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Devote N5.5bn June Allocation to Pay Salaries, Fayemi Tells Fayose

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  • Devote N5.5bn June Allocation to Pay Salaries, Fayemi Tells Fayose

The Ekiti State governor-elect, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has asked the outgoing Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, to devote the June 2018 federal allocation of N5.52 billion to the payment of salaries and other entitlements of workers.

A statement by Fayemi’s Media Director, Wole Olujobi, said that henceforth, Fayose must make accountability and human face critical factors in the policies of his administration.

He said the usual practice by the governor to collect federal allocations and call stakeholders meetings to deceive Ekiti people on the sharing formula between the state and local governments is no longer acceptable.

Urging Fayose to make accountability and transparency a cardinal policy of his administration in the run-up to the October 16, 2018 handover date, the statement said: “Information available to us suggests that Fayose at the weekend called all the directors in the state service to a meeting in the new Governor’s Lodge, pleading with them not to release sensitive information to the opposition, including non-disclosure of the state’s finances.

“But we want to say that the state has received N5.52b fresh June federal allocation and we demand that the money be spent to pay salary, and should not be subjected to the circus of lies and deceits that often accompanied the sharing of the allocations in the past whereby local governments were given their shares in the morning and in the night they would be coerced to return the money to the governor’s office while local governments workers remained unpaid for nine months.

“Fresh reports on the status of the state’s internally generated revenue (IGR) have indicated that between October 16, 2014 to date, the state has a revenue profile of N34,560,000,000 kept in secret accounts in one old generation bank account and another new generation account, yet there is nothing to suggest that the money was spent for the benefit of Ekiti people.

“At the State Water Corporation where opaque financial management has left the system in ruins, Ondo State had paid its counterpart fund of 40m for the upgrading of Egbe Dam, but Ekiti State Government has refused to honour its obligation to the project, even as the money paid by Ondo State cannot be traced to any government’s account.

“At Ero Dam, despite releasing N1b on paper out of N1.4b budgeted for the dam’s expansion, there is no sign of work going on there as we speak while in the same Water Corporation, two multi-million naira serviceable trucks were taken to Afao-Ekiti country home of the governor several months ago under pretext that they were being taken
there for repairs and up till now, the trucks are still not in the service of the Water Corporation.”

Meanwhile, workers have issued a 14-day ultimatum to Governor Fayose to pay all arrears of salaries and pensions of
retirees.

The workers acting under the aegis of Ekiti State Organised Labour, said the Fayose government must clear all arrears of workers’ entitlements before a new government takes office on October 16.

Their demands also include payment of over seven months deduction, payment of nine month arrears to local government workers and primary school teachers.

They also advocated the payment of 11 months and six months pensions to local government pensioners and state government pensioners respectively.

Also, the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), Ekiti State chapter, has warned civil servants in the state not to be part of alleged altering of official documents in a desperate attempt by Fayose to cover up some of the shoddy deals embarked upon by his administration.

The caution was contained in a release signed by the state Publicity Secretary of CNPP in Ekiti State, Olu Akomolafe, and made available to newsmen in Ado Ekiti on Sunday.

“It is now in public domain, the on-going alteration of government official documents by the government of Fayose after his party lost the July 14, 2018 governorship election in Ekiti State. All the desperate moves being evolved by the outgoing governor and his few cohorts are not hidden at all.

“Official documents from various ministries, agencies and parastatals are being inter-changed to make governance become cumbersome, equivocal and inexplicable to the incoming administration, hence hoarding or non-availability of necessary official documents needed to know how government activities were carried out in the four years of the present government in the state,” Akomolafe said.

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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