Saturday, 24 February 2018
Items filtered by date: February 2017
Saturday, 11 February 2017 14:54

YES434: EFCC detains ex-NNPC GMD over$9.7m loot

SPONSORED BY YES434.COM...THE BUSINESS DIRECTORY: The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) has taken  a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Andrew Yakubu, into custody following the recovery  of   $9,772,800 and £74,000 cash from him.

Yakubu is being detained in an EFCC facility in Kano.

The cash,The Nation gathered authoritatively yesterday,was  originally hidden by the suspect in a fire-proof safe at his brother’s house in the slums of Sabon Tasha area of Kaduna metropolis apparently as a precautionary measure.

It was discovered by EFCC operatives who immediately impounded it. Yakubu was subsequently arrested and taken to Kano for interrogation.

Sources said he admitted the ownership of the money which he described as a gift. He did not name the givers.

But he was driven to Kaduna yesterday by the EFCC for a fresh search.

A highly-placed EFCC source said yesterday that Yakubu was co-operating well with his interrogators.

“ So far, he has cooperated with our investigators by admitting ownership of the funds,” the source told The Nation.

“As I speak with you, we have taken him to Kaduna for another round of search . We are suspecting that there could be more of such slush funds hidden elsewhere. We are not prepared to take things for granted.”

Asked whether the ex-GMD could face trial, the source said: “All I can tell you is that investigation is still on. We are glad that we have recorded a breakthrough.


“We have a senator in our office in Kano trying to guarantee his bail. If he is able to meet the bail conditions, we will release him while investigation continues.”

The Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement yesterday,  gave details of how the agency recovered the $9.7m.

His words:”A special operation conducted by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on 3rd February, 2017 on a building belonging to a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Andrew Yakubu, in Kaduna yielded the recovery of a staggering sum of $9,772,800 and another sum of £74,000 cash.

“The huge cash was hidden in a fire-proof safe.

“The surprise raid of the facility was sequel to an intelligence which the commission received about suspected proceeds of crime believed to be hidden in the slums of Sabon Tasha area of Kaduna.

“On arrival at the facility, the caretaker of the house, one Bitrus Yakubu, a younger brother to Andrew Yakubu, disclosed that both the house and the safe where the money was found belong to his brother, Andrew Yakubu.

“When the safe was opened, it was discovered that it contained the sum of $9,772,800 and another sum of £74,000.

“On February 8, 2017, Andrew Yakubu reported to the commission’s Zonal Office in Kano and made statement wherein he admitted ownership of the recovered money, claiming it was a gift from unnamed persons. He is currently assisting the investigation.”

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY YES434.COM...THE BUSINESS DIRECTORY: Nigeria’s finance minister, Kemi Adeosun said the country’s $1 billion eurobond  offered in the international market has been oversubscribed at an interest rate of 7.875%. She said the Notes  were approximately 8 times oversubscribed with orders in excess of US$7.8 billion compared to a pre-issuance target of US$ 1.0 billion. According to her, this demonstrated strong market appetite for Nigeria. “This is despite continued volatility in emerging and frontier markets and shows confidence by the international investment community in Nigeria’s economic reform agenda.” The bond will mature on 16th February 2032 with a bullet repayment of the principal.

Adeosun and Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Budget Minister, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma as well as other top officials of the Debt Management Office went on a roadshow from last week through this week, which took them to global financial institutions in Europe, Southern Africa and the United States to promote the bond. The  full statement by Adeosun’s ministry: “Announcement of pricing of US$1 billion notes by the Federal Republic of Nigeria under its US$1 billion Global Medium Term Note programme The Federal Republic of Nigeria (the “Republic”) today announces that it has priced its offering of US$1 billion aggregate principal amount of notes (the “Notes”) under its newly established US$1 billion Global Medium Term Note programme. The Notes will bear interest at a rate of 7.875% and will mature on 16th February 2032 with a bullet repayment of the principal. The Republic intends to use the proceeds of the Notes to fund capital expenditures in the 2016 budget.

