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REVEALED!!! How Youngest Kogi state Governor, Yahaya Bello lavished over N260million on security votes after assuming office

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Barely a week after he became governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello approved for himself a total of N260 million as security votes, as reported by PREMIUM TIMES today.

Mr. Bello, who is currently Nigeria’s youngest governor, was sworn into office at an elaborate ceremony on January 27 after his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, fielded him as replacement for its former candidate, Abubakar Audu.

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Mr. Audu was in clear lead in the November 21, 2015 governorship poll but suddenly died before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) concluded the election.

Mr. Bello was fielded as the APC replacement during the rerun poll in some areas of the state. His candidacy was fiercely opposed by the deputy governorship candidate of the party, James Faleke.

On Mr. Bello’s first day in office, the Permanent Secretary in the Government House, Ilemona John, initiated a memo titled, “Request For Security Fund”.

In the document, Mr. Bello was requested to approve N15 million as his security fund.

He approved the payment of the fund two days later, on January 29.

The Government House Permanent Secretary raised yet another memo just four days later on February 2, with a fresh request for security fund. This time, the amount was jerked to N20 million.

 

The governor did not waste time as he gave prompt approval for the release of the funds on the same day.

It however became apparent that the money was not enough because Mr. John again raised another memo for the release of more security funds the following day, February 3.

In the new memo, Mr. Bello was requested to approve the “release of the sum of Five Million naira (N5, 000,000, 00) only for the replenishment of your Excellency’s security fund which has just been exhausted.”

Mr. Bello granted approval immediately.

Not done, the permanent secretary who is a Reverend Pastor, quickly returned with another request on the same day (February 3, 2016) seeking Mr. Bello to release another “N20 million for the replenishment of his security fund which has just been exhausted.”

The governor did not hesitate to give the approval for the release of the funds.

Five days later, on February 8, the Permanent Secretary, again initiated a memo indicating that Mr. Bello’s security fund had yet again been exhausted and sought approval for N100 million to be released to “replenish” it.

Governor Bello granted approval the following day, February 9.

A few hours later on February 9, Mr. John raised another memo informing his principal that the security fund he approved hours earlier had been exhausted and that he needed to approve another N100 Million.

Mr. Bello readily granted approval on the same day.

PREMIUM TIMES cannot say exactly how much has so far been spent as security funds, but documents obtained so far indicate that between January 27 and May 12, Kogi State taxpayers could have coughed out billions to their profligate governor.

N148 Million for furnishing and renovation of office

While Mr. Bello was drawing millions under security funds, he also approved over N148 million to furnish and renovate his office at the Government House.

For this, Mr. John, the Government House permanent secretary, as usual, came up with another memo on February 1.

 

The memo was titled, “Request for the furnishing and maintenance of the Governor’s Office, Kogi State Government House”.

In it, Rev. John requested the governor to approve N99, 983, 994.00, being a proposal by a company, Maj Global Construction Company Ltd, for the furnishing and renovation of the governor’s office.

Mr. Bello promptly granted approval on the same day the request was made.

However, Rev. John returned a month later on March 4, with a memo telling the governor that the over N99 million he earlier released for the furnishing and renovation of his office, was not enough.

He, therefore, requested the governor to release additional N48, 593, 250.00 “for additional works on the renovation/furnishing and maintenance of the governor’s office at Kogi Government House”.

Governor Bello gave approval on the same day the request was made.

PREMIUM TIMES also obtained copies of the document detailing the release of the fund approved for the furnishing and renovation of the governor’s office.

The first document dated February 4, from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development showed that the sum of N99, 983, 994.00 was released as “Grant/ Special imprest in favour of the perm secretary in the Government House Administration”.

The other document, dated March 9, was also for the release of N48, 593, 250.00 as “Grant/Special imprest in favour of the permanent Secretary, Government House Administration to cover additional works for the furnishing and maintenance of the Governor’s office at Kogi Government House”.

While the governor engaged in a spending spree for his luxury, state workers and pensioners remained unpaid for months.

 

Analysts believe that while Kogi State has had a flicker of militant activities by members of the Boko Haram group, the state has remained largely a relatively peaceful state.

Mr. Bello’s defence

When PREMIUM TIMES contacted the spokesperson to the governor, Kingsley Fanwo, he confirmed the spending but said they were necessary.

“It is public knowledge that Kogi State has been contending with serious security breach for the past 10 years,” Mr. Fanwo said.

“As a result of the location of the state as gateway to many states of the federation, the state drifted into a criminal hotbed.

“Also, years of gross maladministration and blinding embezzlement has left the youth bare, exposing them to all sorts of criminal activities to survive. Kogi became a haven of robbers and kidnappers.”

As a responsible government, he argued that the Yahaya Bello administration has taken security to the front burners by strengthening the state’s security architecture in order to make it inhabitable for hoodlums and criminal elements.

Because of his principal’s huge investment, he said security in the state had greatly improved while however, adding that “security vote is not usually a subject for public consumption and no cost can be higher than human lives.”

