Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says over a million displaced persons in the North-east have been re-united with their loved ones.
Osinbajo’s remarks were conveyed in a statement in Abuja on Sunday by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President.
Akande said that the vice president made the statement at the Passing Out Parade of the 65 Regular Course (Army) and 66 Regular Course (Navy and Air Force) held at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna State, on Saturday.
The statement quoted the vice president as saying that efforts were being made to rebuild communities destroyed by insurgents.
According to Osinbajo, the Buhari administration is also committed to ensuring the release of all persons, including young women and men held in Boko Haram captivity.
“In the last two years, more than a million displaced persons have been reunited with their loved ones, and over 100 of our kidnapped girls from Chibok have regained their freedom after more than two years in captivity, while the plight of the Dapchi Girls was promptly dealt with.
“This is in addition to the thousands of other captives who have since been rescued through special military operations.
“A few days ago, Mr. President spoke personally to the anguished mother of Leah Sharibu, the only Dapchi girl still in Boko Haram captivity.
“All over the North-East, our people are being provided with a chance to begin the urgent task of rebuilding their lives and livelihoods.
“The Federal Government is working with states, the international community, Non-Governmental Organisations and Civil Society Organizations, to help achieve this.”
The vice president, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari as the Special Guest of Honour at the event, noted that the administration had embarked on some crucial changes to modernise the country’s Armed Forces and improve its structure and operational capabilities.
He said that two additional divisions had been created, as well as several new Forward Operating Bases (FOBs), to enhance the strategic, operational and tactical performance of the armed forces in the various theatres of operations.
He said that as part of efforts to modernise Nigerian Armed Forces, the administration had intensified the training and re-training of officers and men in addition to providing new platforms and other resources.
Osinbajo said that the Nigeria Army, for instance, recently acquired Multi Barrel Rocket Launchers (MBRL) and Armoured Vehicles, to improve operational effectiveness as well as attack helicopters for the Nigerian Army Aviation Corps.”
For the Nigerian Navy and Nigeria Air Force the vice president said that the Navy recently inaugurated into its operations, six new Fast Patrol Boats: NNS NGURU, EKULU, SHIRORO, OSE, GONGOLA and CALABAR.
He said that the Nigerian Air Force had just acquired Diamond 40 and 42 aircraft for maritime patrol and intelligence surveillance, Mi-35M attack helicopters, and Augusta 109 Power helicopters for insertion and medical evacuation.”
“A few months ago, the Federal Government completed a deal with the United States Government for the purchase of Super Tucano A-29 aircraft for the Counter Insurgency Operations.
“There are also commendable efforts ongoing to produce military hardware locally, in partnership with foreign and local industries.
“The best-known example of this is the TSAIGUMI, the Nigerian Air Force’s first indigenous operational Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
“Earlier this year, this administration signed into law the Harmonised Terms and Conditions of Service for Officers and Soldiers, to ensure an improvement in the welfare of service personnel.
“Across the services, there have been upgrade of infrastructure – construction of new barracks across the country, renovation of existing ones, construction of medical facilities, and so on.”
The vice president also specially commended the efforts and resilience of members of the Armed Forces for the giant strides recorded so far in the fight against insurgency.
He further said that the ongoing military stabilisation operations in the North East would continue until full normalcy was restored, while efforts would be sustained to ensure security in other parts of the country.
Earlier in his remarks, the commandant of the Academy, Maj.-Gen. Adeniyi Oyebade, thanked the president for his support to the institution.
He noted that the graduating students had fulfilled all the requirements to be commissioned as officers in the armed forces.
Osinbajo was received on arrival at Kaduna International Airport by the Gov. Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state and the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali.
IATA Inaugurates Turbulence Aware Data Resource To Forecast Turbulence
The ability of airlines to forecast and avoid turbulence would now be greatly enhanced as the International Air Transport Association, IATA, has inaugurated a turbulence aware data resource.
IATA said the system would pool and share turbulence date generated by participating airlines. The global body for airlines said before now, airlines had to depend on reports and weather advisories from pilots to offset the impact of turbulence.
IATA says the result would be the first global, real-time, detailed and objective information for pilots and operation’ professionals to manage turbulence.
It is expected that airlines operating in Nigeria would participate and benefit from this new system.
Oil Price Stability Buoys Nigeria’s Budget Benchmark
Nigerian budget benchmark appears buoyed by oil price stability as a result of cuts in production levels to which OPEC members have agreed.
The benchmark of sixty dollars was eroded by sustained drops in price. The high for the year was eighty-six dollars which dropped to about fifty-eight dollars last week.
It rebounded to sixty-two dollars per barrel last week, just as the federal executive council was to hold an emergency meeting on how the price drops would affect the Nigerian budget.
Opec countries had agreed to reduce daily production by eight hundred thousand barrels, while non-OPEC members decided to reduce production by four hundred thousand barrels per day.
CBN And MTN Plan To Settle $8b Rift Out Of Court
It seems as though the Central Bank of Nigeria and telco giant, MTN, are trying to find ways of resolving the $8 billion rift between them. One of MTN’s lawyers is quoted as saying they are making moves toward an out-of-court settlement.
Meanwhile, counsels for both parties have secured another adjournment until late January.
Another $2 billion case involving MTN and the Nigerian attorney general’s office was adjourned as well last week until early January. This case is related to alleged back taxes owed by MTN. The telco giant has denied it owed the taxes.
The $8 billion case was a result of a charge against MTN for allegedly violating Nigeria’s extant laws. In August, Central Bank of Nigeria sanctioned MTN Nigeria for allegedly using irregular certificates of capital importation to transfer $8.1 billion to South Africa on behalf of its offshore investors.
MTN is being asked to return the $8.1 billion to Nigeria.
Mtn group’s Nigerian operations account for one-third of its entire African market share.
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