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BUA Group Kicks off N250m Projects for Al-Qalam University, Katsina

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Abdul Samad Rabiu (ASR) Africa, an affiliate of BUA Group of Companies, turned the sod of a N250 million Administrative Block and Conference Room at Al-Qalam University, Katsina, on Thursday.

In 2022, ASR Africa announced the launch of its 2023 Tertiary Education Grant Scheme to cover 22 institutions, one of which is Al-Qalam University, a private Islamic institution.

Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony, Dr Ubon Udoh, Managing Director, Abdul Samad Rabiu (ASR) Africa, said education remained one of the priority areas of its interventions.

Udoh said that the Chairman of ASR Africa, Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu was committed to supporting quality education in tertiary institutions in Nigeria and in Africa as a whole.

He commended the management of the university for providing prompt feedback and required documentation on the project to ensure its speedy take-off and advised it to endure judicious use of the facilities.

Udoh also assured the university of speedy completion of the projects.

In his remarks, the varsity’s vice-chancellor, Prof. Nasiru Musa-Yauri commended the Chairman of ASR Africa and the BUA Group for finding the institution worthy of the grant.

Musa-Yauri said the project was one of the university’s priority needs, adding that the university was set to launch its College of Allied Health Sciences for the 2023/2024 academic year.

“Upon completion of this project, staff and students in Bachelors’ degree programmes in the sciences for the 2023/2024 academic year will have lecture rooms and offices for their programmes.

“They include those in Nursing Science, Public Health, Radiography, Physiotherapy, Optometry, and Medical Laboratory,’’ he said.

BUA Group of Companies is one of Africa’s largest food, mining, manufacturing, and industrial conglomerates.

Its affiliate, Abdul Samad Rabiu (ASR) Africa was initiated in 2021 to provide sustainable impact-based home-grown solutions to issues affecting health, education and social development in Africa. (NAN)

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Prominent People are Behind Mounting of Illegal Checkpoints in Benue- Chairman BIRS

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From Attah Ede Makurdi 

The acting Chairman of Benue State Internal Revenue Services (BIRS), Mr. Emmanuel Agema, on Monday, lamented over the activities of illegal tax collectors in the State, saying prominent people with the State are behind the mounting of those illegal checkpoints across the state.

Mr. Agema who disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Makurdi, said that not more than 35 persons have been charged to court.

He maintained that upon assumption of office, the board decided to terminated revenue contract with a few to close revenue leakages about and now using the board staff to collect taxes, a development, he said has assisted the board to generate more revenue for the state.

The acting chairman said the State government has giving the board a target to generate over 16 billion as internally generated revenue for 2024, adding that in 2023, the board met its 14 billion target and surpassed it.

Mr. Agena who decried the activities of illegal tax collectors in the State, said most of them are backed by very prominent individuals, averring that under his watch, the era of patronizing politicians is over.

“We have already arrested 35 people who are engaging in illegal tax collection and have been arraigned in court.

He disclosed that a truck conveying palliatives from Adamawa to Anambra State was hijacked by some youths in Aliade, Gwer East local government area of the State 

According to him, the youths who mounted illegal checkpoint, stopped the vehicles, broke their windscreen and stole the sum of #200,000 from one of the drivers.

He said two persons have been arrested and transferred to the DSS on the governor’s directives that a thorough investigation be carried out to fish out those behind illegal tax collection in the state

 “The truck was intercepted and the driver beaten while the windscreen of the vehicle broken and over 200,000 naira stolen. 3 persons have been arrested and are in police custody. They will be moved to DSS for thorough investigation

“Our aim is to flush out or reduce illegal tax collectors to the barest minimum. This has been a big challenge. We have constituted a team headed by director of Tax collection. Prominent people in the State are involved in encouraging these boys. 

“We also plan to recover over 5.6 billion from ground rent. We are liaising with the Ministry of Land towards this direction. 

“We also, engaged the service of Softnet, an ICT company to aid us collect revenue. They are paid commission. The company have engaged over 250 staff who have been trained and given POS to collect revenue.

“Taxation is about confidence. Our work now is easy because tax payers are willing to pay because the people are seeing what government is doing”.

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I’m not Desperate for Super Eagles Coaching Job – Emmanuel Amuneke

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1996 Olympic gold medalist, Emmanuel Amuneke, has said that although he would love to coach the Super Eagles if given the opportunity, he was not desperate for the job.

Amuneke, a former Super Eagles player, said this while addressing newsmen in Owerri on Tuesday.

The former Nigeria U-17 national team coach and former coach of the Tanzania national team, said the job of coaching Nigeria’s national team should be given on merit and to whom with the interest of football and Nigeria at heart”.

The Spain based former striker, who played for Sporting Lisbon football club in Portugal and Barcelona football club, expressed confidence that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) would eventually appoint the ideal coach for the Super Eagles top job.

He said that with a plethora of Nigerian talents scattered across the globe, a lot of professional capacity, technical expertise and consultation would be required to harness the talents, combine them and achieve the needed balance.

“The Super Eagles’ upcoming World Cup qualification matches against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa and their counterparts from Benin Republic would necessitate the appointment of a substantive coach who would also need some time to put the house in order for best results.

 “I am not desperate to be Super Eagles coach, though I nurse the ambition to coach.

 “If I have the opportunity to serve my fatherland , I will accept it and deliver my all,” he said.

He however, called for the development of football at the grassroots for further development of the Nigerian league for harnessing of more talents. (NAN)

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Impeachment: Shuaibu Urges Panel to Obey Court Order

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The Deputy Governor of Edo, Mr Philip Shaibu, on Wednesday prayed the seven-member investigative panel on his planned impeachment, to obey an interlocutory injunction of a Federal High Court, Abuja.

At its  maiden sitting on Wednesday in Benin, Shaibu, through his lawyer, Prof. Oladoyin Awoyale, SAN, said the panel’s sitting to investigate him would amount to fait accompli.

He argued that there was a subsisting order of interlocutory injunction granted by an Abuja Federal High Court and further hearing had been adjourned to April 8.

Awoyale argued that with the court’s order, all parties are advised to obey the ruling.

However, counsel to the House of Assembly and Deputy Clerk, Legal Department, Joe Oaifi, argued that the panel’s sitting was supported by Section 188 (10) of the constitution which foreclosed any court from preventing the House of Assembly and the panel from discharging its constitutional responsibilities.

The State Chief Judge, Justice Daniel Okungbowa,  constituted a  panel headed by retired Justice S. A. Omonuwa.

The panel has the mandate to investigate the allegation of misconduct levelled against the deputy governor by the Edo State House of Assembly.(NAN

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