Police Vow To Investigate Corruption Allegation Against Egbetokun

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigeria Police Force will investigate
alleged involvement of the Inspector General of Police,Mr.Olukayode Egbetokun,and other Senior Officers in the sharing of monies recovered in the course of an investigation.

ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi,Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters,in a statement,said the Force views the allegations with serious attention.

He urged the complainant who made these claims to contact the Force Public Relations Officer with a view to ensuring comprehensive and unbiased investigation.

He said:”Additionally, we invite anyone else with information, including the blogger, Diamond Dietanuru Osakorigho of Pararan Mock News, who went ahead to attack the IGP’s personality using abusive words on social media platforms without bothering to make findings and verify issues on the incident in Rivers State Police Command.

“The IGP while was hitherto unaware of the extant case has tasked the IGP Monitoring Unit with carrying out indepth investigations into the allegations as well as the case which gave rise to the allegations so as to determine the culpability or otherwise of all parties involved”.

He advised the public about the activities of fraudulent individuals who attempt to exploit the reputation of the Inspector General of Police and other senior officers for personal gains.

He urged members of the public to exercise caution and verify the authenticity of any individual claiming to represent Senior Police Officers in any unwholesome venture.

He added:”In its commitment to ensuring transparency, some individuals who indulge in these fraudulent acts have been arrested and prosecuted. Our zero tolerance and spirited efforts to kick against these criminal acts, either from the members of the public or service officers, are paying off and evident.

“If anyone, including police officers, claims to be acting as an agent for the IGP or any senior Police officer for any suspicious or fraudulent activity, we urge you to report such smart moves immediately to the NPF and the Force Public Relations Officer or the Complaint Response Unit (CRU) desk in any state of the Federation.

“The Nigeria Police Force appreciates your cooperation and assistance in helping us ensure a fair and just investigation. Together, we can maintain the trust and confidence of the public in the Nigeria Police Force”.

Oyetola Woos Investors As Nigerian Ports Begins Full Automation Soon

Mohammed Shosanya

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola,has implored investors to take advantage of the opportunities and partner with the new Ministry to drive development

He said this in Abuja, when he received a renowned entrepreneur and sustainability expert, Prof. Gunter Pauli, who is on a three-day visit to Nigeria.

He noted that the Nigerian water ways have enjoyed adequate security with no single incidence of piracy for the past two years.

He added:”We have sufficient control of our ocean in terms of security and there has been nothing like piracy in our ocean. So, the fear of investors about the safety of their investments is out of it now.”

According to a statement by Henshaw Ogubike, Director, Press and Public Relations,
Oyetola also disclosed that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) will soon commence the implementation of full automation and cargo tracking across the various ports in the country to promote Port efficiency and Ease of Doing Business.

He stated that the Federal Government is keen on the diversification of the Nigerian economy away from the oil industry, hence, it was intentional when it created the new Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy.

“Again, we are going to be talking of automation of ports to make them more efficient. I would like to tell you that in another two years, it will all change. We are bringing in automation and cargo tracking as we are working on that for implementation”, he said.

He added that the government is interested in partnering with relevant stakeholders under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement to maximize and explore the resources of the ocean sector for rapid economic development, improve the livelihood of its people and create jobs as well as preserving the health of the ecosystem.

He said: “Seventy percent of the resources that are available actually comes from the ocean, and we have it in abundance here”.

” I believe in the Public Private Partnership arrangement. The government will create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive and our concept in dealing with these, is purely in PPP, and I see quite a lot of opportunities there”

Speaking earlier during the visit, Professor Gunter Pauli said his team was in Nigeria to partner with the Ministry on commercial and technological innovations and job creation around the sector. He argued that his partnership with the Ministry will attract foreign and local investments that would create a lot of opportunities for the Nigerian youths.

MohBad’s Death:Police Arrest Sam Larry

The Lagos Police Command has arrested Samson Balogun aso known As Sam Larry,for link link with the death of Afrobeat singer Oladimeji Aloba popularly called MohBad,

Sam Larry was alleged to have assaulted the singer many times before his death.

According to the police, Sam Larry, was apprehended for questioning over the death of the 27years old MohBad.

In a statement on Thursday, the Command spokesperson, Benjamin Hundeyin, disclosed that Sam Larry was already cooperating with the committee investigating the singer’s death.

He noted that the suspect has been detained for questioning to aid quick completion of the ongoing investigations.

