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Curbing Illicit Financial Flows Needs Global Framework—Owasanoye

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Bolaji Owasanoye

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Chairman of Nigeria’s Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr Bolaji Owasanoye, has rallied a global action against Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs), including a call for a global framework on IFFs similar to corruption.

Mr Owasanoye made this call at a side event of the ongoing hybrid 54th Conference of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) taking place in Dakar, Senegal.

According to a statement issued by the ICPC’s spokesperson, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, the conference would focus on regional efforts to track, recover and return stolen assets from Africa through the IFFs.

She said that the meeting was attended by representatives of member countries of the Economic Community for Africa, heads of anti-corruption agencies and international bodies.

Addressing the meeting virtually, the ICPC boss emphasised the need for a global framework on IFFs as part of a determined commitment to tackle the menace.

“The challenge we found ourselves today is that the rules have always been skewed in favour of those who export capital and against those who import capital. Corruption is a global issue and we have a global framework for corruption.

“The IFFs is also a global issue but does not have a global framework.

“A way out of the problem is to institute a global framework on IFFs which, among others, will address the huge financial losses suffered by African countries,” the ICPC chairman stated.

He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war had complicated the financial resources of African countries, hence the need to tackle the IFFs and stop the further haemorrhage of the financial resources on the continent.

Further to the global framework on IFFs, Owasanoye also proffered legal and policy measures that should be implemented by African countries to address the IFFs risk.

These legal and policy measures, according to the ICPC boss include a review of agreements entered into with Multinational Corporations (MNCs), a review of inimical double taxation agreements.

Others are the enactment of laws, rules or regulations on unexplained wealth orders or lifestyle audits, introduction of civil forfeiture of assets and beneficial ownership standards; and design of a framework for trans-digital transactions.

The ICPC chairman also advocated tougher measures against corrupt state officials who collude with the MNCs against their countries.

“African countries must understand that the MNCs split contracts.

“The juicy parts of the contracts with MNCs are domiciled in their home countries while the non-juicy parts of the contracts are domiciled in Africa.

“We need to deal with the MNCs’ collaboration by government officials who look the other way in international agreements,” he said.

In her remarks, the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Mrs Rebecca Grynspan, said the global economy was under enormous stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia–Ukraine war, and climate change.

She noted that IFFs posed a huge challenge to African countries in realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“We are aware of the increasing rates which make it more difficult and harder for African countries to access finance.

“The African economies are also feeling the impact of the Russia – Ukraine war and thereby widening the financing gap.

“Africa requires US$2.45 trillion to meet its SDG financing gap. We can close half of the SDG financing gap for Africa if we are able to curb IFFs.

“We, therefore, cannot continue to allow the billions of dollars of IFFs slipping out of Africa every year,” she said.

She added that “The IFFs and Asset Recovery are more critical to Africa today. Both are required by African Countries to achieve the SDGs.”

She emphasised the need for data and collaboration among African institutions like Customs and Central Banks as a necessary condition for tracking the IFFs.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Eaton Calls for Stoppage of Sulphur Hexafluoride Gas 

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Sulphur hexafluoride gas

By Adedapo Adesanya

Leading power management company, Eaton Nigeria, has advocated the regulation of sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) gas usage in electrical power distribution networks.

This call was made during the company’s Power & Water Nigeria Exhibition and Conference 2022, an event that connects the Nigerian utility industry.

The event which was organised by Vertex Global services saw the participation of experts and exhibitors from over 20 countries.

The gathering enabled global stakeholders to access engaging technical discussions, on-the-spot assessment of the region’s opportunities in power generation, distribution, renewables, and water & utility sectors; as well as exhibitions from leading local and international suppliers.

During his presentation on the topic, A Call to Action on the ‘dirtiest’ greenhouse gas in clean energy, Mr Charles Iyo, Regional Sales Manager Eaton West Africa said “Sulphur hexafluoride gas which is used in the production of most switchgears remains one of the world’s potent greenhouse gases that adversely affect the environment. 1kg of SF6 is equivalent to 23,500 Kg of CO2 in global warming potential, and each unit of switchgear is estimated to use 2.5 kg of SF6 gas; which makes it devastatingly dangerous to the climate.”

“Government in Africa, especially Nigeria needs to take proactive measures such as implementing new regulations to ban the use of SF6 Gas in switchgear production. Also, regulatory bodies and industry stakeholders need to collaborate and elevate industry practice and policies to implement the use of SF6 free technology thereby creating a safe and sustainable future,” he added.

Mr Iyo further highlighted SF6-free alternatives that could positively combat climate change, saying the adoption of vacuum technology is considered a safe, compact and reliable alternative to SF6 gas in the production of switchgears.

Eaton has been at the forefront of advocating the elimination of SF6 gas globally. The power management company pioneered SF₆ free medium voltage switchgear production in 1960 with Magnefix, a compact solution for distribution system operators.

