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Police Moves to Arrest Perm Sec., Others Over N1.9Bn Ebola Fund

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Officials of the Federal Ministry of Health, yesterday in Abuja, prevented Policemen from arresting Linus Awute, permanent secretary and other top officials of the Ministry over the management of the N1.9 billion Ebola fund.

Daily Independent findings showed that the plain clothe Policemen arrived the ministry’s premises at about 1pm to arrest Awute and two others.

The other officials  pencilled down for the arrest in connection with the Ebola fund included Prof. Abdulsalam Nasidi, Chief Executive Officer/National Coordinator of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC); Mr. John Akintunde  Kehinde, Director, Emergency Health Response; and one  Dr. Joshua Obasanya, team leader of the Nigerian Volunteers and Deputy Head of the ASEOWA Mission. Obasanya is out of the country on official assignment, just like Prof Nasisdi.

Kehinde was picked from his office and brought to the third floor with the intention to arrest the Perm Sec, who was not in his office at the time. 

As the drama began to unfold, Kehinde insisted that he was not going to follow them unless the Police team obtained permission from his boss.

Workers of the Ministry however prevented the Policemen from whisking him away as they followed them to the car park and also blocked their movement.

At a point, the workers ordered the private security guards to lock the gates.

While this was going on, Mr. John Eleke, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) attached to the Federal Secretariat approached the team from the Police Headquarters and pleaded that they allow the arrest go through a proper channel  so as not to give room for chaos.

The police team led by one Inspector Adamu from the Analytical Tracking and Interception unit under the Inspector General of Police (IGP) monitoring team,  accused the officials of refusing to honour an earlier invitation to answer to some allegations.

The police team, Daily Independent findings showed, is acting on allegations filled against the officials by Dr. Davidson George, which bothered on fraud and mismanagement of the N1.9 billion ebola fund.

A 15-paged document obtain by reporters gives a complete breakdown of how the amount which was said to have been  spent.

According to the document, the procurement of isolation tents, gulp the sum of N900 million.

Also, an expenditure payment voucher dated 11/8/2014 being personal advance granted one Musa A.A, was initiated by Mr. Kehinde John Akintunde, Director, Environmental Health, head of health emergency response and disaster for the release of N28.22 million for the decontamination of First Consultant hospital, Obalende, Lagos.

Nasidi, the document indicated, withdrew N63,581,250 claiming it was meant for pre-departure training of Nigerian volunteers who left the country on December 5th, 2014 for Liberia and Sierra Leon.

However, the document claimed that the African Union Commission paid for all the expenses.

The document also claimed that on 23/12/2014, N30,769,000 million  was withdrawn from the Ebola account.

The payment was made to Musa A Musa in Abuja and was claimed to be for a treatment research group on Ebola.

A breakdown of the expense, showed that Prof. Nasidi collected N250,000 as local running per kilometer. He also collected N216,000 for airfare for a meeting which held within Nigeria and N375,000 as sitting allowance.

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Industry Heavy Weights to Attend BoICT Awards @ 10

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Board and management of Communication Week Media Limited, publishers of Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, delightful announced that more than 130 policy and decision makers in the ICT, financial institutions and financial technology spaces have confirmed their attendance at this year’s Beacon of ICT Distinguished Lecture/Awards Series (BoICT).

 

Beacon of ICT Distinguished Lecture/Awards Series, widely regarded as the most prestigious annual event available in the ICT industry in Nigeria is in its tenth edition. The event will hold on Saturday, April 27, 2019 in Lagos.

 

The Distinguished Lecture is aimed at charting the way forward for the country’s ICT sector while the award ceremony reward best practices and recognize outstanding contributions to the growth of the sector.

 

The theme of this year’s celebration is “Telcos and Banks Partnership to Drive Financial Inclusion” and will examine efforts to empower Nigerians to boost financial growth and development.

 

Ken Nwogbo, CEO, Communication Week Media Ltd, organisers of the BoICT Distinguished Lecture/Awards Series, said that the lecture will be delivered by Prof. Umaru Danbatta, executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

 

Danbatta, an exceptional public servant and one of the most sought after speakers within Nigeria and abroad will join the list of distinguished speakers at the event in the past like; Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA); John Obaro, MD/CEO, SystemSpecs Ltd; and Femi Adeoti, managing director/CEO, Africa Operations of Inlaks.

 

Nwogbo, also said that the event will be chaired by Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, chairman, Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), an industry association for all Telecommunications Operators in Nigeria.

 

Adebayo, described as ‘Telecom Wizard’ by City People Magazine is also chairman and group chief executive officer, Communication Network Support Services Limited and CNSSL Contact Centre Limited, a leading business process outsource company in telecom network engineering and contact centre operations across Nigeria.

