23 Rights Groups Seek Review Of EFCC Act By NASS

A coalition of 23 concerned Nigeria Political Pressure groups has called on the National Assembly to review certain aspects of the Act establishing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
This is even as the coalition frowned at what it described as the unwarranted persecution and ridiculing of the immediate past first lady of the country, Dame Patience Jonathan by the anti-graft agency.
The Coalition made the call at a news conference jointly addressed by Alhaji Ali Abacha, of the Northern Patriotic Forum and its national coordinator, Ogbuefi Fidelisuma Nnelirk-Mmalive, in the South-East.
The p called on President Muhammadu Buhari to order the immediate stoppage of the said persecution of Mrs. Jonathan.
The coalition, which tagged itself as “non-political and non-partisan”, advised that the
EFCC, under its present Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, should not be made a monster organization to be used by the Executive against perceived opponents.
The EFCC, the coalition said, should desist from its lazy man’s posture which makes it often apply media trial on matters that ought to be tried in law courts.
According to the pressure groups, “the Commission must ensure that it rounds off investigations on matters on its table before going public as this would not only give its prosecution a sound presentation, but also win it a favourable judgment at the courts”.
The Coalition added, “we have been watching with keen interest in the past 15 months the prosecution of the anti-corruption war of our dear President Muhammadu Buhari by agents and agencies under his administration who have been charged with driving this noble and well-conceived initiative.
“First, we must commend Mr. President for this irrepressible war which has earned him immense national and international recognition.
“This coalition, and of cause all well-meaning Nigerians are solidly behind him and sincerely wish him success as he aggressively pursues this single cancerous scourge that is shredding our nation Nigeria into pieces.
“However, we have regrettably observed as concerned Nigerians that certain elements within the President’s administration are bent on diverting attention from this noble course by unnecessarily politicizing the war to achieve their own selfish motives, philosophy, mission and vision.
“It is against this background that we as concerned Nigerians are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly intervene and halt this unnecessary persecution of Jonathan through his wife by the EFCC.
“Mr. President should demonstrate his respect for the humble, humane former President Goodluck Jonathan and womanhood, by publicly expressing his confidence in the ability of Mrs. Patience Jonathan to keep her husband’s home affairs from the scrutiny of the public domain just as he commendably defended his wife’s domestic and public roles in a recent event in Germany.
“Mr. President should quickly direct the immediate unblocking and defreezing of all personal accounts of Mrs. Patience Jonathan from the ‘No withdrawal’ status they have been placed by the EFCC”, the coalition said.



FG To Review Fuel Price Template– Kachikwu

To eliminate NPA’s transport charges, others I’m not aware of price hike by NNPC stations — Kachikwu Senate demands daily oil, gas production records.

The Federal Government, weekend, said it would undertake a review of the pricing template for Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol, to forestall a further increase in the price of the commodity. Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, stated this during a grand award ceremony organised by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, branch of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN in Abuja. Meanwhile the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream), has asked the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, to henceforth, prepare and forward to it, the daily product records of oil and gas in the country.

The committee said the record of daily crude oil production must be submitted to the Senate every month. This will include petroleum industry activities, data on seismic activities, crude oil production, liftings, allocations, exports by destination, receipts, gas production, utilization, sales, transmission and exports.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, who led members of the committee to the headquarters of the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, in Lagos on oversight responsibility, said the development would afford the Red Chamber the opportunity to have deeper knowledge of activities of the oil and gas sector in the country.

Alaosoadura, who represents Ondo Central Senatorial District on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, frowned at perceived sidelining of the legislature in the provision of some information on activities by agencies of government, saying the trend must stop.

Speaking on the pending review of pricing template, Kachikwu said it would help cushion the effect of rising foreign exchange rates and the dwindling value of the naira against major international currencies on the price of petrol.

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NUC To Review Varsity Curriculum, Scraps Sub-degree Diplomas

The National Universities Commission (NUC) will commence a comprehensive review of the entire university curricula (the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS)) and ranking of Nigerian Universities in 2017.
Executive Secretary of NUC, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed said the commission would engage a mix of old, experienced and young vibrant academics to come up with curricula that would not only be dynamic and responsive to national needs but also conform to global trends.

A statement from NUC noted that the decision was reached at the end of the meeting between Professor Rasheed and Vice Chancellors of federal, states and private universities recently.
The Commission has also scrapped sub-degree diploma programmes in Nigerian University System (NUS) with a call on universities running them to begin the process of winding them down.
The Executive Secretary told the meetings that running sub-degree diplomas was not the business of universities but that of polytechnics.
The statement said Accreditation of Programmes and Resource Verification will take place only twice and thrice a year respectively with the accreditation slated for May and November while resource verification for March, July and December.

