Buratai Warns Against Delay In Payment Of Troops’ Salaries

Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai, yesterday, warned against delay in payment of salaries and allowances of troops engaged in the fight against insurgency in the North East.

Buratai, who spoke while declaring open, a seminar on Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, for army personnel, in Abuja, insisted that prompt and accelerated payment of salaries and allowances to the fighting troops was one of the ways of boosting their moral.

He admitted that the objectives of the IPPIS were to ensure transparency, accountability and improve the effectiveness of payroll administration in all government ministries and agencies, adding that the development would present new challenges in the management of troops’ salaries and allowances.

He said: “I approve this seminar and know that the implementation of IPPIS in the military will present new challenges in the management of troops’ salaries and allowances. “I am hereby charging the finance corps to ensure that the nuances of transition are well understood so as to continue to boost the morale of the fighting troops.

“We understand that seamless, timely and regular payment of personnel salaries and allowances are an essential ingredient for the sustenance of morale of the troops.

“This is especially important towards the current ongoing efforts at consolidating on the counter-terrorism efforts in the north eastern part of the country and indeed all other operations around the country.”



Niger State To Stop Payment Of WAEC/NECO Fees For Students

Niger government said it will discontinue the payment of West African Examination Certificate (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO), fees for its students in Secondary Schools in the state.

Gov. Sani Bello of Niger, disclosed this on Tuesday when he visited Justice Legbo Kutigi Secondary School to inspect the ongoing renovation of the school in Lavun local government areas of the state.

Bello said that government can not continue to pay N800 million every year for students that only 5 per cent of them are able to pass with four credits.

He said government would rather invest such money in infrastructure development and provisions of instructional materials for qualitative education.

“We must review the issue of the payment of NECO and WAEC fees because at the moment, we are still owing NECO and WAEC about N800 millions .

“Government spend such huge money for students that cannot even have four credits. Only about five per cent of students will have four credits and above.

“Basically, it is like we are throwing away money. We will rather stop and invest the money on the facilities so that with time we will get good results.

“We have made efforts to pay part of the money and the results will be released.

“The Commissioner for Finance has met with NECO and WAEC officials and there is an understanding that the debt issue will be addressed, “he said.

He said that the payment of examination fees would henceforth be based on criteria where only best performing students would be selected as beneficiaries.

Credit: NAN

Fashola Confirms N70bn Payment To FG Contractors

The Minister of Power Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola has confirmed that about N70 billion has been paid to contractors out of the N102 billion released to his ministry.

He disclosed at the ongoing town hall meeting in Abuja, that following the payment, contractors were able to resume back to their construction sites.

According to him, there are over 200 on-going road projects valued at N2 trillion under supervision of the ministry. He added that the N19 billion initially released from the 2015 budget was grossly inadequate.

Fashola emphasized that work has resumed at Kano-Katsina road, Port-Harcourt-Enugu road, Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Loko-Oweto Bridge, and this has invariably led to economic improvement in the communities around those sites.

He said previous governments gave more attention to recurrent expenditure as against the capital expenditure, which according to him, worked negatively against the nation’s infrastructure and the economy.

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Fashola confirms N70bn payment to FG contractors

Dasuki Authorized Payment Of $40m To Jonathan’s Cousin’s Company– Witness

A prosecution witness, Ibrahim Mahir, has testified that retired Col. Sambo Dasuki authorised the payment of 40 million dollars in favour of One Plus Holdings.

Mahir made this known when he testified in the case of Azibaola Roberts, cousin to former President Goodluck Jonathan at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday.

He said that Dasuki, a former National Security Adviser (NSA), instructed him to prepare a payment mandate of 40 million dollars in favour of the company.Roberts and his wife Stella were arraigned on June 8 on a seven-count charge of money laundering.

Mahir, who was the first prosecution witness, told the court that Dasuki had endorsed a memo to him with details of the company’s account.

“On Aug. 20, 2014, the NSA endorsed a memo to me which originated from the director of finance and administration in the office of the NSA giving bank details of a company called One Plus.

“The memo also gave details of the purpose for which the company was to be paid the sum of 40 million dollars.

“The NSA instructed me to prepare payment and my understanding of that was that I should prepare the payment mandate for One Plus for his signature.

“After I got the memo, I prepared the payment mandate, sent it to him, he signed and sent it back to me.

“The subsequent necessary action was for me to countersign, which I did and I sent it to the CBN for payment,” Mahir said.

Earlier, Roberts’ lead counsel, Mr Chris Uche (SAN), had applied for a short adjournment.

