Connect with us

Business News

Missing N500bn: Probe CBN, Falana, Others Tell PMB

Published

on

Missing N500bn: Probe CBN, Falana, Others Tell PMB
Share
The human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN),  Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) have called on PMB to ensure that the allegation of missing N500bn in the Central Bank of Nigeria is thoroughly investigated.
Also, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership in a separate statement, has requested an independent probe into claims of financial fraud.
These calls followed a leaked audio tape wherein the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, claimed N500bn was missing.
In the leaked tape, which was published by Sahara Reporters, Emefiele, his Deputy, Edward Adamu; and the Director for Finance, Dayo Arowosegbe; including one of the Special Advisers to the CBN Governor, Emmanuel Ukeje,  were caught on tape discussing how to cover up the loss of over N500bn stolen from the CBN in a private investment that failed.
In one of the clips, the CBN governor was heard saying the Ministry of Finance, as well as the National Assembly, must not know about the development.
In another part of the audio clip, N2bn was said to have been earmarked for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for no clear reason.
However, the CBN had claimed that no N500bn was missing in its accounts.
Speaking with one of our correspondents on the development, Falana said the rebuttal by the CBN was not sufficient enough to exonerate the CBN governor.
He said, “Having carefully listened to the recorded telephone conversation of the governor and top management staff of the CBN, it is indubitably clear that the sum of N500bn is missing from the CBN.
“The discussions clearly centred on how to cover up the monumental fraud including cooking up the books. It was even suggested that N2bn be set aside to compromise the EFCC. In view of the confirmation of the missing N500bn and the desperate moves to cover it up, President Buhari should set up a panel of enquiry to probe the scandal.
“The press statement of the CBN management denying the fraud should be treated with disdain as it is a dubious attempt to play on the collective intelligence of the Nigerian people.”
The anti-corruption crusader said this was not the first time that monies would go missing from the CBN.
He recalled how a former CBN Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, questionably invested $7bn in 14 unnamed banks with no consequence, an allegation which Soludo denied.
Falana added, “The CBN has a penchant for covering up the criminal diversion of huge public funds. The bank covered up the sum of $12.4bn in the dedicated accounts withdrawn from 1988-1993 by military President, Gen Ibrahim Babangida.
“In the same vein, CBN covered up the $7bn withdrawn by Ex-Gov of CBN, Prof Charles Soludo, and purportedly placed as deposit in some unnamed banks. The Buhari regime which claims to be fighting corruption must not allow the CBN to cover up the missing N500bn.”
The Peoples Democratic Party and the Social Democratic Party on their own part said the allegation was too weighty to be ignored by the Federal Government and the National Assembly.
The National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, who spoke with one of our correspondents, said, “The allegation is too weighty to be ignored. I think I understand why the Federal Government is foot-dragging. The money could have been used for election and all that.
“But I want to appeal to the National Assembly to rise to the occasion and do something about it. We cannot just close our eyes and allow that to go under the carpet.”
Also, the SDP National Publicity, Secretary, Alfa Mohammed said, “It is unfortunate that this kind of allegation about corruption is coming up under an administration that claims to be fighting corruption.
“Some whistleblowers have come up, suggesting that there is corruption in the CBN. This suggests that there is something negative fishing in the apex bank.
“We are, therefore, demanding that President Muhammadu Buhari should constitute a probe panel on this matter without further delay.”
The Executive Chairman, CACOL, Mr Debo Adeniran, in a statement by the group’s Coordinator, Media and Publications, Adegboyega Otunuga, said, “Though, the CBN, through one Issac Okorafor, its Director, Corporate Communications, confirmed the authenticity of the ‘selective conversation,’ which it claimed was just a routine ‘conversations among senior management of many agencies and should not be misconstrued as anything but that’, there are threads of conversation in the tape that simply do not tally with such a ‘hand waive ’ of the CBN management.”
In the same vein, a former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Timi Frank, equally asked the Senate to withhold the confirmation of Emefiele for the second term over the leaked audio exposing the missing N500bn under his watch.
Frank said it would amount to a disservice to the nation if the Red Chamber went ahead on Emefiele’s confirmation without the public knowing how such a huge of amount of money disappeared from the treasury.
However, the African Democratic Congress described the allegation as a distraction.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Yemi Kolapo, said while the initial report on the alleged missing money appeared damning, she did not feel much energy should be dissipated on it.
Meanwhile, the Lead Director, Centre for Social Justice, Eze Onyekpere, said that the leaked audio of the conversation among the CBN Governor and some senior officials might not provide a sufficient ground for the matter to be investigated.
See also  I Didn't Divert any N300m - Fmr Minister

