US Launches Anti-corruption Website In Nigeria

US Government Launches Anti-Corruption Website, Urges Nigerians To Report  Corrupt Leaders – Independent Newspaper Nigeria
The United States government has  launched as parts of its renewed commitment to fighting corruption in Nigeria
The US Consulate General’s office  announced this in a statement on Friday.
It said: ” The U.S. government is committed to supporting anti-corruption initiatives and collaborative efforts that prevent graft,  strengthen investigation and prosecution of corruption, promote accountability and transparency, and empower reformers”.
“On Friday, the U.S. Consulate General in collaboration with the Inter-Religious Coalition Against Corruption in Nigeria launched, a unique web-based portal that leverages citizen engagement to fight corruption”.
Led by Bishop Emmanuel Gospel Isong and Imam Shefiu Abdulkareem Majemu, the Inter-Religious Coalition Against Corruption in Nigeria was formed in 2016 by Muslim and Christian religious leaders with the primary goal of addressing how faith communities could take a leading role in anti-corruption advocacy in Nigeria.
At the event,participants received a guided demonstration of the platform. In addition, political, traditional and religious leaders, members of law enforcement, judicial officers and civil society representatives renewed their commitment to the fight against corruption.
U.S. Consul General Claire Pierangelo explained that puts the power to report corruption in the hands of the Nigerian people.
She urged Nigerians to demonstrate their commitment to the fight against corruption by making use of the innovative online platform which seeks to address the daily instances of corruption faced by millions of Nigerians.
She said:“Countering corruption is not only a key concern in Nigeria but also a core U.S. national security priority for the Biden Administration,” Pierangelo said. “Growth and development, consistent with the richness and strength of Nigeria, depend on a new narrative and a culture where corruption has no place.”
She expressed optimism that the new initiative will encourage Nigerians affected by corruption to feel empowered to share their experiences and spark a new movement in citizen engagement in fighting the scourge that has hampered development and stifled prosperity in the country.
The United States, through a number of agencies, including the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development, takes an all of government approach to fighting corruption, a key component of the United States’ national security strategy.
Dust Haze Looms In 12 Northern Cities 

NiMET Warns Of Flights Disruption As Dust Haze Looms In 12 Northern Cities  – Independent Newspaper Nigeria
The Nigerian Meteorological Management Agency, said  12 Northern States would be enveloped in dust haze that would reduce visibilities and disrupt flight operations.
The agency listed the affected cities to include Maiduguri, Nguru, Potiskum, Dutse. Gombe, Yola, Bauchi, Katsina, Kaduna, Zaria, Kano and Sokoto.
It said thick dust haze with horizontal visibility values of less than 1000m are expected over cities in the coming days.
“Thick dust haze with horizontal visibility values of less than 1000m are expected over Maiduguri, Nguru, Potiskum, Dutse. Gombe, Yola, Bauchi, Katsina, Kaduna, Zaria, Kano and Sokoto.
“Flight operations may be disrupted and airline operators are advised to pick up their flight folders and adhere to regulations, especially at aerodromes in the Northern parts of the country.
“Road users should exert caution while driving along areas with poor visibility during this period. People with respiratory problems should take caution” it noted.
Nigerian Start-Ups Rake In $1.5bn  In 2021

Nigerian Start-Ups Attract Over $1.5bn Investments In 2021 – Independent  Newspaper Nigeria
Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Director-General of National Information Technology Development Agency(NITDA), has said the Nigerian start-ups attracted over $1.5 billion investments in 2021.
Abdullahi,stated this at the virtual NITDA Nigerian Innovation Ecosystem Engagement 2022, where  he also disclosed that the
attraction of over $1.5billion by Nigerian start-ups represents 35% of total investments in Africa in 2021.
He said:”It is amazing that you have succeeded in building the most investment appealing ecosystem in Africa, attracting over 1.5billion USD representing 35% of total investment in Africa in 2021.This is unprecedented, but for me, there is no passion playing small and settling for leading only in Africa, if we can compete globally.
“We have the talent, passion and energy to be reckoned with globally. I believe we can, but how? It is simple, to win in the global market, we must first win in building trust within the ecosystem.
“Today, we have a golden opportunity to achieve that. If we fail now, I don’t know when we can.”
He noted that the promotion of the indigenous content agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has remained one of the focal points of NITDA), calling for a more robust collaboration between the Agency and local start-ups in the country.
He said the promotion of indigenous content, which is one of the strategic pillars of the agency’s Strategic Road Map and Action Plan 2021-2024, was designed specifically to create opportunities for the development of homegrown solutions to meet the country’s needs as well as create wealth for the nation.
CBN’s Directive On E-invoice In order-Group

