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Expunging PEF will further increase Fuel price, hardship says IPMAN

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Expunging PEF will further increase Fuel price, hardship says IPMAN

Nigerians may be in for more hardship if the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) is expunged as it will pave way for Independent Marketers to arbitrarily fix prices for profit making, the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has said.

The National President of independent Petroleum Marketers Association (IPMAN) elder Chinedu Okoronkwo said they are against the upward review of prices saying that what they want is the upward review of their margins.
He reiterated IPMAN’s position against the new pricing regime on Premium Motor Spirit that has brought untold hardship to the common man in Nigeria which he said is not in their interest.

“We as IPMAN even when things affect us directly like when Government pronounce that they are going to expunged Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) from the system we say no because expunging PEF will increase the price further.
“When you expunge the PEF, IPMAN will not have additional money but rather if we are not patriotic we will use that vacuum for profiteering. “However, as leaders of the commercial industry we know the consequences of profiteering we would not like to be part of that.
He therefore urged the Federal Government not tamper with Petroleum Equalization Fund saying that it belongs to the marketers.

Speaking at a press conference at its headquarters at No 41 Gnassingbe Eyadema Street in Asokoro in Abuja he said there is the rumour that the Petroleum Equalisation Fund would be expunged.
“We want to place on record that the Fund is marketers fund, it is our money, no Government money is in that place. If there is anything Government wants to do we should be consulted and we will also offer advice.
“A lot of our members money is still in that fund the Management of PEF has not eaten our money.

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Economy

Kogi revenue agency generates N17.5bn in 2020

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By Friday Idachaba

The Acting Executive Chairman, Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KGIERS), Malam Yusufu Abubakar, has indicated that the agency collected N17.5 billion as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in 2020.

Abubakar made this known to members of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Lokoja on Friday.

He said that the agency was also making progress by generating N1.3 billion monthly since he came on board in December 2020.

He said that the revenue profile of the state was undulating between N350 million and N500 million prior to the inception of the state Internal Revenue Service by the administration of Gov. Yahaya Bello.

Abubakar noted that the focus of the new management in the last six months had been to block all identified leakages in the system to make life easier for the numerous tax payers in the state.

The chairman assured that in the next three weeks, the service would introduce online innovation in the dire need to automate its processes.

According to him, processing of tax payments and vehicle registration as well as renewal of particulars would all be automated to avert cases of fake documents’ issuance and sharp practices.

“We are aiming at a situation where motor owners can access their particulars, register their vehicles and renew their papers through Kogi Revenue Service portal.

“They can even stay in the comfort of their homes to carry out all the transactions online,’’ he said.

Abubakar, however, noted that 25 to 50 per cent of vehicle documents being carried by motorists were fake and not genuine.

He recalled that the Kogi State Internal Revenue Service Harmonisation Bill passed into law in 2016 and became operational in 2017,  had the sole responsibility of carrying out assessments, collecting taxes and reporting taxes collected to the executive governor of the state.

Abubakar said the Kogi State Internal Revenue Service with its headquarters in Lokoja had 11 other areas offices across the 21 Local Government Areas of the state and staff strength of about 600.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Correspondents’ Chapel of Kogi NUJ, Mr Friday Idachaba, had commended the service for automating the payment processes, saying it would check fraudulent activities of the touts.

Idachaba, however, assured the chairman of his members’ cooperation and partnership in the effort to boost the state’s economy and advance its cause.

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Economy

Minister raises alarm over report that says 65m Nigerian youths will be out of jobs in 5 years

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***calls for mitigation to urgently arrest the situation  


The Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation (FMSTI) Barr. Mohammed Abdullahi has expressed concern over a disturbing 2020 report that postulated that about 65million of Nigerian youth would be out of jobs due to lack of skills in the next 5 years
The Minister who gave the indication in a goodwill message at the Generation Unlimited Nigeria Launch in Abuja yesterday said the figure is alarming and gloomy hence the need to arrest the situation urgently. 
The Minister was making reference to a disturbing 2020 report made by Saadia Zahidi who is the Managing director of World Economic Forum (WEF) that in the next five (5) years  about 85million Jobs will be disrupted around the world due to lack of skills, population, robotics, remote work etc. 

