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Corruption: Lawan Seeks UN’s Assistance On Repatriation Of Looted Funds

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President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has sought the assistance of the United Nations on the repatriation of looted funds back to Nigeria.

Lawan made the appeal on Wednesday when the United Nations Country delegation paid a visit to his office at the National Assembly, Abuja.

The Senate President, while responding to anti-graft concerns raised by the visiting delegation, said that the fight against corruption in Nigeria continues to suffer setbacks as a result of the inability of the federal government to repatriate looted funds stashed away in foreign countries across the world.

According to Lawan, such resources, if at the disposal of the government, would go a long way towards addressing critical developmental and infrastructural deficits faced by the nation.

“The head of the delegation has raised a lot of issues, and these are important and very relevant issues to us.

“When we fight corruption, we do so within and outside. So much of Nigeria’s resources have been taken out of the country.

“But even when we identify embezzled funds, to get them back to Nigeria is a big deal. And in fact, we are suffering from that for years.

“We have had few occasions when we received some repatriation, but the bulk is still out there.

“We need UN to help us, because the kind of resources that are alleged to have been taken out of Nigeria will make the country a rich country if they are repatriated,” Lawan said.

“We have never been a rich country, comparing the resources we have had, and the development challenges facing us till date.

“We are blessed and endowed, but we need every single kobo to be put into the development of this country,” the Senate President added.

The Senate President lamented further that due to unavailability of funds, the Federal Government resorted to obtaining domestic and foreign loans to fund capital projects in the 2020 budget.

Reacting to concerns raised over Nigeria’s rising population, Lawan said, “I believe that if we are able to use our population to build the capacity of our population, Nigeria’s population will be a blessing, not a curse or burden.

“It is our inability to provide for capacity building of the population, and addressing health issues and so on that makes Nigeria look like it is in bad shape.

On Nigeria’s readiness to meet the 2030 deadline for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Senate President said, “from the failures in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the past, the SDGs will definitely have a better treatment in the country, because our failures in the past has shown us our areas of weaknesses.

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“Already, we are trying to work hard between the parliament and the executive arm of government to close ranks, to focus and remain on those issues out of the seventeen, that will have spin-over effects on others.”

Lawan, expressed appreciation to the United Nations for its “supportive” role to Nigeria in response to the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease in the country.

“We appreciate the role you play in our country. The UN has been so supportive in many ways, and of course, the recent support you have given is in the area of our response to COVID – 19.

“We started slowly in our response, but I think as a country we are now responding very well, and thank God we are also lucky we have very few incidents.

“There are countries that are more developed than Nigeria that are in a very dire situation as far as the COVID-19 menace is concerned,” he said.

Earlier, leader of the United Nations delegation, Edward Kallon said the UN invests about $750m on development assistance per annum in Nigeria.

He added that, “the UN is also very active on the humanitarian front in the country and our support to northeast Nigeria, the epicenter of the crisis in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

“We have been investing from $945m in 2017 to $878m in 2018, and $714m in 2019, and on an annual basis, the UN and its partners are assisting around 5.5m people in northeast Nigeria.

“The total number of people in need of humanitarian assistance this year has varied from 6.2 million to 7.9 million as we speak.”

Kallon, while highlighting the major developmental challenges facing Nigeria said, “The UN is concerned about some megatrends that we feel is affecting Nigeria’s development.

“One is our concern about the explosive population growth visa vis the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Growth rate.

“As you are aware, Your Excellency, the population is growing at the rate of about 2.6 percent, and the economy is growing sluggishly at about 2 or 2.1 percent.

“The second megatrend is multi-dimensional poverty and increasing inequality, which is a major concern for us.

“If you look at the population growth and the GDP growth rate, what it is telling us is that more Nigerians are being born into poverty, and the figures are alarming and is a serious concern.

“The third megatrend is corruption and illicit financial flows, which your government is working very hard to combat.”

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has sought the assistance of the United Nations on the repatriation of looted funds back to Nigeria.

Lawan made the appeal on Wednesday when the United Nations Country delegation paid a visit to his office at the National Assembly, Abuja.

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The Senate President, while responding to anti-graft concerns raised by the visiting delegation, said that the fight against corruption in Nigeria continues to suffer setbacks as a result of the inability of the federal government to repatriate looted funds stashed away in foreign countries across the world.

