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FRC Accuses SEC, NPA of not Remitting N28.27Bn

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The Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) has accused two government agencies – the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)  and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)  – of failing to remit their operating surpluses amounting to N28.27bn.

At separate meetings held between the FRC and the two agencies in Abuja yesterday, officials of FRC also accused the two agencies of contravening the FRC Act 2007 by failing to submit their audited accounts, approved annual budgets and Medium Term Expenditure Framework.

FRC said SEC had failed to remit N10.34bn accruing to the agency as operating surplus in 2007 and N11.61bn in 2008 while it said that NPA failed to remit N3.79bn in 2007 and N2.53bn in 2008.

In a brief made available to SEC officials ahead of the meeting on Monday, FRC said, “In the process of monitoring the compliance of SEC to the FRA 2007, we observed the following:

“For year 2007, 80 per cent of SEC operating surplus was supposed to be N11,152,535,000 rather than N808,736,586,40 which SEC had earlier remitted to the Federal Government as 80 per cent of its operating cash surplus. SEC has therefore been unduly withholding the balance of N10, 343,798, 413.60 due to the Federal Government.

“SEC’s 2008 audited financial report indicated an excess of income over expenditure of N14, 506,368,610. Eighty per cent of this sum is due the Federal Government and should thus have been remitted into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government before the end of April 2009.

“In spite of all the reminders that this commission has sent SEC, there is no indication that SEC has made this due remittance after these years.”

FRC added, “There is no evidence that SEC has produced its audited financial reports for 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013. Each year’s account was due on 31st March of the succeeding year.

“In spite of this commission’s various requests, SEC has not availed the FRC of its three-year estimates of revenue and expenditure for 2010 – 2012, 2012 – 2014 and 2013 – 2015. SEC has failed to forward to the FRC its approved annual budgets for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

“There is no indication to the effect that SEC has appropriately computed and duly remitted 80 per cent of its operating surpluses for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.”

Sunday Garuba, deputy director, Treasury at SEC, said the audited accounts of the agencies for the years demanded by FRC were ready and would be made available.

He also said that as a regulator, SEC had been sticking to the rules but added that in recent times; the agency had been operating on the basis of zero budget and that the downturn in the capital market operation beginning from 2008 had affected the capacity of the organisation to make money.

In another brief on NPA, FRC accused SEC of failure to prepare and publish their 2012 and 2013 audited financial reports in compliance with Section 23 (3) of the FRA, 2007; failure to create a General Reserve Fund and allocate thereto, 20 per cent of its operating surplus pursuant to section 22 (1) of the FRA, 2007.

It said the agency failed to remit N3,788,116,000 to the Consolidated Revenue Fund being operating balance of its operating surplus for 2007 and another operating surplus of N2,527,637,200 for 2008.

Chief Victor Murako, chairman of FRC, said it was imperative for all government agencies to remit their operating surpluses to the government coffers, adding that the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan cannot be realised without proper funding.


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Rivers State, Shell Inaugurate Cluster Development Board for Assa North Gas Project

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The Rivers State government and the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC), energy company, recently inaugurated the Egi/Igburu Cluster Development Board (CDB) for pipeline communities to SPDC’s Assa North Gas project, which has a capacity for 300 million standard cubic feet of gas per day and the potential to be one of the largest domestic gas projects in Nigeria when completed.

Rivers State, Shell Inaugurate Cluster Development Board for Assa North Gas Project

Barrister Elloka Tasie-Amadi, State Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, at the ceremony, urged the Comrade Orikoha Ekwueme-led newly elected officials of the CDB to use the opportunity of leadership to make positive impacts that will improve living standards in their communities.

He said, “The state government is always available to support you. Always speak with your people, including the Community Trust Committees (which were also newly inaugurated). Adequate communication will ensure the buy-in of all your stakeholders”.

He decried those who see leadership as opportunity for self-seeking gains. “Leadership is more of sacrifice; not an opportunity for personal benefit”, The Commissioner said.

Also, at the inauguration, Mr. Igo Weli, SPDC general manager External Relations,  said, “The Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU), that you signed today, sets the framework for long-term partnership between SPDC JV and the Egi/Igburu Cluster. The GMoU runs on the principle of community-led development. Today, SPDC JV commits to providing funding to help you realise your community development aspirations.”

Represented at the ceremony by Dr. Banji Adekoya, SPDC External Relations Manager for Projects and Opportunities, he asked the CDB to “be prudent and implement projects and programmes that will deliver maximum benefits to the Egi/Igburu communities. Note that government, SPDC JV and the communities that you represent will hold you accountable for the judicious utilisation of the development funds.”

