By Kauthar Anumba-Khaleel, Abuja The House of Representatives yesterday resolved to investigate the concessionary tariffs granted by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment for sugar importation into the country from 2013 to date as contained in the Backward Integration Policy. The decision sequels a motion by Hon. Johnson Agbonayinma ,who recalled that in 2013, the federal government approved low concessionary tariff of 5 per cent duty and 70 per cent levy contained in the National Sugar policy. Agbonayinma said that the National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) had revealed that some companies had flouted the terms and conditions for obtaining a three-year low tariff running into hundreds of billions of naira for sugar importation into the country. He argued that the high tariff for importation of refined sugar was deliberately designed to discourage importation and encourage local production of sugar adding that the concession became necessary in order not to hike the...
The fair conduct of the Anambra State gubernatorial and one State House of Assembly seat elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) last Saturday, despite security threats, has rekindled hope from stakeholders on what to expect in the 2019 elections, SUNDAY ISUWA reports. The timetable for the conduct of the Anambra State governorship election was released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) nine months earlier, only for it to be met with the Indigenous  People of Biafra (IPOP) threat. IPOB had released a statement asking the Anambra State people to stay away from the voting centres saying, “If you vote, you die.” INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu,  while carrying out their statutory duties as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution and the electoral act,  reported the security threat to the security agencies who also acted promptly. According to INEC, the election in Anambra State was historic because no state in Nigeria has...
BY EMMANUEL MGBEAHURUIKE, Owerri Governor  of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha has stressed that most governors in the country, including all the South-East governors are supporting President Muhammadu Buhari for second term whether PDP or APC or APGA, except one or two of the governors in the country who are not in support. According to Okorocha, President  Buhari is at present the best option for the country. The governor speaking while addressing leaders of the Democratic Youths Congress for Buhari 2019, who visited him at the Government House, Owerri, urged Nigerians to support the President for re-election in 2019. His words “I am a believer of Buhari and I made it clear years ago that if President Buhari is running for president, I will not run.  People have forgotten history that I ran with him during the ANPP days and in the last dispensation as governor.  Now God has chosen him to be the...
By Sunday Isuwa, Abuja The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday announced that the rerun election for the Anambra South Senatorial district will hold on 13 January, 2018. The decision followed the Monday’s court of appeal ruling in Abuja ordering INEC to conduct a rerun election within 90 days. But a statement issued by INEC’s National Commissioner and Member, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mohammed Kudu Haruna, the commission said after its 41 ordinary meeting of 2017 considered among other things, the case of the outstanding election to fill the seat for the Anambra Central Senatorial District on 13 January, 2018. It would be recalled that the 2015 election to fill the seat was nullified by the election petition tribunal. “Since then,  there has been several court cases,” INEC said. The commission thanked all stakeholders especially the people of Anambra Central Senatorial District for their patience. “We belief that the delay has served to clarify some...
By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah, Abuja There are plans to replace the card reader in the conduct of elections in the country,the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Mohammed Sani Haruna has said. He gave the hint yesterday after the National Economic Council ( NEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa. LEADERSHIP recalls that the card reader which was first used in the 2015 general election, is a portable electronic voter authentication device, configured to read only the Permanent Voter Cards issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission. The card reader was designed specifically for the accreditation process, authentication of eligible voters before voting.The machine was configured to read only the PVCs of a particular polling unit and can only work on Election Day. According to Haruna,the replacement would be  a made in Nigeria “Solar-Powered Electronic Voting System” to effectively mitigate current...
By MBACHU GODWIN NNANNA, Abuja The  Economic Financial Crime Commission  (EFCC) has refuted claim by the Senate ad hoc investigation committee that it share properties recovered by the commission. A statement by the spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, yesterday, reads “The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has been drawn to comments attributed to the chairman of the Senate Ad Hoc Committee investigating the controversial reinstatement of Abdulrasheed Miana, Senator Emmanuel Paulker, alleging that officials of the Commission shared 222 properties which Maina’s Panel seized from pension fund thieves. “This sweeping allegation, coming from a Senate Committee is disturbing more so as no attempt was made to verify the information from the Commission. The EFCC was never invited by the Committee and given the opportunity to educate it on the status of assets seized from suspected pension thieves; yet the Committee was comfortable to scandalize the EFCC with the public disclosure of...

Reps Order Probe Of Etisalat Debt

By ADEBIYI ADEDAPO, Abuja The House of Representatives yesterday mandated its committee on Telecommunications  to investigate and ascertain the circumstances which led to the collapse of Etisalat Network so as to protect the interest of Nigerian subscribers. The House expressed worry that failure of Etisalat to meet its debt servicing obligations with 13 banks since 2016 forced its foreign shareholders out of the firm as the company was eventually taken over by the banks. Chairman of the committee, Hon Saheed Akinade-Fijabi in a motion titled, “Need to Investigate the Collapse of Etisalat Nigeria (Now 9mobile) in order to protect the interest of Nigerian Subscribers and other Stakeholders,” noted that the take over was against the letters and spirit of the Nigerian Communications Act. “The takeover of Etisalat which was renamed 9mobile by the banks is a clear violation of section 38(1) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, which provides that the grant of...

Minimum Wage Gets PMB’s Nod

...Ama Pepple to head 30-man negotiation team By Michael Oche, Abuja The call by Labour for a new minimum wage of N56,000 has received presidential consideration after President Muhammadu Buhari approved the appointment of a 30-member tripartite National Minimum Wage Committee for the negotiation of a new salary scheme for workers in the country. This move comes as a relief to workers who have waited for over a year for discussions to kick off in this matter. LEADERSHIP Friday recalls that the organised labour, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress (TUC), had during the 2016 May Day demanded a N56, 000 upward review of the nation’s minimum wage from the current figure of N18,000. By its tripartite nature, the committee is made up of persons from the public sector (federal and state governments) and the private sector made up of the largest private employer group, the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA),...

FG Moves To Reintroduce Tollgates

...Says S/East, S/South Roads worst in the country BY AHURAKA ISAH AND SOLOMON AYADO, Abuja The federal government, through minister of Power, Works and Housing,  Babatunde Fashola (SAN), hinted yesterday that it had concluded arrangements to reintroduce toll gates at 38 points across the country after the completion of works on the highways. This was just as the federal government has admitted that the worst roads in the country are located in South South and South East geopolitical zones, with some of the major federal roads in the 11 states constructed before the 1967-1970 Nigerian Civil War. Fashola, who appeared before members of the Senate Committee on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), headed by Senator Magnus Abe, said efforts were in top gear to fix the roads. He also revealed that the N100 billion sourced through the Sukuk bond was yet to be released to his ministry to carry out 25 major road construction...
By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah The committee set up by the National Economic Council (NEC) on forensic audit of revenue accrued into the Federation Account, Excess Crude Account and Consolidated Revenue Fund from revenue-generating agencies has uncovered some fraud in 13 agencies . This was disclosed by the Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu after the NEC meeting yesterday presided over by Vice president Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. He listed the agencies to include the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria Ports Authority ( NPA) and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), among others. He said: “The audit covers the period from 2010 to May 2015. Council was informed that there were possible under remittances from certain revenue-generating agencies to the Federation Account among others. Council was also informed of questionable loans granted by some of the revenue-generating agencies. “Out of the 18 agencies in which forensic audit was conducted, the committee completed work on...