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There are strong indications that there would be a mass defection from the Lagos state chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to another political party ahead of the 2019 elections due the purported endorsement of Governor Akinwumi Ambode and Senator Oluremi Tinubu for another terms in office.

A report by Dailypost says the mass defection is being spearheaded by some aggrieved members of the party over the recent endorsement of Ambode for second term and Remi Tinubu for third term in the Senate.

The aggrieved members, who described the endorsement as, “a unilateral decision,” are mainly from the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), which merged with the ACN to form the current APC in the state.

Our correspondent learnt that Prince Tajudeen Olusi (OON) at a meeting of the Lagos Central Senatorial District Leadership Forum held in Victoria Island, endorsed Ambode and Remi Tinubu for another term.

But a chieftain of the party and gubernatorial candidate under the platform of defunct CPC in 2011 elections, Ambassador Abayomi Mumuni, while speaking on behalf of the aggrieved members on Sunday, berated Prince Olusi’s announcement and the unilateral endorsement of Governor Ambode and Senator Tinubu.

Mumuni said, “We are still experiencing the actions of the ACN, not the merger we signed before the election. If not, why would the party take a unilateral decision by endorsing (defunct) ACN candidates alone without considering the interests of other merging parties who also have candidates?

“We may not see a complete APC in Lagos come 2019, as the defunct CPC might consider stepping aside from the merger arrangement except there is an immediate resolution on the interpretation of the merger.”

Mumuni explained that the lopsidedness and maltreatment against his members started after the merger was sealed in 2015.

He said, “Since the merger, I still perceive myself as CPC because the merger wasn’t visible in Lagos. Nothing was offered to us (in CPC) and others (ANPP and part of APGA). We were excluded from the Senate, House of Representatives and State Assembly seats. It was zero patronage by the State Government”.

Mumuni also expressed disappointment that CPC members in the state were also abandoned by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.

He wondered why the former presidential flagbearer of the same party (CPC) would abandon his members.

He said, “He (Buhari) forgot his constituency, which is the CPC. He is now surrounded by those who called him and his party unprintable names. These same people are telling us that he (Buhari) has mortgaged us (the Southwest CPC). I told them there is no way I would allow the merger to mortgage my people.

“Whether we were mortgaged or not, we aren’t going to take what happened in 2015 come 2019.”

Mumuni regretted accepting the mandate to contest as the CPC candidate in the Lagos State governorship election, saying he would have defeated Senator Oluremi Tinubu in the 2011 Lagos Central Senatorial election.

He said, “I didn’t have the intention to contest against Fashola. My mandate had always been the Lagos Central Senatorial District, which is my constituency. I am a son of the soil. My first election was against Obanikoro of AD in 2003. I contested against Ade Dosumu in 2007. I would have defeated Asiwaju’s wife in 2011.

“But I changed my intention because there was no governorship candidate for the defunct CPC in the South West, except Barrister Shittu in Oyo State. With me, we were the only two CPC gubernatorial candidates that supported President Buhari’s bid to become Nigeria’s President. My withdrawal from the senatorial election gave Asiwaju’s wife an edge in the election.

“In 2019, with zero patronage, I don’t see the merger happening in Lagos. Actually, we might disengage ourselves from the merger and return to our constituency – the CPC. There are no two ways about that, except there is an immediate resolution and interpretation of the merger.”

BIG STORY

BREAKING: Fire Ravages Katangowa, Lagos Market [PHOTOS]

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An early morning fire has engulfed Katangowa Market in Agbado/Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area, along the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway on Monday.

The fire outbreak which started around 3.15am destroyed the entire stretch of fairly used clothes’ shops opposite the Central Mosque in the market.

As of the time of filing this report, men of the state fire service and officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency were on the ground to put off the fire.

Also on the ground are policemen from the Okeodo Divisional Headquarters to prevent the looting of unaffected shops.

See photos:

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BIG STORY

Stay Away From Duty Posts, NASU, SSANU Direct Varsity Workers As Strike Begins

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Academic activities will be paralyzed in the universities across the Federation from today as the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Educational Institutions and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), have issued a directive to all their members to stay away from their duty posts from Monday.

The unions, under the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of NASU and SSANU, also warned their branches that the strike is “total and comprehensive” and that “no form of concession or internal arrangement should be made with management,” during the strike.

The directive was dated 16th August 2019 and signed by the General Secretary of NASU, Comr Peters Adeyemi and the National President of SSANU, Comr. Samson Ugwoke.

