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Buhari creates 5 new ministries, introduces Ministry of power.

Following the announcement of portfolios for the newly appointed 43 ministers, President @MBuhari has created five new ministries.

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Finance Minister, President Muhammadu Buhari, AFCTA

Following the announcement of portfolios for the newly appointed forty-three (43) ministers, President Muhammadu Buhari has created five new ministries.

According to the list read by President Buhari on Wednesday at the swearing-in ceremony for ministers-designate, the five new ministries were created. These include:

  • Ministry of Police Affairs
  • Ministry of Special Duties/Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Ministry of Aviation
  • Minister for Humanitarian Affair, Disaster Management and Social Development
  • Ministry of Power

Ministerial list, Buhari, Minister

The details:

Ministry of Police Affairs: The ministry was a standalone ministry during the administration of former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan. However, upon President Buhari’s assumption in his first term, he merged the ministry with the Ministry for Interior to have a larger Interior ministry with a minister in charge. Meanwhile, the ministry has been returned as a stand-alone.

[READ ALSO: President Buhari assigns portfolios to all 43 ministers]

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Ministry of Special Duties/Intergovernmental Affairs: The ministry is newly created by President Buhari, and the duties and areas of coverage of the ministry are still not publicly clear. Concerns are already being expressed regarding what the ministry would represent when there is an existing ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ministry of Aviation: This was carved out of the MInistry of Transportation. While under the ministry, the portfolio was being overseen by a minister of state. However, the President has now separated it as a stand-alone ministry. Hence, the ministry of aviation is now a full-blown ministry with a substantive minister.

Minister for Humanitarian Affair, Disaster Management and Social Development: Similarly, this is also a new ministry just created by the President. Though the duties and areas of coverage have not been clearly spelt out, it is assumed as the name suggests will oversee emergency management, humanitarian issues and so on.

Ministry of Power: Under Jonathan’s administration, Minister for Power was equally a stand-alone ministry. However, President Buhari merged the ministry with works and housing under the supervision of former Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola. With the numerous power challenges round the country, the President has succumbed to pressure to have the power duties stand alone as a ministry.

During the ministerial inauguration, President Buhari announced Saleh Mamman as the new minister of power.

Recall that At Fashola’s ministerial screening, Rochas Okorocha, former Imo governor, said the former Governor started having grey hairs when he was handed three ministries. Okorocha further stated that the three ministries are too large to be handled by one person.

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“I thought the three ministries are too large to be handled by one person. Look at my friend now. He is having grey hairs at a young age,” Okorocha disclosed.

However, concerns are already being raised as to why the President would take power from Fashola having spent the first four years to understand the perennial problems bedeviling the sector.

[READ ALSO: Fashola stripped off power, as Adamu-Adamu, Ngige, others retain portfolios]

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Samuel is an Analyst with over 5 years experience. Connect with him via his twitter handle

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Business

NIPOST in disagreement with FIRS, says its stamp duty collection account is legal

This disclosure was made through a series of tweet posts by NIPOST.

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The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) has reacted to claims by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) that it is operating an illegal Stamp Duty Account.

In its denial of the submission by FIRS, NIPOST described the claims as false and made to misinform and mislead members of the public.

This disclosure was made through a series of tweet posts by NIPOST through their official Twitter handle on Saturday, August 9, 2020.

NIPOST in its statement disclosed that the account was opened by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in consultation with the office of Accountant General of the Federation, in the name of NIPOST Stamp Duties Collection Account when CBN gave instruction to Deposit Banks (DMB) to commence the deduction of N50 stamp duties from bank customers accounts.

The statement from NIPOST reads, ‘’The Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) attention has been drawn to a publication by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) that NIPOST operated an illegal stamp duty account. According to the publication, the Director of Communication and Liaison of FIRS made the statement in a series of tweets.’’

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‘’We hereby state categorically that the statement is false and was made to misinform and mislead members of the public.’’

‘’The account the Director of Communication FIRS made reference to as illegal was opened by the Central Bank of Nigeria under the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in consultation with the office of Accountant General of the Federation, in the name of NIPOST Stamp Duties Collection Account when CBN gave instruction to Deposit Money Banks (DMB) to commence the deduction of #50 stamp duties from bank customers accounts.’’

‘’The account belongs to the Federation and NIPOST does not have access to whatsoever monies lodged into the account, as such the question of illegality and misappropriation does not arise.’’

Going further, NIPOST restated that under the extant laws of Nigeria, the NIPOST Act 2004 provides and vests solely in NIPOST the power to print adhesives postage stamps, which is the instrument for denoting documents and other transaction instruments in compliance with the provisions of the Stamp Duties Act.

NIPOST said that it is seeking the proper implementation of the Finance Act. and was therefore surprised when FIRS took to the tweeter to call out the Chairman, NIPOST Board, Barrister Maimuna Yaya Abubakar, who just brought the attention of the Service and public that the agency would be emasculated if the Act is not properly implemented.

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The statement recalled that when there was a meeting between FIRS and NIPOST in July 2013 in the office of the Executive Chairman of FIRS, it resolved that NIPOST is statutory duty-bound to provide the stamps to be used by FIRS at both federal and state levels.

