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Dickson Constitutes Economic Committee

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Governor of Bayelsa
State, Hon.Seriake Dickson over the weekend inaugurated a 54 member Economic Management Committee, with his Chief Economic Adviser, Duate Iyabi as chairman and Patience Abah as Secretary.
In his remarks, Governor Dickson described the Economic Team as key to the survival of the State in the face of dwindlng resources from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee, stressing that, they have a responsibility to formulate practical policies that will improve the economy of the State on short and long term bases.
He urged them to critically examine and explore the economic potentials of the state in the various sub-sectors, with a view to moving the state to greater prosperity, through the creation of jobs as well as boosting its Internally Generated Revenue profile.
The Bayelsa State Governor, who expressed confidence in the ability of the economic team to deliver on its mandate, assurred them of his unflinching support, while also calling for the cooperation and understanding of the people of the State.
Hon. Dickson, who inaugurated the committee at the Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha Memorial Banguet Hall, Yenagoa, also announced creation of nine subcommittees from some ministries to be headed by their commissioners.
The ministries are Agriculture and Natural Resources, with the commissioner, Hon. Doode Week as the leader, with six other members, Power is led by Chief Partner Edward Jim Ogbolo with four members, Trade, Industry and Investment is headed by Hon. Kemela Okara, with eight other members.
Others include; the Ministry of Finance led by Maxwell Ebibai with three members; Ministry of Works and Infrastructure has Lawrence Ewhrudjakpor as the leader with six members; Education has Deacon Markson Fefegha as leader, with nine other members.
The economic team also has the commissioner of health as leader of the health subcommittee with four members; Sports Commissioner, Buruboyefe Perekiye heads the Sports subcommittee, with a single member, while the Tourism team is made up of four members to be led by its commissioner, which is yet to be appointed.
In his acceptance speech, the chairman of the economic team, Mr. Duate Iyabi commended the initiative of Governor Dickson, while pledging the commitment and resolve of the team to justify the confidence reposed in it, adding that, they would carry out the task of turning the economic fortunes of the state around, through well thought out policies and programmes.
In a related development, Governor Dickson has expressed confidence in the ability and quality of the leadership, team spirit and the good policies of the government to boost the economic fortunes of the state in the nearest future.
Governor Dickson, who stated this during a parley with political appointees, called on them to show more loyalty and understanding, especially under the prevailing economic situation, pointing out that, the state was passing through difficult times.
He urged them to carry the message to the people at the grassroot level for every Bayelsan to appreciate and understand the state of affairs.
“ My message to all political appointees is the time calls for loyalty, understanding, commitment and patience. With the policies government is putting in place, despite the brief difficulties, the economic fortunes of the state will turn around.
“There are three very important things that are going for us as a government based on what we are doing: with confidence and trust in God, the quality of leadership and team spirit and the good decisions and policies we have taken, the economy of the state will turn around.
“I admonish all appointees to carry the message and policies of government to the people to ensure their understanding of the issues.”

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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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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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