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Rivers Gets $108m As CBN Shares $2bn To FG, States, LGA’s

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The Central Bank last week Nigeria (CBN) last week Friday remitted $2 billion from the excess crude account into the various accounts of the three tiers of government, barely three days after the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting.

FAAC had during its meeting on Tuesday, October 13, approved the recommendation of the National Economic Council (NEC) to share $2 billion from the foreign Excess Crude Proceeds Account.

The three tiers of government had also in August 2009 shared $2.1 billion from the excess crude proceeds account and when added to the current $2 billion, it represents two per cent of the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.

The Minister of State for Finance and FAAC Chairman, Mr. Remi Babalola, who confirmed this development to journalists, on Sunday, in Abuja, disclosed that the CBN also, gave N350.721 billion to the federal, state and local governments, last week Friday.

The amount is their share of the statutory allocation of the value added tax and budget augmentation for the month of September 2009. The minister explained that the payment of the $2 billion and revenue allocations from the Federation Account was the Federal Government’s immediate efforts to re-energise the economy.

He said, “I received confirmation from CBN on Friday that the $2 billion from the excess crude had been paid into the various accounts of the tiers of government. So, no tier of government is being owed from the approved $2 billion from the excess crude and the N350.7 billion from Federation Account.

“The distribution of the $2 billion is part of government’s immediate efforts to reflate the economy. It will complement other areas that have been worked on to energise the economy. It will particularly mitigate the inadvertent liquidity and credit crunch challenges being faced by the various tiers of government due to the recent banking reforms in the economy.

“By implication, the current challenges of illiquidity and credit crunch in the system are being addressed by this injection. It also means that funds are available for ongoing capital projects at the federal, state and local government levels.”

Babalola had, in March 2008, moved the FAAC meeting from the third week of every month to the second week in order to address the problems of delay in the remittance of the revenue approved by the committee to the accounts of the three tiers of government.

The Federal Government, according to the minister, received the lion share of the distributed excess crude of $841.911 million while the 36 states got $799.648 million. The 774 local government councils accounted for the balance of $358.440 million of the excess crude.

State-by-state analysis of the excess crude revealed that Rivers received $108.696 million; Akwa Ibom, $103.465 million; Delta, $86.630 million; Bayelsa, $52.050 million; Ondo, $30.347 million; Kano,$19.771 million; Lagos, $17.859 million; Imo, $17.154 million; Edo, $16.491 million; Kaduna, $15.775 million; Abia, $15.287 million; and Katsina, $15.035 million.

Others are Borno, $14.905 million; Bauchi, $14.655 million; Niger, $14.629 million; Oyo, $14.610 million; Jigawa, $13.841 million; Benue, $13.509 million; Sokoto, $13.043 million; Cross River, $12.735 million; Anambra, $12.636 million; Kebbi, $12.576 million; Kogi, $12.545 million; and Adamawa $12.510 million.

Taraba was paid $12.354 million, Zamfara, $12.298 million; Plateau, $12.269 million; Yobe, $12.261 million; Ogun, $12.226 million; Enugu, $11.803 million; Osun, $11.596 million; Kwara $11.432 million; Gombe $11.095 million; Nasarawa, $10.711 million; Ekiti, $10.461 million; and Ebonyi, $10.371 million.

In addition to the $2 billion, the three tiers of government were paid N350.721 billion from the Federation Account. Statutory revenue accounted for N235.121 billion of the money shared from the Federation Account, while Value Added Tax and budget augmentation amounted to $36.529 billion and $51.192 billion, respectively.

Rivers State Governor, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi (2nd right), his deputy, Engr Tele Ikuru (3rd left), the State Speaker, Rt Hon Tonye Harry (right) and other members of the State House of Assembly during the governor’s visit to the House to mark his second year anniversary,  yesterday. Photo: Ibioye Diama

Rivers State Governor, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi (2nd right), his deputy, Engr Tele Ikuru (3rd left), the State Speaker, Rt Hon Tonye Harry (right) and other members of the State House of Assembly during the governor’s visit to the House to mark his second year anniversary, yesterday. Photo: Ibioye Diama

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90% Of Money Laundered Via Real Estate, EFCC Reveals

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says about 90 per cent of money laundering is done through the real estate sector.
The commission’s Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, stated this while featuring on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, yesterday,
According to him, although the sector is monitored via the special control unit, more needed to be done.
According to Bawa, “One of the problems we have now is the real estate. 90 to 100 per cent of the resources are being laundered through the real estate.”
He said there are so many issues involved, but that they were working with the National Assembly to stop what he called “the gate keepers” as there would be reduction in looting if there is no one to launder the money.
Bawa, the EFCC boss, gave an example of a minister who expressed interest in a $37.5million property a bank manager put up for sale.
He said, “The bank sent a vehicle to her house and in the first instance $20million was evacuated from her house.
“They paid a developer and a lawyer set up a special purpose vehicle, where the title documents were transferred into.
“And he (the lawyer) is posing as the owner of the property. You see the problem. This is just one of many; it is happening daily.”
The EFCC chairman also revealed that he receives death threats often.
Asked to respond to President Muhammadu Buhari’s frequent “Corruption is fighting back” expression, Bawa said he was in New York, USA, last week, when someone called to threaten him.
“Last week, I was in New York when a senior citizen received a phone call from somebody that is not even under investigation.
“The young man said, ‘I am going to kill him (Bawa), I am going to kill him’.
“I get death threats. So, it is real. Corruption can fight back,” he said.
On corruption in the civil service, he said there were a lot of gaps, especially in contracts processing, naming “emergency contracts” as one.
Bawa said, “A particular agency is notorious for that. They have turned all their contracts to emergency contracts.”
However, he said, EFCC has strategies in place to check corruptions, one of which is “corruption risk assessments of MDAs”.
According to him, “I have written to the minister and would soon commence the process of corruption risk assessments of all the parastatals and agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to look at their vulnerability to fraud and advise them accordingly.”
Asked if the scope of corruption in the country overwhelms him, Bawa, the EFCC boss said, “Yes, and no.”

