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How Buhari Shot Himself in the Foot - Balarabe Musa

Posted By Theresa Ugwuanyi on Friday, 21 August 2015 | 8:43 a.m.

Alhaji Balarabe Musa, second republic governor of Kaduna state on Thursday said that President Muhammadu Buhari shot himself in the foot by deliberately limiting his anti-corruption war to the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
Musa said, ''We don’t dispute the fact that Jonathan should not have been made the president of Nigeria at the time he was brought in but the point remains that Buhari must also prove that he is the saint he has portrayed himself to be''; VANGUARD reports.

''But my fear is that there are so many corrupt persons around Buhari and in APC and PDP while he has deliberately decided to limit his probe of corrupt persons to only those who served under Jonathan. This is very sad and a clear evidence of selective trial of opponents.”

''I will advise Buhari to convince himself that he is morally and politically capable to undertake the responsibility of cleaning up Nigeria. I will ask him to constitute a government of national unity involving all the political parties in Nigeria in the task of rebuilding Nigeria''.


Shehu Sani: I Would Have Been Governor of Kaduna But Buhari Made Me Step Down For El-Rufai

Senator Shehu Sani said he wanted to be Governor of Kaduna state but was made to step down because Malam Nasir El-Rufai was President Muhammadu Buhari’s choice candidate.

  1. Speaking to LEADERSHIP, Sani said ''For the first time, let me tell you some background issues in the political divide in Kaduna. I never intended to contest for the Senate; I wanted to contest for the governorship and I opened offices in Zaria, Kaduna and Kafanchan, and later there was pressure on me that I should step down. Politicians came to meet me; that I should step down and allow el-Rufai to contest because they said he was the favourite of the president.

    ''I did not have any gubernatorial candidate as far as I was concerned, and I now thrashed the candidate of el-Rufai and Isa Ashiru. The el-Rufai that won the gubernatorial ticket in Kaduna won it with 1,000 and something votes and I won one senatorial zone with 920 votes. In three senatorial zone he got 1,600; I alone got 920 votes.

    ''If I had contested the governorship, there was no way that I wouldn’t have emerged; it’s not possible. So I sacrificed that and I contested the Senate and I won. Reports going on in the media is on the surface.”

Ex Rivers Gov. Amaechi Denies Emptying State Treasury | Says He Left Billions for Wike

Rotimi Amaechi - October 2013 - Mode Men Magazine - BellaNaija - 01
Former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi says is refuting allegations that he emptied the state treasury before leaving office. He insists that he left billions for current governor, Nyesom Wike.
A statement released by the former governor’s media office states:
A total of N7.5 billion cash were left behind as balances in the State Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) account with Skye Bank,FAAC account with Zenith Bank, balances with Access Bank and funds in the State reserve fund account in First Bank.
This is besides other balances in the state Government House account with Zenith Bank and other government MDA accounts, like the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP). By the time you pull all these together, we are looking at readily available cash in the region of eight to ten billion naira left for the Wike administration.
It’s also pertinent to point out here that former governor Amaechi also left economic assets worth tens of billions of naira for the state. Just like cash, the assets store value. These assets that are scattered in diverse sectors of the economy were developed or built or procured with revenue that accrued to the state during Amaechi’s tenure. The assets belong to Rivers State, not Amaechi. Some of these assets are presently yielding revenue to the state coffers, and many can be easily and readily converted to cash, if the State so desires.
It is therefore disingenuous and fraudulent for Wike to claim that Amaechi left an empty treasury in his bid to justify the N30 billion loans he collected under 30 days in office. Rather than this puerile and silly distraction of always pointing accusing fingers at Amaechi, Wike should come out to explain to Rivers people what he took the loans for, account for and justify every kobo that has been spent from the loans.

Are you a Nigerian Living Outside the Country? You Can Now Register for BVN Number

Godwin Emefiele - Bella Naija
Nigerians living outside the country can now register for their Bank Verification Numbers (BVN), as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has made two options available for them to conveniently do the registrations.
Here is a summary of how implementation will take place, as reported by ThisDay:
The banking sector regulator explained that the plan was to roll out in 12 locations in the first phase. The locations are London, Leicester, New York, Atlanta, Washington DC, Houston, Johannesburg, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Dubai and New Delhi. The second phase would include locations with a high demand for service based on online feedback, the CBN stated, adding that remote locations with lower concentration of Nigerians would be accommodated through scheduled sessions over defined periods.
The central bank in a circular signed by the Director, Banking and Payment System, CBN, Mr. Dipo Fatokun, stated that Nigerian bank customers in the diaspora can present themselves for BVN enrolment, without travelling to the country. It also specified two options through which this could be achieved.
The first option, in the circular dated August 18, 2015, a copy of which was posted on the central bank’s website, was for customers of Nigerian banks to present themselves to the offshore branches/subsidiaries of any Nigerian bank (where such facilities have been made available), for the BVN enrolment.
“The deployment of scanners and other devices to these locations have started in earnest. Nigerian banks abroad are expected to capture necessary data, generate a BVN and communicate same to the customers. Thereafter, the customers are expected to forward the assigned BVN to their banks, for linkage with their accounts.
A web portal to achieve this linkage to bank accounts has been developed and deployed, while the process of such linkage will be made available by the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) to all those enrolled abroad,” the CBN explained.
It further directed all banks with branches/subsidiaries abroad to work with the NIBSS to ensure seamless implementation of this option.
The second option, according to the central bank is the use of a company, known as the Online Integrated Solution (OIS). The banking sector regulator explained that the company had been engaged to establish stations for data capture and generation of BVN at the cost of £30 per transaction, to be paid by the customer.
The company is expected to capture necessary data for online transmission to the NIBSS, who would thereafter, generate the BVN and communicate same to the customer.
“The customer may approach OIS for BVN, where the communication from NIBSS is not received within 48 hours after the enrolment. Thereafter, Nigerian bank customers in the diaspora are expected to forward their BVN to their banks for linkage with their accounts as in option one above,” it explained.
The BVN is a biometric unique number given to a bank customer after enrolment. It is an initiative aimed at protecting bank customers and further strengthening the Nigerian banking system.

