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Banks’s Strike in Kogi is wrong says legal practitioner, KGSG

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Banks’s Strike in Kogi is wrong says legal practitioner, KGSG

For abdication of its primary duty of serving the general public and taking part in the industrial action embarked upon by the organized Labour in Kogi a legal practitioner in the State Barrister Williams Aliwo has taken a swipe at the commercial Banks.
Aliwo explained that the percentage of workers is negligible compared to their other clients who are not in Government payroll but yet bank with them.
Kogi state government also lashed out at the banks in the state for demonstrating high level of hypocrisy and lack of professionalism in joining the strike embarked upon by the organized labour in the state.
The Special Adviser to the state governor on Media and Strategies, Mallam Abdulmalik Abdulkareem said the responsibility of Banks operating in the State is to serve the interest of the general public but they have allowed themselves to be dragged into labour’s threat and blackmails.
The suspension of operations by about fifteen banks was a form of solidarity with organized labour in Kogi State whose industrial action has continued to paralyze the economy of the State.
The grouse of the banks Confluence Update gathered was on the ground that Government took away their customers who were still indebted to them.
They accused Government of aiding the breach in their engagement with workers on some facilities for which it was privy to. The organized labor in the State had directed its members to proceed on strike since last Monday for grievances among which include ‘imposition of strange and unsolicited salary bank account on workers by the government.
However, by 2.30pm same day the banks closed their gates to customers on the excuse that Government had breached the agreement they entered into with some State workers banking with them when they transferred their accounts to Zenith and Access Banks.
Hence they say they were at a crossroad on how to recover their facilities in the possession of the workers.
The unbending posture of the banks and the NLC in the strike action has brought commercial activities to its knees during the week.
That singular action is already taking its toll on micro and macro level of the State economy as many customers were found loitering around the bank struggling to cash money from ATM machines without success.
Aliwo however said that the banks should have explored legal means of ensuring Government respected the agreement between them and the workers on one hand and with their employer (Government) on the other hand.
He said the Government’s insensitive posture to the plight of the masses is compounding the problem adding that it is not helpful to other customers.
Aliwo advised the banks and government to resolve the issues so that customers can enjoy the banking services.
According to him, “They might have justification for protesting but unfortunately the protest have the masses as the unfortunate target because Government does not have accounts with them so they may not be affected directly if they go on strike.”
He said it may be true that the banks have been led into granting credit facilities to the State workers for which they were to make monthly deduction from their salary, and if Government has backed out they can seek legal relief rather than subjecting the masses to serious poverty.
“They have the right to take Government to court over the breach of undertaking but what have the masses to do with Governments breach of the undertaking?”
“They should look more in the direction of their customers in the people that are suffering now. Yes Government has breached the undertaking they had made but the customers are at the receiving end.”
He indicated that the overall implication is that Government is going to have poor economic investment.
“This is a government that is looking for investors and it is the same government that is refusing to patronize the Banks that are the engine room of such investments so how do they expect to get investments?”
He said definitely it the situation is not healthy for the economy both at the macro and micro level.
A human rights activist Comrade Idris Miliki of the Center for Human Rights and Conflicts Resolutions said the Banks have taken the right steps by joining labour in the strike.
According to him other organizations should join the strike action to make Government understand the damage it is doing to its investment drives.
He explained that the Banks are showing solidarity with NLC’s declared strike.
“We want more institutions to join in the solidarity because if the Governor has all the money in his hands and yet he could not pay salary for the last four months is he fair to the workers?.
Continuing the special adviser called on the headquarters of the banks to warn them to desist from involving themselves on issues that is not within the purview of their practice.
“The banks should not allow themselves to be part of the blackmail and treachery by the labuor in the state.
“The banks should take into cognizance their primary responsibility of effective service delivery to the general public” he admonished.

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Again Presidecy tackles Bishop Kukah over damning sermon

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Again Presidecy tackles Bishop Kukah over damning sermon

Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, of Sokoto Catholic diocese, has come under attack again from the Presidency for describing Nigeria as a killing field under the Buhari administration.
Kukah in his Easter homily on Sunday, said both the government and the citizens have become helpless as criminals continue to cause havoc in parts of the country.
The battle over insecurity in Nigeria has continued unabated especially in the northern parts of the country where bandits and insurgents have turned to a killing field.
Kukah said the security situation has frustrated many citizens making them to believe the government has gone AWOL (absent without official leave).

“Taunted by Boko Haram, ravaged by bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, and other merchants of death across the nation, there is collective fear as to whether Nigeria’s glory is about to depart” the bishop said.
“Retired military and intelligence officers lament over what has become of their glorious profession, as they watch the humiliation of our military personnel. Traumatised citizens are tortured daily by bandits.
“The nation has since become a massive killing field, as both government and the governed look on helplessly. A thick and suffocating cloud of desperation, despondency, desolation, gloom, and misery hangs in the hot air. We have no message and have no idea how long this will last.”

