United Ijaw * Welcome to United Ijaw on the web. Our preference is national self determination, the independence of Ijawnation as a Sovereign State. A state that promotes sustainable economic and social development, democratic principles, liberty, free enterprise, equal rights and justice. This is our story, this is our struggle. **** On Kaiama Declaration We Stand **** United Nations Under Secretary-General, Dr. Antonio Maria Costa, in Abuja condemned the theft of Nigeria's assets by past corrupt leaders. He said that kleptomaniac leaders stole more than 400 billion dollars from the Nigerian treasury between 1960 and 1999. **** IJAWNATION THINK! THINK. **** Almost $170 billion of the country’s wealth disappeared and ended in the private accounts of individuals between 1999 and 2003 alone... Priye Torulagha ****Nigeria has failed Niger Delta – Nnamani **** Resource Control: Niger-Delta governors are traitors – Evah **** Only the fear of a volcanic social eruption from below can stop barbaric behaviour by holders of political power – Gani Fawehinmi ***** “ if the Confab and Nigerians are not willing to heed to Resource Control, they will take it by force” - Oronto Douglas We Dare To Be Different.
Population: 14,833,421


Gov Alamieyeseigha Arrested in London

By Yusuph Olaniyonu, Moses Jolayemi in Lagos and Chuks Okocha in Port Harcourt, THISDAY 09.15.2005

Money Laundering

Bayelsa State Governor  Diepreye Alamieyeseigha was yesterday arrested in London, United Kingdom on allegation of money laundering. It could not be immediately confirmed if he was released yesterday or if he would be prosecuted in London. THISDAY gathered from authoritative sources that Alamieyeseigha was arrested by men of the London Metropolitan Police yesterday afternoon at the Heathrow Airport on his way from Germany where he had gone for medical check up. His arrest, a source said,  may not have been unconnected to the earlier interrogation of a lady who was said to have tried to transfer a huge sum of money believed to be between £10 million to £20 million from an account with the HSBC, a prominent bank in London.

The huge sum involved in the transaction had alerted the Metropolitan Police whose officers quizzed the lady. She was said to have revealed that she was only managing the account on behalf of Alamieyeseigha. A source said since the lady's encounter with the Metropoli-tan Police, Alamieyeseigha had been on the watch list of the British law enforcement agencies. Another source, however, added that Alamieyeseigha was taken to his house for a search after the arrest and that about one million pounds was found in a safe in the house. Though this could not be independently confirmed, the source said the governor had been warned by his friends not to travel to Britain until investigations were concluded.

The British High Commissioner, Mr. Richard Gozney, yesterday confirmed that the Bayelsa state governor was questioned by the London Police. Gozney who spoke to THISDAY last night however refused to give further details on the arrest “because we have a strict policy of allowing the Police to explain themselves to the media”.The envoy described the incident as a normal police work in Britain. The British government, Gozney said, is working closely with the Nigerian security agencies on “a collective effort by Nigeria to fight and eliminate trans-national crime”. He, however, declined further comments saying “we do not comment on individual cases”.

A lady who spoke to THISDAY on phone from the London Metropolitan Police last night said she was aware further of the incident but could not give details. She then directed our reporter to the press section of the Scotland Yard where she said details of the case could be provided.

All efforts to get hold of any of the officers at the Scotland Yard however failed as the telephone was permanently on answering service. The Nigerian High Commission could not also be reached last night   for  comments. There are however indications that Alamieyeseigha may not be released so soon for fear that he may jump bail and return to Nigeria where he enjoys immunity from civil and criminal prosecution as provided for in Section 181 of the constitution. Attempts to get officials of Bayelsa State Government to react to the development proved abortive. Even several calls made to Alamieyeseigha by THISDAY were unsuccessful. The State Commissioner fior Information, Oronto Douglas is however, expected to address the press on the issue today.

There are unconfirmed reports that security has been beefed up in Bayelsa. A few of the governor’s friends who were contacted in London to help reach him were not able to get across to him. In 2003, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) had quizzed Bayelsa State Government officials over the use of some phony companies not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to secure multi-million naira contracts. The various petitions bordering on corrupt practices almost stopped the renomination of Alamieyeseigha as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate.

Also, last week, Bayelsa State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Solomon Apreala, accountant general, Elder Steven Enanamu and Government House accountant, Olaitan Ikemike were arrested in Yenagoa, the state capital, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and taken to Port Harcourt for interrogation over financial irregularities concerning the building of a Government House complex and an executive speed  boat for the governor. Plateau State Governor Joshua Dariye had last year been arrested by the same London Metropolitan Police over allegations of money laundering and illegal transfer of funds.

But after his arrest, Dariye was released on bail and was to keep appointment with the London police. But he returned to Nigeria and has refused to make himself available for further interrogation by the London police. Dariye was then on suspension from office following the declaration of a state of emergency in his state by President Olusegun Obasanjo. In an enquiry about his status from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the London Police, it was said that Dariye  enjoyed no immunity. It was argued that even if he was not suspended his immunity does not extend to a foreign country.


War on corruption must get bloodier by Sepribo Lawson-Jack,Texas, USA.

Recent events appear to indicate that president Olusegun Obasanjo is finally getting serious about his government’s war on corruption. In the past twelve months there have been several high profile cases of corrupt public officers being brought to book. The president has forced his police chief and the president of the Nigerian Senate to resign; he fired a serving federal minister and the vice chancellor of a university; and all are being prosecuted in the courts of the land. Just last month, the governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha was arrested and being prosecuted in London, England on money laundering charges. The president’s erstwhile close friend and associate, Chief Oyewole Fasawe and the chairman of All States Trust Bank, Chief Ebitimi Banigo are both being quizzed by Nuhu Ribadu’s EFCC. Close aides of the Adamawa State Governor, Boni Haruna are being arrested and, hopefully, information extracted from them for the eventual prosecution of the Governor after he lives office in 2007. Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa is in hot water over his 800,000 Pounds London home. According to media reports as many as fourteen serving state governors may have to answer corruption charges before the EFCC.

The president must be congratulated and encouraged since none of this would have happened without his active cooperation and support. The buck stops at his desk. Absolutely.

I would like to think that the war on corruption is just beginning in earnest. For a country that is so rich and yet the masses of its citizenry are starving; that earned over 30 billion US dollars in crude oil sales in the past twelve months alone and yet can not provide electricity and safe drinking water for its citizens; that is so beautiful and yet its professional classes can not wait to abscond to foreign lands; that is so hard working and generous and yet consistently being labeled the most corrupt in the world. For a country that has suffered such systemic and pandemic corruption for so long, the war is just beginning. A drastic problem requires a drastic solution. Just like America’s war on terror, Nigeria’s war on corruption must be fought at all levels with all the resources at the government’s disposal. The fight against corruption will be a long and bloody one but Nigeria will come out healthier, stronger and respected by other nations.