He said,Balogun Olamilekan Eletu aka Sam Larry is now in our custody. He is currently assisting with ongoing investigation.

LIRS Tasks Business Owners On Consumption Tax Compliance

Mohammed Shosanya

The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has urged owners of restaurants, hotels, and event centres operating in the state to contribute to the state’s development by prioritizing the monthly collection and remittance of a 5% consumption tax on all consumables and personal services.

The State on June 22, 2009, enacted the Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption Law of Lagos State otherwise called Hotel Consumption Law, which imposes consumption tax at 5% on the value of goods and services consumed in hotels, restaurants and event centers within the state. The tax base is the total cost of facilities, consumables or personal services supplied to a consumer in, by or on behalf of the hotel, restaurant or events centre.

Speaking on The Tax Talk programme monitored on TVC,Jimi Aina, Director, New Growth, LIRS, said while the consumption tax is a major source of revenue for the Lagos State Government, which uses the funds to provide public amenities and services such as healthcare, education, transportation, and security, owners of restaurants, hotels, event centres, etc are obligated to register with the LIRS as collecting agents.

He said contrary to the misconception a lot of people have about consumption tax, the state has not imposed additional taxes on restaurants, hotels and event centres, rather, consumers who purchase taxable goods or services in the state are responsible for paying the consumption tax. The tax is already included in the price of the goods or services and is paid to the collecting agent who collects it on behalf of the Lagos State Government.

“Many people misunderstand the concept of consumption tax. It is often thought that this tax is an additional burden on hotels and restaurants, but this is not the case. In reality, it is the customers who are taxed when they dine out, attend events, or have drinks at a bar. The tax rate is five per cent. By paying the consumption tax, consumers contribute to the development and maintenance of these amenities and services.”

“According to Section 1 of the Lagos State Consumption Tax Law, consumption tax is defined as a tax on the supply of goods and services in Lagos State, which is charged and payable by the consumer.

“Consumers who purchase taxable goods or services in Lagos State are responsible for paying consumption tax. The tax is included in the price of the goods or services and is paid to the collecting agent who collects it on behalf of the Lagos State Government,” he said.

He said while collecting agents (restaurants, hotels and event centres) have the responsibility of collecting these taxes from consumers and remitting to the LIRS, it’s also important to factor in the deadline for remittances.

He explained; “According to the Lagos state consumption tax law, the remittances must be made not later than the 20th day of the month following the month of collection. For example, consumption tax collected in September must be remitted to the LIRS on or before the 20th of October.

Aina noted that there are legal implications to non-remittances by collecting agents who failed to remit consumption tax collected from consumers to the LIRS within the prescribed time.

“Where a Collecting Agent fails to make a return or remittances as and when due, LIRS may make an estimate of the total amount due and such estimate shall become due not later than 21 days of service of such a notice.

“Failure to remit the tax collected within the stipulated time will attract a 10% penalty of an amount not remitted plus interest at 5% above the prevailing Monetary Policy Rate of CBN of Nigeria. Such collecting agent may also face sanctions including closure of business and prosecution,” he submitted.

According to the LIRS, the monthly filing of returns on sales using UCL 2 form must be accompanied by a report stating:

The total amount of payments made for all chargeable transactions during the preceding reporting period.

The amount of consumption tax collected by the agent during the reporting period.
Any other information required by LIRS to be included in the report.

No Plan To Hurt Osimhen-Napoli Coach

Napoli manager, Rudi Garcia,says the club didn’t intend to hurt a Nigeria international,
Victor Osimhen with the controversial TikTok video.

The club shared a video on their TikTok account which appeared to be mocking Osimhen after he missed a penalty in the club’s goalless draw against Bologna last weekend.

He threatened to take legal action against the club and has also taken down all images of him in the Partenopei jersey on his Instagram account.

He had earlier been involved in a bust-up with Garcia after he was substituted against Bologna.

Speaking on the issues surrounding the club after the game, Garcia admitted that the club had been faced with a bit of trouble since the weekend game against Bologna.

He added:“Over the last two days there was a bit of trouble with some clumsy behaviour.Nobody wanted to be hurtful, not the TikTok with the video of Victor, nor Victor by taking his photographs down on social media.

“Nobody intended to hurt anyone, these are instinctive reactions and are understandable,” Garcia was quoted by Football Italia after the game.

