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Senate Threatens to Arrest Glo Boss, Others over N30Trn Probe

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Senate has threatened to issue warrant for the arrest of Chief Executive Officer of Glo Mobile and other firms that failed to honour its invitation on alleged complicity in N30 trillion revenue probe.

The Senate gave the 16 companies which failed to appear before its committee a deadline of Thursday to honour the invitation or risk being arrested.

The CEOs of British American Tobacco Company, CCEC Nigeria Limited, Dana Group, African Wire and Allied Limited, Admiral Overseas Nigeria Limited and Aarti Steel Nigeria Limited were equally issued the warning.

Others are Gagsel International, Fries Land Capina, Etco Nigeria Limited, Encounter Limited, Edic Chemicals & Allied Distributors Limited, Don Climax Group, De United Foods

Senator Hope Uzodinma, chairman of the Senate Joint Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff and Marine Transport, gave the warning at an investigative meeting with some of the firms on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said the refusal the firms to honour the invitation was a disrespect for the institution of the National Assembly and would not be tolerated.

He said out of the 30 firms invited between Tuesday and Wednesday, only 14 honoured the invitation and appeared before the committee.

According to him, the CEOs are expected to cut short whatever engagement they had to honour the invitation in view of the magnitude of the investigation.

“It is only in Nigeria that the Senate will invite an entity for an interactive session, particularly in a case that bothers on investigation, financial mismanagement, infractions and the company will be complacent.

“The companies will not be willing to come or sometimes send junior officers.

“I have directed, and we are working with security agencies, that any company that is invited and has something to explain and refuses to appear, we will issue a warrant for such persons to be arrested.

“We are giving them the final opportunity to appear and if they fail, we will issue a warrant.

“In this investigation we are working with the Nigeria Police Force.

“This is because we are using their facilities to process some of our data so that the information we will present to the public will be information with high integrity that will not be questioned by anybody.

“We have directed that they must come tomorrow, Thursday unfailingly,” he said.

Addressing the firms who were present at the meeting, Uzodinma said they would be given documents arising from the investigation carried out by the committee to study and comply.

He said the documents specified the various forms of infractions carried out by each of the firms involved in the import and export value chain.

Uzodinma explained: “We have put everything in different categories and for Category One, it is unutilised Form M. You applied for Form M and approval and allocation were given.

“But rather than import with the allocation, God knows what happened because you did not do that.

“Then pre-arrival assessment report that was issued. You abandoned them yet you took your goods.  We do not know how you took the goods away and the money is still open in the data base.

“Then Single Goods Declarations (SGDs) which you people did by yourself then abandoned and yet collected your goods.

“These are all indicated in the documents we have handed over to you.

“So, if there are such legitimate approvals, we want to see a copy otherwise we will assume that they were not cancelled in which case we will be expecting you to make payment.

“Then classification.  We have cases where a pre-arrival assessment is carried out and a particular item is classified under a particular HS (Tariff Handbook) Code.

“When you now go to SGD if it is a classification of 35 per cent you see that you declared five per cent instead of the 35 per cent that was issued to you.

“So, we have worked out the difference unless there is evidence that what you shipped were no longer what came to Nigeria which we doubt.

“Then wrong classification is another category.  That one deals directly with those bringing vehicles with reverse gear and you declare them as CKD.

“For instance Dag Motorcycle Industries Limited, when you bring in tricycle which has reverse gear, there are cases where they are classified wrongly.

“All these  must be submitted by Monday so that by Wednesday we will be able to deal with definite figures on what amount of money that should be expecting to receive as unutilised foreign exchange allocation.”

The lawmaker expressed concern that most approved Form Ms were not given to genuine users, leading to increasing exchange rate.

He said the committee would ensure that foreign exchange was given to genuine importers to strengthen the Naira against foreign currencies as well as improve employment opportunities among other benefits.

He stressed that the committee was extending its investigation to the operation of Trade Free Zone Agreement.

Uzodinma said “most of you who have been importing in the name of trade free zone. Under that policy you know you have to do 30 per cent value addition.

“But we have identified all the trade free zones that imported finished goods and those goods did not even get to the trade free zones.

“The goods ended up in the various ware houses in Apapa and when they make the money, because there is no documentation they have surplus Naira.

“With the surplus Naira, they in turn  buy dollar at any rate and in the process kill our  local manufacturers who really want dollar to be able to do their businesses.”

The Joint Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff and Marine Transport had been mandated to carry out a holistic investigation into alleged N30 trillion revenue leakages in Forex and the entire import and export value chain between 2006 and 2017.

The committee has so far met with all indicted commercial banks as well as government agencies and is currently meeting with the companies alleged to be involved in the corruption in the system.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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FG Warns of High Increase in Illegal Kidney Harvest

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The federal health ministry has written the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) to warn all doctors in relevant specialties to “be aware so that Nigerians will be circumspect while embarking on medical tourism in Egypt

 

The memo is to create awareness to Nigerians intending to travel to Egypt for medical attention. Patients stand the risk of getting their organs illegally trafficked or losing their lives to the growing trade in illegal organ harvest and transplant.

 

It raises concern about patients possibly seeking treatment abroad and their doctors referring them to any complicit hospital.

 

Dr Wapada I. Balami, director for Hospital services, in a statement for the Minister of Health entitled, ”41 Suspected illegal human kidney traffickers on the trail in Egypt” revealed that there is an increase in illegal harvesting and transplanting of human organs in that country.

 

It was also gathered that 41 human kidney traffickers have been arraigned by Egypt’s prosecutor Generals and the hospital in which these atrocities were committed were listed.