As with every war, this one will not be without its casualties and collateral damage. Sometimes, they may be our tribesmen and women; other times they may be our allies, mentors, neighbors, friends or family members. But the good citizens of Nigeria must stand firm on the high ground of truth and morality no matter how close to home the war rages. They must stand with the president to prosecute this war to its logical conclusion. We must acknowledge that it is never moral to steal because everyone around you is stealing. It certainly is not a defense in law.

Some critics are accusing the president of selective prosecution based on tribalism, political witch hunting, vindictiveness, etc. This may well be the case. However, the fact of the matter is that the president has a large pool of thieves to prosecute. It does not make sense to prosecute all of them at the same time nor does he have the resources to do so. Additionally, there may be tactical and security considerations concerning who he chooses to prosecute at a particular time.

As a person of Ijaw extraction, I am aware that many of my kinsmen and women are agitated and apprehensive, particularly, by recent events including the simultaneous arrest and humiliation of the governor of the only homogeneous Ijaw state, the Ijaw founder and chairman of All States Trust Bank and the Ijaw militant leader Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari. All of this coming on the heels of the failed National Political Reform Conference where Ijaws and Niger Deltans were once again denied their rights and freedoms for self actualization.

Is there a grand plan by the Obasanjo government to use the war on corruption as a cover to coerce Ijaw people into abandoning their struggle for equity and justice in Nigeria? Does the president think that by hounding down party men and old friends who happen to be Ijaws that the masses of the people will be beaten into submission? Is there a deliberate attempt to confuse issues by putting Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and Dokubo-Asari on the same public dock? I don’t think so. I hope not.

Nevertheless, I am prepared to give my full support to the president on his war on corruption even if he decides to prosecute only Ijaw thieves provided it is done with due process and within the laws of the land. This, I believe, will be to the benefit of the long suffering people.


The President can never go wrong!

Friday, September 09, 2005
Personal View
 Mobolaji Sanusi

"Only the actions of the just smell sweet and blossom in the dust." James Shirley
OURS is not a normal polity which is why abnormal things are happening everyday. Nigeria’s democracy is exhibiting some bizzare  features that have defied scientific solution that worked for other countries. Professor Wole Soyinka got it right when he described  the on-going un-presidential show between President Olusegun Obasanjo and his Vice, Atiku Abubakar as “.... really a strange  politics. How many presidents or vice presidents do you see attacking each other?” Unfortunately,  analysts have been writing on a  strange democracy where participants exhibit  strange conducts.

President  Obasanjo’s  bottled up anger against his vice exploded during his last Presidential Media Chat because a caller referred  him to an interview where his Vice said he swore to him that he won't do a third term. The President denied ever swearing before  Atiku. To him, he owes Atiku no obligation of loyalty. Rather, he, Atiku, as his deputy, owes him, the boss, a duty of loyalty.

Obasanjo even said he gave Atiku at a time a Bible and a Quran to swear that he is loyal to him when in his words, there are  proven evidence of his disloyalty. Governance has been reduced to a mere loyalty to an individual and not the Nigerian state.
Atiku as a Muslim rejected the request. Of course, he couldn’t have sworn on the Quran without doing ablution. Atiku merely  referred to swearing by Mr. President from the metaphoric sense. It is a common thing to hear people say; “believe me; take my  words,” et cetera. The President might casually have told his deputy to “believe me” on the third term issue. But the President  misconstrued Atiku’s statement by giving  it literal or Yoruba meaning.

In all of these, one thing is clear, and that is the fact that Obasanjo is contemplating a third term which Atiku does not support  because, it would frustrate his own presidential ambition in 2007. Hence, the conflict in focus was caused by some reasons  including the Vice President’s disloyalty to a selfish and unconstitutional third term cause; his  constitutional ambition to become  president in 2007,  and, his infamous attempt to upstage his boss in the 2003 national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (  PDP).

The issue of swearings by both men is uncalled for. It is out of place as it showed both men’s little faith in the oath of office taken  on May 29, 2003. It is lack of political etiquette for the President to have publicly taken on his deputy. This is not to say that the  newspaper interview that exhumed this acrimony from its temporary burial site was necessary. As long as this crisis persists, it will  continue to provide a fractious leadership which could stagnate an already confused administration. There is more to governance  than mere backsliding. The duo should just allow the country to run as their fighting is casting aspersion on the nation’s political  integrity.

Beyond this crisis, there is the need to unravel why a consistent pattern has been established overtime where public figures simply  run into problems once they disagree with the President. Could it be that the President can not go wrong?

The President is a human being and as such I do not subscribe to the idea that he is infallible. Far from that. A peep into history  files shows that Dr. Chuba Okadigbo of blessed memory, was removed as Senate-President because he was not acceding to the  tunes emanating from Aso-Rock. His stubbornness and unguarded   tracks made him vulnerable,  leading to his removal as the  nation’s number three man. It took a lot of courage for Anyim Pius Anyim and Umar Ghali Na’Abba, Senate-President and  Speaker respectively in the National Assembly to survive the Presidential onslaught against them. All these men belong to the same  party as the President.

At the party level, the leadership hierarchy of the ruling  PDP, has changed batons several times whenever the occupier is no  longer amenable to the President's biddings. Solomon Lar, pioneer National Chairman of PDP, fell for  same reason. Bernabas  Gemade and Audu Ogbeh have now learnt the implication of getting to power through the grace of President Obasanjo and not the  grace of God. It is only God’s grace that is enduring and everlasting. Within a short while, they fell from grace to grass. A probe of  why these erstwhile men of power and influence were removed unceremoniously was because they had the effrontery to disagree  or query a President who believes he cannot be wrong, albeit erroneously. I am watching to see whether Ahmadu Ali’s end will be  different. May be?

The President has practically accused every body in Nigeria of corruption, but he won’t tolerate others accusing him of same. My  dad often tells me that if the anus of a saint is duly scrutinized, faeces would be found there. What this translates to is that there are  no saints anywhere, not even in Nigeria. No matter the level of disguise, it is a known fact that a society produces the kind of  leadership it deserves. If a society is corrupt and poverty reigns supreme in its domain, its leadership cannot prove to be above  board. This is why Nigeria in the latest IMF  2004 Global competitiveness score sheet  placed a shameful 98th position out of 102  countries.

Many people might ignore Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu’s allegations of corruption for the umpteenth time against the  President. But the reality is that the courageous man’s allegations should be given the benefit of doubt. The President’s referral of   Kalu’s letter to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for investigation and to publish same if it so desires, is not  transparent as EFCC under Ribadu cannot probe its benefactor. What the President ought to do is to send the letter to the National  Assembly that has the power under section 88 1(b) and 2(b) to investigate anybody or institution accused of corruption.

