All Praise is due to GOD Almighty Who spared our lives to be present at this great occasion. We give thanks also that the democratic process has been further entrenched and strengthened.
2.Twenty years ago, a democratically elected government took over from the military in a historic transfer of political power for our country.
3.Today, we are privileged to mark the longest period of unbroken democratic leadership and 5th peaceful transfer of power from one democratically elected government to another in Nigeria.
4.Throughout the last four years, I respected the independence of INEC. I ensured that INEC got all the resources it needed for independent and impartial management of elections in the country.
5. All interested parties are agreed that the recent elections, which except for pockets of unrest, were free, fair and peaceful.
6.I thank all the people who worked for our party, who campaigned and who voted for us.I thank my fellow Nigerians, who, since 2003 have consistently voted for me.
7.Victory is your greatest reward; peace, unity and greater prosperity will be our collective legacy.Your Excellencies, Fellow Nigerians,
8.I and Nigerians collectively must give adequate thanks to our Armed Forces, Police and other law enforcing agencies for working round the clock to protect us by putting themselves in harm’s way and defending our values and protecting our future.
9.Terrorism and insecurity are worldwide phenomena and even the best policed countries are experiencing increasing incidents of unrest and are finding things hard to cope.
10. The principal thrust of this new Administration is to consolidate on the achievements of the last four years, correct the lapses inevitable in all human endeavors and tackle the new challenges the country is faced with and chart a bold plan for transforming Nigeria.
11. Fellow Nigerians, I have had the privilege of free education from Primary school to Staff College to War College.
12. I received my formative education in Katsina and Kaduna and my higher education in England, India and the United States.
13. I have worked and served in Kaduna, Lagos, Abeokuta, Makurdi, Port Harcourt, Maiduguri, Ibadan, Jos and finally here in Abuja. Throughout my adult life, I have been a public servant. I have no other career but public service. I know no service but public service.
14.I was involved at close quarters in the struggle to keep Nigeria one. I can therefore do no more than dedicate the rest of my life to work for the unity of Nigeria and upliftment of Nigerians.
15. In 2002-2003 campaigns and elections, I travelled by road to 34 of the 36 states of the Federation. This year I travelled by air to all 36 states of the Federation.
16. Before and during my time in the Armed Forces and in government, I have interacted with Nigerians of all ages and persuasions and different shades of opinion over a period of more than fifty years.
17. And my firm belief is that our people above all want to live in peace and harmony with their fellow Nigerians. They desire opportunity to better themselves in a safe environment.
18. Most of the instances of inter-communal and inter-religious strife and violence were and are still as a result of sponsorship or incitements by ethnic, political or religious leaders hoping to benefit by exploiting our divisions and fault lines, thereby weakening our country.
19. And our country Nigeria is a great country. According to United Nations estimates, our population will rise to 411 million by 2050, making us the third most populous nation on earth behind only China and India.
20. We have water, arable land, forests, oil and gas and vast quantities of solid minerals. We are blessed with an equable climate. However, the bulk of our real wealth lies in Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry and Mining. We possess all the ingredients of a major economic power on the world stage.
21. What we require is the will to get our acts together. And our strength is in our people – our youth, our culture, our resilience, our ability to succeed despite the odds.
22. A huge responsibility therefore rests on this and succeeding Administrations to develop, harness and fulfil our enormous potential into a force to be reckoned with globally.
23. Thus far, we Nigerians can be proud of our history since Independence in 1960. We have contributed to UN peace-keeping responsibilities all over the world; we have stabilized Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and two years ago we prevented the Gambia from degenerating into anarchy.
24. Without Nigerian influence and resources, the liberation of Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and ultimately South Africa would have come at greater cost. This fact had been attested by none other than the late Nelson Mandela himself.
25. Elsewhere, Nigeria is the Big Brother to our neighbours. We are the shock-absorber of the West African sub-region, the bulwark of ECOWAS and Lake Chad Basin Commission. We can therefore be proud to be Nigerians. We must continue to be Good Neighbours and Good Global Citizens.
26. At home, we have been successful in forging a nation from different ethnicities and language groups: our evolution and integration into one nation continues apace.
27. When, therefore we came to office in 2015 after a decade of struggle we identified three cardinal and existential challenges our country faced and made them our campaign focus, namely security, economy and fighting corruption.
