Monday, 25 September 2017
Items filtered by date: January 2017

SPONSORED BY CHIQUEMAGAZINE.COM: The All Progressives Congress in Ondo State has accused Governor Olusegun Mimiko of planning to divert N1.5 billion in grants from foreign donors to phony contracts.

APC, in a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary, Mr Abayomi Adesanya, in Akure on Saturday said the money was the accumulated foreign grants to Ondo State Wealth Creation Agency (WECA) and Multilateral Relation Department.

“It has come to our knowledge, on good authority, that Ondo State Government, two days ago, specifically Jan. 4, 2017, took receipt of the N1.2 billion physical cash being amount deposited into the account of the Multilateral Relation Department of the Governor’s Office as accumulated grants from foreign donors.

“Confirmed information also shown that another sum of N385 million was credited into the account of the Wealth Creation Agency (WECA) of Ondo State.

The APC said it was sad that unpatriotic and unscrupulous elements within the highest echelon of the outgoing government had activated nefarious plans to siphon the money into private accounts.

“To perfect this plan, arrangement had been made to transfer the N1.2 billion to WECA which has been designated as exit point for the monies.

“Already, high level civil servants in the two departments have been mobilised to begin processing of phony contracts award papers to perfect the looting spree of the total sum of N1.585 billion.”

Adesanya described the act as callous and sabotage by some individuals in government to steal public funds as valedictory gifts to themselves and warned civil servants of the consequences of such act.

“Ondo APC wishes to direct the attention of Gov. Olusegun Mimiko to this and to emphasise the need to arrest this heinous crime before it completely tarnishes him in the dying minutes of his tenure.

“We also wish to point out to the Governor that all accusing fingers are pointing at him considering the fact that the two agencies are directly under his supervision.

“And now that this massive looting plan has been uncovered, civil servants, particularly the relevant officers at WECA and Multilateral offices are seriously warned not to cooperate with the outgoing Mimiko administration to defraud Ondo State.

“Gov. Mimiko, his political appointees as well as civil servants should be put on notice that already the incoming government of our party is in possession of past, current and daily records of financial misdeeds of high elements of the outgoing government.’’

Reacting to the allegation, Mr Kayode Akinmade, state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, disclosed that the allegation was “frivolous and a falsehood.

“The allegation is frivolous and falsehood and I challenge the party to provide facts on this allegation.

“APC will take over government in Ondo State on Feb. 24, they should wait till then. As at now, Dr Olusegun Mimiko is the governor of Ondo State and he has the right to take decision(s) about the state.

“APC cannot tie the hands of the governor from performing his statutory functions,’’ Akinmade said.

Published in Politics

SPONSORED BY CHIQUEMAGAZINE.COM: Wayne Rooney has moved level with Sir Bobby Charlton as Manchester United’s all-time leading goalscorer. 

The 31-year-old’s FA Cup strike against Reading took him to 249 in 543 games, reaching the landmark 215 matches and four seasons quicker than Charlton.

The record had stood since 1973 but Rooney now seems certain to beat it.

“This club is a huge part of my life and I’m honoured to be up there alongside Sir Bobby,” said Rooney following the 4-0 win.

“It’s a proud moment. To do it at a massive club like Manchester United, I’m hugely honoured.”

In 2015, Rooney surpassed World Cup winner Charlton’s England scoring record of 49 goals and has since taken his tally to 53.

The United landmark comes during a season in which the England captain has been left out of the starting line-up for both club and country, his record-equalling goal being just his fourth of the campaign.

The signs were there from the very start that Rooney’s could be a stellar Old Trafford career.

In his first game following a £27m move from Everton in 2004, he scored a hat-trick against Fenerbahce in a 6-2 Champions League win.

He has not looked back since, reaching double figures in every season at the club, including a career-high 34 in all competitions in 2009-10 and 2011-12.

-BBC

Published in Sports

*To recover N66.56b from contractors, others

*To invite EFCC, ICPC to probe Yuguda administration

SPONSORED BY CHIQUEMAGAZINE.COM: The High Powered Committee set up by the Governor of Bauchi State, Mohammed Abubakar to investigate all major contracts awarded in the state between 2007 and 2015 has indicted the administration of former Governor Isa Yuguda of N212.2 billion fraud.

The committee said the money could not be properly accounted for by past administration and recommended that N66.56 billion should be recovered from various contractors, consultants, government officials and banks.

The committee, under the Chairmanship of Alhaji Salihu Lukman Abubakar, submitted its report to Governor Abubakar at the weekend in which several irregularities were uncovered.

In its report, various irregularities were discovered in the award and execution of contracts, payment of contractors, loans obtained and other financial improprieties. There were also cases of negligence, corruption, and connivance to defraud the state by government officials who served in the period under review.

