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MDAs mismanage N105.66bn, says Auditor-General report



The office of the Auditor-General for the Federation (AuGF) has noted some irregularities in the accounts of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government through disbursement and utilisation of public funds.

The AuGF said transparency and accountability in government financial management systems were important, particularly given the country’s dwindling revenues as well as the impact on annual budget.

The auditor general, in the latest annual report on the financial conduct of public institutions, on its website, lamented that a total sum of N105.66 billion had been expended by the MDAs in breach of extant rules and regulations.

The development came amidst reforms undertaken by the Buhari administration to instill sanity in the public procurement and finance system.

The report stated that N18.36 billion had been awarded for contracts with disregard to the Public Procurement Act.

The AuGF also expressed concern over the persisted inherent weaknesses in the system despite his previous recommendations to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning as well as the Accountant General of the Federation for prompt actions.

The latest audit assessment stressed the need for authorities to enforce strict compliance with legislations, rules and regulations across all MDAs.

It said the Public Accounts Committees of both chambers of the National Assembly should look deeply into the issues raised in the report and ensure the reports and resolutions of the legislature on these matters are forwarded to the executive for implementation.

It added that clear sanctions should also be imposed on erring officers going forward.

The audit revealed that revenue amounting to N54.69 billion was not remitted to government coffers by agencies.

It stated that while 18 revenue-generating agencies failed in their statutory obligations of remitting revenue generated to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), 17 other MDAs failed to either deduct or remit deductions by way of Value Added Tax (VAT), Withholding Tax (WHT), Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and Stamp Duties.

The audit, among other things, found that 72 payments, amounting to N23.48 billion, were made by 43 MDAs in violation of extant rules.

It stated that irregularities and failure to comply with regulations in the spending of public funds could result in the misapplication or misappropriation of funds.

Moreover, 25 MDAs awarded 52 contracts totaling N18.36 billion, in violation of the Public Procurement Act, 2007, the audit added.

The AuGF said, “The violation ranges from disregard to due process, irregularity in payment for contracts, excessive pricing of procurements, payment for services not rendered, payment in full for uncompleted projects and other similar infractions.”

It also warned that a breach of the Procurement Act and other weaknesses in procurement processes could be deliberate means to siphon public funds.

It said while the amounts involved in the infractions should be recovered into government coffers, sanctions in sections of the Procurement Act should apply against erring officers.

It added that erring MDAs should be denied budget appropriations as well as the affected accounting officers being surcharged.

Some of the agencies indicted by the audit report for breaching due process, financial mismanagement, and non-compliance with financial regulations, among others, are the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration (NAFDAC), Federal Ministry of Finance, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), the Bank of Industry (BoI), Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) and the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).

Others are the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.

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NCC, telecom firms agree on 5G deployment



All appears set for the deployment of 5G as the Nigerian Communications Commission and major telecoms companies have agreed on the guidelines.
The instruments are the Annual Operating Levy Regulations and the Frequency Spectrum (fees and pricing) Regulations.
The agreement came after a public inquiry organised by the NCC on the two key instruments at its headquarters in Abuja on Thursday, which was attended by Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof Umar Danbatta and representatives of major telecoms companies such as Airtel Nigeria, MTN Nigeria, Glo Mobile Network, 9Mobile, and other stakeholders.

The 5G wireless technology is meant to deliver higher multi-Gbps peak data speeds, ultra low latency, more reliability, massive network capacity, increased availability, and a more uniform user experience to more users.

While Airtel Nigeria agreed with key issues regarding the instruments, MTN Nigeria pleaded for extension of timeframe.
But Danbatta assured all stakeholders that frequency spectrum would be assigned and managed in a way that ensures fair pricing and efficient deployment of attendant services.
According to him, the two instruments were not only tailored to meet the challenges of the industry but ensure that all stakeholders are carried along as the country prepares for deployment of 5G technology.
Danbatta said, “More importantly, this Public Inquiry is precursor to the Commission’s current drive to ensure efficiency in spectrum management and the unveiing of next generation services through varied enablers.
“It is in that regard that the Commission issued a Spectrum Trading Guidelines in 2018, to ensure frequency spectrum is readily available to licensees through an effective process.
“Furthermore, the commission has commenced the process for deployment of Fifth Generation (5G) Technology in Nigeria and is driving the provision of such ubiquitous services on making Frequeney Spectrum available to its licensees.
“The efficacy and reliability of these initiatives will be hinged on proper market valuation of the frequency spectrum and fair assessment of levies.”

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Inflow of foreign capital drops by 54% to $875.62m



The total value of capital importation into Nigeria dropped to $875.62 million in the second quarter (Q2) of 2021, the National Bureau of Statistics has said.
According to the NBS, the figure represents a 54.06 per cent drop compared to the $1.91 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021.

It stated this in its latest report titled, ‘Nigerian capital importation (Q1 & Q2 2021)’.
In 2020, Nigeria’s capital importation plunged by 59.65 per cent at $9.68 billion – the lowest level in four years.

“The largest amount of capital importation by type was received through portfolio investment, which accounted for 62.97% ($551.37m) of total capital importation,” the report stated.
“It is followed by other investments, which accounted for 28.13% ($246.27m) of total capital imported and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), which accounted for 8.90% ($77.97m) of total capital imported in Q2 2021.”
Capital importation into the banking industry dominated in Q2 reaching a total of $296.51 million, followed by financing with $205.88 million and shares with $194.59 million.
In both Q1 and Q2, brewing, fishing, hotels, tanning and weaving sectors had no record of capital imports, the report added.
Similarly, only Lagos, Ogun and the federal capital territory (FCT) recorded capital inflows across Nigeria in Q2.
Lagos emerged as the top destination of capital investment in the second quarter with $780.06 million, Abuja had $95.26 million, while Ogun had $0.3 million.
By banks, foreign firms emerged as the top capital investment in Nigeria in Q2. Stanbic IBTC recorded $310.21 million, Standard Chartered was second with $282.37 million, then Citibank ($94.15 million).
The report also stated that “the United Kingdom emerged as the top source of capital investment in Nigeria in Q2 2021 with $310.26m.”

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Nigerians experience another nationwide blackout as grid collapses



Most parts of Nigeria experienced total blackout on Wednesday after a national grid collapse, which electricity distribution companies confirmed in separate notices to their customers.
In a public notice sent out to consumers, the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company said the collapse occurred at 12.26pm but did not say how long it would last.
The notice read, “Dear Esteemed Customers,
Following a grid system outage that occurred at about 12:26 pm today, we have been unable to service our customers in Niger, Kogi and Nasarawa State as well as a significant part of the Federal Capital Territory.
“At the moment, only 20MW has been allocated to AEDC as against the over 400MW that they have been receiving in recent times.
“We urge our customers to be patient and promise that the power supply will be restored to our franchise area as soon as there is a significant improvement in our
In a similar notice, Eko Disco said, “Dear valued customer, we regret to inform you of a system collapse on the National Grid that’s causing outages across our network.
“We are working with our TCN partners to restore supply as soon as possible. Please bear with us.”
Ikeja Electric also sent out a message that read in part, “The current power outage is due to a nationwide system collapse that occurred at about 12:26hrs.
“Power supply will be restored gradually to various parts of the network as soon as the grid is stabilised. Kindly bear with us.”

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