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Anti-graft War: Buhari okays 2, 250 job slots for EFCC

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Presidency frowns at ‘revolution’ marchers, describes the organizers as faceless

…As Reps’ panel explains How DPR, CBN diverted $950m oil royalty ***

As part of plans to beef up the anti-graft war, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved 2, 250 job slots for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The agency is expected to recruit 750 new employees per annum over three years.

The anti-graft agency in collaboration with the Federal Character Commission (FCC) has started the recruitment test nationwide based on the zonal offices of the EFCC in order to create a level-playing ground for candidates.

The commission was also said to have resorted to zonal basis in order to avoid a repeat of the stampede which affected a similar exercise in the Nigerian Immigration Service.

The President approved the slots to increase the commission’s number of core and support staff since the anti-graft war is moving to the next stage.

It was however learnt that some highly-placed Nigerians want the recruitment to hold in Abuja so as to be able to wield influence.

A document obtained by our correspondent indicated that the EFCC has written to the Federal Character Commission (FCC) and obtained approval to go ahead with the recruitment.

The document showed that each zonal recruitment test is being coordinated by a Director of EFCC, two commissioners from the EFCC and other top staff of the anti-graft agency.

A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The approval letter was specific that we should employ at least 750 workers per year for the next three years. We have brought this approval to the notice of the relevant committees in the National Assembly. There is no question of secret or under-the-table recruitment.

“We decided to take the recruitment process to the zonal offices to create a level-playing ground for all. And given the high number of applicants, we chose zonal procedure to avoid recruitment stampede,

“But we are not waiving our recruitment procedures under any guise for the new hands. Apart from screening their certificates, we subject them to covert investigation and ask them to write tests.

“In order to be fair to all candidates, we are conducting the recruitment process at our zonal offices and after selecting the best, the relevant desks at the headquarters will further evaluate their performance based on our tight regulations.

“At the end of the day, the best candidates will proceed to the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna for training.

It was also learnt that Magu has drawn only 37 per cent of the N150million security votes appropriated for the EFCC chairman in 2017.

This is contrary to insinuations that the Acting EFCC chairman had been getting N15million monthly as security votes.

Another official said: “The records are clear. With a month left to the end of the year, Magu has only collected 37 per cent of the statutory N150million security votes (per year) for the office of the EFCC chairman. This is the least the commission has ever recorded.”

In the meantime, an ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives on Sunday accused the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Central Bank of Nigeria of keeping  $950m in a secret domiciliary account from 2011 and 2014 as against remitting the money into the Federation Account.

The committee, which is chaired by a member of the All Progressives Congress from Adamawa State, Mr. Abdulrazak Namdas, is investigating the alleged $17bn crude and gas resources stolen from Nigeria between 2011 and 2014 .

The DPR was also accused of failing to declare a separate $70.648m .

The committee threatened to issue an arrest warrant against the management of the agency for ignoring its invitations.

The panel said while the DPR’s official account for the remittance of royalties was with JP Morgan, a second account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York was uncovered.

Namdas stated that when the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was queried over the account, it confirmed its existence.

For instance, the committee said $10.2m was received in April 2011 by the DPR and CBN as royalties from Moni Pulo.

Namdas, however, said only $3.425m was paid into the Federation Account, while $6.853m was reportedly diverted.

“In June 2011, rentals were received from Compile, but the DPR and the CBN credited the Federation Account with only $121.263m, thereby diverting $10.157m.

“In April 2012, the sum of $44.770m received by the DPR and the CBN was not credited to the Federation Account; while in September 2012, the sum of $38.842m paid by Chevron as royalty was not credited to the Federation Account as same was deducted under the cover of refund to Philip’s Oil.

“In October 2012, all payments received through the Federal Reserve Bank, estimated at over $200m, were not credited to the Federation Account.”

Speaking further, Namdas recounted how in April 2013, the DPR and CBN paid $117.583m out of $281.750m into the the Federation Account, implying that another $164,167m was diverted.

