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Posts tagged ‘Crime’

Ros-Lehtinen: Venezuelan Regime Continuing ‘Assault on Democracy’.


Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, former chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, says she is concerned there is going to be more bloodshed in Venezuela after three people died in fresh protests.

“[President Nicolas] Maduro is taking advantage of this to continue his assault on democracy. In fact, today, the latest is this: he’s called the peaceful protesters a name that you know is going to justify him taking further criminal action, an armed terrorist insurgency. Now these are peaceful student activists. They’re not armed. I fear the worst is going to be happening in the coming days,” the Florida Republican told Newsmax TV’s John Bachman and J.D. Hayworth on “America’s Forum” Friday.

Story continues below video.

Ros-Lehtinen, who represents Florida’s 27th congressional district, became the first Cuban American and Latina in Congress when she was elected in 1989. She was also the first Republican woman elected to the House from Florida, and is currently the most senior Republican woman in the House.

She is highly critical of President Barack Obama’s policy on Venezuela, saying, “[Maduro] wants to take over Venezuela in the same way that the Castro brothers have, and that’s why this administration looking the other way is just not an answer. We have no foreign policy to speak of, no real policy direction, especially in Latin America.

“I’ve written a letter to the president and it was signed in a bipartisan manner, calling on the president to take action similar to the action that he’s taken against Russian human rights violators in the Ukraine, but knowing that the president will probably not take action on Venezuela. I have filed a bill that does the same thing. It would deny visas so that they can’t come to the United States, we’d be blocking property, we would freeze the assets, and prohibit all sorts of financial transactions to members of the Maduro regime who are responsible for the commission of serious human rights abuses against the citizens of Venezuela.”

Ros-Lehtinen continued, “The assembly of citizens in Venezuela is getting greatly curtailed. They’re limiting the access to print and broadcast media and what we’ve seen is that one of the things that we should do is reduce imports of Venezuelan oil. This would prevent Maduro regime from using the profits from the sale of petroleum to further oppress and further violate the human rights of the people of Venezuela. ”

She also had harsh words for the Organization of American States, calling it dysfunctional. “Even more so than the United Nations and we fund them — we fund 40 percent of this terrible body. They get 40 percent of their budget from you, the American taxpayer, and our bill says that our permanent representative to the OAS has got to use the voice, the vote, the influence, to defend what has long been the factor that has entered into U.S. and Latin American relations, which is the inter-American democratic charter,” she said.

“We’re doing all we can to help the folks who have been detained, the peaceful protestors, and just like the Cuban regime Maduro likes to blame the U.S. for his own failure. But the reality is that Maduro’s the one who has been responsible for the trampling of human rights. Do you know the economic situation, the food shortages, high inflation? This is a country that had all the natural resources and all the money and yet people don’t even have toilet paper. ”

Ros-Lehtinen said she is also concerned about organized crime from Latin America spilling over into the U.S. “What we have seen is that when the U.S. is looking the other way, when we’re looking at what’s happing in Ukraine, we’re looking at Syria, we’re looking at Iran—as well we should because those are problem areas for us— but what happens is that the drug traffickers and the cartels and the thugs, including terrorists, will make their way into the United States,” she warned.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 

By Lisa Barron

EXPOSED! Proof US Gov’t Tested Poisonous Chemicals On Unsuspecting American Citizens.


Many people have said to me that the reason why chem trails cannot be true because there is no way that the United States government would intentionally poison their own people. You are about to have that myth shattered into a million, tiny pieces.

Meet Lisa Martino-Taylor

Lisa Martino-Taylor is a sociologist whose life’s work has been to uncover details of the Army’s ultra-secret military experiments carried out in St. Louis and other cities during the 1950s and 60s.

“The study was secretive for reason. They didn’t have volunteers stepping up and saying yeah, I’ll breathe zinc cadmium sulfide with radioactive particles,” said Martino-Taylor.
Army archive pictures show how the tests were done in Corpus Christi, Texas in the 1960s. In Texas, planes were used to drop the chemical. But in St. Louis, the Army placed chemical sprayers on buildings and station wagons.

Documents confirmed that city officials were kept in the dark about the tests. The Cold War cover story was that the Army was testing smoke screens to protect cities from a Russian attack. The truth, according to Martino-Taylor was much more sinister.

