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Today’s Headlines: I Can Swear I Never Stole A Kobo From Government — El-Rufai, Lawyer sues Buhari over $800m safety-net loan

El-Rufai: I can swear I never stole a Kobo from the government

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has challenged his predecessors to come out and swear with Holy Qur’an that they did not steal from the government’s coffers when they were in office.

The Kaduna State Governor who said this during a media chat on Sunday said he is ready to do so. He was reacting to criticisms of his performance in office by one of his predecessors, former Governor Ahmed Makarfi. Makarfi had recently raised the alarm that El-Rufai’s administration has issued notice to demolish structures housing nine of his companies.

However, El-Rufai, while not specifically mentioning Makarfi accused some of his predecessors of using funds they stole from the public while they were in office to build mansions in Kaduna and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. On the contrary, the outgoing Governor said he has not stolen a kobo from the government’s treasury since he was elected to govern Kaduna in 2015.

Lawyer sues Buhari over $800m safety-net loan

A Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Mr. Abdulganeey Imran, has urged the Federal High Court in Lagos to bar the Federal Government from taking $800m or any other sum at all to finance the National Social Safety Network Programme.

The scheme aims to distribute the $800m loan to 10.2 million poor Nigerians, who will get N5,000 per month to cushion the economic effect of the planned subsidy removal. But the lawyer, in suit amrked FHC/L/C5/908/23, is praying the court to restrain the President from sharing, distributing, tampering with, or dealing with any such loan of $800m granted to the respondents in any manner whatsoever.

He contended that “it is not economically viable for the respondents to continue to obtain and accumulate loans that were purely meant for consumption rather than for capital projects when a whopping sum of N6.31tn was budgeted for debt services in the 2023 appropriation bill alone.

Nigeria Very Safe — Senator Sekibo

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Navy, Senator George Sekibo, has declared that Nigeria is very safe.

He spoke in Abuja Saturday night during the investiture ceremony for the Fellomemberip of Girne American University Cyprus. He was reacting to a comment made by the Regional Manager (West Africa) and Partnership Advisor of the institution, Praise Folaji, who said the chancellor of the institution, Serhat Akpinar, was absent because of the insecurity in Nigeria.

Folaji had cited the recent killing of United States Embassy staff in Anambra. But Sekibo, who was one of the recipients of the Fellowship award, said: “Nigeria is very safe, that’s why all of us are here. Apart from a few politicians who may have escorts or security, I believe 99% of the people here did not need anybody to escort them to this place.

Over N12bn paid as claims, says NEM Insurance

The Chairman, of NEM Insurance Plc, Dr. Fidelis Ayebae, has said the underwriting company paid N12.3bn to its claimants in the 2022 financial year. He disclosed this during the 53rd annual general meeting of the company in Lagos.

The chairman said, “The gross claims incurred during the year was N12.3bn; an increase of 7.9 percent over that of the preceding period which was N11.6bn. The gross claims ratio for 2021 stood at 42.0 percent whereas that of 2022 was 37.4 percent, a decrease of five percent.”

According to the report he presented at the meeting, net claims paid for the yeawereas N7.6bn, while that of the preceding year was N5.5bn; increasing by 38 percent. The net claims ratio was 22 percent for the year under review and 19.9 percent for 2021; an increase of 2.1 percent.