The committee also recommended that N66.56 billion should be recovered from various contractors, consultants, government officials and banks and that the total sum that was not properly accounted for was placed at N212.2 billion.

The committee reviewed contracts which spanned from 2007-2015, awarded by major ministries and parastatals, including the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Ministry for Local Government Affairs, Ministry of Education, and other MDAs in the state.

Some of the contracts reviewed included, the Bauchi International Airport Contract, new General Hospital, Toro, GGSS student’s hostel, construction of various road projects, among others. The committee also beamed the light on expenditures, loans, bonds, security votes, remittances and other financial transactions made during the period.

Responding, Governor Abubakar thanked the committee for doing a thorough job and wondered why the trust of the people would be squandered by those elected to improve their lives.

He stated that this was not a witch-hunt but that every kobo belonging to the state, which was fritted away, would be pursued with a view of recovering it.

The governor also mandated the Commissioner for Justice to liaise with the Attorney General of the Federation so that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC would be involved to recover these monies.

Abubakar also instituted a white paper committee to look into the report, and advice government on the next steps to take.
The white paper committee was given three weeks to submit its report.

Published in News & Stories

SPONSORED BY BUY656.COM: Ghana has a new president. He is Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Akufo-Addo was sworn in as the president this morning.

He was sworn in by the Chief Justice, Theodora Georgina Wood before thousands of people and African leaders at the inaugural ceremony, which held at the Black Stars square.

He takes over from John Dramani Mahama.

Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM: The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, on Saturday appointed a new General Overseer (GO) for the church as he retires, ahead of his 75th birthday on 2 March.

The new General Overseer (GO) is Pastor Joshua Obayemi. Adeboye was born on March 2, 1942, in Ifewara, Osun State.

Pastor Adeboye had his B.Sc. in Mathematics at University of Nigeria Nsukka, and subsequently got his PhD in applied mathematics from the University of Lagos, and worked as a lecturer in Mathematics at the universities of Lagos and Ilorin, before going into full time priesthood in 1984.

After joining the RCCG in 1973, he began working to translate the sermons of its then Pastor and founder, Rev. Josiah Olufemi Akindayomi, from Yoruba into English. In 1981, Adeboye was appointed General Overseer of the church. He took over from Papa Akindayomi, who had died the previous year.

For three years he performed the role part-time, still lecturing at Ilorin. He finally gave up his university position to preach full-time.

The church, which was not well known prior to Adeboye’s ascendance has grown phenomenally, to become Nigeria’s biggest, with branches globally in about 190 countries, including more than 14,000 in Nigeria. Adeboye has stated that his aim is to put a church within five minutes of every person on Earth.

He married Adenike, now 68 in 1967. She was born on 13th July 1948. 

Obayemi was appointed the new GO at the Annual Ministers Thanksgiving at Shimawa, in Ogun State.

The newly appointed GO was the former Special Assistant to the General Overseer (SATGO) on Finance.

Adeboye also appointed Pastor Johnson Odesola, who was the Special Assistant on Administration and Personnel, as the church Secretary.

Published in Headliners
Saturday, 07 January 2017 00:09

BUY656: Diezani forfeits $153m to FG

SPONSORED BY BUY656.COM: The judge made the order in favour of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission which appeared before him today with an ex parte application seeking the temporary forfeiture of the funds. In a nine-paragraph affidavit  by by EFCC investigator,  Moses Awolusi  and filed in support of the ex parte application,  the anti-graft agency discovered  how sometime in December 2014 Diezani invited a former Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo, to her office. There  they hatched the plan of how  $153,310,000 would be moved from NNPC to Okonkwo to be saved for Diezani.

Diezani, according to Awolusi, instructed Okonkwo to ensure that the money was “neither credited into any known account nor captured in any transaction platforms” of Fidelity Bank. Okonkwo accepted and implemented the deal leading to the movement of $153,310,000 from NNPC to Fidelity Bank.

He averred  further that two former Group Executive Directors of Finance and Account of NNPC, B.O.N. Otti and Stanley Lawson, helped Diezani to move the cash from NNPC, Abuja to the headquarters of Fidelity Bank in Lagos. Awolusi said in a desperate bid to conceal the source of the money, Okonkwo, upon receiving it, instructed the Country Head of Fidelity Bank, Mr. Martin Izuogbe, to take $113,310,000 cash out of the money to the Executive Director, Commercial and Institutional Bank, Sterling Bank Plc, Lanre Adesanya, to keep.

He said the remaining $40m was taken in cash to the Executive Director, Public Sector Accountant, First Bank, Dauda Lawal, to keep. The investigator said out of the $113,310,000 handed over to Adesanya, a sum of $108,310,000 was invested in an off balance sheet investment using Sterling Asset Management Trustees Limited.

