A Nigerian doctor who tried to rescue the gospel Minister, Michael Aworosaiye, who committed suicide, has revealed how a CCTV footage of the incident saved him from arrest.
Dr. Daniel Eitokpah's brother who revealed that he was detained after the incident, had posted a series of videos on Wednesday, with a caption that read in part, “My brother, a medical doctor, along with two onlookers were detained for trying to help resuscitate a young man who committed suicide yesterday.
The police have him held for no reason; they named them as suspects, and asked them to write statements without any reason for detaining them.”
The doctor who was saved from arrest by the CCTV footage after he tried to rescue the gospel Minister who committed suicide, lived in Sunnyvale Estate and he reportedly graduated from Ternopil State Medical School, Ukraine in 2016 and completed his house job at the National Hospital, Abuja, is a National Youth Service Corps member.
On being saved by the CCTV Footage, he noted that the DPO from the moment he appeared at the scene, kept addressing him in a demeaning manner.
“We explained to the DPO everything that happened, how we heard a guy shouting for help and went there. I explained to him that I thought it was something that had just happened and tried to resuscitate him. I explained everything I did to him and his response was, ‘You are a doctor. You should know that you are not meant to tamper with the evidence.’ I tried to explain to him that the information we got was that the guy was in the act; if there was an iota of life in that guy, at least, we should give him a chance.
“Shortly after, the commissioner of police came in and I heard the DPO telling the CP, ‘We have arrested three suspects.’ I felt that the statement meant a lot.
"The DPO, the CP, my father, my pastor and church members of the deceased went back to the scene of the suicide.“God just had it that there were CCTV cameras around the house.
There was one directly facing the entrance of the boys’ quarters where the guy had hanged himself. That was our saving grace. It showed everything—how the suicide took place. Immediately they saw we were not guilty, they made a call to the police station to prepare for our release”
» News - Gospel - Michael Arowosaiye - News - Suicide
The Federal Government says it will shut down the Enugu ‘Akanu Ibiam’ International Airport due to deplorable state of its runway.
It was reported that the Minister of Aviation (State), Hadi Sirika made the disclosure at a stakeholders forum on Friday in Lagos.
He said the airport will be degraded for international operations because the runway length is not ideal for such operations.
According to him, the market, television masts and free trade zone needs to be relocated for the airport to be fit for safe flights.
The minister also said the Lagos International Airport terminal would be partially pulled down by Julius Berger Limited for major facelift that will cost N14 billion.
This, he said, will happen after the inauguration of the new terminal.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says it will soon begin a collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) on online transactions.
The Chairman of the agency, Mr Babatunde Fowler, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York on Saturday.
“soon, we will ask banks to impose VAT on online transactions for purchases of goods and services.
“Not that it is something new; it actually should be in existence.
“We will certainly follow up to make sure that every VAT that is due to be collected is collected.”
He explained that the move was part of measures by FIRS to meet its N8 trillion revenue target for 2019.
Fowler said the agency had started taking action against companies and businesses that refused to embrace the Federal Government’s tax amnesty programme.
According to him, FIRS hopes to generate between N750 billion and N1 trillion from the clampdown, which includes closure of defaulters’ bank accounts.
“We are going after everybody. I am sure you have heard that we have placed lien on some accounts of defaulters that have a billion naira turnover annually.
“So certainly, we are not leaving anyone out of the tax net,” he said.
Officially known as the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme, the tax amnesty programme was launched in 2017.
It gave tax defaulters a one-year period of grace to declare and settle their unpaid taxes.
There have been complaints by some taxpayers of being wrongly targeted by FIRS in the clampdown.
Asked to comment on that, Fowler admitted, blaming it on “administrative error,” arising from the huge number of accounts involved.
“Well, there is certainly one or two instances where we made administrative error, but when you are looking at over 50,000 accounts, there is a tendency that sometimes an error might be made.
“For those that we made errors on, I wrote them personally apologising and of course we lifted the lien on their accounts.”
On plans by the Joint Tax Board to raise the country’s tax population to 45 million, Fowler said the agency was relying on multiple information sources.
These, according to him, include the country’s Bank Verification Number database and sister agencies with relevant information.
» News - Babatunde Fowler - FIRS - News - Tech
Austrian vice-chancellor, Heinz-Christian Strache, on Saturday resigned following the release of a secret video in which he is seen appearing to offer government contracts in exchange for political support.
