Buhari Fires DG Of NTDC, Sally Mbanefo

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the removal of the Director General of the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs. Sally Mbanefo.

It was gathered  that the Director General has been asked to handover the affairs of NTDC to the next most senior officer.

The removal of the Chief Executive was contained in a November 27, 2016 letter which was signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. Babachir David Lawal.

The letter was titled “Notification of de-secondment from the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC).

The letter reads: “I refer to the attached letter, Ref. No. SGF.6/S.23/1/568 of 8th October, 2013 in respect of your secondment from the Keystone Bank Limited to serve as Executive Director/ Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) for a period of two years with effect from 6th May 2013.

You may note from the foregoing that the period of your secondment at the corporation had since lapsed on 5th May 2016.

Consequently, you are to handover the affairs of the corporation to the most senior officer on or before Wednesday, 30th November, 2016.”



Witness tells court how Ex DG of NIMASA, others laundered billions of Naira

An Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) witness, Kanu Idagu, in the ongoing trial of former Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Patrick Akpobolokemi, and nine others yesterday told a Federal High Court in Lagos how the defendants set up some committees to launder billions of naira belonging to the agency.

Akpobolokemi is standing trial alongside nine others on a 40-count charge bordering on conspiracy, fraud and money laundering.

Others facing the same charge are: Captain Bala Agaba; Ekene Nwakuche; Felix Bob-Nabena; Captain Warredi Enisouh; Governor Juan; Ugo Frederick and Timi Alari.

Also charged are two companies; Al-kenzo Ltd and Penniel Engineering Services Ltd.

They had all pleaded not guilty to the charge and were granted bail by the court.

Idagu, an operative of EFCC, while being led in evidence by the prosecutor, Festus Keyamo, told the court that as head of the EFCC Special Task Force, he co-ordinates investigations, as well as carries out searches and arrest.

The witness also informed the court that the force received a petition in the last quarter of 2015, of some activities in NIMASA, during the period when Akpobolokemi was DG.

According to him, his team embarked on investigation and in the process, discovered that NIMASA had set up various committees some of which were used to launder monies through companies and bureau de change.

Idagu further testified that a committee on intelligence was set up and headed by the second accused, with an Access bank account number 0688939609 opened for the receipt of monies.

He said, “Between Dec. 20, 2013 and July 7, 2015, the committee received money in tranches running into 1.5 billion.

“The chairman of the committee raised several internal memos to the director of finance and accounts, wherein it was claimed that the funds were to be used for intelligence based security activities.

“The companies used in furtherance of these activities were either owned or nominated by NIMASA staffs for their personal use,” he said.

He told the court that one of such companies was Aler Integrated Services Ltd, whose alter ego was one Uche Obilor.

“Another company is Kofa Fada Ltd, a bureau de change company which the second accused instructed Obilor to transfer the sum of N10 million into.

“The sum of N2 million was also transferred into the account of one Al-Kenzo Logistics.”

NYSC DG Urges Corps Members To Marry Each Other

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has urged corps members from different tribes to intermarry, as an avenue of boosting national integration.

The Director General of the Corps, Brigadier General Suleiman Kazaure, gave the urge when he visited the 2016 Batch A (Stream II) corps members undergoing their orientation programme.

He noted that the essence of the scheme is to ensure national integration, which would bring the desired unity which the country earnestly desires.

“I wish to see you to intermarry within the orientation period to enhance national integration, as this would be achieved through adequate bonding in the camp.

The DG remarked that Nigeria needs unity and development, as the outlined camp activities such as military drills, skills acquisition and sporting activities would prepare the Corps members for life within and after the service year.

“The Ramadan did not stop us from coming to the camp as I received lots of text messages inquiring about the possibility of organizing the camp with the approach of the period.”

 He noted that he insisted that the orientation programme would be organized and by God’s grace it went on and the Corps members would soon leave the camp.

“Corps members would not be posted to Ishiellu Local Government Area where the Ezza–Ezillo communal war took place until we get assurances of adequate security in the area.

Kazaure also advised the corps members to be security conscious and ensure that they go out in the company of friends and colleagues instead of going out alone.

“You should also pay special attention to skill acquisition while in the camp and the entire service year, to enable them be self reliant and not rely on white collar jobs.

The Ebonyi State Coordinator of the Scheme, Mrs Gladys Mbachi, told the DG that 1, 932 Corps members were undergoing the programme with 1, 346 males and 586 females.

“The corps members have been behaving well since they arrived in the camp, though we presently have some health challenges.

She noted that one of the corps members has a mental problem while three others have asthmatic cases, but all have been referred to the hospital for adequate medical attention.