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We’ve Spent N9bn To Upgrade RSUTH, Wike Confirms

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says his administration has spent N9billion in upgrading structures and installation of new equipment at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH).
He said the fact that 40 per cent of the 2021 budget of the state is dedicated to provision of quality healthcare delivery was a further demonstration of the priority placed on the sector.
Wike made the explanation at the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of a Renal Centre at RSUTH, last Friday.
The governor said he made promise to Rivers people that the best would be provided to them in all sectors of the society within his capability because of the mandate they gave to him.
“As we came on here, I just looked around and I see the changes in this teaching hospital. I can say that we have put not less than N9billion in this teaching hospital.
“If you look at the budget, the health sector alone, what it’s taking from the Rivers State Government is not less than 40 percent of the 2021 budget.”
Speaking further, Wike said the state government cannot afford to implement free medical service programme in the present economic circumstance.
While dismissing the request for a subvention for RSUTH, Wike, however, commended the chief medical director and his team for their commitment to turnaround the fortunes of RSUTH.
“I have never seen anywhere that health services can be totally free. They’re telling me that people who come here can’t pay. I have never declared that this state is going to take over the health fees of anybody.”
Also speaking, the former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, who performed the flag-off, noted that Wike’s achievements in the health sector in particular, surpass what former governors of the state had done.
Sekibo said that the governor has given equal attention to every section of the health sector by providing complete health infrastructure that was positioning the state as a medical tourism destination in Nigeria.
Earlier, the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike, lauded Governor Nyesom Wike for his interest in the health of Rivers people.
He noted that the renal centre, when completed, would become another landmark development project in the health sector that would handle and manage all kidney-related ailments.
In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Friday Aaron, commended Wike for approving the renal centre.
Aaron explained that chronic kidney disease was a major burden globally with estimated 14 million cases in Nigeria.
According to him, over 240,000 of these cases require renal replacement therapy in the form of dialysis and renal transplant.
The CMD said the building that would house the centre was expected to be completed in six months and consists of two floors.
The ground floor, according to him, would house the haemodialysis unit with eight haemodialysis machines.
He further explained that the first floor of the centre would house the surgical component where most of the sophisticated equipment for kidney transplant would be installed.
Aaron said Wike has released the funds required to build, equip the centre as well as for the training of personnel locally and internationally.

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Power Generation Falls 23% To 3,172MW

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Power supply in Nigeria has failed to improve on last week’s performance, as it fell by 22.9 per cent from peak generation of 4,115Megawatts on Saturday to 3,172.20MW as at 5pm, yesterday, latest data from the System Operator has shown.
According to the data, most power plants were operating far below capacity due to gas shortage with Olorunsogo Power Plant 335MW capacity; and Sapele Power Plant, 450MW capacity; completely out.
Egbin was generating at 746MW; Omoku 37.20; Omotosho (NIPP) at 105MW; while Afam was generating at 80MW.
The data showed that on the average power generation in the past seven days were 4,120.9MW on Sunday, June 6; 4,249.4 on Monday, June 7; 4,000.9MW on Tuesday, June 8; 3,720.7 on Wednesday, June 9; 3,517 on Thursday, June 10; 3,765MW on Friday, June 11; and 4,115MW on Saturday, June 12.
The International Oil Companies (IOCs), had last warned that despite Nigeria’s huge gas reserves a lot needs to be done to attract investment to the sector to develop gas reserves to boost power generation in the country.
Speaking at the just concluded Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, the Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria/MD SPDC, Osagie Okunbor, said with 203trillion Cubic Feet of gas reserves, what was needed in the country is to deliver projects that would produce the gas.
“The challenge is not just growing the reserves but in producing these reserves for the benefits of our country. Essentially growing the reserves and delivering on the production is a function of two or three elements.
“I like to see infrastructure that is required for the development of these resources at two levels. Soft infrastructure is often the one that is more important than and that is the one that is actually drives most of what you see at site.”
“Soft infrastructure refers to the enabling environment and nothing pleases me as much seeing both the Senate President and the speaker of the house give very firm commitments about trying to pass the PIB this month.
“That is probably the big one of the enabling environment to provide the kind of stability we also need all sorts of other issues we need to that we have discussed severally in terms of sanctity of contract, stable policies and collaboration and I think we are well on our way there”, he added.

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