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Jonathan says Nigeria is more corrupt under Buhari than his time

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Jonathan says Nigeria is more corrupt under Buhari than his time

President Goodluck Jonathan, in the night of Tuesday, March 27, reacted to the allegation by Ibrahim Magu, the chairman of Nigeria’s anti-graft body, that N1.3 trillion was looted under the immediate past administration.

Jonathan described the allegation as diversionary and coming days after the United States released a report that massive corruption remains under the present government.

The former president lamented why Ibrahim Magu would decided to drag his name “into the mix and blame him for this latest in a series of negative verdicts on the current administration’s anti-graft war.”

In his reaction to the allegation, Jonathan, through one of his spokespersons, Remo Omokri, said in a statement: “This is strange because Magu was expected to have used the forum to address the issues of impunity raised in the U.S. State Department report which directly indicted leaders of the anti-corruption crusade by emphatically noting, among other things, that ‘there is a climate of impunity in the President Muhammadu Buhari government that allows officials to engage in corrupt practices with a sense of exemption from punishment’.

“The claim of a stolen N1.3 trillion public fund which Magu reiterated on Monday is not new, for the discerning members of the public, the claim by Magu is rehash of false allegations that started its ill-fated journey in 2016.”

The former president also said that in January 2016, the minister of information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, claimed at a world press conference in Abuja, to mark the beginning of the administration’s war against corruption, that 55 well-placed Nigerians stole a whopping N1.34 trillion between 2006 and 2013, a period covering the presidencies of Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and Jonathan.

“Nine months later, specifically in October 2016, the chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay, repeated the allegation with only a slight alteration, by alleging that about N1.4 trillion was stolen by top government officials and businessmen under the last three administrations.

“It will be recalled that in July 2015, Adams Oshiomhole, the current chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), had alleged that a former government minister in Nigeria stole $6bn (about N2.1 trillion). Oshiomhole said ‘US officials informed President Muhammadu Buhari of the alleged theft during his visit to Washington the previous month’.

“However, the U.S. State Department denied the story, asking Oshiomhole to name the official and not drag United States into Nigeria domestic politics.

“The truth is that Ibrahim Magu lied and this is not the first, or second time he has lied to the public,” the former president said.

Speaking further, Jonathan said: “It would be recalled that Mr Magu has boasted on many occasions that the EFCC under him had recovered about N739 billion within two years, adding that over N500 billion was recovered in 2017 alone.

“However, Kemi Adeosun, the then minister of finance in the same government at that time, decided to put a lie to M. Magu’s claims, by revealing in March 2018, that contrary to all the figures provided over time by the EFCC’s acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu, only N91 billion of such claims could be accounted for by the government.

“So, instead of relying on wild and unsubstantiated allegations, I would advise Mr. Magu to focus on some facts, like the following.”

He noted that the Transparency International has claimed that Nigeria is more corrupt now than during his own time.

“Moreover, it is a fact that renowned entertainer, Mr Charles Oputa, AKA Charly Boy, recently revealed that the spokesman for the Muhammadu Buhari re-election campaign, Mr Festus Keyamo, paid him a nine-figure sum (at least one hundred million Naira), to attack the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the February 2019 Presidential elections.

“The question Mr Magu should answer is where did Festus Keyamo get so much money that he carelessly throws around?

“Finally, Nigerians saw clear evidence via drone imagery that bullion vans carted cash to the home of the national leader of the All Progressive Congress, Senator Bola Tinubu, 48 hours to the presidential election.

“Mr Tinubu even boasted on live television that the bullion vans carried money and that it is nobody’s business. This is even as the money laundering act of 2011 makes it illegal for any individual to make cash payments exceeding five million naira. And provides that every cash transaction over ₦5,000,000 must be done via a financial institution.

“Magu should realize that his credibility and that of the agency he leads should derive from the attention he gives to objectivity, professionalism and hard evidence.

“Enough! Nigerians want to hear something new, good news, tales of hope, and not this rehash of poorly articulated fables like corruption fighting back and non-existing folklores of people who stole in an unknown year,” the former president said.

Legit.ng earlier reported that Ibrahim Magu said that over N1.3 trillion was stolen by 32 entities between 2011 and 2015.

Magu disclosed this at an event held in Lagos, on Monday, March 25, according to a statement by the commission’s acting head, media and publicity, Tony Orilade.

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Economy

Humanitarian minister flags off special grant for rural women in Plateau

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Humanitarian minister flags off special grant for rural women in Plateau

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has launched the one off payment of a special Grant  for rural women in Plateau state.

Over one hundred and fifty thousand women will receive a one-off special grant of twenty thousand naira each in all the 774 local government councils across Nigeria.

On her maiden launch of the special funds distribution held at the Banquet hall, Government House, the minister said the grant was a one-off disbursement to rural women to mark the International Day of Rural Women. 

