Life Continental Beer Rewards 30 Businesses With N7.5 million In Abia State

Entrepreneurs in Abia state were rewarded with a total of N7.5 million
by Life Continental Lager Beer during the Progress Booster Show on
Friday 30 September 2016 at the City Global Hotel, Aba.  Prior to this,
the beer brand had presented N15 million Naira to 30 entrepreneurs in
Enugu and 30 entrepreneurs in Owerri in June and August 2016
respectively.

Life Progress Booster is an entrepreneurial talent hunt and mentoring
radio programme initiated by Life Continental Lager Beer, from the
stable of Nigerian Breweries targeted at helping talented innovative
businessmen and women in the South-east.
For the Aba grant presentation, 20 winners were pre-selected during the
monthly radio program while the other 10 entrepreneurs were selected
from among those given the opportunity to present their business ideas
to judges through a live interview at the venue.

“Progress Booster is a programme we started to support the people of the
South-east who have good and innovative business ideas, we want to
encourage the entrepreneurial spirit of the people of the South-eat.
Last year we empowered 50 entrepreneurs. Our goal for 2016 is to empower
200 entrepreneurs and so far, we’ve funded 96 businesses through the
Progress Booster platform.” Said Emmanuel Agu, Portfolio Manager
Mainstream Lager and Stout brands, NB Plc, while addressing the audience
at the event.

The past winners of the Progress Booster show shared stories of how the
money given to them by Life Continental Beer has secured growth for
their businesses.  They also encouraged the new winners to make good use
of the support given to them by the beer known for promoting progress.

Interested participants aged 18 years and above can submit their
business proposal on www.life-nigeria.com

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Patience Jonathan Admits Ownership Of $31.4 Million Frozen In Bank Accounts

Former First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, is claiming ownership of the $31.4 million involved in an alleged fraud case before a Federal High Court in Lagos.

Counsel to the first defendant in charge, with case number FHC/337C/16, Mr. Gboyega Oduwole, informed the court that Mrs. Jonathan filed a fundamental application against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), claiming ownership of the money.

The EFCC had taken former presidential aide, Amajuoyi Azubike Briggs, former Skye Bank official, Damola Bolodeoku, Pluto Property and Investment Company Limited and Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited to court in an alleged $31.4 million fraud involving the companies without addresses.

Others also charged include Seagate Property Development and Investment Company Limited; Trans Ocean Property and Investment Company Limited, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited and Globus Integrated Services Limited.

According to an application filed on September 6, this year, with file number FHC/L/C5/1233/16, Mrs. Jonathan is asking the court to make an order for the enforcement of her fundamental rights, in terms of reliefs she sought, and naming as defendants, the EFCC and Skye Bank Plc.

The former first lady asked the court to make a declaration that the fund standing to the credit of four of the companies and an account in her own name in Skye Bank belonged to her.

She also asked the court to declare that the action of the respondents in placing a No Debit/Freezing Order on the said accounts without any order of a competent court of law or prior notice to her, to be in breach of her fundamental rights as contained in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Credit: Guardian

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Gov. Ganduje Approves N677.5 Million Scholarship For 54, 862 Students

Kano state government has approved payment of N677, 589, 092 as scholarship allowances to 54, 862 of its sponsored students in various universities across the country, for 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 academic sessions.

The amount accrued as a result of non-payment of scholarships to internal students by the immediate past administration in the state.

The State Commissioner for Information, Comrade Muhammad Garba, made this known while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the state weekly Executive Council meeting, presided over by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

He said the council took the decision because of the gravity of the matter and its potential on impacting negatively on the education sector of the state.

It could be recalled that last week, the council approved for payment of N136, 558,100 being outstanding balance in respect of Kano students studying at American University,Yola Adamawa state, with an assurance to parents and students that the Ganduje administration would not allow their studies to be stopped midstream.

Prior to this development, the Council approved N115, 400, 477. 6 for payment of upkeep and other allowances, for three months, in respect of 459 students on the state government scholarship, pursuing various degree programmes in China, India, Cyprus, Egypt, Uganda and Sudan.

