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VAT: FG Faults Wike, denies shortchanging South for North

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VAT: FG Faults Wike, denies shortchanging South for North
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VAT: FG Faults Wike, denies shortchanging South for North

The Presidency has faulted the position of the governor of River State, Nyesom Wike, that the federal government was taking Value Added Tax, VAT, from the South to service states in the North.

The President’s Special Assistance on Public Affairs, Ajuri Ngelale, who stated this on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, yesterday, said the bulk of VAT income was generated by the federal government.

According to him, the highest percentage of VAT comes from the Port owned by the federal government, irrespective of the fact that they are located in the Southern part of Nigeria.

He also argued that the federal government’s contracts awarded by Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, in Abuja yield the second largest volume of VAT.

Ngelale said: “I do disagree on the notion that states are by themselves generating VAT en masse and the Federal Government is trying to hijack it.

“In 2020, the nation generated about N1.5trn in VAT. We have about 60 per cent of VAT coming from imports at the ports.

As we know, ports infrastructure in the country is not controlled by the state governments, so they cannot say it is their revenue; it is controlled by the Federal Government, it is federal revenue.

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VAT: FG Faults Wike, denies shortchanging South for North

“So, when we create the impression that states collect these VATs and the Federal Government is hijacking it and trying to share it when, in fact, it only (belongs to) Lagos or Rivers, I think it is a gross over-simplification.”He said the collection of VAT by the FIRS should be encouraged because it was perfecting the union of Nigeria.

“Anything that will perfect our union should be embraced. Any conversation, any serious-minded discussion around how resources are managed is healthy for the country,” he said.

The Presidential aide, who noted that the VAT issue had been “heavily politicised”, also complained about “some of the utterances that had come from Rivers along ethnic lines and political posturing ahead of the next election.

He said: “I really don’t want to repeat some of the stuffs we’ve heard from the Rivers State governor that we want to take Niger-Delta money to the north and all this ethnic sabre-rattling.

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That is what I am talking about when I say politics.”He further berated Wike, who he said confirmed in January 2021 that the Federal Government had refunded to the state government, the N78 billion it spent on federal projects, even though he was not sure the projects were constructed by Wike.

“There are those who, despite collecting tens of billions of naira from this administration in form of refund for federal roads that they did not even construct in their states and you still have these claims coming out trying to abuse the Federal Government because of political reasons,” Ngelale alleged.

Ngelale acknowledged further that ‘there were grey areas in the collection of VAT in the country and warned that such move by Wike could amount to double taxation.

He, however, called for better clarification on who should collect taxes between the central and sub-national governments.

‘‘I am optimistic that now that the matter is in court, the judiciary would serve justice on the case. Fortunately for us, it is now in a judicial process and we are very much expectant that the outcome of the law will reflect the law that we have which until now, states have no business abiding in… I believe our court system will do justice to the matter,” Ngelale said.Recall that the Rivers State governor had lamented the injustice in the distribution of federal revenue, saying Rivers money was not for Abuja people, took the FIRS to court and won the rights to VAT collection within its territory.

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The governor went a step further to sign the state’s VAT bill into law last month, after it was passed by Rivers State House of Assembly.In the same vein, Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, followed suit by signing the State VAT Bill into law a day after it was passed by the State House of Assembly.

Also last week, the Lagos Government requested that it be joined as a respondent with Rivers State in the appeal filed by the FIRS, challenging the judgment of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, which ruled that Rivers should commence VAT collection.But Justice Haruna Tsammani of the Appeal Court ruled that all parties should “maintain status quo” and adjourned to September 16 to hear the application by Lagos State.

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Residents, Traders Appeal to Gov Obiano Over Construction of Pedestrian Bridge

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Residents, Traders Appeal to Gov Obiano Over Construction of Pedestrian Bridge
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Residents, Traders Appeal to Gov Obiano Over Construction of Pedestrian Bridge

By Oge Onyeanusi, Onitsha

Due to incessant loss of lives and other hardship faced by residents and traders around Building Materials International Market, Ogidi, Idemili North LocaI Government Area of Anambra State,a call has been made to the State and Federal Government to construct a pedestrian bridge at Enugu/Onitsha Express Road .

The bridge if constructed will drastically reduce incessant road accidents involving residents and traders living or transacting businesses within the vicinity.

A similar bridge which was constructed a few years ago at Tarzan Junction along Enugu/Onitsha Express Road under former Governor Chris Ngige’s administration seems to be serving no useful purpose as pedestrians prefer crossing the road on foot with ease due to its location.

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However,in a bid to address the issue, residents of Ogidi Building Materials Market,traders and artisans have appealed to the Anambra State Government to come to their aid by building a pedestrian bridge within the vicinity.