The various range of SF6 free switchgears are produced with environmentally friendly technology in comparison with the methods used by many other suppliers, which use SF6 as insulation gas.

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OVH Energy Rewards Distributors for Outstanding Performance

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ovh energy

By Adedapo Adesanya

Leading supplier and distributor of refined petroleum products, OVH Energy Marketing, has rewarded its top-performing lubricant distributors for their outstanding performance at a presentation ceremony held in Lagos.

During the presentation ceremony which happened at Aspamda Market, two qualified distributors who each sold over 1 million litres of lubricants were recognized in line with the management’s commitment to award deserving distributors.

Chucorl Nigeria Limited and Ade De Young Auto Limited, who met and exceeded the set target in the distribution of OLEUM lubricants, were awarded OLEUM branded trucks at the ceremony.

Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer, OVH Energy Marketing, Huub Stokman posited that the ceremony was organized to reward top-performing distributors as well as inspire others through their exemplary feats.

“Our distinctive progress as the leading downstream oil and gas company is built on the commendable dedication and support of our partners as well as the contributions of our staff. I applaud the awardees and other OLEUM distributors for their diligence and resourcefulness in making sure that the OLEUM range of lubricants remains a market leader,” he said.

“Oleum is a product made in Nigeria, by Nigerians, for Nigerians. Our dream is to formulate the best lubricant available in the Nigerian market at a very affordable price. The hard work of our partners continues to contribute immensely to the growth of the organization and for that we are thankful,” he continued.

Commenting at the presentation ceremony, Mr Lateef Adeleke, owner Ade De Young Auto Ltd., an awardee said “I appreciate the company for this initiative to reward distributors with branded trucks. Rewarding deserving distributors with the branded trucks is a thoughtful initiative from OVH Energy Marketing.”

On his part, Mr Oliver Jacob, CEO Chucorl Oil and Gas Limited said “This acknowledgement from OVH Energy Marketing is indeed an incentive to do even more. The trucks will be valuable in strengthening our supply chain and meeting our increasing consumer demand.”

In recent years, OVH Energy Marketing has embarked on diverse empowerment initiatives such as the OLEUM Academy and the Mechanic Oleum Reseller Enterprise Initiative.

OLEUM academy has impacted over 5,000 individuals nationwide through the provision of automotive mechatronics, lubrication, and entrepreneurship training.

The Mechanic Oleum Reseller Enterprise Initiative is an avenue for auto-technicians to boost their income through the sales of lubricants in their workshop.

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Capital Market Can Attract Funds to Solve Nigeria’s Infrastructure Deficiency—Yuguda

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infrastructure deficiency

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr Lamido Yuguda, has again emphasised that the current infrastructure deficiency in Nigeria can be solved with the help of the capital market.

While addressing the new executives of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (CIS) in Abuja over the weekend, he said all that was needed was for the government to partner with the private sector to bridge the infrastructure gap by approaching the capital market for funding.

“We have a huge infrastructural deficit in the country like insufficient power, lack of good roads among others. We want our country to have good infrastructure and I know this is possible with the help of the capital market and other stakeholders.

“It requires adequate planning and financing and we can achieve it as a nation. The capital market through the private sector can fund road construction while the government focuses on other issues,” the SEC DG said, appealing to the relevant stakeholders to cooperate with the agency to achieve this goal.

He also said for the capital market to attain full potential, all stakeholders need to ensure they carry out their functions with integrity and fairness in a bid to restore investor confidence.

Mr Yuguda acknowledged CIS as a key partner in the commission’s regulation of the market, assuring that the SEC would continue to provide the needed support.

“On behalf of the Board and staff. We will give you all possible co-operation you desire to make your job easy. We are here to support this market and make it the market we all desire,” he said.

The SEC boss stated that derivatives trading has commenced for people who want to manage their risk, adding that the SEC is working to increase the literacy of Nigerians so they can take better decisions.

“The future for this country is bright and we have the young population to push it. We can have a much better standard of living than we have now and we hope you will continue to give a lot to the market.

“We are committed to any initiative that will further spur the growth of the capital market. We also have a review of the ISA bill pending at the National Assembly and that bill has a lot that will revitalize this market,” he added.

In his remarks, the President of CIS, Mr Oluwole Adeosun, commended the SEC for the relationship that exists between the Commission and the Institute and thanked the Management for always supporting the organisation.

“Thank you always because you have embraced the institute and made it clear that you desire a very harmonious relationship and we are happy about it.

“You have shown this in your actions since you came into office and we appreciate you for all your efforts, we pray that investors benefit greatly from their investments in the capital market. Thank you for all your support to the CIS Bill,” he said.

The former President of CIS, Mr Olatunde Amolegbe, also thanked the DG for the efforts the management has been making to support the CIS, adding that the institute has been able to function effectively due to the support of the SEC.

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