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EFCC After me Over Saraki, Magu’s Rejection – Nwaoboshi

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Achike Udenwa
  • EFCC After me Over Saraki, Magu’s Rejection

A member of the Senate representing Delta-North Senatorial District, Peter Nwaoboshi, on Friday, alleged that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is after him over his loyalty to President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki.

He alleged that the EFCC was also after him and other senators due to their opposition to the confirmation of the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, by the Senate.

The lawmaker denied the allegation that his Bank Verification Number had been linked with 20 different company and personal bank accounts, urging the EFCC to contact the firms.

It was reported on Friday that based on a petition from an undisclosed author in Delta State, the EFCC was investigating Nwaoboshi’s alleged complicity in the non-execution of N4bn contracts awarded by the government of Delta State.

The EFCC was reported to also be investigating how the lawmaker operates 20 accounts in six banks with different signatories.

He was alleged to have used a company to buy a 12-storey building in Apapa, Lagos, which belonged to the Delta State Government, for N805m.

Nwaobosho was also accused of not declaring all the companies and bank accounts belonging to him to the Code of Conduct Bureau.

Speaking with journalists in Abuja on Friday, Nwaoboshi denied the allegations.

He said, “They said I have 20 bank accounts and that my BVN number is linked to the 20 accounts but my brother is the signatory to those accounts. If you have a BVN, can it be different from the signature to an account?

“Again, if it is true, what disqualifies my brother from owning 50 bank accounts for his businesses if he decides to own different accounts for his companies? What disqualifies his company from owning an account in different banks? Is there is any law that says a company should have only one bank account?

“These are just meant to malign, discredit and stop me from talking. I learnt they are planning to arrest and detain me. I am the wrong person because it will not stop me from talking and doing the work my people sent me here to do. Great men have gone into detention – those bigger than me.”

He further said it was the duty of the CCB to verify the information provided in his assets declaration form. He stated that it was not a case to be handled by the EFCC.

The Senate had rejected Magu’s nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari based on a damning report by the Department of State Services.

Nwaoboshi said, “If the power of confirmation resides here and that power of confirmation and rejection has been exercised, the appointing authority should do what is needful. That was what I said and that was what I was supposed to say. If the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, of which I am a member, takes a decision on a matter, it is binding on the members.

“I am a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Senate is an institution I must protect. I was not born a senator. I am a teacher, lawyer, businessman before becoming a senator. I have come and I will go but the institution of the Senate must be defended.”

When asked if he felt his investigation by the EFCC was due to his loyalty to Saraki, he replied, “Yes, we are paying for the alleged sins of our principal.”

The lawmaker stated that he was not in the Delta State Government during the period under which EFCC acts under investigation were committed.

He said, “EFCC can go ahead to contact the companies. I have nothing to hide and we have nothing to hide in the companies. We do business and we stand by the business because we have a name. We have nothing at all as a company to hide in this matter. Although, I am no longer a director in the company.

“For me, I don’t have a problem; they will go to court and we will go to court. All they want is what I’m telling you; they cannot stop me from saying what I believe in. What I believe in, I will say it.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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NIMC Announces Launch of Three National ID Cards to Boost Identity Management

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The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has unveiled plans to launch three new national identity cards.

These cards are aimed at providing improved access to government services and bolstering identification systems across Nigeria.

The three new national identity cards, as disclosed by Ayodele Babalola, the Technical Adviser, Media, and Communications to the Director-General of NIMC, will include a bank-enabled National ID card, a social intervention card, and an optional ECOWAS National Biometric Identity Card.

Babalola explained that these cards are tailored to meet the diverse needs of Nigerian citizens while fostering greater participation in nation-building initiatives.

In an interview, Babalola outlined the timeline for the rollout of these cards, indicating that Nigerians can expect to start receiving them within one or two months of the launch, pending approval from the Presidency.

The bank-enabled National ID card, designed to cater to the middle and upper segments of the population, will offer seamless access to banking services within the specified timeframe.

Also, the National Safety Net Card will serve as a crucial tool for authentication and secure platform provision for government services such as palliatives, with a focus on the 25 million vulnerable Nigerians supported by current government intervention programs.

This initiative aims to streamline the distribution process and ensure efficient delivery of social services to those in need.

Furthermore, the ECOWAS National Biometric Identity Card will provide an optional identity verification solution, facilitating cross-border interactions and promoting regional integration within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The announcement comes on the heels of NIMC’s collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS) to develop a multipurpose national identity card equipped with payment capabilities for various social and financial services.

