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Business

ICPC says it prevented misapplication of N189 billion by MDAs between 2019-2020

The ICPC has disclosed that the Commission prevented the misappropriation of the sum of N189 billion by MDAs between 2019 and 2020.

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School feeding, ICPC, FIRS moves to stop tax evasion with newly launched intelligence system 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) announced between 2019-2020 it prevented the misapplication of N189 billion by Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

This was disclosed by the  Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, at a meeting with Directors of Finance and Accounts on Wednesday in Abuja to address challenges likely to hamper the implementation of the 2021 Federal budget.

The ICPC boss said that funds were flagged by the ICPC during its 2019/2020 System Study and Review of the MDAs.

READ: School Feeding Programme: We found N2.6 billion in private accounts – ICPC

Part of the outcome from 2019 System Study and Review of the commission is the mopping up of N42 billion (personnel cost) in 2019, and N147 billion in 2020.

The Minister of Finance through findings of the commission of the wrong application of personnel cost on overhead and capital items, issued a negative warrant to mop up excess cash available in the personnel costs of the MDAs to forestall further misapplication of funds,” he said.

Similar warrant was issued in 2020 totalling N147 billion, which was a huge savings to government,” he added.

READ: Update: Court asks EFCC to arrest ExxonMobil Nigeria MD over alleged fraud

He added that the expenditure types from the MDAs included DTA and Estacode, electricity, water and sewage bills, procurement of diesel and stationery, payment of transport allowance and flight fares and illegal employees as well as illegal allowances.

Some agencies of government engaged in massive capital project implementation through direct labour with attendant implication for corruption and loss of project quality and tax revenues.

“This is an existential threat to the nation and it has already negatively impacted stability and development because funds appropriated for major infrastructure and development projects are simply diverted or mismanaged.

“It starts with those of us in this room. This impunity cannot continue ad infinitum. Nigeria cannot and will not survive it, ” he said.

READ: ICPC uncovers N9.8 billion Government money hidden in Aso Savings

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What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported that the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2020 published by Transparency International indicates that Nigeria occupies the 149th position out of the 180 countries surveyed as well scored 25 out of 100 points.

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Business

AfCFTA to reduce illegal gold mining in Nigeria – Minister of Mines

The Minister of Mines and Steel says that illegal gold mining would be stemmed by the implementation of AfCFTA.

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FG to launch policy to prevent smuggling of mineral resources

The Nigerian Government announced that the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) would help reduce illegal mining in the country and also standardize Mining practices in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, at the NAN forum in Abuja on Sunday.

The Minister disclosed that the mining sector was ignored by the Federal Government after oil was discovered, which made it possible for artisanal miners to venture into the sector.

Right now, many Nigerians are into artisanal mining and this was caused by the fact that when oil was discovered, Nigeria moved away from mining, which was the mainstream of the economy.

Before oil and gas, Nigeria relied on coal and tin; we were exporting and were indeed, quoted on the London Metal Exchange.

“And that is basically what was giving Nigeria money in those days before oil came but when oil came, we moved away. We left mining behind,” he said.

READ: Aviation Minister orders airline operators to ensure rights of persons with disabilities

He added that the most mined commodity in Nigeria by artisanal miners is gold, which has created a lucrative black market for international buyers. He also said that with the AfCFTA, documentation of mining exports would be required, reducing illegal outflows.

Gold is the most traded mineral in Nigeria and these people mine gold and get nuggets. There are several thousands of such miners, when you aggregate what they mine, it comes in large volume and several kilos of gold,” he said.

To know the extent of the money they make in the gold business, they hire private jets to take them out illegally because they realise a lot of money.

“At the rate gold is selling, one ounce of gold is selling for $2,200 and by the time you carry a thousand kilogrammes, you are making several billions of naira.

But with AfCFTA coming into effect, we hope that other countries will cooperate with Nigeria because now it is a free trade but there is documentation,” he added.

READ: Gold prices suffer worst week in four months

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The Minister said that with AfCFTA going into effect, the FG hopes it will help stem the problem because Nigeria is  supposed to trade freely with Africa with documentation.

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We hope that other countries will cooperate with Nigeria. I will not allow such illegal activity to go on within those countries,” he said.

In case you missed it: Nairametrics also reported that the Mining Minister said a Nigerian-Canadian company, mining gold in Nigeria’s Osun State looks set to commence the exportation of gold in June this year.

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Insecurity: Nigeria needs to increase military spending – Senator Ali Ndume

Ndume has called on the FG to increase military funding so as to contain the rising insecurity in the country.

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#EndSARS: Nothing wrong with social media bill - Ali Ndume, Senate rejects VAT increase

Senator Ali Ndume insisted that the Federal Government needs to increase its total military spending to be able to tackle the rising insecurity in Nigeria which has seen a number of school students in 2021 kidnapped by bandits.

The Senator disclosed this in an interview with Channels TV on Sunday evening.

“We have the forces on ground, but they need what it takes especially more equipments.

“All these take a lot of money, and they need to be given those things in order for them to perform.

“The number one priority is ammunition and those are lacking. They are not sufficient enough,” the Senator said.

READ: Don Jazzy laments artistes’ loses to insecurity across Nigeria

The Senator said that the Nigerian Air Force must have the air capabilities that translate to things like fighter jets, helicopters, etc. Ndume said that the military must be given adequate training in order to be able to manage such equipment.

He added that Nigeria is placed in an unfortunate position, which has seen it lacking in air defense capabilities and revealed the build-up to higher military equipment purchase is not easy.

He called for the FG to explore all options, in order to make sure that the Nigerian armed forces have all that they need to rise up to the challenge of insecurity.

READ: Boko Haram: A protracted battle yet to be won?    

He said, “I am not satisfied. The funding of the armed forces and security agencies is not enough, compared to our population of over N200 million.

“When you look at current military spending, compared to other poor countries around, we are not doing enough, we have to do more.”

What you should know 

  • In recent years, insecurity in the country has heightened with Boko Haram terrorism, herders-farmers clashes, attacks and kidnappings by bandits, etc.
  • Nairametrics reported that President Muhammadu Buhari said the Federal Government will not succumb to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students in the expectation of huge ransom payments.

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