125 years of supporting and enabling dreams, 125 years of resilience and relevance, 125 years of trust, safety and security, 125 years of long term value to all stakeholders, 125 years woven into the fabric of our society and therefore we dare say, 125 years beyond comparison!
Come March 31st 2019, FirstBank, Nigeria’s largest financial powerhouse, will be 125 years.
In his words, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan (FCIB), said “We mean it when we say FirstBank is You. As Nigerians, we have made history together and should be proud of this monumental feat because globally, very few institutions can boast such a rich and relevant heritage as a member of the 100-year Club. We therefore invite every single one of you as stakeholders to join us in celebrating our Anniversary Year. We ask you to stand tall and claim this achievement with us as one more great thing out of Nigeria to the World; FirstBank since 1894.”
“From our very modest beginning in 1894 as the Bank of British West Africa, we have traversed an incredible journey, delivering impeccable financial services to customers and supporting the building of the modern-day Nigeria and indeed, West Africa, including our early pivotal role as the monetary and fiscal policy regulator for the entire West African region,” Dr. Adesola said.
“At the amalgamation, independence, and through the seasons ever since, we have been here marching hand-in-hand with you. We have enabled technological, industrial and societal advancements, achieving very many firsts; been resilient and supportive through periods of rapid and radical changes; pioneered and charted the course in our industry, nay, in the nation at large.
From the delta to the savannah, from the confluence to the plateau, we are proud to be truly woven into the fabric of society.
On behalf of the Board and Management of FirstBank, it is my honour and privilege to thank you and assure you that we look forward boldly and with great confidence and optimism to the next 125 years knowing we are here with you and for You and promise to remain truly the first by keeping You First.
God bless Nigeria, God bless First Bank of Nigeria!”
The All Progressives Congress (APC) 2019 Delta South senatorial candidate, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan has said he wants to represent Delta South at the Senate in 2019 because of his desire to pursue quality legislation that will lead to the development of the district and the Niger Delta region.
Releasing his manifesto in Warri, Delta State on Friday, Uduaghan, who is the immediate-past governor of Delta State said he hinged his manifesto on four pillars which he called the JEW+P (Jobs, Empowerment, Wealth plus Peace).
In his words: “I salute you, my good people of Delta South Senatorial District. I seek your mandate and support to represent you at the Senate.
“Over the years, I was actively part of and at a time, head of a team that managed the development of Delta State. In those years the Delta State government through its various organs embarked on projects and programs in the areas of peace, human capital and infrastructure development that will lead to job creation and poverty alleviation. In doing this, we faced a lot of constraints. These constraints were mainly in the areas of non-existent extant laws to control the various processes that were put in place to fast-track the development.
“Efforts to bring peace and security to the area were mainly through engagements at various levels and the use of force. Both methods have led to a temporary peaceful environment. However, to attain a level of job creation and alleviation of poverty in the region that will lead to permanent peace, prosperity and a sense of well-being, there must be laws enacted to fast-track the processes of industrialization, wealth creation and a peaceful environment. These are the laws I seek your mandate to bring up at the Senate.
“My mission therefore at the Senate will be focused on four pillars which I call the JEW+P (Jobs, Empowerment, Wealth plus Peace).
Poverty alleviation through the creation of Job Opportunities for the people of Delta South at all levels.
Creation of Industrial Empowerment for the people of Delta South through the promotion and encouragement of indigenous participation, as well as, the use of homegrown technology in the oil industry.
Championing the creation of Enduring Wealth for the people of Delta South through the promotion of Community part-ownership of major and minor oil companies.
Promotion of Enduring Peace in Delta South through the involvement of local and community people in security and peacekeeping.
Do you know why the Jews prosper and flourish anywhere they are? They patronize their own. We can build a new Delta South Senatorial district by creating an environment that employs our talents and utilizes our God-given resources to flourish as a people.
