Alleged Paris Loan Diversion: SERAP Gives FG 7 Days to Sue States
By Dipo Olowookere
An interest group called the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has given the Federal Government seven days to initiate legal action against states that allegedly diverted and mismanaged the N388.304 billion London/Paris Club loan refunds.
In the open letter dated February 17, 2017 and signed by SERAP executive director, Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni, the group said it strongly believes that passing on information on the spending by states of N388.304 billion London Paris Club loan refunds to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN) and bringing a case against the states that have allegedly diverted and mismanaged funds meant for payment of salaries and pension is rational, and would be a powerful tool to deter corruption in the states of the federation.
SERAP urged the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, to urgently pass on information to Mr Malami (SAN) so that he can take steps to initiate legal action against the states that allegedly diverted and mismanaged the funds.
“We request that you take this step within 7 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter, failing which SERAP will institute legal proceedings to compel the discharge of duty in this matter,” the group said.
“Pursuing such action will also send a strong message that President Muhammadu Buhari would not tolerate corruption in the disbursement of funds by his government no matter who is involved.
“Such legal action will be deemed incidental to the power of the federal government to achieve effective implementation of anticorruption legislation such as the ICPC Act, which is applicable in all states of the federation, and will not amount to interference with activities within the states involved.
“The Accountant General of the Federation ought to be decisive in this matter and pass on the information on the release and spending of the funds, especially given the fact that the current economic problem and recession is largely attributable to widespread corruption and abuse of power, and that foreign countries generally regard and treat Nigerians as corrupt people.
“To do otherwise is to limit the scope of the anticorruption agenda of the federal government, and encourage impunity for alleged corruption and mismanagement within these states.
“SERAP is seriously concerned about allegations of corruption and mismanagement of funds by several states including under-declaration of refunds; diversion of some of the loan funds; curious payment of service charge to some consultants and tracing of some of the cash to personal accounts of some governors.
“Rather than spending the funds to pay all outstanding salaries of workers and provide targeted social assistance schemes for pensioners, several states have allegedly diverted and mismanaged the funds.
“SERAP is also concerned that allegations of corruption and mismanagement of in the spending of N388.304 billion London Paris Club loan refunds have undermined the human dignity of workers and pensioners facing difficult circumstances that deprive them of their capacity to fully realize their internationally recognized economic and social rights.
“The allegations of corruption in the spending of the London Paris Club loan refunds have also exacerbated poverty, social exclusion, and violated the government’s obligation to use its maximum available resources to fully realize the right of all persons especially workers and pensioners who are the most vulnerable sectors of the population.
“Allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the spending of N388.304 billion London Paris Club loan refunds by states are of utmost national concerns, as they affect the body politic of the country, and undermine constitutional authority of the federal government to fight corruption and abuse of power under enabling legislation.
“Legal action your office is also wholly consistent with the aim of the Constitution to wipe out corrupt practices, as entrenched in section 15(5) of the1999 Constitution (as amended) which provides that “the state shall abolish corrupt practices and abuse of power.
“Under section 10(2) of the Interpretation Act, the constitution and the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, which confer power to do any act, “shall be construed as also conferring all such other powers as are reasonably necessary to enable that act to be done or are incidental to the doing of it.
“SERAP notes that President Muhammadu Buhari has promised that his government will take corruption and abuse of power regardless of who is involved, and underscored the fact that there can be no sustainable development where corruption is the norm.
“SERAP therefore asks you to release the information on the funds to Mr Malami so that he can take steps to pursue appropriate legal action against states that allegedly diverted and mismanaged the London Paris Club loan refunds with a view to seeking from the state publication of the following including on a dedicated website: a. Detailed information on the total amount of the London Paris Club loan refunds that have been spent by each state; b. Details on the total amount of the funds spent on outstanding workers’ salaries and pension as well as other projects as appropriate.
“According to SERAP’s information, the Federal Government released N388.304billion of the N522.74 billion to 35 states as refunds of over-deductions on London-Paris Club loans. The amounts received by the states are as follows: Akwa Ibom N14.5bn; Bayelsa N14.5bn; Delta N14.5bn; Kaduna N14.3bn; Katsina N14,5bn; Lagos N14.5bn; Rivers N14.5bn; Borno N13,654138,849.49; Imo 13bn; Jigawa 13.2bn; Niger N13.4bn; Bauchi N12.7bn and Benue N12.7bn.
