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We Didn’t Pad Budget -Adaramodu

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…Senate explains alleged N3trn 2024 budget padding

Senate on Tuesday explained that the N3trillion alleged to be padded in the 2024 budget was actually statutory transfers to first-line charge agencies of government not domiciled in the ministries.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Publicity Sen.Yemi Adaramodu gave the explanation while speaking with journalists on the suspension of Sen. Abdul Ningi over alleged padding of the 2024 budget.

Adaramodu said the 10th Senate needed to be treasured as a pillar of democracy and would only do what would promote national interest

He said there was nothing like budget padding, saying that the false narrative on N3trillion padding was a demonstration of the error of arithmetic and innocence of procedure by the protagonists of budget padding.

“The N3 trillion is for statutory transfers of government agencies on the first lines charges.”

He listed the agencies to include Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC)Public Complaints Commission, National Judicial Council, North East Development(NEDC), Commission Niger -Delta Development Commission Commission(NDDC) among others.

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He also dismissed the issue of the provision of N500 million as constituency funds to senators, describing the allegation as a fairy tale.

He urged journalists to study the 2024 budget to investigate allocations to the National Assembly.

He said the issue of budget padding was a negative connotation and a serious crime in budgeting, hence senate didn’t take it lightly.

“It is a matter of integrity, The issue of budget has been put to rest as the protagonist of the budget padding was called to substantiate and they could not prove it but the allegations can not just go without being attended to.

“The Appropriation Act is a public document and when it was done,it was done in the public glare and it was N28.77 trillion and so for some to say N25 trillion was what was approved is scary.

“Statutory transfers for agencies on first line charges, that are not domiciled in the Ministries was what Ningi said was padded, that the allocation can not be traced.”

He reiterated that the N3trillion was not padded, was not missing, but was for agencies of government that were placed on first-line charge.

He also said the allegation that a section of the country was allocated more funds than other regions was not put in the right perspective, saying that allocations were done sectorally.

The Senate image maker said the integrity of the National Assembly was in question, hence the matter was treated with the seriousness it deserved.

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Zoe Maritime Roundtable Targets Improved Passenger Safety, Using Chinese Experience

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…Edodo-Emore refocuses Stakeholders’ attention on Security and new technologies in inland waterways

Significant progress will be achieved in the area boat -passenger safety amongst other gains, as Nigeria gets an infrequent opportunity to learn from the Chinese experience in improving general service delivery in-country.

The Chinese Consul-General in Nigeria, Madam Yan Yuqing, one of the key speakers at a Zoe Maritime Summit is expected, in addition to dissecting the topic of improving services delivery, to also offer, useful ideas and lessons on safe inland waterways operations in Nigeria.

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Adegboyega Oyetola, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy

The Summit promoter,  and CEO of Zoe Maritime Resources Ltd, Barr (Mrs) Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore told Maritime First that the discussion is designed to inland waterways operators the knowledge to better manage the sector, particularly, towards improving boat passenger safety.

 Consequently, a major highlight of the Summit is a presentation on the Chinese experience in the management of inland waterways.

The Barrister highlighted that with the theme: “Security and New Technologies in Inland Waterways Transportation”, the Zoe Resources Maritime Business Roundtable Breakfast Meeting h places at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos should be a must-to-attend Summit. 

*Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore

Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore noted that prominent maritime personalities and revered industry players have confirmed readiness to grace the occasion.

Among these are the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy,. Adegboyega Oyetola is scheduled to unveil the Ministry’s focus and plans for Inland Waterways and Coastal Services, an intervention that has agitated the minds of inland waterway operators since his appointment last year.

Others are Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA); Mrs Oluseyi Oluyede, Managing Director, Niger Benue Transport Company Ltd (NBTC), and Rhoda Olofu, Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Marine Police Command.

*Mobereola

Industry technocrats, heads of security agencies and regulatory authorities expected to feature in panel discussions on the theme include the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko; Director- General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dayo Mobereola and the Managing Director/CEO, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Alhaji Munirudeen Bola Oyebamiji.

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Also billed to participate in the breakfast summit are port users, heads of maritime desks of banks, government agencies and insurance companies. Others are ship owners, boat owners, boat captains, log byistic companies, barge operators and any other entity whose operations are inland waterway-based.

Freight forwarders, importers and oil and gas companies will also grace the occasion.

Foreign entities from maritime nations will also feature and make interventions especially as concerns experiences in their respective nations to enable Nigerians benefit from global inland waterways visibility, network, growth and exchange of knowledge.

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FG Approves Cancelation Of 25% Penalty On Improperly Imported Vehicles

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The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy has approved the cancellation of the 25 per cent penalty previously imposed on improperly imported vehicles by Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) under the directives of the Honourable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy.

A 90-day window, effective from 4th March 2024 to 5th July 2024, for the regularisation of import duties on specific categories of vehicles, was approved by the minister with a 25% penalty.

According to a press statement issued by the National Public Relations Officer of NCS, CSC Abdullahi Maiwada, to ease economic hardship and encourage compliance, the Honourable Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy has approved the suspension of the 25% penalty previously imposed in addition to import duty on improperly imported vehicles.

 “Stakeholders, including vehicle owners, importers, and agents, are therefore encouraged to seize this opportunity to regularise import duty payments within the designated 90-day time frame,” the release noted.

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Merganser: BV Certifies World’s First Solar Solution Prototype for SolarDuck’s Floating Offshore

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Bureau Veritas (BV), a global leader in testing, inspection, and certification (TIC), has awarded the Dutch-Norwegian renewable energy company SolarDuck the world’s first Prototype Certification for a floating offshore solar technology, as applied in SolarDuck’s 0.5 MW pilot “Merganser”.

This certification represents a significant step forward in the development of marine renewable energy technologies for offshore applications.

The Merganser project, developed by SolarDuck and supported by RWE, features an offshore floating solar pilot with a capacity of 520 kWp. Comprising six interconnected platforms, the solution is designed to withstand challenging offshore conditions, including high waves, strong winds, and corrosive environments. The design has been certified to withstand a maximum wave height of 11.6 meters (with a directional 10-year return period) at a water depth of 21.5 meters (MSL) at the North Sea Farmers test site. It will be deployed off the coast of The Hague, Netherlands, providing a real-world operational environment to evaluate its performance and resilience in the dynamic North Sea.

Bureau Veritas has been actively supporting SolarDuck in its pioneering efforts to develop floating solar solutions. The certification of the Merganser prototype follows the Approval in Principle (AiP) granted for its floating structure.

Throughout the certification process, Bureau Veritas meticulously evaluated the prototype against rules and standards, including guidance note NI631 on the Certification Scheme for Marine Renewable Energy Technologies. These assessments covered various aspects such as the floating structure, mooring system, stability analysis, materials, and electrical safety systems. Moving forward, the technology will be further evaluated for a type certification.   

Don Hoogendoorn, CTO of SolarDuck, commented: “A key step in making the technology bankable is obtaining certification of the technology. As long-standing-partners, SolarDuck has cooperated closely with Bureau Veritas to verify the technology for the harsh North Sea conditions, marking a significant milestone in the development of our offshore floating solar technology”.

“The certification of SolarDuck’s prototype Merganser reflects the collaborative efforts between Bureau Veritas and industry innovators in advancing sustainable energy solutions. Our expertise in assessing structural integrity and conducting design evaluations played an important role in meeting technical standards, highlighting our commitment to fostering innovation while ensuring safety and reliability in offshore renewable energy projects”, says Martijn Nieuwenhuijs, Country Chief Executive, Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore Netherlands.

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