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More knocks for NTA over faulty, unprofitable agreement with Startimes

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More knocks for NTA over faulty, unprofitable agreement with Startimes

The Senate again on Monday came harder on  Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) concerning its business venture agreement with Chinese media firm, Beijing Star Group, in 2008 known as NTA-Star TV Network that has yielded no revenue for Nigeria since it commenced in 2008.
The Senate position was predicated upon revelations that after 12 years of partnership between the NTA and Startimes the relationship has not recorded any profit but losses.
The Senator wondered how this could be possible in spite of huge funding to the tune of N10bn on the NTA by the FG.
Apparently piqued by the discovery by the federal lawmakers on Monday, that the business deal has been declaring losses instead of profits for the past12 years, they vowed to set up an adhoc committee to investigate the agreement and all past Director Generals to know where they have put the money.
The development has put NTA in the eye of the storm at the ongoing stakeholders’ interactive session on 2021-223 MTEF/FSP organised by the Senate Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning.
It would be recalled that last week the committee had uncovered an alleged multi-billion Naira fraud in the Joint Venture operations between, the Nigerian Television Authority(NTA) and a Chinese Satellite Pay TV, StarTime.

The Senate Panel said it was amazed to discorver that the multi-billion naira deal with StarTimes was not captured anywhere in the documents submitted to it as presented by the Director-General, Mallam Mohammed Yakubu

The committee subsequently demanded that the NTA returns on Monday to furnish it with the agreement of the joint venture, its management account and to present to it the debt profiles stating the name of the debtor, the agency or organization, amount, who gave the approval for the debt and the date the debt was incurred and the actual amount.
However the Director General failed to come up with what the committee demanded but rather demanded to be given more time.
Senator Gabriel Suswam interjected saying the NTA DG should present whatever was availlable so that they can take decision on those that he is yet to come with.
When quizzed yesterday on the joint venture agreement with the Chinese pay TV
Director-General of NTA, Mallam Yakubu Ibn Mohammed, disclosed that the business venture had not benefited the country in the 12 years of its existence.

“As a matter of fact, when I came on board in 2016, that was one of the first questions I asked. I wanted to know what accrued to NTA from the joint venture, and I was told the joint venture had not declare any revenue. They have been declaring losses every year,” Ibn Mohammed said.
Muhammed who appeared unprepared for the days business said he needed time to get all the documents the senators demanded.
He could not give the exact figure of what the debt profile of the NTA is.
The managing director of NTA TV Enterprises who was also present at the session said he was not informed to come with documents on the joint venture.
Consequently, a furious Adeola said, “It shows the NTA is here to confuse us. We will give you tomorrow to come again with the relevant documents – agreement Nigeria or NTA signed with Startimes, the management account. Bring them here tomorrow 11 o’clock.”
Senator Adeola added that the NTA management was hiding alot of information from Nigerians and the Senate which is putting a question mark on its integrity.
“We have something fundamental on the NTA and that has to do with the issue of the Starttimes and NTA,
Some people somewhere are being funny with that relationship we should not take it lightly.
“You can hear from the revelation coming from the DG of NTA, since 2008 till date the joint venture has not yielded a dime and they are using the equipments of NTA 2008 till date to transmit and  they have not even remitted a dime to the coffers of NTA.
“The DG here informed us that they have been declaring loses every year and today he is telling us that he has directed the MD to bring out all the books for him to appear with him.
“I think it calls for a lot of question on the integrity of NTA and that Organization.”
Senator Ayo Patrick Akinyerule said there must be something NTA was hiding for sticking their head with the agreement for 11 years when they know it was a bad business.
“This committee will investigate this agreement, this committee will set up an adhoc committee to investigate all the previous DGs to know where have they have kept the NIgerian money.
He said the engagement must be reviewed.
On the N1.8b debt he said, “This National Assembly approved N500b for COVID-19. NTA is a separate entity, like any other so charged.
“That N1.8b must be recovered from the Presidential task force on COVID-19.
“They can not because NTA is owned by Government they will be treating it as their baby and therefore what is due to them as income will be denied them.”
He therefore challenged the NTA management to raise the invoice for this N1.8b and go to the PTF and go to consolidated revenue account to get the money.
He said, “How can you be in a  joint agreement for 11 years, you are not getting anything from Start times agreement and you still continue, something is fishy this is unfair to Nigeria as a nation.
Senator Danladi Sankara said Star times is just running business in Nigeria illegally.
He said Startimes is 11 years and up till now they are not registered least to get license, with NBC.
“It means they are relying on NTA using NTA’s license which is improper.
He asked the NTA DG to Come with the documents today(Tuesday) and brief the committee on their relationship with Startimes

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Multi-billion naira PH hotel: Ebonyi indigenes tackle Umahi over ownership

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Multi-billion naira PH hotel: Ebonyi indigenes tackle Umahi over ownership

Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in Diaspora (AESID) has asked Governor David Umahi to speak up over a viral picture of a multi-billion Naira hotel located in Rivers state, allegedly named after Osborn Umahi.

