N37.1bn fraud: I served responsibly, says Buhari’s minister of Humanitarian Affairs

A former Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, has denied knowing a contractor, James Okwete, who was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for allegedly laundering N37bn.

She also said she served as a minister with every sense of responsibility and would defend her actions whenever called upon to do so.

Umar-Farouk made the rebuttal on Monday in a message posted on X (formerly Twitter).

This is as the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria called for the  prosecution of all those involved.

The PUNCH had exclusively reported that details of an ongoing EFCC probe revealed that N37bn was transferred from the Federal Government’s coffers and sent to 38 different bank accounts domiciled in five legacy commercial banks belonging to or connected with Okwete.

Responding to the development on Monday, Umar-Farouk said, “There have been a number of reports linking me  to a purported investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission into the activities of one James Okwete, someone completely unknown to me.

“James Okwete neither worked for, nor represented me in any way whatsoever. The linkages and associations to my person are spurious. While I resist the urge to engage in any media trial whatsoever, I have however contacted my legal team to explore possible options to seek redress on the malicious attack on my person.

“I remain proud to have served my country as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with every sense of responsibility and would defend my actions, stewardship and programmes during my tenure whenever I am called upon to do so.”

Sunday PUNCH had reported that the EFCC uncovered N37bn allegedly laundered in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs under former minister, Umar-Farouk.

Details of the ongoing probe exclusively obtained by Sunday PUNCH revealed that the money was transferred from the Federal Government’s coffers and sent to 38 different bank accounts domiciled in five legacy commercial banks belonging to or connected with the contractor,  Okwete.

Following receipt of the funds, Okwete allegedly transferred N6,746,034,000.00 to Bureau De Change Operators, withdrew N540,000,000.00 in cash, purchased luxury cars with N288,348,600.00, and bought luxury houses in Abuja and Enugu State with N2,195,115,000.00.

Meanwhile, competent EFCC sources confirmed to The PUNCH that  Okwete was arrested by operatives of the anti-graft agency and is currently detained at the commission’s headquarters, Jabbi, Abuja over the ongoing probe.

The PUNCH reports that the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs currently serves as the parent ministry to eight agencies, including the National Social Investment Office, the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, and the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internationally Displaced Persons, among others.

Umar-Farouq was the pioneer Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development. She was appointed by former President Muhammadu Buhari in July 2019 as the youngest cabinet member.

HURIWA seeks thorough investigation

Meanwhile, in response to the revelation, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria has called for the  prosecution of all those involved.

The group’s position was contained in a statement by its National Coor­dinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, on Sunday.

The statement read in part, “Corrup­tion in any form, especially with­in government ministries tasked with providing essential services to the less-privileged, is a gross violation of public trust.

“We call on the relevant authorities to expedite the legal process and ensure that those responsible face the consequences of their actions.

“The allegations against Umar-Farouk follow previous revelations by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, which uncovered N2.67 bn meant for the ministry’s school feeding programme in pri­vate bank accounts.

“We express deep concern over the recurring incidents of financial mismanagement within ministries meant to address critical societal needs.”

(Daily Post)

Join our new WhatsApp community! Click this link to receive your daily dose of NEWS FLASH content. We also treat our community members to special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners. If you don’t like our community, you can check out any time you like.

Nigerian Dailies: 10 talking points this Monday

Good morning! Here is today’s summary from Nigerian Newspapers:

1. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested a contractor, James Okwete, in connection with the ongoing probe into the N37bn allegedly laundered by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development under former Minister, Sadiya Umar-Farouk.

2. Embattled former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria on Sunday denied a report by Central Bank of Nigeria’s private investigator, Jim Obazee, that he lodged £543, 482,213 in fixed deposits in UK banks alone without authorisation, among other allegations. Emefiele made this known in a statement on Sunday night.

3. Ogun State Police Command has said the police officer whose shot accidentally hit a Nollywood actor and director, Azeez Ijaduade, in Iperu Remo, Ikenne Local Government Area of the state on Sunday will face disciplinary action. The state Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alamutu, exclusively made this known to our correspondent.