In the same vien, Ganduje adminstration consented to release N138 million for settlement of outstanding school fees in respect of 89 students sponsored by the immediate past administration in the state, at Mideast Aviation Academy, Jordan.

Also approved is the sum of N389. 3 million, for 377 Kano sponsored students at Bells University of Technology Otta, Ogun state for 2014 -2015 and 2015 – 2016 academic sessions, which were hitherto unpaid.

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Kano Govt. Approves N115 million For Upkeep Of Its Students Abroad

Kano state Executive Council has approved N115, 400, 477. 6 for payment of upkeep and other allowances, for three months, in respect of 459 students of the state, studying in six countries.
The students are on the state government scholarship, pursuing various post graduate and under graduate programmes in universities in China, India, Cyprus, Egypt, Uganda and Sudan.
The state Commissioner for Information, Comrade Muhammad Garba disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the 52nd State weekly Executive Council meeting, held at the Aminu Kano Lodge, Abuja.
He stated that the council also consented to release N138 million for the settlement of outstanding school fees in respect of 89 students sponsored by the immediate past administration in the state, at Mideast Aviation Academy, Jordan.
Also approved, according to Comrade Garba, is the sum of N389. 3 million, for 377 state sponsored students at Bells University of Technology Otta, Ogun state for 2014 -2015 and 2015 – 2016 academic sessions.
Comrade Muhammad Garba further stated N120 million would be released to the Kano Polytechnic for accreditation and visitation by the National Board of Technical Education. The exercise will facilitate accreditation of the institution’s 51courses, which were not certified since 2012.
Other funds approved at the 52ndis N12.9 million for continuation of HIV/AIDS services programme in the state by Family Health International and N28, 025, 347 for the establishment of a model fire service station at Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi market.
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Stella Oduah Purchased $13 Million Oil Tanker While Serving As Minister

SaharaReporters has exclusively obtained shipping and merchant vessel documents which show that the disparaged former Minister of Aviation Stella Oduah purchased and registered an oil tanker a few months before she was sacked by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

It will be recalled that Mrs. Oduah, now the Senator from Anambra State, was sacked by Mr. Jonathan in February 2014 following a series of exposes from SaharaReporters connecting her to a massive BMW vehicle scandal. In recent days, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) discovered that N2.5 billion was put in a bank account under the name of Mrs. Oduah’s housemaid.

The EFCC said “Senator Oduah apparently opened the account with her housemaid’s name, image, and details without the housemaid knowing about it.”

This latest scandal, which involves the unexplainable purchase of a massive oil tanker, is connected to Mrs. Oduah’s company Sea Petroleum and Gas Company Ltd. This company purchased the vessel SEA STERLING, with call sign 5NXF, and later registered it in the Port of Lagos.

According to the Certificate of Classification, by the International Classification Society, the SEA STERLING was certified and entered in to the Bureau Veritas Register Book as having unrestricted navigation.

The vessel, also listed as an Oil tanker on the classification document, was stated as being owed by Sea Petroleum and Gas Company Ltd with a Nigerian flag. It was given the registration number 14565J and valid until May 23rd 2017.

The certificate was issued on August 26th, 2013 at Lagos and later obtained compliance and insurance accreditation in September 2013.

Mrs. Oduah’s oil tanker, affixed with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) number 9607318, is said to be able to freight 4,126 gross tons. SaharaReporters found that on August 26th 2014 the Sea Sterling was attacked by pirates off the coast of Bayelsa State but were repelled by security onboard.

A SaharaReporters investigation into the vessel found that it was built in 2012 and is 112 meters long.

One maritime expert, who SaharaReporters provided the specifications of Mrs. Oduah’s oil tanker to, told our correspondent that “a 6,000 dwt [dead weight] product tanker built in 2009 was recently sold for $12.2 million. So a similar sized tanker built in 2012 [like Stella Oduah’s] would probably be valued between $13 and $15 million.”

He added that, “this assumes a willing buyer and a willing seller and also depends on the vessels’ condition and the shipyard it was built.”

Mrs. Oduah was not immediately available for comment on how her company was able to afford this oil tanker.