Credit: dailytrust

Review Anti-people Policies, Sultan Tells FG

The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III yesterday appealed to the Federal Government to  review policies and programmes that are not in the interest of the people, noting that if policies do not work, there was nothing wrong in reviewing them.
The Sultan made the call in Abuja while speaking at a town hall meeting/policy dialogue organized by the Alumni Association of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (AANI) in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and National Orientation, with the theme:  “Towards effective implementation of the 2016 budget.”
He said that when policies and programmes of government are not achieving desired results, they should be reviewed and realigned in line with prevailing realities.
Abubakar admonished those in authority to be conscious of the fact that they hold power in trust for the people, stating that according to 1999 constitution, the primary objective of government is to ensure security of lives and property and promote welfare of citizens.  “Those in authority should appreciate the fact that they hold power in trust for the people. They should listen and be prepared to make policy changes that address the welfare of the common people. Change has been said to be constant. Therefore, there is no problem if government would review policies and programmes.
“If a policy doesn’t work there is nothing wrong in reviewing them. In my view, policies that are anti-people should be discarded and realigned in line with prevalent realities. Where Nigeria has critical problem is in the area of policy implementation.”
The Sultan added: “At times, changes come with difficulties, but it is important that both the government and the governed should accept with clean hearts that after the days of suffering, there would be days of rejoicing. If we get it right in the 2016 budget, every other thing will fall into place.”
The monarch applauded the different efforts of the present administration towards re-positioning the Nigerian economy in the path of sustainable development, stressing that all hands must be on deck in ensuring that government delivers on its mandate.
He, however, encouraged the federal government to utilize the enormous human resources available in the AANI in driving the country towards the path of desired economic progress.

Read More: Sunonline

Navy Shifts Recruitment Date To Review Strategies

Nigerian Navy, yesterday said it has shifted its initial date for nationwide recruitment to enable it re-view its strategies for a hitch-free exercise.

This was contained in a press statement issued in Abuja, through its Director of Information, DINFO, Commodore Christian Ezekobe. Recall that in 2014, poor strategies led to the death and injuries of several applicants during the recruitment exercise of another security agency, the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, which attracted so much criticisms and controversies.

However, apparently not ready to allow a similar situation, the Nigerian Navy said it has decided to shift the date to ensure a well-planned and hitch-free recruitment exercise. The aptitude test for applicants of the 2016 Nigerian Navy recruitment exercise was initially scheduled to hold nationwide on Saturday, April 9.

The Navy, however, warned the public to beware that in spite of shift in date to May 14, there was no extension of date for submission of online application forms.

Credit: NationalMirror

Senate To Review Obsolete Laws To Meet Current Economic Challenges – Saraki

The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, has assured Nigerians that the National Assembly would review obsolete laws to meet current economic challenges.


This is contained in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the president of the Senate, Mr Sanni Onogu in Abuja on Monday.


Saraki, according to the statement, gave the assurance when a team of consultants from the Department for International Development (DFID) paid him a courtesy visit.


The statement noted that the experts had informed Saraki that 54 of the country’s existing laws should either be amended or repealed to attract investors and become business friendly.


He said the National Assembly was collaborating with the private sector, development partners, professional groups and the academia to review laws affecting business in the country.


He added that when concluded, the review would give birth to a new business environment that would boost revenue generation, solve the problem of unemployment, curb social vices and restore national values.


He said the present economic challenge confronting was an opportunity for leaders to become resourceful.


He added that the drop in oil price was a wake-up call for leaders, the private sector and other stakeholders to put measures in place for a post-oil era, while government provided the enabling environment.


Saraki further assured that the Senate and the House of Representatives would continue to support President Muhammed Buhari’s policy on diversification of economy.


He said that the legislature believed in the ingenuity, creativity, entrepreneurship of Nigerians.


The leader of the team of experts from DFID, Prof. Paul Idornigie, said they had examined 54 laws and carried out a comprehensive analysis of 50 bills pending before the two chambers of the National Assembly.


Idornigie said the analysis would help the legislature to focus on some areas that required urgent intervention.


He said the team also recommended nine bills, adding that if passed into law in the life of the 8th National Assembly, would reform the business environment.


Some of the bills are Federal Competition and Consumer Protection, Federal Roads Authority and National Inland Waterways Authority.


Others are National Roads Funds, National Transport Commission, Nigerian Ports and Harbours Authority, Nigeria Postal Commission and Nigeria Railway Authority Bills 2015.