4. President Bola Tinubu, on Sunday, again urged Nigerians to be patient with his administration, pledging that the country would “shortly emerge into a new dawn of prosperity, peace, and irreversible progress.” The President said he would continue to roll out more palliative measures to ease the hardship occasioned by the discontinuance of petrol subsidy, and the unification of the exchange rate, among other economic reforms of his administration.

5. At least 11 persons have been confirmed dead following a fatal road accident at the Kwanar Gujungu town in Jigawa State. The Jigawa State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Lawan Shiitu Adam, confirmed the incident in a statement on Sunday.

6. The Yolde Pate Correctional Centre has recorded 51 cases of scabies among inmates in Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa state. The state epidemiologist, Damba Kwinke, from the Ministry of Health, who gave the confirmation, said the first case was recorded in August 2023.

7. Nyesom Wike, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has said he did not invite President Bola Tinubu to intervene in the political crisis in Rivers State. Wike disclosed this on Sunday while addressing a congregation during a thanksgiving ceremony for the immediate past Commissioner for Works in Rivers State, George Kelly Alabo, at the Kings’ Assembly in Port Harcourt.

8. The Lagos State government has shut down a popular nightclub, Quilox. It was learnt the club was closed down for causing severe traffic congestion in the vicinity.

9. The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says it has arrested five persons impersonating its operatives in Edo State. Director, Media and Advocacy, NDLEA Headquarters, Abuja, Femi Babafemi, on Sunday said the suspects, who were putting on the agency’s operational jackets, were arrested with a fabricated gun and pistol carved from wood.

10. A former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Kingsley Moghalu, has declared that the embattled ex-CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, is the worst the apex bank has ever produced in the history of the country. Moghalu, in a lengthy post on “X” via his verified handle, gave reasons for his personal judgement.

(Daily Post)

Join our new WhatsApp community! Click this link to receive your daily dose of NEWS FLASH content. We also treat our community members to special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners. If you don’t like our community, you can check out any time you like.

Kwara, Imo govs head economic affairs, oil theft committees

Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and his Imo State counterpart, Hope Uzodimma, have been named as the chairmen of the Economic Affairs Committee and the Crude oil Theft and Management Committee of the National Economic Council.

The announcement was made by the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, at the 138th meeting of NEC which held virtually on Thursday.

A Government House statement made available to Sunday PUNCH in Ilorin, Kwara State on Saturday said that the committees were saddled with the task of preparing a clear roadmap for dealing with petroleum subsidy, including a framework for defending wage negotiations and exchange rate management.

Other functions are listed as fiscal consolidation sustainability, liquidity management and inflation, medium term investment and growth, fiscal transparency and accountability, as well as state of emergency on food production for 2024.

Recall that Abdulrazaq is the current chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum.

“Members of Governor AbdulRazaq’s committee according to the statement are the Gombe State Governor, representing North-East; Governor of Lagos (South-West); the Governor of Akwa Ibom (South-South); the Governor of Anambra (South-East); the Governor of Niger (North-Central), and Governor of Kaduna (North-West).

“Special Adviser to the President on NEC and Climate Change, Rukaiya El-Rufai, is to serve as Secretary, the statement indicated.

“The second committee on Crude Oil Theft and Management is an existing NEC committee which has been reconstituted with Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State as the chairman.

“Other members are the Governor of Ogun State representing South-West; the Governor of Plateau State (North-Central); the Governor of Rivers (South-South) Governor of Borno (North-East); Governor of Jigawa State (North-West); the Governor of Abia State (South-East); Minister of Budget and Economic Planning; Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy; CBN Governor; GCEO of NNPCL, NDDC Chairman, and Service Chiefs.

“The Secretariat will be domiciled at the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning and the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr Tope Fasua will serve on the committee, the statement further said.

“Part of the Government house statement reads: Meanwhile, following deliberations on critical economic matters and assessments of potential short-term, medium and long-term strategies for addressing pressing economic issues, NEC set up the committees on Economic Affairs, as well as the committee on Crude Oil Theft And Management.

