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Nigeria Has Money To Fix Country But Stolen On Daily Basis-ICPC



Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye declared Thursday that money to fix Nigeria is within but being stolen on daily basis aided by pervasive systemic or malignant corruption in the country.

Owasanoye, who stated this in Abuja as guest speaker at the two-day capacity – building workshop organized for members of the House of Representatives Committee on Anti – Corruption and Military Officers by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, NILDS, said on electronic transactions alone, N24trillion has been transacted between January to June this year, which is always about N50trillion yearly.

Corruption in Nigeria, he added,cis highly systemic or malignant by being carried out in most of the government owned agencies, particularly the revenue generating ones.

From 19 of such agencies, he disclosed , ICPC intercepted N181million attempted to be diverted or stolen by corrupt public officers between January and June this year, saying “we are not in short supply of anti-corruption legislations but grossly in short supply of integrity.”

“If not for lack of integrity from affected public officers, Nigeria has enough anti – corruption agencies or institutions to stem the tide of systemic corruption.

“Aside ICPC and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, public institutions like the Bureau for Public Procurement, BPP, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and 45 others are anti – corruption regulatory bodies.

“The CBN is an anti-corruption gatekeeper, the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission, ICRC is an anti-corruption gatekeeper…I could go on, many of them like that, if you aggregate them, you would get like about 50.

“Most regulatory bodies also play anti-corruption role. Virtually, all professions are regulated…and every unethical practice that is carried out by these professionals is already prohibited by their rules, so we are not in short supply of anti corruption institutions but what we are in short supply of, is integrity. We have a generous supply of hypocrisy, and we also deceive ourselves.

“But despite the required legislations or laws to fight the cankerworm, lack of integrity and political will from those saddled with running of the agencies , make corruption to be so pervasive in the country.

“Unfortunately since corruption erodes capacity of state or government to provide welfare for the people is also fueling and aggravating insecurity in the land.

“If corruption is fought to standstill by all relevant agencies and public officers, it will be discovered that the money to fix Nigeria, is in Nigeria and not elsewhere because N24trillion was spent on monitored electronic transactions alone among Nigerians within Nigerians from January to June this year, which runs to about N50trillion yearly,” he said.

He further posited that “corruption is an existential issue for us as a country, and so, we need to have conversation around it.”

Owasanoye listed factors like weak legislative oversights by relevant committees of the National Assembly , contracts variations and duplications by MDAs, tax avoidance, evasion and underserved waivers etc as the channels through which corrupt practices are carried out in Nigeria.

He also blamed his colleagues in the legal profession, who at times would be acting for clients against the commission, who are serving public servants involved in corrupt practices of using public funds for execution of projects through companies they have interests in.

According to him, it is illegal for such clients to be involved in such businesses at that time, and also ethically wrong for them to award such contracts to companies where they have interests, adding that such ethical breaches ought to be dealt with properly.

In his remarks, the chairman, House Committee on Corruption, Hon. Shehu Garba said corruption usually denies a nation of the needed development, and making good plans for the future, adding that fighting the menace cannot be effective without collaboration.

Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, represented by Major – General A. A. Adesope, said there is a serious link between corruption, insecurity and instability.

He said the theme of the workshop, “Corruption: A threat to security in Nigeria”, is very apt at this time that the country and in particular, the military and other security agencies are taking the fight to those perpetrating various crimes and criminalities across the country.

“Corruption engenders insecurity and instability in the country and must be fought by all and sundry,” he said.

In his own remarks, the Director General of NILDS, Professor Abubakar Sulaiman said the workshop was organized for members of the House Committee on Anti-Corruption and military officers as a way of bringing to the front burner the need for required collaboration in the war against corruption by all relevant stakeholders .

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FG Approves N24.2bn For Free Internet At Airports, Schools, Markets



THE Federal Government has approved free internet services worth N24.2 billion naira at 20 selected airports, 43 universities and six markets across the country.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Isa Pantami, disclosed this after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday

Pantami said that the airports were selected from the six geo-political zones.

“Certain intervention projects are going to be implemented by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Nigerian Communications Commission of providing Internet in 20 selected airports in Nigeria and higher institutions of learning and also some markets to support micro small and medium enterprises.

“In each geopolitical zone, you have around three airports. In the South-West, we have Lagos and Ondo. For the South-East, we have Anambra and Enugu.

“For the South-South, we have Port Harcourt and Akwa Ibom. For the North-Central we have Abuja and Ilorin. In the North-West, we have Kano, Sokoto and Kebbi. For the North-East we have Yola, Maiduguri and Gombe.”

The minister said the markets and 43 institutions which include universities and polytechnics were also drawn from the six geopolitical zones, adding that it will ease e-learning in schools and also enhance the transition to a cashless economy.

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Buhari Approves Appointment Of 6 New Perm Secs



President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday approved the appointment of six new permanent secretaries in the Federal Civil Service

The appointments followed after a recent conducted selection process.

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOCSF),Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, made this known in a statement by Mohammed Ahmed, Director of Communications of the Office of the HOCSF,

The appointees and their states of origin are Esuabana Asanye (Cross River), Mahmud Kambari (Borno), Richard Pheelangwah (Taraba), Lamuwa Ibrahim (Gombe), Yakubu Kofar-Mata (Kano) and Oloruntola Michael (Ogun).

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DSS Confirms Plot To Install Interim Govt



The Department of State Security Service has said that the plot to Instal interim government was real

DSS noted that the plot was “by some key players” to install an interim government and stop Bola Ahmed Tinubu from being inaugurated as president.

A statement on Wednesday, by Peter Afunanya, the public relations officer of the secret police, said: “The Department of State Services (DSS) has identified some key players in the plot for an Interim Government in Nigeria.

“The Service considers the plot, being pursued by these entrenched interests, as not only an aberration but a mischievous way to set aside the constitution and undermine civil rule as well as plunge the country into an avoidable crisis.

“The illegality is totally unacceptable in a democracy and to the peace loving Nigerians. This is even more so that the machination is taking place after the peaceful conduct of the elections in most parts of the country.”

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