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Past govt ‘lavished’ $100m World Bank Women Empowerment Loan — Minister

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Last Updated on June 25, 2024 by Fellow Press

Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye has revealed that former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration lavished the initial $100 million of a $500 million World Bank loan for women empowerment on meetings.

Ohanenye made this revelation in an interview with Arise Television on Monday.

According to the minister, Buhari’s government “lavished” the $100 million on meetings, advocacy and consultancy.

Recall that the World Bank on June 27, 2023 approved a fresh $500 million loan for Nigeria to help improve the livelihood of women in Nigeria.

Ohanenye commended President Bola Tinubu for his proactive involvement in the project, particularly his scrutiny of the initial $100 million expenditure.

The minister noted that the funds were a loan, not a grant, and stressed the importance of proper management to ensure repayment.

She said, “About the Nigeria for Women Project, let me first tell Nigerian women to clap for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who came in after the first $100 million had been expended.

“That was when he came in and when he came in, he looked at it with me and we were not satisfied with how the $100 million was used.

“Let me make it clear. This is not a grant, it is a loan and when some monies are loans, they must have to be managed well so that the loans can be paid back. If you don’t manage it well, how do we pay back the loan?

“And when money is a loan, we expect whoever you are giving loan to be allowed to utilise that loan properly in a way that it can yield back the money to be paid, so that Nigeria will not continue owing.

“The first 100 million, when I came in, I was not satisfied. It didn’t augur well with the vision of the new President’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

“It was mainly used for advocacy, meetings, consultancies and that was it. They shared it among the states.”

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Nigerians paid N721bn in cash bribes to govt officials in 2023 – NBS

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Last Updated on July 12, 2024 by Fellow Press

A survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed that Nigerians paid a staggering N721 billion in cash bribes to public officials in 2023.

The survey, titled “Corruption in Nigeria: Patterns and Trends,” released on Thursday, July 11, revealed that over 95 percent of these bribes were in monetary form.

According to the report, there has been a decline in Nigerians’ confidence in the government’s anti-corruption efforts during the period under review.

The report stated, “Overall, it is estimated that a total of roughly N721 billion ($1.26 billion) was paid in cash bribes to public officials in Nigeria in 2023, corresponding to 0.35 percent of the entire Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria.”

The report further revealed that bribes paid in a public official’s office and on the street accounted for approximately 35 percent and 36 percent of all bribes respectively while, 11 percent of bribes were paid in respondents’ own homes, while 7 percent occurred in public buildings such as restaurants, malls, or stations.

The report highlighted that healthcare professionals and public utility officers were the most frequent recipients of bribes, accounting for 30 percent and 24 percent of encounters respectively. Police officers followed closely with a contact rate of 20 percent

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Vice President Trump, President Putin Of Ukraine – Biden Goofs At NATO Summit

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Last Updated on July 12, 2024 by Fellow Press

U.S. President Joe Biden had a series of verbal slip-ups on Thursday alongside the NATO summit in Washington, an unfortunate development for the 81-year-old as he tries to move past concerns that he is too old to run for re-election.

Verbal gaffes are not unusual in the long political career of Biden, who overcame a childhood stutter, but there is closer attention on him amid the fallout from his dismal debate performance against Republican candidate Donald Trump last month.

Trump, who is 78, and also has faced concerns about his age, frequently made false claims during the debate and often rambles during campaign speeches.

Below is a summary of Biden’s mistakes on Thursday.

BIDEN MISTAKENLY CALLS ZELENSKIY ‘PUTIN’

Biden mistakenly referred to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy as “President Putin”.

“And now I want to hand it over to the president of Ukraine, who has as much courage as he has determination, ladies and gentlemen, President Putin,” Biden said at the NATO summit, drawing gasps from those in the room.

“Going to beat President Putin, President Zelenskiy. I am so focused on beating Putin,” Biden said while correcting himself.

BIDEN MISTAKENLY REFERS TO HARRIS AS TRUMP
During a news conference on Thursday evening, Biden mixed up the name of his vice president, Kamala Harris, and his rival Trump.

“Look, I wouldn’t have picked Vice President Trump to be vice president if she was not qualified to be president. So start there,” Biden said as he responded to a question from Reuters about his confidence in Harris.

BIDEN FUMBLES ‘CHIEFS OF STAFF’
Biden also struggled at the news conference to find the words “chiefs of staff,” mistakenly referring to the group of the country’s top uniformed military leaders as “commander in chief,” the title he holds as president.

“And so our military is working on following the advice of my commander in chief my, my, my, the chiefs of staff, of the military as well as the secretary of defense and our intelligence people.”

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