28. None but the most partisan will dispute that in the last four years we have made solid progress in addressing these challenges.
29. When I took the oath of office on 29 May 2015, insecurity reigned. Apart from occupying 18 local governments in the North East, Boko Haram could at will attack any city including the Federal Capital, could threaten any institution including bombing the United Nations building and Police Headquarters in Abuja.
30. Admittedly, some of the challenges still remain in kidnappings and banditry in some rural areas. The great difference between 2015 and today is that we are meeting these challenges with much greater support to the security forces in terms of money, equipment and improved local intelligence. We are meeting these challenges with superior strategy, firepower and resolve.
31. In face of these challenges, our Government elected by the people in 2015 and re-elected in March has been mapping out policies, measures and laws to maintain our unity and at the same time lift the bulk of our people out of poverty and onto the road to prosperity.
32. This task is by no means unattainable. China has done it. India has done it. Indonesia has done it. Nigeria can do it. These are all countries characterized by huge burdens of population.
33. China and Indonesia succeeded under authoritarian regimes. India succeeded in a democratic setting. We can do it.
34. With leadership and a sense of purpose, we can lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
35. Following the 60 percent drop in oil prices between 2015 and 2016, through monetary and fiscal measures, we stimulated economic growth, curbed inflation and shored up our external reserves.
36.We now have witnessed 8 quarters of positive growth in the economy and our GDP is expected to grow by 2.7 percent this year.
37. Furthermore, our external reserves have risen to $45 billion enough to finance over 9 months of current import commitments.
38.This Administration is laying the foundation and taking bold steps in transforming our country and liberating our people from the shackles of poverty.
39.First, we will take steps to integrate rural economies to the national economic “grid” by extending access to small-scale credits and inputs to rural farmers, credit to rural micro-businesses and opening up many critical feeder roads.
40.Secondly, for small-scale enterprises in towns and cities, we shall expand facilities currently available so that we continue to encourage and support domestic production of basic goods and reduce our reliance of imported goods as I will outline later.
41.For the next four years, we will remain committed to improving the lives of people by consolidating efforts to address these key issues as well as emerging challenges of climate change, resettling displaced communities and dealing decisively with the new flashes of insecurity across the country, and the impacts on food scarcity and regional stability.
42.We are not daunted by the enormity of the tasks ahead. Instead, we are revived by this new mandate to work collaboratively with State and Local Governments, Legislators, the Diplomatic Corps and all Nigerians to rebuild and reposition our country as the heartbeat and reference point for our continent.
43. Fellow Nigerians, Your Excellencies, Ladies & Gentlemen:
a.Despite the enormous resources pledged to infrastructure development these past four years, there remains the urgent need to modernize our roads and bridges, electricity grid, ports and rail systems.
b.Whilst agriculture and industrial output have recovered since the recession, we are more committed than ever to work with the private sector to improve productivity and accelerate economic growth.
c.The Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index which is the gauge of manufacturing activity in the country has also risen for 26 consecutive months since March 2017 indicating continuous growth and expansion in our manufacturing sector.
d.It still takes too long for goods to clear at our seaports and the roads leading to them are congested. It still takes too long for routine and regulatory approvals to be secured. These issues affect our productivity and we are committed to addressing them permanently.
e.Our Government will continue work to reduce social and economic inequality through targeted social investment programs, education, technology and improved information.
f.Our social intervention programs are a model for other nations. Together with state governments, we provide millions of school children with meals in primary schools, micro loans to traders and entrepreneurs, skills and knowledge acquisition support to graduates and of course, conditional cash transfers to the poorest and most vulnerable in our society.
g. A database of poor and vulnerable households is being carefully built based on age, gender, disability, educational levels for proper planning in this Administration’s war against poverty.
h. A database of unemployed but qualified youth has also been developed under the National Social Investment Programme which can be used by the public and private sectors for recruitment purposes. Cumulatively, nearly 2 million beneficiaries have received aid under this Programme apart from Anchors Borrowers Programme and School Feeding initiative each reaching 2 million recipients. And we will do more. Much more.
44. Fellow Nigerians, Your Excellencies, Ladies & Gentlemen, we know that there exists a strong correlation between economic inequality and insecurity.
45. When economic inequality rises, insecurity rises. But when we actively reduce inequality through investments in social and hard infrastructure, insecurity reduces.