The far-right leader said he offered his resignation to Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in order to prevent the collapse of the governing coalition between Kurz’s conservative People’s Party and his far-right Freedom Party (FPOe).
Although he insisted he did not break any law, Mr Strache admitted to the “extremely embarrassing, drunken affair,” which saw him appearing to offer infrastructure contracts to a woman posing as a wealthy potential donor from Russia while in Ibiza in July 2017.
Mr Strache also apologised to his wife and his supporters for what he called “alcohol-fuelled macho behaviour partly intended to impress the attractive woman” posing as a would-be donor during the six-hour encounter.
“I behaved like a teenager,” he said.
It is unclear who set up the apparent trap and who recorded the meeting.
Mr Strache blamed “criminal networks,”. He said the incident had been a “targeted political attack” on Austria’s right-wing government.
Tom Awhana, the former Head of Chambers for the Law Office of Mr. Mogbeyi Sagay, a late Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) was on arraigned on Friday at an Ikeja Special Offences Court for stealing N188.7 million belonging to the law firm of the late senior lawyer.
Awhana was arraigned alongside Paul Okoro a former lawyer in the law firm who is also accused by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of stealing N3.6million from the firm.
Awhana and Okoro pleaded not guilty to a joint charge of conspiracy to steal.
Okoro denied the charge of stealing while Awhana pleaded not guilty to a 16-count charge of stealing.
According to the EFCC, Awhana was the Head of Chambers of the law firm of Mogbeyi Sagay and Co. from 2010 to 2018.
Sagay his Principal, died in 2012.
He was made signatory to the law firm's Zenith Bank Account alongside three administrators of the late SAN's estate.
It was allegedly mandated that three persons out of the four administrators can withdraw from the bank account with the cheque booklet of the Zenith Bank account in Awhana's possession.
The prosecution said that unknown to the staff of the firm, other administrators and the consultant to the law firm, Awhana opened other secret bank accounts in the name of Mogbeyi Sagay (SAN) and Co. in FCMB, Union Bank and Heritage Bank Plc.
The first defendant (Awhana) is alleged to have diverted drawn cheques into those secret accounts. He is also alleged to have from 2012 to 2017, stolen a total of N188.7 million belonging to Mogbeyi Sagay (SAN) and Co.
Okoro, the second defendant, is alleged by the prosecution to have from Oct. 14, 2012 to June 28 2013, stole N3.6 million belonging to the law firm.
According to the EFCC, the offenses contravene Sections 287 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos 2015.
Following the plea of the defendants, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, the lead prosecuting counsel for the anti-graft agency, requested for a trial date adding that the court should impose stiff bail conditions on the lawyers.
"I have discussed with my learned friends, I will leave it to my lordship to impose bail conditions that will make the defendants available in court throughout this trial," Oyedepo said.
Ms. Oluwaseun Olusiyi, the defense counsel to Awhana, via a bail application dated May 17 asked the court to grant him bail in self recognizance.
"The first defendant is a legal practitioner of high repute and negotiations towards an amicable resolution are underway with the complainant. He was the Head of Chambers of the firm," Olusiyi said.
Mr. K. U Ani, the counsel to Okoro the second defendant in his bail application dated May 17 also asked the court to grant him bail on self recognizance.
"The second defendant has fractured his legs and is depending on medical treatment. I ask that ypu grant him bail on self recognisance My Lord," he said.
Justice Mojisola Dada in a short ruling noted that settlement talks were ongoing between the complainant and the defendants.
She ordered that as a bail condition, Awhana and Okoro should submit their international passports to the court.
"The defendants shall however submit their international passports pending the determination of this suit.
"They shall be remanded in prison custody till the perfection of their bail condition. This case is adjourned until June 4 for trial," she said.
All is not well in the IT Department of Covenant University, Otta, our source can authoritatively report.
A guru in information technology (IT) attached to that department is in the police net after he was found to have devised a means by which he diverted funds meant for the university into his private pocket. By the time the university woke up to his antics, he had succeeded in siphoning a whopping N180 million!
Before the bubble burst, not a few people were said to have wondered how the loved and trusted official was managing to get the funds with which he maintained a lifestyle the Chancellor of the university and Presiding Bishop of Living Faith Church Worldwide, Bishop David Oyedepo, would call “riotous living.”
He was said to have bought some flashy cars which he kept in a mansion he bought with stolen funds in highbrow Lekki part of Lagos, even though he had a house in the school where he lived with his wife.
