Govt urged to tackle oil theft

Oil theft, oil thief28 October 2013, Lagos – A former President of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), Dr Samuel Nzekwe, has expressed concern over the spate of oil theft in the country.

He however urged the federal government and other stakeholders to address the challenge so as not to retard the country’s growth.

Nzekwe also suggested that the National Assembly should strengthen its oversight function in the power sector to give the economy the desired face-lift.

According to him, there was need to regulate the activities of the new investors in the power sector and ensure that quality services are rendered at moderate costs.

Nzekwe made the suggestion in a statement in Lagos at the weekend. He commended President Goodluck Jonathan for his determination in providing steady power supply for Nigerians through the handover of the power sector to the core investors.

The former ANAN president said before now, the activities of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) had negatively affected the nation’s economy. He said government, had however, done well by taking the bold step in privatising the sector.
According to him, the expected revolution in the power sector would bring about increased productivity as the productive sectors become active.

“This will in turn create massive jobs for the unemployed youths. When the youths are actively engaged in one form of productive activities or the other, they will think less of crime. The productive sector of the economy will be actively involved and the cost of production will come down.

“Goods and services produced nationally will be competitive in the international market,’’ Nzekwe said.

The accountant also advised the federal government ensure that entitlements of the disengaged staff of the PHCN workers are paid.

He also argued that if the power sector could be fully revived, coupled with adequate infrastructure and security; industries which had closed down would be revived.
He said as an incentive, government could also grant tax holidays to some industries and eliminate multiple taxation.

“In this regard, I suggest that the Joint Tax Board should stop playing Advisory role and should enforce compliance with whatever decisions the Board has taken,’’ Nzekwe said.

– Obinna Chima, This Day

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