Buhari Approves Reconstitution Of NLNG, BGT Boards

File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari at his office in the Presidential Villa in Abuja on March 26, 2020. Source: Twitter- @NGRPresident

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reconstitution of Federal Government’s representatives on the boards of the Nigeria (Liquefied Natural Gas) and the Bonny Gas Transport Limited (BGT).

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, announced this in a statement on Monday.

He explained that the reconstitution of the boards became imperative since the present boards members were inaugurated in 2005.

READ ALSO: Fire Breaks Out At World Trade Centre In Abuja

According to the minister, there is a need for the injection of fresh ideas into the leadership of the companies.

 

File photo: Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva defends his ministry’s budget before the Joint Committee of the National Assembly in Abuja on October 17, 2019.

 

He revealed that the new NLNG board has Edmund Daukoru as Chairman, while the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, and three others are members.

The other members include: Rabiu Sulaiman, Ikem Obih, and Bitrus Nabasu who is the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

Sylva added that Daukoru was also named the President of the new BGT board, while Kyari, Nabasu, and Doyin Akinyanju are members

He thanked the outgoing members of the boards of the NLNG and the BGT for their services and successes recorded during their time and wished them good health and more victories in their future endeavours.

While congratulating the new board members for their appointment, the minister reminded them that they were chosen based on their integrity and sterling track records.

He, therefore, asked them to bring their experiences to bear in the running of the boards.

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Buhari Wrong To Have Kept Magu As Acting EFCC Chief For Five Years – Lawyer

 

A former Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Victor Ubani on Monday faulted President Muhammadu Buhari for keeping suspended graft chief, Ibrahim Magu in charge of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for five years without being confirmed by the Senate.

Ubani, who was speaking on Channels TV breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, said the President should have sought confirmation from the Senate or replaced Magu.

“If you look at the act that created the office of the chairmanship of the EFCC, there is no room for acting capacity,” Ubani said. “Even though people will want to have recourse to the interpretation that if you have power to appoint, you also have the power to put someone in acting capacity.”

Ubani added that, ideally, an acting Chairman should not have been in running for the permanent position.

“In America, if they want to send the name of someone in acting capacity to the senate for confirmation, they will remove that individual and bring in somebody else, pending the time the Senate will confirm or reject,” he said.

“But what happened in Magu’s case is that you sent him for confirmation and the Senate rejected him, and you now kept him in acting capacity for five years. Even if someone has to serve in acting capacity, it shouldn’t be up to a year because there must be confirmation as required by law.”

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday affirmed the suspension of Mr Magu as acting Chairman of the EFCC.

Magu’s suspension by the President, which takes immediate effect, was announced in a statement from the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

The minister’s Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Umar Gwandu, who signed the statement, explained that the presidential directive was to allow for an unhindered inquiry by the Presidential Investigation Panel under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act and other relevant laws.

He also revealed that President Buhari has directed the EFCC Director of Operations, Mohammed Umar, to take charge and oversee the activities of the commission.

Meanwhile, Mr Magu, through his lawyer, has since written to the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to release him on bail after spending several days in detention.

Nigeria Set To Present Voluntary National Review Report On SDGs To UN

 

The Federal Government of Nigeria is set to present its 2nd Voluntary National Review on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Monday, 13th July. 

President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by his Senior Special Assistant on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, will be presenting the Report at the 2nd Panel session of the Forum, which is holding online for the first time this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nigeria’s 2020 Voluntary National Review (VNR) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) focuses on the key issues of poverty (SDG-1) and an inclusive economy (SDG-8), health and wellbeing (SDG-3), Education (SDG-4), Gender equality (SDG-5), and the enabling environment of peace and security (SDG-16), and partnerships (SDG-17). This focus is based on Nigeria’s current development priorities and the development objectives of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

This VNR is being developed while facing huge challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic testing Nigeria’s public health systems, and of the collapse in oil prices, for an economy still getting 86% of public revenue from oil and gas.

Nigeria was among the 44 countries of the UN that presented its Voluntary National Review (VNR) in 2017 on the implementation of the 2030 agenda and the SDGs at HLPF. The country also volunteered with other 46 countries for VNR this year. Among the 47 VNR reporting countries for year 2020 are 26 first time presenters, 20 second time presenters and 1 third time presenter. The reviews of progress at the national and sub-national levels are inclusive, country-led and country-driven.

As stipulated in paragraph 84 of the 2030 Agenda, regular reviews by the HLPF are to be voluntary, state-led, undertaken by both developed and developing countries, and shall provide a platform for partnerships, including through the participation of major groups and other relevant stakeholders. The VNRs aim to facilitate the sharing of experiences, including successes, challenges and lessons learned, with a view to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The VNRs also seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The HLPF is the main United Nations platform on sustainable development and it has a central role in the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level. During the meeting, the Forum receives and considers Voluntary National Review Reports from selected countries.

