Subsidy: Labour Halts Indefinite Strike

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) have jointly suspend the indefinite strike billed for October 3, 2023 following the removal of fuel subsidy. .

The Nigeria Labour Congress had directed its affiliate member Unions across the country to mobilise and shut down the country following the refusal of government to adhere to the seven points demand made by the NLC and the TUC to ameliorate the suffering of the teeming Nigerian Workers and the impoverished masses of the country.

The President-General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) Comrade (Prince) Dr. Adewale Adeyanju, in the same vein ordered that all the nation’s Seaports, jetties,oil and gas platforms and terminals be shut down accordingly for operations.

After the outcome of emergency meeting summoned on October 2, 2023, between the federal government and labour leaders was held, the NLC and TUC had jointly agreed to suspend the strike to allow for implementation of the NLC demands. Consequently, the National Executive Council (NEC) of the NLC had directed that all its affiliate members should direct their members to return to work tomorrow, October 3, 2023 as the planned indefinite strike has been suspended.

Comrade Adeyanju, the Deputy President of the Nigeria Labour Congress had also directed that all members of the Maritime sector should resume work tomorrow as instructed by the Nigeria Labour Congress.

Makinde Is Nigeria’s Most Loved Governor

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigeria Social Media Week Group (NSG), has named Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde as Nigeria’s Most loved and admired state governor .

The group disclosed this in a survey report which was released at the end of the Nigeria Social Media Week, Q4, 2023 on Monday, October 2, 2023 .

It focused on the general perception of Nigerians towards State governors and other political leaders in the last four years.

According to a statement by NSG Team Lead for 2023, Dr. Kenneth Ogbonna, Oyo State Governor, Makinde emerged top on the list as “Most Loved’ and “Most Admired” State Governor by study respondents drawn mainly from among youth enquiry clusters across the six geo-political zones of the country.

The report indicated that respondents chose Governor Makinde from the final shortlist of State governors rated on the basis of performance, legacy achievements, accessibility, affability and acceptance in home state as well as national recognition and profile.

NSG commended Governor Makinde for his landmark achievements in critical sectors including education and youth development, agriculture and agro-business, healthcare, road infrastructure, urban and rural development, aviation, culture and tourism among others.

The group which was in Ibadan, Oyo State capital as part of its activities for the Nigeria Social Media Week Q4 2023, particularly commended Governor Makinde for the recently commissioned 34.85 Oyo-Iseyin Road, the newly constructed Iseyin Campus of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, the ongoing construction of the 76.67 km Iseyin-Fapote-Ogbomoso Road among others.

It explained that the Nigeria Social Media Week Group is an independent social media-based governance and leadership evaluation body focused on peer review and comparative study of leadership performance in Nigeria.

Mohammed Shosanya

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN has denied entering into any plea bargain deal with sacked former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.

He reacted against a report by an online platform to the effect that the office of the AGF had signed a plea bargain deal with the embattled Emefiele.

The AGF in a statement on Sunday, vehemently refutted the claim, insisting that the Federal Government and Emefiele did not at any point in time, agreed to a non prosecution plea bargain arrangement.

“The attention of the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has been drawn to a report by Sahara Reporters alleging that the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele and the Federal Government of Nigeria, have agreed to a non prosecution plea bargain arrangement.

“The report further alleges that Mr. Godwin Emefiele and the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, have signed a nonprosecution plea bargain agreement and that the agreement is awaiting the signature of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR” the AGF stated.

However, the AGF has maintained that the report has no element of truth in it.

“The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice hereby states clearly that these reports are completely false.

“It would be noted that the legal team representing Mr. Godwin Emefiele had expressed their intention in court at the last hearing to initiate a plea bargain arrangement.

“However, no such arrangement has been reached with Mr. Godwin Emefiele or his representatives.

“We wish to advise the media and members of the public to kindly dsregard the said false report” Fagbemi said.

The statement by Modupe Ogundoro (Mrs), Director (Press and Public Relations) Federal Ministry of Justice, assured that the AGF will continue to take all actions in the interest of the Nigerian public.

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”.

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.

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.

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.

Mohbad Gets Befitting Burial Funeral As Ebony Donates Casket,Pall Bearers

Mohammed Shosanya

Ebony Funeral Home has donated burial amenities that will ensure that the late singer, Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba popularly known as Mohbad gets a befitting funeral.

A Nollywood actress, Iyabo Ojo,disclosed the company’s gesture in a post on X (formerly Twitter), on Thursday.

She said: “In preparation for Mohbad’s befitting burial, the CEO of Ebony Funeral Home gave us a free casket, a free hall, a huge discount for the vault, free pall bearers, free horns men, two fresh wreaths, two wreath bearers and a horse carriage”.

Senate  Confirms  Yemi Cardoso As CBN Boss

The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Dr Olayemi Cardoso as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

He was screened alongside four nominees for the positions of CBN Deputy Governors, to steer affairs of the apex bank in the next five years.

The deputy governors include: Mrs. Emem Nnana Usoro, Mr. Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo, Mr. Philip Ikeazor, and Dr. Bala M. Bello.

Reps Vow To Monitor Investigation Of MohBad’s,Protect His Musical Assets

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigeria’s House of Representatives,has resolved to monitor the ongoing investigation of Mohbad’s death by the Nigerian Police Force.

Specifically,the House said its monitoring will
cover the allegations of harassment and unpaid royalties, as well as collaborate with relevant stakeholders, including record labels, artists, legal experts, and industry associations, to develop and implement industry-wide guidelines that ensure fair treatment, transparent contractual agreements, and proper compensation for artists, reviewing existing copyright and contract laws in Nigeria, identifying gaps or areas in need of reform.

The resolution of the House followed a Motion on the “Need for Justice, Safeguarding the Legacy of Late Ilerioluwa Olademeji Aloba A.K.A Mohbad, and Protecting the Rights of Young Promising Artists in Contracts with Their Record Labels”, adopted in the green chamber of the National Assembly on Tuesday.

The House observed a minute silence in honour of the deceased during the proceeding.

It resolved to invite the Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC) with a view to puting immediate measures in place to protect the rights of Ilerioluwa Olademeji Aloba (Mohbad’s) songs and lyrics.

It also urged the Commission to initiate measures at addressing copyright infringements and ensuring the proper management of his musical assets while securing his son’s benefits from his musical legacy.

Hon. Babajimi Benson who sponsored the motion, noted that the Nigerian music industry mourns the loss of the talented artist Ilerioluwa Olademeji Aloba, popularly known as Mohbad, who tragically passed away under mysterious circumstances on September 12, 2023, a development he said had been greeted with ‘heartfelt protests, a procession of youth chanting his name”

According to him, followingthe death of the music star, “a disturbing industry practice has come to the fore. Evidence of mistreatment highlights the struggles of young artists who, in their quest for success, become entangled in parasitic contracts and face bullying when they seek to exit these agreements”.

He said it was disturbing that most of the proceeds of the late artist are still going to the Marlian Music Group, and there have been no moves from any agency to protect the Estate of the late singer who is currently the 46th best-selling digital artiste in the world.