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EFCC’ll go after real estate developers, others over money laundering – Chairman

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…To prosecute 800 internet fraudsters, others

Uncovers N6bn looted from state government 

By Abdullahi Mohammed, Abuja
The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, said the commission would go after real estate developers and jewelry dealers serving as conduit pipes for money laundering.


The EFCC chairman said this at the ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communication Team at the State House in Abuja.


He said the commission is working to strengthen its Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML) to checkmate the activities of non-designated financial institutions. He also revealed that the commission is set to prosecute 800 cases in various courts across the country with majority of them linked to internet fraudsters. 

“SCUML that is being managed by the EFCC as well as the Ministry of Trade and Investment is expected to do similar thing but this time on the non-designated financial institutions. We are talking about the car dealers, the jewelry dealers and real estate etc. 

“If we can checkmate the problems associated with real estate laundering of proceeds, crimes in this country will reduce. “It is on that thinking that we are working on strengthening on this special control unit against money laundering. 

“We are working with the two houses of the National Assembly to strengthen the legal framework of this special control unit against money laundering,” he said


He said the EFCC’s intelligence unit has discovered the movement of N6 billion from an unnamed state government coffers.“Since I came on board, we have embarked on the restructuring of the agency, one of the key thing I succeeded in doing is the creation of the department of intelligence. This is based on our resolve to Nigerians that going forward, our investigation is going to be intelligence based.

“Since the creation of the department, we have received meaningful intelligence. Just last week, they sent a report of certain government that has taken money out of the treasury of the state government in cash, over a period of time amounting to over N6billion which is a useful thing, that we are using to investigate that aspect,” he said.He intelligence unit is assisting the agency in prosecuting cases by forwarding findings to other departments, including the operations department.He said the commission has made a number of recoveries running into billions of Naira since his assumption of office in the last 100 days.

“There are a number of recoveries that the EFCC has made over the years but is not all recoveries made that belongs to the Federal Government.“We have made recoveries for victims of criminals and they can be individuals, local government, state government, federal government, corporate entities whether in Nigeria or outside Nigeria. There are also recoveries that are indirect recoveries. “Just a couple of weeks back, we recovered $100 million for the Nigeria Ports Authority but the monies were paid into the account of NPA but through our efforts. Am I not going to record that we have recovered such an amount for NPA? Are you going to see it in the EFCC recovered account with the CBN? No. 

“There are recoveries that are made directly into the EFCC account. It is through systems and processes. There is Department of Asset Forfeiture and Recovery Management in EFCC responsible for collating all the data regarding recovered assets, assets on interest forfeiture and assets on final forfeiture as well as their location and of course their management.

“From the time I took over, we have recovered over N6 billion, over $161 million, over £13,000, €1,730, 200 Canadian dollars, CFA 373,000, ¥8,430.“We have recovered 30 real estates, one carpet, 13 electronics, one farm land, one factory, two motorcycles, one filling station and about 32 automobiles,” he said.He said the commission would prosecute former governor of Abia state, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, all over again following his recent release from the correctional centre. 

“We have prosecuted a number of people within this period, secured 185 convictions and you are aware that for two months the courts have been on strike, we have filed 367 cases and as I said within this week, we are going to file 800 cases in court on public corruption as well as cybercrime.“All the known politically exposed cases that you are aware of that are in court are still in court and we are vigorously and intelligently going to sustained their prosecution.

“Yesterday (Wednesday), you have all reported it, we succeeded in securing the convictions of an ex-bank MD, Francis Atuche. He was sentenced to six years imprisonment on all 21 out of  the 27 count charges. Of course, it is to run con-concurrently, it involves about N27 billion. We have been prosecuting that matter from the 16th of October 2009, judgement was only given yesterday. “We are determined to continue to prosecute no matter how long it takes and no matter the amount of resources that is involved. And that is why those of us in law enforcement say it time and time again, there is no budget in law enforcement because you never can tell where it will take you. It can take you up to the six continents and back and you have to prove your case beyond all reasonable doubts. So also in the case of prosecution, it can take one, two or several years.”

