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Ogun Cargo Airport to accommodate commercial flights — Abiodun

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…As Nigerian Air Force, Customs, show interest in establishing bases within facility

Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta

Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, said the Gateway Agro Cargo Airport, Ilishan Remo, will run commercial flights when completed.

This is even as authorities of the Nigerian Air force (NAF) and the Nigeria Customsp Service (NCS), have indicated interest in establishing their operational bases at the airport.

Prince Abiodun made this known at an interactive meeting with leaders of Community Development Councils and Associations in all the 20 Local Government Areas, held in his office at Oke-Mosan Abeokuta.

The Governor disclosed that some airlines have shown interest in operating commercial flights at the airport, which will boost the economy of the state.

“Work is ongoing at our Cargo Airport at Ilisan-Remo. I want to inform you that Nigerian Air Force and the Nigeria Customs Service have written to me that they would like to have their operational bases at the airport when it is ready.

“Not only that, some commercial airlines operating in the country have also shown interest in the airport. That means by the grace of God, when the airport starts operations this December, people in Ogun State will have the opportunity to board their flights from there to anywhere they want to go rather than going to Lagos,” he said.

The Governor explained that his administration’s decision to build the airport was to ensure that the state benefits from being the industrial hub of the country as well as the numerous value chains that comes from such a gigantic project.

The agro-cargo airport was revitalized by the present administration after being abandoned by former Governor Ibikunle Amosun.

Its construction commenced in March, 2022. When completed by December this year, it would probably become the fastest constructed airport on the continent.

The project, when operational will provide no fewer than 25,000 jobs for the people of the state

Prince Abiodun also spoke on plans by his administration to further open up the state for more investment and social activities.

He disclosed that the Ogun Light Up project that would ensure constant power in the state would kick-start in the capital city and spread to other parts of the state, while Mowe, Ibafo and Abeokuta will benefit from the urbanisation project.

Abiodun informed the community leaders of that his administration has started implementing its Multimodal Transportation System with the launch of a pilot Bus Transit programme in Abeokuta, adding that the reconstruction of major federal roads such as the Ijebu-Ode-Epe, Sagamu-Siun-Abeokuta and Atan-Lusada-Agbara roads, was to ensure that people carry out economic activities without stress.

“Our mission was to provide a focused government and this was informed by our geographical location. We have border with the biggest economy in Nigeria and the fifth largest in Africa and an international border with Benin Republic. We encourage investors to come in and invest in our State and in so doing create employment opportunities for our youths.

“We also resolved to complete all uncompleted projects that will add economic value to the lives of our people. As I speak, we have constructed at least a road in all the 20 Local Government Areas. We have rehabilitated schools and provided them with furniture so that they can keep bringing out best quality of education the state is known for,” he noted.

He assured the leaders of Community Development Councils and Associations that they would be involved in decision making especially on siting and execution of projects in their various communities, assuring that the meeting would be held on regular basis to interface on issues affecting the well-being of the people.

Responding, the Chairman, Community Development Council, Ogun Central, Alhaji Waheed Adekunle, appreciated the Governor for convening the meeting after waiting for such an opportunity in the state for more than 10 years.

He, however, called on the Governor to look into the poor state of the Social Development Institute, Shasha, Ilisan-Remo, with a view to putting it in proper shape just as empowerment programmes should be extended to youth in communities to give them a sense of belonging.

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NDIC sustains fight against corruption with inauguration of ‘Anti-corruption & transparency unit’

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By Seun Ibiyemi

The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has inaugurated its Anti-corruption & Transparency Unit.

“NDIC has a culture of zero tolerance for corruption, which is further strengthened by its core values of Teamwork, Respect and Fairness, Integrity, Professionalism, and Passion,” said MD/CE, NDIC Mr. Bello Hassan.

He was represented by NDIC Executive Director, Operations Mr. Mustapha M. Ibrahim during the inauguration of the Corporation’s Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) by officials of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commi ssion (ICPC) at the NDIC headquarters in Abuja.

He said, the NDIC ACTU has strengthened the Corporation’s operational system through the implementation of various compliance measures to ensure ethics, integrity, transparency and accountability in the workplace.

He explained that the specific measures include robust Internal Controls, regular Risk Assessments, strict adherence to regulatory guidelines, and comprehensive training programs for employees.

Mr. Hassan described the inauguration as a significant step in the Corporation’s ongoing commitment in the fight against corruption and enhance transparency. He emphasised that NDIC Management remains committed to supporting ACTU activities, recognising the unit’s critical role in ensuring the Corporation’s operations are conducted with integrity, free from corruption, and fostering public trust.

