- Adeosun Applied for Exemption, Alleged Forged Certificate Under Probe –NYSC
The National Youth Service Corps has said it is investigating a “purported exemption certificate” which was allegedly obtained by the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun.
The NYSC Director of Press and Public Relations, Mrs Adeyemi Adenike, stated this on Monday, while reacting to media reports (not The PUNCH) that the finance minister allegedly forged an Exemption Certificate which was also cleared by the National Assembly during her screening.
The NYSC’s spokesperson, Adeyemi, said in a statement that the scheme could confirm that the finance minster indeed applied for an Exemption Certificate.
Adeyemi said, “Our attention has been drawn to the issue of the alleged forgery of an NYSC Exemption Certificate by the Honourable Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun. Checking our records, Mrs Adeosun did apply for an Exemption Certificate. We shall investigate the origin of the purported Exemption Certificate in question. Thank you.”
However, a civil society organisation, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, has called on the finance minister, Adeosun, to respond to the allegations of certificate forgery levelled against her or resign from office.
CACOL, in a release on Monday by its Chairman, Mr Debo Adeniran, said the centre called on President Muhammadu Buhari to “immediately wade into this matter by suspending Mrs Kemi Adeosun from her position as the Minister of Finance in order to allow full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the forgery allegation.”
Adeniran said, “What should not be encouraged, under any guise, is a reign of impunity as the country steers towards consolidation of its democratic culture. The minister was reported to have approved fictitious budget heads on several occasions. If this is found to be true, it is not only criminal, but a clear violation of fiscal discipline and accountability.
“The nation is presently facing a lot of challenges which require the present administration’s undivided attention, ranging from Fulani herdsmen-farmers’ crisis to banditry, social dislocation and economic crunch and cannot therefore afford to be bogged down by any distractions arising from the recklessness of any public official.
“Our current situation as a nation demands that public officers serving the current government should be seen to be above board in implementing the administration’s Change Agenda. Public officers are also compulsorily required to demonstrate transparency, responsibility and accountability in steering the ship of state.
“It is in this regard that we call on the President to immediately wade into this matter by suspending Mrs Kemi Adeosun from her position as the Minister of Finance to allow full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the forgery allegation and misappropriation of funds under her Ministry. This is necessary to reinforce public confidence and send a clear signal that no criminal conduct would be tolerated by this government.”
Attempts to get comments from the minister were not successful as calls and a text message sent to his Media Adviser, Oluyinka Akintunde, were not responded to as of 5.30pm when this report was being filed on Monday.
Adeosun had come under fire with several Nigerians, particularly on the social media, demanding investigations from the Federal Government into the allegations and calling for her resignation for presenting an alleged forged excemption certificate.
The reports claimed that the finance minister, who did not participate in the one-year national youth service, allegedly forged an Exemption Certificate several years after her graduation.
The certificate, which is dated September 2009, was reportedly signed by an NYSC Director-General, Yusuf Bomoi, who already left the scheme in January 2009.
In November 2015, Adeosun was appointed as Minister of Finance under President Muhammadu Buhari after she had been cleared by the Department of State Services and by the Senate.
Both the security and legislature, which ought to have looked closely at ministerial appointees’ certificates, records and profiles, allegedly failed to detect any fault in the NYSC Exemption Certificate presented by Adeosun.
As public outcry continues to greet the allegedly forged NYSC certificate by the finance minister, the NYSC said on Monday that it had begun its own investigations to unravel the source of the purported Exemption Certificate, said to have been obtained by the finance minister.
China and EU Seek Partnership: Xi Jinping Proposes Key Trade Alliance
Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed his desire for China and the European Union (EU) to become key trade partners and foster trust in supply chains, during a meeting with EU leaders in Beijing.
The talks marked the first in-person summit between the two sides in four years and addressed a range of economic concerns, including data flows and market access.
Xi emphasized China’s commitment to high-quality development and opening up, positioning the EU as a crucial partner in economic and trade cooperation.
He envisioned the EU as a trusted collaborator in industrial and supply chain cooperation, aiming for mutual benefits and win-win results.
The summit delved into longstanding issues, such as efforts by Europe to “de-risk” its supply chains and the EU’s anti-subsidies investigation into Chinese-made electric vehicles.
China criticized the investigation, urging the EU to avoid using it for “trade protectionism.”
Xi called for the elimination of interference between China and the EU, a statement likely directed at the United States, which has taken actions, including enlisting the Netherlands, to curb China’s development of high-end semiconductors.
The EU leaders, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, described their conversation with Xi as “good and candid.”
They discussed the main challenges amid increasing geopolitical frictions, emphasizing a commitment to balanced trade relations and pledging to enhance people-to-people exchanges.
During the meeting, Italy formally informed China of its exit from the Belt and Road Initiative, highlighting ongoing strains between the EU and China.
Xi discussed Belt and Road with EU leaders, expressing a willingness to connect it with the EU’s Global Gateway infrastructure plan.
However, deep issues remain, including Russia’s war in Ukraine, trade imbalances, and Chinese overcapacity exported to Europe.
Jens Eskelund, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, stressed the need to address these issues to foster a positive relationship between Beijing and Brussels.
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.
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