- Nigeria Recovers $3bn Unpaid Oil Monies, Says NEITI
The total amount of unpaid oil and gas monies that Nigeria’s government has recovered using audit reports of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has hit $3billion, the Executive Secretary of NEITI, Mr. Waziri Adio has disclosed.
Adio stated in a presentation he made at the 2017 edition of the annual lecture series of the Dauda Adegbenro Foundation held at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, that through the instrumentality of NEITI’s audit reports, the various agencies of government relevant in this regard have reclaimed $3 billion of the unpaid oil revenues from operators in the oil industry.
He said despite the transparency drive championed by the NEITI in Nigeria’s extractive sectors, the country was yet to escape from the impacts of resource curse, adding that this was because it had not deepened the principles of NEITI in its management of her extractive sectors.
“Through NEITI’s reports and interventions, Nigerians now know more about the operations of the sector that, despite low commodity prices, (oil) still remains the backbone of their economy. Citizens, civic groups and the media are now better armed with information that they can use to ask probing questions and make informed contributions to governance. Over time, various governments have used information from NEITI’s reports to recover almost $3 billion that would have ended up unpaid. NEITI’s recommendations are driving the on-going reforms in our oil and gas and mining sectors,” Adio explained.
He added that despite the country’s poor appreciation of the ideal of NEITI, it has however set the pace among EITI implementing countries, which now include the United Kingdom, United States, and Germany.
“In 2013, Nigeria was voted as the best EITI implementing country in the world. Different countries, notably Ethiopia and Malawi, have come to Nigeria to understudy how EITI is implemented in Nigeria. Despite the well-acknowledged progress that our country is making in EITI implementation, Nigeria is yet to escape resource curse. EITI has not failed us. We, especially at moments of high oil prices, failed ourselves. Our country will benefit more from faithfully implementing the recommendations of the NEITI audit reports, which are done at considerable public expense. On-going reforms of the extractive sector deserve special commendation and should be sustained. Yet much more needs to be done to ensure prudent, accountable and optimal use of our extractive resources.
“One, we need to know exactly how many barrels of crude oil we produce, not just how many barrels that we export. NEITI’s first audit report covering the period 1999 to 2004 claimed that Nigeria did not know or could not independently and scientifically state its oil production beyond the say-so of the operators,” Adio said.
“The situation remains the same, 11 years after that report was released, 59 years after we exported our first vessel of oil and 61 years after we discovered oil in commercial quantity in Oloibiri, in present Bayelsa State,” he added.
Naira Mastercard: GTBank Reduces International Spending Limit to $100/Month
GTBank Further Caps International Spending Limit on Naira Mastercard
Forex scarcity has forced Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) to further reduce the international spending limit on its Naira Mastercard from $500 per month to $100 per month.
The lender had reduced international spending limit from $3,000 per month set in 2018 to $1,500 per month in March 2020 when COVID-19 eroded the nation’s foreign reserves.
“We would like to inform you that the monthly spending limit on your GTBank Naira Mastercard has been reviewed from $3,000 to $1,500 for your international online and POS transactions effective March 25, 2020” GTBank stated in March.
However, persistent foreign exchange scarcity has forced the lender to once again reduced its international spending limit from $1,500 per month to $500 per month in the same March before finally reducing to $100 per month on August 11, 2020.
According to the bank, the new limit will affects online, PoS and ATM transactions, both transactions done in Nigeria and abroad.
The notice reads “Dear customer, the monthly spending limit on your GTBank Naira Mastercard is now $100 for international transactions. Thank you for banking with us.”
Customers have said GTbank has also implemented the Central Bank of Nigeria’s recent policy of ‘no cash withdrawal of transferred funds into domiciliary accounts.’
“Only electronic fund transfers into Domiciliary accounts can be transferred from such accounts while cash deposits into such accounts can only be withdrawn in cash also,” said Isaac Okorafor, Director, Corporate Communications.
Therefore, customers of GTBank and other Deposit Money Banks are advised to check with their banks for the latest developments that may hurt their operations.
