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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.

Aviation

Rains: NiMet warns of severe turbulence, flight cancellations

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The Director-General, Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Prof. Mansur Matazu, has said airlines will encounter severe turbulence, flight delays and cancellations during rainfall.
He therefore called on pilots and airline managements to adhere to the weather forecast as the likely severe turbulence could cause discomfort, injury to passengers, instability and even loss of control for small aircraft.
Matazu was quoted in a statement on Friday as saying, “Heavy rains could also lead to skidding of aeroplanes due to surface wetness and impaired horizontal visibility.
“Thunderstorms could also lead to accidents, incidents, flight delays, flight cancellation, death, damage among others.
“Windshear could lead to accidents, incidents, aircraft nosedive, discomfort, aircraft lost control and death.”
The NiMet boss urged airline operators to take weather forecast seriously, stating the turbulence usually would cause poor visibility.
He also called on passengers to be patient with the airlines as flight delays, flight cancellations and flight diversion will be experienced within this period.

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Navy arrests 10 vandals with smuggled 210,000 litres of diesel

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Operatives of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Beecroft have arrested 10 suspected vandals with 210,000 litre of stolen diesel.
The suspects were alleged to have attempted to smuggle the products concealed in water tanks to neighbouring Benin Republic through a wooden boat when they were intercepted around the Lagos anchorage.
A statement released on Friday by Base Information Officer, Sub-Lieutenant Veronica Effiong, said the suspects with the seized products had been handed over to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, after preliminary investigations.
She said, “The vandals and seized products were on Tuesday, June 15, handed over to the Lagos Command of the NSCDC for further investigation and prosecution.
“The Commander NNS BEECROFT Commodore Bashir Mohammed reiterated the NNS BEECROFT`s commitment to the protection of critical national infrastructure and the eradication of all illegal activities in its area of responsibility in line with the Chief of the Naval Staff`s mission statement and strategic directive of 2021-5.
“As partners for a safe maritime environment, members of the public especially our host communities are enjoined to kindly furnish the base with credible information to assist in curbing the activities of criminal elements and economic saboteurs.”

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Buhari challenges MTN on quality service, data rate

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President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the MTN Group to offer quality service to its Nigerian subscribers at cheaper rates.
He stated this when he received in audience members of the board of MTN Group, led by its President and Chief Executive Officer, Ralph Mupita, at the State House, Abuja, on Friday.
Buhari said, “I congratulate you on your appointment as the Group President of MTN. I wish you all the best.
“Nigeria is your most lucrative market in Africa, Asia and the Middle East as well as the source of a third of the income of the entire MTN Group. As such, we urge you to offer top-of-the-range and affordable services to Nigerians.
“As we seek to make broadband widely available and affordable, we urge MTN to continue to support our efforts by expanding high-quality connectivity to Nigerians in un-served and under-served areas.”
The President also called on MTN to support the implementation of the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the telecommunications sector.
He said, “I recently unveiled and launched the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigerian telecommunications sector.
“I call on MTN to support the implementation of this policy and, train and engage more Nigerians in your company.”
He assured his visitors that his administration was doing everything possible to make Nigeria investor-friendly by addressing identified challenges.

He said, “We have identified and addressed the key challenges that affected the growth of the digital economy sector. I am happy to note that the right of way charges have now been pegged at a maximum of N145/linear metre.
“I have given directives for the protection of critical national infrastructure and this has addressed the issue of vandalism of such infrastructure.”

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