Connect with us

News

ICPC Uncovers N400bn Duplicated Projects In 2021, 2022 Budget

ICPC
Spread the love

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) on Thursday made startling revelations on the way in which MDAs and agencies of government padded the 2021 and 2022 budgets.

Advertisement

The ICPC through its Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye told the Senate Committee on Finance that N13.59 trillion was illegally inserted into the 2021 budget by MDAs, with duplicated projects amounting to N300 billion.

The Commission also disclosed that another N100 billion worth of duplicated projects were inserted into the N17.12 trillion 2022 budget; besides N49.9 billion tracked as salaries for ghost workers between January and June 2022.

Advertisement

Reeling out the figures, the ICPC Chairman, said that the N300 billion duplicated projects in the 2021 budget and N100 billion in the 2022 budget were uncovered after a thorough scrutiny of projects approved for MDAs.

He said, “N300 billion would have been wasted by the Federal government on duplicated projects inserted into the 2021 budget and N100 billion for the same purpose in the current fiscal year if not tracked and intercepted by ICPC.

Advertisement

“The same preemptive move saved the country from spending N49.9billion for salaries of ghost workers put on fictitious payrolls by the fraudulent MDAs between January and June this year.

“Names of MDAs involved in projects duplications running into intercepted billions of Naira and fictitious payrolls, are available and will be forwarded to the committee.

Advertisement

“The good thing about the preemptive moves made by us is that monies for the fraudulent acts were prevented from being released to the affected MDAs and it is gratifying that the Finance Ministry and Accountant General Office cooperated with us.”

Owasanoye urged the relevant committees of the National Assembly to look out for such project duplication as MDAs submit their proposals for the N19.76 trillion 2023 budget.

Advertisement

“From our own end, detection of such projects are done by verifying their locations and names , upon which we tell the appropriate authorities not to release wrongly budgeted monies for them “, he added .

In his remarks, the Committee Chairman, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC Lagos West) assured that ICPC operational cost will be increased beyond N1.8 billion.

Advertisement

He explained that “This committee is impressed by the proactive ways your commission is adopting in the fight against corruption.

“Your submissions clearly show that all hope is not lost for our dear country as far as fighting corruption is concerned.

Advertisement

“Your operational cost which is N1.8billion will be increased as the required impetus for more proactive measures against corrupt practices across the various MDAs.

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

News

Abuja Court Ruling: Tinubu, Ekiti Gov-Elect, Other APC Candidates Risk Disqualification

online , Court
Spread the love

 

Advertisement

THERE is growing concern in the All Progressives Congress over the judgement of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja which nullified the nomination of Governor Isiaka Oyetola and his deputy governorship candidate, Benedict Alabi, for the 2022 Osun State governorship election.

Ruling on a suit filed by the People’s Democratic Party challenging the nomination of Oyetola and Alabi, Justice Emeka Nwite agreed with the submission of the PDP on the grounds that Governor Mai Mala Buni who submitted their names to INEC violated the provisions of Section 183 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 82(3) of the Electoral Act 2022.

Advertisement

The court declared that Governor Mai Mala Buni acted in contravention of the provision of Section 183 of the Constitution when he held dual executive positions as the Governor of Yobe State and the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of APC.

The provisions of Section 183 read in part: “The Governor, shall not, during the period he holds office, holds any other executive office or paid employment in any capacity whatsoever.”

Advertisement

While the legal representatives of Osun State governor had promised to appeal the ruling, its implication, Sunday Tribune learnt, is already causing panic in the ruling party.

According to legal opinions on the issue, the ruling in its current subsisting nature, means that all actions of Buni while in office as APC acting boss, stand invalidated.

Advertisement

These actions, include the signing of the nomination of Ekiti governor-elect Abiodun Oyebanji, as APC candidate for the June 18, 2022 poll in the state, the nominations of candidates for other outlier legislative polls, as well as the conduct of the party’s elective national convention which gave birth to the current NWC, among others.

The biggest threat posed by the ruling to APC, is the possible consequential disqualification of all its candidates for the 2023 poll, including the presidential ticket of Senator Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima, considering that Adamu’s NWC, conducted the primaries.

Advertisement

Once the NWC is invalidated by the reason of Buni’s involvement, all actions of the NWC, would be deemed null and void.

Reacting to the unfolding legal drama, constitutional lawyer, Dr Kayode Ajulo, said “It is a plague that could have been avoided if only they took my position on Governor Buni’s chairmanship misadventures serious. But the judgement has vindicated me.”

Advertisement

In an earlier statement, dated July 31, 2021, he warned that the party could come to greater grief if Buni stayed, considering the subtle warning in the favourable majority decision.

On Saturday, Ajulo referenced the statement which read in part; “Without prejudice to the ratio decidendi of the majority decision of the Court, it is imperative to state pressistimo and very clearly too that with the unanimous position of the Apex Court that it appears the actions of the APC in permitting a sitting Governor as the Interim Chairman of the Party is in violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is my sincere view that the Interim Chairman of the APC should immediately step down. My humble but cosmic review of the judgment comes with an indication that the Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni has to vacate his seat, as the Chairman of APC with immediate effect.”

