Pandemonium enveloped Zamfara State yesterday when suspected gunmen, in two separate attacks, allegedly killed 19 persons in Yan’Kaba village in Kauran Namoda and Tsafe Local Government Areas, respectively. Reports said one person was confirmed dead and eight others missing after the gunmen attacked Yan’Kaba village, according to an online news portal, Channels Television. Those missing are suspected to have been abducted by the gunmen.
The village head, Alhaji Buhari Ammani, according to reports, is among those who have gone missing since the attack. Chairman of the Local Government Area, Abdullahi Isah, said the gunmen stormed the village early yesterday morning and killing one person and abducted eight others. A team of search and rescue team has since cordoned the village. Security officials are yet to make official statements regarding the incident. Meanwhile, the bandits who attacked communities in Tsafe Local Government Area, allegedly killed 18 persons and others injured, with houses and properties burnt. This was disclosed yesterday by the Emir of Tsafe, Muhammad Bawa. The emir made the disclosure on Friday while receiving a House of Representatives member representing Gusau/Tsafe Federal Constituency, Kabir Mai-Palace in Gusau.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mai-Palace was at the emir’s palace to condole with him and entire people of the area over the attacks. The emir said the attackers invaded Bamamu, Danmale and Sako communities, Thursday evening and killed 18 persons, adding that they came with over 50 motorcycles shot sporadically on the air. The emir thanked the lawmaker for the visit and his concern for his people. Earlier, Mai-Palace had described the attack as unfortunate and worrisome.
He said: “I had earlier visited general hospital, Tsafe to sympathise with the victims who are receiving treatment. ”Security is the major area I am giving priority to, it is very disheartening the way these bandits are attacking our communities. If I go back to Abuja, I am going raise these issues in the House with the aim of finding solutions to the problems. “As a representative of the people, I don’t have any commitment beyond the interest of my people. l am also going to present this incident to the governor, Muhammad Matawallen- Maradun.”
The lawmaker, however, urged the people of the state to remain calm and continue with prayers to seek Allah’s intervention to end the problem. The lawmaker donated cash and 20 mattresses to the victims in the hospital and held close door meeting with Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Tsafe Division of the Nigeria Police Force.
Buhari, govs, S’East leaders parley on infrastructure
Governors and leaders of the South-East yesterday met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja where they requested for a state of emergency on roads in the area.
The demand by the governors came as President Buhari approved a total of N10 billion as intervention fund for the upgrade of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu State.
Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, who made a presentation on behalf of the leaders during the meeting with President Buhari, decried the deplorable state of infrastructure in the region, especially roads which have negatively impacted the lives of the people.
He said: “We again plead with Mr President to kindly declare a state of emergency on our inter-state roads and issue a directive to this effect.
“The closure of the airport, deplorable state of the inter-state federal roads, plus challenging security situation in our region, have made life so difficult for our people. We are aware that some of the roads were awarded by Mr President, but the contractors complained of very poor funding or no funding at all,” he stressed.
Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting, Umahi, who is also the Chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum, said the delegation drew the attention of the President to the deplorable state of South-East roads, as well as the plights of the people of the region, which he said had been worsened by the closure of Enugu airport.
Umahi said the situation needed immediate intervention in view of the industrious nature of the people of the South-East whom he said had to move from one place to the other as traders and business people.
However, the governor added that the president noted the complaints of the delegation and promised to act on them.
He also said the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, told the meeting that the hitherto impediment against the take-off of the expansion work in Enugu airport had been addressed and hence, the project would take off without any further delay.
According to Umahi, the necessity to start and complete the Enugu airport project had become compelling because “what Kaduna is to the North is what Enugu is to the South-East,” adding that rail projects in the region would also soon take-off.
“The good takeaway from the meeting is that we are happy because Enugu airport will be alive again. We are happy with the hardworking Aviation Minister,” Umahi said.
Following the complaints of the Igbo leaders, the president approved N10 billion for the take-off of the expansion and rehabilitation work in Akanu Ibiam International Airport with a remark that he had the assurance from Sirika that the project would be expeditiously executed.