As a former Secretary to the Delta State Government and a former two-term Executive Governor of the state, and also as I be Delta pikin, I know and understand your pains and your needs. You need room to express your God-given talents. As governor, there were a lot of things I wanted to do to open up opportunities and bring economic development to you that I could not do because I was constrained by the laws of our country. This was what fired my desire to represent you at the Senate. We come from a senatorial district that is massively endowed, and all we need to do is to use our imagination, and with the cooperation of our brothers and sisters from other parts of Nigeria, we will drive a New Vision for the people of Delta South Senatorial District. A New Vision that fully explores and exploits our strengths and endowments.
CREATION OF JOB OPPORTUNITIES
The unemployment level in Delta South Senatorial District is embarrassing, given that the region is the economic hub of Delta State hosting up to 72% of high impact industries, especially in the oil and gas sector. As a result of policy and security challenges which were beyond the state government, many of these industries were either shutdown or were operating way below capacity; therefore, many of the oil service companies in particular that used to give employment to a lot of our people, especially the youth were either shutdown or forced to relocate. For example, the major oil companies for so many years did not prospect for new oil fields and this caused a major disaster in the employment, economic and social life of the people of Delta South Senatorial District.
I believe that focused legislative interventions in the Senate can deal with these challenges and launch Delta South Senatorial District into a phase of development and expansion that will meet the demands of our people. Delta South Senatorial District can be galvanized and developed into the industrial base of the state by taking advantage of the oil and gas and the maritime sectors to create jobs for men, women and youths.
We are also endowed with arable lands that we can use to drive active investments and participation in agriculture and agro-processing. However, over the years, our lands, air and sea have been highly polluted by the activities of the oil industry, especially old pipes, sabotage and oil theft. The review of our extant laws to make them more effective and formulation of new laws in the areas of the environment to prevent further pollution of our air, lands and sea and also to clean up the already polluted environment will be needed to enable every relevant authority do the needful. This will encourage investments in agriculture and agro-processing.
ILLEGAL REFINERIES AND INDUSTRIAL EMPOWERMENT
I know that pragmatic legislation in the Senate can secure legality for the use of indigenous technology for small-scale oil refineries. Scattered all over the Delta South Senatorial District, as it is in many parts of the Niger Delta, are illegal refineries that make use of local technology that is damaging the environment, including soil, water and air pollution which has resulted in the soot crisis in our communities and cities. The legislation of laws in this area will guarantee best-practices and create jobs for men, women and youths in the region, directly and indirectly, in the value chain of crude procurement, refining, petrochemicals, product marketing, logistics, hospitality and other ancillary services.
About 6,000 illegal refineries were reportedly destroyed by the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in 2015. Some of these “refineries” were actually rickety science projects that are over-glorified by calling them “oil refineries”. However, among the thousands of illegal refineries, there must be some that are well set-up. Should a country that cannot put its four “legal” refineries in full working order afford to destroy its own indigenous refineries? Illegal refineries should be done away with, but those youths and women should be engaged in better set-up refineries. The illegal refineries that are being destroyed offer a lot of employment for the youths and women, which in turn, relieve the government of the burden of providing jobs for them.
I believe that there has to be a rethink towards the concept of “illegal refineries”. The so-called “illegal refineries” are a testimony of the ingenuity of Nigerian youths and women in their ability to creatively innovate, driven by the daily challenges of their existence. The ingenuity that has been exhibited by the operators of the so-called “illegal refineries” should constitute the foundation of technological breakthrough.
As the Senator representing Delta South Senatorial District, I will push for the promotion and encouragement of indigenous technology in the oil industry and also legislative backing to recognize and reform non-conventional refineries.
EFFECTIVE DISPOSAL OF SEIZED CRUDE
It is no secret that there is a high level of illegal bunkering activities in the Delta South Senatorial District like it is in other parts of the Niger Delta. There has been a lot of government security measures to arrest the situation. These measures have led to the seizure of stolen crude in various vessels, especially the wooden Cotonou boats. The current practice is for security operatives to burn these boats with the confiscated crude or dispose of seized crude oil on the high seas and the creeks. This is assumed to be the best way to discourage crude oil theft in the Niger Delta. Sadly, the destruction of seized crude has not only failed to solve
the problem but has contributed immensely to the degradation of the environment. Destruction of seized crude by burning or disposal at sea pollutes the land, air and water. Furthermore, it is a colossal waste of the nation’s natural resource.
