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INEC Seeks Replacement of Manual With Electronic Voting

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INEC Seeks Replacement of Manual With Electronic Voting

Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has asked for the replacement of the current manual voting with an electronic system.

Yakubu said this at the inauguration of the House of Representatives Special Committee on the Review of 1999 Constitution (As Amended) on Thursday in Abuja.

He said that Nigeria’s electoral process was too manual and very archaic, adding that there must be an amendment to accommodate electronic voting in the country’s electoral process.

“You have seen what we achieved in Edo where we were able to upload results electronically; so the impediment must be removed,” he said

Read Also: INEC Eyes E-voting System To Deepen Electoral Process

He also called for the establishment of an electoral offenses commission to punish offenders adding that the review of the constitution must provide punitive measures for electoral offenders in the country.

He said that many panels had in the past wanted to establish an electoral offenses commission to punish electoral offenders but that could not materialize.

Yakubu said that before the 2015 general elections, INEC came out with the general principle that the election would be held on the second Saturday in February.

According to him such is the practice in the U.S. and Ghana where they have a fixed day for their elections.

Going by this decision, from today we will have 855 days to the general election; so we have very limited time for the constitutional review,” he stated.

Prof. Dakas Dakas, the guest speaker at the inauguration called on the committee to address the issues of referendum, restructuring, and devolution of powers among others.

He urged the committee to make the review a truly Nigerian constitution, saying the imperative of the people’s constitution is germane to the survival of Nigeria.

The professor of law called on the lawmakers to avoid pitfalls in their quest to review the 1999 constitution, stressing that their priorities should be that the peoples’ expectations were met.

He stressed the need to engage the citizenry and inspire confidence that the exercise would be credible, adding that the mistakes of the past should be avoided.

“Because we have had in the past, during the constitution amendment, the third term agenda which invariably scuttled the exercise, a number of Nigerians have asked whether this exercise is needed.

“So there is a need to inspire confidence in Nigerians and let them know that it will be credible and also reflect their wishes,” he said.

He said there was a need to enlist the support of the media, both mainstream and social media, adding that the committee must reach out to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Civil Society Organisations (CSO).

He also said it should meet Faith-Based Organisations, State Houses of Assembly, and other critical stakeholders to harvest their views on the review.

He said that parochial and self-interest must be jettisoned adding that religion and ethnicity must not be allowed in the course of the assignment.

According to him, do not allow constitutional overreach and avoid the arrogance of power by leading by the power of your example and not by the example of your power.

 

NAN.

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VAT In Nigeria: Elders Says Northern Region Can Survive Without South

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VAT In Nigeria: Elders Say Northern Region Can Survive Without South

Value Added Tax (VAT) in Nigeria controversy appears to have taken a new turn, as Northern Elders Forum (NEF) said the country’s region could survive without money from the southern part.

Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, NEF Director of Publicity and Advocacy, made this known during an interview on Arise TV’s ‘The Morning Show’ breakfast programme, as he reacted to the issue some states were having with the federal government on VAT in Nigeria.

His words: “I will advise that we wait to hear what the court says. However, even the fact that it has become an issue suggests that we really do need to address the fundamentals and the manner in which the federation works.

“We have always supported restructuring. We have always asked that a major and genuine shift initiative either by groups or the National Assembly so that matters like this be addressed properly.

“If we don’t do that now, then we should get a leader that would do that in 2023. This administration appears not to understand the importance of restructuring; we do in the north, we recognise the fact that we need to change the manner in which we generate wealth and allocate (it).

“The thing about is: the north wants restructuring; the north wants fiscal federalism. We are a rich region and we can live on what we have, even if we don’t have the billions that accrue to others states. Our poverty is not a kind of problem that we would break this country over.”

Maintaining that the VAT in Nigeria tussle is a wake-up call to northern governors, Bala-Ahmed charged them to develop sustainable resources and encourage human capital development in the region.

