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Senate directs accountant General to investigate $18b NLNG dividend



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Senate directs accountant General to investigate $18b LNG dividend

The Chairman Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC, Lagos West) has advised the Accountant General of the Federation Mr.Ahmed Idris to investigate the payment of the sum of $18,323,032,261.03(over $18billion) as dividend from Nigerian investment in the Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) between 2004 and 2020.
The chairman gave the directives following disclosures from NLNG officials during the 5-Day Senate Committees on Finance and National Planning consideration of the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.
The Accountant General was mandated to investigate among other things if the amount was actually remitted to NNPC, how much was actually remitted to the Federation Account, if there is any deduction by NNPC, how much was deducted and who authorized the deductions and the exchange rates applied for the amount that was remitted over the years under consideration.
Mrs. Eyono Fatai –William, the General  Manger(External Relations and Sustainable Development) of NLNG has presented a financial summary of the  company from 1999-2019 indicating that it had paid a dividend of over $18 billion to Nigeria from 2004-2019 stressing that NLNG is committed to a culture of transparency and integrity.
Adeola inquired from the Accountant General of the Federation if he can confirm the payment of the humongous dividends to the Federation Account, he said it is difficult to determine with any certainty immediately as the dividend is usually paid to NNPC who are the representative of Nigeria in the company.
The chairman therefore advised the Accountant General to investigate the payment and report back to the Senate in two weeks.
Nigeria through NNPC have about 53% shareholding in Nigeria LNG Limited.

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Nigeria’s economy will fare better if Energy mix is diversified, says Omo-Agege




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Nigeria’s economy will fare better if Energy mix is diversified, says Omo-Agege

The diversification of the country’s energy mix will stimulate national economy, Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has said.

Speaking at the commissioning of the 1.35 megawatts solar hybrid power plant at the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Delta State, Senator Omo-Agege noted that it will also create more robust avenues for national income, fight endemic poverty as well as positively match forward on the path of sustainable economic development.

This was contained in a statement issued by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yomi Odunuga

The project which is under the Federal Government’s Energising Education Programme (EEP), he said, will produce enough electricity to power the entire FUPRE community and cater for the energy needs of its over 6,000 population.

“It was designed to provide sustainable and clean energy to 37 Federal Universities and seven University Teaching Hospitals across the country, under the auspices of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA).

The Delta Central lawmaker explained that the initiative is also projected to create over 100 jobs and significantly boost FUPRE’s local economy.
Senator Omo-Agege who sponsored the bill establishing the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Delta State, in the Eighth Senate, also applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the bill into law.
“Today’s event is a significant opportunity because of what solar energy solution represents. Firstly, it is part of the present global energy paradigm shift and we cannot afford to be left behind. Secondly, it is a veritable solution to our endemic power problem. 

“Thirdly, it provides hope for creating a cleaner, pollution-free environment. Finally, it is happening in FUPRE – an institution with a mandate that includes the development of clean energies. This itself represents a positive challenge for members of this institution to be leaders in clean energy research and development.

“Another dimension of solar energy solution that provides a good challenge to the FUPRE academic community is its environmental friendliness. FUPRE is situated in an environment where pollution, resulting from the exploitation of fossil energy is endemic. 

“To this extent, it is smart to creatively take on this challenge because, as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Solar energy technologies are relatively young and fast evolving. There is room for new strides. This is your time to make real impact. Let the world hear about your exploits in this regard.

“It is equally important to emphasize that globally, nations are moving away from conventional energy sources to renewable ones because of the limitless opportunities. We can be part of this innovation. 

“Let us take a cue from similar initiatives in even some Third World countries that are making significant strides in the field of renewable energy.”

He said, India pioneered biogas technology by way of Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plants. Today, Kenya is reportedly close to attaining a 100 percent mark for renewable energy for all its electricity needs.

With Nigeria generating most of its electricity from gas-fired power plants, while output from hydro-power plants makes up about 30 percent of total generation, industry experts have stressed the need for the government to diversify the country’s power generation mix on the back of incessant damage to oil and gas pipelines.