Erisco Faults Remarks On Product,Threatens N5bn Suit Against Consumer

Eric Umeofia, founder of Erisco Foods Limited, has threatened legal actions against Chioma Egodi, a consumer who gave a review of one of the company’s products.

He spoke in an interview on Thursday on Arise TV.

Egodi had penultimate week made a post on Facebook, stating that she tasted Nagiko Tomato Mix — one of the tomato paste variants of the firm — and found it sugary.

But Erisco Foods Limited described the claim as untrue and unfounded.

According to the company,the post was intended to mislead its customers and discredit its image “as previously instigated by some elements and syndicates who are uncomfortable with our increasing market dominance as a leading indigenous manufacturer of 100% natural tomato pastes”.

The company decided to bring the said publication to the attention of relevant authorities.

Speaking,Umeofia said the post had cost him so much, including the company’s credit line, as he vowed to sue Edigo for N5 billion in damages.

He added that Edigo must tender a public apology by making a social media post.

“I had a $30 billion credit line from China but now it’s been suspended because of this,” Umeofia said.

“I will sue, surely. If she settles with the police on this trivial case, what about my damages? Is it right? People keep saying what they do not know. Where is our conscience or religion? That somebody would say that I am killing people and people are supporting them. People must come and tell me sorry.

“I will sue her for N5 billion if she does not comply with what we say.”

He said he had faced challenges operating in Nigeria, especially in getting foreign exchange (FX) from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

According to Umeofia, getting dollars from the CBN requires him to “compromise”.

He said there are independent bodies in the apex bank who collect certain cuts or amounts from manufacturers when they try to get foreign exchange.

Ganduje Constitutes 9-Man Committee To Reconcile Akeredolu,Deputy

Mohammed Shosanya

Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje , National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has waded into ² the brewing family rift between recuperating Ondo State Governor, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu and his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa with a view to reconciling the two parties.

The committee headed by former governor of Katsina StateHon Aminu Bello was mandated to reconcile the warring parties in the crisis which has threatened the peace of the state and impeachment of the deputy governor.

Speaking on why he intervened in the matter Gaduje said the party may suffer grievous harm if the issues are not resolved in the interest of APC in Ondo state.

According to Edwin Olo Kon, Chief Press Secretary to the National Chairman, the national chairman urged all parties in the crisis to embrace peace and allow the committee to carry out the responsibility assigned it by the party.

The statement said :”The National Secretariat of the Party is really concerned about the unfortunate political situation in Ondo State, which if not quickly averted, may lead to further disaffection among party faithfuls.

“Therefore, in order to avert the misunderstanding, and after critical observation of the situation, the National Secretariat has decided to wade in, with a view to foster better understanding that may likely lead to amicable resolution.

“In light of the above, the National Chairman of the Party, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, CON, has set up a 9-Man Committee under the able leadership of the erstwhile Governor of Katsina State, His Excellency, Rt Hon Aminu Bello Masari, CFR, to not only intervene, but also see to the peaceful reconciliation of all parties involved.

“The party therefore assures all and sundry, that through this Committee, it will interact and dialogue with all the stakeholders in the state, based on mutual respect, with a view to finding a lasting solution.

“The National Secretariat urges all parties to remain calm, and extend all the necessary cooperation and support to the Masari-led Committee”.

Ekpo Urges Contractors  To Complete OB3 Gas Pipeline Project On December

Mohammed Shosanya

Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), Mr. Ekperikpe Ekpo, has implored contractors handling the Obrikom, Obiafo and Oben (OB3) gas pipeline project to ensure its completion by December this year.

He stated this on Thursday during a tour of the 48 × 1.8km gas pipeline project designed to run across the River Niger conveying gas from the South-South and South-East to the South West and the Ajaokuta, Kano and Kaduna (AKK.) Project, among others.

Ekpo was accompanied on the tour by the Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, Group CEO of the NNPL, Mr. Mele Kyari, and other top officials of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, NNPCL and regulatory agencies.

A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Communications to the Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas),Louis Ibah,quoted
the minister as telling officials of Enikkom and HDD Thailand, who are the joint venture contractors handling the project, that meeting the December 2023 deadline would greatly assist the Federal Government’s aspiration of making gas available to all nooks and cranny of the country as well as addressing some of the challenges associated with the removal of fuel subsidy.

He said: “Nigerians are waiting for this project. Mr. President (His Excellency Bola Tinubu) is passionate about gasifying Nigeria, and this is also my mission as a minister. The withdrawal of fuel subsidy has been causing problems in the country, but if we get this project right the pressure will come down.