Magu Probe: FCMB Denies Paying Money into Pastor’s Account
No Money Was Paid Into Pastor’s Account, FCMB Tells Nigerians
Following a widely publicised report that the Managing Director of FCMB Group Plc claimed that he mistakenly transferred N573 million to an account of Magu’s pastor, the lender has come out to refute the report.
In a statement released by the FCMB Group on Wednesday, the bank said the report was false as there was no transfer of such amount into the said account.
This, the bank said was clarified during the presidential hearing in Abuja by the bank’s Managing Director.
According to the bank, the error had occurred only on file during a system upgrade in 2016. This upgrade, the bank claimed led to multiple unrelated entries into a single account under the affected customer’s name on one of the lender’s reports.
The bank’s statement reads “Our attention has been drawn to widely circulating stories incorrectly stating that our Managing Director, during a recent presidential hearing in Abuja, testified that the bank mistakenly transferred N573m to the account of a church and the said error was not discovered for 4 years. We feel it is in the public interest to state emphatically that there was no transfer of N573m into this account, mistakenly or otherwise.
“To provide further clarity, during a maintenance upgrade of our systems in 2016, a defective file led to the aggregation of multiple unrelated entries into a single balance under the affected customer’s name in one of our reports.
“This aggregation occurred only in the weekly automated report to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit. It had no effect on any customer account balance or statements and therefore was not immediately identified.
“Our Managing Director clarified to the Presidential panel that the system generated report was incorrect and that there was no mistaken transfer of N573 million. He also submitted comprehensive documentary evidence to this effect.
“We appreciate that comments may have been misconstrued and therefore believe it is important to emphatically clarify the position that there was no mistaken transfer whatsoever, as stated above.
“FCMB continues to fully cooperate with the panel, and has been entirely transparent in its reporting. We remain committed to ethical and professional conduct at all times.”
FG Implores Parastatals to Promote the Country’s Digital Economy Initiative
FG Tells MDAs to Promote the Country’s Digital Economy
The Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy under the management of Dr. Isa Pantami, has implored all the federal government parastatals to promote and safeguard the country’s digital economy initiative.
Dr. Isa Pantami, while presenting the keynote address in a virtual forum organised by the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), said based on the negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for critical data infrastructure and broadband is now high.
The minister urged government parastatals to put in effort to uphold and promote government’s digital economy initiative designed to reduce the effect of the pandemic on the nation. He also disclosed that the interests of all Nigerians would also be protected by the government.
“Federal government will continue to develop its digital economy policy for a digital Nigeria. Both the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) that are under the supervision of my ministry, now have special departments that promotes digital economy initiative and I urge them and all other parastatals under my supervision, to ensure that they promote the digital economy initiative of the federal government in order to maintain investor’s confidence and to protect the interest of Nigerians, especially telecoms consumers.
“Government on its part will ensure that the interests of telecoms companies and the interest of Nigerians are protected. Government is currently addressing the challenges in the cost of investments such as the issue of vandalisation of telecoms infrastructure, and President Muhammadu Buhari has officially directed all security institutes, through the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), to protect telecoms investments in the country,” Pantami said.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, when making his presentation said “The COVID-19 pandemic rapidly and sharply ravaged the globe, Nigeria is no exception. Governments therefore, faced unprecedented challenges from COVID-19 pandemic. The impact affects most sectors of the global economy, ranging from health, to education, to finance, to trade and investment.”
While explaining the Commission’s efforts at resolving consumer-related issues, Danbatta noted that less than 500,000 people activated Do-Not-Disturb (DND) code as at 2015 when the code was introduced by the Commission but presently, over 22,722,366 people line on the code.
He also made it known that the commission has resolved 98 per cent of service-related complaints received from telecoms consumers from January 2019 to April 2020.
according to Danbatta “the Commission has monthly engagements with operators as well as quarterly industry working group on Quality of Service and Short Codes, and is currently monitoring 2G Key Performance Indicators, while the KPIs for 4G are being prepared.”
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