Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has suggested a need for state policing in the country. Osinbajo said that the country can become stronger and more prosperous if states have more powers. Speaking at the 59th Independence Anniversary Lecture, on Friday, Osinbajo said Nigeria’s population and diverse ethnic groups have necessitated that states in the country be strengthened to enable them to contribute more to national productivity and development. This can be achieved with stronger, more autonomous States that are able to generate and control more of their resources, he said, explaining that the country cannot be wealthy when its component parts – the states – are poor as the standard of living of the federation depends on the standard of living of people who live in the states. The VP said that there is a need to build stronger states and ensuring the devolution of more power to the states, enabling them to control more of their resources and make more of their own administrative decisions such as the creation of Local Governments, the establishment of state and community police forces as well as state correctional facilities; creation of special courts and tribunals of equivalent jurisdiction to high courts. He emphasised that the states must have more powers and more rights.
The extraordinary meeting of the Federal Executive Council earlier fixed for Saturday has been rescheduled for today. This is to enable government executives to cross the ‘tees and dot the ais in final preparation for the submission of the 2020 budget proposals to the National Assembly. President Buhari is scheduled to preside over the meeting that will consider the budget proposals before its presentation on Tuesday. According to Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, the rescheduled meeting is part of efforts being made towards returning the FG’s budget cycle to January-December from the May-June cycle. The presentation was meant to have taken place in the third week of September but was stalled by Buhari’s participation at the 74th United Nations General Assembly. The President then proceeded to South Africa last Wednesday on a state visit to honour an invitation from President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Nigeria and South Africa have agreed to issue 10-year visas to businessmen, academics and frequent travellers. The deal was made at the end of the 9th Bi-National Commission of both countries meeting in Pretoria. The decision, according to President Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, was taken to encourage citizens of both countries to strengthen their socio-cultural, economic, and political ties. The presidents of both countries, Muhammadu Buhari and Cyril Ramaphosa, agreed on early warning signals to stop violence from escalating and talked about the need to share more intelligence and consider the promotion of a stronger partnership in security. Among other things, both countries agreed to re-establish the consular forum, which is a structured arrangement where both governments meet regularly, at least twice a year, to discuss the welfare of citizens. Buhari was on a state visit to South Africa for talks with his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa after violent attacks on Nigerians and other Africans living in the country.
The South African government has granted Nigeria’s Air Peace the permit to commence commercial flights to Johannesburg, Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said. The proprietor of the airline, Allen Onyema, confirmed that Air Peace would commence operations as soon as possible to promote air travel between both countries, according to a spokesperson for the ministry, Ferdinand Nwonye. The agreement was made at the 9th Session of the Nigeria/South Africa Bi-National Commission Summit in Pretoria on 27 September. Air Peace earned commendations in August when it volunteered to evacuate Nigerians from South Africa after xenophobic violence broke out in the country. The airline successfully evacuated about 497 Nigerians in multiple flights.