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Federation Account Records N797bn VAT Revenue In 10 Months

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The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun last Tuesday said about N797.51 billion revenue generated from Value Added Tax (VAT) between January and October was transferred into the Federation Account.
Adeosun released details of the 2017 VAT collection in a statement by her Special Media Adviser, Mr Oluyinka Akintunde in Abuja,
She said that the non-oil revenue represented 46.15 per cent of the 2017 VAT budget of N1.728 trillion.
She said it also showed an increase of 19.78 per cent over the corresponding period in 2016.
She said the highest VAT collection of N86.71 billion was achieved in September 2017, while N84.67 billion and N83.315 billion were recorded in May and October.
The lowest VAT earning of N69.20 billion was in March.
From the collections, Adeosun said that the Federal Government got 15 per cent of the revenue, while the states and local governments received 50 per cent and 35 per cent.
Adeosun reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to aggressively growing the tax revenue base to drive economic growth.
“Revenue mobilisation is key to national growth and critical to the success of Nigeria’s economic reform agenda.
“We have an unacceptably low level of non-oil revenue and much of that is driven by a failure to collect tax revenues.
“With a tax to Gross Domestic Product ratio of only six per cent, which is one of the lowest levels in the world, we have a lot of work to do if we are going to build a sustainable revenue base that will deliver inclusive growth.
“ Improving VAT and other tax collections is key to Nigeria’s revenue strategy,’’ she said.
Adeosun said that the country’s revenue strategy to improve tax through the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) would lead to a broader tax base and more sustainable revenue for all tiers of government.
“The Nigerian Government is committed to the diversification of the nation’s revenue base. Nigeria’s sole dependence on oil poses enormous challenge on the economy.
“Oil is only 13 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but it represents 70 per cent of government’s revenue, which means if anything happens to oil, it affects everybody.
“The question we need to ask ourselves is: Why is the remaining 87 per cent of GDP contributing so little to government’s revenue?
“If we are able to have those other revenues which are much more stable, predictable and less volatile, then if the oil price goes down, we’ll be able to maintain some level of stability,’’ she said.
Adeosun assured that the Federal Government would continue to collaborate with state governments as part of its determined efforts to grow the non-oil revenue base, including raising the VAT collection to N100 billion monthly.
The government, she added, would also extend its tax compliance to the private sector as well as intensify efforts in ensuring that the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) were tax complaint.

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Group Takes Disease Control Campaign To C’ River LG

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In its determined efforts to take a stand and demand more committed action in the fight against pneumonia, Society for Health Enlightenment Initiative (SO-HEALTHI), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), took its enlightenment and advocacy campaign to IkotOffiongAmbai in Akpabuyo Local Government Area.
The event which held at Saint Peter’s Primary School, Ikot Offiong Ambai, to mark the World Pneumonia Day, saw a contingent of six selected primary schools take part in lecture sessions on pneumonia awareness by experts from the SOHEALTHI Team, climaxing with a spelling competition where winners were given pneumonia-crested exercise books and cash prizes.
At the end of the spelling competition, Amicable Ebrigor Offu and Martha Joseph Aya, both of St. Peter’s Primary School, Ikot Offiong Ambai, emerged joint best performing students, scoring 100 percent, Godsfavour Okon Eyo and Abigail Godwin Anthony, also of St. Peter’s Primary School, came second, scoring 90% apiece, while Victoria Asuquo Okon of St. Peter’s Primary School and Wendy Edet Ekpo of Jehovah Shalom Primary School, clinched third position, scoring 80percent respectively.
In her remarks, the Founder and Team Lead of the NGO, Mrs Rosemary Archibong, stated that SOHEALTHI, founded in 2006, was saddled with the responsibility of creating awareness and advocating for a pneumonia-free world in accordance with this year’s Theme: ‘Keep the Promise; Stop Pneumonia Now.’
Mrs Archibong noted that, according to global indices, the disease sickens 155 million children under five years and kills 1.6 million each year, it has become pertinent to bring this health crisis to public’s attention, encourage policy makers and grassroot organizers alike to combat the disease.

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SUBEB Boss Urges Staff To Support Ayade

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The Executive Chairman, Cross River State Universal Basic Education Board, Dr Stephen Odey has enjoined staff of the board to complement Governor Ben Ayade’s efforts in the basic education sub-sector by supporting him to realise his lofty programmes for the State.
He made this known in a meeting to mark his three years in office as Executive Chairman of SUBEB.  Dr Odey said in spite of the financial status of the State, Governor Ayade had made remarkable impact across sectors in the State, especially in the Basic Education sub-sector.
According to Dr Odey, “he is a young man that has a lot of energy, and with ambitious plans for the state, but he is being frustrated by lack of funds”.
Speaking on the achievements recorded in the basic education sub-sector, he thanked Governor Ayade and staff of SUBEB for their support, adding that these feats could not have been achieved without the support of the Governor and hard work of Staff.
He urged staff to remain committed to their responsibilities, stating that “hard work, dedication and loyalty pays in the long run.”
Speaking earlier, the Director of Administration, Emmanuel Ojong, commended Dr Odey for the giant strides recorded in the board within this short time in Office.
He recalled the massive infrastructural developments in schools across the State, and the sanitisation of SUBEB work force to eliminate ghost workers and track down staff without requisite teaching qualifications. Ojong also poured encomiums on the Board Chairman for placing staff welfare at the forefront of his administration.

By: Friday Nwagbara, Calabar.

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INEC Discovers 22 Polling Booths In Politicians’ Homes In Akwa Ibom

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Ahead of the 2019 general election, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Akwa Ibom State, Mr Mike Igini has disclosed that no fewer than 22 polling booths have been discovered in the homes of politicians and other private residences in the state.
Speaking in an interview in Uyo, the state capital, Igini explained that “the polling booths are not illegal, but are located at improper places”, adding that such polling booths had been relocated to public places where voters can easily access.
“We have relocated such polling booths to proper places where the people can have access to them. Elections will hold in Akwa Ibom State and votes will count,” Igini assured, even as he warned desperate politicians against hate speeches that could inflame the polity.
He said he was on a mission to Akwa Ibom to conduct free, fair, credible and transparent exercise in line with the relevant sections of the Electoral Act and enjoined eligible voters, party agents and other stakeholders to join hands with INEC to deliver hitch-free polls which outcome would not be disputed.

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