ICPC recovered N189 billion from inflated budgets-Presidency:

ICPC recovered N189 billion from inflated budgets-Presidency:

The Presidency yesterday rolled out the achievements of the Buhari administration over the last six years with the recovery of N189 billion from inflated personnel budgets as one of the highlights.

The recoveries were made by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) under the fight against corruption policy of the administration.

The achievements were captured in a statement -The Buhari Administration at 6: Counting the Blessings One by One- issued by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina.

According to Adesina, scrutiny of practices, systems and procedures of MDAs’ personnel cost from 2019 to 2020 by the ICPC led to the recovery of the money.

He said that in 2019 alone, the commission recovered N32 billion worth of land, buildings and vehicles, while its audit of Constituency Projects covering 2015 to 2018 led to the recovery of N2 billion of diverted funds and assets.

Besides, he said, Nigeria has signed an agreement on the identification and repatriation of illicit funds with the United Arab Emirates and successfully engaged the governments of Switzerland, Jersey Island, United States, United Arab Emirates and Liechtenstein, among others, in an effort to ensure the repatriation of Nigeria’s stolen assets.

He said: “A total of US$622 million in looted Abacha funds repatriated to Nigeria in two tranches in December 2017 and April 2020.

“The first tranche ($322m) is being disbursed as part of the Buhari administration’s Social Investment Programme interventions, while the second tranche ($311m) is being invested in the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), managed by the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).”

N2 trillion bailout for states

Adesina said the Buhari administration extended more than N2 trillion in bailout packages to the 36 state governments to “enable them meet their salary and pension obligations, especially in the face of dwindling oil revenues in the first three years of the administration.”

The support, he said, took the following forms: N614 billion Budget Support Facility; $5.4 billion in Paris Club Refunds; N700 billion in refunds for federal road projects embarked upon by state governments; and restructuring of N575.516 billion loan facilities with commercial banks for 23 states to reduce the debt service burden on the states.

“In exchange for their loans to state governments, the banks were issued 20-year FGN bonds at a yield of 14.83% per annum,” Adesina said.

He added: “The restructuring exercise benefited the states through reduction in the monthly debt service burden of states from between 55% to 97% for various states; and interest rate savings for the states ranging from 3% to 9% per annum.”

Other achievements include investment of over a billion dollars in three flagship projects: Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway and resumption of work on the 337km East-West Road project, originally awarded in 2006.

He said the East-West Road is due for completion in the first quarter of 2022.

Adesina said the administration has achieved a lot but only noticeable to those it referred to as dispassionate fair-minded, and not beclouded by political partisanship and undue cynicism.

The statement said that the sixth anniversary of the administration, which comes up today, offers an opportunity to reflect and recount the impact the government has made.

The highlighted achievements cover infrastructure, finance, education, healthcare, sports, anti-corruption, human development, housing, oil and gas, and foreign relations.

According to Adesina, the achievements are so remarkable that “when the administration breasts the tape in another two years, by the grace of God, the applause will be resounding, even from the worst of skeptics.”

He added: “This milestone affords the opportunity to reflect, and recount the impact that has been made (and is being made) on different sectors of national life.

“From infrastructure, to finance, education, healthcare, sports, anti-corruption, human development, housing, oil and gas, foreign relations, and many others, the administration is recording giant strides, enough to make Nigerians proud.

“That is, those who are dispassionate and fair-minded, not beclouded by political partisanship and undue cynicism.

“Some people claim: ‘We don’t see what they are doing. We don’t hear about it.’

“Facts are undeniable, and always remain so. They are stubborn things.”

Accept your failure in May 29 speech, PDP tells Buhari

Apparently unimpressed at the way President Buhari has so far piloted the country’s affairs, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday called on the President to use his May 29 speech to admit the failure of his government.

The main opposition party, in a statement issued by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, berated the APC for failing to record any landmark achievement in the last six years.

The statement reads: “President Buhari and the APC must know that Nigerians are no longer interested in their stage-managed Presidential addresses as well as the circus show of their so-called APC Legacy Awareness Campaign, particularly in the face of the horrendous situation they have plunged our nation.

“This is because, in the last six years, President Buhari’s speeches have always been litanies of false claims, empty promises and lame excuses for failures, which the APC, in its penchant for lies, propaganda and beguilement, wants to accentuate with their legacy awareness campaign.

“If indeed the Buhari Presidency and the APC have any achievement to showcase, would it be organising an awareness campaign to seek the understanding of Nigerians for its mass failures?

“It is trite wisdom that their works ought to be speaking for themselves like those of the PDP administration which are still being seen today in every sphere of our national life.

“If they have anything to show, would President Buhari be begging that history should be kind to him for his failures? Would he go to faraway Paris and France to declare that his administration is being plagued by ill-luck?

“Our party vehemently rejects this attempt by APC leaders to claim that their party failed because of the challenges that have befallen our nation when in reality, the APC and the Buhari Presidency should be held responsible for their own failures.”

The PDP urged President Buhari and the APC to provide answers to why they have failed to forcefully condemn acts of terrorism in the country, adding that the government should also give reasons for failure to take decisive steps to vanquish terrorists, bandits and vandals ravaging the nation.

“They must provide answers on how they wrecked our once-thriving economy and turned our nation into the poverty capital of the world with a 33.3 unemployment rate and over 60 million Nigerians losing their means of livelihood in a space of six years.

“It is imperative for President Buhari and APC to note that Nigerians are already aware that Mr President and his party are responsible for the woes that had befallen our nation and no amount of false performance claims or so-called legacy awareness campaign can sway the people,” PDP stressed.

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