FCT Minister’s Children Stash N35 Billion Two Nigerian Banks, Offshore Accounts

Two children of the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala
Mohammed, have allegedly stashed funds running into billions of naira in
Unity Bank, UBA and another offshore account in Dubai, Pointblanknews.com
investigations have revealed.

The duo is notorious for harassing and obtaining contracts from Directors
in the FCT using fronts and phony companies.

Checks have revealed a disturbing trend that may ultimately expose the
level of corruption within the Federal Capital Administration led by
Alhaji Bala Mohammed.

Shamushdeen and Ibrahim, the first and second sons of the Minister, barely
28 years, have depicted how corrupt the minister himself is.

Contrary to what the minister preaches about transparency in governance,
the children have been a major source of irritation to residents of the
territory, and a mirror of the minister’s inner personality in terms of
living beyond their means.

Killing an Innocent Teenager

To know the children better, a recap would do. Not too long ago,
Shamushdeen Bala Mohammed, the first son of the minister, in a hit and run
manner, crushed to death an innocent 22-year-old Mark Musa to death along
Shehu Musa Yar’adua Expressway, opposite National Health Insurance Scheme
headquarters. He has been a sponsor of the illegal car racing competitions
in the territory.

The matter was covered up by the minister using the FCT Police Command
while the parents of the victim was threatened to take a paltry sum of
money given them as compensation or get locked up secretly. The parents of
the late teenager had no option but to swallow the bitter pills.

Presentation of Car Gift to Girlfriend

The same Shamshudeen recently presented a car (Mercedes S Class) gift to a
girlfriend, daughter of a director in the federal civil service (names
withheld). The 17-year old girl’s father was so outraged that he ordered
the car returned to the owner.

Illegal Car Racing in FCT

The Federal Capital city has no provision for car racing. Recently, the
Minister placed a ban on car racing following injuries and bashings of
motorists inflicted on residents. The minister may have acted ignorantly
or showed inability to rein in his children, and ordered the ban on car
racing. His second son, Ibrahim, is the chief sponsor of the illegal car
racing that have so far killed many people. This dangerous game continues
every night in some parts of the city center.

The ban failed because at a point spectators of the game violently
confronted both the police and the Federal Road Safety Commission. Police
often fired teargas to disperse spectators around Area 10 Parade Ground on
Sundays.

Network of Crime

The two minister’s children run a huge network of friends who are involved
in several shady deals: land scammers, contractors who pay huge sums into
their bank accounts leaving our investigators wondering whether the
minister himself is not part all the game.

Directors in the ministry do not fail to carry out orders, usually
requests for funds transfer, land allocation in choice places from this
duo.

Our investigations have been able to establish some bank accounts run by
these boys. Some have their names and different photographs while others
have their photographs and different names.

There are also other accounts held by their network of collaborators in
Nigerian banks and other offshore accounts details of which our
investigations revealed.

The Bank Accounts

Further investigations showed that two accounts with two Nigerian banks;
Unity Bank and UBA, and an offshore contain a princely N35 billion. Ten
Billion Naira was located in Unity Bank and UBA while an equivalent of N15
billion is stashed in the offshore account in Dubai.

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Committee wants President, govs stripped of immunity

The National Conference Committee on Politics and Governance has recommended for the removal of Section 305 on immunity clause from the 1999 Constitution.

The Chairman of the Committee and a former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, told journalists on Tuesday that the committee was concerned about the abuse  of office by public office holders and the corruption that goes with it.

He said the committee was of the opinion that a message should be sent to Nigerians and office holders that no one was above the law.

Gana said, “Our recommendation is still subject to the approval of the plenary. We took decision on the immunity clause and it was a clear consensus in the interest of zero tolerance for corruption, to promote good governance, to promote transparency and discipline.

“The fact that we don’t want people going around that the leaders are above the law, we decided that the immunity clause should be removed from our constitution.

“This is not yet the decision of the conference though, but this is what we are presenting to the plenary.

“I must say that the entire members of the committee went along with the decision, we had no reason to divide the committee because it was a consensus.”

Also, the Committee on Power Devolution in the National Conference on Tuesday failed to reach any agreement on whether item 39, which is the mines, mineral resources, revenue and geological surveys should be on the Exclusive List or on the Concurrent List.

