The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has lauded the Federal Government for suspending the proposed telecoms tax in view of the economic challenges faced by operators and Nigerians in general.
The Director-General, Mr Wale Oyerinde, made the commendation in a statement on Tuesday.
“We commend the government for suspending the telecoms tax as it has the potential to compound the challenges of the sector and further burden Nigerians.
“At a time when the purchasing power of the citizens is being eroded by inflation and other negative economic indices and the telecoms industry is critically challenged, the best that government can do is to provide relief for the citizens and business owners, notwithstanding its dwindling revenue, “ he said.
Oyerinde urged the government to desist from increasing excise on spirits, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages as being proposed.
He said that the increases,if implemented, would not only worsen the already bad situation of the industry, but also create a major shock, leading to job losses.
According to him, businesses are not striving to be competitive again, but are now more concerned with sustainability.
Oyerinde said: “Rather than overburden businesses that are already struggling, government should explore other options for increasing revenue.
“This can be through widening the tax net; reducing governance costs; addressing the massive oil theft; and dealing with the unsustainable subsidy regime.
”The trend of multiplicity of taxes and other unfavorable economic factors have led to the shut down of many businesses while some others relocated to neighboring countries.“ (NAN)
Owu-Kuta kingdom Confers Chieftaincy Title on Tiv Leader
By David Torough, Abuja
The Palace of the Olowu of Owu-Kuta kingdom was agog with celebration as the president, Tiv Youths Council (TYC) World-wide, Michael Msuaan and his wife, Joy Msuaan were installed as the new ‘Akeweje’ and ‘Yeye Akeweje’ of Owu-Kuta kingdom in Osun state.
His Royal Highness (HRM), Dr.Adekunle Oyelude Makama, explained that since he assumed the throne of his forefathers he has continued to build bridges of peaceful co-existence and national unity.
“Confernment of this title on Hon Michael and his wife by the Owu Kingdom is a further testimony to that people appreciate Hon Michael’s contribution to national development and humanity in general.HRM emphasized that the title should further reinvigorate Hon Michael to do more for posterity”
Makama explained the significance of the ‘Akeweje’ title and said it was reserved for young people who have shown strong abilities and with traits of becoming emerging leaders and providing leadership as well as direction for the younger generation.
He enjoined the Tiv youth leader and his wife to remain good Ambassadors of the kingdom, stating that all through Owu kingdom, they would be revered, accepted and recognized as title holders, and treated as son and daughter of Owu Kingdom.
Makama described Msuaan who is also Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) as a young man with strong and exceptional character difficult to find in many young people.
He said as young as Msuaan, he has mingled and served very powerful people in the country and all of them have only glowing things to say about him.
The Secretary to the government of the Federation, Sen. George Akume in his goodwill message stated that he was convinced that the decision of the HRM to confer the Akeweje title on Msuaan was well thought out, timely and a reflection of the mood of the nation.
He said that the honour should serve as a source of encouragement to the recipient to continue to serve the country and humanity.
In his address, the former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Yusuf Buratai (Betara of Biu) who holds the title of ‘ Balogun Agba’ of Owu-Kuta kingdom praised Msuaan for his commitment to the progress and greater good of the country.
He extolled the sterling qualities of Msuaan, as a determined, dependable, honest and trustworthy young man who has built bridges of inter-ethnic and regional co-existence.
In his response after his installation, Msuaan thanked HRM Oba Adekunle Oyelude Makama, for considering him worthy of the title.
He promised to live up to the integrity, prestige and expectations of the Akeweje title and promised to always stand for the youth and human development.
Msuaan expressed appreciation to the Secretary to the government of the Federation, Sen. George Akume whom he referred to as his mentor and leader who has inspired him in so many ways.
High light of the occasion was the installation of Otunba Akeweje Msuaan and his wife as the Akeweje and ‘Yeye Akeweje’ of Owu-Kuta Kingdom by HRM Oba (Dr) Adekunle Oyelude Makama,. Dressed in the Youruba royal traditional regalia, a royal crown was placed on his head with a staff of office handed to him by Oluwa (Dr) Adekunle Makama Oyelude.
The Tiv and Youruba cultural troupes thrilled the crowd at the occasion with different traditional dances.
NG-CARES: FG Disburses N135.4b to States, FCT
The Federal Government has disbursed N135.4 billion to States and the FCT, after the second Independent Assessment of Results achieved under the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES).
Reports says that NG-CARES is a World Bank-assisted $750 million Performance For Results Programme.
The National Coordinator of NG-CARES Programme, Dr Abdulkarim Obaje, made this known in a statement by Suleiman Odapu, Information and Communication Officer, NG-CARES, on Sunday in Abuja.
Obaje said the funds were disbursed based on the results achieved by the States and FCT in their efforts at supporting poor and vulnerable Nigerians under the NG-CARES programme.
” The top three best performing states in this Second Round of Assessment are Nasarawa which earned N13,697,828,496.96, Cross River N10,944,747,818.84 and Zamfara N10,231,055,267.82.
