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ICPC Dismisses Group’s Allegations Against Aregbesola as Baseless, Unsubstantiated

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offence‎s Commission (ICPC) has described the petition of the Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun State against Governor Rauf Aregbesola as baseless and unsubstantiated.

 

ICPC, in a letter with reference number ICPC/INV/NGB/T.E2/003, addressed to the petitioner, Chairman, Civil Society Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun State, which was copied to the Osun Secretary to the State Government stated that it’s investigations have not established an act contrary to the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act, 2000 as none of the allegations were substantiated.

 

The commission stated that having diligently investigated the allegations and finding nothing against Governor Aregbesola, the allegations have been dismissed.

 

The Government, through the Bureau of Communication and Strategy in the Office of the Governor, reminded Nigerians that the ICPC’s final decision was a vindication of the repeated claims by the government that the group was one of individuals hired for the purpose of tarnishing its name.

 

ICPC, in the letter titled, Re: Petition against Osun State Governor- Mr. Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, for criminal and reckless mismanagement of Osun State funds since November 2010 to August 2015 held that all of the allegations brought forward have been looked into conclusively with no infraction substantiated.

 

According to ICPC, “The above case bordering on fraudulent diversion of N11.4 billion obtained through Osun SUKUK bond to private foreign account, money meant for building of schools regardless of the N13.9 billion intervention funds from. The Federal Government through UBEC for the purpose of building classrooms has been investigated conclusively with no infraction substantiated.

 

“An investigation of‎ the above allegations confirmed that Osun State government raised N11.344 billion from the issue of the SUKUK bond through Nigerian commercial banks. Investigation also revealed that after the issue of the bond, Osun State Government sought and got approvals from the Securities and Exchange Commission and Shariah Board of Lotus Capital Ltd. To amend the schedule of schools to be constructed from 27 mixed schools to 11 high schools and to furnish the schools. The approval of SUKUK holders is still pending.

 

“Also contrary to the allegation that the SUKUK proceed was diverted to private foreign account, it was disbursed from Osun SUKUK company accounts with 13 Collecting Nigerian Commercial banks and used for payments of contractors awarded the contracts of construction and furnishing of 11 senior Secondary Schools in various part of Osun State.

 

“Furthermore, contrary to the allegation that N13.9 billion was disbursed by UBEC to Osun State, the total of N7,192,585,041.64 has been disbursed to Osun SUBEB for the period 2011-2015. This amount consists of Universal Basic Education matching grants, Special Education Funds, Teachers Professional Development Fund and state’s counterpart funds lodgement in line with UBE Act 2004.

 

“In view of the above paragraphs, investigations have not established an act contrary to the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 as none of the allegations were substantiated. Therefore the matter is hereby laid to rest”. The Commission said.

 

The Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, stating the Government’s position over the outcome of the ICPC’s investigations, said the Aregbesola government was never in doubt that the group was an illegal one which was only being used by traducers of the administration to diminish its many achievements.

 

“When the so-called group was everywhere making its highly irresponsible and frivolous allegations, we never minced words on the fact that it was an unregistered group of few disgruntled, hired individuals to tarnish the image of the government and seek to diminish the massive good governance initiatives that are the hallmarks of our interventions here.

 

“The ICPC’s dismissal of the frivolous allegations is a vindication of our earlier position on the group and other collaborators in their ignoble campaigns of calumny.

 

“The Aregbesola administration has instituted the most transparent, people friendly government in its six years and more and we do not intend to depart from this path. This is because we are convinced in this lies the brighter future of our dear state,” Okanlawon added.

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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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