Also, the delegates failed to reach an agreement or consensus on revenue sharing and resource control.

These issues had preoccupied their deliberations since Monday.

Journalists were sent out after the lunch break to enable the members to discuss without any interference, but after four hours of intensive deliberations and lobbying, the delegates failed to reach  an agreement.

Lagos commends Greensprings/Kanu Football Camp

The chairman of Lagos State Football Association, Seyi Akinwunmi, has commended the organisers of the Greenspring/Kanu Football Camp, saying the programme has changed lives in the state.

The third edition of the annual programme kicked off on Sunday with 200 pupils from across Nigeria as coaches from The Netherlands, England and a host of others from Nigeria tutor the young players. The camp will end on Saturday.

Akinwunmi said the Lagos State appreciated the contribution of Greensprings School to sports development in Nigeria.

“This camp has changed live already, and we’ll want it to continue. We’ll work with the school so that the programme will not die,” Akinwunmi said.

Akinwunmi said the adoption by the school of the two most outstanding players of last edition has encouraged the state FA to give more support to the football camp.

“After seeing you adopt the pupils from public schools into your fold, we can’t help but to ask for more. This kind of programme is what we at in the FA.”

The executive director of the school, Mrs. Lai Koiki, the programme had yet to have corporate sponsorship despite its objective of helping the youths in the society.

“The objective is to help the children develop into role models. It provides opportunity for them to develop and keep them out of mischief,” Koiki said.

One of the coaches from The Netherlands, Sylvester Okonkwo, said the Greensprings/Kanu Football Camp was the best he had featured in Nigeria.

Performance appraisal for improved human capital management

Performance appraisal as a component of the management process is crucial for improved productivity and achievement of an organisation’s goals and target, IFE ADEDAPO writes

Human capital has been identified as crucial to the total productivity of an organisation and the professional development of the employee has a way of contributing to the company’s bottom line.

The major challenge that managers in all types of organisations encounter is how to get maximum performance from their employees.

Performance issues abound in every organisation and research has shown that managers usually address the situation by devising different means of solving the problem either by increasing the working hours or the responsibility of each employee without investigating the main cause of reduced performance.

For companies that evaluate their employees on a regular basis, experts say several complaints are being given by the workers concerning the objectives of assessments, which are not clear, and apparently, this is because the managers themselves do not understand what performance reviews are meant to accomplish.

According to experts, the main essence of performance appraisal is to evaluate an employee, provide valuable feedbacks and create a positive effect on the future.

Benefits of performance appraisal

Experts say the expectations of the appraisal process have dual benefits for both the employer and employee.  A human resource expert, Mrs. Joke Okeowo, says the evaluation process will enable the employees to have a clear view of what their roles entail and the strategic position they occupy in order to perform their duties in the organisation.

It enhances communication between the management and the members of staff and gives an opportunity to effectively address performance problems and improve employee morale, she says.

A human resource manager, Mr. Babatunde Oginni, says the objective of employee appraisal is to measure the workers’ performance with a plan for improvement. In addition, the organisation will also benefit in terms of increased returns.

The processes involved in appraisal have been highlighted by experts as:

Establish acceptable performance

In performance review process, Okeowo says the first thing is for the employees to be aware of their roles and responsibilities in the organisation; this is the reason for job description at the application or recruitment stage. Once they know what is expected of them, they will be able to differentiate between acceptable and non-acceptable performance. Although many duties and responsibilities are expected of the workers based on the position they occupy; basically, the manager decides on the significant roles that will form the standards for evaluation.

She says, “The standards set should be achievable, well understood and agreed upon by the management and the employee. Many a time, the standards are reviewed whenever performance lapses are identified by the company.”

Monitoring performance

Experts say appraisal is an ongoing procedure that involves guiding, coaching and training the employee anytime a drift in performance level is identified.

Employee appraisal as it relates to training, according to Oginni, is different from performance appraisal. In terms of training, it may be done before, to assess the competence on a specific skill or skills that the training is meant to address, and periodically after the training.

He says, “For the training-related employee appraisal, a questionnaire is usually administered to measure the employees’ competency level; the employee has just to respond to the questionnaire as honestly as possible.

“For example, if it is team management, the questionnaire may be administered to you or the team ahead of the training; then the next one will be after the training between six weeks and six months.