There have been reports of human casualties who were killed by motorists while attempting to cross the ever busy road.

Residents, Traders Appeal to Gov Obiano Over Construction of Pedestrian Bridge

While pleading with Gov.Willie Obiano to award contract for commencement of work on the road, President, Building Materials International Market, Ogidi,Chief Jude Nwankwo emphasised that bulk of businesses being transacted in the area on daily basis by traders was enough reason to build the bridge.

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The market leader disclosed that not only that cluster of markets are located in the area such as the building materials, cosmetics, bakery materials, plastic,fabrics -synthetic and other minor markets residents living around the express road suffer the same fate and fear of being crushed or killed by over-speeding vehicles.

Chief Nwankwo stated that as responsible citizens traders at the building materials market pay all their taxes and other financial entitlements to the State Government and called on proper action to be taken concerning the affected road to save lives as well as improve the scope of business in the area.

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NEDC constructs international cattle market in Bauchi as stray Cows kills 10 persons in Soro cattle market

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NEDC constructs international cattle market in Bauchi as stray Cows kills 10 persons in Soro cattle market
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NEDC constructs international cattle market in Bauchi as stray Cows kills 10 persons in Soro cattle market

Bauchi-The Northeast Development Commission (NEDC) has commenced the construction of an International Cattle market at Soro village in Ganjuwa local government area of bauchi state to check the trend of accidents caused as a result of stray cows, a development that has posed as danger to the lives of residents in the area.

The member representing Darazo/Ganjuwa Federal Constituency in the House of Reps, Mansur Manu Soro who made the disclosure while briefing the State Deputy Governor, Baba Tela and the MD/CEO of NEDC, Dr Mohammad Goni Alkali during an on the spot assessment of the relocation of the market to another site, said that no fewer than 10 person have been killed by stray cows over the years during market days due to the citing of the market, close to the residential area.

“We are worried by the lost of lives in the cattle market, so i moved a request on the floor of the House and my request was forwarded to the NEDC for intervention. I am very happy that today, the project is moving on well”.

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“Considering the size and volume of cattle that come in every market day, we decided to expand the market to conveniently accommodate 3000 cattle at a time and make business transactions easier for the people” he said

The lawmaker said that when completed, the new cattle market will reduce congestion on the main highway and reduce the risk of people getting killed by oncoming vehicles during the market days.

Also Speaking, the Managing Director and CEO of NEDC, Dr Mohammad Goni Alkali said that the Commission agreed to construct an international cattle market in Soro in order to safeguard the lives of the people of the town who have fallen victim of attack by stray cows.

Goni Alkali who expressed satisfaction with the quality of the work done so far, assured that the project will be completed by the end of 2021 and will be commissioned for use by the early 2022.

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He assured that all the necessary amenities such as electricity, water, public VIP toilets and other conveniences will be provided within the market for ease of doing business pointing out that it is part of the mandate of the Commission to intervene in areas that will make life easier for people of the North-East subregion.

“I have known about this market since my school years and I know how important it is to the people of the area. Based on the information we have, we decided to relocate the market to a more safer and better place”The NEDC Boss said

NEDC constructs international cattle market in Bauchi as stray Cows kills 10 persons in Soro cattle market

Bauchi State Deputy Governor, Sen. Baba Tela who led the inspection visit expressed happiness over the project saying that it will go a long way to decongest the town on market days as well as safe lives of innocent people who had fallen victim in the past.

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Baba Tela however pointed out that provision should be made to make business transactions in the market easier considering that Nigeria has joined the cashless society calling for mobile banking on market days.

The Deputy Governor also commended the NEDC for accepting to construct the modern cattle market in Soro as well as other interventions in the state since it was established.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Special Duties, Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf stressed the need for ownership of the market in order to make it viable and durable saying that, “when the people are involved, they tend to be more involved in the project”.

The new international cattle market will have 48 locked up stalls, two restaurants that can accommodate 100 people at a time, a 200 capacity mosque, a mini cattle clinic, two boreholes and VIP toilets.

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Bala Mohammed Is A Patriot, Will Never Decamp To APC, Northern Youth Leaders Tell FFK

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Bala Mohammed Is A Patriot, Will Never Decamp To APC, Northern Youth Leaders Tell FFK
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Bala Mohammed Is A Patriot, Will Never Decamp To APC, Northern Youth Leaders Tell FFK

A Frontline group made up.of over 100 youth groups, Northern Youths Leaders Forum (NYLF) has described as laughable, claims by former Aviation Minister, Chief Fami Fani-Kayode that he would Influence Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed and two other People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governors to dump their party as lame and laughable.

