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EFCC flags off national risk assessment of non profit organizations

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EFCC Chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa
EFCC Chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday November 15, 2021 flagged-off a nationwide risk assessment of Non-profit Organizations. The programme which is a collaborative initiative of the EFCC through the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering, SCUML, and relevant stakeholders in the public and private sectors, according to the EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, is meant to determine the vulnerabilities of the organizations to money laundering and terrorism financing.

While noting the increase in Non-profit Organization activities in Nigeria especially in the North East, where the country is challenged by a humanitarian crisis created by Boko Haram, he observed that the absence of a unified comprehensive regulatory and supervisory framework for the sector remains a source of worry for the authorities. This gap, and Nigeria’s performance in the last Mutual Evaluation Exercise where the country received a non-compliant rating in FATF’s Recommendation 8, (that requires a review of the adequacy of laws and regulations that relate to Non- profit Organizations), provides the impetus for the NRA.

The EFCC boss said that the assessment, apart from ensuring proper classification of the NPOs sector in Nigeria to identify NPOs that are at risk of money laundering/terrorist financing abuse, will ensure improved compliance with relevant international, regional and domestic laws/regulations. It will also help in developing mitigating measures for the “at risk and vulnerable NPOs” operation in Nigeria, while enhancing coordination and collaboration between government regulatory/law agencies and the civic space.

Speaking earlier, the Director SCUML Daniel Isei, said the engagement gives the EFCC a robust opportunity to discuss the menace of money laundering and terrorism financing and come up with a comprehensive report to mitigate identified risks.

Deal of the day

The Director, International Non-Governmental Organization Forum, INGO Forum, Chiara Crenna, in her remarks, expressed the willingness of INGO in Nigeria to work with SCUML and the EFCC towards the success of the NPO Risk Assessment programme.

Oluseyi Oyebisi, Director of the Nigerian Network of NGOs also pledged the organization’s support to the programme. He described the programme as the start of an important journey and an example for the rest of Africa, on how regulators and operators can partner in fighting money laundering.

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23 Burnt To Death By Bandits In Sokoto Bus Attack

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burning car

At least 23 passengers, including children, were burnt to death when their bus was ambushed by gunmen suspected to be bandits in Sokoto State, police have said.

They were travelling from the town of Sabon Birni to the town of Isa near the border with Niger.

Sokoto police command spokesperson, Sanusi Abubakar, told the BBC that several others are being treated in a hospital for severe burns.

Some reports suggest the number of those killed is around 30.

One of those involved in evacuating the casualties described the scene as “horrendous” and that most of the victims were burnt beyond recognition.

The attack happened late on Monday but details are just emerging due to poor communication services in the area.

Some reports say the attackers deliberately set the vehicle on fire burning the occupants alive while another account indicates the fire ignited on the bus as a result of the attackers’ gunfire.

The police say they are investigating the circumstances of the attack.

Muhammad Bello, the spokesman to Aminu Tambuwal, Governor of Sokoto State, confirmed the development in a statement on Wednesday.

“Contrary to speculations that over 40 people lost their lives in a bandits attack on a 42-seater bus traveling to Kaduna on Monday, facts have emerged that 23 people lost their lives during an attack at Gidan Bawa village in Isa local government area of Sokoto state,” the statement read.

“Security chiefs in Sokoto state, comprising heads of the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force, the Nigeria Police, Department of State Security and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps as well as the Chairmen of Isa and Sabon Birni local government areas had briefed the state Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, on the incident at the Government House, Sokoto, Wednesday, pledging to work with it on modalities to checkmate future occurrences.”

While commiserating with the families of the victims, the state government added that strategies are being put in place to prevent a reoccurrence.

Travellers are frequently targeted as the region continues to grapple with a wave of violence by armed gangs carrying out kidnappings for ransom as well as killings.

Additional reporting from the BBC and TheCable

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Senate urges FG to review payments under debt issuance programme

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Nigerian Senate e1618410666305

The Senate has called on the executive arm of government to review the outstanding payments under the Promissory Notes and Debt Issuance Programme of the Federal Government for submission to the National Assembly.

The call was made on Wednesday during plenary sequel to the consideration of a motion to that effect.

The motion was sponsored by Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe (Kwara Central).

Oloriegbe, in his presentation, recalled that in order to address the burning issue of mounting obligations of the Federal Government inherited by the present Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Federal Executive Council in July 2017 approved a Promissory Note and Bond issuance programme to clear the arrears of outstanding obligations.

According to the lawmaker, the Federal Government set up a Verification committee chaired by the then Minister of Power, Works and Housing to verify all claims submitted by the Ministry of Finance under the Promissory Notes and Bond Issuance Programme.

