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El-Rufai presents 2023 draft budget of N370bn to Assembly, education takes 45%

Gov. Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State on Tuesday presented the 2023 draft budget of N370 billion to the State House of Assembly.

The estimates conform with his administration’s 60:40 ratio of capital to recurrent expenditure.

It is the eighth and final budget of El-Rufai’s tenure which ends in May 2023.

The governor said the 2023 Appropriation Bill has a total size of N370.33 billion, which is a 21.82 per cent increase over the 2022 revised appropriation of N303.99 billion.

El-Rufai said that N242.21 billion was for capital expenditure and N127.7 billion as recurrent expenses.

“The capital to recurrent ratio of 65.5 percent to 34.48 percent reflects our consistent commitment to investment over consumption,” he added.

The governor further said that the 2023 estimates maintained the government focus on human capital development, adding that ‘’our proposal allocates 45.34 percent of the budget to Education and Health.’’

According to him, the allocations of 29 percent to the Education sector and 16.05 percent to Health leave no doubt about our abiding commitment to human capital development.’’

Read also: Atedo Peterside backs Gov el-Rufai in calling for end to NNPC

If Tinubu wins the election, he will declare his assets—APC Chieftain

Farouk Aliyu, a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC), said on Tuesday that if his party’s candidate in the 2023 presidential election, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, wins the election, he will declare his assets.

The party chieftain made this statement on Channels TV Politics Today programme when responding to a question about the source of the wealth of Tinubu.

Aliyu defended his principal by insisting that his party presidential candidate has no trace of dubious and questionable enrichment and insisted that the question of his source of wealth be sent to him directly.

“Let me tell you, this is a person who was a governor for eight years and these things keep recurring, they keep coming,” he said. “When he wanted to be governor, they said it—I mean senator first and he was declared clean. He thereafter became a senator, then later governor.”

“He was there twice for that matter, and he is still there, and he is still being investigated upon investigation.” He added, insisting that many critics have been unfair to him despite many investigations that had declared him free of dubious and corrupt enrichment.

Aliyu also made reference to the investigation carried out by Nuhu Ribadu, the former Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chairman, whose investigation, according to him, resulted in a no-case conclusion.

“Everybody knows in this country that he is the best person that EFCC have ever had—Ribadu investigated Tinubu he didn’t find anything worthy of him being an associate of corrupt enrichment,” he added.

“We are not stopping anybody. People have gone to court to seek this clarification, and if anybody has anything against our candidate, please go to the available authority and ask,” he pleaded.

“Go and find cases and come up with evidence; if they are proven, our candidate knows what to do and he will, and we will provide an opportunity for him to do it.” He insisted.

Aliyu condemned the attitude of the Nigerian electorate not questioning the source of wealth of their candidate, a situation that, according to him, has resulted in all sorts of people coming into politics.

“In politics, nobody asks. That is why sometimes you even caution the masses, whereby anybody that comes with money, nobody asks for the source of their wealth,” he said, insisting that the political norm has made it difficult for credible candidates to compete with questionable candidates.

“But now that if you are coming to public gear, if you are looking for an office like that of a president, the people of the country have to ask, they need to ask,”

“But then, going beyond that, if he wins, there will be a declaration, ” he assured of his readiness to declare his asset.

“And I assure you that if Tinubu wins the election, and by the grace of God he does, he is going to come clean and declare his assets.”

He pleaded to Nigerians with any information about any illegal ways Tinubu’s made his wealth to go public with such information.

Lafarge pleads guilty to U.S. charge of supporting Islamic State, to pay $778 million

The French cement maker, Lafarge pleaded guilty in U.S. court on Tuesday to a charge that it made payments to groups known as terrorists by the United States, including Islamic State. A payment that the company said was to keep it in operation in Syria.

According to Reuters, the admission in Brooklyn federal court marked the first time a company has pleaded guilty in the United States to charges of providing material support to a terrorist organization. Lafarge, which became part of Swiss-listed Holcim in 2015, agreed to pay $778 million in forfeiture and fines as part of the plea agreement.

U.S. prosecutors said Lafarge and its Syrian subsidiary Lafarge Cement Syria paid Islamic State and al Nusra Front, through intermediaries, the equivalent of approximately $5.92 million between 2013 and 2014 to allow employees, customers and suppliers to pass through checkpoints after civil conflict broke out in Syria.

That allowed the company to earn $70 million in sales revenue from a plant it operated in northern Syria, prosecutors said.

“Lafarge made a deal with the devil,” Breon Peace, the top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, told reporters following the guilty plea. “This conduct by a Western corporation was appalling and has no precedent or justification.”

Lafarge eventually evacuated the cement plant in September 2014, U.S. prosecutors said. At that point, Islamic State took possession of the remaining cement and sold it for the equivalent of $3.21 million, prosecutors said.

Majority of Conservative Party members say Liz Truss should resign, poll finds

A majority of Conservative Party members think that Liz Truss should resign after just six weeks as Prime Minister, according to new polling.

According to a YouGov research, published this Tuesday, found that 55 percent of the Tory membership feel that the Prime Minister should step down while just 38 percent reported that they want her to remain in Downing Street. 39 percent of those who backed her for leader also said they want her to resign.

83 percent of those surveyed said the Prime Minister is doing badly in the role, including 55 percent who specified that she is doing “very badly” and 72 percent of those who voted for her to become the Conservative Party leader over the summer.

According to the poll, if the Conservative leadership vote were held again – with members offered a choice between Truss and Rishi Sunak again – 55 percent said they would vote for the former Chancellor while just 25 percent said they would back Truss.

The snap poll also recorded significant report among Conservative members for a return of her predecessor, Boris Johnson. Asked who should replace Truss if she were to resign in the next few weeks, 32 percent backed the recently ousted Prime Minister.

Netflix reverses subscriber slump, shares surge 10%

Netflix Inc reversed customer losses and provided a slightly more bullish outlook than Wall Street expected, projecting a new ad-supported streaming option would help attract 4.5 million subscribers by year’s end.

According to Reuters, the shares of Netflix jumped 10 percent in after-hours trading on Tuesday to $265.00. The company’s stock, an investor favorite during its years of rapid growth, had fallen nearly 60 percent this year before the earnings report.

From July through September, Netflix attracted 2.4 million new subscribers worldwide, more than double the 1.07 million consensus forecast of analysts polled by Refinitiv.

During the quarter, Netflix released the final episodes of sci-fi hit “Stranger Things” plus serial-killer series “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story”, which became one of Netflix’s most-watched series of all time.

The streaming giant is working to kick-start membership growth after a sudden decline in the first half of the year, when the company’s subscriber base shrunk by 1.2 million amid a rocky global economy and growing competition for online video viewers. Netflix now has a total of 223.1 million subscribers around the world.