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I LEFT MY EX-BOYFRIEND BECAUSE HE WAS BROKE –OLIVE ISIOMA UTALOR

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I LEFT MY EX-BOYFRIEND BECAUSE HE WAS BROKE –OLIVE ISIOMA UTALOR

Delectable, curvaceous and blunt starlet, Olive Isioma Utalor, spoke about her humble beginnings, romance and plans to join the league of filmmakers in this interview with LANRE ODUKOYA.

 

Could you reveal more about your background?

 

I’m Olive Isioma Utalor from Agbor, Ika North East, Delta State. I studied History and International Relations in Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki. Currently I’m doing my master’s degree in Asaba; Msc in Peace Keeping and Conflict Resolution. I was born on October 28, 1993.

 

How long have you been acting?

 

I’m still an up-and-coming act, although I have done some good movies. I came into the industry four years ago, and I started acting when I was in school. I was traveling for auditions in Enugu and Asaba, but two years ago, I decided to move to Asaba, that was when I entered Nollywood fully. It has not been easy, but God has always been faithful.

 

Which are some of the movies you’ve done?

 

Wasted Authority, Moment of Madness, Charity, Hope of Glory, Cursed, Blood Enemies, Loving Soul, Yahoo King, My Pregnant Daughter, Our Heritage and more.

 

Why did you choose acting as a career?

 

Due to the fact that I used to partake in church dramas back at my local church when I was a bit younger, and it was actually fun how people would refer to you by your stage name after the drama.

 

That drew my mind to the fact that while being yourself you could still be someone else on the screen. So, gradually I would display some acts in the front of the mirror for at least two hours daily during my early teens.

 

Then I started eating and dreaming about movies; that was why I chose this line of career. How was it like in those very early days of your career? Way back in the university, I would go for auditions with my friends, sometimes it was very hard to cope with studies.

 

I missed a few lectures only to get to the audition at times and I would not be selected for the movie.

 

So, I can say the early days of my acting was rough but the love and passion for the job brought me here. I also had discouragement from a lot of people but the passion was strong enough.

 

Any embarrassing encounter?

 

There’s no human without embarrassing moments in life. I get a whole lot of daily reactions from fans.

 

I played a wicked role in the movie, “Moment of Madness” and I was at the market, the lady whom I went to her shop to get few items from treated me badly. I was so ashamed as people gathered, she said a lot of bad things because of how I treated someone in the movie. I got really sad; her action spoilt my week entirely.

 

Did you also have any sexual harassment encounter? For now, I have not had any sexual harassment in the industry.

 

You’re beautiful and curvy, how do you deal with male fans lusting after your body? I love my fans and I can’t chase them away.

 

I know I am beautiful with nice curves in the right places, so, they will always come around me.

 

But I can’t be at two different places at the same time. So diplomatic handling of such fans is not a major problem

 

. Aside acting, what else do you do?

 

I’m still in school doing my master’s degree. But aside acting, my best moment is in the kitchen.

 

Are you planning to open an eatery?

 

 

Someday by God’s grace. Are you in a serious relationship at the moment? I have always been a low-key person in terms of my relationship. I broke up with my guy because he couldn’t take very good care of me.

 

 

Though he loves me, I need a perfect man.

 

Could you explain your idea of a perfect man?

 

Like I always say, any lady that walks away when you have nothing loves you. Just that poverty won’t let you understand. I left my boyfriend for him to level up and I know he will later come back to me because he loves me so much.

 

 

What gives you the confidence that he would come back to you?

 

Because I know he loves me and I am special to him. Nobody has my smile, I’m special, I’m rare in everything. But you left him already…

 

 

Please don’t laugh at me. I don’t know. I don’t know what to answer. I am not denying my love for him.

 

The very start was magical and everything went on well as he supported my dreams and was a solid financial backbone to me. Every woman would dream of such kind of man.

 

But the tides of life changed, I had to change with it as well.

 

 

Since you love him this much and you know he loves you just as much, why didn’t you stick with him and help me succeed?

 

Sometimes love needs to be appreciated and groomed so it can give its benefits in return. He is a good man, but I need to be treated royally because I am a queen.

