The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has applauded the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for the retrieval and handing back to the management of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), 17 publicly owned vehicles that were carted away by former officials of the agency.
In responding to the development, the Executive Chairman of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran stated in a press release that: “This is a fall-out of what damage Corruption has done to the psyche of many of our Civil Servants and those in authority in Nigeria. The impression is always given that ‘whatever belongs to government belongs to nobody’ and so could be stolen without fear for any consequences. The other time, it was a retired Police top brass that was reported to have willfully taken away more than 15 cars after leaving service. This was at a time the same Police force was finding it so difficult to police the country effectively due to lack of adequate patrol vehicles. Without mincing words, this is a clear act of corruption and abuse of office with impunity”.
“We therefore concur with Engineer Salisu Daura- the Director of Engineering services that represented FAAN’s Managing Director at the hand over occasion for the recovered vehicles- for expressing delight at the partnership between the agency and the ICPC. We also support his request that the anti-graft agency should intensify efforts at recovering more vehicles that have been previously carted away by former officials of (FAAN)”.
The Executive Chairman of the Centre therefore concludes: “From all of this, one could easily deduce that beyond the initial 17 vehicles of different brands taken away and recovered by ICPC, numerous other vehicles have been carted away by serving and retired officials of the agency. We therefore call for proper arraignment, prosecution and trial of the erring ex-officials to serve as a deterrent and also positively change the attitude of public employees to public property within and outside service.”
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has condemned the hijacking of foreign scholarships meant for brilliant young Nigerians by senior officials at the Federal Ministry of Transport. The scholarship which was provided by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), was meant to train gifted young Nigerians in railways engineering. Although the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Sabiu Zakari later issued a statement denying the availability of the scholarship, there is evidence to suggest that such denial holds no water.
In a Press Release issued by the Centre on Monday, the Executive Chairman of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran, stated: “Our position is always that any act of dishonesty, either by an individual or an organization is Corruption and would always have deleterious and debilitating effects on society as a whole. From available evidence, President Buhari’s Administration is desirous of resuscitating our railways system just as successive governments in Nigeria have engaged the Chinese experts in this regard for decades”.
“We are equally aware that one of such projects is to have a double-track standard gauge railway track from Lagos to Kano. This led to the CCECC approaching the transportation Ministry, informing it of its plan to sponsor a number of brilliant young and qualified Nigerians to study for bachelor’s degrees in railway engineering fully funded by the company so as to have a generation of qualified personnel for maintenance of the railway infrastructure”.
“It is therefore preposterous and primitive for senior officials of the ministry to willfully corner these scholarship offers for only the children of the high and mighty, as this is capable of encouraging mediocrity and disillusionment in the eyes of more qualified Nigerian youths being shortchanged. Such opportunities and scholarship are meant to be publicly advertised on both the print and electronic media’s while also ensuring that there is enough time for qualified candidates to apply. This odious behaviour clearly negates the fight against corruption of President Buhari’s government”.
“We therefore join other Nigerians in the call for the government and other relevant agencies to intervene and encourage openness and transparency to guide the scholarship exercise while measures are taken to guarantee that the beneficiaries would not only make maximum opportunities of this window, but that whatever knowledge and expertise garnered, are eventually converted to the overall benefit of the nation. It is thus imperative to call for the requisite deterrents to those who are found guilty of these selfish and greedy crimes after diligent investigations have been carried out”.
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has frowned at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) refusal to abide by the extant laws while remitting revenue to the federation account.
The CACOL’s Executive Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, cited a media report in which the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) stated that the NNPC, contrary to the governing laws of the petroleum industry, has been remitting lump sums as revenue into the federation account without separating such payments from royalties and petroleum profit tax (PPT).
The CACOL boss further noted that remitting monies contrary to the stipulated format creates room for sharp practices and looting of revenue that should be paid into the federation account.
Adeniran asked: “Is it not ridiculous that institutions that are supposed to show examples to others by adhering to the laws and regulations are the ones violating them?”
He further stated, “It is preposterous that a corporation as huge as NNPC, whose activities determine the state of the nation’s economy, will in its dealings make it difficult for the Government to determine its profit or loss margin after investment.
“CACOL therefore calls on the DRP to initiate a comprehensive audit into the monies previously remitted to the federal coffers to ensure there are no irregularities.”
