- FEC Approves N35.94bn Road Contracts in Six States
The Federal Executive Council has approved road contracts worth N35.944bn in six states of the federation, the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing announced on Sunday.
It was learnt that the latest award brought to a total of 16 roads which the council had approved in recent times, as the FMPWH stated that this was part of the Federal Government’s commitment to developing the nation’s road network in Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones.
About three weeks ago, the council approved the award of N169.74bn contracts for the construction and rehabilitation of 10 roads across the country.
The ministry stated that the beneficiary states in the latest approvals during the last FEC meeting include Kebbi, Zamfara states, where a N3.813bn contract was approved for the rehabilitation of BirninYauri-Rijau, Magajiya to Daki-Takwas Road; Akwa Ibom State, where a N1.1bn contract was approved for the construction of Atan Ikot Okoro Road with a bridge at Essien Udim Local Government Area; and Ebonyi State, where a N3.071bn contract was approved for the reconstruction of Oso-Owutu Road.
For Benue State, a contract of N27.3bn was approved for the rehabilitation of Makurdi-Naka-Adoka Road Phase 1.
The other approval was for Kano State where an augmentation sum of N676.2m was approved for the completion of the construction of Wudil-Utai-Achika-Darki-Jegaware Road, whose contract was first approved in 2012 by FEC at an initial sum of N4.4bn.
The approvals, which were a sequel to two memoranda submitted to the council by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, showed that the Makurdi-Naka-Adoka Road Phase 1 in Benue State would be rehabilitated by Messrs Gilmor Engineering Nigeria Limited in 42 months.
The Kebbi/Zamfara road will be handled by Messrs H&M Nigeria Limited in 12 months; that of Akwa Ibom State is to be constructed by Messrs Raycon and Company Nigeria Limited in 28 months, while that of Ebonyi is awarded to Messrs Sabtech Towers Nigeria Limited with a completion date of 18 months.
According to the second memorandum, the completion of work on Sudil-Utai-Acika-Darki-Jegaware Road in Kano State, the contract for which was first approved by FEC on November 14, 2012, for N4, 393,730,153.20, involved the rehabilitation of approximately 23 kilometres single carriageway road and construction of a bridge with a completion period of 24 months by by Messrs Birak Engineering and Company Limited.
But completion was, however, stalled due to limited budgetary allocations in the preceding fiscal years leading to the current approval of additional N676, 177,886.40.
This brings the total cost to N5,067,908,050.30, while an additional six months had been added to its initial completion period of 24 months after all due processes were complied with.
The ministry stated that while the rehabilitation of the 122km long Makurdi-Naka-Adoka Phase 1 Road in Benue State involved site clearing and earthworks, provision of culverts and drains, among others, the rehabilitation of the 13km Birnin-Rijau, Magajiya to Daki-Takwas Road in Kebbi/Zamfara involved the construction of a bridge and the provision of culverts and drains, among others.
It said the Atan Ikot Okoro Road involved the construction of a bridge and a 4.5km approach road, among others, while the 9km Oso-Owutu Road in Ebonyi State involved site clearing and earthworks and construction of culverts and drains, among others.
In terms of creating job opportunities, the FMPWH said the rehabilitation of Makurdi-Naka-Adoka Phase 1 Road in Benue State would generate between 150 to 200 direct jobs with 90 per cent of Nigerians as direct members of staff.
It stated that the rehabilitation of BirninYauri-Rijau, Magajiya to Daki-Takwas Road in Kebbi/Zamfara states would generate between 50 and 100 direct jobs with Nigerians taking all the jobs, adding that the Road in Akwa Ibom State would create 50 jobs for Nigerians alone, while the reconstruction of Oso-Owutu in Ebonyi State would generate between 50 to 120 direct jobs for over 90 per cent Nigerians.
On why he asked for approvals for the roads, Fashola stated that it was in order to achieve the Federal Government’s objective of improving transportation infrastructure.
FIRS Sets N5.9 Trillion Revenue Target for 2021
FIRS to Generate N5.9 Trillion Revenue in 2021
Mohammed Nami, the Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, on Friday said the agency is projecting total revenue of N5.9 trillion for the 2021 fiscal year.
Nami stated this while meeting with the House of Representatives Committee on Finance led by Hon. James Falake on the Service’s 2021 budget defence of its proposed Revenue and Expenditure Estimates.
According to the Chairman, N4.26 trillion and N1.64 trillion were expected to come from non-oil and oil components, respectively.
However, Nami put the cost of collecting the projected revenue at N289.25 billion or 7 percent of the proposed total revenue for the year, higher than the N180.76 billion spent in 2020 to fund the three operational expenditure heads for the year.
He said: “Out of the proposed expenditure of N289.25 billion across the three expenditure heads, the sum of N147.08 billion and N94.97 billion are to be expended on Personnel and Overhead Costs against 2020 budgeted sum of N97.36 billion and N43.64 billion respectively. Also, the sum of N47.19 billion is estimated to be expended on capital items against the budgeted sum of N27.80 billion in 2020. The sum is to cater for on-going and new projects for effective revenue drive.”
