Buhari, Osinbajo, Tinubu, others fail to pay party levies - APC - Naijaray
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Buhari, Osinbajo, Tinubu, others fail to pay party levies – APC

President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and all other party members did not pay their party levies in all of 2015, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has said in its latest financial report.

The party said it received no such contribution from all its members across the country, raising questions about how it funded its operations in an election year.

The exact number of APC’s members across the country is not clear, but officials say the figure is expected to be over a million.

Party subscriptions, membership fees and levies, charged monthly or annually on members, are a key source of funding for political parties. In fact, the APC generated N23.7 million from those sources just a year earlier: 2014.

But by 2015, the party said no member across the country, including top leaders like President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo, paid a kobo as dues, a claim analysts say is unlikely, and has cast doubt on the truthfulness of the party’s audit report.

One analyst said the claim may also mean the party, which campaigned on a promise to fight corruption, may be relying on “money bags” — instead of legitimate membership levies — for its operations, which means it would be promoting patronage and cronyism.

“It shows that something is wrong. Either they are not filling out what exactly is the true position or their internal fund raising mechanism is weak,” said Eze Onyekpere, who heads Centre for Justice, an organisation that has monitored election campaign funding for years.

“That also shows the party is not serious about internal funding and is relying a lot on money bags. You don’t need big time donors. Little money here and there, a thousand, two, three, four, five; when you get it from a million people is a huge amount of money with which you can run a political party, rather than waiting for one donor who will give you tons of millions and expect a pound of flesh in return after the election if you win because he or she is not father Christmas. He is simply investing and he needs to make profit. That process of collecting profit is what leads to corruption and inflation of contract.”

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The APC’s financial statement was submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as required by law, and was exclusively obtained by PREMIUM TIMES.

In the election year, 2015, the party said its income came from sale of nomination forms, as well as “donations and gifts”. Sale of forms brought in N329.4 million while donations and gifts generated N275 million.

Several party leaders refused to comment on the report.

The national publicity secretary of the party, Bolaji Abdullahi, referred PREMIUM TIMES to the auditor of the party.

When contacted by phone, the auditor, George Moghalu, demanded a physical meeting, but did not make that happen at the time of this report.
The national treasurer of the party, Bala Mohammed, however told PREMIUM TIMES that as of 2015 the party had not started “enjoying levies and dues”. He could not explain how the party made money from the same levies in an earlier year.

“Membership dues are paid by every member of the party and it’s N100 per month. Levies are paid by elected office holders from the president to the council. The president, members of the National Assembly, the ministers, political appointees like chairmen of boards, members of boards, governors all pay their levies.

“Payment of dues qualifies every member of the party to enjoy all privileges within the party.
“Subscriptions are just like dues. Once you register, then you subscribe into the party, then you start paying the dues. Now we are working hard to see how the payment can be made easier for people that live in the rural areas. We are trying not to be ‘interacting’ with cash. That is why we introduced payment of dues through mobile phones.”
He explained why nothing was reflected in the parties report under subscriptions, dues and levies in 2015.

“In 2015 we haven’t started. We are now trying to start the payment because we faced a lot of difficulty with the service providers. Up till now we couldn’t reach a final agreement with them because the deduction for that N100 will easily be done through airtime. Anywhere you are once there is service, we have a short code that you can just cue in then it will deducts automatically.

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“Nothing was paid in 2015, so we asked our office holders in 2016 to pay the arrears for the previous year 2015. House of Assembly holders refused to pay the arrears but Senate agreed to. But that has not been input in the records to know which is for 2016 and the arrears paid for 2015,” he said.
Mr Bala did not explain how the APC was able to generate over N20 million from levies in 2014 if the party had not started collecting such monies by 2015 as he claimed.

In an effort to find out from party members to know if they paid their membership fees and party dues that year, PREMIUM TIMES reached out to some leaders of the party.

Tunde Rahman, a spokesperson for a leader of the party, Bola Tinubu’s spokesperson, directed PREMIUM TIMES to the party.