“Both committees are to be headed by Kwara State Governor, Alh AbdulRahman AbdulRazak, and his Imo State counterpart, Senator Hope Uzodimma, respectively.”

(Punch)

Join our new WhatsApp community! Click this link to receive your daily dose of NEWS FLASH content. We also treat our community members to special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners. If you don’t like our community, you can check out any time you like.

Nigerian student jailed 40 months in UK over bomb threat

A 26-year-old Nigerian Master’s student at Dundee University, Scotland, Somtochukwu Okwuoha, has been sentenced to 40 months in prison for making terrorist threats against staff and students of the school.

According to a BBC report, Okwuoha, an international energy studies student, would also be deported after a Peth Sheriff Court found him guilty of the charge.

Witnesses revealed how the student had claimed to have a military background and was capable of making bombs and unleashing a deadly virus on the city.

Okwuoha, who arrived in the United Kingdom in 2021, also stated that he had enlisted the terror group, ISIS, to help bomb the university and told staff of his plan to target the city in a chemical attack.

Sheriff William Wood said, “Your presence in the United Kingdom is not conducive to the public good, and I make a recommendation for your deportation in due course.

“You were abusive towards her and tried to have her removed from her university course,” after he had threatened a fellow female student who refused his advances.

“The university decided to suspend you from your course and you turned your attention towards staff. You threatened mass murder, terrorism, said you would plant bombs and use biological weapons,” the charge read.

Okwuoha, a prisoner at Perth, was found guilty of threatening to murder staff at the university and committing terrorist crimes between December 2021 and June 2022.

He was found guilty of threatening to commit mass murder, using biological weapons, revealing staff details to international authorities and claiming to have planted bombs.

He was also found guilty of threatening to behead police officers and detonate bombs he had planted at Dundee University.

(Punch)

Join our new WhatsApp community! Click this link to receive your daily dose of NEWS FLASH content. We also treat our community members to special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners. If you don’t like our community, you can check out any time you like.

Emefiele, ex-minister, 14 others indicted in CBN probe

  • Investigator’s report shows massive plunder of apex bank
  • N31.78b paid to print new naira notes
  • £543.45m fixed in British bank
  • N1.62tr COVID-19 funds unaccounted for

Former Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele and a minister are to face trial over the scandal that rocked the apex bank in the last one year, it was learnt yesterday.

After a five-month probe, Emefiele, the minister and 14 others who have been implicated in over N26.6 trillion fraud, have been recommended for trial.

Those implicated include former and serving top officials of the apex bank.

No fewer than 16 former government and CBN officials were alleged to have indulged in fraudulent use of ‘Ways and Means,’ which stood at N26.627 trillion.

Also, a former influential aide of former President Muhammadu Buhari may be arraigned with Emefiele.

In September 2022, the aide had allegedly told Emefiele to proceed with the naira redesign.

The printing of the new notes cost N61.5 bilion out of which N31.79 billion has been paid.

There were indications that the aide also sold a “dummy” to the former president.

Preliminary investigations into the activities of the CBN and related entities revealed many infractions, including the violation of the apex bank’s Act, alleged looting, diversion of funds and sidelining of the Board of Directors.

Other allegations were lack of presidential approval, extra budgetary spending, forgery, concealment, stealing, conspiracy and fraud.

Some documents available to The Nation, based on the report by the Office of Special Investigator, gave insights into how the rot in the CBN was perpetrated.

The Special Investigator on CBN and Related Entities, Mr. Jim Obazee, was appointed in July, 2023.

He submitted an Interim Report on December 9, 2023.

It was learnt that the final report was submitted to the President on the December 20.

The investigations exposed what a source described as a “monumental scandal”

Some documents, available to The Nation, contain some highlights of the first phase of the probe of accounts and operations of the CBN.

It was discovered that Emefiele invested public money (billions of dollars) in 593 accounts in the United States, China and the United Kingdom without authorisation.

In the UK alone, Emefiele kept £543,482, 213 in fixed deposits without authorisation by the CBN Board and the Investment Committee.

Also, about N1.7 trillion spent on COVID 19 intervention management did not get to the right beneficiaries.