NYLF President, Comrade Elliot Afiyo expressed this at a world press conference in Yola on Friday September 17, 2021.

“We observed the defection by Chief Femi Fani Kayode (FFK) from PDP to APC yesterday with little or no surprise.

“We strongly believed that this is the time and season for defections. It is our belief that whenever someone defects, it is obvious that he or she is pursuing something or something is pursuing him or her.

“However, we are surprised and astonished with the reason and claims of Chief Femi Fani Kayode (FFK) for his defection, how he influenced the defection, of three PDP’s Governors to APC and his lame claim that he is in the process of influencing the defection of another three PDP’s Governors to APC,” Afiyo said.

NYLF said that while they remain aloof, tacit and obstetric to his claims that God told him to defect to APC and how he influenced Governors Umahi, Ayade and Matawalle’s defection, they take seriously with unassuming exception, his claim that Governors Ifeanyi Unwuanyi, Bala Mohammed and Seyi Makinde are on their way to APC through his influence.

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“We are odiously convinced that FFK has the right to use his only and available political weapon and value which is his tongue, we make bold to say that FFK as we know him, has made a lunatic and vain claim to placate and please his Taskmasters and Paymasters.

“We are not surprised with this claim because former President Obasanjo said it on the 30th of August, 2018 when we visited him and I quote ‘”Fani Kayode is my boy, give him food, he will praise and sing for you. (Check Punch Newspaper 31st August 2018).

“We sincerely believed and truly too, that this is part of his praise singing which he is known for,” he said.

The group stated categorically that Governor Bala Mohammed will never dump the PDP for APC.

“WR want to state clearly without mincing words that Senator Bala Mohammed has not and will never defect to APC and also, he has never at anytime discussed the issue of defection with FFK.

“Senator Bala Mohammed is a Nationalist who always places the National interest above his personal interest.

Bala Mohammed Is A Patriot, Will Never Decamp To APC, Northern Youth Leaders Tell FFK

“He has and still passing through persecutions, humiliations, prosecutions, character assignations, campaigns of calumny, frustrations, insults and even spiritual attacks.

“In all these, God has given him the grace to remain steadfast, focused and committed to his ideals which he always defines.

“Therefore, there is no number of forces which he has not encountered that are pursuing him which would make him to defect to APC,” NYLF stressed.

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The group said that it is a general and public knowledge that the nation is sinking and there is every need for patriots and advanced citizens to come together to rescue Nigeria.

“Bala Mohammed by acts of commission or omission, has proved to us that he will be part and parcel of the Rescue Mission.

“No doubt with people like Bala Mohamed in the boat, Nigeria and Nigerians will be rescued in 2023 from the National conspiracy by the few elites which FFK is a prominent member by his actions,” they added.

On the Southern Governors’ demand for a Southern President, NYLF described it as a good development, however, warning that it does not reflect realities on ground.

“It is a good political development that the Southern Governors are now speaking collectively irrespective of political leanings.

“The call by these Governors is a
welcome development but it does not reflect the reality on ground.
Nigeria presently is facing an uncommon and unconventional situation which requires uncommon and unconventional solution by uncommon and unconventional President.

” It would be recalled that former President Jonathan was sincerely committed to dealing with the security challenges between 2010 and 2011 but was frustrated by some Northern elites who brainwashed the Northerners especially the rural North into believing that Jonathan was killing Northerners.

“Jonathan was completely blocked by the same Northern elites from purchasing arms to fight insurgency.

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“It is our strong belief and candid opinion that Nigeria needs a bold and courageous Northerner who will take the bull by the horn and tackle the security challenges which is our major national challenge for now even if it means killing the trouble makers if possible, so as to bring desired peace,” they advised.

The group further at the briefing, pointed out that they are impressed by the massive infrastructural development in Adamawa State, endorsing him for another term in 2023.

“We are highly impressed by the infrastructural developments in Adamawa State.

“We observed with great disbelief that such a feat could be achieved in just two years in Adamawa State that is not part of the oil producing States. We sincerely commend
Governor Ahmadu Fintiri and his team.

“In view of this thereof, we want to assure him that NYLF will do whatever is possible
within the confines and ambit of the law, to ensure that he comes back in 2023 to continue with his good works.

“To this end, we wish to appeal to other parties in Adamawa State to collapse their structures, support and vote for Fintiri during the Gubernatorial elections come 2023,” they said.

NYLF assured Nigerians that come 2023, “we will have a President that will be referred to as Nigeria’s President of Nigeria’s extraction not Northern or Southern extraction.

“We should not be distracted, discouraged or despair because of people that are identifying with or Conspirators because of a pot of porridge,” they said.

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