I Don’t Go To The Market, My Husband Does’ – Omotola Jalade Ekeinde


Delectable Never Aging Nollywood Actress, Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde shocked her audience at the Knorrsocial Symposium on Friday when she said she does not go to the market to buy food items but her husband, Capt Matthew Ekeinde does.
The delectable actress also spoke about her career and family.
Omotola believes that the man and woman should complement one another in marriage, not a situation where a woman would be seen as inferior.
“When we started (acting) they wanted the men to be the fore runners, and I said I’m not stopping any man from being the fore runner –It’s a human right—but I said if I wanted to be the fore runner, I would work hard to be the fore runner, and you would respect me as a front runner,” she said.
“A lot of people have had problems with that, they either feel I’m too strong or you know culturally, you should fall back and all of that. I say no. I would respect you, but I would do it my way. So that is what I have had most challenges with even in my career.”
“I always tell people that women are stronger than men, psychologically. Let me tell you something more, my husband is actually the one who goes to the market. I don’t go to the market because I can’t. Because of my status, I can’t. “But my husband didn’t say you know traditionally, a man is not supposed to go to the market, I’m not gonna go, no. My husband actually goes to the market.”
The celebrity, who recently celebrated her 20th year on stage, described her husband as “a strong man for understanding my status”, and recalled an experience that transferred the responsibility of going to the market to the head of the family.
“In my earlier career, I used to go with him but I’d stay in the car, because our cars are tinted, so I’d stay in the car. But then, one time we went to Tejuosho and someone found out I was in the car,” she said. “It became a major security risk, so he said don’t ever go with me again. He goes and he has fun and he comes back home, and I do the cooking, so you see we strengthen each other. “Men feel when I intimidate my woman, when I hold her down; that shows I’m strong, no! That shows you’re weak.”
Omotola got married in 1996 at the age of 18 and the ‘scandal-free’ union has produced four children. - See more at:

Ex-SGF Ayim spent N1.4b on computer software in 4 years – Abaribe

010412F3.Enyinnaya-Abaribe.jpg - 010412F3.Enyinnaya-Abaribe.jpg

Enyinnaya Abaribe
It has been revealed that inconsistencies in budgetary processes and duplications of sub-heads accounted largely for poor implementation of the federal government budget since 1999.

For instance, the sum of N1.4 billion was alleged to have been used for the acquisition of computer software in the office of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation on the approval of President Goodluck Jonathan between 2012 and 2015.
The senator representing Abia South senatorial district, Abia State, Enyinnaya Abaribe, disclosed this yesterday this at the 2015 Faculty of Social Sciences Annual Lecture, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State.

Abaribe, who spoke on the lecture topic: ‘Our Country, Our Budget:  A Critical Analysis of Nigerians Budgeting System’, observed that the office of the SGF in this year’s budget, had N1.223 billion as welfare package, while, the sum of N580 million was for subscription to professional bodies.
A breakdown of the money appropriated in the last four years, he said showed that in 2012, N250million was appropriated for software acquisitions, yet the sub-head according to him appeared again gulping N100 million, while, the sum of N580 million budgeted for the same expenditure.
“I begin with the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.  What could justify the allocation of N1.223 billion to that office for welfare packages? The same office also has $367.715 million for subscription to professional bodies and $580 million for computer software acquisition.
“Computer software in this case constitutes a veritable sink holes for Ministries, Departments and agencies seeking to pillage the treasury. Still on this office, let’s take time to examine this computer software acquisition.  In 2012, $250 million was appropriated for Software Acquisitions.  In 2013, the subhead appeared again, gulping N100 million.
“Now in 2014, N580 million was appropriated for it. Pray, what is this computer software that a particular office acquire every year? Which privately owned company acquires computer Software to the tune of N100 million and more every year? If you check the budget for every Ministry, Department and Agency (NDA) of the federal government, you will see identical provisions for computers, software and consumables year-in-year out”, Abaribe who graduated from the Faculty of Social Sciences of the university 30 years ago, said.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Benin, Prof. Sam Edo, gave an insight on the purpose of the annual lecture series, which he said foster interactions between the government and the governed through the requisite exposition, thereby making learning pleasurable.
Chairman of the occasion and the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Faraday Orawesee whose goodwill was delivered by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Ekehuan Campus, Prof. Aduwa Ogiegbaen, vowed that the school will not lose sight of its academic excellence.