I believe that the nation needs to evolve an effective way to disposing of seized crude without destroying it. This will achieve a three-pronged benefit for: (1) the oil industry, (2) the Niger Delta environment, and (3) the nation’s revenue.
Seized crude would be more beneficial to all if it is effectively
channeled back into the oil industry. For instance, it can form part of the stock made available to registered non-conventional refineries or even sent to the nation’s conventional refineries for processing into petroleum products. This will help the country generate revenue from seized crude, service the oil industry and reduce environmental pollution.
I also believe that effectively disposing of seized crude without destroying it will:
- Reduce pollution of the air, land and water in the Delta South Senatorial District;
- Enhance the availability of crude oil to registered
non-conventional refineries operating in the Delta South Senatorial District;
- and generate revenue for the country as a whole.
As the Senator Representing Delta South Senatorial District, I will push for legislative backing to evolve effective ways of disposing seized crude that will be beneficial to the community, the environment and the nation.
I am certain that articulate legislative intervention in the Senate can accommodate the youths of Delta South Senatorial District within the security architecture of the region. Community-based policing which entails professional security operatives working hand-in-hand with indigenes of the area to solve problems of crime and disorder is a recognized strategy of keeping peace and order worldwide.
Professional security operatives are usually deployed from
the central commands at the national level to Delta South Senatorial District. Most times, this entails posting of people who know very little or nothing about the terrain, to manage the security of the area. The result, in many instances, is poor security in the creeks.
The terrain of the Niger Delta has always proven to be a great challenge to conventional security forces. This has made their operations quite difficult and sometimes frustrating. As a governor, I started the Delta Waterways Security Committee made up of many of our youths who understood the terrain and could guide the security forces through the creeks when the need arose. These youths who were part of the communities were able to gather intelligence which helped the security agencies preempt planned security breaches arising from community hostilities and sometimes criminalities.
I propose that the local youths and community people should be involved in securing the pipelines and the keeping of peace and order.
Involvement of the people of Delta South Senatorial District in security will:
- provide employment and economic empowerment for the people;
- enhance the operations of the Federal security agencies in Delta South Senatorial District as the professional security operatives would be helped to effectively gather intelligence and also to navigate the area by locals who are familiar with the people and the terrain;
- reduce the level of crime and criminality in Delta South
Senatorial District of Nigeria; and
- promote a conducive atmosphere for doing business in Delta South Senatorial District.
As the Senator representing Delta South Senatorial District, I will push for legislative backing for the inclusion of the youths of Delta South Senatorial District in the security architecture of the area.
CREATION OF ENDURING WEALTH AND INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT: 5% COMMUNITY OWNERSHIP OF COMPANIES IN THEIR DOMAIN
The management of Nigeria’s oil industry will remain at the centre of the Niger Delta crises in the country, until the government evolves a realistic and permanent solution. This practical solution will be best premised on addressing the very heart of the matter. One of the reasons Nigeria’s Niger Delta crisis has persisted is related to disharmony between the oil companies and host communities. On the one hand, the host communities tend to make the operational environments of the firms in the oil industry hostile because of perceived or obvious unfriendly disposition of the oil companies to their host communities. While on the other hand, many of the oil companies are unhappy with their host communities on the ground that the host communities do not show understanding of the realities plaguing the oil companies. The above scenario is an indication that the problem in the Niger Delta, which significantly affects the Delta South Senatorial District, is an issue of mutual distrust and suspicion. By extension, therefore, if this mutual distrust and suspicion are addressed, there is hope for lasting peace and development in the oil industry and the host communities.
I firmly believe that one way to achieve lasting peace and development
in the Niger Delta is by community participation and ownership in Nigeria’s oil industry. When communities in the Niger Delta (including those in the Delta South Senatorial District) are allowed to be actively involved in the ownership and management of oil firms domiciled in their areas, they would have firsthand experience of the prospects and challenges in the oil industry and become more realistic in their expectations from them. This will STABILIZE the Niger Delta.