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Kano State Govt Approves N324 Million For Water Treatment Chemicals

Kano state government has approved the sum of N324 million for procurement of Aluminum Sulphate for its water treatment plants.

This was disclosed by the state Commissioner of Information, Comrade Muhammad Garba, while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the 52nd weekly meeting of the State Executive Council held at the Government House in Kano.

He said the decision is part of resolve to continuously provide clean water to the populace for domestic and other uses adding that the government also approved for release of N5, 350, 000, to the Ministry of Water Resources, for production of detail design for the proposed Guzu-Guzu Irrigation scheme.

The Commissioner also explained that the sum of $550, 165 for payment of outstanding tuition fees, accommodation, book allowance Igama (resident permit) and medical Insurance for 73 Kano sponsor students in four universities in Sudan.

“With this development, 100 percent payment for first and second year 2015 – 2016 has been made”, Alhaji Muhammad Garba pointed out.

Also approved by the council according to the Commissioner, are N9, 715, 000 for 2nd batch of 29 Kano students admitted into the Nigeria Law School, N4. 6 million to facilitate conduct of Nigerian Defense Academy Entrance Examination and admission as well as N4, 825, 300 for conduct of 2016 Quiz and Essay Writing Competitions for Secondary schools across the state.

Alhaji Muhammad Garba added that the council also approved N4, 840, 000 for the supply of firefighting equipment to 44 boarding secondary schools in the state while the sum of N17, 894 505 was set aside for sustaining the Improving Malaria Treatment Outcome project in the state.

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Murtala Muhammed Foundation Seek Urgent Support For 3.3 Million IDPs

The Murtala Muhammed Foundation (MMF), a non-profit organization founded in furtherance of the ideals of the late General Murtala Muhammed, a former Nigerian Head of State, has called for urgent support and action towards ameliorating the sufferings of persons displaced by Boko Haram insurgency living in various Internally-Displaced Persons camps across the country.

The Chief Executive Officer, MMF, Mrs. Aisha Oyebode, who made the call on Thursday said it was time for all Nigerians to rise up to the alarming humanitarian crisis unfolding at the IDP camp in Bama, Borno State.

She described as alarming the current humanitarian crisis at the IDP camps saying that those affected are suffering acute hunger and prolonged deprivation. In her words, “Since the Boko Haram insurgency broke out in Nigeria in 2009, thousands of Nigerians rescued after the renewed efforts of the military are in dire difficulty. Owing to the devastation and effect of the over seven-years  of insurgency, the population of internally-displaced persons (IDPs) has risen significantly to unprecedented levels, 3.3 million, and chronic malnutrition with its attendant health challenges have spiked to unbearable levels amongst the young population in the various camps set-up for IDPs”.

Citing the recent discovery of 1,233 graves (including close to 500 which were said to contain children) by an international agency working in the IDP camp in Bama, Borno State, she said the situation attests to the serious national, social and food security issues aggravated by the inadequate response to an emergency situation.

Mrs. Oyebode added that with more than 410 babies born at the IDP camps in Borno and Adawama states between August and September last year alone with about 68 per cent of the IDPs in the country estimated to be children, Nigeria risks future crisis if it fails to act now and properly resettle those currently displaced by activities of the terrorist group.

“The situation has reached a frightening dimension and efforts by federal and state governments are inadequate in providing the ocean of urgent intervention needed to restore normalcy and the required capacity to forge ahead. It would be recalled that only recently the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, estimated that about N90bn will be required for the implementation of the humanitarian response plan for the North-eastern part of Nigeria alone. The agency affirmed that, “the people in the areas covered by the assessment are now facing emergency food security situation.”

The President himself had also recently noted that “displaced persons, currently seeking refuge at government owned camps, have been dying of malnutrition despite the billions of naira and materials provided by the federal, state governments, non-governmental organizations and private individuals”. Therefore, we cannot rely on governments alone to provide required solutions to this horrendous situation” she said.

She emphasized the urgent need for comprehensive psychosocial support for all victims of the various disasters in the country, while also calling for support for the Nigerian troops as they carry on the arduous task of ensuring a safe route for deliveries of food items and materials.

