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Sterling Bank Open Fixed Deposit For Kwara State Government Without The Knowledge Of Government- Asiru



The Kogi State Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Asiwaju Idris Asiru, has alleged that Sterling Bank opened the controversial fixed deposit account in the name of the state government without the knowledge or directive of the state.

Asiru made the allegation on Tuesday when he appeared before the Kogi State House of Assembly alongside the state Accountant General, Jibril Momoh, and Auditor General, Yakubu Okala on the controversial loan.

The House during the plenary on October 28 had summoned the duo to offer clarification on the alleged N20 billion that was recently forfeited to the Central Bank of Nigeria in agreement with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

“The state government was taken aback when it received the news that the bailout money meant to offset arrears of workers’ salaries was domiciled in a Fixed Deposit Account with the bank to yield interests.

“When the state government wrote to Sterling Bank to ascertain the authenticity of the news and true position, the bank responded that the government had no such account with it.”

“No fixed account was ever opened or authorized by anyone.

“Neither was there any N20 billion kept anywhere.

“The facility in that sum collected from the bank via the approval of CBN in 2019 has since been used for the purpose intended: Salary payment and other overheads.

“Kogi is paying N89 million on monthly basis to settle the bailout loan.

”As a state, we are known for transparency, accountability and efficiency in funds management as it has become a culture under Governor Yahaya Bello.

“That cannot be rubbed in the mud easily.

“As a Government, Governor Bello remains upright and our books are there to be checked.

“Kogi State is in the good books of the World Bank and other international partners for openness, transparency and accountability.

“Therefore, no amount of misinformation and mischievous assault can fault the records,” Asiru said.

In their submissions, both the Accountant General and the Auditor General of the state held that the bailout fund was judiciously utilized for the purpose it was meant.

It was earlier reported that the EFCC withdrew the suit seeking the forfeiture of N20 billion bailout funds granted to the Kogi State Government.

Recall that on August 31, 2021, Justice Tijani Ringim, a Lagos High Court vacation Judge, had frozen the Kogi State Government account domiciled in Sterling Bank Plc following an ex-parte application brought by the EFCC.

The commission had alleged that the bailout money, which was meant for the payment of salary arrears in the state, was kept in an interest-yielding account with the title: “Kogi State Salary Bailout Account.”

At the resumption of proceedings on Friday, Kemi Pinheiro, counsel to the EFCC, moved an application dated October 13 seeking discontinuance of the matter.

The EFCC withdrew the suit following an application to that effect on the ground that the N19.3 billion would be returned to the CBN.



Biden invokes the Defense Production Act to ramp up production of baby formula



  • President Joe Biden announced measures Wednesday to address the national baby-formula shortage.

  • Invoking the Defense Production Act gives formula manufacturers priority in obtaining ingredients.

  • The White House also announced plans to use military aircraft to pick up formula from abroad.

The White House on Wednesday announced measures to address the national shortage of baby formula, including President Joe Biden’s move to invoke the Defense Production Act.

Invoking the act allows the government to require suppliers to send needed ingredients to baby-formula manufacturers ahead of any other customers, according to a statement announcing the move.

“Directing firms to prioritize and allocate the production of key infant formula inputs will help increase production and speed up in supply chains,” the statement said.

Operation Fly Formula is another measure announced Wednesday. It will allow the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture to use military aircraft to pick up baby formula from overseas. The statement said the formulas from abroad must meet the Food and Drug Administration’s safety standards.

“I’ve directed my team to do everything possible to ensure there is enough safe baby formula and that it is quickly reaching families that need it the most,” Biden said in a video posted on Twitter Wednesday

The measures come as empty shelves have left parents across America scrambling to find food for their babies, especially for infants with allergies who rely on specialty formulas.

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Google Announces $4m Black Founders Fund for 60 Start-ups Across Africa



Google on Tuesday said that 60 eligible  black-founded  start-ups  would receive  a total of four million dollars  in the second  cohort  of Google  for Start-up  Black Founders Fund  (BFF)

Mr. Folarin Aiyegbusi, Google’s Head of Start-up Ecosystem, Africa,  made this known in a statement announcing the opening of applications for Google for Start-up Black Founders Fund for Africa.

