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The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa has advised Nigerian youths to join politics, saying now is the best time for them to be involved in the administration of their country.

The NIDCOM boss said this on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, at the 14th ǼLEX Annual Lecture (Virtual Edition) tagged ‘Illiteracy, Migration and Insecurity: Nigeria’s Population Time Bomb’.

She said, “We all don’t have to be in Lagos. Look at what is happening in Lagos because everybody is coming to Lagos. Everybody develop your state. When we go to America, the UK, every state is developed. Lagos receives over 3,000 people every day and they don’t leave. Let every state develop so that everybody can stay in their states. Build industries, go into manufacturing, develop agriculture, develop the enormous human resources that we have in this country.”

Dabiri-Erewa’s appeal to the youths came a month after young Nigerian protested against police brutality and bad governance in the country.

She said the youths’ participation in politics is the solution to the campaign against police brutality and bad governance.

She said, “For the youths, please join politics, be on the table. Now is the time for the youths. Get involved now, make a difference. Be at the House of Assembly, be at the House of Representatives, Be at the Senate. Don’t wait. That is the solution to #EndSARS.”

The former lawmaker also said that many young Nigerians leave the country out of ignorance, adding that they can also realise their dreams in the country.

She said, “Most young people going out there are not illiterate; they are actually educated but they are lured that there is a better world outside, they paint them a picture of buying houses for their mothers, fathers, which turns out to be fake. It is not about illiteracy but it is about more awareness out there. But there are some people that no matter what you tell them, they have to go.”

Dabiri-Erewa further said that rural-urban migration affected the developments of some part of the country, adding that 3,000 people migrate from other states to Lagos State daily.

She, therefore, urged non-Lagos residents to stay in their states and develop them to the status of the country’s economic capital.

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Nigerian disc jockey and activist DJ Switch says the Nigerian government is a dictatorship with a democratic face.

The popular disc jockey who streamed live the shooting at the Lekki Toll Gate during the #EndSars protest made this known on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, during a chat with CNN’s Becky Anderson.

According to her, the government has become a dictatorship headed by people who arrest and persecute innocent citizens.

DJ Switch while giving an account of what happened on that infamous night said describing herself as being lucky would be unfair on the side of those who didn’t make it out of the protest grounds alive.

She went on to reveal how her career as a disc jockey has been cut short because of the hard evidence against the government.

My career is gone, all my bookings are gone. But I am happy that I have used my platform to do this. I don’t want to run forever. I want to go back home, I don’t care if they pick me when I get home,” she said.

She told the CNN journalist how the government has openly bullied and attacked some of the protesters since the protest by seizing their passports or illegally detaining them.

The celebrity’s interview is coming a month after several young Nigerians were killed by security operatives at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos.

The young Nigerians were among the thousands of Nigerians who came out to protest against police brutality in the country.

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Nigeria’s sports minister Sunday Dare has questioned the competence of Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr following the two draws against Sierra Leone in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

The Super Eagles could only take two points from two games against Sierra Leone. The first which held on Friday, Novem ber, 13, 2021 was more disappointing as Nigeria’s national team squandered a 4-0 lead to draw the game 4-4 before a goalless draw four days later away at Freetown.

While expressing his disappointment in the results on Twitter, Dare launched an attack on Super Eagles coach Rohr and said Nigerian football deserves better.

The performance of the Super Eagles from their last two matches calls to question the suitability and competences of Technical Adviser, Rohr,” the Minister wrote on Twitter.

Nigerian football deserves better. The needful will be done. Apologies to all football lovers.”

Dare was with the Super Eagles in Benin and joined them in a light training session a day before the first leg in Sierra Leone.

Despite the results against Sierra Leone, the Super Eagles are still top of Group L of the qualifiers with eight points from four games and are on course to seal qualification with a win from their next two games.

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According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Wednesday, the postponement was “certainly not out of disrespect’’.

He said the delegation to the meeting, under the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, ministers and heads of security and intelligence agencies were in full readiness to proceed to Port Harcourt until they were directed to stay back for the emergency security meeting.

This information and regret for the inconvenience caused were conveyed to the hosts of the meeting through what we believed were the right channels.

“As may have been gleaned from the statement read by the Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, the extraordinary National Security Council meeting, under the President, was called in view of the gravity of the security situation affecting all parts of the country, including the South-South in the aftermath of the ENDSARS protests, and the need to rise to protect our national security and territorial integrity,’’ he said.

According to the presidential aide, the president is strongly and resolutely committed to hearing from leaders, stakeholders and youth on burning issues affecting all parts of the federation.

He, therefore, stated that a new date for the meeting with the South-South would be agreed after due consultations with the parties concerned.

“Once again, the unavoidable postponement of the meeting is regretted,’’ he added.