The report further indicated that the 85million persons globally comprises of about 65million of Nigerian youths that would be affected
Abdullahi therefore called on Government and the Organised Private Sector (OPS) to initiate urgent interventions in order to engage Nigerian youths and make their lives more meaningful.

He further commended the initiatives of jobberman which is aimed at developing soft skills curriculum and placements to make our youths employable and capable of generating employment.

The Minister said the Generation Unlimited platform is also aimed at creating  better education, skills, employment and entrepreneur opportunities for young persons, adding that the program is at the heart of challenges facing the global youth population saying that he believes the initiative by UNICEF would help in bridging the gap.

In is words , ‘’The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation is willing to partner with UNICEF in this direction especially in Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) as a tool to engage the youths meaningfully ‘’ 
He said the Ministry will also collaborate with UNICEF to create sustainable and skilled youth manpower for job and wealth creation.

He further thanked the Vice President for his untiring efforts in addressing the challenges by churning out several youth engagement programs through the economic sustainability program

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Economy

Petroleum minister optimistic PIB will ensure transparency, foster development

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Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) before the National Assembly would open up the petroleum sector for greater investments and guarantee more transparency in operations when passed into law, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva has said

The minister gave the indication when the Board of Trustees of Corruption Reporters led by Dr Yunusa Tanko honoured him as the Champion of the Anti-Corruption fight, particularly for his leadership in promoting transparency in the industry.

The minister said; “The Petroleum Industry Bill which as you know has been laid in both chambers and we are hoping that the law will be passed; that, of course will allow us to entrench the principles of transparency in our industry and will allow this industry to move from where it is, also like the country, to where we desire it to be”.

Sylva also explained how the Treasury Single Account TSA has eliminated sharp practices in the industry.

According to him, corruption in Nigeria takes place at three levels; at the point of revenue collection, the treasury and contract execution, adding that with the introduction of the TSA, the practice has been significantly curtailed at the revenue collection and treasury levels but still thriving at the level of contract execution, noting that eliminating it requires the vigilance of Nigerians through whistleblowing.

He said; “I am particularly honoured by this award. I commend the Corruption Reporters for checking the records from afar and encouraging me in the fight against corruption. 

“I received a boost from President Muhammadu Buhari’s leadership through initiative such as the Treasury Single Account, TSA.

“That policy has arrested corruption impeding direct flow of resources to the nation’s coffers. For instance, before the coming of the present administration, you will see a small organization witg over 90 accounts opened for the deposit of revenues.

“This administration has been able to control corruption at that level with the introduction of the TSA, where all government revenues by ministries, departments and agencies are paid into just one account.

“Today, no more can government money be swallowed by any snake. Today, if money is earned, it is paid directly into government accounts through the TSA.

“Those entrusted with the management of the money, like permanent secretaries of ministries and other civil servants who award contracts, cannot have access to those money as was the case in the past.

“I emphasize that his (President Buhari) leadership would ensure that petroleum industry continue to adopt best practices for the advantage of the populace”, he added.

Speaking separately on behalf of the team, Mrs Adaora Onyechere, Dr Yunusa Tanko and Majeed Dahiru submitted that Chief Sylva has justified the confidence reposed in him by President Muhammadu Buhari in leading the Petroleum Industry to fight corruption, institute transparency and accountability.

They specifically noted that initiatives by the Ministry and its Agencies such as the publication of the NNPC audit reports for the first time in forty three years, the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP), Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline project and the signing of Final Investment Decision for NLNG Train 7 among others have demonstrated that the Minister is committed to the growth of the industry.

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