46. The disturbing increase in rates of kidnapping, banditry and other criminal activities can be attributed to the decades of neglect and corruption in social investment, infrastructure development, education and healthcare.
47. This issue is further compounded by the impact of our changing climate and ecology.
48. The ECOWAS and Sahel regions, starting from Chad all the way to Mali, are also experiencing adverse impacts of drought and desertification, which have triggered waves of human displacement; conflicts between farmers and herdsmen; terrorism; and a fundamental socio-economic change to our way of life.
49. These issues are regional and not unique to Nigeria alone. The problems call for increased regional and international cooperation in developing a sustainable solution.
50. As Chairman of ECOWAS, I will be hosting a regional security summit of heads of states in the Sahel to develop a Joint Strategy to continue our efforts in addressing these issues.
51. Fellow Nigerians, Your Excellencies, Ladies & Gentlemen, at the heart of inequality and insecurity, is pervasive corruption. When we took office we realised that if you fight corruption, corruption will fight back – and we have seen this at all levels.
52. For Nigeria to progress, a collective resolution to address corruption and foster broad-based prosperity is required to create a country that is not only for a few privileged, but for all Nigerians.
53. This charge is not only to Civil Servants, Ministers, Legislators and State Government functionaries, but also to Corporate leaders.
54. We shall make greater investments in our rural economies. We shall aggressively source locally our raw materials.
55. We have incentives for investments specifically made in rural communities.
56. However, nationwide development cannot occur from Abuja alone; it must occur at States. And Government cannot do it alone.
57. I therefore implore all State Governments, especially those with large rural economies, to aggressively solicit investments in your states. Invest in developing human capital, reducing bureaucracy and corruption, hosting and attending investment summits and improving the ease of doing business.
58. At this point, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the entrepreneurs, investors and venture capitalists who have built or are building agro-processing projects; petrochemical plants; crude oil and solid mineral refineries; energy exploration; software development projects; telecom infrastructure; health, education and manufacturing projects; and the like, across our country.
59. I would like to make special mention to promoters of our small businesses that are proudly making goods and services for export and for local consumption. The Nigerian economy rises and falls on the strength of your investments and productivity.
60. We will continue to listen to your ideas and plans not just about how we can secure more investment, but how your plans can help create a more equitable economy.
61. I also thank the labour unions, farmer groups and associations, organized private sector and the civil society organisations for their support and cooperation with our government these last four years.
62. We will continue to count on your support, guidance and understanding during the next four years.
63. I especially thank our traditional leaders and congratulate re-elected and newly elected State Governors and members of the National Assembly. Our Government will continue to count on your support so that we can together move our country forward.
64. Fellow Nigerians, Your Highnesses, Your Excellencies, Ladies & Gentlemen, despite the challenges over the last four years, my optimism about Nigeria’s future is unshaken and Nigeria’s role in the world as an emerging economic force is without a doubt.
65. Over the next four years, we are committed to assembling a strong team of Nigerians, and allies, to implement our transformative plans and proposals.
a. We will see significant focus, resource and, where necessary reform, in tertiary and technical education to reposition Nigeria’s workforce for the modern technological age.
b. We will accelerate investments in primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare programs, interventions and infrastructure as well as in upgrading of our medical personnel to stem the flight of our best trained people.
c. On food security, our farmers have made great strides in local production of rice, maize, cassava, poultry, fertilizer, fisheries and sesame. We remain resolute in supporting private sector in emphasizing backward integration and export expansion plans.
d. Felling of trees to provide energy for domestic use is taking its toll on our rain forests, our ecology and our climate. Accordingly, we are taking steps to harness cleaner and more sustainable sources of electricity. We export over 2 million tons of cooking gas, yet we consume less than half a million tons.
e. We will work to address this issue and support rural communities with challenges of safely switching from firewood to cooking gas.
f. Dedicated agro-industrial processing zones will be developed on a PPP basis to increase farming yields, agricultural productivity and industrial output.
g. Over 2,000 kilometers of ongoing Federal road and bridge projects across the country will be completed to reduce journey times and the cost of doing business. As I mentioned earlier, critical feeder roads will be built to facilitate easier transportation for people and goods from rural areas to major roads.
h. We are at advanced stages of securing investments to modernize and expand our transmission and distribution infrastructure, ensuring that electricity is available and affordable for all Nigerians.
i. Several rail, seaport and airport projects are at various stages of completion. We will open the arteries of transportation nationwide.
j. It is a fact that Nigeria has more gas reserves than it has oil. Over the last four years, we have become a net exporter of urea, which is made from natural gas. We invite investors to develop more natural gas-based petrochemical projects.
k. Fellow Nigerians, This Government will not tolerate actions by any individual or groups of individuals who seek to attack our way of life or those who seek to corruptly enrich themselves at the expense of the rest of us. We will crack down on those who incite ordinary innocent people to violence and unrest.
l. We will ensure that such actions are met with the strong arm of the law.