Umahi also said the attention of the president was drawn to the state of Sam Mbakwe Airport in Owerri, Imo State, stating that there is a need to expand the runway of the airport and simultaneously carry out an extensive work on the tarmac.
President Buhari, who later tweeted the approval of the N10 billion on his personal twitter handle @Mbuhari, added that Sirika had assured him that work on the airport would be done speedily and be of a high standard.
It will be recalled that the House of Representatives had recently, in a motion sponsored by the Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu, and 11 other lawmakers, called on President Buhari to order the immediate commencement of works at the Enugu.
Following the closure of the airport, international flights have been diverted to the Port Harcourt International Airport in Rivers by Ethiopian Airlines, while domestic flights were diverted to the Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri, the Port Harcourt Airport and the Asaba Airport in Delta.
On the President’s twitter handle, Buhari said: “I have approved the sum of N10 billion for an intervention fund for the upgrade of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu. I have the assurance of the Minister of Aviation that the work will be done speedily and to the highest standards.
“Even as we have many items competing for our limited resources, we will continue to prioritize infrastructure investments in every part of the country. It is our responsibility to ensure Nigeria’s infrastructure is fixed; we will keep doing this.”
The President said he was aware of the central nature of the airport, which was closed for repairs since August 24, to the socio-economic development of the Southeast.
Buhari, who also said he was aware of the infrastructure deficits all over the country occasioned by lack of judicious use of available resources in the past, declared that his administration is working on remedying this situation.
“We’re trying our best to make sure that infrastructure rehabilitation is carried out very quickly.
“I personally firmly believe that if we get infrastructure correct, the roads, rail, power, most Nigerians will mind their businesses, they would not even care who is in government. But when you deny them infrastructure, it will be difficult for them to compete and move across the country and regions,” he said.
He appealed to the governors to explain this position to their people.
“Please, have the courage to continue to explain to your constituencies whenever they feel that there is laxity in government effort to rehabilitate infrastructure. We are doing our best within the resources available to the government.
“The Federal Government is working to fix infrastructure deficit in the country. The challenges are there. It is our responsibility to fix things, we are doing it and we will continue to do our best in this regard,” the President said.
Attendance at the meeting comprised serving governors, former governors, ministers from the region, federal lawmakers and leaders of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the Igbo socio-cultural organisation.
Other governors present at the meeting aside Umahi were Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Emeka Ihedioha (Imo), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and David Umahi (Ebonyi).
The governor of Anambra, Willie Obiano, was represented by his deputy.
Also present were the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nwodo; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim; Senator Sam Egwu, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, former Ebonyi State governor, Chief Martin Elechi; former governors of Imo State, Achike Udenwa and Ikedi Ohakim, former Enugu State governor, Sulivan Chime, serving ministers, among others.
FG to Nigerians: No plan to remove fuel subsidy
A midst apprehension in the country, the Federal Government has assured that there will be no removal of fuel subsidy by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, who disclosed this yesterday at a budget defence session with the joint committee of the Senate and House of Representatives on Petroleum Resources (downstream), explained that the government will not aggravate the sufferings of Nigerians by increasing the pump price of fuel.
The minister said “it was not on the cards” as the removal of fuel subsidy would visit untold hardship on Nigerians.
He said: “I want to say today that this government is not about to remove subsidy because it is difficult. We believe, as a government, that our people are already going through a lot of suffering and we cannot, as a responsible government, heap other issue of petroleum price hike or removal of subsidy on Nigerians.
“So it is not on the cards at all. We are just looking at how we can manage it.”
Already, Minister of Finance, Budget and National planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has confirmed that oil subsidy regime, also known as under recovery for local consumption of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), is to be sustained in 2020 fiscal year with government earmarking N450 billion for it in the 2020 budget.
“We have a provision for under-recovery of PMS in the sum of N450 billion. If you look at the Budget Office website, it is in the fiscal framework, which is an annexure to the budget,” the minister said.
