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Malaysia Says Former PM Najib’s Office Ordered Changes to 1MDB Audit Report

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Malaysia Najib Razak
  • Malaysia Says Former PM Najib’s Office Ordered Changes to 1MDB Audit Report

The office of former Malaysian premier Najib Razak ordered changes to a 2016 audit report of scandal-plagued state fund 1MDB, including removing mention of financier Low Taek Jho’s presence at a board meeting, authorities said.

Financier Low has been described as a central player in the alleged corruption and money laundering at 1MDB, according to Malaysian and U.S. authorities investigating the fund. He had no official role in 1MDB, but advised on investments and negotiated deals for the fund, the authorities have said.

Najib, ousted in a May 9 election by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, is facing multiple charges of graft, abuse of power and criminal breach of trust related to 1MDB. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and has consistently denied wrongdoing.

In a statement dated Saturday, Malaysia’s auditor-general Madinah Mohamad said “several” findings from the audit report submitted in February 2016 to Najib were “dropped and amended.”

The audit report before the amendments has been submitted to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the police for further investigation, Madinah said.

“The former prime minister ordered the deletion of the paragraph containing two versions of the 1MDB financial statement for the year ended 2014 and directed an investigation to be carried out by the enforcement authorities,” she said in a statement.

Najib’s private secretary also “directed the former auditor general to drop the paragraph on the presence of Low Taek Jho in one of the 1MDB Board meetings on the ground that it is sensitive and to avoid the fact being twisted around by the opposition.”

A spokesman for Najib did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In an interview with Reuters in June, Najib said he should not be blamed for the scandal at 1MDB and that he knew nothing about money from the state fund appearing in his personal account.

Low, who is at large, has previously maintained his innocence.

Malaysia, under the premiership of Najib, had classified the audit report in 2016 under the Officials Secrets Act when the fund’s financial troubles were being investigated. The Mahathir government in May declassified the report that showed senior officials at 1MDB withheld information from its board.

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

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Second Niger Bridge to Open For Use During Christmas

The Ag Controller of Works in Anambra, Mr Seyi Martins has disclosed that the Second Niger Bridge will be ready for use by next Christmas. 

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Agege Pen Cinema Bridge

The Ag Controller of Works in Anambra, Mr Seyi Martins has disclosed that the Second Niger Bridge will be ready for use by next Christmas. 

Mr Seyi Martins disclosed this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Monday. 

The Acting Controller said that the first phase of the Second Niger Bridge measuring 1.6km, had reached 95 percent completion. 

He also disclosed that the long-term coming bridge will be ready for use by December 2022. This is contrary to the news making the round that the project would be ready by 2024.

“The bridge project is 95 percent complete and it is expected to be ready by December 2022,” he said. 

Investors King gathered that work has not commenced on the second phase of the project. The controller however noted that motorists will not be subjected to gridlock during the yuletide period. 

It could be recalled that Julius Barger International was awarded the construction of the Second Niger Bridge. The bridge connects the cities of Asaba in the Delta state and Onitsha in the Anambra state.

The Second Niger Bridge has often being used as campaign promises. It was first proposed in 1958, then in 1967 and 1987. Upon the return to civilian rule in 1999, President Olusegun Obasanjo promised to deliver the second Niger River bridge. 

Yet, there were no major activity was carried out on the bridge for eight years until five days to the incoming administration of Late Umar Yar’adua. 

Similarly, the bridge dragged on until the death of Yar’adua. In 2012, former President Goodluck Jonathan promised to deliver the Second Niger Bridge before the end of 2015. Yet, no significant construction was undertaken on the Second Niger Bridge.

Upon completion, the bridge will significantly impact the socio-economic development of the hosting states. It will link parts of South-South and South-East zones to the rest of the country. The Federal Government has so far committed more than N400 billion to the construction of the Second Niger Bridge. 

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FG Approves N1.85 Billion For Construction of Ebonyi Salt Lake Walls

The Federal Government on Wednesday approved a sum of N1.85 billion for the construction of walls around Ebonyi Salt Lake.

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The Federal Government on Wednesday approved a sum of N1.85 billion for the construction of walls around Ebonyi Salt Lake.

Briefing newsmen at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) council meeting on Wednesday, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite disclosed that the project will be funded directly by the presidency. 

The Minister further explained that the 27km retaining wall would contain the loss of raw salt from the salt lakes in Ebonyi State, saving at least $88m spent yearly on salt importation.

Investors King earlier reported that Nigeria spent at least N155 Billion within the last two years to import salt and other locally available products from Asia and South America.

Salt is one of the most common mineral resources in Nigeria. A large deposit of salt could be found in Ebonyi State. The state even prides itself as the “salt of the nation”.

However, Nigeria has not been able to successfully preserve and mine the large salt deposits. 

The Minister nevertheless disclosed that the wall which will be built along the lake will help to solve the challenges. 

“The salt is in Ebonyi State, of course, naturally, but it cannot be mined without this infrastructure that we’re about to do, we’re building a retaining wall because water comes in and washes the salt away every time. 

“These are salt lakes that occur naturally, so the salt is in the lakes, but when water comes in, it washes the salt away”. He noted. 

According to the Minister, the wall which has been awarded to Reinforced Global Resources Limited, at the sum of N1.85bn is about 27 kilometres long and about 2.9 meters high. 

The retaining wall project is expected to be completed within six months after which the process of salt mining from the lake will begin. 

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Nigerian Political Parties to Spend Billions of Naira as INEC Lift Ban on Political Campaigns

Political parties in Nigeria are expected to spend billions of naira in the next year’s elections as INEC officially lifts the ban on political activities. 

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2023 Presidential Candidates

Political parties in Nigeria are expected to spend billions of naira in the next year’s elections as INEC officially lifts the ban on political activities. 

It is about five months to the next general election in Nigeria where citizens will go to the polls to cast their vote for the candidate of their choice. Political parties are expected to spend billions of naira during this electioneering process as it was in previous elections. 

It will be recalled that the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed February 25th for the Presidential and National Assembly elections while Governorship and State Assembly elections will be held on March 11th, 2023.

Investors King understands that Nigerian previous elections were hugely monetised and next year’s election would not be an exception. 

A closer analysis of the presidential election shows that there are 18 Presidential candidates which will compete in 176,846 polling units. 

Going by the electoral laws and the previous election, all candidates are expected to appoint polling unit agents who are offered some token for their service. 

Investors King gathered that in the last elections, polling units agents were offered between N10,000 to N20,000. Using N10,000 as a variable, this means each of the leading political parties will expend at least N1.7 billion on polling unit agents.

Other areas where political parties are expected to spend money include logistics, public campaigns, posters and banners, courtesy call gratification and security among others. 

Besides, it is also expected that the leading political parties will engage in vote buying which could run into hundreds of billions of naira. Many Election Monitoring Groups (EMGs) such as Yiaga Africa have alleged voter inducement in previous elections. 

Political parties spend between N5000 to N10,000 to induce voters. It can be assumed that parties will spend more in the next general election since Nigeria’s voter population has increased to 95 million, adding more than 12 million new registered voters in the just concluded voter registration. 

Meanwhile, the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that the commission will spend N305 billion to conduct the 2023 election. This is different from the commission’s yearly budget which currently stands at N40 billion. 

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