Every Friday, he would cruise with his wife to the posh house in Lekki to enjoy the weekend. But what really gave him away was the habit of flying back to his duty post in Otta in a chopper that landed at the premises of The Bells University, which is only a stone’s throw from Covenant University.
Tongues began to wag from onlookers who started to wonder who the big boy could be. Word about his lifestyle soon got to the authorities of Covenant University who decided to put him under surveillance and realized that he had stolen the university’s money amounting to more than N180 million. The funds were mainly school fees paid by students.
The fees were paid into the accounts of the university in designated banks but the disingenuous inventor found a means of diverting the money into his private account. The discovery alarmed the authorities of the school. Oyedepo, sources said, was flabbergasted.
The IT guru was promptly reported to the police, who arrested him. Covenant University authorities expected the police to fast track his prosecution but that was not forthcoming.
Words got to the university that the suspected fraudster was greasing the palms of the police. Again alarmed by the development, the authorities sidelined the police and handed the suspect to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Upon interrogation, the suspect admitted stealing the said sum and even agreed to refund N56 million in cash immediately. Sentry will keep you posted on further developments.
Perhaps in a bid to avoid a repeat of the 2015 last-minute disappointment, National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, has reportedly relocated to Abuja to personally monitor shifting political developments regarding the election of the next leadership of the National Assembly, Saturday Tribune has learnt.
Calls to the mobile phone of his media aide, Tunde Rahman, rang out and as of press time, he was yet to either return the calls or reply the SMS sent him.
Tinubu is backing Senator Ahmed Lawan for Senate presidency and Femi Gbajabiamila for the speakership of the House of Representatives, the same candidates he could not carry over the finishing line four years ago.
While Lawan is seen more as President Muhammadu Buhari’s anointed candidate for the job, Gbajabiamila, from Surulere Federal Constituency in Lagos, is an anointed of Tinubu, though Lawan, too, was propped up by the leading party chieftain in 2015, after dropping his initial candidate, former Benue State governor, Senator George Akume.
In 2015, Tinubu reportedly failed to show his hand deep in the contest early enough in order not to be seen as being dictatorial, preferring to line behind the then newly-elected president, Buhari.
Gbajabiamila and Lawan were pretty much doing their campaigning then using the party machinery with Tinubu using the president’s influence to rally support for them.
The duo also got involved in horse-trading with opposition leaders.
Saturday Tribune was privy then to Gbajabiamila’s meeting with a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governor from the South at a hotel in a posh area of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), weeks to the parliamentary contest he lost to the outgoing Speaker, Yakubu Dogara.
With the stakes believed to be higher this time, Tinubu is reportedly handling the expected high-wire horse-trading trailing the emergence of the duo again as the preferred candidates of the party, considering the internal opposition to their candidature.
While Lawan is reportedly having it easier, selling his candidacy to stakeholders outside of his party, the unmistaken emblem of the Lagos “godfather” on Gbajabiamila’s candidacy is said to be making things difficult somewhat for the four-term lawmaker.
“Gbaja, on his own, isn’t a problem, though people have been talking about his elitist attitude. But anything with Tinubu’s hand on it, many within the party, do not just want to hear it, especially our people from the other side (North) and oga (Tinubu) doesn’t always know when to back down.
There is a popular joke in Abuja now, especially at the party secretariat. If you say you are broke, they will ask, is Asiwaju not in town and that if he is in town, you can’t be broke because all you need to do is go and tell him some lies that he wants to hear about his candidates or 2023 and you will come back with …. (mentions denomination),” a source who was once chummy with the leader, disclosed.
Tinubu is reportedly handling the reaching-out because his rumoured presidential ambition is said to be closely tied to the success of getting Gbajabiamila and Lawan enthroned, particularly the former as the head of the legislative institution with more youthful, exuberant and impressionable politicians.
For allies of Gbajabiamila and those who would play ball from the opposition to get him to the political Promised Land, Saturday Tribune learnt that their loyalty is going to be sustained for some future assignment.
The implication of having a need for them, according to insiders, is that such tested and trusted allies would have four years of comfort under the Gbajabiamila leadership.
The said bait of not using and dumping them, considering future engagement and partnership, is reportedly working more for the Tinubu camp since any form of betrayal from their end would mean losing massive support for the future aspiration which is bigger and of higher political value than what is being sought now.
