Popular media reveals how Buhari’s aides staying with him in London allegedly receive 1000 dollar nightly estacode - SMARTNAIRA

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Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Popular media reveals how Buhari’s aides staying with him in London allegedly receive 1000 dollar nightly estacode

Popular media reveals how Buhari’s aides staying with him in London allegedly receive 1000 dollar nightly estacode 

 - President Muhammadu Buhari is said to be fully in charge of Nigeria’s government despite his ill-health 

- Since Buhari left for London on May 7, his vice, Yemi Osinbajo has been acting as the president 

- But Buhari’s aides were said to have restrained Osinbajo from taking major decisions 

An online news media, Sahara Reporters has alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari's aides staying with him in London were allegedly paid at least $1000 nightly estacode for 100 days.

The medium also said that despite being in far-away London Buhari and his aides have restrained acting president Yemi Osinbajo.

“He (Osinbajo) is so scared to offend President Buhari to the extent that he takes no major action without consent from him through phone,” said a presidency official, asking not to be named.

NAIJ.com gathered that Osinbajo and his aides often hold meetings which have enlivened a presidential villa criticized for inertia but he still seeks approval from Buhari or his chief of staff.

It was also gathered that Osinbajo flew to London for a few hours last month to get Buhari’s approval to appoint two ministers who had been already cleared by parliament, the official said.

It was reported that during the meeting, Buhari even asked Osinbajo to give the ministers no portfolio as he wanted to assign them himself after his return, he said.

Moreover, when Osinbajo tried to appoint a new board for an anti-corruption commission he had to withdraw his candidates because Buhari’s aides did not like two names, the official said.

Among the few projects Osinbajo got underway are the legalizing of illicit refineries in the restive Niger Delta oil hub, often the only work for youth who tend to join otherwise militants.

Osinbajo also ordered an overhaul of dilapidated facilities at Lagos airport, the main entry gate into Nigeria, as part of a plan to ease doing business.

The new FX trade window has prompted some foreign investors to return, pushing Nigerian stocks to a nearly three-year-high in August.

But its inconclusive nature still holds back investors, London-based Capital Economics said.

“There is a possibility that Buhari returns, sees things improving and thinks there is no need to change anything.

Further reforms are desperately needed to achieve meaningful growth,” said John Ashbourne, Africa economist at Capital Economics.

The window for Osinbajo to launch bold economic reforms and wrestle the ill-disciplined naira currency into shape is fast closing.

President Buhari signalled over the past weekend that he is ready to return from receiving medical treatment in London as soon as his doctors allowed it.

That could put paid to investor hopes for economic changes to qualify Nigeria for a World Bank loan to drag it out of recession. It will also leave the plethora of naira exchange rates standing, albeit perhaps closer to each other.

Buhari has kept a grip on power despite his medical leave, and the more business-friendly Osinbajo has been reluctant to challenge him.

This has gone as far as him flying to London to get permission for personnel changes.

“We don’t expect any deviation from the current economic policy stance should President Buhari return,” said Cobus de Hart, senior economist at South Africa’s NKC African Economics.

“One could hope that the return of the president goes hand in hand with an acceleration of reform implementation, but we doubt this will be the case.”

Osinbajo, who has been running Nigeria since Buhari went to Britain on May 7 and also ran it between January and March, has made some changes.

He has managed to calm tensions in the Niger Delta oil hub and pushed small steps such as a forex trade window to narrow the gap between the official and parallel naira exchange rates.

But a unifying of all the exchange rates - there are at least six, including the black market - remains far away. It would amount to a devaluation, which Buhari has opposed.

NAIJ.com had previously reported that Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant to Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity revealed how his boss recently shunned a top official of the government for undermining the authority of Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

Watch this NAIJ.com video as Nigerians speak on what Buhari should do once he returns:

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