This year, the meeting of the HLPF on Sustainable Development convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council, is currently being held from Tuesday, 7 July, to Thursday, 16 July 2020, including the three-day ministerial meeting of the forum from Tuesday, 14 July, to Thursday, 16 July 2020. The theme is “Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development.”

Africa Anti-Corruption Day: Buhari Calls For Common Position On Asset Recovery

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged African leaders to ensure the immediate actualization of the Common African Position on Assets Recovery (CAPAR), as the continent celebrates Anti-Corruption Day, July 11, 2020.

In a letter to South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, Chairman of African Union, the Nigerian leader asked for a re-commitment to the anti-corruption war by leaders on the continent to engender an “integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens, representing a dynamic force in the international arena.”

The President laments that “the massive corruption being perpetrated across our national governments has created a huge governance deficit that has in turn created negative consequences that have worsened the socioeconomic and political situation in Africa.”

The letter by President Buhari reads in part:

“As Your Excellency is aware, the continental fight against corruption has been premised on an irreducible minimum that can pave the way for Africa’s transformation. In this effort, the emphasis has been on the continent’s collective determination to forge resilient partnerships among our national governments, civil society organizations and other interest groups, such as women, youth and the physically challenged, to ensure improved socio-economic, political and security development and ultimately, the improvement of our continent.

“The concern of the African Union is that the massive corruption being perpetrated across our national governments has created a huge governance deficit that has in turn created negative consequences that have worsened the socio-economic and political situation in Africa.

“Your Excellency may recall that these continental concerns led our colleagues at the African Union, to appoint my humble self as the African Union Anti-Corruption Champion. I believe that the efforts and focus of the Nigerian Government at home, partly informed this decision as well as the need for Africa, as a continent, to recommit herself to the fight against corruption and the imperative to free resources for meaningful development.

“I am, therefore, in full support of the call for the issuance of a continental message to commemorate this day, on July 11, 2020, to re-commit the African Union to the continental fight against corruption, including through a robust approach to assets recovery, hence the need for a strategic framework on a Common African Position on Assets Recovery (CAPAR).

“Happily, in February 2020, at the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa, CAPAR was adopted. In my view, the African Union must go beyond the mere annual celebration of the Africa Anti-Corruption Day by moving swiftly to operationalize the African Common Position on Assets Recovery by all member states. This is an excellent way to drive Africa’s Agenda 2063, for an ‘integrated, prosperous, and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens, representing a dynamic force in the international arena.’

“As current Chair of our Union, I sincerely commend to you, this suggestion that seeks to call our leaders in Africa to recommit ourselves to this very important task of reclaiming our continent from the vice of systemic corruption.
“Please accept, Your Excellency and Dear Brother, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

Buhari Does Justice To Every Part Of The Country – Adesina

A file photo of Mr Femi Adesina.

 

Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, has insisted that his principal has been fair to all regions of the country.

Adesina’s statement comes on the heels of claims and accusations suggesting that President Buhari has been nepotistic in his dealings within the five years of his administration, with some stating that the administration has not been fair to people from the South East.

Reacting to the claims, Mr Adesina says the President has from the onset of his ambition to serve Nigeria, carried everyone along.

According to the presidential aide, some people have simply closed their minds, eyes, and ears, and have concluded in their minds that the President can just do no good.

In an article titled ‘Buhari & S’East: Arthur Eze nails it,’ Mr Adesina said that the President, within his 5 years in office, has funded “69 different projects being undertaken by the Federal Government in South East alone, all amounting to about N680 billion.”

He further argued that Buhari cannot be said to dislike the South East, in the 2007 presidential election he picked former Speaker, House of Representatives, Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke as his running mate, after he had picked the late Chuba Okadigbo in 2003 for the same position.

The presidential aide recalled that when former Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme fell ill, “President Buhari arranged his evacuation abroad by air ambulance. When he eventually passed on, he was given a most befitting national burial. Do you do that for people you don’t like? Hardly.”

Adesina said that Buhari is a man that “gives every man his due, every region what they deserve. Fairness to all.”

READ ALSO: Buhari Affirms Magu’s Suspension, Directs Mohammed Umar To Take Charge

Below is the full statement by Adesina.

BUHARI & S’EAST: ARTHUR EZE NAILS IT

There’s a wise saying in Yoruba land, which goes thus: “If you like, feed the entire city with pounded yam, egusi soup and stockfish on a daily basis, there’ll still be people who won’t like you.”

Let’s be honest and frank with ourselves. There are some people with primordial antipathy towards President Muhammadu Buhari, despite the man’s strong commitment towards transforming every part of the country. Some people have simply closed their minds, eyes and ears, and the President can just do no good.

President Buhari, however, equally has very committed loyalists in every part of the country, not minding some people who have chosen to believe the worst things, and addled their minds in the process.

Last weekend, wealthy businessman and philanthropist, Chief Arthur Eze, struck the nail on the head. He looked deeply at his own South East region of the country, and came out with a conclusion: “The President is man of the moment for the Igbo and the entire South East.

