INVESTIGATION: Inside the massive fraud in Nigeria’s N117Billion rice import quota scheme

The fuel subsidy scam probably broke the ceiling in a room crammed with some of the worst corporate perfidy. Nothing could more sabotage the economic interest of a nation, many Nigerians thought.

But then came the rice import quota scheme, an unholy romance between politicians and businessmen, at the moment stretching corporate bad practices in Nigeria to an incredulous length.

About N117 Billion is there for the pick. A total of 26 companies are involved; two of which are owned by a former Attorney General of the Federation and a former civilian governor of Kebbi State respectively. Predictably, in the all-too-familiar Nigerian fashion, not all of the 26 companies selected for the scheme made the list on merit.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2014 disclosed that Nigeria spent an average of N800 Billion annually on the importation of rice. Unofficial import receipts through the Cotonou corridor was not captured in the CBN figure.

But the business of importing rice, a staple in Africa’s most popular nation, is so huge and attractive that four neighbouring countries of Benin, Togo, Cameroon and even landlocked Niger Republic have technically factored transhipment or smuggling of rice and allied commodities into Nigeria in their national economic plan.

A recent figure from the CBN indicated that Benin Republic imports almost as much rice as China and nearly as much frozen chicken as the UK. Most of the commodities are smuggled into Nigeria.

Disturbed by the nation’s huge import bill, the President Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2014 came up with a new rice policy to fast-track national self-sufficiency in rice production.

The policy specified that owners of existing rice mills and new investors with verifiable backward integration in the rice value chain will be allowed to import rice at10 per cent duty and 20 per cent levy (30 per cent); while merchants who have nothing to contribute to local production in the form of rice farms or mills will be charged 10 per cent duty and 60 per cent levy (70 per cent). Technically, it was a subsidy aimed at building local capacity in rice production.

Subsequently, an inter-ministerial committee was set up to work out the national rice supply gap and allocate import licenses with appropriate quotas in order to bridge this gap, same time advancing the objectives of the national rice policy.

On paper, this committee was to determine beneficiaries and allocate quotas based on four key criteria that assess investment of individual companies into local rice production.

The criteria included a Domestic Rice Production Plan (DRPP) that demonstrate evidence of current or planned investment in domestic rice production over a three-year period. The DRPP was also expected to show the size of investment, proof of land acquisition and establishment of rice fields and paddy production.

The second criterion was called paddy purchase outlook from Paddy Aggregation Centres (PAC). This should demonstrate a clear plan of purchase of paddy from PACs, location of the PACs and volumes of paddy to be purchased.

The third criterion was paddy purchase outlook from outgrower farmers and farmer cooperatives. This should include location of farms, volumes of paddy to be purchased, etc.

The last criterion was proof of ownership of integrated rice milling facility with par boilers and dehuskers. This should include size of planned installed capacity and evidence of acquisition of integrated rice milling equipment.

Sources within the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment told this reporter that the then Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, by-passed the inter-ministerial committee in the selection of beneficiaries and commensurate import quota. Mr. Akinwunmi, now President of the African Development Bank (ADB), was Chairman of the inter-ministerial committee and took key decisions as the arrowhead of President Jonathan’s much-vaunted Agriculture Transformation Agenda.

Mr. Akinwunmi was easily outwitted by merchants and politicians who did not want a change in status quo, and were known to have resisted such in the past, industry insiders said.

Although the turf is different, the strategy is the same. The same way Nigeria’s oil refineries were put in comatose to pave way for massive and lucrative import of refined petroleum products, the same way entrenched interests known in the industry as Rice Mafia, are sabotaging local rice production to sustain the rice import business.

In the final analysis, the rice policy was scuttled to serve everything but national interest. Companies who have no investment in the rice value chain were granted quota. These companies in turn sold the quota to other importers who already had vessels on the sea.

The sellers of quota made huge profits without any investments in Nigeria’s local rice production and indeed did so without taking risk or lifting a finger.

The same sellers have been working hard to get more quotas in the bid to get more money from the scheme without any investments, thus holding the domestic rice policy to ransom.

Who got what

Investigations by PREMIUM TIMES revealed that the 26 companies that benefitted from the rice import quota scheme included Milan, Bua, AA Ibrahim, Stine Rice Mills, JMK Foods, Labana Rice Mill, Elephant Group, Honeywell, Kerksuk Farms, Wacot, Mikap Rice, Golden Penny, Stallion, Umza International Farms Limited, Dangote and Olam. Others were Tara Agro, Ebony Agro, Atari Rice Industry, Ashi Foods, JAI, Arewa Rice Mill, Onyx Rice Mill, Bansara Rice, Danmodi and Klysat.

Investigations revealed that Mikap Rice is owned by a former Attorney General of the Federation, Michael Aondoakaa, while Ebony Agro is owned by Charles Ugwu, a former minister of commerce and industry.

Ashi Foods is owned by the immediate past governor of Benue State Gabriel Suswam. Milan Group is a business interest that also owns Intercontinental Hotels while Bua is owned by billionaire Ishaku Rabiu. Honeywell is owned by Oba Otudeko while Elephant Group is owned by Tunji Owoye. Labana Rice is owned by former Kebi State governor Adamu Aliero while Keresuk is owned by one Rotimi Williams.

Investigations revealed that for instance, Umza Internationa Farms Limited has a rice mill in Kano with a capacity of 30,000 MT. Beyond this mill, Umza has no other investment in local rice production. However, the company was given import allocations in two categories: 36,000 MT under existing miller allocation and also got 49,207 MT under investor allocation.

Dangote and Golden Penny have no existing mills but got 115.204 MT and 91,887 MT respectively. Stallion got a total allocation of 89,989 MT; that was 59,989 MT under investor allocation and 30,000 MT under existing miller allocation. It has two mills – one in Kano and another in Markurdi.