66. Nation building takes time. But we must take solace in the knowledge that this country, our country, has everything we require to make Nigeria prosper.
67. Fellow Nigerians, Your Highnesses, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, I invite you to join me in this journey of rebuilding our nation.
68. Our focus will not be to help the privileged few but to ensure that Nigeria works for Nigerians of all persuasions. That is a more just arrangement.
69. As we all know, correcting injustice is a pre-requisite for peace and unity. As part of the process of healing and reconciliation, I approved the recognition of June 12 as Democracy Day and invested the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola and Babagana Kingibe with National Honours, as I did with the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi. The purpose was to partially atone for the previous damage done in annulling the Presidential elections of that year.
70. Today, I propose the re-naming of the Abuja National Stadium. Henceforth it will be called MOSHOOD ABIOLA NATIONAL STADIUM.
71.In my first term, we put Nigeria back on its feet. We are working again despite a difficult environment in oil on which we depend too much for our exports. We encountered huge resistance from vested interests who do not want CHANGE, But CHANGE has come, we now must move to the NEXT LEVEL.
72.By the Grace of God, I intend to keep the oath I have made today and to serve as President for all Nigerians
73.I thank you for attending this august occasion from far and near, and for all your best wishes to me, to our party and to Nigeria.
74.God bless us all, and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Google Earmarks $25m for Women Empowerment in Africa
By Ahmed Rahma
The charitable arm of a tech giant, Google, has called on non-profit organisations and social enterprises creating pathways to prosperity for girls and women to apply for mentorship and support from its company as well as up to $2m in funding.
The company made the call to tackle gender inequality in line with the International Women’s Day celebration, celebrated all over the world today.
The Impact Challenge for Women and Girls will commit $25 million to fund organisations that are “creating pathways to prosperity for women and girls”, the tech giant said.
Google.org’s president, Jacquelline Fuller, said the COVID-19 crisis has been “particularly devastating” to women.
According to a report, last week by PwC’s Women in Work Index, progress for women in work could be back to 2017 levels by the end of this year due to the impact of the pandemic.
Fuller said the new challenge is an opportunity to go out in the world and find the best ideas on how to advance economic opportunities for women and girls.
“We want to understand what you think could be the real inflection point along some of these pathways,” she said.
“Google is going to come alongside those winners and provide resources, which we know is what non-profits and social enterprises need the most.”
The chosen organisations will receive funding of between $300,000 and $2 million as well as technical expertise from Google employees.
To be part of the challenge, the company stated that the four areas of focus for applicants are how their idea can help women, how innovative the idea is, how feasible or realistic it is, and whether or not the idea is scalable.
“We are looking for ideas that are grounded in reality, do have a solid track record, but are innovative, new ideas that are really scalable,” said Fuller.
“We also want to make sure that we’re really leaning into equity on this project. We’re really looking for how we [can] help women and girls who are most disadvantaged.”
Applications will be judged by an expert panel that includes the first US national youth poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú Tum and former Irish President Mary Robinson.
“We have a full range of people who understand what it takes to be successful,” said Fuller.
It further disclosed that applications are open for organisations around the world from today (March 8) till Friday, April 9 and selected organisations will be announced later in 2021.
OML 110: BUA Group to Sue Kainos Exploration MD
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The management of BUA Group has threatened to file a suit against the Managing Director of Kainos Exploration and Production, Mr James Onyejekwe.
The conglomerates said it was taking this action over the alleged involvement of Mr Onyejekwe in a publication that claimed the organisation was involved in a $20 million scandal.
A statement issued by the firm lamented that the report was a “clear intent to impugn the integrity and reputation of BUA Group and its Chairman, Mr Abdul Samad Rabiu.”
“BUA takes its reputation seriously and we will continue to do everything to protect it from anyone and any entity who obstructs our mandate to conduct business in a proper, legal and socially-responsible manner.
