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Senate Passes Finance Bill 2020

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The Senate has passed the Finance Bill 2020. The entire process of the passage of the legislation was done in two weeks.

The bill seeks to amend 12 Acts which include the Capital Gains Tax Act; Companies Income Tax Act (CITA); Personal Income Tax Act; Tertiary Education Trust Fund (Establishment) Act; Customs and Excise Tariff, etc (Consolidated) Act and the Value Added Tax.

Others are the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act; Nigeria Export Processing Zone Act; Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Act; Fiscal Responsibility Act; Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020; and the Public Procurement Act.

The bill was transmitted to the Senate by President Muhammadu Buhari in November who said its passage would support the implementation of the 2021 budget through key reforms to specific taxation, customs, excise, fiscal and other laws.

The passage of the bill followed the consideration of a report by the Senate Joint Committee on Finance; Customs, Excise & Tariff; Trade and Investment; and Public Procurement – having held a public hearing for stakeholders to make inputs.

The Chairman of the joint committee, Adeola Olamilekan, who presented the report, said the Finance Bill will adopt appropriate counter-cyclical fiscal policies to respond to the economic and revenue challenges precipitated by the decline in international oil prices, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian economy.

It will also reform extant fiscal policies to prioritise job creation, economic growth, socio-economic development, domestic revenue mobilization, to foster closer coordination with Monetary and Trade Policies; and provide fiscal relief for taxpayers by reducing the applicable minimum tax rate for two consecutive years of assessment, as well as reforming the commencement and cessation rules for small businesses, he said.

The legislation, he said, will also propose measures to fund the federal government’s COVID-19 pandemic response and introduce provisions to enhance the recovery of corporate donations towards responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as any similar crisis in the future, amend certain aspects of the Fiscal Responsibility Act and enhance fiscal efficiencies by controlling the cost-to-cost revenue ratios of key state and Government-owned Enterprises.

Recommendations

Mr Adeola read out numerous recommendations by the panel. Some of these are: the inclusion of free duty and levy for commercial airline operators in line with presidential waivers and approval already granted by the President in the Customs and Excise Tariff Act (CETA).

For Capital Gain Tax, it recommended that returns should be filed per year on the 30th of June and 31st December of every tax year. It also said deductions provided for in the Company Income Tax should, among others, be based on the actual cost of the in-kind donation instead of the value which may be different from what the donor actually incurred.

“The Committee recommends that Section 25(9) of CITA proposed be reduced from 25 per cent to 15 per cent of assessable profits to reduce the amount of deductions available for voluntary donations made to State or Local Government. And penalty or fine to be disallowed should be restricted to those imposed by legislation enacted by the National Assembly or States Houses of Assembly with the aim of removing the restriction that will be occasioned by the proposal in the Bill with the aim of ease of doing business.”

For Industrial Development Income Tax Relief (IDITRA), the panel said deduction in the Tax Relief periods from initial five years to four years and additional three years to two years as this will enable the government to start taxing the relevant organisation after a total period of 6 years of tax holiday.

For Value Added Tax (VAT), the committee said goods and services exempted should include commercial aircraft, engine, spare part, airline transportation ticket, hire rental on lease of tractors plough and other agricultural equipment or implements should be included as parts of goods and services exempted from VAT.

For Stamp Duty, the panel recommended that “the Minister in charge of finance subjects to the approval of the National Assembly shall make regulation for the imposition, administration, collection and remittance of the electronic levy. And the sharing formula of the electronic levy between States and Federal Government with States Government taking 85% and Federal Government being the collecting agent on behalf of the States collects 15 per cent.”

While for Unclaimed Fund Trust Fund, the Committee recommended among others that, “The Debt Management Office shall – maintain a reliable database of all unclaimed dividends and dormant bank balances constituting the debt owed by the Trust Fund which shall be verified and reconciled with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Central Bank of Nigeria on a bi-annual basis.

“Liaise with the relevant Registrars of Companies, deposit money banks or the National Deposit Insurance Corporation, as the case may be, to make adequate arrangements for the repayment of the verified interest and capital obligations due to the relevant shareholders, depositors or their legal beneficiaries, as the case may be.

“Prepare and implement a plan for the efficient management of the obligations of the Trust Fund, which plan shall include setting guidelines, modalities and other arrangements, which may include an annual sinking fund, for the servicing of the interest and capital obligations of the Trust Fund.”

