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NDDC Probe: Senate orders IMC to refund N4.9 billion illegal payments

The recommendation of the committee was presented on the floor of the senate by its Chairman.

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National Assembly approves Federal Government’s plan to borrow $11 billion in 2021, Senate urges FG to diversify from crude oil to natural gas production , Senate seeks textile importation ban , Senate receives six aviation sector bills from Buhari , PenCom: Constitute a board, NASS and pension operators tell FG, Nigeria’s total debt now N33trn —Senate, Senate confirms appointment of board members for NDIC, law reform commission, Senate to confirm reappointment of Danbatta as NCC boss, Senate investigates claims of NELMCO, AEDC over govt asset, Senate Investigate Banks over customers exploitation and high fees, 2021 Budget: Senate sets motion for budget defense, commences 2020 review

The senate has asked the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to refund the N4.923 billion alleged illegal payments made to staff of the commission and contractors in breach of the procurement process.

The upper chamber said that this refund should be made to the account of NDDC with immediate effect.

According to a report from News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this resolution was sequel to the adoption of recommendations of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee, investigating the alleged misappropriation of N40 billion by the current IMC.

READ ALSO: NDDC probe: House of Reps to sue Akpabio for perjury

The recommendation of the committee was presented on the floor of the senate by its Chairman, Senator Adetunbi.

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A breakdown of the refund which the senate wants refunded includes Overseas Travel to the United Kingdom N85.7million, Scholarship grants N105.5 million, Union Members’ trip to Italy N164.2 million.

The other refunds which the senate wants made to the NDDC’s Account by the IMC are: payment made for Lassa Fever Kit N1.96 billion, payment for Public Communication valued at N1.12 billion, and COVID-19 fund expenditure N1.49 billion.

READ MORE: Chairman of NDDC probe committee on N40 billion corruption allegation steps aside

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Some of the other recommendations which were approved by the senate are

  • That all expenditures on historical contracts and obligations like hotels, court judgment among others be refunded, as the payments were not provided for in the budget.
  • That henceforth, the NDDC should report directly to President Muhammadu Buhari.
  • That the President should dissolve the IMC and set up a board for the commission.
  • That oversight of the forensic audit should be transferred to the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, to ensure transparency. The Senate asked the Federal Government to appoint a renowned auditor to supervise the forensic audit.
  • The strengthening of the NDDC’s procurement department through appropriate staff engagement, by appointing staff with procurement chartered status, improved staff training among other policies on procurement process.
  • A review of the corporate social responsibility of the NDDC, adding that it was difficult to find a correlation between the Niger Delta community development and the cash invested in the zone.

According to the upper legislative chamber, the continued cash injection in the Niger Delta has not worked under the various Interim Management Committees.

READ ALSO: NDDC Probe: Reps give Akpabio 48 hours to publish names of lawmakers who got contracts

The senate while asking for government’s intervention, wants them to do away with the IMC and properly constitute a board with a specific mandate to address the problems in the Niger Delta

The Senate harped on the need for government to intervene, by stepping down the IMC and properly constitute a board with specific mandate, to address the pains of the Niger Delta people.

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READ MORE: UPDATE: SEC has constituted an interim management team for Oando Plc

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It can be recalled the Senate and the House of Representatives have been having a running battle with members of the IMC for NDDC and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio over the affairs of the commission.

The 2 chambers of the national assembly had set up ad-hoc committees to investigate the alleged mismanagement of N40 billion by the IMC within a period of 3 months

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Economy & Politics

WTO: Okonjo-Iweala says she is positive despite hiccups

Okonjo-Iweala has announced her excitement about being declared candidate with the largest and broadest support among members.

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WTO, Okonjo-Iweala joins South Africa's presidential economic advisory council as nation struggles with recession, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala officially declared candidate with the largest and broadest support among members

In an optimistic outlook, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has declared that she is positive despite hiccups in her bid to emerge the next Director-General, World Trade Organisation (WTO).

As the candidate with the largest, and broadest support among members of WTO and most likely to attract consensus, she is optimistic that success is hers.

This was revealed by the former coordinating minister of the Economy herself, through her verified Twitter page.

READ: Trans-Nationwide Express Plc suffers N79 million loss in Q3 2020

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Backstory: Recall that Nairametrics had earlier reported that Okonjo Iweala is close to being appointed as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organization.

