A rights organisation, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has asked the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to develop and adopt public registers for corrupt state governors and other high-ranking public officials charged with and convicted of grand corruption since the return of democracy in 1999.
In an open letter dated August 23, 2019, which was signed by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP also urged the AGF to push for a legislation that will require public officials charged with and convicted of grand corruption at the federal, state and local government levels to put their names in the public registers.
The organisation argued that the proposed registers will not only have a deterrent effect but would also be a proportionate response to the grave crime of grand corruption and impunity of perpetrators.
It further noted that there can be no reasonable expectation of privacy in matters already exposed to public viewing such as prior arrest, charges and conviction records.
According to SERAP, public registers for high-ranking officials facing corruption charges and those convicted of corruption would be a pivotal moment in the fight against corruption by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The open letter reads: “SERAP is concerned that corruption is so pervasive across many states and at several levels of governance and has remained a constant feature of Nigeria’s political scene since 1999, turning public service for many into a kind of criminal enterprise.
“Grand corruption has continued to fuel political violence, deny millions of Nigerians access to clean water, and even the most basic health and education services, and reinforcing police abuses and other widespread patterns of human rights violations.”
Oyetola eulogise Akande at book launch
Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola yesterday described former interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Adebisi Akande as an encyclopedia of governance and statesmanship whose virtues were worthy of emulation.
Besides, He said Osun was proud to donate his politics, economics and governance dynamics to a nation striving to emplace visionary and dynamic leadership, describing Akande as birthing legacy of prudent and transparent management of men and resources in the state.
Oyetola stated these yesterday in Lagos at a public presentation of a book entitled “The Bisi Akande Phenomenon: Governance, Economics and Politics”, held at the Jelili Adebisi Omotola Hall C, University of Lagos, Akoka.
He said: “His life, politics, philosophy, leadership dynamics and lifestyle accurately exemplify him as an outstanding Omoluabi and a phenomenon in the nation’s budding democracy.
“Akande represents everything Osun stands for, and radiates the honour and statesmanship our nation exudes.
“Baba Awon Omo Kekeke (father of small children), as he is fondly called is a metaphor for the future of Osun and Nigeria.
“He radiates vision, discipline, dynamism, industry and honour, which we require to overcome the raging rot to become a great player in the competitive world. This Octogenarian was a compendium of wisdom during the opposition days of the progressives and even now, a formidable guide while in power.
“Since his tutelage under the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Akande has remained a potent voice in politics, governance and the economy. He is also widely known as a bridge between the North and the South in a nation immersed in ethnic and rotational politics.
“These rare attributes make him a phenomenon, a quintessential politician and a unifying force in a country where centrifugal forces are always gnawing at its political and economic soul.”
“A visionary and dynamic leader, Chief Akande remains the architect of our beloved state, having laid a solid foundation which his successors have built on in all the sectors to announce the state to the world.
“Chief Akande birthed the legacy of prudent and transparent management of men and resources. Despite Osun’s status as one of the resource-challenged states in the country, Chief Akande employed his skills as a creative manager to build structures and institutions in a manner that dwarfed the achievements of resource-studded states in the nation.
“As students of Chief Akande’s politico-economics, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the author of the book for codifying the activities and milestones of our principal into a compendium for us and the generations yet unborn to appropriately build bricks on the foundation that will take our fatherland to the Promised Land.”
“As Baba’s governor, I express the gratitude of the good people of of Osun to Baba Akande for living an exemplary life worthy of emulation; thank you Baba for becoming an encyclopaedia of governance and statesmanship.
“We are proud to donate Baba Akande, his politics, his economics and his governance dynamics to a nation striving to emplace visionary and dynamic leadership.”
Meanwhile Oyetola has told migrants resident in the state to cooperate with officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) for proper documentation and data capturing.
He, however, admonished them to register with the NIS to enable the state to guarantee their security and welfare with a view to affording them opportunity to carry out their legitimate businesses.
Oyetola, represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prince Wole Oyebamiji, spoke yesterday at the State Command of the NIS, Osogbo, during inauguration of the electronic registration of migrants in the state.
