The Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria (CIFIAN) has said that the volume of fraud in Nigerian banks increased to N25 billion in the last five years.
This was disclosed by the Protem President of the institute, Dr. Victoria Enape in Abuja on Friday at the opening of intensive training for forensic and investigative auditors.
She noted that the training had become necessary going by the global acknowledgment of corruption in most government and financial institution and its (corruption) rejection by the United Nation, World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
“Government at all levels are losing billions of Naira every day and most of these criminal cases bordering on fraud, corruption and cyber-crimes are partly because there are no forensic and investigative auditors in Nigeria to prevent fraud from taking place.
“The place of training of forensic and investigative auditors cannot be overemphasised because the whole world has embraced this current trend years ago which has assisted them in the fight against fraud.
“Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors is an anti-fraud organisation, saddled with the responsibility of providing skills to relevant professionals on the use of science and technology to prevent, detect and investigate fraud of all kinds.
“The Institute also has mechanism to block illicit financial flows in the country; it therefore becomes indispensable in Nigeria if Nigerians and the future generation must experience peace and economic development,” Enape said.
Enape noted that scandalous collapses, financial loses, loss of employment, investment and investors, loss of earnings and means of livelihood are some of the consequential social dislocations and risks of corruption and fraud.
According to her, fraud and corruption weakened the institutional capacity of governments and organisations as well as impedes trade and investment.
The prices of crude oil declined on Thursday on the back of a record high production by the United States and weakening factory output in China and Japan.
International Brent crude prices were at $66.20 per barrel at 0525 GMT, after losing 19 cents, or 0.3 per cent from their last close.
The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures were at $56.90 per barrel, declining four cents from their last settlement.
American crude oil production has surged to an unprecedented 12.1 million barrels per day over the last year.
Traders are also of the view that China’s weakening economy also weighed on oil prices.
Factory activity in China, the world’s biggest oil importer, shrank for a third straight month in February as export orders fell at the fastest pace since the global financial crisis a decade ago, official data showed on Thursday.
Amid weak demand from China, oil producers are having to cut prices.
Russia’s Surgutneftegaz is selling April-loading ESPO crude oil at the lowest level in three months, charging $2.20 to $2.40 per barrel over benchmark Dubai quotes.
In Japan, Asia’s second-biggest economy, factory output posted the biggest decline in a year in January as China’s slowdown affected the entire region.
The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) has 10 projects in the pipeline that could lead to investments worth R287 billion and free the Eastern Cape from its dependence on the automotive industry.
The CDC is the operator of the Coega special economic zone (SEZ) in Nelson Mandela Bay.
The 10 projects comprise two abalone farms; a maize-processing and grain-milling plant; an animal feed facility; a renewable energy components factory; a gas-to-power plant; a solar rooftop project; a stainless steel strip mill; a stainless steel smelter; and Project Mthombo, an oil refinery.
“This is just a basket of some of our bankable projects that we are looking at over the next five to 10 years. Some will be implemented within a year from now,” said CDC spokesperson Ayanda Vilakazi.
The stainless steel smelter, boasting an investment worth R174 billion, would be the biggest ever investment in the Eastern Cape. Phase one is expected to start in January 2021 and be completed in 2024.
The smelter is forecast to create 30 000 jobs during construction and 4 500 when operational. It will be built by Lamergyre Stainless Steel, a local company with consortium partners.
The business plan and financial forecast have been completed. About 80% of the smelter’s production will be reserved for export. At full capacity, 9 000 tons of stainless steel will be produced a year, and annual sales revenue is projected to be in excess of R500 million.
According to Vilakazi, during phase one, the smelter is set to produce massive volumes of thin, strip-coiled materials in various shapes and sizes, to customer specifications.
Given Eskom’s power supply problems, plans are under way for the smelter to install its own combined cycle gas turbines, a seawater desalination plant and its own liquefied natural gas tank farm.
“Even at the project’s early stage, the proof-of-concept investigation, we were aware that electrical power, water and the supply of natural gas had to be given proper consideration to ensure that these resources were sufficiently available at the lowest cost possible, and under the smelter and steel plants’ control,” said Vilakazi.
The stainless steel strip mill will create 600 jobs during construction, 130 permanent jobs and 5 000 downstream jobs. The market study, bankable business plan and due diligence have all been completed.
While part of the funding will be sourced from the Automotive Incentive Scheme and the Public Investment Corporation, 50% of funds have been secured from the Industrial Development Corporation.
The CDC lists Project Mthombo – Petro SA’s greenfield initiative to build a crude oil refinery with a generating capacity of 300 000 barrels a day (see insert) – among its initiatives, despite the project’s implementors declaring that plans had been shelved because of a lack of funds. The CDC still projects operations starting in 2025, with feasibility studies to be completed in 2020.