 

 

Mind you, I supported him with my prayers, what kind of support is bigger than that?

 

Sometimes I fast seven days at a stretch for him, so what other kind of support do someone need to be successful?

 

 

Will you go into any other relationship before he comes back for you?

 

Of course, I can. We are not married yet.

 

All I’m saying is that he won’t be comfortable with any lady just like he was with me.

 

So, what kind of man would you call a ‘husband material’?

 

A God-fearing man, hardworking, you know, he needs to have everything that a woman wants.

 

So, in essence, you still want a man like him but with deeper pocket?

 

The most important, is a good God-fearing man. Everybody wants to draw closer to their creator. Maybe money will come later. Love with too much talk and lesser deeds is a sin.

 

That is just the best answer to the question.

 

You need a richer man to take good care of you and your needs?

 

I need someone who’s able to provide and defend me and not someone who hears news on social media and he’s been moved by critics, but most importantly, he must be rich, might not be famous, he must be caring and a bit polite with a good sense of humor.

 

Do you have plans to produce your own movie?

 

Definitely! All the stories I used to create when I was in secondary school at the very right time, I will tell them through a movie.

 

And it’s really going to be inspiring and educating more like a real-life story. So, with that, I am definitely going to produce my movie. The stories are up to three, so, at the very right time probably.

 

At God’s perfect time, I will produce the movies.

 

What are your future plans?

 

My future plans are really lined up in a to-do list for the next 10 years. I’m not going to wait for that time before I start working towards them. According to my pastor there is nothing like future. It starts now.

 

So, just from the list, one of them is opening a holiday movie school like a movie academy in my state (Delta State) just for beginners, it will only run on holidays.

 

The only academies we have are in bigger cities like Abuja and Lagos. So, I intend to open a good one in Delta State, probably my home town, Agbor.

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Onu, Ngige, Mohammed retain posts as Fashola, Amaechi shed weight in new cabinet

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Onu, Ngige, Mohammed retain posts as Fashola, Amaechi shed weight in new cabinet

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja inaugurated his new cabinet with majority of the re-appointed members of his first term cabinet retaining their posts.

 

 

Some other members of the old team who returned either had their jobs trimmed or got a raise in their responsibilities.

 

 

Alhaji Lai Mohammed returns to the Ministry of Information and Culture as Dr Ogbonnaya Onu returns to the Ministry of Science and Technology but unlike Mohammed, Onu is to be assisted by a Minister of State, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi.

 

 

Others who retained their positions are Alhaji Muhammed Bello (Federal Capital Territory) Adamu Adamu (Education), Dr Chris Ngige Labour and Employment), Geoffrey Onyeama (Foreign Affairs).

 

 

Alhaji Hadi Sirika, takes full charge as Minister of Aviation, while Mr Chibuike Amaechi is in-charge of Minister of Aviation in the Ministry of Transportation without the Aviation segment.

 

 

Malam Suleiman Adamu returns to the Ministry of Water Resources, while Zainab Ahmed is back to the Ministry of Finance.

 

 

Abubakar Malami retains his post as Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation and Mr Babatunde Fashola keeps the Ministry of Works and Housing without the Power segment.

 

 

Dr Ikechukwu Ogah, a fresh hand, is Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development; Godswill Akpabio (Minister of Niger Delta Affairs) and Mr Festus Keyamo is Minister of State for Niger Delta Affairs.

 

 

Mr Sabo Nanono is the Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources; retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Salihi Magash (Minister of Defence) and Ramatu Tijjani (Minister of State, FCT.)

 

 

Mr Muhammed Madmud is Minister of Environment; Sharon Ikeazor (Minister of State, Environment) and Amb. Maryam Katagun is the Minister of State, Trade

 

 

Mr Timipre Sylva is the Minister of State, Petroleum, Mr George Akume is the Minister of Special Duties and International Affairs, while Mustapha Baba Shehuri is Minister of State, Agriculture and Natural Resources.