It was also learnt that lawmakers from the opposition, especially those not too close to Dogara, may find comfort in Tinubu’s arm and possibly break ranks with their party in the event of the party directing its congressmen and women, to, again, work against Tinubu’s interest.
Gbajabiamila recently boasted that he already had the number to sail smoothly in the speakership contest but some opponents are saying it will be too early to declare victory.
While President Buhari has characteristically not been too loud about his support for Lawan, it was learnt that not saying anything regarding Gbajabiamila’s emergence at the dinner where the Lagos politician was presented has made the journey more tortuous for Tinubu’s camp.
The relocation to Abuja to oversee things directly is also said to be connected with the rumoured power play that could see “one go for one.”
With both Lawan and Gbajabiamila being projected as Tinubu’s anointed, there is the likelihood of the party leader being told at the zero hour to pick one and leave the other position for other tendencies in the party.
His camp is said to be working assiduously to avoid a situation of having to make such a tough call.
His allies in the South-West are also coming in and out of Abuja to confer with him but one ally that would be expected to be by his side at this crucial moment, former Osun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola, is reportedly missing in the Abuja action.
Aregbesola spearheaded the defunct Tinubu’s Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) parliamentary mutiny of 2011 which enthroned the current Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, as the Speaker of the House of Representatives against then-PDP’s choice, Mulikat Adeola-Akande.
The PDP paid Tinubu back in the same coin in 2015, helping the APC to install Dogara in place of the party’s pick, Gbajabiamila.
Saturday Tribune learnt that Aregbesola is staying back in Lagos fixing the next cabinet of the incoming administration of Babajide Sanwoolu at Tinubu’s behest.
Seen as Tinubu’s closest ally, Aregbesola’s influence has been looming large on Lagos politics since his tenure ended in Osun State.
Saturday Tribune can confirm that names of likely picks for commissioners and special aides have been submitted by party leaders from local governments in the state and the man touching the final list up, in concert with the “Big Boss” in Abuja, is reportedly not the incoming governor but the former governor of Osun State.
Both the incoming governor and his deputy, Femi Hamzat, are said to be having minimal say in the composition of those who will work with them, though they reportedly made nominations.
With many of those expected to be nominated by Sanwoolu and Hamzat left out of the current list, disappointment is said to be setting in for many who worked tirelessly for the party’s victory.
“We are just here; we don’t know our fate yet. They have shared the thing (available positions) among themselves. The hawks are the ones in charge here,” a committed party man lamented to Saturday Tribune.
Meanwhile, the recent involvement of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with the administrative leadership of the National Assembly is said to be part of the game plan to ensure a desired ending to the contest for Senate and House of Representatives’ top jobs.
Clerks of both chambers reportedly played a major role in swinging things in certain directions in 2015 and with the fear that the outgoing Senate President and Speaker may swing the process again using the top officials to keep the party’s anointed out of the seats again, the anti-graft commission is reportedly being involved to “sound a note of warning.”
Operatives of the commission swarmed collation centres in Lagos, Abuja and many other states during the final declaration of results of the 2019 general elections.
The official explanation was to prevent financial inducement of the electoral officers.
The voting procedure for the new NASS leadership has been a major dispute among contending factions with the majority favouring secret balloting, the type that rubbed the ruling party’s face in the mud four years back.
There is palpable fear in the ruling party that another secret balloting could produce a similar result.
The current probe of the assembly’s administrative leadership by the EFCC is said to be a ploy to have an unfettered access to the books and information that could help prevent another humiliating loss.
If things are not going the desired way with the voting procedure, it was learnt, the probe could become a major tool in beating everybody into line.
» News - » Politics - Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu - NASS - News - Politics - Tinubu
The move by Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, to establish a legal marijuana industry in the ‘sunshine’ state may have hit the rocks even before his very own eyes.
This is just as findings by journalists on Saturday showed that Akeredolu is not likely to find a willing ally in the Federal Government over his pursuit.
Despite the collaboration being received from the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the governor has been disowned by the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Elimination of Drug Abuse (PACEDA), an appendage of the Presidency.
PACEDA, in a statement made available to the media on Saturday, stated that no amount of money could be worth the lives of those that would be affected should marijuana be legalized in the country, as being canvassed by Akeredolu and, by extension, the NDLEA.
The warning came four days after Governor Akeredolu advised the Federal Government to encourage the cultivation of medicinal cannabis, also known as Indian hemp, in the country.