Investigations further revealed that Mikap Rice, owned by Michael Aondoakaa, has a very small scale mill of between 15,000 to 20,000 MT. The mill itself is government-funded. Mr. Aondoakaa got 82,897 MT of import quota.

Wacot is in seeds business only while Labana has two mills in Kebbi State. Many of the beneficiaries were found to have no investment in the rice value chain. They include Wacot, Honeywell, Elephant Group, AA Ibrahim, Milan, among others. Kersuk Farms has no mill. Stine Rice has a mill but it is not in working condition. Bua has only brown rice mill. It does not have parboiling capacity; the mill is defunct. However Bua received a total import allocation of 109,448 MT.

Ebony Agro owned by Charles Ugwu made wrong investment decision. It built rice mill in a place where there is no paddy. The same wrong investment decision of building a mill where there is no paddy was also made by Tara Agro. Many of the quota beneficiaries sold their allocations to importers. Mikap sold its quota to Elephant Group. Stine Rice sold its quota to a company called PJS. Elephant Group in May 2015 also received through the Jama’tul Nasril Islam (JNI) waiver to import 100,000 MT of rice. The religious organisation had applied for and was granted waiver by President Goodluck Jonathan to import the said metric tonnes of rice and 25,000 metric tonnes of cooking oil described in a letter from the Budget Office of the Federation as ‘donated foodstuff’.

One smoking gun on sale of import quota is found with Umza International Farm Ltd. Shipping documents obtained by this newspaper showed that shortly after the release of quota allocations and Umza was named one of the beneficiaries, a letter dated December 20, 2014 instructed Marietta Bolten (owners of a ship MV Marietta) to divert a cargo of rice originally meant for delivery at Cotonou Port to Lagos Port. The cargo in question was a 15,500 MT Thai Parboiled Rice 100PCT Sortexed of Thailand Origin. The letter reads in part: “The above cargo was shipped on the above vessel … for delivery at the port of Cotonou – Benin but we, Navision Shipping A/S, hereby request you to order the vessel to proceed to and deliver the said cargo at Port Lagos – Nigeria to Pearl Universal Impex Ltd, 7A Asa Afariogun Street, Off Osolo Way, Ajao Estate, Isolo, Lagos, Nigeria.

The same Navision Shipping on the same day gave two more instructions to Marietta ordering it to divert another cargo of 3900.650 MT Thai Parboiled rice to Port Harcourt for Pearl Universal Impex. This second cargo, originally meant for Cotonou Port was originally consigned to STE Premiere Sarl, Niamey, Niger Republic. The third cargo, 18,500MT Thai Parboiled rice, originally destined for Cotonou Port was diverted on instruction to Port Harcourt.

A visit to Pearl Universal Impex in Ajao Estate, Lagos, showed that the company is no more at No, 7A Asa Afariogun Street, the land address used for the shipping transaction. There was no forwarding address. Pearl Universal Impex is a major rice importer owned by a group of foreign businessmen that include the Chairman Pulkit Jain, Nimit Jain, Pulkit Jain was quoted in a recent media report that his company “has been a major importer of rice in the country with imports of 350,000 metric tonnes of rice annually in the past”

Given that Nigeria is the only country that consumes parboiled rice, any cargo of parboiled rice going to Cotonou is in the first place is meant to come into Nigeria through land borders.

All the cargoes diverted belonged to Umza International Farm Ltd, one of the companies that benefitted from government subsidy.

Shipping documents show that diverted rice cargoes with the following bill of lading: MRT1409-01(10,000 MT), MRT1409-03(1,000 MT), MRT1409-04(1,000 MT), MRT1409-05(1,000 MT), MRT1409-09(1494.650 MT) and MRT1409-20(806.000MT) were consigned to Umza International Farm.

Yet another document showed that Umza International Farm Ltd has been importing rice from Thailand purportedly to be transhipped to Niger Republic. In October 2014 Umza, using the same ship MV Marietta imported 1,000 MT of Golden Standard brand of parboiled rice to Cotonou for ‘transit to Niger’. The Umza cargo has bill of lading MRT1409-03.

The same 1000 MT of same bill of lading MRT1409-03 is named in the instruction letter to the ship owners Marietta Bolten on 20th December 2014 to be diverted to Port Harcourt shortly after Umza was named as a beneficiary of Federal Government rice import quota. So also was another cargo of bill of lading MRT1409-04 with Niger Republic as its original destination.

Industry stakeholders are confused as to how consignments of parboiled rice are transhipped to a country that does not consume parboiled rice. Maritime experts say this is another red flag of irregularities and sabotage of the rice value chain adding that parboiled rice is not the only item ‘officially smuggled into Nigeria’ in the guise the goods were meant for Niger Republic.

Phoney milling capacities

There are also discrepancies in milling capacities and the local rice production capacity. Under Minister Akinwunmi, the agric ministry claimed Nigeria was producing 2.2 million MT of paddy.

However, investigations by this reporter revealed that all the rice mills in Nigeria have a combined annual capacity to mill only 600,000 MT of paddy. The question that naturally arises is: where are the remaining 1.6 million MT milled if indeed domestic production was 2.2 million MT? Yet, allocations of rice import quota were based on these phoney capacities of rice millers and investors, many of whom at the end sold off their quotas to the detriment of the rice subsidy goals.

Investigations revealed that some of the rice merchants that benefited from government subsidy through proxies are known for patronising the Cotonou Port.

The story of smuggling of rice and other items from Cotonou is almost hackneyed and indeed is the mainstay of that country’s economy. In 2013 the government of Benin Republic slashed its tariff on rice the moment Nigeria hiked its to keep alive transhipment, which actually is a fancy name for smuggling. Cameroon joined the rice smuggling business into Nigeria by crashing its tariff to zero percent.

