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Microsoft Tasks FG On Piracy

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Microsoft Nigeria last Wednesday advised the Federal Government to intensify the campaign against piracy at all levels to bring about improvement in the economy.

Microsoft Country Manager, Mr Emmanuel Onyeje, gave the advice at the media briefing to mark this year’s Microsoft Anti-Piracy Day in Lagos.

Onyeje described piracy as a major scourge on the economy as it affected virtually all sectors of the economy.

“We are not just advocating for the eradication of software piracy because we are software developers, but piracy in general because it affects virtually all intellectual properties.

“Piracy affects the music, movie and creative arts industry making these industries unattractive for newcomers who tend to use their intellectually property as a means of livelihood,” he said.

Onyeje said piracy was killing intellectual property and the economy since no industry alone could engage about 170 million people.

“Piracy also affects government because of the loss of tax that should be remittable to government, but since pirates are faceless entities it is impossible for them to be taxed.  “The software piracy especially is detrimental to every sector, whether public or private, because malwares that can cripple an organisation’s system are usually embedded in pirated software’s,” he said.

He advised government to invest more in information technology and create more awareness on the danger of buying pirated products, not just software’s but any counterfeit product or pirated copy.  “Over the years, more than 60 per cent of people and organisations will get infected by dangerous malware due to lack of awareness of the danger of pirated products,” he said.

The Hewlett-Packard (HP) Supplies Country Manager, Mrs Rita Amuchienwa, said that HP had developed an innovation that would help reduce the manufacturing of pirated computer hardware in its fight against piracy.

“We have developed a code called the QR code which can be used to authenticate our product at the point of sale by just using your smart phone.

“We need more innovation like this to help us save the various industries that are highly prone to piracy to create more employment and save our economy,” she said.  Gabriel Afolayan, an actor, who represented the Nigerian entertainment industry at the event, described the sector as the worst hit by piracy.

“Nollywood is the third largest producer of movies in the world.  “And we don’t have anything to show for it in the quality of our movies or the lifestyle of the people in the industry.

“This is because over 50 per cent of Nollywood movies are pirated; a movie that’s to debut on Monday will be already in the black market on Sunday.

“Government needs to step in and make this work for us because it’s a continuous war and they should not relent in their efforts.  “The media also has a major role to play by sensitising the public on the dangers of patronising pirated products.

“I will like to urge all relevant authorities to work on the mindset of the public in their fight to curb piracy.

“It’s only when the public knows that buying pirated products will eventually hurt them that we can start making head way in curbing this menace,” he said.

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Navy Destroys 14 Illegal Refineries, Confiscates N2.7bn Refined Products

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Troops of the Nigerian Navy conducting Operation “Dakatar Da Barawo” confiscated crude oil and other illegally refined products worth N2.7billion in June.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Director of Information, Naval Headquarters, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan in Abuja.
“The various NN platforms deployed for ‘Operation Dakatar Da Barawo, Calm Waters 11’ and Tripartite Joint Border Patrol, have continued to sustain aggressive patrols to curb the menace of crude oil theft and illegal oil bunkering.
“Accordingly, several Illegal Refining Sites (IRS), metal storage tanks, wooden boats, dugout pits and ovens were destroyed between June 13 and June 19”.
He said five suspects were and the operatives destroyed 14 Illegal refining sites.
The Navy also said that 80 storage tanks, 22 wooden boats, 40 ovens, two-speed boats, a tanker, truck, barge and a Toyota Sienna car were recovered during the various operations during the period.
Similarly, Navy ship VICTORY in Cross River intercepted and impounded three wooden boats laden with drums of suspected illegally Refined Petrol (PMS) around Ikang channel, suspected to be transported to Cameroon.
However, the Navy said, the boats, as well as the products, were taken into custody.
Ayo-Vaughan said,”Forward Operating Base (FOB) Bonny in Rivers” also intercepted two wooden boats laden with about 400,000 litres of suspected stolen crude oil at Iwokiri.
The wooden boats and products, he said, were destroyed.
Similarly, he said, the Navy ship SOROH in Bayelsa intercepted a wooden boat laden with about 60,000 litres of suspected illegally refined AGO.
Subsequently, the boat and contents, he added was destroyed.

