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NDDC Inaugurates Committees For Finance Auditing

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The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has inaugurated contract documentation and project assessment committees in preparation for forensic audit of its finances.
The Acting Managing Director, Dr Joi Nunieh said this in a statement at the weekend by the NDDC’s Director, Corporate Affairs, Mr Charles Odili in Port Harcourt.
She said that the two committees would continue from where the Contract Verification Committee stopped as well as complement the expected forensic audit of the commission.
According to her, the contract documentation committee will authenticate all documents submitted by contractors while the project assessment committee will visit the various sites to verify contractors’ claims.
“The committees will start work from Feb. 10, even as the commission prepares to defend its budget before the Senate on February 12.
“The just concluded verification exercise has been an eye opener for us. We will address the press on February10 for a full briefing on the reports from the exercise.
“That report will show Nigerians that we are truly determined to refocus NDDC to properly develop the Niger Delta region,” she said.
Nunieh said the verification exercise revealed high level of corruption in the award of contracts running into billions of Naira.
“Some contract award letters were found to be fake; some of the companies were not registered while some were registered, after they had been given contracts.
“Also, some of the companies do not have the requirements prescribed in the Public Procurement Act to handle such projects. We also found out that some individuals have 50 to 100 different (contract) award letters under different names,” she said.
Nunieh said that only few contractors showed up for the verification exercise, adding that NDDC would not visit sites of contractors who refused to participate in the assessment.
The acting managing director said that only contractors and consultants who executed their contracts to specification would be paid.
“We will work with the Community Development Committees of the various communities and the villages to testify that the roads in their communities are done properly.
“No committee member is allowed to take money from any contractor or contractor attempting to induce committee members. The entire process of assessment is free,” she said.
Nunieh said that contractors and consultants owed between N1 million and N20 million would be paid immediately after NDDC verified their debt portfolio and budget was passed.

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Lockdown: NNPC Begs Security Agencies To Allow Tanker Drivers Operate

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has appealed to law enforcements agencies across the country to allow petroleum products tanker drivers free movement during the lockdown order in parts of the country by President Muhammadu Buhari and some state governments.
This was contained in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja by the NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr Kennie Obateru. The NNPC boss said the exemption granted by President Muhammadu Buhari in his broadcast to certain categories of essential workers covers the operations of petroleum products tanker drivers.
The President has on Sunday ordered total lockdown of Lagos State, the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and Ogun State.
The release said the Federal Government counts on the support of the law enforcement agencies across the country to ensure smooth distribution of petroleum products across the nook and cranny of the country during the period of the restriction.
The corporation said that NNPC has over 2.6 billion litres of petrol, enough to last the period of the lockdown and beyond, advising that motorists should not engage in panic buying.

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SEC Urges Firms To Publish Impact Of COVID-19 On Businesses 

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has called on public companies to publish the impact of coronavirus on their business operations.
SEC in a circular dated March 31, and released in Abuja yesterday, advised the companies to publish the information on their websites and or other relevant media.
“All public companies are required to continue to make material disclosures to investors on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on their business operations,” the commission stated.
According to SEC, they should also continue to disclose the trend and outlook of the company as well as updates on implementation of business continuity plans.
The commission said it would continue to engage and collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure that the capital market remained resilient, adding that the move was part of its business continuity process.
“In compliance with the Federal Government’s directives on the cessation of movement in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory, SEC has activated its business continuity process.
“In light of the global pandemic of the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19), the commission wishes to provide additional guidance to the capital market as follows:
“Public companies who plan to conduct Annual General Meetings are required to ensure that the conduct of the meetings comply with the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, the Investments and Securities Act, the SEC Rules and Regulations, among others.
“Debt issuers are also expected to continue to engage trustees to ensure that relevant disclosures are provided,’’ the commission said.
The commission enjoined all Capital Market Operators (CMOs) to continue to monitor the real and potential risks COVID-19 might have had on their business operations and the discharge of services to investors and clients.

SEC called on all issuers and trustees who might require further guidance to contact it through the following email addresses: quotedcoyreturns@sec.gov.ng,offerapplications@sec.gov.ng, and dhpostoffer@sec.gov.ng.

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MAN Tasks Govs On Smooth Movement Of Essential Items

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The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has appealed to state governors to give necessary directives to security agencies to allow smooth passage of essential products across states of the federation.
In a statement to newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos, MAN President, Mr Mansur Ahmed, said that better sensitisation of such officers became necessary following the actions of some of them, which were hampering the chain of distribution.
Ahmed said, “Since the decision to lock down economic activities by different states and the eventual national declaration by the Federal Government, MAN has maintained consistent talks with relevant governmental authorities.
“The talk is on the survival and sustenance of livelihood of Nigerians, via the operation of critical manufacturing sector and has indeed yielded positive results.
“One of the numerous results is the letter addressed by the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) to my humble self for manufacturers.
“The food, beverage, pharmaceutical and other complementing sector that makes the value chain of essential products available are very critical.
“The Association is glad that government recognised this critical role in its directive for 14-day lockdown.
“Let me add that the directive of the NGF has yielded good outcomes in some states as our members have testified to unhindered operations in the face of the lockdown.
“Notwithstanding, some security operatives in other states are not yielding, particularly, the rank and file officers on the field.”
Ahmed said, in order to address this setback, MAN has been in talks with the NGF to give the necessary directives for adequate sensitisation of officers to give manufacturers of essential products easy movement.
He commended the Federal Government’s response to manufacturers as it tackles Coronavirus pandemic.

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