As Nigerians celebrate Christmas, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has assured of the determination of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to pull the nation’s economy out of recession.
The APC, in a statement signed by the Secretary, Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe, also urged Nigerians “to imbue the true essence of Christmas — giving, forgiving, love of God and love of our fellow men. We should give a helping hand to those in need and give succour to the vulnerable ones among us”.
The party said Nigeria has recorded nearly 90, 000 Covid-19 infections and about 1,236 related deaths, adding that the Coronavirus remains a real and serious public health threat.
“In our festivities, we must all stay safe by adhering to official public health directives by avoiding non-essential trips, large gatherings, using facemasks, and washing hands regularly to halt the virus spread.
“As every country affected by the economic slowdown caused largely by the severity of the global Covid-19 pandemic, Nigeria is poised to exit the current recession within a short time, as several measures lined up by the Federal Government shows. It is worthy of note that the decline in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) came after 12 consecutive quarters of positive growth”, it stated.
APC added that issues of security are also on the front burner, assuring that government and the nation’s security services will always mobilise all legitimate assets to ensure the safety and security of all Nigerians.
“From the Chibok, Dapchi to Kankara students’ abductions and other recorded security incidents in the country, the President Muhammadu Buhari government has never lacked the capacity and clear intent to check and contain such incidence when they arise.
“While the capacity and valiant efforts of our armed forces and other security services is not in doubt and greatly appreciated, they must do much more to further degrade the ability of terrorists and other criminal elements to perpetrate their evil attacks on soft targets across the country”, the party added.
Reps, NDA Commandant Parley Over Bandits’ Attack
The House of Representatives Committee on Defence, yesterday, met with the Commandant of the Nigeria Defence Academy, Maj-Gen Ibrahim Yusuf, on the bandit attack on the academy.
It would be recalled that the bandits had carried out an audacious attack against the foremost academy and abducted some military personnel at the institution.
Yusuf informed the committee that the military is working to prevent future occurrence of the attack.
The committee, chaired by Babajimi Benson from Lagos State, had an executive session with the commandant to get the details of the attack.
Also, the committee met with the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, to discuss the impact of the recent military agreement between Russia and Nigeria.
It would be recalled that Nigeria and Russia signed a defence agreement which was announced by the Nigerian Embassy in Russia.
The agreement, which is a technical agreement between the two countries, will involve sales of Russian made equipment to Nigeria.
The committee had the session behind closed doors.
Ember Months: FRSC Set To Inaugurate ‘Operation Show Of Readiness’
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), says it is set to inaugurate” Operation Show of Readiness’’ as part of efforts to reduce road traffic accidents during the 2021 ember months.
The Corps Public Education Officer (CPEO), Mr Bisi Kazeem told The Tide yesterday that the operation would involve massive sensitisation campaign ahead of the corps’ annual “Special Patrol’’.
Kazeem said that operation show of readiness followed the review of the FRSC’s 2020 ember months’ performance and the need to break new grounds.
“To achieve this, we have deployed public enlightenment teams to motor parks, Churches, Mosques, town hall meetings and we will use motorcade for awareness where possible.
“From the 2020 review, the corps realised that night travels are prevalent during this time (ember months) with overwhelming negative results.
“Speeding is also known to be responsible for over 60 per cent of crashes.
“As such, the corps will deploy energy to discourage people from indulging in these deadly road use behaviour (night travels and speeding),’’ he said.
Kazeem said that the corps would use Special Marshals, first responders, celebrities, traditional rulers and involve road safety clubs for the special operation in view of the COVID-19 travel advisory.
“Operation zero tolerance to road traffic crash carried out annually by the FRSC is also part of strategies to reduce crashes aside the maiden operation show of readiness,’’ he said
Kazeem said during the exercise, visual acuity test/screening for drivers would be conducted as well as free safety checks on vehicles.
VAT Bill Scales Second Reading At Ogun Assembly
A bill for a law to impose and charge Value Added Tax (VAT) on certain goods and services, provide for administration of the tax and for related purposes yesterday scaled second reading at Ogun State House of Assembly.
Clerk of the Assembly, Mr Deji Adeyemo, read the bill for the first time during plenary session in Abeokuta, while the Majority Leader, Mr Yusuf Sherif, moved the motion for the second reading which was seconded by Mr Ganiyu Oyedeji.
While opening debate on the bill, Mr Olakunle Sobukanla, the Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, noted that the bill was an avenue for the state to generate more revenue for its development.
Sobukanla added that the more internally generated revenue by the state, the more infrastructure development in all sectors of the state.
In his submission, Oyedeji explained that collection of VAT would allow the state to generate more revenue and meet needs of the people.
The lawmaker stated that the people’s needs included fixing of bad roads and the construction of new ones, provision of healthcare facilities among others, which all required finance.
Other lawmakers who spoke supported the quick passage of the bill, saying that it would boost the socio-economic development of the state.
They noted that passage of the bill would be a financial restructuring and a form of redistribution of internally generated revenue.
In his response, Mr Olakunle Oluomo, the Speaker of the house, commended the lawmakers for the deliberation, adding that the VAT law was needed in the state for more economic development.
The speaker committed the bill to the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation for further legislative actions.
Also during yesterday plenary, the Ogun State Anti-Corruption Law 2021, scaled first reading.
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