Business News

ICRC Gazettes 53 PPP Projects Worth $22bn for Investors

Published

on

Share

By Tony Obiechina, Abuja 

The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission is set to gazette a total of 53 eligible and bankable Public Private Partnership projects, worth about $22bn for investors.

Already, the Commission has published 51 eligible and bankable PPP projects, worth over $17bn from different economic sectors which have been granted the Outline Business Case Compliance Certificates, but which did not have identified bidders.

The Director-General of ICRC, Mr Michael Ohiani made these disclosures at the Africa Public Private Partnership Network Investment summit with the theme: “Financing Africa’s infrastructure through Public Private Partnership”, in Abuja on Monday. 

He told participants at the event that as of May 2022, there are 77 post-contract PPP projects under implementation at the ICRC Projects Disclosure Portal.

The portal is the first disclosure portal in the world, established by the ICRC in collaboration with the World Bank.

The ICRC DG pointed out that the Commission has about 197 pre-contract projects at different phases of project development and procurement.

Similarly, he said the agency since it was created has achieved a lot, noting for instance that between 2010 following the inauguration of its Governing Board and 2021, under the regulatory guidance of the ICRC, the federal government has approved PPP projects worth more than $9bn.

The ICRC Boss also disclosed that the agency has issued 128 Outline Business Case Compliance Certificates to date, stating that these projects have been certified bankable projects, to enable them proceed to procurement phase.

He said, “This Investment Summit is coming at a time when the continent is gradually coming out of the COVID 19 pandemic, which dealt series of blows to investment portfolios and decisions; as well implementation of on-going infrastructure service delivery projects.

See also  #EndSARS: Insurers Seek FG Intervention to Pay Claims Over Destruction

“The Pandemic also affected the ability of governments to finance the much-needed public projects, with its attendant record of dwindling revenue.

“Our country was not spared from these challenges; however, there is the growing need to salvage our projects which are under implementation on one hand while developing bankable and viable PPP projects for investment on the other hand.

“The innovative structuring of PPP transactions through globally accepted competitive and transparent processes cannot be over-emphasized; especially as the initiative is in support of our 2021 to 2025 Mid-Term National Development Plan, which projects the use of private sector financing to achieve about 85 per cent of our N348.1trn Plan.”

He said as countries look towards infrastructure financing, the key in the 21st century is for governments to enhance the investment environment for national level investment for local and foreign investors, and look to innovative financing mechanisms that promote local capital markets, private sector risk, and rely on regulatory systems to balance investor and consumer requirements.

With fiscal and budgetary funding constraints plaguing governments across the continent, the ICRC DG told participants that private participation in infrastructure has become an economic necessity, rather than an optional financing solution, as hitherto considered.

“Partnership between the public and private sectors for the financing, design, build, maintenance of infrastructure and delivery of associated services is absolutely necessary for Africa governments to meet the need for modern and efficient infrastructure, and for reliable cost-effective delivery of public services.

“Governments all over the world, including the Africa continent, have come to recognize that the collaboration between public and private sectors is crucial to securing dependable and sustainable funding for infrastructure and reducing the pressure on fiscal budgets.

See also  Alleged fraud: Absence of defence counsel stalls trial of civil servant

“PPP arrangements have engendered acceleration of infrastructure provision, faster implementation of projects, and reduced whole life costs of projects,” he added.