This day

Ayade Pays Unscheduled Visit To Ministries, Orders Disciplinary Action Against Top Civil Servants For Absenteeism

Posted By Theresa Ugwuanyi on Thursday, 20 August 2015 | 11:04 a.m.

Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade directing the Acting Head of Service of the state, Mr. Ekpenyong Henshaw, (L), to take disciplinary action on Directors who were absent during an unscheduled visit by the Governor, to selected Ministries in the State. Calabar
Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade directing the Acting Head of Service of the state, Mr. Ekpenyong Henshaw, (L), to take disciplinary action on Directors who were absent during an unscheduled visit by the Governor, to selected Ministries in the State. Calabar
Cross River State governor, Prof Ben Ayade, today undertook unscheduled visits to some ministries to find out if civil servants comply with their official responsibilities.
The governor, who was accompanied by his Deputy, Prof Ivara Esu, Secretary to the State Government , Mrs. Tina Agbor, and Acting Head of Service, Mr. Ekpenyong Henshaw, arrived Ministry of Agriculture headquarters at 12.40pm.
He was shocked to discover that most senior officers were not in their offices. Upset at the development, he directed that disciplinary actions be taken against the erring staff.
Expressing disappointment with what he described as an intolerable behavior of the senior civil servants, Governor Ayade said the state was at a critical stage where all hands are needed on deck to actualize the economic agenda of his administration.
He said if government could honor its obligation to pay civil servants salaries as and when due, they were duty bound to reciprocate the gesture by coming to work early, reminding that they were always the first to cry foul when their salaries were not paid on time.
“I am not happy with what I am seeing because it is against civil service orientation and I will not accept it because they are expected to be in office between 8am and 4pm,” he stated.
Ayade noted that as directors, they were expected to be exemplary as they were those to take over from Permanent Secretaries that were retired recently, adding that from what he saw, it seemed they were not prepared for the task ahead.
At the Ministry of Health, the governor berated the Director of Administration following his discovery that there was no documentation of movement of staff as indicated in the time book and movement register.
He directed the Director of Administration to ensure that the proper things were done.
The governor who was angry with what he saw at the Civil Service Commission, said: “This place is worse than others and they should be taught a lesson and the Permanent Secretary replaced for failure to show good leadership.”

Osinbajo, Oyegun To Receive Ndoma-Egba, Ebri, Jedy Agba, Bassey Otu, Others to APC

L-R; Former Minister of Health, Dr Emmanuel Nsa, Former Minister of Finance, Chief Anthony Ani, former Senate Leader Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, President General Muhammadu Buhari and others during a congratulatory visit to the President just after his election. (file pix)
L-R; Former Minister of Health, Dr Emmanuel Nsa, Former Minister of Finance, Chief Anthony Ani, former Senate Leader Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, President General Muhammadu Buhari and others during a congratulatory visit to the President just after his election. (file pix)
Barring any last minute change, all is set for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie Oyegun, to receive defectors from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Calabar, Cross River State, into the APC.
It was gathered from reliable sources within the APC that the Governor of Nasarawa State, Alhaji Ibrahim Al-Makura, and some members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the APC will also be part of the entourage that will receive the PDP defectors, among them some heavy weight politicians.
CrossRiverWatch gathered from sources that preparations are on top gear to formally receive them at a rally billed for the UJ. Esuene Stadium in Calabar by month end when the state chapter of the APC will host the party’s South-South zonal meeting.
Topping the list of those expected to decamp include the former Leader of the Senate, Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN); former Minister of Health and Works, Dr. Emmanuel Nsan, who served during the military regime of President Muhammadu Buhari; former PDP state governorship aspirant, Mr. Jedy Agba; Chief Utum Eteng and a former PDP senatorial aspirant, Chief Sam Bassey.
Third Republic governor of the state, Mr. Clement Ebri, whom sources said worked silently for Buhari during the build-up to the last general election, will also be formally received into the party at the rally.
The source also said former governor of the state, Donald Duke, is one of the possible defectors, but he was yet to communicate his final stance as to whether he will join the APC or not.
It was further learnt that discussions were going on between Duke and the national leadership of the APC to dump the PDP.
“The national leaders of APC and Duke have been talking, but I cannot really say what has been agreed. But, Duke’s former Chief of Staff, James Aniyom, will be received into the APC,” the source who pleaded not to be mentioned told CrossRiverWatch.
A very reliable source also informed CrossRiverWatch that some former board members of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from the state, among them, Mr. Paul Adah will be formally received from the PDP to the APC during the rally.
It was also gathered that other members of the PDP expected to decamp to the APC include two former chiefs of staff who served in the previous administrations in the state, two former members of the House of Representatives, two former deputy speakers, among them Chief Orok Duke, and four former members of the state House of Assembly.
Some former members of the state executive committee of the PDP and their supporters will also decamp during the rally, the sources said.
CrossRiverWatch further gathered that some former members of the PDP who left for the Labor Party (LP) before the last general election will also be formally received into the APC at the rally.
Among the LP members are the former senator representing the southern senatorial district of the state, Bassey Edet Otu; former Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Deputy National President, Dr. Sandy Onor; former LP governorship candidate in 2015, Dr. Fidelis Ugbo, and his running mate, Nela Andem Ewa-Rabana (SAN).
It was further gathered from insiders in the APC that those saddled with the responsibility of strengthening and increasing the tempo of the activities of the party in the state have contacted former Finance Minister, Chief Tony Ani, to join the APC, but that it appears he would prefer to remain an elder statesman and provide the necessary guidance for the PDP to rebuild the state.
Commenting on the planned reception of the defectors, a top member of the APC who did not want his name in print, said: “Consultations are ongoing with the leadership of the APC at the national level and eminent politicians in the state to join the APC so as to boost its fortunes of the state.
“That initial razzmatazz immediately after its formation disappeared before the last general elections. The party finally went into a coma after the general elections when nearly all members relocated to Abuja in search of appointments thereby leaving the PDP government at large in the state,” the source said.
The party leader said what happened in Bayelsa State last weekend when top members of the PDP decamped to the APC “would be a child’s play” compared to what would happen to the PDP in Cross River State.
When contacted for his comments on the development, the state Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mr. Mens Ikpeme, said the party was aware of the planned defection of some PDP members and many of their supporters to the main opposition party in the state.
Responding on enquiries on development, Ikpeme said: “It is not new. That is an old story. We are waiting for them. We were hinted about something like that by the state Chairman Mr. Usani Usani.”
When CrossRiverWatch contacted the former Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma Egba SAN about the development he simply said, “I just want to say that you are aware that the PDP in Cross River State rejected me and when you are rejected from one place, you must land elsewhere. That is what I will say for now.”

