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EFCC Balances Action with Fairness as it Sanitizes Nigeria’s Corporate Sector-By Adedayo Samson

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While fighting corruption at all levels is a laudable effort, balancing action with fairness in the prosecution of justice remains pertinent in the operations of a law enforcement agency. Faced with such moral dilemma, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has ramped up its efforts to sanitize Nigeria’s corporate sector.The Commission’s attempt to rid the country’s private sector of criminals and criminality through checks and balances has led to the investigation of some businesses across several industries and the imposition of fines on some. While top shots found culpable of economic malpractices are undergoing prosecution, companies and their executives hitherto scrutinized are being acquitted. In particular, the EFCC has scaled up its scrutiny of the telecoms and lottery industries.One of the notable cases is EFCC’s investigation of telecoms giant, MTN in 2019 over alleged irregularities in the process of its listing on the bourse of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). In May 2019, the firm had listed by introduction, 20.4 billion ordinary shares at N90 on the NSE. In less than a week, the share price had risen to N131 as scarcity drives up its value. Many believed the company did not follow due process and had given insider information to some of its major shareholders, a move that led to artificial scarcity of the company’s shares following the announcement of the IPO. However, while acknowledging that it was under investigation by the EFCC, MTN reiterated that it had not been accused of any wrongdoing by the anti-graft agency. After further explanations from the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), MTN was let off the hook.Similarly, in January 2020, Premier lotto, Nigeria’s foremost and perhaps, oldest lottery firm became the subject of a routine EFCC inquest to investigate alleged tax evasion based on unsubstantiated accusations from a competitor. An Executive Director of the company and son of the founder, Segun Adebutu, who was incidentally at the Premier Lotto office on the day, was invited to the anti-graft agent’s office for questioning without detainment. After due investigations, and further clarifications from the company, the EFCC found no malpractices in the affairs of Premier Lotto and Segun Adebutu.  The matter was thereafter summarily dismissed, and the petition was closed. In its bid to sanitize the lottery industry, the EFCC went into a partnership with the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) in July 2019. The deal involves agreement for support in the areas of information sharing, intelligence gathering, enforcement and prosecution. With the new agreement, it became easier for the anti-graft agency to detect cases of foul play in the hitherto opaque Nigerian lottery industry, which is reportedly worth about $70 billion. The partnership with the NLRC is already yielding some results as the EFCC recently announced the discovery of 35 illegal lottery business operators in the country.EFCC’s scrutiny of the telecoms sector revealed a boost early in the years, when the House of Representatives Committee on ICT revealed that commission will join the committee to investigate telecom providers, over alleged non-remittance of the one per cent annual turnover to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). According to the Reps committee, the telecom companies are owing up to N200 billion in pending remittance to NITDA for infrastructure provided. While some people see the EFCC’s intervention in the affairs of the business world as being overbearing, others see it as a means of reining in some of the excesses of the businesses and protecting the consumers who are serviced by these businesses. Nevertheless, these moves have yielded some benefits. They have checked the excesses of the telecoms operators and brought in more revenue for government in form of fines. Lastly, thanks to the cooperation of some key lottery operators, the EFCC has made the industry more transparent and accountable. 

-Samson writes from Lagos.

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City Businessman, Kenny Duyile, Cooking  Something New

For some time now, man of many parts Chief Kenny DUYILE seems to have been   off the social circle radar that made  many quibbling minds to be wondering what was happening around him.

His avoidance of the klieg lights for some time now we gathered has nothing to do with a dwindling fortune or influence., but a deliberate move for him to concentrate on a particular business project that has been taking  up his time lately.

Unknown to many, the ONDO high Chief who is into various business interests ranging from, but not limited to Real Estate, Farming, Hospitality, Publishing, Oil and Gas has been swiftly and silently cooking something big that will see the sunshine state of Ondo becoming the hub of undiluted entertainment.

Industrious and very astute businessman , who is one of the privileged few that can boast of the ownership of the posh wonder on wheels Rolls Royce series from the 90s till date, has been investing heavily in what will become the talk of the town , not only in rocky town of Ondo but the entire country Nigeria, because the vibration will be heard loud and clear when it eventually birth .