Credit: Nation

EFCC Arrests Suspended Pension DG, Others For N2.5bn fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested the suspended Director-General, of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, Nelly Mayshak, and three others, Yoab Youssoufou, Patricia Iyogun, and Ruth Imonikhe for a N2.5bn fraud.

PTAD is an independent pension agency established in August 2013 to oversee the management of pensions under the Defined Benefit Scheme for pensioners not transiting to the defined contributory scheme.

It will be recalled that Mayshak was last month placed on an indefinite suspension and investigated after it was discovered that she allegedly received N50m monthly in salary and allowances.

According to sources at the EFCC, investigations into the alleged fraud revealed that Mayshak allegedly misappropriated about N2bn that was left in the pensions’ account of the Head of the Civil Service, Nigeria Immigrations Service, Nigeria Customs Service, and Nigeria Prisons Service.

She also allegedly embezzled about N500m meant as the take-off grant for PTAD.

The alleged scam, which borders on procurement fraud, was committed during her three-year tenure.

A detective at the anti-graft agency told our correspondent that Mayshak allegedly awarded several fictitious contracts to her cronies at PTAD, one of whom was her sister-in-law.

A source at the EFCC said, “In one instance, Mayshak allegedly approved N25,410,000 for the supply of 121,000,000 litres of fuel in one day when in fact there was no corresponding storage capacity, as PTAD only has a storage capacity of about 11,000 litres, which lasts for about a month.

“Mayshak is alleged to have awarded several phony contracts to cronies and members of staff of PTAD, through which she used to enrich herself as they only served as fronts for her.

“Between December 8 and 30, 2014 she awarded multiple contracts to one company , Interactive Wide Nigeria Limited  to the tune of N29,377,993.26. Contracts for the supply of office materials, air conditioners, and conference materials to the tune of N375, 704,287 were awarded to Belzacode, Hosley Nigeria Limited, and Pabak Nigeria Limited.”

Investigations revealed that one of the suspects, Yousoufou, who is the Team Leader, ICT Department, owned Belzacode; while Imonihke, Team Leader, DG’s Office, owned Hosley Nigeria Limited. Iyogun, who is Team Leader, Customs, Immigration, Prisons, Pensions Department, and also a sister-in-law to Mayshak, owned Pabak Nigeria Limited.

The anti-graft agency, however, said the three suspects were merely fronts for the prime suspect, Mayshak.

The suspects will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.

The latest arrest of Mayshak is one of many pension scams in recent times.

Credit: Punch

Shiite/ Army Clash: 347 Corpses Were Buried In Mass Grave, Says DG Of Interfaith

Facts about the casualty figures during the December 12, 2015, clashes between the Nigerian Army and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (also known as Shiites) in Zaria have emerged with the disclosure that 347 corpses were buried in a mass grave.

Making the disclosure at the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the Kaduna state government to investigate the clashes, Kaduna state Director General of Interfaith, Alhaji Namadi Musa, said a total of 347 corpses were given mass burial in Mando area at the outskirts of the metropolis.

Testifying on Monday before the commission headed by Justice Muhammad Lawal Garba, Musa said he personally conducted the mass burial, adding that he counted the bodies as they were being put in the mass grave.

He explained that the corpses comprises of 191 from the Army depot in Zaria and another 156 from the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hostpital (ABUTH), Shika, Zaria.
According to him, one Major Ogundare from the Nigerian Army Depot, Zaria led three military trucks loaded with corpses from the army depot while he (Musa) had five Mercedes Benz trucks loaded which with corpses and were taken to a mass grave in Mando area at the outskirts of Kaduna Metropolis and buried in a mass grave.

He added that it was during the mass burial that he had the opportunity to meticulously count the corpses as they were being dropped in the grave.

He disclosed further that it took five and a half hours – from 12:30am on December 14 to about 5:30am to bury all the corpses in one mass grave.

Credit: Thisday

FG Appoints Peterside As DG NIMASA

The Federal Government on Thursday appointed Dr Dakuku Peterside as the Director General of Nigerian Maritime administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

A statement signed by Yetunde Sonaike, the Director, Public Relations, Ministry of Transportation in Abuja said that the appointment was with immediate effect.

Peterside was the governorship candidate of APC in April.11, 2015 governorship election in River state and also a former member, House of Representative from 2011 to 2015.

According to the statement, Peterside has a Doctorate Degree in Management Science from the University of Port Harcourt and MBA in Business Administration.

He also holds a Bachelor Degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences (B.MLS) in Hematology from Rivers State University of Science and Technology.

Credit: NAN

President Buhari Appoints New DG (Budget), Special Adviser (Planning)

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Tijjani Mohammed Abdullahi as the Director-General (Budget).