Most institutions like INEC, universities and other government parastatals don’t get their votes released to them by the President  even when we are in the last quarter of the year and, there is appropriation to that effect passed by the National Assembly. This is  unconstitutional but President Obasanjo can never go wrong. The problem with public office holders in the nation is that they lack  ethical standard through which they  can be judged. This is why it is  common for Nigerian leaders to haughtily feel they can never  go wrong.


CNPP okays EFCC probe of senior Bayelsa Govt officials

By Samuel Oyadongha
Posted to the Web: Thursday, September 08, 2005

YENAGOA - THE Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) in Bayelsa State has described as a welcome development the arrest and detention of three senior Bayelsa government officials by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged diversion of public funds through purchase and award of contracts saying the move would go a long way to instil financial discipline in the state governemnt.

Although the detained officials, were released Tuesday evening at the Port Harcourt International Airport as they were about to be taken to Abuja following an order from the Commission's headquarters, the coalition of political parties in the state insisted that the matter be thoroughly probed with a view to sanitising the polity.

The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties in Bayelsa State in a statement signed by its Chairman, Mr. Ebikibina Miriki made available to Vanguard in Yenagoa noted that the recent visit of the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to Bayelsa State to investigate alleged financialimpropriety is a vindication of the coalition’s position on corrupt practices in the state where the government has not published its audited account since 1999.

It called on the commission to leave no stone unturned in checking the excesses of government officials by carrying out its duties diligently and effectively with honesty and transparency, devoid of threat, intimidation or personal interest from any quarter.

...Bayelsa Govt reacts

YENAGOA - Bayelsa State Government yesterday reacted to the arrest of three of its officials by EFCC men.

In a statement by the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Oronto Douglas, the government stated: "On Wednesday, officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) visited Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital and arrested some state government officials, who were subsequently taken to Port Harcourt, questioned and later released.

"The EFCC officials were said to be acting on a petition over the purchase of a government boat, Sunseeker, as well as the contracts for the construction of the Governors’ and Deputy Governor’s Lodge, which were begun in 1999. The state wants to put on record that the EFCC, however well-intentioned, was acting on frivolous and malicious documents, mere concoctions of political careerists, who seek to capture power in the state in 2007.

"We are alarmed that Ijaws and the government of Bayelsa State are being persecuted for such issues as boats and a Governor’s lodge, in a state that has in six years witnessed unprecedented infrastructural development.

"These political jobbers are so blinded by the craze for power, that they fail to see the remarkable achievements on ground, which have been acknowledged by even Mr. President, Ijaws worldwide and the good people of Bayelsa State.

"Today, Bayelsa boasts of first class highways, comparable to the best anywhere in the world. The Niger Delta University stands in tribute to a far-sighted administration. The 500-bed hospital is nearly completed. A Federal Medical Centre, built and equipped by the state government is also in place. A ground-breaking Community Budgeting initiative was only recently put in place by the state governor, to give our people a greater say in the allocation of their resources.

"It is also on record that Bayelsa is the only state in the country that has a due process office, which authenticates the cost, award and implementation of contracts."

EFCC Quizzes 3 Top Bayelsa Officials

From Chuks Okocha in Port Harcourt and John Iwori in Yenagoa, 09.06.2005 (THISDAY)

Three top officials of the Bayelsa State government were on Monday interrogated by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commi-ssion (EFCC) over allegation financial malpractices. A Bayelsa State government source however said the men have been released after they were questioned in the Port Harcourt office of the agency.According to the source, the arrested persons include Hon. Solomon Apreala, commissioner for Finance, Elder Steven Inanamu, Accountant-General  and Mr. Olaitari Ikemike, Government House Accountant.

THISDAY gathered that the commission has also declared wanted the commissioner for Transport and Lands, and an aide to the governor, Abel Ebafemowa.

According to an EFCC source, the officials are being detained in connection with purchase of a big boat and the contract for the building of a new Governor and Deputy Governor 's lodges in Yenogoa.
The state governor Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha is still outside the country, but his acting press secretary in a statement made available to THISDAY confirmed the arrest of the state government officials.
The text of the statement are as follows: “On Monday, September 5, 2005, officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) came to Yenagoa, capital of the Ijaw nation and of Bayelsa State of Nigeria ostensibly in discharge of their official duties.

 “At the end of the day, three senior government officials, namely: the state commissioner for Finance (Hon. Solomon Apreala); the Accountant-General of the State (Elder Steven Inanamu) and the Government House Accountant (Mr. Olaitari Ikemike) were taken to Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State where they were questioned and detained.

 “Information available to the Government of Bayelsa State indicate that they are being interrogated for alleged diversion of public funds through purchases and award of contracts. On purchases, the EFCC is said to be interested in a new boat bought by the Government, Sunseeker, which is the official boat of the Executive Governor of the State. On contracts, they are said to be interested in the contract for the building of both the Governor and his deputy’s lodges.
“The Government of Bayelsa State wishes to react as follows:

"The EFCC has visited several states across the federation since its inception for purposes of interrogating government officials over allegations of corruption. In all these places, EFCC personnel spoke with the people there or invited them to their offices in Abuja. There were no middle stops. We are at a loss why the questioning of our state officials did not take place in Yenagoa but in Port Harcourt. We hope there are no political undertones to this strange investigation;

"It would appear to us that the target of this EFCC onslaught is His Excellency, Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha, but then, hard evidence would be needed to move against him, so it becomes easy to go after his aides! Anyway, we are aware that of late, several high-ranking government officials, including the President of the Federal Republic, General Olusegun Obasanjo, the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mohammed Uwais and other government officials from across the federation have come under EFCC searchlight; "The whole world knows that Bayelsa State is about 85 per cent on water and we wonder why the purchase of a boat for official use by the governor would raise an eyebrow. We are aware that governments in other states and even at the federal level have even bought more expensive machines for transportation. Why is Bayelsa – the only Ijaw state in Nigeria – now the subject of EFCC persecution? As to the contracts for the building of the Governor’s Lodge and the Deputy Governor’s Lodge, these were projects that commenced in 1999. What is the game behind investigating these projects?

"The implication for the continued detention of the three key finance officers of the state are quite clear – paralyse the state!
"Finally, we wish to state that the reason behind the setting up of the EFCC is noble. The Government of Bayelsa State supports it. All Nigerians must support the EFCC to carry out their duties diligently and effectively. However, where the EFCC is turning out to be a vehicle for the persecution and demonisation of citizens, then our democracy is in danger.”


EFCC probes NNPC's finances

By Rotimi Ajayi
Posted to the Web: Tuesday, September 06, 2005

ABUJA—IN the wake of the allegations of corruption levelled at President Olusegun Obasanjo by Governor Orji Kalu of Abia State over the President’s supervision of the Ministry of Petroleum, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has commenced investigations into the finances and accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Governor Kalu had in a letter dated August 22, 2005 accused the President of engaging in series of alleged acts of corruption in his official capacity as the Minister of Petroleum. The letter reads in part: "The third question for you, sir, centres on your tenure as Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources since 1999.

