3 months ago

10042018 - Why I'm seeking a 2nd term — BUHARI


18 Vanguard, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2018 IN what will pass as a befitting climax to a trial drama that began five years ago, the long arm of justice eventually caught up with pension thief, John Yusuf, as the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division on Wednesday March 21, 2018 jailed him for six years and also asked him to refund N22.9 billion of the N32.8 billion police pension money he stole. Yusuf thought he had escaped justice when, in 2013, he was sentenced to two years in jail, with the option of paying a paltry fine of N750,000 by Justice Abubakar Talba of the Federal Capital Territory High Court. Following Justice Talba’s ruling which understandably triggered national outrage, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had on April 26, 2013 approached the appellate court to set aside the judgment of the lower court. The anti-graft agency had asked the appeal court to rule on “whether the A comeuppance for the pension thief trial judge exercised his discretion judicially and judiciously when, having convicted the respondent of a three count charge of conversion of over N3billion contrary to section 309 of the Penal Code, His Lordship imposed two years imprisonment with an option of fine of N250, 000 on each of the three counts”. The EFCC questioned the judge’s discretion in imposing the sentence on the respondent who readily pleaded guilty and paid the ridiculous fine. Ruling on the substantive matter, the Justices of the Court of Appeal held unanimously that having pleaded guilty to the three counts ( 17, 18 and 19) and converting the N24 billion to personal use, the sentence of the trial court does not, therefore, serve as deterrence to both the convict and others. The position of the Appeal Court in this regard is certainly welcome. The John Yusuf corruption trial was a highly-celebrated one, but most skeptical Nigerians had felt that it would be swept under the carpet or allowed to fizzle out as usual. We commend the EFCC for its tenacity in pursuing the course of justice for the millions of Nigerian pensioners whose life-long savings had suddenly become a honeypot for crooked civil servants employed to manage it for the overall interests of the pensioners and the national economy. This feat has demonstrated, once more, that the arm of the law is long and far-reaching, even in Nigeria. Nigerians have short memories on such big scandals. Many had already forgotten all about it, but the memory of the law is steadfast. That is because the law enforcement mechanism was alive to its responsibilities in this case. Kudos to the EFCC and also to the Court of Appeal. We call on the anti-graft agency and the courts to leave no stone unturned until every recoverable kobo of this stolen pension is recovered to give the pensioners justice. I “ N September 1960, an NPC delegation from Gboko heading for Wukari for a provincial party conference was ambushed by an angry mob mainly from the Mbatie clan, near Yandev. The action was partly in retaliation for repeated government denial for the opposition UMBC to hold its own meetings. The NPC convoy was forced to retreat to Gboko to seek police protection. The second attempt encountered another ambush and the police opened fire and Gbantiogh, a man from the Mbalagh clan was killed. Following this incident, widespread violence broke out in most parts of the division. On September 3rd the Muslim village of Gidan Uga was razed, ostensibly for its overwhelming pro-NPC sympathies. The following days witnessed indiscriminate burning and looting in most parts of Tiv division and were particularly directed against government functionaries and NPC supporters. The arsonists assumed a special characteristic of their own. Although they did not wear special uniforms, they blackened their faces, festooned themselves with palm leaves (the party symbol of the UMBC - AG alliance) and frequently shouted, ‘Tarka’, ‘Awo’, as battle cry. They assumed the name of Adzov (spirits) by which the rioters absolved themselves of responsibility by invoking the spirit of the ancestors. It is clear from the foregoing that resistance to political oppression The unending Tiv/Fulani crisis (2) stood at the centre of the Tiv revolt. Thus, using legal and administrative measures without redressing the fundamental political questions could only exacerbate rather than resolve the contradictions. It was only in the middle of September that some efforts were made to address the political problem with the dissolution of the Native Authority (the Council of Ten). Although this went a long way in calming tension, it could not however, immediately resolve the problem because inherent sectional cleavages and some unresolved chieftaincy disputes had crept in to compound the prevalent schismatic tendencies. In the course of the conflict, violence was especially directed against property. The crisis was so severe that according to the Government White Paper: “At the beginning of the disturbances the administration broke down completely.” During the crisis 5,000 people were known to have been arrested out of which 3,882 of them were convicted. In all, some 50,000 people were estimated to have directly participated in the arson. These figures are definitely high by any imaginable standard of civil unrest whether in Nigeria or The Tiv NA Council was dissolved in 1959 and from this date onward, no local election was held to elect representatives to the central and District Councils; this meant that UMBC supporters who formed the majority of Tiv population were denied their rights to vote anywhere else in the world. For the next three years, the political and