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UK receives 90 billion pounds stolen funds yearly

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Port Harcourt October 21, 2019 The United Kingdom, (UK) receives not
less than 90 billion shady funds from across the world every year most
of them stolen by public officials from the third world including but
not limited to Nigeria, foreign experts said in Port Harcourt on Monday.

The experts said 87,000 illicit assets in UK are owned by anonymous
companies in tax havens, while the values of secretly owned properties
in the UK are between 56 to 100 billion pounds. Forty percent of these
properties are in the city of London, they affirmed.

The revelation was made by world acclaimed anti-corruption advocates,
Christian Erikson and Lionel Faull in a joint paper tagged Obtaining
Property Information Overseas presented at the ongoing anti-corruption
training organized by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda
(Heda Resource Centre) in collaboration with international groups, The
Corner House, Kent Law School, all in the UK, MacArthur Foundation and
the Open Society Initiative for West Africa, (OSIWA).

The programme drew 70 civil society organisations, media, labour and
representatives of anti-corruption institutions from across the southern
region of Nigeria.

In his remarks, Nick Hildyard, an anti-corruption investigator said
though the UK has one of the most effective anti-corruption laws, but
that in reality, the country does not appear to be fully prepared to
stall the wave of corruption with her financial institutions providing
the logistics for corrupt officials from Nigeria. “The UK is a legally
corrupt country”, Hildyard said adding that if Western countries
genuinely wish to fight corruption, they should stop the warehouse of
stolen funds from Nigeria.

Faull said “Getting your money back is easier said than done. It takes a
long time. If you do not support corruption, there is no need doing
banking with Nigeria. The fight against Corruption will not succeed
without a very active citizenry. It requires international solidarity,
teaming up with civil society in order to work with international
organisations and make authorities accountable.”

In his presentation, the HEDA Chairman, Mr Olanrewaju Suraju said about
456 top Nigerian public officials holding strategic positions are yet to
declared their assets inspite of the regulations put in place by the
Code of Conduct Bureau, (CCB)

Speaking at the conference, the Special Adviser to President Mohammadu
Buhari on National Social Investment Programme (N-SIP) Mrs. Maryam Uwais
said millions of Nigerians have never felt the impact of the government.
She commended the Federal Government’s efforts at fighting poverty by
ploughing recovered stolen wealth into meeting the essentials of poor
individuals across the 36 states of the Federation.

Uwais said “We have information about savings among the beneficiary of
the N-SIP. We discover that 567 million naira have been saved by these
women. 18,210 have also taken loans and less than 1000 have defaulted.
The beneficiaries are involved in animal husbandry and other businesses.
They have become very useful to themselves. What we have done is to
insulate the process from the political process”

She said at the moment, 6million Nigerians are on the data base of the
NSIP adding that 167,000 out of the figure are physically challenged
people. Communication, she said, remains a challenge since many of the
beneficiaries live in the rural areas. “It has been a dilemma for me
generally. It’s been a choice that has been hard. We call on journalists
to please go out of their duties to help reach out to them.”

She said that corruption cannot be eradicated overnight. On poverty
alleviation, Mrs Uwais said “We need at least 10 years of consistent
intervention to be able to make real impact. We have tried to adopt best
practices given our own circumstances. The money given to the poor
continues to facilitate economic growth. We must all participate in this
sustained effort. It is time to turn the tide of the fortunes of our
people. Corruption knows no boundary. We need to ensure that utilization
of funds is transparent.”

In her presentation, Prof Ayo Atsenuwa of the University of Lagos said
though the Freedom of Information law has opened fresh opportunities for
Nigerians to hold their leaders accountable, she however regretted that
the Official Secrets Act which was introduced by colonial lords about a
century ago into the Nigerian legal system remains in force. Nigeria,
unlike many other countries and jurisdictions, lacks a policy,
guidelines or law on public access of court documents.

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Bismarck Rewane resigns as a director from the Board of Guinness Nigeria Plc

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Bismarck Rewane

The Board of Guinness Nigeria Plc has announced the resignation of Mr Bismarck Jemide Rewane.

This announcement was made in a notification issued by the Company Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Odusola.

According to Mr Odusola, the resignation of Mr Rewane as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Guinness Nigeria Plc became effective on 31st December 2020.

Mr. Rewane was appointed to the Board of Guinness Nigeria Plc as a Non-Executive Director in 2008. Until his resignation, he served as the Chairman of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee of the Board.

However, it is important to note that as of 30th June 2020, he owns 36,384 ordinary shares of Guinness Nigeria Plc, worth N691,296.

The Board of Guinness Nigeria extended its appreciation to the outgoing Director, for his leadership, focus and commitment to the success of the Company and wishes him the best in his future endeavours.

About Mr Bismarck Rewane

  • Bismarck Rewane was also with the First National Bank of Chicago, Barclays Bank of Nigeria and Barclays Bank International Plc, United Kingdom. An Associate of the Institute of Bankers, England and Wales.
  • Mr. Rewane has served on the Board of several organisations, including Navgas (a Vitol Group subsidiary); NLNG Prize Award Foundation; UNIC Insurance Plc, Nigeria; Economic Summit Group; UBA Custodian Limited; Virgin Nigeria Airways Limited; Fidelity Bank Plc; First City Monument Bank Plc; and Top Feeds Nigeria Limited.

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Traders Count Loses In Lagos Plank Market Fire

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With millions of goods and items burnt to ashes, the inferno which engulfed a plank market in Lagos on Sunday has added salt to the financial injuries which COVID19 has already inflicted on many businesses in Nigeria and around the world.

No human loss has been recorded in the fire at Ketu Plank Market on Demurin Street, Ketu, Lagos though almost every structure was razed down.

LASEMA Response Team and the Lagos State Fire Service who responded to the emergency are yet to give release an official statement on the actual cause of the fire.

Traders told newsmen that over 20 sawing machines, generating sets, several bundles of planks and foams were destroyed.

One of the traders who reportedly lost several bundles of foams worth millions of naira was said to be hospitalized when our correspondent visited.

A trader, Abifarin Lateef aka Sanjay said the fire started at 10:00 a.m, stating that he was at home when he received a call about the fire incident at exactly 10:33 am.

He disclosed that the impact of the fire would reduced if it had happened on a working day.

“We could not salvage anything. All our goods such as planks, foams, sawing machines are all gone. We have been rendered helpless. Where do we start from? By our estimate, what we lost here is more than N200m. We would appreciate any form of assistance from government,” he said.

He also commended the emergency responders, saying four firefighting trucks were mobilized to quench the fire which prevented the inferno from spreading to residential buildings.

Another trader said he lost three sets of chairs, several 6×6 beds to the inferno.

Director-General of the LASEMA, Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyitolu also confirmed that the fire caused “extensive damage with valuable goods having been destroyed.”

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