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More Funds For FG, States As 7.5% VAT Takes Effect [LEADERSHIP]

The new 7.5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) came into effect yesterday as President Muhammadu Buhari signed the 2020 Finance Bill into law

Buhari’s signing of the Act at the State House, Abuja, empowers the federal government to collect the sales tax, which proceeds are shared by the three tiers of government.

The implication of this, is that instead of the hitherto five per cent, Nigerians will henceforth pay 7.5 per cent as VAT, with the governments having more funds in their kitty.

To set the stage for the president’s assent to the Finance Bill, the National Assembly had passed it and forwarded the legislation to him for assent.

Buhari’s assent to the bill was contained in a statement issued yesterday by his special adviser on media, Femi Adesina,

While presenting the 2020 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly, the president sent along the Finance Bill where he explained that “this Finance Bill has five strategic objectives, in terms of achieving incremental, but necessary changes to our fiscal laws.

“These objectives are promoting fiscal equity by mitigating instances of regressive taxation; reforming domestic tax laws to align with global best practices; introducing tax incentives for investments in infrastructure and capital markets; supporting micro, small and medium-size businesses in line with the Ease of Doing Business Reforms, and raising revenues for government.

“The draft Finance Bill proposes an increase of the VAT rate from five per cent to 7.5 per cent, as such, the 2020 Appropriation Bill is based on this new VAT rate,” he added.

FIIRO DG didn’t Complete PhD Programme – Supervisor [PUNCH]

Prof. Mansour Moudachirou, the project supervisor of the embattled Director-General of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi, Chima Igwe, has revealed that Igwe has not completed his doctoral programme at the Universite Abomey-Calavi, Benin Republic.

Moudachirou, in an exclusive interview with our correspondent, said a document he signed for Igwe in 2002 was just an indication that the 57-year-old was a doctoral student.

He said as of January 7, 2020, when our correspondent spoke with him, Igwe had yet to return to the school for his project presentation.

Moudachirou’s statement corroborated the claim of the Deputy Director of the Doctoral School of Pure and Applied Sciences, Prof. Valentine Wotto; and Director of the School of Postgraduate Studies, Prof. Joel Tossa, who had earlier been interviewed by The PUNCH.

Court Threatens To Jail Emefiele Over $53m Debt [PUNCH]

Justice I. E. Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has summoned the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, over a judgment debt of $53m.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Joe Agi, had initiated a garnishee proceeding against the CBN for the purpose of recovering a judgment debt of $70m from Linas International Limited and the Minister of Finance.

The SAN had last year July obtained a garnishee order absolute against the CBN in order to recover the $70m judgment debt from Linas International Limited and the Minister of Finance.

SIM Card: Man Sues Buhari’s Daughter, DSS, Demands N500m [PUNCH]

A trader, Anthony Okolie, who was arrested by the Department of State Services and detained for 10 weeks, has sued the DSS for N500m.

Okolie, in a suit filed before the Federal High Court in Asaba, Delta State, by his lawyer, Tope Akinyode, also demanded N500m from Hanan Buhari, the daughter of the President, Major General Muhammadu (retd.), as well as a telecommunications company, MTN.

The suit, with number FHC/ASB/CS/3/2020, is seeking an order to “compel the respondents (DSS, Hanan and MTN) jointly or severally to pay the applicant the sum of N500,000,000 only as general and aggravated damages for the gross and unlawful violation of the applicant’s right to acquire moveable properties, freedom of movement and self dignity.”

The 33-year-old man said in a supporting affidavit that he was arrested on July 19, 2019, in Asaba, Delta State, for using a telephone line that was previously owned by Hanan.

Experts Canvass Early Implementation Of 2020 Budget [LEADERSHIP]

Economic and investment experts have called on the federal government to begin the immediate implementation of the 2020 budget, especially its capital component to maximise the gains of its early passage.

They said that the prompt passage of the budget by the National Assembly and President Muhammadu Buhari’s assent to it should challenge the government to implement it within the financial year. The experts added that the government should deploy the needed strategies – including borrowing – to access financing for the deficit side of the budget to build time-bound projects such as roads, bridges and other priority infrastructure.

