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Economy Woes Blames On Bad Infrastructure

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The economic decline suffered by the country has been linked to continuous insecurity, decayed infrastructure, particularly the comatose state of the energy sector, coupled with increasing report of kidnapping in the Niger Delta.

Chairman, Beta Glass Plc, Chief Chris Ogunbanjo, made the link in Lagos at the annual general meeting of the company, where he observed that companies continue to fold up because of these perennial problem plaguing the country.

According to Ogunbanjo, “If you look at the country you will find cut that many companies have wound up completely. The major problem we have is insecurity”.

In his views, consumers are paying more than what they ought to because of the energy problem that continues to increase the cost of production in the country.

He credited the efforts of Beta Glass Management for generating 10 megawatt of energy to run the furnace, which produces 1000 centigrade that turns sand into bottle, and also the attempt at using gas turbine, which has always been frustrated by the unceasing kidnaps in the Niger Delta.

“We have mineral resource but nobody wants to come here to be kidnapped. That is the number one issue. Nobody wants to come here and generate electricity,” he stated.

He charged shareholders to revoke the trust reposed in representatives who fail to do what the economy needs at the end of their tenure, “We must come to self-realisation of our problems and occasions like this offer us the opportunity to tell the home truth. We are dealing with issues I call centrifugal forces. We are trying to pull things in the right direction while some people are pulling it in another direction.”

“And you are just one in 160 million people. Although, we are well intentioned, what can one do except we focus on our responsibilities and call to question those we have voted to handle the affairs of the nation. And if they have failed us, it is a revocable trust at the end of their tenure. We can exercise our right in a different direction if they don’t do what we expect”.

Responding to shareholders questions, Ogunbanjo said Beta Glass Greece, the parent company, wants re-alignment in management method of Beta Glass Nigeria. He stated that the company has responsibility to these foreign shareholders who have ensured that the company stayed a float.

Sir Sonny Nwosu, President, Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria, flayed the company for the amount being paid as technical assistance to the parent company, Beta Glass Greece. According to him, paying anything higher than the dividend given to shareholders was not appropriate.

Beta Glass paid over N272 million as technical assistance fees to its partners in the 2008 financial year.

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Army Chief Lauds NIMASA Boss Over Performance

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The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Faruq Yahaya, has commended the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, over his efforts in transforming and promoting the transportation sector as president of the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA).
He gave the commendation recently, during the 4th National Transport Summit of the Institute in Abuja.
Yahaya, who was represented by Maj. Gen. E. Akerejola, commended the President and members of CIoTA for the many economic sectors it touched: from facilitating international trade, through supporting food security, to enabling industrial and infrastructural development.
In the same vein, the Nigerian Army and other security agencies pledged their support to the growth and improvement of the country’s transportation sector to international standards, expressing their willingness to collaborate with CIoTA to achieve this feat.
The COAS stated that the theme of the summit, “Transport Safety and Security Administration in Nigeria”, was also timely, saying it is “an important aspect of the Transportation sector which has often been overlooked by many, including the transport professionals and academia.
“Over the years, the transportation sector has witnessed series of issues and challenges ranging from poor infrastructure, poor regulations, limited specialised professional training institutions, lack of effective and efficient transport policies, intra industry squabbles among transport professionals, to unethical behaviours, poor working condition amongst others,” he said.
He reassured the Institute of the Nigerian Army’s resolve to support the transportation sector wherever necessary.
On his part, President CIoTA and DG of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, whose speech was read by Prof Samuel Odewumi, noted that the theme for this year’s summit is focused on safety and security of the transportation sector in Nigeria.
In his words: “We were able to achieve the Chartering of the Institute, Renewed Advocacy, Vigorous Membership Drive and Certification. This year’s summit focuses on Safety & Security on all modes of transportation, hence we must all work together as stakeholders and custodians of the transportation sector of Nigeria.
“Safety and security are paramount to achieving a robust and intermodal transport regime in Nigeria.
“CIoTA as the only statutory professional association in charge of the Transportation Industry in Nigeria, therefore, deserves to be accorded its place in nomination of members into relevant agencies and in consultations for policy formulation and implementation strategies. It is the right thing to do.
“As a Chartered Institute, our role is very huge; with great opportunities and challenges. Let’s focus on the job at hand”.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Revenue Challenges: DMO Sues For Efficient Tax Administration

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As part of efforts to tackle revenue change in the country, the Debt Management Office (DMO) has called for the operation of an efficient and effective tax administration in Nigeria
Director-General of the agency, Ms Patience Oniha, who made the call in a statement made available to journalists, stressed on the need for Nigeria to operate such efficient tax administration system, that will tackle loopholes in revenue generation of the country.
According to her, a lot of loopholes are noticeable in the current tax system, which has given room for evasions and all sorts of sharp practices, causing hiccups in the public revenue management system.
She said revenue challenge remains one of the most critical policy issues of the Federal Government which is currently threatening the nation’s debt sustainability.
“The country needs to operate an efficient tax administration that would ensure greater compliance to remittances devoid of all forms of evasions in the system,” she said.
Recall that the current revenue problem is compounded by leakages such as an increase in oil theft and petrol subsidy, both of which have significantly reduced the revenue from oil sales that used to account for the bulk of government revenue.
Oniha noted that the outlook of both the local and international markets was becoming tighter with rising interest rate.
The DMO boss, therefore, stressed the need for the country to urgently moderate its new borrowings and ensure that public debt is sustained by accelerating its revenue base to shore up non-oil revenue and rationalising expenditure of the nation.

By: Corlins Walter

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214m Persons Subscribe To Telecoms In Nigeria

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Active telecommunication subscribers in Nigeria have now increased to 214.35 million as at October this year, according to data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
The latest NCC statistical records so far obtained shows that this is the highest number of recorded telecoms subscribers in the nation since the total number of subscribers peaked at 207.58 million in October 2020, some months before the SIM-NIN linkage.
The record has revealed that more subscribers were getting new SIMs in a bid to circumvent restrictions on SIMs that had not been linked with their National Identification Numbers, which was the major reason for the growth in 2022.
One of the major service providers in Nigeria, MTN, in its  third quarter release through the Chief Executive Officer, Karl Toriola, said the average daily gross connection was 48.1 per cent above the pre-directive level, partly driven by the cohort of subscribers who were initially restricted and opted to register new SIMs.
“Combined with increased usage from the existing base, these have supported an acceleration in the service revenue growth recovery and mitigated the impact of churn on the base”, he said.
Also looking at the predictions in the industry among the global industry’s stakeholders, Nigeria has a sizeable number of its population under the age of 18, which is indicating that its subscriber growth would remain strong for the foreseeable future as more young consumers crossed into adulthood and subscribed to mobile services.
Given the growing population, it is expected that 18 million new Nigerians will become unique telecoms subscribers even by 2025, and as Mobile connectivity is at the core of connectivity in Nigeria, with the majority of online services accessed through mobile channels in the nation.
Records have shown that mobile ecosystem also supported more than 3.2 million jobs (directly and indirectly) and made a substantial contribution to the funding of the public sector, with $16bn raised through taxes on the sector, and this will grow in coming years.
However, inspire of this growth, many will not have access to telecom service, just as the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy had said that about 31.6 million Nigerians live in areas without telecoms coverage.
The absence of such coverage, according to the ministry, had enabled criminal activities and insecurity in these unserved areas to thrive.

By: Corlins Walter

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