“It was pretty shocking. The level of duplicity and secrecy. Clearly they went to great lengths to deceive people,” she said. By making hundreds of Freedom of Information Act requests, she uncovered once-classified documents that confirm the spraying of zinc cadmium sulfide.

Martino-Taylor says the greatest concentration was centered on the Pruitt-Igoe housing complex, just northwest of downtown St. Louis in the Carr Square neighborhood. It was home to 10,000 low income people. An estimated 70 percent she says were children under the age of 12.

lisa-martino-taylor-government-testing-zinc-cadmium-sulfide-chem-trails-conspiracy

“This was a violation of all medical ethics, all international codes, and the military’s own policy at that time,” said Martino-Taylor. 

In 1994, then-Congressman Richard Gephardt (D-St. Louis), asked the Army to open its records and explain the St. Louis testing. At the time Rep. Gephardt said, “We want to make sure nothing went on that would harm anyone, and that all the fact are out on the table.”

Documents released in the 90s showed the Army placed sprayers on a former Knights of Columbus building on Lindell and in Forest Park. The Army always insisted the chemical compound was safe. Martino-Taylor believes documents prove otherwise.

“There is a lot of evidence that shows people in St. Louis and the city, in particular minority communities, were subjected to military testing that was connected to a larger radiological weapons testing project,” she said. For the first time, she links the St. Louis testing to a company called US Radium, a company notorious for lawsuits involving radioactive contamination of its workers.
“US radium had this reputation where they had been found legally liable for producing a radioactive powdered paint that killed many young women who painted fluorescent watch tiles,” said Martino-Taylor. While the Army admits it added a florescent substance to the zinc cadmium compound, details of whether it was radioactive remains secret. Documents uncovered to date indicate the Army never conducted follow-up studies to see whether the compound caused long term health issues.

In 1972, after years of crime, poverty, and decline, the government destroyed the Pruitt -Igoe housing complex.

by NTEB News Desk

2013: The Year of Broken Obamacare Promises.


Image: 2013: The Year of Broken Obamacare Promises

By Cathy Burke

President Obama’s inauguration in January kicked off a year of broken promises about his signature health care law, threatening to turn a presidency based on vows of hope and change to one doling out disappointment and failures.

The Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, but it was in 2013 that the health care reform law implode into a nightmare of broken promises. Assertions made by the president and Health Secretary weeks ago, months ago and even years ago have over and over again proved to been misleading at best and complete untrue at worst.

No, you may not be able to keep your doctor or your plan. And, no, the website is not user-friendly.

Here are the Top-10 Obamacare promises that were broken in 2013:

1. The website is simple and user-friendly

Hardly. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius‘s claim in an op-ed piece in USA Today turned out to be a glib — and false — boast.

Even Democrat-friendly Jon Stewart‘s The Daily Show hammered Sebelius on the widespread and well-reported problems with the HealthCare.gov sign-ups. Stewart ended the interview with the official in a merciless monologue in which he wondered: “And then I think to myself, ‘well, maybe she’s just lying to me.’”

Just days into its disastrous rollout, the Obamacare website was out of order until mid-morning Oct. 8, a public relations headache given the administration had pledged to sign up 7 million people for Obamacare insurance by the start of 2014.

The early outage wasn’t the last; on Dec. 20, a mere three days before the deadline to sign up for coverage starting Jan. 1, yet another outage lasted for several hours.

Even members of Congress were vexed by Obamacare’s glitches.

2. “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”

Obama’s June 6, 2009 assertion was wrong. As insurers sent cancellations to millions of individual policy holders because their plans were sub-par for Obamacare standards, the president’s oft-repeated pledge blew apart, and PolitiFact declared the vow the “lie of the year.”

But respected Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer railed Obamacare itself was a fraud from the beginning, writing the law “was designed to throw people off their private plans and into government-run exchanges where they would be made to overpay — forced to purchase government-mandated services they don’t need — as a way to subsidize others.”

3. “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”

Obama’s 2009 promise was wrong again, we learned in 2013. For insured Americans dumped by their employer-sponsored plans because they don’t cut it with the new health care law, or pushed by their insurers to re-enroll at higher rates, it’s likely they won’t be able to keep their doctors, conservative blogger Cam Harris writes.