” When that is done it will go a long way in easing doing business in Nigeria and forex will come into the country. So I implore you all to be intentional, committed and passionate about this project completion deadline.”
Lokpobiri commended the contractors and those involved in the project. He described the project as a game changer saying its inauguration will boost the quest to provide enough gas for domestic use”

Kyari,who spoke earlier had assured that the project would be completed by the end of the year as most of the initial challenges had been identified and surmounted by the contractors.

Makurdi: EFCC Gets 107 Convictions In 5 Years

Mohammed Shosanya

The Makurdi Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has secured the conviction of about 107 suspects that were arraigned for financial crimes in the last five years.

The Commission disclosed this at a Workshop for Journalists in Benue State on ‘Effective Reporting of Economic and Financial Crimes’, organised by the EFCC on Thursday.

In a paper titled: “Challenges of Prosecuting Economic and Financial Crimes in Nigeria”, the Assistant Commander of EFCC (ACE), 1, Legal and Prosecution Department, Ramiah Ikhanaede who disclosed this however observed that about 3,758 suspects have been convicted nationwide.

He explained that in Makurdi Zonal Command alone out of the 107 prosecutions, the Commission secured the conviction of 43 suspects in 2023 and it was still counting.

Ikhanaede explained that in 2019, the Commission secured 16 convictions; 9 convictions in 2020; 39 convictions in 2022 and the highest convictions recorded was 43 convictions in 2023; that is from January to September, 2023

He said that although the Commission may not be where it is expected to be, it has recorded major successes since the ratification of the Unified Nation’s Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).

He lamented that some societal challenges have acted as impediments to the fight against financial crimes in the country among other impediments like economical and statutory challenges.

Acting Executive Chairman, EFCC, Abdulkarim Chukkol, explained that the workshop was designed to upgrade the skills of journalists.

Represented at the event by the Makurdi Zonal Commander, Friday Ebelo, the EFCC Acting Chairman noted that while Nigeria’s anti-money laundering framework has been strengthened, EFCC has also reinvigorated a key component of it’s framework, the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML), to drive to fight money laundering.

He said: “The impact of the Commission on the economic life of the nation is widely acknowledged. Through the Commission’s enforcement activities, recoveries running into several billions of Naira have been recorded and the country’s anti-money laundering framework strengthened.

“A key component of this framework is the reinvigorated Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML), which is driving the fight against money laundering and illicit financial flows among Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs).

“On this score, I would like the media to educate family members and friends of politicians and others holding political offices that they run the risk of going to jail if they allow their companies or bank accounts to be used to launder proceeds of illegal activities.

“Under the Money Laundering Act, 2022 family members and close allies of politicians and public office holders, including top civil servants, are now classified as Politically Exposed Persons (PEP).

“The EFCC is determined to ensure that anyone who steals from the public treasury and all those who assist them to do so under whatever guise, are brought to justice and ignorance of the law will not be an excuse,” Chukkol warned.

Dangote Trains Northwest Journalists

Mohammed Shosanya

Dangote Group on Thursday in Kano commenced a two day training programme for 50 newsmen drawn from Northwest, Nigeria.

The two day workshop which has as its theme: Ethics, Skills and Personal Qualities for Reporting in the Digital Age, and it is being coordinated by the Centre for Financial Journalism in Nigeria.

The spokesman of Dangote Group, Mr. Anthony Chiejina, explained that the annual workshop is one in the series of others that have been conducted over the years, and in all the Geo-political zones of the country.

He said the training in Kano is also a reflection of the harmonious relationship between the Dangote Group and the Nigerian Media.

Mr. Chiejina said: “The members of the fourth estate of the realm are our partners in progress. We need each other for Nigeria to develop. I am very sure that the theme for this year on Reporting in Digital Age will change their lives, as it is being handled by seasoned journalists and communication experts.”

Chief Executive of the Centre for Financial Journalism Dr. Ray Echebiri said journalists can only be relevant when they continue to improve themselves via such training programmes.

A resource person, Mrs Aisha Sule urged journalists not to relent in building themselves, and said the collaboration with the Dangte Group and o ther staekholders should be sustained.

A participant and chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalist(NUJ) in Kano, Mr. Abbas Ibrahim commended the company for the exercise, while urging other participants to leverage the knowledge from the training to develop themselves.