The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged communication giant, the MTN Nigeria to comply with the directive of the Federal Government to pay the over $10 billion as tax arrears and illegal repatriation.
NLC president, Mr Ayuba Wabba, made the call in a statement in Abuja.
Specifically, he said the NLC will advise MTN to comply, without further delay, the directive of the Federal Government to pay $2 billion in tax arrears.
“This is as well as the $8.13 billion illegally repatriated to South Africa over which four indigenous banks have been fined.
“We similarly urge the Federal Government to spare no effort in recovering this money as anything to the contrary will send wrong signals to other corporate organisations it had punished for lesser tax infractions.
“The need to enforce this order is all the more compelling when it is realised that workers pay taxes they can ill-afford, but religiously pay all the same,” he said.
Wabba noted that government’s tax reforms have been skewed in favour of corporate organisations, there was no reason for a default.
He added that every taxable person is expected to pay his or her tax as and when due.
Wabba said: “If companies default, with what is government expected to run the country or conduct its business?
“In our view, this incident does not only directly test the Thabo Mbeki Report on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, it is also a major crime against the government and people of Nigeria.
“On our part, we are, however, not surprised by the unethical conduct of MTN.
“They are not only engaged in the exploitation of Nigerian workers and turning them into slaves, but have extended their frontiers to unwholesome economic exploitation and sabotage.
“The questions on every lips are: How many times has MTN done this? How many other companies are doing this?”
He stated that through the Tax Justice Campaign, labour had relentlessly and assiduously drawn the attention of the government and Nigerians to the humongous crime against the vulnerable people of Africa, especially Nigeria.
He noted that over 70 million people in Africa are said to be the poorest in the world.
“Government should use this opportunity to send an appropriate message to everyone, especially corporate organisations who often pay taxes in the breach.
“Coupled with this, government’s tax reforms will only make meaning if they are judiciously executed.
“We feel vindicated by the latest discovery, while offering an explanation for picketing MTN offices across the country in July this year, we highlighted labour laws, local content law and security breaches by MTN.
“We exposed other acts of impunity by MTN, in spite of the fact that 60 per cent of its global income comes from Nigeria,” he said.
He urged critical government agencies to closely look into the operations of the company, especially in light of the Thabo Mbeki Report.
Investment Expert Urges FG To Partner Zuga To Grow E-Naira
An investment expert in Port Harcourt, Revelation Ohio, has called on the Federal Government to partner with Sam Zuga to grow e—naira to become the Nigeria’s digital currency in the cripto market space.
He said this became necessary in line with what is going on in the global digital currency market, where many countries, including the developed Western nations, are keying into the cripto market.
Ohio, the Chief Executive Officer of the Leverage Hub Consulting Limited, who made this known while speaking in an investment forum in Port Harcourt on Sunday, said that Sam Zuga, a Benue State-born Reverend Father, was the first African to develop a digital coin, the Zuga coin.
He described the Reverend Father as a philanthropist who has made remarkable mark in investment all over the world, especially in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.
“Sam Zuga is the only African who has stretched himself to compete with those in developed countries in the cripto market, where all the digital coins are all non Africans.
“This man has stepped into the space and developed this coin named after him, and has strictly specified that the coin is African, and as we speak, this coin is strongly growing faster in the digital currency market.
“So it will be an advantage to the Federal Government, through the Central Bank that is considering to develop digital naira, to partner Zuga who is already in the space, as it used to be for those entering the market newly.
“This will have a multiplier effect on our people, as many unemployed persons will be engaged in the business, while the fortunes of many of the youths will be turned around”, he said.
The investment expert also urged the Nigerian public to take advantage of the space available in the cripto world to equip themselves financially, and get knowledge of the cripto market, since that is the way the world is currently going.
By: Corlins Walter
Brass Fertilizer Company To Create 15,000 Jobs
Jobs – As Bayelsa Set For More Housing Estates
The Bayelsa State Government has allocated 595 hectares of land for the proposed Brass fertilizer company in Odioma Kingdom in Brass Local Government Area of the state.
This was as the government has also hinted that the bush clearing of the site of the said project has commenced in earnest.
The Bayelsa State Commissioner for Lands,Housing and Urban Development, Barr.Esau Andrew, disclosed this in Yenagoa, the state capital at the weekend.
He said that the Federal Government proposed project, when completed, was expected to create employment for not only qualified Bayelsans, but has the capacity to engage no fewer than 15,000 workforce, with professional and un-professional qualifications.
Andrew who called for unity amongst the people of the host community, reiterated that the Governor Douye Diri’s led administration was willing to create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the state.
