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THE NATION

Reps to probe JAMB over N31bn unremitted funds

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The House of Representatives has  mandated its Committee on Basic Education and Services to conduct an investigation into the management of the financial affairs of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) from 2007 till date as it relates to its earnings from prospective candidates and remittances made to the federation account.
The resolution followed a motion sponsored by Mr. Segun Adekola (PDP, Ekiti) during plenary on Thursday.
In his debate, Mr. Adekola hinted that the total amount JAMB remitted to the Federation Account between 2010 and 2016 is ₦50,752,484, which is about 1% of the amount the Agency remitted to the Federal Government in 2017 alone
According to him, the remittance of such an amount by a non-focal revenue generating agency underscores the importance of transparency in the administration and management of government business.
The lawmaker underscored the urgent need to beam a search light on other government agencies to guide against flagrant misappropriation of public funds with a view to promoting probity in governance.
He said reports indicates that between 2011 and 2015, JAMB earned at least ₦30.726 billion from registration fees by candidates who sat for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) but remitted a meagre sum to the federal government, which, within the period, allocated over N2 billion yearly from the budget to the Board.
The lawmaker added that an information from the Accountant General of the Federation stated that JAMB remitted ₦11,522,808 in 2011, ₦25,303,274 in 2013 and ₦13,926,402 in 2014 but did not make any remittances in 2012, 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Recall that the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, while evaluating the performance of government agencies recently, announced that for the first time in its 40 years of existence, JAMB remitted the sum of ₦5 billion into the coffers of the government, with a balance of ₦3 billion still to be remitted, amounting to ₦8 billion within nine months of the tenure of the current Management of JAMB.
The motion was therefore adopted by the House without debate when the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara put up a voice vote.
The committee saddled with the responsibility is expected to report its findings within six (6) weeks for further legislative action.
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THE NATION

NYSC to investigate Finance Minister’s exemption certificate

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The National Youth Service Corps, NYSC said on Monday that it has launched an investigation into an alleged fake exemption certificate in possession of Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.

The organisation, in a three paragraph statement issued on Monday by its Director, Press and Public Relations, Adeyemi Adenike, confirmed that the minister applied for an exemption certificate from the NYSC.

The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to the issue of the alleged forgery of an NYSC Exemption Certificate by the Honorable Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.

“Checking our records, Mrs. Adeosun did apply for an Exemption Certificate. We shall investigate the origin of the purported Exemption Certificate in question.”

An online publication, Premium Times had reported that the Minister skipped the mandatory one year national service and obtained a forged exemption certificate.

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THE NATION

NNPC kick-starts 7 critical gas projects to support 15GW power generation

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A major stride in the attainment of national energy sufficiency was achieved in Lagos on Mobday with the commencement of technical framing workshop and subsequent project signing ceremony of the seven Critical Gas Development Projects (7CGDP) to deliver about 3.4 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day (bscfd) to bridge the foreseen medium term supply gap by 2020 on an accelerated basis.

The 7CGDP is an integral leg of the gas development strategy designed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to leverage the full potential of gas to meet the target of generating at least 15 gigawatts (GW) of electricity by 2020.

In a presentation at the event, Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru enthused that the projects would not only bridge the projected shortfall in supply upon completion, but would also signal the beginning of the process of closing demand-supply gap in the domestic gas market.

He said NNPC had engaged two World Class Project Management Consultants namely Delta Afrik/Worley Parson & Crestech/Penspen who will work with NPDC and NNPC JVPartners and other stakeholders to achieve set project deliverables. He listed some of the responsibilities of the project consultants to include: working with NNPC and partners to revalidate and carry out relevant technical studies to proposed development plans, provide financial advisory services for project funding/financing strategy and appraise the fiscal requirements for viability and advice on interventions that may be required.

The PMT are also expected to study and recommend fast-track tendering process for fielddevelopment and project implementation, establish realistic cost benchmark(s) for identified projects and develop project schedules and cost estimates for the respective projects among others.

Dr. Baru explained that in addition to the above, the NNPC Project Management groups would strengthen oversight function on the seven (7) critical gas development projects by ensuring prompt decision making and timely approvals in line with international best practices. The NNPC GMD said the Corporation was working closely with other agencies like the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Nigerian Content Monitoring and Development Board (NCMDB), among others, to ensure timely approvals for the project and also ensure that lease renewals requests related to these projects were supported for renewals by relevant agency.

Osagie Okunboe, Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company(SPDC) which is handling three out of the seven projects, pledged the commitment of the company to the successful execution of the 7CGDP, noting that Shell was fully aligned with Nigeria’s gas strategy and aspirations.

Highpoint of the event was the formal execution of agreement for the development of the 6.4 trillion cubic feet unitized gas fields (Samabri-Bisseni, Akri-Oguta, Ubie-Oshi fields by NNPC/Shell and NAOC JV.

The 7CGDP include: development of the 4.3 trillion cubic feet (TCF) Assa North/OhajiSouth field; development of the 6.4 TCF Unitized Gas fields (Samabri-Biseni, Akri-Oguta, Ubie-Oshi and Afuo-Ogbainbri); and the development of 7TCF NPDC’s OML 26,30 &42.Others include: development of 2.2 TCF Shell Petroleum Development Company(SPDC) JV Gas Supply to Brass Fertilizer Company; cluster development of 5 TCF OML13 to support the expansion of Seven Energy Uquo Gas Plant; and the cluster development of 10 TCF Okpokunou/Tuomo West (OML 35& 62).

Meanwhile, the NNPC on Monday provided insight into the fire incident which ravaged parts of the PPMC Depot in Minna, Niger State. Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the 7CGDP launch in Lagos, the GMD said the fire incident which started late Saturday night after the collapse of the floating roof of one of the Petrol storage tanks had since been brought under control.

He thanked members of the neighbouring communities, the security agencies and emergency services for their support and prompt response.

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THE NATION

What Buhari said about Saraki’s Supreme Court victory

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President Muhammadu Buhari says the country’s judicial system, no matter the challenges it faces, is truly working and no one should be allowed to undermine or break it.

The President’ Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement in Abuja on Saturday, said Buhari made the statement while reacting to Friday’s Supreme Court verdict on Senate President Bukola Saraki.

The Supreme Court had, on Friday, set free the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, of charges in the case of false assets declaration at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

President Buhari said: “I have seen many instances where individuals and groups seek the destruction of the judicial institution in the foolish thinking of saving their skin, instead of going through the painstaking process of establishing their innocence.

“In the case of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, I have seen him take the tortuous path of using the judicial process.

“He persevered, and in the end, the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court, says he is not guilty as charged.

“This is what I have done in the three elections in which I was cheated out, before God made it possible for me to come here the fourth time I ran for the office.”

The president said the Senate President’s journey from the lowest to the highest court of the land provided an important example for Nigerians to emulate.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Supreme Court had upheld the Code of Conduct Tribunal’s ruling, clearing Saraki of all 18 count charges bothering on assets declaration.

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