The directive which was addressed to all branch chairmen, Joint Action Committee of NASU and SSANU, also warned that any defaulting branch would be sanctioned.

They were directed to fully mobilize their members and ensure full compliance, as the leadership would not hesitate to sanction any defaulting branch.

In the first phase, the directive said the strike will last for five days, as a result of government failure to attend to their demands after the expiration of the 14-day ultimate earlier issued to the government. The Ultimatum ended on Sunday.

The Ultimatum read: “Following the expiration of the 14 day ultimatum given to the Government and its failure to show firm commitment towards resolving the following issues: Payment of Earned Allowances; University Staff Schools matter; Renegotiation of 2009 Agreements; you are hereby directed to embark on a five (5) day strike effective from Monday, 19th to Friday, 23rd August 2019.

“Be informed that the strike is total and comprehensive for the five days. No form of concession or internal arrangement should be made with management while all members must be directed to stay away from their duty posts.

“Kindly recall the decision of the National Executive Councils of the two unions to the effect that Branches that default in compliance should be sanctioned.

“The National leadership shall not hesitate in this regard. You are hereby directed to fully mobilize your members and ensure full compliance.”

(Nigerian Tribune)

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BIG STORY

Presidency Queries FIRS Boss Babatunde Fowler Over N12.6Trillion Tax Collection

Peter Okunoren

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The Presidency appears displeased with the taxes the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has collected in the last three years.

This is despite the fact that the FIRS generated the largest revenue in the nation’s tax history when it collected N5.3 trillion in taxes in 2018 and is targeting N8 trillion in 2019.

The Presidency conveyed its displeasure at the FIRS’ collection efforts in a query issued to the Executive Chairman of the FIRS Mr. Tunde Fowler by the Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari.

The query circulating in the social media titled: “Re: Budgeted FIRS Collections and Actual Collections”, reads: “Your attached letter (FIRS/EC/ECW/0249/19/027 dated 26 July 2019) on the above subject matter refers.

“We observed significant variances between the budgeted collections and actual collections for the period 2015 to 2018.

“Accordingly, you are kindly invited to submit a comprehensive variance analysis explaining the reasons for the variances between budgeted and actual collections for each main tax item for each of the years 2015 to 2018.

The query marked “Restricted” added that “we observed that the actual collections for the period 2015 to 2017 were significantly worse than what were collected between 2012 and 2014. Accordingly, you are kindly invited to explain the reason for the poor collections.”

Kyari directed Fowler “to respond by 19 August 2019.”

The development has raised questions over the propriety of the query, given that there is no Minister for Finance and the query did not come from the Permanent Secretary of the ministry.

In January 2019, Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Mr. Tunde Fowler, announced in Lagos that the Service broke its collection records by generating N5.3 trillion from taxes collected and is targeting N8 trillion for 2019.

According to Fowler, the N5.320 trillion collection is considered to be the highest revenue ever generated by FIRS in history.

The highest in FIRS was N5.07 trillion generated in 2012 under Ms. Ifueko Omoigui.

Fowler said “FIRS’ generation of N5.3 trillion is significant as it was at a period when oil prices averaged $70 per barrel. Oil price was at an average of $100 to $120 per barrel between 2010 and 2013.”

In realizing this milestone, the FIRS boss noted that the non-oil component of the N5.320 trillion is N2.467 trillion that was (53.62 percent), while the oil element of the collection was N2.852 trillion (46.38 percent). From audit alone, the FIRS collected N212,792 billion from 2,278 cases with a huge reduction in audit circle.

In spite of this achievement, Tunde Fowler lamented that “while we have been steadily increasing revenue collection over the years, our cost of collection has actually been going down. In 2016, we collected N3,307 trillion, in 2017 we collected N4,027 trillion and in 2018 we collected N5,320 trillion.

“Meanwhile, the cost of collection as a percentage of actual taxes collected has been reducing; in 2016 it was 2.6%, in 2017 it was 2.49% while in 2018 it was 2.14%.” The FIRS is entitled to 4% cost of collection.

He added: “The Service has been making tremendous efforts in also increasing the amount of non-oil revenue it collects. The non-oil collection has contributed 64.99% in 2016, in 2017 it contributed 62.25% and in 2018 it contributed 53.62%.

“This represents the government’s focus on increasing non-oil sources of revenue and the diversification of the Nigerian economy.”

(The Nation)

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