The Senate has asked the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, to supply details of the lawyer who was paid $4 million from the already depleted excess crude account.
The accountant general was in the red chamber on Tuesday to explain the Federal Government’s achievements so far on the revenue projection for 2020. He was also expected to give reasons for the depletion in the ECA.
Idris said the country currently had $71.8 million in the ECA from $2.2 billion which the present administration inherited from the former President Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2015.
The money in the ECA, according to Idris, rose to $2.6 billion in 2016 and reduced to $2.4 billion in 2017.
He added that the money was further depleted in 2018 to $631.4 million; $324.9 million in 2019 and reduced drastically to $71.8 million.
He said the sum of $254 million was paid out this year from the $324.96m balance carried over from 2019.
He explained that $250 million was invested in the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority while a lawyer got $4m.
Idris, however, drew the anger of the Senate Committee on Finance led by the Chairman, Solomon Adeola, when he failed to supply details of the lawyer who was paid $4m as professional fee.
Adeola directed Idris to furnish the panel with details of the beneficiary and what he did to qualify for the amount.
The accountant general pledged to supply details of the information demanded to the committee before the end of the week.
According to Idris, the ECA is an escrow account set up by the Federal Government and into which the difference between the benchmark price of crude and the actual sale price thereof in the world market is paid.
He said, “The money in this account is used to serve as buffer in the event of fluctuation in oil price or reduction in supply to the international market.
“The inflows into the ECA have been fluctuating due to the positive and negative variances in the price of crude.
“The transfer into the account has witnessed downward trend in view of the low oil prices, particularly from year 2015 to date. The balance in the ECA as of 2nd March, 2020 is $71, 813,941.84,” he added.
Idris said the country had realised N10 trillion so far this year for the three tiers of government, even as he said personnel cost had gulped N493 billion; consolidated pension, N59.77bn; overhead, N46.65 and capital supplementation, N20.76 billion.
He, however, said no money had been released so far this year to fund capital projects.
When the committee probed further, he said N340 billion would be released before the end of the first quarter as capital expenditure.
Meanwhile, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has raised the alarm over the dwindling oil revenues in recent days.
He, therefore, asked four of its standing committees to immediately start discussing with relevant government agencies and experts on economy with a view to addressing the negative effects of the dwindling oil revenues.
ICT Skills’ll Deliver Economic Independence To Nigerian Girls – NITDA
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said that if Nigerian girls are taught relevant Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills at a young age, they will be set up for economic independence in future.
The Agency who made this remark through a press release signed by its Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations, Mrs Hadiza Umar, joined the global community to mark the “Girls in ICT Day.” The day which is marked annually on the fourth Thursday in April falls on the 23rd April this year.
In the statement, Mrs Umar said that the Agency is highlighting the need to promote technology career opportunities for girls and women in ICT, the world’s fastest growing sector.
She said, “During this year’s celebration, NITDA is drawing attention to the critical need for more girls and women to participate actively in the ICT sector of our economy. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) had estimated skills shortfall of over two million jobs in the ICT sector within the next few years. This opens a huge opportunity for girls and young women who have the ability to learn Coding, Apps Development, Computer Science and other ICT related courses.
“This will not only make them ready for a successful career in the ICT sector, but ICT skills are rapidly becoming a strong advantage for students in just about any other field they might choose to pursue. With technology playing vital role in all manner of careers, from Arts to Social Sciences, and from Law to History, to Graphic Design, learning ICT skills at a young age will set girls up for economic independence. Furthermore, the ICT sector needs more girls and women and celebrating a day like this reminds us that ICT helps to improve the lives of people everywhere.
“It contributes significantly towards better healthcare, better environmental management, better communication, and better educational systems that transform the way children and adults learn. NITDA, in its proactive manner and in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy as well as in furtherance of bridging the gender imbalance in ICT in Nigeria, has embarked on series of Capacity Building programmes for women and girls across the country. Girls with ICT skills can expect to earn good wages and enjoy huge career opportunities.
Keystone Bank Disowns Ex-staff, Fake Investment Company
Keystone Bank Limited has alerted customers of the activities of one Mr. Obinna Onuselogu, who parades a company, Triple C Investment Limited, as an affiliate of the bank with the aim of defrauding unsuspecting members of the public.
The bank, in a statement yesterday, said Onuselogu, who used to be a staff, was no longer in its employ.
It added that anyone who transacts any business with him purportedly in the name of the bank does so at his/her own risk.
“Please note further that Keystone Bank is neither related nor affiliated to any company known as Triple C Investment Limited, which Mr. Onuselogu claims to be its chief executive officer.
“Anyone who transacts any business with him purportedly in the name of Keystone Bank does so at his/her own risk,” the statement said.
It was learnt that the ex-staff has been using the name of the bank and its executives claiming to be in partnership with the bank with the intent of defrauding unsuspecting members of the public.
The bank said it was working on a legal process and security agents to put an end to the unscrupulous activities of the so-called Tripple C Investment and its agents.
Fishermen Union Warn Against Dead Floating Fish Consumption
The Bonny Indigenous Fishermen’s Cooperative Union has set up a 20-man task force to work with the police and arrest any person or group of persons found with the polluted floating fish along Bonny sea and creeks.
President of the union, comrade Promise Bristol, made this known in a chat with newsmen in Bonny.
Bristol observed that a large quantity of different species of fish were found dead, floating on the sea, from the Atlantic Ocean to the communities and fishing ports in Andoni and Bonny Local Government Areas.
According to him, the species of fish included croaker, popularly known as “broke marriage”, “shine nose”, mackerel, among others.
Bristol lamented that the incident had brought untold hardship to the fishermen in the areas, saying that fishing is their only source of livelihood and appealed to government at all levels to come to their aid.
Bristol said the cause of the death of the fishes was unknown and warned members of the public against their consumption, pointing out that consumption of such fishes could be detrimental to human health.
Opinion5 days ago
The Tomfoolery of RIVLEAF
Featured5 days ago
Governor Wike Inaugurates State Community Policing Advisory Committee
News3 days ago
Banigo Felicitates With Justice Wike On Her Birthday
Featured1 day ago
Rivers Records 27 New Coronavirus Cases …Manager Of Prodest Hotel Among The New Cases
Featured1 day ago
PROBE: EFCC Should Stop Media Trial – Rivers State Government
Featured1 day ago
RIWAMA Sole Administrator Congratulates Hon (Mrs) Justice Suzzette Eberechi Nyesom-Wike On Her Birthday
Featured8 hours ago
Governor Wike Releases N450M To 2019 Presidential Election Violence Victims In Abonnema