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Posts tagged ‘Vice President of the United States’

Tackle poverty, insecurity; take not Nigerians for granted – Atiku warns.


Atiku02

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has raised the alarm over poverty rate in the country, calling on the Federal Government to rise up to the task of governance.According to him, elected and appointed officials must be proactive in tackling issues affecting the people, as they have exercised enough patience with successive administrations.In a New Year message by his Media Office in Abuja on Monday, Atiku, while congratulating Nigerians, thanked God for keeping the nation together despite its myriad of security, political and socio-economic challenges.“Despite our challenges in the area of security, infrastructure, politics and economy, I am grateful to God for keeping us together as one,” he said.“It is my hope that we all will face the future of our country with confidence and fervent hope that God will grant us the better tomorrow we are working for.”The Turaki Admawa, urged leaders at different levels to brace up to the challenges of nation-building and economic prosperity for the nation and its people.Continuing, Atiku noted that “With hard work and dedication, elected leaders and public servants can rise to the expected challenges of national development and economic prosperity to redress the deepening poverty of ordinary Nigerians in 2014.“Public office holders should not take the magnanimity of the Nigerian people for granted,” he added.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Namadi Sambo’s Furniture, House Upgrade Gulp N2.1 Billion In Four Years-PREMIUM TIMES.


By Ini Ekott

Vice President Namadi Sambo is spending a fortune to furnish and upgrade his official residence and guest house, two projects costing N2.1 billion and lingering since his election alongside President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011.

In three years leading up to 2013, the government has spent a minimum of N300 million annually to furnish and upgrade the vice president’s residence and guest house, according to past and present federal budgets.

The biggest spending -N900 million- for the upgrade and furnishing was done in 2011.

That year alone, N500 million was channelled into acquiring, upgrading and furnishing the vice president’s guest house at Aguda House, while a separate N400 million was spent on purchasing some more furniture and extending the vice president’s lounge there.

In 2012, the government spent additional N437.1 million for the “upgrading and furnishing” of the same guest house, and squandered additional N112 million solely on “household equipment” for Mr. Sambo’s residence.

The installation of Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) facilities at the residence, was completed at a whopping N202 million.

This year, the vice president’s Aguda guest house and his residence were furnished at a relatively modest N75.7 million, while landscaping at the residence alone was done at N26 million.

A new guest house for Mr. Sambo, at Yakubu Gowon crescent, Asokoro, was also given N170.7 million worth of furniture.

It could not be immediately confirmed how much of the proposed works have been implemented after spending more than N2 billion, an amount enough to furnish at least 200 primary schools where pupils attend classes under tree shades and sit on bare floors.

Such school furnishings are estimated at an average N10 million per school in the federal budgets.

Used differently, the amount can provide water in at least 200 Nigerian communities, based on the same budgetary estimates of N10 million community water scheme.

Despite the huge funding already, the government has made new allocations for the project for 2014, with the likelihood of even more spending for the vice president’s furniture and upgrading coming in 2015.

If the National Assembly approves a new budget proposal submitted by President Jonathan, as it likely would since previous furniture allocations for Mr. Sambo were not blocked, then the government will spend an extra N123 million on Mr. Sambo’s new guest house at Yakubu Gowon crescent.

Taxpayers will also buy kitchen utensils worth N8 million for the vice president.

The total N2.1 billion for furnishing and upgrading is far ahead of government’s allocation for some key road projects within the same period.

The obscene allocations for Mr. Sambo’s home and guest houses follows a trend that has seen the government repeatedly channel more funds for the convenience of public office holders while key projects suffer.

While the government claims it was cutting the cost of governance to address dwindling revenues and mounting developmental needs, it has for years continued to direct scarce funds for the luxury of its officials, providing them with exotic cars, homes, and other perks while more than half of Nigerians live on less than a dollar per day.

The presidency is one of the biggest beneficiaries of that anomaly.

In 2012, the presidency budgeted N1 billion for feeding, and half a billion naira for cars for President Jonathan and Vice President Sambo.

The car purchase was suspended after public outrage following media reports.

Mr. Sambo’s office has become notorious for some of the administration’s most outlandish spending. The cars the vice president was to receive would have been his second set in two years, having already spent N323 million on cars in 2011.

Also in 2012, the Federal Capital Territory Administration raised an already outrageous N7 billion for the construction of a home for the vice president by adding extra N9 billion to make it N16 billion.

The National Assembly finally blocked that request.