Ways and Means

A major breakthrough in the probe of the CBN was the manipulation of “Ways and Means” by Emefiele and his team.

Investigations showed that the former CBN governor and those who worked with him could not produce evidence of “Ways and Means,” which now stands at N26.627trillion.

It was found out that there were instances of arbitrariness where there was no presidential approval, but billions of Naira were taken out from the nation’s Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) account.

 Some of the findings were as follows: “The CBN officers and even the then Acting CBN Governor could not produce the presidential approval of most of the expenses described as “Ways and Means”.

“When confronted to provide  the breakdown of the supposed N22,719,703,774,306.90 that was presented to the 9th  National Assembly to illegally securitise as “Ways and Means” financing, they were only able to partially explain a total of N9,063,286,720,318.92 or N9,258,040,720,318.92 (depending on which official you are considering his submission) and an  unreasonable attribution of non-negotiated/unadvised interest element of N6,678,874,321,541.97. This shows the point where the officers of the immediate past administration as well the erstwhile CBN governor and others connived, defrauded and stole from the common wealth of the country with the aid of civil servants.

“The true position of the “Ways and Means” as documented from the reconciliation between the CBN and the Ministry of Finance at the time is N4, 449, 149, 411. 584.54. This may have been the main reason the past administration hurriedly sought that the advances of N22,719,703,774,306.90 be securitised by the 9th National Assembly on the 19th December 2022; which they also hurriedly did despite the fact that it contravenes Section 38 of the CBN Act, 2007.”

“The probe showed that the CBN Governor on the 19th December 2022 “ signed an advice to the former President Muhammadu Buhari to restructure “Ways and Means” of N23,719,703,774,306.90, despite presenting a different figure to the National Assembly on the same date.

“The fact that the balance of the “Ways and Means” was documented as N26.63 trillion as at June 8, 2023 by the erstwhile CBN Governor shows an unrepentant attitude of the management of the CBN because they continued to carry the “Temporary Advances to the Federal Government” as a running current account, despite the obvious contravention of Section 38 of the CBN Act, 2007, which they swore to uphold,” the document said.

Naira redesign

Obazee, who worked with different teams of crack detectives, also uncovered the intrigues behind the naira redesign, which almost led to the collapse of the nation’s economy.

The outcome of the investigation confirmed that an ex-presidential aide gave the directive to Emefiele.

Section 19(1) of the CBN Act requires that “Naira notes and coins shall be of such forms and designs and bear such devises as shall be approved by the President on the recommendation of the Board of the CBN.”

It was unclear the circumstances under which the former presidential aide allegedly gave instructions to Emefiele.

A document said:  “The Naira Redesign was not approved by the Board of CBN and President Muhammadu Buhari in accordance with the law. Buhari only tagged along. Sometimes in September 2022, the erstwhile Governor of the CBN claimed that during his visit to the Presidential Villa, one of the presidential aides told him to go and consider redesigning the Naira.

“On 6th of October, 2022, Emefiele wrote Buhari seeking approval to redesign and reconfigure N1,000, N500, N200 and N100 notes. Buhari approved the proposal same day. But Buhari approved the currency be printed in Nigeria.

“On that 6th October 2022, former President Muhammadu Buhari approved Emefiele’s request and directed that he should redesign and reconfigure the four denominations of the Naira notes as prayed, but should print them locally.

“Emefiele did not consult with the management of the CBN or seek any recommendation from the Board of the CBN as required by Section 19 of the CBN Act, 2007.

“Emefiele did not seek the recommendation of the Board of the CBN nor revert to former President Muhammadu Buhari to inform him nor seek his presidential approval for the new redesigns and the fact that he is now recommending only three denominations

“Emefiele took the redesigns, a mere change of colour to De La Rue in UK for a fee of £205,000. Only N1, 000, N500 and N200 were redesigned.

“As at August 9, 2023, N769 billion of the new notes were in circulation. The printing cost was N61.5 billion, out of which N31.79 billion has been paid.

In a separate document, the probe confirmed the investment of billions of dollars in 593 foreign accounts in the United States, China and the United Kingdom without approval from the board or the President.

