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Hours after a letter from the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, to President Muhammadu Buhari accusing the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Maikanti Baru, of insubordination and non transparent practices, was made public, another crisis has hit the oil corporation.

The Baru-led corporation is being accused of hiding $629 million (about N226 billion) in various banks without remitting the sum to the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

According to Freedom Online, its refusal to remit the sum, proceeds from its operations, and the interest accruing to appropriate accounts, may soon lead to trouble.

“In fact, it seems as if Baru’s cup is full and he may soon be shown the way out”, he said.

That the money sits idly in Nigerian banks – Sterling Bank, Keystone Bank, Diamond Bank, First Bank and Central Bank of Nigeria – may soon have serious consequences for those at the cooporation’s helm of affairs.

The money is lodged in various sums in the accounts.

An account in Sterling Bank with number 0023515951 holds $26,560,076.76 while the sum of $16.6 million is in an account with number 1006160930 in Keystone Bank.

The sum of $277.8 million is in another account with Diamond Bank numbered 0033789960 while $19 million sits in two accounts with First Bank – $12 million is in a current account numbered 2006307767 and $6.9 million is in another First Bank Escrow account with number 2016965894.

In addition to this total sum of $340,102,485.10, another sum of $289 million is placed via two cheques with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

According to sources, “requests from relevant offices to the NNPC to remit the total sum of the said $629,093,716.77 to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company TSA account as is the practice have been rebuffed for reasons yet undisclosed”.

Treasury Single Account (TSA) is a financial policy in use in many countries all over the world to consolidate all inflows from all agencies of government into a single account.

TSA allows government banking to be unified, to enable the relevant stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Finance and Accountant General of the Federation have full oversight of all cash flows across various bank accounts.

TSA also helps check cases of multiple, sometimes, untraceable accounts operated by government MDAs for collection and spending of government revenues.

It helps keep a good record of revenue receipts and expenditures and block leakages, as no agency of government is allowed to keep any operational bank account.

TSA helps check cases of idle cash lying over extended periods in bank accounts held by agencies of government, giving room for unscrupulous officials to make private wealth from interests on such deposits or by trading with the money.

Also, the scheme makes it impossible for banks that are fond of using public sector funds to make free profits to continue to do so.

The introduction of the Treasury Single Account policy therefore has been useful in reducing the proliferation of bank accounts operated by ministries, departments and agencies, thereby ensuring financial accountability as well as transparency.

Though it was first introduced in 2012 by the Goodluck Jonathan administration, its implementation was largely not until the Muhammadu Buhari government came on board and gave the scheme real muscle.

It is against the background of TSA’s potential for curbing corruption that any flouting of its rules is sternly frowned upon by the Buhari administration which is seen to be fighting corruption.

Sources said this is not the first time NNPC’s management is flouting the TSA rule but the volume of money involved and the fact that relevant queries were raised by appropriate offices but ignored may have thrown the presidency into a rage.

 

 

 

Source: Freedom Online

BIG STORY

Kings of Finance: GTBank Named Africa’s Most Admired Finance Brand

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Guaranty Trust Bank plc has been ranked Africa’s Most Admired Finance Brand in the 10th-anniversary rankings of Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands, the pre-eminent survey and ranking of the Top 100 admired brands in Africa. The rankings were announced in a novel global virtual event and will be published in the June issue of the African Business magazine.

In a special report examining the results of the 2020 survey, the founder of Brand Africa, Thebe Ikalafeng, said GTBank’s “clever marketing, global presence and some of its flagship food and fashion events have undoubtedly helped make it a fixture of daily life in some of its key markets, especially its home base Nigeria.” He added that the bank, which recently won plaudits for building a 110-bed Care Centre in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, “has taken banking and finance to the people.”

GTBank has long been regarded as one of Africa’s outstanding brands and enjoys a massive youth following thanks to its innovative and forward-thinking approach to financial services and customer engagement. It currently commands the largest social media following amongst all financial institutions in Africa and in 2019, the Bank hosted over 700,000 people at its consumer-focused events, GTBank Food and Drink Festival and The GTBank Fashion Weekend, among them dozens of business leaders and industry experts from around the world.

In 2019, GTBank removed all banking charges for young undergraduates under the age of 25 on its GTCrea8 Account Package. The move was unprecedented in the financial services sector but not unusual for a bank that had pioneered Zero-Naira Account Opening in the country, and in which people over the age of 65 also bank for free. GTBank is also blazing the trail in digital technologies; after leading the USSD banking revolution in Nigeria with its 737 Service, the bank is driving the digitization of consumer lending with Quick Credit, a first-of-its-kind digital lending product that gives individuals and small businesses instant, real-time access to loans anytime, anywhere via their mobile phones.