“President Buhari has demonstrated uncommon goodwill towards the people of the South East geopolitical zone, and should now rest assured of our unalloyed support and loyalty.”

Bull’s eye!

But what did Chief Eze see, that brought him to such conclusion, though he had been a supporter of the President for some time? Roads. Bridges, Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Owerri Interchange, Zik’s Mausoleum, great infrastructural projects that the region has not seen in a long while, if at any time.

In late 2018, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, unfolded a minimum of 69 different projects being undertaken by the Federal Government in South East alone, all amounting to about N680 billion. Of course, top on the list is the Second River Niger Bridge, which was built with mouth in the 16 years of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in power. The project is about 48% gone, and billed for completion in first quarter of 2022.

You have the Enugu-Port Harcourt road. Enugu-Onitsha road, and at least 67 other projects. The list is in the public domain.

Just recently, President Buhari approved a Zonal Police Headquarters (Zone 13) located at Ukpo Dunukofia, in Anambra State. It was inaugurated during the week, and will go a long way in addressing the security concerns of people of the region.

Now, do you do all these for people you don’t like? Not at all.
It is disingenuous for anyone to claim that President Buhari does not like any part of the country, most especially the South East.

When the former Major General joined the political fray in 2002, and contested for President in 2003, who was his running mate? Former Senate President, Dr Chuba Okadigbo,
a true Igbo son.

In 2007, who ran with Buhari? Another true Igbo son, and former Speaker, House of Representatives, Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke.

And when former Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme fell deathly ill, President Buhari arranged his evacuation abroad by air ambulance. When he eventually passed on, he was given a most befitting national burial. Do you do that for a people you don’t like? Hardly.

After Ekwueme’s burial, Dr Chris Ngige, another illustrious Igbo son, came to the Federal Executive Council meeting, and gave the appreciation of the region to the President. What did Buhari say?

“I’ve only done what the Constitution prescribes should be done for a former Vice President. In flying him abroad when it became necessary, in giving him national burial, I just did what should be done for a former Number 2 man in the country.”

That is President Buhari for you. He gives every man his due, every region what they deserve. Fairness to all.

Evergreen is the testimony of retired Ambassador Ignatius Olisemeka about the then General Buhari, shortly before the 2015 presidential election.

“Without ever knowing or meeting me, Buhari gave me a chance,” the Ambassador, then 83 years old, wrote.
“As I now write, I have never met him one-on-one. We have never spoken to each other. It is an extraordinary experience of an unusual man.

“I was sitting on my desk in the Ministry of External Affairs, 40 Marina, Lagos, in 1984, when I received a letter appointing me Ambassador to the United States of America. My place of origin did not matter… My religion did not matter. I had no worthwhile contacts with Dodan Barracks…”

That’s the same Buhari that revisionists would want us to believe is nepotistic, myopic, insular, and who would never appoint a non-Fulani into any position of substance. Tufiakwa!

I remember something they twisted against the President in 2015, and which they have stuck stubbornly and irrationally to, despite our many clarifications.

We were in Washington, USA, on an official visit. And the President met with Nigerians based in that country. A question came on how he would fill political positions, since he got less than 5% votes in some parts of the country.
The President said in politics, it made sense to reward those who voted for you, more than those who didn’t. If you got 95% votes in some areas, and 5% votes in others, it stood to reason that those who voted more should get more positions. Then he added: “But the Nigerian Constitution forbids any leader from doing such, and I will do as the Constitution prescribes.”

What did mischief makers do? They took the video recording of the earlier part of the President’s speech, cutting off the part where he balanced it. And they began to share it far and wide, just to portray nepotism. They repeat it till tomorrow, despite many explanations, simply because it suits their heinous purpose.

Despite the sparse number of votes in the South East in 2015 and 2019 elections, would we be right to say the entire region is arrayed against the President? Not so. After the 2015 election was won, I remember a piece I wrote in Daily Sun Newspaper, under the headline, ‘Igbo Heroes of Change.’ I mentioned people who contributed significantly to the Buhari victory like Chief Ralph Obiora, Dr Chris Ngige, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, Hon Juventus Ojukwu, Osita Okechukwu, and many others.

Also today, we have great admirers of the President from the South East, and some of them will stand by him through thick and thin. I am talking of people like Joe Igbokwe, Dr Uche Diala , Peter Claver Oparah, Emeka Oparah, Dr Kelechi Nwagwu, Zara Gift Oyinye, Jewel Ifunaya Chika, Dr Emmanuel Nwusulor, Anozie Emeka, Abuchi Anueyiagu, Egondu Okorie,and uncountable others, which space won’t permit me to mention.

For President Buhari, when he does anything in any part of the country, he does it because it’s the right and fair thing to do. Most of the 69 projects going on in the South East had been awarded before 2015. But they were never funded. The President reversed the trend, and most of them are proceeding apace, and will be legacies by the time the man exits from office.