He averred that the government was also desirous of fast tracking the development of all communities and sectors of the state’s economy through impactful projects and programmes.
“The Brass fertilizer company is situated on a 595 hectares of land in Odioma kingdom of Brass council area.
“There are no problems with respect to the take-off and completion of this gigantic project, but what we currently have there are basically issues on intra-communal arguments as to who becomes the chairman, Odioma Council of Chiefs”, he said.
He added: “As a community member and commissioner in the state executive council, I can assure you that that can’t stall the project.
“Governor Diri has directed the community to toe the path of unity and peace so that they can benefit maximally from this enormous project, and the youths, chiefs and elders of the community are ready to do as directed by the governor”.
In the same vein, the government has reiterated its commitment to building additional housing estates in the state.
To this end, Andrew said that the Governor Diri administration in partnership with the Federal Government’s Ruhi 774 Housing Scheme and Shelter Afrique were set to build new 800 and 100 units housing estates, respectively in the state.
According to him, while the Ruhi 774 Housing Scheme being handled by Real Estate Development Association of Nigeria (REDAN) is to build 100 housing units in each of the eight council areas of the state, Shelter Afrique on the other hand is expected to carry out the construction of another 100 housing units in Yenagoa.
He said further that the state government has also concluded plans to build additional 260 housing units in the yet to be developed hectares of land acquired by the previous administration for the Ayama-Ijaw Housing Estate in the Southern Ijaw council area of the state.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
Global Geopolitics, Neo-Colonialism Fuelling Apathy Against Crude Oil, DPR Hints
The Department of Petroleum Resources(DPR), yesterday, allayed concerns over the future of crude oil globally, stating that the resource would continue to remain relevant for decades to come due to a number of emerging factors.
In his goodwill address at the ongoing 45th edition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Nigeria Council(SPENC), Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition(NAICE), Director and Chief Executive of the DPR, Engr Sarki Auwalu, argued that the current apathy towards crude oil is not driven by technical and economic considerations alone.
According to him, the ongoing narratives of the relative significance of each energy type and the clamour of ‘end of oil era’ is not informed by technical and economic considerations alone but by global geopolitics and the vagaries of neo-colonialism as well.
Auwalu maintained that crude oil’s continued relevance in decades to come is because of some of its features as an energy resource, which includes availability, accessibility, affordability, reliability, and efficiency.
This character of petroleum, he explained, gives it a degree of comparative advantage over emerging energy alternatives for secured and stable energy supply.
He said, “I would like to sum up the future of energy in these words: ‘for the foreseeable future, we would continue to see a mix of all energy sources – coal, oil, gas, nuclear, renewables – in the supply equation. Whereas renewable sources will make steady in-roads in the global mix, oil and gas will be relevant in decades to come’.
“This conclusion is informed by the outcomes of market analysis and forecasts based on demand-supply equilibrium, socio-economic fundamentals, climate change and environmental considerations as well as technology and innovation that is shaping the dynamics of global outlook.
“However, we would not delude ourselves that change is not happening; we must continually re-invent the industry and find ways to improve the environmental credentials of oil and gas by deploying technologies for carbon reduction and management to maintain its acceptability as fuel.”
He insisted that Africa, other oil-producing countries and members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries(OPEC), must be key stakeholders in global energy discourse and ensure their voices and views are well articulated in discussions about the future of oil and gas.
“Indeed, as Africans, it must take its destiny in its hand and rewrite history, by leveraging abundant human and natural resources which nature has bequeathed on this great continent to create wealth for its people, eliminate poverty, and improve social-economic conditions while driving value for the globe. Only Africa can grow Africa,” he noted.
On its part, Auwalu disclosed that Nigeria had risen to the occasion, and had started using its oil and gas resources to drive value for national development in the face of challenges posed by energy transition and global dynamics.
Specifically, he explained that the DPR was fostering innovative ideas and creating opportunities for investments and sustainability in the petroleum industry, especially most recently, through the establishment of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre(NOGEC).
NOGEC, the DPR chief executive noted, was designed as a one-stop shop to drive safety, cost efficiency and value for the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
In addition, he said the DPR identified the need to formulate the Maximum Economic Recovery(MER) Strategy for Nigeria to guarantee the actualisation of sustainable resource optimization and the economic benefits arising therefrom.
The framework of the MER, he explained, was hinged on six pillars, namely: reserves maturation and production optimization; exploration and resources maturation; improved oil recovery and enhanced oil recovery (IOR/EOR) implementation; asset stewardship; performance evaluation and rewards; and risk management.
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