The Notes represent the Republic’s third Eurobond issuance, following issuances in 2011 and 2013. The Notes were approximately 8 times oversubscribed with orders in excess of US$7.8 billion compared to a pre-issuance target of US$ 1.0 billion demonstrating strong market appetite for Nigeria. This is despite continued volatility in emerging and frontier markets and shows confidence by the international investment community in Nigeria’s economic reform agenda.

The offering attracted significant interest from leading global institutional investors. The Notes will be admitted to the official list of the UK Listing Authority and available to trade on the London Stock Exchange’s regulated market. The Republic will apply for the Notes to be eligible for trading and listed on the Nigerian FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange and the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

The pricing was determined following a roadshow led by Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the Honorable Minister of Finance, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, the Honorable Minister of Budget and National Planning, Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, the Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO) and Mr Ben Akabueze, the Director General of the Budget Office, to key global financial centres. Commenting following the successful pricing, the Honorable Minister of Finance Mrs Kemi Adeosun said: “Nigeria is implementing an ambitious economic reform agenda designed to deliver long-term sustainable growth and reduce reliance on oil and gas revenues while reducing waste and improving the efficiency of government expenditure. At the heart of the agenda is a commitment to invest in developing Nigeria’s infrastructure through a target 30% annual budget commitment to capital expenditure. We are establishing the building blocks for long-term growth and making the hard decisions that must be made to reset our economy appropriately.”

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY CHIQUEMAGAZINE.COM: New managers were yesterday appointed for Arik Air to save the airline from a debilitating financial turbulence.

The Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) took over the management of Nigeria’s biggest airline.

But the airline rejected the takeover and vowed to challenge it in court.

AMCON, according to a statement, appointed Captain Roy Ukpebo Ilegbodu as the managing director and Mr Seyi Opasanya (SAN) as the receiver.

The takeover, according to AMCON, clearly underscores the government’s decision to instil sanity in the aviation sector and also to preserve Arik as a going concern.

Security was heavy at the airline’s head office.

The AMCON statement reads: “From all indications, respite may have come the way of Arik Airlines currently immersed in heavy financial debt burden that is threatening to permanently ground the airline.

“For some time now, the airline, which carries about 55 per cent  of the load in the country, has been going through difficult times that are attributable to its bad corporate governance, erratic operational challenges, inability to pay staff salaries and heavy debt burden, among other issues, which led to the call for authorities in the country to intervene before Arik goes under like many before it.

 “The move, which clearly underscores government’s decision to instill sanity in the nation’s aviation sector, has also prevented a major catastrophe that would, among other factors, protect and preserve Arik Airlines as a going concern.”

AMCON said the development would afford Arik, which is the largest local carrier to go back to regular and undisrupted operations, avoid job losses, protect investors and stakeholder funds as well as ensure safety and stability in the already challenged aviation sector.

The statement reads: “ The airline would now be managed by Capt. Roy Ukpebo Ilegbodu, a veretan aviation expert under the receivership of Mr. Oluseye Opasanya, SAN.”

Explaining the rationale for the intervention Minister of State for Aviation Hadi Siriki said: “We believe that this appointment is timely and will stabilize the operations of the airline.”


This, he said, will enhance the long term economic value of Arik Air and revitalise the airline’s ailing operations as well as sustain safety standards, in view of Arik Air’s pivotal role in the Nigerian aviation sector.”

The Minister, who said the Ministry of Aviation would support the management of the strategic carrier, added that all steps had been taken to ensure that there would be no undue disruption of Arik’s operations or activities of other stakeholders, on account of the changes.

Capt. Ilegbodu, under the receivership of Opasanya, SAN has also assured the staff of the troubled airline and all other stakeholders that his appointment would, among other objectives, enhance the value of Arik, improve customer experience, and sustain the safety, reliable and secure operational history of the airline.

