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Buhari inspired ICPC to recover N189bn from inflated budgets – Presidency

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  • Admit your failure, PDP tells Buhari

The Buhari administration has recovered N189bn from inflated personnel budgets under its fight against corruption, the Presidency has said.

It said the recoveries were made by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

This was part of the highlights of the achievements of the APC administrations as captured in a statement entitled ‘The Buhari Administration at six: Counting the Blessings One by One’ issued by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

According to him, scrutiny of practices, systems and procedures of MDAs’ personnel cost from 2019 to 2020 by the ICPC led to the recovery of the money.

He said that in 2019 alone, the commission recovered N32bn worth of land, buildings and vehicles, while its audit of constituency projects covering 2015 to 2018 led to the recovery of N2bn of diverted funds and assets.

He also said Nigeria had signed an agreement on the identification and repatriation of illicit funds with the United Arab Emirates and successfully engaged the governments of Switzerland, Jersey Island, the US, the UAE and Liechtenstein, among others, in an effort to ensure the repatriation of Nigeria’s stolen assets.

He said, “A total of $622m in looted Abacha funds repatriated to Nigeria in two tranches in December 2017 and April 2020.

“The first tranche ($322m) is being disbursed as part of the Buhari administration’s Social Investment Programme interventions, while the second tranche ($311m) is being invested in the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), managed by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).”

Adesina said the Buhari administration extended more than N2tn in bailout packages to the 36 state governments to “enable them to meet their salary and pension obligations, especially in the face of dwindling oil revenues in the first three years of the administration.”

The support, he said, comprised N614bn Budget Support Facility; $5.4bn in Paris Club Refunds; N700bn in refunds for federal road projects embarked upon by state governments; and restructuring of N575.516bn loan facilities with commercial banks for 23 states to reduce the debt service burden on the states.

“In exchange for their loans to state governments, the banks were issued 20-year FGN bonds at a yield of 14.83 per cent per annum,” Adesina said.

He added, “The restructuring exercise benefited the states through reduction in the monthly debt service burden of states from between 55 per cent to 97 per cent for various states; and interest rate savings for the states ranging from three per cent to nine per cent per annum.”

Other listed achievements were investment of over a billion dollars in three flagship projects: Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway and resumption of work on the 337km East-West Road project, originally awarded in 2006.

He said the East-West Road would be completed in the first quarter of 2022.

Adesina said the administration had achieved a lot but only noticeable to those it referred to as dispassionate fair-minded, and not beclouded by political partisanship and undue cynicism.

The statement said that the sixth anniversary of the administration holding on Saturday (today) offered an opportunity to reflect and recount the impact of the government.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked President Buhari to use his May 29 speech to admit the failure of his government.

It stated this in a statement issued by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said the APC failed to record any landmark achievement in the last six years.

The statement read, “President Buhari and the APC must know that Nigerians are no longer interested in their stage-managed Presidential addresses as well as the circus show of their so-called APC Legacy Awareness Campaign, particularly in the face of the horrendous situation they have plunged our nation.

“This is because, in the last six years, President Buhari’s speeches have always been litanies of false claims, empty promises and lame excuses for failures, which the APC, in its penchant for lies, propaganda and beguilement, wants to accentuate with their legacy awareness campaign.

“If indeed the Buhari Presidency and the APC have any achievement to showcase, would it be organising an awareness campaign to seek the understanding of Nigerians for its mass failures?

“It is trite wisdom that their works ought to be speaking for themselves like those of the PDP administration which are still being seen today in every sphere of our national life.

“If they have anything to show, would President Buhari be begging that history should be kind to him for his failures? Would he go to faraway Paris and France to declare that his administration is being plagued by ill-luck?

“Our party vehemently rejects this attempt by APC leaders to claim that their party failed because of the challenges that have befallen our nation when in reality, the APC and the Buhari Presidency should be held responsible for their own failures.”

