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Op Ed

Time calls time on Chief Duro Onabule

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Chief Duro Onabule

An outstanding journalist, editor and newsroom manager in the best traditions passed on yesterday.

Chief Duro Onabule provided me with an entry into journalism as a cub. The year was 1982. I was on vacation my first year and did not fancy idling away. National Concord was reigning, and it was a walking distance for a young man from our home in Mafoluku, Oshodi.

So off to Concord, I went. Dele Giwa informed me that there was no room for an intern. I then walked up to the daily editor. He asked critical questions and sent me to Mrs Ebun, Chief Sub-Editor. That’s how I commenced journalism on the sub-desk: editing and fitting copy, trimming and casting headlines.

Chief Onabule wrote with wisdom, moderation and candour. He said it as it is and was never afraid to run contrary to the day’s wisdom. Fare thee well, Sir.

The IBB era dampened and almost smudged his reputation. But he rallied based on a record of good works and a strong network.

He earned the Double Chief cognomen from being a Chief and leader of the Press pack at the time to become Chief Press Secretary to President Ibrahim Babangida.

Onabule was born on 27 September 1939 in Ijebu-Ode. He was at CMS Grammar School and the School of Journalism, London. His first media work was as a reporter for the Daily Express in 1961; three years later, he joined the staff of the Daily Sketch. He spent some time with the Daily Sketch before returning to his previous employer, the Daily Express.[2] In 1969, he served as the London correspondent for the Daily Express. In the mid-1970s, he worked for the Daily Times, rising to become a deputy editor of the Headlines magazine. When MKO Abiola started the Concord Press, Onabule was appointed features editor and became the National Concord editor in 1984.

Onabule died on 16 August 2022, at 83.

By Chido Nwakama

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Op Ed

Our Mandate Is To Collect Taxes, Not To Grant Tax Waivers To Taxpayers – FIRS

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FIRS, Mohammed Nami

The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami has disclosed that the mandate of the Service is to collect taxes that are due to the federation and the Federal Government not to grant tax waivers to any taxpayer in the country.

Nami stated this in a swift reaction to the news making the rounds that some companies among them Dangote Sinotruck Limited, Lafarge, Honeywell, etc had been granted tax waiver on pioneer status between 2019 and 2021 in the sum of N16 trillion by the FIRS and the other Federal Government agencies. In his reaction, Nami stated that “FIRS does not have the power or responsibility of facilitating or even implementing tax waivers to investors in Nigeria. There are relevant agencies of government that are charged with such responsibility.”

He, however, noted that the Service is not unmindful of the objectives of granting tax waivers to investors, which he said include “helping to grow local companies, stimulate economic growth, and earn investors’ confidence”. He also stated that he is “confident that the companies which are now enjoying tax breaks will eventually exit shortly and begin to pay taxes to the Federal Government as is currently being done by the companies that have equally enjoyed such tax breaks in the past and are now paying taxes in hundreds of billions of naira. Such companies will continue to pay taxes to the government so long as they remain in business.”

Read Also: Nami: Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme, One of the Greate

The FIRS Executive Chairman also clarified that “the companies enjoying the Pioneer Status will be exempted from paying only the Direct Taxes (eg CIT, EDT) from their profits but will continue to act as agents of collecting and remitting Indirect Taxes (eg VAT, WHT) in the ordinary course of their operations”.

He concluded the statement by emphasising that he remains focused on the task of achieving the mandate of the Service which is to assess, collect, and account for taxes due to the federation and the Federal Government. This task, he noted, “is challenging, more so at this time of global economic disruption occasioned by the Russia-Ukraine war and the Pandemic. However, the Management is steadfast in achieving the target set for it by the Federal Government. For instance, last year the Service surpassed its target by collecting an unprecedented amount of N6.4 trillion in taxes. So far this year, the Service is poised to perform even better than its record for last year.”

He then called on the stakeholders to join hands with him to grow the nation’s economy.