"Why has there not been a properly audited account for the Ministry of Petroleum Resources since then despite the outcries by the people for this to be done? There is indisputable evidence that all the major deals in the nation’s oil sector are being handled by you through some agents.

"What about the leakages and the fraud at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), with particular reference to crude oil sales and accrued commissions? What have you done to check the malfeasance?"

The President has already directed the EFCC to commence investigations into the allegations, which he described as wide and wild.

In a letter yesterday, the EFFC Chairman, Alhaji Nuhu Ribadu, said the commission would carry out full scale investigations into the NNPC and all its subsidiaries. The letter with reference number EFCC/EC/DA-NNPC/29 was addressed to the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr Funso Kupolokun.

The letter reads: "The commission is conducting an investigation on the finances and accounts of the NNPC and its subsidiary and affiliated companies.

"Kindly furnish with details of financial transactions (revenue received, expenditure, etc) audited accounts, contracts awarded (including joint venture contracts, products etc), process of award of such contracts from 1999 and all information that will assist us in our investigation.

"Please accept the assurances of my high consideration."

Meanwhile, in another letter dated same day and addressed to Governor Kalu, the EFCC Chairman invited the governor to a meeting with a view to getting more details on the six-page allegations the governor made against the President and top government officials. The letter was the second to be written by EFCC Chairman to Governor Kalu in a week since the governor made his allegations.

The letter entitled: "Re: Working for Posterity to Judge Us," stated that all previous attempts by the Chairman of the commission to contact the governor had been futile.

It reads: "I refer to my letter Ref: EFCC/EC/GC/031-503 of 2nd September 2005. After delivering the letter, I made several attempts to reach you but to no avail. I was informed that you were out of the country.

"I personally telephoned your residence in London but could not reach you. I also telephoned your house in Washington D.C. but could not reach you either. I reiterate my request for a meeting with you to enable you furnish us with all details of your allegations.

"Accept the assurances of my highest considerations, please."


Thisday Online 12.11.2004

•BAYELSA N126 billion

By John Iwori

Just as the Federal Government allocation to Bayelsa State monthly is high,  Governor Diepreye Alamieyeseigha expenditure profile   has also been high as evident in what he has already done or plans to do in the years ahead.

These days wherever and whenever Bayelsans gather in or outside Yenegoa, the sleepy capital of Bayelsa State particularly at the end of the month when the Federal Government releases figures of its allocation to states, it is not uncommon that the issue that tops their discussion is how state government spends its huge allocations.

Between  May 1999 and July 2004, the Bayelsa state Government hjas received, from federal allocations, the sum of N126 billion, beside the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state.

This is the state where billions of naira was expended on feasibility studies for various projects during the first term. A lot of the projects including oil mill. refinery project etc, never saw te light of day.

No doubt, the state's monthly allocation is high, but there is a plethora of voices on how this money is spent monthly. In fact, tongues have been wagging on what the Alamieseigha administration  has been doing with the monthly allocation.

While some are of the view that the present administration under Chief Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha has delivered on its mandate to the electorate by initiating and implementing a number of people-oriented programmes and policies, not a few, within and outside the state are convinced that much of the funds acruing to the state have merely been frittered away.

Gov Alamieseigha was not availbale during the week to answer THISDAY's inquiries on the allocations to the state so far. In the same way, no official was willing to publicly comment  on the issue. However, THISDAY checks revealed that besides the payment of salaries and other routine obligations, the Alamieyeseigha’s government has not left anyone in doubt that its allocations from the federation account is being spent on the following areas:

Security: Against the backdrop of insecurity and frequent youth restiveness in the Niger Delta region where the vandalization of oil pipelines and other installations, kidnapping of oil workers, especially expatriates was the order of the day, the state government devoted a substantial chunk of its federal government allocation to programmes and measures aimed at eradicating or minimizing the increasing cases of youth restiveness and insecurity of lives and properties in the state. The state government's security outfit, Bayelsa Volunteers was not only established by the Alamieyeseigha’s administration, it also equipped it with sophisticated weapons and gadgets, patrol boats and vehicles to police the state's nooks and crannies. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Government House Transport, Youths and Logistics told newsmen that the Alamieyeseigha’s administration spends not less than N40 million monthly on the Bayelsa Volunteers. The amount which covers the payment of stipends for the upkeep of the volunteers, has however attracted criticism from certain quarters.

According to critics, the money spent on the Bayelsa Volunteers is another means of siphoning the state scarce resources since the outfit has no legal backing from the legislature. arm of government.

Nevertheless, the Bayelsa State chief security officer defended the expenditure on the Bayelsa Volunteers in his presentation of the 2005 appropriation bill estimates to the State House of Assembly. Said he: “you will agree with me that our dear state has achieved the peace needed for sustainable development. To strengthen security, the administration provided support to the various security agencies and other auxiliaries security services in the state. We have also succeeded in providing an enabling environment for the Bayelsa Volunteers to operate in the state. I am glad to report that this organization has complimented the efforts of other security agencies creditably”.

Roads and Infrastructure: Created October 1, 1996 by the late head of state, General Sani Abacha, Bayelsa State has only one access by land – the Mbiama/Yenagoa road. Though it is a Federal Government road, the Alamieyeseigha’s administration in 2002, awarded the rehabilitation of the road to construction giant, Julius Berger Plc. Apart from expanding it and making it a dual carriageway, the state government also made provision for streetlight. The contract which is valued at N7.6 billion is at the verge of completion. It is expected to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2005. 13 other link roads within the state capital, Yenagoa, the Amassoma – Tombia road and Emeyal – Otuoke road are progressing satisfactory, according to the governor. Already, 3 roads started by the Alamieyeseigha’s administration has been completed and commissioned by President Olusegun Obasanjo during his recent visit to the state.

Education: Though the state government is yet to make public the exact amount it has so far spent on the establishment on the state – owned Niger Delta University (NDU), Wilberforce Island, impeachable sources said a substantial chunk of the state allocations from the federation account has gone into making the tertiary institution meet the required standards.

In the words of Alamieyeseigha “there is no doubt that we have achieved tremendous progress in the area of education. The establishment of the Niger Delta University and subsequent efforts at building it has given our teeming youths greater opportunities for higher education.

“Besides, government has started a systematic programme in all educational institutions. This year alone, government has carried out renovation of more than 30 schools. Contract has also been awarded for the building of a befitting library complex in the state capital. We are also giving deserving attention to the proposed Federal Polytechnic in Yenagoa”.

But it is on the Niger Delta University project that the governor was recently accused by the ICPC of awarding contract and effecting payment of about N1.7 billion to  fake companies

Transport: This is another area the Alamieyeseigha administration is spending its Federal Government allocation. It has procured and commissioned 24 luxurious boats for transportation in the riverine parts of the state, besides the establishment of the Bayelsa Transport Company (BTC). This company already has a fleet of vehicles plying various routes within and outside the state.