Aiyegbusi said that following the success of the first cohort in 2021, Google increased its commitment in 2022 with additional one million dollars in funding, and support for 10 more founders.

He said that it would result in a commitment of four million dollars to 60 eligible Black-founded start-ups across Africa.

According to him, BFF Africa is open to start-ups in Nigeria, Botswana, Cameroun, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

He said that while the 13 countries were the prime focus due to their active tech and start-up ecosystems, strong applications from other African countries would be considered.

‘’The Black Founders Fund Africa demonstrates our commitment to supporting innovations in underserved areas.

‘’Black-led tech start-ups face an unfair venture capital funding environment; that is why we are committed to helping them thrive to be better and ensure the success of communities and economies in our region.

‘’The fund will provide cash awards and hands-on support to 60 Black-led start-ups in Africa, which we hope will aid in developing affordable solutions to fundamental challenges affecting those at the base of the socio-economic pyramid in Africa.

‘’We are hopeful that the support received by the Black founders will enable them to grow their businesses and, in turn, drive economic growth in Africa as they create solutions and give back to their communities,” he said.

According to him, selected start-ups will receive between $50,000 and $100,000 in non-dilutive cash awards and up to $200,000 per start-up in Google Cloud credits.

Aiyegbusi said that support in the form of training and access to a network of mentors to assist in tackling challenges unique to each start-up, would be provided.

He said that early-stage start-ups with black founders or diverse founding teams were eligible for selection for BFF.

According to him,   start-ups which are benefitting the Black community and those operating and headquartered in Africa as well as those with diverse founding team, with at least one Black founding member, were also eligible.

He said that those having a legal presence on the continent and building technology solutions for Africa and the global market and those with the potential to raise more funding and create jobs were equally eligible.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Google for Start-ups Black Founders Fund was launched in the wake of the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement as part of Google’s racial equality commitment.

The initiative is aimed at driving economic opportunities for Black business owners.

Interested applicants can find more information at

Application closes on May 31, while winners will be announced on July 29.

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Soyo Refinery breaks ground in Zaire to construct a 100K barrel per day refinery



  • US. based Quanten Consortium Angola, LLC in partnership with Sonangol hosts Soyo Refinery’s Groundbreaking Ceremony

  • Quanten Plans to Establish Local Content Initiative for Soyo City and Zaire Province

ANGOLA– The Soyo Refinery Groundbreaking ceremony was held on Friday, May 13 to commemorate the construction of a 100,000 barrel per day refinery in Soyo, Zaire Province. U.S. based Quanten Consortium Angola, LLC (Quanten) will build, own, and operate the Soyo Refinery which will process a variety of crudes for production of consumer-ready end products such as gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and asphalt.

The ceremony was led by the Angolan Minister of Petroleum Resources, Honourable Minister Diamantino Azevedo. Members of the delegation included the Chairman of the Sonangol Group, Gaspar Martins, the parastatal that overseas petroleum and natural gas production in Angola.  The Embassy for Angola to the U.S. and representatives from the project’s technical partners joined in the ceremony with Quanten in this occasion commemorating the official signing and established partnerships supporting the project.

During the ceremony, Quanten showcased the plans of the proposed deep-conversion refinery at Soyo, which is expected to play a critical role in Angolan President Joao Lourenco’s program of strengthening Angola’s economy by reducing the country’s current reliance on expensive refined product imports. “Soyo Refinery will be one of only two refineries on the continent of Africa to meet the Euro 5 Standard ” said Dr. Segun Thomas, Managing Partner of Quanten Consortium Angola, LLC.  “We plan to continue a forward-thinking approach for the refinery and economic development for the local community.”

In addition to the ceremony, Quanten’s team plans to meet with the local community and stakeholders in Zaire Province. The company plans to establish a robust Local Content Initiative for Soyo City and Zaire Province that is far beyond the normal Local Content Initiative. The initiatives will focus in the areas of health care, technology, and entrepreneurship.

Moreover, the ceremony provided the opportunity to engage local business executives and discuss the tremendous opportunities and potential for the project. The refinery is currently scheduled for startup in 2025. Quanten’s Managing Partner, Mr. Jeff Meyers noted that “We support the government’s drive for socio-economic transformation and will address a spectrum of development opportunities across a range of sectors.”

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