Latest news in Nigeria archive for February, 2017

Court, CBN Asked to Wind Up Heritage Bank Over Insolvency, Distress

The Federal High Court in Abuja and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have been asked to wind up and revoke the operational licence of the Heritage Bank over an alleged state of financial insolvency of the financial institution.

The court and CBN were asked to invoke the provisions of section 408, 409 and 410 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990 to liquidate the bank because of its alleged inability to meet up with demands of its customers due to its distressed status.

An Abuja based company, Geonel Integrated Services Limited in a petition filed against the bank at the Federal High Court alleged that Heritage bank has been showing signs of distress and insolvency in the recent times and may cause colossal economic damages to Nigerians unless it is wind up on court order.

NAF ADAPTS TRAINER AIRCRAFT FOR COMBAT ROLE

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has adapted its L-39ZA trainer aircraft for combat role.

The decision was informed by the need to commit more platforms to the various Internal Security Operations in which the NAF is currentlyengaged.

Hitherto, the NAF had employed the L-39ZA aircraft solely for basic flying training though the aircraft is capable of undertaking light ground attack.

N2.8bn Fraud: Trial of Ex-NBC Boss, Mba, Others Begin

The trial of a former Director-General of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission, NBC, Emeka Mba who is facing a 15-count charge of money laundering and procurement fraud to the tune of N2.8billion commenced on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, presenting its first witness, John Ejim Mba is standing trial alongside a former Director of Finance of NBC, Patrick Areh; Basil Udotai (trading in the name and style of Technology Advisors) and Babatunde Amure (trading in name and style of Divine Partners) before Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

They were alleged to have at various times connived and transferred state funds to the tune of N2.9billion from the account of NBC through various proxies for personal gains.

Aisha Buhari Builds Orphanage and School

Wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari has commenced the construction of Aisha Buhari Foundation Orphanage and School in Maiduguri. Foundation of the project was laid by the Deputy Governor of Borno state, Alhaji Usman Mamman Dirkwa on Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

The institution is expected to provide basic necessities of life for orphans, in order to afford them a chance to grow up into normal adulthood; it will provide shelter, educational and health facilities as well as income generating activities.

Mrs. Buhari, who was represented at the event by Senior Special Assistant to the President, Dr. Hajo Sani, has consistently called for more humanitarian action in the North East, matching her words with action with the commencement of the project.

“This project is borne out of my passion of improving the living condition of victims of conflicts and other humanitarian crises, particularly, children”

FRAUD DETECTION: OAGF COMMENCES TRAINING ON FORENSIC AND INVESTIGATIVE AUDITING

In fulfillment of his resolve to fully implement the Internal Audit modernization process in ministries, departments and Agencies of government, the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris, declared open, the training of Internal Auditors on Forensic and Investigative Auditing.

Addressing the OAGF management and participants while declaring open the event, at the Treasury House, Abuja, the Accountant-General underscored the importance of the training saying that it was a necessary step in building the right capacity required by the officers to be able to improve the internal Audit process and functions of the Treasury.

The AGF further described the function of the Internal Audit as being key to achieving the on-going reforms in the public finance management of the Government, saying “without reforms at the internal Audit, and fraud will continue to thrive.”

He therefore commended the Association of Forensic and Investigative Auditors Nigeria, for collaborating with the Office of the Accountant –General of the Federation to organize the training and urged them to continue to work with the office to ensure that the capacity for carrying out this new trend in Auditing is fully transferred to the Treasury Staff to enable them effectively and efficiently carry out their duties in line with global best practices.

Mr. Idris congratulated the participants for being selected for the traning programme describing them as the first set that will form the core of the new Audit team and encouraged them to pay close attention to the facilitators to enable them benefit immensely from the training.

Earlier, Director, Audit Monitoring, Mr. Hakeem Dosumu, described the event as “marking the rebirth of forensic department that constantly have eagle eyes for preventing, detecting and reporting financial fraud”.

UK AUDIT MISSION ASSESSES IPSAS ACCRUAL ACCOUNTING

The Accountant General of the Federation Mr Ahmed Idris has received in audience the United Kingdom National Audit Mission team who visited the Treasury for the assessment of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) Accrual accounting policy.