In an interview yesterday, the chief responsibility officer, Value Investing Limited, Seye Adetunmbi, told LEADERSHIP that “it is strategic to step up the implementation in earnest those aspects of the budget that would have timely-measured impact on the national economy such that the average Nigerians could experience progress in their standard of living.”

More Intelligence Needed To Unmask Sponsors Of Insurgency – IBB [LEADERSHIP]

Former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), yesterday, reflected on the fight against insurgency in Nigeria and urged the federal government to deploy more intelligence to unmask those “thinking and supplying weapons to the terrorists.”

Babangida, however, faulted the resort to regional security outfits by some state governors to tackle insecurity in their domains, which he described as unviable.

He spoke last night on a current affairs programme on Channels Television, Newsnight, hosted by Ladi Akeredolu Ale.

The former military president spoke against the backdrop of the 50th anniversary of the Nigeria-Biafra Civil War, which began in 1967 and ended in 1970

Babangida said that if what he reads in the media was true, a lot still needs to be done to end insurgency in the Northeast zone, stressing that unmasking those sponsoring the insurgents is key to the defeating them.

He said: ”I think a lot needs to be done quite frankly because if what we read in the papers and hear on radio is true, in most of those areas that we assumed that the security situation has been stabilised; I read in the papers that the young governor of Borno State telling the defence minister that there are still a few places that people can’t go in the state. He said so because that, at least, will give the military high command some way of thinking. The governor is the security officer of the state and he knows the people.

”There are a lot of challenges, what they need to do is to get a lot of intelligence information. It looks to me that there are people who are thinking for the insurgents. There are people who think for them. And the thinking is we need to find out who are the people thinking for them, who are leading them and who are even supplying them with weapons and ammunition and put a stop to that. That is probably the way I access it,” he said.

Supreme Court Increases Ihedioha, Tambuwal’s Anxiety [SUN]

  • Puts off ruling on Kano, Bauchi, Kano, Adamawa, Benue, Plateau guber elections

Following yesterday’s suspension of hearing on appeals challenging the election of  governors Aminu Tambuwal, Abdullahi Ganduje, Emeka Ihedioha, Bala Mohammed, Simon Lalong and Samuel Ortom, by the the Supreme Court, fresh anxiety and tension have gripped residents of Sokoto, Kano, Imo, Bauchi, Plateau and Benue states, respectively.

Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Muhammed Tanko, deferred judgment on the cases till today citing sudden sickness of one of the judges.

Before the adjournment, the CJN had complained of rowdiness and high noise level as militating against the proceedings of the court.

Following the development, Justice Ibrahim Muhammed at  about 9:02 am announced that proceedings would not continue until orderliness was restored to the courtroom.

Consequently, senior lawyers for the governors were restricted to appear with five juniors, while non lawyers were asked to leave the courtroom.

Tension In Edo Over Killing Of 2 [SUN]

The killing of an 11-year-old boy by suspected herdsmen has raised tension in Sobe, Owan West Local Government Area of Edo State, following the killing of a herdsman in retaliation.

Trouble was said to have started on Sunday when the boy, who had gone to the bush to pick firewood, was found slaughtered by herdsmen.

According to witnesses, the boy’s relations from Kwale in Delta State mobilised and went after the herders, killing one of them in the process.

Reacting to the incident, the Chairman of Owan West Local Government Area, Mr. Frank Ilaboya, appealed for calm in the community.

50 Years After Civil War: Soyinka, Akintoye, Utomi, Anya, Others Insist On Restructuring [SUN]

  • Fear of domination responsible for war –Gowon

Echoes of the civil war reverberated in Lagos, yesterday, with prominent Nigerians insisting on restructuring as panacea to the country’s problems. They also cautioned against utterances and actions  that could lead to another civil strife.

Participants at an event organised by Nzuko Umunna and Ndigbo Lagos in collaboration with civil society organisations with the theme, ‘Never Again Conference Nigerian Civil war: 50 Years After’ regretted that issues of injustice, inequality and the penchant for some people to lord it over others which caused the war were still prevalent and should be checked to avert a similar tragedy.

But a key player in the war and former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, said fear of population and political domination by a section engineered the issues that led to the War.

Gowon also said different interpretations of the Aburi agreement between Nigerian and Biafra representatives had contributed significantly in the war because while Odumegwu Ojukwu insisted that “on Aburi we stand” he told Ojukwu “from Aburi, you will fall.”



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