Connect with us

Uncategorized

$8.1bn MTN fine: Senate gears up for showdown against Presidency

Published

on

Bukola Saraki

By Olugbenga Salami

The leadership of the National Assembly and the executive arm of federal government may be heading for another showdown following the former’s stiff opposition against the alleged plan to reduce the $8.1 billion fine imposed on the Africa’s leading mobile telecommunications company, MTN, to $800 million.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, PDP-Kwara South dropped the hint in an interview with journalists late yesterday in Abuja.

According to him, the alleged planned reduction of the fine is a matter of interest to the Senate since it was the executive that imposed the fine on the communication giant through a fresh investigation after one earlier conducted by the Senate in 2016 from which the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and not MTN was fined.

His committee, he explained further, would immediately demand for CBN report on the matter to be better informed.

Senator Ibrahim said that the only way Nigerians would know what transpired between the CBN and MTN on the $8.1 billion fine was through a detailed report.

“The last time we heard about this issue was when we had a little retreat last two weeks in Lagos, where they (CBN) did the presentation of their biannual activities to the (senate) committee.

“We took them up on the issue, and the bank, that’s the CBN told us what led to its own investigation which to us is not satisfactory because all our resolutions were passed to them, and they did not even implement the resolutions before going into another investigation.

“They said their investigation was based on a petition from a law firm and their stand was that the penalty was correct.

“So, if from the information you have now, it will be ridiculous for them to say they’re bringing the penalty down from $8.1billion to about $800million. That will be ridiculous for the CBN.

“What they told us that day was that they were going to give us the report from when they started the investigation to date and their discussion with MTN.

“So, if that’s the case, they have to explain to Nigerians through us in the Senate Committee to the legislature, what informed the penalty of $8.1billion?

“And what information have they now gathered that informed the reduction to $800m which is about 1000% reduction .

“So, we will be interested to know that. We’re not against whatever they’re doing, but they will have to explain to Nigerians. Did they take the decision they took against MTN in a hurry, a foreign direct investor like MTN?

“Earlier on when the matter came up in 2016, on our own part, we took into consideration the role of MTN in the economy and that was why we did a very thorough job, and we believe we did a thorough job, that they did not steal any money then, that was our own assertion, though they repatriated.

“By then, CBN said all the places where some infractions to the law or guidelines where they gave them waivers.

“That was our position. So, we will be interested in the new investigation conducted by CBN . We want to know what informed this decision. We as a committee and as a Senate will be interested”, the lawmaker stressed.

The Senate in 2017 adopted a resolution largely exonerating MTN of alleged illegal repatriation of $14 billion out of the country.

But it was gathered that the Federal Government, working through the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, may have concluded arrangements to cut the $8.1 billion fine to $800 million through the back door.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Metro

FG urged to declare state of emergency on federal roads, Senate tasks

Published

on

By

Disturbed by the deplorable conditions of road networks across the country, the Senate on Tuesday, charged the federal government to declare a state of emergency on all federal roads.
This was as the upper legislative chamber mandated  its Committees on Petroleum (Downstream), Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA and National Planning to investigate the Petroleum Products Price Regulatory Agency, PPPRA on the non-remittance of five percent user charge pump price of petrol.
Besides, the joint committees were also asked to investigate the non remittance of international vehicle transit charge accruing to FERMA and other established state roads maintenance agency.
These resolutions followed deliberations on a motion sponsored under Orders 42 and 52 of the Senate rule by Senator Geshom Bassey (PDP Cross River South)  who lamented the deplorable state of federal roads in the country.
Presenting the motion, Senator Basset expressed concern that several thousands of lives have been lost to road accidents due to bad and un-motorable roads, while bad portion of roads are safe haven for kidnappers and armed robbers on Nigerian highways.
Supporting the motion, Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP Enugu North) said the state of the federal highways are highly deplorable and that urgent attention is needed especially within this budget cycle to do something drastic to address the situation.
Utazi said “and like you prayed that the PPPRA should release the fund for totally provided for FERMA to do  it’s job.
“Mr President, the raining season is just gradually coming to an end and this is the opportunity for FERMA to go and start rehabilitating our roads so that Nigerians can move freely.
“This period is also the time for harvest and in order to ensure that farmers that are in the hinterland get to the appropriate market to get adequate prices for their goods, we  have to make sure the roads are properly done.
“You also know that because we don’t have the rail lines that should be in place, most of the goods and services that we move from one place to the other are done through trucking and if you continue to do trucking, you know that the life span of any  major federal highway may not last long.
“This is a very important motion moved at the most appropriate time to get the desired attention and I’m standing here lending my support and full weigh to get that being done knowing fully well that those of us from the south east are the major complainants of the bad roads in this country and we hope that we get the desired attention from FERMA if  this motion scales through.”
In his remark, President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan said he believe that every part of the country suffers from this problem of deplorable  roads.
He expressed optimism that the  committees mandated to look into the matter will  swing into action and attend to the issue associated with this motion.
Continue Reading

Metro

SAD… Taraba INEC REC is dead

Published

on

By

The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, (REC) in Taraba State, Alhaji Baba Abba Yusuf, is dead.
INEC Secretary, Rose Oriarian-Anthony, said the REC died on Saturday night at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Borno State, where he had been on admission.
She said: “The Independent National Electoral Commission regrets to announce the death of the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Taraba State, Alhaji Baba Abba Yusuf.
“He died last (Saturday) night at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Borno State, where he was on admission for sometime.
He was buried today (Sunday) September 29 2019 at 4pm in Maiduguri.
Continue Reading

Uncategorized

Transgender: Sade Adu’s daughter finally becomes a man (PHOTOS)

Published

on

By

Izaak and Mum

Sade’s transgender son has shared a heartfelt message of thanks to the soul singer, as he completes his transition from female to male.

Izaak Theo Adu, born Mickailia ‘Ila’ Adu, has spent the past six months in recovery after undergoing phalloplasty surgery, the reconstructive procedure typically undergone by transgender and non-binary people.

After returning home to his family, Izaak shared a sweet photo of himself hugging Sade, 60, along with a message praising the iconic singer for her unwavering support. In the Instagram post, Izaak wrote: ‘It’s been a long hard road but We did it!! We are coming home!!!! ‘Thank you for staying by my side these past 6 months Mumma. Thank you for fighting with me to complete the man I am. ‘Thank you for your encouragement when things are hard, for the love you give me. The purest heart. I love you so much. Queen of queens ♥️ #mumma #lioness #queen#iloveyou.’

Izaak is Sade’s only child from her former relationship with reggae music producer Bob Morgan.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2019 Royal News. MODISULT Media Concept 85 Ibrahim Taiwo Road, Ilorin +2348061346946 For events and parties.