The money was  was subsequently converted into N23.4 billion  and saved in Sterling Bank. Awolusi said the EFCC had recovered the N23.4bn in draft and had registered it as an exhibit marked, EFCC 01.

The investigator said the EFCC had also recovered another $5m out of the money kept with the Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe. He said the $5m was recovered in draft and had been registered as an exhibit marked, EFCC 02. According to him, First Bank’s Executive Director, Lawal had  similarly converted the $40m kept with him to N9,080,000,000. Awolusi, however, said the EFCC had recovered that also in draft and registered it as Exhibit EFCC 03.

Moving the ex parte application today, the EFCC lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, urged Justice Hassan to order the temporary forfeiture of the funds to the Federal Government and to order Sterling Bank and Lawal, who were joined as defendants in the application, as well as any other interested parties, to appear in court within two weeks to show cause why the funds should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government. Oyedepo, who said the application was brought pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act No. 14, 2006 and Section 44(2)(‘) of the 1999 Constitution, said granting the application was in the best interest of justice. Justice Hassan granted the order and adjourned till January 24, 2016 for the respondents to appear in court to show cause why the funds should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY X365TV.COM: Army spokesman, Brigadier General Sani Usman says another Chibok schoolgirl has been found, one of the 219 stolen by Boko Haram insurgents on 14 April 2014.

She was identified as Rakiya Abubakar. She has a six month old baby.

She is the 23rd to be recovered so far, since the Buhari administration came into office.

She was discovered by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole, in Maiduguri, during investigation of arrested suspected Boko Haram terrorists

Usman, the Director, Army Public Relations, on Thursday in Abuja, said in a statement that preliminary investigation discovered that “she is the daughter of Abubakar Gali Mulima and Habiba Abubakar of Chibok”.

”She further stated that she was a student of Senior Secondary School Class 3B (SS 3B), before her abduction along with her colleagues on April 14, 2014 by the Boko Haram terrorists.

“Rakiya Abubakar is presently undergoing further medical investigation and would soon be released to the Borno Government,” Usman said.

Published in Parliament

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM: On preparation for its expected return on January 14, the Ponzi scheme Mavordi Mondial Movement (MMM) promoters have issued instructions to its participants whose accounts were frozen, to perform “Promo Tasks: A New Tool for MMM Community Development.”

The MMM message to subscribers said the tasks, which should be done both online and offline, will promote the scheme and drive “traffic and participation” by the time the restriction on the account is lifted.

“Being an MMM member implies not only opportunities, but also a responsibility for the state and development of the MMM Community”, the message said.

The information raises hopes of the almost three million Nigerians who invested in the scheme, following the ban on withdrawals on December 3, 2016.

On January 2, the scheme on its official Twitter handle, @MMMNigeriaHelp disclosed that participants’ accounts will be unfrozen on January 14.

Some of the participants have taken to social media to give reasons why the scheme should return.

ÌÌÌ was a Russian company that perpetrated one of the world’s largest Ponzi schemes of all time, in the 1990s. By different estimates from five to 40 million people lost up to $10 billion. The exact figures are not known even to the founders

Published in News & Stories

SPONSORED BY CHIQUEMAGAZINE.COM: Algeria forward Riyad Mahrez was Thursday voted African Footballer of the Year after he inspired Leicester City to the English Premier League title last season.

Mahrez, 25, beat Gabon skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who scooped the prestigious accolade last year, into second place, with Senegal star Sadio Mane, who features for Liverpool, taking third place.

The France-born forward said it was an honour to be named the best African player for the past year.

“It’s a huge honour, I am happy and pleased. I thank all my teammates at Leicester and Algeria,” Mahrez said as he received the award.

“I dedicate this to my family and all those who support me every day.”

Leicester caused a major shock when as 5,000-1 outsiders they went on to win the Premier League last season.

Mahrez, a slightly-built, right-sided forward who started out with hometown club AAS Sarcelles in 2004, played a key role in the Foxes’ stunning run with 17 goals, 10 assists in 37 appearances.

He played in all but of Leicester’s games.

He was the first Algerian to win a Premier League champions medal and sparked a massive following back home in Algeria for the club, who he had first thought was a rugby team when he was contacted to join them four years ago.

Mahrez’s win ended a 19-year absence on the podium for a player from north Africa since Morocco’s Mustapha Hadji in 1998.

Other Algerians to have won the award were Rabah Madjer in 1987 and Lakhdar Belloumi in 1981.

All three players who made the shortlist for the African Footballer of the Year were also picked in CAF XI that also features Ivory Coast defender Eric Bailly from Manchester United.

Goalkeeper Denis Onyango was picked for the African Player of the Year Based in Africa award ahead of Mamelodi Sundowns teammate Khama Billiat and Zambia’s Rainford Kalaba. 

