Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Why Sanusi Should End-up In Kirikiri - Femi Aribisala

By Femi Aribisala ONE of the more annoying things about Nigeria is that our thieves are bad thieves. Conventionally, thieves operate at the night, out of respect for the homeowner and law- enforcement agencies. Not in Nigeria: thieves operate here in broad daylight in absolute contempt of everybody. In Nigeria, thieves know they will not be caught. They know if they are caught, they will not be tried. They know if they are tried, they will not go to jail. Therefore, there is a culture of impunity in Nigeria which makes the country a holiday-resort for thieves and robbers. Jail or dismissal? Nothing speaks more eloquently about this culture of impunity than the CBN under Lamido Sanusi. Sanusi’s posture as CBN Governor is an insult to Nigerians. He ran the place as a personal estate. He flouted every financial regulation. Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi He gave away government money in a flagrant manner that would give pause to even billionaire Mike Adenuga. And then when he knew the game was up, he decided to blow the lid on NNPC financial indiscretions, in order to distract attention and attract public support and sympathy. Nigerians should not fall for this “mago-mago.” Lamido Sanusi should not only be sacked, he should be tried and, if convicted, should be jailed. The government has called Sanusi’s bluff. In a sleight of hand, he has been summarily dismissed from office under the guise of suspension. This has created some brouhaha because the President needs Senate approval for the dismissal of a CBN Governor. But the president has found a way round that impediment. Sanusi has been suspended; he has not been fired. Surely, the president has the power to suspend a public employee for questionable conduct, pending the confirmation of his wrongdoing. If the allegations against him are found to be without substance, he can then return to his post. However, since Sanusi’s term will soon expire, the president has gone right along to nominate his replacement. It is all politics, and not just Nigerian-style. Separation of powers is a judicious principle of federalist government, but there is something anomalous about a CBN governor transforming himself overnight into an opposition politician spokesman. There is also something unacceptable about the arrogance of Sanusi which makes him feel he is an untouchable. Under the circumstances, his suspension/dismissal from office is not surprising. Indeed, it is all the more imperative given the financial improprieties that have characterised his tenure in office. Distorted timeline The major sticking point with Sanusi’s “dismissal” is the widespread assumption that it is payback for him blowing the whistle about the whopping $20 billion missing from NNPC accounts. However, there is every probability that the opposite is what happened. The government was the first to query Sanusi about his financial improprieties. When he could not explain them, Sanusi went on the offensive by making public statements about missing monies at NNPC. This would explain why his allegations tuned out to be shambolic. The last thing a country needs is a CBN governor who talks frivolously. The word of a CBN governor has implications for financial market volatility; therefore he must mark his words. He must speak with confidence and precision. Not so with Lamido Sanusi. Sanusi went public and made a monkey of his credibility. First, he said $49 billion was missing from NNPC accounts. Then he said it was $10 billion; and then it was $20 billion. What will it be tomorrow? How come Sanusi did not determine precisely the amount before broadcasting it to the world? It would appear that Sanusi’s reckless disclosures came out of the need for him to cover his tracks at the CBN. Knowing that the book would soon be thrown at him, he decided to lay the grounds for saying he was being accused of financial improprieties because he exposed those of others. This is not to deny that there are, in all probability, huge financial improprieties hidden in NNPC accounts. However, the very fact that a CBN governor decided to go public with them is highly suspect. A CBN governor does not make such public disclosures as CBN governor. He resigns first. It is even more suspect given the fact that the very person who would have us believe he is taking the moral high ground with these disclosures is the same person we have now learnt has run the accounts of the CBN like a bull in a china shop. Sanusi is anything but a foolish man. He surely knows that those who live in glass houses don’t throw stones. Sanusi knew something was up. Therefore, he decided to go on the offensive. What he has done is to curry favour the Nigerian public by raising alarm about missing monies, even when he did not have the full facts, in order to preempt the disclosures about his own financial improprieties. This strategy has succeeded in part. Sanusi has immediately become the darling of the opposition APC