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The House made the call at Tuesday’s plenary sitting in Lokoja following adoption of a motion on Urgent Public Importance, raised by Anthony Ujah (APC-Olamaboro), over the strange illness that has claimed over 50 lives.

According to the lawmaker, the unknown disease comes with symptoms such as headache, red eyes, loss of appetite, inability to urinate or defecate, convulsion and death.

Ujah said that the residents of Etteh Community in the local government area have been thrown into confusion by the outbreak of the alien disease.

He maintained that the cause or nature of the disease is still unknown, adding that infected persons die within one week of contracting the disease.

More worrisome, according to him, is that all efforts to get solution using local herbs and treatment at primary health centres with referrals to clinics and hospitals in neighboring Ogugu and Okpo have been unsuccessful.

“The reports reaching my constituency office from the community leaders confirmed that over 50 people between the age of 25 and 40 years have died since September,” he said.

Seconding the motion, Edoko Moses Ododo(APC-Dekinai/Baidu), said that the people of the community now live in fear.

He said that urgent steps need to be taken to save their lives as the disease can adversely affect the economic input of the agrarian community.

Supporting the motion, Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Mohammed, submitted that the community shares boundary with Enugu State and efforts should be made to urgently avert further loss of lives.

Mohammed prayed that the State Government should establish a Hospital in Etteh Community to prevent or tackle future occurrence of such epidemic and other health challenges.

The Speaker of the House, Prince Mathew Kolawole, later asked for a minute silence in honour of the deceased.

He directed that a letter be sent to the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, for immediate support and assistance.

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Riders of commercial motorbikes in Lagos, who are popularly referred to as Okada riders, are fighting back in the most bestial way imaginable, after the Lagos State government restricted their operations to inner city roads and streets in February.

On Wednesday, November 18, 2020, Okada riders who operate around the Ikeja-Along bus terminal on the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway, resisted attempts by personnel of the Lagos State task force to impound their bikes.

The bikers regrouped and enlisted the services of social miscreants who are referred to as ‘area boys, and chased the task force officers into their vans.

In viral social media footage, scores of Okada riders can be seen chasing the security operatives while spewing invectives, as the task force officers retreat to their operational vehicles and zoom off from the scene and out of sight.

Other reports say the thugs and bikers erected bonfires on the busy expressway, a scenario that has prevented motorists and mass transit buses from using the stretch of road.

Eyewitnesses say chaos has since engulfed the area and traffic has built up on the road and on adjoining roads.

It is the second time in a week that commercial motorcyclists have fought back task force personnel intent on enforcing the Lagos State Traffic Law of 2012–which bans the chaotic operations of commercial motorcyclists on major roads and busy expressways.

On Tuesday, November 17, law enforcement agents clashed with Okada riders and thugs in the 2nd Rainbow area, along the Apapa-Oshodi expressway.

Task force officers say they impounded over 70 commercial motorcycles on the day.

The unrest spilled into neighboring communities like Festac town and Orile.

Okada returns

Okada riders in Lagos have been making a gradual return to busy expressways and major roads, even though there is a subsisting order outlawing their operations in most of the city.

In recent times, We have seen hordes of ubiquitous commercial motorcyclists going about their businesses as usual, in almost every area of Lagos, with not a security personnel in sight to stop them.

The commercial motor-bikers also drive against traffic at break-neck speed on busy expressways, endangering the lives of motorists and pedestrians alike.

Nigeria’s commercial capital city of Lagos has slid into lawlessness and anarchy in the wake of the #EndSARS protests that engulfed the city and most of Nigeria in October.

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A seven-member panel of the apex court led by Justice Sylvester Ngwuta in a unanimous judgement, dismissed the six appeals filed against the governor and his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.

Justice Ngwuta predicated the dismissal of the appeals on the withdrawal of the six appeals by lawyers of the appellants.

The appeals dismissed were filed by the Alliance for Democracy, Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP), Labour Movement (LM) and Accord Party (AD).

Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came second in the last year’s governorship election in the state.

He was later declared the elected governor of the state in a subsequent Supreme Court judgment disqualifying the All Progressives Congress’s candidate David Lyon who earlier emerged the winner of the poll.

Diri’s victory has been challenged a number of times but the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja had at different times also affirmed him as the duly elected governor of the state.

He was sworn in on February 14, a day after the Supreme Court sacked Lyon, and his Deputy, Degi-Eremieoyo.

Lyon’s election was nullified after his deputy was accused of submitting forged certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Council approved the bill at its 24th virtual meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed, told State House correspondents at the end of the meeting that would also engender incremental changes in the nation’s tax laws.

According to the minister, the Finance Bill will be transmitted to the National Assembly for its consideration and passage into law.

Through this finance bill, what we are seeking to do is to make incremental changes to tax laws relating to Customs and Excise as well as other fiscal laws to support the implementation of annual budget.