According to the governor, “government has continued to provide official vehicles to civil servants. In November 2004, all the 33 Permanent Secretaries in the state civil service were each given a brand new Peugeot 504 Saloon car”.

Health: Governor Alamieyeseigha scored himself high grades in the healthcare delivery in the state. According to him, government has introduced the monthly release of funds for the systematic upgrading of healthcare facilities in the state. Work on the 500 bed general hospital is progressing satisfactorily.
He disclosed that N400 million has been signed to upgrade facilities at the Okolobiri General Hospital. But the question is has the hospital really been upgraded? And could it ever have been done with the said  amount?

Housing:  A number of housing projects has been completed just as it is embarking on new ones. These include Opolo Housing Estate for Commissioners, Special Advisers, General Managers and other top government functionaries; an estate beside government house, Yenagoa; completion of the new Liaison Office in Abuja; acquisition of eighteen three bedroom apartments in Abuja to serve as transit camp for Bayelsans in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja; governors and deputy governors lodges across Epie Creek in Yenagoa, as well as the preparation of over 2000 plots to civil servants to build their own houses.

Investments: One area the Alamieyeseigha’s government has devoted a significant part of the Federal Government allocation is the establishment of companies and acquisition of shares. Apart from the Brass Refinery Limited in which the Bayelsa State government has a substantial interest, the Alamieyeseigha’s administration recently acquired 54.8% of the shares of International Trust Bank Plc. The purchase of the bank shares cost the state government about N2 billion.

Utilities: To arrest the scarcity of potable water in Yenagoa and its environment, Governor Alamieyeseigha disclosed that a total of 58 rural water projects and the Yenagoa main water works have been awarded. He did not say how many have been completed.

Bayelsa remains the only state in the federation yet to be connected to the national grid. It depends solely on the Kolo Creek/Nun River Gas Turbine Power Station, Imiringi in Ogbia Local Government Area to meet its energy needs. However the machines are not only analogue but also obsolete as they are no longer in the market anywhere in the world. To arrest the persistent power outage from the decaying machines, the two units of the gas turbine station were sent to the original manufacturers, Rolls Royce at Aberdeen, Scotland for digitalization. The exercise cost the state government millions of pounds. Already, the two digitalized gas turbine engines have been brought back to the country and installed for improved electricity supply.

For instance, not a few have wondered why the haste to build a new multi-billion naira governor and deputy governor lodges across Epie Creek in Yenagoa when it was just a few months ago, the existing ones were renovated. The renovation exercise cost the state government millions of naira. Indeed, going by its architectural design and finishing, the current Bayelsa State Government House, Yenagoa can compete favourably with any other one in the federation.

It is in the same vein many view the Bayelsa Airport Project. Already, in certain circles, it has been tagged “a needless white elephant project designed to siphon the state scarce resources”. Mr. Ebikibina Ebiowei, a Yenagoa resident told THISDAY that the airport project would be abandoned as soon as the politicking for the 2007general elections gatherers momentum.

“How many Bayelsans can afford to travel by air? Already Nigeria has 19 airports. Apart from the one in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Calabar, the rest are barely in use. What's more, there is an air-port in Port-Harcourt, which is just about an hour or so drive to Yenegoa, so why "waste money on an air-port project now, when so many other biting needs are abandoned? Yet our governor thinks what we need now is an airport,an indication that he is not only misplacing the state's priorities, but also that he is fast  disconecting with the people. 

“The argument that he is constructing the airport because of the envisaged influx of people to the state as a result of the gas gathering project and the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) hardly appeals to anybody in Yenagoa. People believe that if  the East West road is rehabilitated, one can get to Yenagoa from Port Harcourt international airport faster.”

9 oil states get N886.570b in 5 years

By Omoh Gabriel, Business Editor
Culled from Vanguard Tuesday, November 23, 2004

LAGOS—THE nine oil producing states got a total of N886.570 billion from the federation account between June 1999 and July 2004. This excludes allocation to local governments in the states. A break down of the net allocation to states of the federation showed that Delta got the highest allocation during the period. 

The state government, according to figures released by the Federal Government, got a total of N207,205,520,093.76 or 8.76 per cent of the total net allocation to the states. Second is Rivers State with a total allocation of N145,791,169, 261.66 or  6.2 per cent, followed by Akwa Ibom with N137,185,605,770.17 or  5.8 per cent. Bayelsa State got N125,911,797,483.38, which is trailed Ondo which got a net allocation of N73,471, 513,482.51.

Imo State on its part received N55,909,252,839.81 while Edo and Abia States got N47,673,975,707.47 and N47,875,075,118.36 respectively. Cross River got the lowest allocation of N45, 546,887,628.44.
A break down of the allocation shows that Delta in the second half of 1999 got N3.131 billion. In 2000, it was allocated the sum of N27.358 billion and in 2001, the state’s share of the federation account rose to N40.531billion. The amount further rose to N43.610 billion in 2002 and N52.365 billion in 2003. In the first half of 2004, the state got N40.208 billion.

Rivers State on the other hand received the sum of N3.013 billion in the first half of 1999, N17.805 billion in 2000 and N22.128 billion in 2001. The allocation to the state improved to N30.169billion in 2002 and N40.928 billion in 2003. In the first half of this year, Rivers has received N31.746 billion from the federation account.

In the same vein, Akwa Ibom State in 1999 got N2.832 billion as its due from the federation account and in 2000 the state’s share of the federation account leaped to N21.853 billion. It went up to N30.858 billion in 2001 but declined to N18.793 billion in 2002. In 2003 however, it went up again to N32.445 billion and N30.403 billion in the first half of this year.

Bayelsa, the fourth highest recipient from the federation account, got N2.175 billion between June and July 1999 and N17.071 billion in 2000. In 2001 the state’s share from the federation account climbed to N22.473 billion and fell to N18.082 billion in 2002. It rose to N32.855 billion in 2003 and further to N33.252 billion in the first half of 2004.

The breakdown of other states allocation in the oil producing states shows that Ondo State in the second half of 1999 got N2.3 billion and in 2000 it received N11.4 billion. This rose to N16.662 billion in 2001 but declined to N12.829 billion in 2002. In 2003, the state got N16.569 billion and between January and July this year the state received N13.640billion from the Federal Government.

Further breakdown showed that Imo State got a net allocation of N2.205 billion in the second half of 1999 and N8.659 billion in 2000. In 2001 it was allocated N11.769 billion but dropped to N10.120 billion in 2002. In 2003, the state got N12.132 billion and in the first of 2004, N11.027 billion.

Abia State got N1.880 billion in the second half of 1999 and N7.068billion in 2000. In 2001, a total of N8.997 billion was its net allocation and this rose to N9.054 billion in 2002 and further to N11.285 billion in 2003. In the first half of this year the state received N9.590 billion.