Mr Idris whilst welcoming the team confirmed that the accounts of 2016 and going forward will be IPSAS accrual-based accounting compliant.

Mr Idris however stressed the need for capacity building in an organised manner.

He equally noted the challenges which auditors in public service face in handling financial issues adding that the auditors must brace up and deliver the dividends of 2016 IPSAS accrual-based accounting reform initiative.

The AGF further noted that the Treasury has embarked on a number of public financial management reform initiatives in line with global best practices.

Defence Stalls Duru’s Trial with Motion

Justice Peter Affen of the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Maitama, on Monday, February 27, 2017 reserved ruling on whether or not the court has the jurisdiction to entertain a case against Nze Chidi Duru, who is facing a 4-count charge of criminal breach of trust to the tune of N16.2million by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Duru, a former vice chairman of First Guarantee Pension Limited, was said to have been entrusted with the said sum being part payment of thirty percent equity shares of First Guarantee Pension Limited sold to Novare Holdings Proprietary Limited.

According to the petitioner, the accused diverted the money to pay for land allocations from Lagos State Government in favour of Grand Towers Plc and MVJJDA Africa Limited, companies he allegedly have interests.

The offence breaches Section 315 of the Penal Code Act Cap 352 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

The case earlier slated for trial today was however stalled as Duru’s counsel, Abdul Mohammed, said that he had a pending application praying the court to strike out the case for want of jurisdiction.

STOP MEDDLING INTO SECURITY ISSUES
– NIGERIAN MILITARY WARNS AI

Nigerian Military wishes to warn International Non-Governmental Organisations operating in the country such as Amnesty International (AI) and their affiliates to desist from meddling into security issues in our country which is inimical to national interest, cohesion and unity.

Activities of AI in our nation have shown that AI never meant well for Nigeria and the situation is getting clearer to national and international communities what the AI is up to.

This could be corroborated by inherent lopsidedness in the AI’s portrayal of Nigeria, its involvement in local politics and taking side with terrorists and other belligerent groups to cause internal disorder, which no country can tolerate.

The military in this new dispensation has maintained open door policy and has been cooperating with all stakeholders in ensuring that Nigerian Armed Forces remains one of the best and a proud institution for all Nigerians.

For AI to be making spurious allegation, especially without substantiated and cogent reason, apart from those adduced by the AI itself for the reason best known to it and its collaborators is disturbing and unethical of an international organization that is supposed to stay clear of local politics and to be seen as maintaining neutrality in its reportage of the countries it operates.

Incessant negative report on Nigeria in general and the Armed Forces in particular by AI is condemnable by all well meaning Nigerians who have seen and appreciate what the military and other security agencies have done to decimate Boko Haram terrorists and contain other criminal elements.

The AI infamous act only succeeds in giving an insight to the possibility of the organization sponsoring various criminal gangs in our country with a view to achieving the sponsor’s intent.

As much as the military welcomes comments, criticism and observation that could help the institution to grow higher for the interest of our nation, the activities of the AI, to say the least, is far from being noble.

Al has negative mission in Nigeria. It is an agent of destabilization, masquerading as a reputable international NGO which Nigerians must rise up to this daunting challenge of not giving AI the chance to truncate our hard earned democracy and unity.

It does not operate like this in other nations of the world, hence the military once again condemns the activities of the AI and its affiliates in Nigeria, that it is not until you write negative report about Nigeria before you are seen working or justifying the huge amount you receive from international bodies.

DISTRIBUTION OF MILITARY PENSIONS BOARD COMBO IDENTIFICATION CARD FOR MILITARY RETIREES

In furtherance to Military Pensions Board (MPB) efforts to extend the distribution of the new Combo Identification Cards to other states of the Federation, the Board wishes to inform all military pensioners whose last verification centres are in Borno, Cross River, Ekiti, Katsina, Lagos, Osun, Yobe and Zamfara States, that their new combo identification cards are ready for collection.

The distribution exercise is scheduled from Monday 27 February – Friday 3 March 2017 at the following centres listed below;

1. Borno: 212 Bn Maimalari Barracks, Maiduguri
2. Cross River: HQ 13 Bde Eburutu Barracks, Calabar
3. Ekiti : Mobile Police Ground, Ado Ekiti
4. Katsina: 35 Bn Natsinta Army Barracks Katsina
5. Lagos : HQ 9 Bde Ikeja Cantonment
6. Osun: ECR Army Barracks, Ede
7. Yobe: 241 Recce Bn Nguru, Governors’s Office Complex
8. Zamfara: 1 BAD Army Barracks, Gusau

All eligible military pensioners in these states are therefore requested to check MPB website www.mpb.ng to confirm whether their cards are ready for collection.

