*Gets Award of Excellence
Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Prof. Charles Dokubo said at the weekend that the Federal Government views the Amnesty Programme as a necessary and veritable tool to transform the hitherto restive oil rich region. This, he noted, informed President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to actualizing the objectives of the Programme.
Dokubo, who is also coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, spoke in Abuja at a commemorative rally to mark the struggle for emancipation of the Niger Delta spearheaded by the late Major Isaac Boro. The Boro Day is an annual event organized by the Ijaws in all states of the South-south and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Describing Boro as the first person to see the Niger Delta as a viable region, Dokubo noted that the Amnesty Programme is a direct reflection of his desires for the Niger Delta people. “We are here today because of a journey he started some years ago. What we do here is to symbolize the aspiration and the ambition of Boro. Amnesty is a direct reflection of his desires for the Niger Delta people.
The Federal Government of Nigeria under late President Yar’Adua took up the issue of Amnesty not because it was a difficult task, but because it was a necessary task and that is why this government is so committed to the Amnesty Programme. I have been around for just a year plus, and I have seen the desire of this government to make sure Amnesty survives and that the people of Niger Delta should benefit immensely from the Programme that we run at the Amnesty office. It’s like some of us don’t even know the avenues that are open to us. If we can explore, exploit and make use of the available opportunities, Niger Delta will be a different place”.
Assuring on President Buhari’s determination to uplift the Niger Delta region, Dokubo explained some of his strategies to optimize the impact of the Amnesty Programme. “After assuming office, I tried to open the doors of my office to every Niger Delta person; I did that because I know it is necessary and also because I realized that we need equality of all Niger Delta people. There is no Niger Delta person that has come to my office and had gone back displeased.
“What I want to do is to de-emphasize dependence on N65, 000 monthly stipends by beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme, so that Niger Delta people can work, earn and also enjoy themselves. If you earn what you are entitled to have, there will be a trickle effect; you have to pay your children’s school fees, you have to pay your rent, you have to take care of your family and do all the things that are required of a family man.
Niger Delta should also be emancipated through the Amnesty Programme in the sense that you can work anywhere. You will know that you are a very resilient people. Where there is no way, we find; where there is no opportunity, we create one. We just have to continue to do that effectively”, Dokubo admonished.
While urging the people of Niger Delta to work in concert for the success of the Amnesty Programme, he warned on the dire consequences if opportunities inherent in the Programme were not effectively utilized. “My fear is that if this Amnesty Programme is not well used by our people, I mean the ordinary Niger Delta people, in years to come our children will blame us. This Programme is to empower us, the people from the Niger Delta. My brothers and sisters let us not allow this opportunity to slip from our hands; we are all Niger Deltans, I believe we are all equal, and I know this Programme is for everyone in the Niger Delta.
We should work hard and look at the opportunities created by this Programme. Then, we can say to ourselves; we have done our best.
Whenever we try and put in effort, we always succeed. I pray that spirit shines in all of you. Let us know that this is our Programme, nobody can draw us back. As an individual, I cannot make everybody to like me, but if the majority of my people are happy with me, I’m okay. What I want is for everyone to cue into the Programme. I will create a new mission and a new vision that we can use to empower our people”.
High point of the event which was held at the Jabi Waterfront in Abuja, was the conferment of an Award of Excellence on Dokubo by the Ijaw community resident in the FCT for his sterling performance and achievements barely one year in office.
Bauchi govt to launch agricultural policy document
Bauchi State Government is set to launch an Agricultural Policy Document to ensure smooth agricultural production in the state.
The State Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed disclosed this on Saturday at the official launching of the 2019 farming season and sales of Fertilizer held at Zaki Local Government Area of the state.
Governor Mohammed who announced the sales of the fertilizer at a cost of Five thousand, five hundred naira per bag, noted that funds has been released to Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to provide six thousand metric tons of the fertilizer.
He said in order to meet the fertilizer demand of farmers, the Ministry of Agriculture and BASAC was been directed to ensure the availability of the commodities across the 20 local government areas.
The Governor said the sales of the fertilizer was part of the determination of his administration towards the provision of agricultural inputs to farmers in line with his campaign promises.
According to him, agricultural sector has remained a vibrant sector which has the potentials of providing raw materials to industries and empowerment opportunities to unemployed youth.
Governor Mohammed applauded the peaceful coexistence among farmers and herdsmen in the state and assured of his support to them.
In a key note address, the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dr Bala Lukshi said significant improvement in agricultural productivity and efficiency would no doubt address unemployment and assist towards poverty reduction in the state.
The Permanent Secretary while disclosing some of the agricultural intervention programmes introduced by the Ministry, observed that agriculture remained the mainstay of economy and major employer of labor.
Dr Bala Lukshi therefore appealed for the immediate government action on the outbreaks of qualia birds, army worms and stem borer in the crop sector in order to address the challenges affecting the sector.
James Hope College student wins Cambridge scholarship
James Hope College (JHC) has reaffirmed its impressive stance on academic excellence with its recent award for the Cambridge Immerse Scholarship. Just a few months after the College published its outstanding IGCSE result, recording 100% score in 14 subjects (A* – C), one of JHC’s students, Akajiugo Amucheazi won the highly sought-after 2019 Cambridge Immerse Scholarship, following his qualification through the rigorous nomination round.
