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Twitter Agog As Nigerians React To AGF’s Arrest, Fraud Allegations

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Ahmed Idris

The social media has been buzzing all day as Nigerians were in dismay, following the arrest of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly looting a sum of N80bn. 

While many Nigerians lauded the efforts of the EFCC, some said the looted money is far more than what the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is requesting.

In his reaction via the micro-blogging platform, Twitter, the spokesperson of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Reno Omokri said: “Dear ASUU, If the Accountant General of the Federation can steal N80bn, you have no reason to end your strike. Ask Buhari to use the stolen N80bn to pay you and keep the change. After all, the money ASUU is asking for is not even up to N80bn!”

Some Other Twitter Reactions:

The Mouthpiece @Real_AmakaIke said: “Fight Against Corruption In Nigeria Always End With Cruise. Just Loot And Bail Yourself If At All You Are Arrested,And They Will Reward You With Another Political Position. Ahmed Idris’s 80 Billion Naira Fraud Case Has Ended With Immunity. Nigeria Is A Very Big Scam.”

Adenike Danjuma @DeNiike_Ahmed said: “Idris should be persecuted using Sharia law.”

Kwaghngu John @DoshimaJohn“According to the EFCC, the funds (stolen by the AGF Ahmed Idris) were laundered via real estate investments in Kano and Abuja” Real estate investments!!! Folks standing on this table ehn! It will take some balls to vigorously shake this table. A table of crooks & rogues.”

Ayemojubar.js @ayemojubarAlhaji Ahmed Idris, the Accountant General of the Federation stole $137,931,034. Please, how much is ASUU asking for?

Adebola @ThisIsAdemuyiwaOur problem is not religion and ethnicity. Religion and ethnicity are distractions. Alh. Ahmed Idris (Accountant General) who stole N80bn couldn’t have done it alone. He’d have been aided by Southerners from other faiths . Let nobody deceive you.

OKEKE OLIVER (Don Olive) @OKEKEOLIVER2 Ahmed Idris was appointed Accountant General of the Federation on 25th June, 2015, to succeed Jonah Ogunniyi Otunla. His predecessor was sacked by Buhari for alleged misappropriation of N2.5bn naira.

If you make ₦28.3m a year, it would take you 40 years to make ₦1 billion. The Accountant General stole N80bn in 4 years, at ₦28.3M/year it would take you 3,200 years to accumulate that much money. Ahmed Idris you are very very heartless,” another user, Jerry ayuba (@Donjerry_) said.  

Investors King recalls that Operatives of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Monday, arrested the current Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris in connection with alleged diversion of funds and money laundering activities. 

EFCC, in a statement, wrote: “The Commission’s verified intelligence showed that the AGF raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.

“The funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja.

“Mr. Idris was arrested after failing to honour invitations by the EFCC to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts”.

EFCC further noted that: “Its verified intelligence showed that the AGF raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities, using proxies, family members and close associates.

“It further alleged that the funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja”.

The anti-graft agency stated that Idris was arrested after failing to honour invitations to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts. 

Ahmed Idris was appointed as Accountant General on June 25, 2015, to succeed Jonah Ogunniyi Otunla who was sacked by Muhammadu Buhari on allegedly misappropriating security agencies’ funds.

EFCC had, on December 7, arraigned the former Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Jonah Otunla, and eight others before the Federal High Court in Abuja on money laundering charges involving diversion of N2bn from the account of the Office of the National Security Adviser.

The defendants were to be arraigned before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba on Tuesday but the arraignment was rescheduled to December 7 due to the absence of the judge, who was said to be attending a training organised for some judges in the country.

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Economy

NNPC Identifies Reasons for Nationwide Fuel Crisis, Takes Steps to Tackle Menace

NNPC revealed that another reason for the crisis was that some corrupt marketers were smuggling petrol to neighbouring countries

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Petrol - Investors King

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has identified shortage in the evacuation and distribution of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly called petrol to marketers as one of the reasons for fuel crisis in Nigeria.

Investors King had reported that long queues had been recorded at petrol stations across the country in the last few months as retailers sell at exorbitant rates ranging between N350 and N600 per litre.

The crisis in the petroleum industry had also forced commercial transporters to jack up their fares as Nigerians, especially commuters, groan owing to the negative effects the crisis has brought on prices of food and other items.

Also, NNPC revealed that another reason for the crisis was that some corrupt marketers were smuggling petrol to neighbouring countries and poaching investors to these countries to sell the smuggled commodity to them.

These were disclosed by the Group Chief Executive Officer, NNPC, Mele Kyari, while
explaining the fuel supply data for the country since January 2022, during a meeting with stakeholders in Abuja.

He announced that the queues being witnessed at filing stations across the nation would soon clear as the petroleum company has released about 67 million litres of PMS to marketers.

Explaining further how the fuel crisis came to being, Kyari said the moment NNPC goes down below 60 million litres of evacuation consistently for more than three days, there would be a crisis in the sector.

For him, there may be no valid consumption figure, but the evacuation figure is always known, stressing that anytime the evacuation figure goes below 60 million litres daily, crisis would be inevitable across the country.

He recalled when the company recorded the contaminated fuel in early 2022, saying that evacuation came down to 56 million litres on average and that was what caused a crisis then.

Normalcy was then returned, according to the Group Chief Executive Officer when the company ramps up by adding volumes to the market to fill the gaps.

Ever since then, Kyari said NNPC had done everything possible to keep the supply or evacuation above 60 million litres consistently, as he argued that there was no shortage of fuel going into the market, rather the products might be in the wrong destination.

