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Focus on bank MDs, Others, Workers Reply EFCC Over Asset Declaration

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Achike Udenwa

Deposit Money Bank workers on Wednesday said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission should focus its asset declaration drive on the managing directors of banks and other agencies of government.

EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, had declared on Tuesday that the commission would from June 1 be demanding the asset declaration forms of bankers.

Bawa said the decision was in line with the provisions of the Bank Employees Declaration of Asset Act.

Reacting to the pronouncement of the anti-corruption agency in an interview with our correspondent, bankers under the aegis of National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees said the EFCC should review its stance.

Speaking on behalf of workers, the Deputy General Secretary, NUBIFIE, Sola Aboderin, said, “We are not against any policy of the government to checkmate fraudulent activities either in the financial institutions or the country as a whole.

“But what we are concerned about is why single out banks? What about the Nigerian Port Authority, NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) and other organisations?

“Why are they particular about banks? We are not saying they should not check the illegality in the transfer of funds but why focus on banks?”

Aboderin said, “Another thing is that they said, bank workers. Now, who are the bank workers? They should go to CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria) and ask who are the bank workers. The CBN has said that about 90 percent of those working in banks are not bank workers.

“From the gate to the teller, note cashier, marketer, etc, they are all outsourced staff. So who do they want to investigate? If they really want to investigate, then they should go and investigate the MDs of banks.”

The NUBIFIE official said the anti-corruption agency argued that the actual workers on the payroll of a bank in any branch were the branch manager and three or four persons.

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Petrol Company Owner Arraigned Over Alleged N38.2m Fraud, Tax Evasion – EFCC

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EFCC

The Kaduna State chapter of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has accused the owner of Najaatu Petroleum Limited, Wasila Musa Ibrahim of money laundering and tax evasion.

In 2020, Ibrahim had reportedly defrauded a company known as Lee Group of a total sum of Thirty-Eight Million, Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N38,200,000). According to the EFCC, the suspect had approached the Lee Group owner with a business proposal to supply the company Diesel and Premium Motor Spirit (petrol).

Using the name of her company, Ibrahim collected the money from the victim and his family members, diverting it for her personal use.

According to the victims, after learning of the fraud, Wasila Ibrahim lied that she had paid the money with one Alhaji Lawan who allegedly absconded and could not be reached.

The suspect was then reported to the antigraft agency, after which investigations revealed that she never did pay the N38.2 million meant to supply petrol. The investigations also led to the discovery that Ibrahim’s company, Najaatu Petroleum Limited had evaded tax payment from January 2013 to 2020.

The suspect arraigned on Thursday before Justice Mohammed Nasir Yunusa of the Federal High Court, Kano was accused of money laundering and tax evasion.

One of the twelve counts charges against the defendant reads: “That you, Wasila Musa Ibrahim “F”, sometime in October 2020, in Kano within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did make a cash payment of the sum of N38,200,000.00 (Thirty-Eight Million and Two Hundred Thousand Naira) only to one Alhaji Lawan for the purchase of five (5) trucks of Diesel without passing through a financial institution and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under Section 16(2) (b) of the same Act.”

The second charge against her by the EFCC also read: “That you, Wasila Musa Ibrahim “F”, Managing Director of Najaatu Petroleum Limited and Najaatu Petroleum Limited sometime in January, 2013 in Kano, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did fail to pay your company income tax for the year 2013 to the Federal Inland Revenue Service and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 9 (1) (a) of the Companies Income Tax Act, 2004 and punishable under Section 82 of the same Act”.

The case was however adjourned after the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges read before the court.

Leading the prosecution counsel, Y. J. Matiyak prayed the court to set a date for the hearing and remand of Ibrahim, while she remained in EFCC custody. However, Ibrahim’s legal counsel, Suleiman Abdulrahim informed the court of a pending application for bail of the defendant, requesting that she be admitted to bail. The prosecution swiftly moved against the request.

The judge, Justice Yunusa, in his ruling adjourned the case and ordered that the defendant remained in EFCC custody until the hearing of her bail application, holding on February 8, 2022.

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NYSC Trust Fund Bill Passes 2nd Reading

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A bill sponsored by Hon. Akinfolarin Mayowa for an act to establish a trust fund for National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has passed the second reading stage in the House of Representatives.

Mayowa, the representative of Ileoluji-Okeigbo/Odigbo federal constituency, on Thursday at the plenary, stated that the bill seeks to provide a sustainable source of funds for Corp members.

The National Youth Service Corps Trust Fund (NYSCTF) aims at equipping corps members with skills acquisition, training and empowerment. Training and retraining of NYSC staff is inclusive

The bill sponsor mentioned that the funds would also be used for the development of NYSC camps and maintenance of its facilities.

He added that it would have a long-lasting impact on job creation and the empowerment of youths.

Hon. Mayowa stated that the NYSCTF Bill would further complement the purpose of the scheme and enhance entrepreneurship among corps members.

He said, “in the early years of the establishment of NYSC, the scheme was able to carry out its objectives under the National Youth Service Corps Act.

“The management of the scheme had not only trained, equipped and empowered corps members enrolled under the scheme, but had instilled patriotism and the spirit of nationalism in corps members.

“My colleagues and I have sincerely considered the significant role this NYSCTF Bill will play if passed by this honourable house and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Corps members and supporting staff will be trained and introduced to various skills which will make them establish a self-sustained business after the mandatory service year.”

Calling for its reading to continue and moved to the relevant committee of the house for further legislative actions, Mayowa pointed that the bill will reduce the adverse effect of COVID-19 on the nation’s economy and create employment opportunities for the youths.

“The call had become imperative in view of the effort currently being made by the government to diversify the economy, and considering the passion and willingness of the house in reducing poverty,” he said

In turn, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, referred the bill to the relevant committees of the house for further legislative actions following the consent of the house.

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Npower News: Latest Update On Npower Payment

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About 80% beneficiaries of the Federal Government of Nigeria-organised Npower scheme have received their September and October stipend.

Those who are yet to receive theirs are encouraged to exercise patience and also verify their details.

However, the November and December stipends are still pending. There are reports that the stipends will be paid to all beneficiaries in the first week of February.

Investors King had earlier reported that the stipend has been approved by the Federal Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs but there might be a delay in payment due to Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Scheme (NIBSS) validation, as this validation takes quite a while.

In view of this, graduate beneficiaries who are yet to resume are at their Place of Primary Assignment (PPA) on Wednesday, January 17, 2022 are advised to do so. This is to avoid being dismissed from the scheme.

The NPower scheme, set up by the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari on 8 June 2016 to address the issues of youth unemployment and help increase social development is currently undergoing backlash on social media for its failure to meet up with expectations.

The NPower scheme is categorized into Graduate Programmes and Non-Graduate Programmes and is targeted towards providing solutions to the nation’s under-developed public services like education, healthcare, and civic engagement.

The scheme recently included the resignation option on its portal, a development which has generated criticisms from the beneficiaries of the scheme, especially on social media.

Despite the scheme’s inability to meet up with payment of stipends, it still plans to enlist additional 400,000 Nigerian youths into the programme.

Meanwhile, all N-Power batch-c applicants are expected to update their profile and take test for possible shortlisting to the next stage of the N-Power application process. According to the National Social Investment Management System (NASIMS), all successful candidates will be sent a mail and given directions on the next stage while unsuccessful candidates can re-apply for the next batch of the programme as soon as it opens for application.

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