“It is expected that there should be some improvement in the responses received before and after for the company to be sure the employees have learnt something and are also able to implement what they have learnt from the training.”

As part of the continuous evaluation, experts say the employees may be rated by any of a number of individuals with whom they have worked with. Such people often include officers and administrators, managers other than their own, peers and associates, direct reports, clients, customers, consultants, and outside vendors, according to pre-determined job-specific competencies. The actual number of feedback sources considered desirable varies by organisation, depending largely on the level and impact of the position.

Self appraisal

Okeowo says in preparation for an evaluation meeting with the supervisor, the worker should have done a self-appraisal of their performance – even though a formal platform for this is usually not provided by most organisations- by asking themselves probing questions.

She says, “The significance of this is to meditate on your work, career and personal development since the last performance evaluation or when you started working.

“The questions when honestly answered will help to determine the areas in which you want improvement.”

Experts say the probing questions should identify job responsibilities that take up extra time, additional responsibilities and challenges that have reduced performance level and the most important aspect of your job that you appreciate.

Gather information related to past achievements. This includes specific data on activities and accomplishments as well as reasons why certain things were not done or were done incorrectly.

They say self-appraisals have been proven to enhance employer-employee relations if both parties remain open-minded and receptive to differing views.

According to Okeowo, examples of questions to ask are: ‘Have I been available and helpful whenever there is a difficult assignment or challenging deadline to meet?’ ‘Have I proffered effective solutions to improve challenging situations?’

Appraisal interview

The interview is structured to enable a fair discussion between the management and employees on long-term goals of the company. Okeowo says even though such discussions are rare in corporate organisations, they provide an avenue for the employee to align work practices to the projection of the company. Therefore, the agreement made secures the interest of the two parties.

Death of a Nollywood Amazon

The sudden death of celebrated producer, Amaka Igwe, on Tuesday sparks grief and tributes, CHUX OHAI writes

Celebrated movie producer and director, Amaka Igwe, is dead. Investigation showed that the Nollywood icon, acknowledged as one of the very best Nigeria has ever produced, died on Monday night in Enugu where she had gone to prepare for the production of a new TV drama series in Igbo language.

 Sources close to the deceased said she died on her way to hospital after suffering an asthma attack. She was aged 51.

Apart from being an accomplished filmmaker, Igwe, whose maiden name is Amaka Isaac-Ene, founded BoBTV Expo and Top Radio 90.9FM. She was also the founder and chief executive of Amaka Igwe Studios and Q Entertainment Networks which recently on DSTV channel.

The departed movie producer was educated at Girls High School Awkunanaw, Enugu and Idia College, Benin City before proceeding to the Obafemi Awolowo University and the University of Ibadan for higher education. She worked as a lecturer at the Anambra State University of Technology and briefly in oil and Gas, before settling for a career in the motion picture industry.

 Generally regarded in Nollywood as a brilliant and visionary director, Igwe’s name will down in history as a pioneer of modern Nigerian film and television. She was the creator and producer of award-winning TV soap operas, Checkmate and Fuji House of Commotion.

Also, some of her celebrated and critically-acclaimed Nollywood movies include Rattle Snake and Violated.

Last year, Igwe delivered a keynote speech, titled Reflections from an Unapologetic Commercial Nollywood Filmmaker, at the inaugural edition of the Nigerian Entertainment Conference in Lagos.  Her death, coming at a time she is most needed in the entertainment industry, has been described as a tragedy.

However, reactions trailed the news of Igwe’s death, which was first reported online, on Tuesday morning. The President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Ms Ibinabo Fiberisima,  and her predecessor, Mr. Segun Arinze, among other celebrities, paid glowing tribute to the departed filmmaker.

Describing her death as a huge loss to Nollywood, Fiberisima said, “She believed in Nollywood and strove to make us understand the business in show business. She was a warm and strong woman. I admired her.”

In a shaky voice, Arinze said the news of Igwe’s death came to him as a rude shock. “Nobody expected to wake up in the morning and learn that such a talented and brilliant woman has passed on. She was not only a fine director and scriptwriter, she was also down to earth. She had great ideas about how to take  Nollywood to a higher and better level. We will surely miss her. My heart goes to her husband and children,” he said.

