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Alleged Missing $49bn: Why Senate Probe Didn’t Indict Alison-Madueke – Makarfi

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Senate Committee on FinanceThe Federal Government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) illegally spent about $4.5 billion on kerosene subsidy from the Federation Account without legislative approval, Senator Ahmed Makarfi (PDP, Kaduna) alleged yesterday.

Makarfi, who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, said the ongoing forensic audit of the NNPC would likely indict some key officials.

Makarfi, whose committee probed the suspended Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Malam Lamido Sanusi’s allegation that $49.8billion crude oil receipt was ‘missing’ from the Federation Account, told reporters in Kaduna that the panel’s recommendations are subject to the forensic audit’s outcome.

“The forensic audit may indict many individuals”, he said, adding: “We were asked to find out the whereabouts of some money. For $47 billion out of the $67 billion, there was no dispute at all right from the time we started our sitting that the money was in the Federation Account. Where there was dispute was between the figure of $10.8 billion and $20 billion.

“Even that dispute did not state that the money was really missing, but what has been done with that money. It was not stated at that time that the money was missing, but that it was not remitted to the Federation Account. If it was not remitted to the Federation Account, it could be hanging in one account or the other.

“We took the larger figure of $20billion so that we could investigate what happened to that money. Out of that money, $5.5 billion was spent on petrol and what we needed to do was to find out if the money was appropriated. We checked the budget of the relevant ministries and discovered that the National Assembly appropriated the money.

“So, if the National Assembly appropriated money and it was expended, you cannot talk about money missing. Another $4.5 billion was expended on subsidy on kerosene. But unlike that of petrol, the money was not appropriated by the National Assembly, but there was evidence and certification that the money was spent.

“Again, there is a difference between missing money and money spent without appropriation. You know what it was used for, but the fact is, was it authorised by law? It was not authorised constitutionally because all money to be spent are supposed to be appropriated by the National Assembly. That takes care of $10 billion out of the $20 billion.

“One part of the money was budgeted for and spent, while another part was not budgeted for, but spent. We also discovered that about $8 billion does not entirely belong to the Federation Account. Our job was to determine how much of that money belongs to the Federation Account”.

Sen. Makarfi noted that what the government should have done after the money was spent was to have forwarded a supplementary budget to the National Assembly for approval, stressing that this was not done.

The former Kaduna State governor recalled that although late President Umaru Yar’Adua directed the removal of subsidy on kerosene, his administration did not take any step to implement the directive.

According to him, the fact that money was spent on subsidy without appropriation by the NASS does not translate to missing money.

Makarfi also stressed that his committee did not indict Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Dezeani Alison-Madueke because it did not find her guilty of any wrong doing.

He said: “When you talk of indicting, if you are to indict at this point, it is institutions you can indict. It is when the forensic audit comes out that you can indict individuals. That is why some of the recommendations say subject to the forensic audit and we said that the National Assembly should take further legislative action upon the receipt of the forensic audit if we find any reason to do so.

“We have not foreclosed anything in our report. We made conditional recommendation and we are waiting for that forensic audit from the external forensic auditors. That is where personal indictment can come. For one reason or the other, some people believe the Minister and some other people should be indicted.

“But from what we have seen, we have not seen anywhere the minister made any approval. So, if you don’t see any particular thing she approved, how do you come to indict her? But the forensic audit also covers payment on subsidy and in that case, the people that could be indicted are many”.

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Akeredolu Sacks Ondo Attorney-General, Olawoye

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Akeredolu Removes Ondo Attorney-General, Olawoye

Governor Akeredolu

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has sacked the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kola Olawoye.

This was made known in a statement on Monday by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Segun Ajiboye.

Akeredolu immediately appointed a human rights lawyer, Mr. Charles Titiloye, as the new Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.

Also Read: #ENDSARS: Challenge CBN’s Action In Court If Your Account Is Frozen – Akeredolu

According to the statement, the Ondo State governor would forward Titiloye’s name to the State House of Assembly for confirmation.

Akeredolu also expressed his appreciation to the sacked commissioner for services rendered to the state.

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Focus On Reducing Poverty, Not 2023 Elections – Peter Obi

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Focus On Reducing Poverty, Not 2023 Elections – Peter Obi

Peter Obi

Former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, has called on his fellow politicians to put issues of 2023 aside and focus on how to rescue the country from the current economic crisis.

Obi said that solving the economic problems of Nigeria was more important than political permutations geared towards the next general elections.

The former Anambra State Governor stated during an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

Also Read: Recession: Nigeria Is Broke, Can’t Afford 2021 Budget – Atiku

He expressed that the next election has no impact on people’s current livelihoods.

Obi also blamed President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for not adequately preparing Nigerians for the impact of COVID-19, stating the monies borrowed by this government were not properly put to use.

“Every other country is discussing the recession and how to pull their people out of poverty.

“So what we should do now is to concentrate on the monetary and fiscal policies to start pulling people out of poverty,” Obi said.

 

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Recession: Nigeria Is Broke, Can’t Afford 2021 Budget – Atiku

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Recession: Nigeria Is Broke, Can’t Afford 2021 Budget – Atiku

Atiku Abubakar

Former Vice-President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar has expressed that the Federal Government should reconsider the 2021 budget owing to the recession.

Nigeria officially entered into its worst economic recession in 33 years after the nation recorded a GDP contraction of 3.62 percent in the third quarter of 2020.

He stated that Nigeria is broke and cannot afford the luxurious items in the N13.08 trillion budget proposal.

Atiku in a Twitter thread on Sunday stated that COVID-19 only complicated an existing economic problem.

Atiu went on to express that had President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration listened to advice, the recession could have been avoided.

Also Read: Recession: SERAP Asks Buhari To Cut Cost Of Governance

“We could have avoided this fate by a disciplined and prudent management of our economy.”

“This could have been avoided had this administration taken heed to the patriotic counsel given by myself and other well-meaning Nigerians on cutting the cost of governance, saving for a rainy day, and avoiding profligate borrowing,” Atiku said.

He further said that now is not the time to trade blames but to focus on ways to manage the situation and called on Buhari’s government to “swallow its pride, and accept its limitations, so that they can open their minds to ideas, without caring who the messenger is.”

 

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