The team also recommended establishment of a Federal Legislative Clearing House to scrutinise and review bills before they are presented to the respective legislative chambers for first reading.



House Of Reps Says Review Of Oil Benchmark Is ‘Certain’

The House of Representatives in Nigeria says the National Assembly will certainly review the crude oil benchmark price for the 2016 budget.

The possibility of the review was made known on Wednesday by the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin.

Nigeria’s 2016 budget had been submitted to the National Assembly in December by the President, with a benchmark of $38 less than the current crude oil price.

This price per barrel has triggered comments about how realistic the budget proposal of 6.07 trillion Naira, with 2.22 trillion Naira deficit and a crude oil benchmark of $38 was.

But on Monday, the Minister of Budget and National Planning in Nigeria, Senator Udo Udoma, tried to allay Nigerians fears, assuring them that the falling crude oil price would not affect the nation’s 2016 budget submitted with the oil benchmark of $38 per barrel.

Senator Udoma spoke at a meeting with members of the National Assembly Committee on Budget and Planning.

He told the lawmakers that there was a plan to cushion all shortfalls that may arise as a result of the drop in oil prices.

According to him, part of the plans would include concession of airports and re-introduction of toll gates on the nation’s highways.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Fuel Price Review Likely In January

An end to the current fuel crisis may not be certain but Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, yesterday gave an indication that a new pump price will come into effect next January 2016. He said this just as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) decried the continuing nationwide fuel scarcity resulting in skyrocketing prices and long queues.

A litre of premium motor spirit (PMS) now sells for N300 in many parts of Rivers State, including Port Harcourt. In Anambra, it is about N150 for a litre.

The NLC, in a statement signed by the president, Ayuba Wabba, yesterday, described the situation as ‘disheartening.’

Speaking in Abuja yesterday during his unscheduled visit to some filling stations within the metropolis, Kachikwu explained that it was high time Nigeria took practical look at the pricing dynamics of the oil and gas downstream sector.

Credit: Guardian

EFCC To Review Suswam’s N41 Billion Money Laundering Allegation

Indications emerged yesterday that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, will be reviewing the case file of former governor of Benue state, Senator George Akume, over allegation of money laundering to the tune of N41billion.

Also, the immediate past governor of Benue state, Dr. Gabriel Suswam yesterday honoured the invitation of the commission on alleged misappropriation of SURE-P funds to the tune of N6.5billion as well as the N90billion the current administration alleged that Suswam left behind as debt.

A highly placed source at the EFCC, yesterday, said that former governor Gabriel Suswam who arrived the commission headquarters about 10am allegedly told the team of crack investigators during his interrogations at Idiagbon House that he inherited 75 percent of the debt profile during the administration of George Akume.

According to the source, Suswam told the operatives of the EFCC that during the eight years of his tenure he only collected bond of N17billion. The source further added that Suswam who was accompanied with two Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SANs, also released damaging documents against Senator Akume to further convince the operatives of the EFCC that he could not be investigated without Akume’ involvement.

The source further said that in the mind-boggling revelations from Suswam, the commission will have no choice than to call on the case file of Akume that was ready for prosecution during the tenure of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu before the then Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mike Kaase Aondoakaa, SAN, and the former Chairman of EFCC, Farida Waziri allegedly took over the case file.

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FG To Review Nigeria’s Foreign Missions

President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will undertake a review of Nigeria’s foreign missions to determine those that are really essential.

The President made the statement on Tuesday after being briefed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Bulus Lolo.

He said that a Presidential Committee would soon be established to carry out the review.

According to him, the review would determine the number of essential missions Nigeria needed to maintain abroad so that appropriate standards and quality could be maintained.

Read More: channelstv

Army Commences Review Of Dismissed Soliders’ Cases

The Army will today in Jaji, Kaduna State begin the review of the cases of about 4,000 officers and men dismissed from Operation “Zaman Lafia” in Northeast.

The exercise, which was earlier slated for 311 Artillery Regiment Kontagora in Niger State, will now hold at the Nigerian Army Peace Keeping Centre (NAPKC), Jaji.

The cases of officers and men who are  in detention in Jos, Plateau State and those already convicted for various offences under “Operation Zaman Lafiya” will be reviewed.

A signal dated August 13 and signed by Lt. Colonel P. Y Haruna from the headquarters of the 31 Artillery Brigrade to all its formations across the country directed all affected to appear before a panel at the NAPKC Jaji.

According to the signal, the review exercise will also look into the cases of officers and men “under detention, trail or convicted by GCM in respect of disciplinary cases emanating from erstwhile Operation Zaman Lafiya to NAPKC Jaji”.

