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PMB, COVID-19 & the Reincarnation of Corruption in Nigeria



President Muhammadu Buhari - Nigerian President | COVID-19 | corruption | national assembly
There is no doubt, PMB came to power due to a number of reasons, with the biggest and most important factor being his integrity.

Columnist Corner by Bala Ibrahim

PMB, COVID-19 & The Reincarnation of Corruption in Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari - Nigerian President

(President Muhammadu Buhari | President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria | Image Cred:

There is no doubt, PMB came to power due to a number of reasons, with the biggest and most important factor being his integrity.

He is adjudged and acclaimed as an honest man with strong moral principles.

A gentleman to the core, with the will and wherewithal to champion the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

The general belief is that previous anti-corruption efforts failed due to the conspiracy of powerful forces in the government, whose continuous circulation gives them control and unlimited access to public funds.

With the coming of PMB, it was assumed, he could turn the table in time enough to tackle and tame the antics and tactics of the corrupt.

Now that anti-corruption posture is facing opposition, by casting doubts in the minds of many, including yours truly.

While others may have their own reasons for doubting the drive, the doubt of yours truly is based on the perceived inability, failure or reluctance of the President to quickly correct some wrongs and checkmate the drive of the drift, which is reincarnating under the guise of fighting the Coronavirus.

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The Treasury Single Account, or TSA  policy, which puts government revenue receipts and expenditure under careful scrutiny and control, was brought into action by PMB. With that, many underperforming agencies were woken up, because of the fear of prosecution by such anti-corruption agencies like the EFCC, ICPC or the police, who were quick to arrest and prosecute politicians involved in questionable deals.

Reports have it, that more than three billion dollars, looted from the government were recovered, with some abandoned in fear, by individuals whose identities are still unknown. The fear of PMB also compelled parliamentarians to trim down budget padding and the constituency project, which were used as conduit pipes of theft by the parliamentarians.

PMB was receiving accolades all over the world, to the extend that, at the 2016 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the then United States Secretary of State John Kerry, openly applauded Buhari and expressed America’s support for Nigeria’s unprecedented onslaught on corruption.


However, things are beginning to go in a contrary direction, for reasons that are not clear to many. Either through a deliberate policy of being economic with information, ignorance, or sorcery, PMB is dancing to the tunes of the corrupt, or promoting the reincarnation of corruption under the guise of fighting COVID-19.

Starting from the genuine where about of the Chief of staff to the president, Mallam Abba Kyari, who is said to be receiving treatment against the virus in Lagos, but strongly speculated to be in London, to the manner, magnitude and modus operandi, of the Covid-19 funds disbursement, the sincerity of the government is increasingly coming under attack.

A feud is brewing now between the Government and the leadership of the National Assembly, over the relief materials and other donations made by individuals and corporate organizations to Nigerians.

During a meeting with the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq, the leadership of the National Assembly raised critical issues concerning the operation of the Social Investment Programme, SIP.

Since the announcement of lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the FCT, and the commencement of disbursement of money to the most poor and vulnerable, where billions of naira were reportedly distributed to people under one week, many Nigerians began asking questions, not only on the amount, but the speed with which the assignment was discharged.

The National Assembly said it is obvious that Nigerians were not feeling the impact of the programme, saying the programme is gradually going the way of the disbanded Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) of the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

The suspicion is allover the country, from Kano to Calabar, Abuja to Abeokuta, Potiskum to Portharcourt or Lafia to Lagos. The borne of contention is the disproportionate impact of the money on the poor and most vulnerable, whose cost of living has not reduced nor witnessed any visible access to services, including access to the tools of fighting the Covid-19.

If the aim of the programme is to cushion the hardship of the lockdown and rescue the poor from the clutch of poverty, then from the public perception, the reverse was achieved, because the programme is suspected of falling under the grip of corruption.

According to the World Bank and its Sustainable Development Goals, corruption is a major challenge, that is inhibiting its twin goals of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity for the poorest 40 percent of people in developing countries. It erodes trust in government and undermines the social contract. Corruption impedes investment, with consequent effects on growth and jobs.

The SIP was designed to assist towards the achievement of those goals and not the opposite. Allowing them to achieve otherwise, is akin to renaming Covid-19 as coruption. To come clean, names, addresses and amount given must be quickly displayed.