The EFCC boss also listed other ex-governors and high profile personalities still undergoing prosecution to include, Ibrahim Shehu Shema, former Katsina State Governor and three others standing trial for criminal breach of trust amounting to N11billion, Adebayo Alao-Akala, former Oyo State Governor for fraud, amounting to N11. 7billion, Ikedi Ohakim, former Imo State Governor, money laundering amounting to $2.2 million and Muazu Babangida Aliyu, former Niger State Governor for money laundering amounting to N4billion. Others still being prosecuted by EFCC include, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (rtd) for money laundering amounting to N21. 4billion, Olajide Omokore, money laundering and procurement fraud amounting to $1.6billion, Erastus Akingbola, former MD Intercontinental Bank N179billion and Andrew Yakubu, former GMD, NNPC money laundering to the tune of $9.7million and Euro 74,000.

 “Also undergoing prosecution are Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia Ex-judge, attempt to pervert the course of justice, N5 million, Femi Thomas, former Executive Secretary, NHIS for money laundering amounting to $2.1million and Babachir Lawal, former SGF for diversion of funds to the tune of N544 million. “The vision that is rapidly taking place in the EFCC today, is that of a world class, responsive and responsible law enforcement agency, with consideration of professionalism, integrity, transparency and accountability. On the rampant internet fraud in the country, he said the commission would file about 800 of such cases on court soon. 

“The rising increase of internet fraud is a huge problem. From January to 10th of June 2021, we arrested 1,502 internet fraudsters across the country. “On Monday that the court resumed, we attempted to file close to about 800 cases of internet fraud. It is a serious problem and we are working tirelessly towards curtailing it. “We are working with states government that we have identified to be more vulnerable to this. It is something parents, elders, institutions should be talking to one another, it is tarnishing the image of this country. They are doing it on a daily basis, they see it as another way of getting another income which is worrisome to us.

 “The chunk of those doing this are young boys of between 25 and 34, in their active live. Coincidentally, I am one of them being a young man, people from my constituency are the ones doing this and we will continue to talk to them. “The commission is focused on these cyber criminals and will continue to carry out enlightenment, carry their fight to their enclave and collaborating with our partners particularly the media. We need your assistance here.“We are building a tactical center that will solely deal on this issue of cybercrime. 

“The new EFCC is harnessing the skills of well trained and motivated workforce, leveraging on the support of every stakeholder both at home and abroad to deliver on the vision of a Nigeria free of all forces of economic and financial crimes.“Nigeria is the only country we have, we are the ones to salvage it and of course we need the support of everyone home and abroad, please don’t cross the line. 

“Please remember that if you are not one of us that wants to take Nigeria to it’s promise land, the EFCC will get you anywhere, anytime.”Bawa, also said those of them in the commission see scandalous exits  of his predecessors as ‘corruption fighting back,” he said.The EFCC chairman said some persons had already started a move to tarnish his image, moving round and securing services of media outlets to execute the plot against him and make him suffer the fate of his predecessors.He said he has informed the Inspector General of Police (IGP) about the development, stressing that such threats cannot deter him from riding the system of corruption. He said those who the EFCC has denied the enjoyment of illegally acquired wealth would naturally see the commission and its staff as enemies.He said a lot persons who had been made to relinquish illicitly acquired assets always go out to embarrass officials of the commission.
He also clarified his statement concerning the involvement of a minister in the laundering of about $37 million into real estate, saying that it is the case of former minister of Petroleum, Diezani Madueke. 

Bawa had on Tuesday in an interview with Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, disclosed that EFCC investigated a female minister, who bought $37.5million property from a bank and deposited $20 million cash.He had also identified the real estate sector as a major conduit for money laundering.Bawa observed 90 to 100 percent of stolen public funds are used for the procurement of houses and lands.“We investigated a matter in which a bank MD marketed a property to a minister and agreed to purchase it at $37.5 million.“The bank then sent a vehicle to her house to evacuate $20 million from her house in the first instance,” he had said.When asked why no minister had resigned or a bank manager being prosecuted over the matter, Bawa, who appeared on the presidential media briefing organised by the Presidential Media team, said he was only making reference to Diezani Alison-Madueke case.

When asked when the former minister would be prosecuted, he said she would be charged when she becomes available. 