Speaking on while the agency failed to meet its 2020 target, Nami said “There’s lockdown effect on businesses, implementation directive also for us to study, research best practices on tax administration which involves travelling to overseas and we also have to expand offices and create offices more at rural areas to get closer to the taxpayers, we pay rent for those offices and this could be the reason why all these things went up.
“And if you have more staff surely, their salary will go up, taxes that you’re going to pay on their behalf will go up, the National Housing Fund contribution, PENCOM contribution will go up. Those promoted you have to implement a new salary regime for them. There’s also the issue of inflation and exchange rate differential”, he said.
Gov Emmanuel Attracts $1.4b Fertilizer Plant to Akwa Ibom
The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has signed an agreement for the citing of a multi billion fertilizer plant in his State.
Governor Emmanuel was part of a Nigerian delegation led by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, that visited Morocco to set out the next steps of the $1.4 Bln fertilizer production plant project launched in June 2018.
The agreement between the OCP Africa, the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority and the Akwa Ibom State Government will birth one of the biggest investments in the fertilizer production industry worldwide.
The signing ceremony took place at the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UMP6).
Mr. Emmanuel signed one of the agreements of the partnership, which covers a memorandum of understanding between OCP Africa, the Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria and the NSIA on land acquisition, administrative facilitation, and common agricultural development projects in the Akwa Ibom State.
Speaking while signing the agreement, Governor Emmanuel said, “Our state is receptive to investments and we are prepared to offer the necessary support to make the project a reality.
“With a site that is suitably located to enable operational logistics and an abundance of gas resources, all that is left is for the parties to accelerate the project development process”, Mr. Udom said.
The agreement reached between the Nigerian Government and the OCP further links OCP, Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN), the NNPC, the Gas Aggregation Company Nigeria (GACN), and the NSIA.
The two partners agreed to strengthen further their solid partnership leveraging Nigerian gas and the Moroccan phosphate.
This project will lead to a multipurpose industrial platform in Nigeria, which will use Nigerian gas and Moroccan phosphate to produce 750,000 tons of ammonia and 1 million tons of phosphate fertilizers annually by 2025.
The visit of the Nigerian delegation to Morocco takes place within the frame of the partnership sealed between OCP Group and the Nigerian Government to support and develop Nigeria’s agriculture industry.
Following the success of the first phase of Nigeria‘s Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) and the progress of the fertilizer production plant project launched in 2018 by OCP and NSIA, the Moroccan phosphates group and the Nigerian government delegation have agreed on the next steps of their joint project which is rapidly taking shape.
Several cooperation agreements were inked on Tuesday at the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) by OCP Africa and the Nigerian delegation. Through these deals, OCP reaffirms its unwavering support of agricultural development initiatives in Nigeria including PFI.
OCP Africa and the NSIA have agreed, inter alia, to set up a joint venture which will oversee the development of the industrial platform that will produce ammonia and fertilizers in Nigeria.
The OCP has also pledged to supply Nigerian famers with quality fertilizers adapted to the needs of their soil at competitive prices and produced locally.
ICPC Says Nigeria Loses $10bn to Illicit Financial Flows
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says Nigeria accounts for 20 per cent or 10 billion dollars (N3.8 trillion) of the estimated 50 billion dollars that Africa loses to Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs).
Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, said this during a virtual meeting to review a report on IFFs in relation to tax, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, spokesperson for ICPC, said in a statement released in Abuja on Friday.
The ICPC Chairman said, “the African Union Illicit Financial Flow Report estimated that Africa is losing nearly 50 billion dollars through profit shifting by multinational corporations and about 20 per cent of this figure is from Nigeria alone.”
The ICPC boss explained that taxes played “very strategic role in the nation’s political economy.”
He said the objective of the meeting was to improve on the awareness on IFFs, especially in the areas of taxation.
The ICPC boss added that the meeting would give participants the opportunity to openly discuss how to effectively use the instrumentality of taxation to curb IFFs through risk-based approach.
“Risk-based approach, that is: monitoring and audit; due process in tax collection; structured tax amnesty framework skewed in public interest; data privacy; timely resolution of audits and payment of tax refunds and intelligence sharing among revenue generating, regulatory and law enforcement agencies,” he said.
Owasanoye also stated that for the contemporary tax man to remain relevant, he must build his capacity in areas of technology management, solution architects and an astute relationship manager.
The Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Mr Muhammad Nani, expressed concerns that IFFs posed a serious threat to the Nigerian economy as the act robbed the nation of resources that were needed for development.
Nani declared that tackling IFFs would expand the country’s tax base and improve revenue generation, which was required for development.
He consequently pushed for policy reforms that would make it difficult for “capital flights” from occurring so that the country would be placed on the path of growth.
Other discussants at the event identified weak regulatory framework, opacity of financial system and lack of capacity amongst others as some of the factors that fuelled IFFs.
The discussants emphasised the need for capacity building of relevant stakeholders as one of the ways to stamp out illicit financial flows.
They commended ICPC for leveraging its corruption prevention mandate to open a new vista in IFFs discourse in Nigeria. (NAN)
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