Crown Achievers Micro Finance Bank Set To Empower Poor Nigerians

As Nigerians continue to search for solutions to the economic challenges confronting them,  a Principal Director with a New Micro Finance Institution, Crown Achievers Micro Finance Bank, Venerable Joseph Falade in this interview with Federationews2day,says the microfinance institution has a way out of the financial travails of Nigerians.  Excerpts :

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What is the Programme of Achievers Micro Finance Bank all about ?

The programme is about empowering poor Nigerians, who are having serious financial difficulties. As can be seen in most cities across Nigeria, poverty and hunger is the order of the day. The bank aims at reducing these twin economic problems.

The Social exchange Market, an international christian organization is behind the formation of the bank and it sources its funds from different parts of the world. The activities of the bank are under the supervision of the Development Bank of Nigeria, recently granted approval to operate by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The bank will finance, monitor and implement approved projects brought by individuals, who belong to cooperatives. And this programme which will run for 10 years, is interest free and has no guarantor and collateral requirements. It has been designed to assist the poor.

I call on Nigerians to join us to make a difference.

For further information  the Principal Director, Achievers Micro Finance bank , 11 Araromi street, Oke -Padre, Ibadan, Oyo state Nigeria, can be reached on 08119921146

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The Corrupt Class Funded President’s Buhari’s Election-Cleric

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As Nigerians continue to knock the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration’s elective fight against corruption, the spiritual head and founder of Shafaudeen worldwide, Wakajaiye, Ibadan, Nigeria, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke, in this interview with Federationews2day, says that the present administration’s corruption fight,  has the traces of  the corrupt class who funded its emergence. Excerpts:

Nigerians are expressing worries  over the present administration’s continued selective corruption war, what do you think is wrong ?

It is unfortunate that the All Progressives Congress(APC) was formed on the basis of looking for credible people, they were able to get that in President Muhammadu Buhari, but how to win the election depended mainly on who could fund the party. Unfortunattely, most of those people, who have the strenght to do it,  belong to the corrupt class of the nation. It happened in Singapore, when Lee  Kuan Yew wanted to moun the reign of power, he had nothing, but was sponsored by those  who had amassed ill gotten wealth. Fortunately for them they were able to have a memorandum of Understnading(MOU) and they agreed with him, to suppor the cause of sanitizing the country in order that Singapore would be great again . That was how they were able to have their way. Singapore today, is a country that competes with the developed world, but in the case of Nigeria, the same scenario of change is not in play. Unfortunately, the big wigs in the pary are not ready to, let go of their ill gotten wealth.

At a time the President became ill, the illness was not natural, it was not, from God.  And that is why he cried out. When you fight corruption, corruption may want to fight back. If not for God, the illness would have c onsumed him and that would  have been to the advantage of the cabal and cartel, who would have returned to their free meal of ill-gotten wealth,amidst the turbulence surrounding this Government of President Buhari. Despite the fact that he survived the death threat and fire, his manliness began to fail him into mortgaging his conscience.

By now, dily dallying with the cabal, in taking some decisions, most especiallt the delayed ones. It is unfortunate, that his people are not helping him to succeed in the anti-corrution war, because they are damned to many and  too powerful.  Unfortunately, nobody wants to die again for the antion.  A comparative analysis of Nigeria and some  other nations, shows Nigeria as a  nation that has failed the test of corporate governance, leading us into the stage of building strong individuals, rather than strong institutions.

How the IMF can have real impact on fighting corruption

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is meeting in Washington DC this week. We want to send a strong message about what the multi-lateral lender can do to have greater impact on fighting corruption.

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Yesterday, Wednesday October 11, we handed Christine Lagarde a summary of this article. She publicly thanked us then. Now it is time to deliver.

The IMF is making all the right noises. Since making anti-corruption commitments  at a summit  in London in 2016, it has ramped up its tweets, blogs, videos, and speeches about corruption.

Now it is time to act.

Next year, the IMF will issue a new set of governance guidance to the countries it lends money to, for the first time since 1997. Transparency International wants these to include two strong anti-corruption measures that can be measured and monitored. A third related area of concern is the need for much stronger transparency and accountability measures around Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) for large-scale infrastructure investments.

Establish strong anti-corruption guidelines for country assessment teams

When any IMF team visits a country, whether to decide terms for its funding or as part of its regular reviews, these teams must start thoroughly evaluating the government’s anti-corruption measures.

Up until now the IMF has not been consistent across countries in its approach to assessing corruption, according to its own review   published earlier this year. IMF reports have also used euphemisms such as “need for a level playing field”, instead of describing the specific corruption issue and the actions needed to address it.

