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Economic sabotage: CNS vows to sanction corrupt naval officers

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Economic sabotage: CNS vows to sanction corrupt naval officers

… As NNPC to generate $600m from Marginal fields– Minister***

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Adm. Awwal Gambo, has vowed to sanction personnel caught sabotaging the nation’s oil and gas assets.

Gambo made this known while addressing officers and ratings during his maiden inspection of facilities at the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Pathfinder, in Port Harcourt on Thursday.

He said that discipline would remain the foundation of military service under his command.

“Under my tenure, I shall monitor your (personnel) activities and evaluate your performance to determine your continued relevance.

“Accordingly, I shall not hesitate to relieve anyone of their appointment without notice if found wanting, and replace them with more competent staff.

“Hence, established policies and measures to sanction personnel that collude with economic saboteurs, drug traffickers and barons, bandits and armed robbers shall be strengthened.

“However, navy personnel that exhibit high integrity and positive attributes that portray the Nigerian Navy in good light shall be rewarded handsomely,” he said.

Gambo said the navy headquarters had already begun expanding and decentralising its administration processes and levels of authorisation to meet with the current security challenges in the country.

He added that efforts were being made to reorganise the navy engineering branch for optimal performance.

According to him, personnel of the engineering branch would obtain requisite training to enable them undertake basic first line maintenance of old and new naval warships and boats.

“The personnel will be trained because I have observed a seemingly lackadaisical attitude amongst our technical officers and ratings, leading to use of vendors to maintain and repair navy platforms.

“The Nigerian Navy’s public image and perception shall be reinvigorated in conjunction with the Defence Headquarters to enhance public perception of the enormous efforts being made by the service,” he said.

             Also read: France offers Nigerian Navy support to secure Gulf of Guinea

Gambo gave an assurance that his administration would focus on improving the welfare of personnel to enhance their patriotism, productivity, innovation, commitment and dedication in carrying out their duties.

He said the navy would also promote inter-service cooperation as well as partner and engage both local and international maritime stakeholders to secure the nation’s waters.

In the meantime, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, says his ministry is expected to generate 600million dollars from its new Marginal Fields.

The minister made the disclosure at the fifth edition of the Special Ministerial Briefings coordinated by the Presidential Communication Team, held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Thursday.

Sylva stated that the process for the acquisition of the marginal fields had been completed and there were 161 winning bids and they had been notified.

“We have started to receive signature bonuses paid by the winners.

“At least from the last account report I got from DPR, almost 50 per cent of the winners have paid. What we are expecting from the whole process is about 600 million dollars.

“And of course, we have also given allowance for people to pay in Naira so you have to pick which currency to pay in – in Naira or dollars.

“So, at this point we cannot give any figure in any currency but just to tell you that payments have been encouraging and they have up to April 20, 2021.

“So there is some time although the jury is still out but we believe that by April we would have got a lot of them to pay,’’ the minister said.

On why the government is investing 1.5 billion dollars on rehabilitation of Port-Harcourt Refinery when at the same time it is talking about privatization and commercialization of the oil and gas industry, the minister said:

“I have always said that our refinery cannot survive with the regime of subsidy; because you cannot be refining at a cost and selling at a subsidized rate.

“Now that constraints will be taken away by deregulation – that is the more reason why we must fix our refineries so that our refineries can now function optimally.’’

The minister maintained that it would be better for government to privatize a functional refinery as it would fetch more revenue for the treasury.

“A functional refinery will definitely fetch more for the government than a non-functional refinery.

“That’s why we feel that we gave to rehabilitate this refinery and then the government will later decide on whether to privatize, whether to commercialize.

“But at this point we want to give Nigerians a functional refinery,’’ he said.

According to him, the government resolved to rehabilitate the refinery based on the recommendations of experts.

 

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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Economy

LASU: Town, Meets Gown Next Tuesday, To Make Rails Transportation More Meaningful

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LASU: Town, Meets Gown Next Tuesday, To Make Rails Transportation More Meaning

…NRC Boss, Engr. Okhiria is Pointman

The Town and the Gown will on Tuesday converge at the Lagos State University (LASU), in a mutual fusion of quality and sustainable ideas, as the Managing Director, Nigeria Railways Corporation speaks on where the eggheads necessarily need to intervene, for the overall benefit of the nation.

NRC Boosts Passenger- Safety With  Strong Armed Forces Collaboration 
Engr. Fidet-Okhiria

Prof. Bamidele Badejo who is now back in LASU, confirmed this to the Maritime First, highlighting that Engr. Freeborn Okhiria would meticulously dissect a critical issue, titled: ‘From Exclusive Clause To Concurrent List: Potency for sustainable rail infrastructure development in Nigeria and the Lagos State example.

Oluwaseun Osiyemi, the Lagos State Commissioner of Transport, will be in attendance; at an event which will flag off by noon prompt, Tuesday 16th, July 2024, at the Femi Gbajabiamila Conference Centre.

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Economy

Reps Probe Cbn’s N1.12trn Anchor Borrowers Scheme, NIRSAL’s N215b Loan

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Reps Probe Cbn’s N1.12trn Anchor Borrowers Scheme, NIRSAL’s N215b Loan

The House of Representatives has ordered probes into the N1.12 trillion anchor borrowers scheme, an initiative of the Federal Government’s interventions and agricultural funding through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Also included in the probe are the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), the Bank of Industry (BoI) and other agencies.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Chike Okafor (APC-Imo) on the floor of the House in Abuja on Tuesday.

Presenting his motion, Okafor linked the growing food scarcity and malnutrition in Nigeria to the alleged mismanagement of agricultural funds intended for agricultural development in the country.

He said the Federal Government had expended N8 trillion in 8 years on various schemes and interventions in the last eight years with the view of making food available for millions of Nigerians.

He added that the alleged mismanagement, misapplication of funds and abuse of the programmes had left Nigeria with the twin challenges of food scarcity and malnutrition.

Okafor said that funds advanced to end users of the various Federal Government interventions had also been allegedly misused, misapplied and channelled to non-farming and non-agricultural purposes.

This, he said, was responsible for the current acute scarcity of food in the country.

Adopting the motion, the House mandated the Committee on Nutrition and Food Security as well as the Committee on Agricultural Production and Services; Agricultural Colleges and Institutions and Finance, to probe

The Committees were mandated to thoroughly investigate CBN’s alleged mismanagement of the Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) for which ₦1.12 trillion was to be disbursed to 4.67 million farmers.

The farmers were said to be involved in either maize, rice or wheat farming through 563 anchors.

The committees are to look into NIRSAL’s disbursement of ₦215,066,980,274.52, to facilitate agriculture and agribusinesses.

The House gave the committees four weeks to report back to the House.

The house also mandated the committees to equally assess how the Bank of Industry (BOI) disbursed N3 billion to 22,120 smallholder farmers through the Agriculture Value Chain Financing (AVCF) Programme.

The committee is also to investigate the handling of the N5 billion loan facility to the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) for livestock farmers across the country.

This will include the management of the National Agricultural Development N1.6 billion Recovery Fund for the Ginger Blight Epidemics Central Taskforce (GBECT).

This is for the control of Blight disease in Ginger, among other interventions. 

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ADEBAYO SARUMI: Doyen of Maritime Industry Marks 80th Anniversary, Saturday 

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