President Buhari has his eyes on history, and he will have his place in the pantheon of honor. At the onset of COVID-19 and its devastation on the economy, I was glad to hear him instruct the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed: “No matter what happens, salaries of workers must not fail, pensions must not fail, and funding of infrastructure must not stop.”

Don’t you like the commitment of this President? I sure do.

I commend Chief Arthur Eze for being forthright and true about the President and the South East. Coming a week after Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State expressed similar sentiments about the fairness of the President, it’s time for those in entrenched positions to open their eyes and see, open their ears and hear, lest they become perpetually blind and deaf. Willfully so.

President Buhari does justice to every part of the country. Those who had imbibed a lie should now wake up, and smell the coffee.

In the course of his administration, President Buhari has been accused of being a nepotist, especially when it comes to making appointments.

There are some persons who believe that most of the appointments made under President Buhari were lopsided and tailored to favour a particular section of the country over others.

Those who are of this opinion believe that the country has already become “dangerously polarised” under the present administration.

While some think that President Buhari has not been fair especially regarding his appointments, there are others who think that he should be given a chance to justify his appointments.

The proponents of this view say people should not be quick to criticise President Buhari, arguing that there are pieces of evidence which show that those chosen are delivering on the jobs for which they were picked.

Buhari To Sign Revised 2020 Budget Today- Presidency

president-buhari
File: President Muhammadu Buhari working in his office. Photo: [email protected]

 

President Muhammadu Buhari will today sign the revised 2020 budget into law following its passage by the National Assembly last month.

This is according to a statement issued on Thursday evening by the Presidency in a tweet on its handle.

“President Buhari will tomorrow, Friday July 10, 2020, sign into law the revised 2020 budget passed by the National Assembly last month,” the presidency tweeted.

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The Senate had on June 11th, passed the revised 2020 budget of N10,805,544,664,642, a day after the House of Representatives did the same.

A breakdown of the figure shows that the sum of N2,488,789,433,344 is for capital expenditure and recurrent non-debt expenditure has N4,942,269,241,984.

The executive also allocated N422,775,979,362 for statutory transfer, while N2,951,710,000,000 was budgeted for debt service.

The passage of the revised figure, which is to be issued from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Appropriations on the Appropriation Act (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

The Federal Government had in April, cut down the 2020 budget by over N320 billion and proposed a new budget of N10.27 trillion against the N10.59 trillion passed by the National Assembly.

Global Realities

According to the government, this cut is based on the global economic realities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as recent crisis in the oil market.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Minister, Zainab Ahmed had in May said a further downward revision will mean that the Federal Government has now dropped the benchmark from an initial $57 per barrel to $30.

Mrs Ahmed also said the FG plans to cut oil production to 1.7 million barrels per day (mbpd), from the 2.1 mbpd previously proposed in the budget.

“We are in the process of an amendment that is bringing down the revenue indicator to $20 per barrel,” she said.

 

Buhari Mourns Victims Of Boat Accidents In Benue, Lagos

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with the families of victims of recent boat mishaps on inland water ways in Benue and Lagos States, describing their deaths as “sad and unfortunate”. 

President Buhari, while calling on state authorities and surrounding communities to step up rescue efforts of passengers still missing, called on would-be passengers of water transportation to adhere strictly to safety regulations outlined by national and state authorities in order to prevent avoidable accidents and loss of lives and property.

According to the President, “Such a call has become imperative in view of prevailing COVID-19 guidelines against overcrowding and night travels.”

He prayed that God will comfort the bereaved families and grant rest to the souls of the departed.

Boko Haram: Buhari Condemns Attack On UN Helicopter 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned yesterday’s attack on a United Nations’ aid helicopter by Boko Haram terrorists, describing it as dastardly and unfortunate.

The President says it is yet another desperate rearguard action by the terrorists who have been under intense pressure from the military.

READ ALSO: Benue Varsity Deputy Vice-Chancellor Dies From COVID-19

He is however reassuring the international community and Nigerians that the attack which claimed the lives of two people, including a five-year-old baby, would not go without severe consequences.

He adds that the security of foreigners and Nigerians remain the top priority of this administration.

Under Buhari Corruption Has Become Official – Reno Omokri

 

An aide to former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEF), Reno Omokri has said that under the present administration, corruption has become official. 

Mr. Omokri stated this while appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

The media aide to GEJ while admitting that there were some mistakes made in the previous government, stated that things have become worse in the Buhari-led administration.

“When you compare this administration with former President Jonathan’s government or Yaradua’s government, yes, there was some corruption there it’s a human government but the difference between that government and this government is that under Jonathan there was corruption, in this administration, corruption is official,” Omokri opined.

READ ALSO:  Reno Omokri Is The Least Person Who Should Be Talking About Corruption – Oyalowo

Speaking on the recent arrest of Nigerian Instagram celebrity, Raymond Igbalode, popularly known as Hushpuppi, Mr. Omokri noted that the present administration is not giving the youths a good example to follow.