However in a statement issued in Abuja Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman said Kukah’s “bashing” of President Muhammadu Buhari is “ungodly.”
“All citizens have their individual ideologies, even their own versions of truth. But if you profess to being a man of God, as Father Mathew Hassan Kukah does, ideology should not stand in the way of facts and fairness,” he said.
“Father Kukah has said some things that are inexplicable in his Easter message. But, in saying that the Boko Haram terrorism is worse than it was in 2015, he did not speak like a man of God. 

“Kukah should go to Borno or Adamawa to ask the citizens there the difference between 2014 and 2021.”
Shehu also faulted the bishop for saying Buhari is not concerned about those displaced because of the security crisis, citing the creation of the ministry of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development as part of the president’s efforts in that regard.
“Some of the comments are no more than a sample of the unrestrained rhetoric Fr. Kukah trades in, which he often does in the guise of a homily,” the presidential spokesman said.
“We urge well-meaning citizens to continue to support the ongoing efforts by the administration to secure the country and move it forward.”

With additional reports from Cable

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Kwara Gov should be held responsible for looming religious crises over Hijab conundrum says CAN

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Kwara Gov should be held responsible for looming religious crises over Hijab conundrum says CAN


The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has berated Kwara Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, for allowing the hijab wearing in schools controversy to degenerate further.
The association therefore urged the Federal Government and the Inspector General of Police to intervene in the violence over the hijab policy.

The General Secretary, Joseph Bade Daramola, in a statement on Wednesday indicated that AbdulRazaq’s pronouncement on hijab in clear contempt of the court directive on the matter for statusquo to be maintained until the matter is finally resolved by the court is leading to more crises.

According to CAN scribe the state government ordered the reopening of the closed schools without resolving the crisis.

Daramola said churches and mission schools are being vandalised with impunity by those “banking on the state government’s support in the pretext of enforcing the policy”.

The Christian leadership observed that the Governor who is playing ostrich while innocent Christians are being violently abused and attacked in the State he is the chief security officer.
In order not to precipitate further crises CAN said wisdom is required by those in leadership to handle sensitive issues such as that of religion.
“It is disheartening and unfortunate that a government that was installed democratically will become insensitive to the plight and the yearning of the people as if the governor was voted into the office primarily to protect his religion. This is unfair, ungodly and reprehensible.

“There are public schools and schools that belong to some Islamic organisations where those who wanted to be wearing hijab can be attending without causing the ongoing needless crises rocking the state.”

The statement advised AbdulRazaq to order “his hoodlums to stop attacking mission schools and churches before the situation degenerates into an unprecedented religious crisis.”

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Senate panel unravels N443bn subsidy scam by NNPC

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Senate panel unravels N443bn subsidy scam by NNPC

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts on Wednesday uncovered a scam involving N443B by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which allegedly lavished the money on oil subsidy in 2016 without budgetary provision.

The panel, therefore, summoned the leadership of the nations oil firm to brief it on the expenditure.

The committee’s chairman, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, issued the summon yesterday when the panel considered a 2016 report by the Auditor-General for the Federation.

“During the examination of subsidy records provided by Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), it was observed that total subsidy paid during the year 2016 was N443,940,559,974.80,” the audit report.

The breakdown of the fund showed that N403.3 billion was paid to oil marketers, while interest & foreign exchange differential gulped N40.6 billion, totalling N443.9 billion.

The fund, according to the report, was spent in 2016 without budgetary provision and was deducted at source.

“This reflects continuing weaknesses in the budgeting process adopted by the Federal Government,” it added.

Responding to the audit report, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, told the committee that the NNPC would be in better position to explain the extra-budgetary spending.

The Chairman of the committee, Senator Matthew Urhoghide summoned the NNPC Group Managing Director, Melee Kyari to give explanation on the expenditure.

In a related development, the committee also summoned the Central Bank of Nigeria over alleged disappearance of $9.5 million interest from Investment Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT), Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude.

The invitation of the Apex Bank in the country was sequel to the 2016 Auditor General Report which accused the Central Bank of Nigeria failing to present documents supporting the investment for verification.

The Senate observed no letter supporting the investment of the fund and the actual amount invested were not made known.

The Query reads, “During the examination of transfers to Forefinger Excess PPT/Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude Accounts it was observed that during the year 2016, amount totalling $6 million and $3.5 million were credited to the Foreign PPT/Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude Account as interest on Funds investments.

“The authority for placing the funds which yielded the above interests totaling $9.5 in deposit account, the principal sums deposited, the tenor and rate of interest were no made available for audit verification.

“This observation had also been a subject of my reprts since 2017 without any positive response from Central Bank of Nigeria

“Records made available for audit further revealed that the balance in the foreign PPT/Royaltt and Foreign Excess Crude a accounts as at 28th December 2016 were USD0.00 and USD, 251,826 respectively

“This suggest the foreign PPT/Royalthy was depleted before the year end.

“The Accountant General has been requested to provide the authority for the funds invested, tenor of the investment, rate unrest payable, certficate for the funds invested and forward same for audit verification.”

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Mathew Urhoghide however asked the Accountant General of the Federation, to respond to issue raised in the Auditor General Report.

The Accountant General was unable to present any document on the issue raised by the Committee.

He further told the lawmakers that the Office of Accountant General has sent a letter to the Central Bank of Nigeria for clarification on the issue raised.

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