Alamieyeseigha Arrested in London
By Yusuph Olaniyonu, Moses Jolayemi in Lagos and Chuks
Okocha in Port Harcourt, THISDAY 09.15.2005
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
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
|The President can never go
Friday, September 09, 2005 Personal View
"Only the actions of the just smell sweet and blossom in the dust." James
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
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
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
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
the Web: Thursday, September 08, 2005 Vanguard
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
"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
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
THISDAY gathered that the commission has also declared
wanted the commissioner for Transport and Lands, and an aide to the governor,
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
"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
By Rotimi Ajayi
Posted to the Web: Tuesday, September 06,
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
"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
"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
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."
•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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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”.
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
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
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
“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”.
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
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.
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
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,
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
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
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.
tackle Ibori over N207bn allocation
By IseOluwa Ige
Vanguard Wednesday, December
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
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
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
"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
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
“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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
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.
pays N1.7bn to 7 ghost firms, ICPC tells court
By IseOluwa Ige
Vanguard Monday, December 06,
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,
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
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
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
— 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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Sales of NITEL and the Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria
are other sources of financing the 2.0 per cent deficit.
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
The Punch, Tuesday December 28, 2004
War on corruption must get
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
THE N2 TRILLION QUESTION.
Nine oil states to share
How They Steal
9 oil states get N886.570b in 5
Bayelsa gov pays N1.7bn to 7 ghost firms, ICPC tells
STASH $107b ABROAD
Nigeria hardest hit by sub-Saharan exodus of
Delta women tackle Ibori over N207bn