Offering the example of the 15,000 spouses of UPS employees forced to seek out new plans on the individual market, Harris writes they’ll find their Obamacare network won’t include their usual MD.

4. Premiums will fall by as much as $2,500 per family

That won’t happen. Forbes magazine, comparing Affordable Care Act premiums versus pre-Obamacare premiums, finds this presidential assertion a dud.

According to Forbes, and based on a Manhattan Institute analysis of the HHS numbers, Obamacare will actually jack up underlying insurance rates for young men by an average of 97 to 99 percent, and for young women by an average of 55 to 62 percent. As for states, the worst off is North Carolina, which is expected to see individual-market rates triple for women, and quadruple for men, the analysis showed.

5. Obamacare won’t add ‘one dime to our deficits’

But it does. Even the Government Accountability Office’s report of Feb. 26, 2013, projected Obamacare will increase the long-term federal deficit by $6.2 trillion.

An Investor’s Business Daily analysis also shot down the Obama promise, reporting the Affordable Care Act could actually add $18 billion in red ink.

6. The ACA will cost around $900 billion over 10 years

Not even close. A Congressional Budget Office’s report from May 2013 puts the real price tag more around the area of $1.8 trillion. And the cost projections rise with every new estimated, conservative blogger Cam Harris noted.

7. Families making less than $250,000 won’t see ‘any form’ of tax increase

Far from it. Obamacare contains 18 separate tax hikes, fees, and penalties, many of which heavily impact the middle class, the Heritage Foundation maintains.

Citing a Joint Committee on Taxation 2012 report and Congressional Budget Office information, as well as a Heritage Foundation report, Obamacare’s taxes and penalties will accumulate over $770 billion in new revenue over a 10-year period, and among taxes that’ll pound the middle class are the individual mandate tax, the medical device tax, and new penalties and limits on health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts.

8. The ACA will keep healthcare costs down.

So says the president’s Council of Economic Advisers.

But it’s just not so, according to senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and American Enterprise Institute visiting fellow James Captretta writes in the Weekly Standard.

Here’s why: National Health Expenditure projections show a slowdown in health spending that began long before Obamacare was passed, and was due to factors entirely unrelated, he argues.

In 2002, NHE spending per capita rose 8.5 percent and then began to slow over the ensuring years, he notes. And HHS actuaries even concede the reasons their estimates of health costs over the coming decade are lower than they were a few years ago is due to economic conditions, fiscal policy changes, including a sequester cut of Medicare payments, and a slowdown in growth in Medicaid, Medicare, and other government programs — all unrelated to Obamacare.

9. You have a deadline and a mandate.

Maybe. Squishy deadlines, and “fixes” have been a hallmark of Obamacare almost from the start.

In the most major fix of a problem aimed at people who lost their coverage because it didn’t measure up to Obamacare standards, the administration abruptly shifted gears Dec. 19, changing policy to help people make a deadline to replace dropped insurance plans.

Those with inadequate insurance that got canceled were now allowed to claim a “hardship exemption,” giving them the option to buy cheaper, minimal coverage plans normally available only to people under 30.

Another “fix” came Nov. 14, a week after the president apologized for the cancellations sent to people whose insurance didn’t meet new standards. The president asked insurers to keep offering those plans for a year even if they don’t meet minimum Obamacare requirements.

For small businesses, Obama last July bumped back the deadline requiring companies with 50 or more employees to offer insurance from Jan. 1 2014 to Jan. 1, 2015.

As for sign-up deadlines, it’s been confusing at best. In October, people had until Dec. 15 to pick a plan if they wanted coverage beginning Jan. 1. Then, in November, it was extended to Dec. 23.

But citing high traffic to the HealthCare.gov website and at call centers before that deadline, the goal posts moved again, this time to Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.

Officials said nearly 2 million visits had been logged by that time in the last-minute rush, Yet in a blog post on the website Dec. 24, the administration suggested additional flexibility.

“Sometimes despite your best efforts, you might have run into delays caused by heavy traffic to HealthCare.gov, maintenance periods, or other issues with our systems that prevented you from finishing the process on time,” the post said. “If this happened to you, don’t worry — we still may be able to help you get covered as soon as January 1.”