“The former governor of the CBN invested Nigeria’s money without authorisation in 593 foreign accounts in the United States, China and the United Kingdom while he was in charge.

“All the accounts where the billions were lodged have all been traced by the investigator, In the UK alone, Emefiele kept £543,482, 213 in fixed deposits without authorization by the CBN board and the Investment Committee of the bank,” the document added

COVID-19 intervention funds

Another scandal which was unearthed was the inability to trace about N1.62 trillion COVID-19 intervention funds.

It was discovered that “the N1,622,119,412,095.16 was surreptitiously transferred to the following individuals and organizations: Police Trust Fund(N29,750,000,000.00); Companies and individuals (N22,680, 275, 135.45); borrowed for salaries (N720, 682,827,000.00); Donations to public (N40,000,000,000.00); Office of Accountant-General of the Federation (N196, 190,789,994.72); MDAs (N303,514, 294,725.21); and others (N293,986, 243,831.39).

Diversion of N17b by DMB

On the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), the former CBN Governor was accused of unlawful manipulation of the approval of the President.

Investigation indicated that 14 Deposit Money Banks (DMB) were involved in what is termed “criminal diversion of N17, 232,349, 193.55.

But the list of the 14 banks was still kept under wraps as at press time.

A source said: “We have the list which includes some rated banks. But at the appropriate time, Nigerians will know them.”

Two of the banks are to refund over N3 billion each.

The least amount to be refunded is N8, 902, 081 by a reputable bank.

Also a web management firm is to refund N4.8 billion, being the sum said to have been illegally diverted from NESI Stabilisation Strategy Limited.

Explaining what Emefiele did, the synopsis of the investigation on NESI was as follows: “The Presidential Approval granted by the then President Goodluck Jonathan was rightly stated by him that NESI should be a Company Limited by Guarantee, but the Committee of Governors misled the Board of the Central Bank of Nigeria by inter-alia:

“Relying on a non-existent advice by the Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, to incorporate a Company Limited by Shares for which the Allotted Share Capital exceeded the Authorized Share Capital (See 380% Meeting of the Committee of Governors held in January 2015); and

 ”Allotting unauthorised share capital without lawful approval by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Investigation also spotted illegal Issuance of Debentures by NESI Stabilisation Strategy Limited.

“There was misrepresentation of Presidential Approval (NESI Stabilisation Strategy Limited). NESI, as approved by former President Goodluck Jonathan, was supposed to be an SPV limited by Guarantee, but Emefiele, relying on a non-existent advice, made it a company limited by shares.

“By law, an SPV cannot issue Debentures, as it is precluded from forming a Debenture Trust. Worse still, a virgin entity without any operational track record cannot issue Debentures as it has no trading or earnings history to justify the requirements of the Debenture issue.

“Despite these, the Committee of Governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria on the date of its Meeting of 21st  January 2015,  caused a violation of Section 31 of the CBN Act, 2007 by authorising the issuance of Debentures by NESI Stabilization Strategy Limited to which the initial sum of N64,861,954,000.00 (Sixty Four Billion, Eight Hundred and Sixty One Million, Nine Hundred and Fifty Four Thousand Only), was diverted from Public Funds under the guise of Debenture issuance. This practice has grown to N952,414,745,000 (Nine Hundred and Fifty Two Billion, Four Hundred and Fourteen Million, Seven  Hundred and Forty Five Thousand Naira Only) by the Financial Year end 2021”, the document added.

“N1.325billion was stolen pre-incorporation and the money was funneled to four companies, including a legal firm which got N300 million.”

The note on the allegations against some banks read: “A total of 14 DMBs engaged in the manipulation by unlawfully arranging and collecting 1.9535 percent of the total disbursements paid to the DMBs participating in the Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilisation facility.

“The fees are paid to the banks in the ratio of their contributions to the NEMSF disbursement, according to External Auditor’s Notes to the Financial] Statement of NESI Stabilisation Strategy Limited.”

Also, a firm linked with some CBN officials was paid N4, 897,789,000 allegedly “illegally diverted from NESI Stabilisation Strategy Limited.”