The NEF spokesman continued, “North, you said you have many people but you are under-developing your own people – the biggest liability of the north is that we have a huge population that is under-developed. You need to develop the human capital that you have.

“We need leaders, the current governors don’t recognise this. Otherwise, they won’t be involved in this argument; allow the court to decide.”

“But for goodness sake, (they should) begin to think — what else can we do if the court decides now that Rivers State is right, Lagos State is right, and they won’t be getting all these billions coming in from VAT? What happens?” he queried.

Recent events about VAT in Nigeria

Recently, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers dragged the federal government to court over the allocation of revenue generated from VAT in Nigeria.

Wike argued that his government should be the legitimate collector of the tax type and not the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), as the case is.

Surprisingly to members of the public, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos joined in the suit against the federal government. In fact, days after Justice Stephem Pam of a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt ruled that Rivers State government had the powers to collect VAT within its territory, Sanwo-Olu signed the controversial VAT bill into law.

In a previous report, Newsrand detailed everything about VAT.

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Buhari To Present Nigeria’s Statement At The UN General Assembly, As Second Speaker On Friday

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Buhari To Present Nigeria’s Statement At The UN General Assembly, As Second Speaker On Friday

President Muhammadu Buhari who arrived in New York on Sunday, to participate in the ongoing 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, is to present Nigeria’s statement to the General Assembly on Friday, Sept. 24.

The Nigerian leader would be the second speaker on the fourth day and would deliver his address around 9 a.m. (around 2 p.m. Nigerian time) to other world leaders at the morning session.

READ ALSO: FULL LIST: Emmy 2021 Winners

He had earlier attended the opening of the General Debate of the 76th session of the General Assembly.

Buhari was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, and Head of Chancery of the Permanent Mission, Muyiwa Onifade.

No fewer than 100 heads of state attended the General Debate in person in New York, while others spoke through pre-recorded videos, the UN correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

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Dangote Pledges To Increase Social Responsibility Projects

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Dangote Pledges To Increase Social Responsibility Projects

Nigerian conglomerate Dangote Industries has pledged to scale up its public social responsibility to better the life of Nigerians.

The multinational firm founded by business magnate Aliko Dangote made the promise in a statement signed by its Corporate Affairs Manager, Francis Awowole.

The statement quoted Dangote as expressing a desire to carry its host communities along in the organisation’s expansion plan.

READ ALSO: Baby Born At NYSC Camp Named After DG

It said that Dangote made the policy plan known while hosting some visiting investors in his office in Lagos.

Amongst other things, the African richest man told his guests that the group was scaling up its social intervention in communities hosting its companies across Nigeria.

Dangote further made it known that efforts were already being made to impact positively on the host communities, adding that his companies have spent billions of naira in the states where their investments were located.

The corporate social responsibility projects undertaken by the companies is in addition to efforts by Aliko Dangote Foundation, which is presently giving out micro-grants to vulnerable women in all the 774 local governments across the country.

It will be recalled that the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, during his working tour of the Dangote’s expansive Savannah Sugar Company (SSCL) Ltd in Numan, Adamawa and Tunga sugar project site in Nasarawa, described the projects as ‘huge, impressive and amazing’.

Dangote’s sugar plantation in Nasarawa is a very impressive sight.  Amazingly, such a project exists in this place.

What we have seen so far from all the plantations we have been to are very impressive. We are impressed with the level of work they are doing,” the statement quoted Dangote to have said.

Dangote added that the execution of its Sugar Master Plan could fetch Nigeria over $700 million yearly.

He said that the National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) when executed as designed could fetch the nation foreign exchange in excess of $700 million yearly from the backward integration component of the plan.

He however advised that the BIP scheme must be protected to insulate the Nigerian economy to be able to achieve the twin objectives of local manufacturing and job creation.

“If the national sugar master plan is followed strictly and the players all follow the rules, the country will be better for it as Nigeria will save between $600 million and $700 million annually as forex,” he said.

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