The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), said on Wednesday that it would soon revive its rice processing plants at Elele Alimini in Rivers State and Mbiabet-Ikpe in Akwa Ibom State.
The NDDC Managing Director, Mr Nsima Ekere, disclosed this after inspecting the 180 tonnes per day facility at Elele Alimini.
According to him, the two rice mills will be revived with a combined capacity of 210 metric tonnes per day.
Ekere expressed displeasure with the non-utilisation of the Rivers rice mill which was completed in 2008.
He lamented that the firm engaged to run the facility allowed it to lie fallow for 10 years, which is “unconscionable” saying the situation will be redressed urgently.
“What is important is to get this facility up and running and stop the huge waste of government resources.
“We will negotiate with private investors and set the process rolling in the next couple of weeks,’’ he said.
The managing director said that the resuscitation of the two rice mills would encourage the local communities to grow more rice, and expand the agricultural value chain.
“You can’t put the kind of resources that NDDC committed to this project and then allow it to just lie waste.
“The wasting rice mill in Elele Alimini has the capacity to impact positively on the Nigerian economy, it could have created many jobs and increase the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“Nigeria as a nation is still importing a lot of rice and we spend billions of dollars importing food, yet we have a facility here that can actually help to reduce the amount we spend on food imports and we just leave it idle.
“Going forward, we will immediately go into partnership with the private sector to put this facility to use. We want to see that this mill is functional, so that we can begin to employ people.
“Hundreds of Nigerians will be gainfully employed, if we get this facility working and functional. Many others will be employed indirectly.
Ekere explained that re-activation of the rice mills would also encourage local farmers to produce more rice.
He said that the commission would develop ‘out-growers scheme’, to encourage members of the communities to grow more rice.
The MD promised that NDDC would provide seedlings and other technical support to encourage local farmers to increase their production, knowing that they would have a guaranteed market.
“Three months after they produce, their products will be bought and the economy in the rural communities will be positively affected and wealth will be created for the people. That is what we want to do.
“NDDC would do everything possible to ensure that farmers derive maximum benefits from the rice mills to guarantee massive cultivation and production of rice in the Niger Delta,’’ he said.
The NDDC boss assured that the contract terms for the operation of the rice mill would be reviewed because the contractor failed to perform.
“We will terminate the existing contract because the contractor evidently does not have the capacity to run the facility.
“What is important to me and the government is to get this facility to be functional so that we can put food on the tables of Nigerians,’’ Ekere explained.
Customs Intercepts N6, 974m Worth PMS
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
NASS, MDAs’ Non-Remittance Of Taxes Cost FIRS N5.8bn …NCAA Tops Defaulters With N2,984bn
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”.
NCS, Apapa Records N870,39bn Revenue Boost
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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