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BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Niger Govt Sets Up Committee To Query Financial Misappropriation Against BIR

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Niger State government in the northern part of Nigeria has set up a committee to investigate allegations of financial misappropriation against the Executive Chairman of the Niger State Board of Internal Revenue (BIR), Alhaji Mohammed Estu.

Mohammed Etsu, according to a petitioner engages in financial recklessness running into several millions of Naira, including spending huge sums on air tickets for himself and his escort on personal trips to visit his children who are in school abroad.

The Chairman is also said to have appointed his friends, family members and retirees from Federal Inland Revenue as, ‘Special Advisers’ and paid them between N900, 000 to N1.7 million per month, over 100 per cent above that of monthly take home for average state government paid worker who receives less than N90, 000 monthly.

While the Governor’s Special Advisers receive a monthly pay of less than N900, 000, the Board Chairman it was gathered pays between N900, 000 to N1.7 million monthly to his Special Advisers, which is over 100 per cent more.

Messers Nuhu Edah and Co of Success Chambers had in a petition titled, “The brazen abuse and unethical behaviour of Muhammad Madami Etsu, the Executive Chairman of the Niger State Internal Revenue Service (NGIRS)”, draw the Governor’s attention on the alleged misconduct by the Chairman since he assumed office in July 2021.

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Other allegations against Etsu include huge spending of funds and would indulge in victimising any staff that dares to raise eyebrows with instant transfers from the BIR headquarters to local government areas just to cover up his shoddy dealings.

Etsu is also accused of distorting the revenue generation chain. Instead of revenue generation which is in three phases; internal efforts revenue generated from staff from zonal to area offices in the collection of taxes, Contribution from MDAS and Tertiary Institutions and contribution from the Accountant General’s account were wrought with miscalculations.

“Any payment of the tax by the Federal Government goes directly into the Accountant General’s account, against any revenue generated by the NGIRS which entitles it to 10%, as the cost of collection, Muhammed Etsu used to announce the whole generation that includes that of AGs office. But at the end of the day, NGIRS will not be given the 10% cost of collection and will be restricted only to those internally generated”.

Another unpardonable sin of Muhammed Etsu is, announcing that he generated N16 billion of which 10 percent is N1.6 billion but to date, he cannot account for how the N1.6 billion was spent, and he shares to members of staff 2.2 per cent instead of 10 per cent and no explanations whatsoever bout what happened to the remaining 72 per cent.

 

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OIL & GAS

Nigerian Government Plans to Restore Crude Production to 1.7 Million Barrels Per Day

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The Nigerian Government has stated that efforts are underway to restore Nigeria’s oil production, including condensate, to 1.7 million barrels per day.

Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), assured in response to recent concerns about a shortfall in Nigerian oil production in the first quarter of 2024.

According to a statement from Nneamaka Okafor, Special Assistant, Media and Communications, to the Minister, Sen. Lokpobiri, measures are being taken to address the situation and not only restore but also increase production.

The minister clarifies that the reported production shortfall was primarily caused by issues encountered on the Trans Niger Pipeline, as well as maintenance activities carried out by some Nigerian oil companies.

The Minister is also pleased to announce that the issues have been adequately addressed, and that production is expected to resume at previous levels in the coming days.

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He expects Nigeria’s oil production, including condensate, to be restored soon, having been around 1.7 million barrels per day (bpd) before these developments.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources is actively involved in policy development aimed at maximising the utilisation of all available wells in Nigeria.

This strategic approach will allow the country to increase production, generating vital revenue to maintain the country’s foreign exchange reserves.

Increased revenue will also allow the government to meet its commitments to provide essential infrastructure, as outlined in the 2024 budget.

The Minister also expresses renewed optimism as Nigeria navigates these challenges, urging everyone to remain committed to ensuring the long-term viability and growth of Nigeria’s oil sector, which is critical to the country’s economy.

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BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Our Policies Geared Towards Growing Businesses, Attracting New Ones—Gov. Ott