Notice of the appointment is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the president.


It stated that Abdullahi, a fellow of the Certified National Accountants of Nigeria and a banker with experience in managing public finance, would replace the current Director-General (Budget), Yahaya Gusau.


According to the statement, the new Director-General (Budget) is expected to work with the Minister of Budget and National Planning to efficiently deliver on the mandates of the Budget Office of the Federation.


The President had also approved the appointment of Mr Ben Ifeanyi Akabueze as Special Adviser on Planning to the Minister of Budget and National Planning.


Akabueze, the immediate past Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget in Lagos State, had worked in senior management positions in Citi Bank, Fidelity Bank, United Bank for Africa, NAL Merchant Bank, Sterling Bank and BIA Consulting Limited, among others.


He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers; Fellow, Institute of Credit Administrators and Honorary Fellow, Chartered Institute of Bankers.




Buhari appoints Aliu Aziz As New NIMC DG

President Buhari yesterday approved the appointment of Engineer Aliyu Aziz Abubakar, as the new director general and Chief Executive Officer of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC). The new DG was a pioneer staff of NIMC and the director, Information Technology/ National Identity Database department of NIMC before he retired in 2014. He holds a B.Eng in Civil Engineering and M.Sc in Structural Engineering with Specialty in Computer Aided Design from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria.

No Ghost Corps Member In NYSC, DG Debunks Media Report

The Director General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig-Gen. Johnson Olawumi, debunked a media report in one of the national dailies that there were ghost corps members, serving with the scheme.

Olawumi refuted the report during the 2015 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Desk Officers’ Training Workshop with the theme: ‘Broadening the Horizon of FOIA Desk Officers for Enhanced Compliance’, in Abuja.

The DG noted that the report might not be unconnected to failure of the newspaper to cross check the information at their disposal or inability to access such information, directing NYSC Desk Officers across the country to always comply with the Act.

“I am imploring you! Please, make information available, if you don’t do that you are giving people opportunity to fill all the gaps with whatever they have,” he directed.

According to him; “With the commitment of the present administration to fighting corruption, promotion of the rule of law and other fundamentals of good governance, the implementation of the FOIA must be given additional impetus not only by the NYSC, but all stakeholders in the Nigerian project.

“It is in furtherance of this that, I seize the opportunity to announce that corps members will be used to enlighten our citizens at the grassroot on their right to seek for information on government policies and their implementation.

“The scheme will liaise with the Federal Ministry of Justice to ensure a quick take-off of this initiative.”

Read Morevanguardngr


NYSC DG Tasks Rivers Politicians & Supporters On Peace, Assures Safety Of Corps Members

Politicians in Rivers and their supporters have been advised to ensure that peace prevailed in the state during the governorship and House of Assembly elections on Saturday. Director- General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Johnson Olawumi, gave the advice on Thursday in Port Harcourt while addressing NYSC members in the state. “I want to use this opportunity to call on politicians in Rivers state that they should please plead with their supporters not to perpetrate violence during the elections,” he said.

Olawumi, however, assured no fewer than 4,631 corps members in the state, including those that would participate in the elections, of their safety. He urged them to go about their electoral duties without fear, saying that it was part of their national assignment. He advised the corps members against arguments with people on any issue whenever their lives were threatened. “When you are under threat; if anybody threatens you at gun point, don’t just argue, let him snatch whatever he wants to snatch way.

“Your security is paramount; go back and do your report and we make the report available to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and result of such place will be cancelled,” he said.

The director-general also advised the NYSC members to alert security agencies whenever they sensed danger to enable security personnel rescue them. “I want you to help us as far as your security is concerned. When you notice that something is going wrong, just quickly make a call and we will get people to come and rescue you,” he advised. He told the corps members to remain neutral while performing the electoral duties, saying, “we want you as much as possible to be very neutral, maintain your neutrality, do not be biased, perform your duty professionally”.

In his contribution, Koko Essien, Commander of 2 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, said dedicated security telephone numbers of military personnel on patrol duty would be passed to NYSC members on election duty. According to him, once a call comes from any of three dedicated lines, the patrol team will know it is from an NYSC member in distress and will go for rescue operation. Essien advised the corps members not to wait until they were in danger before making calls to the numbers, saying “you should call the moment you sense danger”.

Credit: NAN

Opposition to NYSC N4000 Charge is Misleading- Tope Adesipo

I was almost joining protests against what I initially thought were exploitative and unnecessary  steps being taken by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) over the online registration of prospective corps members. I observed quiet a few opposing views to it Many of which queried why fresh graduate should be asked to pay such outrageous amount. I was almost joining the bandwagon because of the preponderance of opinion.