Project Mthombo is estimated to create 7 000 direct jobs during construction and 14 000 indirect ones. When fully operational, about 1 000 jobs are envisaged and 4 000 indirect jobs.
The department of trade and industry is expected to fund Project Mthombo, the two abalone farms and the animal feed production plant.
The first abalone farm will be developed by Mamjoli Marine Enterprise and Abalone. It is expected to create 100 jobs during construction and 420 permanent jobs.
The second farm will be developed by Taconic Abalone. Output is projected to start in October 2020. It is set to create 100 jobs during construction and 280 permanent jobs.
The grain-milling project will create 100 jobs during construction and 160 jobs when operational. It will be implemented by NewCo Milling. Production starts next year.
The animal feed production plant will be built by Chinese company New Hope. Construction starts next year, with full production realised in 2021.
A total of 100 jobs will be created during construction, and another 100 when fully operational.
The Coega gas-to-power project will supply power from 2026, according to the draft Integrated Resource Plan of 2018. All preliminary processes – an environmental impact assessment, site readiness, and technical and engineering studies – have been completed.
The Coega solar rooftop project’s development plan will be completed by the end of the CDC’s 2020 financial year.
It will be implemented by a private developer and funding will come from both carbon footprint reduction incentives and SEZ incentives.
Sod-turning ceremony for liquid bulk facility
In another development at Coega, a sod-turning ceremony was held last week to mark the long-awaited relocation of the old tank farm from the Port of Port Elizabeth to the Port of Ngqura, where a new liquid bulk tank facility will be built.
The relocation is set to begin in two weeks.
The new facility will pave the way for a new petroleum trading hub for southern Africa as it will also be used as a stopover for refilling by international vessels.
Transnet has allocated 20 hectares of land for the development of the facility by Oiltanking Grindrod Calulo. Operations are expected to start by the end of 2020.
About 500 jobs will be created during construction and 50 permanent ones when operations begin.
Speaking at the sod-turning function, Ngqura port manager Thandi Lebakeng said: “The new facility will develop the Port of Ngqura’s liquid bulk capacity for commodities such as petroleum, diesel, jet fuel, illuminating paraffin and liquid petroleum gas. Once operational, the terminal will facilitate substantially increased throughputs over current volumes handled at the Port of Port Elizabeth due to its deeper draught, which allows it to handle much larger vessels.”
The U. S. has congratulated Nigeria on its successful presidential election and President Muhammadu Buhari on his re-election.
U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, in a statement, noted the assessments of international and domestic observer missions affirming the overall credibility of the election.
Pompeo said the United States’ assessment was “in spite of localised violence and irregularities”.
He called on all Nigerians to ensure successful Gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections on March 9.
Pompeo said: “The United States congratulates the people of Nigeria on a successful presidential election, and President Muhammadu Buhari on his re-election.
“We commend all those Nigerians who participated peacefully in the election and condemn those whose acts of violence harmed Nigerians and the electoral process.
“We note the assessments of international and domestic observer missions affirming the overall credibility of the election, despite localised violence and irregularities.
“We also congratulate all the other candidates for their peaceful participation in the electoral process.
“We call on all Nigerians to ensure successful state elections next week.
“Going forward, the United States remains committed to working together with Nigeria to achieve greater peace and prosperity for both our nations”.
In the presidential election, held on February 23, Buhari polled 15,191,847 votes and his closest challenger, People’s Democratic Party’s candidate and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar polled 11,255,978 votes to emerge a runner-up.
Buhari, who was declared re-elected by the Independent National Electoral Commission, also won in 19 states, to defeat other 72 candidates including Atiku, who won 17 states and the Federal Capital Territory, to occupy the second position.
Figures from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has shown that Nigeria earned a total of N5.54 trillion from oil and gas revenue in 2018.
According to the figures, the N5.54 trillion revenue was earned through crude oil/gas sales, petroleum profit tax/royalties and others.
A breakdown of the figure revealed that the sum of N1.28 trillion was earned in the first quarter, N1.38 trillion in the second, while N1.39 trillion and N1.46 trillion were in the third and fourth quarter respectively.
A further breakdown of the oil receipt showed that the first quarter N1.28 trillion revenue was earned through crude oil sales of N98.21 billion; PPT/royalties, N926.33 billion; and others, N263.51 billion, while for the second quarter, the N1.38 trillion revenue was earned through crude oil sale to the tune of N109.32 billion; PPT/royalties, N841.03 billion; and others, N447.7 billion.
In the third quarter, N104.49 billion was earned from crude oil sales, N914.56 billion from PPT/royalties and N375.14 billion from others.
In the fourth quarter, Nigeria earned the sum of N103.6 billion from crude oil sales, N1.04 trillion from PPT/royalties while N317.5 billion came in from other oil revenue sources.