The statement was signed by the PACEDA Chair, Mohammed Buba Marwa.
Marwa, a retired military top officer, noted that the timing was so inauspicious, considering that the government had been doing everything to eradicate drug abuse in the country.
“It is disturbing that at this time when about 10 million Nigerians are abusing cannabis, anyone or group will be considering or advocating for Nigeria to legalize the growing of marijuana for economic or whatever purposes.
“Our committee has spent the last six months going round the country to obtain firsthand information about the dangers of drug abuse and how to combat it and we have been faced with the stark reality of how deep the menace has damaged and still damaging lives, especially the youths.
“No doubt, President Muhammadu Buhari was worried about this emergency situation, hence the decision to set up PACEDA to find a lasting solution to the threat. We should not, therefore, fold our arms or keep sealed lips while deliberate attempts are being made to sabotage the genuine efforts of the Federal Government in the interest of the nation.
“We should not forget so soon how many over-the-counter (OTC) drugs were made prescription medicines when millions of our young minds and adults were abusing such. How can we then turn around to call for legalizing the growing of cannabis when the Federal Government is still in the process of curtailing and eliminating the same?
“We dare say that no economic gain is worth the life of any Nigerian daily damaged on the street as a result of the effect of cannabis. There is, therefore, the need for all stakeholders at the federal, state and local government levels to rally round the Federal Government’s efforts at eliminating the menace of drug abuse rather than engaging in any counterproductive venture,” the statement read.
Despite the widespread appeal of Akeredolu's position on social media, some critics have rebuked the governor.
Among those who criticized the governor include Senator Shehu Sani, the lawmaker representing Kaduna Central in the National Assembly.
Sani, who took to Twitter via his handle @ShehuSani on Wednesday, May 15, wrote;
“My brother Akeredolu, Lagos partnered with Kebbi for rice, please partner with Niger for beans, Kaduna for ginger or partner with Benue for yam. Please leave this Indian Hemp matter for now, abeg.”
But Akeredolu is determined in his pursuit, despite several condemnation and backlash received in the last few days.
“The governor believes that the global legal marijuana industry is primed to be a jumbo in years ahead and Ondo State is trying to think ahead of time,” an aide of the governor, who did not want his name mentioned, told a reporter on Saturday.
» News - » Politics - News - Politics - Rotimi Akeredolu
"Wind Of The Spirit" is a prayer for a fresh move of the Holy Spirit in this season.
Delivered in English and Igbo languages, "Wind Of The Spirit" is the 3rd single to be released off Isabella’s forthcoming 9th studio album due for release in 2020.
Be empowered as you watch the official video.
WATCH VIDEO BELOW
Audio produced by Greenwox (@mr_greenwox)
Video directed by Fred Williams (@pfredwilliams) of Icon Towers (@icontowers)
Video Orchestra by Praise Factory Music & Arts UK (@praisefactorymusic)
WIND OF THE SPIRIT LYRICS
Wind of the Spirit blow
Mighty Wind of the Spirit blow
Blow through this place
Mighty Wind of The Spirit blow
Blow through this place
Mighty Wind of the Spirit blow
Ikuku Mmụọ Nsọ kuo
Ikuku Mmụọ Nsọ kuo
Kuo n’ebe mno
Ikuku Mmụọ Nsọ kuo
Kuo n’ebe mno
Ikuku Mmụọ Nsọ kuo.
CONNECT WITH ISABELLA
Instagram | Facebook: @isabellamelodies
» Music - » GosPo-Tain-Ment - Gospel - Music - Videos
Fast Rising Award Music Minister Motunde Fash offers up another new single 'Alewilese' (He Who says and Performs) a follow up to her previously released single 'Lord You Reign'.
Reflecting on the song, Motunde says:
I didn't sit to write Alewilese, I was about entering the Bathroom to pick something when I heard it. I heard a voice in my head, then I quickly picked up my phone and recorded it so I won't forget
Alewilese is a song that reassures us of the Faithfulness of God. He is a God that promises and fulfills. He says what He means and He means what He says. His name is Alewilese (He Who says and Performs) While The igbos call Him Ekwueme.
Alewilese is produced by Danola, Video was shot in Lagos and directed by Akuma
WATCH VIDEO BELOW
The joint security team led by the 8 Division, Nigerian Army Sokoto have conducted an interactive meeting with their Nigerien counterparts on tackling cross border banditry and other crimes.