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FAAC: Federal, States, LGs Share N680.780bn May Revenue Allocation

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The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) has shared May 2022 Federation Revenue Allocation to the federal, states and local government councils to the tune of N680.783billion.
This is contained in a communiqué issued at the end of June 2022 FAAC meeting held in Abuja.
According to the communiqué, the N680.783billion total distributable revenue comprised distributable statutory revenue of N385.004billion, distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N198.512billion and Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) revenue of N97.267billion.
In May, 2022, the total deductions for cost of collection were N36.996billion and total deductions for transfers and refunds were N186.672billion.
The balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was $35.377million.
The communiqué confirmed that from the total distributable revenue of N680.783billion; the Federal Government received N229.563billion, the state governments received N241.824billion and the local government councils received N175.942billion.
The sum of N33.454billion was shared to the relevant states as 13percent derivation revenue.
Gross statutory revenue of N589.952billion was received for the month of May, 2022.
This was lower than the N635.037billion received in the previous month by N45.085billion.
From the N385.004billion distributable statutory revenue, the Federal Government received N185.197billion, the state governments received N93.934billion and the local government councils received N72.419billion.
The sum of N33.454billion was shared to the relevant states as 13percent derivation revenue.
In the month of May, 2022, the gross revenue available from the Value Added Tax (VAT) was N213.179billion.
This was higher than the N178.825billion available in the month of April, 2022 by N34.354billion.
From the N198.512billion distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue, the Federal Government received N29.777billion, the state governments received N99.256billion and the local government councils received N69.479billion.
The Federal Government received N14.590billion; the state governments received N48.634billion and the local government councils received N34.043billion from the N97.267billion Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL).
According to the communiqué, in the month of May, 2022, Companies Income Tax (CIT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) recorded considerable increases, Import Duty increased marginally while Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) and Excise Duties decreased marginally.
Oil and Gas Royalties decreased significantly.

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FG Hands Over Licences To 57 Marginal Oil Field Investors, ‘Morrow

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The Federal Government has announced that the successful investors in Nigeria’s 57 marginal oil fields for the 2022 bid round would get their various Petroleum Prospecting Licences, tomorrow.
On May 31, 2021, the defunct Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) issued letters of award to investors for the production of crude oil from 57 marginal fields.
Last January, the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) announced that a total of 128 awardees emerged as successful bidders in the bid round and had made complete and part payments for signature bonuses in the oil fields.
It also disclosed at the time that 33 awardees did not make payments during the 45 days window given to successful bidders to pay the required signature bonuses for the oil fields and as such had lost their awards to suitably qualified reserve bidders.
Providing updates on the bid round in Abuja, last Saturday, the Chief Executive, NUPRC, Gbenga Komolafe, announced that the successful awardees would get their licences by Tuesday.
He said, “In fulfillment of the promise made early this year, the NUPRC will on Tuesday in Abuja, issue Petroleum Prospecting Licences to successful awardees of marginal fields in the 2020 bid round, pursuant to the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021.
“It will also unveil the implementation template for the host communities’ development trust for commencement of the provisions under Section 235 of the PIA, 2021, to positively impact against restiveness in the host communities.”
Komolafe said implementing the development trust would guarantee seamless operations, boost investors’ confidence and provide enabling environment for sustainable improvement of the country’s hydrocarbon resources.
“These will mark the conclusion of some of the most urgent and critical tasks inherited by the commission when it was inaugurated in October, 2021, after the signing into law of the PIA 2021,” he stated.
The commission had in March this year informed all participants in the 2020 marginal field bid round programme that it had put all necessary machinery in place to progress the bid round exercise to conclusion in line with the PIA 2021.
In furtherance of that resolution, the commission constituted an in-house work team to distill and address the concerns of awardees with a view to close out issues affecting multiple awardees per asset and formation of Special Purpose Vehicles by awardees in line with the respective letters of award.
“Awardees were therefore enjoined to avail themselves of the resolution mechanism provided by the commission in the overriding national interest,” Komolafe stated.
He added, “The successful coordination and resolution of the issues culminated in the emergence of the successful awardees that would be handed over licences on Tuesday.”

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