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Missing $49.8bn; NNPC, CBN Meet, Today

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New Chief Operating Officer, Horwath Dafinone (Chartered Accountants), Dr. Daphne Terri Dafinone and new managing partner, Mr. Igho Dafinone, during a cocktail party to honour Praveen Bhasin and usher-in the new management team in Lagos, recently. Photo: NAN

New Chief Operating Officer, Horwath Dafinone (Chartered Accountants), Dr. Daphne Terri Dafinone and new managing partner, Mr. Igho Dafinone, during a cocktail party to honour Praveen Bhasin and usher-in the new management team in Lagos, recently. Photo: NAN

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Finance will today meet over the sum of $49.8bn, which the CBN alleged NNPC failed to remit to the federation account.

The NNPC’s Executive Director, Explorations and Production, Mr. Abiye Membere, and the Director, Department of Petroleum Resources, Gerorge Osahon, disclosed this, Saturday at a media briefing in Abuja.

Osahon said, “The agencies are meeting on Monday to straighten the record.”

Corroborating Osahon, Membere said, “All the agencies will meet on Monday: the CBN, NNPC, FIRS (Federal Inland Revenue Service), the ministry of finance and the budget office. “The Ministry of Finance and the Budget Office has to be there because they give us the target.”

Membere stated that the NNPC was ready to defend what it had done.

The CBN Governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, had in a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, alleged that the NNPC failed to remit $49.8bn to the federation account from January, 2012 to July 2013.

But Membere, at the media briefing, said that the figure could not be justified. He said the NNPC was surprised because the letter, which was written in September 2013 was leaked to the public to heat up the polity.

He said, “The letter was written in September. The NNPC responded immediately through the channel it came. It was really surprising that a confidential letter of this nature will also go out and heat up the polity. “This is actually why we are worried, considering where it is coming from. It is coming from the top. It is taking a political dimension, which is not good for the country at all. It has come to a point where the NNPC and other agencies have no choice but to keep the record straight.”

He said the NNPC remitted $18.48bn to the federation account and not the $15bn claimed by the CBN. Membere stated, “The CBN governor’s letter indicated an amount that was remitted: $15bn. But our record indicated that we remitted $18.48bn within the same period.”

The executive director said the CBN ought to check accounts for royalty and tax before making the claim about the missing $49.8bn.

He stated that the NNPC would not collect revenue on behalf of the Federal Government and not remit it. According to him, expectations on revenue should be lower compared to previous years because of incessant pipeline vandalism.

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Ogoni Youths Give FG 14 Days To Fix East-West Road

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No fewer than 400 youths under the aegis of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), yesterday, staged a peaceful protest at the Eleme axis of the East-West Road, giving the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to mobilize to site and fix the road or have economic activities in the area grounded.
The protesters, who carried various placards with inscriptions to press home their demands, trekked from Akpajo Junction to Refinery Junction in Eleme LGA, chanting solidarity songs to register their discontent over the neglect of the road.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, President General of the Ogoni Youth Federation, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, said it was regrettable that the road, which was a major route to the economic hub of the nation, has remained in a deplorable state, only becoming a death trap that has terminated the lives of innocent Ogonis.
Yaamabana, who described the mass action of the youths as a ‘warning protest’, said if the contractors handling the road were not immediately mobilized to site, then, the youths will have no option than to shut down all economic activities in the area.
He said, “we cannot continue to watch our people being killed on daily basis by tankers because of the poor state of Eleme axis of the east west road, we are calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency fix the road and save our people from untimely deaths as a result of the sorry state of the road, the only bridge on the road at Aleto has collapse but nothing is being done to avert the disasters faced by our people daily”.
Yaamabana also called on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission to address the development needs of the Niger Delta region, noting that the use of interim management for NDDC was “diversionary, self serving and not in the interest of the development of the Niger Delta region”.
The OYF president general also called on the Federal Government to exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa and his compatriots who were extra-judicially murdered by the late Gen Sani Abacha military junta, and given post-humours honour as martyrs of democracy in Nigeria, while the ideals of justice they stood for should be upheld.
Also speaking, the immediate past secretary of the Ijaw Youth Council, Eastern Zone, Comrade James Tobin, who joined the protest in solidarity, decried the neglect of the East—West Road by the Federal Government, and called the immediate fixing of the road to save the teeming road users from untold pains and death.

By: Taneh Beemene

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Rising Prices Push 7m Nigerians Below Poverty Line -World Bank

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The World Bank has said that rising prices pushed about seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020.
This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘Critical reforms needed to reduce inflation and accelerate the recovery, says new World Bank report,’ released by the World Bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer of Nigeria, Mansir Nasir.
The press statement was released, yesterday, in line with the latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update.
It was acknowledged that the Federal Government “took measures to protect the economy against a much deeper recession” but it was recommended that certain policies should be set for a strong recovery.”
The statement read, “The NDU, titled ‘Resilience through Reforms,’ notes that in 2020, the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8 per cent than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2 per cent). Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households.
“As of April, 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60% of the total increase in inflation. Rising prices have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020 alone.”
Quoted in the statement, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, identified some of the challenges faced by the country and recommended a way forward.
“Nigeria faces interlinked challenges in relation to inflation, limited job opportunities, and insecurity.
“While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realise its development potential,” Chaudhuri said.
Also quoted is the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria and co-author of the NDU, Marco Hernandez, who also gave a recommendation.
“Given the urgency to reduce inflation amidst the pandemic, a policy consensus and expedite reform implementation on exchange-rate management, monetary policy, trade policy, fiscal policy, and social protection would help save lives, protect livelihoods, and ensure a faster and sustained recovery,” Hernandez said.

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Inflation Dips To 17.93% In May, NBS Confirms

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Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped to 17.93 per cent in May, 2021, from 18.12 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed this in its monthly Consumer Price Index report released, yesterday.
The drop in the headline inflation in May was the second consecutive month this year.
The report indicates that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the inflation rate increased by 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in May, 2021, which is 0.19 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding month.
According to NBS, food inflation dropped in the same month from 22.78 per cent recorded in April, 2021 to 22.28 per cent in May, 2021.
The report reads, ‘‘All items less farm produce which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.15 per cent in May, 2021, up by 0.41 per cent when compared with 12.74 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
‘‘The highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, garments, shoes and other footwear, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, furniture and furnishing, carpet and other floor covering.
‘‘Others include, motor cars, Hospital services, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing.
“Other services include personal transport equipment, gas, household textile, and non-durable household goods,” the NBS added.

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