…Defends SystemSpecs against Spurious Allegations
The Africa Media Roundtable Initiative (AMRI) urges President Muhammadu Buhari to fortify the anti-corruption campaign which worked to great effect in his first term as president. We also implore the president to reinforce the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy in the constitution of the country given its reputation as the most efficient fiscal policy enacted in the history of Nigeria till date.
It is indubitable that the brazen corruption which plagued the country in times past was curbed to a large extent during the first term of President Buhari owing to his audacious anti-corruption stance. Much of the success recorded so far under this administration stems from the overwhelming success of TSA.
TSA is one of the most significant achievements of the current Federal Government and the most potent and effective anti-corruption tool under the current administration of President Buhari. With a gross saving of N10 trillion, no public financial management policy has yielded as much reward as TSA. These achievements are of huge strategic significance in our national economic recovery efforts especially in these challenging times. Recall that Nigeria was only able to survive the last recession due to the intervention of SystemSpecs Remita as funds that could otherwise have been frittered away are now made available for infrastructural and developmental endeavours towards national progress. In recognition of its promotion of excellence, best practices and innovation, Remita won several awards locally and internationally.
But like with all revolutions, TSA has not escaped the talons of corrupt individuals who are bent on crippling the progress of the country by sabotaging its efficacy and plunging the nation back to dark yesteryears.
Recently, a so-called non-governmental organization, sponsored by those who wish to continue to perpetrate their notoriety and jeopardise the economic prosperity and sustainability of this country, is suggesting that the TSA contract was awarded to SystemSpecs without recourse to due process. This grand scheme would not be lost to anyone who has carefully followed the history of the TSA, as this is the third antic of this group in their inglorious quest.
In light of the foregoing background, it is indeed a traumatic irony to see orchestrations of events poised to dissipate goodwill, downplaying the gains created by the Remita technology for Nigeria.
We find this position as untenable as it is absurd due to the rigorous selection process SystemSpecs was subjected to before emerging the preferred provider of the technology behind the super-successful policy. Initially, as public records have it, CMA, a Swedish company was saddled with the task of powering the policy but after repeated delays and failures, the government turned to Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS). NIBSS performed the task but not without difficulties. The platform was limited in its functionality, hence the need to contact SystemSpecs to power the policy through its innovative Remita platform. If this does not constitute due process, then we would go further to jog the memories of both URGFP and its corrupt financiers.
It could be recalled that as far back as 2015, we have commended the government for the implementing the TSA policy through Remita and have proffered, measures to solidify this. Our position emanates from the outcome of the enquiry from the Senate. In 2017, the House of Representatives set up a panel headed by Honourable Nuhu Danburam to investigate the entire TSA in Nigeria. Hon. Danburam and his colleagues applauded SystemSpecs for its efforts in implementing the TSA policy whilst enjoining the federal government to settle its debt to the company. These recommendations and acclaim only raise the question as to why the National Assembly gave a clean bill of health to the TSA selection process and SystemSpecs but a recently-established NGO disagrees. If not for being on the payroll of the corruption advocates, why will an NGO be involved in the selection process of a company that has driven the implantation of Nigeria’s most successful public financial management policy? Nigerians must take caution that this ready-for-hire group should not be allowed to plunge the nation into unprecedent economic calamity that attempting to reinvent the wheel of progress will result into.
SystemSpecs emerged from various injustices unperturbed due to its patriotism, uprightness and pride in its ingenious technology which saved the economy from a collapse according to Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Nevertheless, to further reinforce the value of TSA to the upward movement of Nigeria, we will refer to the N7.8 billion remittance of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to the coffers the Federal Government in 2012. Not only was this feat unprecedented, it also boils down to the implementation of TSA across board. JAMB’s remittance in 2018 surpasses the previous its previous remittances put together. Oloyede credited his achievement to the TSA policy enforced by President Buhari. TSA not only plugged the inherent loopholes in the system, but also exposed those who had benefitted from the hithero corrupt process.
Furthermore, if the testimony of Prof. Oloyede and Jamb does not suffice, we will like to remind the naysayers about the recently concluded TSA workshop organised by the Minister of Finance for emissaries from the Republic of Gambia. During the course of this visit, the Accountant General of Gambia, Mr. Momodou Lamin Bah, spoke about a recommendation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the implementation of TSA in Nigeria. According to Mr. Bah, IMF instructed Gambia to understudy the Nigerian process in order to inform their TSA implementation process. At the conclusion of this process, the Gambians commended the Nigerian government and SystemSpecs for sharing invaluable insights as regards the policy.
Moreover, the Director of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Salawu Zubair, explained in detail how Remita was selected to power the policy. According to Mr. Zubair, CBN, CMA and NIBSS attempted to power the policy but all fell short at some point hence the contract with SystemSpecs. Cynics and corruption advocates can easily glean this information online rather than subject themselves and their diminishing cash to bodies lacking the wherewithal to further their nefarious campaign.
Mr. President, every well-meaning Nigerian is aware of the impact you have made thus far and are encouraging you to surpass your previous achievements in the next four years. However, we are also aware that some things need to be done for you to do so. For instance, agencies who are partially complied to the TSA scheme need to be enrolled fully in order to reap the rewards of the policy. SystemSpecs, the Obalende-based company, must also be paid accordingly as its impact on the long-term sustenance of the country far outweighs the financial implications of the contract.
Africa Media Roundtable Initiative is an international media and civil society organization with the objective to promote, defend and advocate policy formulation and leadership development.
Tragedy struck today in Abraka, Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State, as a building under construction collapsed, killing 4 people and also leaving many trapped.
