Fresh fraud cases have been uncovered in offices of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB, totalling N83m in Kano, Edo, Kogi, Gombe and Plateau states.
According to a report by Punch, while the board was investigating N31m misappropriated revenue in Edo and N20m in Kano, it was quizzing officials in Plateau and Gombe over N15m and N10m mismanaged in the states respectively. Also, it was learnt that the examination board was investigating the misappropriation of N7m in its office in Kogi State.
Fabian Benjamin, spokesman of JAMB, who confirmed the figures on Friday, said the board would be diligent in its investigations and would not tolerate corrupt practices from any of its officials. “We will monitor with careful scrutiny how workers handled public funds. We are trying to block all leakages and loopholes,” he said. The medium quoted a source as saying that all the workers of the board found to have been involved in corrupt activities being investigated had been suspended while investigations were ongoing.
“What happened was that we had a panel session in Abuja and most of the state coordinators could not account for how some monies were spent or remitted. The coordinator of Kano State could not account for N20m, while the Edo (office) could not account for N31m. In Plateau State, we are looking at N15m. For Kogi State, we have about N7m that is a source of contention while Gombe office has N10m that is also a source of contention. You can then sum it up and know how much corruption ate deep into some officials. The registrar is frank and thorough about the investigations and he has warned to transfer some of the cases to the police and to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.”
A case of N36m allegedly misappropriated by a clerk at the JAMB office in Makurdi, Benue State, Philomena Chieshe, was recently reported by the media. It was reported that Chieshe had claimed in her statement that a mystery snake sneaked into the accounts office and swallowed the cash. Also, another JAMB worker in Nasarawa State, Labaran Tanko, was reported on Wednesday to be undergoing investigation over a suspected fraud involving N26m.
Tanko had claimed that the N26m, which was the worth of unsold Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination scratch cards, got burnt in his car during an accident while he was on his way to remit the cards at the JAMB office in Abuja. Both Chieshe and Tanko are still under investigation.
Source – Punch
2020 Finance Bill Exempts Minimum Wage Earners From Tax: Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed that the recently proposed 2020 Finance Bill will exempt workers earning the minimum wage from paying tax.
Buhari disclosed this on Monday in a speech delivered virtually by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo at the opening session of the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit Group Conference themed: “Building Partnerships for Resilience.”
“We are proposing in the new Finance Act that those who earn minimum wage should be exempted from paying income tax,” he was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.
“These provisions which complement the tax breaks given to small businesses last year will not only further stimulate the economy but are also a fulfilment of promises made to take steps to help reduce the cost of transportation and the impact of inflation on ordinary Nigerians.”
Nigeria Will Exit Recession By First Quarter Of 2021 – Finance Minister
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed has revealed that Nigeria would emerge from recession in the fourth quarter of this year or by the first quarter of 2021.
Speaking on Monday at the ongoing 26th Nigerian Economic Summit organized by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab said the current recession would be short-lived.
She blamed COVID-19 for the current recession, saying it followed the pattern across the world where many countries had entered an economic recession.
“Nigeria is not alone in this, but I will say that Nigeria has outperformed all of these economies in terms of the record of a negative growth,” Ahmed said.
Court Remands Nigerian Senator, Ali Ndume, In Prison
Senator Ali Ndume, the lawmaker representing Borno South Senatorial district has been ordered on Monday by a federal high court to be sent to prison.
The order follows his inability to produce Abdulrasheed Maina, the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Task Team, whom he stood as surety for in his corruption and money laundering trial.
The high court, sitting in Abuja was presided over by Justice Okon Abang and ordered Senator Ndume to be remanded in Kuje correctional centre.
Justice Abang, however, gave three conditions upon which Ndume can regain his freedom namely payment of N500m bail bond into the Federation Account of the Federal Government and present evidence of such payment in court or the FG sells the property situated in Asokoro, Abuja which Ndume pledge as security for the bond and present evidence of sale and payment of the N500m realised into the Federation Account or he (Ndume) produces Maina, who is believed to have now jumped bail, in court.
Shortly after the pronouncement by the Judge, Senator Ndume was led away from the courtroom by security operatives.
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