“Other states Anambra N11.3bn; Cross River N11.3bn8; Edo N11.3bn; Kebbi N11bn; Kogi N11.2bn; Osun N11.7bn; Sokoto N11.9bn; Abia N10.6bn; Ogun N10.6bn; Plateau N10.4bn; Yobe N10bn; and Zamfara N10bn. Other states are: Adamawa N4.8bn; Ebonyi N3.3bn; Ekiti N8.8bn; Enugu N9.9bn; Gombe N8.3bn; Kwara N5.4bn; Nasarawa N8.4bn; Ondo N6.5bn; Oyo N7.2bn and Taraba N4.2bn,” the letter read in parts.
Bitfinex Lists World’s First Mobile-Native Token Wrapped Minima
By Adedapo Adesanya
Bitfinex has listed the wrapped Minima ($WMINIMA) token, an ERC-20 token, aimed at helping build a truly decentralized network that empowers freedom worldwide and increases access to Web3 for any person with a mobile or IoT device.
Bitfinex is one of the first crypto exchanges to list WMINIMA, built on the world’s first mobile-native Layer 1 blockchain.
Minima’s presale for WMINIMA started on February 14, 2023, with 10 million tokens currently acquired out of the total supply of 125 million $WMINIMA tokens.
Traders on Bitfinex are taking this new innovation as a huge opportunity to become early adopters of the $WMINIMA token, by making deposits and purchases during the presale period. Effective 21st of March, 2023, on Bitfinex, trading for WMINIMA against the US Dollar (USD) and Tether tokens (USDt) will be available for all traders.
Wrapped Minima (WMINIMA) is a wrapped version of Native Minima (MINIMA), which has been issued on the Ethereum blockchain. Wrapped Minima (WMINIMA) enables Minima to be tradable on exchanges shortly after its Token Generation Event, without waiting for the technical integration of Native Minima ($MINIMA) onto exchanges, scheduled for Q3/Q4 2023. WMINIMA has an initial circulating supply of 98,100,000 coins and a total supply of 125,000,000 coins, with a listing price of $0.30.
The move is part of Bitfinex’s efforts to bring financial inclusion and financial freedom to less-advantaged and emerging communities around the world, particularly where there is currency volatility.
By becoming an owner of Wrapped Minima on Bitfinex, users will be helping build a truly decentralized network that empowers freedom all around the world.
The Minima protocol and its network have already been built, with Mainnet recently launching after several years in Testnet, yet Minima is still relatively unknown.
As a result, there is still a huge opportunity to become an early adopter of the world’s first mobile-native layer 1 blockchain before it becomes widely adopted.
How to trade WMINIMA on Bitfinex
WMINIMA is available to trade with US Dollar (USD) and Tether tokens (USDt). To sign up now, follow these few easy steps:
- Visit the Bitfinex website or download the Bitfinex mobile app and click on the sign-up button.
- Use the African Bitfinex LEOs community affiliate code “9r9ifKfHx” to get a 6 per cent discount on trading fees for life.
- Create an account by entering the required details: username, email, password, country of residence, and referral (optional).
- Create and confirm a log-in pin code or enable touch ID or face ID, if your phone enables it.
- You will be directed to the setup security page. Here, download the Google Authenticator app. If already downloaded, select the “I’ve installed the app” tab.
- Open the GA app to directly add your new token. Alternatively, you can also select to use the QR or Setup key. Enter your code to enable 2FA setup.
- Check your inbox to confirm your email address via an email sent by Bitfinex.
- After email confirmation, accept the Bitfinex Terms of Service to complete the account setup and proceed to the trading page.
- Once that is done you can now trade the WMINIMA on Bitfinex.
CBN Releases N12.65bn for Three Agricultural Projects in Two Months
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disbursed N12.65 billion to the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), its flagship agriculture intervention scheme, in the first two months of 2023.
The Governor of the apex bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said this on Tuesday in Abuja when he read the communique issued at the end of the 290th meeting of the apex bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).
According to Mr Emefiele, the total disbursement under the ABP since its inception by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in 2015 is N1.09 trillion.
“Between January and February 2023, the bank disbursed N12.65 billion to three agricultural projects under the ABP,” he said.