Sylva informed that the Federal Government was making efforts to revive all refineries before 2023, assuring that the Port Harcourt Refinery would resume production in January 2020, while work is on-going on Warri and Kaduna refineries, which are billed to resume later in the same year.
He also assured that work on the Port Harcourt Refinery would commence in January next year, adding that talks have reached advanced stage for Warri Refinery to follow suit within the same period.
On the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) natural gas pipeline project, he said notwithstanding experience in the hands of the Chinese government over conditionality before funding the project, he assured that the problem would be resolved next year.
He also disclosed that government has no capacity to offset the $62 billion outstanding debt on premium motor spirit (PMS) as well as the $9.6 billion judgement debt to Process & Industrial Developments Limited (PI&D).
According to him, “If there is a law and you are sleeping and wake up today to say they must pay $62 billion, I will say sorry. No company will have $62 billion sleeping somewhere. $62 billion is a whole lot of money and I don’t think we could get $62 billion, but we can discuss with them.
“In the process, we are amending the Deep Shore Act now. And why are we amending it? It is to be able to ameliorate some of these lacunas so that going forward, we will not miss some of these opportunities again,” the minister told the lawmakers.
On the $9.6 billion P&ID judgement, the minister described the whole process as “fraudulent”, insisting that Nigerian government will not pay the money.
He said if pre-emptive measures had been taken in the past, the matter would not have occurred, saying “we are fighting it and I believe in the end, we will triumph. We will not pay that money they are asking for because it is fraudulent.”
While speaking on the high level of oil theft, the minister assured that the ministry, in collaboration with security agencies, are working towards curtailing the menace which costs the country billions of naira on daily basis.
The minister claimed that the decision to shut the country’s borders is already yielding dividends as daily fuel consumption in the polity has reduced from over 60 million litres to about 52 million litres per day.
He absolved the ministry of the alarming level of crude oil theft in the country.
Transcorp wins bid for Afam Power with N105.3bn
- Quest Electricity wins bid for Yola DISCO with N19bn
The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) has approved Transcorp Power Consortium as the preferred bidder for the Afam Electricity Generation Company (Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Limited) with a bid price of $343.6 million (about N105.3 billion) and Diamond Stripes Consortium as the reserve bidder with a price of N102.3 billion.
This was one of the major decisions taken by the Council, chaired by the Vice President and Chairman of Council, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo at the 2nd meeting of the NCP for 2019 held at the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock, Abuja on Monday.
The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), in a statement issued yesterday, noted that the winning bid of $343.6 million for the power plant is above the winning bid of $265 million in the previous privatisation transaction conducted in 2013; and that Transcorp Power Consortium (preferred bidder) plans to invest $350m in the firm over a period of five years after take over.
Council also approved Quest Electricity Nigeria Limited as the preferred bidder for the re-privatised Yola Electricity Distribution Company (YEDC) with a bid price of $62 million (about N19 billion) which is above the $59 million paid by the previous core investor in 2013.
It would be recalled that Council, at its first Meeting for 2019, held on Friday, April 12, 2019, granted approval to Diamond Stripes Consortium, Transcorp Power Consortium and Unicorn Consortium to proceed to the financial bids opening stage for the acquisition of 100 per cent shares in the Afam Electricity Generation Company (Afam Power Plc & Afam Three Fast Power Limited), having met the benchmark score of 750 points after evaluation in accordance with the criteria set out in the Requests for Proposal (RfPs).
It also directed Quest Electric Nigeria Limited to proceed to the financial bids opening stage for the re-privatisation of YEDC.
Recall that the privatisation of Afam Electricity Generation Company could not be concluded during the first round of the power privatisation in 2013 due to issues stemming from gas supply to the plant.
Following the termination of the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) signed between Taleveras (the then preferred bidder) and BPE in 2016, Council at its 1st Meeting of 2017 held on 22nd and 23rd August 2017, approved the privatisation of the enterprise based on a strategy to be recommended by the Transaction Advisers.