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Flaunting wealth in public a serious security risk, DSS official warns

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An official of the Department of State Services (DSS) has warned that the public display of wealth constitutes a great security risk.

Paul Oduh, the deputy director, security enforcement, DSS Kwara command, gave the warning on Friday in Ilorin, capital of the state.

 

He said the deliberate exhibition of affluence and a flamboyant lifestyle attract kidnappers, bandits, and other criminals.

 

The comment comes in the wake of the extravagant display at the much talked about funeral of the mother of Obinna Iyiegbu, the nightlife promoter popularly known as Obi Cubana.

The DSS deputy director said given the security challenges in the country, Nigerians should avoid showing off in public.

 

“People must adopt moderate lifestyles, so as not to fall prey to these criminal elements,” Oduh said.

 

Oduh said a boastful attitude and maintaining a “habitual daily routine” can also make people prone to attacks.

“The country is ravaged by insecurity on daily basis. However, people should not despair, security should be concern of all people and they must be enlightened on it,” he said.

 

“Security can never be 100 percent everywhere in the world. People should be knowledgeable enough on those things they can do to protect themselves.

 

“Security denotes free from danger and protection of lives and property where individuals can pursue their lawful activities.

 

“There is need to accept that threats exist and people are targets of these threats. This is why people should put in place measures to safeguard themselves from such threats.”

 

 

 

 

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PHOTOS: Nigeria dazzles in Tokyo Olympic opening parade

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I don’t need your cheques, Buhari tells contractor

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday charged contractors who have enjoyed government patronage as well as other privileged citizens to use their resources to support less privileged members of society.

 

President Buhari gave the charge when he paid a visit to the Emir of Daura, Dr Umar Faruk Umar.

 

He said passing gifts and ‘cheques’ to people in authority or already comfortable to buy favour is not the right approach.

 

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, President Buhari challenged beneficiaries of government patronage to go to their respective communities and engage in corporate social responsibilities.

 

The President said: “I don’t want your cheque. Go and assist our communities” instead of trying to return kickbacks to public officers, including his office.

 

“We don’t want cheques from anyone or organisation as returns or influence of any kind. Let them remember their Corporate Social Responsibilities,” he said.

 

The President noted he would love to visit Daura more frequently but for the high cost of presidential movements and exposing security personnel to the weather, assuring his heart remains with the people.

“We are known for farming and I have my farm here. I could come every two weeks and no one can stop me.

“But the cost to the movement is high. I would rather that it be used to better our schools, clinics and hospitals,” said the President.

The President said the grace of God had kept Nigeria together as a country in spite of differences that led to a 30-month civil war

 

“We want to thank God always for keeping us together as a country. From January 15, 1966, the country was thrown into political crisis. We had a 30 months civil war that resulted in the loss of about a million lives.

 

“We still thank God for keeping us together. We remain grateful to all those who showed interest in our unity and progress. May God continue to bless them,” he added.

 

The President, who recalled fond memories of visiting the Palace as a military Head of State, expressed happiness that the warmth and hospitality of the traditional institution had been sustained over the years.

 

At the meeting, the Emir publicly announced conferment of the title of Talban Daura on Yusuf Buhari, son of President Buhari.

 

He said a date would be announced for the turbaning ceremony of the President’s son, which might likely be before his marriage.

 

The Emir also announced creation of a District in the community of the President, with headquarters in Dimurkol.

He said the turbaning of younger Buhari and creation of the District was to further extend and deepen the long relationship between the Palace and the family.

 

He said the decision was in agreement with the kingmakers in Daura Emirate Council.

 

During the visit, the Palace used the opportunity to clarify the difference between two titles, Talban Hausa, given to Alpha Conde, the President of Guinea and Talban Daura designated for Yusuf, the President’s son.

 

The Palace explained that Daura, as the linchpin of the Hausa society had conferred titles that have bearing on the Hausa Kingdom and those that are specific to the Emirate.

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