AGF Assures Federal Workers Of Promotion Arrears Payment

AGF Assures Federal Workers Of Promotion Arrears Payment

 

The Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, has reassured civil servants in the country of the continued payment of promotion arrears owed Federal workers.

He gave the assurance recently when he received the National Executive of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) in Abuja.

The nation’s treasurer revealed that the President had directed that N10 billion be set aside monthly, commencing from May 2017 to offset backlog of Promotion Arrears.

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He said the office of the AGF, thereafter, inaugurated an in-house committee to verify MDAs’ claims and submissions.

“The committee has saved over N37 billion from misapplications, paddings, mistakes and non-compliance by MDAs to the agreed template,” Idris was quoted as saying in a statement on Tuesday by the OAGF’s Head of Press and Publicity, Oise Johnson.

He added, “So far, the committee has paid out the sum of N42 billion out of the N55 billion released, leaving an outstanding of N13 billion in cash while a total of N35 billion is yet to be released to the office”.

The AGF promised to bring the concerns of the association to the notice of the Minister of Finance, as well as dialogue with the Director General of the Budget Office.

He explained that this was to ensure that the government continues to keep its part of the agreement reached with the association in order to ensure industrial harmony.

The nation’s treasurer also the leadership of the association for their understanding and support in the implementation of government’s plans and programmes, saying without industrial harmony no meaningful development can be achieved.

Speaking on behalf of the ASCSN National President, the Vice President of the association, Bola Innocent, praised the AGF for displaying professionalism in managing the nation’s treasury.

Senate Summons AGF, Others Over MTN Fine

Senate on MTNThe Senate has summoned the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Umar Danbatta, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris and Chief Executive Officer of MTN over claims that the MTN Nigeria had paid 50 billion Naira to the Federal Government.

The summon issued by the Senate Committee on Communications requires them to appear before the committee on March 10.

Also summoned is the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and the Minister of Communications Technology, Adebayo Shittu, on issues relating to the matter.

According to a letter of invitation dated March 3, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Gilbert Nnaji, said it discovered during one of its recent oversight functions that NCC could not provide any proof of the payment by MTN.

The committee said the MTN had been misguided to lodge the said 50 billion Naira into the Central Bank of Nigeria’s recovery account, specially designated for recovered funds.

Senator Nnaji’s committee said foul play was suspected over the manner of payment and the haste in which MTN withdrew its suit against NCC from the court.

The NCC had on February 29 affirmed the Federal Government’s receipt of 50 billion Naira towards settlement of the fine imposed on MTN Nigeria Communications Limited by the Commission.

The commission also affirmed the withdrawal of the suit involving the MTN, NCC and HAGF.

In a statement, the NCC’s Director, Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo, said that the official information to the Commission to that effect, was received from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

Falana Petitions EFCC On Abacha Loot

Abacha LootA Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate how $4 billion recovered from former military Head of State, General Sani Abacha was spent by the federal government.

The human rights activist wants the EFCC to specifically confirm the actual amount recovered from the Abacha loot and the extent of the alleged diversion of the said loot by former Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki and others.

The Lagos lawyer, who made this request in a petition dated December 18, 2015, and which was sent to the anti-graft agency, said that “unless the Abacha loot is fully accounted for, the Buhari administration will find it difficult to receive the cooperation of many governments in the ongoing efforts to recover the stolen wealth of the country”.

He also said, “Following the death of the then military Head of State, General Sani Abacha on June 8, 1998, his successor, General Abdulsalami Abubakar  ordered a  probe into the looting of the Central Bank of Nigeria from 1993-1998.

“At the end of the enquiry it was established that the late dictator stole about $5 billion from the vaults of the CBN through his National Security Adviser, Mr Mohammed Gwazo. A substantial part of the stolen fund has since been traced to over 140 bank accounts in western countries and some remote islands in the world.

“Based on the report of the investigations, the Federal Government recovered $635 million, £75 million, DM 30 million and N9 billion as well as several vehicles and properties in Abuja, Lagos and Kano together with 40% interests in West African Refinery in Sierra Leone.

“At page 495 of the second volume of  his book entitled  “My Watch” former President Obasanjo stated that “…by the time I left office in May 2009, over $2 billion and £100 million had been recovered from the Abacha family abroad, and well as  N10 billion in cash and properties locally.

“Under the Goodluck Jonathan Administration the recovery efforts continued and over $1 billion was recovered.

“But in a desperate bid to cover up the gross mismanagement and criminal diversion of the Abacha loot, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had repeatedly maintained that only $500 million had been recovered by the federal government.

“To lend credence to the fraudulent claim, the World Bank confirmed in a reply to an enquiry by SERAP that the $500 million recovered from the loot had been judiciously spent on some phantom development projects in several parts of the country.

