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Page 12 Thursday

Page 12 Thursday CSOs demand probe of Nigerian link to Panama Papers By Abbas Jimoh Some Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria have demanded thorough investigation…

Page 12 Thursday

CSOs demand probe of Nigerian link to Panama Papers

By Abbas Jimoh

Some Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria have demanded thorough investigation and decisive action on the involvement of Nigerians in the massive leak of secret documents from the Panama-based international law firm, Mossack Fonseca, recently obtained by journalists that linked them to offshore tax havens.

Chairman of the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), Comrade Ibrahim Zikirullahi, Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) Ojobo Ode Atuluku and National Coordinator of Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, told Daily Trust in separate interviews yesterday that Nigerians expected urgent government action.

Zikirullahi said the leak vindicated the choice made by Nigerians in the 2015 elections and it was apparent that the huge assets traced to Nigerians involved were illegitimate.

“The leaked Panama Papers remind us of the extent to which corrupt elements would go to hide the proceeds of their evil deeds. We wonder what the attraction is in going to Panama to hide cash and assets, when there are banks and financial institutions right here in the country. This is a clarion call to the Buhari administration and the Nigerian people that a lot of work lies ahead in the push to halt the activities of corrupt government officials,” he said.

Onwubiko in his reaction said any Nigerian involved in the leak was insensitive and should be tackled. He wondered why those allegedly involved would hide their monies even if gotten legitimately in foreign lands, helping other countries’ economies when it should have been beneficial to fellow Nigerians.

Atuluku on her part said the revelations in relation to Nigeria had vindicated AAN’s calls on the federal government to review and where necessary cancel restrictive tax treaties.

She urged the government to revisit the recommendations of the Mbeki Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa and get other African governments to act on it.

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) and Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) also called for decisive action against anyone found wanting in the leak.

CDD Director, Idayat Hassan, the Head, Research Policy and Advocacy of YIAGA, Samson Itodo and Executive Director of CISLAC, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, said the leak had confirmed credible Civil Society Organisations’ assertion that majority of Nigerian leaders were not worth leading Nigerians due to their atrocities.

Navy shifts aptitude test for recruitment

By Ronald Mutum

The Nigerian Navy has postponed the aptitude test for applicants of the 2016 recruitment exercise earlier slated for Saturday, April 9 nationwide.

A statement from Navy spokesman, Commodore Chris Ezekobe, said the exercise will now hold on Saturday, May 14 at all the designated centres nationwide.

He added that the shift in date was necessitated by the desire of the Navy to ensure a well planned and hitch-free recruitment exercise. Ezekobe said the Navy regretted any inconveniences the postponement would cause parents and candidates. He said there was no extension of the date for submission of online application forms which elapsed on Friday, April 1.

Mathematicians leaving Nigeria-Solarin

By Zakariyya Adaramola

There is serious reduction in the quality of mathematical science and education in Nigeria because mathematicians are deserting the country for greener pastures, the Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Mathematical Centre (NMC), Prof Adewale Solarin, has said.

Prof Solarin spoke when he led some officials of the centre on a visit to the Ministry of Science and Technology in Abuja.

He noted that the quality and quantity of mathematical research coming out of Nigeria and the rest of Africa needed radical improvement.

“Africa still has a very long way to go to produce a critical mass of mathematical research scientists. Quite a number of scientists in Africa have deserted their countries in search of greener pastures, better facilities and more conducive working atmosphere in the developed countries leading to the proverbial brain drain. This is telling on the quality of mathematical science and research from the continent”, he said.

He said to address this anomaly, the centre was hosting the African Academy of Science-African Mathematical Union International Symposium on current research trends in mathematical sciences and applications in Abuja next month.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, said the federal government was working to improve the working conditions of scientists and researchers in the country.

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