Some financial experts have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the Finance Bill into law.
They described the Bill as “a welcome development’’ which calls for proper implementation.
The experts spoke in separate interviews with Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday in Abuja.
Mr Tope Fasua, an economist, said that the signing was a good development and therefore, commendable as it was necessary to know how a budget would be financed for proper implementation.
“Let the public know how you intend to finance the budget, that is what the finance bill is all about,’’ Fasua said.
He also commended the president for excluding small business companies that generate income less than N25 million from paying tax.
According to him, the development will enhance job creation among small business owners, expenses on the companies will reduce and productivity will increase.
He said that there were about 41 million small business companies in the country, hence with the new development, a lot of families would be positively impacted.
“Also, the increase on Value added Tax (VAT) is equally good. This is because it has been a while we have been on five per cent VAT, we need to reassess our position from time to time.
“A nation needs more money as its population grows. We know there are issues of mismanagement around our finance, but that should not mean that we should resist good development,’’ Fasua said.
Dr Tony Aziegbemi said that the responsibility of any government was to care for the welfare of its citizens.
Aziegbemi said with that as a focus of any government, the Finance Law was a right step in the right direction.
He, however, said that the finance law should not be centered on how much revenue that was generated, but should be implemented judiciously.
According to him, finance law is all about ways of generating money for the Federal Government to enhance infrastructure development in the country.
“The finance law has both good and bad impacts. First of all, exempting the small business owners from paying Companies Income Tax for revenues below N25 million is great, the president deserves commendation.
“However, increasing VAT from five per cent to 7.5 per cent is unacceptable, because it will affect the citizens.
“Government cannot be exempting small business owners from paying income tax, and on the other hand asking people to pay more VAT,’’ he said.
Edited by: Olawunmi Ashafa/Ese E. Ekama
Buhari congratulates new NMA President, Prof. Innocent Ujah on election
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Prof. Innocent Ujah on his election as President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).
The president, in a statement by his spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Tuesday also congratulated all the Executive Members for the zeal and diligence brought into the organisation within a short period.
According to him, the elected officers of the NMA have admirable profiles that will take the organisation to greater heights.
He particularly acknowledged that Prof. Ujah has worked extensively with national and international institutions, and progressively contributed to the shaping of national policies on health in the country in different capacities.
He affirmed that the NMA played a strategic role in the growth of the country through counselling of leaders on health and development issues, and staying on the frontline during emergencies and pandemics to keep everyone safe like the ongoing fight against COVID-19.
He commended the former President of the NMA, Dr Francis Faduyile and Executive Members for their investments of time and resources to improve the welfare of doctors, and their working conditions by consistently negotiating and counselling governments.
The president assured Ujah and the Executive Members of the government’s full cooperation to help them succeed in their leadership positions, and improve health services in the country.
Edited By: Felix Ajide (NAN)
APC working towards having data bank for members – Sen. Ali
Sen. Abba Ali, a member of the APC National Caretaker Committee, says the party is working towards having a data bank for all its members.
Ali, wno is the committee member representing North West, stated this when he received the Kangiwa Ward APC Chairman who paid him a congratulatory visit in Katsina on Tuesday.
According to him, when the names of members are captured, it will make access to details of members easy through the punch of a button.
He said that the data bank would carry along all members including the stakeholders and also make it easy for administrative purposes.
The member reiterated the committee’s commitment in bringing together and uniting all members, adding that reconciliatory process was on and achieving the desired goals.
“Among the programmes introduced by the APC led government include introduction of Digital economy, new N-power programme, Special Public Work consisting of 774,000 Jobs.
Ali assured that as economic development had been part of the top priority of the government, “we will continue to pray and support the rare economic initiatives designed to change the future of incoming generations.
“I am appealing to all Nigerians to support economic transformation of President Muhammadu Buhari by judicious utilization of the financial packages received from Federal Government.
“Recently, we witnessed reduction of attacks on innocent Nigerians from armed bandits, this is achieved through the tireless efforts and sacrifices of our security agencies who are out to protect lives and properties.
“By the special Grace of God, soon the insecurity will be over and all IDPs across the country will return to their respective destinations to continue with their normal day to day activities,” he said.
He said Nigerians should be expecting a new reformed APC, eagerly waiting to meet the yearning and aspirations of the electorate.
“APC in the North West and the National Caretaker Committee are working so hard for the spirit of oneness and a greater Nigeria.
“I urged all Nigerians to continue supporting this noble course of APC which is working for the overall interest of the citizens,” he said.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
Security Challenges: You must rejig security strategy, Buhari tells Security Chiefs
President Muhammadu Buhari has again challenged the nation security agencies to rejig their strategies in the ongoing battle against insurgency, banditry and other violent crimes in some parts of the country.