Ag. Media Officer, CACOL
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has commended the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over the arraignment of the suspended Director-General,Securities Exchange Commission, (SEC) Mounir Gwarzo, before an Abuja Federal High Courtover corruption charges.
The Executive Chairman of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran, on Tuesday, while expressing the views of the Centre stated that: “When we first blew the lid on the corruptive acts of the SEC DG, the impression was given that nothing would come out of it and that the allegations leveled against him would be swept under the proverbial carpet. But we persisted and followed up, because of our unshakeable conviction that Corruption is at the very base of much of our underdevelopment and economic frustration of majority Nigerians”.
“Imagine what the billions of Dollars that have disappeared into private pockets could have done in providing infrastructure and pushing our technological drive to curb unemployment, low level of education and general backwardness in the country” he further stated.
Mr. Adeniran in concluding opined that, “We therefore call for a speedy prosecution of both the SEC Director General and all his accomplices so thatthe proceeds of crime are not only recovered, but adequate punishments are meted out to serve as a deterrent in orderto return our society to a path of sanity and accountability in the public service.”
He added: “There is simply no other way to go, if Nigeria would ever have any hope of breaking away from its ugly past.”
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) hereby calls on Senate President Bukola Saraki whose thugs have allegedly been arrested for their involvement in the bloody Offa Bank Robbery and massacre of innocent citizens to respond to the allegations that have been leveled against him by the Police.
This was contained in a press release issued by CACOL on Monday, signed by Ikenna Aghagbobi, the Ag. Media Officer of the Centre.
The CACOL boss stated that the group is alarmed that the gang leader, Ayoade Akinnibosun, in an interview with journalists said he worked as a political thug for Saraki while he was still in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). He also stated that the more alarming details is that the robbers were allegedly sponsored with firearms, money and operational vehicles by the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki and the Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed.
Adeniran in his reactions to these apprise has urged the police to investigate diligently, the allegations made by the Offa robbers against Saraki and Dogara as being sponsors of gangsterism.
According to him: “Even though the robbers have reported that, Saraki, and Dogara were not directly connected with the robberies, sponsoring mayhem and disrupting the rule of law is a grievous offence and hence, should not be treated with levity.
“It is a shocking and disgraceful revelation that those whom we entrusted the power to make decisions on the nation’s behalf are being mentioned in one type of crime or the other. This time, we should not sweep it under the rug as we do to most cases involving those in public offices.
“While we hope these allegations are not politically motivated, we believe it is wrong to withdraw the security aides of these men based on mere allegations. The law provides that an accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
“CACOL considers it imperative that the Police initiate a probe to find out what exactly transpired between the Senate President and Offa robbers. Other criminals being detained in connection with this case should also be questioned to expose their accomplices. We also urge our security institutions not to relent in their quest to maintain law and order across the country.”
Ag. Media Officer, CACOL
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has hailed an Abuja High Court for sentencing the former Governor of Taraba State, Rev. Jolly Nyame, to 14 years’ imprisonment for looting N1.6b.
In a press statement issued by CACOL’s Executive Chairman, Mr, Debo Adeniran the group described Nyame’s conviction as a further reassurance that the our Judiciary and President Muhammadu Buhari mean business in ensuring that no corruption culprit, no matter how highly-placed, goes unpunished.
Adeniran recalled that Nyame, whose trial started in 2007 but was stalled by his team of lawyers who filed many applications to frustrate the efforts of the prosecution, was finally found guilty and convicted of 27 out of the 41 charges leveled against him.
According to him: “It is gratifying to note that the anti-corruption crusade is gradually exposing those who have been hiding under the cover of religion, political power or social status. We have also seen others resort to one political alignment or the other, and some trying to bribe their way out of an on-going corruption trial just to frustrate the judicial system and the efforts of anti-graft agencies”.
“We want to remind corruption criminals that no matter how many gimmicks they have up their sleeves, they shall eventually run out of tricks and the full wrath of the law will catch up with them”.
“We are overly delighted with the deterrent punishment meted out to the Ex-Governor. The anti-corruption war has before now been trapped in an endless loop of inconclusive cases, and we hope this victory against Nyame would facilitate the speedy and diligent trials and convictions of pending corruption cases”.
We urge the present administration to treat anyone with a corruption petition with all seriousness. Prosecution of corruption suspects shouldn’t be slowed down or halted without diligent investigation due to political expediency.
