Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Tuesday night, disclosed that over 12,000 projects awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, have been abandoned across the nine states that make up the region.
Senator Akpabio, who made the revelation while inaugurating the Security Committee for the field forensic auditor of NDDC in Abuja, said Rivers and Delta states have the highest records of abandoned projects in the region.
The former governor of Akwa Ibom State also revealed that NDDC was operating 311 accounts in different banks, before the advent of Treasury Single Account, TSA.
He added that some funds were even forgotten in some banks because of the large numbers of accounts been maintained by the commission during the period.
The minister charged the security committee to be vigilant and ensure adequate security is provided for the 16-member auditors in the course of discharging their duties.
The committee membership is drawn from the military; Department State Services, DSS; Independent Corrupt Practice and other related offences, ICPC; Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC; Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC and the Police.
Akpabio noted that the scope of the investigation is massive and first of its kind, adding, “I can say this is the first time in the history of this country that this kind of exercise is taking place. it is a very major exercise.
“And I am happy that the armed forces have taken it very serious by sending very senior officers to be on this security committee.
“There was an attempt in 1958 to set up a developmental agency for the Niger Delta region, that did not go down well at the end.
“And various attempts have been made up to 1990-91 when OMPADEC was also inaugurated and came in to be. But the result did not solve the problem of the Niger Delta.
“The agitation that the neglect and the seeming poverty of the region continued because of the environmental hazard and exploitation and all that, are still there.”
Access Bank Announces N50b Interest-free Loan For Businesses
Access Bank has announced N50 billion in support of Nigerians through interest-free loans and grants to support communities, the youths as well as micro, small and medium-sized businesses.
The bank posted this on its official LinkedIn page.
It said the move was to support businesses following the crippling COVID-19 lockdown as well as the looting and arson that trailed the #ENDSARS protests.
According to the bank; “Now more than ever, we remain committed to our purpose of impacting lives positively.
” In light of the recent occurrences, we will be supporting Nigerian businesses with N50billion interest-free loans and grants. Watch this space for more information.”
The support by Access Bank is expected to help business owners and entreprenuers alleviate and stimulate economic activities, as well as produce many positive multiplier effects on the economy.
“As a way of supporting SMEs and the working class of the country following the recent damage of properties and livelihoods experienced across the nation, @myaccessbank has rolled out interest free loans of up to N50bn.
“The fund is expected to serve as a kickstart to these affected communities, people and businesses. #AccessCares #All4One,” the bank added.
PenCom Makes Data Recapture Exercise Condition To Process RSA Transfer Request
The National Pension Commission said the completion of the Data Recapture Exercise (DRE) is a prerequisite for processing any Retirement Savings Account (RSA) transfer request by RSA holders who registered before 1st of July 2019.
“The National Pension Commission (the Commission) introduced the Data Recapture Exercise (DRE) in August 2019 in order to obtain complete, accurate and current data of all RSA holders (both active and retired), the commission stated.
The statement added that “Accordingly, Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) were directed by the Commission to obtain the relevant information required for the DRE from RSA holders and the process is on going. One of the information required for the exercise is the National Identity Number (NIN).
“The Commission is desirous to ensure that all RSA holders are able to exercise their rights of transferring their RSAs trom one PFA to another, in anticipation of the formal launch of the RSA Transfer System during the last quarter of 2020.
“The Commission therefore wishes to notify all RSA holders that the completion of the DRE is a prerequisite for processing any RSA transfer request by RSA holders who registered before 1 July 2019.”
PenCom explained to fast track the DRE, it approved a proposal of the Pension Operators’ Association of Nigeria (PenOp) for an industry Shared Service Initiative (SSI).
“Consequently, PenOp has engaged agents to conduct the DRE on behalf of all PFAs. This arrangement will enhance efficiency in carrying out the exercise as it would allow an agent to recapture all RSA holders in the same organization on behalf of all PFAs. In partnership with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), the selected agents will have the ability to carry out NIN registrations seamlessly.
“The Commission hereby appeals to all active RSA holders and retirees to cooperate with the agents that would be visiting their organisations to carry out the DRE. Meanwhile, the Commission remains committed to providing necessary support to the pension industry to ensure the success of the DRE,” it noted.
Senate Confirms Dahir-Umar DG PenCom, Four Board Members
The Senate confirmed the appointment of Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar as the substantive Director General of the National Pension Commission (PenCom) on Tuesday.
President Muhammadu Buhari had penultimate week, sent the name of Dahir -Umar to the Senate, seeking the lawmakers ’ confirmation for her to be the substantive DG and others , to the board of the agency.
The lawmakers also confirmed Dr Oyindasola Oluremi Oni, from North Central as the Chairman of the commission.
Also confirmed were Clement Akintola (South -West); Ayim Nyerere ( South – East) and Charles Emukowhale (South – South), as commissioners of the PenCom board.
However, the Senate refused to confirm the appointment of Hannatu Musa (North -West) because she was unable to present her discharge certificate from the National Youths Service Corps.
Until her confirmation, Dahir-Umar , from the North -East geopolitical zone , held the position in acting capacity .