 

 

FULL LIST

 

 

President Mohammed Buhari – Substantive Minister of Petroleum

1) Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah – Abia, Mines and Steel Development, State

 

2) Muhammed Musa Bello – Adamawa, FCT

 

3) Sen. Godswill Obot Akpabio – Akwa Ibom, Niger Delta

 

4) Chris Ngige – Anambra, Labour & Employment

 

 

5) Sharon Ikeazor – Anambra, Environment, State

 

 

6) Adamu Adamu – Bauchi, Education

 

 

7) Amb Maryam Katagum – Bauchi, Industry, Trade and Investment, State

 

8) Timipre Silva – Bayelsa, Petroleum, State

 

9) Sen. George Akume – Benue, Special Duties

 

 

10) Mustapha Baba Shehuri – Borno, Agriculture, State

 

 

11) Godwin Jedi-Agba – Cross River, Power, State

 

 

12) Festus Keyamo – Delta, Niger Delta, State

 

 

13) Ogbonnaya Onu – Ebonyi, Science and Technology

 

14) Dr. Osagie Ehanire – Edo, Health

 

15) Clement Ikanade Agba – Edo, Budget and National Planning, State

 

 

16) Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo – Ekiti, Industry, Trade and Investment

 

17) Geoffrey Onyeama – Enugu, Foreign Affairs

 

18) Dr. Ali Isa Pantami – Gombe, Communication

 

19) Emeka Nwajuba – Imo, Education, State

 

20) Suleiman Adamu – Jigawa, Water Resources

 

21) Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed – Kaduna, Finance, Budget and National Planning

 

22) Dr. Mohammad Mahmoud – Kaduna, Environment

 

23) Mohammed Sabo Nanono – Kano, Agriculture

 

24) Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd) – Kano, Defence

 

25) Hadi Sirika – Katsina, Aviation

 

26) Abubakar Malami – Kebbi, HAGF and Minister of Justice

 

27) Ramatu Tijani Aliyu – Kogi, FCT, State

 

28) Lai Mohammed – Kwara, Information and Culture

 

29) Gbemisola Saraki – Kwara, Transportation, State

 

30) Babatunde Raji Fashola – Lagos, Works and Housing

 

31) Adeleke Mamora – Lagos, Health, State

 

32) Mohammed A. Abdullahi – Nasarawa, Science & Tech, State

 

33) Amb. Zubairu Dada – Niger, Foreign Affairs, State

 

34) Olamilekan Adegbite – Ogun, Mines & Steel Devpt

 

35) Sen. Omotayo Alasuadura – Ondo, Labour, State

 

36) Rauf Aregbesola – Osun, Interior

 

37) Sunday Dare – Oyo, Youth and Sports

 

38) Dame Pauline Tallen – Plateau, Women Affairs

 

39) Rotimi Amaechi – Rivers, Transportation

 

40) Mohammed Maigari Dangyadi – Sokoto, Police Affairs

 

41) Engr. Sale Mamman – Taraba, Power

 

42) Abubakar D. Aliyu – Yobe, Works and Housing, State

 

43) Sadiya Umar Faruk – Zamfara, Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development

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Abia killing: Army dismisses killer soldier for prosecution

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Abia killing: Army dismisses killer soldier for prosecution

*As Buratai tasks RSMs to acquire ICT skills

 

The 82 Division of the Nigerian Army has dismissed Lance Cpl. Ajayi Johnson, who allegedly killed a commercial motorcyclist, Mr Chimaobi Nwogu, at Umoukereke Ngwa in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia.

The Deputy Director, Public Relations of the division, Col. Aliyu Yusuf, announced this in a statement issued in Enugu on Wednesday.

Yusuf stated that Johnson had been handed over to the police command in Abia for prosecution.

It would be recalled that the suspect had on August 7, 2019 allegedly shot Nwaogu for reportedly failing to drop N100 at a military checkpoint, killing him on the spot.

The army later arrested him and, according to Yusuf, he was tried in accordance with extant rules and regulations of the Nigerian Army.

Yusuf said that Johnson had been dully charged, tried and reduced to the rank of a private and subsequently dismissed from service.

“He is, hereby, formally handed over to the Nigerian Police Force, Abia state command today Wednesday August 21, 2019 for further necessary action.

