FRSC Boss Cautions Patrol  Operatives

Mohammed Shosanya

The Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, Dauda Ali Biu,has reiterated his call for caution among patrol operatives in the discharge of their duties.

He also warned drivers of all categories of vehicles to observe all traffic rules and regulations as well as avoid bad road use behaviours that trigger crashes on the roads.

Bisi Kazeem,Assistant Corps Marshal
Corps Public Education Officer,FRSC Headquarters, Abuja,conveyed these in a statement on behalf of his boss.

He explained that the warning was sequel to the unfortunate road traffic crash that occured in Lagos and Kaduna States where operatives of the Corps were ruthlessly killed while on active service to the nation.

He commiserated with the families of the deceased, on behalf of the Management and the entire staff of the Corps, over the sudden demise of the operatives.

The deceased staff, a Deputy Chief Road Marshal Assistant (DCRMA) A Ajomole was diligently carrying out lawful patrol duties at Iganmu Bridge, in Orile Lagos State on 16 September, 2023 at exactly 1416HRS on the day the sad event happened. While Road Marshal Assistant I (RMA I) Hamidu Idris detailed on patrol activities in Dutse Outpost, Doka Local Government Area of Kaduna State on 12 September, 2023 .

Crash investigation reports revealed that on the said day of the Lagos crash, late Ajomole was attending to an offender who drove a Cabstar (Lagos Taxi), when suddenly, a Mack truck conveying a container lost control and hit the Cabstar he was attending to. The impact of the crash on the Cabstar forced the operative to hit his head on a stationary tanker parked by the roadside and died on the spot.

On the other hand, Hamisu was on his way to impound an arrested offenders’ vehicle, when the driver pushed him out of the vehicle, and hit his head on a stone; a situation that led to his untimely death.

MohBad’s Death:We’ll Conduct Fair,Thorough Investigation,Says Police

Mohammed Shosanya

The Police,Monday inaugurated a 13-man special investigative team by the Lagos State Police Command to probe the death of the late singer’s son, Ilerioluwa Aloba, also known as Mohbad.

The inauguration was attended by Joseph Aloba, the singer’s father, and some other relatives.

At the inauguration,the Lagos State Commissioner, Idowu Owohunwa, assured Nigerians that investigation into the untimely death of the musician will be thorough,fair and open to all.

He said:”We want to undertake a fair and open investigation, and we don’t want to isolate specific characters. All facts, including videos, personalities that have been mentioned, those not even mentioned but we do know from our homicide investigation experience, could be vital to getting to the root of this.

“I don’t want to reduce it to specific names at this moment. Let’s proceed with the investigation. And as we have need to identify individuals which could be wider, we will pick on whoever we believe from investigation is linked and we’ll bring such a person within the dictates of the law to come and clarify their level of involvement.”

Agencies, Oil Firms Fail To Remit $9.85bn- NEITI

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI),says total unremitted revenues to the Federation by some relevant government agencies and companies in the oil and gas sector in the year 2021 have risen to over $9.85bn.

The figure and other vital pieces of information and data about Nigeria’s petroleum sector is contained in the 2021 Oil and Gas Industry Report by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

Presenting the highlights of the report,Executive Secretary of NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orjii, stated that the information and data contained in the NEITI latest reports paid special attention to helping the government at all levels to shore up revenue, support national development and poverty reduction through resource mobilisation.

The report provided update on the financial liabilities of the NNPCL and some companies to the federation.

He lamented that despite the concerted efforts made last year to recover some of the revenues through the Ad Hoc Committee that was set up by the National Assembly, the 2021 figures showed an increase.

A compilation of the outstanding financial liabilities due to the Federation by the report indicated that a total of $13.591mn revenues was payable to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) as of July 31, 2023, while the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) had outstanding tax collectible revenues of $8.251bn as at December 31, 2022. Over 80% of these outstanding financial liabilities are owed by NNPCL

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator George Akume represented by the Permanent Secretary, Political and Economic Affairs Mrs. Esuabana Nko while unveiling the report reaffirmed the federal government’s commitment to support and deepen the implementation of the EITI in Nigeria.