(Nation)

Join our new WhatsApp community! Click this link to receive your daily dose of NEWS FLASH content. We also treat our community members to special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners. If you don’t like our community, you can check out any time you like.

Don’t hand over P’Harcourt refinery to cabal, NLC warns FG

The Nigeria Labour Congress has warned against a possible takeover of the Port Harcourt Refinery by cabals of government.

The union also demanded an audit of the refinery and called on the Federal Government to purge the refinery of “elements” that led to its collapse in the first instance.

NLC Head of Information, Benson Upah, made this known in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja.

Saturday PUNCH reports that the Federal Government on Thursday announced the “mechanical completion” and the “flare start-off” of the country’s biggest crude refinery in Port Harcourt.

The Minister of state for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, made the announcement during a media tour of the Port Harcourt refinery on Thursday.

“Just to announce to Nigerians the fulfilment of our pledge to bring on stream Phase One of the Port Harcourt refinery by the end of 2023 and the subsequent streaming of Phase Two in 2024. We happily announced the mechanical completion and the flare start-off on the 20th of December 2023,” Lokpobiri said on Thursday.

The Port Harcourt Refinery comprises two units, with the old plant having a refining capacity of 60,000 barrels per day and the new plant 150,000 bpd, both summing up to 210,000 bpd.

The facility shut down in March 2019 for the first phase of repair works after the government secured the service of Italy’s Maire Tecnimont to handle the review of the refinery complex, with oil major, Eni, appointed as technical adviser.

Speaking on Thursday, the minister explained that production of petroleum products at the refinery would commence after the Christmas break.

Commenting on the matter, NLC’s Upah said, “Indeed, if it has commenced operation after countless rescheduling, it will be a plus for this government.

“As you graciously pointed out, we have over the years rooted for domestic refining for obvious advantages; cheaper products, multiplicity of products, jobs, product security/availability and more income.

“Some privileged Nigerians routinely sabotage our local refineries for their personal gains so they could be richer than our country makes Nigeria a paradise of crimes and sins with no redeeming qualities.

“While we at the Nigeria Labour Congress would like to commend the authorities for resumed operations, we would like to make the point that it is not enough to resume operations, the place must be purged of the people, habits and crimes that brought it to its knees in the first place.

“We must also warn against the implementation of devilish designs by the all-too-familiar cabal to start operations, collapse the refineries as inoperable to sell them off as scraps to themselves.”

On his part, the National Deputy President of the Trade Union Congress, Tommy Etim, said, “I cannot confirm whether it is true until we visit the Port Harcourt refinery as agreed with the Federal Government.”

On whether a date has been fixed for visitation, Etim said, “no date fixed yet.”

(Punch)

Join our new WhatsApp community! Click this link to receive your daily dose of NEWS FLASH content. We also treat our community members to special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners. If you don’t like our community, you can check out any time you like.

Nigeria’s unemployment rate rises to 4.2 per cent in Q2 2023 – NBS

Nigeria’s unemployment rate increased by 0.1 per cent to 4.2 per cent in the second quarter from 4.1 per cent in Q1 2023.

The National Bureau of Statistics latest report on Nigeria Labour Survey Force Q2 2023 disclosed.

According to NBS the employment-to-population ratio was 77.1 per cent in Q2 2023 and the combined rate of unemployment, time-related underemployment as a share of the labour force population, stood at 15.5 per cent in the period under review.

It noted that the unemployment rate among youth aged (15-24 years) in Q2 2023 increased to 7.2 per cent from 6.9 per cent in Q1 2023.

The data further showed that most workers in Nigeria, around 88.0 per cent were in self-employment in Q2 2023.

Meanwhile, only 12 per cent proportion of workers are in Wage Employment in the period under study.

In perspective, the informal employment rate in Q2 2023 stood at 92.7 per cent.

The report added that the Unemployment rate in urban areas increased to 5.9 per cent in Q2 2023 from 5.4 per cent in the previous quarter.