“BUA will, therefore, utilise its legal and human resources to resist every campaign of defamation and distraction,” the statement further said.
The company, which trades the shares of its cement subsidiary on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), said it discovered that Mr Onyejekwe was behind the news story on the internet after an “independent investigation.”
“We have, therefore, instructed our legal team to immediately commence criminal defamation proceedings against the person of Mr James Onyejekwe who is the said originator of the malicious letter fraudulently attributed to Cavendish Petroleum against our person, with damages,” the statement seen by Business Post noted.
BUA explained that, “We deem these actions necessary, in order to protect the name and reputation of BUA Group.”
“We see no reason why Mr James Onyejekwe of Kainos Exploration and Processing would single out BUA in a supposed business dispute which had no link to the BUA Group in its entirety.
“Therefore, BUA finds it absurd that Mr Onyejekwe or anyone else will decide to drag BUA into their issues and/or put out such a malicious and defamatory statement, fraudulently using the name of Cavendish/Mr Mai Deribe without recourse to the truth, facts, decorum or decency,” it added.
The company described the news report bordering allegations of corruption as “false, malicious and spurious.”
IWD: Access Bank Plans Chat on Workplace Stereotypes, Gender Balance
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Thursday, March 11, 2021, has been fixed by Access Bank Plc for a Fireside Chat on workplace stereotypes, gender balance, amongst others.
This is in commemoration of International Women’s Day. The event, themed Take the Center Stage: Speak Up!, is being organised by the W Initiative of Access Bank Plc.
A statement from the lender disclosed that it hopes to analyse and offer solutions to how women can maintain assertiveness in the workplace, own their voice as well as identify and handle imposter syndrome.
Other conversation areas include the importance of flexible work environments in encouraging engagement and retention for women in the workplace and leveraging intersectionality in the workplace.
Amongst the confirmed speakers and panellists for the event are Aisha Ahmad, the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); Dr Dere Awosika, Chairman, Access Bank Plc; Pearl Uzokwe, Director for Governance & Sustainability, Sahara Group Limited; Adenike Adebola, Marketing Director, Guinness; Rabi Adetoro, Senior Manager, Talent and Career Management, MTN Nigeria, and Folake Adeniyi Adeleye, Int’l HR Leader, Certified Executive Coach, Founder, Coachivate.
Interested participants can join the virtual conversation at 11am on Thursday using the link: https://thewcommunity.com/international-womens-day-2021/.
Speaking ahead of the event, the Group Head, W Initiative at Access Bank, Ms Ayona Trimnell, stressed the need for “increased discussions about real challenges that affect women in the workplace.”
“The peculiarities of the global community today means that we are awakened to the successes women can achieve given the right systems and platforms for expression.
“We are also aware of the gaps and stereotypes that need to be challenged if we are to achieve the ultimate goal of this month’s commemoration – gender balance and equality.”
“Women daily are seen through the lens of stereotypes that exist in the society, marketplace, in the government, corporate organisations, to name a few.
“Hence to achieve our objectives as women, we need to champion conversations that will cause changes in the various spheres of the society.
“At Access Bank, we do not only support women but also promote safe spaces for conversations that will further improve lives and the forthcoming Fireside chat is a testament to this fact.
“We look forward to hosting remarkable women across all walks of life to discuss the best way to chart a course for change,” she concluded.
Buhari Praises Yemi Osinbajo at 64
By Ahmed Rahma
President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the Vice President, Mr Yemi Osinbajo, for being a patient and cooperative politician.
The President’s spokesman, Mr Garba Shehu, in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, stated that the President described his vice as “a reliable and dedicated deputy, who is not only admirably competent but also exudes confidence and passion in the performance of his job.”
In a message to celebrate the Vice President on his 64th birthday on Monday, the President was further quoted as saying, “I’m proud to have selected Osinbajo as my running mate, and he has given a good account of himself since our journey began in 2015.”
According to him, Mr Osinbajo is a cool-headed gentleman who puts Nigeria’s interest above other narrow considerations.
“Vice President Osinbajo is an incredibly patient politician, who demonstrates remarkable intellectual and mental energy in the discharge of his duties,” he further noted.
Similarly, the Northern Governors’ Forum described Mr Osinbajo as a patriotic Nigerian who had combined character, professionalism, and pragmatism in handling national issues.
