Tinubu Swears In 45 Ministers,Tasks Them On Patriotism

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Monday 21 sworn in 45 ministers at Aso Villa Abuja, saying he welcomes to the administration of renewed hope.

President Tinubu,in his address said the ministers were carefully selected for their excellent track records.

He admonished them not to see themselves as ethnic or tribal ministers but ” ministers of the Republic of Nigeria”.

He challenged to hit the ground running from the moment they were sworn in.

The ceremony that lasted two and half hours was anchored by the Special Adviser to Tinubu on Media and Publicity, Aguri Ngelale, by first reading the citation of the Ministers, followed by oath-taking , appended their signature on a register, proceeded for Presidential handshakes and picture with Mr President.

Ondo:How Amotekun Arrested Kidnappers While Collecting Ransom From Victim

No fewer than nine kidnappers were arrested by Ondo State Security Network otherwise known as Amotekun Corps in Akoko area of the state last week

Parading 31 crime suspects on Monday at the formation’s headquarters at Alagbaka, Akure, the state capital, the Corps Commander, Akogun Adetunji Adeleye disclosed that the kidnappers abducted one Bello Audu at his residence in Akunnu-Akoko, Akoko North-West Local Government Area of Ondo State and took him to the forest.

When Amotekun corps were informed of the incident,they disguised as members of the family of the victim and took the ransom demanded by the kidnappers to them in their hideout.

At the point of collecting the ransom,three among the armed kidnappers who came to collect the ransom were arrested.

Their arrest led to the arrest of other six members of the gang at different locations in the state.

Disclosing his experience in the den of his abductors, Bello, a farmer, said he was observing the 7:00pm Muslim prayer at his residence in Akunnu-Akoko when about six armed men suddenly came and flogged him with a stick and ordered him to follow them the forest.

He told newsmen that he was fed with small quantity of garri flakes without offering him water for five days before he was rescued by Amotekun Corps.

Bello,who is from Olorun, Kwara State, said: “I was in my house observing the 7:00pm prayer as a Muslim, when suddenly some men numbering about six walked up to me on the mat and flogged me with a stick.

“Some of them were carrying guns and the asked me to follow them. They from my house led me to the forest.They later contacted my family asking for ransom so that they could release me from their hideout.

“While in their hideout for five days, they offered me small garri to eat. They didn’t give me water throughout. Though I didn’t see them eat.I was later rescued from them by men of the Amotekun Corps when they wanted to collect the ransom brought for them for my release.

“They were all arrested there by Amotekun Corps.”

Some suspected criminals were arrested for stealing cable and wires at Ode-Irele in Irele Local Government Area and other different locations during the raid across the 18 local government areas of the state in the last one week by Amotekun Corps.

A 16-year-old boy, who was arrested for illegal possession of firearms when he was 13 and sent to juvenile home, was also arrested for burglary and stealing.

He claimed to be overwhelmed by evil spirit that motivates him to steal.

During the raid, a 6-man syndicate that deals in stealing and buying stolen goats was arrested with two taxi cabs loaded with goats.

The suspects, among who was a woman, claimed that they didn’t steal the goats despite their inability to explain how they came about the goats.

Some other suspects were arrested for snatching and stealing motorbikes from unsuspecting owners at different towns in the state.

They usually board the bikes to neighbouring states to sell to their receivers.

Meanwhile, the Amotekun Corps Commander disclosed that in collaboration with other security agencies in the state, they are embarking on flushing criminals out of the forests in the state.

He said: “We have discovered that kidnappers have left towns and take refuge in the forests.So, in collaboration with other security agencies in the state, we are embarking of flushing our forests of unscrupulous elements who kidnap people on the roadside and flee back into the forest.

“Criminals must leave our state and allow people going about their legitimate businesses to have peace of mind.”

Group Amplifies Campaign Against Corruption In Public Procurement

Mohammed Shosanya

A group of anti-corruption civil society organizations,CSO,is amplifying campaign against the growing corruption in public procurement in Nigeria.

The group,comprising of four leading CSOs is facilitated by Procurement Observation and Advocacy Initiative, PRADIN in partnership with Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ and Human and Environmental Development Agenda,HEDA.

It conveyed its renewed campaign against corruption in an invitation letter signed by Mohammed Bougei Attah, the National Coordinator of PRADIN on behalf of the group, and made available to Premium News.

It identified a 2010 study by NGO Network, a national CSO working in the area of information management, identified procurement corruption as responsible for over 70% of total corruption in the public sector in Nigeria.

