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A’ Ibom Constructs 402 Roads In 3 Years

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Gov. Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom says his administration has constructed 402 new roads in the state within the last three years.

Speaking in Abuja on Thursday at the maiden edition of the Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ) Peoples’ Forum, Akpabio said that 188 federal roads were also re­constructed within the period.

 According to reports, the NUJ initiated the forum to bring public office  holders to give account of their stewardshipp to the people.

Akpabio added that 862 villages and communities were also connected to electricity within the period while a robust plan had been made to connect others.

He told the panelist that his administration was in a hurry to develop the state, which he said, was referred to as a pedestrian state for more than 50 years.

“Our dream is to make the state a destination to heaven where Nigerians would want to come for holiday as an alternative to travelling abroad.

“We are building a state not for people to praise us, but to prove that with the right political will, government can work in this country.

“We want to show the people that the dividends of democracy can indeed be delivered to them if the government so desires.

“I am a promises keeper, all the things I promised my people, I have done and even more,” Akpabio said.

He noted that a government could either move a state forward or backward, adding that his administration collected a monthly allocation of between N7 billion and N10 billion from the federal account.

The governor said that his administration was the only one in the country with 82 per cent capital budget and 18 per cent recurrent expenditure.

Akpabio said that though his administration inherited a state without necessary infrastructure, he would not blame his predecessors for it because they might have their own priorities.

“I will not blame the past governments of the state for the neglect of some developmental issues in the state because every government has its own priority,” the governor said.

He said that his administration since its inception had made deliberate efforts to revamp the health and education sectors, adding that while new health facilities were built, existing ones were upgraded and equipped.

Akpabio said that free medical treatment had been put in place for women, children and the aged in the state.

On education, the governor said that several schools that were dilapidated had been renovated while new ones were also being built and equipped with science laboratories.

Akpabio added that his administration had also put in place a deliberate policy to train indigenous students on professional courses abroad.

“As I speak to you, 245 indigenous students are currently studying aviation technology abroad under the state government’s scholarship arrangement to enhance effective management of  Ibom Airport.

“We have also introduced free and compulsory education from primary to secondary school levels. This has changed the story of the state known before for giving children out as domestic servants.

“Our children now go to school and we are building them to take up future challenges,” the governor said.

Akpabio said that his administration had also established a state university to absorb students that would be turned out from the various secondary schools, adding that some indigenes were being trained abroad as its academic staff.

Speaking on the negative media perception of his administration, Akpabio said that it was the handiwork of his opposition.

The governor said: “I want to be judged by what I have on ground and I will not be distracted by what my opposition is saying.”

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NASS, MDAs’ Non-Remittance Of Taxes Cost FIRS N5.8bn …NCAA Tops Defaulters With N2,984bn

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Non-remittance of tax deductions by the National Assembly, comprising the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as Federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies has resulted in a loss of tax revenue amounting to N5.8 billion by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in 2019.
Disclosing this in its 2019 Annual Report on non-compliance, internal control, and weakness issues in MDAs of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation said it is for the year ended December 31, 2019.
The MDAs, according to the Report, are the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Federal College of Freshwater Fisheries Technology, New Bussa; Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria; Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority; Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited; Hussaini Adamu Federal Polytechnic, Jigawa State; Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, Nasarawa State; Department of Petroleum Resources; National Assembly Service Commission; and Nigerian Correctional Services.
It stated that between 2018 and 2019, the MDAs failed to either remit one per cent stamp duty, value added tax, withholding tax or Pay As You Earn tax deducted from awarded contracts, thereby contravening sections of the Financial Regulations and Treasury Circular issued on December 29, 2015.
The Report further stated that Paragraph 234(I) of the Financial Regulations states that “it is mandatory for accounting officers to ensure full compliance with the dual roles of making provision for the Value Added Tax and withholding tax due on supply and services contract and actual remittance of same”.
Specifically, it quoted Paragraph 235, saying, “Deduction of VAT, WHT, and PAYE shall be remitted to Federal Inland Revenue Service at the same time the payee who is the subject of deduction is paid”.
It continued that the Treasury circular Ref No. TRY/A12&B12/2015 and OAGF/CAD/VOL.II/390, dated December 29, 2015, states that “1% Stamp Duty chargeable on contract awards and the remittance be made to the relevant tax authority (Federal Inland Revenue Service)”.
The Report also stated: “The audit observed that the sum of N5,828,621,715.06 was the amount of taxes not remitted by 12 Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has the highest amount of N2,984,887,250.00, while Federal College of Freshwater Fisheries Technology, New Bussa has the least amount of N1,021,011.13”.

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NCS, Apapa Records N870,39bn Revenue Boost

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The Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) recorded an impressive performance in its revenue generation and anti-smuggling campaign in 2021.
Disclosing this recently during a review of its activities in 2021, the Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Yusuf Malanta, said the sum of N870.38 billion of the N2.24 trillion announced recently by the Service was collected in Apapa Command in 2021.
Giving an insight into the command’s revenue profile, Malanta told newsmen that the  N870.38 billion collected by the command was 68 percent more than what was collected in 2020 which was N518.4 billion.
He stayed that the Command recorded 103 seizures worth N31 billion in 2021.
Malanta identified the seizures as 46.55kg of cocaine, which was concealed on board MV Karteria and MV Chayanee Naree laden with raw sugar; containers of foreign parboiled rice, tomato paste, secondhand clothes, unregistered pharmaceuticals such as captagon pills, tramadol, codeine syrup, etc.
“These were seizures made in accordance with the provisions of sections 46, 47, and 161 of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) CAP C45 LFN 2004. These seizures are condemned by a competent court of law and the suspects are still undergoing investigation and interrogation”, the Customs boss said.
He continued that 5.38 metric tons of non-oil commodities were exported through the command as against 1.3 million metric tons in 2020.
According to him, the Free on Board (FOB) value for the exported items rose from $340 million (N140 billion) in 2020 to $641 million (N264 billion) last year.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Customs Intercepts N6, 974m Worth PMS

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Barely two weeks after seizing a tank-full equivalent of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), known locally as petrol, the  Seme Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted 1005 jerry cans of the same product.
The product, amounting to 3000 litres, is with Duty Paid Value (DPV) worth  of N6,974,750.00.
A statement signed by the Command’s Spokesman, DSC Hussaini Abdullahi, and made available to our correspondent in Lagos at the weekend, said the seizure was made during a routine check of the adjoining creeks, beaches, and flash points.
The statement quoted the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Bello Mohammed Jibo, as saying that “as long as unrepentant and undesirable elements engage in acts of economic sabotage and smuggling, so shall officers and men remain a step ahead to counter their illicit trades”.
The statement further reads: “In continuation of our efforts to suppress smuggling of petroleum products within the nooks and crannies of the command, officers and men of the Seme Area Command on a routine patrol along the creeks within Seme and Badagry intercepted another large quantity of petroleum products in sacks.
“After successful evacuation of the said item to the command’s premises where examination was conducted, one thousand and five (1005)x 30 litres of jerry cans of petroleum products each, equivalent to thirty thousand, one hundred and fifty (30,150) litres  were discovered. The Duty Paid Value (DPV) is Six million, nine hundred and seventy four thousand, seven hundred and fifty naira (N6,974,750.00), only”.
While showcasing the seized products, Jibo commended the doggedness, patriotism, dedication and high level of professionalism exhibited by his men, noting that the new Land Cruiser patrol vehicles (Buffalo) recently donated to commands by the Management of the NCS has aided the operation of the command, as the vehicles enhance access to a wider circle.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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