“The unemployment rate in Q2 2023 was 4.2 per cent, this is an increase of 0.1 per cent from the figure recorded in Q1 2023 (4.1 per cent).

“The labour force participation rate among the working-age population remained high at 80.4 per cent in Q2 2023.The employment-to-population ratio was 77.1 per cent in Q2 2023.The combined rate of unemployment and time-related underemployment as a share of the labour force population (LU2) was 15.5 per cent in Q2 2023.

“The rate of unemployment among persons with post-secondary education was 8 per cent in Q2 2023.The Unemployment rate among youth aged (15-24 years) in Q2 2023 was 7.2 per cent having been at 6.9 per cent in Q1 2023.

“The Unemployment rate in urban areas was 5.9 per cent in Q2 2023, an increase from 5.4 per cent in Q1 2023.Time-related underemployment in Q2 2023 was 11.8 per cent. 8 per cent of the working-age population were in subsistence agriculture.

“The Informal employment rate in Q2 2023 was 92.7 per cent. Percentage of youth Not in Employment, Education nor Training (NEET Rate) was 13.8 per cent,” NBS stated.

(Daily Post)

Join our new WhatsApp community! Click this link to receive your daily dose of NEWS FLASH content. We also treat our community members to special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners. If you don’t like our community, you can check out any time you like.

I’ll return governance to Edo people, says Shaibu

The Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, on Wednesday, said the need to bring governance back to the people spurred his desire to vie for the governorship in 2024.

Speaking with journalists at his residence during his annual hosting of media practitioners in Benin, the deputy governor said if elected as governor, he would partner the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Edo State Council on affordable housing scheme for its members in the state.
  
Shaibu said civil servants, journalists inclusive are always agitated when approaching their retirement age because most times they don’t have their personal houses they would retire to.
  
He said, “We need to bring governance back to the people, this spurred my desire to vie for the governorship in 2024. We are taking our state back and we are returning government to our people.

“We are taking it from the elite and back to the downtrodden because the truth is that the government is for all of us because in advance countries, the rich pay more taxes to be able to service the system.
  
“We want to return back to what it is , the downtrodden and the real Edo people must feel government and that is why I am contesting this election.
  
“I am contesting it to return it back to the people and fortunately, I am in the party that believes in the people and I can tell you when I speaking, I am not speaking the words of Philip, I am speaking because God has given me the authority to speak and I am telling you it will come to pass and it is not coming to pass because of me but because of all of us.”
  
He added, “By the grace of God, as governor of Edo State, next year, I will make sure that what we have been struggling to get and we have not gotten, housing, I will make it available for all of us in the NUJ.
 
” I discovered also that majority of our civil servants and public servants, when retirement is getting close, you see, some of them start having high blood pressure, some of them become moody, and it is like the world is coming to an end and when you try to find out from some of them, some of them will tell you, when I retire now, how am I going to be paying my rent?
  
“Number one of their priority is always rent because some of them have not been able to built shelters for themselves and they are going into retirement and they are not sure of what is going to happen next and for me, I think that aspect has to be taken care of.
 
“So, as NUJ, we will partner to make sure that housing is available and affordable for you.”

(Punch)

Join our new WhatsApp community! Click this link to receive your daily dose of NEWS FLASH content. We also treat our community members to special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners. If you don’t like our community, you can check out any time you like.

Shun ethnic, religious divisions, Peter Obi urges Nigerians

The Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has urged Nigerians to tear down the walls of ethnic and religious divisions, stating that these barriers have continuously impeded the nations’ unity and progress.

Obi stated this while celebrating the International Human Solidarity Day in a series of tweet on his X handle on Wednesday.

He wrote, “Today, we join the global community in celebrating  the International Human Solidarity Day which is dedicated to strengthening our global unity in diversity, and to help in fostering international cooperation on the eradication of hunger and diseases at the global level.

“On the national level, Nigerians need to solemnly remind ourselves of the need to tear down the walls of ethnic and religious divisions that have continued to divide us and instead emphasize our unity and leverage our diverse and rich cultural and ethnic identities and strengths to advance our national progress.”

