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Malabu Scandal: EFCC Working with Interpol to Arrest Adoke, Etete

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The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Jabi, Abuja on Wednesday, ordered the arrest of the immediate-past Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dan Etete, and four others.

The six are named in the charges filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in relation to the $2.1bn Malabu Oil scam.

Others affected by the court’s arrest warrant issued on Wednesday are: Raph Wezels, Casula Roberto, Pujato Stefeno, Burrato Sebastino and Aliyu Abubakar.

Justice Danladi Senchi issued the arrest warrant against the suspects following an ex parte application by the EFCC.

Moving the application on Wednesday, the commission through its lawyer, Mr Aliyu Yusuf, informed the judge that it needed the arrest warrant to enable it to apprehend the suspects and bring them before the court for arraignment on the charges instituted against them since 2016.

Yusuf noted that apart from the charges pending in court, there were other two sets pending against them before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

According to the EFCC, the charges bordered on fraudulent allocation of the Oil Prospecting Licence 245 and money laundering involving the sum of about $1.2bn, forgery of bank documents, bribery and corruption.

The alleged $1.2bn scam involved the transfer of the OPL 245 purportedly from Malabu Oil and Gas Limited to Shell Nigeria Exploration Production Co. Limited and Nigeria Agip Exploration Limited.

The three companies are defendants in the charges pending before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

An operative of the EFCC, Mr. Ahmed Ibrahim, stated in an affidavit filed along with the anti-graft agency’s ex parte application had stated that the issuance of an arrest warrant against the defendants would enable them to liaise with International Police Organisation to ensure their arrest.

The affidavit stated, “That arraignment of the defendants in this case couldn’t take place because the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th defendants/respondents are at large and have refused to make themselves available.

“That all efforts to apprehend the fleeing defendants/respondents proved abortive.

“That in furtherance of efforts to apprehend the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th defendants/respondents, the EFCC contacted the Nigeria Police to assist in watch-listing them and facilitating their arrest.

“That the Nigeria Police in response requested detailed particulars and necessary process to enable them to liaise with INTERPOL, and other relevant sister organisations have insisted that in addition to having a pending charge before a competent court, there must be warrant of arrest to enable the organisations to apprehend the defendants.

“That granting this application will facilitate the required liaison with INTERPOL and ensure that the defendants/respondents are apprehended and produced before the court for their arraignment on the charges filed against them.”

The Punch

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Food for Living: Expand Your Knowledge, Expand Your Business

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By Henry Ukazu

Greetings Dear Friends,

There’s a general presumption that knowledge is power, but in reality, the real power is applied knowledge. This is because if you have knowledge only stored in your brain without the actual application, you might not have the same respect as someone who takes advantage of the opportunity of expressing his/her thoughts. We live in a digital age where innovation and creativity runs like light. Knowledge can be likened to information because when you are duly informed, you’ll have more opportunities, confidence and financial rewards. What most people don’t know is that you’ll only get paid for what you know, and therefore, in order to get money you need to learn more.

In the course of this article, we shall be discussing how resourceful information and knowledge can trigger huge financial and rewarding opportunities for your business or career. The study of philosophy has taught me that there are five forms of knowledge namely: authoritative knowledge which is the knowledge from a person who is regarded as an expert in a particular industry e.g. Medicine, law, accounting or engineer; empirical knowledge which is the knowledge derived from symbols; rational knowledge which is the knowledge derived from solving rational problems like mathematics; divine knowledge which is the knowledge from the creator (God) to man to understand heavenly teachings, and intuitive knowledge which is the knowledge from within a person during impromptu and sane moments. It is well settled that people with informed knowledge and information are always respected, if for nothing else, for what they have upstairs and what they share.

Do you truly and really want to expand your business? If yes, then you have to read. It is said often said that readers are leaders because they tend to make better decisions that produce better results. According to Francis Bacon, “Writing maketh an exact man, conference maketh a ready man, but reading maketh a full man”. Succeeding in life and business entails reading, researching and networking. Starving yourself of knowledge is limiting your earning capacity. Imagine driving a car with an empty gas and expecting to get to your destination. That is basically how limiting yourself and expecting to succeed in life. Your brain needs muscles, exercise them by reading and meditating. Avoid starving your brain the fuel it needs to progress.

