-As financial experts call for her sack
By Festus Onajite
Nigeria’s economy is heading for more tough times ahead going by current happenstances at the Debt Management Office, DMO, manned by Ms. Patience Oniha.
There have been red alerts pointing towards a major crisis in the Nigerian economy since Oniha took over about a year ago from Dr. Abraham Nwankwo as the director-general. And despite the several millions of naira allocated to the agency, DMO itself is presently a shadow of its old self due largely to the perceived incompetence of the current DG.
The major worry at the moment is that despite the rising debt profile of the nation, the federal government has been unable to develop a fresh debt management strategy, seven months after the expiration of the Debt Management Office’s (DMO) five-year Third Strategic Plan initiated by Oniha’s predecessor.
Investigations also revealed that DMO is bereft of its own internal working plan, which we learnt, is in the pipeline.
Nigeria’s total public debt increased by 4.52 per cent in the first three months of 2018, the DMO had revealed, adding that the country’s debt increased from N21.73 trillion in December 2017 to N22.71 trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2018.
Financial experts attribute the above trend to lack of administrative skills exhibited by Ms Patience Oniha in handling affairs at the DMO. It is further argued that if no drastic steps are taken by the federal government concerning the Debt Management Office, the Nigerian economy risks a further nosedive in a few months to come.
“She is an analogue administrator who cannot operate in the digital age of debt management,” a financial expert quipped recently. He called for the sack of the director-general to be replaced by a more competent and experienced hand to manage an agency as strategic as the DMO.
As it stands, the prospect of the debt portfolio has become higher as Nigeria has just signed an agreement with France for $475million loan facility for some projects in Lagos, Kano and Ogun States.
The Debt Management Agency is a very critical arm of the federal government as far as debt management is concerned. Section 6(c) of the DMO Establishment Act 2003 states that the agency must, “prepare and implement a plan for the efficient management of Nigerian’s external and domestic debt obligations at sustainable levels compatible with desired economic activities for growth and development; and participate in negotiations aimed at realising those objectives.”
Due to its very critical role in the economy, the Debt Management Office has always operated with a strategic plan since it was establishes on 4th October 2000 to centrally coordinate the management of Nigeria’s debt. Its last strategic plan that expired last December was the third since its establishment.
Though the director-general of DMO had said that Nigeria’s steadily rising debt profile was not a big issue, the International Monetary Fund has expressed deep concerns over Nigeria’s capacity to repay its rising debts. IMF officials recently warned the government that Nigeria has been sliding down towards debt trap.
At a press conference on the sidelines of the World Bank Group Spring Meetings in Washington DC, recently Mrs Catherine Pattillo, Assistant Director, Fiscal Affairs Department of IMF, described Nigeria’s debt to revenue ratio, which she put at 63 percent, as “extremely high.”
According to her, “Borrowing by countries can create benefits if used for investments of high returns. Our evidence suggests that’s not the case in some countries, especially in Nigeria. So rising debt can create the vulnerabilities.”
Chirstine Lagarde, the head of International Monetary Fund corroborated this last month while addressing financial leaders from some developing countries. She said that global debt had soared to 220 per cent of global output, a staggering level that did not bode well for member economies.
In most economy, the debt problem was casting a shadow over future growth prospects, she said.
All efforts to reach Ms. Oniha for her angle proved futile as her mobile number 0802..…….79 was not reachable as at press time.
Again, Bet9ja customers accuse company of reneging on payment of winnings
Two Bet9ja customers, Dennis Dickson and Orazurume Jude Mary, have called on the company to pay them their dues.
They expressed their grievances to The Eagle Online on Monday, lamenting the “unprofessional behaviour” of the company.
Dickson stated that he has been deprived of his winning twice by the company.
He said: “The first instance occurred during the 2018 World Cup, when I staked a bet with the company on the option that some selected players will not score more than 2 to 3 goals per match, all of a sudden after winning the ticket the company void it and said the option was meant to run for the whole of the tournament.