Uche said the adjournment would give him time to meet with his client to prepare his defence.

He said that when bail was granted, his team had difficulties in perfecting the bail conditions, adding that the conditions were only perfected last week.

He said they needed more time to prepare their defence because there were some documents that they needed to subpoena from the office of the NSA.

Uche also sighted indisposition as part of the reasons his team was asking for an adjournment.

Credit: Guardian

FG To Begin Payment Of Salaries By 25th Of Every Month– AGF

The Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris, says the Federal Government plans to begins payment of staff salaries by the 25th of every month, as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Idris, who disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday, said “this is going to be given a test, I believe, by this month’’.

The AGF also said that the government was working on a new arrangement, which, if approved, would ensure payment of the salaries before the monthly meeting of the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC).

According to him, usually, salaries are paid after the FAAC meeting, where revenue accruing to the federation’s account are shared between the federal, state and local governments.

“There is a standing instruction of Mr President to pay salary on or before 24 or 25 of every month and we will try as much as possible to comply and to abide by that.

“We are taking a step further to make a provision whereby we can accommodate salary payments even before FAAC.

“This is going to be given a test I believe by this month.

“We will go to seek for necessary approval of our political masters to make sure that at least salary and other statutory payments are made even before FAAC.

“Because we can project how much they are and therefore we can prepare and hit the ground running to make them realisable and actualised.

“Even where we delay FAAC, we can still pay salary.’’

Idris dispelled the widely held belief that the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy is responsible for the delay in the payment of salaries and attributed the situation to the crash in global oil prices, which has affected the inflow of income to the country

Credit: Leadership

Confusion Over MTN’s Payment Of N50bn Fine To FG

There was a mild drama yesterday when the Minister of Communication Technology, Adebayo Shittu, distanced the ministry from the negotiation deal which culminated in the payment of N50bn by MTN Nigeria Limited instead of N1.04trn fine imposed on the telecommunications giant by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for SIM deactivation defaults.

Also, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), denied entering any agreement so far with MTN over the fine.

The revelations were made yesterday before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Telecommunications on the heels of the payment of N50bn by MTN to the Federal Government as against as the actual fine imposed on it by the NCC.

The Committee had summoned both ministers, the executive vice chairman of NCC, Prof. Garba Dambatta, and the chief executive officer of MTN over the circumstances surrounding the payment of N50bn by MTN and an alleged offensive letter earlier written to the lawmakers by the MTN CEO.

But the MTN CEO earlier apologised to the committee members and consequently withdrawn the letter as demanded by the lawmakers.

“I will like to say categorically that MTN and I takes this body in high esteem. And I apologise wholeheartedly for not attending the previous meeting. I withdraw the letter the committee is referring to. I beg for your forgiveness,” he said.

For his part, Shittu told the lawmakers that he only got to know about the matter through a letter dated February 3, 2016 addressed to him, Finance Minister and the Accountant-General of the Federation on the settlement proposal by MTN.

Credit: Leadership

Stranded Nigerian Students Abroad Write Minister, Demand Payment Of Allowances

Over 300 Nigerians on Federal Government Bilateral Agreement Education Scholarship Scheme abroad have petitioned the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, demanding the full payment of their 2015 stipends, including their allowances and return tickets for graduating students.

The students, under the aegis of “Ph.D and Senior Postgraduate Students on BEA Scholarship,” said they did not receive their entitlements between January and December 2015 thereby causing them hardship.

The scheme is a bilateral agreement between the Nigerian government, through the ministry of education and the federal scholarship board, and other countries to train students in various fields while the home government takes care of their upkeep during their stay in the host countries.

It is the largest federal government scholarship scheme with students in Russia, China, Ukraine, Cuba, Hungary, Egypt, Morocco and Algeria.

In the letter dated January 3, 2016 and signed by their president, O.G Ezinkwo, the students, numbering 375, told the minister that they and 600 other beneficiaries around the world had been abandoned for 11 months with no source of livelihood due to the inability of the government to promptly release their stipends.

They said the development had exposing them to very dangerous and pernicious situation in foreign lands.

They claimed that every year Nigerian scholarship students always had to be evicted from their accommodation due to inability to pay, visas and passports get expired with no funds to renew them.

They also stated that in the process some of the students became sick and could not be treated due to the lack of the mandatory health insurance and were always being threatened with expulsion on an annual basis.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Pensioners Demand Payment Of 42 Months Arrears

As part of the annual celebration of the Pensioners’ Day, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has demanded the payment of its members’ 42 months pension arrears without further delay.

