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MDAs Padded  Budgets With N400bn Duplicated Projects  – ICPC

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Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs of the Federal Government  have been accused of padding the 2021 and 2022  budgets with duplicated projects worth N400billion  .
The accusation  was made by the  Independent Corrupt Practices Commission and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC yesterday  during an interactive session   organised by the Senate Committee on Finance with MDAs on the 2023-2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, MTEF-FSP.
According to the anti-graft agency, the MDAs inserted duplicated projects worth N300billion into the N13.59trillion 2021 budget alone while they also padded the N17.12trillion 2022 budget with N100billion.
ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye,i n his presentation at the interactive session further disclosed that  another N49.9billion was tracked as salary for ghost workers between January and June this year.
According to him, the N300billion duplicated projects in the 2021 budget and N100billion in the 2022 budget were tracked through scrutinization carried out on approved projects for the various MDAs.
His words “N300billion would have been wasted by the Federal government on duplicated projects inserted into the 2021 budget and N100billion for same purpose in the current fiscal year if not tracked and intercepted by ICPC.
“The same preemptive move , saved the country from spending N49.9billion for salaries of ghost workers put on fictitious pay roll by the fraudulent MDAs between January and June this year.
“Names of MDAs involved in projects duplications running into intercepted billions of Naira and fictitious pay rolls , are available and will be forwarded to the committee.
“The good thing about the preemptive moves made by us is that monies for the fraudulent acts were prevented from being released to the affected MDAs and it is gratifying that the Finance Ministry and Accountant General Office cooperated with us.”
Owasanoye advised relevant committees of the National Assembly to be on the look out for such projects duplication in the proposed N19.76trillion 2023 budget.
“From our own end, detection of such projects are done by verifying their locations and names, upon which we tell the appropriate authorities not to release wrongly budgeted monies for them,” he added.
Impressed by the submission, chairman of the committee, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC Lagos West), said the operational cost of the agency will be increased from N1.8billion.

By: Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi, Abuja

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2023: Vote Candidates Who’ll Protect Your Interest, CAC Advises Christians

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The President of the Christ Apostolic Church, Pastor Samuel Oladele, has charged Christians in the country to vote for a presidential candidate that would protect their interests.
The cleric who condemned the same faith presidential ticket said it was improper in a pluralistic country like Nigeria.
Oladele gave this advice in his address at the annual 2022 Pastors Conference of the CAC, held at the camp of the church in Ikeji Arakeji, Osun State on Wednesday.
He said, “Throughout the course of human history, God has always sought men and women to stand for Him in the place of leadership – like Joseph in Egypt, David before Goliath the Philistine, Esther in Shushan and Daniel in Babylon.
“The forthcoming general election is one that we must be interested in, as we cannot afford to remain complacent while decisions that affect our faith are being made. We shall be guided by the criteria provided by the Christian Association of Nigeria for the election of our next set of political leaders in Nigeria.
“ I urge you to vote for candidates who will protect the cause and interest of Christianity in Nigeria. I make bold to declare loud and clear that the interest of the kingdom of God and of His Christ is more important than all other interests. Hence, the interest of God’s kingdom must guide our consideration of who to vote for in the forthcoming general election in Nigeria.”
Expressing concern about the present situation of the country, the cleric admonished Nigerians not to despair but to be more prayerful for better days to come and also to walk on the way of righteousness.
He said, “It is an undeniable fact that we are in dire strait as a nation. The continued decline of socio-economic infrastructures as well as the nonchalance of those who are entrusted to provide the desired solution to these problems, calls for concern.
“However, we are not without hope because we have a God who rules in the affairs of men. Let us continue to call upon Him while we play our roles as responsible citizens of Nigeria. Righteousness remains the panacea to the reproach of our nation, Nigeria. Let us not only preach it, but practice righteousness.”

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2023: NSCDC Tasks Politicians On Peaceful Campaigns

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps  , (NSCDC), has stressed the need for politicians to eschew all forms of hate speech and violence ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Commandant of the Corps in Cross River State Mr Samuel Fadeyi, stated   this in Calabar on Wednesday  during the commemoration of the 2022 International Day of Peace.
Mr Fadeyi who led personnel of the command in the state  on a peace walk along major routes in Calabar metropolis to create awareness  on the benefits of peace building for nation’s growth emphasised that  peaceful co-existence is a sine-qua-none for development.
He noted that as the campaigns for the 2023 general elections commence on September. 28, it was important for politicians to eschew all forms of hate speech and promote unity.
“All campaigns should be issue based, it shouldn’t be based on discrimination, racism or gender. People should shun hate speeches and embrace peace because we need unity to grow as a nation.
“Today has been designated by the United Nations as International Peace Day. It was established in 1981.
“By 2001, because of the conflicts all over the world, the day was designated as non violence and cease fire day as an addition to it been an International Peace Day.
“As we go out for this peace walk today, we are creating the awareness that peace must continue to reign in the country,” he said.
The theme for the 2022 International Peace Day is “End Racism, Build Peace”.
He said the command has commenced sensitisation of the public to imbibe the need for unity and peace.

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Ayu Must Resign, S’West PDP Group Insists

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A group, South-West Forum of PDP Stakeholders for Justice, on Wednesday, reiterated its support for Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and others sympathetic to his cause, that the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu should resign.
In a statement by former Publicity Secretaries of Ondo and Lagos states, Messrs Banji Okunomo and Taofik Gani, the forum said Ayu’s resignation will bring about confidence, inclusiveness and oneness in the party.
The statement reads: “We, the above-named Forum of the Party, wish to affirm our support for the position being canvassed by Governor Seyi Makinde, corroborated by the doggedness of the ‘Wikes’ and the wisdom of the ‘Bode Georges’, as a lasting panacea for peace and eventual victory of our party at the 2023 Presidential election.
“We wish to justify our position on the following premise: “Assuming Dr. Ayu, in his wisdom, genuinely chose and believed in the emergence of a Northern Presidential Candidate for the PDP and went further to acknowledge Governor Aminu Tambuwal as the hero of democracy following his withdrawal from the Presidential race to pave way for Atiku Abubakar at the Party’s national convention, it is our take, that Dr Ayu should indeed go further to logically and wisely conclude the process that would guarantee the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the next president of Nigeria by making other possible sacrifices necessary to achieve that goal.
“Indeed, this is why and when Dr. Ayu himself will be more celebrated as PDP’s Hero of Democracy rather than clogging the Party’s wheel of Progress and creating avoidable crisis for the Party.
“We will not forget to admonish our candidate, the next president of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to be wary of the ill and reactionary advice of some traditional moles, who are insistent on offering opinions capable of jeopardizing the chance God has opened for the PDP in the emerging dispensation.
“Nigerians are indeed awaiting the PDP as the actual potent alternative government, and God forbids, if this opportunity skips us, Nigerians may never again associate with the PDP.
“We call for immediate restoration of sanity, confidence, inclusiveness and oneness in the Party as a stitch in time saves nine.”

 

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