Recalling how he met Igwe, the chief executive of Fad Productions and ace movie director, Fidelis Duker,  described her as a “consistent icon” and an achiever.

He said, “In 24 years, Amaka did so well for the movie industry here, especially by creating one of the best TV soap operas Nigeria has ever known. She was compassionate, loving, caring and always concerned about the welfare and progress of others. She always believed that Nollywood would be better for all stakeholders. Her exit is a painful loss to the industry.”

The national secretary of the Scriptwriters Guild of Nigeria, Stanley Okoronkwo, also said that Igwe’s departure was an irreplaceable loss to Nollywood. “She was a true Amazon, one of the pillars of Nollywood who believed in the discovery of new talents and excellence. It is sad that she died at a time that Nollywood is undergoing change. We have lost a passionate and through-bred professional,” he said.

Noting that the proof of Igwe’s genius as a filmmaker was the fact that her favourite actors ended up being the stars of Nollywood, another movie director and actor, Pedro Obaseki,  said, “Amaka and her husband, Charles Igwe, strove to evolve a seismic paradigm shift in entertainment content provision in Nigeria, the latest being Top FM Radio. She virtually stood toe-to-toe with her male colleagues.”

In recognition of her contributions to Nollywood, the late producer was awarded Member of the Order of the Federal Republic. Survived by her husband, Charles Igwe, their three children, an aged mother and siblings, she will be remembered for her immense contribution to the development of movie industry in Nigeria.

Confab committee recommends removal of immunity clause

The National Conference Committee on Politics and Governance has recommended the removal of Section 305 of the constitution dealing with immunity clause.

The Chairman of the Committee and former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, told journalists on Tuesday that the committee was concerned about the abuse  of office by public office holders and the endemic corruption in public offices.

He said the committee was of the opinion that a message should be sent to Nigerians and office holders that no one was above the law.

Gana said, “Our recommendation is still subject to the approval of the plenary. We took report on the Freedom of Information Act as it was discovered that despite being given very important work by the constitution, the press is still not being given the desired cooperation or support to maximise the potential of that Act in sourcing information.

“It has not been given proper attention and recognition and we have noticed this lack of compliance and we are determined to find a solution to how it can be effectively utilised so that the FoI is properly applied on both sides.

“We took a decision on the Immunity clause and it was a clear consensus, so that in the interest of zero tolerance for corruption, to promote good governance, to promote transparency and discipline.

“The fact that we don’t want people going around that the government is above the law, the issue of Immunity clause should be removed from our constitution.

“This is not yet the decision of the conference though, but this is what we are presenting to the plenary.

“I must say that the entire members of the committee went along with the decision, we had no reason to divide the committee because it was a consensus.

“People yielded to the force of argument, which is what should happen. Everybody was for the removal but initially some people felt that it should be partial, while others felt that it should be total.

“But the weight of the opinion is total because we want to send a very clear message that we should promote zero tolerance for corruption.

“There shouldn’t be any kind of legislative or executive impunity again.

“We must follow the rule of law, that is how democracy should be. We are convinced as a committee that the conference should send a clear message to Nigerians that no one is above the law.”

NLC seeks harmonisation of salaries

The Chairman, Nigerian Labour Congress in Anambra State, Mr Patrick Obianyo, on Tuesday called for the harmonisation of the salaries of workers in federal and state services to enhance productivity.

Obianyo made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Awka.

He said this was also necessary to protect workers in states where their governments had refused to fully implement the national minimum wage.

“The Nigerian worker I must tell you is not satisfied, the welfare package is poor, and putting it side by side with the earnings of politicians you will understand that 35 years in service does not give so much reason to be happy.

“A director in the state can hardly rent a block of flat and may not be able to build a modest home in his village where he will retire to after years of meritorious service.

“There should be salary harmonisation for workers in the federal and state services; a better salary arrangement would also reduce the graft in the public service.

“I can tell you that what we are paid is not realistic; the engine room of the country’s economic growth and development should not continue in this poor working condition,” he said.

The NLC chairman noted that the increase in recurrent expenditure had not translated into better working environment or welfare of workers.

“Labour has not had fair share in the distribution of the national wealth,” Obianyo noted, adding that wages should reflect the economic reality in the country.

The labour leader further called for a reduction in the pay package of political office holders, insisting that they were the major beneficiaries of increase in recurrent expenditure.