He argued that nothing was known about Hushpuppi’s criminality when the PDP was in power, adding that Hushpuppi is exhibiting what he sees current Nigerian leaders doing.

 

SERAP Gives Buhari 14 Days To Probe ‘Over N300bn’ Missing Public Funds

 

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has given President Muhammadu Buhari 14 days to “direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to urgently investigate allegations that over N300bn of public funds are missing, mismanaged, diverted or stolen, as documented in the 2017 audited report by the Auditor General of the Federation (AGF).”

SERAP also urged him to “ask Mr Malami and the anti-corruption agencies to promptly investigate the extent and patterns of widespread and endemic corruption in the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) indicted in the audited report. We urge you to take meaningful and effective measures to clean up an apparently entrenched system of corruption in these MDAs.”

In the letter dated 4 July, 2020 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “The 2017 audited report reveals grim allegations of mismanagement, diversion and stealing of public funds, as well as unaccounted-for spending. The report suggests a grave violation of the public trust, and that the indicted MDAs and the National Assembly lack effective and credible internal processes to prevent and combat corruption.”

According to SERAP, “Investigating and prosecuting the alleged grand corruption documented by the AGF would improve the chances of success of your government’s oft-repeated commitment to fight corruption and end the impunity of perpetrators. It will improve the integrity of MDAs, serve the public interest, as well as improve Nigerians’ access to public services and goods.”

SERAP said: “Any failure to promptly investigate the allegations and prosecute suspected perpetrators would breach Nigeria’s anti-corruption legislation, including the Public Procurement Act, the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended) and the country’s obligations including under the UN Convention against Corruption and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.”

The letter, read in part: “It would also mean that Nigeria is failing to fulfil the obligations under the covenant to use its “maximum of available resources” to progressively realize and achieve basic economic and social rights, including access of Nigerians to public services and goods like quality education, healthcare, clean water and regular electricity supply, as well as the right to honest public services.”

“SERAP has carefully analysed the 2017 audited report by the AGF and our analysis reveals the following grim allegations of mismanagement, diversion and stealing of public funds, as well as unaccounted-for spending.”

“The Federal Civil Service Commission spent ₦25,856,279.00 on behalf of Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs to develop online recruitment in April 2014 without any supporting memo from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and without due process. Although the project was suspended, the Commission went ahead and paid ₦25,856,279.00 for contract not executed. The AGF recommended the full recovery of the public funds.”

“The Commission granted cash advances totalling ₦8,590,000.00 to 25 officials between February and December, 2016 but failed to retire or account for the money. Also, ₦6,850,000.00 was paid for store items that were never supplied. Another ₦2,619,210.00 was spent without receipts. The AGF expressed concern that the money may have been misappropriated or stolen, and recommended the full recovery of public funds.”

“The former Chairman of the Commission whose tenure of office ended in May 2017 took away with him four vehicles (One Toyota Hilux, one 407 Classic Peugeot, One Toyota Land Cruiser Jeep and One Toyota Corolla) belonging to the Commission, despite the Monetization Policy of Government clearly stating that all vehicles of MDAs belong to the pool, and are not expected to be taken away as part of severance package at the expiration of an officer’s appointment.”

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs failed to show any receipts for the payment of ₦4,385,230,763.25 between January and December 2016. The Ministry also had no insurance cover for all its motor-vehicles, despite the budgetary allocation of ₦11,805,802.00 for insurance premium. The Ministry spent ₦105,000,000.00 to buy computer consumables, photocopy machine consumables, papers and other store items, contrary to official circular, and without any receipts. The AGF recommended the return of the money to the public treasury.”

“The Ministry also spent ₦72,000,030.00 to improve power supply to the Ministry but the contract for this was not captured in the 2017 appropriation. Despite the purported spending, power supply to the Ministry has not improved. Also, ₦7,520,000.00 was spent by 20 officials to visit 8 out-stations of the Ministry without due process and without any receipts. ₦234,622,718.00 was also spent but remained unretired or unaccounted for. The AGF recommended the full recovery of public funds.”

“The Ministry also paid ₦83,719,500.00 to a company for the rehabilitation and re-integration of released Chibok girls in August, 2017 without any agreement between the Ministry and the contractor, and without any evidence of purchase of the back-to-school materials, and job completion certificate. The AGF recommended the full recovery of public funds.”

“The Ministry also transferred a take-off grant of ₦83,317,257.00 for Consulate-General of Nigeria, Guangzhou to the personal account of the Ambassador of Nigeria in Rome in 2013 to be remitted to Guangzhou. But the money was never remitted to Guangzhou and has remained outstanding till date. The AGF expressed concern that the money may have been diverted and misappropriated, and recommended that the Ambassador of Nigeria in Rome whose account was used be asked to account for the money.”

“The Ministry of Justice disbursed ₦10,460,950,841.00 judgment debt in 2017 without due process. The committee to manage the funds was dissolved after 2013 financial year was not reconstituted as at the time of the 2016 and 2017 appropriations but funds were nonetheless disbursed. Also, ₦32,353,693.00 was spent between March and September 2017 on international travels without approval or evidence of spending. The AGF recommended the full recovery of public funds.”

