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Badeh’s presence excites inmates, ex-CDS rejects prison food….

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The presence of a former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal, Alex Badeh (retd.) in Kuje Prison, Abuja, has generated excitement and curiosity among the inmates.

 

It was learnt that the inmates were amazed to see the former military chief in prison custody barely one year after his image loomed large across the nation.

 

We gathered on Saturday that the former CDS rejected food from the prison and opted to feed himself pending the time he would perfect his bail conditions.

 

It was learnt that Badeh was keeping a low profile in prison custody. A source said on getting to prison, his bio-data and other important details were taken before he was escorted to the prison officer’s office and allocated a cell.

 

He was said to have opted to feed himself, an indulgence that is granted all awaiting trial inmates.

 

“An inmate can reject prison food and sign for self-feeding, meaning he would provide his own food, his family members and friends can bring food for him daily, subject to the approval of the prison authorities,” an official who spoke on condition of anonymity said.

 

It was learnt that Badeh’s rejection of the prison food may not be unconnected with the poor quality of the food served inmates in Nigerian prisons.

 

The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Prisons Service, Peter Ezenwa amazed the nation last month when he said that a paltry sum of N222.30k was budgeted by the service to feed each inmate per day.

 

Ezenwa who stated this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Interior to defend the Prison Service’s 2016 budget warned of a possible revolt if things continued this way.

 

He stated that the service  made a proposal of N10.6 billion for the feeding allowance of 65,000 inmates, but that the Federal Government slashed it to N5.2 billion.

 

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Interior, Senator Usman Nafada however contended that each inmate was being fed on N130 per day.

 

“N200 per inmate per day is unacceptable. If you look at it, you are actually feeding each inmate with N130 per day. When you remove Value Added Tax, contractors’ profit and other corporate services, the N200 comes to about N130 to feed one inmate in a day. It is inhuman to feed a human being with N130 per day. What can anybody use N130 to buy? With N130, no inmate can come out of the prison better,” he said.

 

The NPS Public Relations Officer, Francis Enobore, could not be reached for comments on how Badeh is taking prison life, as he did not respond to telephone calls and an SMS sent to him.

 

Badeh was remanded in prison custody on March 7 by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, following his arraignment along with a company, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, on 10 counts of money laundering.

 

The judge had last Thursday granted Badeh bail in the sum of N2bn, which is to be guaranteed by two sureties in the sum of N1bn each.

 

Among other bail conditions imposed on Badeh, the judge ordered the ex-CDS to deposit both his blue and green passports with the court throughout the period of his trial.

 

Meanwhile, a lawyer to the former CDS, Mr. Samuel Zibiri (SAN), told us on Saturday that the two sureties the court mandated his client to produce had been secured and their details as well as the Certificates of Occupancy for their respective landed assets had been forwarded to the Chief Registrar for verification.

 

He said the ex-CDS should be out of prison by Monday.

 

 

 

 

 

@ SUNDAY PUNCH

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Union Bank, WACOT Rice Kick Off Financial Inclusion Drive for Smallholder Farmers in Kebbi

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As part of Union Bank’s commitment to driving financial inclusion in Nigeria, the Bank has partnered with WACOT Rice Limited – a rice processing company, to financially include 6,000 local farmers including youth and women in Kebbi State.
The Kebbi Financial Inclusion Drive (KFID) which will cover four Local Government Areas – Argungu, Augie, Suru, and Dandi – is a critical part of WACOT’s Argungu Outgrower Expansion Project funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) West Africa Trade Hub. This program is set to resolve the overwhelming financial inclusion deficit within rural communities in Kebbi.
The financial inclusion initiative is being implemented with technical support from National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), to help the farmers acquire the relevant documentation and identification required to open bank accounts.
Union Bank will facilitate account opening and expand its agency banking network to cover the areas while supporting its agents on ground with digital banking solutions to enable seamless transacting and account management.
Farouk Gumel, Chairman WACOT and Board Chair, Union Bank was on ground in Kebbi State to kick-off the drive and paid a visit to the Kebbi state Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu to discuss expanding the programme state-wide.
In his recent keynote address at the recently concluded and  Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) Conference, Mr. Gumel said:
 “As we work towards achieving financial inclusion to reach the unbanked, we must commit the same resources and investments to rural-local customers as we have done to urban-global clients to help create the growth that will lift us all to collective prosperity.”
WACOT Rice is a subsidiary of TGI Group. TGI Group, through another of its subsidiary Titan Trust Bank, recently acquired Union Bank in a landmark transaction which was announced in 2021.