party. Muhammadu Buhari, the self-styled apostle of anti-corruption, has come out in his staunch defense, giving us a taste of the kind of anti-corruption his APC has in mind. There is a déjà vu to this. It is the kind of hypocritical anti-corruption where the airports and seaports of Nigeria can be closed to everyone, but the Emir of Gwandu can bring in 53 suitcases under the escort of the aide-de-camp of the Head of State. Financial atrocities The financial atrocities in the CBN under Sanusi are simply outrageous. If this is how government agencies steal and mismanage public funds, then Nigeria is in more trouble than we have ever imagined. CBN accounts under Sanusi read like pure fiction. While crying foul about missing money in NNPC, Sanusi failed to account for missing monies in CBN. Investigating the CBN in April 2013, the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC) discovered that ?38.23 billion was missing. The money was said to have been paid to MINT- a subsidiary of the CBN. However, MINT accounts showed no such money was received. It is only in Nigeria that you can have a Central Bank governor spend government money anyhow at his own discretion. Sanusi did not just spend a few thousand naira whimsically. He did not just give away millions of naira like Aliko Dangote. He gave away billions. The government reveals that Sanusi gave away nothing less than ?163 billion in no less than 63 “intervention projects” in different parts of the country. Remember this: that is more than the entire 2014 budget of Edo State. Just listen to this: the CBN is said to have paid ?38 billion to the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC) in 2011 for printing banknotes. However this is in excess of the total turnover of NSPMC that same year, which was only ?29 billion. The CBN claims to have paid Emirate Airline ?511 million for currency distribution nationwide in 2011 when the airline does not have a local charter service in Nigeria. It reports ?425 million was paid to Wing Airline, but the airline is not even registered in Nigeria. It also claims to have paid Associated Airline ?1 billion for the same purpose, but the airline did not have up to a billion-naira turnover in 2011. In its 2011 account under “sundries” (i.e. unexplained expenses), Sanusi’s CBN reported an expenditure of ?1.1 billion. For legal and professional fees that same year, it claimed to have spent an amazing ?20 billion. This is simply mind-boggling. So mind-boggling in fact that naïve people like me don’t believe a word of it. These are just crooked details designed to mask the massive corruption and graft under Sanusi’s watch. In 2012, ?1.2 billion was listed as expenses on “private guards” and “lunch for policemen.” Wow! These policemen must have been having caviar for lunch. Similarly, ?1.6 billion was spent on newspapers, books and periodicals alone that same year. Pull another leg. Who believes this kind of rigmarole? Still in 2012, ?3 billion was spent on “promotional activities.” Pray, to whom was the CBN doing this promotion? Where did these promotional activities take place and to what purpose? Was it in Nigeria or in outer space? Which bank was CBN in competition with? Was it the World Bank or the African Development Bank? Was the CBN trying to attract depositors or customers? Or was it paying legislators so that its powers would not be curtailed? Nobody should condone Sanusi’s financial recklessness. He also played Father Christmas with Nigeria’s money. According to the government, Sanusi’s CBN wrote-off loans to the tune of ?40 billion. Without board or presidential approval, Sanusi spent ?743 million of CBN money acquiring 7 percent shares of the International Islamic Management Corporation of Malaysia, contrary to the provisions of the CBN Act. Off to Kirikiri It is a big indictment of the Jonathan administration that this impunity was tolerated for this long and was only addressed after Sanusi became a political embarrassment to the government. The billion-naira question now is what is going to happen to Sanusi. Will he get away with these corrupt practices or will he be prosecuted to the full extent of the law? My position is that we need to chart a new course in the treatment of corruption in Nigeria. If Sanusi is truly guilty of these improprieties, he should be sent to jail; for a very long time. However, the bet is on that nothing will happen to him beyond his dismissal from office. It appears nothing is also going to happen to Deziani Allison-Madueke, the Minister of Petroleum. The missing $20 billion at NNPC will also be swept under the carpet. All the signs of a cover-up are already apparent. The FRC indicted all the Deputy Governors of the CBN along with the Governor and asked that they all be sacked. However, not only were they not sacked, one of them has been made the new Acting Governor. In all likelihood, this culture of impunity will remain for the simple reason that it seems to go all the way to the very highest echelons of the Nigerian government. sanusi-end-kirikiri/#sthash.wYAIBkxR.dpuf

