Connect with us

News

Uzodimma raises workers salary, announces N5bn loan for farmers

Published

on

Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo has announced a new minimum wage of N40, 000 for workers in the state to ease the pains caused by the removal of fuel subsidy.

The governor also announced N5 billion revolving loan for farmers, as well as free transportation and medical care.

Uzodimma made the announcement during a special meeting with critical Imo stakeholders, on Saturday in Owerri.

The governor said the free transportation, feeding and medical care was for civil servants.

He said other palliatives include the establishment of marketing and commodity boards, mass housing and recruitment of more teachers.

Uzodimma said that the government had also a initiated scholarship scheme for Imo students, while retirees will be paid promptly.

“It is clear to me that our people are suffering, particularly the low-income earners and those in paid employment.

“I have therefore convened this special meeting with the leadership of Organised Labour, Traders, Farmers and Artisans, to announce the comprehensive palliative measures we are putting in place, which I am sure will ease these sufferings,” he noted.

He expressed confidence that the measures would stimulate the economy, create additional jobs and enhance workers’ wages.

“Let me say, however, that although the impact of the fuel subsidy removal policy appears harsh in the short-run, it will, in the long run, bring positive results.

“There shall be an immediate upward review of the salaries and wages of workers in the state.

“The minimum wage is hereby raised to N40, 000 with discretionary consequential adjustments.

“At least your salaries would be able not only to take you home, but to also provide your basic necessities to enable you to make ends meet,” he said.

Uzodimma directed state Head of Service to work out the modalities for daily free meal for civil servants as well as free medical treatment in designated hospitals.

For farmers, he said the N5 billion revolving loan will be released immediately to stimulate production in the value chain.

“Farmers will also be encouraged to form cooperatives to facilitate organized farming.”

On teachers recruitment, he said it would be for all public schools.

“There will be recruitment exercises for new teachers from primary to secondary and tertiary levels to boost employment and income generation, particularly among our graduates.

“The government has approved bursaries for students in tertiary institutions,” he added.

He said the government would train 100,000 youths annually in digital skills through the Ministry of Digital Economy and E-Government.

“So far, 5,000 of them have been successfully trained and equipped with relevant kits and tools.

“Another batch of 15,000 are currently in training and they will graduate in a few weeks,” he added.

He assured retirees that the government would source funds to commence the payment of their gratuities from 2008/2009.

The governor also assured the stakeholders that efforts would be intensified at providing mass housing for Imo people, including the completion of the ongoing mass housing estates in Mgbidi, Anara and Nekede.

The Anglican Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province, Most Rev. David Onuoha, commended the governor for taking the lead in providing solutions to the suffering of the people.

Also speaking, Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Dr Philip Nwansi commended Uzodimma for his leadership qualities which he noted had started yielding results in South East.

Nwansi urged the governor not to relent despite the challenges he may be facing.

News

How I collected $3m cash for Emefiele – CBN employee

Published

on

A Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) employee, Mr Monday Osazuwa, on Friday told an Ikeja Special Offences Court how the former apex bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, on different occasions, directed him to collect three million dollars cash in tranches.

Osasuwa, while being led in evidence by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo (SAN), said he was a dispatch rider in Zenith Bank in 2001 before he joined the CBN in 2014.
Osasuwa said he joined the apex bank as a senior supervisor in 2014.

He said Emefiele was the Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc while he was working as a dispatch rider in the bank.
The witness said he knew Emefiele, who was his boss, while in Zenith Bank and that he later joined him at the CBN.
The witness said he was later appointed  as a senior supervisor (full time) in recording and filing of documents while working in the CBN governor’s office in Lagos.

“I was still working in the CBN governor’s office while I was appointed as a full staff member and we usually communicated through Whatsapp and email.

“I function as a senior supervisor, recording  and filing with other official roles.

“I recall that in 2020, when he was outside Lagos, he called me that he would give me a number that a man had something I should collect from him and that the man would give me the number of another person.

“When I got to the man’s office, I was given an envelope. I  counted the money and the man said I should give it to my boss,” he said.

The witness further told the court that the first defendant used to collect money by himself  anytime he was in Lagos but anytime the defendant was not around, he would tell him to give the money to the second defendant.
Osazuwa added that Emefiele sent him to MINL Ltd. when he was with Zenith Bank.

“This company is situated at Isolo, the first defendant did send me to collect cheques from the company from Mr Monday and when I collected the cheque from Mr Monday, I would give it back to Emefiele and he would lodge the money into Dumies Oil and Gas.

According to him, Emefiele’s co-defendant, Henry Isioma-Omoile, lived in the residence of the former CBN governor.

He stated that when he collected money for his boss, he would take it to his residence at Iru Close, Ikoyi.
“Whenever I received the money and take it to my boss’s residence, Mr Emefiele would tell me to give it to the second defendant whenever he was not at home.

