The sacked Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Jibrin Abdulmumini yesterday continued his campaign against Speaker Yakubu Dogara, and others, by alleging that monies amounting to about N10 billion had been received as running costs by all 10 principal officers, from when they joined the National Assembly.
Abdulmumini, in a statement, claimed Dogara received N1.5 billion in sub-head allowances from when he was elected into the House in 2007, to date, while Deputy Speaker Yussuff Sulaimon Lasun has received N800 million.
Dogara, was Chairman, Committee on House Services in the seventh assembly, while Lasun was Deputy Chairman, Committee on Water Resources.
According to Abdulmumini, the allowances, which he termed running costs, were collected by many members and used as personal funds.
“No more, no less – case closed! Most of these members used it to acquire properties, cars and live a life of luxury they never lived before coming to the House. Though, there exist systems for retirement of such money but a simple investigation by a primary school pupil will reveal the massive fraud therein,” he said.
He alleged that the Majority Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who was minority leader in the sixth and seventh assemblies received N1.2 billion, while Deputy House Leader, Jibril Buba also received N1.2 billion from 2007 to date.
“Chief Whip Alhassan Ado Doguwa who has been in the House since 2003 has received N1.2 billion, while Deputy Chief Whip has received N700 million from 2011 to date.
“Minority Leader Leo Ogor has been in the House from 2007 to date. He has received N1.2 billion. Deputy Minority Leader Barde has been in the House from 2011 to date. He has received N700 million. Minority Whip Chuma has been in the House from 2007 to date. He had received N800 million. And finally, Deputy Minority Whip, Binta has been in the House from 2011 to date. She has received N700 million,” he said.
“So, in between these 10 principal officers, the country has pumped about N10 billion – and still counting. As I have mentioned earlier, in most cases, with few exceptions, these funds are diverted for personal use. I will provide further break down of these figures in due course. I will also provide 50 additional names of members with worst cases of diversion of such funds in due course so we can name and shame them,” Abdulmumini added.
The embattled lawmaker added that the ‘running costs’ was outside of salaries of lawmakers.
“The consequential effect of dealing with corruption in the House, especially the allowances issue, will take its toll on even elections. Candidates usually spend so much money hoping that they can recoup from the huge allowances they will receive when elected into House. When you know that there is no such money in the House to be shared, I am sure nobody will want to put in so much money just to win an election to the House. The resultant effect will be that only people who truly want to serve will vie for the office, and voters will be obliged to vote according to the dictate of their conscience. This is just one advantage,” he added in the statement.
Meanwhile the House has said it would no longer join issues with Abdulmumini over his stream of allegations.
The Chairman of the Committee on Media and Publicity, Hon. Namdas Abdulrazak said the party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has directed all parties to stop commenting publicly on the matter.
We abide by the party’s directive, Namdas said.
He however queried why Abdulmumini cannot wait for the anti-graft agencies to whom he has submitted petitions, to do their job.
It should be recalled that last week, all 10 principal officers, in a statement, jointly clarified that the decision to remove Abdulmumini, was a collective decision.
“The decision to relieve the erstwhile Appropriation Chairman of his position was a collective decision of the leadership in response to unrelenting pressures from the overwhelming majority of Honourable Members who were irked by the former Chairman’s gross abuse of the budget process. Both actions were taken in the best interest of the institution and the nation for which we take full responsibility,” the statement read.
UAE Commits $30 Billion as COP28 Climate Talks Kick Off in Dubai
Nigeria Eyes BRICS Membership within Two Years as Foreign Minister Emphasizes Strategic Alignment
In a strategic move towards global economic collaboration, Nigeria is aspiring to join the BRICS group of nations within the next two years.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, affirmed that Nigeria is open to aligning itself with groups that demonstrate good intentions, well-meaning goals, and clearly defined objectives.
Tuggar stated, “Nigeria has come of age to decide for itself who her partners should be and where they should be; being multiple aligned is in our best interest.”
He emphasized the need for Nigeria to be part of influential groups like BRICS and the G-20, citing criteria such as population and economy size that position Nigeria as a natural candidate.
BRICS, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, stands as a formidable bloc of emerging market powers.
In a recent move to expand its influence, BRICS invited six additional nations, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Argentina, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates, to join the group.
Nigeria, as Africa’s largest economy, has been absent from the BRICS alliance, prompting discussions on the potential economic and political advantages the bloc could offer the country.
Analysts have noted that BRICS membership could provide Nigeria with significant leverage on the global stage.
Vice President Kashim Shettima clarified that Nigeria did not apply for BRICS membership after the bloc’s announcement of new members in August.
Shettima emphasized the principled approach of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, highlighting a commitment to consensus building in decisions related to international partnerships.
As Nigeria eyes BRICS membership, the move is seen as a strategic step towards enhancing its global economic and diplomatic influence.
Nigeria Spends N231.27 Billion on Arms Procurement in Four Years Amidst Rising Security Challenges
The Federal Government of Nigeria has disbursed a total of N231.27 billion for arms and ammunition procurement over the past four years.
Despite this significant investment, security agencies argue that the allocated funds are insufficient to effectively tackle the myriad security challenges afflicting the nation.
Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, defended the substantial budget for arms purchases during a session with the House of Representatives.
He emphasized that Nigeria’s dependence on foreign countries for military hardware, which are priced in dollars, diminishes the impact of the substantial budget when converted to the local currency.
General Musa explained, “We don’t produce what we need in Nigeria, and if you do not produce what you need, that means you are at the beck and call of the people that produce these items. All the items we procured were bought with hard currency, none in naira.”
He further illustrated the challenges faced, citing that a precision missile for drones costs $5,000, underscoring the magnitude of the expenses associated with arms procurement.
An analysis of the annual budgets for the Ministry of Defence and eight other armed forces from 2020 to 2022 reveals allocations of N11.72 billion, N10.78 billion, and N9.64 billion, respectively.
In 2023, N47.02 billion was disbursed for arms procurement, supplemented by a recently passed budget of N184.25 billion, resulting in a total of N231.27 billion.
Security expert Chidi Omeje raised concerns about the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), which is tasked with manufacturing arms locally. Omeje criticized DICON’s underperformance, urging the government to revamp the agency to reduce reliance on foreign nations for arms and ammunition.
Omeje stressed, “The new government must make sure that DICON lives up to its responsibilities,” highlighting the urgency of fostering self-sufficiency in arms production to address the country’s security challenges effectively.
Nigerian Exchange Rebounds with N166bn Gain, Led by Key Banking and Tech Stocks
Nigeria’s Commercial Papers Surge to Over N1 Trillion
Nigeria’s FX Reserves Dwindle by $1.6 Billion Amid Unification Efforts, Straining Naira
Business3 weeks ago
Nigeria’s Logistics Sector Holds Untapped N3tn Potential, Says Courier and Logistics Management Institute
Black Market Rate3 weeks ago
Black Market Exchange Rate Today 14th November 2023
News3 weeks ago
Millionaire Powerplay Limited Unveils Unprecedented Odds in American Lotto’s Instant Cashless Payout
News4 weeks ago
N-Power Batch C1 Programme Successfully Concluded, Investigation Ensures Eligible Beneficiaries Receive Payments
Black Market Rate4 weeks ago
Black Market Exchange Rate Today 9th November 2023
Forex3 weeks ago
Black Market Exchange Rate Today 16th November 2023
Forex4 weeks ago
Black Market Exchange Rate Today 10th November 2023
Forex4 weeks ago
Black Market Exchange Rate Today 8th November 2023