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DPR under fire as Senate queries N44.5billion remittance out of N2.4trillion generated 

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DPR under fire as Senate queries N44.5billion remittance out of N2.4trillion generated 

Senate on Friday beamed its search light on the meagre remittance of N44.5billion into the Consolidated Revenue Fund in 2019 out of N2.4trillion generated by Department of Petroleum Resources ( DPR) which put the officials of the department on edge.

This is even as heads of many of the other revenue generating agencies invited by the Senate’s joint committee on Finance and Planning for interactive session on their 2021 revenue projections, failed to appear on grounds of indisposition and hospitalization.

Trouble came for the DPR during the interactive session when the joint committee led by Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola (APC Lagos West), demanded for records of the agency’s internally generated revenue in 2019 and projections for 2021.

The Head of Planning of the agency, Mr Johnson Ajewole who first spoke in the absence of the Director, Engr Sarki Auwalu, said a total of N2.4trillion was generated by DPR in 2019 but N44. 5billion was remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Piqued by the wide margin beween what was realised and remitted, the committee members described his submission as unacceptable.

Even efforts made by the Head of Finance and Accounts of the Petroleum agency, Mrs Lilian Ufondu, to explain the wide gap between revenues and remittance, further angered the committee members.

According to her, out of the N2.4trillion generated by DPR in 2019, N88billion was removed as 4% collection fee out of which N5.72billion was also remitted while the balance was used for over head.

Persistent questions asked by the Committee Chairman and members on what happened to the over N2trillion  balance, were not satisfactorily answered as she was only able to mention overhead and operational costs without specific figures tied to them.

She added that as at July this year, DPR had generated N1.13trillion and projected N3.4trillion as revenue generation for 2021 from which N139billion will be taken out as 4% collection fee.

Angered by the submissions and alleged disjointed record presentations, the committee, ordered that the agency reappear unfailingly on Tuesday next week led by its Director, Sarki Auwalu, alleged to have traveled abroad .

Specifically the committee chairman said : ” Information and records presented to us by both Directors or heads of departments that have spoken are not clear and insufficient as regards budget performance of DPR within the last three years and revenue projection for 2021.

“For this committee to do proper and thorough job, comprehensive records of such budget performances must be made available latest Monday next week, upon which your Director and other top management staff, will appear before us again on Tuesday next week.
” Also, well detailed proposals for revenues generation by the agency for 2021-2022 must be included in the expected comprehensive records “

Efforts made by journalists to make the troubled agency’s head of Finance and Accounts, Lilian Ufondu, explain her inability and that of her counterpart on Planning, Johnson Ajewole, to make satisfactory submissions before the committee, proved abortive, as she lamented that the day was a bad one for her and DPR.

“I’m sad and is a bad day for us. We are told to come back and we shall return on Tuesday next week “, she lamented.

Like DPR , heads of other agencies like Nigeria Inland Waterways (NIWA), Bank of Industry (BOI) and Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) , were also not present for the interactive session and accordingly ordered by the committee to reappear on Monday next week .

While NIWA’ s boss was said to have traveled abroad, those of BOI and SON , were alleged to be indisposed or  hospitalized.

When asked by the Committee’s chairman, the hospital the Director- General of SON, Osita Aboloma, is being attended to, the Director of Budget, David Okon, said “I don’t know”.

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Professor Yakubu gets senate’s confirmation as INEC chairman for another 5 years

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Professor Yakubu gets senate’s confirmation as INEC chairman for another 5 years

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed the nomination of Prof Mahmood Yakubu for appointment as Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for another five years.
Yakubu was first appointed as INEC chair on October 21, 2015, by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He was reappointed after his first tenure  came to an end in October this year.
His confirmation followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on INEC, chaired by Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano).

