From Magnus Eze, Abuja
The Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC),
, has said the agency was tracking expenditure in the health sector to unravel alleged infractions.
Nta said that the investigation, aimed at ensuring that government got value for taxpayers’ money, was already yielding result, with some startling revelations.
The anti-graft agency boss, who was a guest on a radio programme monitored in Abuja yesterday, said the Federal Government’s anti-corruption fight was on course.
Contrary to misconceptions in some quarters that the ICPC was not doing much in the present administration’s fight against corruption, he said the ICPC ha recorded far-reaching achievements.
He noted that the agency’s partnership with the Federal Ministry of Aviation led to sting operations in airports, which eventually eradicated bribery that before now gave the nation a bad image.
“Today, nobody accosts international travellers anymore at Arrival saying, ‘Oga your boys are here.’ Now, what you have are people smiling and saying, ‘You’re welcome, sir.’ And this has improved the nation’s image,” Nta said.
He added that the cyber-crime unit of the agency was working to tackle the upsurge in ladies abroad falling prey to scammers, otherwise called :Yahoo boys,” who promise them marriage.
Power generation hits 4,009MW
From James Ojo, Abuja
Nigeria has recorded a milestone in the power sector, with the generation of 4,009 megawatts of electricity, the highest in recent times.
This was contained in the operational report of the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), a subsidiary of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), released yesterday.
The peak in generation moved to 4,124.5 megawatts from 3,321 megawatts recorded on December 3, 2016.
Of the amount generated, TCN said that it wheeled out about 3,959 megawatts of electricity to the 11 distribution companies.
According to the NESI website, the power sector recorded highest system frequency of 51.52Hz and lowest system frequency of 48.85 Hz.
It also said the highest voltage recorded was 372KV while the lowest on the same day was 300KV.
The sector, however, recorded revenue loss of over N534 billion in the preceding year, mainly to the shortages in gas supply, frequency and line limitations and water levels management constraints that led to several cases of electricity outage in the country.
NESI put the average daily revenue loss at N1.5 billion. Already, the sector is finding it difficult to access more loans from Nigerian banks due to its inability to meet the payment obligations for previous debts.
NESI said in its daily statistics on energy losses that the industry lost N1.525 billion on December 24, 2016, alone.
The report indicated that more than four million Nigerians did not have electricity on Christmas Day because of the inability of 12 power stations to produce electricity during off-peak period.
FG targets $2bn savings from wheat import by 2018
From Magnus Eze, Abuja
The Federal Government has set targets to save about $2 billion by next year, if the country is able to reduce wheat import by 50 per cent.
Executive Director of the Lake Chad Research Institute (LCRI), Mr. Gbenga Olabanji, said the institute was working closely with wheat farmers across the country by providing technical assistance to achieve the target.
Nigeria has a national requirement of about 3.2 billion metric tonnes of wheat annually, valued at $4 billion.
Olabanji said the institute has improved on its research on wheat by coming up with a variety that could survive in high temperate and marginal areas through key African Development Bank-funded projects targeted at making Africa self-sufficient in wheat production.
According to the LCRI boss, 13 states were currently cultivating the product with more preparing to join them.
The 13 states are Kano, Kebbi, Jigawa, Bauchi, Zamfara, Sokoto, Adamawa, Borno, Katsina, Yobe, Gombe, Kaduna and Plateau.
Olabanji explained that the institute’s target for 2017 was to cultivate 300,000 hectares of wheat, which the various states have achieved.
“With additional states coming on stream in wheat farming, we could produce 1.2 million metric tons, which means gradual cutting down of the national requirement of 3.2 million metric tonnes annually,” he said.