Okonjo-Iweala Admits That $10.8b Is Missing

I have just been sent the following statement by the Nigerian finance ministry, which I understand it is putting out later today. I am going to quote most of it, because it is gripping, in the context of the the decision of the Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan to suspend the central bank governor, Lamido Sanusi. The gloss from the ministry goes like this: "The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala has asked for urgent action with regard to an independent forensic audit of conflicting claims of unaccounted funds made by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamdio Sanusi". And here is a direct statement from Dr Okonjo-Iweala, the finance minister: "My position on this has been clear from the start. The Ministry of Finance's reconciliation showed a shortfall of $10.8bn in NNPC remittances to the Federation account. After this, the conflicting claims continued with new figures such as $20bn being mentioned. "So since 13th February I have called for an independent forensic audit. "President Goodluck Jonathan indeed announced last night that there will be an investigation into whether there are any funds missing from NNPC. He also indicated that the correct process needs to be followed in this investigation and I understand that the entity that has the proper authority to initiate such an investigation is the Auditor-General of the federation. "I therefore want to see the truth from an investigation under the auspices of the Auditor-General, which in my view should be undertaken as a matter of extreme urgency by independent external auditor."

Iyanya Gets Tattoos In Honour Of Late Parents & Brother

Iyanya Gets Tattoos In Honour Of His Late Parents And Brother: The “Kukere” singer lost his entire family, father, mother and brother, within the space of two years. He has gotten tattoos of their names in their honour as he cherishes their memory. He said: “Tattoo of my Late Dad !! Late Mum and Late Brother who all died in just a short time between 2008- 2010 RIP“ May they continue to rest in peace. Source: tattoos-honour-late-parents-brother/

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Godwin Emefele Is The New CBN Governor! (Zenith Bank MD)

You have drawn a lot of flaks for donations by the CBN under your watch. What is the rationale for these donations?

When I came in, one of the things I discovered was that education was an area where we have had a lot of investments at the Bank. Since this process was on and I liked it, I talked to the board of the bank and they agreed that this is something that we should continue doing. They are largely interventions in educational institutions aimed at filling major gaps in infrastructure. We have tried to see if we can focus the schools on producing very high-quality personnel for the banking industry and finance-related areas. So, most of those centres of excellence are really for MBAs, MSc Finance and so on. They are supposed to produce high-quality personnel for the financial sector and give them the very best training.

If you don’t invest in human capital, the system will collapse. The graduates that come out and go to the banking industry will not have the ability to run the banks. Those that we employ as regulators will not have the skills to regulate. We don’t have the capacity in Nigerian universities to produce the kind of personnel that this industry wants. So at the level of the centres of excellence, the investments are aimed at contributing to the flow of human capital. Now if we don’t make the money, we won’t do it; and if we do make money and the board approves, we do it. What I have not understood in the criticism is the following: is it that it is wrong to intervene in education? Or is it wrong for the CBN to do it? I still have not understood what the criticism is all about.

Well the criticism is that CBN under you became a Father Christmas, dishing out money to all kind of things that are not related to your core mandate.

In 2002, there was a bomb blast in Ikeja, Lagos. The CBN Governor then was Joseph Sanusi and the CBN gave N10 million. What is the difference between giving bomb blast victims N10 million in Lagos and giving N100 million to bomb blast victims in Kano or N25 million to bomb blast victims in Madalla? I didn’t start it. It is a tradition of the bank. How is that Father Christmas? What is wrong with the board of the Central Bank approving if the Bank is making huge profits? What is wrong with the CBN contributing to relief for humanitarian disasters? What is wrong with the CBN getting banks together and contributing to flood disaster relief? We put in about N500 million when the flood disaster hit the country. We got the banks to put in money and we gave the money to the relief body set up by the president. Most of the victims of the Boko Haram bombings in Kano were not Kano indigenes. If you see the list, 70% of the people the governor of Kano State gave the money to were from the south. They were SSS officers and police officers whose barracks were bombed. They were people from all over Nigeria. The bulk of them were neither Muslims nor from Kano and the list was published.

