FG justifies N1.15bn vehicle purchase for Niger Republic; EFCC declares Mompha wanted | 5 Things That Should Matter Today

  • FG justifies N1.15bn vehicle purchase for Niger Republic
  • Why I oppose new 5% tax on phone calls, data – Pantami
  • Gunmen abduct another ex-legislator in Anambra
  • EFCC declares Mompha wanted
  • Avoid distressed buildings, Lagos Government warns residents

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top Nigerian news stories you shouldnt miss:

FG justifies N1.15bn vehicle purchase for Niger Republic

The Federal Government gave its justification for approving N1.15 billion yesterday to buy vehicles for the Niger Republic.

At the same time, the president of the Niger Republic, Mohammed Bazoum, honored six Nigerians as the nation celebrated its 62nd anniversary of independence in Niamey.

The six Nigerians are the Jigawa State governor, Mohammad Badaru; his Zamfara State counterpart, Bello Matawalle; Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote; Chairman of BUA Cement, Abdulsamad Rabiu; State Chief of Protocol, SCOPE, Ambassador Lawan Kazaure, and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Domestic Matters, Saiki Abba.

Outrage has been expressed over the Federal Government’s generosity to the neighboring nation, with some asking why such funds should be handed to the Niger Republic when Nigeria’s public universities have remained closed for about five months due to the government’s unwillingness to satisfy ASUU’s demands.

When asked to confirm the report, the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, argued that while Nigerians had the right to contest the purchase’s approval, President Muhammadu Buhari also had the right to make his own evaluation of the situation and take appropriate action.

She claimed that Nigeria has long supported its neighbors and that the donation was made to help the Niger Republic better maintain security.

She stated that the President was free to decide what was best for the nation.

While retaining the President’s authority to make judgments in the best interests of Nigeria, she stated that this was not the first time the country had approved such interventions to its neighbors.

Why I oppose new 5% tax on phone calls, data – Pantami

Isa Pantami, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, has voiced opposition to the government’s proposal to charge telecoms services an additional 5% excise duty.

The timing of such a tax at a time when Nigerians are experiencing poverty is detrimental to the growth of the sector, and the ministry that controls the industry was not consulted, he stated.

According to a statement from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) spokesperson, Reuben Muoka, Mr. Pantami delivered a speech during the first Nigerian Indigenous Content Expo 2022, which was hosted at the Landmark Centre in Lagos.

The federal government is getting ready to implement a 5% inclusive excise duty on telecommunications services in Nigeria, and Nigerians will soon start paying a 12.5 % tax on those services, according to the minister of finance, budget, and national planning, Zainab Ahmed.

This means that the existing Value Added Tax (VAT) of 7.5 percent on telecommunications services would be increased by 5%. In 2020, the government raised the value-added tax from 5% to 7.5%.

Mrs. Ahmed claims that a 5% excise fee that was included in the Finance Act 2020 was never implemented.

The move has been criticised by telecom operators and subscribers.

Gunmen abduct another ex-legislator in Anambra

Benson Nwawulu, a former member of the Anambra State House Assembly, has been kidnapped by gunmen in the state’s Ihiala Local Government Area.

On Sunday, Mr. Nwawulu was abducted from his home.

At the end of his term in 2019, the legislator departed from the assembly. Later, he ran for and was defeated in a race for the House of Representatives.

According to a family source, Mr. Nwawulu’s son has asked several assembly members who are close to his father for financial support.

But as of right now, it’s unclear if his kidnappers have gotten in touch with them to demand payment.

Tochukwu Ikenga, the state’s police spokesperson, confirmed the event.

He said that the police were putting a lot of effort into finding the suspects and releasing the former legislator.

EFCC declares Mompha wanted

Ismaila Mustapha, also known as Mompha, a social media personality, has been proclaimed wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

On June 30, 2022, Mompha’s absence caused the Ikeja Special Offenses Court’s Justice Mojisola Dada to postpone his alleged N6 billion money laundering trial.

Mustapha and his business, Ismalob Global Investment Ltd, were charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on eight counts relating to money laundering, conspiracy to launder money received through illicit activity, and laundering of money obtained through unlawful activity.

Other charges include failing to disclose assets, using assets obtained through illegal activity, possessing a document containing false pretenses, and keeping the proceeds of criminal activity.

A bench warrant for Mustapha’s arrest was issued by Justice Dada on June 22 as a result of his absence from court. Additionally, Dada nullified the defendant’s bail.

However, the anti-graft agency stated in a notice signed by its spokesperson, Wilson Uwajaren, on Wednesday that the troubled social media celebrity was wanted for a criminal offense.

Avoid distressed buildings, Lagos Government warns residents

The Lagos State Government has issued a warning to citizens not to occupy distressed buildings that are slated for demolition.

According to a statement released on Wednesday, Gbolahan Oki, the general manager of the Lagos State Building Control Agency, issued this warning while overseeing the destruction of two dilapidated buildings in the state’s Mushin Local Government Area.

Oki, who was represented by the agency’s Director of Enforcement, Mr. Olusoji Olaopa, claimed that the warning was necessary to prevent scenarios in which tenants of distressed buildings lament and ask the government or homeowners for reimbursement of their unused rent when such buildings are eventually demolished.

He said, “When a building is marked by LASBCA for whatever reason, it is wrong and illegal to continue to reside in such building without addressing the concerns raised by the agency. Lagosians must be vigilant in carrying out due diligence before making payment for accommodation in order to avoid paying for buildings already marked for demolition.

“The situation whereby occupants of marked distressed structures start pleading for additional weeks and months after their buildings had been marked for demolition shows great disregard for law and safety. This will not be condoned by the state government.”

Oki also urged owners of property marked by the agency not to deceive prospective tenants under the guise of renovating the distressed structures.

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