President Muhammadu Buhari is tonight hosting his maiden Presidential Media Chat since assuming office on May 29 this year.
The challenges confronting Nigeria – insecurity, the economy, corruption, dearth of infrastructure – are still largely the same issues the last administration grappled with.
The presidency promised in the past to entertain questions from Nigerians via telephone, although the phone failed to work during those episodes of the programme.
Critics believe the phones were programmed not to work as a way of blocking citizens from asking the president embarrassing questions.
So, in case you are able to reach the president on the programme today, we suggest you put these questions we have raised to him, in addition to others you might have.
We also urge the editors, who will interview the president, to consider asking him some of the suggested questions.
Our reporters are providing live updates of the session.
Thanks for following our live updates of the media chat.
President Buhari appeals to Nigerian journalists to do more investigative journalism about important national issues.
Regarding the continuous detention of Sambo Dasuki and Nnamdi Kanu: Buhari said, “If you see the atrocities those committed against this country, we can’t allow them to jump bail.”
Buhari: “The Minister of Finance and the Central Bank have to sit down immediately to look at ways to help students who are already outside the country to overcome the challenges posed by the foreign exchange limitation policy.”
President Buhari says foreign exchange will be made available to the productive sector of the economy and not for luxury items.
Nigerians are expected to send in their questions via twitter, using the hashtag #askbuhari
Buhari: I turned down a N400million car proposal for the presidency. I said the cars I have are good enough for 10 years. We are having problem with the National Assembly regarding TSA. I have to holding a closed-door meeting with the National Assembly regarding the cars they are trying to buy. I hope they haven’t bought them yet. They can’t buy cars for themselves and also take money in car loans.
Buhari: “Our priority now is to get our refineries working. By the time we finish what we are doing., 60 per cent of the allocation of crude oil for local refining and 40 per cent would be used for crude oil swap.”
Buhari: Previous government failed to maintain four refineries, pump stations and pipelines, at a time Oil was sold at over a 0.
“By the end of next quarter, you will not be talking of subsidy. The price is so low that there is no need to subsidise anything.”
“I will not support devaluation of the Naira. I need to be convinced that there is need for the country to devalue the Naira. Is it against the dollar or pound?
“If this thing (suicide bombing) continues, Hijab would have to be banned.”
“I said the capacity of Boko Haram to attack institutions or communities have been stopped. But the use of IEDs has assumed a different proportion.”
On Shiites/Military clash; why the silence?
“I expect the Kaduna State government will bring the report on the inquiry because the crisis happened in its domain. There are all sorts of allegations. So, we just have to wait for the report.”
“The President of Iran spoke to me about the situation. But, I told him that as a government we have a system we must follow. “As the head of the Federal Government, I told him I will have to wait for the official report from the Kaduna State government from their investigations.
President Buhari says he will only comment on the Shi’ite crisis after receiving reports of investigations by the police and Kaduna State Government.
“The Benin IDP camp is a good intention that went sour. “Despite the problem, the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, was kind enough to have found school for the children. “The Federal Government is aware of the situation and ready to take them to where they came from.”
Internally Displaced Persons
“We are working with Niger, Chad and Cameroun on the girls. We have no credible intelligence of where they are.”
“By the end of the first quarter of next year, we will tell Nigerians how far we have gone on the fight against corruption. “I swore by the Holy Koran to defend the country’s constitution and the law. So, we will not put any body above the law.”
STILL ON CRUDE OIL THEFT
ASSET DECLARATION NOT SO PUBLIC AFTER ALL, NOT FULLY MADE.
By the end of the first quarter of next year, we will tell Nigerians how far we have gone on the fight against corruption. I swore by the Holy Koran to defend the country’s constitution and the law. So, we will not put any body above the law.
“Our constraint is that the accused persons have to defend themselves in court to defend themselves. So, we cannot release their names to the public until the issues are completed in court. Whatever we recover will be presented in court. “The documentation in court include bank statements and documents from Customs Service that are to be presented in court. Until then, we ask Nigerians to have patience.”
The panel of interviewers are Kayode Akintemi (Channels TV), Ngozi Anyaegbulam (Media World International), Munir Dan Ali (Daily Trust) and Ibanga Isine (PREMIUM TIMES).
Welcome to our liveblog of President Buhari’s maiden presidential media chat.