Ayade Abolishes Taxes For Low Income Earners

Governor Ayade addressing the press today
Governor Ayade addressing the press today
Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade yesterday announced he was abolishing all forms of taxation for low income earners in the state.‎
Ayade who disclosed this during a media parley in Calabar, said a bill to this effect is before the state House of Assembly.
The governor maintained that the poor could not continue to suffer while the rich keep amassing wealth without giving back, describing the bill as people-oriented.
Those affected by the governor’s tax exemption policy include civil servants on minimum wage, petty traders, commercial motorcycle riders, popularly known as Okada, recharge card vendors among others.
In his words: “Let our desperation for taxation not allow us to heap the burden on the poor. This must stop. Definitely, God has a purpose of bringing me here as a governor and I must not disappoint my creator.”
Continuing, he said: “I therefore expect the okada riders to live within the confines of the law when the bill becomes operational as they will be expected to drive and earn a good living.”
He explained that plans have reached advanced stage to explore the state’s water fronts with the view to generating revenue to boost and cushion the effect of the new tax regime as well as boost the revenue profile of the state.
On the issue of the eight months strike action embarked by the Judiciary staff in the state, Governor Ayade disclosed that the issue has been looked into as their salaries and other entitlements will be fully settled by the end of August, while urging them to reciprocate the government’s gesture by returning to work as soon as possible to bring back that arm of government to life.
On the proposed signature projects, Governor disclosed that pilling and construction work has commenced, revealing that President Muhammed Buhari has accepted to come and perform the groundbreaking ceremony for the dual carriage super highway in September.
Ayade particularly lauded President Buhari for displaying maturity in leadership by keeping to his promise of being a President for all, irrespective of party affiliations.
“The President, after listening to my presentation, agreed to do everything possible as President to ensure that we achieve and deliver on the various projects of my administration. In fact, he has accepted my invitation to come and perform the groundbreaking ceremony for the 260km dual carriage super highway.”

El-Rufai Introduces Harmonized Feeding System For Students In Kaduna

Kaduna State Government has announced that it will introduce a harmonized feeding system for all post primary students in boarding schools in order to monitor and control the quality of the menu served.
The State Commissioner for Education, Dr Shehu Usman, disclosed this while speaking to the media in Kaduna on Wednesday
Dr Usman said in the new feeding arrangement, same meal will be served to students as breakfast, lunch and dinner, explaining that “if students in the state are to be served rice as lunch, every boarding school under the control of the state will serve rice for lunch and it is only in doing that the inspectors will be able to identify which school (serves) rice that is below standard.
“We introduced this formula because of report of poor meals being served to students which sometimes has led to health hazard. The Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, released some money to a committee that will carry out the harmonization of the feeding system. They will prepare menu list for every term and schools must strictly adhere to the list.
“We are not hiding the fact that Kaduna State education system is one of the most neglected aspects in the 16 years of PDP administration in the state, but we have to start from somewhere and because change is all about seeing result, we want to start by letting our students eat the best food that is available.
“The committee will also supervise suppliers of the foodstuffs and any one that is found wanting will be disengaged because we don’t want them to supply food that you cannot give to your wards in the homes to our students,” he said.
The commissioner also confirmed that money has been released to state scholarship board for payment of students of the state studying in various tertiary institutions in the state.
He, however, explained that before the payment is effected, the Ministry Of Education, in conjunction with the scholarship board, will conduct a thorough biometric verification of students.
“With this biometric verification, which is going to be very simple and not tedious for our students, we will be able to identify those who are actually students from Kaduna state, so that they get what is due to them and we will also go after people who are manipulating the system to collect scholarship whereas they have already graduated from tertiary institutions.
“We are also working with private school owners in the state in order to verify the private schools and know those of them who are eligible to operate and if the area they are operating are good for academic purposes,” he explained.?