 

Nigerians are, however, advised to be aware of the said issue while embarking on medical tourism in Egypt.

 

The office of Egypt’s prosecutor-general has issued names of private hospitals in Giza area of Cairo complicit in the trafficking of human kidneys.

 

  • Dar al-shefa in Helwan, Cairo
  • Al-Bashar Specialist Hospital in Faisal, Giza
  • Al-Amal Centre for General Surgery in Maurinteya, Giza
  • Dar Ibn Al-Nafis Hospital, Giza

 

 

“If some of our colleagues are in that trade, that is very disheartening,” Mike Ogirinma, NMA president.

 

“For us as an association, we may not have such powers to stop it but we can investigate.”

 

But NMA is handicapped to sanction erring doctors.

 

The regulatory body, the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, which hosts a tribunal to try erring doctors and dentists cannot constitute a board since it was dissolved in 2015.

 

“The organ left for us is the regulatory body, MDCN. Professional misconduct or negligence are taken before it. Unfortunately that council was dissolved immediately this administration came in, and NMA has been pushing for it to be reconstituted.”

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MainOne Pledges Support for Host Communities, Renovates School in Lagos

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MainOne's staff in group photographs with pupils of Ilasan Primary School, Jakande-Lekki.

By peter oluka

MainOne, West Africa’s leading connectivity and data center solutions provider, has once again proven its continued Corporate Social Responsibility commitment in its host communities by renovating the Ilasan Primary School, Jakande-Lekki.

According to the Company, the CSR was in a bid to provide the students with a conducive learning environment.

Led by Mrs. Oluyomi Johnson, MainOne’s Health, Safety and Environment Coordinator, the company renovated all 14 dilapidated classroom blocks within the school premises and decorated the classrooms with learning materials.

Speaking on the Company’s CSR initiative themed “Changing Lives, Impacting the Future (CLIF)” at the launch of the newly refurbished classroom blocks,  Mrs. Johnson stated, “MainOne prides itself on being a relevant and integral member of its host communities and as a socially responsible organization, we believe it is important to give back to our community. We will continue to provide support in every way we can including volunteering the service of our employees as we seek to change lives and impact the children – our future.”

Mr. Kayode Olutayo, head Teacher, Ilasan Primary school, commended the company for its support in renovating the school which had been overrun by bushes, suffered severe flooding and dilapidated classrooms, making for an unsafe learning environment for students.

“This project is a welcomed development in our community. We thank MainOne for their efforts in refurbishing our school and making it a conducive environment for our students.  However, like Oliver Twist, we still ask for more. We need teachers, more learning materials and funding to keep our school running. We therefore call on the government and other organizations to take initiative from MainOne and come to our aid,” Olutayo said.

Congratulating the company on a job well done, Chairman Eti-Osa Local Government, represented by the HOD Education, Eti-Osa LGA, Mr. Oshin applauded the company’s initiative in improving the standard of education in the school and community. He also pledged the government’s support in working with the school to ensure all their needs are met.

Speaking on behalf of MainOne, Mr. Kasope Akindele, manager, Legal & Regulatory Services, thanked the school and the Ilasan community for their warm welcome. “MainOne will continue to play its part in contributing to the development of its host communities. We also urge the government to push policies that will improve the standards of education both in the community and state,” he added.

Since 2011, MainOne has made supporting educational institutions in Nigeria a priority through yearly donations of learning materials including text and exercise books, writing materials as well as renovation of critical infrastructure facilities.

The contributions of the company towards the development of these learning institutions forms a part of its Corporate Social Responsibility focus in Education and Information and Communications Technology.

 

 

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Ogundare, Newcross CEO Donates Digital Library To LUTH

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(L-r): Professor Afolabi Lesi, provost college of Medicine University of Lagos Idi-Araba; Dr. Bolaji Ogundare, Ceo Newcross Petroleum; Professor Oyinkan Sofola, dean, Faculty of Dental Science, College of Medicine University of Lagos and Professor  Akinbo, deputy provost, College of Medicine University of Lagos, during the handing over of a Library built by Dr. Ogundare for the Faculty of Dental Science, College of Medicine University of Lagos Idi-Araba

By peter oluka

As part of efforts to expand access to global information and aid learning in medical education, Dr Bolaji Ogundare the chief executive officer (CEO) of Newcross Petroleum, has donated a digital library to the Faculty of Dental Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos Idi-Araba, Lagos.

During the handing over ceremony held recently, Ogundare called on the private sector players to consider urgent and massive investment in health education as that will tremendously improve capacity and competencies for Nigerian hospitals and aid availability of world-class healthcare services locally in the country.

During his address, the Dental Surgeon remarked that the library which he donated to his alma-mata was built in memory of his late father, Mr Samuel Olatunji Ogundare, describing the project as his contribution to health education in the country.

Ogundare said he was challenged to take on the project due to the low level of infrastructure in the College, appealing for urgent private sector intervention for infrastructure upgrade at the Faculty of Dental Sciences.

“Infrastructure upgrade and personnel motivation can help this College a great deal. If the private sector invests more in healthcare services, capital flight will be prevented and many healthcare services for which Nigerians travel abroad can be accessed at affordable rates and convenience locally. I urge all well-meaning citizens and business interests to urgently intervene.”

Commending Ogundare for his contribution to the college, the provost of the College of Medicine, Professor Afolabi Lesi said the library mirrors the core of the educational institution. This project has touched on the essence of this institution of learning.

Prof Lesi urged other alumni of LUTH in public and private sectors to emulate Ogundare by investing in healthcare services and educational development. He therefore promised that LUTH management will maintain the project maximally.

 

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