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has called for a review of the budgetary allocation usually called security votes by the federal, state and local governments across the country.
CACOL made the call while responding to a recent revelation by Transparency International (TI) that Federal and State Governments spend over N240 billion on security votes annually purportedly for tackling unexpected security issues. The anti-graft group further expressed regret that the disbursement of these huge sums of cash are not usually accounted for, nor subject to legislative oversight and independent audit.
Commenting on the revelation, Mr. Debo Adeniran, the Executive Chairman of CACOL asked the Government to capture these allocations as security allowances appropriated for chief executives of the three tiers of government in annual budgetary estimates.
He further stated that security votes were supposed to be complementary budgetary allocations- for the purpose of responding to miscellaneous and unexpected security challenges-in addition to the usual allocation to the government’s security agencies.
According to him: “The current arrangement whereby chief executives of various tiers of government disburse security votes- which is a carry-over from the military era- as it pleases them creates room for massive corruption.
“While we implore the Government to be judicious in its handling of security vote’s allocation, we also call for a proper audit into previously spent security votes to ensure there are no fraudulent activities involved and also to ensure that these funds were used exactly for the purpose they were meant for.We insist that anybody found culpable of being corrupt in the handling of security votes should be made to face the full wrath of the law through proper prosecution to serve as a deterrent to incumbent office holders.”
Today marks the 19th year of our nascent democracy and the 3rd Anniversary of this administration. I am thankful to Almighty God for bringing us thus far. This administration came at a time that Nigerians needed Change, the Change we promised and the Change we continue to deliver. We have faced a lot of challenges on this journey and Nigerians have stood by us in achieving the three cardinal points of this administration namely; Security, Corruption and the Economy.
2. The commemoration of this year’s Democracy Day is a celebration of freedom, a salute to the resilience and determination of Nigerians and a recommitment by Government to keep its promise to lead Nigeria into a new era of justice and prosperity.
3. Public safety and security remains the primary duty of this Government. Before this Administration came into being 3 years ago, Boko Haram held large areas of land spanning several Local Governments in the North East.
4. Today, the capacity of the insurgents has been degraded leading to the re-establishment of authority of government and the release of captives including, happily, 106 Chibok and 104 Dapchi girls, and over 16,000 other persons held by the Boko Haram.
5. In order to minimize the impact of the insurgency on Internally Displaced Persons, Government has established secure IDP Camps and has improved the mechanism for the distribution of basic aid, foods and essential commodities using various strategies in collaboration with local and international Organizations.
6. Efforts are in process for resettlement of IDPs in their home communities by providing schools, hospitals, clinics, water and sanitation to facilitate a quick return to economic activities. Government is similarly implementing de-radicalization and rehabilitation programmes to facilitate sustainable peace and development.
7. The unfortunate incidences of kidnappings, herdsmen and farmers clashes in several communities which have led to high number of fatalities and loss of properties across the country is being addressed and the identified culprits and their sponsors shall be made to face the full wrath of the law. All the three tiers of Government are presently engaged with communities and religious organizations to restore peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.
8. I want to commend members of the Multinational Joint Task Force drawn from Niger, Benin, Chad, Cameroon and our own country in collaboration with the International Community who are assisting in the fight against insurgency in the North East. I also commend the gallantry of members of our Armed Forces and other security agencies that have continued to provide security for lives and properties across the country. State and Local traditional authorities are helping with much needed intelligence in this fight against insurgency.
9. This administration is pained over the grievous loss of lives and properties occasioned by the carnage of insurgency and other forms of criminality in the country. I wish to assure Nigerians that we will not rest until all criminal elements and their sponsors are brought to justice. Government is boosting the capacity of our security agencies through recruitment of more personnel, training and procurement of modern equipment, enhancement of intelligence gathering as well as boosting their morale in the face of daunting challenges.
10. The Niger Delta Region has enjoyed relative peace through social inclusiveness and cooperation of the Elders and the good people of the region. Government is committed to implementing the comprehensive peace, security and development plan for the region. The environmental clean-up of the region which commenced with the launch in Bodo, Ogoni in June, 2016 is progressing satisfactorily. Furthermore farming assets are being revived and investors in cocoa and palm oil plantations are showing serious interest.