“As a matter of fact, Arik Airline has been in a precarious situation largely attributable to its heavy financial debt burden, bad corporate governance, erratic operational challenges and other issues, that require immediate intervention in order to guarantee the continued survival of the Airline.”

Yesterday, Arik temporarily suspended its flight operations to the John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, United States, claiming that the two Airbus A330-200 aircraft dedicated to the route had been taken to France for C checks.

More than eight aircraft are grounded, making it difficult for the airline to make routine commercial flights.

The statement reads :” The myriad of issues confronting Arik Air of late ranges from confiscation of aircraft due to non-payment of leases, frequent flight delays, constant fracas between Arik staff and irate passengers at both local and international airports etc.

“During the last Yuletide season, passengers were stranded in airports all over the country due to Arik’s incessant flight delays and cancellations, which negatively affected the preference they enjoy from passengers. You are all living examples of this.

“The airline is so overwhelmed to the extent that the workers’ wages are not paid for several months, leading to occasional confrontation between the management of Arik and different aviation unions in the country.

“It was Arik’s inability to pay its workers for seven months that forced the United Labour Congress (ULC) and Engineers Union to recently shut the offices of the airline across the country, causing untold hardship to thousands of travellers and an embarrassment to the aviation sector.

“Besides owing workers’ salaries, the airline has also not been remitting the taxes of workers to relevant bodies, thus also defrauding the country.

“The airline is also in perpetual default in its lease payments and insurance premium, leading to regular and embarrassing repossession of its aircraft by Lessors. Various class actions are pending against the airline all over the world.

“We assure all stakeholders that the intervention is in the best interest of the general public, workers, creditors and other aviation interest groups.”

Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY X365RADIO.COM: ABUJA—AMIDST increasing concerns over the health status of President Muhammadu Buhari, indications emerged, yesterday, of his imminent return to the country, having reportedly finished with the extended medical tests his United Kingdom-based physicians ran on him.

The latest public declaration that the President is in fine fettle was given by Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and Speaker Yakubu Dogara who, in separate tweets, acknowledged that the President is in fine shape. 

Also yesterday, a very close associate of the president, who had been in close touch with people around him, confirmed the positive news of his health, saying the President was expected to return any time from today. Meanwhile, President Buhari, yesterday, received two prominent leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande, in London. The assertions came as the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, and the Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, in separate calls, also urged Nigerians to pray for the well-being of the President, asserting that as a human being, he is also prone to ill-health. A prominent official of government who also maintains a close personal and family relationship with the President, equally confirmed the well being of the President, yesterday. “I found out from the family and I was told that the tests had been carried out and it is being envisaged that he could come back anytime from tomorrow (today),” the public official, who spoke on the strict condition of anonymity, said. Another senior Presidency source spoke in the same vein, saying there is nothing holding the President back, though he could not give a clear date for his return.

The well being of the President was further accentuated by pictures of the President with APC leaders, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande, which Vanguard confirmed to have been taken yesterday afternoon. In one of the pictures, the President was sitted between the two party leaders in a sitting room and, in another, Buhari was sandwiched between the two men with all of them smiling.

Asserting that the President is hale and hearty, Saraki in a tweet at 11:35 p.m. on Wednesday, confirmed that he spoke with Buhari, adding that the President even cracked jokes with him during their discussion. Noting that he is happy to have interacted with the President, Saraki in his tweet, said: “Happy to have spoken with @NGRPresident @MBuhari tonight. He was in good spirit and joked about my working late into the night, as usual. – @Bukolasaraki on Twitter Wednesday 8th of February 2017, 11:35 pm.” Saraki’s assertion came three days after Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, also disclosed that the President is hale and hearty. Speaker Yakubu Dogara also went on Twitter, yesterday, to confirm speaking with Buhari, who he claimed professed his pains at the sufferings Nigerians endured last year and had as such, resolved to ensure a better life for the people. Dogara in his tweet said: “MBuhari called me yesterday evening. He talked about what the Executive/Legislature must do to ensure food security for all Nigerians. “He said he was pained by the suffering endured by most Nigerians last year and he is resolved not to let events of 2016 repeat themselves.  He also asked me to extend his best wishes to all Honourable members.” Ahead of the President’s return, the expectation was also being raised among APC members.

