Oil Workers Expressed Doubt that Nigeria FG will Secretly Sale the Refineries Despite her Flip-flop on the Subject

Oil workers under the aegis of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) workers have expressed doubts over the Federal Government’s sincerity on the statement that it would not sell any of the country’s four refineries.Speaking, Thursday, through his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, President Goodluck Jonathan had said government was not going to sell any refinery contrary to earlier statements by some government officials.“There is no such plan and there is no presidential approval for such. Nobody, not even the Minister of Petroleum has the powers to sell any government property,” Abati stated.Top officials of the unions were however not convinced the government’s statement was in all sincerity, and would therefore not rely on Abati’s statement until they met formally with relevant officials of government, who are directly linked to the planned privatisation exercise next week.The oil workers argued that since the planned exercise was first announced by the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke and confirmed by the Bureau of Public Enterprise, BPE and the Presidency, which set up a steering committee, it would be too hasty to accept the government’s denial of its initial plans.“The minister announced it to the whole world. BPE confirmed that they had been given presidential approval to commence action and the presidency set up a steering committee to drive the process.“For the same government to deny that no approval was given for these actions means that tomorrow, they can also say that the President did not give approval to Abati’s statement,” said one of the leaders of PENGASSAN, who spoke to Thisday on condition of anonymity.In a separate interview, Western Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, Tokunbo Korodo, also said that the unions would not react to Abati’s statement until after the meeting with the government.“Who is fooling who? If the Minister of Petroleum can make such pronouncement in London, informing the whole world that Nigeria is set to sell its refineries, how can somebody say that the president did not give approval? We are not going to comment until we confirm from the government. As far as we are concerned, we want to hear from the government. So, let us hear directly from those involved and not Abati,” he said.Also reacting to the statement by Abati, the Lagos Zonal Chairman of PENGASSAN, Rev. Folorunso Oginni said Abati’s denial was an indication that “someone is trying to fool someone.”According to him, the unions had directed their members not to take Abati’s statement seriously, so as not to be caught off guard.Oginni said the unions would also insist that the January 7 meeting should involve the Minister of Petroleum, instead of only the Minister of Labour,


PDP Crisis Deepens: Jonathan begs Govs Aliyu, Lamido

The alleged resolve by majority of the governors of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to remove the embattled National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, forced the Presidency to suspend the meeting of the Board of Trustees (BoT) and National Executive Committee, NEC, Sunday Vanguard has learnt. It also emerged that President Goodluck Jonathan wanted the party leadership to have more time to persuade warring Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State and his Jigawa State counterpart, Alhaji Sule Lamido, to return fully to the PDP before the NEC meeting.


Dr Ezeife Only Igbo can stop Jonathan 2015

In terms of power politics, this year promises to be action packed. Already, the main actors have been working some political permutations. How these will endure is what most sideline spectators will be looking forward to in the months ahead. It can only get more exciting as the nation inches towards the next general election.In this interview, a former governor of the old Anambra State and prominent leader of thought in the East, Dr Chukwuemeka Pius Ezeife gives an insight into what to expect in 2015 adding that the trend of Yoruba politics signals danger.Excerpts: Traditionally, Southwest is known to be an exclusive enclave of the progressives. But now that there is a kind of bridge building between the North and the South with the emergence of All progressives Congress (APC), how do you see the new trend of Yoruba politics?


Yet again another prophecy. Primate Ayodele, There ’ll be attempt on Jonathan’s life this year

Primate Babatunde Elijah Ayodele is the founder of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, Oke-Afa, Isolo, Lagos. Renowned as a seer, he tells KEHINDE OYETIMI, in this interview, some of the occurrences Nigerians should expect in 2014 and in the nearest future.ADVERTISEMENT MANY people only know you as a prophet but few know your background. Can you tell us about this?I am from a Christian family where I was taught about God and how to fear God. From there I grew up in such a way that when you go to church, you follow the doctrines as directed. When did you start developing the gift of prophecy?


Boko Haram terrorists Ex-senator seeks treaties with US, Israel

A former Senator representing Ebonyi North, Anthony Agbo, yesterday urged the federal government to enter into deeper security collaboration with the United States and Israel to win the war against insurgency in the north. He spoke in Abakaliki with reporters. Agbo said such pact will enable security agencies to gain access to intelligence and infrastructure of these countries for a more effective fight against the insurgents.


Onuesoke- Ango Abdullahi’s war drums won’t stop Jonathan 2015

A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in 2007 general elections and currently Special Project Director in the office of Delta State Governor, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, says Professor Ango Abdullahi and his northern associates threat of war should President Goodluck Jonathan contest in 2015 will not stop the president from contesting. Onuesoke, in a press statement, said rather than the threat of war deterring the president from contesting in 2015, it would encourage him to test his popularity.”Even if Goodluck Jonathan does want to run before, for the fact that the northerners are making it to look as if they are the owner of this country by their utterances, the president must run whether he likes it or not. We southerners are waiting for the war drums the northerners are beating.