11. The second primary object of this Administration is to fight corruption headlong. Like I have always said, if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will destroy the country. Three years into this Administration, Nigerians and theinternational community have begun to applaud our policies and determination to fight corruption. We are more than ever before determined to win this war, however hard the road is. I therefore appeal to all well-meaning Nigeriansto continue to support us in this fight.
12. Various policy measures already put in place to stem the tide of corrupt practices are yielding remarkable results. Some of these key reform policies include:
a. The Treasury Single Account (TSA) has realized Billions of Naira being saved from maintenance fee payable to banks. N200 Billion has also been saved from elimination of ghost workers in public service.
b. The Whistle-Blowing Policy has helped to recover over N500 Billion;
c. The Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit set up with a mandate to validate controls, assess risks, prune personnel costs, ensure compliance with Public Financial Management reforms has helped to identify and remove over52,000 ghost workers from the Federal Government MDAs Payroll;
d. The Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) aimed at expanding tax education and awareness has offered the opportunity for tax defaulters to regularise their status in order to enjoy the amnesty of forgivenesson overdue interest, penalties and the assurance of non-prosecution or subject to tax investigations.
e. The Sovereign Wealth Fund project portfolio has been expanded with an injection of US$650 million so as to strengthen its investment in local infrastructure, power, health, re-construction of Abuja-Kano road, Lagos-IbadanExpressway, East West Road (Section V) and the Mambilla Hydro-electric Power project as well as the construction of the 2ndNiger Bridge.
13. The fight against corruption through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission has resulted in recoveries of Billions of Naira, as well asforfeiture of various forms of assets. This alongside other efforts has improved Nigeria’s international image and regional cooperation.
14. We have retained the services of one of the world’s leading assets tracing firms to investigate and trace assets globally. This is in addition to the exploitation of provisions of existing Treaties, Conventions as well as BilateralAgreements with Multilateral bodies and Nations. Nigeria has also signed Mutual Legal Assistance Agreements to ensure that there is no hiding place for fugitives.
15. This Administration has therefore focused on revamping the ailing economy it inherited in 2015. In 2016, Government executed an expansionary budget and developed the Strategic Implementation Plan. For the first time, 30% of the budget was earmarked for capital expenditure which represents an upward review when compared with the 2015 budget. The SIP was followed by the development of a comprehensive medium term plan – the EconomicRecovery and Growth Plan 2017 – 2020.
16. The broad strategic objectives of the ERGP were to; Restore and sustain economic growth; Build a globally competitive economy; and Invest in our people. The implementation of the ERGP has started yielding results. TheNational Bureau of Statistics reports that the economy grew by 1.95% in 1st quarter 2018, which is a good performance when viewed against -0.91 in 1st quarter 2017 and -0.67% in 1st quarter 2016 respectively.
17. Our foreign reserve has improved significantly to 47.5 billion USD as of May, 2018 as against 29.6 billion USD in 2015. The inflationary rate has consistently declined every month since January, 2017.
18. Recently, Government conducted Focus Labs in three key sectors of the Economy namely, Agriculture & Transport, Manufacturing and Processing as well as Power and Gas. These have yielded significant prospects forinvestments and Job creation to the tune of US$ 22.5 billion with a potential for creating more than 500,000 jobs by 2020. These investment generation initiatives are expected to increase capital inflows in the form of foreign directinvestment. There is a high prospect that the cumulative investments from this first phase of the Labs will hit US$39.2 billion by 2025.
19. Under agriculture, Nigeria continues to pursue a strategic food security programme built around self-sufficiency and minimization of import dependency. As a result, rice importation from other countries has been cut down by90% which has a direct impact on foreign reserves.
20. The Social Investment Programmes (SIP) has been created as a means to graduating our citizens from poverty through capacity building, investment and direct support. The major strategic objective is to restore livelihood, economic opportunities and sustenance for the poor across the country. The SIP programmes and projects include:
a.Home Grown School Feeding Programme – About 8.2 million pupils are currently being fed from 24 States of the Federation with over 75,000 Catering Staff engaged under the programme.
bThe Conditional Cash Transfer has so far recorded over 297,000 caregivers and being trained by 2,495 Community Facilitators in 21 states. Less privileged Nigerians are now being paid N5,000 monthly stipendin 9 pilot States of Bauchi, Borno, Cross River, Ekiti, Kwara, Kogi, Niger, Osun and Oyo. Eventually the scheme will cover all the 36 states of the federation including the FCT.
c. Under the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme – About 264,269 loans had been disbursed to 4,822 societies in the 36 States and FCT, while another 370,635 are awaiting release of funds.
d. N-Power Job creation Scheme is targeted at providing jobs for unemployed young graduates and has so far recruited 200,000 youths while the next batch of 300,000 have been selected, verified and would soonbe deployed across the 36 States and the FCT. Furthermore, 20,000 non-graduate volunteers have also been selected to kick off the N-Build programme in collaboration with the National Automotive Design andDevelopment Council and the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria.
