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States’ Tax Reliefs To Remain Till 2021 -NGF



The governors of the 36 states have resolved to retain till next year the tax relief measures put in place in states for individual tax payers and businesses to lessen the burden of the Coronavirus on the economy.
The resolution formed part of the outcome of the 16th teleconference meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) held late last Wednesday.
According to a communique issued at the end of the meeting, signed by the NGF’s Chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, “all state governments through their Internal Revenue Services (IRSs) will ensure the seamless implementation of tax relief programmes for businesses and taxpayers.
“These programmes which were released in some states since March, 2020, are designed to reduce the financial burden of taxpayers in the country up till 2021 in some cases.”
The forum also resolved to work, through its sub-committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19, to address concerns raised by states on the reception of new inmates amidst measures taken to curtail the spread of Covid-19 across correctional facilities in the country.
“The forum resolved to provide leadership to the Covid-19 response in their respective states by ramping up risk communication activities and community testing for Covid-19.”
The forum called on state governments to nominate focal persons that will interface with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources on the actualization of the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP).
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, had addressed the Forum in July, 2020 on the NGEP which is designed as a catalyst for Nigeria’s vast natural gas reserves.
The plan is intended to spur revitalisation across gas-based industries in fertiliser, methanol, textiles and feedstock for industries among others.
The forum urged governors to maintain vigilance to ensure that the structures put in place for routine polio immunization are not jeopardized by the Covid-19 pandemic in the light of Rotary International’s recognition of the forum’s role in ending the polio pandemic in the country.
It commended the World Bank for the new initiative to support states in updating their property records.
The forum noted that some states are already in advanced stages of developing a geographic information system (GIS) that will help them gather, manage and analyse geospatial data both for the purpose of spatial planning and property taxation.
The NGF Legal Committee led by the Vice Chairman of the NGF, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State, updated members on consultations with the Attorney General of the Federation to resolve concerns on the implementation of the Executive Order Number 10.
The committee assured that a technical committee, comprising members from all parties has been working to finalize an acceptable framework for the implementation of the Order.
Also, the Chairman of the NGF sub-committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19, Governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, updated the forum on the importance for continued and increased testing in all states as the economy opens.

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Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity



Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.

The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).

Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.

It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.

Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.

Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.

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Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments



President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.

The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.

According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.

He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.

Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.

The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.

He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.

On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.

He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.

“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.

“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.

“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.

”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.

“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.

“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.

On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.

On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.

According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.

The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”

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Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari



Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.

The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.

Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.

He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.

He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.

“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.

“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.

“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”

He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.

This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.

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