The former Anambra State Governor further stated that Nigeria, as a “result of bad politics and elite insensitivity”, has become more divided than ever, making it difficult for people to work together for national development.

He wrote, “Unfortunately, we have, today as a nation, become more sharply divided than ever. Our dear nation is more polarised today than it has ever been, fueled by overwhelming tribal and religious sentiments among the people resulting in the unwillingness of Nigerians to cooperate and work together towards achieving national growth and development. This is clearly the result of bad politics and elite insensitivity.

“I, therefore, wish to use this occasion to remind Nigerians that the problems of hunger, poverty, and inequality are not specific to a particular ethnicity or religion, but cut across the nation. Thus, the task ahead of us, as political leaders and as citizens, is to continue to beat the drums of unity, social justice, and social equality to form one united front that will stand in solidarity against the many challenges that confront our nation.”

(Punch)

Join our new WhatsApp community! Click this link to receive your daily dose of NEWS FLASH content. We also treat our community members to special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners. If you don’t like our community, you can check out any time you like.

Nigerian Dailies: 10 talking points this Tuesday

Good morning! Here is today’s summary from Nigerian Newspapers:

1. The presidential intervention in the Rivers State political crisis achieved a headway on Monday, December 18, with sides in the impasse given instructions on moving forward. President Bola Tinubu met with the sides involved in the crisis and secured commitments from them to abide by a set of eight resolutions reached at the parley.

2. President Bola Tinubu inaugurated the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL, on Monday, December 18. He tasked members to immediately get to work and warned that non-performance will not be tolerated. Speaking during the inauguration, Tinubu warned that conduct suggesting a sense of entitlement will not be tolerated.

3. No fewer than two people were reportedly killed, while valuables worth millions of Naira were also destroyed in a Monday morning inferno at one of the buildings in the Opadoyin compound of a former governor of Oyo State, late Adebayo Alao-Akala. According to a source, the inferno started around 7:50 am.

4. There are indications that the National Assembly may pass the 2024 budget of N27.5tn on Saturday as about 541 ministries, departments, and agencies of the Federal Government conclude their defence. The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Adeola Solomon, said the Senate would resume plenary on Wednesday to begin the process.

5. A yet-to-be identified husband allegedly murdered his wife in the Olota area of the Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos over her failure to cook his meal last Thursday. It was learnt on Monday that trouble started when the husband, who was said to have returned from work, discovered that the wife only prepared noodles rather than his favourite meal.

6. Operatives of the Delta State Police Command have foiled an attempted kidnapping and armed robbery. They also recovered two AK-47 rifles with 13 rounds of 7.62mm live ammunition from the suspects. The security operatives reportedly recovered the exhibits from where the culprits concealed them inside a vehicle engine compartment and in the trunk of the car.

7. The Vatican on Monday approved blessings for same-sex couples, a hugely contested issue in the Catholic Church, as long as they are not in contexts related to civil unions or weddings. In a document approved by Pope Francis, the Vatican backed “the possibility of blessings for couples in irregular situations (including unmarried couples or divorcees) and for couples of the same sex”.

8. The Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, says it has deployed its entire workforce, including Special Marshals to the highways to ensure hitch-free movement of commuters across the country during the yuletide. A statement by Deputy Corps Marshal, Bisi Kazeem, on Monday in Abuja, said the personnel would combat traffic gridlock and ensure zero road traffic crashes.

9. A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, has issued an order freezing the accounts of the Oyo State Government in ten commercial banks in the country. The order was issued by Justice A. O. Ebong in a ruling on a garnishee proceeding initiated by ex-council leaders in Oyo State, who were sacked on May 29, 2019, by Governor Seyi Makinde.

10. The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Monday dismissed the petition by the All Progressives Congress, APC, and its governorship candidate, Senator Aisha Dahiru Binani seeking to invalidate the election of Umar Ahmadu Fintiri as the duly elected governor of Adamawa State.

(Daily Post)

Join our new WhatsApp community! Click this link to receive your daily dose of NEWS FLASH content. We also treat our community members to special offers, promotions, and adverts from us and our partners. If you don’t like our community, you can check out any time you like.

Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial