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SURE-P Boss Advises Nigerians On Transparency, Accountability

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The Chairman, Subsidy
Re-Investment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), Gen. Martin-Luther Agwai, has appealed in Abuja to Nigerians to make transparency and accountability their watch word in the conduct of their businesses.
Agwai made the call in Abuja during a one-day anti-corruption sensitisation and interactive programme organised for the secretariat staff of SURE-P.
The theme of the programme: “Accountability and Ethics in the Work Place’’, was organized by SURE-P in conjunction with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.(EFCC).
Agwai said the issues of transparency and accountability were the underlying factors in the operations of SURE-P.
He said that SURE-P had ensured that laws that bordered on transparency were being applied in the conduct of its businesses.
“What is important about SURE-P is the issue of transparency and integrity since we are working as a public organisation under the public regulation and rules in Nigeria.
“Some of the rules of EFCC, ICPC and the Procurement Act and others are some of the regulations that govern what we do,’’ he said.
He said that the interaction would afford the SURE-P staff the opportunity of consolidating their knowledge in the conduct of their daily job responsibilities.
He said that SURE-P had ensured transparency in the conduct of its operations through adhering strictly to due process mechanism in the execution of it’s mandate.
“Since our job has a lot to do with issue of money, issue of public fund to be utilised, we don’t decide how much goes into a project; we don’t decide where the programme is to be allocated or situated.
“But we superintend on the actual payment after verification and inspection to be sure that all that have been said is done.
“We work through the MDAs with the programme implementation unit (PIU) in the MDAs and they supervise contracts that have been signed by any organisation with the MDA or the contractor and not us.
“The PIU work as a link between us and the MDA, once the PIU is satisfied with the project the MDA has executed.
They will tell us and then we go to inspect and verify that what is stated by the PIU has actually been done.
“ If we are satisfied, we then, through our accounting officer who is the DG of the budget of the federation, forward the approval to the Central Bank of Nigeria and the CBN pays directly to the beneficiary. So that is the way we work,’’ he said.
The chairman said the sensitisation would further avail the SURE-P staff to deepen and understand issues of transparency and honesty in all ramification.
The Executive Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde, represented by the Director, Public Affairs, Mr Osita Nwaja, said that the programme was designed for public and private sector workers in line with the mandate of the EFCC.
He said the essence was to take anti-graft campaign to the work place, and encourage workers to involve in fighting crime as EFCC alone could not fight and win the war against corruption in Nigeria.
Lamorde said that SURE-P had impacted positively on the improvement of individual lives in the country.
He said SURE-P was contributing to the stimulation of the economy and poverty reduction.
“Poverty is being alienated; critical infrastructure are being resuscitated and overhauled ,’’ Lamorde said.
He said that the enlightenment and sensitisation programme was targeted at advancing the strategic partnership of both organisations from the point of preventive mandate of the EFCC.
He called for the establishment of the SURE-P Integrity section.
Highlights of the interactive session were the presentation of papers by resource persons from EFCC and the decoration of SURE-P chairman as “Ambassador of Anti-Corruption”.

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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