Edo State on its part was allocated N2.240billion in the first half of 1999 and N7.663 billion in 2000. In 2001 the state collected N9.730 billion as its share of the federation account. This declined to N7.436 billion in 2002 and improved to N10.775 billion in 2003. In the first half of 2004, Edo State has already collected the sum of N9.827 billion from the federation account.

Allocations to state governments have improved considerably since the inception of this administration. Since 1999, the fortune of governments in the country has improved as a result of higher prices of crude oil in the international market.


Delta women tackle Ibori over N207bn allocation

By IseOluwa Ige
Vanguard Wednesday, December 01, 2004

ABUJA — SHOCKED by revelations that the Delta State Government collected a whopping N207 billion from the federation account between June 1999 and July 2004, the Warri Women Consultative Assembly yesterday asked Governor James Ibori to explain why there is yet no perceptible development in the state, especially in its riverine areas.

The group also said that it had commenced move to push for the stoppage of the release of Delta State allocation to Gov. Ibori if he refused to account for the allocation already collected by his administration.

The group did not expatiate on how it would achieve this.

But its spokesperson and Chairman, Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor told newsmen in Abuja that her group had already begun mobilising all women in the state, especially those from the riverine areas for a peaceful protest against alleged maladministration of Gov. James Ibori in the oil-rich state.

Lori-Ogbebor who said that the peaceful protest will be tagged "Hunger and Poverty Protest," explained that there is much hunger and poverty in Delta State in spite of billions of naira being pumped into the government’s account every 30 days.

Her words: "It is time for all Deltans to stop and reflect on the style of administration of Governor James Onanefe Ibori in Delta state. It is time we stopped fighting, killing ourselves. It is time we asked Governor Ibori a big and all-important question bordering on how he has been spending our money.

"It is no longer hidden that the Federal Government had published the net allocations for all states of the federation including the nine oil producing states. It is not hidden either that of all the states of the federation, Delta state got the highest allocation between June 1999 and July 2004.

"In spite of the said whopping sum of N207 billion naira collected by our state, there is no development in Delta. We cannot point to any concrete thing done by this government of James Onanefe Ibori.

"The Itsekiris and the Ijaws should be asking this question — where is our allocation which run into billions of naira instead of fighting ourselves over creation of wards.

"The songs of those of us in the riverine areas should be why is it that we cannot feel the impact of this money in the areas of decent accommodation, food, clothing and even simple tools of fishing like nets and boats," she added.

The group however appealed to all well-meaning Nigerians, including government institutions like the police, the army, the navy to assist them by not disturbing them or frustrate their bid to peacefully protest against the Deltan government soon.


Saturday Punch, July 24, 2004
Revelation from United Nations: NIGERIANS STASH $107b ABROAD: ‘Nigerians, others poorer today than 20 years ago’

Adeniyi Adesina and Emeka Madunagu

Unless the Nigerian government redresses the citizens’ penchant for stashing funds abroad, President Olusegun Obasanjo’s drive to attract foreign investment to Nigeria will be meaningless, the United Nations has warned.

In a new report, the world body also stated that Nigerians and citizens of sub Saharan African countries are poorer today than they were 20 years ago.

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), has just released its 2004 report after an extensive survey of the economic and social conditions of nations in sub-Saharan Africa.

It singled out Nigeria as the nation with the worst case of capital flight in the region, with more than $100 billion private wealth kept abroad, representing an estimated 70 percent of the nation’s total private wealth.

Although president Obasanjo has often defended his foreign trips as a necessary vehicle for attracting international businessmen to the country, the UNIDO report stated that having such amount outside the country is an indication of insecurity at home, which would make it difficult to convince foreigners to bring in their money as a direct investment.

It further explained that the nation could be on the path to economic recovery if government could get these funds to be returned and invested at home first before seeking foreign investment.

The report says in part: “By 1999, Nigeria had an estimated $107 billion of its private wealth held abroad. This was a far larger amount than the value of private wealth invested in the country. Indeed, about 70 percent of Nigeria’s private wealth was held outside Nigeria.

“This is both a symptom that something was radically wrong, and a major opportunity. It is a symptom in that if Nigerians were placing their own wealth abroad, it was evident that foreign private investment was also unlikely to enter the country in large quantities other than for highly specialized opportunities such as oil extraction.

“Evidently, the investment climate was unsatisfactory, for whatever reason. It is an opportunity, because if Nigeria’s own wealth could be attracted back to the country there would be scope for a massive increase in the private capital stock: it could roughly tripled.”

The report urged Nigeria to borrow a leaf from Uganda, which had the same problem of huge capital flight by its citizens as at 1990.

It explained that Uganda worked hard throughout the nineties to get the money back to its territory and that “in some years, the capital repatriation flow was larger than export earnings.”

Also, the report noted that the poverty level of nations in sub-Saharan Africa would not change unless their leaders would strive to enthrone good governance and macroeconomic management. They must also develop the private sector, diversify their economies and dramatically improve agricultural productivity.

“The required higher growth rates are not unattainable. They have been achieved elsewhere by countries such as China, India, South Korea and Thailand, which started at levels of income similar to those of Sub-Saharan African countries today.”

Stating that following its 20-year study, abject poverty had grown in the 30 countries of sub-Sahara Africa, the UNIDO report says those living in absolute poverty in the region rose from 42% in 1981 to 47% in 2001.

This is in contrast to the situation in other regions of the world where absolute poverty dropped from 40% to 21% within the same period. UNIDO describes people with absolute poverty as those earning $1 dollar a day or less.

It counselled that the best way to lift the countries in this region out of poverty is to develop trade and industry.

UNIDO predicts a bleak future for Africa and particularly the sub-Sahara, due to this steady decline of the economies of the countries for a quarter of a century. “Unless this disturbing trend is reversed, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are unattainable for Africa. The trend is all the more remarkable because it is exceptional: the other regions that around 1980 were characterized by low per capita income – South and East Asia – have on average grown rapidly.”

It added that “sub-Sahara Africa is not just failing to converge with other regions, its decline is absolute: per capita incomes are significantly lower now than a quarter-century ago.

“Rather, decline has been fairly continuous over the entire period. Brief periods of positive growth have been interspersed with longer periods of decline. Decline has been the norm.

In comparison with the next-poorest region, South Asia, the report stated that the Asians’ “per capita income, measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis, is about 50 percent higher than that of sub-Sahara Africa.

The late dictator, General Sani Abacha, was reported by a World Bank report in April to have stolen over $5 billion from Nigeria’s coffers.

Economics Nobel Laureate, Prof. Joseph Stiglitz, had stated on May 10 in Abuja that the stashing of funds abroad by Nigerians was a direct response to the unfavourable investment climate in the country.

