- New Governor of Oyo State Seyi Makinde Declares N48bn in Assets
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State declared assets valued at N48 billion on Monday.
Seyi Makinde, who visited Oyo State office of the Code of Conduct Bureau in Ibadan for asset declaration form, said the decision is in accordance with his electoral promise.
“As promised during the governorship campaigns, I will publicly declare my assets to show my commitment to running an open and transparent government. I picked up a copy of my assets declaration form from the Code of Conduct Bureau today, which will be made available to the media,” the governor stated in a tweet.
The details of the form, OYSE/2019/001, includes cash at hand, in the bank, landed properties (developed and undeveloped), household items, share and bonds owned by the governor and his wife, Omini Makinde, as well as his companies.
A statement released by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, showed Governor Seyi Makinde has cash at hand and in the bank worth N234, 742,296.01.
In US dollar term, the governor had $30,056.99 as of the declaration date.
The statement read, “The houses declared by the governor include nine buildings in Nigeria, two in the United States of America and one in South Africa.
“One of the properties in the United States is described as ‘jointly owned.’
“The details showed the current value of Makinde’s companies stand at N48,150,736,889, with 33,730,000 units of shares as of May 28, 2019.
“The governor also has existing bonds (Eurobond) worth $3,793,500 as well as shares, debentures and other securities valued at N120,500,000.
“The companies listed by the governor include Makon Engineering and Technical Services Limited, Energy Traders and Technical Services Limited, Makon Oil and Gas Limited, Makon Group Limited, Makon Construction Limited and Makon Power System Limited.”
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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.
Nigeria Spends N231.27 Billion on Arms Procurement in Four Years Amidst Rising Security Challenges
The Federal Government of Nigeria has disbursed a total of N231.27 billion for arms and ammunition procurement over the past four years.
Despite this significant investment, security agencies argue that the allocated funds are insufficient to effectively tackle the myriad security challenges afflicting the nation.
Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, defended the substantial budget for arms purchases during a session with the House of Representatives.
He emphasized that Nigeria’s dependence on foreign countries for military hardware, which are priced in dollars, diminishes the impact of the substantial budget when converted to the local currency.
General Musa explained, “We don’t produce what we need in Nigeria, and if you do not produce what you need, that means you are at the beck and call of the people that produce these items. All the items we procured were bought with hard currency, none in naira.”
He further illustrated the challenges faced, citing that a precision missile for drones costs $5,000, underscoring the magnitude of the expenses associated with arms procurement.
An analysis of the annual budgets for the Ministry of Defence and eight other armed forces from 2020 to 2022 reveals allocations of N11.72 billion, N10.78 billion, and N9.64 billion, respectively.
In 2023, N47.02 billion was disbursed for arms procurement, supplemented by a recently passed budget of N184.25 billion, resulting in a total of N231.27 billion.
Security expert Chidi Omeje raised concerns about the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), which is tasked with manufacturing arms locally. Omeje criticized DICON’s underperformance, urging the government to revamp the agency to reduce reliance on foreign nations for arms and ammunition.
Omeje stressed, “The new government must make sure that DICON lives up to its responsibilities,” highlighting the urgency of fostering self-sufficiency in arms production to address the country’s security challenges effectively.
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