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Failed Banks: Odili, Lafiagi, Others Fingered

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Senators on Tuesday named Nigerians who abused their positions in banks, borrowed loans worth N53.3 billion, and refused to pay them back, which made the banks to go under.

A report presented to the senate by its committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions listed a former governor, a former managing director of banks as contributors to such collapse.

A letter dated June 27, 2008 sent by the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Cooperation (NDIC) to the senate NDIC committee attached a list of ‘insider credits’ of 13 closed banks as at June 2008.

But it noted that in view of the fact that the accounts are insider related, the records are constantly reviewed and reconciled.

Those listed include former Kwara State Governor, Mohammed Lafiagi (N1,156,776.57 unlimited personal guarantee); Sanusi Ado Bayero (N45,003,963.93); former Gulf Bank Managing Director, Babajide Rogers (N11,874,216.56); Chrome Services and Related Companies chairman, Emeka Offor (N3,850,016,620) personal guarantee of Offor and 100,000 units of ordinary shares of Environmental Remediation Holding Corporation, USA), and another N3,850,016,620 loan without guarantee.

Victor Odili, N41,103,498.56 – fixed and floating debenture on the assets of the company, N2,628,979.05; N10,856,129.75.

Owner of liquidated All States Trust Bank now Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) chairman, Ebitimi Banigo, Nta Henshaw, and others (N48,551,995,304.83); former Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) Governorship candidate Remi Bakare (N1,093,247,535.40); Mike Ajegbo (N210,291,896.21); C.M. Ibeto (N643,340,680.92); and former Information Minister, Dapo Sarumi (N3,847 743.90).

Oluwaogbon Motors chairman, S.O. Bakare (N544,585,269.86 and N21,311,398.59); former City Express Bank chairman, Samuel Adedoyin; former City Express Bank chief executive officer, Sola Adeoti, Former Minister of State for Health, Funke Adedoyin (N5,131,275,864.01); and Angela Onyeador (N30,755,363.13-legal mortgage).

Committee chairman, Nkechi Nwaogu, noted that 50 banks failed because of the huge debts that were never paid, including 36 which crashed before consolidation in 2005, and 14 after consolidation.

But less than two minutes after she read out the list, threatening death text messages flooded her mobile telephone, according to Eyinnaya Abaribe who sat beside her.

Based on the death threats, senate president David Mark, directed the inspector general of police, Mike Okiro, to provide personal security for all the 12 members of the committee immediately.

He lamented that the debtors could go to the extent of threatening the lives of the committee members when they are supposed to be ashamed.

Mark told the committee members: “You have performed wonderfully well and there is absolutely nothing for you to fear because you have done what you ought to do for your country.

“All those sending text messages to you should think twice about what they have done to this country rather than having effrontery to send text messages to you.

“All of us here take collective responsibility for this report. It is not a report from senator Nkechi Nwaogu”

Chairman, Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers and Oba of Ogbaland, HRM, Eze Chukwumela Nnam Obi (right), with former Head of State, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari as guests at the first Marshall Harry Memorial Lecture in Port Harcourt, last Monday. Chris Monyanaga.

Chairman, Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers and Oba of Ogbaland, HRM, Eze Chukwumela Nnam Obi (right), with former Head of State, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari as guests at the first Marshall Harry Memorial Lecture in Port Harcourt, last Monday. Chris Monyanaga.

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Kidnapping Of Students, Ploy To Discourage Schooling In Nigeria – MSSN

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The Muslims Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) has said that the incessant kidnapping of students in some parts of the country was a strategy to discourage the pursuit of education.
MSSN National President, Malam Shehu Usman- Abubakar, said in a statement on Saturday, in Birnin Kebbi, that many students had withdrawn from school as a result of kidnapping.
He said that education was the major source of strength and power to every nation and community in the world.
“As kidnapping has started affecting schools, we, as members of MSSN, view it as an effort towards discouraging the pursuit of education, especially in educationally backward communities of the northern parts of the country.
“Therefore, more should be done to put a stop to that with all the might and urgency possible,’’ he said.
Usman-Abubakar urged governments at all levels to do more in ensuring the protection of lives and property of their citizens, saying that the rate of criminality in the country was alarming, especially banditry and kidnapping.
He, however, noted that security agencies had been doing a lot in combating insecurity in the country, while commending the Kebbi state government for its efforts in the immediate rescue of some of the kidnapped students of Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri.
“We urge other state governments affected to follow suit  as set by Gov. Atiku Bagudu,” he said.
The MSSN president also urged Muslim faithful to return to Almighty God in repentance and be prayerful for a better Nigeria.