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Emefiele insists, Cryptocuerrency is inimical to the economy




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Emefiele insists Cryptocuerrency is inimical to the economy

***Cryptocurrency Used To Fund EndSARS Protest- ICPC

***It failed critical tests of vulnerability -NFIU

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Governor Godwin Emefiele has maintained his stance that Cryptocurrency is highly inimical to the Nigerian economy and could further weaken an already weak currency, the Naira.

According to Emefiele, Cryptocurrency is “money created out of thin air”, with the players untraceable and unknown.

In the same vein, Chairman of ICPC Professor Bolaji and the Nigerian Financial Intelligent Unit (NFIU) unanimously agreed that cryptocurrency is being used as channel for funding violence and terrorism in Nigeria.

They all spoke before the Senate joint committee on Banking and insurance, Capital market and Cybercrime.
The central Bank Governor Godwin Emeifele had been formerly invited to meet with the senate’s joint committee on Banking and insurance, Capital market and Cybercrime to give further explanation of the threats posed by cryptocurrency in Nigeria.
It would be recalled that the Senate last week directed the joint committee to schedule a meeting with the CBN Governor for further briefing on the controversy generated by the ban on cryptocurrency transactions in Nigeria.
In the letter to the CBN Governor, the chairman of the joint committee, senator Uba Sani directed that Emeifele bring not less than 40 hard copies of his deference to the joint committee.
Worried that the ban on use of Cryptocurrencies in Nigeria might hurt the economy, the Senate had summoned Emefiele to defend the Apex bank’s  action.
According to the CBN Governor, “We know enough at this stage to decide that the opaque nature significantly threatens our transaction and as you know the CBN has the primary responsibility to protect the investment of every player in the space”, Emefiele said.

He said Cryptocurrency is used to describe the activities of players in the dark world where the transactions are opaque.

Explaining further he said, Cryptocurrency is used to facilitate scam and money laundering; adding that Nigeria has become the second in the use of Cryptocurrencies used in financing terrorism in the world.

“Our business is not a popularity contest but to protect uninformed players. The decision we have taken is in the best interest of every Nigerian who has nothing to hide.

“Transactions are extremely opaque, they are dark, they are not visible and they are not transparent.
“In another parlance, this are people who do not want a trail but indeed by its nature cannot be trailed.

“These definition alone are scary enough to create anxiety on any regulator or SEC or Central Banking any part of the world.
“That is the reason virtually all regulators in the World are weary to recognize it. Since Nigerians delved into it’s usage, we have been studying it’s development and paying close attention to currencies n that space.

“Now, we know enough at this stage to decide that the continuation of these opaque activities significantly threatens the safety and soundness of our financial independence and like you know.
“The CBN has as it’s nature all responsibility as the primary regulator to protect the activities all actors and stakeholders and particularly the uninformed actors in that space.

“For the financial system, all actors who may want to take advantage of their knowledge otherwise to reap where others of the uninformed loss.

“That is the reason we have asked all banks to resist, desist, and, indeed desist from operating account of cryptocurrency dealers in Nigeria.

“For avoidance of  doubt we have asked our banking supervision, our payment system and our IT department to carryout a thorough investigation through the activities of current exchanges and their major players.

“The result of their investigation will lead to better understanding of their activities and maybe unveiled to all in due course.

However, he said they know that Cryptocurrency has been used to facilitate scams which are popularly called 419 transactions that have been known to facilitate money laundering.
“It has been known to facilitate an avenue through which kidnappers receive ransoms and they have been known to be instruments that have been used to finance terrorism, not just in Nigeria but in different parts of the world where these have thrived.