“When Mr President presented the 2021 budget to the parliament he did direct that the 2020 Finance Bill will also follow to support the budget proposals.

“We are working on implementing current fiscal reforms in line with the Multi-Year Medium Term framework and over time we hope that with this Finance Bill, that the fiscal space will be reformed on an incremental basis.

“So this Finance Bill for 2020 was developed as a result of a very large multi-stakeholder effort under Fiscal Policy Reform Committee that has several ministries, departments and agencies as members but also the private sector, experienced tax practitioners and academics.

“During the process, we received a lot of suggestions from different stakeholders but we had to limit what we could take because, we are by three principles – to adopt appropriate counter fiscal measures to manage the economic slowdown, incrementally reforming the fiscal incentive policies of government and ensuring closer coordination between the monetary trade as well as fiscal authorities,’’ she said.

According to the minister, her ministry is working on how to provide adequate macroeconomic strategies to attract investment, to be able to grow the economy on a sustainable basis.

In producing this bill, what we were inadvertently doing was amending provisions in 13 different taxes which include the Capital Gains Tax Act; Companies Income Tax Act (CITA); Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act (IIDITRA); Personal Income Tax Act (PITA); Tertiary Education Trust Fund Act; Customs & Excise Tariff (Consolidation) Act; Value Added Tax Act (VATA); Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act; the Fiscal Responsibility Act and the Public Procurement Act.

She stated that some highlights of these provisions include: “amendments that we have had to make provide incremental changes to tax laws.

“These amendments include; providing fiscal relief for corporate tax payers for instance by reducing the applicable minimum tax rate for two consecutive years from 0.5 percent to 0.25 percent.

“These reforms will commence and will also be closely followed by the cessation rules for small businesses as well as providing incentive for mass transits by reducing import duties and the levies for large tractors, buses and other motor vehicles.

The reason (for us) is to reduce the cost of transportation which is a major driver of inflation especially food production.

“We also proposed measures to create a legal instrument that supports a crisis intervention fund such as, the crisis intervention that we have had to put in place for COVID-19.

“So we hope that we don’t have other crisis but we need to create such a fund so that it is available and it is legislated.’’

The minister also announced that the government would be amending the Fiscal Responsibility Act to enhance fiscal efficiencies and also to control the cost revenue ratios of government owned enterprises.

She expressed the hope that the amendment when carried out, would enable the government to realize more operating surpluses from these enterprises.

Let me remind you that in the 2019 bill, we actually reduced taxes from 30 percent to 20 percent for medium enterprises and from 30 percent to zero percent for very small or macro enterprises.

“These reductions in taxes is being reinforced in the 2020 Finance Bill by further removing the education tax of two percent that the smallest businesses still have to pay despite their zero payment of company income tax.

“There are a lot of provisions in this bill, we will be publishing the summary of the draft bill on our various websites the moment Mr President conveys the bill to the parliament so that we get inputs from the citizens as the parliament undertake its own review processes.’’

 

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The court on Wednesday ordered the freezing of all accounts belonging to Jimoh Ibrahim and his companies.

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has seized 12 properties belonging to Jimoh Ibrahim, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Global Fleet Group and frozen all his accounts over N69.4bn debt.

AMCON took over the businessman’s assets following an order by Justice R.M. Aikawa of a Federal High Court, in Lagos.

The corporation on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, took effective possession of the properties through its Debt Recovery Agent — Pinheiro Legal Partners.

According to ThePunch, the forfeited properties include the following: the building of NICON Investment Limited at Plot 242, Muhammadu Buhari Way, Central Business District, Abuja; NICON Hotels Limited building at Plot 557, Port-Harcourt Crescent, off Gimbiya Street, Abuja and the building of NICON Lekki Limited also at №5, Customs Street, Lagos.

Other properties include: The building of Abuja International Hotels Limited located at №3, Hospital Road, Lagos; another Property at Plot 242, Muhammadu Buhari Way, Abuja; the former Allied Bank Building on Mile 2, Oshodi Express Way, Apapa Road, Lagos; Energy House located on №94, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos; NICON Building at №40, Madeira Street, Maitama, Abuja; a Residential Apartment at Road 2, House A14, Victoria Garden City, Lagos; NICON Hotels Building at Plot 3, Road 3, Victoria Garden City, Lagos as well as the NICON Luxury Hotel’s Building, Garki I, FCT, Abuja.

In addition to the seized properties, the court also ordered AMCON to seize all Ibrahim’s personal and companies’ accounts Global Fleet Oil & Gas Limited and NICON Investment Limited.

Recall that in 2016, a Federal High Court granted AMCON’s request to seize some assets belonging to Ibrahim over an alleged N50bn.

A month after, the businessman obtained a court injunction discharging the interim order granted AMCON to seize his properties.

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