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Saraki’s N300 million Allegedly Disappears From Bedroom, Aides, Accountant Arrested

The Nigerian Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has been reported to have lost the sum of N300 million which was kept in his bedroom.

According to Sahara Reporters, the former Kwara State Governor, now Senate President has involved the Nigerian Police detectives in the alleged theft case.

Reports reveal that the Nigerian Police detective in swift response have arrested and detained domestic aides of the Senate President in connection with the missing N300 million.

“They have all been released to forestall attracting publicity to the scandal”, a source said.

The alleged theft occurred at the Senate President’s home in Ilorin, Kwara State.

Last year, State Security agents attached to Mr. Saraki robbed a Bureau De Change owner who is a cousin of former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar of N3100million. Several months after their arrest the culprits are yet to be charged to court for robbery apparently because the DSS continues to cover up Saraki’s ownership of the cash.

Our reliable sources, in confirming the latest heist of illicit cash at Mr. Saraki’s house said this is the second time in a month that large sums of money was stolen from the Senate President’s Ilorin mansion.

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Metuh Agrees To Return N400 million Received From Ex-NSA Dasuki

The former national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh has through his counsel offered to return the sum of N400 million he allegedly received from the national security adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
The EFCC had said that it was more interested in recovering the fund than trying Metuh when he was arrested for the alleged fraud, but the ex-PDP spokesman was adamant preferring to challenge the EFCC in court.
But speaking to Journalists on Wednesday, Metuh’s lawyer, Onyechi Ikpeazu said his client (Metuh) did not know the source of the said money transferred into his company’s account and is therefore ready to return the money.

His counsel said: “Chief Metuh had shown sufficient evidence that he was not aware of the source of the N400 million made available to him by the former President and he has shown his willingness, since the commencement of this matter, to refund the said sum even when there is no guilt knowledge (mens rea),”

Further addressing journalists, Ikpeazu said: “There are issues in the Appeal Court ruling the defence team is not comfortable with, after due consultation with our client, he will instruct us on the next action. The client has the right of appeal all the way to the Supreme Court,”

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Fresh $153 Million Diezani Funds: EFCC Re-arrests Fidelity Bank MD, Others

A fresh discovery of another $153 million said to have been laundered by former Nigerian oil minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, has landed the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank PLC, Nnamdi Okonkwo in another round of trouble.

Okonkwo, who was released from detention a few weeks ago in connection to funds allegedly laundered by the bank MD was re-arrested Wednesday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in connection to the discovery of the new laundered fund.

The discovery of $153 million in new funds was also said to have been laundered by the ex-minister through Fidelity Bank.

Also under arrest is one of the bank’s Heads of Operations.

It was gathered that the two top management officials were arrested and ?detained at the Lagos office of the commission.

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Over 8 Million Nigerians To Benefit From N500bn Social Investment 2016 Spending And Palliatives – Presidency

*5.5 million school children to be fed for 200 school days in first phase of homegrown school feeding programme

*Over 1.6 million Nigerian traders, market women, men, artisans to receive loans.

*1 million extremely poor and vulnerable Nigerians to receive N60,000 this year in 12 months payments of N5000 each.

All together the federal government would be directly impacting the lives of more than 8 million Nigerians in different social investment 2016 budget spending that would provide succor and be a ready-made palliative to ordinary Nigerians.

This disclosure was made last night by the Senior Special Assistant for Media & Publicity to the President, Mr. Laolu Akande, in an interaction with the press in Abuja.

He gave new details and a breakdown of the interventions and palliatives, some of which he said would be starting in a matter of weeks thus:

1.*the direct payment of N5000 monthly to one million extremely poor Nigerians for 12 months as provided for in the 2016 budget for which N$68.7B has been appropriated.

2*the direct provision of very soft loan -cash for market women, men and traders, including artisans and Agric workers. This would be for a total of 1.76m Nigerians, without the requirement for conventional collateral. Some of the traders will likely get about N60,000. A total sum of N140.3B has already been appropriated for this in the budget

3*payment of between N23,000 to N30,000 per month to 500,000 unemployed graduates who would be trained, paid and deployed to work as volunteer teachers, public health officers and extension service workers among other responsibilities.
-They would also be given electronic devices to empower them technologically both for their assignments and beyond
-similarly 100,000 artisans would also be trained and paid
N191.5B has been set aside for this in the passed budget.

