The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has once again cautioned the citizenry against investing in the ponzi scheme, Mavrodi Mundial Moneybox (MMM).
The scheme operators stopped the accounts of its investors in Nigeria few days ago.
CBN Director of Development Finance Dr. Mudashiru Olaitan gave the warning at a business leaders’ conference with the theme: “Prospering in a recession”, organised by EZ37 Solutions in Ibadan.
He called on Nigerians to be careful in investing their resources, especially at this period of economic recession.
According to him, the nation is blessed with many resources and businesses that could bring returns at minimal risks, urging people to embrace agriculture instead.
Olaitan, who was represented by the Head of CBN Development Office in Ibadan, Mr. Banji Akinola, said the Ponzi scheme has become a national embarrassment with the scheme’s operators insulting the Nigerian government just because it cautioned the people over the scheme.
A university don from the Department of Economics, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Prof. Funmi Soetan, who spoke on the theme of the conference, advised companies to consider cutting the cost of production through waste elimination rather than laying-off workers.
According to her, Nigerian economy is passing through a difficult phase of the business cycle.
Factors responsible, she said, include Nigeria’s overdependence on oil revenue, the adverse impact of the increase in global crude oil supply, fall in global oil prices, slow and declining growth in China, the BRICs and Europe, rising global and local terrorism and its attendant insecurity in Nigeria.
Other factors listed by Prof. Soetan include corruption and poor management of Nigeria’s oil revenue, the decline in external reserves and CBN devaluation of the Naira.
An associate professor at the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Mr. Femi Ogundele, stated that the immediate consequence of recession was that businesses might cut employees, which translate to more work being done by fewer people.
The Chief Executive Officer of EZ37, Adaora Ayoade, stated that the effects of recession on the business community were challenging, urging firms to engage the situation in an informed, constructive and pragmatic manner.
Army withholds salaries of 45 soldiers in Borno
Authorities of the 7 Division Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, have withheld the salaries of 45 soldiers, according to sources.
The soldiers, who were among the 149 troops of the 153 Task Force Battalion withdrawn from Marte, Borno State, after spending three years in counterinsurgency operations, were accused of for abandoning their duty posts.
The battalion came under attack on three occasions during which several soldiers were killed while a range of weapons, equipment and vehicles were either carted away or destroyed.
The battalion was overhauled after the last attack in February.
A source said necessary changes were made and troops who served with the battalion were moved to different formations in Maiduguri before a new deployment was made.
“Some of the soldiers who were not seen at their new units were believed to have gone on AWOL (Absence Without Leave). Their salaries accounts were not credited in April,” he said.
But one of the affected soldiers said the allegation of desertion against them was untrue.
“We were not given our salaries and when we asked our supervisors in the 7 Division, we were shocked to hear that we had forfeited all our entitlements over desertion.”
Attempts to get the response of army authorities were not successful.
EFCC goes after top officials of PDP over N10bn scandal
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has invited officials of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for questioning over alleged criminal conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of funds and fraud.
This is coming barely a month after a chieftain in the PDP, Kazeem Afegbua, petitioned the anti-graft agency to scrutinise the Secondus-led National Working Committee on financial misappropriation.
In the letter of invitation dated May 17, 2021, and addressed to the Prince Uche Secondus, the EFCC said the need to obtain certain clarification from the party has become imperative.
The agency, however, requested the party’s National chairman to release the National Auditor, National Organising Secretary and Director of Finance to report at the EFCC headquarters from May 19th to 21st 2021.
The agency also requested the national officers to honor the invitation with relevant documents relating to sole of forms into the party’s elective positions from January 2017 to date.
Kazeem had in his petition alleged that much of the financial transactions of the PDP under Prince Uche Secondus has been shrouded in mystery, accusing the leadership of deliberate attempt to shortchange the party in the build up to the 2023 general elections.
However, Secondus had since denied the allegation and filed a N1 billion suit against the petitioner, Kazeem Afegbua.
Nigeria’s drug control agency approves new COVID-19 vaccine
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has granted approval for the conditional emergency use of Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria.
Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is the third vaccine recommended for administration in the country.
The director-general of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojiola Adeyeye, in a statement on Tuesday, said information on the vaccine shows it met the criteria for efficacy, safety and quality.
She said, “The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is administered as a single dose. Results from a clinical trial involving people in the United States, South Africa and Latin American countries found that Janssen COVID-19 vaccine was effective at preventing COVID-19 in people from 18 years of age.
“The Phase III clinical trial involved over 44,000 people. Half received a single dose of the vaccine and half were given placebo (a dummy injection). People did not know if they had been given Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine or placebo.
According to her, the trial showed a 67 per cent reduction in the number of symptomatic COVID-19 cases after two weeks in people who received Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.
The most commonly reported side effects were pain at the injection site, headache, fatigue, muscle aches and nausea. Most of these side effects were mild to moderate in severity and lasted 1-2 days.
On the vaccine safety, Adeyeye said NAFDAC, in line with its pharmacovigilance and safety monitoring plan for COVID-19 vaccines, will closely monitor and subject the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine to several activities that apply specifically to COVID-19 vaccines.
The AstraZeneca vaccine which Nigeria has been giving out has garnered many sceptics internationally after some recipients of the vaccine died.
At least 16 countries including Germany, France and Sweden have suspended the use of AstraZeneca, which put on the Nigerian government to suspend it.
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