President Muhammadu Buhari in the course of the week extended the ongoing fight against corruption to the nation’s education sector to demand accountability in the administration of academic institutions.
This, he said, has become imperative to address corrupt practices in the institutions.
He said that corruption in education sector had continued to undermine investments.
The president stated this while declaring open the Fourth National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector at the State House, Abuja, on Tuesday.
The Summit was organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Office of Secretary to Government of the Federation (OSGF) and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
Buhari expressed concern over the manifestation of various forms of corruption in the education sector.
He presided over the virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday where the Council endorsed the 2023 budget proposal for onward presentation to the National Assembly.
Buhari also on Wednesday hosted Gov. Duoye Diri of Bayelsa, where he pledged to address three major requests tabled by the governor with “promptness and immediacy.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the president also met behind closed doors with former President Goodluck Jonathan, immediately after his engagement with Diri.
NAN reports that the agenda of the meeting between the president and Jonathan, also an indigene of Bayelsa, was unknown to newsmen at the time of filing this report.
Also on Wednesday, the Presidency dismissed accusations on social media by the presidential candidate of the Labour Party’s Peter Obi claims that some of his supporters, known as “Obidients”, have been “silently arrested” were unfounded.
A source in the State House, who spoke under condition of anonymity, said both the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the Department of State Services (DSS) have officially confirmed that no such arrests whatsoever had been affected.
According to the source, neither “silent arrests”, nor for that matter “open arrests” – have been made of any of Obi’s supporters.
On the same day, Buhari expressed his happiness and satisfaction, and that of the entire nation with the military as well as other security agencies on the safe release of the remaining 23 kidnapped Abuja-Kaduna train passengers.
The affected passengers were held in captivity by Boko Haram terrorists over six months ago.
The president addressed the Passing out Parade and Commissioning Ceremony of Cadets of 69 Regular Course (Army, Navy and Air Force) of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), in Kaduna on Thursday.
At the event, Buhari directed the Service Chiefs to replicate the successes recorded in the fight against insurgency in the North East in other parts of the country.
The president listed comprehensive and systematic acquisitions by his administration within seven years, describing them as unprecedented in the past 38 years of the Nigerian military.
Buhari, who again commended the military for the safe release of the remaining 23 victims of the March 28 Abuja-Kaduna train attack on Wednesday, met with the freed passengers at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) hospital in Kaduna.
The president made an impromptu visit to the hospital to see the victims of the train attack after inaugurating Cadets of 69 Regular Course (Army, Navy and Air Force) of the NDA, in Afaka, Kaduna State, on Thursday.
Before boarding NAF 001 back to Abuja from the Kaduna International Airport, Buhari detoured to the hospital, where he also thanked the Nigerian military for their brave services in securing the safe release of the hostages.
The president’s special write-up was also featured in the Financial Times of London, where he expressed the happiness of Nigerians by the news this summer that 72 artefacts, known as the Benin Bronzes, held by the Horniman Museum in London were returning home, 125 years after being plundered by British troops.
”The clamour for repatriation of looted treasures is becoming irresistible.
”There was once a similar clamour for the return of Africa’s stolen assets, and I see both as part of the same struggle to bring back to Nigeria what is rightfully ours.
”Siphoned from the continent by corrupt former leaders, countless billions remain stashed in western bank accounts.
”Although Nigeria has inarguably been the most successful among African nations in securing the return of stolen money, it has recovered only a fraction of what remains in the west,” he said in the article also published by some local media outfits on Thursday.
On Oct. 7, Buhari met with the leadership of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum over the reported cases of flood across the country.
The president encouraged the governors to meet with the Minister of Water Resources to fashion out solutions to the problem.
The meeting was attended by the outgoing Chairman of NGF, Dr Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, the incoming Interim Chairman, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, and the Interim Deputy Chairman, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi.
The governors had told the president that lives had been lost, and homes and farmlands washed away in states like Kogi, Yobe, Jigawa, and many others.
Buhari hosted Mr Michael Lodge, Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Friday.
Lodge was in Abuja to attend a workshop on Africa’s Deep Sea Resources in Abuja.
Also on Friday, President Buhari unveiled a budget of N20.51 trillion for the 2023 fiscal year at a joint session of the National Assembly (NASS).
According to the president, the 2023 budget will be his last budget to be laid before the NASS as the second tenure of his administration expires on May 29, 2023.
NAN reports that the budget will also be the last for the consideration and approval of the 9th NASS.
He described the 2023 appropriation bill as a budget of fiscal sustainability and transition.
The president said: “A total expenditure of N20.51 trillion is proposed for the Federal Government in 2023. This includes 2.42 trillion Naira spending by Government-Owned Enterprises.
“The proposed N20.51 trillion 2023 expenditure comprises: Statutory Transfers of N744.11 billion; Non-debt Recurrent Costs of N8.27 trillion; Personnel Costs of N4.99 trillion; Pensions, Gratuities and Retirees’ Benefits of N854.8 billion.
”It also includes Overheads of N1.11 trillion and Capital Expenditure of N5.35 trillion, including the capital component of Statutory Transfers; Debt Service of N6.31 trillion; and sinking Fund of N247.73 billion to retire certain maturing bonds.
“We expect total fiscal operations of the Federal Government to result in a deficit of 10.78 trillion Naira.’’
Buhari ended the week with a goodwill message to Muslims on the occasion of Maulud to celebrate the birthday of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The president urged Muslims to “practice the noble and shining virtues of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
He explained, “the prophet became famous for his life of humility, justice and fairness,” saying that, “the best way to honour him is to follow his good examples.”