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Oshiomhole Urges Oil, Gas Sector Diversification

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Former Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomole, has called for the diversification of the oil and gas sector of the nation’s economy.
Oshiomhole made the call at the ongoing 5th Triennial National Delegates Conference of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) in Abuja, yesterday.
The theme of the conference is: “Emerging Trends in the Oil and Gas Industry and its Impacts on Labour Movement in Nigeria.’’
Represented by  vice president, Industrial Global-All, Mr Isa Aremu, Oshiomhole said that with the crash in the global oil prices, there was need for government to look elsewhere in generating revenue for its economy.
According to him, the Federal Government has been talking about diversification of the economy in the areas of agriculture, solid mineral, among others but not in the oil and gas industry.
“In spite of the challenges taking place in this sector, the oil and gas industry matters more than ever before and there is no way you can talk of diversification without the oil and gas sector.
“As a matter of fact, no diversification can take place in agriculture, in solid minerals without the necessary available resources that is still accruable from the oil and gas sector.
“It is obvious, 40 per cent of the national employment comes from the sector not only that, 95 per cent of the foreign exchange earning of Nigeria comes from oil and gas.
“Sixteen per cent of our GDP also comes from this sector, with 37 billion reserved crude oil as well as 183 cubic feet of gas,’’ he said.
Oshiomhole added that the country’s gas reserve was close to 30 per cent of the entire world gas reserve.
“It is clear that the future shows that Nigeria is not just oil producing country but increasingly we are also gas producing country. “
He said that the real diversification must start from the petroleum industry before any other sector.
On crude oil, he said that Nigeria was only exporting crude without adding value to it.
“We are not adding value the way we should but there are close to 112 derivates from the crude oil.
“There are a lot of downstream and upstream that we can generate in a way to revive the industry,” he added.
He, however, decried the way the major operators in the oil and gas industries were shifting the burden on the working people due to the collapse of prices of the crude oil by downsizing, among others.
He said that it was time for the company operators to respect the collative bargaining they entered in order to put an end to the arbitrary sacking of workers.
He also called for a joint revival of the industry, urging them not to compromise on the need for minimum labour standard, especially with respect for decent work.
The former governor urged the union to use the opportunity provided by the conference to deliberate on issues that would move the industry forward.
PENGASSAN’s president Mr Francis Johnson,  said the union supported government’s initiative to bring in investors to revamp the refineries in the area of funding and expertise.
Johnson, however, said that the union demanded an access to the Federal Government, investors memorandum of understanding for the three refineries – Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna.

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Customs Intercepts N6, 974m Worth PMS

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Barely two weeks after seizing a tank-full equivalent of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), known locally as petrol, the  Seme Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted 1005 jerry cans of the same product.
The product, amounting to 3000 litres, is with Duty Paid Value (DPV) worth  of N6,974,750.00.
A statement signed by the Command’s Spokesman, DSC Hussaini Abdullahi, and made available to our correspondent in Lagos at the weekend, said the seizure was made during a routine check of the adjoining creeks, beaches, and flash points.
The statement quoted the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Bello Mohammed Jibo, as saying that “as long as unrepentant and undesirable elements engage in acts of economic sabotage and smuggling, so shall officers and men remain a step ahead to counter their illicit trades”.
The statement further reads: “In continuation of our efforts to suppress smuggling of petroleum products within the nooks and crannies of the command, officers and men of the Seme Area Command on a routine patrol along the creeks within Seme and Badagry intercepted another large quantity of petroleum products in sacks.
“After successful evacuation of the said item to the command’s premises where examination was conducted, one thousand and five (1005)x 30 litres of jerry cans of petroleum products each, equivalent to thirty thousand, one hundred and fifty (30,150) litres  were discovered. The Duty Paid Value (DPV) is Six million, nine hundred and seventy four thousand, seven hundred and fifty naira (N6,974,750.00), only”.
While showcasing the seized products, Jibo commended the doggedness, patriotism, dedication and high level of professionalism exhibited by his men, noting that the new Land Cruiser patrol vehicles (Buffalo) recently donated to commands by the Management of the NCS has aided the operation of the command, as the vehicles enhance access to a wider circle.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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NASS, MDAs’ Non-Remittance Of Taxes Cost FIRS N5.8bn …NCAA Tops Defaulters With N2,984bn

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Non-remittance of tax deductions by the National Assembly, comprising the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as Federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies has resulted in a loss of tax revenue amounting to N5.8 billion by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in 2019.
Disclosing this in its 2019 Annual Report on non-compliance, internal control, and weakness issues in MDAs of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation said it is for the year ended December 31, 2019.
The MDAs, according to the Report, are the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Federal College of Freshwater Fisheries Technology, New Bussa; Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria; Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority; Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited; Hussaini Adamu Federal Polytechnic, Jigawa State; Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, Nasarawa State; Department of Petroleum Resources; National Assembly Service Commission; and Nigerian Correctional Services.
It stated that between 2018 and 2019, the MDAs failed to either remit one per cent stamp duty, value added tax, withholding tax or Pay As You Earn tax deducted from awarded contracts, thereby contravening sections of the Financial Regulations and Treasury Circular issued on December 29, 2015.
The Report further stated that Paragraph 234(I) of the Financial Regulations states that “it is mandatory for accounting officers to ensure full compliance with the dual roles of making provision for the Value Added Tax and withholding tax due on supply and services contract and actual remittance of same”.
Specifically, it quoted Paragraph 235, saying, “Deduction of VAT, WHT, and PAYE shall be remitted to Federal Inland Revenue Service at the same time the payee who is the subject of deduction is paid”.
It continued that the Treasury circular Ref No. TRY/A12&B12/2015 and OAGF/CAD/VOL.II/390, dated December 29, 2015, states that “1% Stamp Duty chargeable on contract awards and the remittance be made to the relevant tax authority (Federal Inland Revenue Service)”.
The Report also stated: “The audit observed that the sum of N5,828,621,715.06 was the amount of taxes not remitted by 12 Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has the highest amount of N2,984,887,250.00, while Federal College of Freshwater Fisheries Technology, New Bussa has the least amount of N1,021,011.13”.

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NCS, Apapa Records N870,39bn Revenue Boost

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The Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) recorded an impressive performance in its revenue generation and anti-smuggling campaign in 2021.
Disclosing this recently during a review of its activities in 2021, the Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Yusuf Malanta, said the sum of N870.38 billion of the N2.24 trillion announced recently by the Service was collected in Apapa Command in 2021.
Giving an insight into the command’s revenue profile, Malanta told newsmen that the  N870.38 billion collected by the command was 68 percent more than what was collected in 2020 which was N518.4 billion.
He stayed that the Command recorded 103 seizures worth N31 billion in 2021.
Malanta identified the seizures as 46.55kg of cocaine, which was concealed on board MV Karteria and MV Chayanee Naree laden with raw sugar; containers of foreign parboiled rice, tomato paste, secondhand clothes, unregistered pharmaceuticals such as captagon pills, tramadol, codeine syrup, etc.
“These were seizures made in accordance with the provisions of sections 46, 47, and 161 of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) CAP C45 LFN 2004. These seizures are condemned by a competent court of law and the suspects are still undergoing investigation and interrogation”, the Customs boss said.
He continued that 5.38 metric tons of non-oil commodities were exported through the command as against 1.3 million metric tons in 2020.
According to him, the Free on Board (FOB) value for the exported items rose from $340 million (N140 billion) in 2020 to $641 million (N264 billion) last year.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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