Therefore, in order for you to expand your business, you need to figure out your weakness, then look for a mentor/coach in your specific area of interest. According to some schools of thought, one of the ways to decipher how successful or viable a person or organization is by looking at their financial status. Money can be likened to a magnet. You have to attract it by earning it the right way and the best way to attract money is developing your brain by reading. Regardless of your environment, industry, organization or institution you are working on, if you really want to go far, you have to be hungry for information that pertains to the industry, customers and competitors. This is a sure way of expanding your business and net worth.

Just like money can’t be hidden, knowledge can’t be hidden, it is like rays of light. It has a way of showcasing itself. Most rational and informed people with insightful knowledge and intelligence are always humble. These set of people don’t hoard information of interest to the public. People with useful information are always invited to critical meetings where critical information are taken. However, it should be noted that the burden of knowledge is humility. It’s all about your intentions. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. It’s unfortunate to note that lesser minds tend to show case their ignorance by making people feel dumb especially when they have facts and figures.

Let’s see how we can increase our fortunes with the right knowledge.

  1. Find a Mentor and Improve Your Business Knowledge Immediately: Their business knowledge can help you a lot. Another way to find a great mentor in your community is through networking events related to the industry you plan on focusing your business.
  2. Research Information to Increase Your Business Knowledge: Try doing some targeted internet research about your chosen industry. Look around the web for significant articles about successful businesses that are similar to your concept.
  3. Get a Business Degree: Many business owners who have reached high levels of success were able to because of their strong amount of knowledge. You can learn more about the details of running a business by taking formal classes or even enrolling in a graduate degree MBA program through the
  4. Get Hands-On: An effective way to gain knowledge about the business world is to simply go out and get experience. Before running a business in a specific field, it’s important to develop experience as a worker. If you want to open your own restaurant, try working in a kitchen first. Opening your own retail store could be a better idea if you have worked in sales at some point. If you’re dreaming of running your own car wash, try your hand at helping out an operator before you take the plunge with your own cash investment. Learning to run a business the right way takes a strong amount of dedication to reading, understanding, and meeting potential mentors. Once you gain expertise, you’ll have a much easier time of creating a business that will stand out and find its niche.
  5. Education: according to Albert Einstein “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” Being open to new and useful knowledge boosts your business, benefits your employees and stimulates your brain.
  6. You should also participate in ongoing education. Educate yourself to ensure that you know how to keep your business competitive and relevant in your field. Ongoing education can benefit professionals at any level, but it is especially important for entrepreneurs and those holding upper-level or management positions. Adding to your knowledge can be the difference between seeing mediocre and spectacular growth in your business. Ongoing education shows your clients or customers that you are committed to progress. Take advantage of informal learning as an education source. You don’t need to go back to college or enroll in courses at your local university to enhance your knowledge. Seminars, webinars, conferences, podcasts, blogs, and more are all excellent sources to continue your education. As a business leader, you can learn from other leaders in your field or other fields who have figured out better ways of doing things. You can take free online course on the internet.  Reading is the most resourceful way of searching for this information knowledge attracts respect because they are always informed. Education helps to keep you abreast with contemporary information in your industry.

Furthermore, it is important to note that knowledge is not necessarily expensive, ignorance is. Knowledge increases your success rate. As a business leader, your business is only as strong as the people behind it. As a business owner, you need to strive for personal growth to enable you to thrive professionally. The market is not what it was ten years ago, it most certainly wasn’t the same 5 years ago. It is important to stay current and competitive to win. If you aren’t exposing yourself to new ideas, you are making it easier for your competition to eat your lunch. On the long run, innovation wins, and the most ignorant entrepreneur tends to lose.

Finally, its worthy to note that in order for you to lead, you must read and in order for you to earn you must learn.

STRATEGIES TO IMPROVE YOUR BUSINESS KNOWLEDGE FAST

Here are five strategies to improve your knowledge about business.