IMF country assessment teams have also struggled to interpret the scope of their task, because the IMF understands its anti-corruption engagement to be limited to situations “where it is assessed to have a significant macroeconomic impact.”

This has to change.

We advocate for a standardized, core set of initial open-ended review questions that would increase equal treatment across countries, and help the IMF identify where a country needs further anti-corruption policy support.

Increase the focus on cross-border drivers of corruption in IMF country reviews

In its country reports, the IMF must begin regularly including an assessment of the anti-money laundering measures the government has taken.

At the London Summit, the IMF recognized the relationship between anti-money laundering and anti-corruption. But it continues to treat them primarily as domestic issues and has rarely addressed cross-border drivers of corruption in its country surveillance (known as “Article IV” reports).

Most Grand Corruption schemes would not be feasible without a way to launder the proceeds. More than two-thirds of the large-scale corruption cases analyzed by the World Bank included the use of an anonymous shell company, often located in an offshore jurisdiction.

Corruption cases also frequently involve professional cross-border facilitators– lawyers, accountants and wealth managers. Similar actors and methods are used to launder the proceeds of crime and tax evasion, as recently recognised in a speech by the IMF Managing Director.

An increased focus on anti-money laundering effectiveness would not require an in-depth assessment to be carried out every year. For example, the IMF could get input from civil society to help prioritize the recommendations arising from other relevant reports, and then use annual reviews to keep track of how these priority recommendations are being implemented.

Ensure that Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) are fully transparent and undergo scrutiny for corruptions risks

Public Private Partnerships are long-term arranegments  for the private sector to provide infrastructure and services, from hospitals and schools to bridges and highways. International institutions are increasingly promoting PPPs for social and economic infrastructure financing. However, there are also growing concerns about the lack of transparency, proper anti-corruption risk assessments, and conflict of interest checks for these large-scale ventures

We support calls on the IMF to ensure that the financing structures used for public services in infrastructure are responsible, transparent, environmentally and fiscally sustainable, and in line with governments’ human rights obligations.

Multi-lateral agencies should prioritize domestic resources to provide efficient and accountable public services and ensure that high transparency standards apply, particularly with regard to the accounting of public funds, and the disclosure of contracts and performance reports for social and economic infrastructure projects.

Transparency International believes that if these three areas are prioritized, the IMF can have a significant impact in reducing corruption.

If the IMF decides to apply more of its still considerable clout  to regularly monitoring how well countries are doing in taking on corruption, and promoting best practice transparency and accountability standards, it will significantly boost its chances of being able to claim a substantive contribution to global anti-corruption progress by the time of its next governance review.

Source : Transparency International

Report: Trump’s Pick for Drug Czar Helped Hinder Opioid Crackdown

President Trump’s nominee to be the country’s next drug czar, Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA), has been singled out as the architect behind legislation that crippled the Drug Enforcement Administration’s fight against the opioid epidemic, in a new joint investigation by The Washington Post and 60 Minutes.

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Bryan Woolston/Reuters

Marino was the chief advocate of a bill introduced in 2013 and passed in 2016—at the height of the drug epidemic—that stripped the DEA of its authority to freeze shipments of suspicious narcotics from drug companies, The Washington Post reported.

Joe Rannazzisi, the former chief of the DEA’s Office of Diversion Control, alleges in the report that several members of Congress are under the control of major drug companies that use their money to gain influence.

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“The drug industry—the manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and chain drugstores—have an influence over Congress that has never been seen before,” Rannazzisi was quoted as saying. According to the Post, political action committees representing the pharmaceutical industry contributed at least $1.5 million to the 23 members of Congress who sponsored or co-sponsored the industry-friendly legislation.

Marino reportedly received $100,000 from these committees, while Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT) is said to have gotten $177,000.

Source : Daily Beast

Indefinite Strike Action Will Be Prolonged If…-Health Workers, Action A Welcome Development-Labour Leader

Health workers in Nigeria have vowed to ensure  that the  indefinite   strike  action they have embarked on is prolonged, just as the pockets of industrial action by workers in the country has been described as a welcome development.

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According to the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) University College Hospital (UCH) branch, Ibadan, who also doubles as the Deputy President(South) of the same union and the Chairman, Joint Health Sector Union(JOHESU)UCH branch, Comrade Olusegun Sotilloye, who made this known in chat with Federationews2day, the expectation is that Government would do the needful, to avert the negative effects of a prolonged strike action.

‘’We are praying and hoping that Government will quickly do the needful, because we are also not in any way thinking of having a prolonged strike, simply because of the welfare of our members, we know the devastating effect the strike action will have on the innocent populace, who will suffer if a scenario like this plays out, because  we have been shortchanged several times, our sympathy towards the Nigerian people has been exploited so many times,  unless Government does  the right thing, this present action might be prolonged”, Comrade Sotiloye warned.