In a communique released after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, the NUP also called on the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) to quickly address the problems being encountered by pensioners in the ongoing biometric/verification exercise.

The pensioners appealed to the Office of the Accountant General, Budget Office of the Federation and PTAD to work together towards ensuring that their pensions are paid as at when due.

“We demand that the arrears of 42 months of 33 per cent pension increase should be paid without further delay. We also demand the balance of 20.4 per cent that is overdue,” the communique, signed by the national president of NUP, Dr. Abel Afolayan, and the general secretary, Elder Actor Zal, said.

Credit: Leadership

FG Approves N407bn Payment To Oil Marketers

The Federal Government on Wednesday finally approved the payment of N407.07bn as fuel subsidy to oil marketers.

The payment was confirmed by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, through a statement issued by the Director, Press in the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Marshal Gundu.

The payments according to the statement include arrears from the 2014 financial year as well as payments for the current year.

The minister in the statement said the approval was given following a directive issued by President Muhammadu Buhari that the amount be paid immediately to the oil marketers in order to end the lingering fuel scarcity in the country.

It called on the oil marketers to reciprocate the action of the Federal Government by ensuring that all fuel queues disappear within the shortest time possible.

The fuel scarcity which has been on for about a month had caused severe hardship to Nigerians.

The minister in the statement said despite the dwindling revenues, the Federal Government is still committed towards ensuring that Petroluem products are made available to Nigerians.

Credit: Punch

Petroleum Marketers To Get Outstanding Payment Next Week– Kachikwu

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has assured petroleum marketers that outstanding payment for products imported would be made next week.

Dr. Kachikwu spoke after a tour of service stations and depots in Lagos on Tuesday.

He was accompanied by the Managing Director of Pipelines and Product Marketing Company and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) officials.

The Minister said there was enough petrol to dispense and wondered why cases of scarcity persisted.

Dr. Kachikwu, however, admitted that there was a shortfall in supply, as a lot of marketers were not bringing in products because they were owed subsidy money.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Minister Of Youth & Sports Confirms Payment Of N5,000 To Unemployed Nigerians Begins 2016

The federal government has assured that it would commence payment of N5,000 promised unemployed Nigerian youth during the electioneering campaign, from 2016 .

The minister of youth and sports, Solomon Dalong, made the commitment on Wednesday when he paid a condolence visit on the national chairman of the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, John Odigie-Oyegun, over the death of the party’s governorship candidate in the recently held inconclusive election in Kogi state, Abubakar Audu.

Mr. Dalong, who spoke to journalists during the visit , said the APC government was fully committed to fulfilling all campaign promises made before the last elections.

He said the payment of the promised N5 , 000 can only begin after it had been included in the budget.

“I would want the youth to understand that every promise must be backed up by budgetary provision and our promise to pay N5000 is not contained in the 2015 budget. So, definitely, it is going to begin in 2016 as we have made budgetary allocations for that,” he said.

“We are committed to the campaign promises of creating jobs, providing wealth and combat poverty. We have embedded in our manifesto things that we are translating to reality .”

Credit: PremiumTimes

Subsidy: Controversy Trails Payment Of N413bn To Oil Marketers

Controversy is now trailing the payment of N413billion to oil marketers, as the Senate, which is expected to give approval to the payment , has claimed that there is no supplementary budget before it for the amount .

The development came just as   the Minister of State for Petroleum Dr Ibe Kachikwu stated that the marketers would be paid next week.

Spokesman of the Senate, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi, yesterday said no supplementary budget for the payment of the N413billion subsidy claims for petroleum marketers has been received from the executive,.

Abdullahi stated this while briefing Senate correspondents in Abuja yesterday.

He said, “With respect to the issue of subsidy, the Senate is surely concerned about it because we are all affected. Nobody is left out because there is no separate filling station for certain category of people.

“If the supplementary budget comes, we will do justice to it. It’s a priority and it will be given expeditious treatment when it is eventually unveiled but that does not mean that action was not being taken.

Responding to a question on whether the 2016 Budget will not be delayed because the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) has not been sent to them by the executive, Abdullahi said the budget is a process, adding that the constitution of the Federal Executive Council and the inauguration of the Senate committees this week will facilitate speedy process.

He said, “The three-year MTEF had already been laid before the Seventh Senate but with the coming on board of the new government, there would be reviews and the cabinet is just coming up.

Credit: Leadership

Finally! Benue Govt Begins Payment of Salary Arrears

There was jubilation in all nooks and crannies of Benue State yesterday as the state government commenced payment of salary arrears of civil servants.