“The 82 Division will not condone any act of lawlessness and unprofessional conduct from any of its personnel, and wherever that happens, decisive action will surely be taken against erring personnel,” he further stated.

He stated that the Nigerian Army would continue to discharge its core mandate in protecting lives and property of all Nigerians as provided in the Constitution.

And in a related development, the Chief Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai has charged Regiment Sergeant Majors (RS) in the Nigerian army to acquire skills in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in order to remain relevant.

Buratai gave the charge at the opening of RSM annual convention on Wednesday in Kaduna.

The News Agency report that the theme of the convention in which 306 RSMs are participating was: “Professionalism Through Regimentation in the Nigerian Army.’’

Buratai said: “Nowadays in our regimentation, you must embrace ICT. You must embrace the quest to be digital, and I expect you all to no longer be analogue but digital.’’

He said that was necessary because of the involvement of the army with enemies who had gone digital in operations.

 

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Buhari removes power from Fashola, retains Petroleum portfolio

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Buhari removes power from Fashola, retains Petroleum portfolio

Former Lagos State governor Babatunde Fashola will no longer be a “super minister” after the Power Ministry was removed from him.

In the previous cabinent, Fashola had headed three ministries after being named Minister of Power, Works and Housing.

But at today’s swearing in, Saleh Mamman, who was nominated from Taraba, now occupies the position

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari is still in charge of the Petroleum Ministry as he announced Timipre Sylva as Minister of State for Petroleum.

Lai Mohammed is still in charge of information ministry, Chris Ngige (labour) and Mohammed Bello (federal capital territory).

The president assigned portfolios to his ministers after swearing them in at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

FULL LIST

President Mohammed Buhari – Substantive Minister of Petroleum

1) Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah – Abia, Mines and Steel Development, State

2) Muhammed Musa Bello – Adamawa, FCT

3) Sen. Godswill Obot Akpabio – Akwa Ibom, Niger Delta

4) Chris Ngige – Anambra, Labour & Employment

5) Sharon Ikeazor – Anambra, Environment, State

6) Adamu Adamu – Bauchi, Education

7) Amb Maryam Katagum – Bauchi, Industry, Trade and Investment, State

8) Timipre Silva – Bayelsa, Petroleum, State

9) Sen. George Akume – Benue, Special Duties

10) Mustapha Baba Shehuri – Borno, Agriculture, State

11) Godwin Jedi-Agba – Cross River, Power, State

12) Festus Keyamo – Delta, Niger Delta, State

13) Ogbonnaya Onu – Ebonyi, Science and Technology

14) Dr. Osagie Ehanire – Edo, Health

15) Clement Ikanade Agba – Edo, Budget and National Planning, State

16) Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo – Ekiti, Industry, Trade and Investment

17) Geoffrey Onyeama – Enugu, Foreign Affairs

18) Dr. Ali Isa Pantami – Gombe, Communication

19) Emeka Nwajuba – Imo, Education, State

20) Suleiman Adamu – Jigawa, Water Resources

21) Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed – Kaduna, Finance, Budget and National Planning

22) Dr. Mohammad Mahmoud – Kaduna, Environment

23) Mohammed Sabo Nanono – Kano, Agriculture

24) Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd) – Kano, Defence

25) Hadi Sirika – Katsina, Aviation

26) Abubakar Malami – Kebbi, HAGF and Minister of Justice

27) Ramatu Tijani Aliyu – Kogi, FCT, State

28) Lai Mohammed – Kwara, Information and Culture

29) Gbemisola Saraki – Kwara, Transportation, State

30) Babatunde Raji Fashola – Lagos, Works and Housing

31) Adeleke Mamora – Lagos, Health, State

32) Mohammed A. Abdullahi – Nasarawa, Science & Tech, State

33) Amb. Zubairu Dada – Niger, Foreign Affairs, State

34) Olamilekan Adegbite – Ogun, Mines & Steel Devpt

35) Sen. Omotayo Alasuadura – Ondo, Labour, State

36) Rauf Aregbesola – Osun, Interior

37) Sunday Dare – Oyo, Youth and Sports

38) Dame Pauline Tallen – Plateau, Women Affairs

39) Rotimi Amaechi – Rivers, Transportation

40) Mohammed Maigari Dangyadi – Sokoto, Police Affairs

41) Engr. Sale Mamman – Taraba, Power

42) Abubakar D. Aliyu – Yobe, Works and Housing, State

43) Sadiya Umar Faruk – Zamfara, Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development

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Nigeria marks three years clear of polio

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Nigeria marks three years clear of polio

Nigeria marks three years on Wednesday since its last case of wild polio virus (WPV).