‘No probe in Ebonyi but we are recovering stolen money'

Ebonyi economy and wage management
Ebonyi State culturally is a very peaceful state and we have a peculiar way of approaching things. We are managing well. We realized that we have some ghost workers and that we have some leakages. We are doing empirical evaluations of what our salary structure should look like and we will not have problems of payment.
One of the little things we have with our workers is that they want us to pay like the Federal Government, so they took the FG salary structure and reduced it a little and said look, you have to pay us this and I said no. The reasons we can’t pay that is this: number one, FG controls 52.67 per cent of the total resources and I control a little bit over 26 per cent of it. And when you come to that, Ebonyi is always last. For example, when funds were shared, Akwa-Ibom got N252 billion and Ebonyi got N44 billion, that was the totality of excess crude account running for one year.
So, if you want me to pay what the FG is paying or what Akwa-Ibom or Rivers State is paying, I should earn what they are earning. If there is any state that needs money more than others, it is Ebonyi because Ebonyi is highly undeveloped. Ebonyi has a lot of natural mineral resources and agricultural farmland and we need encouragement to deploy these advantages to the benefit of the entire country and the state. So, we are very mindful and I continue to say, for Nigeria to develop, the ratio of recurrent to capital budget must be at least, 60 to 40- capital expenditure 60 and recurrent expenditure 40. That is the only way this country can develop.
But right now, it is almost capital zero and recurrent 100 percent. How can Nigeria develop? And how would you now take the whole money that comes from the Federation Account, the total earning in a state, and you expect to sleep well. There will be no armed robbery, there will be no kidnappers, you have water, bridges and so on and so forth? It is not realistic. But sometimes, people expect governors to make magic. And I think there will be no magic, all we need to do now is to sit down and engage our talents. God gave us talents, gave us land and gave us mineral resources. Let’s engage them. That is the only way we can get out of this problem.
States’ reliance on Federal Allocations When a child is born, you have to take care of the child till he becomes 18 years as obtained in overseas. Because Nigeria is different we use to hear ‘young shall grow’ but people came and lived their own generation, if not by struggle by most of us, they will live our own generation and even extend to live the generation of our children. But some of us said no, we have to struggle.
So, before you say that states should not depend on Federation Account, you have to develop the mineral resources, you have to develop the natural resources that God has given to each of our states. That is very important. There is no way we can develop Ebonyi State without assistance from the Federation Account; it will be difficult. And you see, investors are very fraudulent; when most of them come, they put a beam on the Federation Account. How many beams will you put if you want to develop like five sectors? I want to develop rice production in a very large quantity, I have five rice mills; and then, I want to develop maize production, I have a land that supports that; I want to develop electricity- biomass support electricity; how many beams will you put on the Federation Account? How much do I get? We need support from the Federal Government, we need support from foreign investors and even from our banks.
Relationship with former Governor Elechi
It is like that of father and son; but you know father and son disagree and of course, it is very natural. I must continue what my father did that was right. All his projects, I must continue them. There are also issues but one thing that is significant is that in leadership, a lot of things are done. People do a lot of things without the leader being aware and those people that are cheating on the head of the leader are the people that will gossip and tell you all kind of things so that you will continue to be in cage and then you wouldn’t open your eyes to know what is happening. There are a couple of overvalued projects which I am sure the former governor was not aware of that were overvalued for more than 300 per cent and I am not going to allow it. But the good thing is that once a project is started, I am going to complete it. That’s the good side of it. But the bad side of it is that any project that was overvalued, I am going to revalue it and bring it to the right price. And if that is going to constitute misunderstanding between us, and he fails to understand that the young must grow, then so be it.
So, we have nothing to quarrel about. He was my boss, he is still my boss and he will always be my boss and also my father. So I have nothing to quarrel with him. I will give him peace.
Probing Elechi’s government
I don’t know what is called probing. Don’t forget I was party chairman and I was Deputy Governor. The truth remains that, unless when the younger ones like us come to power, Deputy Governors never had mouth. But it is not the same with my own Deputy Governor; he is my friend, he is my brother, so I give him a lot of responsibility, I share ideas with him. So, I would have said, probing the government is like probing myself. But the truth is that Deputy Governors, depending on what your boss wants is more like, not spare tyre this time around because some tyres never got spoilt. But the truth remains that if our righting the wrongs means probing, then it means that even in the house, in your family, you probe also.
So, to start writing petitions to Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), I won’t do that and I will not support doing that. But if anybody embezzles the money of the state and the person refuses to bring it in a form of dialogue, sitting as brothers and sisters… there is no reason to bother, there is no reason to take anybody to court that is if the person returns the money; we need money, so much money in Ebonyi State. So, if one or two persons are having it, we will call the person and say, brother come, let us talk and let us negotiate. Of course you hear the story of land for peace in Israel and Palestine and we here also the EFCC, ICPC‘s plea bargain.
This is the kind of a thing I love so much in Ebonyi State and I am going to deploy the issue of plea bargain so that if you have stolen, we will come together and I say please, I want the money and we find a way to write it off so that it will not be remembered. That is what we are doing; there won’t be any probe.
Breakthroughs in anti-graft moves
It is not a hidden thing. You are away that they published it. The House of Assembly probed the Caretaker Chairmen and found that they stole N1.8 billion. That’s what they said to me and have given me the paper and said “look, you have to dismiss them from the office and you have to recover the money”. I am bound by the law to recover the money. Dismissing them is within my power; I may decide to dismiss them. It is an advice. But the one that is not advice is there is corruption and I swore to uphold the tenets of the constitution and I am bound by the constitution to recover the money.
We are just doing verification of our schools; how many pupils do we have, how many teachers do we have? And just in few schools, they discovered that there are teachers being paid over the years who are not teachers. So, in the unions, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), they have promised us that we will be sure to recover N150 to N200 million monthly that people collect as a result of ghost workers and dishonesty. We are right now doing that with the unions.
I am quite lucky I am a Civil Engineer and I have been in construction for over 30 years before I became Deputy Governor and I have knowledge of some of these things. I have deployed my knowledge to the road construction sector to know that you are cheating or you are not cheating. When you go to first principle in an evaluation, what we call ‘Take-off’ in Bill of Quantity is made in the cost of building a house. Take for example the ceiling, you now put the length and the width and then get the area and how much it cost. When we get the first principle to evaluate these things, you know engineering does not rattle, everybody will know the truth and that is what we are doing. We have recovered serious money.