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NIPSS,dRPC Finance ministry, inaugurates TWG to monitor Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) Intervention programmes

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Participants at the TWG inauguration event in Abuja comprising representatives of MDAs and CSOs in a group picture on Tuesday, 21st September 2021
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The National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies in collaboration with the development Research and Project Center and the federal ministry of finance, budget and national planning on Tuesday inaugurates a Technical Working Group (TWG) to monitor and evaluate budgetary implementations for Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) programmes and policies.

The TWG led by Dr Zakari Lawal (mni), which is part of initiatives of the Bill and Melinda Gates’ Partnership for Advancing Women’s Economic Development, PAWED, aims at entrenching accountability in women’s economic advancement policies and programmes and the monitoring group is comprised of 10 MDAs from across Nigeria.

The event which held at the Bolton White hotels, Abuja had in attendance officials and representatives of the federal ministry of finance, budget and national planning, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies(NIPSS), dPRC, MDAs and representives of women associations as well as representatives of Christian women and Muslim women associations

The the terms of reference for the technical working group which was spelt out at the event has as parts of the objectives of the group, the provisions of support in the areas of development and implementation of the pilot monitoring and evaluation framework and to track and rate women’s empowerment project/policies/ interventions at both the national and sub national levels.

The TWG will also support the advocacy for and the dissemination of the WEE Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, support NIPSS, FMFBNP and dRPC WEE outreach and will function under the guidance and oversight of the NIPSS, FMFBNP and dRPC.

In the his address, the DG NIPSS, Brigadier C.J. Udaya, represented by Dr Nasrideen Usman, said that the TWG is constituted to foster the accountability components of the NIPSS strategies and asked that there be more clarity especially in terms of the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholders and, that it should be well articulated and clearly stated so that every stakeholders like the NIPSS, dRPC TWG and the CBN will know what is expected of them and also guide the implementation of the initiative.

He said the TWG is expected to make recommendations to the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), the development Research and Projects Center (dRPC) and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMFBNP) on the development of advocacy strategies for the affective implementation of WEE policies.

He further added that the monitoring group would also support NIPSS, FMFBNP & dRPC WEE outreach and engagement activities; submit reports of its activities to NIPSS, FMFBNP & dRPC WEE at regular intervals; and carry out other ad hoc duties as requested by NIPSS, FMFBNP & the dRPC.

He remarked that ‘with women constituting over 44.82% of the labour force in Nigeria, empowering this segment of our population is not only key to achieving economic independence, but also, it is critical in sustaining the nation’s overall economic development’ therefore, the nation stands to gain as it will go a long way in address some of its economic challenges when women are economically and adequately empowered

He concluded by imploring the 20 committee members drawn from the CBN, the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance, budget and National planning and other MDAs, to work hard in order to ensure transparency in the implementation of women’s economic empowerment in the country.

In his goodwill speech, Dr Zakari Lawal (mni) Director, Monitoring and Evaluation, Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, stressed the need for strengthening the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for women’s economic empowerment in the country and gave assurance of the federal government readiness to set in mechanisms to promote transparency in the allocation and implementation of policies in the country.

He expressed gratitude to all the stakeholders and MDAs involved with the the project and urged the would be leaders of TWG to take their responsibilities with all seriousness.

At the end of the inaugural event , Princess Adeshola Ogunleye and Mrs Mary Madu Haman emerged the chair and co-chairpersons respectively .

The TWG will be training participants in techniques and skills for tracking budget allocation and implementation on Wednesday and Thursday at the Bolton White Hotel in Abuja.


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Osun presents 2020 audited accounts

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Oyetola’s administration committed to accountability, openness, probity – Auditor-General 
as State IGR skyrockets to N19.6b


The Government of the State of Osun on Tuesday presented the audited financial accounts of the State for the 2020 fiscal year.
The audited financial reports were made public as part of efforts to keep the citizens abreast of the financial status of the State, showcase prudence in the management of the available resources and, by extension, strengthen the existing public trust and confidence that have been the hallmarks of the Administration.


