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More oil marketers arraigned over subsidy fraud

FG trains 300 farmers on ,ice production i ~ Edo ore thOD. 3'011 farmen 'tIi'UC last F'rIday in Benin, &10 Stale cn, lta1 trained on rice prodUCl1o, and proces.si"'8 und-!I the rice value

M the

chain trnrudoml.8lion agenda of the Fnttrtl Co~enL WdUng:vn Oaloragbon,

the Federal Direc!or of Agriculture In E:db, said the one-day tnlining workshop for the! rrtnn~ ';\ Its aimed at incrcaaing rice Pl'Oduction and stopping UDoor:. lion of rice by 2014 , OmontcL'On S lid the tnl.ining wHlerre,nui the importano~ the F!!dent! OOvemtne'll pbu:d on rice in order to ensun hod security in Nigena. ' This t min.bl ; ia to help fanners .(.dress rood aecurity

challenges nnd e u:ourage commerdlll and mllitable agricu1~

known for rice productkln d\le to its vaat land, better environment and good climate. According to the commissioner, about N300 billion wouJd be saved if Importation is reduced and larmers 8J'e encoW1llged to go into mas8ive rice production He said the state gwanment was commiued to tramforming the e.gricu1ture s.!Ctor by paying its counterpart fund to various agricultural projects In the ltale.

PIAPEP builds workers' capacity to fight poverty

-The U8Jrung is also to

prepare fanners to make more profit, VI' bJk prx ucing to meet the demaul for- lIce in Nigeria," he said Accord"' g tim, more than NI blrion vru spent

t.,

on rice imp-")rtlJJon everyday becau~ elf'rJ d lffII of the society ;:onf\umd rice everyda,y. Omaragbon laid that rice

production WQlJJ j further general!'; l~tn for the nation and onplu\roe.n (or- the unemployed. Ue said. thr training il also to ·.d. ·.he Cf nnens the benefit!' tl m t a..- r lnherent In rice prod1..ctiOl!. ' He, ha;\'cve;-, appealed to the farnurs to k "'J mto the Federal Qavemnent's growth enhanc:edle nt pi Dgnl.MIDe, adding tb.Jt the ,umbe:f- oC registered rice £I rmers in the state WUI 'leery 11 w The dttTCto'P' laid that about 10,000 re1..ilisers had so rar beo!.'lgiven out to farmers undd \ le growth enhancallent pi ogr-amme of the Fedetal Om! !TTl.IDenL He sal:l th t' I ederaJ GOvernnll!tlt wa I commined to ensurit8 foO( security through '''"OUI agricultural progratnnlcs. AJso ~J. the Edo Commisslr ner J)r Agriculture and Natural PC" .ources, Abdul Oroh, tq"!"eaenlcd by the Permanol l Sc!aetaryoflbe Edo Agrkultu:'f I Development Progranllll ~ (Io.DP) Ilenry lyoh.. commen led the Fede:raJ Govttnmmt i,ni :latJVes on rice produc ti(.n. Oroh , aid that £do was

AU the accused persona were also accused of forging

~e

National Poverty Eradication Prognunme says it will 8trengthen the capadty of ita junior memben cC staIr for a successfuJ war ..gainst poverty in 2013. The NAPEP coordinator, H ukhtar TaIawa-BaJewa, !-aid this in a statement made avatlable to the News Agency cof Nigeria 'NAN) in Abuja on Friday · This programme has strategic:ally commenced the re-engineering process in the personnel with setting the s tandards In programmes implementation.· it said. According to the statement, the staff members mUlt imbibe the core values and ethics or service to the people as a way or delivering service effectively In the country. The statement noted that the Federal Government adopted the Servicom initiative as the engine ror the ongoing public service morms. It at.ressed the need to reposition public agendea ':0 meet the development upirationa by delivering on :.heir respective statutory mandates to the satisfaction oC the dtizeruy. It said that the se:rt8itisation programme would provide opportunities for staiJ members to develop their knowledgc and promote 8c.rv;ce deUvery effidentJy. The secretary of the programme, Aliyu Gusau, said that the agency was determined to provide a conducive environment for staff members to ensure

