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FG Orders Forensic Auditing Of $20bn Missing Oil Fund – Okonjo-Iweala

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The Federal Government yesterday said it had directed the Auditor-General of the Federation and Price WaterHouse to undertake forensic auditing of the alleged missing 20 billion dollars oil money.
The Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, announced this at a panelist discussion on the topic: “Africa Rising’’ at the ongoing 24th World Economic Forum on Africa, in Abuja.
The Forum with theme: “Forging inclusive growth, creating jobs’’ is being attended by over 1,500 delegates from over 70 countries.
Our correspondent  recalls that the suspended Central Bank Governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, had alleged that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had failed to remit 20 billion dollars to government coffer.
Okonjo-Iweala said the exercise which started last week, would be carried out within a period of 16 weeks.
According to her, the auditors are to assist in unraveling mysteries surrounding the unaccounted 20 billion dollars.
“The issue of holding government to account, I don’t think Nigerians are laying back. We need that transparency and we welcome it.
“The (suspended) CBN Governor raised issues on unaccounted amount from the federation account.
“We at the ministry of finance have for two years been reconciling these figures with the NNPC to know what they are supposed to remit to the federation account.
“Our feeling is that the only way is to have a forensic audit that would let Nigerians know the truth on the issue.
“There is a forensic audit that the government has approved, and it is being done by PwC under the supervision of the Auditor-General for the Federation.
“The auditors said they need 12 to 16 weeks to do that, and all these would be clarified,’’ she said.
On poverty and inclusive growth, Okonjo-Iweala said the nature of economic growth in the continent had not been inclusive enough, adding that more needed to be done to change the quality of economic growth.
“It is obvious that the quality of our growth is not good enough because we are rising with inequality and without creating jobs for our people.
“We need to get people to go into farming through ‘Nagroprenuers’ where 750,000 youths would be encouraged to go into agriculture.
“Africans want decent jobs and we should admit that we have those at the bottom who can’t get decent jobs, so we need to create social safety nets to take care of this.
“We also need to look at building skills for our young people,’’ she said.
The minister also added that the federal government was working hard to address the issue of infrastructure, saying that a Development Finance Institution would be unveiled before the end of the year.
The institution, she said, would provide long term funding of up to seven to 15 years to address the developmental needs of the country.
A minute silence was observed at the various meetings to support effort at rescuing the Chibok girls.

Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi welcomes Senator Olugbenga Obadara, Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatization during a courtesy visit to Government House, Port Harcourt.

Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi welcomes Senator Olugbenga Obadara, Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatization during a courtesy visit to Government House, Port Harcourt.

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PROBE: EFCC Should Stop Media Trial – Rivers State Government

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The Rivers State Government says its attention has been drawn to a fresh wave of media trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the officials of the state.

According  to a statement issued by the state Commissioner for information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, “the latest attempt contained in today’s edition( May 24,2020)of The Nation Newspaper alleged that the State Government has refused to release top officials for interrogation in connection to the withdrawal of N118 billion in cash between 2015 and 2018.

 

“We have repeatedly said that the State Government will not release its officials to the EFCC for investigations until the commission approaches the Court  to set aside Subsisting orders of perpetual  injunction granted by various courts of competent jurisdiction restraining the EFCC from investigating or inquiring into the financial transactions of the Rivers  State Government including its ministries, departments and  agencies.

 

“In view of these  Subsisting judgments, it would amount  to an act of brazen  illegality for the EFCC to  insist  on  interrogating  any official OF the Rivers State Government.
For the avoidance of doubt, no official of the Rivers State Government would appear before the EFCC until the subsisting judgments in favour of the Rivers State Government are set aside on appeal.

“Resorting to the Media can only be described as cheap blackmail and witch-hunt to turn away public attention from the development strides in the State.

“This media trial that they engage in all the time will not take the place of our extant laws no matter how hard they try.

“The EFCC should stop playing to the gallery and pursue its war against corruption within the ambits of the law.

 

“Rivers State Government is committed to the Rule of Law and cannot be intimidated by the EFCC.

“Those who want to use the EFCC to promote their political agenda in the State will fail because we know their antics.

“Targeting Rivers State for this occasional media trial should be seen by the public for what it is, “political witch-hunt,” the statement said.

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Rivers Records 27 New Coronavirus Cases …Manager Of Prodest Hotel Among The New Cases

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Rivers State has recorded 27 new positive coronavirus  cases.

A statement signed by the Rivers state Ministry of Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, disclosed that the Manager of Prodest Hotel, Eleme is among the new positive cases.

According to the statement, the latest development validates the State Government’s proactive approach towards the fight against COVID-19.

Recall that Prodest Hotel was demolished two weeks ago because the owners violated Executive Order 7 which banned the operation of hotels.

The COVID-19 Taskforce members from the Local Government who went to enforce the Executive Order were brutalized and dehumanised leading to the death of one of them.

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RIWAMA Sole Administrator Congratulates Hon (Mrs) Justice Suzzette Eberechi Nyesom-Wike On Her Birthday

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As the wife of Rivers State Governor, Hon. (Mrs) Justice Suzzette Eberechi Nyesom-Wike celebrates her birthday anniversary on Sunday, the Sole Administrator, Rivers State Waste Management Agency, RIWAMA, Bro. Felix Obuah has felicitated with the First Lady, describing her as a rare gift to the State, Nigeria and the world at large.
Bro. Obuah in a congratulatory message also described Hon. (Mrs) Justice Suzzette Nyesom-Wike as a simple, loving, caring and trustworthy mother who has remained a pillar of strength to her husband in the task of administering the State.
He lauded the Governor’s wife for her steadfastness and being a role model for women, noting that her wonderful virtues are worthy of emulation.
While stressing that behind a successful man, there is a good wife, the RIWAMA Sole Administrator added that the blessed companionship of the First Lady and her husband has contributed in no small measure in navigating the ship of Rivers State into a glorious era.
His words: “As you mark your birthday today, I bring you best wishes and good tidings from my beloved wife and family, as well as workers of the Rivers Waste Management Agency, RIWAMA, who are appreciative of all that you are doing to advance the cause and dignity of Rivers people”.
Bro. Obuah prayed that the birthday would bring to the Governor’s wife, an extra share of everything that would make her the happiest in life.
The RIWAMA Sole Administrator further prayed God to grant the Rivers First Lady long and prosperous life for the overall benefit of the State and to the glory of God.
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