At the national secretariat of the party in Abuja, a big banner was placed inside the parking lot with the inscription, “Welcome Mr. President, Baba, Oyoyo” the banner produced by the National Youth Council of Nigeria, had pictures of Buhari and Youths and Sports Minister, Mr. Solomon Dalung. Pray for his quick recovery, CAN urges Nigerians Meanwhile, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, yesterday called on all Nigerians to pray for the quick recovery of the President and his safe return. In a statement by the Director of Legal and Public Affairs, Barr. Kwamkur Samuel, CAN  also called on the Presidency not to hide information from the people.

The statement read: “We wish to call on all Nigerians to join hands in prayers for the quick and full recovery of Mr. President and his safe return to Nigeria instead of dwelling on the needless rumour on the President’s health. “President Muhammadu Buhari is human, hence subject to health challenges sometimes. CAN appreciates the anxiety of Nigerians to hear Mr. President speak, but sues  for understanding as we await that. It is very clear that our leader is passing through health challenges. “We advise the Presidency to update Nigerians on how he is faring and the full progress of his recovery. “We call on all Christians and indeed, all God-fearing Nigerians to dedicate time of prayers for our President and the nation. We owe our leaders prayers and support at all times while shunning divisive opinions that only generate strife. “CAN also calls on Nigerians to give the Vice-President who is also the Acting President full support and prayers to lead well. “We acknowledge that government is a continuum. Hence, we call on Acting President, Professor  Yemi Osinbajo to be bold in handling critical state matters and not to be distracted by those who do not wish Nigeria well.” JNI condemns death-wish peddlers The Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, on its part, condemned those it said were wishing the President dead instead of praying for his full recovery. The JNI also termed those it said were calling for the resignation of Acting President  Osibanjo as “callous and mischievous.”

In a press statement  by its Secretary General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, the group said:  “JNI is, indeed, perturbed over the series of rumours making the rounds on the state of President Muhammadu Buhari’s health. “It should be, however, noted that as with every mortal, illness is inevitable, likewise life and death. Thus, JNI is very concerned about the pandemonium generated as a result of the rumoured illness of the President and the dimension it is unfortunately taking. ‘’ Does that mean he can no longer get ill? Agreed that reports from the Presidency stated that President Muhammadu Buhari is currently undergoing a cycle of tests as recommended by his doctors, hence the extension of his leave. “We must as patriots, be cautioned on spreading inaccurate information. More so, Muslims should be cautioned not to join the bandwagon of rumour-mongers. This is so because already some unpatriotic elements are wishing that the President is dead. Interestingly, those who wish him death will certainly not live till eternity. Aren’t we supposed to wish each other good well-being? Let alone, the President of the country? “Therefore, following the unnecessary excitement in the President’s delayed return to Nigeria, we implore all and sundry, particularly Muslims to persistently supplicate on daily basis for President Muhammadu Buhari’s safe return, restoration of good health and the ability to continue with the task of piloting Nigeria to greater heights with his team.

“In the same vein, we are all implored to fervently pray for the nation, the Vice President, governors and all those in positions of authority, for Allah’s guidance in the discharge of their respective duties. “We nonetheless, condemn in the strongest terms those calling for the resignation of Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as the Vice-President, Federal Republic of Nigeria. Whatever, the intent may be, we see such calls as callous, mischievous and unpatriotic. “ Moreover, why must that vacuum be created now, if not for sinister motives? We, therefore, call on all Jumu’ah Imams to include the matter in their respective Friday sermons tomorrow and beyond.”