“At the National Assembly, the House of Representatives spent ₦95,212,250.00 without due process and without any receipts. The National Assembly Management Accounts also showed spending of N673,081,242.14 between April–October 2017 without any documents. The AGF expressed concerns that the money may have been misappropriated and recommended that the Clerk of the National Assembly should fully recover the money and return it to the treasury.”

“The Senate also spent ₦1,364,816,397.95 to renovate a store at the National Assembly but the AGF was denied access to the store and records, thus expressing concerns that ‘public funds may have been diverted for unappropriated purposes.’ The AGF recommended that the Clerk of the National Assembly account for the money.”

“The National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies misappropriated ₦67,296,478.00, as payments were made to unknown persons. The AGF expressed concerns that the money may have been diverted and recommended that the Director-General should fully recover the money and return it to the treasury.”

“The Public Complaint Commission spent ₦63,826,941.30 on contract to renovate State offices in Delta, Kwara, Akwa– Ibom, Taraba, Borno, Ekiti, and Niger States without due process, valuation certificates, and without receipts. The AGF expressed concerns that the money may have been diverted and recommended the full recovery of public funds.”

“The Federal Ministry of Water Resources spent ₦343,957,350.60 without due process, receipts, and without any evidence of work done or services rendered. Also, ₦14,993,950.00 granted as cash advances to staff was not accounted for. The AGF expressed concerns that the money may be missing and recommended that the Permanent Secretary is made to account for it.”

“The Lower Benue River Basin Development Authority, Makurdi misappropriated ₦42,277,285.50 of contract money for project management. Similarly, the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria paid a contractor ₦33,425,000.00 in March 2017 for awareness training but there was no evidence that the contract was executed. The AGF expressed concerns that the money may have been diverted and recommended that the Executive Director should recover and return it to the treasury.”

“The Cross-River Basin Development Authority, Calabar, overpaid a contractor to the tune of ₦10,387,490.00 for construction of Link Road between Cross River and Ebonyi State without any justification. Also, ₦30,616,110.00 was spent for construction of erosion control works at Nguzu but remained unaccounted for. The AGF expressed concerns that the contractor may have received money for project not executed, and recommended that the Managing Director should recover the money and return it to the treasury.”

“The Lake Chad Research Institute, Maiduguri, Borno State failed to account for 2 Nos. Toyota Prado Jeeps which were purchased in 2013 and 2014 with registration No. 45KOIFG for one Jeep but the second Jeep was not registered, and no reason was given for this. The AGF expressed concerns that the Jeeps may have been diverted to private use, and asked the Executive Director to account for the vehicles.”

“The National Water Resources Institute, Mando Road, Kaduna paid ₦84,401,940.74 to a company on 4th May 2017, being 10% payment on the construction of a 2-story building for UNESCO without any existing contract, and without receipts. The AGF recommended the recovery of the money.”

“The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, Abuja paid ₦24,800,000.00 into a staff private account for production/prevention of the 2016 annual flood outlook (AFO) and without evidence of services performed. Another ₦31,439,300.00 was paid in September 2016 into the account of another staff for sensitization workshops. The AGF expressed concerns that the money may be missing and asked the Director-General to recover it.”

“The Hadejia – Jama’are River Basin Development Authority, Kano State paid ₦204,893,978.09 to contractors without any receipts. The Nigeria Institute for Oil Palm Research, Benin City, Edo State paid ₦210,921,849.66 and ₦30,010,963.65 without any receipts. Another ₦15,630,050.00 cash advances to staff in 2017 was also not accounted for, as at 2018. The AGF expressed concerns that the money may have been mismanaged and asked the Accounting Officer to recover it.”

“The Federal Capital Territory Administration spent ₦393,254,000.00 to support security agencies without due process and without receipts. Another ₦362,481,173.52 was paid for the procurement of stores locally without due process. The AGF expressed concerns that the money may be missing and asked the Permanent Secretary to recover it.”

“The Ecological Funds Office misappropriated ₦1,257,791,992.86 meant for contract for Canalization and Desilting of OKOKO and Ogbagba Rivers in Osogbo Township, Osun state. There was no evidence that ₦30,000,000.00 meant for compensation to owners of marked-to-demolish structures and economic trees affected by the project, received any payment. The AGF expressed concerns that the money may be missing and asked the Permanent Secretary to recover it.”

“The Office of The Head of The Civil Service of The Federation paid ₦301,984,103.00 for projects without accounting for it. ₦36,641,528.00 was also paid for seminars, conferences and workshops without any receipts. Also, ₦16,096,712.00 was spent on projects not executed. The AGF expressed concerns that the money may have been diverted and asked the Permanent Secretary to recover it.”