The Ohanaeze Youth Movement has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the leadership of Dr. Godwin Emefiele, over the February 1 take-off date set for all importers and exporters to submit an electronic invoice (e-invoice) authenticated by the authorised dealer banks to the regulator.
The Ohanaeze Youth Movement, in a statement by its National Secretary, Nwada Chiamaka, said the CBN’s ‘guidelines on the introduction of e-valuation, e-invoicing for import and export in Nigeria’ released on Friday will consolidate economic growth and ease of doing business in Nigeria.
The CBN, had in a circular signed by the Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Dr. O. S. Nnaji, dated January 21, 2022 had announced the introduction of e-valuator and e-invoice, which replaces hard copy final invoice as part of the documentation required for all import and export transactions.
The statement  said: “We have taken note of the CBN’s directive to all importers and exporters to submit an electronic invoice (e-invoice) authenticated by the authorised dealer banks to the regulator.
“We note with pleasure that this is yet another step towards consolidating economic growth and ease of doing business in the country and should be lauded by all.
“We therefore call on all critical stakeholders to support this noble initiative so that the CBN can succeed in its quest to complete turnaround the nation’s economy for the better.”
ICPC Parleys  CoDA  On Recovery Of Looted  Assets

ICPC: 257 duplicated projects found in 2021 budget | The Nation
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA) have entered into a Cooperation Agreement on the implementation of the Common African Position on Asset Recovery (CAPAR).
According to Mrs. Azuka Ogugua
Spokesperson, ICPC ,the partnership will enable the two organisations to collaborate and push for the quick recovery of assets stolen from Africa.
The Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN, signed the cooperation agreement on behalf of the Commission while the Executive Director of CoDA and Head of African Union-High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs), Mrs. Souad Aden-Osman, signed for the organisation.
CoDA, which has been chaired by former African Presidents, is currently being chaired by former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo.
Prof. Owasanoye, who expressed the Commission’s delight in the cooperation agreement, commended the efforts of CoDA in the execution of CAPAR and recovery of stolen assets from Africa.
The ICPC boss stated that African countries had continued to lose huge proportions of their resources through illicit consignment of financial and other assets to foreign jurisdictions, thereby contributing to the underdevelopment of the continent.
“If harnessed properly, these stolen assets and resources could make huge differences in Africa’s development.
“The CAPAR is therefore a critical step in stemming and reversing illicit financial flows from Africa and for the recovery and return of assets within a contextualized historical, political, economic, and social narrative,” he stated.
Aden-Osman explained that CoDA was the special initiative of the African Union (AU) to support the implementation of CAPAR, in collaboration with the African Development Bank and other partners, following its adoption by the Assembly of African Union Heads of State and Government at its 33rd session on 9th February, 2020.
She added that the agency will provide support to ICPC in implementing CAPAR-related activities.
 FIRS  Revenue Collections Hit N6.405trn

