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Passenger Slumps, Dies At Lagos Airport

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A passenger, identified as Chukwuma Anthony Ezeh, on Wednesday slumped and died at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

An official source at the MMIA arrival terminal told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the passenger slumped on arrival from China and died while waiting to collect his luggage

Ezeh, according to information on his passport, was 47 years old at the time of the incident.

The spokesperson of the Police MMIA Command, DSP Joseph Alabi, who confirmed the incident to NAN at about 9.25 p.m. on Wednesday, said the passenger came on board Ethiopian Airlines.

Read Also; NAF, Edo partner to safeguard night-landing facilities at Benin Airport
According to him, the incident happened at about 3:15 p.m. and the deceased was confirmed dead at the MMIA Clinic.

“While walking at the arrival hall the man slumped and died,” he said.

Alabi added that Ezeh’s corpse had been deposited at the Air Force Base Hospital mortuary.

(NAN)

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NIPOST, FIRS War Escalates Over Stamp Duty Collection

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The imbroglio between Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) and the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) over jurisdiction in respect of stamp duty collection worsened on Tuesday.

Director Communication and Liaison FIRS, Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad, in a statement vowed the FIRS is determined to ensure all monies collected by NIPOST into its alleged illegally operated Stamp Duties Account are fully remitted into the Federation Account.

He also said but FIRS would make sure that any kobo not accounted for in that account is legally recovered.

But Chairman of the Nigeria Postal Service, Maimuna Abubakar, in a series of tweets on Sunday, lamented FIRS has stolen the mandate of NIPOST.

The NIPOST chairman said the FIRS, which is the agency responsible for assessing, collecting and accounting for tax accruing to the Federal Government, had begun printing stamps.

She alleged FIRS did not only steal NIPOST’s stamps but also its ideas.

Abubakar tweeted: “I am worried for NIPOST, having sleepless nights because of NIPOST. We need the general public to come to our aid; FIRS stole our mandate.

“FIRS are now selling stamps instead of buying from us. What is happening; are we expected to keep quiet and let FIRS kill and bury NIPOST?

“We need to get our mandate. NIPOST is the sole custodian of national stamps; another agency printing and selling stamps is against the law of the land.”

But, FIRS in a series of tweets on Tuesday, countered NIPOST and faulted claims of Maimuna Abubakar.

It said: “To be sure, NIPOST is a government parastatal established by Decree 41 of 1992 with the function to develop, promote and provide adequate and efficiently co-ordinated postal services at reasonable rates.

“This function is clearly contrary to the claim by NIPOST over the administration of stamp duties in Nigeria.

“On the other hand, the FIRS is the sole agency charged with the responsibility of assessing, collecting, and accounting for all tax types including Stamp Duties.”

There has been contention between FIRS and NIPOST over which agency is the custodian of stamp duty following the implementation of the Stamp Duty Act.

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WAEC Releases 2020 WASSCE Timetable, Exams To Start August 17

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The West African Examinations Council has released the timetable for the 2020 West African Senior School Certificate Examination, The PUNCH is reporting.

The Federal Government had announced the resumption of graduating pupils beginning August 4, noting that WASSCE would begin effective August 17, 2020, through September 12, 2020.

WAEC Nigeria in a statement on Tuesday signed by its Head of Public Affairs, Demianus Ojijeogu, advised candidates to disregard other versions of the examination timetable in circulation.

The statement was titled, ‘WAEC Releases Timetable For The Conduct Of West African Senior School Certificate Examination For School Candidates, 2020’.

The statement read, “The West African Examinations Council, Nigeria wishes to inform its stakeholders-schools, parents and candidate-that the Final International Timetable for the conduct of WASSCE for School Candidates, 2020 has been released.

“The Council notes that several versions of the examination timetable have been in circulation and enjoins the general public to disregard them as they did not emanate from it.

“The examination which has been slated to begin on Monday, August 17, 2020, will end on Saturday, September 12, 2020.

“The Council hereby urges the candidates to abide by the rules and regulations guiding the conduct of the examination by shunning all acts of malpractice and obeying all Covid-19 protocols that have been put in place at the examination centers.

“This is wishing the candidate’s success in the examination.”

Ojijeogu in a chat with our correspondent said details of the timetable would follow.

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Financial Recklessness: Pondei, Other NDDC Staff Spent N5bn As Medical Allowances During Lockdown —- Senate Report [Full Breakdown]

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The Senate report on the alleged financial recklessness in the Niger Delta Development Commission has revealed how the top management of the agency shared N4.9bn among themselves in the guise of medical checkup.

The document also showed that the management paid N114.9m as a supplementary medical allowance to 26 staff members during the same period.

It stated that both disbursements were made when the nation was under lockdown to check COVID-19 spread.

The report was adopted and approved by the Senate shortly before it proceeded on its annual recess penultimate week.

A copy of the document obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Monday indicated that the monies were paid to the individual accounts in March and April this year.

The document indicated that the acting Managing Director, Daniel Pondei, and the two executive directors got N14.2m each.

The report noted that no such payment took place during the first Interim Management Committee led by Joi Nunieh.

It nonetheless, stated that available data showed that the allowance had been in existence even though it appeared to have no specific policy underpinning it.

The report stated, “The three members of the Interim Management Committee received the highest amount of N142m each.

“Two other people, namely Evan Caroline Nagbo and Ms Cecilia Akintomide, took N12,387,500 each, while Peter Uwa Edieya was paid N10,340,000.

The report further added that four other members of staff collected about N8m each while 140 others collected an average of N7m each.

The NDDC management also paid 75 others N6m each while 153 staff members were paid N5.5m.

Four other categories of staff were paid between N4.1m and N4.8m while seven others got about N3m each.

The document further indicated that 804 staff members collected between N2.4m and N2.9m each.

Apart from these, the document showed that the management paid N114.9m as a supplementary medical allowance to 26 staff members.

No fewer than 15 of them got N7m while one of them collected N5.2m.

The rest however collected between N375, 000 and N550, 000 each.

The report indicated that “payment to all the 1,401 staff who received the allowance was made on 16 March 2020.”

It added that the distribution of the payment category and the number of staff did not suggest a regular hierarchical pattern and an absence of clear policy, which raised suspicion of arbitrariness.

The report also stated that the NDDC management used staff members for the distribution of Lassa Fever kits.

It explained that Personal Protective Kits were given to the 185 LGAs of the Niger Delta states through the NDDC staff.

The staff members, according to the document, were paid various amounts, ranging from N300,000 to N6,845,000, on April 15, 2020, for the distribution of the kits.

The report stated, “The total amount used for the distribution is N55,090,000.

“Twenty-nine employees were engaged in ‘Monitoring of the Emergency Response Programme on Lassa Fever Outbreak at a cost of N5,972,500’.

“NDDC did not provide any returns on the end-user beneficiaries which would have helped in evaluating the accountability and transparency of the programme. There was also no mention of the original target beneficiaries.

“NDDC management did not provide details of allocation of the Lassa fever Protective Kits per each state and LGA and how the distributors were assigned as well as the collated report on the distribution exercise.

“They should have justified the huge amount of money allocated for the exercise.”

The report further added that by its own record. NDDC spent N808.9m as imprest between October 29 2019 and May 23. 2020.

It stated that “this covers a period of seven months during most of which the nation was on lockdown.

“Given that significant amount was also expended on travels, duty tour allowance during this period, payment of bills, it is difficult to justify this huge amount as imprest necessary for the services of the commission.”

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