“The second time, I staked on some players that during the transfer window they will not change club without loan deals included, after winning my ticket the company on the 31st night of August 2018 changed the optioned and said that loan deals are also included. Whereas, a loaned player is still the property of the parent club and can be recalled at any time even before the expiration of the loan deal.
Dickson stated that his tickets are: B93ECCWRTQZPE-675035 and B959ECCWERAWTT-68445.
Orazurume Jude Mary Tochi also stated that he played the game in Ekwulobia, Anambra State and the company reneged on the initial agreement that was reached earlier and that was not part of the initial agreement.
Tochi said: “I entered a bet with Bet9ja company under the category of transfer market with bet placed on whether a player would go on transfer to another club or not.
“Loan deal did not count at the time of this deal, but Bet9ja suddenly turned around and reversed the rule of the transfer market, stating that loan deal now counts after we agreed on transfer or no transfer.
“The sudden change was not acceptable as it was against the terms and conditions given to customers, after predicting players who will not change club.
“This amounted to N16,000,000 and N200,000.
“Two players are on loan, which is NOT transfer to the best of knowledge.
“Players on loan still belong to their parent. I went to my game its shows its lost, am not happy.”
Tochi gave his ticket number as B928SPPRCWPPSC-211061.
The Eagle Online reports that Bet9ja is an online bookmaker company that deals on major sporting events according to Alexa.com.
It is the second most visited website in Nigeria, only next to Google.com and it is owned by Kunle Soname, who is also its Chairman. Soname is also the Chairman of Remo Stars Football Club.
It will also be recalled that three customers of Bet9ja had before now petitioned the National Lottery Regulatory Commission claiming the betting company had not paid the over N3 million stake owed them.
The petition was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria at the Zonal Office of the NLRC in Ilorin, Kwara State.
The petition was signed by the contact persons of the affected customers, Emmanuel Ajiboye.
The petition stated that the trio had entered into a bet with the company under the category of “Transfer Market”, with bets placed on whether a player would go on transfer to another club or not.
The petitioners said a “Loan Deals Do Not Count’’ transaction was confirmed in an email by Bet9ja on August 28.
They, however, expressed dismay that on August 31, Bet9ja “suddenly’’ turned around and reversed the rule of the transfer market by stating that “Loan Deals Now Count’’ as contained in a mail the same day.
The petitioners expressed the belief that this was done in order to renege on payment to customers who had played and were going to win.
They described the company’s “contradictory” statements as unprofessional by a leading bookmaker.
The aggrieved petitioners said it was in their knowledge that players on loans still belong to their parent clubs and could still be recalled before the end of their loan deal.
They said that the sudden change was not acceptable as it was against the terms and conditions given to customers.
The petitioners also threatened to explore legal action should Bet9ja refuse to respond favourably to their complaint.
They urged the commission to look into the development and ensure justice was done.
Yinka Salau, an official of the zonal office of the commission in Ilorin, confirmed the receipt of the petition.
He said the petition had been forwarded to the commission’s head office in Abuja for further investigation.
Salau explained that the management of Bet9ja would be invited to state its own side of the case.
Source: The Eagle Online
Tinubu’s Alphabeta Consulting firm in alleged money laundering scandal
- Ex-MD, Dapo Apara petitions EFCC
These are not the best of times for the Doherty Akin-led Alphabeta Consulting Limited and Alphabeta Consulting LLP, a Lagos-based management, information systems and technology consulting firm allegedly owned by the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The immediate past Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the organization, Mr. Dapo Apara, has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), concerning the activities of the organization which border on money laundering.
In a petition to the EFCC through his lawyer (Adetunji Shoyoye & Associates) and made available to the THE WITNESS, Apara accused the consulting firm of laundering over a N100 billion (One Hundred Billion Naira) for top government officials.
