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Lai Mohammed denies having $1.2bn in his account

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed says the report that he has $1.2bn (about N400bn) in his bank account is “fake and vicious’’.

The minister stated this on Thursday in Ilorin at the Annual National Conference and General Meeting of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations with the theme; “Communicating Values for Development and Sustainability’’.

The minister said that the report was invented by the opposition and naysayers to malign him and the government, adding that the alleged fund is about the budget of his ministry for 25 years.

“How else can you explain that people will believe and circulate a fake report that the Minister of Information and Culture that is yours truly has $1.2bn in his imaginary bank account?

“Let’s examine this for a moment. $1.2bn is about N400bn.

“The entire yearly budget of the Ministry of Information and Culture, where I preside, is under N15bn and these include salaries, overhead and capital projects.

“Assuming, without conceding that the Minister somehow manages to transfer the entire budget into his personal account, it will take 25 years for him to amass N400bn.

“Yet, this disinformation was lapped up by the public, he said.

The minister said that similar imaginary huge sums of money had been credited to other ministers.

He condemned the ugly trend by opposition, who were inventing the fake and malicious stories using bloggers and some online media to malign government officials.

According to him, the intention of the perpetrators and carriers of the reports are to distract the government to lose focus, but it will not fall to their antics.

The minister said that Public Relations gave him the first break in life being the profession he practised after his graduation for over 40 years.

Mohammed, a Fellow of the Institute said that the theme of the conference was apt and called on NIPR members to be proactive in the discharge of their duties.

“You must neither be intimidated, cowed nor be overwhelmed by the cynics, you must set your own agenda and daily review such with a view to improving on them.

“You must never lose touch with your traditional constituents. You must understand the tactics of the opposition, which is ambush and irrational,’’ he said.

The minister specifically tasked government information managers to equip themselves with qualities such as integrity, courage, abnormal capacity for hard work, ingenuity resourcefulness and ability to think out of the box.

The President and Chairman Governing Council of NIPR, Dr Rotimi Oladele said the conference was to deliberate on how the profession could be used to promote communication values for development.

He underscored the need for practitioners to showcase national values and present them to global market.

Oladele commended the minister for the support given to the Institute and for creating time to attend the event.

The minister also inaugurated a new Governing Council for the Institute to run for two years under the leadership of Oladele.

Some of the members of the Council are, former Defence Spokesperson, retired Gen. Chris Olukolade, former Director of Press and Protocol in the Ministry of Information and Culture, Mr Peter Dama and his successor, Mr Timothy Oyedeji.

Others are Mr Wale Adeniyi of Nigeria Customs Service, Alhaji Sule Yau a former Chief Press Secretary to Kano State Government and Alhaja Bola Osifeso.

10 members of NIPR were inducted to Fellowship of the Institute.

Source: (NAN)

National News

Shehu Sani Reacts To Hisbah’s Call For Scrapping Of Black Friday

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Shehu Sani Reacts To Hisbah's Call For Scrapping Of Black Friday

Shehu Sani

Former lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani has reacted to the call for the scrapping of the popular ‘Black Friday’sales by the Kano State Hisbah Board.

Recall that earlier on Friday, the board asked a radio station, demanding that it stops using the word “Black Friday” to refer to Friday.

Also Read: TECNO Stormed Computer Village with BBNaija’s OZO to Wrap up its Black Friday Sales Activities

The board explained that since Friday is regarded as a holy day in Islam, tagging it “Black Friday” is derogatory and a thus, should not be condoned.

Reacting to the statement, the former lawmaker from Kaduna described the threat by the Hisbah board as ‘nonsensical.”

He wrote:

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Court Orders Release Of Sen. Ndume From Kuje Prison

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Court Orders Release Of Sen. Ndume From Kuje Prison

Ali Ndume

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has granted bail to Senator Ali Ndume who was detained in prison on Monday following the failure to produce Abdulrasheed Maina in court.

This was made known by the presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang in a ruling on Friday, November 27.

Also Read: BREAKING: Court Fixes Date For Ndume’s Bail Application

He stated that he chose to grant the senator bail based on his record of good behaviour before the court, notwithstanding that the other grounds of his bail application failed.

Justice Abang granted bail to Senator Ndume pending the hearing and determination of the Borno South Senator’s appeal filed at the Court of Appeal to challenge Monday’s order.

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We Deliberately Shut Down Refineries – NNPC GMD

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We Deliberately Shut Down Refineries – NNPC GMD

NNPC boss, Mele Kyari

The Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, has expressed that the corporation deliberately shut down the nation’s refineries because they became unsustainable.

The GMD disclosed this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Upstream in Abuja.

He pointed out that the NNPC was unable to supply crude oil to the refineries, adding that the Excravos pipeline is the only one the NNPC managed to sustain through the contracting process.

He went on to express that it is practically impossible to run pipelines at their optimum capacity.

Also ReadBREAKING: NNPC Raises Petrol Depot Price, Marketers To Sell At N168-N170/Litre

“For instance, to run Kaduna and Warri refinery, you need to deliver 170,000 barrel of oil per day so that both will operate at 70 percent capacity,” he said.

Kyari said that at the moment, it only had over 5,000 kilometers of pipelines with 13 fuel depots, which according to him must be protected to forestall the activities of vandals.

“And I can tell you today that except the Atlas cove to Ibadan line and also the Portharcourt to Aba line, none of these pipelines is serviced.

“We cannot flow product into these lines, the cheap one is to say they are aged but the real reason is that the level of activities of vandals on these lines is gross, monumental, and profound.

“At every point within a month we fix 80 vandal points, the option is to shut them down and the result of having one depot is what we have seen in Lagos,” he said.

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