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PDP Blasts Osinbajo For Allegedly Falsifying Facts On Nigeria’s Debt Profile

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to refrain from bandying figures that he cannot substantiate, as regards the nation’s debt profile, which it said escalated to a frightening proportion under the President Buhari administration.

The main opposition party also said that it amounts to a huge disservice to the country if a person of such high office of the vice-president would allow himself to be used to distort figures to deceive Nigerians.

Osinbajo had last Saturday at the 9th Public Lecture of Sigma Club at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, said that the Buhari-led administration inherited a debt of $63 billion and has only borrowed $10 billion since it took office in 2015.

He had said: “In 2010, our debt was $35 billion, $41 billion in 2011, $48 billion in 2012, $64 billion in 2013, $67.7 billion in 2014, $63.8 billion in 2015, $57.8 billion in 2016, $70 billion in 2017 and $73 billion in 2018.

“The nation’s debt as at today was $73 bilłion, an increment of $10 billion from the $63 billion inherited in 2015.”

He said the nation’s oil earnings was $119.8 billion between 1990 and 1998, $481 billion from 1999 to 2009 and $381 billion from 2010 to 2014, while the present administration has only earned $112 billion from June 2015.

“The earnings from oil from 2010 to 2014 were the highest recorded in the history of the country. This is a period when the price of oil per barrel sold from $100 to $114,” he said.

But the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, while addressing a press conference Wednesday in Abuja, said that in a desperate attempt to divert attention from the failures of the Buhari administration, Osinbajo falsified financial templates to argue that this government has no blame in the accumulation of debts under its watch.

He stated: “The PDP also wishes to bring to the attention of Nigerians the deliberate distortion of facts by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo regarding the nation’s debt profile, which escalated to a frightening proportion under the Buhari administration.

“It is an incontrovertible fact that the Buhari administration has accumulated more debts than any other administration in the history of our nation.

“Our dear vice-president forgot that Nigerians are aware that between 2016 to 2017 under President Buhari, our annual borrowing was about N3.7 trillion as against the N1.04 trillion annual borrowing perimeter between 2008 to 2015. Between 1999 and 2007, the annual borrowing perimeter was as low as N96 billion.

“To deceive the public and divert attention to the alarming borrowing spree of the Buhari administration, the APC-led federal government converted domestic debt borrowed in naira under its watch to the US dollar so that the very high exchange rate will make the domestic debt look smaller in dollars.

“This is a deceptive picture because the domestic debt was accumulated in naira and not in dollar.”

Ologbondiyan pointed out that the domestic debts of states were not part of the database until 2013, and therefore, a sincere comparison of debts over the years should have focused on total external debt and federal government’s domestic debt.

According to him, “In view of the above, if Vice President Osinbajo, a professor of law, was not being economical with the truth, the appropriate comparison should be to have the domestic debt in naira and convert the external debt to naira to get national debt for each of the years, which shows that the Buhari administration has accumulated more debts than any other administration.”

“We, therefore, charge the vice-president to refrain from bandying figures that he cannot substantiate, in an attempt to score cheap political points. Nigerians have moved beyond the lies, deception, propaganda, and beguilement of the APC. It amounts to a huge disservice to our nation if a person of such high office of the vice-president will allow himself to be used to distort figures to deceive Nigerians,” he said.

Ologbondiyan added that the party would not allow itself to be dragged down into the marshes of propaganda, smear campaign, lies and deceit of the fading, discredited and rejected APC.

Ologbondiyan said that the party will proffer direction to reduce the cost of governance and release funds for development purposes; cut harsh tariff and tax regimes, eradicate corruption and engender enabling environment for business to thrive in a manner that will strengthen the naira and restore investor confidence in the country’s economy.

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Kwara State Election Materials Found In Abuja, Result Sheets Meant For Lagos Found In Kwara

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Malam Atahiru Madami, the Kwara State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), has said that both Presidential and Senatorial election result sheets meant for the state were found in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Abuja.

Madami said this on the sideline of the distribution of sensitive materials to each of the 16 local government areas in Kwara state at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Ilorin on Wednesday.

“The result sheets for presidential and senatorial elections are with the FCT INEC. It was a mix-up and they will send it to us this evening”.

He added that the result sheet meant for Lagos state senatorial election also found its way to Kwara state.

Madami stated that the mix-up was of the reasons the elections were postponed on Feb 16.

He said with the postponement of the election, such situation would not repeat itself again, adding that preparations were on to ensure hitch free elections on Saturday.

He called on the electorate to come out en-masse and vote the candidates of their choice on Saturday

He promised to deliver a free and fair election.

He stated that the card readers for Kwara state have been reconfigured 100 per cent.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that INEC in the early hours of Feb.16 postponed the election slated for the same day, on account of logistics challenges.

