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Reps want HYPREP’s Account in Stanbic IBTC Bank frozen

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Reps rejects forensic audit bill

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The House of Representatives has recommended that the Ministry of Environment’s HYPREP’s Account in Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc be frozen, pending investigations on the status of the account.

This is contained in a report by the House ad hoc Committee on Treasury Single Account (TSA) which was adopted by the Committee of the Whole on Thursday.

NAN report that the ad hoc committee was set up to investigate the TSA and ascertain the proceeds, to enhance transparency, accountability and good governance.

The report recommended that the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) should immediately commence full reconciliation on the TSA.

It charged the agencies to determine the actual outstanding and defray all financial obligations due to the TSA services providers (Systemspecs and Collection Banks).

The report stated that MOF, OAGF and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should collaborate with the Systemspecs to activate the Foreign Currency Component of the TSA so as to ensure that the full gains of the policy is achieved.

It charged the agencies to mitigate against any loophole that may jeopardise the TSA policy.

The report said that payments of outside TSA such as sending manual payment mandate to CBN and transfer of large funds to a transit account at CBN or Data Base Management System (DBMS) accounts not belonging to the Federal Government and making payment from thereon should be suspended as it is seen as an attempt to circumvent the TSA Policy.

It said that applications for exemptions and waivers from all or any MDA’s fund and accounts must follow the guidelines on TSA implementation, dully approved and signed by the President only.

The report recommend that all existing exemptions and waivers granted to MDAs that do not conform with the guidelines should be declared illegal and the transactions carried out fraudulent.

It said that the OAGF should henceforth carry out a quarterly appraisal and reconciliation of the TSA and Consolidated Consolidation Account and publish reports on the performance and effectiveness of the TSA policy.

The report also stated that the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation (OAUGF) should carry out performance and financial audits on quarterly and annual basis and publish same for transparency and accountability.

It recommended that issues bordering on the Nigerian Ports Authority fund totaling 6.6 million Euros seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should be resolved immediately and the funds released to the appropriate owner.

The report stated that the EFCC should be informed in writing to immediately refund the same amount into the TSA account with CBN.

It recommended that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) should make full disclosure on the nature and status of the fund held in its Pension Fund domiciled in Aso Savings and Loans Plc and Unity Bank with immediate effect.

The report also stated that the MOF, OAGF and the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) should make a definite and appropriate categorisation of the BRASS LNG Dividends as a Federation Account item or as an Independent Revenue of the federal government.

It recommended that the revenue collection arrangement entered into by the Industrial Training Fund with Puzzle Technologies Limited be suspended and the MOF, OAGF should immediately conduct an investigation into the circumstance of the arrangement.

The report stated that there should be immediate takeover of the assets used for the Asset Swap for the Aso Savings & Loans Plc debt owed various MDAs.

It recommended that the MOF and OAGF should be communicated to immediately inform the affected MDAs to take advantage of the offer.

The report stated that subsequent funding and expenditure of the BRASS LNG Project be done based on approved budgetary provisions by Appropriations Acts and the funding shall be done through the FAAC and CRF Account.

It stated that MDAs that relate with Foreign Bodies, Development Banks and Corporate Entities should be noted for their peculiarities and recommend waivers and exemptions to the TSA Policy.

The MDAs include, Nexim Bank, Bank of Industry, Federal Mortgage Bank, Bank of Agriculture, West African Examinations Council (WAEC) Nigeria Football Federation, among others.

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CATHOLIC WORLD

Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes

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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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NATIONAL NEWS

CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.

“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?

“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.

“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.

“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”

Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.

“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.

“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike

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Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.

The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.

Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.

Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).

The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”

On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.

The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.

“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.

The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”

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