In April and May 2014 a frightening dimension was recorded in the rice import business. Eleven ships, all carrying rice, sailed into Nigeria’s territorial waters but instead of berthing at Apapa Port, they all chose to stop nearby and wait. Their positions were so close they could be sighted from the Lagos Bar Beach. There were no engine failures, no congestion at the destination port and no internal crisis in the host country to warrant the sudden refusals of the ship captains and crew to complete their journeys. The names of the ships were MV Hector, MV Star Capella, MV Wariya Naree, MV Aqua Runner, MV Silvretta and MV Eternity. C. Others were MV Aeolos, MV Lake Hakone, MV Mraki, MV Atlantic Trade and MV Quest.

But why would 11 ships sail all the way from Thailand into Lagos but refuse to berth at the port? Port workers knowledgeable about official corruption proffered that the ships were negotiating tariffs before they could enter Apapa.

In the complex and dodgy multi-billion dollars rice import racket that employs top figures in the Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigeria Navy, officials of the Ministry of Finance and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), calculations had suddenly gone wrong somewhere, hence the ships were told to halt sail. Had they sailed further into Apapa port, then the rice merchants must pay the 110 per cent tariff on rice import imposed early 2013 by the Federal Government to discourage import dependency and support local production.

The 11 ships were expected to pay a total tariff of N16.5 billion to the Nigerian government. This, the rice mafia were determined to evade. Should negotiations fail to go their way in such a situation, the ships would proceed to Cotonou from where the cargoes would one way or the other find their way into the Nigerian market.

A maritime security expert, Patrick Keku, asked the question: “Can a ship sail into Ghana, South Africa, USA, or even Benin Republic and that ship is allowed to loiter around while it perfect ways of breaking the laws of the host country? It can only happen in Nigeria.”

Senate committee and conflict of interests

Like the fuel subsidy scam of 2012, the scale of economic sabotage arising from the sale of rice import quota is such that it has attracted the attention of the National Assembly.

Stakeholders and ordinary Nigerians alike desirous of seeing the President Buhari administration transform the national economy using agriculture, must have expected to see another season of name and shame.

If the purpose of the National Assembly inquiry was to ensure that, like in Brazil and Malaysia, agriculture was turned into a high revenue earner, confidence level soon dropped the moment the committees’ chairmen were named.

On Thursday, July 30, the Senate announced membership of the ad-hoc committee on waivers, concessions and grants.

The committee’s mandate was populist: to investigate the indiscriminate use and abuse of waivers for rice importation. The committee was to carry out a holistic review to determine the full recovery of all government revenue related to the rice policy.

But the inquiry was abinitio tainted with conflict of interest. The Chairman of the Senate Committee is Senator Muhammad Adamu Aliero, the former governor of Kebbi State who himself is the Chairman of Labana, one of the rice subsidy beneficiaries.


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  • Truth Hurts

    We are in a deep shit in Nigeria, in fact we are finished

    • Kitunde

      You know that! Where do we start?
      Check this out- When cars are seized at the ports, do you know that before the ordinary Customs officer gets his own share, there is a process whereby the following people are delivered the cars whether they know about the seizure or not.
      Service chiefs, IG, AIG’s head of customs, commissioners of police etc etc. Some of them don’t even see these cars as they are carted to their country homes by their aides. These are cars belonging to struggling Nigerians all over the world. Can you believe?.
      Corruption has killed Nigeria.

  • Dazmillion

    How do you get rid of so many rats in the system without major bloodletting? I think we should just conclude that Lord Lugard’s project is a failure and go our separate ways.

  • FreeNigeria

    This is no longer corruption or wickedness, this is outright insanity.

  • Spoken word

    a country of scams

  • Clairvoyance

    Nigeria this country ehm fear person. Where we go start from if we really want to clean this mess. Oluwa help us out.

  • Debekeme

    Indeed Buhari is not serious about fighting corruption.

    Due process, rule of law are just excuses.

    There are laws that can be interpreted to permit the seizure of property, etc.

    There are many ways Buhari can QUICKLY deal with the levels of corruption in Nigeria without abridging the rights of suspects

    The culprits in the scams: attorney General, The Senate, the Inspector General of Police, EFCC and persons in the Presidency. The businessmen cant get away with this without these guys all sharing in the loot.

    • mdsurgeon

      Are you serious with this your post? Mocking due process and rule of law? You want Nigeria to descend into the anarchy of autocracy and dictatorship again??
      My friend, there is the need to be patient. The wheel of justice does grind slowly, even more so in a country like this where the various investigative and judicial institutions have been bastardized over the years.
      Nigerian citizens also have huge roles to play, ensuring they continue to actively participate in the affairs of the country, making sure crooks and felons are not voted back into office, and demanding to know the sources of wealth of public office holders.
      Apparently, there does not seem to be any aspect of this nation that has not been infected with the gangrene of corruption and mismanagement. There is only so much Buhari can do!!

      • Debekeme

        Im simply beyond frustrated. How can these men be walking free? How?

        • mdsurgeon

          Your frustration is perfectly understood and appreciated but you must also appreciate that the international community is interested in this fight against corruption, and how it is prosecuted. Most important thing is that we now have the right leadership, not the one who would only refer to massive corruption as stealing.
          Give them time.

      • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

        U are a disgrace—a shame to the Nation state of Nigeria–Buhari climbed to power swearing to clean up the alleged mess in the Custom—-among other Secuirty outfits in the country——Instead, imposed the most corrupt Nigerian on earth–a former thieving governor of Kano state during the Abacha era on the Department of Customs when he Buhari knew an Ijaw man Dr. Atte was to be made the Director General of Customs———-Is Rtd Col Ali, the man who beheaded Ken Saro Wiwa not busy colllecting bribes from the various Customs–formations in the country–?———-No Southerner had ever been made to head the Nigerian Ports ASuthroity within the last 45 years—–It is the Fulanis who hail from the same tribe with Buhari who now control-the sea Ports–in Nigeria———–The Head of the Code of Conduct Bureau–a Fulani was accused by an ex customs Officer of corruption—what happened–Buhari freed him————-of all the charges brought against him—-by d poor Customs man——The government of Buhari is the most corrupt on mother earth—-Buhari steals then cleans his Fulani mouth—–as if he is on Ramadan Fast————–Now we do not know if he is alive or recuperating from his ailment in London where he has Houses again—Separation is the answer–not the Rule of the Fulanis ati Yorubas in APC–Let my people go———-now that the price of oil is down—to zero——–Animals

        • mdsurgeon

          The perfect response to a raving and ranting maniac is silence!

