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Presidency links BDC operators to Boko Haram sponsors

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The Presidency has expressed worry over shocking discovery of sponsors of Boko Haram and bandits by the Federal Government.

It said a link between kidnapping for ransom, banditry and Boko Haram sponsorship had been established.

These sponsors include some bureau de change operators with contacts abroad, Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Garba Shehu, said.

According to him, there is evidence that money is being sent from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Boko Haram leaders.

He confirmed that the statement by Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) Dr Kayode Fayemi that Boko Haram sponsors were behind banditry and kidnapping is a product of intelligence gathering.

He said many people had been arrested and that after investigation, those involved would be exposed.

He warned that there would be no sacred cows even if those involved were found to be politicians.

Shehu, speaking on Channels Television, said, “It is shocking to any Nigerian that places of worship and farmland are places where killers of policemen and security officials are being harboured.

“The new service chiefs are working with the IG and heads of intelligence agencies and there is a clear lead. A lot of people have been arrested in terms of their financing (of terrorism). There are a number of people currently under arrest.

“Bureau de change are facilitating money to terrorists. We have already concluded with the UAE on Nigerians who are transferring money to Boko Haram terrorists and this also happens domestically.

“And I tell you that by the time we conclude this investigation, the shocking details will surprise many Nigerians.”

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered security chiefs to “take out” the leaders and sponsors of bandits and kidnappers.

He also reiterated his call on them to bring down violence in the country within the next few weeks.

Chief of Defence Staff General Lucky Irabor and National Security Adviser (NSA) Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.) confirmed the new order after a meeting with the President on Tuesday.

Monguno told State House reporters: “Mr. President has made it very clear to both the intelligence and operational elements that the first assignment will be to identify the leaders of these bandits, kidnappers and take them out, in order to restore confidence in those areas.

“Mr. President has said that he will no longer tolerate a situation whereby bandits and kidnappers are the ones dictating the pace and setting the tone and he will not also condone a situation in which our own operations are reactionary rather than being proactive.

“He has also indicated his willingness to provide all the resources required by our own troops in order to put down these criminals. They must be brought down with all the ruthlessness that is required and whoever is working in collaboration with them will be brought to book.”

 

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East-West road, 43 others to be completed without delay – Fashola

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All 44 road projects in the approved phase two of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme including the East-West road will be completed without any delay or break.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), stated this, stressing that sustainability of funding for the critical infrastructure in Nigeria would be guaranteed.

Fashola, who spoke in Abuja, noted that unlike in the past, when there was inadequate funding of infrastructure, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had secured alternative sources of funding that could guarantee sustainability from the beginning of the projects to their completion.

He said the tax credit scheme remained a new model that encourages partnership with private companies where taxes are paid in advance to enable the government invest in notable projects that would be beneficial to its citizens.

The minister said the Federal Government had focused on nine major axes of Nigeria, adding that the A1 – A4 axis covered the Northern part of the country, while the A5-A9 axis covered the East and West of the country.

He said the successful completion of all the roads would lead to sustainable mobility for Nigerians.

“The roads like Akure – Ado –Ekiti and East-West which people have been complaining about would be adequately catered for with the approval of the second phase of the NNPC Tax Credit Scheme,” he said.

On payment of compensation, Fashola noted that it would not be paid to anyone occupying the government’s Right of Way (RoW) and appealed to members of the communities occupying the areas to vacate.

Permanent Secretary of the ministry, represented by the Director overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Folorunsho Esan, said in line with the Executive Order 7 (2019), phase one was approved on October 27, 2021.

He stated that with the completion of phase one, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has also approved phase II of the scheme to fund 44 critical road infrastructure to the tune of N1.96 trillion naira.

Esan said that as it was done with phase one, phase two would be governed by a set of guidelines to be issued to each contractor, adding that there would be a funding intervention agreement to be implemented in addition to the standard condition of the contract governing the execution of the projects.

He said that the availability of this new funding window will ensure steady cash flow and a timely completion of projects.

He also stated that the NNPC intervention which began in October 2021 with phase one has now occupied the top of the log with a portfolio well in excess of N2.6 trillion.

On the part of NNPC, the Group Chief Executive Officer, Mallam Mele Kyari, who was represented by the Chief Financial Officer, Umar Aliya, said that funding would not be an issue anymore as the company is committed to fully funding the next phase.
“We are committed to setting aside funds for phase II. Funding would not be a problem. What is important to us is that our consultant will need to validate the value for money and the quality of work. We will not compromise the quality and timely completion of work,“ he said.
“There is no need for excuses. As for us, on our part, we are committed and we implore the contractors to do quality work and do it on time so that the road projects can be open for use to Nigerians,” he added.
The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) Mohammed Nami, explained that most of the roads captured by Executive Order 7 to be executed by the NNPC were mostly road projects inherited by the administration of Muhammadu Buhari.
“So, we are appealing to Nigerians to trust Executive order 007 so that government will continue to provide the physical infrastructure that our people need,“he said.

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Nigeria ranks 150 out of 180 countries in 2022 Transparency International Corruption Index

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Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC), Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani

The Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC), Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani, has announced that Nigeria ranked 150 out of 180 countries in the 2022 Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI).

This according to Rafsanjani is four places lower than the 154th position in the country’s 2021 CPI results.