He said: “The e-registration exercise is a global standard exercise. It is designed for all migrants who are 18 years and above to register with the Nigeria Immigration Service. This exercise will serve as a database of all foreigners.
“Consequently, I enjoin all migrants resident in Osun to register with the Nigeria Immigration Service to enable the State to guarantee their security and welfare and to afford them the opportunity to carry out their legitimate businesses.”
Lagos to flood-prone residents: Be ready to vacate your homes
Following downpour and increased flood across Lagos metropolis, the state government yesterday warned residents of the flood-prone areas to be ready to vacate their homes for safety reasons, saying that flooding would not be completely eradicated in the state due to its geographical location.
This was even as some residents in areas like Itire, Idi-Araba, Obafemi Awolowo way in Ikeja had called on the government to urgently intervene on the persistent flooding in their communities, saying that their property and lives were constantly being threatened by flood occasioned by the heavy downpour.
Bu the government, however, allayed fear on the downpour, assuring residents that measures were already in place to address challenges being posed by incessant rainfall as witnessed in the state in the last three days, saying that effort was being made to clean and maintain the drainage channels.
New Telegraph gathered that residents and commuters of Itire, especially those close to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH were usually being threatened by rainfall, which they lamented had made life horrible for them.
But Commissioner for The Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello and Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources, Engineer Joe Igbokwe said residents should be rest assured that irrespective of the volume of the rainfall, it would flow through the drains to discharge into the various channels.
Oyo approves composition of State Electoral Commission
Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde yesterday approved composition of the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC).
A statement signed by Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the governor, in a letter dated 18th September, 2019, forwarded names of eight individuals to the House of Assembly for consideration as chairman and members of the commission.
“I wish to inform Your Rt. Honourable and other Honourable Members of the composition of the State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC).
The following personalities have been considered suitable, based on their track records, to oversee and conduct elections into the local governments in the State; Isiaka Olagunju was nominated as chairman of the commission, while Comrade Adeniyi Afeez Babatunde, Alhaja Ganiyat Saka, Mr. Olanrewaju Emmanuel, Chief Kumi Agboola, Mr. Remi Ayoade, Mr. Sunday Falan and Mr. Adeojo Elias were nominated as members.
Also, Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), Mr. Babatunde Irukera, has deplored culture of patronising sub-standard products and services in the country, lamenting that 60 per cent of Nigerians knew some products were fake yet they bought them because of their cheap price.
Irukera, an international legal practitioner, said this on Wednesday at the International Conference Centre of the University of Ibadan during his lecture entitled “Competitiveness and a Culture of Quality” organised by the commission to awaken youths, students and several stakeholders to the culture of appreciating quality in whatever they engage in.
At the event were stakeholders including Professor Adenike Ogunse of the Kola Daisi University, Ibadan; President of the Ibadan Chamber of Commerce, Engr. Ismaila Alapa, officials of the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), NECO, Foodco Foods, Therapy School, NAPTIP, SUMAL Foods, staff of academic institutions etc.
Irukera said: “60 per cent of Nigerians know some products are fake yet they buy them because of their cheap price. That is the greatest challenge we are facing in the country.
Quality is not a buffet: you have to hunt for it and have it. Many of the sectors of the country need declaration of emergency because excellence appears to be in our past and history. We need to find our way to the future in order to better our wellbeing. We may not be able to fix a broken bridge, but we can strive to build a new one.
“It is grievous and sad to be asked by any seller whether one wants to buy original product or the ‘Aba’, or ‘Taiwan’ type. The essence of this programme is educating consumers of their right to have quality products.
But it seems these days that quality is an option and sub-standard products and services are a second option. That is not the law. Consumers should not have an option but to be provided with quality products and services. That is why we should start inculcating into our youths, students and educators, the culture of quality standard. We know that the greatest modifier of human behaviour is consequence and the greatest consequence for lack of quality is to be rejected. And the most important tool for enforcement is for the people to demand for their right and insist on it.”
Dangote hails Buhari’s new economic team
President of Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote, has commended the new Economic Advisory Council (EAC) constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari to advise him on the nation’s economic growth and overall development. He described the move as a proactive one, which is capable of elevating Nigeria’s economy to greater heights.
