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FG Lauds Stakeholders On Improved Power Supply

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Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola has lauded the contributions of stakeholders in the power sector to the current milestone recorded in the nation’s electricity value chain.
Fashola made the commendation at the 23rd monthly power sector meeting in Lafia, Nasarawa State.
He said that the milestones recorded had reassured the stakeholders that they were on the right part to repositioning the sector.
“I will like to start my remarks by highlighting the progress and milestones on our journey for incremental power, which reassures us that we are on the right path.
“It inspires us to continue with more belief.
“Power generated has gone up to 7,000 MW in 2017 from 3,000 MW recorded in May 2015; transmission capacity stands at 6,900MW in 2017 from about 5,000 MW in May 2015.
“The peak distribution now averaging 5,000 MW in 2017 from 2,690MW in 2015.
“I will like to thank all of you for your contributions toward these milestones,’’ the minister said.
He said that the stakeholders, through their contributions, were impacting the lives of Nigerians, saving them money and changing their lifestyles for the better.
“ People tell me that their consumption of diesel and petrol to run generators for power has reduced and hours they run their generators have gradually reduced.
“This is the result of incremental power supply and we must get more of it.
“They also told me that they are now monitoring how they use power and are turning off appliances that are not needed,’’ Fashola said.
The minister said government and stakeholders had increased power supply in the last three months, adding that Nigerian’s experience of power supply in the dry weather was better.
“The cynics, who used to say that it is only during the rains that power improves, now see that what we have done is no fluke,’’ he said.
Fashola also thanked the Ministry of Petroleum for increased supply of gas to the power generation companies.
He said that the impact of the mini-grid regulations presented few months ago by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had begun to manifest.
“Last month in Abuja, Nigeria, through the Rural Electrification Agency, hosted a mini-grid summit that is the largest ever attended in Africa with 600 participants from about 40 countries.
“Mini-grids will help us to connect more people and boost incremental power,’’ Fashola said.
He said that efforts were on to put together a policy position to help expand the distribution network of the Distribution Companies (Discos).
This, he said, would be used for the distribution of 2,000MW currently available, but could not be distributed.
He also urged stakeholders to work harder to increase meters distribution to reduce incidents of estimated billings.

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Piracy, A Threat To NNPC Operations -GMD 

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has described piracy and other criminal vices in the nation’s waterways as a threat to the corporation.
This is as the corporation said the nation lost about $750 million to oil theft in 2019.
The amount is about N230 billion at the official CBN exchange rate of N306 to $1.
This was contained in a statement by the NNPC Acting spokesman, Samson Makoji, on Wednesday.
The Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari, was quoted to have stated this during a presentation to members of the Executive Intelligence Management Course 13 of the National Institute for Security Studies (NISS) who visited his office.
Kyari noted that any threat to the corporation’s operations was a direct threat to the very survival of Nigeria as a nation because of the strategic role of the corporation as an enabler of the economy.
The GMD listed other security challenges facing the corporation to include vandalism of oil and gas infrastructure and kidnapping of personnel, adding that there was a deep connection between the various shades of insecurity challenges as they are all linked to what was happening in the Gulf of Guinea and the entire maritime environment.
He called for a concerted effort and synergy to secure oil and gas operations for the economic survival of the country.
Also speaking, the NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Engr Yemi Adetunji, said in 2016, the Gulf of Guinea accounted for more than half of the global kidnappings for ransom.
He noted that out of 62 kidnap cases globally, 34 involved seafarers.
Adetunji, however, stated that the NNPC was working closely with security agencies to tackle the security challenges, and cited the “Operation Kurombe” that was recently conducted by the Nigerian Navy at the Atlas Cove as an example of such collaborative efforts.

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FIRS Targets 17% Tax To GDP Ratio By 2023

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), says it will raise Nigeria’s tax ratio to Gross Domestic Product ratio from the current six per cent to 17 per cent by 2023.
The FIRS Executive Chairman, Muhammad Nami, said this during a meeting with traders in Lagos.
A statement from the FIRS stated that the objective of the meeting was to sensitise Lagos traders and market unions on the 2019 Finance Act.
Over 100 officials of traders’ associations and unions attended the meeting.
He listed the benefits of the new Finance Act to include reduction of the Company Income Tax from 30 per cent to 20 per cent.
Nami urged the entrepreneurs to register their businesses officially rather than operate informally in order to access the benefits from the Act.
He urged the traders to separate their personal finances from their business capital in order not to lose their working capital to state tax bodies.
The FIRS stated that doing so would help their businesses to grow as they pay less tax.
He urged the traders to endeavour to charge value added tax on applicable goods and services, especially consumption, and remit it to the FIRS promptly.
Nami also disclosed that more FIRS tax offices would be opened in markets nationwide to bring the service nearer to traders and make tax compliance easier for them.
He said the FIRS under his watch would reposition its corporate social responsibility activities to benefit the informal sector, including markets, in order to create a conducive business environment for them.

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SON Opens Talks With China Over Sub-Standard Products

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In a bid to check the menace of substandard goods in the country, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), has opened talks with Chinese trade authorities.
Special Assistant to the Chief Executive of SON and Head of Public Relations, Mr Bola Fashina, disclosed this in an interactive session with newsmen in Lagos on Wednesday.
Fashina said the deal with China would ensure that Chinese factories that produce items for Nigerian manufacturers implement at least the minimum Nigerian standards for goods destined for the nation.
According to him, discussion with the Chinese authorities was opened in June 2019 and had reached advanced stages.
He disclosed that another meeting that had been fixed for the first week of February could not hold because of the current coronavirus ravaging some parts of China.
The deal with China would ensure that factories in the Asian country reject orders from Nigeria that do not meet Nigerian standards.
Fashina said, “The authorities are not happy that some of their manufacturers are giving their country a bad name. That is why we are working with them to nip the problem in the bud.”
Generally, on the menace of substandard products, Fashina said that the regulatory body was having more challenges with imported goods than with the ones manufactured in the country.
He said for goods made in Nigeria, they could be taken back to the factory while it is difficult to make amends for goods that were manufactured abroad.
“Our major problem is with imports. That is also because it is difficult to catch them from the source. We have been out of the ports since 2011.
“Sometimes we work on information from Interpol. We follow them when they are out of the ports and sometimes we miss them,” he stated.
Fashina said that importers of substandard products prefer taking their goods from the ports during weekends and public holidays.
He said the facilities and centres of the organisation across the country had been strengthened to rein in substandard products throughout the federation.

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