The National Security Adviser (NSA) to the President, retired Maj-Gen. Babagana Mongonu, revealed this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the National Security Council meeting, presided over by President Buhari at the State House, Abuja, on Wednesday.
He said: “Mr President has also directed that we must rejig our strategy that is both in terms of operation and intelligence we must rejig our strategy to prevent further catastrophe.
“We must bear in mind that we owe a duty to the people that elected his government, our government and at the end of the day without securing the nation all other things cannot be addressed such as revamping the economy and also fighting corruption.’’
According to the NSA, his office presented a memo to the Security Council on the danger of drug abuse in the society as well as the need to urgently address the problem
He revealed that between 2011 and 2019, approximately 17 manufacturing laboratories of dangerous substances were located by the various security agencies and destroyed while an increasing activities of illegal cultivators of `Canabis’ were also recorded.
He said criminals had resulted to the use of illegal substances and dangerous drugs like Tramadol to unleash violence on innocent citizens in the society.
“I presented two memos. The first had to do with drug trafficking as well as drug addiction in Nigeria, and the widespread use of these substances and the dangerous impact on our social, economic situation.
“Basically, what I told council was that this has taken on a worrisome dimension. Nigeria’s perception on the drug trafficking index has changed from the status from a transit hub to a production centre.
“Between 2011 and 2019, approximately 17 manufacturing laboratories of dangerous substances were located by the various security agencies and destroyed. That is a large number.
“At the same we have had increasing activities of illegal cultivators of Canabis in Nigeria.
“These people basically use extremely large space of arable land to cultivate this illegal substance, employing militia men to protect their farms and also their storage facilities.
“When you look at drugs, our main concern as security operatives is the ultimate destruction to the social fabric and economy of the nation.
“There is hardly any violence crime today in Nigeria that is not propelled by the use of these hard substances. And these hard substances have been coming in from all nooks and crannies,’’ he said.
Monguno believed that the reckless use of these dangerous substances had direct link to the insecurity being experienced across the country.
He, therefore, stressed the need for a collective, concerted effort to deal with the menace of dangerous drugs in circulation to safeguard the country from the bottomless pit of self-destruction.
The NSA boss disclosed that he later updated the Council on the security situation in the northwest and the north central, “in terms of looking at the issue of kidnapping, banditry and killing of innocent people.’’
“The Chief of Defence Staff, army chief, inspector general of Police, heads of the various intelligence agencies also gave synopsis each of the current security situation and what their various organizations and agencies are doing about these situations,’’ he added.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
NUC says 32 universities involved in research to tackle impacts of COVID-19
Rasheed, who was represented by Dr Suleiman Yusuf, Deputy Executive Secretary, Academics, made this known in Abuja on Tuesday at a news briefing on the contribution of the Nigerian University System toward mitigating the impact of COVID-19.
He noted that the research would be building up over the coming months.
According to him, the universities will not relent on their efforts until COVID-19 was consigned to history and lessons learned for tackling future national epidemics and global pandemics.
” As at June 22, not less than 32 universities are involved in different stages of research aimed at galvanising research toward the development of vaccines and non vaccines.
“Only few institutions have been able to utilise open and distance learning system to keep students engaged while the pandemic lasted and only few laboratories continued with research and development activities.
” Nonetheless, the few who engaged in research and innovation work have demonstrated the need for a well-funded and robustly organised national research and innovation system to catalyse the national
response,” he said.
Rasheed added that in the area of Genomic research, the African Centres of Excellence (ACE), particularly the Centre for the Genomics of Infectious Diseases at the Redeemer’s University, Ede was collaborating with the University of Cambridge for the development of vaccines.
He said that other ACEs in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Universities of Lagos, Benin, Port Harcourt and Jos, which served as national
testing and screening centres had proved that world-class research and development was possible in Nigeria.
He, therefore, added that the country’s university system could be readily effective and relevant to national development if research was valued and adequately funded and the institutions provided with resources to motivate researchers and innovators including students.
On the current efforts of herbal remedies, Rasheed said the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari on herbal and natural products development was acknowledged, following the great demonstration of enviable political leadership by the President of Madagascar.
“Furthermore, Nigeria needs to develop homegrown capabilities in the production and manufacture of the most basic medical and pharmaceutical products such as PPEs, WASH accessories, and ventilators.
” Limited developments are reported from the few ongoing research, but these give some hope that the NUC can provide the R&D base for responding to these needs and much needed structural reconfiguration of the economy.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide (NAN)