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OHANAEZE NDIGBO TACKLES EFCC OVER HUMILIATION OF NIGERIANS

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By Abdulateef Taiwo

Apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide has again taken a dig at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, under Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa.

The group, in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja said the EFCC under Bawa was at an all time low.

It, therefore, urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to take urgent steps aimed at saving the anti-corruption commission.

This was contained in a statement signed by Mazi Okwu Nnabuike and Comrade Obinna Achionye, the National President and the National Secretary, respectively, of the group.

While recalling that they called “the gestapo style with which the EFCC operatives invaded the residence of Senator Rochas Okorocha in Abuja, the Federal Character Territory, the Ohanaeze youths said Bawa had destroyed the reputation of the federal agency.

“The Zamfara State Government under the administration of Governor Bello Matawalle is also been harassed unnecessarily by agents of the EFCC. Governor Matawalle, who has restored some level of normalcy in Zamfara State does not in any way deserve such a reckless distraction. We have no doubt that the move, like many others, is politically induced. Enough of the media trial and withunt, the governor must be allowed to concentrate.

“The EFCC has never been this ridiculed in such a manner as we are seeing under Bawa. The agency has become an agent of witch-hunt and one that is merely doing the bidding of some powers that be.

“It has not been forgotten how the EFCC under Bawa invaded the residence of Senator Rochas Okorocha, a serving Senator and treated him as a common criminal. Such a manner of invasion is unprecedented in the history of the country.

“Just the other day, the EFCC sneaked into a court and got an interim forfeiture order against Senator Ike Ekweremadu, a man who is already undergoing the most excruciating trying moment.”

“Several residents of the Southern part of the country have also fallen victims of EFCC brutality as innocent residents are invaded in the dead time of night, with their windows, burglary and roofs removed, only for the EFCC to apologise later that it acted in error.

“It is our considered view that the country cannot continue in such a crude form of operation. Media trials, illegal invasion and arrests can never be the hallmark of a serious anti-corruption agency. Nigerians have suffered enough unjustified humiliation and this is why we are demanding that it is time for Bawa to go,” the group further stated.

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FG woos foreign mining investors with lower production cost

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Joel Ajayi

Cutting red tapes which slow business transactions and improving the security of mining operations are among fresh commitments unfolded by Nigeria’s Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Oladele Alake at the Mines & Money Conference which opened in London, United Kingdom on Tuesday.

Addressing global stakeholders in the mining industry, Alake, in the 15-minute speech pitched for more investment in Nigeria listing unique advantages such as lower production cost due to surface mining and billions of dollar untapped minerals.
He quoted recent reports by audit firm KPMG which reported that mining’s contribution to Nigeria’s GDP rose from 0.3 percent to 0.85 percent last year, indicating 0.63 percent year on year growth.

His words: “The country’s geological bounty encompasses over 44 distinct mineral types, found in exploitable quantities across more than 500 locations. Recently, recognizing the evolving global landscape and in response to emerging trends, Lithium has been included as a crucial strategic mineral of global consequence.”

Dr. Alake said the administration of President Bola Tinubu has embarked on reforms to boost investment by streamlining procedures and reducing hurdles to attract foreign investors.

Showcasing recent progress in creating conditions for solid minerals development, Dr. Alake highlighted fresh data revealed by the Airborne Geophysical Survey, memorandum of understanding with German firm Geoscan to gather more data on solid minerals across the country and access to finance through a new funding facility launched by the Africa Finance Corporation and the Solid Minerals Development Fund.

The minister reminded the global mining community of the Federal Government ‘s policies on how mining operations must benefit the communities and lead to processing instead of wholesale export of raw minerals.

“ Nigeria is currently emphasizing Solid Minerals Beneficiation and Value-Addition as a panacea for quick and sustainable growth of the Mining Industry…By adding value to our raw materials, we not only create higher value products but also generate employment opportunities for our teeming youth and increase the sector’s overall profitability and contribution to the nation’s GDP”, he said
Dr. Alake urged investors to support socio-economic development of the communities where they mine to make mining mutually beneficial.

Citing the recent launch of the revised guidelines for Community Development Agreement which provides for social amenities, educational support, health and safety environmental facilities.

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