According to the SGF, “President Bola Tinubu’s administration is fully committed to the fight against corruption in the extractive industry in particular and in other sectors of the economy. As an Administration, we are convinced that the revival of our economy and the 8-point agenda that we recently unfolded cannot yield the desired result if we do not support and strengthen anti-corruption and reform oriented Agencies like NEITI”.

She added that:“The NEITI 2021 Industry Reports being unveiled is quite timely, coming when the present administration is fully committed to shoring up revenues through priority attention to attracting investments to the key sectors of our economy, the oil and gas sector being one of them”.

Chairman,Senate Committee on Oil and Gas Host Communities, Sen. Benson Agadaga, reaffirmed government’s commitment to implement the recommendations of the NEITI oil and gas report. “Be assured that the Federal Government will carefully study this important report and adopt it as a valuable working document as part of our overall reform programme for the oil and gas sector”, Sen. Agadaga stated.

The Chairman Senate Committee on Petroleum Upstream Sen. Eteng Williams commended the vital role NEITI is playing and urged NEITI to continue to ensure revenue mobilization for the country now that subsidy is gone.

The Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources, (Downstream) Hon. Ikeagwuonu Ugochinyere (Ikenga Imo) pledged the support of his Committee to lay the report on the floor of the House and debate it extensively to ensure the implementation of the recommendations made therein, as enshrined in Sections 3 and 4 of the NEITI Act.

“Working together, we will ensure the realization of government’s desire to diversify the economy for the attainment of alternative source(s) of revenue and clean energy, that will bring about the realization of the projected one trillion-dollar revenue for Nigeria in the next 8 years.”.

The Minister of Budget and National Economic Planning Sen. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu represented by the Permanent Secretary, Nebeolisa Anako stated that the data generated by NEITI will help the ministry in its planning mandate for the country.

“The budget outlay for the country for the current national development plan for five years is N348trillion. Majority of this inflow is going to be from the private sector and the oil and gas sector is key to the realization of this goal”.

The NEITI 2021 Oil and Gas report published this Monday in Abuja with the theme: “NEITI Oil & Gas Industry Report 2021: Relevance built on revenue growth and impact” also made several vital disclosures in line with the NEITI Act 2007 and the EITI 2019 Standard.

The report showed that Nigeria earned a total revenue of $23.046bn from the sector in 2021. The sum is about 13 percent higher than the corresponding total of $20.43bn realized in 2020.

Breakdown of the earnings showed that about $8.67bn, or 37.6 percent of the revenue was realized from the sale of crude oil and gas; $13.37bn, or 58.02 percent, from taxes and other specific revenue flows, and $1.01bn, or 4.38 percent, went into payments to sub-national entities.

An analysis of the total revenue realized, the report stated, showed unremitted revenues and quasi-fiscal expenditure by the NNPCL of $1.95bn (8.47%) and $6.93bn (30.08%) respectively. Transfers to the Federation amounted to $13.2bn (57.27%), while Sub-national payments totaled $963.63mn or 4.18%.

Available revenue for sharing by the federating units after the deductions and in accordance with the revenue allocation formula was US$13.2billion which represented 57.27% of the total revenue collected. This is lower than the 71.7% shared in 2020.

The quasi-fiscal expenditure of $6.931billion (equivalent of N2.651trillion) were deducted from the Federation’s revenue before remittance without appropriation by the National Assembly.

A breakdown of the $6.93bn deductions showed payments of $3.52bn or 15% for Joint Venture Cost Recovery and $3.031bn (about N1.16 trillion) or 13.15 percent for products subsidy/value loss. Other deductions are $258.43mn for government priority projects; $75.51mn for pipeline maintenance and holding cost and $42.40mn for crude oil and products losses.