“Since the inception of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration in 2015, the Government has been paying more attention to protecting and promoting the plight of the poor and vulnerable in the country.
This she said informed the decision to initiate the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) as a strategy for enhancing social inclusion.

“The Grant for Rural Women programme was introduced to sustain the social inclusion agenda of the Buhari Administration, including the realization of the national aspiration of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years. It is designed to provide a one-off grant to some of the poorest and most vulnerable women in rural Nigeria. 

“The grant of N20,000.00 will be disbursed to over 150,000 poor rural women across the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

“The grant is expected to increase access to financial capital required for economic activities.
“It is our hope that the beneficiaries of this programme will make good use of the opportunity to increase their income, enhance their food security, and generally contribute towards improving their living standard”.

Farouq also thanked the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen for her contributions in ensuring a smooth take- off of the program in Plateau state.
She also used the opportunity to present assorted grains from the National Food Reserve, approved by President Muhammadu Buhari as palliative for distribution to vulnerable persons affected by the  restriction of movement to curtail the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. 

Food items presented to the state include 71 trailer load of Maize, Sorghum and Millet  to cater to 294,199 households.

Earlier, the Governor of Plateau State Dr Simon Bako Lalong expressed immense gratitude to the minister for her visit to the state. He acknowledged the role of women in the society especially the rural women. 

“This palliative will assist vulnerable people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and other disasters like conflict and flood.  
“This occasion is unique because it also features the disbursement of cash transfer to 500 rural women to mark the International Day of Rural Women.
“I am also delighted to note that 3005 pregnant and lactating women In Plateau state are currently receiving an additional five thousand naira as top-up of the Conditional Cash Transfer.
“This will go a long way in improving the lives of women and children in Plateau state particularly their health and economic empowerment”.

Governor Simon Bako Lalong in his comments 9noted that 26,004 vulnerable households in Plateau state were already receiving the Cash Transfer of N10,00 bi-monthly while 47,000 others await payment. He said the  state has 231,870 households on the State Social Register with 877,301 individual households. He appealed to the federal government to extend other social and intervention programs to capture those on the waiting list. 

The theme for this year’s International Day of Rural Women is “Building rural women’s resilience in the wake of COVID-19”.

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Apprehension over Buhari’s misgivings on recession

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Apprehension over Buhari’s misgivings on recession


President Muhammadu Buhari left many Nigerians more confused when he admitted that the country’s economy may slip back into another recession in the third quarter of 2020, even while in the Fourth quarter.
Buhari expressed the misgivings while presenting the N13.1 trillion budget for 2021 with a deficit of N4.8 trillion that will be financed mainly by borrowing.
Many Nigerians were led to believe that the recession afterall may have since started going by his admittance while quoting the previous quarter.
This is more so as the President seem to be re-echoing what
Nigeria’s finance minister Zainab Ahmed had said in August 2020.

Ahmed had warned that unless Nigeria achieves a very strong third quarter 2020 economic performance, the country may slide into recession.
“Nigeria is exposed to spikes in risk aversion in the global capital market, which will put further pressure on the foreign exchange market as foreign portfolio investors exit the Nigerian market,” the minister  had said.
“Nigeria’s Q2 GDP growth is in all likelihood negative and unless we achieve a very strong Q3 2020 economic performance, the Nigerian economy is likely to lapse into a second recession in four years with significant adverse consequences.”
The President also said the projected GDP growth will be  negative in the third quarter of the year while the fourth quarter just started.
As such, the president said the economy may lapse into the second recession in four years, with significant adverse consequences.
However, inspite of the apprehension, Buhari assured Nigerians that his team were working assiduously to ensure rapid recovery in 2021 saying there is no cause for any alarm.
“We remain committed to implementing programmes to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty over the next 10 years,” he added

Buhari said the country’s economy is currently facing challenges with the macroeconomic environment being significantly disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Real Gross Domestic Product (‘GDP’) growth declined by 6.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2020. This ended the 3-year trend of positive, but modest, real GDP growth recorded since the second quarter of 2017,” the president said.

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Economy

Despite concerns over whooping N3.12tr for debt servicing, FG gives hope

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Despite concerns over whooping N3.12tr for debt servicing, FG gives hope

Not perturbed by concerns raised by stakeholders over N4trillion borrowing the Federal Government has pledged to meet up with it’s debt obligations with N3.12trillion for its servicing in the 2021 budget proposal.
President Muhammadu Buhari gave the indication Thursday when he presented the 2021 budget proposal of N13.08trillion to the National Assembly in Abuja.

According to him, the amount represents an increase of N445.57 billion from N2.68 trillion in 2020.
“We remain committed to meeting our debt service obligations.

“Hence, we have provisioned N3.12 trillion for this in 2021, representing an increase of N445.57 billion from N2.68 trillion in 2020.
“A total of N2.183 trillion has been set aside to service domestic debts while N940.89 billion has been provided for foreign debt service.

“N220 billion is provided for transfers to the Sinking Fund to pay off maturing bonds issued to local contractors and creditors.’

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