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HOW JUDE EJIOGU LOOTED 1BILLION NAIRA IMO LGA PENSION FUNDS

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I told you before that as a young man one of the artists I followed his music is the late legendary Afro-beat maestro Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Fela did a lot of songs, most of which are about the misrule of our government and even the western imperialists. Fela did a song titled: ‘Beasts of no nation’ to protest the evil apartheid regime in South-Africa. And back home, Fela through his songs exposed so many evil in government dealings. ITT (International Thief, Thief) ,VIP (Vagabonds in Power), Teacher don’t teach me nonsense, Sorrow, tears and blood and Authority Stealing are a few among many work of legendary Fela. I remember his song title Army Arrangement; I heard Fela singing and saying 2.8 billion naira oil money missing.
Last time, I told you that over 3 billion naira was looted and carted away by the Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly Hon Benjamin Uwajumogu. I told you that the Imo Speaker awarded fraudulent Road Contracts to himself in Imo State using his friends as fronts and used the money he got from the road contracts scams to acquire eye popping mansions in Nigeria.I shouted because In the midst of abundant human and natural resources, the vast majority of Imo working masses live in abject poverty. The vast majority of Imolites are kept in unstable and difficult socio-economic conditions while a tiny fraction have exclusive access to things and comforts of life. I called Uwajumogu the International Thief Thief number one of Imo State.The entire money stolen by Uwajumogu alone is enough to begin to rebuild failed infrastructures in his Okigwe constituency. Yet this same man is jostling to represent Okigwe zone in the Senate.
This time i am pointing at the International Thief Thief number two that is currently in power in Imo State, another VIP (Vagabond in Power). This highly placed government official and his accomplices stole 1billion naira from the Imo State LGA Pension fund when he was the Chairman of Local Government Service Commission. Today, LGA pensioners are calling on the State Government to immediately settle the pension of Local Government retirees in Imo State.So who looted the monies issued out by Governor Okorocha to settle LGA pensioners?
Many of these LGA retirees are already living from hand to mouth, despite having committed their active lives to serving society. Many of them are already infirm and can hardly afford the exorbitant hospital bills charged thanks to commercialization of healthcare in Imo State. Many have their children in schools, and can hardly pay high fees. While many of these retirees have not been put on the payroll since their retirement, those already on the payroll are still owed several months of unpaid pension arrears and gratuity. Thus, these retirees, who have no other means of livelihood, can hardly meet their basic needs, while majority are already in debt. Retirement, which ordinarily should be embraced with joy, has become a source of sorrow, frustration, panic and agony in Imo State.
I am aware that the primary reason for this embarrassing state of absurdity as per pensioners in our LGA’s is the “profit first” capitalist Chief of Staff to the Imo Governor Sir Jude Ejiogu who allegedly looted 1 billion naira LGA pension funds in the State when he was the Chairman of Local Government Service Commission. I totally condemn in strong terms this insensitivity to the plights of pensioners in the state. I say boldly today that Jude Ejiogu is the ITT (International Thief Thief number two) in Imo State. Fortunately for this looter, he was not charged to court and he is still in power.
Senate president, David Mark once said ‘if your wealth is from people’s pensions then that is blood money. It is blood money because you cannot take away the sweat, the entitlements of an old man or an old woman who is looking up just to that little appreciation from his country and believe that you will live in peace. You cannot live in peace because the prayers of those old men at home will fight you.’ Like David Mark i share the anguish and anger of the ordinary Imolites against this kind of capitalist looting. To me even the stoning of persons that stole money belonging to pensioners would not be sufficient to compensate the affected pensioners, if on retirement they could not receive their pensions. Yet this same man is jostling to represent Owerri zone for elective position in 2015.
Jude Ejiogu is enmeshed in an orgy of corruption and mass looting of public money and natural resources. I am aware of why Commercial banks operating in Imo State shut their doors against their customers for some days. I am aware that Jude Ejiogu when he was the Special Adviser to the Governor on Internal Revenue Generation (IGR) collected millions of naira from commercial banks in the state as tax but diverted the monies into his own pocket. The State government later demanded the same tax that Ejiogu had already collected from the banks and the banks had to go on strike for excessive taxation .I am also aware that the same Jude Ejiogu allegedly defrauded Hall mark Bank and Progress Bank and ran to USA some years ago. Yet this same man is jostling to represent Owerri zone for elective position in 2015.
To end perpetual mass misery in the midst of an inexhaustible abundance in Imo State, i have commence a campaign against looters like Ejiogu.From week to week i will name them one after the other. As have been amply demonstrated, these capitalist elite like Ejiogu , unless removed from political power will always and would always directly loot the resources that ought to be used to better the lot of the vast majority of the Imo population.Equally worrisome is that when capitalist thieving elite like Ejiogu are not busy with direct looting of the State’s treasury, their only other pre-occupation is the implementation of socio-economic policies that can only make life harder for the overwhelming majority of Imolites . This is the primary ideological reason why Ejiogu is a chief advocate for privatization and commercialization of basic needs and social services in Imo State. Through this unjust strategy, he and other ruling capitalist thieving cabal in Imo State have virtually sold to themselves all publicly built government houses and public companies at rock bottom prices, of course, with money directly looted from the state’s treasury. Save us o God.
-Kenneth Uwadi, Mmahu-Egbema, Imo State, Nigeria