Similarly, the pockets of industrial action by workers  in the country as been described  as a welcome development.

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This was the assertion of the immediate Past Chairman of the Oyo state council of the Trade Union Congress(TUC), who is also an ex-officio of the union, Chairman Association of Senior Civil Servants(ASCN) and Zonal Coordinator of the Socialist Workers League, South  West zone, Comrade Andrew Emelieze.

”It is a good thing that unions are waking up to their responsibilities, having been patient enough with the Nigerian state, to see if workers’ interests would be addressed, but unfortunately, despite the patience of the workers and their different unions, Government is yet to meet up with the the workers’ demands. Life has been made very difficult for workers working in Nigeria today, especially in the public service and also in the  private sector, it is as if  it is based on the philosophy that work is punishment and so workers have been reacting and the different unions that have been bold enough to declare industrial action should be commended”.

”So, it is a good thing that the unions are waking up to their responsibilities and we are having pockets of industrial action from different sectors of the workforce. It is just that, unfortunately, it has not been galvanized  at the national level, through the central labour unions, that is the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) and the Trade Union Congress(TUC) and not until we have that, workers’ interests will not be well articulated”, Comrade Emelieze declared.

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US police train in counterterrorism in Israel, attend 9/11 memorial

By Daniel K. Eisenbud
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“In our communities, for a lot of police officers, it’s a job, and I think that it’s more than a job for a lot of the officers in Israel because they are protecting their homeland.”

For the second consecutive year, the Police Unity Tour, a delegation of 52 American law-enforcement officers from 12 states, arrived in Israel to train in counterterrorism techniques and attend an annual 9/11 memorial service outside Jerusalem.

According to the delegation’s leader, Michael Safris, chief of the Essex County’s Sheriff’s Office Deputy Division, the Police Unity Tour was established in 1997 to honor officers killed in the line of duty.

“We are here to honor fallen police officers from the US and Israel,” he said on Monday.

“The motto of the Police Unity Tour is ‘We ride for those who died,’ and last year when we came here we did a one-day bike tour with Israeli officers, and in May we had 12 Israeli officers ride with us from New Jersey to our police memorial in Washington, DC, to participate in a candle-lighting vigil for fallen US officers,” Safris said.

During their stay, the US delegation will be based at the Beit Shemesh police academy, where they will participate in multiple counterterrorism training exercises, meet with elite units, and be briefed by Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich.

The delegation will conclude following a September 11 memorial service held at the 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza in the Arazim Valley.

Safris, 72, who is Jewish and has hosted Israeli police delegations in the US for the past 10 years, said he has visited Israel 40 times.

“From all my trips, I know the delegation forms an important relationship, and if something happens in the US or something happens here, we stay in touch and honor each country’s fallen officers,” he said. “The relationship and comradery developed over the last two years is one of the reasons we keep coming.”

In terms of heightened antisemitism in the US – recently manifested by violent white supremacists who chanted “Jew will not replace us!” while marching in Charlottesville, Virginia – Safris said the country is indeed becoming alarmingly polarized.

“There is definitely a big divide, and I think people feel more emboldened by some of the things that President Trump said, or didn’t say,” he said. “There is a definite uptick [in antisemitism].”

Asked if security for Jewish people and organizations has been heightened in the US, Safris responded “100 percent.”

“Jewish communities have hired security directors and people now have to sign in at synagogues and community centers,” he said. “It’s a lot different than it was over the last year.”

Safris said what distinguishes the Israeli police internationally is their commitment not only to law enforcement, but to Israel’s existential struggle.

“In our communities, for a lot of police officers, it’s a job, and I think that it’s more than a job for a lot of the officers in Israel because they are protecting their homeland,” he said.

“We have a lot of discussions about this when we are here,” Safris said. “It’s not just about keeping Israel going, but keeping it strong. You know, you can’t put down your weapons; you gotta be strong and act quickly, otherwise it’s going to be a lot worse.”

“They are protecting a way of life here,” he added.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, who met with the American delegation, said Israel’s ongoing security threats and the police’s efficient handling of them makes it an ideal arena for officers from across the globe to train.

“In terms of counterterrorism tactics that have been used and implemented at numerous scenes across the country, where unfortunately terrorist attacks have taken place, the Israeli police have used those tactics to minimize injuries, as well as find rapid solutions,” he said.

“Over the next few days, the Police Unity Tour will learn and see a number of these tactics across the country,” Rosenfeld added.

 Source : Jerusalem Post

Festive Period : For The Past Three Years We Have Being Borrowing To Celebrate-Oyo Workers

Workers in Oyo state have expressed reservations over the poor condition they have marked festive holidays in the last three years.