He said Governor Bello would continue to prioritize security because it was one of the main objectives of his election.

Continuing, he said, “Let me also put on record that the Governor Yahaya Bello administration is contractually committed to fighting corruption and enthroning transparency in the polity. These are the terms of his social contract with the Kogi people.”

“If you have ever been to the Kogi State Government House in Lokoja, you will appreciate the rot of the architecture. It was not befitting of one of the most historic Government Houses in Nigeria.

“In tandem with the present administration’s drive to turn the economy of the state to a private sector driven one, we need to start our charity at home. People must love to come to our Government House to transact businesses.”

For these reasons, he said the Government House was undergoing massive renovation to make it habitable and to mirror the image of the state as a first-rated tourist destination.

Being what he described as “an accomplished business mogul” who believes he assumed power by the grace of God, he said Mr. Bello had always reiterated his determination, not only to block corrupt practices, but to also ensure corrupt officials of government were made to face the wrath of the law.

To underscore its transparency, he said the administration opened its account books to the people of the state.

Besides, he said the governor constantly briefed the media on the income and expenditure of government.

“Massive constructions are ongoing in the state and the Governor is focused on ensuring transparent and active performance of this year’s budget,” the governor’s spokesperson said.

“The antics of our opponents will be judged by the people of the state who are already witnessing the benefits of the New Direction Programs. The bulwark of the Yahaya Bello administration is transparency.”

 

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Fidelity Bank Commends Air Peace’s Performance

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Fidelity Bank Commends Air Peace’s Performance

 

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Fidelity Bank Commends Air Peace’s Performance

. Celebrates Airline For The Commencement of the Lagos-London Route

LAGOS – Fidelity Bank Plc has commended Air Peace’s performance since it commenced flight operations about 10 years ago.

 

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Fidelity Bank Commends Air Peace’s Performance

Dr. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, the Managing Director, Fidelity Bank Plc gave the commendation over the weekend in Lagos during a special event organised for the airline by the bank to celebrate Air Peace for the milestone of commencement of direct flights from Lagos to London.

According to Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, who doubled as the host at the event, the airline has upheld the principles of financial discipline and good corporate governance since inception, while it has also been very loyal to the bank.

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She expressed delight that the bank had the airline as one of its major clients since inception, stressing that the Bank was celebrating the airline’s milestone of launching direct flight service to London and other developments it would attain in the future.

The event, which held at the Civic Center, Victoria Island, Lagos, had in attendance several bank Managing Directors, stakeholders in the aviation sector, media personalities and well-wishers of both brands.

Speaking at the event, an elated Dr. Allen Onyema, the Chairman, Air Peace, observed that it was not rosy for the airline to attain its status and expressed gratitude to the flying public, the various aviation stakeholders, the media and the government for the continued support since it launched in 2014.

He specifically acknowledged the pivotal role played by Engr. Ben Adeyileka, the former Acting Director-General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), in helping the airline secure its Airline Operator Certificate (AOC).

He further commended Fidelity Bank for the consistent support and stressed that the bank had contributed to the success story of the airline.

“I call it our journey with Fidelity Bank. I did not envisage this day would come when an indigenous institution would be celebrating another indigenous institution. Fidelity supports real business. They keep removing people from the streets of poverty. Let other banks emulate Fidelity,” he said.

He reiterated that Air Peace was set up primarily to create employment, not for profitmaking, stressing that the motivation behind the business was to empower Nigerians economically.

“Air Peace was not borne out of the intent to profiteer, but to create jobs. Air Peace was not established because I wanted more money but because of the conviction that running an airline would create massive job opportunities. That was why we went into aviation”, he remarked.

He restated the airline’s belief in the Nigerian project, maintaining that supporting the airline meant supporting the growth of the Nigerian economy.

Onyema further craved for the support of all Nigerians on the Lagos-London route, which it opened on March 30, 2024.

He explained that the airline needed to sustain the route, stressing that this could only be done through support from Nigerians.

He said: “For every penny you pay to Air Peace, you pay to sustain the jobs of thousands of Nigerians and support economic growth.

“Air Peace flies you from any of our domestic routes to London. So, you can fly from Yola to London via Lagos. From the local airport, you are taken to the international airport free of charge with a seamless luggage transfer.”

He pledged that the airline would continue to fully adhere to the standard of safety and lauded the management and staff of Air Peace for their efforts in realising the London dream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dangote Group is the elixir of Gateway int’l Trade Fair – OGUNCCIMA

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Dangote: NANS Write President Tinubu Over mismanagement Of CTIN Funds (Video)

Dangote Group is the elixir of Gateway int’l Trade Fair – OGUNCCIMA

…Subsidiaries hit Ogun trade fair

 

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Ogun State Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (OGUNCCIMA) has described the Dangote Group as the driving force of the Gateway International Trade Fair.