HHS also pushed back the deadline when the first month’s premium would be due, and insurers obliged, extending the payment deadline nine days, to Jan. 10.

10. Sure, the national exchange is glitchy, but the state sites are working great.

Not so fast.

Obamacare’s state-run enrollment operations have had technological delays and low sign-up levels. Several states even replaced top executives.

“Some of these states have been committed, but it’s just been hurdle after hurdle after hurdle,” said Heather Howard, program director at the State Health Reform Assistance Network, a Princeton, New Jersey-based group advising state exchanges told Bloomberg News. “I do think those states will get there, but this is an ambitious undertaking in the best of cases.”

Meanwhile, Massachusetts and Vermont are weighing legal options against the contractor that designed their healthcare insurance exchange websites. both states used Montreal-based CGI Group, which built HealthCare.gov, and say they are withholding future payments and taking steps now to recoup millions in taxpayer dollars already spent on their websites that still have serious problems, reports The Boston Globe.

“CGI has consistently underperformed, which is frustrating and a serious concern,” said Jason Lefferts, a spokesman for the Massachusetts’ insurance marketplace, Commonwealth Home Connector. “We are holding the vendor accountable for its underperformance and will continue to apply nonstop pressure to work to fix defects and improve performance.”
© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Chamber of Commerce Promises $50 Million in Fight Against Tea Party.


Image: Chamber of Commerce Promises $50 Million in Fight Against Tea Party

By Cathy Burke

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is ready to take on the tea party in 2014 Senate primaries and elections with a deep-pocketed boost of establishment and business Republican candidates.

“Our No. 1 focus is to make sure, when it comes to the Senate, that we have no loser candidates,” Chamber strategist Scott Reed told The Wall Street Journal. “That will be our mantra: No fools on our ticket.”

Editor’s Note: 5 Reasons Stocks Will Collapse . . . 

The financial support, which The Hill reported would pour at least $50 million into the campaigns of centrist GOP candidates, is part of an aggressive approach toward tea party Republicans since the 16-day October government shutdown.

The Chamber has expressed its displeasure with tea party favorites Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, who resisted passing a budget without a provision to defund Obamacare, triggering a stalemate.

Just a month later, the Chamber jumped into the intra-party GOP voting, backing establishment GOP candidate Bradley Byrne over tea party prospect Dean Young in an Alabama special House election.

Byrne beat Young, and went on to an easy victory in the Dec. 17 special election,defeating Democrat Burton LeFlore.

The Chamber — which hasn’t usually gotten involved in GOP primaries — is airing ads for Rep. Mike Simpson in Idaho, where he faces a tea party-backed challenger in his race for a ninth House term.

Hard-right candidates’ blunders are perceived to have cost the GOP five Senate seats in recent years, The Hill reported.

Republicans, for example, lost Senate elections in Indiana and Missouri after conservative candidates made controversial comments about abortion and rape that hurt their support, particularly among women.

The Chamber could also toss its influence into upcoming Senate races in Georgia,
Iowa, and North Carolina, where tea party candidates are challenging, The Hill reported.

Meanwhile, the head of Heritage Action is vowing to challenge GOP leaders on a number of fiscal issues — and to keep active with grassroots activists.

“Lawmakers do not have a monopoly on information, and we will continue to communicate directly with their constituents on important legislation as it moves through Congress,” Michael Needham, chief executive of Heritage Action, the political arm of the Heritage Foundation think tank, told the Journal.

He said most lawmakers “will find it difficult to go back home and defend votes that increase spending, increase deficits and undermine the rule of law.”

Editor’s Note: 5 Reasons Stocks Will Collapse . . . 

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Obamacare Fumbling Continues With Newest Quick-Fix.


Image: Obamacare Fumbling Continues With Newest Quick-Fix

By Cathy Burke

Moving deadlines and quick-fixes have been the hallmark of Obamacare from the start, and the fumbling continued Monday with an abrupt change-of-date giving the uninsured a brief 24-hour extension, until Christmas Eve, to sign up for coverage beginning Jan. 1.

“We’re just trying to make sure everyone who wants to get enrolled to be covered by Jan. 1 is able to do that,” White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri told MSNBC on Monday, according to Politico. “We still consider the end of the deadline to be today, but we’re going to try to accommodate people who try to get it done [Monday].”

