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Buhari Expresses Worry Over High Price Of Food Items

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images 28 Buhari Expresses Worry Over High Price Of Food Items

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed the concern of his administration over the sudden spiral of food prices in the country.
President Buhari in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in Abuja Wednesday, regretted that the increase in prices of food came at a time when the economy was already mired in a slowdown occasioned by the global coronavirus situation.
The President assured Nigerians that the situation was transient as his administration had already begun looking and putting in place measures to ameliorate the situation.
According to the statement, “While Providence has been kind to us with the rains and as such an expectation that a bumper harvest would lead to crashing of food prices and ease the burdens on the population, government’s concern is that the exploitative market behaviour by actors has significantly increased among traders in the past few years and may make any such relief a short-lived one.
“This year has indeed tested us in ways that globalization has never been tested since the turn of the century. These challenges have disrupted lives and supply chains all over the world, and Nigeria has not been spared.
“The effect has been deeply felt in the delays encountered in the procurement of raw materials for local production of fertilizer (damaging standing crops before harvest) and the speculative activities by a number of rice processors who are ready to pay for paddy at any price to keep their mills running non-stop.
“But of all these problems, the most worrisome are the activities of “corrupt” middlemen (with many of them discovered to be foreigners) and other food traders who serve as the link between farmers and consumers found to be systematically creating an artificial scarcity so that they can sell at higher prices.
“In dealing with these problems, the administration has, in line with its ease of doing business mantra, avoided imposing stockholding restrictions, in order not to discourage investments in modern warehousing and cold storage.
“The President has just approved the release of food items from the strategic reserves, including 30,000 tons of maize to animal feeds producers to ease the high cost of poultry production.
“President Buhari’s administration has raised some of these issues with the various food producer associations involved, particularly those of rice and other grains.
“With their cooperation, the high food prices should soon be a thing of the past.
“In addition, investments in the agro-allied sector by the private sector will significantly increase domestic production of farming inputs especially fertilizer, further crash prices, create employment and ease the pressure on our foreign reserves.”
Continuing, it said, “One of these major investments is the Dangote Fertilizer plant which is projected to come on stream by the 4th quarter of 2020.
“Additionally, key government agencies and policymakers with the responsibility and visibility on market activities remain focused on removing structural impediments to the production and free movement of agricultural products.
“President Buhari once again assures Nigerians of his dedication to bringing this issue to a swift end.
“Nigerians have already suffered grave economic losses owing to the coronavirus pandemic, and the Buhari administration will do all in its power to ensure that our people do not continue to suffer additionally from high food prices.”

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Nigerian Fraud Suspect , Wanted By FBI For $6 Million Scam Surrenders To EFCC

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images 66 2 Nigerian Fraud Suspect , Wanted By FBI For $6 Million Scam Surrenders To EFCC

A Nigerian, Felix Osilama Okpoh, who is wanted by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) for his alleged involvement in a Business Email Compromise (BEC) scheme that defrauded over 70 different businesses in the United States, has turned himself in to Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Mr Okpoh, 31, who allegedly conspired with five others to defraud their American victims of over $6million, was led to the Lagos office of the EFCC by his father, retired Colonel Garuba Okpoh and his mother Justina Okpoh.
A spokesperson for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, said the suspect surrendered on September 18 and that investigations into his case had since commenced.
Mr Uwujaren quoted Mr Okpoh as saying, during interrogation, that he decided to surrender himself to the Commission out of respect for his parents and his resolve to be morally upright.
The FBI accused the suspect of allegedly providing hundreds of bank accounts to Richard Izuchukwu Uzuh and other co-conspirators, Alex Afolabi Ogunshakin, Abiola Ayorinde Kayode, and Nnamdi Orson Benson, that were used to receive fraudulent wire transfers.
Bank accounts that Mr Okpoh allegedly provided to Mr Uzuh allegedly received fraudulent wire transfers from victim businesses totalling over $1million
On August 21, 2019, Mr Okpoh was indicted in the United States District Court, District of Nebraska, Omaha, Nebraska, on charges of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud. On August 22, 2019, a federal warrant was issued for his arrest.
On June 16, 2020, United States Attorney Joe Kelly and Kristi K. Johnson, Special Agent in Charge of the Omaha field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced the unsealing of indictments charging the six Nigerians for their involvement in the fraud schemes.
“The schemes included individual victims and victim businesses both in Nebraska and other states,” the U.S.
Department of Justice said in a statement announcing the indictment. “BECs are sophisticated cybercrimes involving electronic transfer payments or automated clearinghouse transfers.”
“The indictments charge the defendants with one or more of the following violations of federal law: 1) Conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud, punishable by up to 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000; 2) Identity theft and access device fraud, each punishable by up to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.
“The Nigerian nationals charged and still at large are Richard Uzuh; Micheal Olorunyomi; Alex Ogunshakin; Felix Okpoh; Abiola Kayode and Nnamdi Benson. An indictment is a formal accusation returned by a grand jury upon establishing probable cause. The indictment is not evidence of guilt and defendants are entitled to a presumption of innocence. Two related defendants have entered pleas of guilty. Adewale Aniyeloye was sentenced in the District of Nebraska to 96 months’ imprisonment for wire fraud. Onome Ijomone received a 60-month sentence for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.”

