More reactions have continued to trail President Goodluck Jonathan’s sudden suspension of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi from office last Thursday.
Speaking on the president’s action, Rivers State Governor and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi condemned the sudden suspension of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, describing the action as arbitrary and against the law.
Amaechi spoke yesterday at Christ Church, Port Harcourt during a service organized for the induction of the resident minister and reception of assistant resident ministers.
The Rivers State chief executive officer said that President Goodluck Jonathan does not have such powers to suspend the CBN governor.
“You can imagine how President Jonathan announced the sudden removal (suspension) of the CBN governor. He does not have such powers. He knows that nothing will happen, that was why he took that action.
“So, I think the preachers should begin to preach what we call the liberation theology. You (church leaders) are supposed to have more responsibilities to hold government accountable,” Amaechi said.
Governor Amaechi equally advised members of the Christ Church, Port Harcourt to accord more trust, confidence and encouragement to the newly inducted Resident Minister, Reverend Kaleb Kay Uche and the Assistant Resident Ministers, Rev. Canon Inuma T. Davies and the Reverend Victor Ben.
“I urge the church to keep to their vows as it is in page 26 of the programme. By our training in the Catholic Church, the priest does not lack anything. The church members buy them cars, clothing, food etc. That is why when they die, we bury them in the church premises. You can never disrespect the Catholic Priests,” Amaechi said.
He further promised to commence the building of a model primary school in the church premises.
Earlier in his message, the Prelate and moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria to Christ Church, Port Harcourt, His Eminence, Reverend Emele Mba Uka explained on the significance of the induction of the resident ministers and their services to the church and humanity.
Similarly, The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has challenged President Goodluck Jonathan over suspension of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and the worsening insecurity in Borno and other parts of the North.
A statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the ACF, Muhammad Ibrahim, and issued yesterday in Kaduna, said Sanusi’s suspension has negative implication on transparency and good governance.
“It also negates the principle of separation of power.
“Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is the governor of CBN duly and properly appointed according to law,” the statement said, adding:
“The executive has reportedly suspended him, appointed somebody in acting capacity and submitted the name of his replacement to the Senate. This shows that the government has already decided to sack him.
“ACF wishes to remind the government that only the Senate has the power to dismiss or remove the CBN Governor with a 2/3 majority vote following due process.
“ACF wishes to advise the government and all concerned to avoid doing anything that will tarnish the image and refrain from exposing Nigeria to ridicule at the international level.”
On insecurity, ACF said: “The incessant attacks by the Boko Haram has continued unabated, thereby leaving the people in a state of despair, despite the deployment of military and security agencies in the affected areas.
“The governor of Borno State, who is the chief security officer of his state, has been alive to his responsibility, to the extent of briefing Mr. President on the problems of the state on daily basis.
Also, the incessant ethnic/communal clashes in Benue, Plateau, Nassarawa and other states of the North are gradually undermining the long existing cordial relationship and harmony amongst the various ethnic groups.
“The bad governance resulting in rampant poverty, unemployment, disease, ignorance, etc, remains the major reason for under development and insecurity in the North,” the AFC added.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the presidency of seeking to use its illegal suspension of Malam Lamido Sanusi Lamido as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to divert attention from the allegation of missing 20 billion dollars in oil funds.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the way the presidency has been campaigning to malign Sanusi, using the report of the obscure Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, shows that it is working hard to sweep the issue of the missing funds under the carpet and punish Sanusi for daring to expose the fraud.
It said if the federal government had used half the energy it has been deploying to discredit Sanusi toward the investigation of the missing oil funds, the monumental corruption case would have been solved by now.
“Irrespective of the tepid and unconvincing denial by the presidency, it is clear that the main reason the presidency moved against Sanusi is because he blew the lid on the 20 billion dollars funds which the NNPC allegedly failed to remit to the Federation Account.
“Fortunately, discerning Nigerians are not hoodwinked by the Presidency’s choreographed mudslinging against a whistle blower, and the sponsored campaign that amounts to shooting the messenger just because his message is not palatable.
“While the presidency has chosen to pull the wool over the eyes of Nigerians over the missing oil funds, we call on the National Assembly to get to the bottom of Sanusi’s allegation and save Nigerians from a rapacious and a rampaging cabal that is hell bent on bringing Nigeria to its knees through runaway corruption,” APC said.
The party said the questions that are begging for answers include: What happened to the missing 20 billion dollars? If indeed a part of the funds has been used for kerosene subsidy, who authorized the spending of money that was not appropriated, in violation of the nation’s constitution? Who reinstated the subsidy that had been removed by a presidential directive? If $8.76 billion of the missing money was used for kerosene subsidy, who and who are the beneficiaries, since it is clear that Nigerians are not enjoying any subsidy on kerosene for which they are shelling out at least 150 Naira per litre?
It re-stated its earlier stand that Sanusi’s suspension is unlawful and that it is another dangerous turn in the Jonathan administration’s journey of impunity, lawlessness and double standard.
APC said the drop in the value of the Naira and the fact that the banking sector and other stocks spiralled into the negative, in the aftermath of the ego-driven and illegal suspension of Sanusi, have shown the dangers inherent in politicizing an office that should be insulated from political pressure
“There are just short-term repercussions. The long-term fallout may be the scaring off of foreign investors by the perception of instability in the financial sector and the erosion of the CBN’s autonomy. If and when that happens, a President who has so far failed to uplift his nation’s economy would have succeeded in sabotaging it,” the party said.
On the allegations against Sanusi, it said the federal government should charge him to court, if indeed it is convinced of the veracity of the allegations, instead of convicting him on the pages of newspapers and mob-lynching him through paid hatchet men.
90% Of Money Laundered Via Real Estate, EFCC Reveals
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.”
We’ve Spent N9bn To Upgrade RSUTH, Wike Confirms
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.
Power Generation Falls 23% To 3,172MW
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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