Senator Gaya, while presenting the committee’s report, said the nominee possessed the requisite qualifications for the INEC top job and therefore recommended his confirmation.
Opposition PDPsenators, who spoke after the presentation of the report, backed Yakubu’s nomination, saying that he’s unbiased and apolitical.
Senate Minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe commended Yakubu for the technological innovations he introduced at INEC, especially the transmission of election results to the central portal from polling units.
He’s moving in the right direction and we should give him the necessary support, said Senator Sandy Onor (PDP, Cross River).
Senate President Ahmad Lawan congratulated the nominee and wished him success in his second term.

Prof Yakubu had, during his screening last week, challenged the National Assembly to expeditiously consider and pass the electoral act to ensure seamless 2023 election.
According to him, the ammended electoral framework was germane to the conduct of 2023 general elections.
“We would like to see a situation where the electoral ammendment is expeditiously considered and passed and I am confident that this is going to be done.”
He said elections cannot be conducted in an atmosphere of uncertainty, adding that work on the electoral framework has to be finalized before 2023 elections would be conducted.

“I want to appeal to the Senate to please expedite work on the Electoral Act so that we can conduct elections in an atmosphere of certainty,” he said.
He said when the commission met with members of the Senate and House committees on the electoral matter in Lagos, the had extensive interaction where they submitted 78 areas of electoral ammendments adding that he also forwarded additional 13 areas of ammendment to the two committees.
“The earlier that is done the better for us. There is no way we can conduct election successfully without uncertainty unless the electoral legal framework id finalised for us to deploy our regulations and guidelines for the election.
“We have to develop the regulations and guidelines for the election for us to produce manuals for the training of adhoc staff, So it is critical.”
When asked what INEC would do differently he said

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FG priortises exited N-POWER benefitiaries for CBN empowerment

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FG priortises exited N-POWER benefitiaries for CBN empowerment

The Federal Governmemt has offered previledge opportunity for the exited N-POWER benefitiaries as it has createda Portal that will enable  them to apply for Central Bank of Nigeria Empowerment Options.

The Portal has been launched by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

In a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Bashir Nura Alkali the Honourable Minister Sadiya Umar Farouq urged and encouraged interested Exited Beneficiaries of N- Power to log on to the portal and provide the required additional information for possible placements into the various CBN intervention options.

According to the statement, the platform which was developed in collaboration with the CBN will enable Exited N-Power Beneficiaries to log in and apply for the various economic, empowerment and entrepreneurship options provided by the CBN.

The Minister also emphasized that the NEXIT PORTAL will determine the suitability of the beneficiaries for the CBN affiliated programs.

“The NEXIT portal is to determine the suitability of the beneficiaries for the CBN affiliated programs and is dependent on meeting the criteria and conditions set by the CBN for the said programs”.

The Minister expressed her deep appreciation to the CBN Governor Mr Godwin Emefiele CON for his support adding that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs remained committed to the vision of Mr President to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.
Minister Umar Farouq pledged the Ministry’s willingness to collaborate with relevant agencies of government and other stakeholders towards the realization of that vision and congratulated the exited beneficiaries while wishing them well in their future endeavours.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria is very proud of the milestones you have achieved during your period of service to the nation. As we prepare to exit into prospective endeavors, we are confident that you will be able to channel all you have learnt over the years into successful ventures that will improve the economy of the country and create further opportunities for you and other citizens.
“Chasing a dream requires effort, passion and hard work which you are now halfway through. I congratulate you and wish you a very successful future”.

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Senate confirms Irukera vice Chairman/CEO of FCCPC

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Senate confirms Irukera vice Chairman/CEO of FCCPC

The Senate Thursday confirmed the nomination of Barrister
Babatunde Irukera as Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Federal Competition Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC} for another five years.

This followed the adoption of the report of the Committee on Trade and Investment.

Others whose appointment were confirmed are; Barrister Emeka Nwampa as the Chairman of the Board,  Wakili Ahmed as Executive Commissioner and Yinka Akpata as Executive Commissioner.

The rest are; Ben Nwoye as non Executive Commissioner, Theophilus Oyenibi and Ayang Eyam as non Executive commissioners.

It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had requested for the appointment of  Babatunde Irukera as the vice chairman and chief executive officer FCCPC.

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