Johannes Oluwatobi Wojuola
Special Assistant to the Executive Chairman, FIRS
Media & Communication
September 19, 2022

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Op Ed

Oscar Onyeama – We Need a Closure

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Oscar Onyeama

I have read the Nairametrics report one more time. It was damning and damaging. It contained information that was not only anmoying but iritating.

A disgraceful loss position, a humiliating comparison with FMDQ a recent venture and a shameful expense schedule showing billions spent on only about 200 people.

A further look at the report shows that only 15% of its staff account for about 70% of the bilions spent on staff expenses

My people, I am very angry this morning. I have tried to hold back folloing an approach from the NGX but i have come to the realisation that this is bigger than any personal relationahip I might have with certain individuals at the Exchange.

Read Also: NGX: Stock Market Inclines By 16.21% In First Quarter

If the Nairametrics report is anything to go by and I have not seen any official rebutal by the NGX, then what we are witnessing here is a brutal rape of the Institution by its leaders.

This is all the more annoying when we see a weakening of Corporate Governance leading to Oscar’s almost 11 year stay at the exchange without a recurrent growth in value or any other developmental indices.

We are expcetd to take this at the National level at least those ones have the monopoly of institutional violence, are we expected to take this one too from bald headed Oscar and his co travellers?

The market has always been docile to regulatory trauncy. For fear of penalties, players keep quiet and watch their legacy being bastardised.

Read Also: Oscar Onyema Resigns As NGX Non-Executive Director

Oscar and crew are pefecting plans of increasong their stake thru a novel and idiotic special placement that would see them increase their holdings from the paltry 3% to only God knows what.

Let me sound it very clearly that in the next 5 days, I will publicly ask once again for his resignation. I know he will not listen but it will still not stop me from putting my own voice on record.

This continous pillage must stop and it must stop immediately. The NGX is a public firm with Nigerians holding critical stakes and as such must not be run by drunken sailors who only knw how to rape rather than nuture and grow

Thank you

Duke of Shomolu

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Op Ed

Sen Ifeanyi Ubah attack: Assassination attempt or mistaken identity?

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Sen Ifeanyi Ubah

At a time the people of Anambra State were heaving a sigh of relief that normalcy was returning after over one year of living in fear as a result of the activities of the unknown gunmen that killed and maimed dozens of people, and tragedy struck again. Last Sunday, the victims were Senator Ifeanyi Ubah representing Anambra South senatorial zone in the country’s upper legislative chambers and his aides who were returning to the senator’s home town, Nnewi after attending a function.

The spot where the shooting took place has at least four escape routes. One of the roads connects Enugwu Ukwu with the Enugu-Onitsha expressway, another leads to Nibo, while the main road leads to Awka and Onitsha respectively. So, it was easy for the attackers to escape through any of the connecting roads after committing the havoc.

As the senator’s convoy approached the Nkwo Enugwu Ukwu market along the Awka – Onitsha old road,  the gunmen fired from different directions, leaving at least six people dead. The casualties included policemen, operatives of the Department of State Service, DSS, and some civilians. What saved the senator was that his SUV car, which was also riddled with bullets, is bulletproof and his driver was, therefore, able to drive to safety.

One of the murdered aides of Senator Ubah, Goodnews Mathias, was his personal assistant. Goodnews, who attended the University of Calabar. “He obtained BSc in Fisheries and Aquaculture and he is from Ika Local government area in Akwa Ibom State. His nickname is T.Boy, He is married and his wife and two kids are now left to suffer.

“He turned 40 years old in May; a lively person, easy going and always smiling. He has worked for Ifeanyi Ubah for about 15 years. Last year, the Senator gave him a car gift.

Also, one of the people that died at the scene was a businessman from Nri in Anaocha’s local government area of the state. The businessman, Saturday Vanguard gathered, was based in Lagos but relocated to his hometown, following alleged attempts on his life after a business deal that went awry. One version of the story had it that the attackers were after the businessman, only for the senator’s convoy to arrive at the scene at the time the gunmen had ambushed their target.