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS),announced that it collected N6.405 trillion last year.
This comprises iN2.008 trillion and non-oil N4.396 trillionrevenues as against a target of N6.401 trillion.
Johannes Oluwatobi Wojuola, Special Assistant to the Executive Chairman, FIRS, Media & Communication, disclosed  this in a statement.
The statement noted  that the feat was achieved in spite of the global economic challenges occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as the disruption of business activities in 2020 by nationwide protests,
“Notwithstanding the limitations faced in 2020/2021, the Service achieved over a hundred percent of its collection target,” Executive Chairman, Muhammad Nami stated in the FIRS 2021 Performance Update signed by him.
“The FIRS, in the year 2021 collected a total of N6.405 trillion in both oil (N2.008 trillion) and non-oil (N4.396 trillion) revenues as against a target of N6.401 trillion. Companies Income Tax amounted to N1.896 trillion; Petroleum Profits Tax amounted to N2 trillion; Value Added Tax amounted to N2.07 trillion; Electronic Money Transfer Levy amounted to N114 billion; Earmarked Taxes amounted to N208.8 billion; among others.
“Non-oil sector contributed 68.64% of the total collection in the year, while oil sector’s contribution was 31.36% of total collection.
“The Service issued certificates for the sum of N147.8 billion tax credit to private investors and NNPC for road infrastructure under the Road Infrastructure Development Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme created by Executive Order No. 007 of 2019.”
According to the agency’s Spokesman, the report explained that “in line with the law, 2021 income tax revenue is a function of the outcome of business activities in 2020.
“In that year, the country entered into a second economic recession within 5 years. The recession was occasioned by 5-months of lockdown caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. To compound the economic challenges of COVID-19 pandemic, business activities were disrupted by the End-SARS protests.”
It further stated that the deployment of technological tools was a game-changer for the Service.
“Upon the coming into office of the current management, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) began strategic administrative and operational reforms; and the implementation of new policies that would improve its capacity towards the fulfilment of its mandate.
“The deployment of a new automated tax administration system, the “TaxPro Max” in June 2021 was a game-changer. With the solution, taxpayers experienced ease of registration, reporting, payment and issuance of Tax Clearance Certificates while the Service experienced greater efficiency in the deployment of resources thereby leading to improved revenue collection.”
The FIRS stated that strong opposition to its statutory mandates by certain interests posed a major setback in the full implementation of its reforms.
33  Investors Lose Oil Fields  As FG Rakes In N174bn  From Signature Bonus

About 33 oil companies lost right to the Marginal oil fields for  their inability  to comply with the 45 days deadline required to pay the signature bonus for the fields.
The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) gave the hint at a meeting at a meeting with the awardees in Abuja, declaring that the marginal oil field had been revoked.
The 2020 marginal field awards which was unveiled last May by the then Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) had 57 fields on offer with 665 companies indicating interest to acquire them.
The Chief Executive of Officer of NUPRC, Engr. Gbenga Komolafe said of the 161 companies shortlisted for the awards only 119 awards were fully paid for with nine awards partly paid for.
He said:“the marginal field guidelines provided for 45 days for the payment of signature bonus which has since elapsed, and we have issued a public notice to that effect as well as notified the relevant potential awardees”.
He disclosed that N174 billion was realized from the signature bonus paid by the companies for the fields.
He noted that given the high cost capital and government’s desire to achieve first oil in the fields, the Commission was making concerted efforts “to ensure that the 2020 MFBR exercise is completed within the shortest possible time”.
He added: “this engagement with Marginal Field awardees and Leaseholders is for the Commission to state the policy position on the 2020 Marginal Fields Bid Round (MFBR), to enable successful awardees progress to field development phase in line with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021”.
Stating that no new marginal field or farm-out agreements were envisaged under the PIA, Komolafe explained that prior to the enactment of the Act, fields were classified as marginal when: they are not considered by license holders for immediate development due to assumed marginal economics under prevailing conditions.
“Similarly, those with exploratory well drilled on the structure and reported as oil and/or gas discovery and left unattended for more than 10 years.
“Fields that leaseholders consider for farm-out due to portfolio rationalization.  Lastly, fields which the President may, from time to time, identify as such”.
He spoke on what would happen to the fields which signature bonuses were not paid for,saying the fields would be returned to the basket of fields available for awards.
“Accordingly for any field that is in the market, we are going to equally ensure a transparent process of getting across to new awardees. Essentially, one of the challenges that we observed in the review and post mortem exercise is that it is critical that bidders and interested bidders are able to provide proof of fund and proof of funds for field development.
“That will be a key consideration for future awards and the Commission will do its due diligence to ensure that such presentation are genuine so that we do not experience this kind of situation again”, he added.