It can be recalled that there was been an ongoing dispute between FIRS and NIPOST over who should be the collecting agency for stamp duties.

The Chairperson of the Board of NIPOST, Hajiya Maimuna Abubakar, had during an interview claimed that both the FIRS and the National Assembly took over NIPOST’s ideas about stamp duty to the exclusion of the postal service.

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In its reaction, FIRS, while denying such claims said that FIRS is the only agency of federal government charged with the responsibility of assessing, collecting and accounting for all types of taxes including stamp duties.

It states that NIPOST is a government agency established by Decree 41 of 1992 with the function to develop, promote and provide adequate and efficiently coordinated postal services at reasonable rates.

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Commodities

Five oil majors reduce value of their assets by $50 billion in Q2

Energy demand at one point was down by more than 30% globally.

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Five oil majors reduce value of their assets by $50 billion in Q2

Five oil majors (including Exxon Mobil and British Petroleum) reduced the value of their assets by $50 billion in Q2, 2020. They also reduced their production rates as the COVID-19 pandemic caused a downward trend in energy demand.

What this means: The cut in asset valuations and reduction in crude oil production by these oil majors showed the depth of damage the COVID-19 pandemic caused on the global energy sector in Q2, 2020.

Energy demand at one point was down by more than 30% globally and still remains below pre-pandemic levels.

READ MORE: Respite for Nigeria as Exxon Mobil and Shell lose $1.8 billion arbitration award  

Some of these conpanies’ executives said they took these austerity measures because they expect demand to continue to be on the downward trend in the meantime. This is in view of the fact that people around the world are traveling less, even as many global industries are not in full capacity. The pandemic has already killed more than 700,000 people.

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Of those five oil majors, only Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) did not book sizeable impairments, Reuters reported. However, an ongoing re-evaluation of Exxon Mobil plans could lead to a reasonable amount of its assets being impaired, and signal the removal of 20% or 4.4 billion barrels of its oil and gas reserves.

READ ALSO: Oil prices drop to 21-year low as demand and storage crises persist

Oil major BP (BP.L) took a $17 billion hot. It said its plans in the coming years would be a focus on renewables and fewer fossils.

About two weeks ago, Nairametrics reported how Exxon Mobil and Chevron posted their worst losses in modern history, as the COVID-19 pandemic and a glut in crude oil reduced the demand for energy products in the second quarter of 2020.

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Hospitality & Travel

US gives reasons it warned citizens against travelling to Nigeria, lists 12 high risk states

The US government has issued a level 3 Travel Health Notice for Nigeria due to COVID-19.

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US gives reasons it warned citizens against travelling to Nigeria, lists 12 high risk states, Donald Trump, What does Iran’s war with America mean for Africa?, US to stop issuing visa for Birth Tourism, Trump Travel Ban List: Why Nigeria should be excluded  , US spends over $5b in health assistance to Nigeria in 20 years, gives $32.8m for covid-19, Oil Is Back

The United State Government has advised its citizens against travelling to Nigeria due to the Coronavirus pandemic, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, widespread inter-communal violence, and others.

This warning is contained in a travel advisory statement that was obtained from the United State Department of State website.

The statement also disclosed that the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had issued a level 3 Travel Health Notice for Nigeria due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Also, some parts of the country have increased risk.

“Reconsider travel to Nigeria due to Covid-19. Reconsider travel to Nigeria due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping and maritime crime. Some areas have increased risk.’

READ MORE: Chevron considers divesting from Nigeria, to focus on U.S Shale Oil

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‘’Do not travel to; Borno and Yobe States and Northern Adamawa State due to terrorism; Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano and Yobe States due to kidnapping; Coastal areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta and Rivers States (with the exception of Port Harcourt) due to crime, civil unrest, kidnapping and maritime crime,’’ the statement said.

It stated that violent crimes such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, kidnapping, and rape, have become common throughout the country. As such, US citizens were advised to exercise extreme caution throughout the country due to the threat of indiscriminate violence.

“Terrorists continue plotting and carrying out attacks in Nigeria, especially in the Northeast. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting shopping centres, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, schools, government installations, transportation hubs, and other places where crowds gather.

READ ALSO: Forex turnover at NAFEX hit $1.6 billion since June 2020

“Sporadic violence occurs between communities of farmers and herders in rural areas.’

The US government acknowledged the fact that it has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in many parts of Nigeria due to the security conditions.

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Going further it stated, “Do not travel to Borno and Yobe States and Nothern Adamawa. Terrorist groups based in the Northeast target churches, schools, mosques, government installations, educational institutions and entertainment venues. Approximately two million Nigerians have been displaced as a result of the violence in Northeast Nigeria.

“Do not travel to Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano and Yobe States. The security situation in Northwest and Northeast Nigeria is fluid and unpredictable, particularly in the states listed above due to widespread inter-communal violence and kidnapping.

“Do not travel to the coastal areas of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross Rivers, Delta and Rivers States (with the exception of Port Harcourt). Crime is rampant throughout Southern Nigeria, and there is a heightened risk of kidnapping and maritime crime, along with violent civil unrest and attacks against expatriate oil workers and facilities.’’

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