8—VANGUARD, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2018 :Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058 CLOSING CEREMONY: From left, Adebiyi Olukoya, Senior Analyst Agusto & Co; Yinka Adelekan, Executive Director, Agusto & Co; Mr. Tunji Kazeem, Chief Risk Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, representing Mr. Oscar Onyema, Chief Executive Officer, NSE; Mrs. Vivien Shobo, Managing Director, Agusto & Co; Mr. Isaac Babatunde, Executive Director, Agusto & Co; Mrs. Rita Emoefe, Associate Director, Agusto & Co, and Mr.Oritsejimi Ogbobine, Manager, Agusto & Co, at NSE closing ceremony by Agusto & Co team. Buhari hasn’t approved release of $1bn for military equipment —Presidency By Johnbosco Agbakwuru ABUJA— THE Presidency, yesterday, said President Muhammadu Buhari has not approved the release of $1 billion from Excess Crude Account, ECA, for the procurement of equipment to fight Boko Haram as was widely reported. Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, who briefed State House correspondents at the State House, Abuja, said the approval given to the Federal Government by National Economic Council, NEC, to spend $1 billion from ECA was undergoing the normal legislative processes before the National Assembly. He said release of such money could not have been approved by President Buhari as being reported, stressing that the President follows due process in the running of the affairs of the country. Senator Enang in a statement, entitled, “Security fund not spent without appropriation” said before any sum was released from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, there must be Appropriation Act, Vote of Charge and Warrant legally predicated on appropriation authorisation sub-head under the Act, adding that the executive was conscious of the provisions of Section 80 (3) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution. He said: “In response to several issues raised about Security Fund sourced for at source from excess crude account to combat security challenges in the country and the several misreadings attending same, may I state as follows: That the said sum has not and cannot be approved for spending by Mr. President. “That in accordance with best practices, Mr. President, having received approval of sum from National Economic Council made up of all the governors, now had a meeting with the Minister of Defence, Service Chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police, among others to collate the need of each of the services and the money available for appropriation “That Mr. President and the meeting having collated the need of each service and the amount involved may now present same to the Federal Executive Council for detailed consideration, or in exercise of presidential powers may Oil prices re-bound with Brent crude at $67 By Ediri Ejoh, with agency report OIL markets stabilised, yesterday, after slumping around two percent last Friday on the back of concerns of an intensifying trade dispute between the United States and China, as well as increased U.S. drilling activity. U.S. West Texas Intermediate, WTI, crude futures were at $62.17 a barrel up 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their previous settlement, while Brent crude futures were at $67.23 per barrel, up 12 cents, or 0.2 percent. Oil prices fell about two percent on Friday after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened new tariffs on China, reigniting fears of a trade war between the world’s two largest economies that could hurt global growth. “While it’s possible an escalating trade war could dent global growth sentiment, the real fear is that China, if pushed hard enough, could slap a tax on U.S. oil imported into China,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for communicate same to the National Assembly for appropriation. “That this may be done as usual upon Mr. President consulting prior with the leadership of the National Assembly through the whole body of principal officers or the presiding officers of each chambers only, before originating the communication to the National Assembly “That as at now, the process of approving the money for use is inchoate and still undergoing executive Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore. In physical oil markets, Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC’s number two producer, Iraq, said, yesterday, that it is keeping prices for its crude supplies in May steady. In the United States, drillers added 11 rigs looking for new production in the week to April 6, bringing the total count to 808, the highest level since March 2015, General Electric’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said on Friday. Shell paid N1.5trn to FG in 2017 ROYAL Dutch Shell paid a total of $4,322,742,582 (about N1.5 trillion) to the Federal Government in 2017, according to its annual payments report. The amount is broken down as $3,197,530,557 for production entitlement, $765,526,389 in taxes, $245,769,306 in royalties and $113,916,331 in fees. By comparison, Nigeria earned a total revenue of N10.6 trillion