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APC urges Buhari to probe NLNG payments under Jonathan

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APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on the Federal Government to urgently unravel what happened to the past Company Income Tax/Education tax as well as dividends paid to the Nigerian government by the NLNG, against the background of published reports that the funds were never paid into the Federation Account as they should have been.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also described as a glaring example of grandstanding opposition the attempt by the PDP to distort the facts about the source of the $2.1 billion that was approved for sharing by the three tiers of government by President Muhammadu Buhari.

”Whereas the Presidency corrected the initial erroneous report that the shared money was sourced from the Excess Crude Account (ECA), the skittish opposition continued to insist it was from the ECA and that it was part of the ‘savings’ by the Jonathan Administration.

”Well, we can tell Nigerians that the $2.1 billion was sourced from the $1.6 billion Company Income Tax/Education Tax paid to the FG on June 17th 2015, over two weeks after the Jonathan Administration left office, as well as the $500 million tax paid by Shell.

We can tell Nigerians that this is the first time the payment of the Income Tax/Education Tax by the NLNG was being disclosed by any government, in addition to paying it into the Federation Account for sharing, hence those who call it their ‘legitimate’ earnings should be asked why they did not demand the sharing of such ‘legitimate’ earnings in the past.

”We can tell Nigerians that apart from the said $1.6 billion NLNG payment for 2015, NLNG also paid $1.4 billion as Income Tax/Education Tax in May 2014, paid $0.3 billion as Education tax to the FG in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and $1.2 billion in VAT and With-holding Tax to the FG since 2009.

These payments are just those made in the past six years alone, hence there were other payments before then. ”In addition, dividend payments totalling $4,728,136,946 was paid to the FG between 2004 and 2009, out of which only $127,851,348.19 was credited to the FG’s Independent Account with JP Morgan, leaving a balance of over $4 billion.

The questions to ask therefore are why all the past taxes and dividends were neither fully paid into the Federation Account nor shared by the three tiers of government and what happened to the funds,” it said.

APC said now that President Muhammadu Buhari has started to ensure that all funds due to the Federation Account are paid in there as well as plugging all financial leakages, in an effort to restore transparency to the system, it is important to let Nigerians know why all due funds were not paid into the Federation Account in the past and what happened to such funds.

The party also said that as part of the investigation, the PDP must be asked where it kept the $5.5 billion which it said was the dividend paid to the FG by the NLNG before the 29 May handover.

”Since, according to the PDP, President Goodluck Jonathan asked that the money be ‘left for the incoming administration to manage’. it is important for the party, therefore, to tell Nigerians in which account the money was ‘saved’ because it is definitely not in the Federation Account,” it said.

APC insisted that for any opposition to be credible, it must not only be factual and truthful, it must eschew pandering. ”Had the PDP embraced these cardinal principles, it would not have, in the rush to belittle the package that was approved for the states by President Buhari and to discredit his administration, engaged in outright lies and selective perception.

While the PDP became fixated on the source of the money shared by the states, it forgot that there were were other measures in the package that included a special intervention fund of between N250b and N300b from the CBN as a soft loan available to states to access for the purposes of paying backlog of salaries.

”The PDP also forgot the debt relief programme designed to assist the states to restructure their commercial loans of N660b, with a view to extending the life span of such loans and reducing the states’ debt-servicing expenditures.

That way, the states are freed from their perennial inability to pay workers’ salaries, and more funds are available to the various governments to use for the benefit of the people.

They have forgotten that the only time in the country’s history that this kind of rescue package was made was also during the tenure of Muhammadu Buhari as military Head of State,” the party said.

It advised those who are showboating and distorting facts to tarry a while, as what they are seeing is just the first step in a long journey to clear the rot left behind by years of purposeless governance, plug all financial leakages, ensure that all funds due to the Federation Account are paid in there for the benefit of all Nigerians and bring to justice all those who have mismanaged or looted the commonwealth.

”The revelations concerning the deep rot in the system that will come in the weeks and months ahead will shock even the most ardent critics of the Buhari Administration’s salvaging efforts,” APC said.

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POLITICS

Why I won’t congratulate Oyebanji as Ekiti gov-elect – Oni, SDP candidate

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Segun Oni

The candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the just-concluded governorship election in Ekiti State, Chief Segun Oni on Saturday said he would not congratulate the winner, Biodun Oyebanji, because the election was not free and fair but marred by many irregularities.

Oni, a former governor of the state, said he would challenge the outcome in court.

 Oyebanji of the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) secured 187,057 votes to defeat Oni who polled 82,211, and Bisi Kolawole of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 67, 457 votes.

Speaking in an interview with Punch, Oni described Oyebanji’s victory as daylight robbery.

He said he does not agree with the election results as declared by INEC.

“If I agreed, I would have congratulated the winner. That is why I am withholding my congratulations. If investigations show that it was won fair and square, I will not need any persuasions before I will congratulate everybody that needs to be congratulated.”

He, however, thanked the people of the state for their support during the election.

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Tinubu denies meeting with Wike

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e presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 election, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has denied media reports that he met with the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, in France.

Tinubu in a statement through his media aide, Tunde Rahman said although he is presently in France, he didn’t have any meeting with Governor Wike whether in that country or anywhere whatsoever.

The Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Drainage and Water Resources, Mr Joe Igbokwe, on his Facebook page on Thursday said Wike was having a meeting with Tinubu in France.

Igbokwe, a former spokesperson for the APC in Lagos State, wrote, “While they are on social media abusing everybody, Governor Wike goes to France to meet Asiwaju. Abuse, calling names, hate and bigotry are no strategy. They hated and abused PMB (President Muhammadu Buhari) since 2015 and now they have transferred the aggression to Asiwaju. We wait and see.”

But in his statement on Friday, Rahman dismissed Igbokwe’s post.

He said, “We have seen a viral social media post made by one of the chieftains of All Progressives Congress in Lagos State and media reports emanating from same about a supposed meeting in France between APC presidential standard-bearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.

“It has become imperative to set the record straight. Although Asiwaju Tinubu is presently in France, he didn’t have any meeting with Governor Wike whether in that country or anywhere whatsoever. This, however, does not detract from the fact that the APC presidential candidate holds Governor Wike in high esteem. And given the national and across-party lines appeal of Asiwaju Tinubu’s candidature, he will not hesitate to meet any important national leader when desirable.”

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INEC extends PVC registration, issues warning to APC, PDP, others

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INEC insists APGA won’t participate in Anambra guber poll

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has told political parties in the country that it would not extend the July 15, 2022 deadline for nomination of governorship and state assembly candidates.

Festus Okoye, National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education Committee, made this known in a statement on Thursday.

Okoye also stated that Continuous Voter Registration (VR) will continue nationwide.

According to him, the Resident Electoral Commissioners and Electoral Officers have been directed to continue with the exercise pending further directives from the Commission.

”The Commission has consistently reiterated its resolve to continue to provide electoral services to the Nigerian people and register all eligible Nigerians that are interested in registering. The Commission has yet again deployed additional machines to areas of pressure and will continue to serve the people of Nigeria.

“By the Timetable and Schedule of Activities released by the Commission, Political Parties that conducted valid Governorship and State Assembly primaries shall upload the list and personal particulars of their nominated candidates between 1st and 15th July 2022.

“Political parties are advised not to wait until the last day before uploading the list and personal particulars of their candidates. The Candidates Nomination Portal will shut down at 6pm on 15th July 2022.”

He therefore urged political parties who have challenges with uploading documents to contact the Commission’s Help – Desk, through the dedicated telephone lines or contact the candidate nomination centre at the Commission’s headquarters.

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