“The Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun spent ₦830,267,951.23 as Special Presidential Needs Assessment Phases I and II to the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Warri for the Construction of Building, Procurement of Laboratory Equipment and Capacity Building/Staff training but the funds were misapplied. ₦190,495.824.75 was approved for a project to construct and furnish workshop and laboratory but the contractor was paid ₦199,324,657.10 and without any evidence of request by the contractor.”

“The University also spent ₦990,621,753.29 to construct and furnish a 3-storey, 4-floor structure Student Residential Building Complex but the contract for the spending was awarded without due process. Also, only a 2-storey, 3-floor building was constructed. Several other infractions are documented in the report. The AGF expressed concerns that the money may have been diverted and asked the Vice-Chancellor to account for it.”

“The National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion spent ₦2,270,000.00 for a 2-day workshop but without any receipts. The AGF asked the Director-General to recover the money. The Nigerian Railway Corporation failed to remit ₦122,242,337.63 in taxes to the authorities. The National Power Training Institute of Nigeria (NAPTIN) paid ₦20,569,398.20 for supply of Power System Simulator without evidence of supply. It gave ₦6,187,393.50 as cash advances to 17 officers which remained unaccounted for.”

“The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria paid ₦3,604,000.00 for the services of solicitors without the consent of the Attorney-General of the Federation. Another payment of ₦13,542,822.82 for the completion of machine tools workshop was made without contract agreement or receipts. In total, ₦126,533,197.08 was paid without contract agreement or receipts. The AGF expressed concerns that the funds may have been misappropriated and asked the Managing-Director to recover the money.”

“The National Health Insurance Scheme paid ₦4,931,475,094.63 as cash advances to staff without due process. ₦72,383,000.00 was also supposedly paid for verification exercise but the AGF found no evidence that the verification took place. Another ₦31,478,400.00 was purportedly paid for accreditation of Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) but again the AGF found no evidence of this.”

“The National Information Technology Development Agency paid ₦28,525,000.00 to a Security company for the production of procurement manuals for the Agency. 300 copies of the manual were produced although only 5 copies were needed and utilized, with a copy of the manual costing ₦95,083.33. The agency also paid ₦15,842,970.00 printer tonners.”

“There are several other infractions documented in the report, a copy of which can be obtained from the Auditor-General’s office.”

“We request that you take the recommended action within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter, failing which SERAP will institute legal proceedings to compel your government to act in the public interest.”

The letter was copied to Mr Abukabar Malami; Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); Ibrahim Mustafa Magu, Acting Chairman, Economic, and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); and Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

Buhari Could Have Dealt With Wike And Fayose But He Let Them Be – Adesina

A file photo of Mr Femi Adesina.

 

 

Mr Femi Adesina says President Muhammadu Buhari refused to move against Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose because of his role as the father of the nation. 

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity said his principal did not make a move because he is a father willing to tolerate his many children, irrespective of their differing idiosyncrasies, propensities, and predilections.

In an article published on his website, Mr. Adesina said Wike, was particularly combative, truculent, if not at times insulting; but the President did not let that influence his decision.

Adesina argues that Buhari did what was right, fair and just, irrespective of party affiliations, or personal inclinations.

Below is the full publication by Mr. Adesina.

It came like a bolt out of the blue. Early this week, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, issued an advertisement, which went in a completely different direction compared to what he had always said of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Wike we knew was either usually crying wolf where there was none, alleging that the Federal Government wanted to kill him, or claiming that he was not answerable to the central government at Abuja in any way, or even pontificating that the President and his political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), had failed the country in diverse ways.

If not for the maturity, and the avuncular attitude of President Buhari to all state governors, it would have been easy for one to conclude that he and Wike were enemies. Forsworn ones.

There was also the then Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, who had formed a tag team with Wike in the anti-Buhari tendency. The President could have dealt with them in many ways, either overtly or covertly, but he let them be. He was a father ready to tolerate his many children, irrespective of their differing idiosyncrasies, propensities and predilections.

A couple of weeks back, the Federal Executive Council (FEC), of which President Buhari is the Chairman, had approved the refund of N148 billion to five states in the country for repair of Federal roads. They included Rivers, Cross River, Bayelsa, Ondo and Osun.

Of the five states, only Ondo and Osun belong to the APC. The other three are of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Rivers, under Wike, was particularly combative, truculent, if not at times insulting. But the President did not let that influence his decision. He did what was right, fair and just, irrespective of party affiliations, or personal inclinations.

Rivers State got the highest figure of N78.9 billion, and I remember some people asking me why the President should give such money to a governor who would call him names the next day. But that was where Wike surprised everybody. Last Monday, he issued newspaper advertisements with the title, ‘Thank You Our Dear President.’

Dear President. False? True. Was it the Printer’s Devil? Not so. The Governor boldly appended his signature to the document.

He thanked the President for approving the refund, noting: “Mr President has by this remarkable and heart-warming gesture shown not only your love for the Government and people of Rivers State, but also, demonstrated expressly that you are, indeed, a President for every State of the Federation and all Nigerians.”
False? True. Printer’s Devil? Not so.

