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Corruption: Group calls for arrest, prosecution of FCMB GMD

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Good Governance and Accountability Monitors Group has called for the arrest and prosecution of the Chairman of First City Monument Bank, FCMB, Ladi Balogun.

The group in a statement issued Tuesday in Abuja by its Coordinator, Opeolumi Adeniyi and Secretary, Isaiah Moses, alleged that the chairman allowed his bank to be a platform that is used in aiding and abetting corruption especially in our banking sector.

The group’s demand was necessitated by revelations in the ongoing investigation of the embattled former anti corruption czar, Ibrahim Magu of the Economic And Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), where the bank was caught in the middle of shoddy transaction.

The Executive officer of the First City Monument Bank, Ahmed Nuru, during his appearance before the Justice Ayo Salami Presidential panel, said his bank ‘mistakenly paid the sum of #473m into the account of pastor Omale’.

The group said the fact that somebody of the position of Ibrahim Magu, who before his disgraceful fall, was head of the nation’s anti-corruption agency can be found wanting for financial malfeasance, speaks volumes.

“As Nigerians and stakeholders in the drive to rescue our beloved country from the precipice it is being pushed into, we are worried that Mr. Ladi Balogun would shamelessly and without considerations to the fight against corruption, expose the FCMB to such ridicule and then claim that his bank mistakenly credited an account with such humungous amount of money and, only realized after four years that such an amount was paid into the wrong account.

“We are therefore, compelled to demand from the Nigerian Government; especially the Presidency that it compels Mr. Ahmed Nuru that he provides answers to these questions.

“Who provided the account details that the said #573m (five hundred and seventy three million) was paid into and, who approved the transaction?

“Who was the officer that verified the account?

“Is Ladi Balogun telling Nigerians that his bank did not carry out internal and external audit of its accounts and banks since 2016?

“Why did it take Ladi Balogun and his board, four years to realize that his organization credited a wrong account with such a huge sum?

“Whose bank account was the amount debited and how is it that the owner of the said account failed to notice such a huge withdrawal and transaction?

“Is this not a self-indictment of the management of the capabilities of the Ladi Balogun owned FCMB that it is involved in money laundering and financial crimes?”

The group further called on President Muhammadu Buhari to protect the banking sector by ensuring that funds are protected.

He should immediately direct the EFCC, NFIU, DSS to instigate an immediate probe of Mr. Ahmed Nuru.

“We also call on both Houses of the National Assembly; the Senate and the House of Representatives to immediately, on resumption hold a Public Hearing to look into this criminality against the collective well-being of Nigerians as it affects the sacredness of our financial institutions that have now been turned into a conduit pipe for the laundering of our resources, the Ladi Balogun run FCMB.

“Also, the Minority Leaders in both Houses of the NASS should, as a matter of national emergency, ensure that this financial sleaze by the FCMB, under the eyes of Ladi Balogun is thoroughly investigated and all those involved and found culpable, be prosecuted immediately.”

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Nigeria will have national carrier before end of 2022 — Aviation Minister

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The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has given an assurance that Nigeria will have a national carrier before the end of 2022.

Sirika gave the assurance at a two-day Africa Public Private Partnership Network (AP3N) Investment programme held in Abuja on Tuesday

The programme was organised by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission with the theme, “Financing Africa’s Infrastructure through Public Private Partnership (PPP).”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria Air is the nation’s proposed national carrier which was unveiled at the Farnborough Air Show in the United Kingdom in July 2018.

The minister, represented by Mr Akin Olateru, the Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), said the Air Transport License had been issued.

“We have a team in place, the Air Transport License has been issued by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, and we are in the process of processing the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) which will lead to the start of the airline.

“When you are setting up an airline, there are five phases for the AOC process.

“You need to bring in airplanes when you are in phase three. So in phases one and two, you do not need to bring an airplane but you need to have identified them.

“But because people do not understand the process in aviation, they see it as another business. But aviation has its peculiarities and strict guidelines in everything we do.”