4. At least 5.5 million Nigerian primary school children -ie starting first in
18 states-three per geopolitical zones-would be fed for 200 school days under the free Homegrown School Feeding Programme.
N93.1B has been appropriated for this in the 2016 budget.

5. 100,000 tertiary students in Science Technology Engineering & Maths-STEM, plus Education will partake in the N5.8B already provided for this education grant in the budget. This payment would also be paid directly to the students.

When added together this year alone, more than 8 million Nigerians would be benefiting from the Social Investment budget.

Akande who works from the Office of the Vice President said the N500B social investement programmes of the Buhari administration is a ready made palliative to lift Nigerians from poverty and economic hardship.

“Long before now the Presidency has made adequate arrangements in the 2016 budget to ensure that Nigerians are lifted from poverty and hardship,” the spokesperson stated.

This will not only assuage the current pains arising from the new fuel pricing regime, but will provide ongoing social safety nets for over 8 million Nigerians this year alone, according to Akande.

He added that this is beside the jobs that would be created by the infrastructural projects that would be restored and the new ones that would soon be taking off.

Said he: “the Buhari presidency is keen to ensure that Nigerians are lifted and that if necessary on an ongoing basis palliatives measures would always been considered to address the conditions of the people.”

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Ex-Oil Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke Gave Fidelity Bank MD $23 Million In Cash To Bribe INEC Officials

Punch newspaper has revealed more damaging information from the probe of slush funds handed Fidelity Bank PLC to bribe officials of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The report gave further insight into how massive slush funds were given to a bank MD, Nnamdi Okonkwo to bribe INEC officials so they could change the final tally of 2015 presidential poll to favor ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

See report below:

In a continuation of the probe into how the Peoples Democratic Party allegedly bribed some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission before the 2015 presidential election, the EFCC has arrested an oil tycoon, Mr. Laitan Adesanya, for his alleged role in the $115m (N23bn) bribe funds.

It was learnt on Sunday that Adesanya, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Lenoil Nigeria Limited, was arrested by the EFCC in Lagos on Friday.

The anti-graft agency had, last week, arrested the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo and the bank’s Head of Operations, Mr. Martin Izuogbe.

Adesanya was alleged to have handed $1.85m to the bank based on the instruction of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Other companies, which allegedly handed over money to the bank MD, included Northern Belt Gas Company Limited ($60m); Auctus Integrated ($17.8m); and Midwestern Oil and Gas ($9.5m).

Diezani was also alleged to have given the bank MD $26m in cash which was ultimately disbursed to officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission ahead of the 2015 presidential election as bribes.

A reliable source at the EFCC said Adesanya was in the custody of the commission in Lagos and was being grilled as of Friday.

He said, “We are asking him about the $1.85m he dropped and what purpose it was supposed to serve.”

According to the United Kingdom Financial Times, Adesanya is an international oil businessman, who has been in the business for decades.

The newspaper states that Adesanya made huge profits during the military administrations of the 1980s and 1990s.

Also, sources within the EFCC have denied claims by Fidelity Bank Plc that it reported all its financial dealings to the appropriate authorities

The bank had, in a statement last week, stated that “transactions were duly reported as required by the regulators and the bank is cooperating fully with the authorities on the investigation.”

However, the source said the $26m, which the MD allegedly collected directly from Diezani, was neither reported to the Central Bank of Nigeria nor the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, which is domiciled in the EFCC.

The source added, “The $26m cash that was collected from Diezani was not deposited into any account. So, how could they say they reported it? They didn’t report anything because the money was given to the bank for safekeeping and there was no intention for it to be used to open an account.

“If it was put in the system, then, there must be records. Who brought the money? They don’t know. They were supposed to have reported the transaction to the CBN and NFIU, which is domiciled in the EFCC but there is no such report.

“The money was meant for distribution to INEC officials. When the bank MD was collecting $26m cash from a serving minister, why didn’t he ask her where she got the money from?”

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