As Nigerians are eagerly expecting President Muhammadu Buhari back in the country in the second week of April as promised, the Presidency and Information Minister have yet to confirm when he would return.
Both Information Minister Lai Mohammed and the Presidential Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, had kept mum over the issue as tongues continue to wag among Nigerians.
Persecondnews recalls that Adesina had in a statement announced that President Buhari would be back in the country in the second week of April, 2021 which ends this weekend.
On March 30, Buhari had departed Nigeria for London for what Adesina called a “routine medical checkup”.
He had said he was due back in the country during the second week of April, 2021.
Asked to comment on when the president would return or extend his stay, information and Culture Minister Mohammed, said: “Today is Wednesday, this week finishes on Saturday. So, what is the big issue in that one?”
Speaking to newsmen after Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), Mohammed said the issue that was engaging federal government’s attention was the dwindling revenue and security challenges.
He said the administration has held 18 town hall meetings across the country with the various stakeholders as part of its commitment to tackling insecurity.
On the 7th anniversary of the abduction of Chibok girls and what the government’s effort at rescuing them, Mohammed did not comment on it.
Earlier, the 41st Federal Executive Council ( presided had approved a total of N20,114,002871 for the acquisition of various operational equipment for the Nigerian Customs Service.
Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said the Council also approved the sum of N539,277,673 for the construction of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) building at the Ilupeju Medium and Small Taxpayers’ Office, Lagos.
A total of 427 operational vehicles, worth N14.55 billion and nine assorted gunboats worth N5,564,002,871 were all approved for Customs.
“The ministry also presented, on behalf of the Nigerian Customs Service, a memo that was seeking for Council’s approval for the design, construction and supply of two NC36M patrol boats in favour of Messrs of Boat Plus Limited, in the sum of N5,062,530,400, inclusive of 7.5% VAT with a delivery period of 12 months and council approved our request.
“We also presented a memo, again on behalf of the Nigerian Customs Service, for the approval of Council for the design, construction and supply of seven fast assault patrol boats and seven regular patrol boats, in favour of Messrs Siwa West Africa Limited, in the sum of N501,472,471.08, inclusive of 7.5% VAT with a delivery period of eight weeks.
“The purpose of the purchase of these two types of petrol boats is to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of operations of the Nigerian Customs Service in its bid to control smuggling and also ensure enhanced efficiency in all customs duty operations in the Marine Unit of the Nigerian Customs Service.
“We also presented, again on behalf of the Nigeria Customs Service, a request for Council’s approval and council approved the procurement of 427 operational vehicles for the Nigerian Customs Service operations in favour of various contractors in the combined sum of N14.55 billion, inclusive of 7.5% VAT with a delivery period of four weeks,” the minister said.
In addition, FEC also approved the extension of the University of Ibadan’s library for N532 million.
The project is expected to be completed within 48 weeks.