He expressed optimism that the Summit on financing Africa’s infrastructure through PPP would provide the unique opportunity to have the details, the direction, the options, and focus on infrastructure financing to boost the African economy.

In his keynote address at the event, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, stated that Africa faces huge infrastructure gaps.

However, he pointed out that these infrastructure gaps also present huge opportunities for private investment through public-private partnerships, especially in sectors such as energy, housing, transportation, agriculture, technology, waste management, and social services and amenities.

According to him, the continent requires energy, transportation, and new satellite cities to accommodate millions of people moving from rural to urban areas.

He said, “The current economic growth pattern on the continent stresses the importance of private sector investment through PPP in promoting Africa’s growth and structural transformation.

“Hence, identifying the private sector development as an engine of sustainable structural transformation through PPPs is of critical importance to the continent.

“Indeed, to release the potential of Africa, there is the need to develop and imbibe a resilient and vibrant PPP framework as a means of facilitating rapid infrastructure transformation of the continent.”

To be able to stimulate and create a vibrant private sector on the continent and accelerate infrastructure development, the SGF stated that a number of issues must be addressed.

See also  Financial Inclusion Rate Hits 63.2% - CBN

“There is definitely the need to create a welcoming investment climate. This can be achieved by reducing risks and costs of doing business and by securing private property rights, improving governance, fighting corruption, simplifying regulations, and promoting competition.

“African governments must also resist pressure to erect trade barriers for intra-African trade to flourish. Currently, intra-African trade amongst African states is about 10 per cent of total exports. This is the lowest amongst other regions in the world.

“But we strongly believe that with the initiative of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement the situation will drastically improve,” he added.

Mustapha said there is also the need for financial sector development by strengthening regulatory and institutional frameworks to improve governance and increase competition, improving access to finance and financial literacy, developing payment systems, and enhancing creditor rights.

In his goodwill message, the Director-General of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), Mr Asishana Okauru, said the Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) have shown that if properly structured, could be an effective infrastructure financing and delivery tool.

“In Nigeria, proactively we have already begun this process as the Nigeria Governors’ Forum in collaboration with the ICRC has established the Nigeria Public-Private Partnership Network to address the issues and bottlenecks towards Infrastructural development of strategic sectors of the subnational economy by public-private partnerships”, he stated.

He noted that the NGF believes that improving the capacity and resources of State governments to prepare PPP pipelines and bankable PPP projects, offers a sustainable long-term approach to improving social infrastructure, enhancing the value of public sector assets, and making better use of taxpayers’ money

Continue Reading

Business News

FCTA Warns Apo Pantaker Market Plot Owners to Develop or Risk Revocation

Published

on

FCTA, Abuja
Share

By Laide Akinboade, Abuja

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), yesterday warned owners of plots in Apo-Dutse pantaker site to develop their plot within one month or risk revocation of their plots.

The Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to the minister of FCT, Ikharo Attah, lamented that after the administration spent the state resources to clean up the market, most of the owners of plots in the site haven’t taken possession of the plots.

He revealed that about 150 illegal shanties and shops were removed yesterday. 

“We returned back to Apo-Dutse pantaker market to after spending several days to remove the illegalities on plots of land and we return back for a mop up exercise but somehow we are not too please that most of the allottees have not taken over their land, the Minister of FCT Malam Muhammad Bello,  is very bitter and unhappy, because most of the allottees have not taken over their land and   he is spending state resources to do the cleanup exercise in terms of buying diesel and paying personnel allowances, servicing the machines etc.

What we are hearing is that some of the allottees are speculating with their land and this cannot continue and is unacceptable.