According to Lawan, such resources, if at the disposal of the government, would go a long way towards addressing critical developmental and infrastructural deficits faced by the nation.

“The head of the delegation has raised a lot of issues, and these are important and very relevant issues to us.

“When we fight corruption, we do so within and outside. So much of Nigeria’s resources have been taken out of the country.

“But even when we identify embezzled funds, to get them back to Nigeria is a big deal. And in fact, we are suffering from that for years.

“We have had few occasions when we received some repatriation, but the bulk is still out there.

“We need UN to help us, because the kind of resources that are alleged to have been taken out of Nigeria will make the country a rich country if they are repatriated,” Lawan said.

“We have never been a rich country, comparing the resources we have had, and the development challenges facing us till date.

“We are blessed and endowed, but we need every single kobo to be put into the development of this country,” the Senate President added.

The Senate President lamented further that due to unavailability of funds, the Federal Government resorted to obtaining domestic and foreign loans to fund capital projects in the 2020 budget.

Reacting to concerns raised over Nigeria’s rising population, Lawan said, “I believe that if we are able to use our population to build the capacity of our population, Nigeria’s population will be a blessing, not a curse or burden.

“It is our inability to provide for capacity building of the population, and addressing health issues and so on that makes Nigeria look like it is in bad shape.

On Nigeria’s readiness to meet the 2030 deadline for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Senate President said, “from the failures in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the past, the SDGs will definitely have a better treatment in the country, because our failures in the past has shown us our areas of weaknesses.

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“Already, we are trying to work hard between the parliament and the executive arm of government to close ranks, to focus and remain on those issues out of the seventeen, that will have spin-over effects on others.”

Lawan, expressed appreciation to the United Nations for its “supportive” role to Nigeria in response to the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease in the country.

“We appreciate the role you play in our country. The UN has been so supportive in many ways, and of course, the recent support you have given is in the area of our response to COVID – 19.

“We started slowly in our response, but I think as a country we are now responding very well, and thank God we are also lucky we have very few incidents.

“There are countries that are more developed than Nigeria that are in a very dire situation as far as the COVID-19 menace is concerned,” he said.

Earlier, leader of the United Nations delegation, Edward Kallon said the UN invests about $750m on development assistance per annum in Nigeria.

He added that, “the UN is also very active on the humanitarian front in the country and our support to northeast Nigeria, the epicenter of the crisis in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

“We have been investing from $945m in 2017 to $878m in 2018, and $714m in 2019, and on an annual basis, the UN and its partners are assisting around 5.5m people in northeast Nigeria.

“The total number of people in need of humanitarian assistance this year has varied from 6.2 million to 7.9 million as we speak.”

Kallon, while highlighting the major developmental challenges facing Nigeria said, “The UN is concerned about some megatrends that we feel is affecting Nigeria’s development.

“One is our concern about the explosive population growth visa vis the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Growth rate.

“As you are aware, Your Excellency, the population is growing at the rate of about 2.6 percent, and the economy is growing sluggishly at about 2 or 2.1 percent.

“The second megatrend is multi-dimensional poverty and increasing inequality, which is a major concern for us.

“If you look at the population growth and the GDP growth rate, what it is telling us is that more Nigerians are being born into poverty, and the figures are alarming and is a serious concern.

“The third megatrend is corruption and illicit financial flows, which your government is working very hard to combat.”

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Transition Committee: Did Soludo Make A Wrong Start? – Opinion

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Transition Committee: Did Soludo Make A Wrong Start? - Opinion
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Transition Committee: Did Soludo Make A Wrong Start? – Opinion

When the average person questions a Professor about a decision he has made, the Professor is likely to look down on the person & say: “you will not understand why I made this decision because…intellectuals make intellectual decisions”.

This is pure tautology.

The best management advice is to: ‘make it simple’.

If this is about the best management advice why is Professor Soludo not making it simple?

Therefore, while accolades have been pouring on Pro. for setting-up an 80-Member Transition Committee. I beg to differ.

*Is the 80-Member Transitional Committee, largely made up of academicians & technocrats, aimed at impressing or intimidation Ndi- Anambra?

*Is an 80-member Transition Committee not just too much for an incoming state administration?

*Whether it is a 20-Member or 40-Member Transitional Committee, the truth is that no administration can solve all the problems of a state in 4-years (even 8-year), so why 80-members?

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*How do you cordinate an 80-Member Transitional Committee? Will they ever seat in the same conference room together & can each of them all speak at a given seating?