I believe that community participation and ownership in the oil industry will:
(1) enhance the security of infrastructure of the industry in the Delta South Senatorial District as the communities would not be hostile to their own economic interest; (2) create jobs for the people;
(3) benefit the participating communities and their environs by opening up opportunities for the establishment of service firms at second and third tier levels; and
(4) enhance effective management of the oil industry in the Delta South Senatorial District in particular and the Niger Delta, in general.
As the Senator representing Delta South Senatorial District, I will push for legislative backing to recognize community participation and ownership in the oil industry.
In addition to the above, as Senator representing Delta South Senatorial District of Nigeria, I will push for:
- Legislation on Constitutional role for Traditional Rulers.
- A collective agenda in the Senate to review extant laws bordering on Peace, Security and Prosperity of the Delta South Senatorial District and
- provide good and effective representation through a strategy of synergy and feedback with the people of Delta South Senatorial District. To achieve this, we shall hold town hall meetings every six months.
Marilyn Amobi, managing director of the Nigeria Bulk Electricity trading Plc (NBET), fraudulently paid at least N2 billion to two power generating companies, documents obtained by Leaks NG have shown.
The documents also revealed that Amobi, who was made the substantive MD of NBET in July 2016, was also involved in a series of corruption allegations such as subversion of board approvals and infraction of procurement laws.
FRAUDULENT PAYMENTS TO GENCOs
A few weeks after she was confirmed managing director of NBET, the organisation that manages the electricity pool in the country’s electricity supply industry, Amobi started overpaying two power generating companies – Omotosho Electric Genco and Olorunsogo Electric Company – in flagrant violation of the details of a power purchase agreement (PPA) the companies signed with the government in February and August 2016, respectively.
The PPA is an agreement between NBET and power generating plants for the sale and purchase of energy generated by the plants. Embedded within the PPA are the gas supply agreement (GSA) that covers the supply of natural gas to the generating plant and the gas transportation agreement (GTA), which is an agreement between gas transporters and power generating plants.
According to the PPA, to qualify for full payment, generating plants must provide evidence that they have active GSA and GTA or else the power purchase agreement would be deemed inactive and would only receive payment for the power they supplied.
“Seller (Omotosho Genco) hereby agrees that any claim for Available Capacity payment under the PPA are conditional on the Seller providing evidence acceptable to the Buyer (NBET) confirming that it has a legally binding and enforceable Gas Supply and Aggregation Agreement and Gas Transportation Agreement, in accordance with clause 3.2.2 and 4.2.1 of the PPA,” the agreement obtained by Leaks NG stated.
However, despite the fact that Omotosho did not provide evidence of gas supply aggregation and transportation, the company continued to tender request for full payment of 20 months. According to the document in possession of Leaks NG, the over-invoicing was detected in October 2017 following an NBET internal audit.
On September 22, 2016, NBET had written to Omotosho requesting that it fulfill the condition for the PPA. The generating company was first given a 30-day grace to provide the necessary document. The window to provide the document was later extended to 90 days yet it never provided the document.
For instance, in June 2017, Omotosho supplied energy to the tune of 33.16 megawatts but invoiced up to 161.74 megawatts. This implies that Omotosho laid claim to an excess of 128.58 megawatts as excess capacity for the cycle. For this capacity, Omotosho requested for payment of N1,023,532,574 instead of N209,824,177, leaving an excess of N813,708,397 for the capacity in June 2016.
Similarly, Olorunsogo Power Plc, whose PPA took effect from August 2014 in the said month, tendered 11.9 megawatts for energy while 197.83 as capacity. Since the PPA was not active, the capacity ought to be equal to the energy to make the firm qualify for payment as stated in the agreement.
Olorunsogo issued an invoice of N1, 251, 881, 528 for capacity for June 2016 as against N75, 363, 267 calculated by its actual energy. The difference is an over-invoicing of N1, 176, 518, 261. For both firms, the over-invoicing amounts to N1, 990, 226, 658 as excess in just one month, June 2016.
Leaks NG could not lay hold to all invoices issued by the companies but the two obtained showed that NBET made partial payments to the companies. In one of the invoices, Amobi paid Omotosho N339, 813, 418 in October 2016 -the fund was part payment for July 2016 energy and capacity.
Order IV of The TEM states that: “Gencos without effective PPAs shall be paid for their delivered energy and delivered capacity by NBET (Delivered capacity for the purposes of this order means the capacity equivalent of the energy delivered at Gencos busbar.”
These illegal payments wouldn’t have been possible without Amobi’s insistence. While the internal audit of NBET refused to process the payment, Amobi signed the July payment on October 13, 2017, assuming the role of internal audit in violation of financial regulation.
This is a breach of Section 1705 of the financial regulations which states that “the Head of Internal Audit Unit in all ministries/extra-ministerial offices and other arms of government shall ensure that 100 per cent pre-payment audit of all checked and passed vouchers is carried out and the vouchers forwarded under security schedule direct to the appropriate Central Pay Office for payment. Checked and passed vouchers received in the internal audit Unit must be promptly dealt with and, under no circumstances shall a voucher be held in that unit for more than forty-eight (48) hours.”
ILLEGAL PAYMENT TO LAW FIRMS
Sometimes in 2014, NBET wrote the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to request the agency sign off on power procurement and retroactive no objection in procurement. The request simply means that NBET requests to be excluded from being subjected to BPP act in its power purchase agreement. The request was declined by BPP.
In a response dated April 29, 2014, BPP stated that NBET, like other agencies, must follow due procurement process in power procurement.
BPP noted in its reply, “That if section 5 (a) of PPA was intended to exclude some sectors like the Power Sector, it would have been stated clearly. Consequently, giving NBET a one-off approval for NBET’s power procurement process would not only amount to a contravention of the Act, but it would also open a floodgate of similar requests thereby engendering confusion in the system.
“The bureau therefore strongly advises that NBET should consult the Public Procurement Regulations, manuals for complex projects and standard bidding documents for procurement of goods, as this would assist NBET in complying with extant procurement rules and regulations.”
However, the management of NBET, then under the leadership of Rumundaka Wonodi, its inaugural managing director, was unsatisfied with the position of BPP. The agency sought legal advice on the way forward. On June 1 2015, NBET advertised a notice for an expression of interest to engage lawyers in such cases, more specifically on BPP’s response.
According to the advert, the successful law firm is expected to discharge such duties as, “General, corporate, commercial and administrative law, with a view to advising NBET on general commercial and contract matters, providing legal opinions as necessary, and advising on various civil law.”
According to a report by NBET’s evaluation committee, three firms: Azinge and Azinge, Chukwuka Ugwu and Associate and John Erameh submitted their bids. The process was however truncated upon advice by the internal audit department of NBET.
Surprisingly, in April 2017, two years after, the internal audit received a request from Amobi for payment of N30 million to two firms. Amobi wanted Azinge and Azinge to be paid a contract sum of N14 million and Aelex N16 million respectively. The process that led to this request was one replete with infractions and breach of public procurement law.
It is worthy of note that the procurement process was stopped in 2015 and if there would be a need for the services of law firms in 2017, the engagement is supposed to take a entire new process according to procurement laws.
The BPP act in Section 16(1)(b) states the process of procurement; “based only on procurement plan supported by prior budgetary appropriations and no procurement proceedings shall be formalised until the procuring entity has ensured that funds are available to meet the obligations and subject to the threshold in the regulations made by the Bureau, has obtained a “Certificate of ‘No Objection’ to Contract Award” from the Bureau.”
There was no new advertisement or procurement process but Amobi presented the two firms for payment.
Surprisingly, one of the firms laying claim to payment, Aelex, was not part of the 2015 process, as the firm was not captured in the evaluation report.
ILLEGAL PAYMENT TO CONSULTANT
In 2016, NEXANT, a software and energy firm, engaged a former staff of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), Uzoma Achinaya, to provide advisory and analytics work for NBET.
According to the arrangement, Achinaya would work for NBET for a period, present a report to NEXANT and claim his payment from NEXANT. This indeed happened but instead of NEXANT to pay the consultant, NBET’s leadership decided to pay him despite not being party of the engagement agreement.
On January 23 2017, Achinaya wrote Amobi requesting NBET to pay him the sum of N7 million advance payment for the work he had done so far.
“I appreciate the steps NBET management is taking to resolve the issues with NEXANT regarding my contract which has resulted in the delayed payment of my fees for the services rendered. However, I have some very urgent family commitments, including school fees for my children, which need immediate funding. It will be appreciated if I can be granted a payment advance in the sum of Seven Million Naira (N7, 000, 000.00}, in lieu of the money I am owed for the work already done, to enable me meet some of these commitments.
“The amount should be recovered from my payment when the issues with NEXANT are finally resolved.”
The irregularities in the request were flagged by the internal audit, which declined payment to Achinaya.
The audit department argued that it declined the payment because the Amobi’s N7.5 million request was above her N2.5 approval threshold and that the process of contracting was not subjected to any procurement process.
Internal audit also argued that the consultant does not have a tax identification number (TIN) as stipulated by procurement law, inside sources told Leaks NG.
To bypass the procurement part, Amobi allegedly directed the Parastatal Tenders Board of NBET to seek consideration and approval for the requested fund. The board submitted its report in March claiming that due process was followed in the award of the consultancy contract. The memorandum for consideration and approval indicated that the bid was opened on March 1, 2017, with a deadline of March 6.
At the end of the process, two individuals were said to have emerged out of five expressions of interest received; Joe Agah with 59.7 total weighted scores and Uzoma Achinaya with 95.1. The contract was later awarded to Achinaya at the sum of N25, 850, 000.
Even at that, the board did a shabby job in the cover-up. The consultant started work in 2016, requested for payment in January 2017 for his ongoing work but the NBET management instituted a post-dated procurement process to make the payment possible.
TRANSFER OF STAFF WITHOUT BOARD’S APPROVAL
In 2017, Amobi made a request to the accountant-general for officials from his office to be transferred to NBET to head the internal audit and finance departments. Inside sources alleged that she made this request because she felt the officials who headed the department at NBET were standing in her way.
The request was granted in June 2017. The AGF posted Hauwa Bello from the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD) to head the internal audit. He also posted Sambo Abdullahi to the Learning and Development, a newly created department at NBET. Waziri Bintube of the finance department was reposted to Risk and Guarantee, another department created by Amobi allegedly to victimise the two top officials.
A month earlier, Amobi had facilitated the transfer of two people, Ajulo Adesola from the National Agency for Science and Engineering (NASENI) and Acho Onyechege from the ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to NBET as treasury officers.
Section 2.4 (b) of the charter state that the Human Resource Committee shall “‘review and make recommendations to the Board for approval of the Company’s organisational structure and any proposed amendments.”
Although the accountant-general reserves the authority to approve such reviews, the office does not have the power to make postings.
AMOBI EVASIVE, ABUSIVE
When contacted to respond to the series of allegations against her, Amobi, rained abuses Leaks NG reporter.
Without first listening to the reporters’s questions, in in a statement, replete with swear words, the MD she said she would not comment to any of the allegations because the issues are in court.
“If they are things about NBET that are currently in court, there is really no need…some of them are in court. I’m sure some people brought this to you,” she said.
“You’ve written a story about us before of us sending some people to America which of course didn’t happen. These are issues that are with EFCC, ICPC and even in the court.”
After calling the reporter many unprintable names, Amobi ended the call.
The 164th Madrid derby between fierce city rivals, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, taking place at the Wanda Metropolitano today will be broadcast live on GOtv.
The La Liga encounter, which will be broadcast on SuperSport Select 4 (channel 34) at 4:15 pm, is exclusive to GOtv MAX subscribers.
The two giants are meeting for the second time this season. The first encounter at Real’s Santiago Bernabéu in September ended goalless.
Two points separate the teams, with Atletico occupying the second position on the LaLiga standings with 44 points, while Real are third with 42 points. Real could, however, leapfrog their neighbors should they win and put themselves five points behind leaders, Barcelona, with whom they played a 1-1 draw on Wednesday in the Copa del Rey semi-final.