legal reforms which accompanied the 1960 revolt went a long way in calming the otherwise restive population. However, the outbreak of yet another unrest of no less disruptive character in 1964 called Atemtyo meant that the earlier reforms did not permanently resolve the issues. Added to this is the palpably vindictive character of the settlement of compensation of the 1960 riot victims. The Fletcher Commission which assessed the 1960 riot damage estimated the cost at over half a million pounds. This amount, by a directive of the Northern Regional Premier, Sir Ahmadu Bello, was to be paid up by every adult male tax payer in the area to the tune of two pounds, eleven shillings (£2.11) per head. The average Tiv man was infuriated by this decision because its enforcement clearly exposed the intense political bias and insensitivity of the Northern Regional Government and the NPC functionaries against pro- UMBC clans in Tiv Division. For example, in Abinsi, Gboko and Katsina-Ala (UMBC stronghold) where no riot took place and, therefore, no property was destroyed the people were forced to pay the special levy, whereas Makurdi (a pro-NPC base) was exempted although many people from the area were convicted of participation in the riot. Suffice it to say that compared with the 1960 riot, the 1964 incident was very severe in terms of the extent of personal violence. The reason for the outbreak of violence in 1964 was, apart from the above factors, largely due to the fact that the grievances of the UMBC were not addressed by the NPC government. At an UMBC meeting in March 1960, a catalogue of the party’s grievances were discussed and subsequently embodied in a petition to the Premier of the North. Among the grievances raised were the following: 1) The appointment of NPC loyalists to the dissolved Tiv NA by the Tor Tiv when the members of the NA ought to have been popularly selected by the kindred and clan heads, representing their people’s wishes; 2) The appointment of NPC members as District members as District Heads and Court members throughout Tivland; 3) Dismissal of UMBC supporters and appointment of NPC supporters as tax collectors in place of those dismissed; 4) Refusal of the NA to grant contractors and trading licences to UMBC supporters;5) Discrimination in the allocation in the award of scholarship by the NA; 6) Discrimination in the allocation of jobs to UMBC supporters; 7) Indiscriminate sacking of clan and kindred heads, e.g. Tarka Nachi, clan head of Mbakor; and 8) Lack of attention to UMBC request and complaints by NA councilors. It should be noted that the Tiv NA Council was dissolved in 1959 and from this date onward, no local election was held to elect representatives to the central and District Councils. This meant that UMBC supporters who formed the majority of Tiv population were denied their rights to vote.”

Vanguard, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2018 19 Crude oil theft rose 50% in 2017 - Shell … As firm’s payments to FG rise by 18.7% to $4.32bn By Prince Okafor IN a report indicating a wors ened operational environment in Nigeria’s upstream oil sector, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the parent company of Shell Company in Nigeria, said crude oil theft from its pipeline networks in Nigeria rose by 50 percent to 9,000 barrels of oil a day (b/d) in 2017, from about 6,000b/d in 2016. But the firm recorded 16.7 percent increase in payments to the Federal Government for production entitlement, royalties, taxes and others in 2017 to $4.32 billion from $3.64 billion in 2016. These were contained in the company’s annual sustainability report released, yesterday. The report stated: “Crude oil theft from Shell Petroleum and Development Company, SPD- CJV’s pipeline network amounted to around 9,000 barrels of oil a day (b/d) in 2017, an increase from around 6,000 b/d in the previous year. The increase in 2017 can in part be explained by the militant-induced shutdown of the Forcados export terminal in 2016, which reduced opportunities for third-party interference. “This demonstrates that continued air and ground surveillance as well as the action by the government security forces remain necessary to prevent crude oil theft. Since 2012, SPDC has removed more than 950 illegal theft points.” The company further noted that the number of its operational spills in the country increased from eight in 2016 to nine in 2017, adding that, “the volume of oil spilled in operational incidents decreased to 0.1 thousand tonnes compared to 0.3 thousand tonnes in 2016. “The number of sabotage-related spills in 2017 increased to 62 from 48 in 2016. Theft and CURRENCY BUYING SELLING US DOLLAR POUNDS EURO FRANC YEN CFA WAUA RENMINBI RIYAL SDR DANISH RAND $118.50 1.05 $2,502.00 49.00 $12.35 0.01 $68.71 1.60 $63.48 1.42 304.6 305.1 305.6 426.836 427.5366 428.2373 372.6781 373.2899 373.9016 315.7458 316.2641 316.7824 2.8372 2.8418 2.8465 0.5502 0.5602 0.5702 441.3123 442.0367 442.7611 48.3031 48.3828 48.4626 442.0355 442.7611 443.4867 50.0296 50.1117 50.1938 25.2205 25.2619 25.3032 CBN Exchange rate as at 09/04/2018 sabotage caused close to 90% of the number of spills of more than 100 kilograms from SPDC JV pipelines, with the balance being operational spills. “In 2017, 92 sites were remediated and certified (out of 251 identified for this work), with 32 in Ogoniland. During 2017, 84 new sites requiring remediation were identified, of which eight are in Ogoniland. In total, there are 243 oil spill sites that require remediation.” Chief Executive Officer, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Ben van Beurden, said: “We work to do the right thing. Firstly, we continue our relentless focus on working with communities and managing our