INEC chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu said: “Following the careful review and implementation of its logistic and operational plan and the determination to conduct free, fair and credible election, the commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the elections as scheduled is no longer feasible.” (NAN)

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Transcorp Sets Record Performance With Profit After Tax Of N20.6bn

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Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), Nigeria’s leading diversified listed conglomerate, has announced its audited results for the year ended 31st December 2018, with a 94% growth in Profit After Tax (PAT) of ₦20.6bn in 2018 compared to ₦10.6bn in the prior year.

The Group recorded an unparalleled improvement within the year as turnover grew by 30% to ₦104.2bn. Profit Before Tax (PBT) increased to ₦22.4bn from ₦12.3bn in 2017, depicting an 82% year on year growth.

“We’re proud to have ended the year on a high-note while sustaining a strong performance, which is a reflection of our sound business strategy,” said Valentine Ozigbo, Transcorp’s President and Chief Executive Officer, who took over at Transcorp in January 2019. “We will continuously strive to deliver significant value to our stakeholders while achieving our long-term goals,” he said.

He further stressed that “This result was achieved due to the increased revenue from the power and hospitality segments of the group. In addition, we were able to cut down on our loss from Forex arising from financing activities by 30% year-on-year as we experienced a relatively stable exchange rate during the fiscal year-ended 2018, this no doubt impacted our Profit before tax as it soared 82% year-on-year.”

Mr. Ozigbo added ”Transcorp Power Ltd has continued to explore opportunities created by the eligible customer framework initiated by the Federal Government. We are at an advanced stage of negotiations with a number of eligible customers, which will translate into transactions in the months ahead. Our hospitality subsidiary, Transcorp Hotels Plc, also maintained its history of profitability in 2018, displaying the impact of our recent US$100m upgrade at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja and the immense value placed on the hotel’s best-in-class hospitality services.”

Reflecting on the results, the Chairman of Transcorp, Mr. Tony O. Elumelu, CON, stated, “We remain committed to our purpose of improving lives and transforming Nigeria by powering our industries and businesses while providing our local and international guests with unrivalled hospitality services. This is our way of creating sustainable value for all our stakeholders.”

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RRS Nabs Robbery Syndicate Terrorising College Road/Faagba/Abbattoir Areas Of Lagos [PHOTO]

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The hands of the law have finally caught up with a group of robbers after the operative of Rapid Response Squad (RRS), a unit of Lagos State Police Command arrested the syndicate believed to have been terrorizing College Road, Fagba, and Abattoir areas of the state.

As for this group of boys, their diversity in terms of language and ethnicity was never a barrier as they were united in forming a gang with the sole interest of robbing Lagosians of their valuables.

The robbers were arrested on Valentine’s day at around 9:00 p.m at College Road, Ifako – Ijaiye area of Lagos, after the gang had robbed more than five passers by of their valuables brandishing knives and other harmful objects.

The suspects, whose names are: Lekan Akinyemi (23), Chimeze Ofulie( 18), Babangida Abdullahi (22), Abubakar Umaru (30), Samuel Oyinloye (24), Timileyin Oladipupo (27) and Habeeb Olayinka. 

All the suspects said they came from different parts of the country but reside in Abattoir, Agege, Lagos.

The suspects had on Thursday, robbed one Agafe Augustine after he alighted from a taxi at College Road, Ifako Ijaiye. Amongst the items collected from him by the gang were; an android phone, N14,000 and a handbag.

According to Agafe, “I allowed them to rob me because they were many and were holding dangerous objects but I trailed them to an open place before raising alarm. This drew the attention of some RRS officers on patrol in the area and they arrested some of them”.

He added “ they equally robbed some other victims amongst whom were a lady in company of her boyfriend. They dispossessed them of their phones and  stabbed her boyfriend who refused to let go of his mobile phone after parting with his wallet”.

In his confessional statement to the crime , one of the suspects said they specialise in robbing passersby  at  night collecting their mobile phones, bags, jewelry and wallets.

Investigation by the police revealed that one of the suspects, Timileyin Oladipupo popularly known as ‘Timi Yahoo’, specialised  in working on SIM cards of the stolen phones to determine which ones are internet banking enabled  to facilitate the gang access to transfering money from victims’ accounts.

The suspect disclosed “I have worked on so many SIM cards given to me by Lekan and other groups in Agege Abbatior and what I do is to further increase our gain from the robbery by transfering victim’s money from their bank accounts after using some softwares to determine how much are lodged inside their accounts and we also share the proceeds”.

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police  Mu’azu Zubairu  who ordered the arrest of all the gang members, added that they be transferred to SARS for a thorough investigation.

He noted that the gang be charged to court as soon as investigations are completed.

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