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VAT Collection: Sanwo-Olu Backs Wike After Triumph In Court

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VAT Collection: Sanwo-Olu Backs Wike After Triumph In Court

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos has thrown his weight behind his Rivers State counterpart, Nyesom Wike, for stopping the Federal Government from collecting Value Added Tax (VAT).

It would be recalled that in August 2021, a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, in a suit marked FHC/PH/CS/149/2020, held that the Rivers State government had the powers to collect VAT within its territory.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), on Monday, September 7, prayed the court to stay execution on the judgment.

But the presiding judge, Justice Stephem Pam, thought otherwise, as he rejected the application, saying granting it would negate the principle of equity.

However, in an unexpected development, the Lagos State government toed the path of Rivers State as a bill to empower it to collect VAT scaled second reading in the state House of Assembly.

Newsrand understands that VAT is a consumption tax paid when goods are purchased and services are rendered. It is charged at a rate of 7.5 percent.

Quoting Sanwo-Olu as saying in a chat with Newsrand, the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, said like Rivers, the state would go ahead with its VAT bill.

Omotosho’s words: “The court said granting the FIRS prayer is like murder; they (FIRS) went to court to say that the court should stay the execution, while they appeal the judgment. The court’s position is that an appeal is not a stay of execution.

“I think Lagos has not got its own fair share of VAT. The state has always been at the forefront of the battle for true federalism. I think the verdict of the court, coming at this time, will strengthen the position of the Lagos State Government that Nigeria truly deserves true federalism as one of the pillars of our democracy. This is a consumption tax, there is no point staying action on it.”

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Daily Headline News (Monday, 6-12-2021)

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Omicron Virus: ‘No Traveller Would Be Restricted From Visiting Nigeria’

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Omicron Virus: 'No Traveller Would Be Restricted From Visiting Nigeria'

The Federal Government has ruled out the possibility of restricting foreign travellers from visiting Nigeria despite travel bans on the country by Canada, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

This is just as the government stated that most of the in-bound passengers that tested positive for COVID-19 were from the UK.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said this on Channels Television’s Politics Today’ programme, which was monitored by Newsrand.

Ehanire described as unfortunate the knee-jerk reaction of some countries to the Omicron strain. He noted that even the World Health Organisation had said recently that countries should focus more on collaboration rather than shutting borders.

At the moment we have no plans restricting anybody coming from another country,” he said.

WHO had two weeks ago designated the omicron variant as a variant of concern.The NCDC had last week announced that the country had reported three cases of the variant. Before this, the Canadian government had announced that it found two individuals with the variant who had travel history to Nigeria.

The UK on Saturday, December 3, 2021, also announced that it found 21 cases of the omicron variant which were linked to Nigeria. It announced that it would, from Monday (today), restrict all flights emanating from Nigeria.

It also suspended all pending visa applications in Nigeria due to the ban on flights from Nigeria due to the Omicron variant.

In a statement on Sunday, the commission said, “To support the UK Government’s aim to protect public health from COVID-19 and associated variants of concern, UK Visas and Immigration will pause making decisions on visitor visa applications in all red list countries, including Nigeria, until travel restrictions are lifted.

If you apply for a visit visa in a red list country and you meet the UK Immigration Rules, your application will be paused. You will not receive a decision on your visit visa application whilst red list travel restrictions remain in place. You will not be able to request a refund of your visa fee once you have given your biometrics at a Visa Application Centre. If you already hold a valid visit visa and are intending to travel to England as a visitor from a red list country, you will not be allowed to enter.

The UK said there are only very limited exemptions to travel and entry requirements for critical workers and medical and compassionate cases.

But the minister said the Omicron strain could not yet be declared as a deadly strain because no deaths had so far been recorded across the world.

“We are watching what the science community is saying and of course not rushing to judgment and we are also not applauding any lockdowns or any prohibitions or banning of flights or movement of people until we know more.

We believe that the harm it will do to livelihoods and economies may be more that the perceived value that will be derived from shutting movement between countries. I believe countries should come together to take a common approach and that includes the UK and other countries contemplating a red list,” Ehanire added.

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Buhari Becomes President Of Pan African Great Green Wall

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Buhari Becomes President Of Pan African Great Green Wall

President Muhammadu Buhari has taken over the Presidency of the Pan African Great Green Wall (PAGGW) in Africa, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, the Minister of State for Environment, announced on Sunday in Abuja.

A statement issued by Mr. Sagir el Mohammed, Director, Press of the Ministry said Nigeria took over at the end of the 4th Ordinary Session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of PAGGW held on Dec. 2 in Abuja.

According to the minister, “At the end of the 4th Ordinary Session of the CHSG, Nigeria took over the Presidency of the PAGGW.

READ ALSO: Osinbajo Task Nigerians On Unity

“So for the next two years, Nigeria and President Buhari will be the president of the Great Green Wall Initiative in Africa.

“This means that within the period, Nigeria will work assiduously towards addressing the problems of land degradation, food security, desertification, climate change, depletion of the forest ecosystems, and biodiversity in Africa, among others.

“With the unparalleled commitment of Mr. President in addressing issues of climate change and desertification, coupled with the immense respect he commands within the international community, a lot would be achieved during his tenure,” she said.

Ikeazor recalled the commitment of the president at the Climate Change Summit (COP26) held in November in Glasgow, Scotland.

She said the president expressed optimism about Africa’s ambition to restore over 100 million hectares of the degraded landscape for productive agriculture.

“It is instructive to note that in his acceptance speech, the President stated: “All things being equal, we shall strengthen our efforts in the mobilization of resources for the accelerated accomplishment of the Decennial Priority Investment Plan (DPIP) 2021-2030 and its concrete implementation action.

“The realization of financial pledges that emerged as an outcome of the “One Planet Summit” held on Jan. 11th, 2021 in Paris, France would be given utmost priority.

“I want to assure that the restoration of Africa’s degraded ecosystems and ensuring the resilience of our people against climate change effects shall be strengthened.

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