21. In the area of power generation, Nigerians from all parts of the country continue to report better power supply and less use of generators. This underscores the effectiveness of the methodical plan to deliver incremental anduninterrupted power supply to our homes, markets, offices and factories.
22. The country achieved 5, 222.3 MW representing the highest peak of power generated onto the national grid and delivered to customers in December, 2017. With new facilities, repairs and rehabilitations by Government andprivate investors, generation capability now exceeds 7,500 MW.
23. This Administration is committed to lawful interventions to ensure the operators of the distribution business live up to expectations especially in the areas of distribution capacity, service delivery, collection efficiency, andmetering to eliminate contentious estimated billing.
24. The Transportation Sector continues to undergo a series of reforms in order to sustain the international best practices and ensure safety and security. The nation’s major airports have witnessed reconstruction of runways, installation of navigational equipment and new international terminals due for commissioning in Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Enugu. Bilateral Air Services Agreements between Nigeria and the Governments of other countries willsignificantly open up new flight routes.
25. As a result of strict regulatory and compliance policies, Nigeria retained her Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Category 1 status, after a routine international audit. Recently, a new Maintenance Repair and Overhaulfacility with capacity for aircraft C-checks and other comprehensive levels of maintenance was established in Lagos. This would save the country an estimated $90m annually.
26. Giant strides have been recorded over the past three years to improve road transport infrastructure in all geopolitical zones of the country.
27. The Railway Sector has also received tremendous attention as this Administration is committed to the goal of linking all State capitals in the Federation by rail network to ease the movement of goods and passengers.
28. The Education Sector especially at tertiary level has continued to witness expansion in order to improve access to higher education by millions of youths in Nigeria. Over the last three years, Government has approved theestablishment of 1 new Federal Polytechnic, granted licenses for the establishment of 4 State and 14 private-owned Universities as well as 12 private Polytechnics.
29. Government has also continued to support the implementation of various initiatives aimed at improving the quality of Basic Education delivery. Thus, it has ensured proper funding at the Basic Education level with thedisbursement of N42.2 billion UBE Matching Grant to 26 States and the FCT, N851.5 million Special Education Grant disbursed to 23 States and private providers of Special Education and N2.2 billion Teachers ProfessionalDevelopment Fund to 33 States and the FCT.
30. The Federal Government has continued to support fiscal sustainability at the sub-national governments through the implementation of the Budget Support Facility which was accompanied by the 22- point Fiscal SustainabilityPlan. Thus, bailouts funds were made available to States to ease their fiscal challenges and other obligations including payment of salaries.
31. In addition, a total of 73 Ecological Fund projects for the control of gully erosion in different communities across all geopolitical zones have been completed in the last three years and are undergoing commissioning while 53 other projects are ongoing. The execution of these projects has generated 357 skilled jobs and 1,350 unskilled jobs during this period.
32. It is pertinent to also make mention of the immeasurable contributions of the Nigerian woman to national development and advancement of democracy, over the last three years. The government and people appreciate you all asmothers of our great country.
33. My dear country men and women, as we all celebrate our democratic experience, let us resolve to avoid hatred and intolerance; we can only achieve our objectives in an atmosphere of harmony and peaceful co-existence.
34. Finally, the up-coming months will usher us into another season of general elections. Let me use this opportunity to urge us all to conduct ourselves, our wards and our constituencies with the utmost sense of fairness, justice andpeaceful co-existence such that we will have not only hitch free elections but also a credible and violence free process.
35. In few days to come, I will be joined by many promising young Nigerians to sign into law the “Not Too Young to Run” Bill
36. I thank you for your attention.
37. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
*Being the full text of the 2018 Democracy Day Broadcast by President Buhari.