The bill was passed after it was considered in the Committee of the Whole. It will be transmitted to the president for assent.

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Labour Of Our Heroes Won’t Go In Vain,’ Govs Celebrate Armed Forces Remembrance Day

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Governors across states of the Federation have joined in the celebration of 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day.

The Federal Government had earlier ordered the closure of parts of the roads accessing the arcade of the federal secretariat complexes and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja to mark the event in the Federal Capital Territory.

In the South-West, Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde at the event held on Saturday at the Remembrance Arcade, Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, promised to keep encouraging and working closely with members of the armed forces and the survivors of the fallen heroes

He commended the officers and men of the security agencies for their efforts in battling insecurity in the state, urging them to continue to do their best to ensure that peace reigns in the state and the country at large.

Governor Seyi Makinde

“For Nigerians, some people made sacrifices for us to be where we are right now and also paid the ultimate price.

“So, I believe we should not allow their toil to go in vain,” the governor said.


In Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, it was a solemn moment as the state governor, Dapo Abiodun joined other dignitaries which include the heads of security agencies, traditional rulers to lay the wreath in remembrance of the Nation’s fallen heroes at the arcade ground in the state capital.

The 21-gun salute was also shot in memory of the fallen heroes and the supreme price they had paid for the unity and peace of the country.

Governor Dapo Abiodun

 

The governor who also inspected the parades and the colour party called on Nigerians to sustain the quest for unity, peace and progress of the country, for socio-economic development and progress.


In the Eastern region, Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi led other members of the state executive council to the event held at the Unity Square in the state capital.

Security Agencies represented at the event include the Nigerian Army; the Nigeria Police Force; the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC); the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA); and the Nigeria Immigration.

Governor David Umahi

The Nigerian Legion Ebonyi State chapter at the event called on both the state and Federal Government to make available enhanced welfare packages as well as provision of job opportunities to the children of servicemen and women who have paid the supreme price defending the country.


Also in Imo State, resident joined their counterparts in other parts of the country to mark the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration.

The event which took place at the Ndubuisi Kanu square in Owerri, the Imo state capital, witnessed match past by the armed forces and security operatives as well as the presence of top government functionaries in Imo State.

Governor Hope Uzodimma

Delivering his speech, Governor Hope Uzodimma asked Nigerians to take the opportunity of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration to reflect more on the meaning and importance of sacrifice as it affects the interest of the Nation.

He described the military as the noblest and patriotic profession.

In the South-South, Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa represented by his deputy Kingsley Otuaro led top military and para-military officers to lay wreaths at the statue of the unknown soldier.

The event was held at the cenotaph where the governor inspected the guard of honour mounted by the Nigerian Army, Navy, Airforce and members of the Nigerian Legion.

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa

 

A minute silence was observed while a 21-gun salute was taken in honour of the departed heroes.

Some widows of the fallen heroes also used the opportunity to ask the Federal and State Government to look into their plight and provide support for them to be able to fend for themselves and their families.

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki in his address held in Benin, the state capital said unguarded talks about Nigeria’s unity will cost lives and the efforts of fallen heroes would have been in vain.

Governor Godwin Obaseki

 

He also disclosed plans to include wives of the fallen heroes in the state’s welfare programmes, adding that some of the legionnaires have already been integrated into the security architecture of the state.


In Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel called on Nigerians to embrace dialogue in resolving thorny issues in the country.

Governor Udom Emmanuel

 

The governor said most of the circumstances that caused bloodshed in the country’s history would have been settled peacefully if the key players embraced dialogue and peaceful resolution of conflicts.

In Kwara State, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq urged Nigerians to continue to provide information to the military in order to end the insecurity in the country while also urging the country to appreciate the sacrifices being made to keep the country together.

He also commended the efforts of the Federal Government in enhancing their welfare.


Meanwhile, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal appealed to the Federal Government to sustain the payment of pension and gratuity to retired military personnel.

While laying a wreath at the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration in Sokoto, he said this will enable the retired personnel to live well and take care of their needs and it will also serve as an encouragement to the serving personnel to do more in the service of the nation.

He said their services in unquantifiable in ensuring the unity of the nation by laying their lives for the service of the nation.

However, Katsina State Government restated commitment to restore peace and normalcy in the state with several strategies, approaches and mechanisms been introduced by the state to eradicate terrorism in the state.

