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Business News

Nigeria’s EFCC targets Baba Ijebu over tax fraud

EFCC is targeting billionaire businessman and founder of Premier Lotto, Kessington Adebutu in an ongoing corruption investigation.  

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Nigeria's EFCC targets Baba Ijebu over tax fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is targeting billionaire businessman and founder of Premier Lotto, Kessington Adebutu in an ongoing corruption investigation.

Premium Times reported that yesterday in Lagos, detectives from the anti-graft agency detained and interrogated the billionaire’s son, Segun Adebutu.

Nigeria's EFCC targets Baba Ijebu over tax fraud

Segun Adebutu

The EFCC is carrying out a complex corruption investigation which ranges from tax fraud to economic sabotage. The businessman, who has amassed billions over the years from the betting industry, is allegedly complicit in these crimes.

The intrigue: Interestingly, it was Premier Lotto’s main competitor – Western Lotto – that tipped off the anti-graft agency in December 2019 about the alleged fraud. The EFCC was told to investigate Premier Lotto because billionaires of naira worth of lost government revenue are allegedly traceable to the betting company.

Officials of the EFCC supposedly confirmed to have already traced the sum of N5 billion to the company since the investigation commenced. The company’s management has also been accused of “short-changing Nigerians”.

[READ MORE: Air Peace’s Onyema saga: EFCC seizes passport, as Northern Youths plan rally at US…)

In the meantime, neither Mr Adebutu nor his company (ie., Premier Lotto) has issued a statement regarding this development.

Sigma Pensions

An official at the Lottery Commission who commented on the development confirmed the ongoing investigation. The unnamed official also accused Western Lotto owner, politician Buruji Kashamu, of instigating the investigation in a bid to undermine his competitor just to gain dominance of a section of Nigeria’s betting industry.

Nigeria's EFCC targets Baba Ijebu over tax fraud

Buruji Kashamu has since dispelled this speculation. According to him, he notified the EFCC of an industry-wide corruption that was engulfing betting in Nigeria. The politician, who is currently on FBI’s wanted list, stressed that he is not a disgruntled player in the Nigerian betting industry. He said:

“All the taxpayers’ billions they diverted should have been paid into the lottery commission trust fund to build infrastructure and alleviate poverty amongst the Nigerian masses. I urge Nigerians to continue to pressure the EFCC to investigate and charge all those responsible for sabotaging the country’s economy without any pity for the masses.”

The alleged industry-wide corruption allegation had taken other players in the field by surprise. To this end, officials of the association of betting companies in Nigeria are planning to meet in order to coordinate a better response to the EFCC.

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You may want to read about how Kessington Adebutu made his billions, having risen from salesboy to betting king. Click here for that.

Emmanuel is a professional writer and business journalist, with interests covering Banking & Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Profiles, Brand Communication, Fintech, and MSMEs.He initially joined Nairametrics as an all-round Business Analyst, but later began focusing on and covering the financial services sector. He has also held various leadership roles, including Senior Editor, QAQC Lead, and Deputy Managing Editor.Emmanuel holds an M.Sc in International Relations from the University of Ibadan, graduating with Distinction. He also graduated with a Second Class Honours (Upper Division) from the Department of Philosophy & Logic, University of Ibadan.If you have a scoop for him, you may contact him via his email- [email protected] You may also contact him through various social media platforms, preferably LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Business News

Cost of building materials rise by over 60% in one year

The price of building materials in the market experienced a rise of over 60% in the last one year.

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2nd Niger Bridge, Suicide on Third Mainland Bridge

The cost of Cement, Steel, Tiles and Plaster of Paris (PoP) cement, among others have risen by over 60% between March 2020 and March 2021.

For instance, the cost of steel, which was sold at N234,000 per tonne as of March 2020, had increased to N380,000 at the end of March 2021. This represents a 62% increase within the period under review.

While Dangote Cement increased from N2,600 to N3,800 (though it is sold at N3,600 in some areas in Lagos), Lafarge Cement and BUA Cement increased from N2,400 and N2,250 to N3,600 and N3,250 respectively within the same period.

The price hikes are not limited to the cost of steel and cement alone but also to other materials like Tiles, PoP cement, and roofing sheets.

The cost of super white cement increased from N2,500 (25kg) to N3,700, and the cost of high-quality white cement (40kg) also increased from N4,000 to N6,500.

The cost of gravel increased from N80,000 to N140,000; that of 8mm diameter and 25mm diameter (imported) increased from N234,000 and N245,000 to N330,000 and N380,000 respectively.

Doors are not left out in the hike. Costs of Flush door (high quality), Panel door and Turkish steel door (1,500 x 2,100) also rose from N35,000, N40,000, N165,000 to N60,000, N75,000 and N235,000 respectively.

Why the hike?

Industry experts have attributed the hike to persistent depreciation of the naira and the rising cost of other building materials.

Sigma Pensions

Tunde Oluwole, a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Builders, explained that the development was caused by high interest rate, inflation, increasing exchange rate and scarcity of forex in the country.

He said, “The increasing prices in Nigeria is a result of the combined effects of high-interest rates, devaluation of the naira, inflation, and non-effective distribution network of the materials.”

To Kolawole Adebisi, an Estate Developer, the development in the cement industry is caused by the ban of imported cement in the country.

He told Nairametrics that he is not against the ban, as the government’s intention is to boost local production of cement but explained that “the local manufacturers were unable to produce enough cement to meet the demand and this contributed to the rising cost of the product.”

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Business News

FG to extend fuel subsidy for 6 months

Reports indicate that the FG plans to spend N720 billion for the next 6 months on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) subsidies.

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Subsidy and PIB, petrol price, PPPRA, We have sufficient PMS stock for 38 days- DPR 

The Nigerian Government may have suspended plans to end its subsidy payments as reports indicate that the FG plans to spend N720 billion for the next 6 months on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) subsidies.

This was disclosed in an exclusive report by The Guardian on Sunday, citing that President Muhammadu Buhari ordered that the subsidies remain in place for the next 6 months.

“Specifically, President Buhari has asked the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to suspend any idea on subsidy removal for five to six months so that a plan that does not harm ordinary Nigerians is evolved if the deregulation must go on,” a Government official said.

What you should know 

  • NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari disclosed last month that the “NNPC may no longer be in a position to carry that burden because we cannot continue to carry it in our books,” after reports of fuel imports under-recovery revealed the FG was spending N120 billion a month on subsidy.
  • Kyari also hinted that they may soon start selling PMS at market prices saying: “NNPC importing PMS at market price and selling at N162/L. The actual market price should be between N211 and N234/L. Meaning is that consumers are not paying the market price.
  • “NNPC is currently the sole importer of PMS, and we’re trying to exit the underpriced sale of PMS. Eventual exit is inevitable, when it will happen I cannot say, but engagements are ongoing because the government is cognisant of the implications.”

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