By Tony Obiecina and Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) said it has so far contributed N135bn out of the N220bn it is expected to generate for the 2019 fiscal budget.
The Director General of the agency, Mr. Alex Okoh disclosed this at an interactive forum with the Senate Committee on Privatisation at the National Assembly.
The privatization agency in a statement on Sunday by the Head of Communication, Amina Othman said the Bureau was expected to contribute N220bn in line with the Medium-Term Framework submitted by the Federal Government to the National Assembly for 2019 budget.
She quoted the Director General as saying that the N135bn was generated through the sale of the Afam Electricity Generation Company (Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Limited),re-privatisation of the Yola Electricity Distribution Company (YEDC) and sale of 29 percent Federal Government’s shares in the Geregu Power plant.
Okoh while calling on the National Assembly to critically look at the funding framework for the Bureau, expressed optimism that BPE would meet its target for the 2020 fiscal budget.
He regretted that out of the N2bn allocated to the Bureau yearly from the national purse for its operations, N1.5bn is for staff emoluments through the Integrated Pay role and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and “of the N500m that is supposed to come to the Bureau for overheads and capital expenditure, only about 15 percent of the amount is eventually released to the Bureau against what is obtained in other revenue generating agencies of the Federal Government”.
The Director General advised the Federal Government to give consideration to the privatisation of federal government-owned enterprises to fund the N10.33trillion 2020 budget, with a total deficit of N2.28trillion and decried a situation where the state-owned enterprises place an undue pressure on the lean public purse by way of subventions.
He noted that there was no justification for the ritual of yearly budget deficit with local and external borrowings when there were national assets that could be converted into liquidity to fund the government’s fiscal programmes.
“It is not good to keep borrowing on a yearly basis to finance deficit budget when a lot of very valuable national assets are lying fallow and moribund. Proceeds from outright privatisation or concession of the moribund assets, should serve as veritable sources in funding the budget since the assets are more or less, becoming national liabilities”, he added.
TTP to Deploy Truck Call-Up System on Mile 2-Tin Can Road December
From Anthony Nwachukwu, Lagos
On the strength of the palliative works at the Mile 2-Tin Can segment
of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway to ease congestion until the major
construction work is completed, managers of the electronic truck
call-up system have disclosed plans to deploy the technology on that
axis before the end of 2021.
This comes as the Trucks Transit Park (TTP), which manages the
electronic call-up system called eto, noted that the Nigerian Ports
Authority (NPA) has already approached the Federal and Lagos State
governments to get the contractor to provide palliatives to reduce the
chaos on the route.
The TTP Chief Operations Officer, Mr. Temidayo Adeboye, who listed
the company’s successes since their initial deployment in Apapa in
February 2021 to include reduction in cargo haulage cost and saner
wharf road, explained that “the same technology applied at Apapa Port
has been applied at Tin Can Port.”
However, “the major challenge at the Tin Can Port is the amount of
road construction going on around the area. The construction company
did not provide any palliative; all the trucks are passing on a single
lane, you have the area boys, the union (road transport and truckers)
and everyone, it is like a mad house.”
Meanwhile, Adeboye explained that after fixing the NPA trucks,
which account for 50 per cent of the Apapa traffic, the oil and gas
trucks (30 per cent) would be the next phase of vehicles to be brought
onboard the eto platform in the holistic plan for effective management
of the traffic situation.
According to him, “the only people not using eto and making life
difficult for us in Apapa are the oil and gas traffic. Though their
unions are coordinated, it would be better we have them on eto so as
to move them electronically. It will kill extortion completely and
ensure flow of traffic.”
With all the major oil marketers having the necessary
infrastructure to onboard their tankers, Adeboye noted that bringing
them onboard would be relatively easy. According to him, “it is easier
to control the major marketers than the independent marketers.
“All the six major marketers have what it takes to onboard the eto
– tanker parks, access control, pre-gate and CCTV. Within one week, we
can onboard the six major marketers because they have everything it
takes. We can now move to independent marketers; they can come
together and acquire land in Apapa for their truck park.”
These challenges notwithstanding, the truck electronic call-up
system has caused a drastic drop in haulage cost from Apapa port, with
cargo haulage from Apapa to locations within Lagos crashing from N1.5
million to the current N200,000, even though import is peaking.