Advertisement

Breaking down the implication of the Friday ruling, he said if the apex court goes with the decision of the high court, the current National Executive of the party, will have to go.

“If the Supreme Court upheld the judgment, the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, and other APC candidates for every elective position will have no business in participating in the 2023 General Election.

Advertisement

“Can one put something on nothing and expect it to stand? Unless some strategic steps are quickly taken, invalidation of the party’s executives and candidates across all levels will be a great disaster to the APC and could mark its total collapse. This development is a stern warning to politicians to henceforth have regards for law and reasoned thoughts,” he reasoned.

But the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mr Felix Morka, a lawyer, dismissed the fears being expressed as misplaced.

Advertisement

Speaking with Sunday Tribune in an interview, Morka expressed confidence that the judgment of the High Court would be set aside by the Court of Appeal.

He maintained that Justice Nwite erred in his pronouncement.

Advertisement

He said:” The judgment of the Court is unsupportable. We are confident that the Court of Appeal will upturn the judgment.

“It isn’t supportable by fact of law. What the Governor Buni Caretaker did was ratified by Convention, which is the highest organ of the Party. The Court didn’t avert itself to the fact of the matter.

Advertisement

“So, there is nothing to worry about. That decision will be challenged and we are confident that the Court of Appeal will upturn it.”

In the Friday ruling, the court, headed by Justice Emeka Nwite, sided with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which initiated the suit, primarily to disqualify Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State, as the candidate of the ruling party in the July 16, 2022 governorship election in the state, eventually won PDP’s candidate, Ademola Adeleke.

Advertisement

But the suit, commenced on April 7, 2022 may be doing a more significant damage to the fortunes of the ruling party, across board, with the trial judge upholding the argument that all Buni’s actions in office as the party’s acting chair, were null and void.

The party chair, alongside the national secretary, by the dictates of the election laws, signs the nomination of every candidate of the party, before such could be deemed valid, by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Advertisement

With Justice Nwite ruling that Buni, being governor, should not have held another executive position as the acting chair of the party for two years less 25 days.

It will be recalled that Buni, the sitting governor of Yobe State, was sworn in as the acting chairman of the party by the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, following the controversial ouster of an elected National Working Committee, chaired by former Edo governor, Adams Oshiomhole, by President Muhammadu Buhari-inspired National Executive Council.

Advertisement

Justice Nwite’s ruling, however, appears in dissonance with the majority decision of the Supreme Court in the appeal arising from Ondo governorship election of October 9, 2020, won by the incumbent Rotimi Akeredolu of APC.

In a razor-thin split decision which favoured him, the apex court held that the conduct of the primary election and nomination of candidates, is an internal affair of a political party, which the judiciary can’t scrutinise.

Advertisement

The majority decision went further in resolving the appeal brought by Eyitayo Jegede of the PDP that even when a political party is in error of its rules, its internal activities can’t still be challenged. The minority report how- ever ruled that Buni’s acting headship of the ruling party, was an incurable constitutional error, which invalidated Akeredolu’s nomination as the party’s candidate, because it was signed and passed to INEC by Buni.

The minority decision of three justices, out of the seven that heard the appeal, had invalidated Akeredolu’s election victory, because of Buni. While the majority decision didn’t go fully into the con- stitutionality of Buni holding two executive positions at the same time, it ruled that not joining the governor as a necessary party, to argue his case directly, weighed in his favour and by extension, Akeredolu’s.

Advertisement

The judgement was given on July 28, 2021. Immediately the judgement was delivered, some top party leaders asked Buni to step down, including Minister of State, Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo. Buni, aided by his legal team, heavily backed by the deputy senate president, Ovie Omo-Agege, spurned the call.

Keyamo now speaks for Tinubu’s presidential campaign, while serving as minister. Possibly taking its cue from the stance of the majority ruling, PDP, this time, joined Buni as a necessary party in the suit, which was filed almost nine months after Akeredolu’s narrow judicial escape.

Advertisement

Buni, being joined as a necessary party, must have also emboldened Justice Nwite to go into the merit of the suit, despite the subsisting Supreme Court precedent.

With the appeal arising from the all-important suit expected to advance to the apex court, an opportunity would finally be presented to Buni, to defend himself, and the final court to decide whether he violated the provisions of Section 183 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 82(3) of the Electoral Act 2022, by accepting the acting appointment while serving as governor.

Advertisement

Advertisement
Continue Reading

News

Bayelsa Monarch, Ijaw Leader Kick against Alleged Plan to Scrap Amnesty Programme

Spread the love

 

Advertisement

By Kayode Sanni Arewa

The Federal Government has concluded plans to terminate the Presidential Amnesty Programme in May 2023, NaijaBlitzNews.com has learnt.

Advertisement

Our correspondents gathered that the office of the National Security Adviser had directed the Interim Administrator of the Amnesty Programme, Major General Barry Ndiomu (retd.), to commence the process of winding down the programme.

Ndiomu, who was appointed about two weeks ago, replaced the former PAP head, Milland Dikio, although no reason was given for his unceremonious removal which was announced in a statement by a presidential media aide, Femi Adesina.

