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ICPC Uncovers N20bn Project Duplication, Personnel Budget Fraud In MDAs

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) says it has uncovered gross abuse of personnel budget as well as duplication of projects by some federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) amounting to over N20.138 billion.
The duplication and padding occurred in the implementation of the 2021 budget and involved about 257 projects, the anti-corruption agency said its review shows.
The anti-graft agency said it is investigating the Ministry of Labour and the University College Hospital Ibadan as well as corrupt staff members in other MDAs suspected of massive illegal recruitment.
ICPC chairperson, Bolaji Owasanoye, made the disclosure in his welcome address at the 3rd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Service and Presentation of Public Service Integrity Award on Tuesday.
Themed, ‘Corruption and the Cost of Governance: New Imperatives for Fiscal Transparency’, the event was held at the State House Conference Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Many dignitaries including the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, were in attendance.
In his address, Owasanoye said ICPC, through its projects tracking, found out that skyrocketing personnel in many MDAs was attributable to massive budgetary scam, including illegal recruitment, unilateral increase in wages, indiscriminate travels, among others.
“The high cost of governance and rising personnel budget in Nigeria is as a result of illegal recruitment, illegal and unilateral increase in wages and remuneration by some MDAs, indiscriminate local and international travels, unreasonable demands by some political appointee board members of MDAs without regard for extant circulars on cost management; procurement fraud, budget padding, etc,” he said.
“This has continued to reflect in the huge wage bill on personnel and operational cost standing at about 70 per cent of annual budget”.
According to Mr Owasanoye, the “malfeasance” the anti-graft agency uncovered in the recruitment process by some MDAs including the labour ministry is perpetrated with the connivance of some staff members of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS). He noted the cases and officials involved were under investigation.
“At another level, a syndicate of corrupt individuals within the service corruptly employ unsuspecting Nigerians, issue them fake letters of employment, fraudulently enrolling them on IPPIS and post them to equally unsuspecting MDAs to commence work”.

 

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Yobe: Former APC Guber Candidate, 1,000 Others Defect To PDP

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A former All Progressives Congress (APC) 2019 gubernatorial candidate in Yobe State, Dr Aji Kolomi, was among hundreds of members of the ruling party who joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) recently.
He was welcomed into the PDP’s fold alongside hundreds of his supporters at the main opposition party’s secretariat in Damaturu, the state capital.
PDP’s Publicity Secretary in Yobe, Hon. Salihu Mohammed Baba, in a statement, claimed that after the party has kicked off “Operation Flush APC In The State”, it has received over 1,000 APC loyalists into its fold.
He said the new entrants, comprising of men and women, were mostly from Abasha, Layin PS and Malaria areas within the metropolis.
“As the operation continues steadily, we welcome the new entrants into our great party the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP), and urge our teeming youth to answer the clarion call by joining PDP for better Yobe and Nigeria”, he appealed.

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Abdulsalami Abubakar Warns Against Increase In Fuel Price

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Former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (retd.), has warned against an increase in fuel price.
Speaking at the 19th Daily Trust Dialogue in Abuja, he said an increase in fuel price will push millions of Nigerians into poverty.
He said this following the recommendation issued by the National Economic Council for fuel price to be pegged at N302 per litre.
The former Head of State said, “Insecurity in the country is worsened by our dear economic situation. Unemployment and underemployment remain at a high level. Over 18 million Nigerians are still caught up in needless poverty. All of these tend to have negative effects on security. In fact, Nigeria now faces a full security crisis that is confounded by the COVID-19 global pandemic and the banditry in many states in Northern Nigeria.
“Most of these have disrupted the final value change across the country and negatively impacted the ability of Nigeria to produce, process, and distribute.
“There is a continuous rise in the prices of food items beyond the reach of many Nigerians. On top of all these, fuel prices are expected to rise significantly in the coming months as announced last November. We all know that when this happens, it will push many millions of Nigerians into poverty.”
On insecurity, Abdulsalami stated that the situation has overstretched the country’s security forces and has led to the death of thousands.
“Ladies and gentlemen, Nigeria is once again at crossroads. Insecurity remains the single, most difficult challenge for the country. The Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East, banditry in the North-West, violence in the South-East, kidnappings and abductions of travellers across many states all continue to fester in the land.
“In addition to these, ethnic, communal and religious conflicts are rearing their head again in many parts of the country. All of these have greatly challenged and overstretched our security forces. This has caused thousands of deaths and millions of internally displaced persons in the country over the past years,” he said.

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Osun APC Chairmen Forum Accuses Aregbesola Of Championing Crisis

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The Forum of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Party Chairmen in Osun State Local Government Council Areas has cautioned the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, to stop henceforth the disturbance of the political peace of the State.
The APC party chairmen who spoke through their chairman, Rufus Awotidoye, on Tuesday, after a meeting in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, stated that the conduct of Aregbesola constituted an obvious distraction to the administration of Governor Gboyega Oyetola.
Awotidoye disclosed that the Interior Minister’s affirmation in Ilesa last Friday “of being the brain behind the obnoxious, leprous and antagonistic pressure group within the state APC self-styled, The Osun Progressives (TOP), was unfortunate and needless.”
They praised the quick and prompt condemnation by the State chairman of the Party, Prince Gboyega Famodun, of the needless outburst of Aregbesola, stating that they were in agreement with the chairman’s timely response.
The local APC party chairmen, however, charged the governor to invoke his vast constitutional powers to deal with whoever is constituting a clog to the lawful performance of his official duties.
They warned Aregbesola to stop taking advantage of the gentle nature of the governor to foment trouble and crisis in Osun State each time he visits the State.
They reminded the Interior Minister that his ministerial appointment should be a source of blessing to the people of the State and not the other way round.
The local APC chairmen, who cautioned Aregbesola to desist from distracting Governor Oyetola from performing his statutory duties, accused him of being responsible for all the atrocities being performed against the sitting Governor and his government by the leadership of his militant political group in the state.
They asked the Interior Minister why he has chosen to be the tormentor-in-chief of Governor Oyetola when it’s on record that the governor as his Chief of Staff gave him a hundred per cent support for the eight solid years he ran the administration of the State.
The furious APC local chairmen told Aregbesola that “enough is enough, you should stop riding roughshod on the State as if Osun is a conquered territory of yours.
“There were functional politicians in the state before your foray into the political terrain of the state.
“You should stop playing God who possesses the absolute power to install governors in the State, as all powers belong to God Almighty.
“When it’s apparent that you could not allow any kind of such seditious act against your administration when you were in government, one wonders why you are doing the same to the focused administration of Governor Oyetola.”

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