He added, “In August 2013, the DPR allegedly diverted the sum of $242.715m from revenue accruable to the Federation Account and in March 2014, the DPR and the CBN concealed over $300m.”

According to the committee, the money kept in secret by the agencies between May and July 2014 was $450m.

However, an Assistant Director, DPR, Mr. Adewole Johnson-Makanju; and the Manager, Planning, Mrs. Comfort Ajayi, who made a submission to the committee, claimed that the problem started when some oil companies continued to remit money into the Federal Reserve Bank account after February 2011 even though they were duly notified that JP Morgan Chase was now officially holding the domiciliary account.

They also claimed that there was no fraud intended or committed as the CBN regularly mopped up the money and reconciled the figures.

But, not satisfied with the explanation, the panel gave the DPR director the next sitting date to appear before the committee, else a warrant for his arrest would be issued.

Namdas warned, “I am still insisting that the DPR director must appear in our next meeting. I am also expressing disappointment that the director has never appeared before us.”

The House had by its resolution in December 2016, ordered the probe after a motion by a member, Mr. Johnson Agbonayinma, established evidence of “fraudulent transactions and irregularities” in crude and gas exports within the period under review.

Part of the information at the disposal of the committee put the figure of undeclared crude shortfalls between 2011 and 2014 at 57,830,000 barrels.

“This translates to well over $12bn worth of crude shipped to the United States.

“Also, over $3bn worth was shipped to China and $839,522,600 worth of crude was taken to Norway.

“These figures were conclusively ascertained by buyers, bill of lading, arrival dates, destination ports, quantity of crude oil and other documented information,” the document stated.

The US was listed as the leading destination for the crude out of the 51 countries that received crude exports from Nigeria within the period.

“The report was made available to the former President (Goodluck Jonathan); Office of the Attorney General of the Federation; Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency; and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and that as of today (2016), the country has to its credit, over $17bn of recoverable shortfalls from undeclared crude oil exports to global destinations,” it added.

In the case of liquefied natural gas shortfalls, the document noted a loss of 727,460 metric tonnes, estimated at about $461,044m, firmly established shortfall from shipment to seven countries.

“These have been established as undeclared cargoes,” the document added.

Nation with additional report from Punch

Economy

Selloffs In MTN, Others Drag Market N25bn Down

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Selloffs In MTN, Others Drag Market N25bn Down

…RT.BRISCOE, Tantalizer lead the losers’ table 

 The equity market on Wednesday lost N25 billion due to selloffs in MTN Nigeria, Dangote Sugar and Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO), among other stocks.

Specifically, the market capitalisation, which opened at N56.670 trillion, shed N25 billion or 0.04 per cent to close at N56.645 trillion.

The All-Share Index also dropped 0.04 per cent, or 43.3 points, to close at 100,032.32, as against 100,075.59 recorded on Tuesday.

As a result, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return slipped to 33.78 per cent.

United Capital led 10 per cent to close at N36.30, Africa Prudential followed by 9.88 per cent to close at N8.90, and Cutix gained 9.86 per cent to close at N6.13 per share.

Oando rose by 5.63 per cent to close at N16.90, and Julius Berger advanced by 4.79 per cent to close at N87.50 per share.

Conversely, RTBRISCOE led the losers’ log with 5.71 per cent to close at 66k, and FTN Cocoa Processors trailed by 4.44 per cent to close at N1.72 per share.

Tantalizer declined by 4.26 per cent to close at 45K, Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals shed 3.53 per cent to close at N1.64 and Consolidated Hallmark Plc lost N3.45 to close at N1.40 per share.

Analysis of the market activities showed trade turnover settled higher relative to the previous session, with the value of transactions up 35.71 per cent.

A total of 1.10 million shares valued at N10.08 billion were exchanged in 8,720 deals, compared to 368.39 million shares valued at N7.42 billion exchanged in 8,151 deals posted previously.

Jaiz Bank led the activity log-in volume with 528.49 million shares worth N1.15 billion, Cutix followed by 194.64 million shares worth N1.19 billion.