In a statement, the Chairman of the forum, Governor Simon Lalong, said, “As northern governors, we have enjoyed tremendous cooperation of the vice president who gives us a listening ear at individual and collective levels and engages us on how to tackle the challenges of our region and the nation.
“Among other things, we cherish his leadership of the National Livestock Transformation Programme, which seeks to usher Nigeria into the threshold of modern livestock business, capable of ending the negative consequences of open grazing in the country. We assure the vice president of our continued collaboration as he supports the president to deliver his promises to the people.”
AMANO Suggests 100-Year Port Development Plan to FG
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Alumni Association of Maritime Academy of Nigeria (AMANO), Oron, Akwa-Ibom, has advised the federal government to put in place a 100-year port development plan that will continue to respond to the dynamic nature of the nation’s port industry.
In a statement signed by the president of the group, Mr Emmanuel Maiguwa, it was explained that if such a port development plan is put in place, it will move the industry forward for growth.
Mr Maiguwa also said that a system of incentive on port fess suitable to operate coastal and inland container cargo vessel must be put in place so as to make shipowners begin to look at the possibilities of owning freighters.
According to him, freighter vessels contribute more to creating dock labour employment opportunities in the maritime labour industry.
The group also commended the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for its newly initiated electronic call system for trucks into the ports, saying that “If well implemented, the initiative will temporarily reduce traffic congestion in our ports.”
The leader of the association suggested that a minimum standard be set up for trucks coming into the ports, noting that some rickety trucks were worse than junkyards scraps.
He said: “It is for this simple reason of road unworthiness that they eventually breakdown on their way out of the port and cause congestion on the port access roads.
“If this gap is not addressed, it would mess up the electronic call-up system.”
The Maritime Academy of Nigeria is a federal government-owned educational institute in Oron, Akwa Ibom State. It was originally called the Nautical College of Nigeria and was established in 1979 to educate and train shipboard officers, ratings and shore-based management personnel. The first batch of cadets graduated in 1983.
SON Approves 96 New Nigerian Industrial Standards
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
A total of 96 new Nigerian Industrial Standards (NIS) have been approved for national use by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) governing council.
The approval was announced at the first meeting of the council since the appointment of Mr Farouk Salim as the new Director-General of the agency.
A statement from SON disclosed that the new standards cut across chemical technology, electrical/electronics, food/agriculture, textile/leather and services.
Chairman of the council, Mr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo, who was represented at the meeting by Mr Halilu Hamma, explained that the approved standards were essential for the production of medical and other supplies required for the management of the COVID-19 pandemic such as syringes, face barriers, alcohol-based hand sanitiser, medical electrical equipment, health and safety measures for tourism and hospitality establishments, amongst many others.
According to him, others of great economic, regulatory and industrial importance include standards for agricultural, petroleum and automobile gas products, electrical/electronic standards for smart energy meters and renewable energy, all of which support the Federal Government policies, strategic priorities and plans.
Also, he congratulated the new DG on his appointment and assured him of the full support of the council members via a harmonious working relationship based on mutual trust and respect in order to significantly improve the organisation’s efficiency and effectiveness in delivering on its mandate to Nigerians.
Mr Sani-Gwarzo further assured the new SON chief of access to a rich and diverse knowledge, expertise and experience in the council to support his aspiration of making SON a high impact organisation in support of the nation’s socio-economic growth and development.
He praised him for being able to convene the meeting a few months after his appointment in spite of the challenges of the health pandemic and other socio-economic events.
In his remarks, Mr Salim expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for giving him the opportunity to further contribute to national development through SON, stressing that he looked forward to tapping from the rich expertise and experience of the council members in the areas of providing necessary approvals for policies to make the organisation more efficient and effective in touching the lives of Nigerians.
He expressed concern about the lack of a befitting corporate headquarters for the organisation, conducive working environment for the staff nationwide to enable them to deliver efficient services, need to be properly positioned to tackle the influx of substandard products into the country, faking and adulteration amongst others and sought the council’s support to tackle them.
However, Mr Salim reiterated his commitment to making SON a better and more impactful organisation in Nigeria as well as in regional, continental and international standardisation activities.
He also informed the council that a committee of distinguished Nigerians would be appointed to help review SON management practices and procedures and make recommendations for far-reaching reforms to strengthen the system has submitted its interim report.
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