What about the conference centre? Should the CBN be involved in things like that?

What is a central bank and who says the central bank should not be involved in these activities? On the basis of whose rule? How did this conference centre start? We all go out to Washington, Istanbul, Cape Town and other places for meetings and conferences of the World Bank and IMF etc. Let me give you an example. When I just became the CBN governor, there was a meeting of West African central bank governors and it was held at the Transcorp Hilton. But go to the Bank of Sudan and they have beautiful conference rooms. So when they were going to have the D8 meeting of central bank governors I said we needed to build a conference room in the central bank that will host the central bank governors and that is where we have our Monetary Policy Committee meetings now. We got Julius Berger to do it. We designed a roundtable with five cabins for simultaneous translation with video conferencing facility, with TV coverage facilities. Today, if the IMF and World Bank say they are coming to Africa, Nigeria cannot even offer to host

GEJ Suspends Sanusi As CBN Governor. Appoints Sarah Alade As Acting Governor

President Jonathan suspends Lamido Sanusi as CBN governor, appoints Dr. Sarah Alade as acting Governor.

Having taken special notice of reports of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria and other investigating bodies, which indicate clearly that Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi’s tenure has been characterized by various acts of financial recklessness and misconduct which are inconsistent with the administration’s vision of a Central Bank propelled by the core values of focused economic management, prudence, transparency and financial discipline;

Being also deeply concerned about far-reaching irregularities under Mallam Sanusi’s watch which have distracted the Central Bank away from the pursuit and achievement of its statutory mandate; and

Being determined to urgently re-position the Central Bank of Nigeria for greater efficiency, respect for due process and accountability, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has ordered the immediate suspension of Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi from the Office of Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

President Jonathan has further ordered that Mallam Sanusi should hand over to the most senior Deputy Governor of the CBN, Dr Sarah Alade who will serve as Acting Governor until the conclusion of on-going investigations into breaches of enabling laws, due process and mandate of the CBN.

The President expects that as Acting Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Alade will focus on the core mandate of the Bank and conduct its affairs with greater professionalism, prudence and propriety to restore domestic and international confidence in the country’s apex bank.

The Federal Government of Nigeria reassures all stakeholders in Nigeria’s financial and monetary system that this decision has been taken in absolute good faith, in the overall interest of the Nigerian economy and in accordance with our laws and due process.


Sunday, 16 February 2014

President Jonathan Worships With Pastor Adeboye At RCCG, Ikoyi (Pictures)

Today sunday, pres. Jonathan was in the nations commercial capital and worshipped at the redeemed christain church of God, olive tree parish, ikoyi, afterwards he met the general oversear and someone he respects immensely, pastor E.A adeboye.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Open letter to Etisalat

Dear Etisalat,
Have you ever gone to the market, pay money for goods then head back to your destination without picking up the goods? silly right? Thats the same way it feels when Etisalat deducts N50 for Sms subscription i never subscribed to every month. The first time this happen, i actually overlooked because i thought it could have been a mistake from their part. I know i absolutely didn't subscribe to any sms subscription, football alert at that, so i decided to opt out and moved on, i never realized that was just the beginning until same thing happened the following month, then it was just like i was dropping N50 in fire every month when its not that am appealing to the god of fire or would rather say gods of Etisalat.

This time, i called customer care and the lady that spoke to me ended up pouring salt on my injure, while i was trying to explain what the issue is, she was actually gisting with her colleagues i guess and was even laughing out loud. I didn't notice this at first probably because she was covering the mouth piece of the device she was talking to me with, not until i finished talking and didn't get any respond from her, all i heard was giggles and chitchats and i had to ask twice if she was still with me before she actually responded and she was telling me to repeat myself over and over again,what insolence. I had to disconnect the call after pointing it to her that she was only playing me around.

I called again and the guy that spoke to me this time told me to unsubscribe which i did even before i decided to call and promised it wouldn't repeat itself.