Zenith traded 77.75 million shares valued at N3.11 billion to lead the log-in value, Universal Insurance transacted 36.26 million shares worth N12.35 million and FCMB sold 33.88 million shares worth N257.09 million. 

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Stock Market Maintains Positive Trends, Up 0.11%

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Stock market maintains positive trends, up 0.11%

…Redstarex, Deap Capital lead the losers’ table 

 The Nigerian stock market maintained its positive trends on Tuesday, increasing the overall market index by 0.11 per cent.

Investors gained N62 billion or 0.11 per cent as the market capitalisation, which opened at N56.608 trillion closed at N56.670 trillion.

The All-Share Index also advanced by 0.11 per cent or 109.3 points to close at 100,075.59, compared to 99,966.28 recorded on Monday.

As a result, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return rose to 33.84 per cent.

Sustained by interest in Tier-one banking tickers such as Zenith Bank, FBN Holdings, United Bank For Africa (UBA), and Access Corporation, alongside United Capital, UACN and other advanced equities drove the market’s positive performance.

Meanwhile, market breadth closed positive with 19 gainers and 15 losers on the floor of the Exchange.

On the gainers’ table, United Capital led by 10 per cent to close at N33, Cutix Plc followed by 9.84 per cent to close at N5.58 and Sunu Assurances gained 7.75 per cent to close at N1.39 per share.

Cornerstone Insurance rose by 7.69 per cent to close at N2.10 and UACN went up by 7.42 per cent to close at N15.20 per share.

On the other hand,  Redstarex led the losers’ table by 9.82 per cent to close at N3, and McNichols Plc trailed by 9.01 per cent to close at N1.01 per cent.

Deap Capital Management and Trust Plc lost 5.77 per cent to close at 49k, Eterna Plc declined by 4.44 per cent to close at N17.20 and Universal Insurance shed 2.78 per cent to close at 35k per share.

Analysis of the market activities showed trade turnover settled higher relative to the previous session, with the value of transactions up 0.78 per cent.

A total of 368.39 million shares valued at N7.42 billion were exchanged in 8,151 deals, compared with 362.43 million shares valued at N7.37 billion exchanged in 8,405 deals posted previously.

Zenith Bank led the activity table in volume and value with 57.42 million shares worth N2.25 billion, and Access Corporation followed with 36.75 million shares valued at N707.17 million.

Guaranty Trust Holding Company(GTCO) also sold 29.16 million shares valued at N1.33 billion, Jaiz Bank traded 28.34 million shares worth N60.94 million and UBA transacted 20.31 million shares valued at N466.16 million.

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Economy

Sanitary Pads: Reps Query Minister Over N65m Spent On New Year Party, Others

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 The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye has drawn the ire of the House of Representatives following the unguarded manner she allegedly spent monies which included expenditures of N45 million for a New Year party and, N20 million for sanitary pads.

The House of Representatives which has now queried the minister, also frowned on her other unrelated expenditure which includes N1.5 million for vehicle fuel.

Rep. Kafilat Ogbara, Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, led the interrogation of the Minister, over the non-payment of N1.5 billion to contractors despite the fund release in Abuja.

She said that the investigative hearing was aimed at uncovering the truth and not witch-hunting the Minister and the officials of the ministry.

The committee also investigated the alleged diversion of funds meant for contractor payments, following a petition from contractors.

The committee also sought clarification on funds appropriated for the African First Lady’s mission and the whereabouts of the N1.5 billion meant for contractor payments.

The minister however denied the allegations of misappropriation, overspending, and non-payment to contractors.

The procurement officer confirmed contractors’ claims, and the Director of Finance and Administration acknowledged only paying approved contracts.

It would be recalled that the committee had at its last sitting summoned the minister to appear before it to explain the rationale behind the non-payment.

The committee also ordered the stoppage of all 2024 contract processes by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs until the whereabouts of the money for the said contracts are determined

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