“But following the recent revelation by the online tabloid, Premium Times that a substantial part of the loot had been criminally diverted, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has admitted that she transferred $322 million from the Abacha loot to former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki to prosecute the war on terror.

“Apart from the said sum of £322 million, Mrs Okonjo-Iweala also released £5.5 million pounds to Col. Dasuki.

“Mrs Okonjo-Iweala’s excuse that the said sum of $322 million was released due to the urgency of the crisis in the north east region is untenable having regards to the fact that former President Jonathan had sought the approval of the National Assembly to take a loan of $1 billion to equip the armed forces to fight insurgency.

“Therefore, the self-induced urgency created by Mrs Okonjo-Iweala is not a justification for spending public funds without appropriation. It may interest you to know that the sum of $500 million allegedly spent on development projects was also not appropriated by the National Assembly.”

Federal Executive Council Meeting Postponed      

Executive Council The Federal Executive Council meeting earlier scheduled for Friday morning has been postponed till Monday, December 21.

Channels TV correspondent reports that most of the ministers had arrived before they were informed about the postponement.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, told newsmen that the postponement was to allow the ministers reflect on some of the corrections made on the 2016 budget proposal during a meeting of the National Economic Council held on Thursday.

“We are being given time between now and Monday to go and rejig our figures because when the National Economic Council met yesterday, certain issues were thrown up which if not resolved will distort the entire budget proposal.

” So we are all going to get back on areas in which each ministry will go and do its own rejigging,” he said.

Abacha Loot: NEC Puts Figure At $26.4m And £19m

AbachaThe National Economic Council says the loots recovered from late General Sanni Abacha now stands at $26.4 million and £19 million as at November.

At the end of the Council meeting on Thursday, presided over by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, gave reporters the figures.

Earlier in the meeting the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, presented the figures.

Mr Idris said the dollar account, as at November 2015 ending, had a balance of $26.389 million while the pounds sterling account had a balance of £19. 033 million.

The Accountant General also reported to the Council that the ECA stood at $2.257 billion as at the end of November, 2015.

Also giving the Council an update on the nation’s economy, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, pointed out that the drop in oil price had put a serious pressure on the country’s reserve which currently stands at $29 billion.

He also put the interest on the account at $599 million.

The Minister of National Planning, Udo Udoma, also told reporters that his ministry had presented the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and the Fiscal Strategy Paper, which highlight government’s fiscal policy strategy and direction for the next three years, to the Council.

He urged the states to adopt the MTEF and FSP which had now been approved by the national assembly.

Buhari Meets More Permanent Secretaries

BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari continued his interaction with permanent secretaries by taking a look at the books of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Abdullahi Yola.

Briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, Yola said his ministry was ready to prosecute any person indicted by relevant agencies of government for looting public fund.

He said that the prosecution could only be done when agencies have found the individuals wanting and make their findings available to his ministry.

Also in the State House to brief the President were the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, as well as that of Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Abdulkadir Musa, who also told State House correspondents that his briefing with the President centred on job creation.

Musa said that in the days ahead, the current administration would be doing everything possible to attract more investments and encourage businesses.

Ahead of the appointment of ministers, President Buhari has been receiving briefings about happenings in the various ministries to get a first-hand information.

President Muhammadu Buhari continues to push further his concern about the prudent management of Nigeria’s finances, with a call on the Permanent Secretaries of various ministries to be prudent in the management of resources.

He had on Monday received the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mrs Anesthesia Nwobia, who told reporters that her ministry was working assiduously to ensure that all revenue leakages were blocked, as instructed by the President.

Buhari Tasks Permanent Secretaries On Prudent Management

Oil and GasPresident Muhammadu Buhari is pushing further his concern about the prudent management of Nigeria’s finances, with a call on the Permanent Secretaries of various ministries to be prudent in the management of resources.

Ahead of the appointment of ministers, President Buhari has been receiving briefings about happenings in the various ministries to get a first-hand information.

On the saddle on Monday is the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mrs Anesthesia Nwobia, who told reporters that her ministry was working assiduously to ensure that all revenue leakages were blocked, as instructed by the President.

According to her, the government is a continuum and so the work in the ministry of finance will not stop because there is no minister.

She said though the price of oil had dropped and had reduced the revenue stream to the government, her ministry was working out other avenues to generate revenue to ensure that the government would not go down.

She described as ‘unfair’ reports that large scale looting may be going on in the ministry, as there were no ministers yet.

She said: “Permanent Secretaries are the engine room of the civil service and will continue to do their work”.

On his part the new Accountant General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, said the Permanent Secretaries had no option than to adhere to the President’s directive that prudent measures should be adopted in the management of the nation’s resources.

According to the Accountant General, about $1.7 billion would be shared to the states from the excess crude Account.