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Dr. Alex Otti, Governor of Abia State, says his administration has worked to grow businesses and attract new ones to the state over the last ten months.
Governor Otti described Abia as an investment-friendly state, expressing his desire to see businesses operating in the state grow.
The Governor made this statement while meeting with the Managing Director and management team of Inner Galaxy Steel Company Limited, a Chinese conglomerate operating in Abia State’s Ukwa-West axis, who paid him a visit on Thursday.
“Our policy is to support the industry. Some of our initiatives are aimed at supporting existing industries while also attracting new ones.
“I encourage you to continue doing business in Abia State because we welcome investors. We have just set up the Abia Industrial Innovation Park (AIIP) in Owaza. If there are some collaborations, since you are already in Ukwa West, we will tell the Managing Director of the AIIP to engage with you,” Governor Otti told the visiting Chinese team, adding that, it is only when investments grow that businesses can employ the teeming unemployed Abia youths.
He charged the company with fair labour practices as a way of attracting the government’s continued support, while allaying their fears of clamping down on them following allegations of not providing a conducive working environment for their workers.
The Governor encouraged the company to collaborate with the management of the Abia Industrial Innovation Park to take advantage of the opportunities provided in the area.
Earlier, the company’s Managing Director, Mr Lin Shanbiao, explained that Inner Galaxy is a conglomerate of four companies that produce steel, assemble caravan parts, manufacture automobile batteries and recycle used bottles.
He stated that their visit was to inform the Governor of their activities and to explore potential collaboration with the state government.

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BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Quest For Green Energy Boosted By Appointment Of New CEO At Global Energy Alliance For People, Planet

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Woochong Um

The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) announced today the appointment of Mr. Woochong Um as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Woochong Um will lead GEAPP following his tenure with the Asian Development Bank. GEAPP is a multi-sector alliance created in 2021 to address one of the defining challenges of our time—ending energy poverty and tackling the climate crisis through a just transition to renewable energy.

The appointment is a reaffirmation of GEAPP’s commitment to realizing greater change and opportunities to unlock green energy in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean to power progress and secure an inclusive, resilient future for all.

The appointment of Woochong Um culminates in a rigorous selection process and represents the beginning of a new phase for GEAPP as it builds on a successful track record that started with its launch at COP26 in 2021.

To date, GEAPP has invested $464m of active capital in nearly 100 projects in almost 20 countries, and built an alliance of over 50 partners driving a shared mission that is showing early evidence of transformational impact with 147,000 tons of CO2 emissions averted, 1.3 million people and businesses connected to new or improved energy systems, and over 600,000 jobs and livelihoods supported (directly and indirectly) as cited in its second impact report Powering People & Planet.

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Jessica Anderen, CEO of the IKEA Foundation, a founding partner of GEAPP alongside The Rockefeller Foundation and Bezos Earth Fund, said, “Woochong has deep experience in building diverse, trust-based coalitions that come together to deliver social and environmental impact at scale.

Woochong’s approach to leadership is rooted in his values and a long-standing commitment to making a positive impact on people and the planet. The IKEA Foundation is delighted to welcome him to his new role.”

Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation, said, “At a moment when the world has finally realised the need to transition away from fossil fuels, Woochong is the innovative and proven executive GEAPP needs to ensure that everyone – not just the wealthiest countries and communities—can power their lives and futures with renewable energy.”

GEAPP is grateful to have had the dedicated and strong leadership of interim CEO Joseph Ng’ang’a, who guided the alliance and advanced its work to scale distributed renewable energy and battery energy storage systems across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Effective 1 August 2024, Joseph will hand over the role to Woochong Um, who will continue the alliance’s pioneering work to scale new solutions, strengthen partnerships, and facilitate access to an inclusive and resilient future for all.

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“The appointment of Woochong Um as CEO of GEAPP is an inspired choice,” said Dr. Andrew Steer, President  & CEO of the Bezos Earth Fund. “The mission of GEAPP could not be more important, and

Woochong brings to the task a highly distinguished track record as a leader, mentor, and change agent. This appointment will add momentum to the pace of the energy transition in emerging and developing countries, where families and businesses will have better and safer access to power. We’re proud to be a partner with GEAPP’s collective movement to drive a just energy transition for all.”

“As we embark on this journey toward a greener future, we stand firm in our resolve to champion innovation and accessibility in the energy transition especially in emerging markets.

Over the past two years, we have laid the foundation for GEAPP’s continued growth and catalytic impact and I look forward to continuing our work with Woochong Um to deliver an even greater impact for people and the planet together with our alliance partners,” said Joseph Nganga, Interim CEO of GEAPP.

Woochong Um brings a wealth of experience from his prestigious 31-year career at the Asian Development Bank. As ADB’s Managing Director General, he spearheaded global partnerships and funding mechanisms to transform economies and communities.

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Woochong’s time at the ADB saw him driving the bank’s sustainability agenda, putting environmental and renewable energy action plans at the heart of major development sectors, including health, education, agriculture, community resilience, and humanitarian settings.

Before the ADB, he worked as a corporate computer systems specialist at Pitney Bowes and Pfizer in the USA.

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