Read More: thenationonlineng

Sack Jonathan’s Last Minutes Appointees, Review Contracts Of Last 18 Months, Joda Committee Tells Buhari

The Ahmed Joda transition committee has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately terminate all dubious appointments made by former President Goodluck Jonathan in the last nine months, and review all contracts awarded by the administration in the last 18 months.

The committee said this is to help the new government sidestep ineptitude and waste, and scale up its revenue base.

The recommendations are part of a portfolio of swift steps Mr. Buhari must take within three months of assumption of power if he must save cost and “enhance liquidity”, the committee said in its 800-page report to the president.

A news agency obtained volumes of the report, which contain extensive analyses of Nigeria’s key challenges, with suggested responses for the economy and finance, governance and social welfare.

The report details a list of prompt, medium and long term decisions Mr. Buhari must take, or authorize, within 30, 45, 60 and 90 days of taking office, to create immediate impact, reduce government liability, increase revenue and stabilize the polity.

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Senate Sets Up Committee To Review Members’ Salaries, Allowances

The Senate has set up a committee to review the salaries and allowances of lawmakers. This was revealed Tuesday by the Senate president, Bukola Saraki.

He said the Adhoc committee was set up to reassess the structure, and review the level of openness, of members’ pay to ensure that the budget is in line with current economic realities.

Mr. Saraki said the step was taken due to controversies in the media on the allowances and salaries of the lawmakers. “In the last few days, there have been different reports on allowances for the National Assembly members,” he said.

“I reckon it to be false and reckless which has prompted the need to stir up transparency in allowances to avoid misinformation,” he said.

He said it was due to the same reason that he met with the officials of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

He stated that it was to ensure that the country gets an accurate presentation on the true state of all salaries and allowances.

He also announced the immediate composition of an 18-man Senate adhoc committee comprising of three senators for each geopolitical zones to develop a legislative agenda for the 8th Senate within the next couple of weeks.

“The task before us is enormous and Nigerians voted for change and we hope that we deliver to them tangible change,” Mr. Saraki said.

“The clear issues that agitate the minds of the people are the government revenues, the current fiscal crisis in many of our states, the unsustainable cost of governance in the country and the rising cost of doing business in Nigeria.

“This concerns have also agitated our minds individually and collectively and we must provide answers because it can no longer be business as usual.”

He added that the Senate either buckles up and face the realities to forge ahead to ensure a better future for the next generation or turn a blind eye to the extravagant facts that are staring us in the face.”

“Without doing so, we will not have the authority to ensure transparency in ministry and others for public good,” said Mr. Saraki.

Read More: premiumtimesng

Buhari Asked To Review 2015 Budget

The Centre for Social Justice has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to review of the 2015 federal budget in line with current economic realities.

The centre stated that the 2015 budget contained allocations for expenditures, which it described as frivolous.

It also said many of the expenditure heads contained in the fiscal document were unknown to the constitution and should, therefore, be expunged.

The Senate had passed the 2015 budget on April 28, following the passage of the Appropriation Bill by the House of Representatives on April 23, with an expenditure outlay of N4.493tn, up from the N4.425tn proposed by the Executive.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan had signed the bill into law a few days before he handed over power to Buhari.

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Our Report Is A Review, Not A Forensic Audit- PWC

The forensic audit conducted by Price WaterhouseCoopers, PWC, on NNPC to ascertain the veracity of the alleged missing $20 billion from the Federation account is generating furore and counter claims among stakeholders. PWC had qualified the audit saying it did not obtain needed information from NPDC a subsidiary of NNPC.

The qualification of the audit report has cast doubt on the reliability of the report. A source who has a working knowledge of the audit report at PriceWaterhouse told Vanguard that what the auditors did was a review and not a forensic audit. He said “It is not an auditing job.

It is a review of what has happened and you are expected to present a report. The qualification in the audit report is a normal qualification. When you are given a job there are procedures for doing the job based on agreement with the client.

So you want to put a caveat so that others would not use  it or rely on it for decision making. It is also to protect the company from any legal  action that may arise from the job.”

President Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, Mr. Chidi Onyeukwu Ajaegbu (FCA) told Vanguard that an account is qualified when the auditors do not agree with the auditee on some issues. He said there are two levels of qualifying an account: modification and actual qualification.

He said the qualification could be expressed on strong terms or mild terms, adding that a qualified account calls for further instigation. Ajaegbu said the NNPC case is that of material qualification where a unit being audited did not provide the needed material substance.

He said the reason given by PWC was enough to qualify the account, adding that auditors qualify accounts to shield themselves from blame by potential users of the account when they discovered some misstatement or representation in the account.

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