The HealthCare.gov Twitter account said record demand prompted a “fail-safe” extension, Politico reported — even though Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokeswoman Julie Bataille sent a decidedly mixed signal.

“The deadline for signing up for coverage to start Jan. 1 is today,” her statement said, Politico reported. “We recognize that many have chosen to make their final decisions on today’s deadline, and are committed to making sure they can do so. Consumers should not wait until tomorrow. If you are aiming to get coverage Jan. 1, you should try to sign up today.”

The confusion is all too familiar. In October, Obamacare insurance buyers were operating  on the assumption they had until Dec. 15 to pick a plan if they wanted coverage beginning Jan. 1.

A month later, however, the no-later-than deadline was stretched to Dec. 23 — even as the Department of Health and Human Services was pushing back its deadline for when the first month’s insurance premium would come due, from Jan. 1 to Jan. 10.

It’s not just the deadlines that have kept Americans guessing.

On Dec. 19, the administration announced its most major “fix” for Americans who had lost their coverage because it didn’t measure up to Obamacare standards: changing policy to help people make the deadline to replace their dropped plans.

Those with inadequate insurance who got dumped by their insurance carriers were then allowed to claim a “hardship exemption,” giving them the option to buy cheaper, minimal coverage normally available only to people under 30.

“This is not a new policy,” Palmieri said Monday, Politico reported. “We merely clarified on behalf of a group of senators who asked the same questions on behalf of their constituents.”

“We actually don’t think in reality a great many people will avail themselves of this option,” she said. “We just want to make sure that people understand they have this option.”

Another Obamacare mandate “fix” came Nov. 14 — a week after President Barack Obama apologized to insured Americans whose plans were dropped despite his oft-repeated promise that would never happen under the new law — asking insurers to offer the sub-par coverage for another year.

The president switched the mandate for small businesses too, announcing last July that he was bumping the deadline requiring companies with 50 or more employees to offer insurance from Jan. 1, 2014, to Jan. 1, 2015.

Reuters contributed to this report

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Police In Enugu Nab Native Doctor, 8 Others Over Death of 84-Year-Old Woman.


IGNATIUS OKPARA, Enugu

The Enugu state Police,  Command, Friday apprehended  nine persons including a native doctor, in connection with the abduction and death of 84 years old octogenarian  wife of the traditional ruler of Igogoro Community in Igboeze North Local Government Area of the state.

PoliceOur correspondent gathered that the arrest of the suspects followed a directive by the state Commissioner of Police, Adamu Abubakar Mohammed, who has ordered a full scale investigation into the alleged crime.

The state police public Relations Officer PPRO, Ebere Amarizu , DSP, in a statement issued Friday made available to African Examiner in Enugu, hinted that  the suspects were arrested at their hideouts.

He gave their names to include Paschal Onah alias Achisa, Uche Ugwu, Chinwendu Adonu, Chikodi Idoko, Martin Okpe a native Doctor, Mamman Okechukwu, Ofobuike Okpe, Christain Onah and Friday Eze.

Amaraizu added that they were arrested after a severe gun duel with the police, saying that some of them were injured during the gun battle with the security operatives.

He disclosed that the leader of the gang identified as Paschal Onah had already confessed “how he and his gang had carried out the kidnap of the late madam Adisa Ogbo and how she was eventually buried by him and his gang in his compound where they have kept her awaiting for the payment of the sum of 10 million Naira as Ransom”.

According to the PPRO, Onah also confessed that the woman died after one week, forcing them to bury her in a shallow grave inside his compound, which he has turned to a dumping ground for kidnap victims.

“He further revealed that he also collected the sum of three hundred thousand naira from the family of the victim as the death of the woman was unknown to them”, he added.

The state police spokesman, also disclosed that the gang used to work hand in hand with the native doctor who normally prepares charm for them, adding that they said they used to give the native doctor Ram and the sum of N30,000 or N50,000 naira, respectively depending on the proceeds of their ransom.

“The leader of the gang, however regretted his action and advised people to stay out of crime and criminality as ones sin is bound to find him out one day”, Amaraizu quoted one of the suspects.

One of the suspects by name Uche Ugwu also regretted his action and disclosed that he has not made much since he joined and described it as a dirty game.