The former Governor Gabriel Suswam administration had owed salaries of workers for several months. The former administration said it lacked adequate finances to offset the backlog of salaries due to the dwindling federal allocation.

However, Governor Samuel Ortom had on assumption of office about a month ago, told the state workers that his administration would ensure that the salary arrears were cleared. He also sought a loan of N10billion in that regard.

Following the commencement of payment, the state workers had started receiving alerts from various banks, for their monthly salary payment since Tuesday and the exercise continued till yesterday.

Yesterday, the civil servants thronged to various markets in Makurdi and other major towns to purchase some items, just as many went to mechanic sites to repair their vehicles while others converged at varied unwinding spots discussing the development.

It was further learnt that some tertiary institutions in the state that were shut down including the Benue State University Makurdi are warming up to reopen. The striking lecturers have also received the alerts for payment of the owed salaries.

A civil servant who simply gave his name as Gwar, said, “because of the payment of the owed salary, I came with my wife and children to purchase items that we can use at home and they will also take to school.”


Lagos Promises Continuous Payment Of WASSCE Fee For Students

The Lagos State Government has vowed continuous payment of fee for all SS3 students sitting for the West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in public schools in the state.

The Commissioner for Education, Olayinka Oladunjoye, on Monday at a press briefing in Lagos, stated that the government had already paid over N535 million to the West African Examination Council (WAEC) as examination and administrative fees for 42,995 SS3 students, who were currently sitting for the May/June 2015 examination in the state.

She said government was determined to ensure academic excellence through relevant and high quality learning at all levels by organising daily ‘after school coaching programme’ for JS3 and SS3 students as well as ‘Saturday coaching’ in core subjects of English and Mathematics for SS3 students.

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PDP Demands Payment For Rivers Workers Before Handover

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has demanded that the outgoing administration of Governor Rotimi Amaechi pay all outstanding salaries and allowances of civil servants before it handed over power on May 29.

State Chairman, Felix Obuah, said PDP expressed shock at the comments credited to the outgoing Information Commissioner, Ibim Semenitari in which she claimed that the outgoing All Progressives Congress (APC) government was not indebted to workers in the state.

“The comments by the outgoing Information Commissioner portrayed her as not just a professional liar but also a stranger who is not on ground with the goings-on in the State.”

Obuah said for the avoidance of doubts, the PDP drewthe attention of. Semenitari to the plight of workers at the Rivers State Polytechnics, Bori, who for the past three months are reportedly yet to get their salaries.

“The Party tasks the Information Commissioner to go and ask workers at the Rivers State College of Arts and Science (RIVCAS), who have been praying and fasting for months over government’s refusal to pay their salaries,” he said.

PDP recalled that only on Monday, athletes who would be representing Rivers State in the forthcoming National Sports Festival in Calabar, staged a protest to the Government House to demand the payment of allowances of several months.

“The story is not different at the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Port Harcourt where, according to the PDP, workers are languishing in penury owing to months of unpaid salaries.”

Obuah said Semenitari should talk to lecturers and teachers in the employ of the State government, workers at the Ministries, as well as their counterparts at the parastatals, institutions and agencies of government and hear about the last time they got paid by the Rivers State Government under the Governor RotimiAmaechi led government.

“The PDP Chairman therefore, calls on Semenitari to hide her face in shame and publicly apologize to Rivers people and workers for deliberately lying to them,” Obuah said.

Credit: CAJ News

Fuel Crisis: Marketers Deny Receiving Payment From Govt, Say Strike Continues

Despite the claim by the Federal Government that N156 billion was released on Thursday to oil marketers to facilitate the quick resolution of the current fuel crisis, the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), has said normal lifting of fuel will not resume till their members’ accounts are duly credited by the banks.

As at 4.35 p.m. on Thursday, the Executive Secretary, Depot & Petroleum Products Marketers Association(DAPPMA), Odufemi Adewole, told PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview that none of its members and their counterparts in the Major Oil Marketers Association(MOMAN), had confirmed receiving any payment.

“The money government said it was paying to marketers has not yet hit our accounts. So, there is little we can do about the situation,” Mr, Adewole said. “The money the Minister of Finance promised to pay us last February did not get into our hands till about four or five weeks later.

“If all members are not getting the money today, it means we have to wait till Monday. But, the truth is that nobody is going to call off the strike till the money is paid,” he added.

With Friday declared work-free day to mark workers’ day, it means consumers would have to grapple with terrible fuel supply crisis till next week when the payment may hit the marketers’ accounts.

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