for one another.

“Over the years, the teachings of Jesus, an apostle of peace, compassion and brotherhood, had guided human beings on the path of righteousness and perhaps more relevant today than ever before, when the world is facing increasing hatred, intolerance and violence.

“I hope the celebration of this joyous occasion will strengthen the bonds of communal harmony, brotherhood and reinvigorate the secular and pluralistic traditions for which our people were known for in the past.”

While wishing, “All Christians and the entire people of Adamawa State a bright and merry Christmas urging for prayers for peace and prosperity in the state.

“Such occasion reminds us to rekindle the spirit of harmony, brotherhood and lead a virtuous life.”

Bloody Christmas Eve: Boko Haram Attack Adamawa Community on Christmas Eve

News Rendezvous

Reports just reaching us suggests that some members of the Boko Haram insurgents have once again attacked Adamawa Community of Garkida, shooting randomly as residents scamper into nearby bushes for safety.
A local from Garkida told News Rendezvous that the insurgents stormed the community around 5 pm Thursday evening, shooting randomly.

The local contact said, “Right now, I cannot say how the village is because we are all hiding in the bush.

Details emerging from the Christmas Eve attack suggests that the insurgents stormed the town in the evening around 5 pm driving in twelve trucks and have currently setting so many of the houses on fire, locals told Rendezvous.
Details shortly…

Breaking: 36 States N-POWER Beneficiaries to Go on Strike Over Failed Promises

News Rendezvous

5 DAYS COUNTDOWN TO N-POWER PEACEFUL PROTEST ACROSS THE 36 STATES AND FCT

On the 1st of December, 2020, the 36 States and FCT N-Power Representatives Forum have declared a National Peaceful Protest across all the 36 States and FCT through a Facebook Live Chat.
@NGRPresident

BELOW IS OUR REQUEST:
1. The 36 States and FCT N-Power Representatives request that they should be brought and shown the template of the purported Transition.

2.The Transition ( whether absorption into Government agencies or meaningful grants of 600,000 or above for@MBuhari entrepreneurship) must be ready.
3. Payments of over 14, 000 Unpaid Volunteers from the Month of March to July, 2020 must begin immediately as all documents needed for this has been supplied by the volunteers 2 months ago.

4. Payments of Backlogs to Volunteers being owed different months must be paid immediately.

5. All Batch B devices and some batch A devices must be delivered immediately as this forms part of the agreement of engagement.

Nothing short of the above request will be accepted.

PROTEST DATE: Tuesday,8th December, 2020.

TIME: 10AM Prompt.
VENUE: Governor’s Office of the 36 States and Federal Capital Territory Administration for FCT

Aluta Continua…Victoria Ascerta

SIGNED:
(National Media Team)
For: 36 STATES AND FCT N-POWER REPRESENTATIVES FORUM
#NpowerNationWideProtest

Buba Lauds Buhari for Approving N5 Billion to Reposition Foreign Affairs Ministry (Full Text at Budget Defense)

News Rendezvous

Every end of the year, the Legislature mobilises itself to carry out one of the fundamental duties entrusted on us by the electorate and the Constitution. Contrary to perceptions in certain quarters,the Annual Budget Defence process is not just a yearly ritual,but a serious mandate given to us , Parliamentarians, by the good people of this country ,whose very interests we represent, in the well- calculated bid to hold in check the commonwealth of this nation and to ensure proper utilisation of all funds and resources allocated to various Sub- heads in Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government. This is the reason we have gathered here today. This kind of sessions provides us the opportunity to meet with these MDAs to pore through the budget proposals of the coming year.

This year’s exercise, coming at a time that even our nation’s youth are beginning to interrogate governance and question all that are deployed into the security and general well-being of the people, calls for the total commitment of all of us on both the side of lawmakers and on the side of the operators of these budget estimates.

I, therefore, welcome our Honourable colleagues who in the past few weeks have been saddled with the arduous task of ensuring that the hope of the Executive, particularly that of Mr President, who believes that the January-December target for our budget circle is best for our system, is achieved. I thank you for, once again,, rising to this clarion call to duty to carry out this important mandate and duty of the legislator. I urge you, Honourable colleagues, to give today’s task your best shot, knowing full well that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, alongside its Missions abroad, remains the window and mirror through which the global community sees our country, Nigeria,and that the Ministry as it is today needs more than just the efforts of those directly saddled with handling its affairs to make any desired impacts.

