The Federal Executive
Council (FEC) has approved the implementation of the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audits of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to strengthen control over government finances.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, said, this in Abuja, while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
She said that the presidential initiative was in line with the President’s budget speech, where he pledged to introduce a continuous audit process, particularly in respect of payroll.
According to her, the World Bank has indicated its interest in assisting the Federal Government in the implementation of the audit process.
“The approval is granted by the Federal Executive Council for Presidential Initiative on continuous audit
“In the budget speech, the President gave an undertaking that we would introduce a continuous audit process, particularly of payroll and already that work has resulted in the elimination of about 23,000 fraudulent recipients of federal salary and more work is still ongoing.
“We felt that the continuous audit work should not just be limited to payroll, there is actually need to strengthen internal audit across government and to that extent, the World Bank had in 2010 started an initiative to try and introduce real-space internal audit in Nigeria, but it wasn’t successful.
“The World Bank has indicated its readiness to support us in this initiative again.’’
The Minister stated that the council deliberated extensively about the need for the effective implementation of the audit process.
She said FEC had also agreed that the control framework over finance and spending of government’s money needed to be strengthened especially in anticipation of the approval of the budget, which she described as “an extended budget”.
“If we don’t strengthen our controls then there is a risk that that money would leak or that be applied to the wrong things and therefore, the ability to go into various agencies without notice and check and do audits and updates to make sure that public money is being spent in accordance with our expectations and objectives.
“FEC approved the setting up of this initiative effectively using an executive order to create internal audit to enable us (to) continue this work and to extend it to everywhere that federal money is being spent or received so that we can have better oversight.’’
Adeosun said that no additional staff would be recruited for the implementation of the audit process, adding that government would be using existing staff, qualified accountants within the office of the Accountant General (and)within the Federal Civil Service.
According to her, another fresh 11,000 suspected ghost workers are being investigated by the government.
“On the issue of the ghost workers, of the 23,000 that we have removed our payroll has reduced by N2.29billion per month.
“The update on that is that we are now investigating another potential 11,000.
CILT Holds Summit In Oct
The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transportation (CILT), Nigeria, is billed to hold its summit from October 11 to 12, at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos.
The summit, which is aimed at promoting Nigeria’s Transport and Logistics Sector, is expected to bring together global transport veterans, lawyers, shipbuilders, bankers, academics, and consultants to discuss latest issues in the logistics and transport sector.
It will focus on logistics and transportation chains perspective with renowned experts presenting papers.
Chairman of the event’s planning committee, Prof. Kayode Oyesiku, revealed this much during a press briefing in Lagos, saying the event would correct Nigeria’s poor logistics performance index (LPI).
According to Prof. Oyesiku, the summit would have robust participation of transport experts from the academics to veterans in operations as quality research papers and thematic sessions will be held.
The conference themed; “Sustainable Innovations in Global Logistics and Transport”, takes into cognisance the fact that Nigeria’s logistics and transport sector is plagued by a myraid of challenges, Oyesiku said.
“The conference will comprise various technical sessions where subject-matter experts will lead conversations primarily aimed at interrogating the future of logistics and transport operations in Nigeria, especially within the context of a rapidly changing service environment, technological innovations and extensive planning dynamics that characterise logistics, transport and supply chain at the present time”, he said.
The Chairman, who was the pioneer Vice Chancellor of the Tai Solarin University of Education, stressed that the conference will attract scores of delegates from within and outside Nigeria, including business leaders, the academia and policy makers.
“This conference will encourage multidisciplinary networks and will provide platforms for academics and professionals to identify and examine the challenges, as well as proffer effective solutions for national logistics and transport operations,” he said.
He observed that LPI of nations is now the yardstick for measuring their economic resilience and competitiveness, noting that nations where LPIs are weak have also been characterised by vulnerable economies with high business risks.
The event will also feature exhibitions of transportation and logistics products from cognate industries and sectors, while availing an opportunity for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for industry stakeholders and providing an excellent platform for networking.
By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
Air Transportation Demand Increases By 103.6% -IATA
The world’s apex transport body, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), has said the global air transportation demand has tremendously increased as at June this year.
The global transportation organisation said passenger data for June 2022 has shown that the recovery in air travel remains strong with a 103.6 per cent rise.
According to the IATA’s research data, which was made available to aviation correspondents, the total traffic in June 2022, which was measured in revenue passenger kilometers, was up 76.2 per cent compared to June 2021.
The report stated that the increase was primarily propelled by the ongoing strong recovery in international traffic in the air transportation.
“Globally, the demand for air transport traffic is now at 70.8 per cent of pre-crisis levels, in the latest research findings”, IATA report stated.
According to the data report, strong improvements in most markets, combined with the easing of some Omicron-related lockdown restrictions in the Chinese domestic market, contributed to the increase in domestic traffic for June 2022, which is reported to be up 5.2 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year.
From the report, total domestic traffic for June 2022 was at 81.4 per cent, as compared to that of the June 2019 level.
IATA’s Director General, Willie Walsh, said, “Demand for air travel remains strong. After two years of lockdowns and border restrictions, and people are taking advantage of the freedom to travel wherever they can.”
By: Corlins Walter
Ticket Racketeers, Touts Resurface In PH Airport
Flight ticket racketeers, otherwise referred to as touts and fraudsters, that were once flushed out of the Port Harcourt International Airport, have resurfaced with their nefarious activities.
The Tide had initially reported their unwholesome activities when they emerged sometimes last year, which was tackled by the airport’s management.
The phenomenon has taken another bold dimension, as this group of persons carry out their activities more openly right in front of the departure terminal of the domestic wing of the airport.
The Tide observed that some of the old faces known in the act have come back with new recruits. Their slogan has been “I have come to hustle at the airport”.
They usually lead travellers who are not convasant with airport operations away to extort money from them on flimsy issues.
They will, at the first instance, approach their potential victim(s) on the pretence that they will assist in getting travel documents like the boarding pass from the airline, and would make the passenger feel relaxed in the nearby fast food joint, while they make contact with their airline partners for the documents.
Their target is usually to extort the ignorant passenger, as various charges will be hipped on him, like COVID-19 charge, agent fee, and boarding pass charges, which are not official charges of the airline.
The Tide further observed that some innocent passengers who got into their trap sometimes missed or nearly missed their flights, mostly because of argument that would ensue over the alien charges.
When they have succeeded, the money will be shared among them, and the circle continues till the end of the day, after which each of them likely goes home with a reasonable sum.
One of them, fondly called ‘Ime’, who was apprehended by Air-force personnel after he hijacked the sum of N50,000 given to them and ran into the bush, recently, had confessed that he was doing such to hustle for a living.
Although The Tide gathered that his mobile hand-set and other belongings were seised by the Air-force personnel, the said lme was still seen parading himself at the airport.
Meanwhile, the Head of Corporate Affairs at the airport, Mr Kunle Akinbode, could not be reached at the time of filing this report, as he was said to be away for other engagements.
By: Corlins Walter
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