“That is why sometimes we wonder from Data available that Nigeria comes second in the world.
“Most of us are prodding the fact that Nigeria comes second in the world with the use of a tools that facilitates scam and 419: We come second in the world with the use of tool that are used to finance terrorism.
“Let me state that this decision is in the best interest of every well meaning Nigeria who have nothing to hide and is happy to have traceable and transparent dealings in our financial system

“I do not know how many of you may have heard that the international monetary Funds, the US the United Kingdom, Europe agree with us and highlighted that a vast majority of Central Bank around the World have taken the same position as we have done in Nigeria
The Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Commission (ICPC), Bolaji Owasanoye said EndSARS protest was largely financed by cryptocurrency; and an  indication that it could be used to fund Insurgency.

This was as the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit(NFIU), said his agency averted a $3million fraud linked to twenty bank accounts.

The ICPC boss backed the position of the Central Bank; stressing that Cryptocurrency lends itself to money laundering and terrorism financing.

He further disclosed that the anti-graft agency currently has a number of cases linked to Cryptocurrency but is unable to track the suspects.

In kicking against Cryptocurrency, he reminded the Senate how in 2018 a number of globally rated financial institutions had their financial statements hacked with the perpetrators asking to be paid in Cryptocurrencies.

The ICPC Chairman said while the CBN as regulator has responsibility to ensure sound financial stability; it will be difficult to achieve in the case of Cryptocurrencies where the role players are unknown.

To drive home his point, he left the lawmakers with a warning to urgently take decisive action against Cryptocurrencies sharing with them the experience of the Indian Supreme Court and how it ruled and admitted that it “does not know what it is”.

In his own presentation, the Director/CEO, NFIU, Tukur Moddido kicked strongly against Cryptocurrencies; pointing out that it failed the critical tests of vulnerability and attendant risks.

According to Modibbo, the NFIU  through its Cyber Intelligence stopped a scam of roughly $3 million.

Earlier, the Director-General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Lamido Yuguda seems to have a more liberal stance toward the use of Cryptocurrencies when he said it should and can be regulated.

Without dismissing the fears expressed by the CBN, NFIU and ICPC, the SEC boss said his agency can develop an appropriate regulatory framework to protect investments in Cryptocurrencies and ensure the operators are duly registered.

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North-Central Gold Processing Plant ‘ll stimulate economic growth – Hajiya Suleiman




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North-Central Gold Processing Plant ‘ll stimulate economic growth – Hajiya Suleiman

Chairman of Kogi State Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO), Hajiya Hassiat Ozavize Suleiman has projected that Kogi State will soon witness geometric economic growth as a result of establishment of North-Central Gold Processing plant in the state.

Hajiya Suleiman made this known today in Mopa/Muro Local Government Area of the state where the ground breaking ceremony for the establishment of the gold processing plant was performed by Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

The MIREMCO boss in an interactive session with newsmen also said that the inter state relationship created by the coming of this project will open up Kogi to the entire country and the world at large thereby making the Confluence State an investment hub of the nation.

Governor Yahaya Bello who was represented by the Honourable Commissioner for Information, Hon. Kingsley Fanwo described the event as epoch-making in the history of the Confluence State.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade and her team who were warmly received by His Royal Highness Oba Julius Joledo, the Elulu of Mopa, met and interfacd with other royal fathers of the host community and local government stakeholders with a view to preparing their minds for establishment of the North-Central Gold Processing Plant in their locality.

In his contribution, Kogi State Commissioner for Solid Minerals appreciated the royal fathers for providing the land and the Permanent Secretary for being instrumental for establishment of the legacy project in the state. The Commissioner equally lauded Governor Yahaya Bello for his efforts and continuous support for solid minerals development in Kogi State.

The safety of the project was assured when the host Mopamuro Local Government Area chairman informed the Permanent Secretary of his readiness to provide security and enabling environment for prospectors and the entire populace.

The ground breaking event was witnessed by dignitaries including Kogi State ALGON Chairman and Executive Chairman of Ijumu Local Government Area, Hon Isa Taofiq, experts in mining sector and top government functionaries.

Consequently, a reception was held in honour of the Permanent Secretary, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade who was described as a daughter of the soil by youths and women of the community.

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