By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari, in the course of the week, said the Ajaokuta Steel Complex would provide 500,000 estimated jobs for Nigerian youths.
The president revealed this during his one-day state visit to Kogi on Thursday.
He also spoke of the determination of his administration to position Kogi as an industrial hub as well as a solid mineral power base.
He explained how the Federal Government achieved the resolution of all legal entanglements that had bogged down the progress of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex.
According to him, the project stands to benefit the people of the state immensely.
The president had earlier hosted the leadership of the FCT and representatives of the FCT community, who paid him Christmas homage at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, at the beginning of the week.
During the Christmas homage, Buhari lauded the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Mohammed Bello for exhibiting the virtues of transparency, honesty and integrity while managing the affairs of the FCT.
He said Bello had proven to be a better manager of both financial and human resources.
He reiterated that he would return to Daura, Katsina State, his hometown, at the end of his tenure.
The president also told members of the FCT community that he had not built a new house in Daura or anywhere and hoped to live in his same house of many years.
At the event, Buhari said the befitting accommodation would enhance productivity and coordination of activities of staffers of the agency in view of the increasing number of personnel to face new challenges and responsibilities.
He also used the opportunity to charge security agencies that would be engaged with various support services in the 2023 general elections to maintain a high sense of professionalism.
Buhari urged the agencies to handle the distribution and monitoring of classified materials and other logistics ‘‘professionally and in accordance with Standing Operation Procedures.’’
While reiterating his earlier directive to security agencies to remain apolitical, the president said they must desist from behaviour that could bring disrepute to their organisations and the country ‘‘by compromising the democratic process.’’
He described him as an outstanding officer who was serving the nation with great zeal.
The president, assisted by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya and the wife of the Commander, Dr Rekiya Usman, decorated the officer with the rank of Major-General.
Speaking shortly after the ceremony in the Presidential Villa, the president recalled his tumultuous military career marked with coups, counter-coups and detention.
He described Usman as a very lucky officer to have risen to the height of his military career with distinction and without hiccups.
The president also expressed sadness over the passing of Prof. George Obiozor, the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, worldwide.
He extended heartfelt condolences to Obiozor’s family, the government and people of Imo as well as Ndigbo, at home and in Diaspora.
The president said the contributions of the unique leader and strong proponent of peace and a stable polity, who also held other strategic public positions, would never be forgotten.
On Friday, Buhari hosted the Senate President, Dr Ahmed Lawan at the State House, Abuja.
Lawan, who spoke to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting revealed that the president would sign the 2023 appropriation bill on Tuesday.
Buhari had on Saturday paid tribute to late Pope Benedict XVI who was greatly admired globally for his selfless leadership and renowned learning as a theologian.
He commiserated with Pope Francis, the Catholic Church in Nigeria and around the world, as well as all Christian faithful mourning the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
He also lauded the deceased for his dedication to advance inter-faith dialogue and peace.
According to Buhari, the late Pontiff will be remembered as a true servant of God.
The president concluded the week under review with his administration’s last New Year message released by his media aide, Malam Garba Shehu in Abuja on Saturday.
He reassured Nigerians that under his watch, their collective will and votes in the 2023 general elections would be fulfilled.
Buhari thanked the almighty God who saw Nigerians through the year 2022 and had given them the opportunity to see another New Year.
”It as an opportunity to reflect on the past year, reposition, and move forward in the new year,” Buhari said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Bashir Rabe Mani