A study released by the Nigerian Trade and Investment Centre in London last month stated that the total assets of an estimated two million Nigerians resident in the United Kingdom was worth over 94 billion pounds sterling.

Of this figure, 84bn pounds is in real estate; 7bn pounds in vehicles; and 3bn pounds in stocks and shares.

Reacting, the minister of Information and National Orientation, Chief Chukwuemeka Chikelu, told our correspondent on Thursday in Lagos, that, “Nigeria has been constantly and steadily attracting new investment. Just last week, Shell Petroleum Development Company announced $9 billion new investment in Nigeria between now and 2009.

Saturday Punch, July 24, 2004

Location: Sunday 01 Aug 2004  Business news

Nigeria hardest hit by sub-Saharan exodus of capital
UN Report
By Festus Eriye, Lagos
Nigeria suffers the worst case of capital flight in sub-Saharan Africa. This is the conclusion of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) in its latest report on economic and social conditions in the sub-region.

The Industrial Development Report for 2004 says more than $100-billion of the private wealth of Nigerian citizens - representing 70% of the nation's private wealth - is kept overseas.

Another study released by the Nigerian Trade and Investment Centre in London in June estimates the total assets of close to two million Nigerians resident in the United Kingdom at more than £94-billion.

The bulk of this figure - £84-billion - is in real estate, while £7-billion is invested in vehicles and £3-billion is in stocks and shares.

The Unido report warns that having such huge wealth abroad is harmful to the nation's economy, and a disincentive to foreign investors who are unlikely to invest where such signals of insecurity are evident.

"By 1999, Nigeria had an estimated 107-billion of its private wealth held abroad. This was a far larger amount than the value of private wealth invested in the country. Indeed, about 70% of Nigeria's private wealth was held outside Nigeria," the report stated.

"This is both a symptom that something was radically wrong, and a major opportunity. It is a symptom in that if Nigerians were placing their own wealth abroad, it was evident that foreign private investment was also unlikely to enter the country in large quantities other than for highly specialised opportunities such as oil extraction," the report stated.

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has made the attraction of foreign investment a cornerstone of his economic policies in his five years in office - causing him to constantly travel overseas to get his message across.

However, Nigerians have been highly critical of his travels, which they say have been wasteful and have yielded few results.

The Unido report suggests that if Nigeria's own wealth could be attracted back to the country there would be scope for an economic revival. It advises Nigeria to learn from the experience of Uganda - which in the early 1990s had similar problems of massive capital flight as its citizens transferred funds abroad.

Concerted efforts in the 1990s by the Ugandan government to get its citizens overseas to repatriate wealth back home led to a situation in which "in some years, the capital repatriation flow was larger than export earnings".

In the 1980s and 1990s many Nigerian professionals emigrated to countries as far afield as Canada, Saudi Arabia and Australia as economic conditions deteriorated.

Their regular remittances to friends and family back home has created a boon for money transfer firms - such as Western Union Money Transfer - and these companies now have outlets in most major banks across the country. The Unido report, which calls sub-Saharan Africa "the last frontier in the fight against abject poverty", says between 1981 and 2001 the percentage of people living on less than $1 a day fell globally. Yet in the sub-region the number has increased.

"While between 1981 and 2001 the number of people living in absolute poverty fell worldwide from 40% to 21% of the total population, in sub-Saharan Africa it increased from 42% to 47%."

Compared with South and East Asia, sub-Saharan Africa is lagging behind. According to the report, Asia's "per capita income, measured on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis, is about 50% higher than that of sub-Saharan Africa".

The UN agency is mystified by the near-absolute regional decline in economic standards during the past 25 years. "Decline has been fairly continuous over the entire period. Brief periods of positive growth have been interspersed with longer periods of decline. Decline has been the norm.

"The trend is all the more remarkable because it is exceptional: the other regions that around 1980 were characterised by low per capita income - South and East Asia - have on average grown rapidly."

For poverty levels in the region to change, foreign assistance would be required, said the UN. Yet countries would also need to give attention to good governance, develop the private sector, diversify their economies and increase agricultural productivity.

It warned that gross domestic product per person would have to grow on average more than 4% a year until 2015 to achieve eight targets set in the Millennium Development Goals.

The UN has set targets which it hopes to attain by 2015. They include halving the number of people earning 1 a day or less; halving the proportion of people suffering hunger; establishing universal primary education; and halting the spread of HIV/Aids.

Of 30 countries in the sub-region, only a handful - among them South Africa and Botswana - are likely to attain the growth requirements. Others include Mozambique, Malawi, Cape Verde, Mauritania, Uganda, Benin and Equatorial Guinea.

"The required higher growth rates are not unattainable. They have been achieved elsewhere by countries such as China, India, Thailand and South Korea, which started at income levels similar to those of Sub-Saharan African countries today," the report stated.

Bayelsa gov pays N1.7bn to 7 ghost firms, ICPC tells court

By IseOluwa Ige
Vanguard Monday, December 06, 2004

ABUJA — GOVERNOR Diepreye Alamieyeseigha of Bayelsa State allegedly approved and paid a total N1.7 billion to seven fictitious companies as contract sum, the Independent and Corrupt Practices Commission, last Friday, told a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

The court also heard that the state Tenders Board issued contracts to fake companies to the tune of N667, 258, 865.00 .

The Bayelsa Governor who was yet to respond to the allegation, however, secured a legal victory on Friday in respect of the matter as he was given a go-ahead by the court to apply for an order of mandamus compelling ICPC to hand over to him, a report of its investigation which allegedly indicted him.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC), had, about two years ago, commenced investigations into allegation of corruption, mismanagement and abuse of office against the governor and some Bayelsa State government officials upon a petition forwarded to it.

The investigations were into various matters including the contract award system, financial practices, procedures and system of government of Bayelsa State. The commission which invited a number of government officials during investigation indicted the governor and some of the government officials but did not make available its report to the state government despite its request for it.

Instead, the commission sent the report to the Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC), Justice Muhammadu Lawal Uwais, with a petition requesting that an independent panel be convoked to investigate Governor Alamieyeseigha of corruption. The refusal of ICPC to make available a copy of the indicting report made Bayelsa State government approach a federal high court sitting in Abuja with a view to compelling it to release the report.

After arguments were canvassed on behalf of Bayelsa State Government, the presiding judge, Justice Stephen Adah, last Friday, granted leave to the state to compel ICPC to hand over a copy of its report to the state government. The commission’s report was written by two of its investigators, Messrs. O.O. Kehinde and A. Abdulsalam.

Specifically, the report stated that Alamieyeseigha approved contracts and payments of Niger Delta University to the tune of N1.7 billion to about seven fictitious companies.

In an affidavit deposed to by one of ICPC’s investigators, Kehinde, the names of the fictitious companies were given to include ADM Investments Limited, Multi Web Nig. Ltd, Graceland International Ltd., Brits Investments Ltd., Vinny Investments Ltd., Jowiz Nig. Ltd., Marsh Nig. Ltd. and Niger Delta Wetland Centre.

