The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has begun investigations into the utilisation of N8bn released by the Office of the National Security Adviser for multi-national operations.
It was gathered on Thursday that the funds were released in March, 2014 and January, 2015 for counter-insurgency operations across the Nigerian borders.
It was learnt that the investigations were based on the third report of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment in the Nigerian Armed Forces, which was submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari in July.
A source in the commission, who confided in one of our correspondents, said the commission had started tracing how the funds were spent with a view to recovering it.
The Air Vice-Marshal John Ode-led panel had, in its report, stated, “In March 2014, the ONSA made a case for the release of N1,000,000,000 to sustain offensive operations against Boko Haram insurgents across Nigerian borders. Although the amount was approved and released, the committee could not establish the utilisation of the funds.
“Additionally, in January 2015, the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs requested N7,000,000,000 to urgently fund operations of the Multi-National Joint Task Force in the Lake Chad, which was approved and released from ONSA. However, the committee could not ascertain the utilisation of the funds from ONSA and the Defence Headquarters.”
The source stated that one of the mandates of the EFCC was to recover all funds diverted in the guise of fighting insurgents.
The source added, “I can assure you that the commission is doing that and those who got funds and could not account for how the money was used for counter-insurgency operations will be quizzed.
“They have to provide documents to prove that the money was used for what it was meant for. The report is not a final indictment, but if they cannot provide documents besides being taken to court, they will refund the money.”
It was learnt that those being investigated on how the funds were spent included a former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.); an ex-Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nurudeen Mohammed; and a former Director of Finance in the ONSA, Alhaji Salisu Shuaibu.
It was also gathered that the EFCC was investigating the abuse of end-user certificates and payments of withholding tax.
According to Wikipedia “an end-user certificate is a document used in international transfers, including sales and arms provided as aid, of weapons and ammunition to certify that the buyer is the final recipient of the materials, and is not planning on transferring the materials to another party.
“EUCs are required by many governments to restrict the flow of the materials to undesired destinations such as embargoed states or rebel groups, governments with bad human rights records or states, which are considered a threat by the original supplier of the arms.”
The presidential committee had stated in its report, “The Nigerian Army issued several EUCs for the procurement it undertook within the period under review. The authority to issue or raise EUCs is exclusively vested in the NSA.
“The Nigerian Army also made provision for payment of VAT in several of its contract agreements for procurement of military hardware which are exempted from the payment of VAT. On the other hand, the Nigerian Army failed to deduct WHT from source on most of the payments and where made, there were no evidence of remittance to FIRS.’’
The EFCC had begun investigations into 20 companies indicted in the third arms probe report.
No fewer than six of the companies would pay a total of N2.4bn as withholding tax in connection with defence contracts awarded between 2007 and 2015.
Edo Election: Governor Obaseki Cries Out, Says ‘They Are Rigging Me Out’
Governor Obaseki ‘They Are Rigging Me Out’
Godwin Obaseki, the executive governor of Edo State, has cried out that “there is an ongoing deliberate election manipulation in areas where he has strongholds.”
In a statement issued through Crusoe Osagie, the Special Adviser to the Governor, Osagie said “Suddenly, card readers are not working in areas where Governor Godwin Obaseki is very popular.
“Voters are being disenfranchised and we are constrained to say that this is sabotage,” Osagie said in a statement to media on Saturday during the polls.
“Specifically, in Oredo Ward 1, Unit 20 and other places where the Governor is clearly popular, the card readers are not working.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should prove to Edo voters that it can conduct a credible election in Edo State.”
Earlier in the day, after casting his vote at polling unit 19, ward 4, Oredo local government, Governor Obaseki, who spoke to the media present, said “I expected that INEC would have prepared better for this election. I waited for one and half hours on the queue before exercising my franchise, it’s a beat disappointing,” he said.
“Giving that this is a sole day election, I expected a better planning for this election. Card readers were very slow and that’s the situation everywhere.”
1.7 million People Registered to vote in Edo, Says INEC
INEC Says 1.7 million Voters Registered to vote in Edo
No fewer than 1.72 million persons are eligible to vote in the September 19, Edo governorship polls while 483,796 eligible voters will not participate.
This is according to a document obtained from the Independent National Electoral Commission titled, ‘Delimitation of Edo State’.
The document shows that the identified ineligible voters in Edo failed to collect their Permanent Voter Cards.
The document further showed that as of August 2018 there are 2,210,534 registered voters in the state,
However, only 1,726,738 collected their PVCs.
It also indicated that the election will hold in 18 Local Government Areas, 192 Wards, and 2,627 polling units.
A further breakdown of the registered voters shows that male accounts for 1,159,325 (representing 52 per cent), while 1,051,209 (48 percent) are female.
