Six Nigerian nationals were convicted by an Abu Dhabi Federal Court of Appeal in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for funding Boko Haram in 2019, according to Daily Trust.
This was disclosed on Monday in an exclusive report by Daily Trust. The media platform revealed that the Nigerians were responsible for laundering the sum of $782, 000 between 2015 and 2016.
“Two of the convicts, Surajo Abubakar Muhammad and Saleh Yusuf Adamu were sentenced to life imprisonment; while the remaining four, Ibrahim Ali Alhassan, AbdurRahman Ado Musa, Bashir Ali Yusuf, and Muhammad Ibrahim Isa were handed ten-year imprisonment respectively,” Daily Trust revealed.
“According to the judgment, all the accused were charged with funding a terror group (Boko Haram) by facilitating transfers of money from Dubai to Nigeria for alleged terror operations.
“Engaging in such an activity is a crime under Article 29, Clause 3 of UAE’s Federal Law No 7 of 2017 with regards to anti-terrorism law, documents seen by this paper showed.”
Also revealed was that Boko Haram uses undercover agents to facilitate its funding, the agents are based in Nigeria.
“One of them, Alhaji Sa’idu, who is allegedly based in Nigeria and said to be a senior undercover Boko Haram member responsible for facilitating the group’s access to funds from its sponsors” they said.
“Also fingered in some of the transitions is one Alhaji Ashiru, said to be a Nigerian government official and a senior undercover Boko Haram member, who facilitated the transfer of misappropriated public funds to the group.
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said Nigeria is aware of the convictions and has written to the UAE to know who was involved.
“Nigerian government has written firstly for copies of the proceedings, which will give us the opportunity to see whether justice was done or not. And on whether they have committed the crime, we requested to know who and who are involved, so that the Nigerian government will know what to do next.
“Nigerian government is working but it doesn’t have the exclusive control, it has to rely on the information provided by UAE. So, it is not in control of the speed of response or action.
“We are working on both the issues that they did not receive a fair hearing and that they were alleged to have supported Boko Haram activities,” Malami said.
What you should know
Nairametrics reported in 2016 that Boko Haram started a form of microfinance by providing or promising capital and loans to young entrepreneurs and business owners in northeast Nigeria, as a ploy to get them to join the group.
According to aid agency – Mercy Corps, Boko Haram was exploiting the poverty facing most small business owners from butchers and beauticians to tailors and traders, to get them to accept the loans in exchange for joining Boko Haram.
In a 2015 survey of academic, governmental and journalistic accounts, it was reported that Boko Haram funds its escalating acts of terror through black market dealings, local and international benefactors, and links to al-Qaeda and other well-funded groups in the Middle East, such as ISIS – the most dangerous fundamental group in the world today.
Why it matters
Tracing terrorism funding is a problem globally and also a problem in Nigeria. The reports from the UAE show that terrorist groups work with some government agencies to hide from suspicion. The report also revealed Boko Haram has their money laundered through Bureau de Changes. This could lead to tighter currency transfer regulations from the CBN and demands for more transparency into dealings and the sources of funds.
COVID-19: CACOVID spent N43.27 billion to support 3 key priorities – CBN
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed that the Coalition Alliance Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has so far incurred an expenditure of N43.27billion on the acquisition of, not only medical equipment and supplies but also food palliatives for vulnerable Nigerians.
The recent press release noted that the funds raised by CACOVID was used to support 3 key priorities – Medical facilities and equipment, food relief programs and communications plans.
The breakdown of the expenditure in the aforementioned areas are:
- Medical Facilities and equipment: In collaboration with other stakeholders, CACOVID developed 39 fully equipped isolation centers across the 36 States of the Country including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The sum of N4.19billion was spent in Building Isolation Centers. In addition, medical equipment such as PCR test kits for suspected cases of COVID-19 were procured along with other required medical items at a cost of N9.02billion.
- Food relief programs: As a way of cushioning the impact of the lockdown on vulnerable citizens, CACOVID provided palliatives in the form of essential food items to 1.7million households, which is equivalent to supporting 8 million Nigerians. A total of N28.76billion was spent procuring these food supplies.
- Communication plans: CACOVID also worked to improve awareness in rural communities on the COVID-19 virus, and the measures community health workers and other members of society should take when someone in the community is suspected of having symptoms similar to that of COVID-19. In lieu of this, expenses were incurred on Print, TV, radio, and social media as part of CACOVID communication plans.
