- EFCC, ICPC To Probe $16b Power Project
The Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to probe top officials of Federal Ministry of Power.
AMCON alleged that the Ministry paid the sum of $8.5 billion since 2005 out of the $16billion budgeted for the project to a UK Firm, Rockson International Group Limited whose parent company in Nigeria is currently indebted to the Federal Government and in receivership.
According to reports, AMCON wrote a letter to the Federal Ministry of Power disclosing how top officials in the ministry allegedly conspired to make the payment to the UK company instead of paying it to the Nigerian National Integrated Power Project (NIPP).
In the letter signed by the Managing Director, Ahmed Kuru and Group Head, Enforcement, Joshua Ikioda, the agency expressed fears that the Kaduna Power Project might be stalled as a result of the “strange payment.”
AMCON letter reads: “Please refer to our letter ref. no. AMC/ABJ/ENG/19/1456/JTA/40729 dated January 18, 2019 and sundry correspondences in the same regard.
“The appointment of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) as Receiver Manager of Rockson Engineering Limited (RECL) and the reasons for the actions were conveyed to your Ministry vide our letters September 24, 2018 and January 18, 2019, respectively.
“Most importantly, this appointment was made for the purpose of supporting the Federal Government’s Power Sector development efforts.
“The reason for the appointment of the Receiver Manager was made clear in the Receiver’s letter dated September 24, 2018, in which you were informed that RECL had persistently failed to meet its financial obligations to AMCON which stood at over N121.55billion as at August 31, 2018.
“The company’s indebtedness is directly attributable to weak governance practices and mismanagement which resulted in the company’s abysmal failure to discharge its contractual obligations of completing the NIPP and Kaduna Power Projects.
“To make matters worse for the projects, Rockson International Group Limited, UK (RIGL), the offshore company engaged to carry our procurement and services in collaboration is fully owned and operated by the same shareholders and directors as Rockson Engineering Company Limited.
“The offshore company is similarly bedevilled by weak governance practices and mismanagement resulting in huge outstanding offshore claims by contracting parties.
“The unwholesome activities of both RECL and RIGL are currently under criminal investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).”
AMCON’s investigation revealed that EUR4,150,479.71 (about N1.68b) was paid in six tranches.
However, EFCC has begun an investigation to unveil why the ministry paid the N1.68 billion directly to the indebted contractor instead of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) which is in charge of all NIPP projects.
A source in EFCC confirmed that AMCON petition is under investigation, the source said: “Our detectives have started looking into who authorized the payment, why normal payment channel was sidelined and why AMCON was sidelined.
“What those in charge did was to split the payment into tranches which investigators are curious to know.”
“We are already engaged in internal investigation of how the payment came about. All those implicated will face the wrath of the law,” a top official of the ministry.”
Mohammed Umar is the New Acting Chairman of EFCC
Buhari Appoints Mohammed Umar as EFCC Acting Chairman
President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed, Mohammed Umar, the director of operations at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), as the new Acting Chairman of the agency, according to the NAN.
A top official of the commission confirmed to NAN that Umar has taken charge of the agency following the suspension of Ibrahim Magu, the former acting Chairman.
Ibrahim Magu was suspended by the President on Tuesday following series of allegations bordering on frauds, financial misappropriations and abuse of power.
CBN Spends $11.5bn in Q1 2020 to Support the Economy and Dwindling Naira
CBN Injects $11.5bn Into the Economy in the First Quarter
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) injected a combined $11.5 billion into the nation’s foreign exchange market to stabilise the economy and support the Naira value in the first quarter of the year.
According to the latest report from the apex bank, the central bank injected $2.96 billion into the nation’s forex market in the month of January. Another $3.39 billion was used to support the economy in February while $4.7 billion was supplied in the month of March, the very month the economy was locked and all operations grounded to curb the spread of COVID-19.
A further breakdown of the report revealed that the Investors and Exporters’ foreign exchange window, Small and Medium enterprises and Invisible segments received a total of $7.23 billion of the $11.5 billion, the Bureau De Change segment received $3.6 billion while the Interbank and WDAS/RDAS got the rest in the first quarter.
The report noted that the apex bank injected a total sum of $14.72 billion and $28.55 billion into the economy in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Meanwhile, the central bank is yet to commence the sales of forex to the bureau de change following the March suspension.
But has commenced partial sales to all commercial banks for onward sales to parents and small businesses across the country.
Mr Isaac Okorafor, the Director, Corporate Communications, CBN, had said, “The CBN has also made complete arrangements to resume foreign exchange sales to the BDC segment of the market for business travels, personal travels and other designated retail uses, as soon as international flights resume.”
DSS Arrests EFCC, Acting Chairman, Magu
DSS Arrested Magu, the Acting Chairman of EFCC
The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, on allegation bordering on financial misappropriation, abuse of power and embesslement.
The Acting Chairman was accused of siphoning part of the money recovered from looters, a Punch reported stated.
The report stated “It was learnt that the security details to Magu put up a stiff resistance during the arrest of their principal, as they objected to the DSS move.
But he is now undergoing interrogation at the DSS Headquarters In Aso Drive.
This is happening barely two weeks after the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) reportedly complained to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) about Magu’s conduct and advised that he should be relieved of his appointment.
The AGF was said to have accused Magu of insubordination and discrepancies in the figures of funds recovered by the EFCC.
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