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has hit form right in time for the Los Blancos, as they won their last five games in all competitions before Wednesday’s draw. Also posting impressive performances for Santiago Solari’s side is the Brazilian wonderkid, Vinicius Jnr.
Atletico’s title chase suffered a blip on the back of a series of draws and a defeat to Real Betis in their last outing. However, they are usually a different proposition at their Wanda Metropolitano home. Coach Diego Simeone will rely on goal machine and World Cup winner, Antoine Griezmann; and goalkeeper Jan Oblak among other stars. A lot of attention will also be Alvaro Morata, recently acquired on loan from Chelsea.
Subscribers who upgrade to the GOtv MAX package will have access to the Madrid derby, other games of the La Liga, Serie A, select matches of the UEFA Champions League and English Premier League.
Speaking on the Madrid derby, Martin Mabutho, Chief Customer Officer, MultiChoice Nigeria, said GOtv is pleased to broadcast such a major game to its customers across the country.
“Being the home of La Liga, GOtv is delighted to showcase live to all our customers one of the biggest derbies in the world, the Madrid derby. With both teams having massive followership in the country, fans of both clubs are guaranteed to enjoy the very best of the game’s coverage on GOtv MAX,” he said.
GOtv customers, especially those on GOtv Plus, Value and Lite packages, can take advantage of the “GOtv Top-Up” campaign offer and upgrade to GOtv MAX by paying a reduced fee of N2, 500 to enjoy the best Spanish and Italian football games and other world class programming
Teni The Entertainer on Thursday announced her upcoming global tour, which will see her perform at 20 cities around the world.
The tomboyish singer had a stellar 2018, a year which she won several awards and increased her fan base. She also released hit singles such as ‘Wait’, ‘Askamaya’, ‘Case’ and most recently, ‘Uyomeyo’.
The forthcoming tour, tagged ‘Teni Live’, is being put together by Dr Dolor Entertainment and Doble Seis Entertainment.
The award-winning Nigerian songwriter, singer and social media sensation will be performing in 20 cities in nine countries across three continents.
The tour will kick off February 15 in the UK in cities like Birmingham, Manchester and London. She will then proceed to the rest of Europe in March to entertain fans in Cyprus, Romania, Turkey, Poland, Bulgaria and Belgium.
Teni will return to Nigeria in April 18 for her Lagos show before ending the tour in Canada, starting with Windsor on April 26 and then Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Winnipeg and more.
Apata Teniola, professionally known as Teni, is a graduate of business administration from the American Intercontinental University, Atlanta.
Teni launched her professional music career in 2017 after Fargin, a product of one of her numerous social media freestyles, went viral.
At the end of 2018, Nigerian music fans voted her the second best artiste of the year, coming behind Burna Boy.
THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has recovered over N527 billion in two years through the Federal Government’s whistleblowing policy.
Its Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, stated this yesterday at a Southsouth town hall meeting on whistleblowing and the fight against corruption in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, by African Centre for Media and Information (AFRICMIL), in partnership with Social Development Integrated Centre (Social Action).
Magu, who was represented at the event by the commission’s official, Usman Mukhtar, said the agency within the period under review also recovered $53 million as well as over 122,000 pounds.
He added that the amounts were recovered following the Federal Government’s whistleblowing policy.
He said: “More successes are being made and the response by members of the public to the policy has been very encouraging.
“The government’s whistleblowing policy was introduced in 2016 and is geared towards fraud detection, tracking and reporting to appropriate agencies and to enable patriotic citizens report criminal acts such as mismanagement or misappropriation of public funds and assets, like properties and vehicles; financial malpractice or fraud; collecting / soliciting bribes; corruption; diversion of revenues; unapproved payments; splitting of contracts; procurement fraud; kickbacks and over-invoicing.”
Magu explained that the policy gave avenues for patriotic Nigerians to report criminal acts, which were inimical to the country’s growth.
He, however, noted some challenges affecting the effectiveness of whistleblowing policy as including poor legislation, the security of whistleblowers and those intending whistleblowers.
The Acting EFCC Chairman explained that the fear of victimisation or attacks of whistleblowers in their places of work were being addressed by the Whistleblower Protection Act passed by the National in 2017.
