Some artisans and residents of Magoro Community on the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway last Sunday urged the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBDEC) to restore electricity supply instead of making empty promises.
They spoke with newsmen on the heels of promise made by IBDEC to restore electricity to the area unfailingly last week after 11 years of darkness.
Our source reported that the community on the Magboro/Ibafo axis has about 100,000 inhabitants but has been in darkness with business activities on the low in spite of the population.
The community has in the past put up several measures to ensure that the electricity was restored but it was futile.
It will be recalled that sometime in March last year, the communities staged a protest on the busy Lagos/Ibadan expressway blocking the section of the road to press their demands.
There was, however, promises made by IBDEC to restore power back to the community which were not fulfilled.
The last promise was made in Abuja during the energy summit where IBDEC restated its commitment to restore power to the affected community last week.
However, with that hope that IBDEC will honour its promises, the ecstatic residents and artisans were expectant of the electricity only for their hopes to be dashed.
On noticing that IBDEC is not ready to put action to its words, the visibly angry artisans and residents called on the electricity distribution company to stop giving the community fake hope.
Some of the artisans noted that they had been subjected to untold hardships since the communities were thrown into more than a decade-long darkness which had paralysed business activities.
An artisan, who owns a welding shop in Magboro, Mr Kamal Odekunle, said that things were expensive in the community because there is no public power supply.
“People complain of our services being on the high side because we rely on electricity generator to power our equipment. How can we make ends meet with this perennial power outage?
“What we are hearing is that the power will be restored another time, it is tomorrow. We have tried all the power within us to get the electricity to no avail.
“Government has not shown enough commitment too, maybe they have the wrong notion that no serious economic activities can happen here. That is wrong.
“If the economic activities are on the right track here, government can come to collect taxes here and we will happily pay. This is a community of more than 100,000 people,’’ he said.
The Secretary of Magboro Community Development Association (CDA), Mr Fola Lasisi, said that the community had yet to have electricity due to multiple problems.
“The power issue with our area is due to multiple problems on the part of the contractor handling the project. We have no idea when all these will end.
“What we were briefed on was that the contractor and IBDEC are still working on the lines in which some faulty insulators were discovered.
“It was reported that the contractor that handled the project used substandard products, so, they are in the process of changing all the faulty insulators used by the contractor.
“IBDEC reported that they have provided about 1,200 insulators in which 800 had been used and the work has not yet finished. They should be around Mountain of Fire and Miracles Church now,’’ he said.
Lasisi said that the project would also accommodate other communities on the Lagos/Ibadan expressway, namely Ibafo and Mowe.
“The project is still going to Ibafo and then to Mowe so they are still working on the project.
“The promise made in front of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Raji Fashola, cannot be depended on because of many underlining factors. That promise was just a wish.
“It is not solely IBDECs fault but that of the contractors handling the project. IBDEC only offer to provide equipment and personnel while the contractor will
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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