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Extortion: Customs disciplines employee, keeps mum on officers indicted for multi-billion naira corruption.!

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The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) said on Monday that it is taking disciplinary action against one of its personnel for alleged N500,000 extortion.

The customs officer, Ibrahim Suleiman, was said to have extorted N500,000 from a car buyer named Muhammad Ahmad along Mokwa-Jebba Road in Niger State on 22 February.

In a statement posted on its verified Facebook Page, the customs noted that the Comptroller, Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘B’ Kaduna, Dalha Chedi, handed over the accused officer to the Assistant Provost Marshal (APM) Customs Police Unit, Kaduna, on Monday.

Mr Chedi said he had directed the Customs Police Unit responsible for enforcing discipline in the service to conduct further interrogation.

He added that the complainant has been invited to assist in the investigation.

“This unprofessional and ungodly act will not be condoned. A thorough investigation has just commenced by this handing over to unravel the facts surrounding the allegation. The outcome shall be made public to serve as a deterrent to others,” he was quoted as saying.

“We are deeply concerned and assure the general public that the matter will be treated with the deserved vigour, decisiveness and transparency.”

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Oba Otudeko, Aig-Imokhuede, NGX Group honour Ogunbanjo’s legacy

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Prominent figures from the Nigerian business landscape came together to pay tribute to the late Bamofin Abimbola Ogunbanjo during an Afternoon of Tributes and Closing Gong Ceremony, organized by the Nigerian Exchange Group in collaboration with Coronation Group.  

The event, held on Tuesday, February 27, 2024, served as a homage to the enduring legacy of the luminary. 

 Among the distinguished speakers who graced the occasion were Dr Oba Otudeko, Chairman of Honeywell Group and Past President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE); Mr Aigboje Aig-Imuokhuede, Chairman of Coronation Group; Alhaji (Dr) Umaru Kwairanga, Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group; and Mr Temi Popoola, Group Chief Executive Officer of NGX Group, alongside other notable personalities. 

What the stakeholders said about Ogunbanjo  

In his opening remarks, Alhaji (Dr) Umaru Kwairanga encapsulated the essence of Bamofin Ogunbanjo’s profound impact, emphasizing his pivotal role in steering the successful completion of the demutualization process within the Group.  

Kwairanga hailed Ogunbanjo as not merely a leader, but a beacon of light and a guiding force within the community, underscoring his instrumental contribution to reshaping the Group’s trajectory in the West African sub-region. 

 Mr Aigboje Aig-Imuokhuede, Chairman of Coronation Group, reflected on the unparalleled commitment demonstrated by Ogunbanjo throughout the demutualization process, extolling his remarkable service to the industry.  

  • “You served the world in a way only few could do,” Aig-Imuokhuede remarked, paying homage to Ogunbanjo’s indelible legacy and wishing him eternal peace. 

 Temi Popoola, Group CEO of NGX Group, echoed the sentiments of admiration and gratitude, highlighting Ogunbanjo’s unwavering dedication to the exchange’s success and seamless leadership transitions. 

 Dr. Oba Otudeko, past president of The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), shared poignant recollections of Ogunbanjo, portraying him as an adroit gentleman whose simplicity, brilliance, and doggedness were instrumental during the demutualization process. 

 Reflecting on Ogunbanjo’s legacy, Mr Abubakar Mahmoud, SAN, former Chairman of NGX, lauded his patriotism and commitment to national development, while Mr Olusola Adeosun, President and Chairman of Council at the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, expressed deep sorrow at the loss, emphasizing Ogunbanjo’s magnetic personality and profound impact on the institute. 

 Mr. Sam Onukwue, Chairman of the Association of Securities Dealers, hailed Ogunbanjo’s transformative leadership and global perspective, crediting his strong legal acumen and industry experience in navigating the exchange’s restructuring. 

 Echoing sentiments of admiration, Mr. Darren Bennett-Voci, CEO of Beta Glass Plc, paid tribute to Ogunbanjo’s leadership and professionalism, crediting his strategic guidance during challenging times. 