        • ojorocancel

          yes ..ati yoruba..your shameless hallucination about biafra will soon disappear. You peoples hatred will not allow you reason like other Nigerians, and will let you acknowledge the fact that Jonathan got about 45 per cent of sw votes to buhari’s 55 per cent which was a good showing for someone for which you people keep on trying shamelessly to discredit the yorubas saying they did not vote or like jonathan .

    • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

      Did your socalled Buhari not free the head of CCB–of all the charges of corruption brougjht against him by an Ex Customs officer? Where were your thoughts then oga Buhari mice?—Buhari collected vehicles from Dasuki and over 300,000 dollars–His wife Aisha is alos involved in the Halliburton thievery bribe scandal—Instead of launching an investigation or prosecuting–those who received the bribe–He is busy chasing only Ijaws in the creeks while he works to cover his usual stealing habits with Dasuki-his Fulani brother——With his attempt to jail him by all means possible—————–He was given 2 vehicles–SUVs-by Dasuki!-But said they were not enough–That he needed vehicles to be stationed in Kano–Katsina——Kaduna—————-Lagos ati Abuja—-for him Buhari——————Is that the man to end corruption in Nigeria? Seapartion is the amnswer–not the rule of the Fulanis and Yorubas———–biko!

      • I. M.

        Heartache will kill u one by one, mumu. The blackmail did not work during electioneering campaign and won’t work now & ever, Buhari’s name can’t be tainted. He is the president and he will fight the corruption that feeds u to a standstill.

      • Debekeme

        Who ever you are. I read a lot of your posts and abhor everything you represent and stand for.

        Know this; i think you are one of the worse type of Nigerian there is.

        I have nothing in common with you. You are a bigot, a short sighted hateful person. Your perception of issues is tainted mostly by prejudice and illogical assumptions.

        I have no desire of interacting with you in anyway as there is no intersection of vision.

        Let me be clear: I believe in one united and indivisible Nigeria, i believe good people exist across all tribes, faiths and persuasions, i believe President Buhari means well for Nigeria and trying his best to take us forward, I believe Nigeria will be a prosperous and stable nation, i believe the different tribes of Nigeria are fundamentally good people and can co-exist together in peace. I believe people like you are the problem with Nigeria and you will all fade away as prosperity returns to Nigeria and the space for hateful people like you lessens over time.

        • Kitunde

          I salute you……

  • Murtala

    Nigeria is a good country with surmountable challenges but it needs good loving citizens to do that.

  • Debekeme

    Premium times. Thank you. You are patriots and the Editor and his team should be honored for their work for Nigeria.

    Premium times is adding more value to Nigeria than the EFCC, ICPC and Police Investigative Units combined.

    All the info in the article is WELL known to these above authorities but their criminal mind within them wont let them act. God will poison you all.

    You think IG, etc dont know?

  • Madol

    We don’t give up on this Country if we love it, we continue to fight; since we have this information now, the major focus of well meaning citizens along with the media would be to verify it and questions as many of those mentioned that we can get a hold of, then we turn our sights on the National Assembly and thoroughly ‘clean house’.

    What I’m campaigning for is active citizen participation in governance; if we fight fervently in all national affairs as we fought against the so called ‘Frivolous Petitions Bill’ we can by God’s Grace get the National Assembly to do its job and do it well.

    • muazu wali

      I agree with you. We are daily awakened to the fact that our leaders every where, politics, business, judiciary, civil.servants, etc are crooks and deviants. The next thing is we wil keep searching. Twenty years in the life of a nation is not much. Once we set the tone of.honesty, transperancy and obedience to the rule of law our children and grandchildren will carry on.

  • peaceometer

    Haha!

  • REDEEM

    7 Nigerian States with The Worst External Debt Profile – Debt Mgt.

    1] Lagos State – $710 Billion–APC

    2] Kaduna State – $528 Million APC

    3] Edo state – $546 Million

    4] Ogun state – $498 Million

    5] Cross River State – $331.469 Million

    6] Bauchi – $302 Million

    7] Katsina – $498 Million

    8] Osun – $392 Million

    • Ade

      Thanks for the info. Please ask your father GEJ to help pay these debts from his loot.

      • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

        For how lomng will the South south coninue to feed the rest of Nigeria with their crude oil resources————-another 100 years–Sadly when u the Yorubas had your Cocoa–Not one penny was made available to the South South–Awo did not extend the milk of human kindness to the SS–not one road was fixed by them–

      • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

        @wahala—-an Ibo man—operating under the cover od darkness—-For how long will the South south coninue to feed the rest of Nigeria with their crude oil resources————-another 100 years-abi—-thieves–The money that Abacha stole did not come from the Fulani North, South East or the south west—It came from the oil revenue base of Jonathan in the South south—–Sadly when u the Yorubas under whose name u seems to be operating had thier Cocoa–Not one penny was made available to the South South–Awo did not extend the milk of human kindness to the SS–not one road was fixed by them–either

