Abba Kyari, Oyo-Ita reconcile at FEC meeting
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—The Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, and Head of Service, Winifred Oyo-Ita, yesterday, resolved their differences and embraced each other before the take-off of Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting.
Both of them had engaged each other in a heated argument last week before the commencement of FEC meeting over a leaked memo on the controversial reinstatement of ex-head of the Presidential Task Team on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina.
Their reconciliation, yesterday, was spearheaded by Oyo-Ita who first reached out to Kyari, who is her immediate neighbour in the council’s siting arrangement.
In response, Kyari stretched forth his hands to her and after a handshake, he drew her closer in a warm embrace to the admiration of others in the chamber who cheered them with applause.
Nigeria loses $5bn annually to smuggling
Meanwhile, the Federal Government, yesterday, lamented $5 billion lost annually by Nigeria to smuggling, especially rice through the borders.
This, the government said, has cost the country huge revenue loss and low patronage of made in Nigeria products.
Consequently, President Muhammadu Buhari directed that stringent measures be taken against smugglers, while the government reached out to presidents of neighbouring countries such as Chad, Benin and Niger, which are the routes the smugglers use in their nefarious activities.
The government has approved N5.567 billion for the third quarter soil erosion controlled accelerated intervention projects for six states across the six geopolitical zones in the country.
These were parts of the resolutions at the weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Briefing the State House correspondents after the meeting,Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said if everything should go well without smugglers, Nigeria farmers should be able to sell a bag of rice for N13,500, against the current price of over N15,000.
He said council approved the development for foundation seeds for maize to Institute of Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria.
According to him, the research is at the cost of N165 million for 30 tons of foundation seeds multiplied by 265 tons of improved seeds, which is to be given to seeds companies to multiply.
N5.6bn for erosion control
The FEC, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, approved N5.567, 314,541.76 for the third quarter soil erosion controlled accelerated intervention projects for six states in different geo-political zones in the country.
The benefiting states, according to Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, include Kano, Sokoto, Ondo, Osun, Enugu and Bayelsa
BASA with Canada
Also briefing journalists, Minister of State for Aviation Hadi Sirika, said council approved Bilateral Air Services Agreement, BASA, with Canada.
He said: “Federal Executive Council today (yesterday) approved the signing of a bilateral air services agreement with Canada as part of efforts to boost relations between both countries, including trade and commerce. It would be a standard agreement to facilitate the movement of people and business transactions.”
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