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Banks Absolve Lagos Speaker, Obasa Of Alleged Multiple Accounts

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Officials of Ecobank, Wema Bank and Polaris have absolved the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa of allegation of operating multiple bank accounts in the banks.

Some representatives of the banks spoke before the 9-man House Adhoc Committee on fact finding and investigation on the corruption allegations against Speaker Mudashiru Obasa being circulated on the social media on Friday.

The bank officials stated that it was not possible for an individual to operate multiple accounts with one Bank Verification Number (BVN).

The Committee is headed by Hon. Victor Akande (Ojo Constituency 1).

Present during the meeting were Hon. Rotimi Olowo, Hon. Yinka Ogundimu, Hon. Lukmon Olumoh and Hon. Mojisola Alli-Macaulay.

A Business Development Officer with Wema Bank, Mr. Adekunle Adeleke, said that the BVN server is not reserved with any bank, but the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“Sahara Reporters stated the account number and other details in their reports, but they didn’t state the BVN. What Sahara Reporters wrote is not BVN. There are a lot of errors in their report.

“The BVN and the accounts stated in the story are not correct and they don’t belong to the Speaker of the Assembly.

“It is not possible for a BVN to have two dates of births. If they do so, it would be rejected in another bank, they would have to swear to an affidavit so that it would be the same.

“If it should be changed, it would be backed up by marriage certificate or sworn affidavit,” he stated.

Adeleke stressed that the companies stated by Sahara Reporters in their reports had no linkage with Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa.

He added that the name, signature and other details in the story has no relationship with Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa.

“You can write Wema Bank to confirm if the accounts mentioned by Sahara Reporters had any relationship with the Speaker.

“The computer system in the bank has a digital footprint that would show any visit to any account. It will show imprint of anyone that checks the account. You can request the details of all the checks, but we will need written request from the owner of the account.

“BVN is a different server, it does not belong to any bank. You cannot punch BVN and get any financial details. It is only the regulator or the anti-corrupion agency that can do so through the CBN,” he said.

Polaris Bank was represented by Mr. Charles Osho and Mr. Rotimi Omotayo, Chief Internal Auditor of the bank.

Mr. Omotayo said that only three of the 64 accounts credited to the Speaker by SaharaReporters were with Polaris Bank.

He revealed that two of the accounts belong to one Mr. Adebayo Adeyemi David, while one belongs to Mr. Ajayi Mudashiru Obasa.

“Mr. Adebayo Adeyemi David is different from Mr. Ajayi Mudashiru Obasa and there is no linkage between the two personalities.

“Rt. Hon. Ajayi Mudashiru Obasa has one account with our bank and the BVN quoted for Obasa is correct. The other person has a separate BVN for the two accounts.

“It is not possible to check someone’s account without authorisation. There is what we call system log. Whoever accesses an account is logged on the system and we can see whoever does that.

“We know those who access any account at any point in time. We can avail you of the information if you require it,” he said.

General Manager of the Lagos State Public Procurement Agency (PPA), Mr. Onafowote Fatai Idowu, who was also invited by the Committee, revealed that the 40 Toyota Corolla back-up cars bought for the 8th Assembly were with the notice of his office and that the purchase followed the due process.

He said that Certificate of Compliance was issued for the procurement of the vehicles on 30th April, 2019.

“We were communicated and we responded for the process to continue and we approved the purchase of the vehicles.

“The purchase of the vehicles was approved by the Management Committee of the House, led by the Speaker Mudashiru Obasa and the relevant documents were provided.

“Members of the Committee were Hon. Wahab Olumuyiwa Jimoh, Hon. Rotimi Olowo, Hon. Dayo Saka-Fafunmi, and Hon. Setonji David. The purchase was budgeted for and It is in tandem with the appropriate Procurement Law,” he said.

The committee subsequently adjourned sitting to Saturday 6th June, 2020 at 10am.

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Disparaging Dangote Uncalled For, Creating Bad Waves For Nigeria – AFDB President, Adesina

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The president of the African Development Bank Group, Akinwumi Adesina, has spoken out in defence of the Dangote Refinery, addressing concerns about potential monopolistic practices.

In a statement shared by businessman Femi Otedola on Tuesday via X, Adesina expressed his shock at the controversy surrounding Dangote’s operations, warning that it is “creating bad waves for Nigeria globally.”

According to Otedola’s post, Adesina argued that monopolies often arise in industries with high entry barriers or capital costs, citing railways and large-scale refineries as examples.

He was quoted as saying, “Monopoly often exists where there are high barriers to entry or high capital costs. How many individuals or companies can do railways? How many can do refineries of the scale of Dangote Refineries? In a nation that has been importing refined petroleum products for several decades, the abnormal simply became very normal.”

The AfDB President emphasised the significant investment made by Dangote, stating, “No smart investor would make a $19.5 billion investment and want it to be undermined by importers.”