in 2017 from both oil and non-oil sources, according to CBN Economic Report, meaning Shell alone contributed about 15 per cent to the country’s income. The total paid to Nigeria by Shell is the highest to any country where the international oil company operates. The closest country to Nigeria is Malaysia, Why farmers/herdsmen clashes may get worse —Ogbeh By Johnbosco Agbakwuru A BUJA—MINISTER of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has warned that clashes between farmers and herdsmen might get worse in 2019, if nothing was done to intensify efforts to create cattle ranches or provide better security against rustling. Chief Ogbeh raised the alarm while briefing State House correspondents after the National Food Security Council meeting at the State House, Abuja. Members of the committee also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly approve standard operating procedure before laying same before the National Assembly for appropriation. “That the processes now being worked on is to fast-track this procedures so that it may be forwarded to the National Assembly while it is still considering the 2018 Appropriation Bill (Budget) for incorporation as Mr. President’s supplementary request under the 2018 Budget, or if completed, after the 2018 Budget, it may be forwarded as supplementary Appropriation Bil." the establishment and training of Agro-rangers as special unit to assist security agencies check the clashes between herdsmen and farmers, which have cost hundreds of lives. The council, which is chaired by President Buhari, was presided over by Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, in the absence of Buhari, who travelled to the United Kingdom immediately after the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC. Ogbeh at the briefing said: “We have to move the cattle to the good old grazing reserves and we just have to create environment for them; clusters of ranches where they have water, grass and security against rustlers. “For nearly 40 years, we didn’t do much about cattle, we also forgot that cattle contribute six per cent to GDP. The cheapest way of rearing cattle is by roaming around with them as you see now. If you go into a ranch it is not cheap and government cannot subsidise cattle rearing like they do in Europe, where they subsidise every cow. We cannot afford that. “So, the thing is to create those ranches and the herdsmen are prepared to pay tax to support the programme. If we don’t do it, next year will be worse than this year, I assure you.” He further said, “Today, which received $4,153,062,216, followed by Norway with $3,425,577,190; Iraq, $$3,390,644,228; and Brazil, $1,569,519,784. A further breakdown showed that Shell paid $3,197,530,557 to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC; $79,675,241 to Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC; $280,010,396 to Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR; and $765,526,389 to Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS. The publication, tagged “Report on Payments to Governments for The Year 2017,” provides a consolidated overview of the payments to governments made by Royal Dutch Shell Plc and its subsidiary undertakings as required under the UK laws. FG promises adequate security for students in unity schools ABUJA—MINISTER of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, has promised adequate support for the security of lives and property of students of Federal Unity Colleges and other schools in the country. Adamu gave the promise in Abuja, yesterday, at the inauguration of the Central Planning Committee on Security Education and Awareness Campaign for Principals and Teachers of Federal Government Colleges. Adamu said that over the past decade, Nigeria had grown more insecure, largely due to ethnoreligious crisis and Boko Haram insurgency in the north, cultism and ritual killings in the south. He said it was worrisome as the educational institutions had become targets of insurgents. He said: “School security is vital to effective teaching and learning. Presently, the safety of the school child is of primary concern to stakeholders in the education sector. “In different parts of the country, communal and ethnic crisis erupted and hindered the smooth functioning of schools.” The minister added that insecurity in schools was not a problem unique to Nigeria alone, adding that the difference was on how to effectively manage the threats. He, however, called for partnership from stakeholders to curb the rising security challenges in schools. Mr Mike Okiro, former Inspector-General of Police and chairman of the committee, said teenagers had been the most affected in the recurring violence and crisis in the country. He said proper security awareness by principals and teachers would help to combat most of the problems in the schools. He said: “Like every wellmeaning Nigerian, our foundation feels greatly concerned about this untoward situation. Our focus on this project shall be on children, to whom we remain committed."