A statement signed by Col. Sagir Musa, Acting Director Army Public Relations and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Sokoto said the meeting was held at Dakana in Niger Republic on Thursday.
Musa said Nigerian delegates extensively and fruitfully brainstormed with their Nigerien counterparts on the unfolding security challenges in Sokoto state and environs.
“The aim of the visit was to discuss further modalities to enhance and promote joint military/security inter-border relations among the security agencies of both countries,” Musa said.
He said the exercise was sequel to security threats along the international boundary between Niger Republic and Nigeria, which necessitated the establishment of a joint military border patrol in Sept. 2018.
He noted that the main objective of the joint security venture was to check the menace of cross border armed banditry and other criminalities across the two nations’ common porous borders.
According to him, the joint security team from Nigeria was led by the Commander, 1 Brigade, Brig. Gen. L. N. Udeagbala who represented the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8 Division.
He added that others on the Nigerian team comprised representatives from the Nigerian Army, Police, State Security Services, Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigerian Custom Service and Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps.
He said representatives from their Nigerien counterpart included, the Commanding Officer, Special Intervention Command, Lt. Col. Saminou Mani, Commanding Officer, Lt. Col. Siddo Seyni and other officers.
NAN recalled that the 82-year old district head of Balle in Sokoto State, Alhaji Ibrahim Aliyu, was killed by suspected armed bandits on May 7, at his palace.
Balle is the headquarter of Gudu Local Government Area of Sokoto state and together with many other villages in Sabon Birni Local Government Area continue to suffere major causalities in the hands of suspected armed bandits.
At present, many residents had fled their homes and relocated to Gatawa and some communities in Niger Republic.
The situation prompted Gov. Aminu Tambuwal at a press conference on May 11, to plead with the fleeing residents to return home.
The Minister of Finance, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, has unveiled the achievements of her ministry as the clock ticks for her exit, revealing that Nigeria’s foreign reserves stood at $44.69 billion as at May 13, 2019.
The foreign reserves stood at $28.3 billion in May 2015 when President Muhammadu Buhari took over governance from ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Minister unveiled the position of the ministry in her opening remarks at the quarterly World Press Conference, held in Abuja.
The minister said also that year-on-year inflation rates continued to improve from a high rate of 18.7 percent in January 2017 to 11.37 percent in April 2019.
She also disclosed that states will soon receive their outstanding balance of the Paris Club debts refunds based on the verification made on a total sum of N649.434 billion by the Ministry.
“For the final phase of the Paris Club debts refunds, the total sum of N649.434 billion was verified by the Ministry as the outstanding balance to be refunded to the State Governments.
“The payments made by the CBN as at March 2019, is N691.560 billion.
“The increase in CBN payments partly arose from exchange rate differential at the point of payment. Although, some states still have outstanding balances, which will be refunded in due course.”
According to her, with the implementation of Economic Recovery & Growth Plan (ERGP) which the Buhari’s administration developed in 2017 has led to the economy’s exit from recession and moved upwards on a path of sustainable, inclusive and diversified growth.
She further maintained that it is the resolve of the Ministry to address the long-standing issue of “unsatisfactory revenue performance” in Nigeria, particularly in the non-oil sector, in order to ensure appropriate financing for critical sectors such as health, education, and infrastructure, and ultimately of co-creating a Nigeria where no one is left behind.
“Our External Reserves on the other hand, grew from $28.3 billion in 2015 to US $44.69 billion as at May 13, 2019 representing significant improvement that has helped stabilize the economy, including our currency exchange rates.
“Our FX market remained relatively stable from 2017 with the convergence of the NIFEX and NAFEX windows witnessed by November 2018.
“Let me first underscore the vital role of domestic revenue mobilization for continued economic success and inclusive growth in Nigeria.
“Indeed, President Muhammadu Buhari underscored the urgent need for improved revenue performance during his 2019 Budget Speech, and he directed the acceleration of all revenue initiatives.
“The time to act is now – if we do not address the long-standing issue of “unsatisfactory revenue performance” in Nigeria, particularly in the non-oil sector, we will never realize our shared goal of ensuring appropriate financing for critical sectors such as health, education, and infrastructure, and ultimately of co-creating a Nigeria where no one is left behind.
“As Minister of Finance, I have taken on the President’s important call to action, by prioritizing revenue generation, and formally launching in January 2019, the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiatives, a suite of comprehensive and cross-cutting interventions aimed at boosting revenue performance.