See also  Hearing on Alleged N13 Million Fraud by Former Employees Stalled in Ebonyi

“People who have gotten land in this place and are waiting for us to clear it should immediately report to Development Control, within the next one month. Not just fencing the land but also getting building plan approval and building on it.  They should not leave the land vacant for too long, people are going to go in here, we will be recommending to the FCT Minister and pleading with him that if in the next one month we do not see meaningful development in terms of fencing and ground breaking for structures because the Minister is spending huge amount of state resources to cleanup.  And those who have properties are not taking it over. The Minister should revoke the land.

“The only way you can get them to move out of here is for the plot owners to take over their plots and start development. As long as the plot owners are speculating then pantaker and miscreants will take over their plots,” Attah stated.

On allocation of alternative to the Association of scrap dealer, Apo-Dutse pantaker market, he noted that the Minister is considering it and they should be patient.

But he warned them against operating with babanbola because it paints them in bad light.

See also  Financial Inclusion Rate Hits 63.2% - CBN

The chairman Association of scrap dealer, Apo-Dutse pantaker market, Anas  Ismail, while fielding questions from journalists, he said his people are not regrouping rather they are packing their belongings.

He said they have already written to the Minister to please give them more time to pack their things.

Bala Haruna, Secretary General Apo Dutse pantaker market, also collaborated with what their Chairman said he said nobody came back, that they are dealing with so many things which include cars and others and it will take them some time to pack them.

He also appealed to the Minister to consider their request of allocating a land to do their business.

He also revealed they are over 10,000 scrap dealers in the market.

Continue Reading

Business News

Downstream Sector:  FG’s Deficit Spending to Rise by 106%

Published

on

Share

There were indications over the weekend, that the Federal Government’s deficit spending in the downstream sector will increase by 106 per cent as landing cost of petrol rise to N315.46 per litre, from N295 per litre.

The most recent driver of the trend is the recent increase of freight rate to N20.46 per litre, from N10.46 per litre.

At the current price of N165 per litre of petrol, the government through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC Limited, pays about N295 per litre as an under-recovery or subsidy.

But the level of government exposure would hit the roofs at N315.46 per litre, as the government has already expressed commitment to paying the new rate from June 2022.

Already the petroleum industry authorities are said to be racking their heads on ways and means to pay the new freight rate which was not provided for in the 2022 budget.

A top industry source, who pleaded anonymity, said: “The government has made a pronouncement after considering different options. Consultations are still ongoing. Let us wait and  see what happens.”

The officials of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, created in August 2021 in line with the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, did not respond, at the weekend.

See also  Firm Earmarks $150m to Revamp PAN

NMDPRA, had earlier stated: “President Muhammadu Buhari has considered and approved the upward review in freight rate for transporters to alleviate the challenges associated with the distribution of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) nationwide.

“The approval was after due consultations with industry-wide stakeholders at the instance of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (the Authority).

“The review was necessitated by the upswing in the global price of petroleum products especially Automotive Gasoil (Diesel) and its implication on the cost of transporting Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) nationwide.

“Consequently, the Authority wishes to advise that in line with the mandate of the Authority as prescribed in the PIA (Section 31(i)) to develop and enforce a framework on tariffing and pricing for natural gas and petroleum products, the transporters freight rate has been reviewed to reflect current market realities.

“The revised freight rate takes effect from 1st June 2022 while still maintaining the current regulated PMS pump price of N165.00/Litre.

“An Inter-agency Team is being constituted to ensure reconciliation and payment of outstanding transporters claims in line with established payment procedure under the Bridging Fund Scheme. NNPC, the sole supplier of PMS, has maintained over 32 days of sufficiency in-country.

“We believe the increase in transporters freight rate will further encourage Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and other stakeholders to deploy more trucks to transport PMS nationwide to ensure adequate supply of the product”.

See also  Afreximbank Approves $400m Credit to Improve Agriculture in Africa

In any case, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), has blamed ongoing petrol scarcity across the country on supply shortage and the high cost of running their operations.

IPMAN Public Relations Officer, Chief Chinedu Ukadike in a chat said most inland depots were dry and had no product from Lagos and other coastal depots.