This collaborative effort underscores the commitment of key stakeholders to foster innovation, cost-effectiveness, and competitiveness in service delivery.

Babalola stated that the new identity cards aim to address the need for physical identification, empower citizens, and promote financial inclusion for marginalized populations. With a target of providing these cards to approximately 104 million eligible applicants on the national identification number database by the end of December 2023, NIMC is poised to revolutionize the identity management landscape in Nigeria.

The implementation of these programs aligns with broader efforts to drive digital transformation and improve access to essential services for all Nigerians.

Babalola highlighted the multifaceted benefits of the new identity cards, including their potential to uplift millions out of poverty by facilitating access to government social programs and financial services.

While the launch date is set tentatively for May pending presidential approval, NIMC remains committed to finalizing the necessary details to ensure a smooth rollout of the new identity cards.

The introduction of these cards represents a significant step forward in NIMC’s mission to provide secure and reliable identity solutions that empower individuals and contribute to the socio-economic development of Nigeria.

Efforts to reach Kayode Adegoke, the Head of Corporate Communications at NIMC, for further insights on the initiative were unsuccessful at the time of reporting.

As Nigeria gears up for the launch of these innovative identity cards, stakeholders express optimism about the potential positive impact on identity management, financial inclusion, and socio-economic development across the country.

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Nigeria Launches New National ID Card to Enhance Access to Social and Financial Services

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National-eID-card

The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced the launch of a National Identity Card with integrated payment and social service functionalities.

This initiative, spearheaded by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS), aims to provide Nigerians with a single, multifunctional card that combines identification, payment, and access to various government and private sector services.

The new National ID card backed by the NIMC Act No. 23 of 2007 is poised to become the country’s default identity card, serving as a tangible proof of identity for citizens and legal residents alike.

With features aligned with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards, including a Machine-readable Zone (MRZ) and biometric authentication capabilities, the card offers robust security and verification mechanisms.

One of the most significant aspects of the new ID card is its payment functionality. Cardholders will have the ability to link their cards to bank accounts, enabling them to conduct debit and prepaid transactions seamlessly.

This feature is expected to enhance financial inclusion efforts, particularly for the unbanked and underbanked populations in Nigeria.

Also, the card will grant holders access to a wide range of government interventions programs, including travel, health insurance, microloans, agriculture initiatives, food subsidies, transport benefits, and energy subsidies.

By consolidating these services onto a single platform, the government aims to streamline administrative processes and improve service delivery efficiency.

To ensure widespread accessibility, the NIMC has outlined various channels for obtaining the new ID card, including online applications, commercial banks, participating agencies, and NIMC offices nationwide.

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New York City Hit by 4.8 Magnitude Earthquake

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christian dior

New York City, famously known as the “city that never sleeps” was hit by a 4.8 magnitude earthquake.

The tremors reverberated through the towering skyscrapers and bustling suburbs as it sent shockwaves across the densely populated metropolitan area and left residents feeling shaken.

The earthquake, with its epicenter approximately 45 miles west of New York City and 50 miles north of Philadelphia, caught many off guard.

Reports indicate that over 42 million people across the Northeast region may have felt the midmorning quake with reports coming in from as far as Baltimore to Boston and beyond.

The impact of the earthquake was not confined to mere tremors; it resulted in significant damage to several multifamily homes in Newark, New Jersey, displacing nearly 30 residents.

Officials immediately sprang into action, conducting checks on bridges and other major infrastructure to assess any potential structural damage.

Flights were diverted or delayed, Amtrak slowed trains throughout the busy Northeast Corridor, and a Philadelphia-area commuter rail line suspended service as a precautionary measure.

The experience was unsettling for many New Yorkers, with some likening it to the sensation of an explosion or construction accident.

Shawn Clark, an attorney working on the 26th floor of a midtown Manhattan office, described it as “pretty weird and scary,” echoing the sentiments of many who felt the earth move beneath them.

Aftershocks were reported hours later in a central New Jersey township, causing additional concern and producing reports of damage and items falling off shelves, according to Hunterdon County Public Safety Director Brayden Fahey.

The disruption caused by the earthquake extended beyond immediate safety concerns. Cellphone circuits were overloaded as people tried to reach loved ones, and phones blared with earthquake-related notifications during the New York Philharmonic’s morning performance, adding an unexpected twist to the day’s events.

Even as the seismic event rattled New York City, residents and officials alike drew comparisons to past earthquakes, particularly the memorable tremor of August 23, 2011. Registering a magnitude of 5.8, it was the strongest quake to hit the East Coast since World War II, leaving lasting impressions on those who experienced it.

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