Customer knowledge – you should know your customers’ needs and what they think of you. You may be able to develop mutually beneficial knowledge sharing relationships with customers by talking to them about their future requirements, and discussing how you might be able to develop your own products or services to ensure that you meet their needs.

  • Employee and supplier relationships– seek the opinions of your employees and your suppliers because they’ll have their own impressions of how you’re performing. You can use formal surveys to gather this knowledge or ask for their views on a more informal basis.
  • Market knowledge– Watch developments in your sector. How are your competitors performing? How much are they charging? Are there any new entrants to the market? Have any significant new products been launched?
  • Knowledge of the business environment– Your business can be affected by numerous outside factors. Developments in politics, the economy, technology, society and the environment could all affect your business’ development, so you need to keep yourself informed.
  • Professional associations and trade bodies Read publications, academic publications, government publications, reports from research bodies, trade and technical magazines.           
  • Trade exhibitions and conferences – These can provide an easy way of finding out what your competitors are doing and to see the latest innovations in your sector.
  • Product research and development – Scientific and technical research and development can be a vital source of knowledge that can help you create innovative new products – retaining your competitive edge..

In conclusion, I will say, the key to expanding your knowledge and financial life is by gaining resourceful information, knowledge and networking right. The combination of this three factors will definitely make you triumph

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success. He can be reached via henrous@gmail.com

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Food for Living: Run Your Race

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By Henry Ukazu

Greetings Friends,

Every living being, be it animal or human, has a race to run. In the same vein, every business, organization, or government also has a race to run. Have you ever wondered why newborn babies cry immediately after delivery? On a literal note, they cry because they are about to begin their journey.

Just like everyone is unique, every race is different. One of the greatest reasons people fail in life is that they tend to run a race that is not meant for them. They fail to develop themselves by concentrating on their “trade secrets”. It’s important to note that you can imitate someone but you can never be like them nor assume their style. Imagine you are running a race and you are on lane one; to avoid being disqualified, you have to maintain your lane until you finish the race. You have to own your race by maintaining your lane. It’s funny to note that most people will like to be on a particular lane with the hope they will get to the finish race faster forgetting that every lane is different and it is the energy and skill they invest in themselves that will ultimately determine who wins the race. There’s an adage which says that it is because the philosopher was too busy to see what was ahead of him that he forgot there was a ditch in front of him and fell into it.

The question now becomes how do you run your race? In simple terms, running your race means, as you lay your bed, so you lie on it.

Let’s share some insightful meanings on what running your race means. Running your own race means: always looking toward your goals while being aware of what’s around you. Running your own race means: not focusing too much on who’s next to you or who’s behind you. Running your own race means: beating your own best time, not anybody else’s. Running your race entails a lot of work, but first of all, you have to decide what you want to achieve. For instance, if you have a dream of becoming an attorney, a pilot or soccer player, the onus is on you to read, learn and train. If you don’t, no one will do it for you.

Whether you’re launching a business, trying to finish school, or starting a blog, it is important for you to understand what’s needed in the industry in order to succeed. There will always be other people on the track, in the audience, and in the arena observing and watching you. Some will be there to cheer you up, some will be looking for faults, some will try to criticize you, while others will either mock, test or observe to see what you are up to. In order to win the race, you must remain focused on the big picture. It doesn’t matter if you fail, just get up and learn from your mistakes. Always note that there will always be people ahead or behind you. But if you spend all your time looking at what others are doing, you’re going to trip over your own feet. Remember that you’re competing to be the best version of you, and everything else will fall into place at the appropriate time.

Most times we get caught up trying to make it big in life. You may put in so many hours at work, deprive yourself of sleep, wake up early, do research, maybe you need to invest in yourself  take a class, go to a conference/ seminar, work with a mentor, start that small business, put that website up or even learn a particular skill. All these are examples of running your race. Nobody will run it for you.  At the end of the day, you may discover you have little or nothing to show for it. My candid advice to you is don’t be hard on yourself. Just continue to build in addition to working on yourself, one day all your efforts will add up.