This is after a rigorous selection process that has seen the former minister of Finance scale through a lot of hurdles, making it to the top two.

READ: Why Okonjo-Iweala should win the WTO DG role – Prof. Moghalu

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What you should know: According to a press release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the third and final round of the selection process of the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) was concluded on Tuesday, 27 October 2020 and the result was announced on Wednesday, 28th October 2020.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala secured the support of the majority of the member-countries but is yet to be declared and returned the winner.

This is because apart from winning the election, all 164 member-states of WTO were expected to adopt the winner by consensus, in accordance with the rule of procedure of the WTO.

It is important to highlight that Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has secured cross-regional backing with only the United States opposing the consensus.

(READ MORE: WTO accepts nomination of Okonjo-Iweala as DG despite opposition from Egypt)

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A meeting of the General Council of the WTO has been scheduled for 9th November, 2020 for the final decision on the election process.

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What they are saying: Expressing her optimism in winning the race, Dr. Okono-Iweala said: “Happy for the success & continued progress of our @wto DG bid. Very humbled to be declared the candidate with the largest, broadest support among members & most likely to attract consensus. We move on to the next step on Nov 9, despite hiccups. We’re keeping the positivity going.”

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Economy & Politics

Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala close to being announced as new DG of WTO

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is expected to be announced as the new DG of the World Trade Organisation.

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WTO, Nigeria’s former finance minister, Okonjo-Iweala, gets IMF appointment

Nigeria’s former Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonji-Iweala, is close to being appointed as the new Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

READ: Okonjo-Iweala gets Organised private sector’s endorsement for WTO job

According to Reuters, a group of ambassadors also known as “troika” has proposed Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to lead the WTO giving her a clear path to becoming the first woman to head the WTO since it started 25 years ago. The three ambassadors are thought to wield significant powers in determining what is a very “intricate and opaque” process.

READ: Buhari assures Okonjo-Iweala that the country will push until she emerges WTO DG

Most Nigerian Media houses have already announced NOI as the winner of the process even though this is yet to be made official by the WTO.

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The winner for the role of DG of WTO is expected to be announced formally by the WTO later today.

However, there appears to be a new twist, in the expected announcement of her emergence as the new Director-General of the WTO.

The United States through its representative at the WTO has insisted that the South Korean candidate is still in contention and that Washington will not recognize Okonjo-Iweala as the consensus candidate for appointment as Director-General.

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As a result, the General Counsel of WTO, postponed the announcement of a new Director-General until November 9, after the US presidential election, after further consultations would have been made.

The announcement of Okonjo-Iweala, who is reported to have gotten the support of a vast majority of members states, including the EU, Japan and China, as the new boss of the World Trade Organization, would have been a huge boost for Africa

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Economy & Politics

Kano State presents N147.9 billion budget for 2021 fiscal year

Governor Ganduje has presented the total sum of N147.9 billion as Kano State’s proposed budget for 2021 fiscal year.

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Dala Inland Dry Port set to take off after N2.3 billion investment - Kano Govt., DB to support 1.26 million farmers with $95 million

Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje has presented the total sum of N147.9 billion as its proposed budget for 2021 fiscal year before the Kano State House of Assembly today.

Presenting the budget tagged “Budget for Economic Recovery and Sustainable Development,”Governor Ganduje said the budget is in furtherance of his administration’s vision for diversification of the state sources of revenue which will engineer development in the future.

Backstory: Recall that Nairametrics had earlier reported the drive and optimism by Kano State government to boost its Internally Generated Revenue. This might probably explain why IGR increased by almost 10% between 2020 allocations and proposed estimates for 2021.

What you should know: The breakdown of the budget verified by Nairametrics showed the following key highlights:

  • The total budget increased by approximately 7.0% from N138.279 billion in 2020 to N147.935 billion in 2021.
  • Capital expenditure for the periods under view increased by 10.93% from N60.485 billion to N67.095 billion.
  • Recurrent expenditure also increased from N77.79 billion to N80.839 billion, indicating a 3.92%. increase for the periods under view.
  • Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) increased by approximately 10% from N24 billion to N26.395 billion during the period under view.
  • A breakdown of the budget showed that the Education sector has over N37 Billion representing 25% of the total budget while the health care delivery service has over N25 Billion representing 17% of the total budget.

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