The audited accounts as presented revealed the astronomical improvement in the State Internally Generated Revenue from 2018 to 2020 as a total sum of N13,805,843,339.25 was generated in 2018; N17,720,122,360.44  in 2019 and N19,642,333,010.68 in 2020 respectively.
This is even as the Auditor-General of the State, Mr. Folorunso Adesina, lauded the high sense of commitment of the Governor Adegboyega Oyetola-led Administration to ensure accountability, transparency and probity in the management of the State’s resources.
Recall that the 2019 audited account was presented earlier this year due to the adverse effects of the protracted Coronavirus pandemic that has been ravaging the universe.
The summary of the Audited Financial Statements as presented puts the Total Revenue (inflows) at N99,048,740,967.00 and Total Recurrent and Capital Expenditure (outflows) at N86,470,726,806.86 respectively.
The Net Balance on Total Revenue and Total Expenditure was N12,578,014,160.14 and Opening Balance as at January 1st, 2020 was N10,356,616,311.14 while the Total Closing Balance as at December 31st, 2020 was N22,934,627,471.28 respectively.


Analysis of Recurrent Expenditure indicates that Personnel Expenditure has N28,748,672,359.37 and Recurrent Expenditure has N17,928,291,392.63.
Also, analysis of Capital Expenditure indicates that Administrative Sector has N5,392,638,753.82; Economic has N27,896,438,968.24; Law and Justice has N58,309,514.17 and Social has N6,416,375,818.63 respectively.
While reeling out the audited reports of the finances of the State for the year 2020 at the Audit Forum held at Leisure Spring Hotel, Osogbo, Adesina said Public Finance Management (PFM) reform under the leadership of Governor Oyetola, has got a boost by becoming one of the pioneer States to assist and implement Audit Act in Nigeria, a feat the Federal Government is yet to attain.


He said the presentation of the 2020 fiscal account would make Osun to consolidate on its pacesetter status among the comity of states in the country and further build public trust and confidence in governance.
Adesina who highlighted the sterling performance of the State so far, particularly within the Audit Year under review, said it was generally discovered that Government executed people-oriented programmes as prudence was put in the forefront towards good governance.
According to him, economic and social sector took about 86.22% of the Total Capital Expenditure which was responsible for government’s ability to build, rehabilitate, revitalise and deliver for public use over 300 Primary Healthcare Centres as at the time of the report.


“Audit visitation to location of the health centres and health equipment supplied, including consumables was confirmation of this government priority for the well-being of the masses.
“Also on infrastructure, the Office through the monitoring team inspected roads construction embarked upon and completed by the State such as Moro-Yakoyo-Ipetumodu-Asipa road; Ada-Igbajo road; Overlay of Oke-Gada-Army Baracks road, Ede; Ereja roundabout-Eregun-Isaare-Oke-Oye road, Ilesa; Akindeko-Awosuru-Alekuwodo road; various rural electrification projects spread across the State among others, and it was discovered that best available standards were used in the various constructions, thereby making available to the masses, good and solid infrastructure which have impacts positively on the lives of the people and have helped to transform the socioeconomic status of the State.


“Audit also visited some renovated schools and the educational materials supplied like desks, chairs, books, shelves among others were inspected across the State and it was discovered that their amenities were effective and efficient for the target masses,” Adesina explained.
Giving the financial position of the State as at December 31st, 2020, Adesina said, Total Asset was N153,895,719,326.64; Total Liabilities was N90,720,513,278.69 and Net/Equity was put at N63,175,206,047.95.


On budget performance, the Auditor-General said Goverment had performed credibly on its revenue generation efforts, most especially on IGR as reported in the comparison of revenue between previous years.
“The accounts of the State Government of Osun for the year ended 31st December, 2020 have been audited by me in accordance with the provision of Section 125 Subsection 2 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). 
“I have certified the individual accounts ( statement of cash flow, statement of financial performance, statement of financial position, statement of change in assets/equity, statement of comparison between budget and actual notes to the accounts) as correct object to clarified observations.


“In fulfilling the provisions of the extant requirements, my office within the financial year under review, carried out Financial Audit in accordance with professional standards and regulations to determine whether the accounts have been satisfactorily and faithfully kept through audit trail of transactions.
“We equally carried out Appropriation Audit to ensure that funds are expended as appropriated by the State House of Assembly as well as Compliance Audit to ensure that laid-down rules, regulations and procedures are being observed in tendering, supplying, contracting and storekeeping with a view to ensure strict adherence to the provisions of the Acts of Parliament.