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FG, UN Unveil Programme To Empower Youths

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The Federal Government of Nigeria is set to partner with the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) to empower 20 million Nigerian youths by 2030.
The initiative tagged: “Generation Unlimited” and set to be inaugurated today in Abuja, is targeted at 20 million persons between the ages of 10 and 24 out of the nation’s 65 million young people.
The Country Representative of UNICEF in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, said this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja yesterday.
According to him, the initiative is also being replicated in many other countries with 1.8 billion young people targeted around the World.
With specific reference to Nigeria, Hawkins said that the Generation Unlimited programmes were aimed at developing the capacity of young Nigerians to be better positioned as leaders of tomorrow.
He said that if the youths were not equipped with the right skills, especially in view of the ongoing digitisation of the World, they would be unable to bring value to the future of Nigeria.
The UN representative added that such initiatives would also help in turning the youth away from drugs or crime.
“Nigeria has 65 million people between the ages of 10 and 24, so young people of Nigeria are more importantly the future. That generation would shape the future of Nigeria.
“What Generation Unlimited is trying to do is to first act as a platform between the government, the United Nations and the International Community and the private sector.
“Out of the 65 million young people, Generation Unlimited is trying to help 20 million of those over the next 10 years to step over the generation that they are in to be able to meet their own ambitions and be valuable commodities in Nigeria.
“What is going to define the future of any country, particularly Nigeria is the digital platform – access to data, access to digital information.
“It is not only expanding the digital platform but expanding young people’s access to that platform.
“There are initiatives like School-2-School connectivity, looking at how we can bring digital learning into the schools, communities and ensure that young peoples’ skills around digital platforms come to the fore,” he said.
He pointed out that other areas include education skills on the one hand and employability and entrepreneurship on the other hand.
Hawkins said that UNICEF was particularly focused on connection between the skills and opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship, trying to develop the skills that jobs require.
Hawkins added that the last part was engagement of the young people not only to understand what they want to do but also to create an environment where they are contributing to the future of this country as a voice.
“Already, over the past year, we have been engaging with 450,000 young people through different initiatives around the country.
“There is a massive prospect in this country to engage young people. So in summary, Generation Unlimited is trying to help 20 million young people to achieve skills and jobs with digital platform being the main conduit for many of these jobs and skills.
“On Monday, Nigeria’s Vice President will inaugurate the Generation Unlimited Nigeria, this is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate a vision for the young people of Nigeria and give them the opportunity to engage in what happens in Nigeria in the future.
“There are many initiatives at the moment currently ongoing, especially around skills development, education a live skills learning.
“What we are trying to do at Generation Unlimited is to allow the platform of all of these to go to scale, using different initiatives to trigger off other initiatives to reach the 20 million that we want to reach in the next 10 years,” he said.
The UNICEF Representative listed some of its partners to include: GIZ, EU, USAID, Unilever, Microsoft, Tony Elumelu Foundation, and MasterCard, amomg others, adding that they were open for partnerships with institutions and the private sector.

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PDP Tackles el-Rufai Over Insecurity, Insists Jonathan Resisted Insurgency

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A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Emeka Kalu, has slammed the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, over comments on ex-President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
It would be recalled that El-Rufai had severally criticized Jonathan’s administration for being incompetent and weak in tackling terrorism.
The Kaduna governor also adduced that all the technical advice given to Jonathan was refused.
In a statement, yesterday, Kalu, a former governorship aspirant in Abia State, opined that under Jonathan, insurgency was resisted with all apparatus within the reach of the government to tackle the ugly trend.
He lamented that countless persons have lost their lives to herdsmen killings in the north and southern part of Nigeria while el-Rufai as the Chief Security Officer of Kaduna, with full confidence in Buhari-led government, is busy watching the atrocities while the perpetrators go unpunished as a result of ethnic sentiment.
Kalu queried, “What has he successfully put in action to contain the marauding and uncontrollable cases of kidnapping and banditry that had almost swept the entire nooks and crannies of Kaduna State or is he short of ideas now on how best to engage the criminals?
“Why has he not been able to apply those security tackling measures the technical committee that he was one of the members during Jonathan regime recommended to improve security situation in Kaduna State as the governor on seat?
The party chieftain, however, called on el-Rufai to stop playing politics with the deteriorating insecurity in the country, warning the governor and the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress to stop the mudslinging in politics, promote ethnic co operations and tolerance, as well as run inclusive government.
Parts of the statement said, “It is always easier to castigate a leader, find faults and apportion blames but when it gets to the doorstep of the fault finder, with all statutory power and resources to perform the same functions, the actor retires into his shelf as snail does.
“Instead, he would come up with a cheap propaganda that any person who killed a Fulani Man would have himself to blame. When interviewed for explanation, he said it was because Fulani are scattered in various parts of Africa and when you kill one in Nigeria, those in Sahara would come to say, you killed their fathers and brothers, then as result attack the locality in retaliation.
“Does this make any sense for a government that values the lives of her citizens? Why would the government condone criminals and give shot at side order in another part of the country to wipe away the people of that ethnic nationality in the pretext of fighting criminal. Are all criminals not the same or those from a given ethnic group are anointed not to be killed?
“The same expert on security intelligence as he claimed to be could not suggest how best to tackle bandits but with all velocity suggested how to treat and handle ethnic agitators who had not killed even an ant. This signifies the kind of government we run and expect the citizenry to wave banners of praises for us.
“Nigeria has a long way to go. Except we drop divided sentiment and nepotism, the journey would be farer for us; except the government eschews unnecessary cuddling of herdsmen with carrots hands by taking strict actions to stop their rampage and marauding activities, Nigeria will still be singing the same songs of sorrow instead of peace and unity.
“The formula is very simple. Stop mudslinging in politics, promote ethnic co-operations and tolerance, run inclusive government, drop revenge-oriented use of EFCC/DSS apparatus against party opponents, revive the dwindling economy, create jobs and employment using Federal Character Principles, open full resistance against bandits and all forms of terrorism, stop ethnic harassment of the southern Nigerian peaceful agitators, learn how to dialogue, work to restructure the fiscal federalism then Nigeria will become an ice in a hot water pot”.

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