According to Apara, Alphabeta Consulting LLP, which is the revenue mobilization and collection advisor to the Lagos State Government has become an avenue for official corruption of government official, a conduit pipe for massive money laundering scheme, tax evasion, amongst other vices.
The former head-huncho of the company further called on the anti-graft agency to cause a holistic investigation into the firm.
Efforts by THE WITNESS to reach Mr. Doherty Akin for the company’s angle to the allegations proved futile as calls and text messages sent to his mobile number were not responded to as at press time.
Read the full petition below:
The Executive Chairman
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
5 Formela Crescent, off Ademola Adetokunbo Street,
PETITION OF A CASE OF MONEY LAUNDERING, TAX EVASION, FRAUD RUNNING INTO OVER N100,000,000 (ONE HUNDRED BILLION NAIRA) AGAINST ALPHA BETA CONSULTING LIMITED AND ALPHA BETA LLP
The above subject matter refers.
We are solicitors to MR DAPO APARA, hereinafter referred to as our client, and we have his full consent and instruction to write you this petition.
We must first of all thank you and your great organization for the good work you are doing in our country to rid it of corruption, fraud and other vices.
It is however sad that as much as you are trying, some people are hell bent on continually giving the country a bad name and bringing discredit to the Nation and well-meaning Nigerians. One of such is ALPHABETA CONSULTING LIMITED AND ALPHABETA LLP.
The company was incorporated in the year 2002 to carry on the business of Tax Consulting amongst others and our client was the originator of the laudable business idea.
It is sad however that years down the line, the company has become an avenue for official corruption of government officials, a conduit pipe for massive money laundering scheme, tax evasion amongst other vices.
Over the years, the company is being protected and shielded by some powerful politicians and people in the society which made them to always boast of being untouchable, but our client feeling the need not to keep quiet again and strengthened by his believe in the fact that the government of President Muhammed Buhari is keen on fighting corruption which has been the bane of our country, is of the firm believe that its time to expose and open the can of worm called ALPHABETA CONSULTING.
Our client is of the firm believe that it is time for the Commission to step in and conduct a holistic investigation into the activities of ALPHABETA CONSULTING LIMITED AND ALPHABETA LLP, with a view to uncovering the massive corruption, money laundering, tax evasion etc going on in the company. Kindly note that one of the companies being used to perpetrate money laundering by the company is still another company named Ocean Trust Limited.
The only hope of our Client and indeed the teeming Nigerians who are victims of the crimes being perpetrated by these companies, in seeking justice is the Commission which we strongly believe in and therefore call on the commission to cause a holistic investigation into this case and all involved with the aim of bringing these criminals to justice, and not allow their claims of being untouchable to evalidated.
Kindly note sir that as our client is willing and able to provide information to substantiate the claims, though we will plead for these to be done through us as he is presently fearing for his life having been receiving death threat from a lot of quarters because of this case.
The details and address of the company is:
ALPHABETA CONSULTING LLP
WATER HOUSE HEADQUARTERS 1ST FLOOR
LAGOS STATE WATER CORPORATION
IJORA CAUSE WAY.
While thanking you for your continual cooperation, kindly accept the assurances of our highest esteem.
ADETUNJI ADEGBOYEGA ESQ
Revealed! Meet Madina Bala Hassan, the face behind ‘Hausaroom’
Unveiling the owner of a popular blogging site in Northern Nigeria, ‘Hausaroom,’ was a herculean task, but the mask has finally been removed from the face of the masquerade as ‘Hausaroom’ has been traced to a beautiful young lady, Madina Bala Hassan.
For the curious ones, If you doubt our story, check with the CAC and you’ll search no further as she is the owner of Hausaroom with her passport data page and number registered with.
Here’s a little about Madina Bala Hassan, she’s the daughter of retired AIG Bala Hassan. She went to the University of Dundee for masters in Human Anatomy. She is happily married with two beautiful kids.
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