Adeboye recalled that before eto deployment, haulage of a 40ft
container from Apapa to warehouse within Lagos was N1.5 million but
now N400, while a 20ft container, which was previously transported at
N800,000, now costs N200,000.
He added: “People are beginning to come to terms with the fact that
the eto technology is working and that is why there is sanity in Apapa
ports. As we have added technology, we have removed human interface.”
FIRS Seeks to Generate More Revenue from Stamp Duty – Nami
By Tony Obiechina Abuja
The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Muhammad Nami said on Thursday that the Federal Government can generate more revenue from Capital Gains Tax and Stamp Duty.
A that the inefficiencies that have plagued these taxes have have led to poor revenue generation from.
Nami who stated this during the opening ceremony of the 2021 tax week of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria in Abuja, noted that the inefficiencies that have plagued these taxes have led to the poor revenue generation.
According to him, the theme of the tax week for this year is, “Efficient Tax Administration as a Panacea for Increased Revenue Generation”, was apt as it reflected the current efforts of the governments at all levels to increase revenue generation and reduce debt financing.
He added that the government’s efforts to boost revenue are currently hindered by insecurity, high exchange rate and the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The FIRS Boss said, “The Federal Government needs money to provide more critical infrastructure, maintain existing ones and provide medical and educational facilities to the teaming youth and by extension reduce unemployment.
“I believe that this occasion will generate new ideas, innovations and strategies for enhancing revenue collection by the Federal and State governments through their various Revenue Authorities.
“Looking at the topics for paper presentation, discussions will center on Stamp Duty and Capital Gains Tax.
“These taxes are currently not being adequately collected and it is my sincere hope that discussions here will generate the much needed drive for efficient administration of these taxes and ultimately increase revenue generation by both the State and Federal governments”, he added.
Also speaking at the event, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, said there was need for the country to spend more on critical infrastructure.
“What is clear is that we need for revenue, the challenge we have is not that our budget is big. The DG budget has also reiterated this, he said that what is required is for us to spend more, considering the infrastructural deficit that we have.
“That is why the Minister of Finance has always mentioned that the challenge we have in the country is a revenue challenge,” he said.
He added that the Office of the Accountant General remains committed to the implementation of public financial reforms that are meant to deepen transparency, efficiency and accountability, in the use of public resources for the common good of Nigerians.
SON Partners Army on Intelligence Sharing, Surveillance, Enforcement
The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) said it is seeking partnership with the Nigerian Army on intelligence sharing, surveillance and enforcement against sub-standard goods throughout the country.
This is contained in a statement issued to newsmen by the SON Public Relations Officer South-East/South-South region, Mr Paul Iorkyaa, in Enugu yesterday.
The statement said that SON’s State Coordinator for Rivers/Bayelsa, Mr Sam Ayuba, sought the collaboration when he paid a courtesy visit to the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen.
It said that the event took place in Port Harcourt on Oct. 13.
Ayuba noted that there was the need to strengthen the collaborative relationship between the Agency and the Division in fighting the menace of substandard products manufactured in the country and those smuggled in through the borders.
“The sales of substandard products in the markets including army mini-markets were of huge risk to consumers.
“SON is deeply concerned with incessant influx of substandard and fake products, both local and imported, in the South-South zone of the country.
“We, therefore, call for the assistance of the Nigerian army through the Division on intelligence sharing, surveillance and enforcement operations.
“SON relies on intelligence from sister agencies such as the Nigerian Army, consumer complaints and other sources to gather information for her operations, hence the need for such partnership in crime fighting,” the coordinator said.
Responding, Mohammed said that the Division was ready to collaborate with any progressive thinking Agency or Organisation in the area of security and protection of lives and property.
He said that the assurance was in line with the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya’s, vision.
He explained that the COAS vision is: “To have a Nigerian Army ready to accomplish assigned missions within a joint environment in the defence of Nigeria”.
Similarly, Ayuba also paid a courtesy visit to Lt.- Col. Mohammed Mashegu, the Commanding Officer, 29 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt.
The coordinator also sought the cooperation of the Battalion in getting rid of substandard products; while commending the Army for its unflinching efforts toward keeping the country safe.
Ayuba also called for ways to sustain the formidable working relationship that had existed between the Agency and Battalion before now.
Responding, Mashegu said that SON should expect nothing short of standard from the battalion, especially in providing the Agency with worthy officers and soldiers for her operations as well as relevant intelligence when needed.(NAN)
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