A source said: “It was likely that Senator Ubah was not the main target and only happened to be at the scene at the same time. The attack on his convoy might have been a result of mistaken identity, especially as many people, including ordinary traders, use long convoys in Anambra State. Anambra people do not kill for politics and if this incident has a political undertone, it must be the first in many years.

Another version of the story however said it was actually an assassination attempt on Senator Ubah. According to the information, the attack on Ifeanyi Ubah had a link with the sacked chairman of Nnewi North local government area whose wife died under questionable circumstances. It was gathered that the man used to be Ifeanyi Ubah’s boy, adding that the senator actually brought him to the political limelight. Another businessman, it was further gathered, who is allegedly having issues with Ubah, was said to have influenced the man’s current political ordeal. These stories are still in the realm of speculations. But the question is, why should anyone want to assassinate Ubah?

Senator Ubah, a billionaire and politician, cannot be said to be among the controversial politicians in Anambra State. In fact, it was due to the love the people have for him that made it possible for him to win the election using the virtually unknown Young Progressives Party, YPP,. He is also a well-known philanthropist who is loved by his people.

In all these, the police have not been forthcoming with information as to whether arrests have been made, or the motive behind the attack. The state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga in a statement said the investigation is ongoing.

“The Commissioner of Police Anambra State Command CP Echeng Echeng has led operatives to the scene where sporadical shootings took place in Enugwu ukwu. Though the details of the incident is still sketchy, operatives are on ground there as operations is going on and the situation is being monitored. Further details shall be communicated please “, he said.

 However, President Muhammadu Buhari, who condemned the attack described it as barbaric. His Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu said the president is closely monitoring the situation by security operatives. The president said: We are deeply concerned about the activities of armed groups in the region and other parts of the country. We are closely monitoring the situation and waiting for further details on the response to the worrisome situation by the police, the military and other security agencies.

“The nation has lost four brave policemen and other aides of the senator. On behalf of the government and the people, I pay tribute to these security men and the aides who were brutally murdered.”

People of different callings have  also been reacting on the attack. The state governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo described the attackers as cowards whose end would soon come. He said his government was fully determined to wipe out criminality in the state and described the attackers as a sinking boat

Prof. Lilian Orogbu, a former dean of the Faculty of Management Sciences of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, who is the candidate of the Labour Party for Awka North and South Federal Constituency in the 2023 election condemned the gruesome attack on the senator.

Prof Orogbu urged the state government and security operatives to fish out the perpetrators of the attack and ensure they face the wrath of law. While consoling the families of the victims of the attack, she hoped that such incident would not repeat itself. Other andidates of some political parties for the 2023 election, including Senator Uche Ekwunife, also condemned the attack. Senator Andy Uba, who represented Anambra South senatorial zone before Ifeanyi Ubah took over, also condemned the attack and urged Governor Chukwuma Soludo to fish out the culprits and punish them accordingly.

Although Biafra agitators were fingered at the attack, the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, exonerated them.

In fact, MASSOB described the attack on Senator Ubah as an assassination attempt and politically motivated. Its leader, Comrade Uchenna Madu said: “This attack is insensitive,  barbaric and unwarranted. The political cabals stifling the economy and wealth of Nigeria are not comfortable that a positive change that will abolish their illicit and corrupt means of embezzling the wealth of Nigeria is coming, hence they are sponsoring political assassination of eloquent and outspoken political leaders who are not  in their evil and corrupt wagon. The Enugwu Ukwu assassination attack is not only about Senator Ifeanyi Uba, but against people -oriented political leaders across the country.”

Madu recalled his earlier statement which warned about the likely resurgence of political assassination attempts with the approach of the 2023 general elections.

He went further to advise the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Mr. Peter Obi and the governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, among other politicians and religious leaders to beef up their securities in view of the likely increase in the rate of such attacks between now and February next year.

Source: Vanguard

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