This date is significant because in order for the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declare a country free of polio it has to go three years without a new case.

But it’s not quite official yet that Nigeria is polio-free.

First the WHO has to work out whether the surveillance networks are robust enough so that they can safely say that there really have been no polio cases for three years.

That is not likely to happen until early next year, according to Chairman of Nigeria’s Polio Committee, Dr Tunji Funsho.

Nevertheless, Nigeria has undoubtedly come a long way.

In 2012, the country had more than half of all polio cases worldwide, with 223 cases, the WHO says.

Dr Funsho puts this success down to, among other things, the reduction of fighting with Islamist militants Boko Haram.

The Boko Haram insurgency in north-east Nigeria had made some areas of Borno State hard to access, reports the BBC.

That is reflected in where the most recent cases of polio have been and the last case of wild polio was detected on August 21, 2016 in Borno.

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Presidential Election Tribunal reserves judgment

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Presidential Election Tribunal reserves judgment

The Presidential Election Petition on Wednesday reserved judgement in the petition challenging the election of Muhammadu Buhari as president.

NAN reports that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the PDP, are challenging the election of President Buhari.

Buhari was declared the winner of the February 23 presidential election, with over 15 million votes as against Atiku’s 11, 262,978 votes.

The five-member panel led by Justice Mohammed Garba reserved judgment to a date to be communicated to all the parties involved in the petition.

Dr Levi Uzoukwu, who led the petitioners’ legal team, insisted in his final written address that President Buhari’s claim that he submitted his certificates to the Military Board has been controverted by the Secretary to the Military Board.

Lawyers to INEC, President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, however, urged the Tribunal to dismiss the petition with substantial cost for lacking in merit and substance.

They argued that the nation’s law only requires a candidate to be educated up to secondary school level or its equivalent.

 

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Boss Mustapha takes oath as SGF

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Boss Mustapha takes oath as SGF
  • Mrs Oyo-Ita also present

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn in Boss Mustapha as the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF).

Reappointed on July 6, Mustapha had the oath of office administered on to him alone at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, had announced that the SGF would be sworn in alone while the ministers would be joined in nine batches of a group of five for their own swearing-in.

Mustapha, from Adamawa State, was first appointed as the SGF in October, 2017, replacing Babachir Lawal, who was relieved of the position, following the controversial grass-cutting contract he awarded to firms said to be linked to him.

Meanwhile, among the top government officials already present inside the Council Chambers, venue of the event is the Head of Service, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, who was rumoured to have resigned from her position over allegations of fraud.

Oyo-Ita, who sat on her designated chair as the HoS, has already denied the resignation speculation.

 

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Presidency: Don’t jettison zoning arrangement, Useni warns

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Presidency: Don’t jettison zoning arrangement, Useni warns

From Musa Pam, Jos

 

Former FCT Minister and People Democratic party (PDP) governorship candidate of Plateau State during the 2019 General Elections, Gen. Jeremiah Useni (rtd), has warned that Nigeria is not yet matured politically to jettison the zoning arrangement that has been producing leaderships at different levels of society and from diverse communities.

Useni disclose this in Jos on Wednesday while in audience with some PDP officials, elders, and stakeholders from Zawan District of Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State.

“Rotational leadership is best for us for now. It gives people the freedom and opportunity to be involved in establishing and running the government of their choice at different levels.

“Nigeria is not yet ripe to have leaders produced from only one area all the time and so denying others. Even in the days of military rule, leadership was always balanced to give fair representation to all parts of the country.

“If you allow only specific areas to produce leaderships, it will breed bitterness, hatred and crisis because many communities will feel left out of being involved to also run their own affairs,” he said.

Gen Useni appealed to the Zawan delegation to stay united, work hard and pray for the victory of the PDP in all the tribunals.