He narrated how he abandoned his cloth selling business at Abuja and heed to paschal’s call of joining a kidnap gang and advised youths to try as much as possible to shun crime and criminality.

The suspect, stated that he has only carried two kidnap operations with paschal with their cut to size double barrel gun, one revolver pistol and a locally made pistol and that they used to keep their victim at paschal’s house.

“Chinwendu Adonu, also a suspect disclosed that it was greed that lured him into joining a kidnap gang as he used to sell cloth in Benue State before he joined the unholy gang.

He disclosed that he wanted to quit what he described to be a dirty game but the leader of the gang threatened to kill him if he quits although according to him, he did not report it to the police” Amaraizu quoted him as saying.

Source: African Examiner.

State Within The State: NNPC As A Metaphor For Impunity By Jaye Gaskia.


All through its history, and throughout all the metamorphosis that it has undergone, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation [NNPC] has been a very special, secretive, and opaque golden goose laying the treasured eggs that has oiled successive regimes, and driven the competitive primitive accumulation of capital by Nigeria’s inept, but kleptomaniac ruling class!

But perhaps at no other time in our collective history as a nation, nor in its own specific history has the corporation become as far elevated above the legal, legitimate, constitutional, as it has become in recent years. The NNPC has become such a behemoth, not because of the size of its stock, the reach of its global economic or business domination; but entirely because of its transformation into an effective organised crime enterprise and empire; one within which there is diplomatic immunity for any type of economic criminality and a safe space for the most unthinkable breach of the constitution; as long as the Emperor sitting at the top of the dynastic sleaze and his court are being adequately serviced with the spoils of the monumental pillage of our collective wealth.

The latest in the long list of historic and historical heists perpetrated and perpetuated through the NNPC by any reigning emperor and his court is around the allegation of non remittance of statutory revenue generated through activities of the NNPC into the Federation account! No less an institution than the CBN, through the unusual step of a letter directly addressed to the President is the source of the current allegation. From the CBN, it has been revealed that over a period of 18 months alone [Jan 2012 to July 2013], the NNPC failed to remit a whooping N8tn into the Federation account from the sale of crude oil alone over that period. The NNPC has come out to once again, and as it has become traditional for it, to vociferously deny any such allegations; each time always finding esoteric but spurious explanations for its central role in the grand looting of our treasury!

It must be said at this point that the NNPC is not alone in this institutionalized architecture for grievous, but also serial violation and breach of the constitutionally enacted laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

Early in 2013 we found out through the National Assembly [NASS] that more than 100 MDAs regularly either fail to remit revenue generated to the Federation account, or grossly under report their earnings in order to get away with remittance of only insignificant fractions of the revenue they have generated; in very clear breach of relevant laws. Additionally nearly 200 MDAs regularly fail to file their financial statements with the office of the Auditor General of the Federation!

So as we can see, the NNPC is not the only culprit, but given that it is the golden goose that lays the golden egg, it is by the most significant culprit of this criminality; and by any stretch of the imagination also the agency with the most blatant disregard for constitutionalism in our land.

At other times in the recent past, the NNPC has been implicated in an historically long list of criminal pillages, and the most profound and intense looting of our collective wealth. Every single audit of the NEITI process has directly implicated the corporation in criminal activities including failure to remit appropriate taxes on its activities, as well as the gross under remittance of earned incomes!

In 2012 in the immediate aftermath of the January Uprising, and again in early 2013, it was severally revealed through various probes and investigative panel reports that the NNPC’s utilization of the 445,000 barrels of crude concessionary allocated to it for domestic refining is shrouded in mystery, given that according to its and the government’s own claims the domestic refineries have never operated at more than 50% of installed capacity! Nevertheless the NNPC continues to enjoy this concessionary allocation in totality! Furthermore, the NNPC, it was revealed, regularly deducts money from its revenue before remitting the balance, for fuel subsidy claims that it pays to itself, as well as for fuel subsidy on fuel ostensibly refined at its subsidiaries, the domestic refineries! Let us take a look at one instance early in 2013: The NNPC claimed that its subsidiaries, the refineries were now refining a combined 10 million litres of petrol per day; yet the PPPRA claimed to have no knowledge of the existence nor receipt of these daily quantum of refined fuel,; nor was it aware that this quantity of fuel  refined domestically was in anyway being utilized within the nation’s borders!