The group lamented that the menace has reached the rooftop despite several investments in the fight to reduce the problem in the country.

Key stakeholders have been invited to a one-day Roundtable to discuss,digest the critical issues, and advance a new strategy in tackling the cankerworm,as well as set in motion practical steps and strategies towards addressing the phenomenon that will assist the government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

Slated for Thursday August 24, the event is expected to draw participants from the government, professional bodies and civil society groups in a bold move to create avenue for synergy and partnership among stakeholders in the fight against corruption in the country.

According to the invite,some of the major stakeholders invited and grouped into three categories of implementer, regulators and monitors are; the Bureau of Public procurement, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply management of Nigeria.

Others include;the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Strategy Implementation Task Office for the Presidential Executive Order 5 and the Nigeria Society of Engineers.

BBNaija All Stars:Biggie Introduces Four New Housemates After Eviction Show

Big Brother has increased the tempo of the competition for housemates in the Big Brother Naija All Stars season show with his addition of four new housemates after yesterday’s eviction show.

The eviction show, which started at 7 PM saw the exit of Kiddwaya from it

Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, host of the show, revealed that Kiddwaya and Tolanibaj were the housemates with the least number of votes for the week, during the Sunday live eviction show.

Saskay, Elozonam and Vee, the jury for the week, unanimously saved Tolanibaj from being evicted, putting up Kiddwaya.
Kiddwaya got 1.95 per cent vote, Tolanibaj had 2.03 per cent.

Kiddwaya,after being evicted said, “Honestly, that house is crazy, came back to make some new friends, I am grateful to be here and wish them all luck.

“I have lots of project coming up, my fans will get to see a lot from me soon.”

Meanwhile, Obi-Uchendu had hinted during the eviction show that some ex-housemates would be introduced into the show later in the night.

Just after the eviction, Big Brother introduced four additional housemates: Lucy, Omatshola, Kim Oprah and Prince Nelson, all ex housemates from previous editions.

He said the housemates could participate in the head of house challenge and be up for eviction after one week stay of immunity.

Housemates like Pere, Doyin, Ilebaye wore shocked expressions at the entry of the new additions, as it meant a game reset and a need to restrategise.

Tinubu Announces New Minister Designate For Niger Delta,Minor Amendments To Ministries

President Bola Tinubu has approved the redeployment of Engr. Abubakar Momoh from the Federal Ministry of Youth to the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Development.

A statement by Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, on Sunday, said the Federal Ministry of Youth is to be re-assigned to a Minister-Designate soon.

The Ministers-Designate allocated to the Federal Ministries of Transportation, Interior, and Marine and Blue Economy have been reshuffled as follows: H.E. Adegboyega Oyetola is redeployed as the Honourable Minister of Marine and Blue Economy

Hon. Bunmi Tunji-Ojo is redeployed as the Honourable Minister of Interior,while Hon. Sa’idu Alkali is redeployed as the Honourable Minister of Transportation

Besides, both Ministers of State in the Oil & Gas sector are now domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources with the following designations: Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri is the Hon. Minister of State (Oil), Petroleum Resources

Hon. Ekperipe Ekpo is the Hon. Minister of State (Gas), Petroleum Resources

The statement noted that the President approved the renaming of the Federal Ministry of Environment and Ecological Management as the Federal Ministry of Environment.

NDLEA Seizes Fake $20m Notes On Lokoja-Abuja Highway

Mohammed Shosanya

A “Stop-and-Search’’ operation by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency on the Lokoja-Abaji Highway has caused the discovery of counterfeit $20m.

The image-maker of NDLEA, Femi Babafemi, disclosed on Sunday in Abuja that the fake currencies were recovered from a bus travelling from Lagos to Abuja.

According to him,the 53-year-old driver of the vehicle, Onyebuchi Nlebedim, was arrested.

He also stated that one Jude Ndubuisi (52) was arrested in a raid on August 17 while in possession of 2.2kg of methamphetamine at Kabusa village, Federal Capital Territory.

He added that the suspect was earlier arrested on July 7, 2022, for being in possession of 20.75kg of Indian hemp and that he was on court bail when he was nabbed for yet another drug crime.

“Another raid on two notorious drug joints in the FCT – “Dei-Dei’’ and Tora-Bora Hills, led to the recovery of 82.8kg skunk, 1.8kg Rohypnol and 1.2kg diazepam on Wednesday, Aug. 16.

“In Osun, NDLEA operatives destroyed clusters of Indian hemp plantations measuring about 3.5 hectares (more than 7.5 tons) at Mopatedo in Ifedayo Local Government Area of the state on Saturday, August 19.