The hotel building under construction belonging to one Mr. Christopher Onojakpenuri, collapsed after workers rushed in to wait for the heavy rain to subside before resuming the job. The incident was blamed on used of “substandard” materials by its owner.
Confirming the incident, the Delta State Commissioner of Police, CP Adeyinka Adeleke told newsmen;
“The building collapsed but we have not been able to ascertain the number of people who are trapped. However, our men are on ground to rescue the victims and until we do that, I cannot tell you the number of those trapped.”
Baghdad Bounedjah’s early goal propelled Algeria to a first Africa Cup of Nations title in 29 years after a fiery 1-0 victory over Sadio Mane’s Senegal in Friday’s final in Cairo.
Bounedjah gave Algeria a dream start in the second minute when his deflected shot looped over Senegal goalkeeper Alfred Gomis, and it proved enough for the 1990 champions to lift the trophy on foreign soil for the first time.
For Senegal, who lost to Algeria by the same scoreline in the group stage, the long wait for a first continental crown goes on as coach Aliou Cisse, the captain of the 2002 runners-up, again fell short in the final.
It was the first title-decider to feature two African coaches since 1998, with Algeria boss Djamel Belmadi completing a whirlwind 12 months at the helm after inheriting a side that failed to make it out of the group stage two years ago.
With defensive rock Kalidou Koulibaly suspended for Senegal, Salif Sane deputised at the back and Ismaila Sarr was recalled in attack, while Belmadi kept faith in the same side that overcame Nigeria with an injury-time free-kick from Riyad Mahrez.
Senegal had understandably feared the absence of Napoli star Koulibaly, banned after two bookings in the knockout rounds, although the towering Sane was desperately unlucky as Algeria grabbed the lead with scarcely a minute played.
As Bounedjah took aim from 20 yards his effort smacked off Sane and arced high into the air before dropping underneath the crossbar and beyond a static Gomis, sparking delirious celebrations from both players and fans, some of whom arrived for the final on military planes provided by the Algerian government.
It was the first time Gomis had conceded in almost 400 minutes in Egypt having replaced the injured Edouard Mendy ahead of Senegal’s final group game.
Henri Saivet, who missed a penalty in the 1-0 victory over Tunisia, tried to catch Rais Mbohli out with a free-kick while Mbaye Niang fizzed a powerful drive just over as Senegal gradually showed signs of life before the half ended with both sets of players embroiled in a scuffle as they headed for the tunnel.
Senegal thought they had won a penalty on the hour when Cameroonian referee Alioum Alioum pointed to the spot for a suspected handball by Adlene Guedioura, but the official reversed his decision after a VAR review.
Niang rounded an advancing Mbohli after a searching ball through from Cheikhou Kouyate but the forward sliced wide of the target from a tough angle, with the Algeria ‘keeper then acrobatically tipping over a rasping drive from Youssouf Sabaly.
The Desert Foxes started to look jaded as Senegal brought on fresh legs in Krepin Diatta and Mbaye Diagne, but Youcef Belaili nearly made it 2-0 when his cross brushed the head of a defender and skimmed the roof of the net.
Sarr blazed over on the volley as Algeria clung on to their advantage in the closing minutes, the final whistle greeted by an outpouring of raw emotion as the North Africans emerged worthy winners of the expanded 24-team event.
Odion Jude Ighalo has won the highest goal scorer award at the just concluded 2019 Africa Cup of Nations on Friday night.
The Super Eagles star scored five goals in the 32nd edition of the African football showpiece in Egypt.
Ighalo becomes the second Eagles player, after late Rashidi Yekini to have won the golden boots award at the AFCON.
The Shanghai Shenhua of China star striker scored in the third minute of play in the third-place match between Nigeria and Tunisia on Wednesday night.
He scored a total of five goals at the 2019 AFCON.
He scored his debut AFCON goal in Nigeria’s first group B game against Burundi. He got himself on the scoresheet again with a brace in the 3-2 enthralling round of 16 match against Cameroon to bring his tally to three.
He scored his fourth on the spot in the 2-1 loss to Algeria in the semi-final.
Ighalo netted his fifth goal of the tournament in the third-place match against Tunisia to drift away in the race for the golden boot, two clear of his closest challengers Adam Ounas and Sadio Mane of Algeria and Senegal respectively.
Bill Gates has been unseated as the second richest man in the world, losing the position to Bernard Arnault, the chairman and CEO of LVMH.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in the latest ranking by Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, Arnault is in second place with Jeff Bezos still retaining the first place.
Arnault and his family are the majority owners of Christian Dior and LVMH, parent of such brands as Louis Vuitton, Celine, Fendi, Moët, Hennessy, Dom Pérignon, and others.
As LVMH’s share price has soared in 2019, so has Arnault’s worth. It now stands at about $107.6 billion, more than $200 million ahead of Gates, Bloomberg estimates.
The report also stated that Gates would had been ranked the richest person, even ahead of Bezos if not for his philanthropic giveaways which gave Arnault more room to climb.
The French entrepreneur entered the luxury industry in 1984, when he bought Boussac, a textile empire in the midst of bankruptcy that owned Dior.
The famed label by then had deteriorated by licensing its name out to companies producing sub-par products.
Arnault set about reviving it, turning it into a vertically integrated company that did its own production, distribution, and marketing.
He went on to buy up other brands, such as Céline, and in 1988 engineered the deal that made him the majority shareholder of LVMH.
Forbes currently ranks Dior as the world’s largest fashion brand based on sales, profits, assets, and market value.
Meanwhile, LVMH on the whole, keeps attracting customers around the world, with China being the latest highly profitable frontier.