Governor Aminu Masari during the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration held at the Katsina Peoples’ Square said the relative peace currently being enjoined in the state is due to the dedication, competence and discipline of the troops and other sister security agencies.

He commended the army for the untiring sacrifice towards securing the lives and property of Katsina citizens.


In Niger State, Governor Abubakar Bello said the security agencies should remain resolute to end the security challenges in the country.

Bello disclosed this at the 2022 Nigeria Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration held at the Permanent Cenotaph, Minna.

He also commended the efforts of the Federal Government in enhancing their welfare.


Meanwhile, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal appealed to the Federal Government to sustain the payment of pension and gratuity to retired military personnel.

While laying a wreath at the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration in Sokoto, he said this will enable the retired personnel to live well and take care of their needs and it will also serve as an encouragement to the serving personnel to do more in the service of the nation.

He said their services in unquantifiable in ensuring the unity of the nation by laying their lives for the service of the nation.

However, Katsina State Government restated commitment to restore peace and normalcy in the state with several strategies, approaches and mechanisms been introduced by the state to eradicate terrorism in the state.

Governor Aminu Masari during the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration held at the Katsina Peoples’ Square said the relative peace currently being enjoined in the state is due to the dedication, competence and discipline of the troops and other sister security agencies.

He commended the army for the untiring sacrifice towards securing the lives and property of Katsina citizens.


In Niger State, Governor Abubakar Bello said the security agencies should remain resolute to end the security challenges in the country.

Bello disclosed this at the 2022 Nigeria Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration held at the Permanent Cenotaph, Minna.

He commended the men of Nigeria Armed Forces and other security agencies for protecting the lives of the people especially in dealing with insurgency and criminal elements, urging them not to relent.

The governor urged them to continue to protect the integrity of the nation, promising the support of the state government towards ending the insecurity.

“My call is on the military to remain resolute. Today is a special day where we come to remember our fallen heroes that have lost their lives in wars and in the course of their assignments”, he said.

Highlights of the event were the release of pigeons as a symbol of peace, exchange of pleasantries with the widows of the fallen heroes and members of the legions as well as the inspection of the guard of honour by the Governor.

Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku in his address urged the Nigeria Army to sustain the momentum against insecurity and ensure that peace reigns across the country.

He said his administration will not relent in supporting the military and other security agencies to ensure that criminal elements are wiped out of the state, as well as avert the recurring herders, farmers clashes and communal crisis.

The governor, who was was represented by his Deputy Haruna Manu assured of prioritising the needs of ex-servicemen and fallen heroes families.

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Former Oyo State Governor, Alao-Akala Passes On

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Otunba Adebayo Christopher Alao-Akala, a former Governor of Oyo State, is dead.

Details of his death are sketchy but sources close to the politician confirmed the tragic incident to SunriseNigeria.

The politician, who had been battling terminal ailment for a while, died in his Ogbomoso country home, on Wednesday morning, according to sources.

A top source in the All Progressives Congress (APC) who confirmed his death to Daily Trust on Wednesday morning, said he died in his room.

“It is true that Oga is dead. He died in the early hours of Wednesday in his room in Ogbomoso. He was full of life last night. In fact, I head he was playing with his children before he went to bed. We are in a mourning mood now,” he said.

Akala was the governor of the state between 2007 and 2011.

Born on June 3, 1950, at Ogbomoso in the Ogbomoso North Local Government Area of Oyo State, Alao-Akala had his elementary school at Osupa Baptist Day School, Ogbomoso before proceeding to Kamina Barracks Middle School, 5th Battalion of Infantry in Tamale, Ghana.

This is the third known death of a prominent Ogbomosho native in a month.

On December 12, 2021, Oba Oladunni Oyewumi, the Soun of Ogbomoso, passed on.

On January 8, 2022, Prof Taibat Danmole, his daughter who was a lecturer at the Lagos State University (LASU), also died.

The deceased, who was a professor of education was married to another university don, Prof. Hakeem Danmole, who is the Dean College of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin

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Former Nigerian Leader, Ernest Shonekan Dies, Aged 85

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Ernest Shonekan

Chief Ernest Shonekan who headed the Interim National Government that succeeded the junta of General Ibrahim Babangida, has died.Shonekan died in Lagos at the age of 85.

He was the interim head of the Nigerian Government between August 26 and November 17 1993 when he was ousted in a coup led by late General Sani Abacha.

 

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