In the race of life, you need to start from somewhere in order to get to where you want to be. You can start small, but you need to have the vision of your endpoint in mind. Starting small entails being consistent in all you are doing. This is achieved by developing yourself and learning the necessary skills and information that is needed in the industry.

In conclusion, what race are you running and what are the races you need to succeed?

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright To Success. He can be reached via henrous@gmail.com

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We’ll Enforce Payment of New National Minimum Wage – NLC

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has vowed to enforce the total implementation of the new national minimum wage once the issue of consequential adjustments has been settled with the states.
Labour threatened that with the signing into law of the new minimum wage, any state that violated its provisions would be sued.

The president of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, stated the position of the workers during the opening of its 2019 national leadership retreat holding in Enugu, regretting that Nigerian workers were forced to beg for their salaries.

“While other countries have fully accommodated and automated the process of minimum wage adjustments and are now focused on living wages, we are faced with a situation where we are forced to bargain too hard and wait for too long for meager increases in minimum wage and adjustments in salary.

“Let me also inform you that there is a difference between the law we have and the law that has existed from 1981 till date. In 1981 when the first minimum wage was enacted, there was no provision for sanctions. In this one we negotiated, there is a provision for sanctions because it is already a law. Any state or person that violates the provision of the law, there are three ways to address it: one is that the worker can report his union.

“Once you report, we can look at the means and avenues, including court, to enforce the provision of the law. So now there is a clout to enforce the provisions of the law. Clearly speaking, once there’s understanding or agreement about the issue of consequential adjustment, the issue is settled and where there is the issue of non-respect for the law, it can be enforced legally in a court of law,” he stated.

According to Wabba, Nigeria cannot be complaining of lack of funds to pay workers decent wages and invest in public infrastructure cum social services “when we have a lot of public funds in private pockets”.

He went on: “It is no longer discussed in hushed tones that the government is struggling with liquidity. As we know, this crisis is rooted in bad governance. Two things define bad governance in this respect – institutionalization of corruption in public expenditure and weaknesses cum sabotage in internal revenues accruable to government. On corruption in public expenditure, the issue of humongous salaries and allowances paid to elected public officials and contract inflation top the list of our concerns.

“On the other hand, the loss of government revenue due to internal sabotage by unpatriotic public officials is very alarming and worrisome.’’

The labour leader urged the Federal Government to reject additional loans from the World Bank, and, instead, pursue the payment of funds accruable to Nigeria from periodic adjustments in remittances by international oil companies (IOCs) subject to increases in the price of petroleum above $20 per barrel.

He said the Federal Government officials failed to activate the clause for more than 20 years thus allowing the IOCs to stash away more than $100 billion in unpaid royalties to Nigeria.

“We urged the Federal Government not to rest on its oars until it recovers every kobo owed us by the IOCs. Government officials behind this criminal neglect must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We call for a tax system that captures many businesses, and rich people must be compelled to pay more taxes in commensuration to their income,” he urged.

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, who opened the retreat, commended the NLC for playing a pivotal role in the implementation of government policies and programmes.

He promised that his administration would prioritize workers welfare. “Enugu State workers will get a better deal in the implementation of consequential adjustments of the minimum wage,” Ugwuanyi said.

But his Ebonyi State counterpart, David Umahi, said that following the drop in federal allocation, his administration would soon review the workers salaries.

Umahi disclosed the plan at the Government House in Abakaliki when he distributed 68 Hyundai cars as official vehicles to some members of the state executive council, permanent secretaries and development centre coordinators.

“It’s quite very tight. We are going into review of workers salaries which is a must, a commitment,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has called on the National Assembly to increase the budgetary allocation of the ministry to meet its operational needs.

He made the appeal while defending the ministry’s 2020 budget estimate before the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Employment, Labour and Productivity in Abuja.

Ngige said that it had not been rosy for the ministry because fund paucity had been its major problem. To him, the situation emanated from the fact that most of its activities are looked upon as intangible.

“We are not building roads, bridges, airports, but we are assisting the country to maintain a big and good social milieu that will make for security of everybody,” he added.

The Guardian

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