Rafsanjani made the announcement on Tuesday at a press briefing held at CISLAC meeting hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

He however added that in terms of points, the country has retrained 24 points it had in 2021.

He also noted that the data index used for the CPI is not collected by CISLAC/TI- Nigeria but by Independent and reputable organisations with sound research methodologies.

“While Nigeria moved four places up on the country ranking, it has maintained it’s previous score of 24 which is it’s lowest score on the CPI since 2012, which suggests a slowdown in the steady decline observed in the previous three CPI’s, he said.”

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The CISLAC boss lamented the rate of corruption in the country and reserved some blames for the Judiciary.

“Nigeria as a country has reached a point where citizens should come out in their millions to protest against corruption, thus, with the expectations that this regime could address the issue of corruption, yet the world continues to face corruption with the help of high profile officials,” he lamented.

Among other recommendations, CISCLAC called on the executive arm of government to stop granting pardon to corrupt politicians recklessly.

As a means to curb and tackle the incessant corruption in Nigeria, CISLAC also recommended as follows:

1. The presidency, INEC, political parties, security actors and other relevant bodies should ensure that the 2023 general election are free, fair and credible.
2. The relevant anti-graft agencies should ensure that high profile corruption cases are pursued to their logical conclusion for the benefit of Nigeria and her citizens.
3. Agencies given the mandate to recover assets under the proceeds of Crime (and Management) Act 2022 should ensures that they establish a database where information about assets in their custody is easily accessed by citizens in line with the Act and the proactive provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2011.
4. The Federal government should address the lingering issue of oil theft in the country.
5. The relevant agencies should investigate those behind the important of toxic fuel to Nigeria in 2022.
6. The National assembly should ensure transparency in the implementation of the constituency projects. The relevant agencies should ensure that those found guilty are brought to book.
7. With the election fast approaching, the judiciary should ensure more than ever to deliver justice.

The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) developed by theTransparency International (TI) in 1995 is an annual ranking of countries on the prevalence of corruption within each country, based upon surveys by experts and business executives. It’s aims is to serve as a basis for critical reflection on tangible ways to strengthen the fight against corruption.

PRNigeria

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No single government can solve Nigeria’s problems – Buhari

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Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said that no single government can solve Nigeria’s problems.

Buhari, at a state- of- nation dialogue on security, economy and administration of justice in Abuja, stated that efforts of successive governments were required to see the country through its challenges

The President hoped that the event, which was organised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), would contribute to Nigeria’s development.   Buhari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, reminded lawyers that they owed the nation some responsibilities.

His words: “This is the direction to go. I want to thank you for restoring the hope of Nigerians. I want to believe the bar would provide the necessary leadership. I hope in the course of the discussion, we would be able to bring out a playbook that would provide the guided processes for the incoming regime.

“I would say no one government in this country would be able to solve the problems of Nigeria. But as we build on the precedent set by successive governments, not discarding completely what has been put in place, we would in the course of our desire to build a Nigeria of our dreams, be able to pick one or two things, on which we can concentrate and move.

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“As a government, the outcome of this dialogue can be transmitted to us so that whatever resolutions are reached, that would become part of the documents would prepare us as we transit and hand over to an incoming government.”

Kebbi State Governo, Atiku Bagudu, who also attended the event, said one of the ways to tackle insecurity was to give priority to primary education in the country.

He said most of the causes of insecurity were a result of the breakdown of the social contract towards the people.

Bagudu, therefore, advocated more investment in primary education to turn the situation in the country around.

The governor pointed out that in developed countries, as much as $27,000 is spent on a child, while in Nigeria, a rich state like Lagos, spends far less.

He said: “They (children) have not been provided education.  The challenges of inclusion are the most current. We need to include more people and so we have to mobilise more resources.”

Bagudu praised the NBA for the theme of the dialogue, which according to him, is holding ahead of the general election.

Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), Amina Mohammed, condemned the attacks on facilities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

She also frowned at attacks on some candidates for the general election, as well as fake news and hate speeches focusing on religious and ethnic identities.

The UN chief said: “INEC has been making great strides in improving the transparency, accountability and credibility of Nigeria’s electoral process. The increase in the number of registered voters from 84m to 93m is encouraging and suggests Nigerians are enthusiastic about the electoral process.

“However, we continue to witness attacks against the institution. Fake news, hate speech, based on religious and ethnic identities, violence against candidates as well as INEC facilities and staff since the political campaigns began.”

Mohammed hoped that the elections would provide an opportunity for Nigerians to unite and shape the future of the nation.

She said as Africa’s largest economy with a youthful population, Nigeria cannot afford to fail.

The UN chief said Nigeria must be steeped in economic, social and environmental principles and must be guided by Agenda 2030 and its 17 goals.

“The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an urgent to-do list, a blueprint for global and local action. We needed it to develop peace and prosperity and a thriving natural environment for current and future generations.”

NBA President Yakubu Maikyau (SAN) said there was a need to continuously engage government at all levels on issues affecting the country and the citizenry.

He urged members of the Bench and Bar to always ensure that justice was served without fear of favour.

The New Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Solomon Arase, encouraged the deployment of technology to secure the country.

Arase, who added that government cannot solve security problems alone, said the establishment of reform panels over insecurity was a waste of time.

The Nation

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