Terrorism, money laundering account for underdevelopment in Nigeria, says Ribadu

A former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, Nuhu Ribadu, on Wednesday said Nigeria was not maximising its potentials due to terrorism and money laundering.
Ribadu said this in Abuja at the Second Anti-Money Laundering/Combating Financial Terrorism Stakeholders Consultative Workshop, organised by the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists.
He said Nigeria lost a lot of money that could be put into building necessary infrastructure to criminal activities.
He said: “Everything that is wrong about Nigeria came from dirty money.
“If you can follow it, get it back and punish these people, then you have cured the problem of Nigeria.
“When I look around, I see a lot of investments that were done with dirty money.
“Government needs help to identify and arrest these people.
“Though it may seem like a daunting task, with professionals like ACAMS, Nigeria is ready to achieve this.”
Ribadu stressed the importance of collaboration among relevant stakeholders to fight money laundering and terrorism financing.
He said a strong anti-graft institution was non-negotiable in the fight against money laundering and called for the strengthening of the EFCC and other relevant agencies.
Ribadu said the restructuring of the banking sector helped to restore confidence in the economy.
According to him, the strengthening of the banking sector helped in the recovery of N200 billion from money launderers within six months of the reform.
He said $75 million was also returned to victims of fraud all over the world.
He said: “In 2003, Nigeria was on the black list of most developed countries, especially US, for money laundering.
“This meant that our financial institutions found it difficult doing business in foreign lands.
“We could not use MasterCard, visa card or credit card.
“Our financial institutions could not access international loan.
“At one time, it was almost impossible for a Nigerian to open an account in the US or UK.
“Nigerians travelling abroad were subjected to serious scrutiny relating to drugs, terrorism and money laundering.
“The list is endless.
“But now things are changing.
“Nigerian banks are now listed on the London Stock Exchange and getting access to foreign loans.
“This is a sign of improvement.
“However, more can be done.”
Ribadu said there were more illegal monies to be recovered and urged government not to relent in tracking stolen money.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor of Financial System Stability of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Okwu Nnanna, said to curb money laundering, virtual currencies must be regulated.
Nnanna described virtual currency as unregulated, digital money, issued, controlled by its developers, and used and accepted among members of a specific community.
Nnnanna said virtual currency was dangerous since was not a legal tender of any country.
He said: “It has a bounder-less nature without jurisdiction, which makes it a channel for money laundering.
“Financial Action Task Force has observed that virtual currency payment products and services present opportunity for money laundering and other crime risk that must be identified and mitigated.
“Virtual currencies present a wide range of issues and challenges that require financial authorities to consider and the challenges posed are unique and call for urgent regulator responses.
“I want to join voice with FATF to urge industry players to cooperate and work actively together to address the concerns and challenges raised by the use of virtual currencies in the global financial market.”


Tribunal overrules Wike on stay of execution motion

The Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal for Rivers State sitting in Abuja has struck out a motion by Governor Nyesom Wike asking for stay of execution of an order it earlier granted.