The NEITI report also observed that none of the refineries was operational in 2021 despite spending about N200billion between 2020 and 2021 on refinery rehabilitation which was deducted from the Federation sales proceeds.

These deductions the report reiterated, remains a heavy cost to Federation Revenue remittances.

In addition, the report said about $1.95bn, or 8.47% of the total revenue was not transferred to the Federation Account by the NNPCL during the year under review.

Breakdown of the withheld revenue included, $722.6million for NLNG dividend; $871.15mn from domestic crude sales, $859,583 miscellaneous revenue and $286.42mn from export crude sales. $24.332million and $45.76million were withheld from transportation revenue and domestic gas proceeds.

A ten – year trend analysis of financial flows from the oil and gas sector from 2012 to 2021 showed earnings of $348.63Billion.

On crude oil production and exports, the NEITI report indicated that total metered crude oil production was 634.60 million barrels, out of which the nation lost 68.47 million barrels to production adjustment, measurement error, theft and sabotage. The figure showed a 13% reduction from the production volumes of 2020.

The report said,of a total 29 companies suffered crude losses from theft and sabotage amounting to 37.57 million barrels. The decline in crude oil losses due to theft and sabotage from 39.08million barrels in 2020 to 37.57million barrels in 2021 was generally due to the decline in crude oil production during this period.

On gas production and utilization, the NEITI report said a total of 2.74million standard cubic feet of gas was produced during the year, with the volume about 8.96 percent lower than the 3,013,634mmscf produced in 2020.

Total gas utilized in 2021 stood at 98%, while 2% could not accounted for by the companies based on the templates submitted.

With the nation’s gross domestic products put at about $434.17bn, the report said the oil and gas sector contributed about 7.24% to the GDP and $ 36.55 billion (N14.40 trillion Naira) to total exports of $ 47.31 Billion (N18.91 trillion).

This represented 76.22 % of the total exports in 2021, 0.8% higher figure than in 2020. 19,171 employees were said to be working in the sector in 2021.

Similarly, the total government revenue generated in 2021 was 10.75 trillion Naira to which the oil and gas sector contributed 4.358 trillion Naira.

This represents about 40.55% of the total revenue compared to 51% in 2020. The higher export value in 2021 compared to 2020 was due to the increase in crude oil price in 2021 from $41.65 per barrel to $66.97 per barrel, the NEITI report disclosed.

NEITI also reported on the 2020/2021 marginal fields awards. It observed that NUPRC regulation expected all successful applicants whose names were in the Notice of Preferred Bidder Status to make payments for signature bonus prior to award.

However, the report observed that the list of awardees contained names of companies that had not paid signature bonuses, with four companies whose names were not on the list of awardees making payment of signature bonuses.

NEITI in the 2021 report also observed that majority of the oil and gas companies in Nigeria exhibit complex structures that shield the real identities of their owners, thereby limiting the impacts of efforts at beneficial ownership disclosures.

It called on the NUPRC to implement fully the relevant sections of the PIA on Beneficial Ownership reporting.

Other recommendations made by NEITI in its 2021 report are that NNPC should transparently disclose details of the subsidy and the beneficiaries of the payments, render accounts on project eagle loans transaction and review and investigate all pre-export financing arrangements and other loan arrangements done in exchange for the nation’s crude oil and gas.

NEITI also recommended that Government should commission a comprehensive audit of the PMS subsidy-related financial transactions between NNPC and the Federation, determine all liabilities and ensure accurate and verified data.

The agency noted the discrepancies in records by some relevant government agencies on transactions in the sector which it says raises concerns about the integrity and accuracy of the data and pieces of information disclosed by these agencies.

It called on the concerned agency to improve its data management processes and establish controls that would prevent future discrepancies and maintain data integrity.

NEITI also drew attention to the practice of computing 13% derivation on the balance of revenue after deductions from the total collections which it advised should be discontinued. Rather, the 13% derivation should be based on total collections for the relevant period in accordance with Section 162(2) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

It stressed the urgent need to strengthen the remediation mechanisms and involve independent third parties to conduct detailed investigations where necessary, especially with the PIA now in place for effective monitoring of the implementation process.