He noted that the report of the verification was again subjected to Audit by the Presidential Committee on Continuous Audit (PICA) before a final amount was arrived at after rounds of negotiations and discount schemes agreed with proposed beneficiaries.

He recalled further that in March 2018, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria sent a request to the Senate for approval by the National Assembly to commence a N2,697,820,794,305.91 Promissory note and Bond issuance Programme to clear outstanding obligations inherited by President Buhari’s Administration.

These included unpaid obligations to pensioners, salaries and promotional arrears to civil servants in the sum of N740,752,291,351.91; Obligation to Petroleum marketers on Subsidy in the sum of N429, 054,203,228; Federal Government Major Contractors and Supplier debts and outsourced liabilities of N654, 536, 409, 687.60.

Others are unpaid power bills and obligations from tariff reversal in 2014 to DISCO’s and GENCO’s N496,775,452,038.61; Export Expansion Grant (EEG) Scheme debts N350,383,295,143.23; Judgement debts N112,958,703,764.45; and Refunds to State Governments for projects undertaken on behalf of the Federal Government N584,983, 966, 973.18.

Oloriegbe noted that, “the 8th National Assembly approved some of the promissory notes and Bond issuance in the following amounts: N573, 494, 697, 133.63 as payment of refunds to 25 State Governments for Federal Highway Projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government; N206,065,107,252.69 as payment to various major contractors; N348,003, 054,975 as payment to Petroleum Marketers for arrears of subsidy; and N195,089,234,808.63 as payment to exporters as Export Expansion Grant.

“Concerned that in spite of the above approvals in the sum of N1,322,652,094,169.95, a considerable number of these outstanding obligations which accrued from periods ranging from year 2000 to year 2017 (and now till date) still remain unpaid.

“Disturbed that from the last figures published by the Debt Management office on its official Website in February 2020, only the sum of N914,212,563,852 (Nine Hundred and Fourteen Billion) has been issued under the Federal Government of Nigeria Promissory notes programmne as at December 31, 2019.

“Worried that after the approval of the N1.3 Trillion Naira from the total sum of 2.6 trillion by the 8th National Assembly, nothing has been done in respect of approvals of the outstanding balance of N1.3Trillion by the Senate.

“Troubled that the long term debt effect on the various corporate entities whose monies still remains unpaid after several years, with the attendant financial consequences including interest accruals, loss of jobs and often failed companies.

“Further troubled that various Companies have legitimate claims for interest and or penalty payments due to them as contained in the various contract agreements signed with the Federal Government, an issue which will require serious consideration, dialogue and negotiations between Federal Government, the contractors and the financial institutions involved;

“Observes also that for example, the outstanding claims in respect of the incentive and result based Export Expansion Grant Scheme covers a period from 2007 – 2016, clearly showing that some of the accruals are at least 14 years past due.

“Worried that job losses, failed banks and companies going under which is a daily occurrence in Nigeria are occasioned by failure of Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies to meet financial obligations as contained in contractual agreements.

“Concerned that the amount of outstanding liabilities of the Federal Government ordinarily would have soared from the March 2018 figures and would require an update of figure from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.”

Accordingly, the Senate it its resolution, the Senate urged the Executive arm of government to review the outstanding payments under the Promissory Notes and Debt Issuance Programme of the Federal Government and prepare a fresh submission to the National Assembly for consideration.

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India’s Top Defence Chief Dies In Helicopter Crash

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Bipin Rawat Indias Defence Chief






























India’s Top Defence Chief Dies In Helicopter Crash




















India’s top military commander has been killed in a helicopter crash in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, the country’s Air Force has said.

Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Bipin Rawat, his wife and 11 others died after the Mi-17V5 helicopter came down in hills near Coonoor city on Wednesday morning.

One survivor is being treated for his injuries in hospital.

The sole survivor of the crash was a captain working at the DSSC.

Gen Rawat, 63, was appointed India’s first-ever Chief of Defence Staff in January 2019.

This brought together the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, and Gen Rawat had been in charge of a range of operations including in Indian-administered Kashmir.

The Indian Air Force said it had ordered an investigation into the accident, which happened in foggy weather. A cabinet security committee is holding an emergency session, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On Twitter, Mr Modi said: “[Gen Rawat] brought with him a rich experience of serving in the Army. India will never forget his exceptional service.

“A true patriot, he greatly contributed to modernising our armed forces and security apparatus. His insights and perspectives on strategic matters were exceptions. His passing away has saddened me deeply.”

Images from the crash site showed thick plumes of smoke billowing from the mangled remains of the helicopter, and local people trying to put out the fire.

BBC


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