 Erelu Angela Adebayo, former Chairperson of NGX Real Estate, fondly recalled Ogunbanjo’s unwavering commitment to Nigeria’s progress, portraying him as a patriot who left an indelible mark on the industry. 

 

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Qatar seals LNG deals Nigeria once sought

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Qatar is courting foreign investors to expand its gas expansion project, and the energy companies falling over themselves are the same ones that turned their nose up at Nigeria’s invitation to invest in its liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants.

BusinessDay findings showed Qatar is already one of the world’s largest suppliers of LNG — gas cooled into liquid form so that it can be piped onto ships for export – and it is making plans to further increase its LNG production capacity following the discovery of vast new gas reserves.

Qatar announced new plans to expand output from the world’s biggest natural gas field, saying it will boost capacity to 142 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) before 2030, according to Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, Qatar’s energy minister.

The new North Field expansion, named North Field West, will add a further 16 million tonnes of LNG per year to existing expansion plans, Sherida al-Kaabi said at a news conference on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG), owned by the federal government of Nigeria and three international oil companies, has been on force majeure for more than 15 months.

“Recent studies have shown that the North Field contains huge additional gas quantities estimated at 240 trillion cubic feet, which raises the state of Qatar’s gas reserves from 1,760 [trillion cubic feet] to more than 2,000 trillion cubic feet,” said al-Kaabi, who also heads the state-owned company QatarEnergy.

These results “will enable us to begin developing a new LNG project from the North Field’s western sector with a production capacity of about 16 million tonnes per annum”, he said.

This will bring Qatar’s production capacity to 142 million tonnes once “the new expansion is completed before the end of this decade” – a nearly 85 percent rise from current production levels, al-Kaabi added.

The QatarEnergy chief said the firm will “immediately commence” with engineering works to ensure the expansion is completed on time.

BusinessDay’s findings showed ExxonMobil has pumped nearly $30 billion into gas projects in Qatar within long-term partnership agreements.

The US oil giant ExxonMobil has pumped nearly $30 billion into gas projects in Qatar within long-term partnership agreements, its Senior Vice President has said.

According to Peter Clarke, ExxonMobil’s senior vice president, the oil giant began investing in Qatar’s gas projects during the 1990s and that it has contributed to the development of 12 of the 14 gas facilities in the Gulf country.

“We have also invested in 27 LNG vessels to transport Qatari gas…over the past years, we have invested nearly $30 billion in major projects in Qatar…we also have important ventures with Qatar in the US, mainly Golden Pass Terminal,” Clarke told the Qatari Arabic language daily Asharq in an interview.

Contrast this with Nigeria where investors have largely been unimpressed with overtures to build new liquefaction plants.

The NLNG has seen its output decline owing to gas supply constraints, which also pose a threat to its expansion plan.

It had on October 17, 2022 declared a force majeure on product supplies from its production facilities on Bonny Island, following the declaration of force majeure by all its upstream gas suppliers.

Since the development of the NLNG, new projects have been too few and far between. e Two LNG projects in Nigeria: Olokola LNG and Brass LNG have been unable to reach a final decision by the stakeholders as investors have pulled out.

The OK LNG project was stalled because all the international oil companies (BG, Shell and Chevron) withdrew from the project, with only the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) left.

The Brass LNG project, which was designed to produce 10 million metric tonnes per annum, was to be built by the NNPC, Total, ConocoPhillips and Eni Group. But ConocoPhillips withdrew from the project in 2013 and has stalled since then.

“As we move into the early 2030s, there’s going be huge demand for gas from Asia, and I think QatarEnergy is squarely focused on that,” said Tom Marzec-Manser, head of gas analytics at commodity pricing and data company ICIS. Qatar has secured two huge gas supply deals with China over the past 15 months.

Last June, it agreed to sell 4mn tonnes a year of LNG to China National Petroleum Corporation for 27 years, following a similar deal with China’s Sinopec in November 2022.

Qatar’s LNG ramp-up comes amid growing demand for gas, which is set to grow by 2.5 percent, or 100 Bcm (3531 Bcf) in 2024, the International Energy agency said in its gas market report for Q1 2024.

Qatar accounted for 20 percent of LNG volumes in 2023, the Paris-based agency said in the report.

“In particular, the United States and Qatar have been driving this trend, accounting for 34 percent and 26 percent of all contracted volumes in 2023 respectively. Considering only post-FID (final investment decision) projects, these countries’ share was 21 percent and 39 percent,” the IEA said.

It is this kind of critical thinking and rigour that is absent in Nigeria’s policy formulation and execution which is scaring away investors.

 

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