Similarly, from the total registered voters, the youth (18 – 35 years) account for 50 per cent (1,105,338); Middle Aged (36 – 50 years), 29.1 per cent (643,551); and Elderly (51 – 70 years) has 15.99 per cent (353,508).
Eligible voters classified as the Old (70 years and above) account for 4.89 per cent (108,137).
According to the number of collected PVCs, Oredo zone has 240,197; Ikpoba-Okha, 214,882; Egor, 158,817; Etsako West, 128,188 and Akoko Edo, 115,343.
Further distribution of registered voters in the three senatorial districts of the state shows that Edo South has the highest figure of 1,281,414; the North with 564,122; and Central senatorial district has 364,998.
Edo South has seven council areas, the North has six, while Central has five Local Government Areas.
Kenya Partners Private Sector and Development Partners to Outline Roadmap towards Achieving Energy Efficiency Goals
The Kenyan Government through the Ministry of Energy (MOE) today launched the Kenya National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (KNEECS or The Strategy) placing Kenya firmly on track toward sustainable consumption and production including renewable energy generation.
The Strategy was developed in collaboration with key stakeholders including the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) with support from the World Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
To date, Kenya has made significant progress in energy efficiency and conservation. In 2006, MOE and KAM signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a Centre for Energy Efficiency and Conservation (CEEC). Its activities include undertaking energy audits of industries, SMEs and public institutions on behalf of MoE, provision of capacity-building in energy efficiency and conservation, public education and awareness activities and administration of the annual Energy Management Awards (EMA). CEEC has achieved over KES 13 billion (USD 152.8 Million) in energy cost saving equivalent to 2014.8 GWh, translating into a deferment of a 230 MW power plant.
The Strategy now seeks to guide the country further towards achieving its established Energy Efficiency (EE) goals within a defined timeframe. These goals are reducing the national energy intensity by 2.8% per year, and enabling the country achieve a 30 per cent greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2030 relative to Business as Usual (143 MtCO2e) and meet its national targets for Sustainable Development Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) by 2030.
Through the adoption of The Strategy, the country is expected to use less energy to produce goods and services without compromising on quality and quantity. Further, The Strategy will promote the use of technology that requires minimum energy to perform the same function and adoption of changes in behavior that encourage citizens to use a reduced amount of energy in their daily undertakings.
The Strategy sets targets for five key sectors to achieve its objectives, all of which are to be accomplished within a five-year timeline up to 2025: Households, Power Utilities, Transport, Buildings and Industry & Agriculture. Under the Households Sector, energy efficiency in domestic power consumption is expected to increase by 3%. This will be realized by increasing the number of household appliances such as television sets, subjected to Minimum Energy Performable Standards (MEPS) from the current six to ten and increasing the use of improved efficient biomass cook stoves by 50% of all households currently using biomass cook stoves. In the Utilities Sector, the strategy focuses on reducing transmission and distribution system losses from 23 to 15 % .The Strategy recommends the installation of 1 MW of energy storage facilities, whereby a total KSH. 5 Billion in investments will be required for implementation of energy conservation measures. Further, in the Transport Sector, improvement of fuel economy, increasing the share of electric vehicles to reach five per cent and raising the number of passengers using commuter trains from 116,000 to 150,000 per day are proposes. Similarly, the Building Sector has six targets while the Industry & Agriculture Sector has two.
Alongside these sectoral targets, Kenya aspires to strengthen implementation of energy efficiency and conservation measures. All involved agencies will mobilize resources to improve access to finance for energy efficiency projects and accelerate actualization of the Strategy, particularly the Directorate of Renewable Energy and CEEC. Gender-focused and targeted approaches will be implemented for inclusive participation and benefit. Additionally, awareness creation, citizen engagement, training and capacity-building will be implemented. This Strategy, therefore, calls for private and public sector players to mainstream energy efficiency and conservation in education by establishing a long-term mechanism to achieve a high level of government and public awareness on their importance. This will be accomplished by bolstering relationships and engagements among ministries, inter-ministerial forums, county governments, national governments and climate change units countrywide.
Ultimately, the KNEECS will contribute significantly to the essential areas outlined in the Big Four Agenda of food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and affordable healthcare for all.
Business2 months ago
Nneka Ede Purchases Portuguese Football Club, Lusitano Ginasio Clube
News2 months ago
British High Commission to Start Accepting Visa Applications From Nigerians Soon
Business2 months ago
Seplat Appoints Emeka Onwuka as CFO, Executive Director
Forex2 months ago
Naira-USD Exchange Rate to Hit N430 – Report
Finance3 months ago
DSS Arrests EFCC, Acting Chairman, Magu
Government2 months ago
FG Puts School Resumption Plan on Hold as COVID-19 Cases Hit 30,000
Forex2 months ago
Naira Declines Against Pound, Euro After Devaluation
Business2 months ago
TAJBank Joins e-Commerce Giants- Launches Nigeria’s 1st Ethical Online Mall