Chief Ukadike stated that the high cost of freighting the product from the southern depots has also made it impossible for marketers to operate profitably despite the recent N10.46 per litre rate hike by the government.

According to him, “Depots in Makurdi, Enugu, Mossimi and Owerri cannot access petroleum products because they cannot be pumped. Since our refineries are bad, products are no longer being pumped through the pipelines. It cost marketers close to N40 per litre to freight the product to the stations from the South and that is after buying it for N162/litre from the private depot owners.”

The Executive Director, NMDPRA, Ugbugo Ukoha, who inspected facilities in Lagos, had said: “When we observed that the high price of diesel poses a big challenge in the movement of other products, we made the representation to the minister of state for petroleum and Mr. President graciously approved that the freight rate for trucks is increased.”

See also  I Didn't Divert any N300m - Fmr Minister

 ”There is an addition, which we will apply to the different routes to enable trucks to move to docks easily with less burden. With these kinds of efforts from the government, we can only continue to appeal to operators within this industry to play by the rules.

“PMS is a regulated product and the prices are fixed. The ex-depot price is known. The pump price remains N165 and the authority is ever ready to enforce those rules. So, we will continue to urge Nigerians to keep within these operating rules.”

But industry leaders, who pleaded anonymity, said the government must have made adequate plans before declaring its commitment to paying the new freight rate.

Also, in a telephone interview over the weekend, the President, NARTO, Yusuf Othman, said: “The situation in the downstream sector is very critical, due mainly to the high cost of diesel. We thank the government for coming up with the new freight, which we hope will go a long way to enhancing operations.”

“Indeed, we are hopeful that it will enable our members to deliver petrol to all parts of the nation, which has been constrained in the high price of diesel.”

Continue Reading

Email Subscription

Name *

Email *

Top Stories

POLITICS17 hours ago

2023: Group Warns APC, Tinubu Against Muslim-Muslim Presidential Ticket

Share Post Views: 37 Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, a group under the aegis of Defence Watch has cautioned...

Business News17 hours ago

ICRC Gazettes 53 PPP Projects Worth $22bn for Investors

Share Post Views: 37 By Tony Obiechina, Abuja  The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission is set to gazette a total of...

Economy17 hours ago

Finance Minister, Ahmed Heads New NELMCO Board 

Share Post Views: 36 By Tony Obiechina, Abuja  The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) has approved the immediate composition and...

Uncategorized17 hours ago

Kwankwaso Denies Talking Down on Igbos Over NNPP, LP Merger

Share Post Views: 54 By Jude Opara, Abuja The New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) has said that their National Leader...

NEWS18 hours ago

Bello Forwards Three Commissionership Nominees  to Kogi Assembly for Confirmation

Share Post Views: 30 From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja Kogi State Governor,  Yahaya Bello has forwarded  names of three Commissionership nominees...

CRIME18 hours ago

Naval Staff Kidnapped at Residence in Kogi

Share Post Views: 31 From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja A staff of Naval Headquarters, Abuja, Mr Musa Lawal has been kidnapped...

Metro1 day ago

FCTA Removes Gwarimpa Road Corridor Violators 

Share Post Views: 39 By Laide Akinboade, Abuja  The Federal Capital Territory Administration ( FCTA), on Monday stormed another area...

Education1 day ago

Education Minister Promises Equity, Fairness over Unity Colleges Admissions

Share Post Views: 47 .  By Evelyn Terseer, Abuja.  As Principals of the Nation’s 110 Unity Colleges converge on Benin...

NECO NECO
Education1 day ago

NECO Declares Sallah Day Exams Free

Share Post Views: 40 By Evelyn Terseer, Abuja  The National Examinations Council (NECO) has stated that it has not scheduled...

Uncategorized1 day ago

Borno PDP Crisis Deepens, as Faction Suspends Legal Adviser, Others

Share Post Views: 29 The crisis rocking the Borno chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took another twist on...

Copyright © 2021 Daily Asset Limited | Powered by ObajeSoft Inc