DSS Impounds Abuja Vehicles Containing Weapons, Incrimnating Items

The Department of State Services (DSS) wishes to inform the public that on 24th February, 2017, between 2100 hours and 0242 hours, the Service executed a search warrant, at the property of Dunes Investment and Global Properties Ltd, located at No 44 Aguiyi Ironsi Way, Maitama-Abuja.

The operation was informed by intelligence that some incriminating items were stashed in the boots of cars parked at the property, particularly a Mercedes Benz S550 (BWR 135AH), and Masarati 4.7 (BWR 207 AJ), which were subsequently confiscated.

Consequently, on 25th February, 2017, about 1000hours, in the presence of two (2) private security officers employed by Dunes Investment, the cars were searched and the following items were recovered:

Weapons:
(i) Glock pistol with two (2) magazines and a total of Twenty-Nine (29) rounds of ammunition;
(ii) Mini-Uzi with two (2) magazines containing 10 rounds and 4 rounds respectively;
(iii) Forty-two (42) extra rounds of ammunition contained in a pack; and
(iv) One (1) AK-47.

Other items recovered include:
i. Twenty-one (21) Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) and one (1) Offer of Statutory Right of
Occupancy;
ii. Twenty-three (23) Luxury designer watches; and
iii. Forty-five (45) keys to various exotic cars.

Following this discovery, the Service launched further investigation which revealed that the cars and the recovered items belong to the former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel SUSWAN who has already been invited by the Service and presently helping in the investigations.

Nigeria: 79,875 Cases of Road Accidents Reported in 3 Years

Not less than 79,875 (Seventy-nine thousand, eight hundred and seventy-five) cases of road accidents have been reported in the country in the last three years.

Official documents obtained by the Economic Economic Confidential showed that the figure represents the total accidents that occurred between 2013 and 2015.

Out of this figure, a total of 29,494 occurred in 2013 with 13,021 cases reported as fatal, 8,917 cases were reported as serious, while the balance of 7,556 cases were designated as minor according to reports obtained by this magazine with careful analysis.

Ogun state however leads all other states in the reported cases of road crashes with 6422, followed by Lagos state with 6231, Kano came third with 4869, FCT is number four with 4700 cases while the number five position was grabbed by Edo state with 3499. The state with the least number of cases of road crashes in the year under review is Jigawa with 725.

In the year 2014, the reported cases of accidents amounts to 25,427 out of which 11,665 were fatal, 7,561 were serious and 6,201 cases regarded as minor. The figure for 2014 was however lower than that of 2013 by almost 4000 due to road traffic management sensitization carried out by the combined efforts of both the Police and the Federal Road Safety Corps(FRSC).

In the years 2015, the total road accidents recorded was 24,954, again below the figure for 2014. Out of this figure, 11,507 cases were fatal, 7,390 were regarded serious while the balance of 6057 were treated as minor.

Investigations by the Economic Intelligence magazine further revealed that the total number of persons involved in accidents within the period under review reached an all time high of 49,867.
Of this figure, 15, 011 persons were killed in the road crashes while the remaining 34,856 were injured.

Of those killed in the accidents, 5539 were for 2013, 4430 for 2014 while the balance of 5042 were those for 2015.

Out of the figure of those injured which was 34,856, 12,372 were for 2013, 12,227 was for 2014 while the remaining figure of 10,257 were for 2015!

A careful analysis by Economic Confidential indicate that out of 79,875 reported cases of accident, reckless driving accounted for 30.3 percent, inexperience and mechanical fault accounted for 21.5 percent while and road defects accounted for 21.1 percent .

Further search by our investigating team showed that a motorcycle to motorcycle collision, motorcycle to vehicle crashes and vehicle to vehicle accidents are the lead types and have resulted in 38.9 percent, 37.5 percent and 14.9 percent respectively of the total of 15,100 deaths recorded within the period of under review.