impact on the environment. This means in Nigeria, for example, addressing environmental challenges related to oil spills in areas with significant oil theft and illegal refining.” However, according to the report, a total of $3.197 billion went to Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, for production entitlement. Production entitlement is the host government’s share of production in the reporting period derived from projects operated by Shell. Amongst the payments the report says that $765 million was paid to the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) as tax, $280 million was paid to the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, as Royalties. From left: Managing Director, SKG Pharma Ltd, Dr. Okey Akpa, Managing Director, New Health Pharmacy, Abuja, Pastor Ignatius Onah,Managing Director, Jaymorr Pharmacy, Aba, Mr. Onuachu Chijioke,Managing Director, Jonaco Pharmacy, Onitsha, Mr. Chizoba Okeke,and General Manager, Marketing and Customer Care, SKG Pharma Ltd, Mrs. Pat Iloba at the SKG Annual Trade Partners’ Conference in Lagos FSDH projects inflation rate decline to 13.49% in March By Elizabeth Adegbesan THE FSDH Merchant Bank has projected that March 2018 inflation rate would be around 13.49 percent, a 0.84 percentage point trend down from 14.33 percent recorded in February. The bank disclosed this yesterday during a media presentation of its monthly research report titled: “Growth prospects improve but uncertainties remain” held in Lagos. The bank’s Head of Research and Strategy, Mr. Ayodele Akinwunmi, said: “Our expectation is that it will drop further in March to 13.49 percent mainly on account of base effect of previous year. We expect inflation rate to drop to single digit in July 2018, provided there is no adjustment to the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), electricity tariff, and government resolve to stop the rising crises in some parts of the country quickly.” On the implication, he said the declining inflation rate may lead to a further drop in the yields on fixed income securities, particularly at the short-end of the yield curve. The bank also projected that the equity market would appreciate in the second quarter of 2018 (Q2’18). This, according to Akinwunmi, would be driven by investors taking positions in the market following the sell down in March, further drop in yields on treasury bills, stability in the foreign exchange market and the release of corporate earnings and actions of companies. Akinwunmi stated: “We expect the equity market to appreciate in Q2’18 based on historical performance. The following factors should drive the performance of the equity market: investors taking positions in the market following the sell down in March, further drop in yields on Nigerian Treasury Bills (NTBs), stability in the foreign exchange market and the release of corporate earnings and actions.” On strategies to curb the lingering uncertainties experienced in the various sectors of the economy and to achieve inclusive economic growth in the country, Akinwunmi stated: “We have seen some micro economy improvement. We have also seen some additional inflow in Nigerian economy. Access Bank unveils USSD code to obtain loans Access Bank Plc has launched a special USSD code to provide quicker and instant access to loans for its customers. In a statement made available to Vanguard, the bank said the USSD code is a strategic tool for the recently-launched Pay- Day Loan product by the bank. Unveiled in partnership with Remita, PayDay Loan requires no collateral or guarantor, enabling customers to obtain loans instantly without visiting the bank – thereby enabling customers to meet their urgent financial needs before receiving their salaries. In a statement released by the Bank, Executive Director, Personal Banking, Victor Etuokwu said, “Acquiring loans in Nigeria has always been known to Peter Moyanga Joins Board of Africa Franchise Center FAST rising Africa Franchise Center, AFC, presently has in its Advisory Board, the Former Chairman of the Franchise Association of South Africa, FASA and one of Africa’s most notable names in the area of franchising and small enterprise development, Mr. Peter Sipho Moyanga. AFC is a private sector-led initiative to increase prosperity and support the growing businesses by promoting franchising as a business development model. The Africa-wide initiative was launched in Lagos in November 2017 at a ceremony attended by franchise business leaders and commercial diplomats from US Embassy and many African countries. Reputed to be an expert in the field of franchising, property and business development, Moyanga is known to have done pioneering work in the development of franchising across Africa , leading workshops and training sessions in partnership with African Development Bank and other development agencies. Moyanga has been involved with McDonalds Corporation in South Africa since 1995 having been one of their first employees when the corporation entered that market. In 20103 he left corporate life to become an owner operator (franchisee) and he currently own many McDonald’s outlets in South Africa, through his company, Moyanga Family Foods. Mr. Moyanga joins an Advisory Board of AFC which already has such known names as Mr. Brent Omdhal, US Commercial Counselor to Nigeria; Mr. Anayo Agu, former Senior Commercial Specialist at the US Commercial Service in Nigeria. *Moyanga be limiting - either due to access, collateral issues, including the duration of the approval process. With our obligations to our customers especially during difficult economic periods, we are emphasizing Access Bank’s position in offering lifestyle products and services that meets their financial needs.”