Speaking on the smuggling of the product to neighbouring countries, Kyari said NNPC officials and oil marketers were responsible.

Kyari said the company has evidence that fuel was being smuggled out of Nigeria in marine containers and that some of its customers take investors to other countries.

While promising to investigate the illegal acts and get to the root of it, Kyari assured that appropriate government security agencies would deal with it.

He said there is cross-border smuggling, either in form of round-tripping or whatever name m, stressing that fuel leaves Nigeria through smugglers and thus creating scarcity in the country.

Meanwhile, with the release of the fresh 67 million litres to oil marketers to circulate across the nation, it was observed that long queues that had been the hallmark of most filing stations have been phasing out, even though the price is yet to reduce.

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IMF Releases Fresh Economic Performance Ratings of Nigeria, Others

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IMF global - Investors King

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has released its World Economic Outlook Update (January 2023) report where it gave detailed economic performance ratings of some countries and regions of the world.

In the report, IMF projected that Nigeria’s economic growth would reduce from 3.2 per cent in 2023 to 2.9 per cent in 2024.

However, owing to measures taken by the Federal Government to tackle oil pipelines’ vandalism and theft, the financial organisation disclosed that Nigeria’s economic outlook is better as it would grow from 3.0 per cent in 2022 to 3.2 per cent in 2023.

IMF had Also, this year’s 3.2 per cent growth projection is an upgrade from the lender’s previous 3.0 growth projection for the year in its October outlook report.

Investors King had reported that Nigeria started experiencing shortfall in its crude oil production when oil thieves and pipeline vandals started causing havoc at the nation’s oil regions. It was so bad that the production was as low as 0.937mbpd in September 2022.

But, in December, last year, the production increased to 1.235 million barrels per day.

Also predicting that the Nigeria’s economic growth would jump to three per cent this year, the United Nations said a strong commodities trade and active consumer goods and services markets would make the projection possible.

According to the international organisation, high inflation and epileptic power supply were affecting economic development in Nigeria.

Similarly, the World Bank postulated that the Nigerian economy would grow at 2.9 per cent this year, adding that the poor economic growth of 2.9 per cent in 2023 was barely above population growth.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has expressed optimism that it would grow the economy as high as 3.5 per cent this year, and that its efforts at tackling insecurity in oil production was yielding desired results.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, said the nation had to moderate its year projections to reflect the decline it suffered in 2022.

She said increase in revenue from the non-oil sector and and oil production boost would assist the country in meeting its 1.6 million barrels per day target in 2023.

The minister said the nation could achieve it and that the nation is currently producing between 1.25 million and 1.3 million per day

Making further projections, IMF said growth across sub-Saharan Africa would moderate at 3.8 per cent in 2023 amid prolonged fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The global money lender noted that power shortage is expected to reduce South Africa’s growth economy from 2.6 per cent in 2022 to 1.2 per cent in 2023.

The Washington-based lender explained that growth in the global economy would slow down in 2023 before regaining in 2024.

It attributed this to the global fight against inflation and Russia’s war in Ukraine.

IMF further noted that growth would slow from 3.4 per cent in 2022 to 2.9 per cent in 2023, then rebound to 3.1 per cent in 2024.

The money lender compared it’s January forecast to that of October saying economic growth proved resilient in the third quarter of 2022 with strong labour markets, robust household consumption and business investment, and better-than-expected adaptation to the energy crisis in Europe.

 

 

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Economy

Buhari Gets Lawmakers’ Nod to Borrow N1tn From CBN’s WMAs

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has obtained the approval of the House of Representatives, to access a fresh N1 trillion loan from the Ways and Means Advances (WMAs) by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The Ways and Means Advances where the federal government can access funds is a loan facility by the CBN to finance the government during temporary budget shortfalls subject to limits imposed by law.

The President had in a letter he sent to the Senate and House of Representatives in December last year, requested the approvals of the National Assembly to its restructuring of N1tn WMAs, and another N22,719,703,774,306.90 loan from the CBN.

Upon reception of the letter, the duo of President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; and Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, read out Buhari’s request to members of their respective chambers and the lawmakers had debated it.

President Buhari had titled the letter, ‘Restructuring of Ways and Means Advances,’ and explained that WMAs by the apex bank to the Federal Government is a funding option that caters for short-term or emergency finance to fund delayed government anticipated cash receipt of fiscal deficit.

Buhari had said that the WMAs balance as of December 19, 2022, is N23,719,703,774,306.90, adding that the N23.7tn loan would be repaid in forty years and that the moratorium on principal repayment is three years while the pricing interest rate is 9 per cent.

However, the House of Representatives during plenary on Tuesday okayed N1tn WMAs after receiving the recommendation by the Joint Committees on Finance; Banking and Currency; and Aids, Loans and Debts Management.

Because the report presented to the House by the Deputy Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Musa Abdullahi, sought further explanation and convictions from the presidency on N22.7tn loan, the lawmakers rejected Buhari’s request for N22,719,703,774,306.90.

The committee had said it approved the N1tn because of its observations and the exigencies of the Federal Government current fiscal situation,

Similarly, the Senate opposed to Buhari’s request for the loan despite earlier assurances of the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, to Buhari that the Senators would consider it.

Investors King had reported how CBN noted that the Federal Government’s excessive borrowing from the bank’s Ways and Means Advances (W&M) window could frustrate its monetary policy.

The apex bank had said that overdrafts due to the increasing reliance on the WMAs overdrafts would negatively impact its monetary policy.

Notwithstanding, the Federal Government had been running to the WMAs for any sign of budget deficit.

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