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Leboku 2009: C’River Woos Private Investors

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The Cross River State Government has called on private investors to key in into the Leboku international festival in order to use it showcase the rich culture of the people to the international world.
Mr. Gab Onah, the special adviser to the Cross River State Governor on Tourism Development, who made the call at the weekend, said the Senator Liyel Imoke led administration intends to make the Leboku festival a money spinning industry.
Onah explained that Leboku festival was an event for events management department of governor’s office as it was listed in the calendar of the state’s events, stressing that all the promises Senator Imoke made last year as regards making the festival an icon of events and world class have been fulfilled.
According to him, the state government has chosen three local government areas, Yakurr, Bekwara and Akamkpa to key into the state’s tourism plan in order to showcase the rich culture of the people to the international community through their various new yam festivals.
He commended the telecommunication giant MTN for identifying with the celebration and its selflessness, expressing optimism that the company would have better collaboration and understanding so as to continue to impact on the people as part of its corporate social responsibility.
The special adviser promised that despite the government’s involvement in creating a conducive environment for the promotion of tradition and culture in the state, efforts are made to ensure that the culture of the people is not adulterated and always remain intact.
Also speaking, chairman of Obol Opol Traditional Council, Ojor Clement Iwara who stood in for the Obol Opol disclosed that all security arrangements for the success of this year’s Leboku festival have been put in place and commended the state government for all the promises made to the community which he said have all been fulfilled.
He said the government has encouraged the people to be serious with agriculture which has started producing bumper harvest at the end of every planting season.
He said his people were fully prepared and in high spirit to take the festival to a greater height, adding that there was a difference in this year’s celebration as a festival market has been created on the day of grand finale so that people could buy as much yams as they want.
Also speaking, the MTN representative, Mr Charles Uwota, said MTN decided to come together with the Cross River State Government in order to take Leboku festival to a greater height.
Uwota said MTN believes that the festival will boost the culture and tradition of Africa to higher level.
“MTN has actually come together with Cross River State Government to promote Leboku and take Leboku to a greater height. And again, for us to understand one more thing, Leboku is a festival that is actually in everywhere in Nigeria. People appreciate the festival so much”.
He further contended that, “MTN is a brand that has come to identify itself with a very good culture which is Leboku new yam festival, so MTN has come to boost Leboku as a culture to a higher level”.
Commenting on the celebration, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Culture and Heritage, Mrs. Edisua Usang Iso, said that the department of culture and heritage was trying as much as possible to introduce a variety of activities to boost this year’s Leboku new yam festival.
Her words, “of course the maidens that are from Yakuur are going to parade during this program and as you even see as we walk in the community right now that the costumes and the beads and the top if you walk bit closely to them you see that it just have a little thing in form of bra that covers their breast we are trying to be sure that this content of the culture of the people will not be tampered with”.
She said that though culture is dynamic, “but in as much as we want to build in some costumes we won’t destroy the real culture of the people. We can change their fabric attires to African make made to give us the look or what we are expecting”.
It is a cultural celebration that is how this department is coming in why tourism is coming in to promote the culture to an international level and of course event management come in to play to make sure that the event is properly managed to an international standard.
Our correspondent reports that the annual cultural festival in central part of Cross River holds on Saturday, August 22 for this year.

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FG, States, LGAs Share N736.782bn In Oct

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The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) has disbursed N736.782 billion from October 2022 Federation Account Revenue to the Federal Government, States and Local Government Councils.
This amount was augmented by an additional N70 billion distributed to the three tiers of government.
Federal Government received N36.876 billion, States got N18.704 billion, Local Government Councils received N14.420 billion.
An extra N30 billion Augmentation was made from non-oil revenue and distributed, with Federal Government getting N15.804 billion, States getting N8.016 billion, and Local Government Councils getting N6.180 billion.
According to the communiqué at the end of the FAAC, at the meeting for November 2022, the N736.782 billion total distributable revenue was made up of N417.724 billion distributable statutory revenue; N213.283 billion Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue; N5.775 billion Exchange Gain revenue.
In October 2022, the total deductions for cost of collection amounted to N33.555 billion and total deductions for transfers, savings and refunds was N186.749 billion.
The balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) still remains at $472,513.64.
The communiqué confirmed that from the total distributable revenue of N736.782 billion, the Federal Government received N293.955 billion, the State Governments received N239.512 billion and the Local Government Councils received N177.086 billion.
The total sum of N26.228 billion was shared to the relevant States as 13 percent derivation revenue.
Gross statutory revenue of N622.270 billion was received for the month of October 2022. This was lower than the sum of N825.710 billion received in the previous month by N203.440 billion.
From the N417.724 billion distributable statutory revenue, the Federal Government received N206.576 billion, the State Governments received N104.778 billion and the Local Government Councils received N80.779 billion. The sum of N25.591 billion was shared to the relevant States as 13 percent derivation revenue.
For the month of October 2022, the gross revenue available from the Value Added Tax (VAT) was N229.041 billion. This was higher than the N203.960 billion available in the month of September 2022 by N25.081billion.
The Federal Government received N31.992 billion, the State Governments received N106.642 billion and the Local Government Councils received N74.649 billion from the N213.283 billion distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue.
The N5.775 billion from the Exchange Gain revenue was distributed as follows: the Federal Government received N2.707 billion, the State Governments received N1.373 billion, the Local Government Councils received N1.058 billion and the relevant States received N0.637 billion as 13 percent derivation revenue.
According to the Communiqué, in the month of October 2022, Value Added Tax (VAT) and Companies Income Tax (CIT) increased significantly while oil and gas royalties, Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) and Import Duty recorded considerable decreases.