  • IZON Redeemer

    The ever Moaning Mourners in APC in APC ati Buhari, climbed to power on the back of the USA, swearing to clean up the alleged mess in the Custom—-among other Security outfits in the country——Instead imposed the most corrupt Nigerian–and a former thieving governor of Kano state, during the Abacha era on the Department of Customs. Immediately Buhari knew an Ijaw man Dr. Atte, was to be made the Director General of Customs———-Is Rtd Col Ali, the man who beheaded Ken Saro Wiwa, not busy colllecting bribes from the various Customs–formations in the country-?———–No Southerner had ever been made to head the Nigerian Ports Authority within the last 45 years—–It is the Fulanis who hail from the same tribe with Buhari who now control-the sea Ports–in Nigeria——–How would corruption not thrive in 9ja?–Dangote made his million from the Sea Ports—-Is he in jail? Rather than clean up the mess it is Tompolo Buhari is chasing all over the country–ati another Ijaw man Akpobolokeme from NIMASA——wHILE The Head of the Code of Conduct Bureau–a Fulani who was accused by an ex Customs Officer of corruption-is set free by Buhari—–The government of Buhari is the most corrupt on mother earth—-Buhari steals then cleans his Fulani mouth—–as if he is on Ramadan Fast——Tribalism again abi—nay it is the truth!——–Now we do not know if he is alive or recuperating from his usual brain ailment in London again—Separation is the answer–not the Rule of the Fulanis ati Yorubas in APC————-Ijaws do not import rice————-they paddle canoe in d creeks——-of the OILY SS—Animals

  • Curseless

    Well, there we go again. Until Nigeria can be ruled by a benevolent dictator these entrenched cabal will never be stopped and they are fighting tooth and nail to frustrate Buhari”s effort. The President alone can not do this as he has said many times without the help of the citizens who must repeatedly form a formidable alliances to recall any member of the assembly who refuses to join in the clarion call to bring these enemies of our republic to book. Corruption have strangulated the Nigerian nation for a long tome , but the last 16 years of the PDP has been very fatal. The people blaming Buhari for his uncompromising fight against corruption better have a rethinking, for we are in serious trouble. A nation that should be a paradise in the sun has become crippled by the greed of few wicked men and women. The most pathetic thing is that these same people will pretend as if they love Nigeria and the gullible so called poor masses will be singing their praises. May they never find peace until they repent!

    • I. M.

      “Until Nigeria can be ruled by a benevolent dictator..” u said it right. Be blessed.

    • The Percolator

      I agree we need a benevolent dictator. Someone who has ultimate powers and wants to do good. I think PMB will be the closest we can get to that in a democracy. We should embrace his efforts. Also, we need more credible people to run for elected office. We can’t have criminals occupying the hallowed chambers were our future is managed and decided.

      • Burning spear

        NIGERIA IS OVER 55 YEARS–OLD—YET IS UNABLE TO GET IT RIGHT—BECAUSE OF THE AWOOOF OIL REVENUE FROM THE SOUTH SOUTH USED SINCE 1960 TO FEED OVER 170M UNTHINKING HUMANS.–SEPARATION IS THE ONLY WAY OUT–WHY HAS NIGERIA REFUSED TO DEVELOP THE PREMABIRI RICE FARMS WHICH WAS CREATED IN 1975?———BECAUSE IT IS LOCATED IN AN IJAW LAND–IN BAYELSA STATE–ABI—-? WHEN JONATHAN TRIED TO IMPROVE ON IT–THE HOUSE AND SENATE FRUSTRATED HIS EFFORTS—-NOW U COMPLAIN—–

    • muazu wali

      The praise singing will now.stop. We now who they are rouges and enemies of Nigeria and its people.

    • “The President alone can not do this as he has said many times without the help of the citizens who must repeatedly form a formidable alliances to recall any member of the assembly who refuses to join in the clarion call to bring these enemies of our republic to book.” In my opinion, you’re right. However, these citizens you talked about cannot claim to be serious about this fight for right if they keep hiding behind pseudonyms or worse keep remaining faceless. How can these enemies of Nigeria as you rightly called them realize that the days of “who wan talk, who fit talk” are over when we criticize them in hiding? How can they feel the disapproval of the youth whom they know own the powers to put them in or out of office when the same youths aren’t brave enough to show their faces or names when criticizing? By hiding our names and faces, aren’t we creating an atmosphere where scapegoats can be easily made of the few brave Nigerians who dare criticize with faces and names? Are we really using the internet and social media to the advantage of our country this way? I agree with your post but sadly, this brilliant and powerful post of yours cannot be tied to any real, existing Nigerian.

  • IZON Redeemer

    The ever Moaning Mourners in APC ati Buhari, climbed to power on the back of the USA, swearing to clean up the alleged mess in the Custom—-among other Security outfits in the country——Instead imposed the most corrupt Nigerian–and a former thieving governor of Kano state, during the Abacha era on the Department of Customs. Immediately Buhari knew an Ijaw man Dr. Atte, was to be made the Director General of Customs———-Is Rtd Col Ali, the man who beheaded Ken Saro Wiwa, not busy colllecting bribes from the various Customs–formations in the country-?———–No Southerner have ever been made to head the Nigerian Ports Authority within the last 45 years—–It is the Fulanis who hail from the same tribe with Buhari who now control-the sea Ports–in Nigeria——–How would corruption not thrive in 9ja?–Dangote made his trillions from the Sea Ports—-Is he in jail? Rather than clean up the mess in 9ja, it is Ijaw man Tompolo, mumu Buhari is chasing all over the country–ati another Ijaw man Akpobolokeme from NIMASA——While the Head of the Code of Conduct Bureau–a Fulani who was accused by an ex Customs Officer of corruption-is set free by Buhari—–The government of Buhari is the most corrupt on mother earth—-Buhari steals then cleans his Fulani mouth—–as if he is on Ramadan Fast——Tribalism again abi—nay it is the truth!——–Now we do not know if he is alive or recuperating from his usual brain ailment in London again—Separation is the answer–not the Rule of the Fulanis ati Yorubas in APC————-Ijaws do not import rice————-they paddle canoe in d creeks——-of the OILY SS—Animals

    • muazu wali

      I will pray for you. Your mind has been jaundiced by hatred and envy.

      • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

        THE MOANING MOURNERS ARE OUT—-AGAIN————-WITH THEIR JANJAWEED THOUGHTS—–Envy of whom the FULANIS–IBOS OR YORUBAS———–WHO DEPEND ON THE OIL REVENUE FROM THE SOUTH SOUTH FOR SURVIVAL? MONKEY—-

  • Bimbola

    Nigerians need to change the cut-corner and get rich mentality. Unless people begin to live honestly, we will continue to hear stories like this one.

  • Arabakpura

    We must give PMB another 4years to completely clean this augean stable!

  • Atunde Adeola Yusuf

    SAFE GUARD YOUR
    HOMES, INSTALL CCTV CAMERAS, ALARMS ELECTRIC FENCE AND OTHER SECURITY PRODUCTS
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  • muazu wali

    There are criminals everywhere. Opportunity for Increased employment for our youth has again been thwarted by selfishness an inordinate greed. All leakages in policy implementation should be plogged. All defauders should be permanently deleated from the list of participating companies.

    • Burning spear

      Stop talking like a tuareg—-from CHAD… It is your ethnic group d Fulani ati the yorubas who are in power with them and who are in charge of the various security agencies in 9ja not the Ijaws-suffering in the creeks of the Niger delta—Nigeria only shouts when an Ijaw man like etete is allocated an oil well—-This one does not concern Ijaws—it is the Fulanis—Yorubas and Ibos who are in control of the rice business–which Jonathan stopped the importation–Now Buhari yearns to bring it back–what has that got to do with Ijaws–in the creeks—separation is what we yearn for-not this sponsored buhari article designed by PT to deceive 9jas

      • NoBeLie

        Stop trabilising issues!

        • joe

          Pointless trying to talk to a gulley rat by the road side.

  • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

    The ever Moaning Mourners in APC in APC ati Buhari, climbed to power on the back of the USA, swearing to clean up the alleged mess in the Custom—-among other Security outfits in the country——Instead imposed the most corrupt Nigerian–and a former thieving governor of Kano state, during the Abacha era on the Department of Customs. Immediately Buhari knew an Ijaw man Dr. Atte, was to be made the Director General of Customs———-Is Rtd Col Ali, the man who beheaded Ken Saro Wiwa, not busy colllecting bribes from the various Customs–formations in the country-?———–No Southerner had ever been made to head the Nigerian Ports Authority within the last 45 years—–It is the Fulanis who hail from the same tribe with Buhari who now control-the sea Ports–in Nigeria——–How would corruption not thrive in 9ja?–Dangote made his TRILLIONS from the Sea Ports—-Is he in jail? Rather than clean up the mess it is Tompolo Buhari is chasing all over the country–ati another Ijaw man Akpobolokeme from NIMASA—–WHILE the Head of the Code of Conduct Bureau–a Fulani who was accused by an ex Customs Officer of corruption-is set free by Buhari—–The government of Buhari is the most corrupt on mother earth—-Buhari steals then cleans his Fulani mouth—–as if he is on Ramadan Fast——Tribalism again abi?—Nay it is the truth!——–Now we do not know if he is alive or recuperating from his usual brain ailment in London again—Separation is the answer–not the Rule of the Fulanis ati Yorubas in APC————-Ijaws do not import rice————-they paddle canoe in d creeks——-of the OILY SS—Animals

  • Burning spear

    N850 Million Traced To Bank Account Of Buhari’s Personal Assistant – Trent

    With the growing list of names of being implicated in $2.1bn arms con­tract scandal involving Sambo Dasuki, the former National Security Adviser,President Muhammadu Buhari’s Personal Assistant, Sabi’u Yusuf may have been fingered as one of the beneficiaries of the loot by some of Dasuki’s associates.

    According to a report on The Sun, some of Dasuki’s associates on Saturday, December 19, 2015 spoke to newsmen threatening to expose proof that those de­nying to have benefitted from the money had collected the amounts ticked against their names.

    Speaking further, they expressed shock that some politicians would deny ever having anything to do with the Dasuki when there is proof that they received the mon­ey, threatening to release re­corded video of all transac­tions.

    They said: “Some people are shamelessly telling in­defensible lies. We have witnesses and recordings of these visits. A man re­ceived two retired army of­ficers in his private sitting room, called his nephew to collect the bag and would thereafter say he saw noth­ing, heard nothing. This is very laughable.

    “How did his nephew who has never worked in his life accumulate over N850 million in his bank account (0045586381) in a new generation bank?

    “Let them cover what they think they could, and we would certainly spill the beans for Nigerians to see their hypocrisy.

    “All of us would meet in court. But before then if they keep denying, we would release some clips on both YouTube and other forms of social media for the world to see their na­kedness.”

    Although the owner of the quoted account was not made available by Dasuki’s associates, further investigation by The Trent reveals that the account may be the Access Bank account belonging to President Buhari’s Personal Assistant (PA), Sabi’u Yusuf.—————-

  • Gugurus Ekpa

    Fortunato did nothing but oversee the perpetuation of crime in Nigeria.

  • Gugurus Ekpa

    When will Jonathan be asked to show up in the middle of the towns square to receive his royal flogging for running Nigeria into the pits of hased?

  • NonPartisanElder

    All hail Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Coordinating Deformer of Nigeria’s Economy!

  • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

    Under Jonathan ati Ngozi–in February 2015, Transparency International (TI), a non-governmental organization that monitors and publicizes corporate and political corruption in international development and known to be factual and unbiased, released its findings. The study which covered the period from 1979-2014, concluded that “contrary to widespread propaganda which has labeled the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan led administration as the most corrupt in the country’s history by Buhari and the moaning mourners in APC, a look at data’s from TI, shows that both General Muhammadu Buhari and Former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s tenure were the most corrupt in the hisotry of the countr-

  • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

    N850 Million Traced To Bank Account Of Buhari’s Personal Assistant – Trent

    With the growing list of names of being implicated in $2.1bn arms con­tract scandal involving Sambo Dasuki, the former National Security Adviser,President Muhammadu Buhari’s Personal Assistant, Sabi’u Yusuf may have been fingered as one of the beneficiaries of the loot by some of Dasuki’s associates.

    According to a report on The Sun, some of Dasuki’s associates on Saturday, December 19, 2015 spoke to newsmen threatening to expose proof that those de­nying to have benefitted from the money had collected the amounts ticked against their names.

    Speaking further, they expressed shock that some politicians would deny ever having anything to do with the Dasuki when there is proof that they received the mon­ey, threatening to release re­corded video of all transac­tions.

    They said: “Some people are shamelessly telling in­defensible lies. We have witnesses and recordings of these visits. A man re­ceived two retired army of­ficers in his private sitting room, called his nephew to collect the bag and would thereafter say he saw noth­ing, heard nothing. This is very laughable.

    “How did his nephew who has never worked in his life accumulate over N850 million in his bank account (0045586381) in a new generation bank?

    “Let them cover what they think they could, and we would certainly spill the beans for Nigerians to see their hypocrisy.

    “All of us would meet in court. But before then if they keep denying, we would release some clips on both YouTube and other forms of social media for the world to see their na­kedness.”

    Although the owner of the quoted account was not made available by Dasuki’s associates, further investigation by The Trent reveals that the account may be the Access Bank account belonging to President Buhari’s Personal Assistant (PA), Sabi’u Yusuf.———

    • tayo

      Mr man, it is very obvious you a tribalistic, sentimental and unobjective, it is obviou u are hell bent on proofing a non factual point that Buhari is bad, unfortunately many that that open mind and and seperate facts from sentiment don’t care a what people lik you paint

  • rolly

    Atlest, there was a clear Agricultural policy for the past three years. The result is obvious: Two years now I have been buying rice for about N8,500.00 per bag but this year I just bought same rice for N11,500.00.
    Investigative Journalism indeed!

    • joe

      For a rat it is always about his mouth and his stomach. For a rat every issue in this world revolves around what to eat.

      • pekeez energy

        Nice one joe

  • I will digress. It’s an understood situation that many Nigerians are for the fight against corruption. I see very brilliant and expressive Nigerians taking to discussion platforms to show their disapproval of corrupt acts and persons. I see them make the call for a Nigeria free of corruption and irregularities, a Nigeria desired by those who strongly believe the days of “business as usual” are over, a Nigeria where statements like “na naija you dey” can no longer be used to justify impunity. Sadly however, these great Nigerian online forum activists who regularly churn out impressive write-ups showing disapproval of indiscipline and impunity are nameless or worse, faceless. They hide behind pseudonyms, criticising evil in hiding, making their brilliant posts unconnected to any real, existing Nigerian.
    In my opinion, we are more who are against corruption than those who are for it. So why do we hide our identities especially in the very important national duty of condemning corrupt practices or persons, making corrupt people feel outnumbered and ashamed of themselves?
    By hiding, we only create an atmosphere where scapegoats can be made of the brave few who dare criticize evil with faces and names. By hiding, we tell these corrupt few (oh yes, they’re few), that the days of “who wan talk?” and “who fit talk?” are still here. By hiding, we give the impression that the actual number of those against impunity are few as only few real names could be associated with anti-corruption comments. The other powerful and brilliant comments condemning corruption can be safely dismissed as not belonging to any real Nigerian.
    Now is the time to show our faces.
    Now is the time to show our real names.
    Now is the time to show the corrupt few that we’re many who are against them and that they have no choice but to change.
    Now is the time to fill the online discussion space with comments from REAL Nigerians condemning these wicked individuals.
    For Nigeria is our home, we have no other.
    Let’s hide no more, let’s defend our land, let’s defend our nation.
    Let’s openly criticize the evil in our land, for the love of our nation, for the love of posterity.
    Defend our land. Have a face. Have a name.

    • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

      Same old rubbish——————-by the (moaning mourners of the bad governance of buhari hired by APC-to decieve Nigerians online—Buhari steals and he is caught-in the Dasuki scandal–and I am told (do not worry9 Buhari is working very hard to save Nigeria–How I do not know—–When I ask why them to tell me why Buhari yearns to sack over 4,00 9jas–I am told by the Buharimice that it is—–because Buhari is an untouchable Certificate less Tuareg—–from Mali—-What is in this story that shows Buhari is fighting corruption’? By appointing a former governor who was instrumental to the hanging of Ken Saro Wiwa to replace Dr. Atte in the Customs–because of his Ijaw tribal marks?— Point to the areas in the article that says Buhari is tackling the issue of rice importation headlong by banning the item—-99.9 percent of the importers of rice are from the Fulani north—-and not Ijaws————–Ijaws are not allowed to move near their own oil wells-not to talk of the ports—-Yet the Fulanis and Yorubas who import these rice are the ones who win and dine with Buhari–at the expense of my oil revenue–Let my people go—What has Buhari done about the Premabiri Rice Farm in the Niger Delta—Nothing—-cause Buhari is more interested in the oil wells than rice farming–let my people go biko–instead of the rule of the Fulanis and Yorubas-Nigeria in the hands of Buhari is dying dead-

    • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

      Same old rubbish——————-by the (moaning mourners) of the bad governance of buhari-Now hired by APC-to decieve Nigerians online—Buhari steals and he is caught-in the Dasuki scandal–and I am told (do not worry) Buhari is working very hard to save Nigeria–How I do not know—–When I ask them to tell me why Buhari yearns to sack over 4,00 9jas-in the Universities and the oil sector–I am told by the Buharimice that it is—–because Buhari is an untouchable Certificate less Tuareg—–from Mali–who hardly ever thinks—–What is in this story that shows Buhari is fighting corruption’? By appointing a former governor who was instrumental to the hanging of Ken Saro Wiwa to replace Dr. Atte in the Customs–because of his Ijaw tribal marks?— Point to the areas in the article that says Buhari is tackling the issue of rice importation headlong by banning the item—-99.9 percent of the importers of rice are from the Fulani north—-and not Ijaws————–Ijaws are not even allowed to move near their own oil wells-not to talk of the sea ports—-Yet the Fulanis and Yorubas who import these rice are the ones who win and dine with Buhari–at the expense of my oil revenue–Let my people go—What has Buhari done about the Premabiri Rice Farm in the Niger Delta—Nothing—-Cause Buhari is more interested in the oil wells than rice farming–let my people go biko–instead of the rule of the Fulanis and Yorubas-Nigeria in the hands of Buhari is dying dead-No Improvement—-till date—

  • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

    DasukiGate: N850million Paid Into Buhari PA’s Access Bank Account.

    A new twist to the ongoing investigation of the $2.1bn arms contract scandal may soon unfold as associates of the embattled former National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki have revealed President Mohammadu Buhari got a sum of N850 million through his Personal Assistant, Sabi’u Yusuf.

    They asked; “How did his nephew who has never worked in his life accumulate over N850 million in his bank account (0045586381) in a new generation bank?”

    Our investigation revealed that the account number 0045586381 is domiciled in Access Bank and is owned by Sabi’u Yusuf.

    Dasuki’s associates had threatened to make public a proof that those denying to have benefited from the money actually collected the amounts ticked against their names.

    They said it was shocking that some politicians would deny ever having anything to do with the ex- NSA and his office when there is a record to show that they received the money.

    Addressing some newsmen on Saturday, three of Dasuki’s friends and associates claimed that they were prepared to build up graphic cases against those denying receiving either material or cash gifts from the former NSA.

    The associates, who pleaded for anonymity, said that apart from a comprehensive subpoena of indi­viduals and their proxies, who received financial and material gifts but have turned round to deny ever doing so, said they were considering releasing re­corded video of all transac­tions.

    “Some people are shamelessly telling in­defensible lies. We have witnesses and recordings of these visits. A man re­ceived two retired army of­ficers in his private sitting room, called his nephew to collect the bag and would thereafter say he saw nothing, heard nothing. This is very laughable.

    “Let them cover what they think they could, and we would certainly spill the beans for Nigerians to see their hypocrisy.

    “All of us would meet in court. But before then if they keep denying, we would release some clips on both YouTube and other forms of social media for the world to see their nakedness,” the one of the associates who led media interaction said.

    Dasuki and some prominent Nigerians including Chairman of Daar Com­munications Plc, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, f

    • muazu wali

      Your breaking news nerds to be independently verified.

    • Invictus

      What is they waiting for— let them drop it like it’s hot if they truly have any incriminating information. Otherwise, what await Dasuki et al. is maximum term in a fortified Kirikiri.

  • Oh!

    “The policy specified that owners of existing rice
    mills and new investors with verifiable backward integration in the rice
    value chain will be allowed to import rice at10 per cent duty and 20
    per cent levy (30 per cent); while merchants who have nothing to
    contribute to local production in the form of rice farms or mills will
    be charged 10 per cent duty and 60 per cent levy (70 per cent).”

    If indeed we are talking about Nigeria, this is the dumbest thing we have ever heard!

  • Comfortkay

    Thank you Premium Times for the fantastic investigating journalism, Many Nigerian are lazy and we import everything we need and we are not developing, at least between 35 to 40 percent of Nigeria owned a house of their own. What stop them from having a small garden where they can plant things that they need daily, even none of our present leader is doing that but people like Dr Tai Solarin did that and that is why he is among the most successful man in the past decade.

  • Invictus

    It’s so sad we’ve succeeded in turning a Queen into Ashawo that every riff-raff is having a go at! Western countries, Asians, even smaller african countries like benin, chad, niger, cameroon et al. are all exploiting and profiting from our inefficiencies, greed and corruption! When will this end? Premium Times, thanks for going where no newsagency dares to tread, Kudos!

  • Soji

    Safe to say OBJ is the owner of Keresuk. His son in law is Rotimi Williams. At 34 where did he get the money? During his wedding he said he was a banker for one of the new generation banks. Bellanaija will help you with this info. Hiss. We can’t help ourselves in Nigeria.

  • Icomiare

    I just laugh when people look unto Buhari to eradicate corruption in Nigeria. No doubt Buhari is acclaimed to be a saint but the big question is would Buhari jail his wife, children, nephews, neices etc? I believe we all know d answer. Nigerians must take their destiny in their hands otherwise the future is very bleak. In this Ricegate saga we must come together and vehemently demand that those who were not qualified to benefit from the scheme are made to refund all d waivers granted them anything short of this means we all live in a jungle republic. Thank you Premium Times for hallmarking investigative journalism and merry Christmas to u all. Remember Jesus Christ is the reason for the season.

  • pekeez energy

    Its just unfortunate that everybody in nigeria wanna make quick profit at the expense of longevity and economic growth, these 26 companies had the opportunity of championing a new nigeria, with self sufficiency in rice production, but they choose the quick profit method, forgetting that if they had cultivated rice in farms, built mills, it will serve them for years, and they would still make profit over the years, and still add value to the common man….am so pissed by this report

  • mumaru

    Some of the abracadabra of Akinwumi are beginning to come up. He had this penchant of brandishing concocted figures which were pleasing to his master. Shamelessly Aleiro accepted to serve on the Senate committee and even accepted to be Chairman. He will not forget in a hurry his encounter with Hamid Ali.

  • Mockme

    My opinion is that Nigeria cannot change.