For the YEDC, although it was successfully privatised and handed over to the core investor in 2013, a force majeure was declared in 2015 by the core investor citing insecurity in the North-East of the country. Following this, the company was duly repossessed by the Federal Government.
It is expected that the successful bidders will be responsible for operating the generation and distribution companies, making the necessary investments to improve the generation and distribution networks and customer service in line with the objectives of the Federal Government of Nigeria set out in the National Electric Power Policy.
CBN: Banks lost N14.31bn to fraud in 2018
- Lenders recorded 25,029 forgeries
- Apex bank refunds banks part of N500bn sanction
Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) in the country lost a total of N14.31 billion to fraud and forgeries last year, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said.
The apex bank disclosed this in its “Financial Stability Report (FSR) December 2018” posted on its website yesterday.
According to the CBN, while the losses to fraud and forgeries recorded by banks stood at N12.10 billion in the first half of 2018, the industry lost N2.21 billion to fraudsters in the second half of last year. This means that lenders lost a total of N14.31 billion to the criminals during the period.
The CBN also revealed that the reported cases of fraud and forgeries by DMBs increased to 25,029 at end-December 2018 from 20,774 at end-June 2018.
It, however, stated that the total amount involved, decreased to N18.94 billion at end-December 2018 from N19.77 billion at end-June 2018.
Similarly, the CBN stated that the total number of reported fraud cases in Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) – Microfinance Banks (MFBs), Primary Mortgage Banks and others – stood at 754 at end-December 2018, adding that the institutions recorded an actual loss of N120.98 million during the same period.
The CBN disclosed that Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and mobile channels recorded the highest incidence of fraud.
Furthermore, the CBN report shows that a total of 1,612 complaints from consumers of financial services were received in the second half of last year, indicating an increase of 173 complaints or 12.02 per cent over the 1,439 received in the first half of 2018.
“Of this number, 1,602 complaints or 99.38 per cent were against banks, while 10 complaints or 0.62 per cent were against OFIs. The complaints were in various categories, such as excess/unauthorised charges, frauds, guarantees, dispense errors, funds transfers.
“A total of 1,496 complaints were successfully resolved or closed in the period under review, compared with 4,723 in the first half of 2018, indicating a decrease of 3,227 or 215.71 per cent. Total claims made by complainants during the period amounted to N7.995 billion and $1.767 million, while the sums of N3.093 billion and $1.724 million were refunded to customers,” it added.
The CBN also revealed that, along with the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), it carried out the examination of banks with composite risk ratings of ‘High’ and ‘Above Average’ and the three financial holding companies during the second half of 2018.
It stated: “The outcome of the examination showed that the composite risk rating of two banks improved from ‘Above Average’ to ‘Moderate’, while one bank improved from ‘High’ to ‘Above Average’. The examination of banks with composite risk rating of ‘Moderate’ and ‘Low’ was also conducted between October and November 2018.”
The CBN also revealed that during the period under review, the regulators carried out the examination of seven lenders categorised as Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs).
It stated that: “The banks were selected based on the D-SIB supervisory framework, given their size, interconnectedness, substitutability and complexity.
The D-SIBs accounted for 63.80 per cent of the industry total assets of N35.10 trillion and 65.23 per cent of the industry total deposit of N21.73 trillion as well as 66.00 per cent of the industry total loans of N15.34 trillion.”
Continuing, it stated: “The examination revealed that the D-SIBs were largely in compliance with the regulatory requirements, including capital adequacy and liquidity ratios. The average CAR for the D-SIBs stood at 19.82 per cent, while liquidity ratio stood at 46.29 per cent. There was an improvement in non-performing loans ratio from 11.31 per cent at end-June 2018 to 9.82 per cent at end-December 2018.”
In addition, the FSR showed that banking system credit to the private sector increased by 1.96 per cent to N22.72 trillion at end-December 2018, in contrast to a decline of 0.04 per cent at end-June 2018.