Published in Politics
SPONSORED BY X365TV.COM: PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday played host to All Progressive Congress (APC) leaders including Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande in his room on London.
The Presidency in its official twitter handle “@MBuhari” made the announcement, posting a picture which shows the president and Tinubu sitting on the same couch while Akande sits on a different one.
Dressed in a flowing brown caftan and a white cap, the appears to be engaged in a discussion with his visitors.
The tweet states: “President @MBuhari currently receiving party leaders, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande, in Abuja House, London.”
Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY YES434.COM: The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has recovered N1.25 billion from a public servant, it was learnt yesterday.

Although it did not give further details on the recovery, the EFCC gave a breakdown of other recoveries it made last year in a document submitted to the National Assembly.

Acting EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Magu yesterday appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes for the 2016 budget’s appraisal and the 2017 budget defence.

He said the anti-graft agency recovered N102,913,791,217.54;  $8,296,313.99;  GBP 29,155;  £12,475; 117,004 Canadian Dollar; 806.50 DIRHAM; 5,000 FRANCS and 2,000 RUPEE as proceeds of crime between January and December 2016.

He also confirmed the recovery of $9.750 million and £750,000 from a residence in Kaduna recently, adding that N1.25 billion was recovered from a public servant, a fortnight ago.

According to a document submitted by the Commission to the committee, out of the 37 accounts frozen/forfeited, six banks are yet to provide relevant information on the amount accrued into the suspected accounts within the period under review.

The commission secured 135 convictions last year, according to the records, out of which 46 were from Lagos zone, 30 from Abuja zone, 22 from Port Harcourt zone, 19 from Kano zone, 15 from Enugu zone and three from Gombe zone.

The anti- graft agency boss asked for the committee’s support saying “corruption is fighting back.”  He said in a bid to enhance the efficiency of the agency, offices in Kaduna, Ibadan, Edo and Maiduguri were resuscitated.

He said the payment of N1.8 billion out of N2.9 billion for completion of the commission’s headquarters office in Abuja had been scheduled by the Federal Ministry of Finance.

The Commission’s recruitment, he said, resulted in the recruitment of 199 Detective Inspectors and 331 Detective Assistants in an equal number across the country except Lagos, Ekiti, Bayelsa and Rivers with lower number.

The Commission prayed the House for an increase in Personnel Cost from N7. 127 billion to N9.692 billion to accommodate the 1 ,500 new recruits whose estimated emoluments is N2.565 billion.

He also asked for an increase in capital allocation by N1.790 billion to accommodate additional cost of work on the New Head Office of the Commission among other requests.

Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Kayode Oladele, lauded the achievements of the anti-graft agency in its fight against corruption.

He said: “For the first time in Nigeria’s history, anti- corruption searchlights have been beamed on the judiciary and the revelations have been mind- boggling. In addition, similar exercises in the arms procurement process by the Nigeria military have also led to several arrests.

“Overall, the EFCC has made the highest numbers of recoveries of stolen resources ( running into billions of Naira) in a single year in the annals of Nigeria’s anti- corruption  efforts.”

He said Nigeria had applied to join the league of members of Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international anti-corruption agency, in a bid to strengthen ongoing anti-corruption crusade in the country.

“Our collective efforts to unleash sustainable development in Nigeria through the rooting out of corruption will not produce the desired result if Nigeria is unable to transact in the international market place without let or hindrance.

“In this regard, Nigeria has applied to join the FATF and based on the level of our commitment, a high-level delegation from the FATF is due to visit Nigeria in March 2017 to meet with various stakeholders and report back to its plenary in June this year. I have no doubt in my mind that we will be successfully accredited and admitted at the end of the exercise,” the committee chair said.


Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY YES434.COM: JUSTICE Olasumbo Goodluck of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court 5, sitting at Maitama, Abuja, on Tuesday, adjourned till Wednesday, 1 March to enable a one-time Head of Service of Federation, Chief Steve Oronsaye, to make a no-case submission in the charges filed against him by the Federal Government.

Oronsaye is standing trial in a seven-count charge of allegedly diverting N190million public fund to personal use and criminal breach of trust brought against him, on behalf of the Federal Government, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The former Head of Service of the Federation, through his counsel, Chief Godwin Kanu Agabi (SAN), in his no-case submission motion filed on 9 December, 2016, is contending that the evidence so far adduced in the charges against him by the prosecution as of the time it closed its case did not link him to the offence.

The defence counsel had filed the motion on December 9, 2016, and was slated for hearing on Tuesday but it was, however, stalled due to late response to Oronsaye’s motion by the prosecution.

At the resumption of the case on Tuesday, the prosecution counsel Farouk Abdullahi, who stood in for the lead prosecution counsel, Mr Ufem Uket, apologised to the court that the Federal Government filed its response to the no-case submission motion same day.

Counsel for Oronsaye, Mr Peter Erivwode, who stood for Chief Agabi (SAN), lamented that despite the fact that the prosecution was served with the motion on December 13, 2016,  it only deemed it fit to almost two months ago after.

According to Erivwode, “This was done in bad fate and it is a clear indication to the fact that the prosecution is not prepared to pursue the prosecution diligently.”

He further noted, that the late response was a deliberate ploy to delay the hearing of his client’s motion, adding that the prosecution had been accusing the defence of delaying the trial but with its late response, it was obvious that the prosecution was delaying the matter.

The defence counsel, however, informed the court that he had neither seen nor read the content of the prosecution’s response to the no-case submission motion having just been served on him in the open court and pleaded with the court to grant him a short adjournment to enable the defence respond on point of law.

The prosecution counsel did not object to the request for adjournment having admitted that its response to the no-case submission motion came late.

The presiding judge, Justice Goodluck, who expressed displeasure with the late response of the prosecution to the no-case submission motion, however, adjourned till March 1 for the no-case motion to be determined along with the government’s objection.

The prosecution had predicated its objection to the no-case submission on the ground that it is unmeritorious and liable to be dismissed by the court, claiming that the evidence so far in the case was not only credible, but also directly link the defendant to the offence.

He urged the court to dismiss the no-case motion and order the defendant to enter his defence.

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM: Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC), Mr Ekpo Nta, has disclosed that the commission in course of their operations has seized 62 houses from one female public officer.

Nta said this while answering question during interaction at the Akwa Ibom Anti-Corruption Summit in Uyo on Tuesday.

The theme of the summit is; “Transparency and Accountability: a panacea to good governance and sustainable development.”

He expressed confidence that the anti corruption war was gradually yielding positive result in the country.

He said the commission had interim power to seize property of any public officer whose property was above the accruable income and could not be explained.

According to him, the property will be forfeited to the Federal Government after all litigations have been concluded.

The ICPC boss warned public officeholders not live above their income as the commission had the mandate of interim seizure of any public officer property that live above his or her income.

“There are many facets of corruption in Nigeria the commission will stop at nothing to bring anyone found to have contravened the anti-corruption crusade to book,” Nta said.

He added that the commission had successfully retrieved 40 vehicles that were stolen by retired directors of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and warned against trivialising the anti-graft war of the current administration.

Nta further said that the commission was prosecuting over 400 corruption cases in different courts in the country, adding that those found guilty at the end of the investigation would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

He said the commission had taken a step further by launching the campaigns in institutions of higher learning and the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC).

He explained that the anti-corruption module had since been introduced into the curriculum of the University of Calabar (UNICAL), adding such measures would go a long way toward entrenching moral values in students.

Nta said the commission had launched anti-corruption clubs in orientation camps, disclosing that such measures had assisted the commission to detect and arrested about 42 fake corps members at orientation camps in the recent times.

Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom said that corruption had eaten deep into the fabrics of the Nigerian system.

Emmanuel urged all and sundry to be in the vanguard of curbing the menace of corruption if the country must move forward.

“We must change our mindsets about the way we do things in the country,” Emmanuel said.

The governor decried what he described as illicit cash running into over 157 billion dollars leaving the shores of Nigeria abroad through fraudulent practices.

He identified corruption as the greatest enemy of development, adding that it was regrettable the wholesale repatriation of illicit funds across the borders to develop other nations.

According to him, if such cash are used within the shore of the country, the socio-economic life on Nigeria and Nigerians will have been positively impacted.

Published in News & Stories

• Eyes 7% GDP growth

Nigeria plans to raise about N142.43 billion  ($453.60 million) in short-dated Treasury bills at an auction on Feb. 15, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said in a statement yesterday.

The bank said it would raise N32.43 billion in three-month debt, N30 billion in six-month bills and N80 billion in one-year notes, using a Dutch auction system. Payment will be due the day after the auction.

The country is targeting economic growth of at least seven per cent by 2020, the Ministry of Budget and National Planning said yesterday, as the government seeks to lift the country out of its first recession in 25 years.

The target for gross domestic product (GDP) growth is part of a medium-term economic recovery plan, it said in a statement.

“Our goal is to have an economy with low inflation, stable exchange rates, and a diversified and inclusive growth,” Minister of Budget and National Planning Udoma Udo Udoma said in the statement.

The country issues Treasury bills to fund its budget deficit, manage banking system liquidity and curb rising inflation.

Last week, Nigeria raised a total of N302.4 billion naira in Treasury bills, more than the N242 billion planned due to strong demand for the one-year debt. The CBN at the auction offered a yield above its benchmark interest rate to lure investors in the face of galloping inflation.

Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM: An 18-year-old would-be Boko Haram suicide bomber, Amina, who was intercepted by Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) officers yesterday in Maiduguri, said she was given N200 for the mission.
She told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in the Borno State capital that she was abducted two years ago by the sect’s members in Madagali, Adamawa State, and taken to Sambisa forest.
Said the girl: “They gave us N200 each which they said we should use to buy food for ourselves.
“It took us three days to come to Maiduguri on a motorcycle. We were directed by the sect members to detonate our explosives anywhere we saw any form of gathering.
“They said if we press the button, the bomb would explode and we will automatically go to heaven.
“I was scared, so, I told them that I could not detonate any explosive. So, they said if Zainab detonated her own, it would serve the purpose.
“On our way to Maiduguri, we encountered the military and they were shooting. I was very scared and the people that brought us ran away.
“I am from Imam Shekau’s faction of Boko Haram, even though I have never seen Shekau. But I hear about him in Gobarawa.”
She said that her father, mother and younger brother, Umar, were all killed when they tried to escape from the Boko Haram enclave where they were held hostage.
“We came from Gobarawa along Damboa, Madagali and Algarno axis, in a community where a lot of us were held hostage and married off by the sect members.
“I am married to a Boko Haram Commander known as ‘Amir’.
The NSCDC Commandant in Borno, Abdullahi Ibrahim, said the command had handed over the suspect to the Garrison Commander, 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, “ for proper investigation’’.
The Theater Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maiduguri, Maj.- Gen. Lucky Irabor, confirmed that the suspect was in the army’s custody of the Army, and that she would undergo investigation.
“We are going to profile her as she would give us the lead to get to other insurgents,” Gen. Irabor said.
The NAN reports that the NSCDC personnel had earlier intercepted two female suicide bombers, who tried to ram into motorists at the NNPC Mega Station along Damboa Road, Maiduguri.
The Commandant of the corps, Ibrahim Abdullahi, told NAN that the incident occurred at about 6.45 a.m.
“Our personnel at the NNPC station intercepted two female suicide bombers who were targeting motorists on the long queue at the NNPC mega petrol station at about 6.45 a.m.
“One of the bombers got scared and threw away her bomb and was instantly arrested, while the other one began to run after people with her explosive but luckily, she was shot on the leg by our personnel after he chased her to a safe place,’’ Ibrahim said.


Published in Headliners
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