“I did not keep a record of transactions because the instruction he gave me was that I should collect the money and bring the money to his house.

“The highest amount I collected was one million dollars all in cash and some weeks later, the businessman also called me to collect $850,000, $750,000 and $400,000 cash in tranches.

“I have never been rewarded, paid or given anything because I am doing it out of faithfulness and he knows it but he has never for once said, ‘take this’,” he said.

Under cross-examination by the defence counsel, Mr Abdulakeem Labi-Lawal, the witness confirmed  to the court that he had been working with the defendant since 2002.

According to the witness, Emefiele passed instructions to him through the second defendant and that he had been collecting cheques for Dumies Oil and Gas.

He, however, told the court when he was made to confront the second defendant during investigation but the second  defendant failed to admit it.

“I started collecting cheques for Dumies Oil and Gas when I was in Zenith Bank.

“I cannot calculate the exact year I have been collecting the cheques but it all started when the first defendant was the Managing Director at Zenith Bank and I was working at Zenith Bank,” he said.

EFCC on April 8 arraigned Emefiele on 23 counts bordering on abuse of office, accepting gratifications, corrupt demand, receiving property fraudulently obtained and conferring corrupt advantage.

Emefiele’s co-defendant was arraigned on three counts bordering on acceptance of gift by agents.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Earlier, Oshodi had declined the oral application for adjournment moved twice by the defence counsel.
The judge adjourned the case until April 29 for trial and hearing of application for closed-session.

Continue Reading

News

Anambra boat mishap: Police recover 3 more bodies

Published

on

The Police Command in Anambra, said it had recovered three more bodies from the  boat mishap that occurred on Wednesday, in Anam community, Anambra West Local Government Area of the state.

The command’s spokesperson, SP Tochukwu Ikenga, said this in a statement in Awka on Friday.

Ikenga said that the command’s Marine Police unit in Anambra recovered the remaining three bodies of the boat accident during the shooting of a movie.

He said that two of the bodies were recovered on April 11, while the last body was washed ashore by the tide early Friday.

Ikenga said that the bodies have been deposited in an undisclosed mortuary in Asaba, Delta.

He said that the President of Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) has been notified of the recovery.

“Mr Aderemi Adeoye, Commissioner, Anambra Police Command, has urged all water commuters to be safety conscious,” he said.

He advised water commuters to avoid behaviour that might jeopardise their safety and that of others on water transit.

Adeoye assured that the command would thoroughly investigate the cause of the sad accident that claimed the lives of five actors and proffer a lasting solution.

He commended the Marine Command Unit and its Commander for their dedication to duty.

Continue Reading

News

FIRS generates N12.3 trn in 2023 – CEO

Published

on

The Chief Executive, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Zacch Adedeji, said that the organisation witnessed unprecedented progress in revenue collection, culminating in a remarkable achievement of N12.3 trillion in 2023.
The chief executive, who was represented by a staff of the organisation, Mrs Aisha Ribadu, said this on Friday at the FIRS special day at the ongoing 35th Enugu International Trade Fair.
Adedeji said that this success was a testament to its dedication to nurturing and empowering its workforce, and to ensuring they possessed the skills, knowledge and tools necessary to excel.
He expressed his heartfelt appreciation to the Enugu State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA) for its discerning choice of theme, “Promoting Made-in-Nigeria Products for Global Competitiveness”.
The FIRS boss added that the choice of theme reflected the collective aspiration to not only dominate the African market but to assert relevance on the global stage.
“Investing in human capital is the cornerstone of sustainable development, and nations that prioritise human  development inevitably experience  enduring growth and prosperity.
“The FIRS has spearheaded transformative reforms aimed at diversifying revenue sources and enhancing the overall taxpayer experience.
 “One of such initiatives is the introduction of the Taxpromax Solutions, an innovative e-service platform designed to empower taxpayers to fulfill their obligations seamlessly from anywhere at any time,” Adedeji said.
He expressed gratitude to ECCIMA for affording the FIRS the invaluable opportunity to showcase its commitment to national development.
In a welcome address, the ECCIMA President, Mr Odeiga Jideonwo, said that the essence of the special day was to bring the business community and the general public closer to the activities and operations of the FIRS.
 Jideonwo, who was represented by the first Deputy President, Nnanyereugo Onyemelukwe, said that the FIRS should  work in tandem with other agencies of government and stakeholders in the organised private  sector.
He said that it would enable the FIRS to redefine and streamline tax administration and regime in the country.
” It will also bring about a society  wherein the rich and poor will leverage each other in contributing to the development of the society in a fair and just manner, as it affects company tax by various businesses,” he said.
 He commended the chief executive for its various innovations aimed at voluntary bringing into the FIRS database, companies in order to boost the tax network.
Jideonwo added that it would also boost revenue with the attendant grace offered in the process to those who had been evading tax payment.
Continue Reading

Trending