I welcome the Honourable Ministers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Permanent Secretary, the entire management and staff of the Ministry and salute you all as the veritable gate- keepers and purveyors of our foreign policy goals and ideals. Much as you have on your own done your bit to offer your services where you have found yourselves these past years since overseeing the Ministry,the truth remains that there has not been any marked departure from the poor value that Nigerians have continued to receive across the world.

Nigeria, as a nation, remains the weeping child of the world; we are buffeted on all sides and our nationals still suffer the very poor fate of carrying the green passport that much part of the world hates to see. The problem may not be about you directly,but there is,in the face of yearly allocations and concomitant spendings,a lacklustre performance in all areas where different indices are seen as parameters for scoring. We feel concerned and worried as a nation that we cannot get our international image to fit into the acceptable model of the international community.

We feel concerned that we do not hear of any programmes from the Ministry targetted at changing these narratives. All we continue to witness daily from Ghana to Gabon, South Africa to Libya is that Nigerians remain at the receiving end of, most times, state-supported violence and all forms of ill-treatment in foreign jurisdictions, including Europe, the Americas and Asia.

Today, as we gather to deliberate upon the figures that will determine the outcome of your efforts for the fiscal year 2021, it is only appropriate for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under your able leadership and our kind partnership to look back at the dying year to assess how we have fared, especially amidst the challenges we confronted with what was allocated to us for the year 2020.

An honest self-assessment, Hon. Ministers, very distinguished colleagues, will offer us the opportunity to see what we can do better in the year ahead. For me, there is no gainsaying the fact that the Foreign Affairs Ministry the way it appears and operates today is hardly the contemplation of its founding fathers.

And in the past few weeks since we have had the opportunity for interaction between the Ministry and us, parliamentarians, we have not hidden our disdain for the level of decay in the system and have also professed the hope that things can get better if we all choose to cooperate to re-enact and re-vitalise the ideals of the founding fathers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.For instance,we are not happy at the things we saw when we undertook our oversight visit to the headquarters.

We must appreciate the concern of Mr. President for approving and making releases of over USD18 Million, over 1 Million Pounds and over N5 Billion to clear off all the existing liabilities in our Foreign Missions and give a new face to the headquarters in order to start ahead on a clean slate in the new year. This is all part of a wider reform approved by Mr. President.

Yet,all we hear and see is that some are said not to be comfortable with the reform and,in fact,are resistant to it. Let us , therefore,warn that we do not want to see business as usual in the coming year. As a Committee,we emphasise that the oversight function of the Ministry will be strengthened in the coming year in order to ensure that the purpose for which every penny is earmarked is achieved. Any group or individual, therefore,that thinks they should tinker with any parts of the reforms,to us,must be making a huge joke of what Mr. President has approved.

We must appreciate his good intentions. And as a Parliament,we will stand and ensure that the Missions are cleaned up to, at least, represent our country’ s image outside the shores of this nation. Our concern is that no single individual or group should be given the opportunity to feel that they are greater than this country.

In the last few years since we took over this Committee of the House, I have had the opportunity to undertake visits to some of our Missions abroad. In spite of what is ,usually, allocated to these Missions, it is worrying that what we have as Embassies and High Commissions are places whose activities are far from what the nation requires of such places. In principle, every Nigerian Embassy should be a mini-Nigeria; a place where information on our country, our economy and our nationals in such a country should be on the fingertips of those who manage such Embassies’ or High Commissions’ Economic, Information and Cultural Desks.

That is the standard practice everywhere you go in other countries, but again, sadly for us, our Foreign Missions have not seen this to be worth the attention.

In the neighbouring Ghana here,for instance, where there have been constant altercations with Nigerian traders, during the visit with the Rt. Hon. Speaker Gbajabiamila I was taken aback at the level of disconnect between Nigerians and the High Commission.

The High Commission neither has the record of the number of Nigerians in Ghana nor any such important data. This is not right and this Committee expects to see a change in the new year.