It attributed the increase to the 1.98 per cent and 0.57 per cent growth in claims on the core private sector and state and local governments, respectively.
FG considers excise duty on soft drinks
The Federal Government is considering introducing excise duties on carbonated drinks, according to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed.
Ahmed gave the indication in an interview with newsmen yesterday on the sidelines of the on-going World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings in Washington DC, United States.
She said the idea was one of other areas, besides the proposed increase in VAT, that the government was looking at to broaden its revenue base.
The minister explained that the government was working hard to ensure efficiency in existing revenue streams while searching for new ones.
She said the government would consult with all stakeholders on the proposal in line with standard policy formulation process.
“Any tax that you are introducing will involve a lot of consultations and also amendments of some laws or introduction of new regulations,” she said.
Carbonated drinks include soft drink brands such as Coca Cola, Sprite and Fanta, while excise duty is a tax levied on locally produced goods.
Ahmed said her ministry was working with all the agencies to ensure that collaboration was strengthened in revenue generation.
“The government is trying to ensure that the work of the agencies are complementing each other as opposed to the past where everybody is working in silos.
“Efforts are on-going to improve the monitoring performance of the revenue generating agencies, especially government-owned enterprises.
“We have now in place a rigorous monthly reconciliation of revenues and that is ensuring that the leakages are minimised.
“There is several cost cutting measures in the SRGI and a number of cost cutting measures initiatives such as innovation and automation as well as capacity building of our people,” she said.
The minister reiterated government’s resolve to sanction revenue generating agencies that fail to meet their targets.
“Mr. President has said that targets will be set for ministers as well as heads of agencies and that when targets are met, there will be recommendations and when they are not met, there will be consequences.
“So, what was missing in the past was that there were no consequences. So if an agency underperformed, there is no consequences for doing do.
“But now, there will be consequences and we will be pushing to make sure that we provide all the support that the agencies will require to enable them perform,” she said.
Imo uncovers 8,546 ghost pensioners, saves N280m monthly
No fewer than 8,549 ghost pensioners have been uncovered by the Imo state government just as N280 million was being saved monthly following a comprehensive evaluation and audit of pensioners and pension administration in the state. This was disclosed by Governor Emeka Ihedioha during a statewide broadcast on the pensions’ situation in the state yesterday.
Besides, he announced that payment of arrears of pensions to retired civil servant had commenced. The payment of arrears of pensions in the state came barely a week the governor had at a Stakeholders’ Meeting on Pensions Matters at Imo Concorde hotel, Owerri, announced that payment will commence yesterday, 17th October, 2019. In the broadcast, Ihedioha announced that the state government would be paying out N1, 218,175,387 monthly for both state and the local government pensioners. He said: “I would like to appeal to all our citizens that the challenge of payment of pensions’ bills standing over N1.2 billion monthly is very enormous. This calls for sacrifices by all citizens.
“We are confronted with the necessity to source for the revenue to ensure a good life for our senior citizens. “One of such frameworks was the Imo State Pension Board and its corresponding pension management system which was afflicted with intractable problems and riddled with corruption.
“Sadly, we inherited six years of pension arrears and discovered inexplicable discrepancies in the total number of pensioners in both the State and the 27 local governments. We received complaints on various forms of irregularities in the scheme from various pension beneficiaries and stakeholders. “When we made to resolve the contending issues, we were confronted with conflicting information from various offices in charge of pension administration. Consequently, we could not ascertain the proper position of monthly pension liabilities in the state.” “As you all are aware, it has been my declared commitment to ensure that our senior citizens retire in joyful hope, live in dignity and are extended the courtesy they deserve.” “It is very instructive that out of an initial monthly bill of N1, 499,157,895.00 being accrual for 33,541 state and LGA pensioners, presented to the state government as at May 2019, the amount has been trimmed down to N1, 218,175,387 for 24,992 pensioners.” “This entails a savings of N280, 982,508.00 or 18.7 percent per month. Consequently, a total of 8,549 or 25 percent of ghost pensioners in all were filtered out. This represents the amount of state resources that would have gone into the drains without the necessary due diligence.”