“The Act provides that “a person who makes a disclosure shall not be subject to victimisation by his or her employers or by fellow employees.
“Additionally, a person who makes a disclosure has the right to take legal action, if he or she is victimised, dismissed, suspended, declared redundant, transferred against his or her will, harassed or intimidated in any manner.”
Assistant Director, Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit, Ministry of Finance Johnson Oludare explained why recovered looted funds were not immediately reinjected into the economy.
He stated that until a final forfeiture order is obtained from a court of competent jurisdiction, nobody can disburse the funds.
He said: “Not all the monies that we have been able to recover can be disbursed into the economy because of the legal hurdles that must be fully concluded. If funds are under interim forfeiture and the matter concerning that fund is not concluded in court, we cannot disburse it.
“But for some funds that the legal hurdles have been crossed, we have put into the economy through the budget in the form of inflows.”
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has said he is in government not to enrich himself, saying, he was already a billionaire before he became a governor to serve the people of his state.
Ortom, who spoke with journalists, was reacting to his estranged godfather, Senator George Akume’s allegation at the Buhari’s presidential campaign rally held at Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi on Wednesday.
Senator Akume had accused Ortom of using his office to enrich himself.
Akume had said, “Today, there is one governor in the North-Central Nigeria, (a veiled reference to Ortom) who is richer than Buhari and has more money than Buhari in just three-and-a-half years of being a governor.
“The most notorious problem facing Benue today is the use of livestock guards. These people have been killing Benue people because they were armed with Ak47.
“Just on Friday, we were on governorship campaign to the Guma LGA and these guards ambushed our campaign train, shot and killed one person.”
But in his reaction, Ortom lambasted the Akume, stating that the senator ought to be in prison for allegedly stealing N2bn when he was exiting Government House in 2007.
Ortom said, “The truth of the matter is that Akume cannot hold me responsible for not being able to provide jobs; I was a billionaire before I became governor.
“Before I became a minister, I had to resign my position as the chairman of my company and the company is doing fine. I borrowed money from Nexim Bank, Bank of Industry and CBN.
“I discovered a window, through the present minister of agriculture that there was fund available for agricultural development programme. This I introduced to Akume that with all his asset around, he could obtain N5bn loan and invest in business. But he told me he did not have capacity to run business, so can he blame me for that?
“Akume was a governor for eight years and he stole N2bn before he left office; up till now, the case is with the EFCC but because he is in the APC, nothing is happening of the case.
“That’s the reason why I said the EFCC was a tool of the APC, if not, Akume is supposed to be in jail now.”
Security operatives attached to President Muhammadu Buhari prevented some aggrieved youth from attacking Buba Marwa, former military administrator of Lagos state, at the presidential rally of the All progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa state on Thursday.
Trouble started after Marwa, who addressed the rally in Hausa, was accused of saying some uncomplimentary things about Mohammed Bindow, governor of the state.
Marwa and the governor belong to different factions of the APC in the state. The ex-military administrator is of the Mahmood Halilu faction which lost the battle to secure the governorship ticket to Bindow’s group.
Despite the backing of Aisha Buhari, wife of the president, Haliliu who is Buhari’s in-law failed to secure the governorship ticket.
Buhari had pacified the angry youth and directed security operatives to whisk Marwa from Ribadu Square, Yola, venue of the exercise.
Marwa is an ally of the president. On Monday, he led former military generals to Aso Rock to endorse Buhari for another four years.
He currently heads the presidential advisory committee on the elimination of drug abuse in the country.
Marwa had said if Buhari had failed in his duties, they would not have endorsed him.
“As an officer and a gentleman, his word is his bond. After winning the elections, he brought out simple three-points programme – security, economy and fighting corruption. He led the fight and is leading the fight by personal example. That is the height of leadership. Do as as I do not as I say. He has demonstrated that,” he had said.
Asked if the endorsement was out of fear, Marwa said: “Absolutely not.”
At the rally, Buhari pledged to complete the abandoned federal government projects in Adamawa, especially those started under the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), if re-elected.
Buhari told the crowd that his administration had fulfilled the promises made in the 2015.