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3 policemen killed as gunmen attack convoy of Nasarawa deputy gov

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3 policemen killed as gunmen attack convoy of Nasarawa deputy gov

Cheke Emmanuel

 

Daredevil gunmen Tuesday night attacked the convoy of the Nasarawa State Deputy Governor, Dr Emmanuel Akabe killing three policemen and a civilian in his convoy.

Sources said, the attack occurred at a hill popularly called ‘many have gone’ along Lafia-Akwanga road.

It was learnt that the deputy governor was travelling from Lafia, the state capital, to Abuja when his convoy was attacked at about 8pm

Sources said the gunmen were robbing travellers along the road when the convoy ran into them prompting the police escort attached to the convoy to engage them in a gun duel, but they were overpowered by the superior power of the gunmen leading to the death of the policemen.

It gathered that deputy governor escaped unhurt, but was traumatized by the attack when he made quick return to Lafia with the bodies of the slain policemen.

Meanwhile, bodies of the policemen have been deposited at the mortuary of the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH) in Lafia.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ismaila Usman could not be reached, but an officer, who preferred anonymity, said they were aware of the sad incident.

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Drama, confusion as EFCC raids Ambode’s homes

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Drama, confusion as EFCC raids Ambode’s homes

We’re after ex-gov’s chief of staff – Magu

 

 

It was drama and confusion in Lagos yesterday over a raid on the homes of the immediate past governor of the state, Akinwunmi Ambode, by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over an alleged N9.9 billion fraud.

 

While the governor confirmed that his Epe country home and Parkview Estate home in Ikoyi were searched by operatives of the anti-graft agency, EFCC’s Acting Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Tony Orilade, said the action was in furtherance of the on-going investigation of Ambode’s administration.

 

 

But, the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, said his men were hunting for the former chief of staff to former governor, Olukunle Ojo.

 

 

Magu, who spoke with journalists at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said his men were hunting for Ojo. “It was the chief of staff’s house we raided not the governor,” he said.

 

 

However, Ojo, who debunked report that his house in Epe was raided by operatives of the anti-graft agency, alleged that the building that was searched belongs to the former Personal Assistant to Ambode, Mr. Bunmi Ariyo.

 

 

New Telegraph gathered that scores of Epe residents trooped out to protest the invasion of Ambode’s home without a search warrant. The residents, comprising mainly young men, attempted to attack the EFCC operatives, who shot into the air and zoomed off.

 

 

The former governor, however, urged his supporters and the general public to remain calm and law abiding as there was no cause for alarm.

 

 

Ambode, in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Habib Aruna, said that the two houses were searched without any incident, adding that the Commission, till date, has not opened any direct communication with him on any issue.

 

 

Wondering why the anti-graft agency was yet to communicate with him, the former governor said he was ready and willing to respond if or when the agency does so.

 

 

“This morning (yesterday), EFCC operatives visited the Epe country home and Parkview Ikoyi residence of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, former governor of Lagos State, with warrants to conduct a search. These searches were carried out extensively and at the end of the exercise, the operatives left without any incident.

 

“The former governor reiterates that the EFCC has, till date, not had any direct communication with him on any subject matter whatsoever and, if or when it occurs, he is ready and willing to respond.

 

 

“The former governor wishes to assure his supporters and the generality of Lagosians to continue to remain calm and law-abiding as there is no cause for alarm,” Ambode’s media aide said.

 

 

Even as his supporters described the raid as witch-hunting, the former governor reiterated his belief in the rule of law and due process and remains grateful for the opportunity to have served Lagos State.

 

 

It would be recalled that Ambode, in an earlier response to allegations by EFCC that it had frozen certain accounts linked to him, insisted that no account of his contained N9.9 billion, let alone being frozen by the Commission as the said accounts were opened and operated by Lagos State government.

 

 

EFCC’s spokesman, Orilade, who confirmed that operatives of the Commission undertook the operation at the Epe residence of the former governor, said like other former governors, Ambode had lost the constitutional immunity of an incumbent, hence the probe.

 

 

He explained: “The EFCC has since early hours of today (yesterday), been inundated with calls that operatives of the Commission raided the residence of the former governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode.