Sign of things to come, Buhari’s stalwart beaten mercilessly in Kano mosque

TRIBUNE – Peoples suspected to be thugs on Friday invaded a mosque in Kano and beat up an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain and loyalist of General Muhammadu Buhari, Alhaji Abdulmajid Danbuiki Kwamada, during a Jumaat service.According to a source who witnessed the incident but preferred anonymity, the hoodlums, in their hundreds, invaded the mosque and pounced on Kwamada after sighting him inside the mosque.Kwamada’s clothes were said to have been torn into shreds, but he was rescued by some Good Samaritans who took him into the Chief Imam’s residence.However, Kwamada , who could not control his emotion, said “Thank God I was rescued. I suspected it was a former governor of Kano State who sent them after me, because they came inside the mosque in his convoy,” he alleged.“I reported the matter to the police at Bompai and I will also take the ex-governor to court over my attack. I believe the attackers wanted to kill me. If you see how they tore my clothes into pieces.”All efforts to get the reaction of the Kano State police command’s image maker, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Musa Magaji Majiya, were unsuccessful


Jonathan queries Sanusi over 22 fraudulent act discovered at CBN

 President Goodluck Jonathan has queried the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, over various infractions detected in the apex bank’s 2012 audited account.The query, which covered 22 issues bordering on massive fraud at the bank, was sent to the governor on May 6 and the response, though expected back on May 8, was submitted to the President on May 21.The query of the bank’s account, which its auditors, Ernst and Young, passed without officially signing, with only a comment that it complies with the CBN Act, covers issues such as investment of a huge amount of money in an Islamic bank in Malaysia without any guarantee of its generating returns.Others are write-off of about N3.5 billion CBN staff housing loan and the donation of about one billion naira to a political party to open up offices across the country. This donation, which was given under the special access item in the account, is believed to be geared towards furthering Sanusi’s alleged political ambition in the 2015 general elections.The query touched other issues such as refusal of the apex bank to consolidate in its account, the trillion debt owed by the Asset Management Company, AMCON, and the non-disclosure of the total liabilities through the bond floated by the company.The governor was also asked to explain the discrepancies noted in the 2012 account regarding the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company, a subsidiary of the apex bank.Other issues include the controversial donations made to some higher institutions in the country. Investigations have shown that some of the donations were inflated in the bank’s booksFor example, while the Bayero University Kano, BUK, was said to have collected N4billion, the school authorities claimed it got only N1billion.The apex bank’s account became suspicious when the governor refused to submit it to the Financial Reporting Council, FRC, the body with the mandate to ascertain the compliance of companies with accounting standards, and the International Financial Reporting Standards, IFRS.Rather than submitting it to the body, the governor requested for seven years’ grace for the CBN to comply with FRC stipulations.The audit report of the account, which was submitted directly to the President, was later forwarded to the economic adviser to the President for his appraisal. The official okay the account and noted that it complied with the CBN Act.However, unhappy with the economic adviser’s comment, Jonathan returned the report to him and drew his attention to the refusal of the auditor to sign the account.An official of Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria, ICAN, told our reporter that an audit report is worthless when it does not carry the signature of the auditor.This is not the first time the CBN account will be open to scrutiny but the bank has always hidden under its autonomy to stave off close inspection. The apex bank is on the first line charge and receives its appropriation directly from the federation account and exercises enormous financial autonomy.In May, the public accounts committee of the House of Representatives also had cause to query several expenditure items amounting to N4.7 billion in the CBN accounts. This included the N2.8billion which the bank said it spent on the construction of its Port Harcourt branch.The House in turn had worked with a report from the office of the auditor general of the federation which queried extravagant expenditure by the apex bank for which documents were not made available for verification.Chairman of the House committee on public accounts, Solomon Olamilekan at a meeting with officials of the bank alleged that there were indications that due process was not followed in expenditure as no documents were provided.Some of the transactions that the committee queried include the sums of N23 million and N50claimed to have been spent for the same purpose of renovating the governor’s official residence as well as N848 million spent on the purchase of a property from the National Planning Commission without any transaction agreement.However, like many probes of public institutions by the National Assembly, the matter appears not to have been pursued.The N4 billion donation to BUK questioned in the President’s query had not even been known to the public. What had irked many Nigerians, including federal lawmakers, was the donation earlier in the year of N100 million to victims of terrorism in Kano, Sanusi’s hometown.The House of Representatives entertained a motion on misuse of public funds on the donation which degenerated into a rowdy session. Many members accused Sanusi or misuse of public funds.

Baby Factory

Shame to S’East Govs, 2500 teens rescued from ‘baby factories’ across South-East of the Zoo before it expired in 2013

About 2500 teenagers have been rescued from ‘baby factories’ across the South-East states in the last one year. Investigations conducted by the Campaign for Democracy (CD)revealed that the victims, who were majorly pregnant minors, were freed by the Police and other security agencies from the various illegal orphanages where they were held captive.According to a statement released by the group and signed by its Chairman in the South-East, Uzor A. Uzor, most of the girls were enticed into the trade with monetary offers by the ‘baby factory’ operators, while others were forced into the infamous trade by poverty and illiteracy.The CD noted that within the time under review, Abia and Imo states had the highest number of teenagers involved in the infamous trade.The group attributed the increase in ‘baby factory’ operations in the zone to high rate of youth unemployment and poverty occasioned by the failure of successive governments in the zone to put adequate measures in place to empower the youths by creating meaningful employment.“The rising cases of baby factory in the South-East is a result of the failure of the state governments in the South-East to create jobs for the teeming youths, especially the helpless girls who are easily lured into the trade.“There is no other part of the country that has the problem of baby factory; it is a peculiar case with the South-East.“In Abia and Imo states, about 1,800 pregnant teenagers and babies were rescued from ‘baby factories’ in the last 12 months and the number is still rising,” the CD stated.It further charged the South-East governors to urgently fight the menace to secure the future of the teeming youths who are currently threatened.“The governors in the zone should collaborate with security operatives to fish out those behind the trade and rehabilitate the rescued teenagers,” CD charged.The Imo State Commissioner of Police, Muhammad Musa Katsina, had during a media briefing in Owerri, the state capital, expressed worries that the issue of ‘baby factory’ had taken deep root in the South-East.According to him, “the rate is alarming in all the states. It had been there until we began the clampdown on the operators and we will continue until we rid the society of this set of people and other criminal elements.”