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$1bn Looted Funds Recovered Since 2015 – Malami

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Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has revealed that the current administration has so far recovered about $1 billion looted funds till date.
Malami disclosed this while briefing State House Correspondents after the week’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He also disclosed that Council has approved a new Anti-corruption Strategy Document to strengthen anti-graft campaigns in the country.
He said the recovered assets had been deployed to various sectors of the economy, including poverty alleviation.
Malami also expressed government’s concern over cases of budget padding, which he described as worrisome, noting that every necessary measure would be explored to address it.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, had blamed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, for adding N206bn to the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry’s budget.

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Nigeria Loses $2bn To Oil Theft In Eight Months 

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The ad-hoc committee set up by the Senate to investigate oil theft and consequent damage on the nation’s economy has said Nigeria lost   $2 billion (an equivalent of N1.3trillion) to oil theft between January and August this year.
The committee’s report, which was adopted by the Senate in plenary on Tuesday, made far-reaching recommendations for stemming the tide.
It, however, failed to name a single person or corporate entity carrying out the oil theft.
In one of its findings, the committee said, “Nigeria lost over $2bn to oil theft between January and August 2022, with consequent loss of revenue that would support the country’s fiscal deficits and budget implementation.”
The report indicated concerted efforts being made against the crime by all stakeholders, saying that they had started yielding results, with Forcados Terminal now producing 500,000 barrels per day as against zero production in the first six months of the year.
“Bonny Terminals was also producing 87,000 barrels of oil per day now as against zero production a couple of months ago due to activities of economic saboteurs”, the report stated.
The 16-point recommendations of the committee as adopted by the Senate stated in part: “ the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited should stop undermining Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission and Nigerian Midstream and  Downstream  Petroleum Regulatory Authority from performing their functions.
“The provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act should be adhered to by NNPCL as regards functions of the established agencies.”
The report called for an immediate streamlining of agencies present at the terminals in line with the relevance of their PIA-delineated upstream and midstream/downstream statutory functions.
According to the report, the NUPRC should fast-track the upgrade of the National Production Monitoring Systems to enable real-time monitoring of flow station and terminal activities.
The NUPRC should expedite the deployment and strict enforcement of the Advance Crude Oil Cargo Declaration solution for the detection and mitigation of illegal movement of vessels to ensure adequate revenue generation and optimal crude oil production, it stated further.
It continued that the Bureau of Public Procurement should expedite all processes of procurement for NUPRC to ensure immediate deployment of an online real-time monitoring system by the commission across all upstream oil and gas production platforms for accuracy in measuring production volume by producers.
The report further said the NUPRC should resume full regulatory oversight of all existing crude oil terminals in Nigeria, including integrated ones, crude oil pipelines, issuance of loading clearance, and processing of export permits in line with section 8(d) of the PIA, as regulatory activities at crude oil terminals are interdependent and contingent.
It also faulted what it called undue interference of the Minister of State in the operations of NUPRC as shown with letters made available to it by the agency, stressing that both the minister and NNPCL should allow PIA to function.
“The PIA as signed into law by the President, must be allowed to function by all stakeholders in the sector as an amendment on it now, will send wrong signals to the International community”, it stated.
Recall that the Senate on April 14, 2022, constituted a 13- member Ad – Hoc Committee on Oil Lifting, Theft, and the impact on Petroleum Production and Oil Revenues under the chairmanship of Senator Akpan Bassey, who is also the chairman, of the Senate Committee on Petroleum ( Upstream).

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