Distinguished Members, Honourable Ministers, ladies and gentlemen, it is my honest belief and conviction that this year’s budget should be a game-changer in the activities and programmes of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The reason for the above is not farfetched. At a time that this budget defence has been preceded by the many interactions that the Committee and the Ministry have had in recent weeks, and coupled with the approval of Mr President of reforms that are aimed at moving the Ministry and the Foreign Missions forward, one expects nothing less than a huge success in the activities and programmes of the Ministry in 2021.

Let me, therefore, on a special note convey the appreciation of this Committee to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for his uncommon magnanimity at approving that set of reforms in the Foreign Affairs Ministry and backing that action with the necessary finances. Our candid expectation from the Ministry is to ensure a wholesome actualisation of Mr President’s kind directive and action.

I cannot end this address without making some copious observations in your budget proposals. But, as our traditions as lawmakers demand, Honourable colleagues, I believe we will have the opportunity to do justice to your findings when the line-by-line consideration of what we have before us comes up.

While we may have pointed out some gross disparities between expenditures and work actually done in the 2020 budget during our oversight visit to the Ministry’s headquarters, our intentions are that,iin line with the vision of the Buhari Administration, assist ourselves and our nation to ensure that every kobo in the budget estimates is judiciously applied in order to achieve the highest intended benefits and utility for our people.

Once again, Honourable colleagues, Ministers, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I thank you all for coming and invite you to make the best of this session.

Rt. Hon. Yusuf Buba Yakub , MHR
Committee Chairman.

Buba Lauds Buhari for Approving N5 Billion to Reposition Foreign Affairs Ministry (Full Text at Budget Defense)

News Rendezvous

Every end of the year, the Legislature mobilises itself to carry out one of the fundamental duties entrusted on us by the electorate and the Constitution. Contrary to perceptions in certain quarters,the Annual Budget Defence process is not just a yearly ritual,but a serious mandate given to us , Parliamentarians, by the good people of this country ,whose very interests we represent, in the well- calculated bid to hold in check the commonwealth of this nation and to ensure proper utilisation of all funds and resources allocated to various Sub- heads in Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government. This is the reason we have gathered here today. This kind of sessions provides us the opportunity to meet with these MDAs to pore through the budget proposals of the coming year.

This year’s exercise, coming at a time that even our nation’s youth are beginning to interrogate governance and question all that are deployed into the security and general well-being of the people, calls for the total commitment of all of us on both the side of lawmakers and on the side of the operators of these budget estimates.

I, therefore, welcome our Honourable colleagues who in the past few weeks have been saddled with the arduous task of ensuring that the hope of the Executive, particularly that of Mr President, who believes that the January-December target for our budget circle is best for our system, is achieved. I thank you for, once again,, rising to this clarion call to duty to carry out this important mandate and duty of the legislator. I urge you, Honourable colleagues, to give today’s task your best shot, knowing full well that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, alongside its Missions abroad, remains the window and mirror through which the global community sees our country, Nigeria,and that the Ministry as it is today needs more than just the efforts of those directly saddled with handling its affairs to make any desired impacts.

I welcome the Honourable Ministers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Permanent Secretary, the entire management and staff of the Ministry and salute you all as the veritable gate- keepers and purveyors of our foreign policy goals and ideals. Much as you have on your own done your bit to offer your services where you have found yourselves these past years since overseeing the Ministry,the truth remains that there has not been any marked departure from the poor value that Nigerians have continued to receive across the world.

Nigeria, as a nation, remains the weeping child of the world; we are buffeted on all sides and our nationals still suffer the very poor fate of carrying the green passport that much part of the world hates to see. The problem may not be about you directly,but there is,in the face of yearly allocations and concomitant spendings,a lacklustre performance in all areas where different indices are seen as parameters for scoring. We feel concerned and worried as a nation that we cannot get our international image to fit into the acceptable model of the international community.

We feel concerned that we do not hear of any programmes from the Ministry targetted at changing these narratives. All we continue to witness daily from Ghana to Gabon, South Africa to Libya is that Nigerians remain at the receiving end of, most times, state-supported violence and all forms of ill-treatment in foreign jurisdictions, including Europe, the Americas and Asia.