 

 

“We need to state for the records that the EFCC did not raid Ambode’s house. It is instructive that his administration, like other former governors, is under investigation, since they no longer constitutionally enjoy immunity against prosecution.

 

 

“The Commission hereby states with high sense of responsibility that the operatives did not raid Ambode’s residence. Whatever the Commission is presently doing with regards to the investigation is in line with its mandate and the rule of law.

 

 

“We wish to inform the social media to be circumspect in the reportage of any news with regards to investigation activities of the Commission. As a tradition, the Commission does not carry out investigation on the pages of newspapers or through the media. Our operations are always covert until at a time when we file charges in court.

 

 

“Therefore, the attempt to cast the Commission in a bad light is unacceptable as the EFCC will never engage in illegal act. We remain committed to the war against corruption.”

 

 

Meanwhile, Ambode’s former Chief of Staff, Ojo, in a statement by his media aide, Cornelius Kayode, said: “Mr. Kunle Ojo did not have any personal house in Epe, how can the EFCC raid the house one doesn’t have? So, the report is misleading and baseless.

 

 

“The former COS doesn’t have a house in Epe as claimed in some media reports. The house belongs to Bunmi Ariyo, Ambode’s PA,” he said.

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PwC: Nigeria’s remittance inflows surpass foreign aid

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PwC: Nigeria’s remittance inflows surpass foreign aid

P

rofessional services network, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Nigeria, has said that Nigeria’s remittance inflow was 6.8 times larger than the net official development assistance (foreign aid) of $3.4 billion received in 2018.

 

 

The firm, which stated this in its latest White Paper Series, entitled: “Strength from Abroad: The Economic Power of Nigeria’s diaspora,” also estimated that remittance inflows to the country amounted to $23 billion in 2018 and represented 5.8 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

 

 

It further stated that Nigeria accounts for over a third of migrant remittance flows to sub-Saharan Africa, adding: “The 2018 migrant remittances translate to 77.2 per cent of the Federal Government budget in 2018 and 10.1 times the FDI flows in the same    period.”

 

 

The firm, which predicted that migrant remittances to Nigeria will rise to $25.5 billion this year and $29.8 billion by 2021, also forecast that the remittances to the country could grow to $34.8 billion in 2023.

 

 

Specifically, PwC stated that over a 15-year period, it “expects total remittance flows to Nigeria to grow by almost double in size from $18.37 billion in 2009 to $34.89 billion in 2023.”

 

 

 

However, the firm noted: “The growth in remittances is subject to global economic forces, which could spur or hinder growth of remittance flows.”

 

 

According to PwC, while the United Nations data shows that there were 1.24 million migrants from Nigeria in 2017, the figure is likely to be higher in 2018 and 2019, given the recent trend in migration from the country.

 

 

In fact, PwC cited a 2018 survey conducted by Pew Research Centre, which showed that “almost half of Nigerian adults have indicated their willingness to leave the country in the next five years.”

 

 

Commenting on the report, Partner & Chief Economist at PwC, Dr. Andrew S. Nevin, said: “The report is an analysis, which shows the critical importance of the diaspora to Nigeria’s economy. The recently-established Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), led by Abike Dabiri-Erewa, indicates that the Federal Government recognises the strategic importance of the Nigerian diaspora. The key next steps for the newly-established Commission is to formulate and execute a strategy to maximise the benefits of Nigeria’s diaspora.

 

 

“In addition, we’re very keen to see state governments start to engage the diaspora. The primary benefits of remittances to recipient households is the improvement in their general welfare, and studies show that 70 per cent of remittances are used for consumption purposes, while 30 per cent of remittance funds go to investment-related uses. So it is important that Nigeria has a diaspora strategy both at the national and state levels.”

 

 

He further pointed out that while official remittances have exceeded Nigeria’s oil revenues for four consecutive years, the actual amount of remittance flows into the country is arguably higher given that “many transactions are unrecorded or take place through informal channels.”

 

 

He recommended the creation of platforms that increase accessibility of crucial information for Nigerians in the diaspora as well as the creation of pooled investment vehicles.

 

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