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Senate demands full audit of NNPC, NPA, NIMASA

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The Senate has asked the acting Auditor General of the Federation, Mr Adolphus Aghughu, to focus on the financial activities of big revenue generating agencies of government.

It specifically demanded that the office should do a comprehensive auditing of the accounts of key government’s agencies such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Matthew Urhoghide (Edo South), made the call on Monday during the 2021 budget defence of the Office of the Auditor General for the Federation.

He said, “You claim that you are auditing the account of the federation and you won’t touch the accounts of the NNPC, NPA, NIMASA, among others.

“You will remove all the big spenders from your watch list but you will focus on smaller agencies. That is what has been happening from 2015 till date.

“We don’t want to be seeing these smaller agencies of government that you are focusing on because they can’t settle well. We are tired of seeing audit queries involving municipal councils leaving behind the big agencies.”

Urhoghide said his committee would carry out further legislative work on what the AuGF was doing regarding the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).

He said, “We are doing status enquiries on the Bureau of Public Procurement based on the Auditor General report.

“We want to expand the scope. We want to look at their revenue and expenditure profile. We will look at the budget, particularly the Internally Generated Revenue.

“We want to see everything they have been collecting and how they’re spending it. We have asked the secretariat to write them and invite them. The indictment of the Auditor General is correct. They could not even defend the queries issued against them by the Auditor General.”

Urhoghide also said, “Your negligence has led to the institution of corruption. Why should you wait for corruption to be consummated in Nigeria before you act?

‘You should undertake performance audit at every stage of construction. You shouldn’t wait till the project is completed before raising the alarm and allow EFCC to step in and collect huge sums to fight corruption.

“It is because the auditors allow it. You are part of the cause of corruption in Nigeria.”

He urged the AuGF to shun internal wrangling and tribal conflict that could adversely affect their operations.

He warned that the Senate might advertise the office of the AuGF should the internal hostilities continue.

“The infighting among you must stop. There is no regulation that says that an external person cannot be auditor general,” He said.

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Photos: Kia dazzles Nigerian fans, unveils Sonet, Seltos compact SUVs

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Lovers of compact sport utility vehicles built with sophistication in Nigeria have two new stunning products to celebrate, coming from Kia Motors. They are the all-new Sonet and the high-tech Seltos.

The two models assembled in Nigeria and unveiled in Lagos on Friday to the motoring journalists are expected to substantially raise the market share of Kia in the compact SUV segment, which is fast becoming the toast of many new car buyers globally including Nigeria, especially young trendy people.

Details later…

 

 

 

 

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Southern govs okay VAT collection by state governments

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Governors of the southern states have agreed that collection of value-added tax (VAT) should be undertaken by state governments.

Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, disclosed this on Thursday while reading a communique at the end of a meeting of the governors in Enugu.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service and some state governments are currently in court over VAT collection.

Rivers and Lagos state governments have enacted laws empowering their respective states to collect the tax (VAT).

Last week, the Court of Appeal directed states to maintain status quo on VAT collection pending the determination of an appeal filed by the FIRS.

Akeredolu said that the governors affirmed that the collection of VAT fell within the powers of state governments.

“We resolved to support the position that the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the state,” he said.

He also said, “The meeting reaffirmed its earlier commitment to fiscal federalism and emphasised the need to pursue its inclusion in the Nigerian Constitution through the ongoing constitutional amendment.”

Akeredolu urged states in the south to leverage the competence of their houses of assembly and representation at the national assembly to pursue the goal.

He said that the meeting reviewed the state of the nation and the progress made in the implementation of the ban on open grazing of cattle in the south of Nigeria.

He said, “The meeting expressed satisfaction with the rate at which states in the south of Nigeria are amending or enacting the anti-open grazing law.

“This aligns with the uniform template and aspiration of governors in the south and we encourage the states that have yet to enact the law to do so expeditiously.

“The meeting agreed to encourage the full operationalisation of the already agreed regional security which will share intelligence and collaborate toward the safety and security of the region.”

The meeting was attended by Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta.

Others are Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun), Douye Diri (Bayelsa) and Dapo Abiodun (Ogun).

The deputy governors in attendance were Bisi Egbeyemi (Ekiti), Rauf Olaniyan (Oyo), Kelechi Igwe (Ebonyi), Ude Oko-Chukwu (Abia), Philip Shuaibu (Edo), Prof. Ivara Esu (Cross River) and Placid Njoku (Imo).

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Land Rover to expand Defender with eight-seater 130, showstopper models  

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Land Rover is preparing to expand the Defender lineup, turning it into a family of vehicles similar to what it did with the Range Rover nameplate.

The expansion will specifically cover a long-wheelbase variant, an eight-seater 130, due next year to a posh, six-figure model in 2025, caranddriver.com reports.

According to a report from Autocar, the first variant to arrive will be the 130, an extended-wheelbase version with eight seats and it is due in 2022.

An opulent range-topper is also expected by 2025, and will ride on the MLA platform that will also underpin the next generation Range Rover.

Land Rover already sells multiple versions of the Defender—the stubby but charming two-door 90, the standard four-door 110, and the burly supercharged V8 model.

The 130 should be at least 10 inches longer than the 110, with most of that length added to the rear overhang.

The Defender 130 is expected to only come in higher trim levels and should feature both the six and eight-cylinder engine options.

The US and China will be the stretched Defender’s primary markets, says the report.

The fancier model coming in 2025 will be based on the MLA platform that will underpin the next Range Rover. The MLA platform will support combustion engines, plug-in-hybrid setups, and electric powertrains, and will also form the basis for the next Range Rover Sport, Velar, and Discovery.

This would make a Defender EV possible, but the Range Rover and Velar are expected to have priority for all-electric versions.

The high-end Defender’s interior will be the major distinction, and Autocar says it will feature more vibrant colours and upscale materials.

Although the powertrain landscape will have shifted even further towards EVs by 2025, the luxe-Defender will likely still be powered by the six-cylinder engine.

A plug-in hybrid is also currently sold in Europe, and an evolution of this setup could come to the US as well.

An entry-level Defender 80 had also been rumoured to debut by 2025. It would have been based on the EMA (Electric Modular Architecture) platform, but Autocar reports that this model has been cancelled. That platform will be found in the next Evoque and Discovery Sport, but Land Rover has apparently decided to not move the Defender name down market, as a baby Defender likely wouldn’t have the higher profit margins that should make the 130 and luxury Defender worth the investment.

 

 

 

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