Garba Shehu, presidential spokesperson did not answer his calls or reply to text messages, the same with the spokesperson of Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

A party member and director general of the Voice of Nigeria, Osita Okechukwu, said he could not recall the last time he paid party dues.

“For a long time I don’t think, I don’t remember when last I paid, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t contribute in other ways. Membership fee is supposed to be the backbone of the party’s financial structure. I am aware it’s one of the things we do regularly but whether it has been adhered to?”


Ex-Governor, Fayose Mobbed By Supporters As He Returns To Ekiti State (Video)

Mr. Ayodele Fayose, a former governor of Ekiti state has returned to the state for the first time since he left power.

Upon his arrival, the former governor was given a rousing welcome. It has been two months since he left the state after his tenure elapsed.

Fayose stands before the people
The large crowd which came out to welcome the ex-governor chanted his name and hailed him as they struggled to catch a glimpse of him.
Fayose was sighted at Oja Bisi in Ado Ekiti, the state capital earlier today. A video of him was released by his spokesperson, Lere Olayinka on Facebook.
Watch below:

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Nigerian doctors task governors on health insurance scheme 

The National President of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Francis Faduyile has called on state governments to commence the implementation of the primary healthcare insurance scheme in order to make healthcare delivery available to all Nigerians.

The National President made the call in his welcome address at the 2018 National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the association held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

He said that the implementation of the health insurance scheme was one of the two critical elements needed to achieve an effective and efficient primary health care delivery in the country.

Faduyile however commended a few states in the country that have signed into law the health insurance bills and appealed to those states that were yet to sign the bill into law not to delay any further.

“A few states in Nigeria have signed into law health insurance bills; there is still much room for improvement. We thank you Mr. Governor for signing primary healthcare management agency bill and as well as state health insurance bill into law.

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“However, we call for the speedy implementation so that the good people of Akwa Ibom can enjoy and continue to enjoy the benefits you are showering on them in your administration as the governor of the state,” he said

The National President disclosed that the association was in talks with sister associations in the healthcare sector to stem the frequent disharmony in the sector.

His words, “We are currently engaging with our friends in the health team particularly the nurses and pharmacists and hopefully we know that this approach will reduce the disharmony that has characterised the health sector in recent time.”

Responding, the state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel stated that apart from signing the health insurance bill into law, his administration had also gone a step further to improve health care delivery in the state by setting up the primary healthcare development agency. The governor added that he has released take-off grant to ensure the implementation of the health care insurance scheme in the state.

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He tasked medical doctors in the country to venture into medical manufacturing by partnering with businessmen in that direction, which he reasoned would bridge the gap in medical equipment production and also reduce the huge foreign exchange spent on the importation of medical equipment.

NAIJARAY reports that the 2018 National Executive Council meeting of the NMA had as its theme: “Strengthening healthcare delivery in Nigeria: Addressing legal and ethical issues in health care management”. The event witnessed the investiture of Governor Udom Emmanuel as the NMA Ambassador, and the offering of over 3,000 medical consultations, 144 free medium and minor surgeries as stated by the national president of the association.

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Details of Buhari’s meeting with Governors emerge 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday challenged state governors to redouble efforts in addressing infrastructure deficiencies in their respective states to revamp the nation’s economy.

The Chairman of the Governors’ Forum, Gov. Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara, quoted the president as stating this at a closed-door with the 36 state governors in Abuja.

According to NAN, he said, “Mr President, as usual, responded by telling us that the economy is in a bad shape and we have to come together and think and rethink on way forward.

“So, Mr President talked to us in the manner that we have a task ahead of us. So, we should tighten our belts and see how we can put Nigerian economy in the right direction and how we can address the nation’s infrastructural decay.

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“So, all of us as leaders especially those that are coming to the National Assembly and those coming back as governors and the president who will be re-elected by God grace we should not think that things are going to be easy.

”They are going to be harder than before, this was the message of Mr President,’’ he said.

The governor also disclosed that the Council deliberated extensively on new ways that state governments could generate additional revenues for speedy economic growth and development.

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He, however, declined to confirm whether the meeting discussed the issue of the proposed N30,000 minimum wage for Nigerian workers.

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