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FIRSTBANK PARTNERS VERVE INTERNATIONAL, MAKES CUSTOMERS MILLIONAIRES IN THE FIRSTBANK VERVE CARD PROMO

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In partnership with FirstBank – Nigeria’s premier and leading financial inclusion services provider – Verve International, Africa’s leading payment technology and card business, has launched its third National Consumer promo designed to reward users of FirstBank verve card with exciting gifts and cash prizes to appreciate their patronage and use of the card to carry-out their electronic banking transactions.

The ongoing 2-month promo will end on 30 October 2022 as 20 customers (10 customers per month) with the highest transaction count during the promo will be made millionaires, winning the sum of N1 million each. Also, N20,000 will be won by 25 customers monthly.

On the other hand, 2620 FirstBank verve cardholders that double their transactions every week, stand a chance to enjoy 10% cashback capped at N2,000 per customer.

Speaking on the promo Chuma Ezirim, Group Executive, e-Business & Retail Products, FirstBank said “we appreciate our partnership with Verve Card through the years; a partnership of empowerment and opportunities which include growing the economy, supporting new businesses and preventing unemployment. FirstBank verve card holders are encouraged to keep using their cards as it is a card offering that promotes safe, convenient and rewarding digital banking experience with 20 customers standing a chance to be millionaires at the end of the promo.”

Verve card is a secure debit card that allows cardholders to conveniently meet their daily financial needs such as payment for goods and services, airtime recharge, bill payments, funds transfer, etc. Verve card is accepted across all ATMs, POS, Web and Mobile Platforms in Nigeria.

The promo is also opened to new verve cardholders as non-verve cardholders are encouraged to visit the nearest FirstBank branch today to pick up a Verve card and start getting rewarded!

Only recently, FirstBank – in partnership with Verve – rewarded over 2601 FirstBank verve cardholders with various prizes; including N20,000 cash prize, N10,000 cash prize, N10,000 worth of airtime; power generating sets, refrigerator, cooking gas, smart TV and the grand prize of a brand-new car to a lucky winner.

 

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Federal Government Orders University Vice-Chancellors To Reopen Schools, Begin Lectures Amid 7 Months Lecturers’ Strike

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The government issued the directive through the National Universities Commission (NUC), and a letter signed by its Director, Finance and Accounts, Sam Onazi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed.

The Nigerian government has directed vice-chancellors to re-open universities and allow students to resume lectures immediately.

The government issued the directive through the National Universities Commission (NUC), and a letter signed by its Director, Finance and Accounts, Sam Onazi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed.

 

The letter which The PUNCH obtained on Monday, was reportedly addressed to all vice-chancellors; Pro-Chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities.

 

“Ensure that ASUU members immediately resume/commence lectures; Restore the daily activities and routines of the various University campuses,” the letter partly reads.

We had reported that the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its ongoing nationwide strike.

 

It reported that the umbrella body of the lecturers in public universities had declared a warning strike on February 14, to force the Nigerian Government to implement agreements it earlier signed with the union.

 

The agreement stipulated how university education would be funded for better improvement.

 

The strike has since rolled over and is now in its seventh month following the government’s failure to implement all the agreements.

 

Several meetings between ASUU and the Federal Government have ended in a deadlock.

 

Consequently, the Federal Government went to court to challenge the strike.

 

The government through its counsel, James Igwe, prayed the court for an interlocutory injunction restraining ASUU from taking further steps as regards the strike, pending the determination of the substantive suit.

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