 

He is also president and founder of African Broadband Limited, owners of Royal FM, Royal Television Service and Royal Times of Nigeria Newspapers.

 

 

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Air Peace Plans to Deploy Boeing 777 Aircraft For Domestic Operations

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Air Peace is set to deploy its wide-body Boeing 777 aircraft for its domestic operations on the Port Harcourt-Abuja and Abuja-Port Harcourt routes on Easter Friday and Monday.

Air Peace recently acquired four Boeing 777 aircraft for its long-haul operations to Sharjah, Dubai, Johannesburg, London, Houston, Guangzhou and Mumbai.

Three of the wide-body aircraft have so far been delivered to the airline in readiness for its soon-to-start international operations.

Spokesman for the airline, Mr. Chris Iwarah said the carrier decided to deploy its Boeing 777 aircraft at Easter to “give Nigerians and the travelling public a taste of the luxury to expect on our international routes starting soon.

The deployment of our beautiful big birds, the Boeing 777 on our domestic routes this Easter begins with our Port Harcourt-Abuja and Abuja-Port Harcourt services on Easter Friday and Monday.

“Although our decision to deploy our wide-body aircraft on the domestic routes has huge financial implications for us, we are pleased to honour our pledge never to spare anything in giving our esteemed customers an exceptional feel of air travel experience.

“In the next few days, we will be announcing a firm date for the commencement of our international operations. We plan to operate long-haul flight services to Sharjah, Dubai, Johannesburg,  London, Houston, Guangzhou and Mumbai.

“We are set and ready to give Nigerians, Africans and the flying public a reliable alternative on our chosen international routes. But we are pleased to give our loyal customers on the domestic routes a foretaste of our long-haul offering. It sure will be a memorable experience starting with our Port Harcourt-Abuja and Abuja-Port Harcourt services on Easter Friday and Monday.”

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Property Experts Task FG on Practicable Housing Policy, Others

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Miss Chioma Oruh receives her prize from Idowu Bakare, Director of Locke Homes Ltd.
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Operators in the Nigerian real estate development industry, say that there is a need to look at the sources of financing construction of housing to make life meaningful for Nigerians and also make housing affordable for all.

Director of Locke Homes Ltd, Idowu Bakare stated this on Tuesday while presenting the keys to a 3-bedroom flat at the Gold Estate, Ayobo, Ipaja, Lagos to Miss Chioma Joy Oruh who emerged winner in the Win-A-Home-Today lottery organized by the Home Lottery Limited in conjunction with Locke Homes and MTN.

He said the lack of affordable mortgage facilities is a big problem confronting housing scheme in the country. “People haven’t been able to afford the deposits required to secure a mortgage and, put simply, if people can’t buy, builders can’t build.

“That there’s a need for more affordable housing in Nigeria is beyond question. Government needs to ensure new schemes are implemented swiftly and effectively so that as many developers as possible are up and running with them at the earliest opportunity,” he said.

Also speaking at the presentation, Oladayo Oyelaja, who is the Lead advocate for DreamView Enterprise; the activation agency for the Home Lottery Ltd, operators of ‘Win A Home today’ Lottery, said the company is determined to give out more houses through the lottery scheme which is going to be a monthly affair.

According to him, the initiative is strategically designed to advance and compliment government’s target of achieving housing for all citizenry. He said winners are expected every month and everybody can be part of the exercise by just texting “Home’ to 718 on their MTN line and this SMS cost 250naira for a single entry.

He said the procedure for picking eventual winners is strictly monitored to ensure the transparency of the exercise, Speaking further, Oyelaja said regulatory agencies like the Consumer Protection Council, Lagos state lottery board as well as other independent bodies are involved during the draws.

According to him, approval was sought from the Consumer’s Protection Council and also Nigerian Lottery Commission. “You can’t just put up all these together, there are steps and there are procedures to ensure that all the checks and balances are right,” he said.

Director of Locke Homes Ltd, Idowu Bakare in his address said home ownership in Nigeria is incredibly hard. He added that the promo gives those who have no option at all some glimmer of hope.

“We are looking at being a part of the solution to assist the government mitigate housing problems for Nigerians,” he stated.

He said the lack of affordable mortgage availability has been a big problem confronting affordable housing scheme in the country. “People haven’t been able to afford the deposits required to secure a mortgage and, put simply, if people can’t buy, builders can’t build.

“That there’s a need for more affordable housing in Nigeria is beyond question. Government needs to ensure new schemes are implemented swiftly and effectively so that as many developers as possible are up and running with them at the earliest opportunity,” he said.

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