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Nigeria ’ s Debts : How Each Nigerian Owes ₦155 , 000

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images 65 2 Nigeria ’ s Debts : How Each Nigerian Owes ₦155 , 000

The Debt Management Office, DMO, has announced that the total debt stock of Nigeria rose to N31 trillion as of June 2020.
It also said the debts are expected to rise this year following more debts to be sourced from international financiers.
As of March 2020, the debt was at N28.6trn comprising all debts of the Federal Government, the 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The latest debt total of N31.009trn debt is about $85.897 billion while that of March which was N28.628trn was about N79.303bn.
Cause of increase
The debt stock grew by N2.38trn or $6.59bn within the three months interval.
The additional increase was due to the $3.36bn Budget Support Loan from the International Monetary Fund IMF), new Domestic Borrowing to finance the Revised 2020 Appropriation Act, the issuance of the N162.557bn Sukuk, and Promissory Notes issued to settle Claims of Exporters.
The components of the debts are:
The multilateral debts are the highest of the stock of N16.360trn accounting for 51.97% of the total stock. The 10 agencies include IMF, World Bank Group, the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Eurobonds and Diaspora bonds.
The bilateral debts account for N3.948trn representing 12.54% of the debt stock taken from the international development agencies of China, France, Japan, India and Germany.
The third debt category is the commercial debt which is N11.168trn and represents 35.48% of the debt. This is the second largest debt after those of the multilateral agencies with Eurobonds and Diaspora bonds accounting for them.
Further rise
The debt stock will rise with the expected borrowing from the World Bank, African Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank which were arranged to finance the 2020 Budget Appropriation.
The Nigeria Customs Service was recently given part of these funds to automate its services at the ports, to the tune of $3.1 billion.
Most of the loans are long term facilities with the repayment beginning already while the fresh loans’ repayment begin from 2022.
On the Sukuk bonds and other domestic bonds, their maturity periods are often between five and seven years for the repayment.
What you owe
The ministry of finance recently said there are plans made for the loans to be repaid. So far in the 2020 budget, over N3 trillion or a quarter of the budget is dedicated to debt servicing, for repaying the debts.
At N31 trillion, every Nigerian from the over 200 million population owes the debtors N155,000 in debt.
This debt per Nigerian will rise further when the loans from World Bank, AfDB and IsDB comes in later this year.

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Operation Panther : FRSC Records 1 ,975 Arrests In 11 Days

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images 22 4 Operation Panther : FRSC Records 1 ,975 Arrests In 11 Days

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) have arrested 1,975 traffic offenders within the first two weeks of its ‘Operation Panther’ traffic exercise.The arrests were made between September 1st and September 11th 2020, with a total of 2,225 traffic violations recorded.
‘Operation Panther’ was flagged off as a special patrol exercise by the Zone 7 of the FRSC, comprising the FCT and Niger State. The exercise was aimed at bringing about a new orientation for driver’s to deal with hazard
headlong and promote responsible driving in the FCT and Niger as well as to ensure that only licensed drivers ply the highways.
The Zonal Commanding Officer, Zone 7 HQ Abuja, ACM Jonas Agwu, in a statement, expressed delight at the outcome of the Special Patrol, saying it was a fallout of the ongoing Special Intervention Patrol (SIP) aimed at instilling traffic sanity in the Federal Capital Territory and Niger state.
Mr. Agwu noted that the outcome revealed critical offences which are top causative factors behind fatal road traffic crashes. The critical offences, according to ACM Agwu, stand at 772 offences with overloading which has become a daily infraction standing at 195 offences. Further breakdown of the two weeks enforcements revealed that 155 offenders were arrested for driving and phoning infractions, while traffic light infractions (light sign violation) stands at 48 offences.
Other violations include: 102 offenders for Tyre violation, 5 offences for dangerous driving, while riding motorcycle without crash helmet stands at 79. The Zonal Commanding Officer warned the motoring public that ‘’Operation Panther II which is the second phase had commenced on Monday 14th Sept, 2020.
He said the other two weeks will focus on unlicensed drivers, obstructions and lane indiscipline in addition to vehicle number plate violation, failure to install speed limit device, driver’s license violation and failure to move over’’ traffic infractions, ACM Agwu said. He appealed to motorists in the FCT and Niger State to support the ongoing patrol by obeying traffic rules to promote responsible driving.
“The Zone will not relent in the efforts which has the complimentary and collaboration backings of Sister Agencies such as the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps , among others”; he said.

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