The association expressed concern that the governor had maintained the sealed lips since the images of the said Port-Harcourt Osborn La Palm Hotel went viral on the social media.

The hotel which is almost completed is said to be worth about N40 billion.

In a statement released to newsmen Sunday in Abuja, by its President, Amb Pascal Oluchukwu, urged the anti-graft agencies to begin to gather their facts and evidences in case of any fow play.

According to AESID, the said hotel is located in the heart of the oil-rich city of Port-Harcourt, Rivers state specifically at No. 3 Olaka Street, off Abacha Road, G.R.A, Port-Harcourt has a roof-top swimming pool and a Presidential Penthouse as one of its many special features.

The statement said: “The fact that the said hotel project started just in 2016 is even more worrisome for the indigenes of a state like Ebonyi where endemic and anthropogenic poverty is the order of the day, having been accurately ranked the poorest state in the entire Southern Nigeria and the 3rd poorest among the 36 States of the Nigerian Federation.

“Our position on this revelation is that Governor Umahi must speak up on this monumental allegations within 24 hours and the anti-graft agencies should begin to gather their facts and evidences aright and await the days of reckoning, knowing that immunity protects him from being prosecuted by the Nigerian government even at this point.”

The Ebonyi governance and accountability platform said: “We believe it should be wisdom for Governor Wike to revoke the land where the said hotel is situated especially if Umahi fails to open-up on these weighty allegations against his person.”

Reacting to the spate of insecurity in the state, AESID said its deeply worried that the political actors, have continued to heat up the polity by dispensing mindless violence, killing and maiming innocent and helpless Ebony citizens particularly those in opposition parties.

“To this end therefore, AESID, again calls on the Police and indeed, all heads of intelligent security agencies to uncover and nip these killings in the bud and bring all perpetrators of these heinous attacks to book no matter how highly placed.”

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How two Police inspectors lost their lives in autocrash while helping to bury colleague

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How two Police inspectors lost their lives in autocrash while helping to bury colleague


Two policemen attach to the Kogi State police command, who were helping to convey the remains of their colleague to his family for burial, have also lost their lives in an autocrash.

NationalUpdate gathered that the two inspectors of police along with a civilian driver died on Thursday in a fatal auto crash on Itobe-Ojodu-Anyigba road.

The Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in the state, Mr Solomon Aghure, confirmed the incident.
He told newsmen in Lokoja that the victims were travelling in an ambulance van to Anyigba with emppty casket when the accident happened.

Aghure added that the two deceased policemen were only offering their helping hands to pick the corpse of a police sergeant from a mortuary in Anyigba, adding that their vehicle and a Mercedes Benz truck, coming from the opposite direction had a Headon collissio at a spot in Ojodu community.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for the police command in the state, DSP William Aya, who also confirmed the incident, said the two policemen were detailed to pick the corpse of the deceased sergeant at Anyigba and accompany it to Adamawa for burial.

Aya said the family of the deceased sergeant policeman requested that his remains be brought home for burial.

The police spokesperson said that the driver of the truck and his conductor disappeared immediately the incident happened to evade beingarrested.

He said that the corpses of the two police inspectors had been deposited at a morgue in Lokoja, adding that the civilian driver of the ambulance had been released to his family.

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AIG passes on to the great beyond 14 days to retirement

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AIG passes on to the great beyond 14 days to retirement

The Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 8,Lokoja, Kogi state, Mr Yunana Yukubu Babas has passed on to the great beynd barely 14 days to his retirement.
The Acting Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), for the zone, Inspector Ruth Awi, made the disclosure to newsmwn in Lokoja on Friday.

She indicated that Babas was hail and hearty on Wednesday when he reported in Office and was preparing for his retirement which would have come up in two weeks.
Awi explained further that on getting home, he took ill, adding that when the ailment did not abate, Babas was rushed to the Federal Medical Centre,(FMC), Lokoja for proper medical attention where he gave up the ghost at about 10.30 a.m on Thursday.
It would be recalled that two other police officers attach to the police command in the state, who were on a mission to convey the body of their late colleague from the state to Adamawa state lost their lives in an auto crash.

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