Okay,this month Etisalat has done it again and this time its so painful. As a student, you should know how it is when one is broke and decided to squeeze N100 out of your little allowance left for the rest of the month, hoping it will atleast be useful to make calls for a while in order to get info about lectures, supervisor and other minor things only for you to realize N50 naira has been deducted again for crying out loud.

I called customer care this morning and all i got was you subscribed to a SMS subscription and you have been charged for it. And pointed it to me that thats the only help he could render that nothing else could be done to it.

The question is, are they all trying to tell me am silly enough not to realize that i subscribed for this same thing over and over again?
Why do i have to subscribe for football alert when am not a huge fan of football and can easily google out whatever i want to know about football?
I rarely hand over my phone to people because i am always doing one or two things with it, so who have the subscribing to this things? The ghost of my father?
Or am i paying off the debt of my forefather which obviously, they never used GSM because i can't rely phantom this.

I'm pained, yes i am. Its so painful. After coping with the fact that i had to use 3sims as a result of the unending flunctuation of network, do i have to cope with this monthly deduction too without getting refunds?

In a country where there is law, anyone could have sued Etisalat and co for Theft. NCC isn't even helping matters and its so painful we just have to live with this unjustness

__ A pained Customer__

N9bn contract scam: Court frees Bankole

An Abuja Federal High Court on Friday discharged and acquitted a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission could not  prove a 16-count criminal charge bordering on a N9bn contract scam filed against him.

Justice Evoh Chukwu, in a ruling on a no-case-submission filed by Bankole after the prosecution had called its witnesses, held that there was no evidence linking the former speaker to the alleged offences.

The EFCC had accused Bankole of perpetrating a contract fraud, involving the purchase of two Range Rover bulletproof vehicles; two Range Rover vehicles (without bullet proof); three Mercedes Benz S-600 cars; 400 units of DSTV systems; 400 television sets; 800 units of desktop computers; 100 units of Sharp digital copier; and 400 units of HP LaserJets 2600N.

The addresses presented by the companies which executed the contracts for the procurement of the items turned out to be false as well as other information provided in their profiles.

The anti-graft agency alleged that most of the purchases were contrary to Sections 17 to 56 of the Public Procurement Act No.14 of 2007, and punishable under Section 58(5) of the same Act.

With a private lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo, prosecuting the case, Bankole was arraigned over the 16-count charge, to which he pleaded not guilty.

However, the trial proceeded with the prosecution calling six witnesses, including officials  of the National Assembly, to testify.

After the prosecution had called its last witness, Bankole, through his lawyer, Mr. O. Akoni, SAN, filed an application for a no-case-submission, asking the court to acquit and discharge him on the grounds that the EFCC had not established a prima facie case against him.

Ruling on the no-case-submission on Friday, Justice Chukwu stressed that, in order to prove the case against the former Speaker, the EFCC must prove that the “accused person (Bankole) colluded with the supplier or contractor to supply at inflated prices.”

He held that the anti-graft agency was unable to prove such. The judge further noted that witnesses brought by the prosecution all admitted that Bankole was not the chief accounting officer of the House.

Justice Chukwu added that all the witnesses also admitted that the contract for the purchase of the controversial items followed due process.

He said, “All the witnesses told the court that the procedure for the award of the contract followed due process. None of them showed that the accused person entered into a collusive agreement with the contractors or their agents.

“The accused person does not own any of the companies,” he added, citing the testimony of some of the prosecution witnesses, who told the court that investigations did not disclose that Bankole was a shareholder, director or signatory to any of the companies that benefitted from the contract.

Continuing, the judge held that the prosecution did not provide any evidence to prove that Bankole benefitted from the contract.

“In the totality of the evidence of the prosecution, there is nothing to show that the accused person acted with intention to defraud – there is no evidence to show that he selected the companies that were awarded the contract.

“There is no evidence to show that any of the companies were fronting for the accused person.

“There is no evidence to show that the accused person was a director or a shareholder in any of the companies.”

On January 31, 2012, a Federal Capital Territory High Court headed by Justice S. B. Belgore, had freed Bankole and his former Deputy, Ibrahim Nafada, of a criminal charged involving an alleged mismanagement of N38m.