“I am pleased to share that we have made significant progress since launching the initiatives and I look forward to providing details later in my remarks.”
She also added that the Ministry has achieved seven consecutive quarters of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth since the country’s exit from recession in Q2, 2017. “As at Q4 2018, the economy grew by 2.38% in real terms (year-on-year), representing an increase of 0.27% compared to Q4 2017 and, a rise of 0.55% compared with the growth rate in Q3 2018.
Overall, GDP grew at an annual rate of 1.93% in 2018 compared with 0.82% in 2017, representing an overall increase of 1.11% year on year.”
However, the Minister acknowledged that the expenditure performance cannot be in isolation of revenues, which as a result expenditure outturn largely depends on the government’s ability to generate budgeted revenues with deficits funded through borrowings.
“In 2018 our budgeted revenue was N7.2 trillion this is against the realized figure of N3.96 trillion, signifying a negative variance of 45%.
“Despite this shortfall, we have been able to fully pay salaries and service 100% of our debt. We have also released seven months overhead for 2018, two months for 2019, and N2.079 billion capital expenditure as at 14th May 2019.
“We have adopted a prudent debt management strategy which ensures that we invest what we borrow in capital projects.
“Although our debt by international standards, at 19.09% Nigeria’s debt to GDP ratio is well below the threshold of 56% for countries similar to Nigeria.
“The government is addressing the issue of reducing the debt service to revenue through a combination of debt substitution strategies.”
The Minister maintained that on global risks, the Ministry will continue to remain focused on taking key mitigating actions to safeguard the economy and ensure it is “resilient to external shocks.”
“We will continue to monitor key global risks, and the Federal Ministry of Finance is focused on taking key mitigating actions to safeguard the economy and ensure it is resilient to external shocks.
“As anticipated, the global economy has slowed down in 2019 with a revised growth projection of 3.3%.
“This trajectory is mirrored in Africa, with the continent projected to grow slightly more at 3.5% in the same year. Commodity based economies including Nigeria are expected to continue recovery from the rapid commodity crash witnessed from 2014 to 2016.”
She further explained that,
“This development represents challenging times amidst this year’s volatility in oil prices that has fallen from $86/barrel in October to $62/barrel in December when I gave my last Press Conference, and risen to a five-month high of above $71/barrel as at April 2019.
“While oil prices are expected to remain within the average range of $70/barrel, continued volatility is expected through the end of 2019.”
She said that her ministry was carrying out reforms at the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and the Joint Tax Board (JTB).
With the reforms, taxpayer database has been expanded to 35 million from 9 million in the four years of the Buhari-led administration.
“Through reforms at the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and the Joint Tax Board (JTB), we have been able to harmonize the Tax Identity Number (TIN) database to cover Federal, States and Local Governments to establish a unified identity number system for uniquely identifying tax-payers.
“The country’s taxpayer database has been expanded to 35 million from 9 million at the beginning of the administration.
“It is anticipated that this figure will grow to 45 million individual and corporate payers when the ongoing integration of different biometric database is completed"
Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Advance Fee Fraud Section, Abuja Headquarters in collaboration with men from the Benin Zonal Office in an operation on Friday 17, 2019 arrested 22 suspected internet fraudsters during an early morning raid at Sapele, Delta State.
Working on intelligence reports, the suspects, who are between the ages of 18 to 30 years, were smoked out from their hideout in an early morning operation.
A day earlier, the operatives from Abuja had arrested two suspected internet fraudster in Ughelli, Delta State.
Items recovered from the suspects include lap top computers, iPhones, phones, ATM cards and three exotic vehicles. The cars are Benz C350, Benz ML 350 and Chrysler 300.
The raid on the internet fraudsters is one in the series by operatives of the Commission in line with the directive of the acting Executive Chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Magu to rid the entire country of internet fraud and cyber crime.
The suspects have made useful statements and will be charged to court as soon investigations are completed.
» News - Delta State - EFCC - News
In a recent chat with the dancer, she revealed that her project for the year was to sensitize the public to the gains of giving the dance industry the same respect other industries in the entertainment sphere receive.
During a recent interview, she revealed that she had used dance to help unhappy women regain their confidence.
“I started out as a fitness trainer and I used dance to make it more enticing to both men and women because we like fun. With dancing, you would have so much fun that you would not believe the number of calories you burn in the process instead of lifting heavy weights.
"Dance takes the pain away while exercising and you would have fun as you do so."