Fortunately for me, Japheth Omojuwa  weighed  in on the matter and invited the NYSC DG for a tweet chat which threw light on the whole matter. The NYSC DG stated that the 4000 is optional and not mandatory I quickly paused and retraced. And may I say the bandwagon effect on social media particularly twitter is epic anyway I  discovered I was on the verge of barking up the wrong tree.

As I discovered from the DG that day, that  the N4000 for printing of call up letter was not mandatory for all prospective corps members. I had to check the tweet from the DG that states that particular line again to be sure it says the correct thing.  The 4000 is not mandatory and prospective Corp members who wished to  go to their institutions to pick up theirs can do so without any penalty. I wanted to be sure I was not getting the whole thing mixed up.

From then, I started wondering what would have caused the uproar about the fee. My thinking was this may well be smacks of mischief and hypocrisy or how would  you describe a situation where people raise opposition to a fantastic opportunity for students who schooled very far away from their home and foreign students?

I was posted to Lagos, I schooled in Abeokuta. You know what transportation cost is even from Lagos to Abeokuta. But if mine was easy as it may seems, what about my foreign students friends? They all narrated their ordeal at processing and getting call up letters in Abuja while in camp. Having to travel to Abuja severally and all  the stress and risk involve with traveling by road in Nigeria or even flying is enough to pay more than N4000 for. But that is even for a foreign students, what about Kolapo who lived in Lagos but schooled at Ahmadu Bello university Zaria? Should he travel about 16 hours to pick up call up letter? And let’s assume he is posted to Akwa Ibom, he would have to be on the road for about 3 days. Now, I have lost count on how many prospective corp members that have lost their lives during transit with this arrangement in the past.  Makes me wonder why the initiative didn’t come earlier, maybe those lives would have been saved.

The NYSC position that it is optional makes it  a matter of choice. It’s like having rice to cook at home but you closed late from work and  you choose to visit Tastee fried chicken (TFC)  to get rice. The most important thing is you get to eat rice either way but considering various variables you choose which is best for you. You got to a car station, you are presented with an option of  an automatic or a manual, both of course having same functions. A car is car but of course the choice is yours based on certain variables that you might have considered. Now we want the NYSC to provide the service for free? That’s where the hypocrisy comes in. If you accept that we should have public and private varsities, then you have no moral ground to continue to complain about this fee. Why? Because we have come to accept the reality that at some point the society needs to be presented with a choice of the same service. And the alternative may not be cheap. I paid 14K per year throughout my 5years in the university when you press your calculator the entire fee is not up to half of what Covenant university  pays in a year. But maybe I digressed a little. Fact is the man who went to Covenant university and myself, either way, are both graduates of a university in Nigeria  but I chose which is best for me based on certain things I considered. You tell us there are no free lunch in Freetown, you believe there is no way LASU students should pay as low as 25K becoause it’s too small and you didn’t talk about government funding Education to at least meet up UNESCO’s standard of 26.6%. How do you want me to listen when you say Government should cater for the N4000 charge in its budget. It is the height of hypocrisy in my opinion. I look at the NLC position on the matter for instance, nothing best describes the hypocrisy of the NLC. Last year during the ASUU struggle the only role  a supposed workers and Masses movement played was to to be use as conduit to  pressurize  its affiliate to give in to Government. Various other disgraceful roles of the NLC from 2012 till date are well documented. Now it sees an opportunity in here to score cheap popularity the NLC opposition to it is misleading, lame and could be detrimental to this laudable initiative.  We are talking about Government reducing it’s spending right? But we want this to be in 2015 budget. I see “Kagawa’s logic” at its very best here.

Some people  believe we should dismiss the claim that it is optional. They based their argument on the fact that this is Nigeria and we are Nigerians and as such sooner or later, the fee will be made compulsory for prospective Corp members . I think why the country remains the way it is, is because we have come to accept absurdity as the norm. We say “Sebi this is Nigeria, certain things must be abnormal and we will accept it”. If we as citizens do not think the promise the organisation made about it not being mandatory is a promise it must live up to,  or if we do not not think the onus is on us as citizens to hold them accountable to their words, then we are the real problem here. I believe this is what the agitations should be all about. Not outright scrapping of the initiative. Our concern should be that the services are also provided for a Bimbo who schooled at the University of Lagos but stays in Ikorodu. Ensuring she still has the option of going to Akoka to pick her call up letter. That option must stay intact for as long as the other exist. That is where the docile national assembly members looking for popularity can come in, that is where NLC can hold the NYSC accountable not rejecting this laudable initiative and its lifeline  in its entirety.

Tope Adesipo  Lagos, Nigeria