President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Abuja reacted for the first time on the allegations of corruption leveled against the leaderships of some Federal Government Agencies and Commissions.
The president, who spoke after observing his Eid prayers at the fore court of the presidential villa, observed that some appointees of the government in both his administration and the previous one have abused their trust.
He, however, expressed delight that some stolen assets are being recovered, sold and proceeds put into the Single Treasury Account (TSA), which is inaccessible to the corrupt persons involved.
“There has been abuse of trust by people trusted by previous administration and this administration.
“A number of assets have been recovered and some money.
“But we have introduced TSA where all the monies are taken and I said asset should be sold and the money be put through TSA so that it can be identified at any level and I will see who will come after us and take it back again to those who misappropriated public funds.”
While assuring that all past and present cases would be fully investigated, he said: “This is why we put the commission (of investigation) in place.”
He stressed that all of such cases would be uncovered and firmly dealt with by his government.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports Senate and House of Representatives are currently investigating how the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) allegedly squandered N40 billion within few months.
NAN also reports that the Presidency had instituted a Presidential Probe Panel headed by retired Justice Ayo Salami to investigate allegations of gross misconduct against the suspended acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu.
Edited By: Felix Ajide (NAN)
Nigerian youths appreciate FG’s N75bn Investment Fund
Nigerian youths on Monday presented letter of appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari
through the Minister of Youth and sports, Mr Sunday Dare, for the approval of 75 billion investment fund for them.
Mr Sukubo Sara-Igbesukubo, the President of National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), who presented the letter in Abuja,
thanked the president for the laudable act of establishing the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund with an initial capital of N75 billion.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Federal Government in July approved the establishment of N75 billion
Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) for three years, following a memo presented by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development.
The NYIF is to serve as a sort of youth bank that will fund and support the innovative ideas, skills, talents and enterprise of the Nigerian youth.
Sara-Igbesukubo said that the fund was a special window for the Nigerian youths to access financial facilities for their entrepreneurial ideas,
innovations and projects.
He added that “the laudable milestone has shown that the present administration has the interest of Nigerian youths at heart.
“Today, the hope of millions of talented, hardworking and creative young Nigerians is being restored.”
Dare, who was represented by Mr Gabriel Aduda, the Permanent Secretary in the youth and sports ministry, said that
the fund would enable the country to go beyond empowerment to investment.
He said that the fund would help to boost youth investment in the country, noting that the ministry would work with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
to evolve modalities that would ensure that the fund was used for the investment it was meant for.
“The youths will be involved in the decision making as they will be in the forefront to achieve the goal of the fund,’’ he said.
Dare said that Nigerian youths did not lack ideas but have not had enough opportunities to utilise the talents.
He said that “we are hoping that with the fund, the youths will put every effort to get it running.”
The minister advised youths to be more involved in social media to be abreast with current developments in the world.
Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
NDDC has yet to pay contractors of roads I facilitated:Orji Uzor Kalu to Akpabio
Chief Whip of the Senate Orji Uzor Kalu on Monday said that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has yet to pay some contractors that he facilitated to build community roads.
Kalu, a former governor of Abia, said this while reacting to a the communique written by Sen. Godswill Akpabio, Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs to the National Assembly.
The communique reportedly mentioned names of former governors Emmanuel Uduaghan, James Ibori , senators Ifeanyi Ararume and Orji Uzor Kalu, among others, as beneficiaries to the several contracts allocations by the NDDC.
In a statement signed by Mr Emeka Nwala of office of the Senate Chief Whip and made available to news men in Abuja, Kalu said that he believed the issues at stake in the NDDC had to do with missing funds and not works done.
He said that he was becoming worried over his name being used indiscriminately to sell newspapers without verification.
According to the senate chief whip , the road projects mentioned by the minister are the interventions he facilitated for the communities as a private citizen before he became a senator.
Kalu noted that his name was mentioned because he used his letter headed paper to write a sympathetic letter to the NDDC in 2016 requesting and pleading with the body to rescue roads in Abia.
He also noted that his relationship with Akpabio dated years back and long before he (Kalu) became a governor, adding that he would still request for more road interventions from Akpabio in time.
He said: “I was governor of Abia between 1999 and 2007 and never held any public office until June 11, 2019 when I was sworn in as a senator.
“Between 2016 and 2018 during my tour to several communities, leaders and welfare unions of most communities pleaded for urgent interventions on some dilapidated roads.
“The NDDC in their consideration for which I am very grateful, awarded the roads to companies that duly tendered for the projects and not myself.
“Whatever link I have with the projects is because it was considered due to my intervention,” he said.
“The roads I requested for intervention as mentioned by the minister were repairs of Ezere-Acha-Ndiokoukwu Road; Amaubiri-Eluama-Uru Ring Road, Lokpaukwu, Umuchieze; Ndi Oji Abam-Atani Road; the Okafia-Ozuitem-Bende road and Ozu-Amuru-Abam Road.
“The contractors have completed and delivered these road’s; long time ago except ! road which I learnt from the contractors was slowed down due to rainfall but still ongoing.
“Meanwhile, it would interest Nigerians to know that the contractors who built these roads have not been paid any dime.
“It has not been easy with the contractors but because it’s a community project they have only but kept hope alive on the NDDC.” he said.
Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye/Kayode Olaitan (NAN)
NDDC audit: Kalu asks NASS to focus on missing funds
Senate Chief Whip, Sen. Orji Kalu, has said that the ongoing audit of the operations of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), should focus on missing funds rather than projects awarded and completed by contractors.
Kalu, who was Abia governor from 1999 to 2007, stated this in a statement issued by his aide, Mr Emeka Nwala, in Umuahia on Monday.
The lawmaker was reportedly responding to a statement credited to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, who allegedly mentioned Kalu and some ex-governors, among others, as beneficiaries of several contracts allotted by the NDDC.
Kalu stated that his only link with the road rehabilitated in his constituency by NDDC, was that he used his letter-head to appeal for the commission’s intervention in the repair of dilapidated roads in the area.
The Senator said however, that NDDC had not paid a dime to the contractors who rehabilitated the roads facilitated by him.
“I believe the NDDC forensic audit should focus on the missing funds and not works done.
“It will interest Nigerians to know that the contractors, who rehabilitated these roads, have not been paid a dime.
“They should focus on paying contractors that delivered their jobs and not using my name indiscriminately to sell newspapers.”
Kalu said that the road projects mentioned by Akpabio, are the interventions he facilitated for the communities as a private citizen before he became a senator.
He stated that he used his letter-head to write a pathetic letter to NDDC in 2016, “requesting and pleading with the body to rescue roads in Abia,” hence his name was mentioned by the minister.
He listed the rehabilitated roads to include Ezere-Acha-Ndiokoukwu Road, Amaubiri-Eluama-Uru Ring Road, Lokpaukwu, Umuchieze, Ndi Oji Abam-Atan Road, Okafia-Ozuitem-Bende Road and Ozu-Amuru-Abam Road.
Kalu further stated: “I was governor between 1999 and 2007, and never held any public office until June 11, 2019, when I was sworn in as a senator.
“Between 2016 and 2018, during my tour of several communities, leaders and welfare unions of most communities, pleaded for urgent intervention on some dilapidated roads in their areas.
“The NDDC, in its consideration, which I am very grateful for, awarded the roads to companies that duly tendered for the projects and not myself.
“Whatever link I have with the projects is because it was considered due to my intervention.”
The senate chief whip, further stated that the contract was awarded by the constituted body of NDDC, with its board and not the current interim management under probe.
“The contractors have completed and delivered these roads a long time ago, except Abam-Atani Road, which I learnt was slowed down due to rain but still ongoing.
“It has not been easy with the contractors, but because it is a community project, they have only but kept hope alive on the NDDC,” Kalu stated.
He said that he was interested in getting the roads fixed because of the importance of good roads to smooth movement of goods and services in the economy.
“That is why I built several roads when I was governor. Even as a senator, my major constituency projects are road construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation.
Kalu, representing Abia North Senatorial District, stated that plans were underway to finish 19 roads in the area before the end of 2021, adding that good roads helped to drive the economy.
He, however, promised not to stop his interventions on roads in NDDC states because all the states needed good roads.
“I hope he (Akpabio) does not expect me to stop seeking for road interventions in our communities.
“It is his civic responsibility to support the communities, and I am very confident he will oblige our future requests, especially in the area of good roads”.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore (NAN)
We ‘ve yet to feel impact of Gov. Ayade’s agricultural revolution – AFAN Chairman
Mr Etim Nakanda, the Chairman of All Famers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Cross River Chapter, says farmers in the state have yet to feel the impact of Gov. Ben Ayade’s agricultural revolution programme.
Nakanda made the assertion in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Calabar on Monday.
He said AFAN members in the state had not been supplied farm inputs such as fertilisers and improved variety of cassava stems as well as equipment.
The chairman said the state government should show more care about the plights of the farmers in the state and what they experienced on daily basis.
Nakanda, however, said some farmers in the state had benefited from the Federal Government’s intervention through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Anchor Borrowers Programme for rice and cassava farming.
According to him those members who had not benefitted from the anchor borrowers programme have gone back to the primitive farming system of using hoes and machetes.
“Every time, we hear about agricultural revolution in Cross River. I think what they have is government revolution and not agricultural revolution because it has not yet touched down.
“It is the many small holder farmers in Cross River that feed this state and they are really the ones in dire need of assistance from the state and federal governments.
“There is no supply of improved variety of cassava stems for farmers as we used to have.
“We need day-old chicks, fingerlings, fertilisers, oil mills, fishing nets, storage facilities across the 18 Local Government Areas in the state as well as a micro finance bank with realistic demands,” he said.
Nakanda, who is also the Chairman AFAN in the South-South, added that some of the items that they needed could be given to them free while others should be supplied to them to be paid for in instalments.
“Governments really needs to come to the aid of farmers. I say so because as the chairman of farmers in the state, I can say we have not felt the impact of government, except on radio and television,” he said.
Contacted, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Okon Owuna, said that he was not aware of the farmers ‘s complaint.
“Non of them has come to my office to make a case. We are doing our best as a state to attract both national and international intervention to get the farmers to be better off.
“So, as much as I know, all farmers are carried along in our agricultural revolution.
“Today we are having a town hall meeting to kick off the agricultural development scheme project in the state and all stakeholders are invited.
“It is in this town hall meeting that complaints of various value chains are addressed ” he said.
Edited By: Ejike Obeta (NAN)