The Governor went on:

“I assure you that the Rivers State Government is willing and ever ready to cooperate and partner with the Federal Government to advance the developmental aspirations of Rivers State in particular, and our nation in general.”

On seeing the above, I am sure millions of people must have cleaned their eyes, wondering if they were reading correctly. Having satisfied themselves that there were no cataracts, they went ahead:
“I wish to, therefore, appeal to Mr President to kindly oblige us a State visit when invited, to see what we have accomplished for the State and our people with the money.”

Wike, inviting President Buhari on a State visit. False? True. Printer’s Devil? Not so. He meant every word of it, and therefore appended his signature.

Many times, I had responded as spokesman to the President, to wolf cries by the Rivers State Governor. At a point, I began to ignore such cries, just as I did to Fayose before him. Mr President simply took all the wild allegations in his strides, and continued working for the country, all parts of the country.

In January 2018, there had been vicious killings in some parts of the country. States affected were; Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Yobe, Rivers and Zamfara. The President decided to embark on sympathy and solidarity visits to the states. All the Governors were receptive, except Wike, who said the visit was a smokescreen, meant to revive the dying APC in Rivers State.

“Apart from Jesus Christ, we don’t know of anyone who has risen a dead thing. APC is a dead party in Rivers State. No matter how you fast and pray, it will never wake up, “ he had said.

Again, he declared at another time, talking of the President: “We are the only state that the Federal Government refused to pay us our money used to execute Federal projects, because I don’t go to see him in the night, and I won’t go. He is not my friend, he is not doing well…”

When about 20 people were killed on New Year Day 2018, in Omoku area of the state, and the President wanted to visit, Wike demurred. He said there were killings everyday all over the country, and it meant the President must visit every State on a daily basis.

The circle has turned fully round, and Governor Wike is inviting the President to visit. He says he’s “a President for every State of the Federation and all Nigerians.” Wonderful!

Some people say it is N78.9 billion that is working, and the Governor is clearly inebriated by that windfall. But I don’t think so. Rivers is by no means a poor state. The amount is handsome, no doubt, but the state is oil rich, and can hold her own when it comes to finances. I rather choose to believe that Governor Wike had been playing a curious kind of politics all along, and now, fairness and justice have touched him in a positive way.

“He is not my friend, he is not doing well, ‘ he had said. Now, he is calling the man “our dear President “ asking him to be “assured of our profound esteem.” Wonders, indeed, shall never end.

There are millions upon millions of us round the country, who love President Buhari, and believe in him. We are called Buharists, and we have no apologies. They abuse us, deride and malign us, at times, they even threaten us. But we remain who and what we are: Buharists. Come rain or shine.

Why do we love the President, and unconditionally too. Is he a flawless, perfect man? Does he run a perfect, flawless government? Not exactly so, and I’ve not seen any in this world. But we stand by him, through thick and thin. Like Dr Okolo Oteri Eme, one of the Buhari Amazons posted on Facebook earlier this week, “We do not support him because we like him but because he gives us solid, verifiable reasons to love him on a daily basis.”

I see a man with solid integrity, honesty, sense of accountability, in a forest of crooked, perverse people, and you ask me not to follow him? I will follow him from Benin to Beijing, from Cape to Cairo, anywhere, everywhere.

I see a man bringing enduring change to agriculture, to infrastructure; roads, rail, bridges, airports, laying a $2.8 billion gas pipeline, money he could have craftily diverted for himself and for generations unborn, and you ask me not to believe in him? #We Believe! Ask Maryam Shetty, another Buhari Amazon.

I am glad Governor Wike has now seen what we had seen long ago, some of us as far back as 1983. And he has realized that it was time to stop the kind of politics he had played all the while.

My friend, Lorenz Mba, summed it all up in a message he sent to me on Wednesday. “For those who constantly maligned PMB, and called him all sorts of unprintable names, N78.9 billion is your answer. You simply won’t give those you hate N78.9 billion. I see that this gesture has truly humbled Nyesom Wike.

Politics is all about propaganda. I salute PMB for his show of maturity in all these grandstanding by Southeast and South-south politicians. Go to Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, Onitsha-Enugu, 2nd Niger Bridge today. Talk was cheap. PMB showed up. Enough of rhetoric, Biko.”

We said it that President Buhari hates no part of the country. He has come to serve, and not to be served. He is fair and equitable to all. But they said our mouths were smelling, and we should shut up. Governor Wike has now vindicated us. We are glad. We Believe!

Buhari Sends Names Of 42 Non-Career Ambassadors To Senate

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has requested the approval of the Senate for the confirmation of 42 ambassadorial nominees.

This was contained in a letter sent out on Wednesday.

In another letter, the President urged the upper chamber to confirm the appointment of three nominees as commissioners in the Federal Civil Service Commission.

He also sent out another letter seeking the approval of the Senate for the appointment of a federal commissioner for the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission.

READ ALSO: Buhari Flags Off Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline Project