“It brings the cumulative disbursement under the programme to N1.09 trillion to more than 4.6 million smallholder farmers cultivating or rearing 21 agricultural commodities on an approved 6.02 million hectares of farmland,” Mr Emefiele added.
According to Mr Emefiele, the improved performance of the economy has been driven largely by sustained growth in the services and agricultural sectors.
He also cited a rebound in economic activities associated with economic recovery and continued intervention in growth-enhancing sectors by the CBN as responsible for the growth.
He said that the CBN had also disbursed huge sums as an intervention to various other sectors of the economy.
“The CBN also released the sum of N23.70 billion under the N1.0 trillion Real Sector Facility to eight new real sector projects in agriculture, manufacturing, and services.
“Cumulative disbursements under the Real Sector Facility currently stands at N2.43 trillion disbursed to 462 projects across the country, comprising 257 manufacturing, 95 agriculture, 97 services, and 13 mining sector projects,” he said.
He said that the apex bank also released N3.01 billion under the Nigerian Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility (NEMSF-2) for capital and operational expenditure of electricity distribution companies (Discos).
He said that the facility was aimed at improving the liquidity status of the Discos, there aiding their recovery of legacy debt.
“This brings the cumulative disbursement under the facility to N254.39 billion,” he said.
UK Firm Unveils Portal to Aggregate Property Prices in Africa
By Adedapo Adesanya
Baron and Cabot, a UK-based international real estate firm, has launched a portal that will use artificial intelligence technology to predict property prices in Africa to allow real estate agents to sell properties and earn in pounds, providing an unprecedented opportunity for growth and financial success.
The novel approach will allow real estate firms to de-risk their investments in international markets and gain access to a wide range of fully compliant properties.
Baron & Cabot has been particularly successful in Africa due to inflation driving clients to move their money into GBP and Dollar to purchase assets. It is one of the top fastest-growing property companies in the world and transacts around £100 million per annum ($120 million) of UK property while having access to some of the best property developments in the UK.
Speaking on this, Mr Mark Pearson, Managing Director of Baron & Cabot, said, “We are thrilled to be launching this innovative concept that will not only provide a platform for real estate agents in Africa to sell UK properties but will also create job opportunities and drive economic growth.
“We believe that by leveraging AI technology to predict property prices, we can provide our partners with a unique advantage and help them to achieve financial success. Our joint venture expansion plans are aimed at creating mutually beneficial partnerships that will bring value to all parties involved.”
In addition to providing agents with access to new revenue streams, Baron and Cabot’s property portal is also expected to create new job opportunities in the African market.
The company also revealed that it would provide its agents with comprehensive 2 to 4-week training and support to help them succeed in their new roles. This training will ensure that agents are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to navigate the real estate market and take advantage of the opportunities that Baron and Cabot’s concept provides.
As part of its offering, Baron and Cabot will provide clients with mortgages anywhere in the world (excluding war zones), with mortgage rates lower than 6 per cent and deposits below 35 per cent, making it easier for clients to invest in UK properties.
“Our management company boasts an impressive occupancy rate of over 99 per cent, with properties awaiting new tenants for an average of only 10 days. This sets us apart from other cities around the world, where the average occupancy rate is only 70 per cent.
“In addition, our Airbnb or short-term rental products have an average occupancy rate of over 70 per cent, resulting in substantial rental returns and secure investment. Our secret to success lies in our ability to identify high-demand areas with low supply, combined with exceptional management that keeps both our tenants and landlords satisfied,” Mr Pearson added.
Latest News on Business Post
- Bitfinex Lists World’s First Mobile-Native Token Wrapped Minima March 22, 2023
- CBN Releases N12.65bn for Three Agricultural Projects in Two Months March 22, 2023
- Court Rejects Abba Kyari’s Plea to Thrash Charges March 22, 2023
- Ramadan: Rite Foods Preaches Peaceful Coexistence March 22, 2023
- UK Firm Unveils Portal to Aggregate Property Prices in Africa March 22, 2023
- Individual Financial Health Closely Linked to Earth’s Sustainability—Chiemeka March 22, 2023
- Why Automated Dashboard is Falling Short in PR Measurement March 22, 2023
- Unlisted Securities Extend Loss by 0.02% March 22, 2023
- Naira Shrinks Against Dollar at P2P, I&E, Parallel Market March 22, 2023
- Flexible Power Technologies Will Make Africa’s Energy Leapfrogging a Reality March 22, 2023