The panelist who discussed the topic “Transforming the Aviation Sector through Private Sector Participation” underscored the need for funding from private investment in the sector to ensure efficiency.

Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, the Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), said funding was a critical function in the aviation sector for it to function optimally.

According to him, funding is the lifeblood, you can have all the technical skills but without funding, the sector cannot function.

“Equipment and facilities need to be replaced and maintained as and when due.

“If stakeholders do not have confidence in the sector, then we cannot function, and our workers will not work if they do not feel safe using the equipment.

“If you get the stakeholders’ confidence, you would get the right participation. PPP is the way to go not only in aviation but in all sectors,” he said.

Mr. Isaac Balami, an aviator and Chief Executive Officer, 7Star Global Hanger, said there was the need to set up an Aviation Development Bank, given the key role the aviation industry played in the Nigerian economy and the African continent.

According to him, in terms of strategy, we must look inwards and believe in ourselves, and we must also consider local content.

Mr Lai Are, the Managing Director, Catamaran Nigeria Ltd, said the foundation of any country was its infrastructure, adding that there was a need to bridge the infrastructure gap in Nigeria.

Are said without aviation, the country would not be able to attract the kind of finance needed in the transport sector.

“We are a country in need of investment, and most of this money cannot come from within but we need to look inward to see how we can present ourselves to the outside world.

“We need to see how we can look attractive to the outside world and attract investment for infrastructure development.”

He also said there must be the sanctity of agreements, saying that the government must honour agreements so that investors get returns on their investments at the agreed time.

“Yes, the private sector will come but they must ride on the back of the foundation the government has built,” he said.

Mr. Suileman Ibrahim, the director, Capital Projects and Infrastructure, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), said that the government must see private investors as partners by creating policies that make investment possible.

Abrahim also said that dedicated funds should also be set up for the aviation industry such as having an aviation bank or a bank dedicated to the transport sector.

“Having the right policies which include tax incentives and waivers, providing guarantees and supporting the environment and repatriation of foreign exchange are critical to investment in this space.” (NAN)

 

 

 

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Aviation

FG TO PARTNER WITH HUNGARIAN COMPANY TO PRODUCE AIRPLANES IN NIGERIA

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In line with its desire to bequeath sustainable growth and development in the aviation sector, the Federal Government has expressed its readiness to partner with the Magnus aircraft Manufacturing industry in Hungary to establish an assembling plant and begin to manufacture in Nigeria from start to finish before the end of the Buhari administration.

The Minister of Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika expressed the interest when he paid an inspection visit to the Magnus Aircraft Industry in Pogany, Hungary.

He explained that “if we venture we them, we may start with assembling plant and later manufacturing”, adding that the Magnus aircraft is an aeroplane that is good for Military training, has an aerobatic manoeuvre and is made of fully composite materials high strength and very lightweight.

Sirika being briefed by officials of Magnus

A statement by the Director of Public Affairs Ministry of Aviation, Dr James Odaudu described Aerobatics as the practice of flying manoeuvres involving aircraft attitudes that are not used in normal flight. Aerobatics are performed in airplanes and gliders for training, recreation, entertainment, and sport.

The statement further quoted Sirika as saying he was very satisfied with the features and more than willing to facilitate the production of the aeroplanes in Nigeria, saying one of the significant features of the Magnus aircraft is that it uses normal car petrol and outperforms any training aircraft of its kind”

The Minister who was at the facility on the invitation of the Company, said the proposed partnership with the aircraft manufacturer will be subjected to further analysis to verify the market and government willingness to partner with a significant amount of money and logistics.

He emphasized that the local production of aircrafts in the country will facilitate the growth of Nigeria as a regional aviation super power as it will also come with maintenance and repair facilities that will attract patronage from neighbouring countries.

Sirika trying his hands on the Magnus aircraft

According to him, the present administration has created an attractive environment for international investors in Nigeria, especially in the aviation sector, with the ongoing implementation of the development roadmap which places emphasis on public private partnerships.

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Request For Qualification for the Concession of Airport Terminals

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