The report which was reconciled on behalf of NEITI by an Independent Administrator, Messrs Taju Audu & Co., had a total of 69 companies and 13 government agencies, the NNPCL, the Nigeria LNG and Nigeria Sao Tome Joint Development Authority with 23 revenue streams covered.

One company, Lekoil Limited did not submit any information for reconciliation, but was captured to have paid over $7.76million.

Dr. Orji urged policy makers to take seriously the findings and recommendations of the NEITI oil and gas report and use the data for economic planning and reforms of the sector.

Obasanjo To Oyo Monarchs:I Owe You No Apology

Mohammed Shosanya

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo,says he remains unapologetic an uncompromising on the position he took against the Obas during the commissioning of a project in Iseyin local government area of Oyo State.

He had commanded traditional rulers at the event to stand up and sit down, maintaining that they must respect the constituted authorities.

He justified his position in a statement signed by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi,

Obasanjo’s action has drawn criticism from in Yorubaland where monarchs are held in high esteem.

The statement said: “However, the former President has affirmed that he stood firmly, unapologetically and uncompromisingly on the position that the Governor of a State holds the highest office in the State.

“By that position, the respect, protocol and dignity that must be given to the office by virtue of the Constitution must not be denied. To do otherwise is to deride the office and the constitution.”

He also disowned one Ms Taiwo Martins who claimed to be the wife of the former President in a statement apologising for the widely condemned conduct of the former President against Oyo Obas last week.

According to the statement,Ms Martis has two children for Chief Obasanjo, adding that she’s not a wife nor a member of Obasanjo’s family.

The former President maintained that the posture of Martins is that of an impostor, adding further that her her state he health is known to all and sundry and that’s whatever she says doesn’t represent Obasanjo or the family.

The statement said:”The attention of former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has been drawn to a statement purported to be issued by a wife of the President with the photograph of one Ms. Taiwo Martins as the author of the statement.

“For the records, Ms. Martins has two children, Jonwo and Bunmi, for Chief Obasanjo but to say emphatically that she is not his wife nor a member of the Obasanjo family.

“Her posturing as Chief Obasanjo’s wife is false and that of an impostor. Nobody makes statement on behalf of the Obasanjo family except Chief Obasanjo or people delegated by him to do so.

“It must be noted that the state of health of Ms. Martins is known to all and sundry and whatever she says or does has nothing to do with Chief Obasanjo as an individual or the Obasanjo family as a whole.”

Nigeria In Serious Revenue Crisis-New FIRS Boss

Mohammed Shosannya

Wth a staggering 96 percent of government revenue being channeled into servicing of debts, Nigeria is currently confronting a pressing revenue crisis,acting Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS),Mr. Zacch Adedeji,has said.

Adedeji,who disclosed this on Monday during the handing over ceremony of the leadership of the revenue generating agency,maintained that Nigeria must act decisively to reverse this concerning trend.

He said:”Revenue growth is the lifeblood of a nation’s economy, providing the means to fulfill essential duties to its citizens.” These words, capture the core principle that will guide us as we navigate the challenging terrain ahead, ensuring that our nation thrives and fulfills its obligations to its citizens.

“Presently, we confront a pressing revenue crisis, with a staggering 96% of government revenue being funneled into servicing our debts. This stark reality necessitates swift and resolute action on our part. We cannot afford to delay; we must act decisively to reverse this concerning trend.

“In our pursuit of a brighter fiscal future, we are determined to align ourselves with President Bola Tinubu’s esteemed Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee. This collaboration will enable us to shape a prosperous fiscal landscape that empowers our nation’s growth and development.

“As we chart our course ahead, FIRS is committed to placing innovation, technology, and fresh ideas at the forefront of our operations. This strategic focus will empower us to enhance efficiency, fortify against revenue leaks, and bolster coordination and accountability within our organization.”