The furnishing and upgrading for the vice president was also listed in 2010, but under relatively modest subheads. The extension of the VP lounge, proposed for N207 million in 2012, was N30 million in 2010.
Furniture/household items
Upgrade
Total

2011
Acquisition, upgrading & furnishing of VP’s guest house at AgudaN400 million

Extension of VP lounge at Aguda house + furnishing of Aguda houseN500 million

N900 million

2012
1.       Purchase of household equipment & materials for VP’s residence  N112 million

2.       Acquisition, upgrading & furnishing of VP’s guest house at Aguda

N230 million

3.       Extension of VP lounge at Aguda house + furnishing of Aguda houseN207.1 million

4.       Installation of UPS facilities at the Vice President’s residence

N202 million
N751.1 million

2013
1.       Furnishing of the new vice president’s guest house at 41 Yakubu Gowon crescent, AsokoroN170.7 million

2.       Furnishing of ancillary offices at Aguda house and new vice president’s residence

N75.7 million

3.       Landscaping of new VP’s residence    N25.9 million

 

Remodelling of the new Vice President’s guest house at #41 Yakubu Gowon Crescent AsokoroN120 million

N392.3 million

2014

1.       Remodelling of the new Vice President’s guest house at #41 Yakubu Gowon Crescent Asokoro N115 million

2.       Purchase of household and kitchen equipment for VP’s residenceN8 million

N123 million

 
Grand totalN2.17 billion

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

NLC berates FG over dependence on oil.


oil

Vice President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Issa Aremu, has said it is saddening that 53 years after Nigeria’s independence, the country still relied on oil as the mainstay of its economy.
Aremu, who made the statement at a press conference yesterday, said it was high time the country diversified into sectors such as automobile, food and beverages, regretting that one of the problems with the nation was the reliance on crude oil as the major source of revenue.
“The point I want to raise is that 53 years after independence, it is sad that we still rely on crude oil. The fundamental of our budget still rely on one source of revenue which is oil. I think I want to say next year the Federal Government should redouble its effort to make sure we add value through manufacturing sector. The only way to do so is for us to do as much as possible, to revive the industries not just the textiles but the automobile, food and beverages.
“There is a report that came out last week in a business newspaper that close to 130 companies have closed down in Nigeria. So, while our government is talking of direct foreign investment coming to Nigeria, we should make the point that the domestic investment is actually dying and you cannot create jobs if there are no industries. In fact, for us to solve the problem of unemployment is for us to add value to our natural resources and raw materials and process them into manufactured products.
“This is where I think government has taken a bold decision on the new automotive policy which is to restrict the whole sale importation of imported second hand vehicles. We hope this will give an incentive for domestic assembly plants to return to business such as Peugeot, Volkswagen, ANAMCO in Anambra.”

Source: Radio Biafra.

Paul Ryan: Keep Conservative Debate Within ‘Family’.


Image: Paul Ryan: Keep Conservative Debate Within 'Family'

By Newsmax Wires

Rep. Paul Ryan says he was frustrated with conservative groups that protested the bipartisan budget deal he helped engineer.

The House Budget Committee chairman tells NBC’sMeet the Press” that these groups are “very important elements” of the conservative movement. But the Wisconsin Republican says such discussions should be kept “within the family.”

Ryan says he and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio were frustrated that the groups voiced opposition to the budget agreement before it had been reached.

The 2012 GOP vice presidential candidate says he shares the same goals as the groups — trying to balance the budget and pay off debts without raising taxes. But Ryan says they sometimes differ on tactics.

Ryan says the compromise agreement is an important first step.

“Government has to function, and we saw the specter of two possible government shutdowns in 2014, one in January and one in October,” Ryan said. “It’s not good for the country. It adds more instability to the economy.”

The budget deal, likely to win Senate approval this week following House passage on Dec. 12, would avoid a partial government shutdown when spending authority expires Jan. 15. It funds the government for the 2014 fiscal year that began Oct.1 and for the 2015 fiscal year.

The agreement lessens the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration by $40 billion in the 2014 budget and by $20 billion in fiscal 2015. It sets spending at about $1.01 trillion for this fiscal year, higher than the $967 billion required in a 2011 deal that set sequestration in place.

The deal would cut the deficit by $23 billion and cancel planned cuts to doctors’ Medicare reimbursement rates. It doesn’t extend emergency benefits for 1.3 million unemployed workers.

“Getting a budget agreement that reduces the deficit without raising taxes and prevents two government shutdowns from occurring in 2014, in my opinion, is the right thing to do and it’s a good thing to do,” Ryan said on NBC.

Shutdown’s Impact

A 16-day partial shutdown starting Oct. 1 resulted from an impasse between President Barack Obama and Republicans who demanded changes to his 2010 health-care law as a condition for funding government operations. The shutdown took at least $24 billion out of the U.S. economy, according to Standard & Poor’s.

The budget agreement was crafted by a bipartisan committee led by Ryan and Senator Patty Murray, a Washington state Democrat.

“One of the things we had to learn to do is to listen to each other and to respect each other and to trust each other,” Murray, who leads the Senate Budget Committee, said on the NBC program.

Some of Ryan’s fellow Republicans balked at the deal because of the additional spending it allows by easing the automatic cuts. Still, the Republican-controlled House passed the accord 322-94, with majority support from both parties. The Democratic-led Senate will begin considering the measure on Dec. 17, with a final vote later in the week.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada predicted strong Democratic support for the budget deal.

“We’ll get our votes,” Reid said in an interview for Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt” airing this weekend. “It would be suicide if the Republicans didn’t pass it,” Reid said.

The White House supports the bill, according to a statement of administration policy released Dec. 11.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Obasanjo’s Letter To Jonathan: Atiku Urges Elders To Speak Up.