He highlighted manufacturing challenges in Nigeria, describing the business environment as fraught with policy uncertainties and reversals.

“To manufacture is extremely expensive and risky. This is even more so in Nigeria, given the very challenging business and economic environment, fraught with policy uncertainties and policy reversals, and where the self-defeating default mode of “simply import it” is always so easily rationalized and chorused to solve any problem,” he said.

Addressing concerns about anti-competitive practices, Adesina said, “Competition is good for everyone. But is Dangote refineries anti-competitive? What is the evidence? Has Dangote Refineries prevented any other company from setting up refineries? Why have others not done so? How come they have not done so for several decades?

“Was it Dangote that held them back? But Dangote refineries surely cannot be asked to ‘compete’ with importers of petroleum products. That is not competition. Let the importers set up local refineries and compete by refining in Nigeria. That is fair and justified competition.”

Adesina stressed the broader economic implications of the refinery, stating, “We cannot and must not undermine, disparage or kill local industries, talk less of one that is of this scale — a jewel of industrialisation in Nigeria. It is more than simply delivering the cheapest product to the market.

“It is about domestic supply security, driving (and yes, protecting) globally competitive industries, maximising forward and backward linkages in the local economy, job creation, reducing forex expenses and shoring up the Naira. We must not be myopic.

“This whole disparaging of Dangote is uncalled for. It is self-defeating. And it is very bad for Nigeria. Who will want to come and invest in a country that disparages and undermines its own largest investor? Investing is tough. Pettiness is easy. It sadly sends a signal that the price for sacrificing for Nigeria is to get sacrificed.”

 

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BBC To Cut 500 Jobs As It Attempts To Save £200m For ‘Transformation’ Of The Corporation

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The BBC has announced plans to cut 500 jobs as it attempts to save £200 million to drive the “transformation” of the corporation.

Chief operating adviser, Leigh Tavaziva said it is making the changes to improve its premium video offering and digital capabilities.

It comes as the BBC is already attempting to save £500 million as part of a plan announced two years ago.

Tavaziva said “significant activity” is already underway to make the corporation “more flexible”.

She said: “In March this year we announced a requirement for an additional £200 million of savings and reinvestment plans to drive the continued transformation of the BBC.

“This will support greater investment into premium video content and further develop our digital capabilities.”

She added: “To further build our digital capabilities, whilst targeting efficiencies, over the next two years we will continue to close and transfer roles in some areas and create new roles in growth areas.

“This will result in a forecast net reduction of 500 roles in the public service by March 26, with further growth in targeted areas planned in our commercial group.

“To support these changes we will today be launching a new voluntary redundancy scheme for staff.

“Our priority remains to protect and champion the BBC’s fighting role as the UK’s public service broadcaster, for all our audiences both local and global.

“I would like to thank all colleagues for their continued efforts and commitments over the past 12 months.

“I am immensely proud of the exceptional content creativity, delivery, and innovation that our teams both provide and support every day.”

The BBC announced in March 2023 that it was to cut 1,000 hours of TV in order to save money, with half of that coming from sport.

In the same year, the corporation announced it was scrapping its in-house chamber choir, the BBC Singers, and reducing salaried orchestral posts across the BBC English Orchestras by around 20%.

In December 2022 it said that it was making £11m worth of cuts in local radio, which saw its 39 stations required to share content and broadcast less localised content.

Back in 2016, the BBC said it needed to cut £800m worth of costs, with £80m of that coming from news.

The move saw the Andrew Neil Show axed in 2020, along with 450 jobs in English regional TV news and current affairs, local radio and online news.

 

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I Have No Blending Plant Outside Nigeria, NNPC Boss Kyari Replies Dangote

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The Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Mele Kyari has said he does not own a blending plant outside Nigeria.

Kyari stated this on Tuesday, July 23, while reacting to claims that some officials of the NNPC have blending plants in Malta.

Reacting in a post on his X handle (formerly Twitter), Kyari said he had been inundated with calls from family members and friends, asking if he truly owns a blending plant in Malta.

Kyari stated that he does not own or operate any business directly or by proxy anywhere in the world except a local mini-agricultural venture.

He also said he is not aware of any employee of the NNPC that owns or operates a blending plant in Malta or anywhere else in the world.

“I am inundated by enquiries from family members, friends and associates on the public declaration by the President of Dangote Group that some NNPC workers have established a blending plant in Malta thereby impeding procurements from local production of Petroleum products.

“To clarify the allegations regarding the blending plant, I do not own or operate any business directly or by proxy anywhere in the world with the exception of a local mini Agric venture, neither am I aware of any employee of the NNPC, that owns or operates a blending plant in Malta or anywhere else in the world.

“A blending plant in Malta or any part of the world has no influence over NNPC’s business operations and strategic actions.”

The NNPC boss threatened to sanction any official of the NNPC involved in such acts if they truly exist.

 

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