” This is a milestone achievement in the efforts of President Bola Tinubu administration at providing funds towards addressing multi-dimensional poverty in the country, ” Obaje noted.
He commended the Minister for Budget and Economic Planning, Sen. Atiku Bagudu, for providing the needed leadership at the federal level to coordinate the implementation of NG-CARES programme at the states and FCT.
The national coordinator also commended state Governors, the FCT Minister and the World Bank for providing support.
NG-CARES Programme is an initiative of the Federal Government strategically designed to serve as a shock response mechanism and distribution channel for reaching poor and vulnerable.
It is implemented through 158 integrated Ministries, Departments and Agencies of all the 36 State Governments and FCT Administration with well proven track record of performance under previous Donor Supported assistance.
The programme aims to expand access to livelihood support and food security services and grants for poor and vulnerable households and firms. (NAN)
Information Minister: 2024 Budget Demonstrates Tinubu’s Commitment to Fiscal Responsibility
The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Alhaji Mohammed Idris, says the 2024 Appropriation Bill of N27.5 trillion submitted to the National Assembly demonstrates President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to fiscal responsibility.
Idris stated this at the 2023 Public Lecture and Annual General Meeting of the Kaduna State Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) on Saturday in Abuja.
The meeting with the theme, “Demographic transition, ethical resources, and sustainable development: Reflection on Northern Nigeria”, was organised by the Kaduna Chapter of the NIPR.
The minister described Tinubu as a transformational leader with a solid track record in the private sector and at the level of subnational government.
According to Idris, Tinubu is a man who will not be fazed by challenges and obstacles, because he is a man that is more than equal to the task.
“Just this week, he presented the 2024 Appropriation Bill of N27.5 trillion to the National Assembly, the first full-year budget of his administration.
“The budget as presented, signifies a pivotal step towards the realisation of his Renewed Hope Agenda, by aligning fiscal strategies and priorities with broader national development objectives.
“In addition to its focus on development priorities, the budget demonstrates Tinubu’s commitment to fiscal responsibility with all sense of sincerity, transparency and accountability.
“President Tinubu’s administration recognizes the importance of prudent financial management as the foundation for long-term economic stability.
“As the 2024 appropriation bill moves through the legislative process, we are very optimistic that its passage will mark the beginning of a transformative era, bringing tangible improvements to the lives of Nigerians.
“Before the budget presentation, President Tinubu had assented to an equally important Supplementary Budget, signed some landmark bills and Executive Orders into law, and inaugurated initiatives on fiscal policy reform,” he said.
The minister added that the goal has been to deliver relief to the Nigerian people, and lay the groundwork for true and lasting prosperity.
On the theme of the public lecture, Idris said the concept of demographic transition is a very important one for Nigeria, considering the place it occupies as Africa’s most populous country.
According to him, by the year 2050, Nigeria will be the third most populous country in the world, after India and China, and ahead of the United States.
“On top of this, we are a very young population, with a median age of 19. What this means is that half of the population of our country is younger than 20.
“We owe these teeming young people a great deal, starting with ensuring that they are educated for the world of the 21st century. Indeed, with our population, we are at a crossroads.
“The choice is now up to us, as leaders, as elites, regarding what direction Nigeria will proceed in.
“Today’s young people, if properly educated and catered for, will be tomorrow’s engaged and productive labour force.
“Demographics are not only about age; gender is another important element. Nigeria’s population is roughly split evenly between men and women.
“One of the pillars of President Bola Tinubu’s Eight-Point Agenda is inclusivity, which means inclusive policies and programmes for all segments of the population, especially youth and women.
“You can see manifestations of this, even in the array of appointments made by the president so far, and the prominence given to young people and to women,” the minister said.
The President and Chairman of Council of the Institute of NIPR, Dr Ike Neliaku, represented by a Fellow of the Institute, Alhaji Bashir Chedi, commended the Kaduna Chapter for being active, consistent and always setting the pace.
According to Neliaku, the theme for the conference is very apt and urged members to keep to the ethic and values of the NIPR and also to add value to organisations they are working for.
Similarly, the Chairman of Kaduna Chapter of the NIPR, Mr Haroun Malami, said public relations served as an indispensable tool for shaping perception and fostering a supportive environment contributing to sustainable development initiatives.
He said “figures from the National Bureau of Statistics shows that for every new children born in Nigeria between 2016 and 2019, seven were from the northern states”.
The keynote address on ‘Demographic transition, ethical resource and sustainable development, was delivered by the former Governor of Niger, Dr Mua’zu Babangida Aliyu.
The event attracted the Directors-General of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Dr Mohammed Bulama; Nigerian Television Authority, Salihu Dembos, and Voice of Nigeria, Mr Jibrin Baba Ndace.
Also, in attendance were officials from Zonal Command of EFCC, FIRS, Kaduna State Government, Gombe Indigens Association in Kaduna, Jam’a Matan Arewa and the Nigeria Union of Journalists.
NAN reports that awards in different categories were given to deserving members and other personalities in governance, gender politics and empowerment, tax administration, public broadcasting and many others. (NAN)
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