The ICPC Chairman, Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu who was represented by ICPC Acting Director System Study and Review, Mr. Olusegun Adigun, praised NDIC Management for their dedication and active support in establishing and advancing the activities of the ACTU to address corruption issues and foster ethical practices.

He applauded the efficiency and diligence of the NDIC ACTU in fulfilling its mandate, resulting in the Corporation retaining the first position for two consecutive years on the annual ICPC Ethics and Integrity Compliance Scorecard.

He urged the new ACTU members to see their nomination as an opportunity to build on the good legacies of the previous members and to complement Management’s efforts in promoting the core valu es of the Corporation through their assigned duties.

He stressed the need for the NDIC Management to sustain its commitment and support to ACTU so that the Unit can perform optimally and remain a veritable tool in embedding laid down ethical standards amongst staff and sustaining a positive image for the Corporation.

Ten (10) members of staff were sworn in as members of the NDIC ACTU during the inauguration. Their key functions include annual sensitisation of staff against corruption; Conduct of System Study & Review and Corruption Risk Assessment to strengthen internal systems; monitoring budget implementation of the Corporation, co ordinating whistleblowing platforms, identifying and rewarding outstanding members of staff amongst other responsibilities.

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IPMAN hinges erratic petrol availability on allocation issues from NNPC 

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The Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) says petrol availability has been erratic because of the small allocation currently allotted to its members by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

IPMAN National Vice-President, Alhaji Hammed Fasola, disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Ibadan on Tuesday.

Fasola said the allocation issue has led to haphazard operations by its members, who now buy from third parties (private depot owners) at prices they can no longer afford.

According to him, NNPC has been the one bringing the product to the country and sharing it with major marketers until the involvement of the private depot owners.

He added that there had been a shortfall in the supply of the product because NNPC would naturally supply its retail outlets first.

“That is why you see a kind of on-and-off situation from the independent marketers’ filling stations.

“We still get some trucks directly, but very inadequate to the number of marketers we have.

“We are waiting for when the product will be available, especially through NNPC depots, the Port Harcourt refinery, and by the time Dangote comes up with its petrol, that is PMS.

“We believe that all these problems will be solved,” he said.

However, he said the association would continue to engage NNPC because it had been a long-term partner.

 ”We are very positive that when things come to normal, they will be giving us our due allocation,” he said.

On the issue of subsidy, Fasola said he believed there was no more fuel subsidy because the government had said so.

Many filling stations are not selling due to the unavailability of the commodity.

Others, who open for business intermittently, sell between N620 per litre to N700 with NNPC retail outlets selling at the official rate but with long queues.

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Finance Ministry launches digital incentives, evaluation platform 

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By Matthew Denis

In a significant advancement to streamline fiscal management, the Honourable Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr Wale Edun has announced the integration of the Incentive Monitoring and Evaluation Platform (IMEP) into the Import Duty Exemption Certificate (IDEC) programme, thereby allowing for enhanced monitoring and evaluation.

This is contained in a statement signed by Mohammed Manga Director, Information & Public Relations of Federal Ministry of Finance and made available to NewsDirect on Tuesday.

“The IDEC programme strategically reduces import duty burdens for priority sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, and healthcare, stimulating economic growth and national development.”

The statement stressed that integrated into the IDEC framework, the newly launched IMEP ensures that only eligible entities benefit, rigorously enforcing compliance and optimising tax expenditures to reduce waste, block leakages and enhance economic equity.

“Key features of the IMEP include an automated claw-back mechanism for recouping waivers from defaulters, real-time e-report generation and a centralised database that enhances the efficiency of our verification processes.

“IMEP aims to ensure that tax incentives are rationalised to deliver maximum economic impact, aligning with the government’s commitment to reducing waste, blocking leakages, and fostering a robust and equitable economic environment. IMEP’s precise monitoring capabilities will significantly enhance the strategic allocation of exemptions and support the government’s objective to  ultimately reduce tax expenditures.”

To acquaint all stakeholders with the upgraded IDEC framework, the Ministry of Finance will host a webinar on April 25th, 2024, by 12 noon (WAT). Key industry participants, including manufacturers, importers, and representatives from MDAs and NGOs, have been invited to engage in this session to understand the enhanced features and benefits of the IMEP. Details for the webinar will be available on the Ministry of Finance’s official website and the IDEC YouTube channel.

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