Security experts reject Pantami’s plea over pro-Taliban, Al-Qaeda comments
- Some security experts on Saturday dismissed the apology by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, over some controversial comments he made in the past in support of global terrorist groups, Al-Qaeda and Taliban.
- The security analysts said Pantami’s comments were too weighty to be discarded, demanding either the minister’s willful resignation or sacking by the President, Muhammadu Buhari
- A retired Army Captain in the United States Army, Bishop Johnson, said it was not common for people with extremist ideologists to change overnight.
- He said it was more troubling when people with extremist ideologies were in charge of sensitive national data.
- As massive outrage and demand for his sacking continued on social media on Saturday, Pantami renounced his controversial comments on terrorism.
- He stated that some of his past views were made out of immaturity, alleging that attacks on him by Nigerians were politically instigated.
- He spoke during his daily Ramadan lecture in Abuja on Saturday.
FG suspends Adeboye’s helicopter from flying
- The Federal Government through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has grounded a private chopper belonging to Pastor Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God at the Lagos Airport.
- It was learnt that the aircraft, AgustaWestland AW139 chopper, with registration number 5N-EAA, was suspended from flying over two weeks ago, following the expiration of some of its papers and spare parts.
- The suspension, officials said, would also allow the regulator to conduct vital safety checks on its safety-critical components, especially some spare parts that are due for replacement.
- Adeboye had, last Saturday during a special meeting with all ordained ministers of the mission at the RCCG, Region 21, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, called for drastic action against corrupt practices in all facets of Nigeria.
- The RCCG leader, who flew a chopper to the venue, said he arrived late for the meeting because someone had requested a bribe from him to fly his chopper.
- He said he had decided to embark on the trip via his chopper to avoid a possible gridlock on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Prioritise road construction allocation, Fashola tells Senate
- The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said cases of road projects abandonment by contractors across the country may linger unless federal lawmakers adopt a new budgeting process that would discourage allocating meagre funds for projects in the nation’s annual budget.
- Fashola stated this when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions on Thursday over the Ife-Ifewara Road which was rehabilitated by the Redeemed Christian Church of God at a cost of N188m following its abandonment by a contractor, Messrs Cartil Construction Nigeria Limited.
- He also hinted that his ministry had started taking steps, based on legal advice, to publish a blacklist of erring contractors.
- Fashola confessed before the senators on Thursday that the idea of allocating funds to projects already awarded annually was delaying early completion of road projects and advocated an arrangement whereby lists of approved road projects would be listed in the budget without indicating any amount meant for its execution.
CBN, SEC fine 10 banks N2.5bn
- Three financial services regulators in the country have sanctioned 10 of the nation’s lenders to the tune of N2.5bn for committing various market infractions.
- Specifically, the Central Bank of Nigeria, Securities and Exchange Commission and Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria have sanctioned Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc, FBN Holdings Plc, FCMB Group and five others for diverse market infractions.
- The financial violations range from non-compliance with anti-money laundering procedures, non-compliance with ATM installation procedures, the opening of foreign branches without regulatory approval, and improper handling of customers’ accounts, among others.
- In line with regulatory requirements, the various offenses and the amount of fines were disclosed in the lenders’ audited results for the period ended December 31, 2020, submitted to the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
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