Dangote, who spoke as the Chairman at the commissioning ceremony of the new Secretariat of the Chemical and Non-Metallic Products Employers Federation (CANMPEF) in Lagos, said: “The constitution of the Economic Advisory Council is a proactive move, by putting together tested and respected patriots, who are independent and always ready to put the country’s interest first and ahead of themselves.”
He then urged the Federal Government to take advantage of this rare opportunity to strengthen the economy and put the country on the path of growth, job creation and competitiveness, while also calling on all stakeholders to work with the Federal Government to revive and restore the economy on the path of growth. According to him, the government should continue to provide the enabling environment which it had set out to do, so that the private sector would continue to thrive as the way to go in the next level.
APC forms 39-man reconciliation committee for Adamawa
Adamawa State All Progressives Congress (APC) has named a 39-member steering committee to oversee affairs of the party in the state and reposition it for victory.
The committee headed by Abdulrahman Adamu, which also had Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha and Mohammed Bello; Minister of FCT, as co-chairmen, was to work with the APC National Working Committee (NWC).
According to a document made available to newsmen in Abuja yrsterday, a robust term of reference given to the committee was a charge to reconcile all aggrieved aspirants/candidates and other chieftains that vied for positions during the 2019 general election.
APC in Adamawa State had been in crisis, which led to the electoral victory of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.
Also according to the document, the committee was also charged with the task of developing a programme of action to reposition and strengthen APC in the state, as well as propose modalities that ensure free and fair primaries ahead of the coming local government election and future elections in the state.
Other functions of the committee include; “To propose ways and means of raising funds for running the affairs of the party in Adamawa State.
“To develop an effective media and public enlightenment programme for repositioning the party to its winning ways in the state.
“To co-ordinate and support the various election petitions by the party at various tribunals and courts.
“To carry out any other function as may be directed by the National Work Committee of the APC.”
Other members of the committee were the immediate past governor of Adamawa State, Mohammed Umaru Jibrilla Bindow, former EFCC Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Dahiru Bobbo and Senator Ahmed Hassan Barata, among many others.
Gumi: 2019 polls worst in Nigeria’s history
Fiery Islamic Scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, yesterday, disclosed that the last election was the worst he had witnessed in the history of the country.
According to Gumi, the process was overshadowed with massive irregularities, which had produced a government that is finding it difficult to tackle the problems of the country.
That was as he also lambasted the elite for plunging the country into its present woes characterised by kidnapping, banditry and all manner of crimes.
Gumi stated this while playing host to the President and Founder of Evangelical Bible Outreach Ministries International, Prophet Isah El-Buba, who paid him a courtesy visit in Kaduna yesterday.
The Islamic Scholar lamented that the 2019 election was the most painful, worst election conducted in the history of Nigeria which has now divided Nigerians across various interests, capitalising on the ignorance of the masses.
He said: “We are having the same vision about getting the right purposeful leadership that is focused and all embracing like a hawk which protects all his children. This is the type of leadership we need.
“Nigeria is now seriously divided along all interests. Class struggle is now the major factor that keep polarising Nigeria. Now what brought the division is abject poverty. The poor and the downtrodden are now angry. All the crimes we have now came as a result of poverty.
“The politicians are necessary evil even though a lot of them are not educated. The crop of political leaders are not educated to handle the problem we have in Nigeria today. The idea is very important and not what we see today. There is no point looking at who is doing what but the idea.
“Former President Goodluck Jonathan and President Buhari are not good for Nigeria. When we told Jonathan to do something, he was looking at us from a Muslim perspective. People are dying in the Hospital. Kidnapping is the worst thing. After attaining position, all they think is how to get contract and jet out of country.
“I will support you to move round the country because we still have good people all over the country. I’m ready to go with you. But, don’t forget to carry them along. You have to tell them. The last election was the most painful election I have seen in Nigeria. In 2015, we realised we were handicapped because Nigerians are ignorant.
I expected 2019 to be clean but, it is the worst election I have seen in Nigeria.
“You can imagine a government that is fighting corruption, saw a governor from the North stalking dollars in his pockets and kept quiet. What example is the North showing? Nigeria needs a new page- people, who will unite us. The surest way to move Nigeria forward is through free, fair and credible elections,” he said.