According to the commission, at the time the said contracts were awarded and paid for, none of the companies was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). Besides, the commission stated that no financial regulations were followed on the award and mode of payment for such contracts. ICPC also stated that the Bayelsa State Tenders Board issued contracts to fake companies to the tune of N667,258,865. 00 .

Relying on these findings, the commission applied to Chief Justice Muhammadu Uwais to investigate the allegations in accordance with the ICPC Act.

But Bayelsa State’s Attorney General, Mr. Talford Ongolo wrote a letter to the commission asking for a copy of the report. He stated in the letter that the report would help the state to improve its financial practices.

The commission, however, refused the request following which Ongolo wrote another letter of demand. When it became obvious that the commission would not release the report, the state went to court asking for the following prayers:

— A declaration that by virtue of section 6 of ICPC Act, the commission has a statutory duty to assist the state on ways by which fraud or corruption might be eliminated;

— A declaration that having conducted and concluded an elaborate investigation into the financial practices, systems and general management of the finances of the government of Bayelsa state consequent upon a petition alleging corrupt practices against the governor of the state, ICPC is duty bound to make the report available to him for the purpose of assisting him to review the financial practices of the government in order to take appropriate steps to eliminate or minimize fraud or corruption and

— An order of mandamus compelling the commission to make available a copy of its report.

The state claimed that ICPC was under obligation to help it check fraud and that the report of its investigation into the affairs of the state was necessary to help it tighten all loose ends.

The state said that it cooperated fully with the ICPC’s investigation team and therefore, deserved to be given a copy of the report of the investigation. The case had been adjourned to December 16 this year for hearing. The court ordered Bayelsa to serve ICPC with all the court’s processes.


How They Steal Your Money

Thisday Online 12.11.2004

•An Idiot’s Guide

The Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) is as good as cash – and what a bonanza it has become. For a governor who wants to steal directly from the state allocations, ISPO is the best instrument. It works like this: in a fraudulent arrangement with a bank in which state allocations are lodged, company X will be named as having just won a contract from the state government. The bankers will be instructed to pay the company a certain amount as soon as the state allocation draft is lodged. However, the truth is that company X did not win any contract, and no job is going on. All that comes from the state at the end of the month is the balance after the deductions of the ISPOs. The deductions may go on for years, and at the end of the “exercise,” company X will be counting billions.

Inflated Contracts a.k.a “Jerk it up”
It has been suggested that the biggest drainpipe for public funds is the inflated contract syndrome. A contract that should cost probably N20 million may be awarded for N100 million in order to take care of everybody’s interest – from the head of the executive arm to the cabinet, from the party chieftains to lawmakers in the last 10 years.
A presidency official said during the week that over N800 billion has been lost to the “jerk it up” syndrome.
The presidency is trying to block this pipe at federal level through the Due Process office, but the fear is that this office too may become a drainpipe in the nearest future.

Inflated Bills
A former Northern governor, who was well-known for his flamboyance, was a man of no little appetite. When he assumed office in 1999, he reportedly directed parastatals and departments to make certain “returns” on a monthly basis.
The State Primary Education Board (SPEB) alone was making a return of N50 million monthly to him throughout his tenure. What SPEB simply did was to “adjust” its expenditure profile in order to satisfy the governor’s appetite.
This scenario is a familiar style in the states. The governor gets fatter, the citizen gets thinner.

Council Allocation Magic
This is very common in the North. The councils are not allowed to allocate contracts beyond certain sums, irrespective of what the council allocations are.
For instance, a governor may put a ceiling of N2 million expenditure per month for its councils, even through each council may be entitled to N50 million from the federation account. Whatever happens to the balance in the governor’s business. QED

Nine oil states to share N354bn

Culled from The Punch, Tuesday December 28, 2004
Sam Akpe, Abuja

The nine oil-producing states in the country may share N354 billion as 13 per cent derivation fund in 2005.

This fact is contained in the revised budget sent to the Senate last week by President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Although the Federal Government had put the projected net oil revenue at N2.7 trillion, it said N354 billion would be set aside as derivation fund.

The 1999 Constitution stipulates that 13 per cent should be deducted from derivation fund and paid to states where natural resources that form the bulk of the nation’s revenue are derived.

The affected states are Rivers, Bayelsa, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Imo, Delta, Ondo, Edo and Cross River.

According to the documents on the revised budget, exclusively obtained by our correspondent, the accruing derivation fund is calculated on the basis of $30 per barrel benchmark proposed by the president.

It is also based on the daily average production of 2.6 million barrels per day of crude oil.

The revised budget shows that government is also depending on 200,000 barrels average daily production of condensate.

Both the crude and condensate have shut up production to 988 million bpd per annum.

Nigeria’s equity crude stands at 471 million barrels per day while JV Partners have 517 million.

Crude oil sales alone are expected to fetch the Federal Government N1.318 trillion while petroleum profit tax would bring in N950 billion.

Royalties from the oil industry will amount to N395 billion, while N63 billion is expected from other oil-related revenue sources.

Another breakdown showed that a combination of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas and the upstream gas, gas flaring penalties, pipeline fees and rents would fetch N63 billion.

Also, out of the expected N2.7 trillion, N2.4 trillion would be lodged in the Federation Account.

Revenue summary from the non-oil sectors reveals that government is expecting N373 billion from both company income tax and the Value Added Tax.

With N190.1 billion expected from the Nigeria Customs and Excise, the total projected non-oil revenue in 2005 stands at N563.1 billion.

The revised budget showed that the Federal Government’s share of oil revenue would be N1.2 trillion; VAT pool N25 billion; and revenue from Customs and Excise is N92 billion.

The government’s share of company income tax is estimated at N100 billion, while revenue from independent sources is estimated at N100 billion, bringing the total to N1.5 trillion.

The government also outlined the sources of deficit financing as excess crude account, from which it plans to pull out N148 billion and sale of properties, which would contribute N15 billion.

Sales of NITEL and the Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria are other sources of financing the 2.0 per cent deficit.

The proceeds projected from the sales are N67 billion and N27 billion, respectively.

With a projected deficit of N221 billion, a financing gap or surplus of N35 billion is noticed when compared with the total deficit financing avenues of N256 billion.

The Punch, Tuesday December 28, 2004

War on corruption must get bloodier

The President can never go wrong!

CNPP okays EFCC probe of senior Bayelsa Govt officials

EFCC probes NNPC's finances

EFCC Quizzes 3 Top Bayelsa Officials


Nine oil states to share N354bn

How They Steal Your Money

9 oil states get N886.570b in 5 years

Bayelsa gov pays N1.7bn to 7 ghost firms, ICPC tells court


Nigeria hardest hit by sub-Saharan exodus of capital

Delta women tackle Ibori over N207bn allocation