If the Federal Government can release the names and pictures of Nigerians who died of Coronavirus in the United Kingdom and United States within a short period of time, I see no reason why they cannot do the same on the beneficiaries of the palliatives.

Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission, has just released the names and pictures on her twitter page, with a prayer for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives to COVID-19.

If PMB fail, or refuse to do something that would be seen, and adjudged to be done on these suspicions, his courage of confronting corruption would be collectively questioned, particularly the public perception, of his passive permission to the misuse of human and financial resources.

Labour Force

Kogi Governor Approves Implementation of N30,000 Minimum Wage for workers



Kogi Governor Approves Implementation of N30,000 Minimum Wage for workers

Kogi state governor, Yahaya Bello, has approved the implementation of N30,000 as minimum wage for the workers in the state.


The secretary to the state government, Folashade Ayoade disclosed this on Tuesday after an extensive meeting with the organized labour in Lokoja


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She blamed the delay in the implementation on the inability for the committee to meet regularly due to the covid-19 pandemic which has been overcome.


The SSG equally commended the organised labour for their understanding and patience, which she said has resulted into the signing of the implementation of the new minimum wage.

Read Also: FCTA Set to Implement Minimum Wage for FCT Workers

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CBN to End Forex Sales to Commercial Banks in 2022



Author: Eunice Johnson, Abuja 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has put Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) on notice that it will stop selling forex to them by the end of 2022. CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele made this known in Abuja on Thursday at the end of the Bankers’ Committee Meeting where he also introduced the RT200 Programme.




Emefiele said the time had come for the banks to go out there and source for forex by funding entrepreneurs with ideas. The CBN, Emefiele said, will support the banks by granting rebates and other support until the banks find their feet in sourcing their forex by themselves.

He also disclosed that the apex bank’s policies and measures have led to a significant improvement in diaspora inflow from an average of US$6 million per week in December 2020 to an average of over US$100 million per week by January 2022. He added that the CBN would be reviewing these intervention programmes going forward to ensure that they continue to achieve the desired results.

He said international bodies, including some embassies and donor agencies, have been complicit in illegal forex transactions that have hindered the flow of foreign exchange into the country.


Read Also: CBN Encourages Nigerians to Accept E-Naira

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Customs Corner

Customs CG Deploys 37 Comptrollers as Comptroller Attah Heads Kebbi Command



Customs CG Deploys 37 Comptrollers as Comptroller Attah Heads Kebbi Command

Author: Gift Wada, Abuja

The Comptroller General of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd.) has approved the deployment of 37 Comptrollers to various Units, Departments and Commands across the country.

This was disclosed in a release signed on Tuesday by the Customs Deputy National, DC Timi Bomodi for the Comptroller General of Customs.

Among those deployed are the present National PRO of Customs Comptroller Joseph Attah who will assume the office of Area Controller of Kebbi Command, Comptroller AAS Oloyede who shall be moving from ICT/MOD to Tin Can Island Port Command, while Comptroller SI Bomoi to FCT Command. Other postings are Comptroller BA Jaiyeoba to Oyo/Osun Command, Comptroller A Dappa-Williams to Eastern Marine Command, Compt. MA Umar Kano/Jigawa, Compt. KC Egwuh ICT/MOD, Compt. LM Mark Enugu/Anambra/Ebonyi, Compt. T Tachio CTC Kano, Compt. AA Umar Western Marine, Compt. M Dansakwa North Eastern Marine, Compt. AC Ayalogu T & T and Compt. KD Ilesanmi will assume duty as Comptroller Board among others.


Ali in postings released on 7th of February, charged the newly posted Comptrollers to justify the confidence reposed in them by NCS Management by bringing to bear their years of experience and training in trade facilitation and anti-smuggling activities on their new assignment.


Given the enormous expectations of government regarding revenue generation in the current year, the Comptroller General reiterated the need for all Area Controllers and Unit heads to take full charge of the affairs of their Commands by ensuring absolute compliance with extant fiscal policies while leveraging on the efficient management of data to optimize trade facilitation and revenue collection.

Furthermore, the CGC directed all officers to be extremely vigilant in protecting the lives and wellbeing of Nigerians by ensuring the full fortification of our borders against the incursion of smugglers and other cross border criminals.

Read Also:

Customs Raises Concerns over Finance Act as Senate Sets N3trn Target for Revenue Agencies

Comptroller Ali Ibrahim Assumes Duty as New Customs FOU Zone ‘C’ Boss

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