President orders forensic audit of NDDC
President Muhmmadu Buhari has ordered an immediate forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC).
The President said he is worried by the persistent criticisms of the operations of NDDC and the fact that the level of development in the South-South region does not reflect the amount of funds appropriated for the organisation in this regard.
The forensic audit of the operations of the organisation would cover from 2001 to 2019.
Receiving governors of the states that make up the commission, led by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, President Buhari said what is presently on the ground in the South-South does not justify the huge resources that have been made available to the organisation.
“I try to follow the Act setting up these institutions, especially the NDDC. With the amount of money that the Federal Government has religiously allocated to the NDDC, we will like to see the results on the ground; those that are responsible for that have to explain certain issues.
“The projects said to have been done must be verifiable. You just cannot say you spent so much billions and when the place is visited, one cannot see the structures that have been done. The consultants must also prove that they are competent,” the President said.
Buhari admitted that developing the Niger Delta area required enormous resources compared to other parts of the country with firmer lands.
“I am acutely aware, with my experience, that projects in your area are very expensive; that is why if any job is given, we must make sure that the company is competent and has the capacity to do it well with experienced consultants,” the President added.
He, however, said that he would wait for the report of the audit before deciding on the next line of action regarding the organisation.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, Dickson, who is also chairman of the South-South Governors’ Forum, listed the NDDC states as Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Edo, Cross River, Bayelsa, Abia, Imo and Ondo.
He said: “Our concern has to do with the stability and development of the Niger Delta. We had a robust discussion with Mr President who fully understands the challenges that come with development, and he promised to look into the challenges which he’s aware of and we all agreed to work together.”
Dickson had earlier expressed the disappointment of other governors with the operations of the NDDC, which they said was characterised by poor choice of projects, shoddy handling, uncompleted jobs and lack of the required support for the efforts of the states and local government administration in the region covered by the organisation.
The governor, therefore, called for the repositioning of the NDDC in order to achieve the objectives for which it was set up.
Present at the meeting were Governors Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Dickson (Bayelsa); deputy governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu; Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio; Minister of State for Niger Delta, Tayo Alasoadura; among others
Tomato puree could boost male fertility
Scientists in the United Kingdom (UK) said healthy men who took the equivalent of two tablespoons of (concentrated) tomato puree a day as a supplement were found to have better quality sperm.
The findings of their research were published in the ‘European Journal of Nutrition’.
According to the researchers, lycopene – a nutrient found in tomatoes – may boost sperm quality. Lycopene, like vitamin E and zinc, which have been the focus of previous research, is an antioxidant, which means it prevents oxidation in cells, and therefore damage.
Similarly, lycopene has been linked to other health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and some cancers.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines infertility as “a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse. Available data indicates that at least 50 million couples worldwide experience infertility.
A number of factors including genetics, environmental exposures and infectious diseases have been linked to infertility risk.
In the current study, the team said they used a lactolycopene supplement because the nutrient in food could be harder for the body to absorb; the men would have needed to eat 2kg of cooked tomatoes each day to get the equivalent dose of lycopene.
The lead the researcher Dr. Liz Williams said men are usually advised to reduce alcohol consumption and eat a healthy diet – but these are very general messages.
She added: “This was a small study and we do need to repeat the work in bigger trials, but the results are very encouraging.
“The next step is to repeat the exercise in men with fertility problems and see if lycopene can increase sperm quality for those men and whether it helps couples conceive and avoid invasive fertility treatments.”
The National Health Service (NHS) advice for men experiencing fertility problems currently suggested that they adopt a healthy lifestyle and wear loose-fitting underwear.
It also suggested reducing stress and ensuring they have regular sex around the time their partner ovulated to maximise the chances of conception.
In the 12-week trial, 60 men were randomly selected to take 14 milligrams of lactolycopene per day or a dummy pill.
