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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

2023: Obasanjo turns down PDP’s request

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has declared that he would never return to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, saying he has retired from partisan politics.

The ex-president, who renounced his membership of the party in 2015, stated this when he received the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu; and other stakeholders who paid him a visit on Saturday in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

According to sources, the visit was targeted at returning the former president to the opposition party ahead of the 2023 general elections.

But, Obasanjo, while addressing the stakeholders, said he had vowed to remain as a statesman. He, however, said PDP would always be part of his life.

He said, “I’m no longer in partisan politics and there is nothing that can bring back. Anybody who wants my advice, I will always be there in the best interest of Nigeria.

“Whatever I do in my own life…because I became president on the platform of PDP, PDP will continue to be part of my life.

“Since the day I tore my PDP card, that was the day I ceased to be a member of PDP. That day I vowed not to be a member of any political party. I will continue to be a statesman.”

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Nigerian-British chartered accountant, Biyi Oloko, wins UK by-election

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Biyi Oloko, a British citizen of Nigerian descent and Conservative candidate, has won the Tilehurst South and Holybrook by-election in the United Kingdom. The Tilehurst South and Holybrook seat was run as a by-election after the death of incumbent councillor Peter Argyle, after 24 years of meritorious service.

Oloko, the new Conservative councillor, who has now been elected to West Berkshire Council, emerged victorious in the by-election that was also contested by Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

Speaking after his election, Oloko, who was quoted by leading weekly news outlet, Newburytoday Newspaper, said: “I can’t wait to get started on continuing Peter’s work alongside councillor Richard Somner. I met many of our residents on their doorsteps and their message was very clear, their priorities will be my priorities as I look forward to continuing to build on the good record of the Conservatives-led administration.”

Lynne Doherty, Conservative leader of West Berkshire Council said: “I’m delighted to welcome Biyi to the group. We share a passion for community involvement and I’m sure that he will champion the voice of his residents in this area.

Berkshire is a county in South East England. One of the home counties, Berkshire was recognised by Queen Elizabeth II as the Royal County of Berkshire in 1957 because of the presence of Windsor Castle, and letters of patents were issued in 1974.

Oloko was a former Special Adviser on Economic Planning and Internal Revenue to late governor of Oyo State Abiola Ajimobi.

Oloko is a chartered accountant whose boardroom experience traverses the Private Sector, Public Sector and Public-Private Partnerships (PPP).

He is the CEO of Stephen Simeon Limited, an international advisory business with presence in the UK and Africa. He has an excellent reputation as a leading expert in structuring transactions, business recovery and business turnaround.

Oloko is an active volunteer in the Berkshire region where he is a Vice President of the Thames Valley District of Chartered Accountants and an Ambassador of the Institute of Directors (Berkshire).

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PDP Governors meet in Port Harcourt to consider presidential candidate

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Governors elected under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, will be meeting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Monday (today) to strategize for the 2023 general elections.

A statement issued on Sunday by the Director-General of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Cyril Maduabum said the meeting is aimed at consolidating on how to rescue and rebuild Nigeria through the 2023 poll.

According to the Director-General, the meeting will also review the current state of the nation and readiness of the opposition party to provide the necessary leadership to rescue and rebuild the country.

He stated that all the elected PDP governors are expected to attend the meeting which is coming after a gala night hosted by the Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike.

“The PDP governors are working in concert and consultations with other party leaders, particularly the Ayu-led National Executive Committee of the PDP, to craft a credible process and programme for Nigeria’s positive rebirth,” he added

However, an impeachable source told DAILY POST that part of the agenda to be discussed is how the party will zone the presidential ticket to region that holds critical stake in the election process.

According to him, the party may also look at arriving at a consensus presidential candidate if possible.

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and some of his counterparts were received by Wike at the Government House in Port Harcourt, Sunday evening.

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