.1

'T'he Economic and Financial .1 Crimes Commission (EFCC) last Friday arraigned eight oil marketers and five companies over alleged N3.7 billion fud subsidy fraud. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reporta that the 13 defendants appeared before Justices Habeeb Abiru and Let.eeCat Okunnu of Ikeja High

eourt._

All the defendants. however, pleaded not guilty to the charges of conspiracy, obtaining by false pretences, forgery and uttering. They were remanded in the EFCC custody ~ding the hearing of their bail applicationt'l. lCeanyi Anosike, Emeka Chukwu and Ngozi Ekeoma alongside their firms - Odl Energy Ltd. and Anoayke Group of Companies - were arraigned before Abiru on an eight-count charge. EFCC prosecutor. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), said that they rraudulentlyobtained N 1.5 billion from the Federal Government betwttn March, 2011 and Jan., 2012 in Lagos. He said that the defendanta obtained the moncy from the Petroleum Support Fund for purported importation of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) from Europe to Nigeria. Also arraigned before Abiru on an eig,ht-count charge were Adamu MauJa, George: Ogbonna, Emmanuel Morab, Downstream Energy Sources Ltd and RDcky Eoergy Ltd. They were alleged to have frauduJently coUected N789.6 million rrom the Federal Government as subsidy payments ror pw-poned importation of PMS ~tween Jan., 2011 and May, 2011. A.B.S Investment Company Ltd., Am Bamidde and Abiodun Bankole were arraigned before Okunnu on an 18-count charge. Jacoba said that they rraudulently collected N 1.3 billion from the Petroleum Support Fund ror purported importation of PMS between March, 2011 and OcL. 2011.

documents, including billa of lading, certificates of quantity. ce:rtilicates of origin and cargo manifests, which they allegedly used In facilitating the fraud. The pr08eCUtor said that the offence. contravened Sectiona 1 (sub-sections 1, 2, 3) and 8 of the Advanced Fee Fra.ud and Related Offences Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria. He added that the offences contraVCled Sections 363 and 364 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State. The cases were adjourned till OcL 9 for hearing in the defendants' bail applicatioDs. NAN rcpons that the EFCC had in July and Aug. arraigned 20 oil marketers and firms over the same alleged offences.

Oil expert calls for speedy passage of PIB A mosFolarin,Man~

r\.oirector of BetJog Oil and Gas Ltd. , has urged the National Assembly to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIS) as soon as possible. He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday that fallure to pass the: bill wouJd mean -wasting antidpated lnvesunent!l in the oil and gas industry in the last eight yean~ . The oil apcrt exprused dissatisfaction with the '"Jegillatiw! protocols· on the passage of the bill and urged the National Assembly to pass it immedia.tdy in the: interest of the nation He said that a lot of inveslmenta had been diverted to other African continenta, including Angola, as a result of non·passage or the bill. .. A lot of investments that are meant for Nigeria have gone to other countries and Nigeria is no more in the position it was in the 1970's when it was the only major producer In Africa. ··Now Angola appears to havoe overtaken Nigeria in tenns of inflow of investment and there are other countries in Africa that are discovering oil," he said . Folarin, however, expressed optimIsm that Nigeria could recoup lhe losses with th.e passage or the bill. ~Of course some ltakeholders are benefiting from the statUI quo as they are gaining, while the country is losing," he said. Folann urged President Goodluck Jonathan and the Minister or PeU'Oleum Re50Wl:e8 to engage the leadership of the National Assembly in meaningful dialogue to enlure quick psuage of the bill. He commended journalists for their dTorts in projecting activities in the industry. cspedal.ly on the PIS and urged them to do more detailed analyses on the derivable benefits from the bill.

Imo Govt urges tourism forum to woo investors 'T'he lmo Government has .1 urged the SUsinCSII Tourilm Forum to attract investors who would partner with the government in developing its touri&m potential. The Comm.iasionCl" for Culture and Tourism. Ugochi Nnanna-Qkoro, made the appeal when the execullvoe member-a of the Corum paid her a courtesy visit in Owerri. She aid the miniatry would invite capable investors to manage the lmo Concorde Hotel and lmo Blue La.ke of Treasure Resort, OgulB, on lease basts. The commissioner said the the ministry had started packaging a Tourism Half Hour television programme, Tourism Guide and Policy, to booat the sector She expressed the ministry's detennination to partner with professionals in the totuism sector, ··to move tOUIlam to an enviable levd" in the state. Nnanna-Okoro commended the forum for its effort to sensitise the public to the importance of tourism and documentation of tourism potential available in the 27 LocaJ Government Areas . Earlier, the Chairman or the (orum, Charles Nwankwo, said the visit was to intimate the commissioner of the Cltiatence or the organisation and its programmes. Nwa.nkv.-o 88Jd the forum was B private sector organisslion promoting tourism in the state through sensitiaation programmes such as the tdevision programme. He: expressed the forum's readiness to partner with the miniatzy In auing of the television programme, production of state tourism calendar. tourism gujde and policy.

Customs' Apapa command generates N19.66bn revenue in September 'T'he Apapa Area I Command 1 of Nigeria CUltoms Service sald last Friday that it generated NI9.66 billion revenue In September, down from N23.42 billion recorded In AugusL The command in a statement by Emmanud Ekpa, ita spokesman, said that the iUIlount generated in September _'8S low due to lower imports. The staltment said that the Federation


NATIONAL MIRROR, 08 OCTOBER, 2012