Earlier, Prophet Isah said he embarked on national tour to see a new Nigeria where justice shall be the basis upon which the country is governed.
Balonwu: Why we’re championing African women
Founder of African Women on Board (AWB), a non-profit group, Dr. Nkiru Balonwu, has said the only way to fast-track the trajectory of African women into leadership positions globally, is for all the stakeholders involved in the emancipation process to be fully involved.
She noted that women globally were having a moment in history with their stories and experiences being brought to the global consciousness with little or no significant impact experienced by these women.
Speaking at press conference in Lagos, to announce programmes and activities in the lead up to AWB’s global launch on September 26, Balonwu said from experience and data-backed findings, it was gathered when women are at the table and part of the decision-making process, teams are strengthened and more solution-orientated.
Balonwu, who spoke alongside a trustee of the AWB, Prof. Chioma Agomo, Gbemi Abudu and Olu Arowolo Verhejien, noted that the seeming disparity informed her group’s insistence on championing the reawakening mechanism that would advance narratives and improve realities for African women and girls globally.
Balonwu said: “Unfortunately, the unique perspectives and narratives of African women have been left out of this conversation almost entirely. AWB is saying that it is time for African women to be included in these conversations and have our say in the development and growth of this continent.
“We started in 2017 as a network of women working together to advance the economic, social and political rights of African women. We looked at solutions to getting women into senior management, C-suit and board positions.”
On her part, Agomo, who is a professor of law at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), explained that African women were being left behind, stressing that she was at the gathering to testify to the importance of the work of the AWB.
“What attracted me was the understanding from the leadership, to the programming staff, to the council and communities of allies that gender diversity is not a women’s issue, but an economic issue, which concerns us all. The creation of opportunities for women directly correlates with heightened potential for growth for everyone around them,” said Prof Agomo, whose specialty course is in gender and the law.
She pointed out that data consistently shows that investments put in the hands of women, lift up their communities.
“We do need men as allies to champion women as the natural conduits that can feed success for all. I join AWB in welcoming everyone to the conversations we are having next week at AWB@UNGA and to this larger movement to make African women’s voices mainstream,” she said.
FG, states & LGs share N720.880bn in August
The Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) yesterday in Abuja approved for sharing to three tires of government, a total of N720.880 billion.
The amount comprised revenue from Value Added Tax (VAT), Exchange Gain and gross statutory revenue.
The gross statutory revenue for the month of August 2019 was N631.796 billion, an amount lower than the N674.365 billion received in the previous month by N42.569 billion.
Revenue from Value Added Tax (VAT) was N88.082 billion as against N94.159 billion in the previous month, indicating a decrease of N6.077 billion. Exchange gain yielded total revenue of N1.002 billion.
The Accountant General of Federation ( AGF), Idris Ahmed, who presided FAAC meeting, announced the figures.
Of the amount, the Federal Government received N301.804 billion, states received N188.925 billion, and the Local Government Councils received N142.654 billion. Oil Producing states received N43.513 billion as 13 per derivation revenue while revenue generating agencies received N43.984 billion as cost of revenue collection.
In addition, the meeting agreed to share N20 billion from Forex Equalization fund.
Of gross statutory revenue of N631.796 billion, Federal Government received N288.638 billion, states got N146.401 billion, the Local Government Councils received N112.869 billion, the Oil Producing States received N43.426 billion as 13% per cent derivation revenue and the Revenue Collecting Agencies received N40.461billion as cost of collection.
Of Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N88.082 billion, Federal Government got N12.684 billion, states received N42.280 billion and Local Government Councils received N29.596 billion and the Revenue Generating Agencies received N3.523 billion.
The balance in the Excess Crude Account stood at $328.122 million as at September 19, 2019.
Nigeria loses $1.35bn to crude oil theft in six months
The National Economic Council (NEC) yesterday confirmed that the country in the last six months has lost a total of 22.6 million barrels of crude oil valued at approximately $1.35 billion.
The losses are as a result of high levels of pipeline vandalism, oil theft and bunkering activities in the Niger Delta region.
Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, who chaired NEC’s adhoc Committee on Oil Theft, confirmed this when he submitted a report to the council.
Speaking to State House Correspondents after the NEC meeting presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, he warned that the development portends danger for the economy if the situation was not contained in two years.
He said: “We would have lost in excess of $2.7 billion.”
Obaseki, who gave the breakdown of the losses recorded within the period said: “The Nembe creek trunk-line lost 9.2 million barrel; the Trans-Niger pipeline lost 8.6 million barrel; the Trans-Focadoes Pipeline lost 3.9 million barrel; Trans-Escravos pipe lost 877,000 barrel.”
The Edo State governor attributed the untoward development to what he said was the slow and inadequate prosecution of thieves, despite numerous arrests and seizures to encourage this menace.
He lamented that “no one is held accountable whenever there are breaches and when these losses occur.”
He said that “the absence of filling stations in most of the oil producing communities around the Niger Delta make them resort to illegal bunkering and illegal refineries.”
According to him, the huge internal and external market of stolen products exist across the west coast of Africa and also the sub-region.
He said that the “panel discovered that there were huge losses. In fact, the NNPC reported to the the committee that the 22.6 million barrels of crude oil valued at approximately $1.35 billion was lost during the first half of this year.
“And if this situation is not contained in two years, we would have lost in excess of $2.7 billion. Consequently, he said the committee therefore made several recommendations, including the need to restructure the maintenance and ownership of oil pipelines as a way of tackling the perpetrators of crude and other products, a legal framework that will ensure that criminals are duly prosecuted, imprisoned and their assets confiscated.
The governor said the panel also recommended special courts to try offenders and a special legal task force to coordinate the prosecution of arrested offenders as well as train special judges to handle cases of oil theft.
Other recommendations are that, “NNPC should be encouraged to engage with the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) to identify the markets for stolen petroleum products across the continent.
“That, the governors of the oil producing states should set up actions to develop the communities that are most prone and through which these pipelines run with their 13 per cent derivation allocation as well as implement programmes that will be impactful and make life easy for the people.
“It noted that the NDDC, which has the mandate to undertake development in the Niger Delta region should be restructured to perform its role better.”
Also speaking, the Gombe State Governor, Inuwa Yahaya, said Secretary to the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), Dr Jumoke Oduwole, gave update on the enabling business to environment.
Yahaya said Council was briefed on the current reforms in African countries as contained in the African Development Bank Economic Outlook report released in January 2019 and in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business 2019.
Army blacklists Action Against Hunger for allegedly aiding, abetting terrorists
The Nigerian Army has declared Action Against Hunger (AAH), one of the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in the North East as “persona non grata.” (unwelcome person/undesirable element).
The Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE said its action was premised on its observation of the “notorious activities” of some non-governmental organisations working in the North East.
The command accused the global humanitarian organisation of “subversive actions despite several warnings to desist from aiding and abetting terrorists and their atrocities.”
In a statement issued yesterday by the spokesperson for the Theatre Command, Col. Ado Isa, he said the declaration became imperative following several warning.
The statement reads: “The Theatre Command Operation Lafiya Dole (TC – OPLD)) has observed with utter disappointment and concern the notorious activities of some Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) working in the North East (NE) Nigeria.
“The subversive and actions of the NGO, Action Against Hunger (AAH), persisted despite several warnings to desist from aiding and abetting terrorists and their atrocities The TC – OPLD has on many occasions raised alarm over this unwholesome practices of some NGOs and expressed the same position during meetings with the NGOs operating in the NE Theater of Operation.
“Consequently, the AAH has been declared persona non grata for aiding Boko Haram Terrorists/Islamic State West Africa by supplying them food and drugs despite warnings from the TC – OPLD.
“The Command has obtained several credible intelligence indicating AAH as one of those NGOs operating in the NE that is notorious in supplying food and drugs to the criminals in the area”, Isa said.
While urging the public to continue to give credible information on the activities of suspected terrorists and their supporters in the North East to relevant authorities, the Army assured of its resolve and determination to always partner with credible NGOs and CSOs “to cushion the impact of the humanitarian crisis generated by the criminals in the NE in line with the international best standards”.
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