Senators in Nigeria’s upper legislative chamber, yesterday launched a new investigation into a controversial $3.5 billion that was supposedly expended by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation for the purpose of petrol importation.
Although it is not exactly clear when this money was spent, a petition brought before the Senate by Senator Abiodun Olujimi is now seeking to establish how exactly it was spent. She is also particularly concerned by the fact that the money was neither included in the budget nor approved by the Senate approve it.
She blamed the Presidency
Meanwhile, the Senator also called out the President Buhari-led administration for jettisoning the initial arrangement for the subsidy fund whereby it is included in the national budget.
In the place of this initial arrangement, the Government set up what is known as the Subsidy Recovery Fund, which is managed by just two officials of the NNPC namely the Managing Director (Mr Maikanti Baru) and the Senior Finance Officer.
Senator Olujimi implied that this is a bad arrangement seeing as it gives room for corruption. Currently, there is some $3.5 billion oil subsidy fund in NNPC coffers which the Senator has described as a ‘slush fund’. She said the money is too big to be left under the management of just to people. She is, therefore, demanding for some accountability.
“What is happening now is that there is a fund named as ‘Subsidy Recovery Fund’, which is being managed only by two individuals at the NNPC. That is the Managing Director and the Executive Director, Finance. This fund is too huge to be managed without recourse to any known law of the land.
“I want to urge this Senate to cause the Downstream Committee to compel the NNPC to come before the committee and explain why this should be so. The new terminology that is now being used is ‘under-recovery’ rather than subsidy approval.” -Senator Abiodun
Meanwhile, the NNPC denies all alleged infractions
A statement issued today by NNPC spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu, denied every alleged infraction on the part of the state-owned oil company. The statement particularly noted that it has not received any $3.5 billion oil subsidy fund.
Instead, the NNPC said it received a $1.05 billion “National Fuel Support Fund which was set up “to ensure stability in the petroleum products supply.” The statement went further to say that the fund is jointly managed by the NNPC, the Central Bank of Nigeria, and the Ministry of Finance amongst others.
But the Senate is continuing with the investigation
The Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki instituted an ad hoc committee headed by Senator Ahmad Lawan to investigate the issue. The investigation will entail interrogation of some officials of the NNPC. The committee will report back to the Senate next week.
An overview of Nigeria’s ‘disgraceful’ fuel importation arrangement
Nigeria imports a large portion of its daily petrol needs despite being one of the top largest producers of crude in the world. This is a shameful situation which the NNPC is now making some efforts to solve through modular refineries.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 24th of February 2021, 655 new confirmed cases and 11 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 153,842 confirmed cases.
On the 24th of February 2021, 655 new confirmed cases and 11 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
To date, 153,842 cases have been confirmed, 130,818 cases have been discharged and 1,885 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 1.49 million tests have been carried out as of February 24th, 2021 compared to 1.44 million tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 24th February 2021,
- Total Number of Cases – 153,842
- Total Number Discharged – 130,818
- Total Deaths – 1,885
- Total Tests Carried out – 1,489,103
According to the NCDC, the 655 new cases are reported from 21 states- Lagos (240), Ogun (88), Rivers (56), FCT (51), Kaduna (43), Kano (25), Plateau (21), Taraba (19), Edo (17), Abia (15), Delta (13), Nasarawa (11), Akwa Ibom (10), Kwara (10), Oyo (10), Kebbi (9), Borno (5), Bayelsa (4), Gombe (4), Ekiti (2), and Osun (2).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 55,122, followed by Abuja (19,115), Plateau (8,854), Kaduna (8,422), Oyo (6,708), Rivers (6,398), Edo (4,491), Ogun (4,277), Kano (3,716), Ondo (2,944), Kwara (2,875), Delta (2,539), Osun (2,326), Nasarawa (2,208), Gombe (2,031), Katsina (2,029), Enugu (1,998), Ebonyi (1,839), Anambra (1,615), and Abia (1,487).
Imo State has recorded 1,440 cases, Akwa Ibom (1,439), Borno (1,247), Bauchi (1,221), Benue (1,188), Niger (912), Ekiti (797), Sokoto (768), Bayelsa (767), Adamawa (762), Taraba (712), Jigawa (496), Kebbi (358), Yobe (268), Cross River (267), Zamfara (219), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.
Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.
On 26th January 2021, the Federal Government announced the extension of the guidelines of phase 3 of the eased lockdown by one month following the rising cases of the coronavirus disease in the country and the expiration of phase 3 of the eased lockdown.
Cornerstone Insurance Plc appoints Ogechi Adeola as Director
Dr Ogechi Adeola has been appointed as an Independent Non-Executive Director at Cornerstone Insurance Plc.
Cornerstone Insurance Plc has appointed Dr Ogechi Adeola as its new Independent Non-Executive Director, subject to ratification by members at general meeting.
This is according to a notification sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange platform, dated 24th of February, 2021, as seen by Nairametrics.
Dr. Adeola’s profile
Dr. Adeola has over two decades of work and consulting experience in the Nigerian Financial services sectors. She is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the Lagos Business School and an alumna of the Manchester Business School, United Kingdom.
On the other hand, Cornerstone Insurance closed trading today (24th of February, 2021) at the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange with a share price of N0.59.
Results from the recently released FY 2020 financials posted by the firm showed that gross premium written increased from N13.06 billion in 2019 to N17.6 billion. However, profit for the period declined to N1.6 billion, from N4.11 billion recorded in 2019.
What you should know:
Cornerstone Insurance Company Plc is a Nigerian-based insurance company offering services in the life and non-life categories.
It was incorporated on the 26th of July, 2021, initially as a private limited liability and subsequently became a public limited liability after its listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1997.
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