Brand Africa’s ranking of GTBank as Africa’s Most Admired Finance Brand is only one of its many accolades. In 2019, the was recognized as the Best Bank in Africa and Best Bank in Nigeria, by the Euromoney Magazine and the Best Banking Group and Best Retail Bank Nigeria by World Finance Magazine. In the same year, the Bank also dominated the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Electronic Payment Incentive Scheme (EPIS) Efficiency Awards for the third year in a row, taking home 8 of the 12 honours for banks at the forefront of driving the digitalization of financial services.

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19-Year-Old Yabatech Student Arrested Over Salawa Abeni’s Nude Pictures

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The operatives of Rapid Response Squad (RRS) have arrested a 19-year-old National Diploma holder of Yaba College of Technology, Lagos as the brain behind the blackmail of Queen Salawa Abeni with nude photographs.

The suspect, Olufowoke Oladunjoye Emmanuel, a resident of Brentfield Avenue, Peace Estate, Magboro, Ogun State, was picked up by the Decoy Team of Rapid Response Squad last week Thursday after three days of monitoring him.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu had in the wake of *the* attempt by an unknown individual to blackmail Alhaja Salawa Abeni sometime in April 2020, directed the Commander, Rapid Response Squad, DCP Olatunji Disu to fish out the suspect.

After a technical diagnosis of the complaint, the Decoy Team narrowed down on the suspect a few days later.

Sources close to the team disclosed that the suspect couldn’t be picked because of the prevalence of COVID-19.

The suspect in his statement to the police confessed to having been the mastermind behind the ploy to publish some nude pictures of Waka Queen in exchange for money, adding that he was alone in the scheme.

The suspect, a 2017/2018 Electrical Engineering student of Yabatech, disclosed that he saw the nude pictures in a memory card which he picked up on the floor in Yabatech sometime in November 2019.

He added that after downloading the nude photographs of Salawa Abeni on his phone, he picked up her mobile number from her Instagram page.

“On 1st of April, 2020, I chatted her up and also called her after sending a few of the photos to her online.

My intention was to negotiate with her for a few bucks and for me to destroy the photographs.

I thought everything was going on fine until the following day when I heard the news of the blackmail over the radio. I was with my mother. She was even cursing the blackmailer unknown to her that I was the brain behind it.

I immediately sneaked out, destroyed the memory card, and threw my mobile phone and SIM card into a nearby wetland in Magboro. Since then, I never mentioned it to anyone and called Madam Salawa Abeni about it again”, he disclosed.

Commenting on the arrest, CP Hakeem Odumosu stated that no individual would be allowed to commit a crime in Lagos from any State or escape to other States in Nigeria to evade arrest.

He advised guardians to monitor their wards, emphasizing that the internet is a fertile ground for opportunities but the State Command would not allow criminals to use it as an avenue to exploit law-abiding Lagosians.

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BREAKING: Lagos Police Officer Kills Colleagues In Shooting Spree, Fires 30 Bullets [PHOTOS]

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A yet- to- be named policeman on Sunday morning allegedly opened fire on his colleagues at Onikan, killing some of them.

The yet- to- be named officer went berserk around 5am following a disagreement with other members of his team.

It was gathered that the trigger- happy cop hijacked their operational vehicle after shooting them and drove straight to Akoka in Yaba around 5am where he attempted to access a compound but couldn’t.

According to sources, the building had a metallic door and the policeman said to be attached to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) allegedly opened sporadic fire on the property to gain access.

Residents said they were frightened and took cover not knowing what was happening since it was around 5am.

According to The Nation, no fewer than 30 bullet holes were counted in an apartment, corridor, and ceiling of the premises.

It was learnt that the shooter, who spotted black outfits and rose in a white escort van with siren, might have become more frustrated after his vehicle stuck in a ditch when he made to escape.

Sources said distress calls were made to the Bariga Police Division and the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) who deployed operatives to the scene and restrained the active shooter.

From short videos obtained by The Nation from residents, the trigger happy cop was screaming incoherent, a development suggestive of a possible mental illness.

He was heard alleging that some persons wanted to corrupt him and that he should be allowed to go home in the name of Jesus.

At the time of this report, police spokesman Bala Elkana told our correspondent that the command was investigating the matter to understand what truly happened, adding that a statement would be released later.

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