The Tribunal Chairman, Justice Muazu Pindiga, had on June 11 ordered the Independent National Electoral Commisison to allow the All Progressives Congress and its candidate in the April 11 election, Dakuku Peterside, inspect materials used for the governorship election in Rivers State.
Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), Counsel to Wike, the 2nd respondent, on June 17 moved a motion asking the tribunal to stay the execution of proceeding on the inspection of election materials.
Ukala had argued that the issue was already before the Appeal Court and that any issue before a higher court, a lower court was restricted in entertaining it.
He also moved another motion seeking for an order to strike out all motion statement on oath accompanying the petition with its full names and the identity of the deponent.
The other is a motion seeking to strike out the petitioner’s reply to the 2nd respondent to the petition.
However on Monday, Counsel to Dakuku, Akin Olujimi, (SAN), sought an order of the tribunal to direct INEC to bring all election documents in dispute from Port Harcourt to Abuja for inspection.
Olujimi also moved a motion asking for biometric scanning of the materials by INEC experts after they were moved to Abuja for inspection.
He also moved another motion seeking an order to direct all the respondents to move their preliminary objection pending before the tribunal or any other that might arise alongside their final addresses.
Also, Counsel to INEC, Wale Balogun, on the same date challenged the competence of the petitioner’s replies to some of the motions raised earlier by his client.
Pindiga struck out the motion on stay of execution of proceedings on the ground that the tribunal was already on the entire petition.
According to Pindiga, event has already overtaken the motion seeking an order for all motion in line with preliminary objection to be held together alongside their final addresses by the respondents.
“In line with Supreme Court Order and Paragraph 12(5) and 47(1) of the First Schedule of the Electoral Act, all motion in line with the preliminary objection will be held and shall be taken along in the pre-hearing session,” Pindiga stressed.
The Chairman, however, dismissed the motion seeking for the transfer of the materials of the election in question to Abuja.
The chairman said the order of June 11 on the inspection of election material still remained, adding that the order could not be varied.
“We rely on Section 151 of the Electoral Act, the application to bring the election documents to Abuja is hereby dismissed,” Pindiga said.
He adjourned to August 25 to rule on the motion seeking for biometric scanning of the election materials by the INEC experts.
The tribunal will also rule on another motion moved by the INEC challenging the competence of the petitioner’s replies to some of the motions earlier raised on that date.
It will also hear other motions that are due for hearing on the same date.

Crisis brews in Senate over sharing of Committees between APC, PDP

Dino Melaye
There is a strong indication that another crisis might erupt in the Senate next month when the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, will announce the Chairmen and membership of the Senate Standing Committees.
Already, a pointer to this is the ‎recent constitution of the Special Senate Standing Committees, in which Senators of both the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party shared the chairmanship positions on equal basis.
The committees are Senate Services, chaired by Ibrahim Gobir, who is an APC senator from Sokoto State; Rules and Business, chaired by Senator Babajide Omoworare, who is also an APC senator from Osun State; Ethics and Privileges, chaired by Samuel Anyanwu (PDP, Imo East); and Public Accounts Committee, Andy Uba (PDP, Anambra South).
Our correspondent reports that in the previous Senate, opposition parties were only given five chairmanship slots.
For instance, during the Seventh Senate, Senator Olugbenga Obadara (ACN) chaired the Senate Committee on Privatisation; Senator Ahmad Lawan (ANPP) chaired the Senate Committee on Public Accounts; Senator Patrick Akinyelure chaired Ethics and Privileges and Public Petitions; Senator Ajayi Borofice (LP) chaired Senate Committee on Science and Technology; while Senator Ayo Adeseun (ACN) chaired the Senate Committee on Capital Market.
However, our correspondent learnt that with the current arrangement going on the in the Upper Chamber and taking into cognisance the controversial Senate Rule Book, the chairmanship of the 57 standing committees might be shared equally among the APC and PDP.
This is contrary to the recent assurance by the Senate spokesperson, Dino Melaye, during an interview with our correspondent in Abuja, when he said that the APC senators would chair most of the committees.
Already, the Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, had said in interview with newsmen last week that the standing committees, according to tradition, would be announced next month when members resume from their current long annual recess.
Saraki had also asked senators who might wish to serve in the Senate Standing Committees to pick forms from the Clerk to the Senate and indicate five committees where they wish to serve as soon as possible.
The controversial amendments made to the Senate Rules 2015 had made it mandatory for the leadership of the upper chamber to share headship of the committees equally among the six geopolitical zones.
Specifically, Order 3 (4) of the Senate Standing Orders 2015, as amended, states: “The appointment of senators as chairmen and members of committees shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the six geopolitical zones of the country and there shall be no predominance of senators from a few geo-political zones.”