Akajiugo will be joining other award winners worldwide in Cambridge, from August 11 to August 24, 2019 for their intensive course. This Scholars Programme is an excellent accolade for any high-performing student interested in pursuing further studies at a leading university.
Immerse Education, the award provider of the Cambridge Immerse Scholarship, is an award-winning academic programme in the United Kingdom. Its unique academic enrichment programmes provide an unparalleled glimpse into university-level education. All programmes are designed by expert, experienced tutors, which include some of the brightest minds from some of the world’s leading universities. Visit here for more details.
James Hope College is one of the educational initiatives of the Jim Ovia Foundation, which offers its students world-class education at a subsidized rate. James Hope College is supported by an endowment fund and currently has 40% of its students on full scholarship. It is located in the serene environment of Agbor, Delta Stat
N3.4bn: Emir Sanusi lied, says Kano agency
The Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission has described the claim by the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, that he was not the accounting officer of the Kano Emirate Council as a misrepresentation of facts.
The agency debunked this in a preliminary report on the investigation being carried out in respect of the alleged misappropriation of over N3.4 billion by the Kano Emirate Council between 2014 and 2017.
The report was signed by the commission’s Chairman, Mr Muhuyi Magaji, a copy of which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Thursday.
The report dated June 11, 2019, was addressed to the Secretary to the State Government.
It read: “In furtherance to the Commission’s earlier communication No. PCAC/GEN/6/V.I, dated 31st May, 2019, on the above subject matter and the unfolding events, the Commission deemed it necessary to make some clarifications as follows:-
“It is imperative to state categorically that, the Commission’s investigation is on alleged misappropriation and questionable expenditures but not on the funds left behind by the Late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, and we still maintain our stance.
“In the cause of investigation we undertook an analysis of the main Account belonging to Kano Emirate Council domiciled at First Bank with Account No. 2005888452 starting from the era of the Late Emir to enable the Commission have an idea of how the money is being managed.”
According to the report, there were 783 withdrawals or transfers and placements from Jan. 2, 2013, to June 6, 2014, during the time of the late Emir.
“As from 2nd January 2013 to 13th April, 2017, the opening balance was N432,338,412.98. Total credit made in the account during this period was N6,784,146,335.73 while the total debit during the period under review is N7,209,035,163.09.”
However, it added that, “the closing balance as at April, 2017, was N7,449,585.62″.
It further revealed that on Feb. 13, 2014, and Feb. 26, 2014, payments were made to Philko Ltd, the company said to have undertaken the construction of Ado Bayero Royal City via Inter Bank transfers of the sum of N776,159,519.50.
“There were transfers of N388,079,759.75, N338,079,759.75 and N50,000,000.00 made on Feb. 13, 2014, and Feb. 26, 2014, respectively; making the total quoted figures for Philko Ltd.”
The report also alleged that during the period, fixed deposit placements were made to the tune of N581,884,729.54 (placement and rollovers) while net withdrawals on some engagements both cash and withdrawal stood at N1,056,533,728.31.
“In summary, the total withdrawal made from the Account under the Late Emir was N2,414,577,977.35, subtracting this amount from total debit on the account which is N7,209,035,163.09.
“It is evidently clear that the current Emir is responsible for the expenditures to the total sum of N4,794,457,185.74 from the Emirate Council Account domiciled in First Bank Plc,” it said.
Similarly, it alleged that all the expenditures made by the Emirate Council were either based on the approval or instructions of Emir Sanusi.
The commission attached copy of a payment voucher in respect of one of the withdrawals to buttress its claim, which read “Being payment to the above named in respect of making special prayers for peace as directed by H.H. Emir of Kano respectively“.
“Therefore, any claim that the Emir is not the accounting officer of the Kano Emirate Council is a deception and a misrepresentation of facts.
“Specifically, the reason of our recommendation for the suspension apart from obstruction of investigation which formed the basis, investigation further reveals that Rufa’i Buhari (Senior Accountant) usually made cash withdrawals directly from the account and changed it to Dollars on behalf of the Emir.
“Sometimes direct transfers from the account are made to a Bureau De Change belonging to one Jazuli Sani who was said to have died.
“The Commission still maintains the allegation on unappropriated, seemingly personal expenditures, making the total sum of questionable expenditures uncovered by this investigation to the tune of N3,432,090,797.94 only,” the report emphasised.
INVESTIGATION3 days ago
Homeowners accuse CMB Building Company, its CEO Mbagwu of fraud, petition EFCC
BUSINESS22 hours ago
Titan Trust Bank set for grand entry into Nigeria
INVESTIGATION3 days ago
Presidential panel probes Delta Senator, Peter Nwaoboshi over corruption allegations
BUSINESS2 days ago
Fidelity Bank partners NIPOST, launches agency banking
THE NEWS2 days ago
N3.4bn: Emir Sanusi lied, says Kano agency
THE NEWS3 days ago
Why Nigeria is yet to achieve economic diversification – Abraham Nwankwo
INVESTIGATION6 hours ago
Publication threats: Billionaire bank debtors lobby CBN Gov to save faces
SPORTS2 days ago
SOPAN hails Falcons for South Korea Victory