The workers who cut across religious divides, noted that only the grace of God had enabled them to pool financial resources together to celebrate such holidays.

”For the past three years, we have always went about  borrowing money to celebrate during festive periods. Salary arrears still linger, no conducive  working environment, consultants everywhere, Government has not treated us well, it is sad and unfortunate”, the workers who refused to mention their names lamented.

In his Eid El Kabir message to workers in the state, the Chairman,  State Public Service Joint Negotiating council, who is also the Chairman of the Trade Union Congress(TUC)and the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria(ASCSN) in the state,  Comrade Emmanuel Ogundiran  outlined the experience of workers in the state, while advising them to be prudent in their spending habits during the festive period.

”In those days they do give us opportunistic to send some of our Muslim brothers and sisters to the Holy land for Hajj, they give us pilgrimage  slots. In the last three years nothing of such, they used to give us Jerusalem slots, in the last three or four  years nothing of such. Even during festive periods, they do  give us rice, milk, these days nothing of such We will never go cap in hand begging anybody. We believe it is the right  of the Government to celebrate its workforce. We will continue to say it that they are not  a better stakeholder in this project called Oyo state than we are. And we are  the geese that lay the golden eggs, which they consume. We are  the tools  with which the work of this state is  been done, but what do we have ? But we always thank God because we are  alive, we are surviving and we will still survive this.

”I wish all our Muslim brothers and sisters a blissful Eid El Kabir and knowing what the economy of the country and the state in particular is saying, as I wish them a very good moment during the Eid El Kabir, I want them to be mindful of their spending, they should cut  their coat according to  their cloth, they should  not over spend, knowing that we are approaching the period during which our  wards and children, will be  resuming back to school, in the month of September, they should make  sure they plan for their children and not to overspend during the festive period”, Comrade Ogundiran advised.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari’s Nation wide Broadcast

I am very grateful to God and to all Nigerians for their prayers. I am pleased to be back on home soil among my brothers and sisters.

In the course of my stay in the United Kingdom, I have been kept in daily touch with events at home. Nigerians are robust and lively in discussing their affairs, but I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation. This is a step too far.

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In 2003 after I joined partisan politics, the late Chief Emeka Ojukwu came and stayed as my guest in my hometown Daura. Over two days we discussed in great depth till late into the night and analysed the problems of Nigeria. We both came to the conclusion that the country must remain one and united.

Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood.

Every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance. I believe the very vast majority of Nigerians share this view.

This is not to deny that there are legitimate concerns. Every group has a grievance. But the beauty and attraction of a federation is that it allows different groups to air their grievances and work out a mode of co-existence.

The National Assembly and the National Council of State are the legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse. The national consensus is that, it is better to live together than to live apart.

Furthermore, I am charging the Security Agencies not to let the successes achieved in the last 18 months be a sign to relax.

Terrorists and criminals must be fought and destroyed relentlessly so that the majority of us can live in peace and safety.

Therefore we are going to reinforce and reinvigorate the fight not only against elements of Boko Haram which are attempting a new series of attacks on soft targets kidnappings, farmers versus herdsmen clashes, in addition to ethnic violence fuelled by political mischief makers. We shall tackle them all.

Finally, dear Nigerians, our collective interest now is to eschew petty differences and come together to face common challenges of; economic security, political evolution and integration as well as lasting peace among all Nigerians.

I remain resolutely committed to ensuring that these goals are achieved and maintained. I am so glad to be home.”

Thank you and may God bless our dear Nation.

 

Oyo Residents Call for More Funds for Road Repairs, As Joyce B Road Dwellers Commend Govt.

Residents of Oyo state have called on the state Government to urgently make adequate funds available to the state  Roads Maintenance Agency(OYSROMA) for the repair of bad roads in different parts of the state.

The residents, who spoke on condition of anonymity, cut across Ibadan, Eruwa, Igboora, Oyo and areas in the Oke-Ogun Geo-political zone of the state.

”The quality of road repairs could be said not to be impressive, go to Oke-Ado, and see for yourself, the rains are here and the rehabilitated roads are in bad state.  It looks like materials are been economized in the road repairs. The state Government should release more funds to the agency, to enable it carry out quality road repairs”, the residents’ spokesman, Mr. Siji Ahmed advised.

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However, residents of Joyce B road, have commended the agency for rehabilitating the major road in the area.

According to a release by the Agency’s Information Officer, Mrs Adeyemi, the residents expressed their appreciation for a job well done.

”We appreciate the present administration in Oyo state, for their efforts in making Joyce B road conducive and motor able. Before now, our experiences was nothing to be happy about. But we thank God for the rehabilitation”, they stated.