“Two suspects – Sunday Otogbo (40), and Peter Makra (35), were arrested inside the Indian hemp farms.An additional 30kg of Indian hemp and 16.9kg of Indian hemp seeds were also recovered from the farms,’’ he stated.

He added that three other suspects – Ndubuisi Okorie (44), Ebilima Emmanuel (38), and Okechukwu Smart (40), were arrested on Aug. 19 in connection with 168kg of Indian hemp seized from them.

The suspects were arrested when their vehicle was intercepted on the Owerri-Onitsha Expressway, he stated.

“A shipment of 6,000 capsules of tramadol, 1,200 tablets of `swinol’, 155 bottles of codeine syrup and 20 tablets s of Molly was equally seized on the same road on Sunday, Aug. 13.

“A follow-up operation at Oyigbo area of Port Harcourt led to the arrest of the owner of the consignment, Remigius Ogechukwu (33),’’ Babafemi added.

He stated also that a teenager, Boniface Odinakachukwu (19), was arrested with a 99.4kg skunk at Isikwe Road, Achi in Oji-River Local Government Area of Enugu State on Friday, August 18.

The NDLEA spokesman added that a wanted 19-year-old bandit, Aliyu Mohammed Altine, was arrested by NDLEA operatives on Illela-Sokoto Road with some wraps of skunk on Thursday, August 17.

Deregulation: NIPCO Promises Increased Investment,Sustainable Growth

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian Independent Petroleum Company,NIPCO Plc has promised to deepen its investment in the country”s hydrocarbon industry in the face of the recent full deregulation of the downstream sector.

Its Managing Director,Mr Suresh Kumar,who disclosed this at the company’s 19th Annual General Meeting,AGM in Abuja,said the investment was necessary as a further attestation of the resilience of the Nigerian economy.

He assured the company’s preparedness to utilize the deregulation of the downstream sector measure to grow the company through the combined efforts of our human and material resources.

He said:”We have all expertise and structure in place to expand the infrastructure in Natural Gas consumption which we foresee as the future of energy market in Nigeria. We intend to consolidate our position in the industry and strive for greater market share in the petroleum products marketing stream. Effective harnessing of our human capital will be pursued to give fillip to your company’s commitment to providing top notch customer service experience at all times”.

The company will continue to appraise its operations for more diligent service delivery to its stakeholders as part
of consolidating the successes achieved in the last three years of the current executive management,he said.

He also assured that the company will improve in all areas of our operations with a view to ensuring that concerted efforts are made towards achieving the vision of the promoters of the organization.

Kumar also said the human capital element of the company will continue to drive management’s positive attention in the face of economic challenges that are fast affecting standard of living nationwide.

He said:”My management team with the kind support of the Board will continually improve the lots of the workforce which in turn ,we are sure will impact favorably on productivity.Since 2020, upon my assumption of office with my executive management team, I have observed with delight the unwavering commitment of the workforce in sustaining the lofty heights of the company. We shall continue to be proactive in the face of global economic challenges so as to reduce effect on the workforce

“The harmonious relationship existing in the company has not only being exemplary but a reliable platform for team building to take the organizations to the next level.
The employee’s ingenuity and stern commitment to exceptional service delivery have made your company one of the key players in the nation’s downstream sector. Our employees continued to see more values in rendering stellar services in line with international best practices”

He spoke on the company’s corporate social responsibility,saying NIPCO has continued to maintain a strong relationship with its numerous publics in an effort to remain a socially responsible organisation.

He hinted that numerous initiatives to offer support in several fields o are being actualised to assist the company’s host communities,adding that the company will continue to have some form of leverage in its overall operating environment as a socially responsible organisation.

Kumar,who lamented the operating challenges in the global economic environment last year,told the shareholders that NIPCO withered the storm with a modest performance that has contributed to guarantee good return on your investment

He added:”Our company will continue to act in concert with its peers in the industry to achieve energy security for Nigeria.Our performance in 2022 was mainly on long-term growth strategy that was anchored on prudent management of resources, cost optimization, team work and unflinching support of the Board of Directors”

Directors Of 183 Failed Banks Won’t Go Unpunished -NDIC

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC,has said that directors of closed 183 microfinance banks, MfBs and Primary Mortgage Banks, PMBs, will soon be investigated for their roles in the collapse of their institutions.

Managing Director/ Chief Executive, NDIC, Bello Hassan,gave the hint recently at a workshop organised by the Corporation for law enforcement agencies.

