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Face off as NTDC board tackles DG on mismanagement, cancels consultancy agreements…

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The governing board of the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) has decided to deal with the issues of mismanagement, high handedness and disregard for civil service rules which are reportedly being perpetrated by the Director General, Mrs. Sally Mbanefo.

We learnt that in a board meeting held at the agency’s complex in Abuja on Friday, the board decided on the cancellation of all consultancy agreements entered into by the Director General.

Society Reporters NG had reported how Mbanefo engages consultants to do almost everything in the agency thereby making some staff of the agency redundant. This development is part of the growing disaffection between the staff and their boss. There are consultants in charge of restructuring, development of products and marketing alongside special projects which is being handled by one Ola Wright.

In a another development, we were told that the Director General without proper notification of the board had invited members of the press to cover a re-commissioning ceremony by the Chairman of the Board, Adamu Atta of the NTDC office complex recently renovated by her administration. She also wanted him to commission open roof tourism buses being managed by the ABC Transport Company in partnership with the NTDC. The chairman who became very angry at the development scolded her thoroughly.

The Chairman, we learnt insisted that until the DG is able to clear all the issues and complaints brought against her by various persons, there was no way she could embark on any new venture. Journalists who were invited to cover the commissioning event were later turned away without proper explanation.

It will be recalled that the same building was commissioned November 19, 2009 by President Goodluck Jonathan who was then Vice-President.

Our source disclosed that members of staff of NTDC were all in jubilant mood at the decision of the board chairman to correct all illegalities and injustice going on in the management of the corporation.

One who spoke on the basis of anonymity said: “We are all celebrating the Chairman. Even though some members of the board have compromised, he has remained resolute. The Chairman is standing his ground that every irregularity must be corrected”.

We spoke with Mr. Andy Ikemneme, a member of the board representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Our source accused him of compromise and complicity in the irregularities that goes on in the NTDC for personal gains.

He is also seen by our source as one who is not fit to sit on the board of the NTDC.

According to him, the position is meant for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and should only be occupied by a civil servant of a Director cadre.

“I can tell you that he is a personal staff of one of the Ministers in the foreign affairs ministry and not a career civil servant,” he alleged.

According to our source, Ikemneme was ‘settled’ by a security contract in which Fountain Source Security Company (a company he is alleged to have interest in and endorsed) was engaged to take over from Scapat Security Services which provided security services for the corporation for years before the new DG was appointed.

Investigations by us revealed that the new security company retained the staff of the former security company with a promise of better welfare and salary package.

A security officer who spoke after an agreement of identity protection told us that it was based on the promise to increase welfare packages that the amount the NTDC pays the security company was reviewed from N500, 000 upward.

“As I speak to you, Fountain Source has reneged completely on all agreements they had with us. We used to earn N16, 000 monthly, they promised to pay us N24, 000 but that increase has not been implemented. To make the matter worse, some of us have not been paid for two months.

“We have complained but nobody seems to be doing anything about it,” he complained to our reporter.

Ikemneme who spoke to our reporter agreed to have attended the meeting however denied the entire allegation. He said he has no relationship with the said company and have not compromised in any way.

His words: “Why are you people distracting this woman? The DG complained of some security challenges in the organization and so the need to change the company providing the service and so we gave her approval.

“The present company tendered for the job and won the contract.”

When asked to comment on the botched commissioning ceremony, he said: “the issue of commissioning was not in our agenda and so I don’t know anything about that.”

When we spoke with the Chairman of the governing board of the NTDC, Adamu Atta, he explained that those decisions the board took were in the interest of the corporation as so many actions of the DG have generated bad publicity in the media.

According to him, it is not time for the DG to grand stand or celebrate any mile stone but should devote her energies at explaining the query she got from the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke.

He said: “There have been gaps in the way the organization is being run by consultants because they do not brief or report to the board on developments.

“Consultancy must follow due process, but this is not the case in NTDC and that is why I have to cancel all the arrangements with them.

“A case in hand is the Fan’s village in Brazil issue; the people we cleared to travel to Brazil have complained that the consultants took over the assignment and also accusing us of using them to collect money illegally. These are allegations we cannot overlook.”

Concerning the botched re-commissioning ceremony, he said: “the said ceremony was not communicated to the board properly. She only informed me by a text message which was not proper presentation.

“I informed her earlier that I was not going to perform the commission but she went on with her arrangements.

“More interestingly, I was not given the background explanation for the said developments; how much was spent on the renovation and of what benefit. All these, I don’t have an idea. So it was not that I was angry, but I believe things must be done properly”.

We had reported that the Minister had on the accusation of financial impropriety and betrayal of trust against the DG by President of Za Entertainment, Mr. Azania Omo-Agege set up a probe panel to unearth the truth of the matter and report back to him. We also reported that she shunned invitations to appear before the panel thereby squaring up with him.

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More Troubles For Dangote Cement As Kogi Govt Demands 10 Per Cent Share, Orders Immediate Seal Off

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However, Dangote Cement is facing allegations of sharp practice from Kogi State government, Kogi Assembly as well as Akwa Ibom State.Already, the Kogi State House of Assembly has ordered stoppage to the activities of the company in two Local Governments in the State while investigations continue.

To make the claim possible, Kogi State House of Assembly ordered the management of Dangote Cement company to provide all necessary documents that have to do with the transfer of Obajana Cement Company owned by Kogi state government to Dangote Cement Company.

The House also directed that the documents signed at the establishment of the Company and relevant receipts of dues it claimed to have paid to Kogi State Government available at the next adjourned sitting date.

The speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Matthew Kolawole, gave the order after interim reports of the ongoing investigative hearing on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) which was submitted by the ad hoc committee led by Hon. Isah Tenimu Umar, Member Representing Lokoja I Constituency and deliberated upon at the plenary on Wednesday.

Kolawole said this has become important in view of the claims and counterclaims between the Chairman of Kogi State Internally Generated Revenue Service (KGIRS) and representatives of Dangote Cement as the acting chairman of KGIRS, Salisu Enehe had earlier accused Dangote Cement Plc Obajana of forging its tax receipt during the investigative hearing by the State House of Assembly.

According to the State Revenue Boss, most of the figures the company claimed to have paid are totally incorrect, urging the company to check its record.

He added that despite the billions of Naira that company is making from the state monthly, it has failed to pay taxes that are due to the state and Lokoja Local Government Area.

Nigerians Getting ₦1,593,247 Per Week From ₦99,000 Investment in Amazon
Nigerians Getting ₦1,593,247 Per Week From ₦99,000.

In another development, Following the unrestrained environmental degradation in Ankpa and Olamaboro local government areas, Kogi state House of Assembly on Wednesday, directed the Commissioner of Police and Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence (NSCDC) to seal off operations of Dangote Plc in the affected areas of the State.

The House gave the order during a public hearing on activities of Dangote Group in the state, especially on the the massive exploitation , environmental degradation and non compensation to the affected owners of the land and without revenue accruing to the state government.

The Speaker, Kogi state House of Assembly, Mathew Kolawole, charged the NSCDC commandant to ensure immediate implementation pending when the ad hoc committee on revenue clarifies some grey areas. Kolawole, who lamented the environmental degradation caused by mining activities on Kogi by the Dangote group and its subsidiaries, accused the multi national business concern of making billions in the state but yet fails to give back to it.

Akwa Ibom is also finding it difficult to collect its entitlement from the Dangote Group. According to reports from the place, the Itu Local Government blocked Dangote premises with their trucks because the company has refused to pay tax for more than two years despite pleas and series of warnings.

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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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