“As the watchdog of public finances, we monitored all government projects and all forms of disbursement to ensure that all officers carried out their duties in a transparent way and in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations.
“Projects and programmes executed were satisfactory in consideration of funds employed and financial statement 1-5 and related schedules give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the State Government of Osun at 31st December, 2020,” he added.
Earlier, Speaker, Osun House of Assembly, Hon. Timothy Owoeye lauded the Administration of Governor Oyetola for running an all inclusive and participatory government.


Owoeye who was represented by the Chairman House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Gbenga Ogunkanmi reaffirmed the House’s commitment to continue to ensure check and balances in the management of the State in general and public treasury in particular.

In his remarks, the Head of Service, Dr. Olowogboyega Oyebade applauded the financial prowess of the Administration of Governor Oyetola to maintain and sustain the economy of the State despite the daunting challenges.

Oyebade who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Human Resources and Capacity Building, Mr. Leye Aina, described the public presentation of the Audited Accounts as an indication to the fact that Oyetola’s administration was open to all.

“It shows the Governor means business, it shows he knows what he is doing. It takes someone who is honest, transparent and accountable to be able to sustain this. For us to be able to maintain and sustain this also shows that the Governor is serious about the finances of the State. It shows he is a thorough leader. 

“This is a way of telling the public that the government is open to criticism. It shows that the government is ready to show the book of accounts to public as probity, accountability, transparency and honesty are prioritised. This shows that government has nothing to hide and that it has no skeleton in the cupboard,” Oyebade added. 

The Audit Forum had in attendance members of the Civil Society Organizations; Stakeholders, Heads of Non-Governmental Organizations; top government functionaries, professional bodies, artisans among others. Earlier, Speaker, Osun House of Assembly, Hon. Timothy Owoeye lauded the Administration of Governor Oyetola for running an all inclusive and participatory government.


Owoeye who was represented by the Chairman House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Gbenga Ogunkanmi reaffirmed the House’s commitment to continue to ensure check and balances in the management of the State in general and public treasury in particular.
In his remarks, the Head of Service, Dr. Olowogboyega Oyebade applauded the financial prowess of the Administration of Governor Oyetola to maintain and sustain the economy of the State despite the daunting challenges.
Oyebade who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Human Resources and Capacity Building, Mr. Leye Aina, described the public presentation of the Audited Accounts as an indication to the fact that Oyetola’s administration was open to all.
“It shows the Governor means business, it shows he knows what he is doing. It takes someone who is honest, transparent and accountable to be able to sustain this. For us to be able to maintain and sustain this also shows that the Governor is serious about the finances of the State. It shows he is a thorough leader. 
“This is a way of telling the public that the government is open to criticism. It shows that the government is ready to show the book of accounts to public as probity, accountability, transparency and honesty are prioritised. This shows that government has nothing to hide and that it has no skeleton in the cupboard,” Oyebade added. 


The Audit Forum had in attendance members of the Civil Society Organizations; Stakeholders, Heads of Non-Governmental Organizations; top government functionaries, professional bodies, artisans among others.


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Breaking: Buhari wants National Assembly to amend PIA, few weeks after

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President Muhammadu Buhari is back to the National Assembly to ask lawmakers to tinker with the new Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), he signed into law on August 16, just five days above a month.

The President is seeking the removal of the Ministers of Petroleum Resources and Finance from the board of the agencies created under the law.

In a letter, to the NASS read separately at their individual chambers by Ahmad Lawan, Senate President and Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, for the Senate and House of Representatives, respectively, the President is seeking an amendment to the law to make for the appointment of non-Executive and Executive Directors for the agencies created by the law.

The Speaker said the letter will be referred to the appropriate committee of the House for immediate action.

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday, wrote to the Senate seeking an amendment to the recently enacted Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

The President insisted that the affected Ministers can continue to perform their functions without necessarily being members of the board of NNPC Limited.

Part of the amendment being sought by Buhari on PIA is to increase the number of Non-Executive members of the NNPC Limited Board from two to six to reflect Federal Character.

Buhari, in another letter, transmitted the names of nominees for screening and subsequent confirmation as board members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the NNPCL.


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