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This is just as companies under the leading African Indigenous Conglomerate, Dangote Industries Limited, hit the trade fair with their various products as part of strategies to increase market share and deepen customers’ affection.

 

 

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The President of the chamber, Engr. Mike Akingbade, stated this when Ogun state governor, Dapo Abiodun officially opened the 13th edition of the Trade Fair at the M.K.O Abiola Trade Fair Complex, Oke Mosan, Abeokuta

Akingbade lauded the support of Dangote Group in sustaining the Trade Fair, which he noted has led to the prosperity of the state and economic freedom for the people.

“A special commendation must be given to Dangote Industries Limited which has remained the major sponsor of the Gateway International Trade Fair for many years. The committed support of the Dangote Group is the elixir with which the trade fair is activated and OGUNCCINA is eternally grateful for the wonderful gesture of the company,” he said.

He said the 13th Gateway International Trade Fair with the theme: “Achieving Economic Prosperity through Business Connection, Trade and Investment, “is aimed among others, to allow businesses to expand their reach, access new markets, and diversify their customer base. He emphasized that forging robust business connections, participating in trade activities, and making strategic investments will unlock new markets, stimulate economic growth, and enhance overall prosperity.

The Regional Sales Director, Dangote Cement PLC, Lagos/Ogun, Mr Tunde Mabogunje in his goodwill address, assured Ogun state government and OGUNCIMMA of the continuous support of the company, noting that the Group is dedicated to enhancing the prosperity of Nigeria by creating opportunities for Nigerians and businesses in the country.

Mabogunje said visitors to the Dangote Group’s pavilion at the fair will have the opportunity of buying products of these companies at reasonably reduced prices as the Dangote businesses will be selling at discounted prices.

He also hinted that the Dangote Refinery will be part of the next edition of the Trade Fair.

“We want to appreciate Ogun state for bringing us as a partner. We want to assure you that we will be here next year bigger. By next year, our refinery will be part of the Trade Fair,” he said.

Governor Dapo Abiodun who visited the Dangote pavilion immediately after performing the ribbon-cutting ceremony, commended the company and others for supporting the Trade Fair which he noted is aimed at stimulating economic growth.

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Nigeria Launches New Fiscal Incentives to Revitalise Oil & Gas Sector, Aiming to Attract $10 Billion Investment

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Nigeria Launches New Fiscal Incentives to Revitalise Oil & Gas Sector, Aiming to Attract $10 Billion Investment

Nigeria Launches New Fiscal Incentives to Revitalise Oil & Gas Sector, Aiming to Attract $10 Billion Investment

 

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… as FG endorses consolidated guidelines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sahara Weekly Reports That Today, in a move to further revitalise the oil and gas industry’s contribution to the Nigerian Economy, Wale Edun, OFR, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, presided over a signing ceremony at the Federal Ministry of Finance headquarters in Abuja endorsing the Consolidated Guidelines for the implementation of Fiscal Incentives for the Oil & Gas Sector – a cornerstone of the Presidential Directive aimed at enhancing the Nigerian oil & gas sector’s global competitiveness whilst stimulating economic growth.

 

 

 

 

Nigeria Launches New Fiscal Incentives to Revitalise Oil & Gas Sector, Aiming to Attract $10 Billion Investment

 

 

 

 

 

As disclosed during the signing, the Presidential Directives were developed and coordinated by the Special Adviser to the President on Energy, Mrs. Olu Verheijen to ensure a competitive framework for the Nigerian oil & gas industry. These Consolidated guidelines for the fiscal incentives are based on extensive collaboration across Finance and Petroleum Ministries and involved several key regulatory bodies including the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).

 

According to Mrs. Verheijen, these new measures have been designed to deliver a competitive Internal Rate of Return (IRR) for Oil & Gas Projects and attract over $10 billion in new investments within the next 12-18 months. They also underscore Nigeria’s commitment to reaching its long term oil production target of 4 million barrels per day whilst enhancing the reliability of gas supply for to boost export earnings and fuel Nigeria’s industrialization.

 

Mrs. Verheijen disclosed that among the guidelines signed were the NUPRC Guideline on Hydrocarbon Liquids Content in a Non-Associated Gas (NAG) Field, essential for accurately categorising and quantifying the hydrocarbon liquid content in these fields. Additional guidelines focused on the applicability of tax credits and allowances for Non-Associated Gas Greenfield Development and the Midstream Capital and Gas Utilization Allowance, providing taxpayers with clarity on the computation of these benefits.

 

HM Edun, in his remarks, thanked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for signing the directive in February 2024 to engender growth in the Nigerian oil and gas sector, which had stagnated for over the last decade. He also emphasised the potential of the guidelines, saying, “The idea is to create an atmosphere conducive to international competitiveness such that investment comes in. And in this case, we know it’s foreign direct investment”.

 

The signing ceremony was attended by various stakeholders, including NNPC Limited, Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) and the Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG), further highlighting Nigeria’s unified approach toward reinvigorating its oil and gas sector.

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