 

former Vice president Abubakar Atiku
By Saharareporters, New York

Former Nigeria Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has called on the country’s leaders consulted by former President Olusegun Obasanjo before the publication of his letter to President Goodluck Jonathan which was published on Wednesday to intervene and reduce the tension created by the weighty allegations contained in it.

In a statement issued by his media office in Abuja, the former Vice President said although he was not competent to speak on the letter because he was not privy to the communication, he was nervous about the allegations like every other Nigerian and that those elders mentioned by Obasanjo had a moral duty to add their voices to the issue.

According to Atiku, the allegations were too disturbing to be treated with apathy by any political stakeholder like him. He said at a moment of national anxiety or uncertainty, leaders across the country should rise to the occasion and reassure fellow Nigerians about the future.

He explained that at a time the rest of the world was looking at Nigeria as a beacon of hope for stability, the content of Obasanjo’s letter should be urgently addressed by former leaders and elders.
Former Vice President Abubakar said with the attention of Nigerians focused on the 2015 elections, there was the urgent need to reassure Nigerians.

“Our priorities for Nigeria are forging lasting solutions to our chronic unemployment, providing safety and security for all, and vastly improving our failing education systems. President Jonathan’s government has consistently failed to address these critical concerns,” Atiku said.

“That said, it is on record that I have firmly fought for a democracy where the voters choose their future leaders, not political party bosses. If the incumbent President insists on continuing to destroy his own party with vindictive internal wars and thinks his record of rising youth unemployment, never-ending violence, corruption and scandals is worthy of another term, then he is welcome to run. We are confident Nigerians will exercise their democratic right to choose new leadership in 2015,” he said.

The former Vice President said with the attention of Nigerians focused on the 2015 elections, there was the urgent need to reassure the people.

Atiku explained that the President was free to run his government without interference, but said sometimes even sitting Presidents needed outside constructive interventions to move the country forward.

Palin: ‘Read My Lipstick:’ Budget Deal Bad.


Image: Palin: 'Read My Lipstick:' Budget Deal Bad

By Lisa Barron

Sarah Palin is lashing out at the controversial Ryan-Murray budget deal that passed by a large margin in the House but faces a tough battle on the Senate floor next week.

“No one can argue with the fact that Paul Ryan’s compromise budget bill raises taxes and increases spending. Show me one Republican who got elected on that platform,” the former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee wrote in an editorial posted online at Breitbart.com Thursday.

“Spare America the Orwellian word games. If the government is taking money out of your pocket to fund its growing Big Brother operations, it’s a tax. Whether money is taken from you via your phone bill, your airline ticket, or your income, it’s a tax. If politicians can’t be honest about this, it’s time to go home,” she said.

The budget compromise funds a slight increase in spending through a fee on air travel, a change to cost-of-living increases for future military retirees, and a requirement for federal workers to pay more into their pensions.

In her commentary, titled, “Read My Lipstick: No New Taxes,” Palin argued, “We can sit back and accept the increased spending ‘Compromised Plan’ with increases in taxes and spending, or we can charge ahead to at least preserve the very modest Sequester cuts American workers fought for.”

She continued, “The Political establishment will no doubt tell us that a budget battle will distract us from the fight against Obamacare. But that excuse is just the latest variation in the Establishment’s old canard that they’re keeping their powder dry for the next big battle, which never seems to materialize because they’re always too busy waving the white flag and following the path of least resistance until election day.”

“Do these members of Congress really think they can justify every tax dollar they spend and still demand more from hard working Americans?” Palin added.

In a warning to incumbents facing reelection in 2014, Palin concluded, “We’ll be watching.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Palin: Accepts Bashir’s Apology, Will ‘Move On’.


Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin said her role is to accept the apology of MSNBC commentator Martin Bashir, and move on after his crude verbal on-air attack.

“My role is to accept his apology, and be humble enough to accept it, and move on,” Palin told “Fox & Friends” Thursday, in her first public response after MSNBC announced Bashir’s resignation Wednesday.

Story continues below video.

The network originally suspended Bashir after comments he made Nov. 15 calling Palin a “world class idiot.” He also made a reference to disgusting punishment given slaves, suggesting Palin should receive the same treatment. Bashir issued an apology a few days after making the remarks.

Palin, who was also the Republican 2008 vice presidential candidate, said she hopes attacks such as Bashir’s don’t “make people hesitate” from taking a chance and getting involved.

“I just hope that unprovoked attacks like that don’t result in people being hesitant to jump in the arena, anyway — to get out there and serve the public or start a business or really commit themselves to changing within their family, their community, their world, doing whatever that they can,” Palin said.

The positive side of the issue was the media response calling for an emphasis on higher standards, Palin said.

“It was refreshing to see, though, that many in the media did come out and say, ‘Look, our standards have got to be higher than this. Those with that platform, with a microphone, a camera in their face, they have to have some more responsibility taken,'” she said.

From years in the public spotlight, Palin said she was “used to it,” but that verbal attacks represented “a sad state of affairs.”

“Now, I look at it as kind of par for the course,” she said.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 

By Wanda Carruthers

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