He commended his predecessor, Mr. Muhammad Nami, whose leadership during his tenure,he said,elevated standards, paving the way for future endeavours.

He said,Mr. Nami’s commitment to excellence has set a remarkable which should be emulated.

“I wish to convey my profound appreciation to each and every member of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) family, spanning from our dedicated Coordinating Directors to our accomplished Senior Managers. Your unwavering dedication to our vital mission of propelling our nation’s economic engine is truly commendable.

“It is your collective effort and commitment that form the bedrock of our success and drive us forward.On a personal note, I firmly believe in the wisdom encapsulated in the statement”

NESG Ties Nigeria’s Sustainable Development To High-Growth Sector Financing

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has urged government to mobilise finance in high-growth sectors, as a vital step towards achieving sustainable development in Nigeria.

The group, whose 29th economic summit (NES 29), scheduled for October 23 -24, 2023 will be highlighting the subject as a sub-theme, said sustainable development requires deepening national financial systems through facilitation and mediation of innovative sources such as private equity, development finance, digital financial inclusion and microfinance.

“Efforts should focus on domestic revenue mobilsation by expanding the tax net and improving collection efficiency, promoting broad-based investment, packaging, onboarding, and retention of both domestic and foreign direct investments in critical high-growth sectors,” said Dr. Olusegun Omisakin, Director of Research, NESG.

He added that Nigeria can leverage a compelling portfolio of competitive investment-grade projects and social investment programmes to access and deploy financial resources in support of sustainable development initiatives.

According to Dr. Omisakin, “Promoting innovative financing mechanisms, strengthening public and private financial institutions, and enhancing public-private partnerships are essential for mobilising the necessary funds. Hence, it is crucial to shift Nigeria from a predominantly government-led funding approach to a private sector-led investment-driven economy, while also improving transparency, efficiency, and accountability in public revenue and expenditure.”

The NESG had recently announced it will anchor its 29th summit on ‘Pathways for Sustainable Economic Transformation and Inclusion’, in light of the urgency of translating economic growth into improved and sustainable living standards for all citizens.

This year’s summit theme hints at Nigeria’s potential for sustainable development, leveraging innovative policies, robust institutions, strategic infrastructural investments, and human capital development.

EKEDC Bags ISO 27001 Certification In Information Security Management System

Mohammed Shosanya

Eko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC), has attained another milestone with the conferment of internationally recognized certification in Information Security Management System, ISO 27001:2013.

The ISO 27001 certification is the global standard for information security management systems that ensures that organizations keep information assets secure by building an information security infrastructure against loss, damage, theft, and other threats to information assets.

The Management Team of EKEDC and Leitung Gate Limited at the presentation of the Certificate last Friday,at EKEDC’s Headquarters in Marina, Lagosa statement said.

Managing Director/CEO of EKEDC, Dr Tinuade Sanda, was thrilled to receive the certification after a rigorous audit process by internationally certified auditors based in India, Syndicate of International System Certifications (SIS Cert.) in conjunction with Leitung Gate Limited, who provided all the needed support. She added that it is a testament to the Company’s commitment to the highest security, ethical and professional standards.

She added:”It is quite remarkable that we can achieve this after a meticulous exercise by the certifying body. I am particularly pleased with my team’s support throughout the audit process. I also want to appreciate the special workgroup and champions who saw this through. I am humbled to lead this great group of dedicated and talented individuals.”

Speaking,the Chief Information Officer of EKEDC, JP Attueyi, disclosed that the certification is awarded to organizations that have implemented a framework of policies and procedures that systematically manage and protect sensitive data.

He further expressed the company’s dedication to attaining the best-in-class certifications and implementing global best practices in all areas of its business.

He said, “As technology advances, it is essential that we provide appropriate security for all information entrusted to us by our esteemed customers and other stakeholders. I want to reassure all our customers, partners and other stakeholders that the information we gather is treated with utmost confidentiality in accordance with the ISO 27001 standards.”