Advertisement

The Presidential Amnesty Programme was established by President Musa Yar’Adua’s administration in 2009 as part of the government’s measures to reduce militancy in the oil-rich Niger Delta region.

It was reported that 30,000 former militants had been enrolled into the programme with over 65 per cent of participants said to have been successfully reintegrated

Advertisement

Despite reportedly gulping over N5 billion monthly, international development consulting firm, Nextier Security, Peace and Development said the PAP had failed to address the various challenges that necessitated its establishment.

The firm, in a report released in 2020, explained that the programme was taking a heavy toll on the revenue of the Federal Government, while rewarding militancy and aggressiveness in the oil-rich Niger Delta.

Advertisement

However, multiple sources said Ndiomu had been directed to shut down the programme within eight months.

He was said to have disclosed this to the PAP members of staff during a meeting last week.

Advertisement

A source said, “The interim administrator informed the (member of) staff during a meeting that the ONSA has directed him to wind down the amnesty programme within eight months. In essence, Ndiomu was appointed as the undertaker of the amnesty programme. The workers were shocked and sad to hear the news.

“But there is no justification for the decision because a similar programme to rehabilitate displaced persons in the North has not been shut down. So, why should they shut down the amnesty programme which is empowering many Niger Deltans? This is unacceptable and may spark another round of unrest in the region.’’

Advertisement

Another source observed that the scrapping of the amnesty programme was not acceptable to the Niger Delta region, saying the fact that the government awarded a N4.5 billion pipeline protection contract to a former militant leader, Government Ekpemopolo aka Tompolo, was not a tenable reason to end the programme.

But reacting to the development, the President of the Ijaw National Congress, Prof Benjamin Okaba, argued that the government should ‘’re-strategise the programme’’ rather than end it.

Advertisement

The Ijaw leader admitted that the rehabilitation phase of the amnesty programme had not been fully achieved while the training aspect had successfully produced many beneficiaries.

Okaba, however, said whatever failure had been identified should be blamed on those who were in charge of its operations, insisting that the programme itself did not fail.

Advertisement

According to the INC leader, the disarmament of the militants was one part of the programme that had run smoothly, adding that the rehabilitation phase posed the greatest problems.

Okaba stated, “What I’m saying is that the amnesty programme itself did not fail, it is the operators of the programme that failed. The intentions of (former) President Yar’Adua in putting together the programme was to address the fundamental developmental question in the Niger Delta.”

Advertisement

‘’So, if they want to scrap it, what is the alternative to the amnesty programme? Now that there is no alternative to the amnesty programme, I think the best option is to re-strategise.”

When contacted for a reaction on Saturday, the PAP spokesperson, Ms Donu Kogbara, promised to respond on Tuesday but when asked to provide an immediate response, she said, “If you are keen to wrap this up quickly, let me see whether I can talk to the interim administrator later tonight or tomorrow,” in a text message.

Advertisement

The Head, Strategic Communications, ONSA, Zakari Usman, did not respond to calls and a text message sent to his phone on Saturday

END

Advertisement

Advertisement
Continue Reading

News

World Bank commits $8bn to Nigeria in 12 months

World Bank
Spread the love

 

Advertisement

The World Bank has committed a total of $7.93 billion in the 2022 fiscal year, which was from July 2021 to June 2022.
Data obtained from the bank’s website showed that this was an increase of 74.67 per cent from the $4.54bn recorded in the 2021 fiscal year, which began in July 2020 and ended in June 2021.

According to the World Bank, commitments covered the total amount of loans for which contracts were signed in the year specified.

Advertisement

The data obtained ran from 2018 to 2022, covering both loans from the World Bank’s International Development Association and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Between 2018 and 2022, a total of $38.2bn was committed to Nigeria by the World Bank.

Advertisement

Within this period, the highest commitment of $10.45bn was in 2018.

Recall that rising debt pushed Nigeria up the World Bank’s top 10 International Development Association borrowers’ list.

Advertisement

The World Bank Fiscal Year 2021 audited financial statements, particularly the IDA financial statement, showed that Nigeria was rated fifth on the list with $11.7bn IDA debt stock as of June 30, 2021.

However, the World Bank Fiscal Year 2022 audited financial statements for IDA showed that Nigeria had moved to the fourth position on the list, with $13bn IDA debt stock as of June 30, 2022.

Advertisement

The top five countries on the list slightly reduced their IDA debt stock except Nigeria.

In a statement issued on Thursday by the World Bank, the global lender said it had approved the Nigeria State Action on Business Enabling Reforms Program-for-Results.

Advertisement

The $750 million IDA credit is expected to help Nigeria accelerate the implementation of critical actions that will improve the business enabling environment in states.

The World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, was quoted in the statement as saying, “Following the significant progress made by states on fiscal reforms through the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability program, the SABER programme endeavours to offer similar support to the states to undertake critical business-enabling policy and institutional actions that will incentivize private sector development.

Advertisement

“Private sector investments remain the major vehicle to create more jobs, increase revenues to the states and improve social and economic outcomes for citizens.”

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Read Stories

Copyright © 2022 NaijaBlitznews