Today, as we gather to deliberate upon the figures that will determine the outcome of your efforts for the fiscal year 2021, it is only appropriate for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under your able leadership and our kind partnership to look back at the dying year to assess how we have fared, especially amidst the challenges we confronted with what was allocated to us for the year 2020.

An honest self-assessment, Hon. Ministers, very distinguished colleagues, will offer us the opportunity to see what we can do better in the year ahead. For me, there is no gainsaying the fact that the Foreign Affairs Ministry the way it appears and operates today is hardly the contemplation of its founding fathers.

And in the past few weeks since we have had the opportunity for interaction between the Ministry and us, parliamentarians, we have not hidden our disdain for the level of decay in the system and have also professed the hope that things can get better if we all choose to cooperate to re-enact and re-vitalise the ideals of the founding fathers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.For instance,we are not happy at the things we saw when we undertook our oversight visit to the headquarters.

We must appreciate the concern of Mr. President for approving and making releases of over USD18 Million, over 1 Million Pounds and over N5 Billion to clear off all the existing liabilities in our Foreign Missions and give a new face to the headquarters in order to start ahead on a clean slate in the new year. This is all part of a wider reform approved by Mr. President.

Yet,all we hear and see is that some are said not to be comfortable with the reform and,in fact,are resistant to it. Let us , therefore,warn that we do not want to see business as usual in the coming year. As a Committee,we emphasise that the oversight function of the Ministry will be strengthened in the coming year in order to ensure that the purpose for which every penny is earmarked is achieved. Any group or individual, therefore,that thinks they should tinker with any parts of the reforms,to us,must be making a huge joke of what Mr. President has approved.

We must appreciate his good intentions. And as a Parliament,we will stand and ensure that the Missions are cleaned up to, at least, represent our country’ s image outside the shores of this nation. Our concern is that no single individual or group should be given the opportunity to feel that they are greater than this country.

In the last few years since we took over this Committee of the House, I have had the opportunity to undertake visits to some of our Missions abroad. In spite of what is ,usually, allocated to these Missions, it is worrying that what we have as Embassies and High Commissions are places whose activities are far from what the nation requires of such places. In principle, every Nigerian Embassy should be a mini-Nigeria; a place where information on our country, our economy and our nationals in such a country should be on the fingertips of those who manage such Embassies’ or High Commissions’ Economic, Information and Cultural Desks.

That is the standard practice everywhere you go in other countries, but again, sadly for us, our Foreign Missions have not seen this to be worth the attention.

In the neighbouring Ghana here,for instance, where there have been constant altercations with Nigerian traders, during the visit with the Rt. Hon. Speaker Gbajabiamila I was taken aback at the level of disconnect between Nigerians and the High Commission.

The High Commission neither has the record of the number of Nigerians in Ghana nor any such important data. This is not right and this Committee expects to see a change in the new year.

Distinguished Members, Honourable Ministers, ladies and gentlemen, it is my honest belief and conviction that this year’s budget should be a game-changer in the activities and programmes of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The reason for the above is not farfetched. At a time that this budget defence has been preceded by the many interactions that the Committee and the Ministry have had in recent weeks, and coupled with the approval of Mr President of reforms that are aimed at moving the Ministry and the Foreign Missions forward, one expects nothing less than a huge success in the activities and programmes of the Ministry in 2021.

Let me, therefore, on a special note convey the appreciation of this Committee to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for his uncommon magnanimity at approving that set of reforms in the Foreign Affairs Ministry and backing that action with the necessary finances. Our candid expectation from the Ministry is to ensure a wholesome actualisation of Mr President’s kind directive and action.

I cannot end this address without making some copious observations in your budget proposals. But, as our traditions as lawmakers demand, Honourable colleagues, I believe we will have the opportunity to do justice to your findings when the line-by-line consideration of what we have before us comes up.

While we may have pointed out some gross disparities between expenditures and work actually done in the 2020 budget during our oversight visit to the Ministry’s headquarters, our intentions are that,iin line with the vision of the Buhari Administration, assist ourselves and our nation to ensure that every kobo in the budget estimates is judiciously applied in order to achieve the highest intended benefits and utility for our people.

Once again, Honourable colleagues, Ministers, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I thank you all for coming and invite you to make the best of this session.

Rt. Hon. Yusuf Buba Yakub , MHR
Committee Chairman.