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Go After MMM Promoters, Reps Tell EFCC, CBN

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SPEAKER of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara
  • Go After MMM Promoters, Reps Tell EFCC, CBN

The House of Representatives on Wednesday asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Central Bank of Nigeria to immediately go after the promoters of the Mavrodi Mondial Moneybox, otherwise known as MMM, in Nigeria.

Lawmakers strongly opposed the investment scheme, which has lately gained popularity among Nigerians in the wake of the current economic recession in the country.

The MMM promises 30 per cent return on investment for any money put into the scheme for 30 days.

The investment scheme has a Russian origin and “involves directing clients to make money available for an anonymous person with a promise of 30 per cent return within one month.”

But, members of the House described the scheme as a scam and warned Nigerians not to be carried away by the mouth-watering returns on investment that it promised.

Lawmakers warned that the trick being used by the operators was to attract as many Nigerians as possible to invest substantial amounts of money before the bubble would burst.

The House directed the EFCC, security agencies and the CBN to take urgent steps to halt the scheme before many Nigerians would become victims of the alleged scam.

It also asked its committees on Banking/Currency and Financial Crimes to investigate the activities of the MMM scheme in Nigeria “with a view to saving Nigerians participating in the scheme from financial ruin.”

The Chairman, House Committee on Telecommunications, Mr. Saheed Fijabi, had in a motion, drawn the attention of lawmakers to the growing popularity of the scheme among the citizens.

“The scheme entered the Nigerian circle in 2016, capitalising on the high level of unemployment and poverty to deceive unwary Nigerians into falling prey to the antics of the promoters,” Fijabi stated.

He said the fact that the MMM was not regulated by law or approved by the CBN as a secured business venture made Nigerians more vulnerable.

“Any Nigerian, who is participating in the MMM scheme, which is not regulated by law, is vulnerable to losing his/her investment, as there is no identifiable platform to guarantee the security of such, given the declaration by the CBN that the scheme is fraudulent,” he told the House.

The Deputy House Minority Leader, Mr. Chukwuka Onyeama, recalled that in the past, Nigerians had fallen prey to ponzi investment schemes and banks that promised huge profits.

Onyeama cited the case of the infamous ‘Umana-Umana’ wonder bank, which operated in Calabar, Cross River State, years back.

He added, “We have a responsibility to guide Nigerians before the bubble bursts. Very soon, people will begin to commit suicide or resort to this same House by writing petitions on how some investors took their money away.

“The profit margin promised by the MMM is too good to be real. What type of business gives you such return over a short period?”

The Chairman, House Committee on Federal Judiciary, Mr. Aminu Shagari, supported the motion and called on the EFCC and the CBN to urgently look into the operation of the scheme.

Another member from Adamawa State, Mr. Abdulrahman Abubakar, said, “What is the CBN waiting for? It should have invited security agencies to protect Nigerians already.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

COVID-19 Vaccine: African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) to Purchase 270 Million Doses for Nigeria, Other African Nations

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African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Approves $2 Billion for the Purchase of 270 million Doses for African Nations

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) said it has approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations, including Nigeria.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the Bank, disclosed this at a virtual Africa Soft Power Series held on Tuesday.

He, however, stated that the lender is looking to raise more funds for the COVID-19 vaccines’ acquisition.

He said: “The African Union knows that unless you put the virus away, your economy can’t come back. If Africa didn’t do anything, it would become a COVID-19 continent when other parts of the world have already moved on.
“Recall that it took seven years during the heat of HIV for them to come to Africa after 12 million people had died.

“With the assistance of the AU, we were able to get 270 million vaccines and financing need of about $2 billion. Afreximbank then went ahead to secure the $2 billion. But that money for the 270 million doses could only add 15 per cent to the 20 per cent that Covax was bringing.

He added that this is not the time to wait for handouts or free vaccines as other countries will naturally sort themselves out before African nations.

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China Calls for Better China-U.S. Relations

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China Calls for China-U.S. Relations

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.

“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

“We stand ready to have candid communication with the U.S. side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”

Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden as a positive step.

Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.

The Biden administration has, however, signalled it will maintain pressure on Beijing. Biden has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed of a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.

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U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

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President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation, a blow to his quest to conceal details of his finances.

The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the former Republican president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.

“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.

Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump’s request.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority included three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the dispute, last July rejecting Trump’s broad argument that he was immune from criminal probes as a sitting president.

Unlike all other recent U.S. presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to make his tax returns public. The data could provide details on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization.

Trump, who left office on Jan. 20 after being defeated in his Nov. 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face an array of legal issues concerning his personal and business conduct.

Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 seeking Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s lawyers sued to block the subpoena, arguing that as a sitting president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.

The Supreme Court in its July ruling rejected those arguments but said Trump could raise other objections to the subpoena. Trump’s lawyers then argued before lower courts that the subpoena was overly broad and amounted to political harassment, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in August and the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October rejected those claims.

Vance’s investigation, which began more than two years ago, had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made before the 2016 election to two women – adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – who said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

In recent court filings, Vance has suggested that the probe is now broader and could focus on potential bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

In separate litigation, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives was seeking to subpoena similar records. The Supreme Court in July sent that matter back to lower courts for further review.

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