Onyango was outstanding when seven-time South African champions Sundowns won an historic CAF Champions League and also when Uganda qualified for this year’s Africa Cup of Nations after a long absence.

Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala grabbed her second African Women’s Player of the Year award on the back of her goals as Nigeria retained their continental crown in Cameroon.

The Arsenal Ladies star won her first when she also helped the Super Falcons emerge African champions in 2014.

Nigeria youngsters Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi won the Most Promising Talent and Youth Player of the Year awards, respectively.

Gambian referee Bakary Papa Gassama won the Best Referee Award for the third straight year.

Award winners:

African Player of the Year:

Riyad Mahrez (Algeria & Leicester City)

African Player of the Year – based in Africa:

Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)

 


Women’s Player of the Year:

 

Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria & Arsenal Ladies)

Most promising talent:

Kelechi Iheanacho (Nigeria & Manchester City)

Young Player of the Year:

Alex Iwobi (Nigeria & Arsenal)

Coach of the Year:

Pitso Mosimane (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Club of the Year:

Mamelodi Sundowns

National team of the Year:

Uganda

Women’s national team of the Year:

Nigeria

Published in Sports

• SUVs, boats, sports cars now attract 70% • Rice, alcoholic spirits 60 %
• Fairly used(tokunbo) cars, 35 % • Industrial oils, bolts, others down to five per cent

SPONSORED BY X365TV.COM: The Federal Government has raised duties on luxury goods such as yachts and Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) imported into the country.But also affected are some food items such as rice, salt and sugarcane that have local alternatives.

The plan to raise the duties which was first contemplated by former Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala under the immediate past administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan had remained on the drawing board due to Jonathan’s loss of the presidential election to the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and the consequent change of officials between the former administration and the current one.

Under the new Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) Common External Tariff (CET) regime which administers import and export tariffs within the West African sub-region in the movement of goods, importers of yachts and other luxury automobiles such as SUVs, boats, sports cars, and other vessels used for pleasure are now to pay 70 per cent of the value of the vehicles as taxes (duties) to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). The new rate is a jump from the 20 per cent which the owners currently enjoy. The increase is contained in a circular by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun to the NCS.

Other major items affected in the duty increase include sugar cane and salt from 10 per cent to 70 per cent; alcoholic spirit, beverages and tobacco from 20 per cent to 60 per cent; and rice from 10 per cent to 60 per cent.

Also included on the list are packaged cement, from 10 per cent to 50 per cent; cotton/ fabrics materials, from 35 per cent to 45 per cent; and used cars popular known as Tokunbo, from 10 per cent to 35 per cent respectively.

Medicaments such as anti-malarials and antibiotics; crude palm oil; wheat flour; tomatoes paste; and cassava products are also affected in the upward review of duties. But essential industrial sector accessories, including bolt, industrial oil and other equipment are to enjoy a downward review to spur local industrialisation.

The cut in the import tariff on items for industrial use may encourage entrepreneurs whose industries are shut down due to the high duties paid on imported components. Such companies may resume or expand their operations as a result of the incentives.

However, while the new policy may trigger a rise in the prices of some consumable goods until the demand for them is met locally, the NCS, which has been grappling with meeting the fiscal target set for it by the Federal Government may boost its revenue.

The policy which is coming on the heels of the recent ban by the NCS on all vehicle imports through the land borders in the country, as part of measures to curb smuggling of particularly used cars into the country is going to see citizens pay higher for used cars popularly known as ‘Tokunbo.”

The smuggling of cars into the country may have dealt a very big blow to the customs’ revenue generation as the budget minister recently announced that the NCS’ projected revenue for the third quarter of this year fell short of expectation by N100 billion, recording N200 billion instead of N300 billion target given to the agency by the Federal Government.

According to the Finance Minister, Buhari has already approved the new tariff regime.The circular reads in part: “This is to confirm that Mr. President has approved the 2016 fiscal policy measures made up of the Supplementary Protection Measures (SPM) for implementation together with the ECOWAS CET 2015 – 2019 with effect from 17th October, 2016.

“Consequently, all transactions prior to the effective date of this circular shall be subjected to the tariff rates applicable before the coming into effect of this 2016 fiscal policy measures.”

It added that the approved SPM was in line with the provision of the ECOWAS CET comprising the following:“An Import Adjustment Tax (IAT) list with additional taxes on 173 tariff lines of the extant ECOWAS CET; national list consisting of items with reduced import duty rates to promote and encourage development in critical sectors of the economy; an import prohibition list (Trade), applicable only to certain goods originating from non-ECOWAS member states.”

Adeosun declared that the current fiscal policy measures superseded those of 2015, and advised the customs and other stakeholders to ensure strict compliance.

Published in News & Stories
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