Why this matters
The recent disclosure is in line with the principle of accountability and transparency, as the organization seeks to lay bare facts regarding expenditure incurred so far; thereby, nipping in the bud, suspicions and unfounded rumor.
What you should know
Due to the sudden global health challenge (COVID-19), which wreaked havoc on most economies of the world, coupled with declining oil prices and declined government revenue; the Bankers Committee, comprising the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Deposit Money Banks, as well as key stakeholders in the private sector came together to set up an alliance in March 2020, known as the Coalition Alliance Against COVID-19 (CACOVID).
The ultimate objective is working with the government to provide support in areas that would result in improved health and welfare for vulnerable Nigerians.
FG, Tiimafrica to provide $5,000 one-time grant to young business owners
FG partners Tiimafrica to provide a one-time grant of $5,000 to young Nigerians who run businesses.
The Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports, in partnership with Tiimafrica, has organized a one-time grant of $5,000 to Nigerians between the ages of 25 and 35, who run businesses and have 6 months financial records.
This disclosure was made by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, in a tweet via its official Twitter handle.
The tweet reads:
“Need to scale up your business? Tiimafrica in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports is giving out $5000 to young Nigerians between the ages of 25-35, who run a business and have 6 months financial records. Visit http://noya.ng or http://youthandsport.gov.ng to register #DEEL.”
Need to scale up your business? @tiimafrica in partnership with @NigeriaFMYS is giving out $5000 to young Nigerians between the ages of 25-35, who run a business and have 6 months financial records. Visit https://t.co/DTkReCuyEm or https://t.co/Er9CwYxHX4 to register #DEEL pic.twitter.com/6v5lGFv5PY
— Min of Youth& Sports (@NigeriaFMYS) November 25, 2020
Why this matters
The grant is an initiative under the Project Grow 100, set up by the Federal Government through a partnership between the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports and Tiimafrica to help small business owners access the much-needed funds required to take their businesses to the next level.
The initiative is expected to yield both direct and indirect gains to the economy and strengthen the resilience of young Nigerian business owners through the provision of funds to innovative and creative young entrepreneurs in the country.
What you should know
The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports and Tiimafrica outlined that those who would be considered for the one-time grant must meet the minimum requirement below:
- Applicants must be between 25 and 35 years old.
- Eligible applicants must be Nigerian.
- You must have been running a business within Nigeria.
- Your business must financial records of at least 6 months.
NAFDAC blacklists Indian manufacturer for falsified Ciproflaxin tablets
The DG of NAFDAC has disclosed that the agency has blacklisted Mars Remedies PVT Limited for manufacturing falsified Ciprofloxacin Tablets
Prof. Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye, the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has disclosed that the agency has blacklisted Mars Remedies PVT Limited, India.
According to the press release issued, the agency blacklisted Mars Remedies PVT Limited for manufacturing falsified Ciprofloxacin Tablets BP 500mg (NAFDAC REG. NO C4-0498) for Pinnacle Health Pharmaceutical Ltd, 16/18. Nuru Oniwo Street, Surulere, Lagos.
In view of the unprofessional practice, Prof. Adeyeye explained that all products manufactured by the Indian company will not be allowed into Nigeria with immediate effect.
According to Prof. Adeyeye, the variation in the formulation of the Ciprofloxacin 500mg tablets, which may impact the product quality and shelf-life, was not approved by the Agency before the changes were made.
This constitutes a violation of the NAFDAC Act, noting with dismay that the company has displayed a flagrant disregard for compliance with global standards necessary to assure the production of quality assured products. Therefore, the company has been blacklisted accordingly.
The Director-General wishes to warn all manufacturers and importers of medicines to adhere strictly to the conditions for which their products were registered by NAFDAC or face similar sanctions.
What you should know
This decision is a follow up to the notice sent to the Indian company, in a letter dated October 9, 2020 and addressed to the Managing Director of Mars Remedies PVT Limited, with the title; “Notice of blacklisting as a manufacturer of substandard and falsified medicines.”
The DG of NAFDAC, in the letter, reiterated the agency’s position of zero tolerance for substandard and falsified medicines preponderance in Nigeria, in fulfillment of the regulatory obligation to safeguard the health of the nation.
She explained that the company illegally manufactured different formulations of Ciprofloxacin tablets, instead of the approved formulation for export to Nigeria, and this is in violation of NAFDAC’s extant laws and regulations.