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Okonjo-Iweala replies Oshiomhole, El-Rufai; denies spending oil money without approval

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The allegation by some governors that a former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, spent $2.1 billion out of the Excess Crude Account “without authorization” is false, malicious and totally without foundation, the minister’s spokesperson said Tuesday.

The governors of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole; Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai, had said that the National Economic Council, at a meeting on Monday, found that $2.1 billion of the Excess Crude Account was spent without the approval of the council.

The former minister said no unauthorized expenditure from the ECA was made under her watch in the Finance Ministry, and that decisions on such expenditure were discussed at meetings of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) attended by finance commissioners from the 36 states.

“It is curious that in their desperation to use the esteemed National Economic Council for political and personal vendetta, the persons behind these allegations acted as if the constitutionally recognized FAAC, a potent expression of Nigeria’s fiscal federalism, does not exist,” a statement signed by the former minister’s spokesperson, Paul Nwabuikwu, said.

“But Nigerians know that collective revenues, allocations and expenditures of the three tiers of government are the concern of the monthly FAAC meetings.

“It is important to acknowledge the efforts of governors who are working hard to overcome the current revenue challenges facing their states without resorting to character assassination and blame games,” it said.

The former minister said she remained ready and willing to respond to legitimate enquiries about issues under her purview as Finance Minister.

“But it is clear that this is the latest chapter of a political witch-hunt by elements who are attempting to use the respected National Economic Council for ignoble purposes having failed abysmally in their previous attempts to tar the Okonjo-Iweala name.

“It will be recalled that one of such attempts took place in May when some of these governors, hiding under the auspices of the Nigerian Governors Forum asked Okonjo-Iweala to explain $20 billion alleged to be missing from the same ECA.

“The Finance Ministry subsequently issued a news release and published an advertorial in national newspapers on May 25, 2015 giving details of what the Federal Government and states received from the ECA in the last four years. It also provided details of the use of the funds for payment of petrol subsidies for the Nigerian public and SURE-P allocations to the three tiers for development purposes.

“After the publication, the accusers lost their voice. But the latest allegations show that these persons are still in the business of throwing up wild, unsubstantiated figures to damage Okonjo-Iweala’s name. For instance, within the last few months, Governor Oshiomhole and his fellow travelers have asked Okonjo-Iweala to account for “missing” $30 billion, $20 billion and now $2.1 billion. What they don’t seem to understand is that the strategy has lost all credibility because the falsehood is clear for all to see.

“How can some governors who fought FG’s efforts to leave robust savings in the ECA and even took the Federal Government to court over the matter turn around to make such unfounded allegations?

“The world knows that it was Okonjo-Iweala who pioneered, during her first stint as Minister of Finance in the Obasanjo administration, the practice of publishing monthly updates of all allocations to different tiers of government in order to empower Nigerians with information and knowledge of government revenues and expenditure. This enabled the Nigerian public to ask questions about the utilization of these resources. Of course many elected and appointed public officials were not happy with this development.

“She continued this practice when she returned in 2011 and even added periodic updates on the Excess Crude Account, subsidy payments for verified claims by oil marketers for fuel imports as well as SURE-P payments to the three tiers of government.

“Against this background, the idea that she spent $2.1 billion “without authorization” is simply not credible given that details of government receipts and expenditure are public knowledge.

“We believe that Nigerians are too smart to be hoodwinked by this partisan desperation to tar the name of Okonjo-Iweala.

“In the interest of the country, we advise that public officials should avoid the temptation to politicize economic issues so that balanced analysis can lead to real solutions.”

Sahara weekly online is published by First Sahara weekly international. contact saharaweekly@yahoo.com

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FRN vs Ali Bello: Court Shifts trial till March 14, warns EFCC to be diligent in prosecution

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FRN vs Ali Bello: Court Shifts trial till March 14, warns EFCC to be diligent in prosecution

FRN vs Ali Bello: Court Shifts trial till March 14, warns EFCC to be diligent in prosecution

 

A Federal High Court in Abuja has shifted further trial in the charges against Ali Bello and Suleiman Daudu till March 14 with a
warning to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to be diligent in the conduct of the trial.

 

 

FRN vs Ali Bello: Court Shifts trial till March 14, warns EFCC to be diligent in prosecution

 

The Court, while granting accelerated hearing, threatened to close the charges against the defendants if the prosecution does not do due dilligence.

Justice James Omotoso, who issued the warning on Friday, asked the anti-graft agency to always get all its witnesses and exhibits ready on adjourned dates so as to avoid delay.

He warned that he would not tolerate lackadaisical attitude from any of the parties in the matter while shifting resumption of trial to March 14, 15, 20 and 21 .

Justice Omotoso also directed the defendants to keep further objections against the trial at abeyance, especially to the final address stage.

The Judge, who made this observation while ruling in a motion on notice filed by Suleiman Daudu challenging the amended charges, however, refused to quash the 17-count amended charge, involving alleged money laundering.

The court also declined to transfer the trial of the two defendants to Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, in line with the argument of the 2nd defendant through his counsel, Mr Jimoh Nureni, SAN, that since the alleged offence was committed in Lokoja, the proper and appropriate venue for trial should be at the Federal High Court in Lokoja.