VANGUARD, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2018—9 :Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058 Nigeria’s external reserves'll soon hit $50bn — Emefiele •Puts current reserves at $47.4bn •Warns against complacency after recession By Emma Ujah & Babajide Komolafe UYO—THE Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, yesterday, predicted that the nation’s foreign reserves would soon hit $50 billion mark. He made the prediction while speaking at the 25th CBN seminar for Finance Correspondents and Business Editors in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, yesterday. According to him, the reserves have currently risen to $47.4 billion as at April 5. Represented by Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, Mr. Edward Adamu, Emefiele said policies of the CBN in recent times helped the country to navigate its way out of economic recession, warning that the nation must remain vigilant and build on the post-recession gains in order not to relapse into another cycle of recession. He said: “Foreign exchange supply has improved since the establishment of the Investors and Exporters, I&E, window, with autonomous inflows of over $20 billion through this window alone from April 2017 to date. “Foreign exchange reserves have recovered significantly from a low of just over $23 billion in October 2016 to about $47.37 billion as at April 5, 2018. Foreign exchange reserves will continue to grow. Following recent accretion, FX reserves may be about $50 billion sometime later this year.” Emefiele noted that in spite of the reduction in import bills, a lot remained to be done in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. He said: “For one, our import bill may have fallen but our manufacturing and agriculture sectors still have a long way to go, if we must attain self-sufficiency in those sectors. “We must not be quick to discard the restrictive measures, which aided our recovery simply because the metrics have improved.” He assured that the CBN would continue to fine-tune its policies and strategies based on our understanding of evolving developments and supported by in-house technical analysis and simulations. Emefiele said: “We will remain proactive in ensuring that the welfare of Nigerians is optimised at any point in time. “In Monetary and Exchange Rate Policy, we have signalled from the last Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, that we will sustain the tight policies that have helped rein-in inflationary pressures. That is the reason we kept the Monetary Policy Rate, MPR, at 14 per cent. “We will also continue the transparency and evenhandedness that have attracted inflows of FX into the country while keeping FX supply to the market adequate. “As we entrench and sustain the transparency in the FX market, as FX reserves accretion continues, and market confidence and improved sentiments remain, we expect that the exchange rate will not only be stable but would begin to appreciate against major currencies. “The adverse competitiveness outcome, which such appreciation may entail, would be adequately mitigated by proactive policies to ensure that our balance of payments position is not undermined.” The CBN boss called for a re-doubling of strong policy coordination, collaboration and cooperation which flourished during the very difficult times. DINNER: From left, Emmanuel Eze, Executive Director, SystemSpecs Ltd., owners of Remita; Liyel Imoke, former Governor of Cross River State; Mr Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Communication, and Mr. Olorogun James Emadoye, National President, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, ISPON, at the 2018 ISPON president's dinner, in Lagos. Abacha loot: Adeosun blocks $16.9m payment to Malami’s lawyers MINISTER of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has refused to approve the payment of $16.9 million fees to two lawyers for the recovery of Abacha loot worth $321 million. Adeosun also wrote a strongly-worded letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, raising objections to the payment. Meanwhile, the recovered sum, according to online platform, TheCable, has been repatriated to Nigeria by the Swiss government, following the execution of the memorandum of understanding, MoU, between the two countries for the judicious use of the recovery. “It is true that a request was made to the Minister of Finance for the payment to the Nigerian lawyers, but approval is another thing altogether,” a senior government official said,weekend, adding that the request had been sent back to the Ministry of Justice. TheCable had reported that Enrico Monfrini, a Swiss lawyer hired by the Federal Government since 1999 to work on recovering Abacha loot, had finished the Luxembourg leg of the job since 2014 when Mohammed Bello Adoke was Attorney-General of the Federation. Monfrini had also been paid his fees by the Federal Government. The recovered money was then domiciled with the attorney-general of Switzerland, pending the signing of an MoU with Nigeria to avoid the issues of accountability around previous recoveries. All that was left after the signing of the MoU was a government-tog