Those who know believe that this new project will be a bang because Chief Kenny is not known  to doing his things in small measures

For the records ,Chief Kenny DUYILE, was the brain behind the then talk of the town society journal, Celebrity Mirror and also wave making hospitality haven , Rockview Hotels that are majorly located in the southwest of the country.


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Resident doctors threaten to embark on indefinite strike on Thursday, April 1

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There was palpable fear after Members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) threatens to embark on an indefinite strike on Thursday, April 1.

The body disclosed (NARD) that the strike will be coming on the heels of the expiration of the 60-day ultimatum given to the Federal Government on January 25 for the payment of arrears of salaries of house officers across the country and the review of hazard allowance, among other demands. According to members of the association, since the pandemic began in 2020, it has lost 17 doctors, whose families and loved ones are yet to benefit from the Death in Service Insurance Scheme.

According to a statement released in Abuja by the President of NARD, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, after NARD’s extra-ordinary National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Sunday, March 28, reads in part

“The NEC observed that her earlier ultimatum given to the Federal Government during the January 2021 NEC meeting in Owerri will expire by 12 midnight on the 31st of March 2021 with no significant achievement.

The NEC reiterated her full support for the Central Placement of House Officers. Nevertheless, they decried the agony our members have been made to pass through for three months now without salaries despite uninterrupted service delivery to the nation.

This is due to the inefficiency of the Registrar of MDCN in handling the processes of central placement of House Officers as approved by the Federal Executive Council since 2017.

The NEC bemoaned the suffering of some of our members in GIFMIS platform who have not been paid salaries for four months now due to delay in biometric capturing by IPPIS department.

They lamented the inhumane treatment being meted on our members in some State Tertiary Institutions like ABSUTH being owed twenty months salaries, IMSUTH five months salaries and UNIMEDTH three months salaries.

The NEC also observed that despite the three-month window given to the Federal Government to review the hazard allowance of health workers, the hazard allowance has remained a paltry sum of five thousand naira monthly.

The NEC noted that despite the efforts of NARD, the erroneously paid 2020 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF) to non-resident Doctors is yet to be addressed. Also, the 2019, some of 2020 and 2021 MRIF are yet to be paid.”


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Thinking School Unlocks Business Initiatives To Tackle Unemployment

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Thinking School is berth in lagos to tackle the high rate of Unemployment in Nigeria.
Daring the Odds. 2020 will go down as one year that shocked everyone. It didn’t matter what plans you had hatched prior to the year or the thoughts you have penned down in your diary; 2020 surprised everyone. It took a lot for many to come to terms and the year took flight and seemed like nothing will work.
Many would argue that the things we adopted during the peak of the pandemic weren’t new things, they only got prominence. Such is the story of business, innovation and principles.
As it has been widely acknowledged, principles are global and can be adopted/adapted, so is the fact that nothing is new in business – if you are toying with an idea in your head, and delaying execution, someone else will spring same idea even in better forms.
With the effects of the pandemic biting hard on lives of individuals and their businesses, Thinking School Nigeria stepped into the arena where the giants feared to walk. The team designed programmes and products to help Nigerians mitigate the effects of covid19 on their businesses. It wasn’t the first time Thinking School dared the odds.
In 2016, Thinking School took a risk on entrepreneurial virgins and incubated them, today they’re doing fine with quality service and unique customer care service in agriculture, confectioneries, fashion and agro allied industries. In the words of the founder, Michael Olaniyan, “Our knack for asking the right questions and ignoring sentiment is what pushes us to be better – and when we dare the odds, it is not for show off. We interrogate our situations analytically and tow the path with the highest possible return.”
When their free online classes took full force in March, it looked like it won’t go far but here we’re today. The class held every week for 7 months and counting, bringing to bare the team’s wealth of experience and technical ability to deliver time worthy and future proof steps to business and career development.
The Project manager, Abayomi Sarumi says, “We dare the odds and we question the status quo but we never lose sight of our realities. We are not bent on dishing contents and forgetting the core of our message. This is what sets us apart – our message keys into the reality of Nigerians and it’s why we can easily help individuals and businesses.”

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