Yet in spite of this outlandish claim by the NNPC, denied by the PPPRA, the Federal Ministry of Finance reports that we have curtailed fraudulent importation of refined fuel by bringing down the daily consumption rate of petrol from the unprecedented and criminally inflated high of the 60 million litres per day in 2011 to an average of 40 million litres per day in 2012 and 38 million litres per day in 2013. The question to ask is where is NNPC’s phantom 10 million litres per day production of refined petrol? And a further question to ask? What is the current average level of capacity utilization of the four moribund domestic refineries? Whatever the percentage or figure is; 40%, 50%, or 60%, what in quantitative terms does this translate into with respect to daily production rate of petrol? Where is this daily quantity utilized? What impact has it had on reducing the daily quantity of imported refined petrol?

Now let us leave the realm of the seemingly legal or illegal for a moment, and explore the world of the extralegal , the context of organized crime corporations. Under the watchful gaze of the NNPC, we witnessed and continue to witness not only the unprecedented spike in the illegal fuel subsidy theft regime from the average of roughly N500bn per annum to the astronomical figure of N2.7tn in 2011; but we have also witnessed, and continue to witness the equally epochal spike in the quantum and scale of crude oil theft, as well as the consequential damage to the environment. So from a daily crude oil theft rate of 50,000 to 100,000 barrels per day of crude oil, we have now reached the Olympian heights where the daily theft rate hovers around 400,000 barrels of crude per day; And this only since the outsourcing  of Oil Pipeline surveillance and Maritime security, through juicy contracts annually worth over N30bn to armed merchants who just recently masqueraded as ‘armed militants’ with a cause!

And what has been the unacknowledged implication of this grand theft, protected and promoted, it seems by certain institutions of the state as well as certain very highly located personnel [elected and appointed] of the state? The loss of between $14bn and $18bn in annual revenue to crude oil thieves and their protected organized crime syndicates; But also a colossal and sustained devastation of the environment arising from the equivalent of a daily crude oil spillage rate of 40,000 barrels of crude per day, if we estimate a 10% rate of oil spillage from the grand daily crude oil theft rate of 400,000 barrels per day given the circumstances under which the theft is taking place!

So where has all of this left us? It has brought us to this historic juncture where the scale and scope of corruption has become such that it has become like an albatross weighing down and round the neck of our national economy; and impeding our national development, making it nearly impossible to undertake any sustained process towards combating the poverty and misery that have become the lived reality of more than 112 million Nigerians. It is why infrastructures cannot be built, why basic services cannot be provided, why we have an 18 million housing unit deficit, why unemployment grew from 8% to 24%, and youth unemployment to 50% in a period of 10 years.

What is the annual budget of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture [Less than N90bn] for example? What is the annual budget of Ekiti, or Osun, or Taraba, or Cross River states for example? Less than N120bn! Yet by some calculations, we lost N5.2tn to corruption and leakages in just 2 years [June 2010 to July 2012]; that is at an average Monthly Theft Rate of just over N220bn! This monthly theft rate is more than twice the grossly inflated contract for the Lokoja – Abuja Expressway construction; it is more than the N200bn deposit paid by the FGN as first installment for infrastructural overhaul of public universities!

The N8tn that is the subject of the claims and counter claims between the NNPC and CBN, both agencies of the same Federal Government; will cover for at least 7 annual Capital Votes of the annual Federal Budget; that is 7 years worth of public investment in infrastructural development!

What manner of blind, visionless, greedy, self-centered, and ruinously gluttonous ruling class is this? We continue to permit the overlordship of the treacherous, light fingered, and inept thieving treasury looting ruling class, only to our peril!

The Time To Act In Our Own Interests Is Now; Not Tomorrow, Not Next Year, Not during the 2015 General Elections; for at the precipitous rate at which this ruling class is steering our ship of state; it is debatable if our society can survive their calamitous greed!

It is our Country, Let Us Take Concrete and Immediate Steps To Take It Back From their Death Grip!

Follow me on Twitter: @jayegaskia & @[DPSR]protesttopower; Interact with me on FaceBook: Jaye Gaskia & Take Back Nigeria.

 

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

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