o v e r n m e n t communication for the money to be repatriated to Nigeria. However, Abubakar Malami, Minister of Justice and Attorney- General of the Federation, had engaged the services of another set of lawyers in 2016 for a fee of about N6 billion. The Cable Newspaper Journalism Foundation, CNJF, a partner organisation to TheCable, then sent a Freedom of Information, FOI, request to Malami for a copy of the agreements reached with Monfrini for the recovery. TheCable understands that the terms in the agreement were clearly spelt out, such that no other lawyer would be needed for the return of the money to Nigeria. Malami refused to accede to the FOI request, but the Cable Foundation is currently in court to seek an order of mandamus to compel the attorney-general to make the documents public. In an email to TheCable, however, Monfrini explained that there was no truth in the allegation. He said: “I never had the audacity to ask for additional fees. This figure of 20 per cent is simply invented. I didn’t reject any proposal made by Mr. Malami since my fees were already paid a long time before Mr. Malami’s appointment as attorney general. Any allegations against that would just be a lie." TY DANJUMA: Army probes alleged involvement of personnel in farmers/ herders' clashes By Kingsley Omonobi & Joseph Erunke ABUJA—THE Nigerian Army, yesterday, set up a panel of inquiry to probe allegations by some Nigerians that its personnel were colluding with herdsmen in the killing of natives in Taraba and Benue states. Chief of Army Staff, Lt.General Tukur Buratai, who inaugurated the committee at the Army Headquarters, Abuja, said the army under him was visibly disturbed at the allegations, especially coming from respected senior citizens of the country. Buratai charged the committee, headed by Major-General Joseph Nimmyel (retd) to go all out to unravel all circumstances leading to the allegations, vowing that personnel of the service found to have compromised in their services to the country would not be spared. The inauguration of the panel came barely three weeks after Danjuma, a former Chief of Army Staff, raised the alarm that an ethnic cleansing was being executed in the country, especially Benue and Taraba states, by militias in connivance with men of the Nigerian Armed Forces, asking the people to rise and defend themselves. Buratai explained: “The Nigerian Army has over the years conducted operations in line with its constitutional responsibility of defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria and providing aid to civil authority whenever it is called upon for such a task. “However, the actions of the Nigerian Army in recent military operations, particularly in Taraba State, have been criticized by individuals and interest groups from different sectors of the society. “Some of these concerns have come from the state government, Non- Governmental Organisations and very senior citizens from the state. Speaking on behalf of the committee members, chairman of the committee, Major General Joseph Nimmyel (retd), assured the COAS of the readiness of the committee to deliver on their mandate and terms of reference. The committee was given up to April 19 to submit its report. FG to introduce new anti-terrorism law, tackle financiers — AGF By Ikechukwu Nnochiri ABUJA—THE Attorney- General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, said, yesterday, that the Federal Government was set to introduce a new legislation that would create tougher sanctions for terrorists and their financiers. Malami, who made the disclosure at the opening of a regional workshop on prison intelligence in a counter-terrorism context, organised by International Institute for Justice and Rule of Law, said the new law would also expand the definition of terrorism. According to him, the new Terrorism Prohibition and Prevention Bill will replace the current Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 (as amended in 2013). The AGF was represented at the event that had participants from other African countries, by Director of Public Prosecution at the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Umar Mohammed. He maintained that provisions of the new law was made to conform with international standards, decrying that the scale of terrorist incursions has continued to metamorphose at an alarming and despicable rate." CJN tasks Sharia, customary courts Meanwhile, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, has urged Sharia and Customary Courts in the country to embrace case management systems that would ensure quicker dispensation of justice at the grassroots. The CJN, who made the call at the opening of the 2018 national workshop for Area/ Sharia/Customary Courts Judges, Directors and Inspectors of the various courts, organised by National Judicial Institute in Abuja, implored judges of various courts to continuously seek knowledge, be hard-working and eschew corruption in all its ramifications. “It is imperative for the various heads of courts to develop standard uniform procedures for basic functioning of your courts,” the CJN added.