The judge noted that the Federal High Court in Nigeria was one and that trial of any matter could be prosecuted in any of its divisions.

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Olabode Olawuyi:s Dedication, Passion Will Forever Serve As An Inspiration To Us All-NBCA

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Olabode Olawuyi:s Dedication, Passion Will Forever Serve As An Inspiration To Us All-NBCA

Olabode Olawuyi:s Dedication, Passion Will Forever Serve As An Inspiration To Us All-NBCA

 

 

 

The Nigeria Biodiversity Conservation Alliance (NBCA) has stated that the dedication and passion of Mr. Olabode Olawuyi, the late veterinary technologist killed by a lion at the Zoological Garden of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), would forever serve as an inspiration.

 

 

Olabode Olawuyi:s Dedication, Passion Will Forever Serve As An Inspiration To Us All-NBCA

 

NBCA stated this in a statement released on Wednesday, February 21, adding that Olawuyi’s dedication to his chosen field shone for all to see.

In the statement signed by Mr. Dipo Bali, NBCA said that it was deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Olawuyi, who was the former Public Relations Officer for the National Zoological Agency (NAZAP).

“In memory of Mr. Olabode Olawuyi, we pledge to redouble our efforts towards promoting responsible wildlife management practices and fostering a robust safety culture within the zoological and animal care fields. His dedication and passion will forever serve as an inspiration to us all.”

The group which described the deceased as a pillar of the Nigerian zoological community, also noted that he was lauded for his unwavering commitment to wildlife conservation and exceptional service.

“He had dedicated years to the OAU Zoological Garden, providing exemplary care to its resident lion, whom he had nurtured since its birth. NBCA acknowledges the ongoing investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mr. Olawuyi’s passing.

“We extend our deepest condolences to his grieving family, friends, and colleagues at OAU during this difficult time. Our unwavering support stands with them as they navigate this profound loss.

“As an organization dedicated to wildlife protection and preservation in Nigeria, we recognize the inherent risks associated with working with wild animals. We remain steadfast in advocating for the strictest adherence to safety protocols and established guidelines to ensure the well-being of both wildlife caretakers and the animals under their care.*

Also, NBCA said that it remains committed to closely monitoring the situation and collaborating with relevant authorities to prevent similar tragedies from unfolding in the future, while also extending its unwavering support to the OAU Zoological Garden and its staff during this period of immense loss.

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Teon Engine Revolutionizes African Marketing with Data-Driven Innovations

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Teon Engine Revolutionizes African Marketing with Data-Driven Innovations

Teon Engine Revolutionizes African Marketing with Data-Driven Innovations

 

 

Teon Engine, the innovative Nigerian arm of Precise Platforms (a leading marketing communications company in Nigeria), is shattering outdated traditional marketing strategies with its intelligent, data-driven solutions. Forget dusty old playbooks – they’re throwing open the doors to a new era of “Turning on the Market” through creativity and cutting-edge technology.

 

Teon Engine Revolutionizes African Marketing with Data-Driven Innovations

 

 

Nestled in the heart of Lagos’ vibrant tech hub, Teon Engine doesn’t just talk innovation, it embodies it. Its arsenal? The Teon Suites, a suite of meticulously crafted tools designed to empower brands at every stage of their marketing journey. This isn’t just storytelling, it is storyselling.

Its comprehensive suite of “MarTech” solutions is designed to empower brands across every stage of the marketing journey. One of such is the TrendTeon. This innovation isn’t the average social listening tool. TrendTeon acts as a campaign aggregation platform, facilitating direct connections between brands and influencers. Forget sifting through endless profiles – both parties can easily find ideal partners, streamlining collaboration and maximizing efficiency. https://trendteon.com

PollTeon, another innovative tool from Teon Engine is designed to crave audience insights. PollTeon serves as your opinion-gathering powerhouse. Craft engaging polls, collect valuable data, and analyze results with ease. It also enables users to share their findings seamlessly and gain a deeper understanding of their target audience. https://pollteon.com

On the other hand, SurveyTeon enables users to dive deeper with and positioned to be a researcher’s dream tool. It designs dynamic surveys with diverse question types, gather high-quality data, and extract meaningful insights to inform your next steps. https://surveyteon.com

The Teon Suites are more than just tools. Teon Engine’s power lies in its combination of technology and human expertise. Funke Ogunsina, Chief Operating Officer, highlights this transformative approach: “Teon Engine represents a paradigm shift in African marketing communications. We blend cutting-edge technology with deep strategic expertise, empowering brands to unlock their full potential and truly ‘Turn on the Market’.”

Ogunsina emphasizes Teon Engine’s commitment to pushing boundaries saying “We operate under the ‘FURTHER FORWARD’ ideology, constantly pushing boundaries and unlocking new possibilities for clients. Marketing communication needs continuous reinvention, and we’re here to lead the charge.”

Teon Engine is already making waves, partnering with Prof Tunji Azeez an astute professor in LASU, Marketing Edge the leading marketing news platform in Nigeria and so many other collaborations and partnership are in the works and will be announced subsequently. With its data-driven approach, powerful tools, and dedication to growth, Teon Engine is poised to be a game-changer in the African marketing landscape. They’re not just telling brand stories, they’re empowering brands to become active participants in the conversation, one click, one insight, one connection at a time.

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