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Funds Were Withheld For Duplicated Projects In 2021 Budget, Says Akabueze

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Funds were withheld for duplicated projects in the 2021 budget, Mr Ben Akabueze who is the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation told Channels Television on Friday.

He made the disclosure during an interview on Sunrise Daily where he spoke about the measures taken by the Budget Office to prevent wastage of the government’s funds.

Akabueze, a chartered accountant, revealed that the Budget Office took the necessary measure after the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) uncovered some duplicated projects in a report.

“The ICPC came up with a report which they sent to us about duplicated projects that they found in the budget,” he said. “We did our own review (and) we found that 54 of those projects were not actually duplications but there were issues with project descriptions – project descriptions which made them look the same, but they were not the same.

“Every project in the budget has a unique identifier and the ones which were found to indeed be duplicated, funding was withheld from such projects. There were 185 from the list we received; 185 (projects) were found to be duplicated, 54 were not.”

Chairman of the ICPC, Bolaji Owasanoye, had disclosed that 257 projects amounting to N20.138 billion were duplicated in the 2021 budget.

According to the anti-graft agency chief, the commission tracked 1,083 projects across the country. But the exercise could not be conducted in Borno and Zamfara due to the security situation in the states.

Akabueze, on his part, believes it is the responsibility of the ICPC to take necessary actions against those involved in the duplication of projects in the nation’s budget.

He stressed that the best the Budget Office could do was to withhold the release of funds for such a purpose to help the nation save its resources.

“We have our own job description, we have the limit of our own authority,” the accountant stated. “When it (duplicated project) is discovered, the most – on our own part – that we can do is withhold release of funds to those specific projects.

“The ICPC has already reported. They have investigative powers, so they actually pull in the people involved to investigate whether these are willful actions to defraud the government or whether they are erroneous. They are the ones with the authority to do so, we don’t (have such authority).”

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‘This Is Stranger Than Fiction’, Momodu Consoles Banky W After Controversial Defeat At PDP Primary

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Ovation magazine boss, Dele Momodu, has consoled singer cum politician, Banky W who lost Eti-Osa primary at the just concluded PDP primary election.

Recall that Activist and convener of Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju revealed that Banky W was denied of the PDP ticket after being previously declared the winner to represent the party as its House of Representatives candidate in the upcoming 2023 elections.

Deji Adeyanju tweeted “PDP is cursed. Banky W didn’t get the ticket according to their latest evil scheme, all they care about is dollars…Kai, I’m sincerely tired of this country. We are in serious mess. The generation of our children are in trouble.”

Reacting to sad news, Dele Momodu who recently purchased the N40 million presidential form of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, shared a video clip where he was consoling the singer and wrote that Banky W’s case is ‘stranger than fiction’.

“Just ran into my very dear Brother MR BANKOLE WELLINGTON and what he’s telling me is stranger than fiction…”,he wrote.

He however encouraged the singer in the video clip, saying, “Don’t worry,”

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Breaking: 2023: Hayatu-Deen Withdraws From PDP Presidential Race

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…Says Primary “Obscenely Monetised”

A former Managing Director and Chief Executive of FSB International Bank, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen has withdrawn from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential race.

PDP National Convention to elect a 2023 Presidential candidate out of the 15 aspirants is slated for today, in Abuja.

The foremost Economist and Banker, in a letter addressed to the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, said interacting with Nigerians from all walks of life had reinforced his resolve that Nigeria must be saved, otherwise the future is doomed.

He lamented that for years he observed with great concern and sorrow the recent rapid deterioration of all aspects of Nigeria’s national life characterised by increasing poverty, religious intolerance, banditry and kidnapping, monumental oil theft, corruption, mismanagement of national assets, communal and religious strifes and near collapse of public services and public institutions.

Hayatu-Deen said he planned to ensure that the great potential that had become the hallmark of Nigeria’s development paradigm should be actualized during his presidency.

He alleged that the primary had been “obscenely monetised”.

The renowned economist said he planned to make Nigeria the continental economic powerhouse, which would guarantee high quality of life to most Nigerians.

The foremost Banker said his ambition was driven by passion and commitment to rescue Nigeria which is on the verge of collapse.

He said “My exposure locally and internationally and contributions to the nation’s economic and political well being positioned me to take up the challenges facing our dear nation and the courage to participate in this gruelling exercise which most of our elites have shunned away from. Regrettably, the political system has proved to be acrimonious, corrupt and self-serving.

“I joined the contest as a democrat, with an open mind to keenly contest and accept the result of a process that is fair, credible and transparent

“We have endeavoured to forge a consensus which would have facilitated a seamless emergence of a candidate which unfortunately could not be achieved.

“I wish to reiterate that I did not join party politics and to contest for the presidency because of personal gains and inordinate ambition, but to serve our country.

“It is, therefore, based on personal principles and with great humility that I have decided after wide consultations to withdraw from this contest which has been obscenely monetized”.

Hayatu-Deen assured that as a very loyal party member and believer in the democratic process, he’ll continue to avail himself and his teeming supporters at all times to ensure the victory of the PDP.

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2023: Peter Obi Blows Hot, Insists He’s Not Desperate To Be President

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…I’m Not A Saint, But Go And Check My Records, Ex-Anambra Gov Blasts Wike Over Integrity ‘Attack’

 

Former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, on Friday said he is not desperate to be President.

Mr Obi made the comment while appearing on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

According to Mr Obi, he left the Peoples Democratic Party for the Labour Party because the former did no longer align with his political values.

“I’m not desperate to be President or anything,” he said. “I’m desperate to see Nigeria work. Especially for the youths of this country.

“I’ve moved to where I think the process might allow me.

He also retorted that no one can question his integrity over management of public funds/office as he did his best and the records show it.

Obi in a statement on Friday submitted that leaving the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) does not bring his integrity into question or disrepute in any form.

Obi made the submission as a response to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike who had earlier on Thursday during a TV interview stated that Obi’s decision to dump the PDP a few days to the presidential primaries shows a lack of character and integrity.

But replying Wike’s statement, Obi during an interview on Channels Television Politics Today on Friday said his only offence while in office was refusing to mismanage public funds, hence no one can call him out for lack of integrity.

Obi added that even when has was offered some ‘juicy packages’ while in office, he rejected them and opted to live within his means.

According to him, the politics of sharing money has never been a part of him.

“Wike talks about the issue of integrity. He said my leaving the PDP questioned my integrity, I don’t know how that came about. When we talk about integrity, we talk about it in the management of public assets.

“That is what we should be talking about in this country and when such things are mentioned about me, I feel maybe there is something missing somehow. Go and check my record as a governor, I was impeached for three reasons, one, my office had an approved budget for renovation for N298m and I renovated everything with N43,2m.

“My lodge, to renovate where I live, I got a budget of N486m, I did everything with N81m. Number three is that I was saving money without the approval of the House. From day one I said we must save money, for 8 years I was governor, go and ask any contractor that sat with me whether I inflated any contract,” Obi declared.

He added that the evidence of his integrity and character in managing public funds is the N75 billion he left behind when he left office after eight years as Governor.

“When I left office, I left N75bn as at that time because it is public money and I am managing it on public trust. For me when you talk about integrity, it questions your management of public funds and resources.

“Go to Anambra State today, I have no land given to me by the Anambra State Government, My managing director of my housing authority, Mike Nwafor, is still alive, he gave me land and two houses and I rejected them. Nobody has ever seen me in my political life sharing money at any time. I am not saying I am a saint, but I did things which I believe were right,” Obi added.

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