*What about the cost to the state of having an 80-member Transitional Committee with most members not residing in the state?

*The entire ministries & agencies of a state government is not up to eighty. So, why have an 80-Member transition committee?

*Since civil servants are likely to be in charge of implementing the policies formulated by this committee why are they not widely represented in the composition of the committee?

*Where is the Prof’s area of focus or priority. Does he need the finding of the Transition Committee before he states his priority?

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*An incoming administration must have key areas that it must jumpstart when it comes into office, hopefully when these areas are jump-started they will help revive other sectors

*Constituting an 80-Member Transitional Committee might mean that Prof. did not think hard & through about the challenges facing the state.

*Constituting an 80-Member Transition Committee might mean that Prof. is not only going to be too cautious, but his pace will be bugged down by overt emphasis on data gathering.

*Some of this so called technocrats & intellectuals underperformed in their past assignment, while other did not leave lasting impact in their previous job.

*Some academic doctors are like parasites they are far too interested in gathering materials for their next academic paper than they are willing to give useful advice.

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*It is unfortunate that for a state that has the highest number of businessmen & industrialist in Nigeria no notable businessman is a member of Prof’s transition committee.

*This is unacceptable because it is these businessmen that will build new industries, create more jobs, increase the state’s IGR & collaborate with the state government on possible PPI projects.

*Pro. does not have a street smart, gritty & from grass-to-grace businessman like Innocent Chukwuma in his Committee. Yet, to achieve his goal of turning Anambra to Taiwan of African, Prof. needs more Chukwumas than he needs academicians.

The truth is that without visionaries, dreamers & doers no amount of thinkering by technocrats can take a state to lofty height.

From David Nwachukwu

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Breaking: Kaduna Residents Flee As Bandits Invade Village

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Breaking: Kaduna Residents Flee As Bandits Invade Village
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Breaking: Kaduna Residents Flee As Bandits Invade Village

Hundreds of villagers are fleeing Damari community in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State after dozens of bandits riding on motorcycles invaded the community on Sunday morning.

Villagers told Daily Trust that the bandits were in pursuit of members of a group loyal to a notorious warlord, Malam Abba, whom the Kaduna State Police Command in 2020 confirmed to be a member of the terrorist group, Boko Haram.

Ibrahim Hassan, a resident of Damari, who has fled the community, told Daily Trust that the bandits stormed the area around 10am on Sunday, adding that many began to flee on hearing the reverberating gunshots.

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Daily Trust gathered that a deadly clash had ensued on Friday between bandits and the lieutenants of Malam Abba in which several bandits were killed in the face-off.

A source from the community said it is suspected that the bandits who attacked Damari were on a vengeance mission and deliberately attacked Damari because the community was under the protection of Malam Abba.

When contacted, Kaduna State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Mohammed Jalige, said he has contacted the officer in charge of the area to liaise with other security agents in order to rescue the situation.

Bandits’ activities are persisting in Kaduna despite military operations ongoing in the state and other parts of the North to neutralise the criminal.

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Police Arrest Vigilante Commander For Torturing Female Cop In Anambra

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Police Arrest Vigilante Commander For Torturing Female Cop In Anambra
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Police Arrest Vigilante Commander For Torturing Female Cop In Anambra

The Anambra State Police Command has arrested the commander of the Anambra State Vigilante Group for allegedly torturing a female police officer on January 12, 2022.

The police spokesman, DSP Ikenga Tochukwu, confirmed the arrest in Awka on Saturday.

He said the Commissioner of Police, Echeng Echeng, ordered the arrest of the suspect, whose name was not mentioned, following a report of harassment and torturing of a female police officer at the AVG’s Awuda Nnobi security office.

He described the act as cowardly and assured members of the public that the command was always ready to protect the women against violence even when the person is not from the security community.

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He thanked the members of the public especially Ndi Anambra for their advocacy in condemning the act and protecting the female gender.

He said, “Following a trending video on the social media showing when some members of the Anambra Vigilante Group were seen harassing and torturing a female in their office at Awuda Nnobi. The CP ordered the immediate arrest of the commander and investigation has since commenced.

“The command, today, wishes to inform the general public, especially Ndi Anambra, that the commander of the AVG has been arrested for allegedly torturing a female police officer on 12th January 2022 at Awuda Nnobi security office and he is in our custody.”

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