Furthermore, it was also revealed that heavy duty vehicles, minibuses and taxis accounted for most of the accidents with 94.7% of the total accidents.

Attacks on Nigerians: South Africa’s Malusi Gigaba got it all wrong

My attention was drawn to South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Mr. Malusi Gigaba’s statement in the aftermath of the xenophobic attacks, which has also brought reprisal attacks on MTN, a South African business conglomerate that “such issues were better discussed at the diplomatic levels” when more than 100 Nigerian lives have been lost in South Africa.

It appears that Mr. Gigaba would rather dwell on and entertain himself with diplomatic niceties when the welfare of Nigerians resident in South Africa are at stake now more than any time in recent history.

His response to the xenophobic attacks, which has now become a recurring decimal on Africans, most especially Nigerians living peacefully in their host country of South Africa was indeed unfortunate.

While it’s no longer news that law-abiding Nigerians in that country have borne the major brunt of these attacks, the news by the Home Affairs Minister that his country is trying to get rid of criminals in his country at the time when indiscriminate mayhem and looting of law-abiding Nigerians is very suspicious, to say the least.

Even if this unguarded statement must be taken in its face value, we wonder if wanton destruction and indiscriminate killing of their African brothers is the most sensible excuse to give.

The home affairs minister should have been more guarded and introspective in his statements so as not to further fan the embers of xenophobia that may get out control if care is not taken.

Nigeria and South Africa have a long-standing diplomatic relationship in which the former played a critical, if not a pivotal role that culminated in ending apartheid, among so many of her positive interventions.

Indiscriminate killings, in which 116 deaths have been recorded of her people MUST not be how Nigeria should be paid back. Xenophobia is such a debilitating social disease, based mostly on ignorance, in which its carrier also suffers. I therefore suggest that the home affairs minister should engage in the mass education of the South African people about the debilitating effects of this disease with immediate effect.

It’s apt to mention at this juncture that the home affairs minister only met with African consulates forum, an association of African consuls general, based in South Africa recently , despite the fact that this meeting was long overdue.

NIGERIAN ARMY BOXING TEAM EMERGES WINNERS OF THE 2017 NATIONAL OPEN BOXING CHAMPIONSHIP

The resolve of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai to re-establish the Nigerian Army as a power house of Nigerian Sports is surely on course as the Nigerian Army Boxing Team on Saturday 25th February 2017, emerged winners of the 2017 National Open Boxing Championships.

The 6-day championship took place at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos State.

In all, boxing teams from 20 States of the Federation, Armed Forces of Nigeria, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and 9 boxing clubs including Kanu Nwankwo, Alafin, Golden Gloves, WWBA, Abbey International, Oba Adeyemi and Bukar Tiger, participated in the event.

The championship also featured 10 weight categories for male and 3 weight categories for female boxers.

On the whole, 209 male boxers and 42 female boxers competed for honours during the champion.

In the order of merit, Nigerian Army team came First with 4 Gold, 1 Silver and 5 Bronze Medals.

Lagos State came 2nd with 3 Gold, 6 Silver and 3 Bronze Medals.

Nigeria Police Force came 3rd with 1 Gold, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze Medals.

Ogun State came 4th with 1 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze Medals.

You will recall that just twos weeks ago, the Nigerian Army Marathon Team had a fantastic outing at the 2nd Lagos City Marathon.

With this development, the Nigerian Army team will be among the teams to represent Nigeria at the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games in June, and also at the World Championships in August, 2017.

MAINSTREAM DISASTER RISK REDUCTION INTO PLANS, POLICIES AND PROGRAMMES’’ PARTICIPANTS

The Participants at National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) have called on governments at all level to mainstream disaster risk reduction into their plans, policies and programs with a view to actualizing the goals of the Sendai Framework of action (2015-2030).

This was contained in a communiqué of the meeting held in Abuja at the weekend.

The meeting which, was organized by National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) which was aimed at reviewing the Framework and drafting a National Plan of Action for implementation.

Based on resolutions from the meeting, it has agreed that Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies; States and Local Governments should develop and implement locally oriented programs of action to actualize the Sendai Framework.

The need to establish states and local emergency management committees was also reaffirmed.

The meeting also emphasized the needs for gender mainstreaming in DRR activities and adequate budgetary allocations for DRR activities by all tiers of government.

Another major recommendation of the meeting was the need for State governments to establish and strengthen State Emergency Management Agencies and for local governments to establish Local Emergency Management Committees (LEMC) to perform the critical roles of DRR at the communities level.

The platform also advocated the use of established institutions such as NOA, NAN, the Media, etc for effective advocacy and awareness programs at the grassroots level while calling on Ministries Departments Agencies to designate desk officers for DRR in their various establishments.

It also resolved to leverage on science, technology, academia and indigenous knowledge to provide DRR solutions and agreed to set up a technical committee to come up with recommendations for the strengthening of the National Platform on DRR

The Director General of NEMA Muhammad Sani Sidi, who welcomed the participants to the meeting said the Platform reflected the commitment of federal government to implement National and local disaster risk reduction activities owing to the fact that Nigeria has witnessed continuous rise in both natural and human-induced disasters resulting in loss of lives, large scale displacement, socio economic dislocation and environmental degradation.

It has also agreed that the Platform on a national level should meet twice yearly on rotational basis across the geopolitical zones.

Participants were drawn from State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs), State Ministries of Environment, Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Local Governments, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Academia, Paramilitary, Media, Organized Private Sectors, Faith based Organizations (FBOs) and International Development Partners.

TROOPS RAID ILLEGAL REFINERIES IN NIGER DELTA

In its effort to protect oil and gas infrastructure in Niger Delta, troops of Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) have intensified its operation to frustrate the activities of economic saboteurs across the region.

Accordingly, troops of Nigerian Naval Ship (NNS) Delta successfully carried out a raid on 2 illegal refineries along LAPASE CREEK in Warri South of Delta State. During the raid, 11 metal tanks, 5 dug pits with about 1750 Tons of suspected stolen crude oil and 170 Tons of illegally refined AGO were impounded.

Similarly, troops of Sector 3 also destroyed a large illegal refinery with multiple dumps at ALAKIRI in Rivers State.

The bunkerers on sighting our troops set fire on parts of their bunkering camp to deny access to the illegal site. However, the troops on patrol put off the fire and destroy the illegal refinery site.

AGF Attributes TSA successes to Political will and Support from President Buhari.

The Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris has noted that the quality of leadership provided by President Muhammadu Buhari, which he described as rare courage and political will is a major reason for the successes so far achieved by the Treasury Single Account policy implementation.

The AGF made this disclosure during his welcome Address at the opening of a two day retreat on the one year of the TSA implementation ( the benefits, challenges and way forward) being organised by his office at the International Conference Centre Abuja from 14-15 February, 2017.

Highlighting the successes of the TSA , Mr. Idris revealed that the sum of N5.244 trillion has so far been realized as inflows in the TSA account following the moping -up and direct debits of Accounts by the Central bank of Nigeria.

Mr Idris further said that TSA has eliminated multiple banking arrangements in the MDAS and resulted in the consolidation of over 200,000 bank accounts which were spread in Deposit Money Banks across the country . TSA has equally brought transparency , effective tracking of Government revenue as well as blocked leakages and abuse in management of Government finances

“TSA implementation has taken us out of the Era of indiscriminate borrowings by MDAS and saved Government charges associated borrowing which amounted to about N4.7 Billion prior to full Implementation of TSA “ the AGF said.

Furthermore, Ahmed Idris revealed that given the considerable gains so far recorded in the TSA implementation, there was need to evaluate the programme and come up with best ways of improving the Policy, which is the reason for the retreat.

He gave assurance that government was considering going beyond the Cash Management of TSA but will explore other viable economic options of resource utilization and deployment especially in this era of economic recession.

In a speech to declare open the Retreat, the Ag. President Prof Yemi Osibanjo GCON, represented by the Special Adviser on Economic Affairs , Dr. Adeyemi, Dipelu, congratulated the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and its partners, particularly the IMF and the World Bank for their successful implementation of the TSA.
He underscored the importance of the TSA scheme as being instrumental to the efficient management of Public finances and pledged Government’s commitment towards ensuring improvement in the implementation of the Programme.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun in her speech highlighted the benefits of the TSA saying that it has enhanced greater opportunity in exercising better control over the Financial base of MDAs and allows for critical decisions to be made.



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