Culled from the eagleonline

APC’s Gov. Al-Makura genuinely won April gubernatorial election, says PDP

Alhaji Sidi Ndaji, the Zonal Coordinating Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party for the Southern Senatorial Zone in Nasarawa State, said the party did not challenge Governor Umaru Al-Makura’s victory in the April poll because he genuinely won.
Ndaji made the statement while addressing newsmen in Lafia on Wednesday.
He said Al-Makura, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, won the election in a free and fair contest, prompting the party and its candidate to jettison any idea of going to the tribunal.
“Our party shuns the option of going to the tribunal to contest the outcome of the result because it was clear that the people of the state elected Al-makura at the polls,” he said.
He said that was why neither the party nor its governorship candidate in the election, Alhaji Yusuf Agabi, went to the tribunal to contest the victory of Al-Makura.
Ndaji said: “We are baffled that the All Progressives Grand Alliance and its gubernatorial candidate, Mr. Labaran Maku, have gone to court, when it was obvious to any observer that Al-Makura won the election overwhelmingly.”
He said the PDP had decided to respect the wishes and choice of the people because doing anything else would amount to questioning the collective resolve of the people, which could be inimical to the growth of democracy.
The party’s scribe said APC, on whose platform Al-Makura contested, won the election squarely, having recorded the highest number of votes.
Reacting to the statement, APGA state Secretary, Emmanuel Yero, said: “I don’t have much to say except that what anybody says is his own opinion and he is entitled to it.”

Huge Debt Profile: A’Ibom Govt Seeks Help

Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has confirmed fears and speculations that the huge debt profile of the state government might thwart his effort to deliver on his campaign promises.
Although constantly denying speculations of over N500 billion huge debt profile left behind by the immediate past administration of Godswill Akpabio, a letter forwarded to the state House of Assembly by Governor Emmanuel, requesting conversion of commercial bank loans to the Federal Government bond, suggests fear of failure.
The letter with reference number, GHU/AKS/S/104/VOL.V/650, submitted by Governor Emmanuel was read on the floor of the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly during plenary on Tuesday.
Rationalising his request, Governor Emmanuel in his letter indicated that the measure is to restore fiscal Sstability in view of the significant fall in revenue accruing to different tiers of government.
“In order for Akwa Ibom State to join other states of the federation and take advantage of this initiative, it becomes necessary for the state to partner with the Debt Management Office (DMO) of Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Finance in this direction to utilise the benefits.
“Under the framework, the short-term bank loans of the state will be restructured into FGN bonds with tenors of between 15 to 20 years.
“Reduction in the monthly debt service burden of the state will free up resources for meeting other pressing financial obligations,” he stated.
The letter read by Emmanuel who explained that the debt service obligation will be done by the state through the issuance of counter-guarantees in the form of irrevocable standing payment orders (ISPOs) on the statutory Federation Account Committee (FAAC) allocations of the state, appealed to the house to approve the restructuring to enable the state substitute short-term higher cost bank debts with long-term lower cost debt.
Reacting to this, Mr. Inibehe Effiong of the Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (COHRD) views the development as another incontrovertible evidence of the gross failure of governance in Akwa Ibom State and the shameful, scandalous and criminal waste of public funds by the erstwhile administration of Godswill Akpabio.
“For us, this is a tacit admission by Mr. Udom Emmanuel that indeed the state is in a state of financial crisis and comatose,” he stated.
Effiong regretted that Mr. Udom Emmanuel did not state in his letter the exact amount of money owed commercial banks in the country by the state government.
“This, we believe, is willful and deliberate. It is a continuation of the culture of running government like a secret cult/criminal enterprise without any modicum of regard to the dictates of transparency, accountability and good governance.
“It is common knowledge that Mr. Akpabio had obtained huge loans from banks to service his insatiable escapades and primitive ostentation and profligate lifestyle at the peril of the state. It is on record that recently, Diamond Bank Plc, one of the banks that the state is indebted to, published a bad loan of N5.8 billion obtained by Mr. Akpabio,” he stated.
COHRD urges the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to consider requests by state governments to convert their loans to Federal Government Bonds on individual merit, due regards being paid to whether such loans were properly utilised by the affected states in consonance with the accountability mantra of the government.
It is on record that Akwa Ibom State ranks above other states in the federation in federal allocations for several years now.
COHRD, however,  noted with concern the apparent failure by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to duly investigate the plethora of factual petitions detailing serial embezzlement of state funds by the erstwhile administration of Godswill Akpabio.
The coalition is of the strong view that the Ibrahim Lamorde-led EFCC may have been terribly compromised by Mr. Akpabio, the apostle of “what money cannot do, more money can do.”
The group therefore appealed to President Buhari to urgently come to the aid of Akwa Ibom State by including the state in its asset recovery and anti-corruption drive for the sake of justice and in the interest of future generations of the state.
Since he took seat as the fourth civilian Governor of the 27-year-old state, checks revealed that Governor Emmanuel has refused to disclose what former Governor Akpabio left behind in his handover note as income and expenditure profile of the government between May 29, 2007 and May 29, 2015.
Also, the Transition Committee set up by the state government chaired former Head of Service (HoS), Mr. Sunny Akpadiaha, did state the assets and liabilities bequeathed by Akpabio’s administration.
According to government sources, the cash crunch has affected most of the contracts awarded recently by Governor Emmanuel, as contractors could not be mobilised to sites.
Because of the crippling cash crisis, the Governor recently said he would borrow from the banks to intervene in the reclamation of part of Calabar-Itu highway heavily threatened by gully erosion, an indication that the state was reeling in huge debt burden.
Efforts to speak with the state Finance Commissioner, Mr. Akan Okon, were unsuccessful as he was said to be attending the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting in Abuja.

Daily independent. 


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