Their sperm was tested at the start, at six weeks and at the end of the study, and while there was no difference in sperm concentration, the proportion of healthy-shaped sperm and motility – how fast sperm can ‘swim’ – was higher in those taking lycopene.
Buhari vs Atiku: PDP Reps allege plot to influence CJN
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caucus in the House of Representatives has alleged that there are attempts by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to influence the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad in the selection of justices to hear the presidential election appeal at the Supreme Court.
The caucus said throughout the 16 years of PDP’s rule, it never at any time dictated the selection of panel members to the Chief Justices.
In a statement jointly signed by the caucus leader, Hon. Kingsley Chinda; deputy caucus leader, Hon. Chukwuma Onyema; caucus whip, Hon. Umar Barde and deputy caucus whip, Hon. Muraina Ajibola, the caucus insisted that selection of justices to hear Alhaji Abubakar Atiku’s appeal must be in order of seniority.
The caucus said: “We wish to state that selection of justices to hear the appeal of our great party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar must be in accordance with the conventional practice of admitting only of the selection of the first seven most senior justices of the Supreme Court: CJN Ibrahim Tanko, Justice Rhodes-Vivour, Justice Mary Odili, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, Justice Musa Muhammad and Justice Kumai Akaahs.
“The practice of selecting justices to hear the appeal is expected to precede the hearing, going by age long convention. What isn’t conventional is the present attempt to influence Chief Justice Muhammad, going by reports in the media, to subvert the age-long and time-tested practice, precedent and convention of selecting the most senior justices of the Supreme Court to hear the presidential election appeal.
“Chief Justices of Nigeria, through time, have never in the selection of the Supreme Court’s election petition appeal panel surrendered to the phoney dictates of the ruling parties. We are proud to state here that never in our great party’s time in power, did it or its personages, dictate selection of panel members to Chief Justices.”
“To sidestep precedents and convention is to provide legitimacy to the ruling party whose stock-in-trade is ridiculing the judiciary. Chief Justice Tanko must stick to precedents and conventions to preserve the integrity of the courts as the last hope of the common man and of the citizens of our great country,” the Reps said.
Revenue drops by N32bn, as FG, states, LGs share N693.529bn
Gross statutory revenue raked into federation accounts in September dropped by N32.095 billion against previous month statutory revenue figure of N631.796 billion.
This was as three tires of government comprising federal, states and local councils share N693.529 billion as revenue for the month of September.
Analysis of the figure showed that statutory revenue was N599.701 billion in September, an amount less than the N631.796 billion received in the previous month by N32.095 billion.
Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) chaired by the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Ahmed Idris, announced the amount shared from federation accounts to beneficiaries last night in Abuja.
The N693.529 billion raked in comprises revenue from Value Added Tax (VAT), exchange gain and Gross Statutory Revenue.
According to breakdown of figures, of N693.529 billion, Federal Government received N293.801 billion, states received N186.816 billion and the local governments received N140.864 billion.
The oil producing states received N51.532 billion as 13% derivation revenue while revenue generating agencies received N20.517 billion as cost of revenue collection.
The gross statutory revenue for the month of September 2019 was N599.701 billion, an amount less than the N631.796 billion received in the previous month by N32.095 billion.
For the month of September, gross revenue of N92.874 billion was available from VAT as against N88.082 billion distributed in the preceding month, resulting in an increase of N4.792 billion. Exchange Gain yielded total revenue of N0.954 billion.
A breakdown of the distribution showed that from the gross statutory revenue of N599.701 billion, the Federal Government received N279.985 billion, the states received N142.012 billion, the local government councils received N109.485 billion, the oil producing states received N51.417 billion as 13% derivation revenue and the revenue collecting agencies received N16.802 billion as cost of collection.
The N92.874 billion gotten from VAT revenue was shared accordingly as Federal Government received N13.374 billion, states got N44.580 billion, and local governments received N31.206 billion while revenue generating agencies received N3.715 billion.
The balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was $323.692 million as of 17th October, 2019.
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