“With the inauguration, SPDC reiterates the company’s commitment to the Assa North Gas Project and to making it an exemplary one, particularly in Nigeria’s quest for energy sufficiency, for power generation and industrialization”, he said.

On its part, the new CDB committed to use SPDC’s award-winning GMoU agreement, which is a community-led sustainable development and interface management model that puts the communities in the driving seat in setting development priorities and implementation of programmes and projects to meet their needs.

The GMOU is a proven winning approach introduced in 2006, adopted across SPDC’s operational areas and provides a secure five-year funding for communities to implement development projects of their choice.

With the inauguration of the Egi/Igburu CDB, SPDC now has 40 active GMoUs in Abia, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo and Rivers States. Since 2006, SPDC JV has disbursed a total of $252 million to communities through these GMoUs.

The Assa North/Ohaji South gas project is a joint venture project involving the SPDC, the NNPC, Total E&P Nigeria Limited, and Nigerian Agip Oil Company, and will result in a new SPDC gas processing plant.

The development will help the federal government deliver on its ambition to provide enough gas for domestic consumption, power generation and gas-based ammonia and urea fertilizers for farmers.


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African Entrepreneurs Vying for Anzisha Recognition

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The Anzisha Prize, a partnership between African Leadership Academy and Mastercard Foundation, has revealed its top 20 finalists for 2020. Winners will be announced at this year’s Anzisha Prize Conference on 27 October 2020.

Organisers say this year’s application season saw a record 1 200 applicants vying for a chance to join the Anzisha Prize fellowship.

From these applications, 20 businesses emerged that were 45% percent female-owned and represented sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and education.

Young entrepreneurs from Morocco, South Africa and Tanzania displayed impressive ventures that are tackling critical issues within their communities while also turning a profit. Through their businesses and entrepreneurial leadership skills, these job starters are paving a way for other young Africans to pursue entrepreneurship.

Selected as a top 20 finalist is 21-year-old Alaa Moatamed who is the co-founder of Presto, a company she describes as one of the leading delivery management platforms in Egypt. The venture provides business owners with an affordable and convenient delivery service for their customers.

Joining Alaa is 20-year-old Benjamin Mushayija Gisa from Rwanda who manufactures and packages natural organic products for consumption and for cosmetic purposes in the form of lotions and coconut soap.

“2020 has seen a global shift in the future of work. This year’s applicants have personified the resilience and innovation that Africa needs as we navigate our way into a post-COVID-19 future,” says Melissa Mbazo-Ekepenyong, Deputy Director of the Anzisha Prize.

The Anzisha Prize, a partnership between African Leadership Academy and Mastercard Foundation, has supported 122 entrepreneurs and 77 of those businesses have created over 2 000 jobs, with 56% of those being employment provided for young Africans under 25.

Peter Materu, Chief Program Officer, Mastercard Foundation says, “The success of the Anzisha Prize over the last decade stands as a resounding testament to the creativity and entrepreneurial potential of Africa’s very young people—a hugely under-tapped resource.

Through Anzisha, we’re reminded of what they can achieve when challenged and enabled to own and solve the problems they see around them. Now, as ever, the innovations that have emerged through the Anzisha Prize inspire and renew our faith in and commitment to their promise.”

This year, the top 20 will gather virtually from their various countries to share knowledge and learn from expert coaches and mentors as they prepare for their final pitches to a panel of external judges.

All the entrepreneurs will receive a cash prize of US$2 500. The grand prize winner will receive US$25 000, while the 1st runner and 2nd runner receive US$15 000 and US$12 500 respectively.


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FG Bans Emirates Airlines from Operating in Nigeria

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Federal Government has included Emirates Airlines in the list of airlines not allowed to operate in Nigeria.

FG Bans Emirates Airlines from Operating in Nigeria

This is part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Hadi Sirika, minister of Aviation, confirmed this via his Twitter handle on Friday.

According to Sirika, the decision was taken following a meeting between the Presidential Task Force (PTF) and European Unions (EU).

The ban would take effect from Monday, September 21, 2020.

“The PTF sub-committee met today with EU Ambassadors to discuss Lufthansa, Air France/KLM ban.

“The meeting progressed well. Emirates Airlines’s situation was reviewed and they are consequently included in the list of those not approved, with effect from Monday the 21st September 2020,” Sirika tweeted.


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