He spoke while addressing participants at the workshop, including members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Implementation of Failed Banks Act.

He said: “As you are all aware, the Central Bank of Nigeria recently revoked banking licences of 183 MFBs and PMBs which may require you to be’ called upon to investigate some of the directors and officers of these institutions with a view to bring to book those found culpable in the collapse of these institutions.”

Hassan explained that workshop is a demonstration of NDIC’s commitment to collaborating with other agencies against financial malpractices and insider abuses in banks.

He said,the collaboration has yielded and is still yielding results particularly in the area of investigation and prosecution.”

He said: “This workshop, like similar initiatives by the Corporation aims to compliment the efforts of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Implementation of Failed Banks Act.

“The Corporation, whilst bearing in mind the positive impact of such collaboration will continue to strive at enhancing the synergy between all of us in the areas of law enforcement relating to investigation and prosecution of financial malpractices.

“I want to use this forum to appeal to the members of the Task Force not to relent on your oars but to execute the given mandate diligently thereby achieving the objectives of establishing the Task Force.

“Through your collaborative efforts, I am aware that twelve (12) prosecution cases are on-going at various courts, twenty-five (25) on-going investigations with FMIU, eleven (11) with EFCC and five (5) concluded investigations with the Federal Ministry of Justice for advice and prosecution. This is an indication that we are on the right course.”

NEITI, CSOs Agree To Boost Nigeria’s Extractive Sector

Mohammed Shosanya

Civil Society Organisations committed to transparency and accountability in the oil, gas and mining sectors have resolved to close ranks, forge common front to advance good governance of the extractive sector in Nigeria.

Rising from an enlarged all inclusive consultative forum convened by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative NEITI, the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) underlined the need for unity, commitment to reconciliation to ensure effective discharge of their roles as an important stakeholder in the NEITI/EITI process.

They further resolved to commence healing and reconciliation process to build stronger partnership in using NEITI reports to push for reforms under the NEITI/EITI principles of transparency and accountability.

A committee to harmonize existing frameworks & platforms of engagements into a comprehensive NEITI-CSO Constituency Guideline for the sector was set up at the meeting,a statement by Obiageli Onuorah, Deputy Director/Head Communications & Stakeholders Management,said.

The new guideline to be developed is to be modeled after EITI Constituency guideline released at the Dakar Global Conference in June this year. The Seven Man Committee is Chaired by Tijah Bolton, Executive Director, Policy Alert and Mrs Juliet UkanNwosu, Executive Director, Extractive 360 as Secretary of the Committee.

Other members of the Committee include Mr. Taiwo Otitolaye: Co-ordinator, Publish What You Pay Nigeria (PWYP), Mrs Faith Nwadishi: Executive Director, Centre for Transparency and Accountability (CTA), Dr Mina Ogbanga: Executive Director, Centre for Development Support Initiatives (CEDSI) and Mr. Bassey Udo, Chairman, Media Initiative for Transparency in Extractive Industries (MITEI).

They commended NEITI Secretariat for initiating and facilitating the meeting and called for sustained regular engagements.CSO welcomed the Federal Government special support to NEITI Secretariat to secure a befitting permanent Office Accommodation and commended NEITI’s prompt utilisation of the opportunity.

They implored the EITI globally to acknowledge the permanent office accomplishment by Nigeria for NEITI as an rare innovation worthy of emulation by other EITI implementing countries.

Nigerian Banks Lose N9.5bn To Electronic Fraud In Five Years, Says CBN

Mohammed Shosanya

Accumulated electronic fraud within the financial sector in has led to a loss of N9.5 billion in 2023,according to the Central Bank of Nigeria,CBN

The Director of Payment Systems Management of CBN, Musa Jimoh,announced this at the Third Quarter general meeting of the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum, NeFF.

He said that between 2019 and 2023, losses to electronic fraud jumped from N3 billion to N9.5 billion in the space of Five years.

Jimoh, also the Chairman of NeFF, stated that if electronic fraud is not nipped in the bud, the menace will crash the country’s banking sector.

He emphasized the need for banks, financial institutions and other operators in the industry to secure their operations in the digital environment.

He added:“Today, we are here to continue that conversation to look at new strategies by which we can combat E-fraud. If we don’t combat cyber criminals, they will take us down and disrupt the entire system.

“For fraud trends over the last five years, in 2019, we’re looking at about N3 billion, and currently 2023, we are looking at about N9.5 billion. Fraud losses have increased dramatically over the last five years”.