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Buhari Keeps Mum On Kaduna Train Attack, Harps On Efficient Tax Administration

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The President, Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday in Abuja, expressed his regime’s commitment to an efficient tax administration in order to improve tax revenue in the country, keeping mum on the terrorist attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train.

Hours after the attack on the Abuja-Kaduna rail tracks by terrorists, the Presidency is yet to make an official statement.

Checks by our correspondent on Tuesday morning revealed that the presidency was yet to issue an official statement condemning the attack.

No statement emanated via the social media accounts of the President and via the social media accounts of his Special Assistants on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu and Femi Adesina respectively.

But, declaring open the second National Tax Dialogue Week on Tuesday, the President expressed concern at the current tax system in the country, which he claimed, was characterized by fragmented administration, multiple and sometimes, overlapping taxes.

”In most tax-efficient nations, tax administrative processes and practices are harmonized within a single system. One key deliverable of this year’s tax dialogue is to promote synergy in tax administration among the different tiers of government.

”Harmonising taxpayer-identification across the country is a good start, but we must do more to promote ease of doing business (including ease of tax compliance) in Nigeria.

”On our part, we have started by clarifying in the 2021 Finance Act that FIRS is the sole authority to administer tax for the Federal Government.

”This clarification became necessary in order to avoid taxpayers being burdened with multiple tax compliance obligations towards different agencies of the same government.

”Multiplicity of tax administration is as undesirable as a multiplicity of taxes; it creates uncertainty and instability; and above all, it is inefficient,” the President said in the Dialogue themed ”Tax Harmonisation for Enhanced Revenue Generation,’’ Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement by Adesina on Tuesday titled, Nigeria must operate efficient tax administration to boost revenue, says President Buhari’.

In the face of dwindling revenues from commodities, Buhari told participants at the Tax Dialogue that there is an urgent need to maximize domestic revenue within the extant tax policy and laws.

He, therefore, proposed improved tax revenue for the country which will not necessarily impose new tax rates on Nigerians.

”We all know that good intentions are not enough as they simply cannot pay for infrastructure, security, or social amenities. We must therefore improve tax revenue without necessarily raising new taxes.

”Revenue from commodities, including crude oil, are too volatile and unreliable. Therefore, I pledge the government’s support for any viable initiative for improving tax revenue that should emanate from this dialogue,’’ he said.

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Governor Sanwo-Olu Hails Morayo Afolabi-Brown’s Appointment As MD Of TVCe

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Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has congratulated popular television presenter, Dr. Morayo Afolabi-Brown, on her appointment as the Managing Director of TVCe, the Entertainment Channel of TVC Communications.

He said the new role given to Afolabi-Brown, the host of the TVC’s breakfast programme, ‘Your View’ is well deserved.

Governor Sanwo-Olu in a statement issued on Thursday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, said Afolabi-Brown’s appointment as Managing Director of TVCe is inspirational to young media practitioners that they can get to the top position of their career with hardwork, commitment and discipline.

He said: “The appointment of Dr. Morayo Afolabi-Brown as the Managing Director of TVCe, the Entertainment Channel of TVC Communications, is deserving having distinguished herself at TVC Communications and the media industry for almost two decades.

“Morayo Afolabi-Brown is one of the most influential women presenters not only in Nigeria but Africa. She has been recognised as one of the top 25 most influential women in Journalism Africa (WIJA) 2020 where she ranked 18th on the list.

“I believe strongly that Morayo Afolabi-Brown’s new appointment is an inspiration to young media practitioners, particularly members of staff of TVC Communications, that they can get to the top of their career in the company if they put in a little more than is expected from them by their employers.

“Morayo Afolabi-Brown’s new role attests to her exceptional track record of achievements in TVC Communications as a former Deputy Director of Programmes TVC News, where she created content on three independent channels for broadcast. She has also made a lot of impact as a host in addressing basic issues in society through the TVC’s breakfast show ‘Your View,’ programme.

 

SIGNED

GBOYEGA AKOSILE

CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY

30 NOVEMBER 2023

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NDLEA Chairman Marwa Warns New Cadets Against Fraternising With Drug Traffickers

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The chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Buba Marwa, has asked new cadets not to “fraternise” with illicit drug offenders.

Marwa spoke on Thursday during the passing out ceremony of 2,500 cadets of senior officers basic course 16 at NDLEA academy, Jos, Plateau state.

The NDLEA boss said the agency will not tolerate “internal sabotage” in the war against substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in the country.

Marwa, who was represented by Victoria Egbase, director, planning, research and statistics of NDLEA, said the agency cannot “decelerate” its efforts on the war against illicit drugs.

“We are currently on the verge of expanding our presence to all 774 local government areas in the country,” Marwa was quoted as saying in a statement by Femi Babafemi, NDLEA spokesperson.

“What that should tell our new officers is that there is work to do, and you cannot afford to be complacent or compromise the high standards we have set.

“On that note, let me also inform you that you must not fraternise with offenders of drug trafficking laws.

“Doing so is dangerous to your safety; it is catastrophic to your career; it sabotages organisational goals; and it is inimical to society’s wellbeing.

“Remembering this nugget of advice and abiding by it will ensure you a colourful and gratifying career.

“I must prepare your minds for the task ahead of you. The duties are such that there is no room for compromising the ethics of your profession or subverting the goals of the organisation.

“In our renewed campaign against illicit drugs, we are at a stage of ramped-up interdiction against cannabis, opioids, and other psychoactive substances.

“We cannot afford to decelerate our effort and we will not tolerate sabotage from within.”

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GBV: Rapists To Be Castrated In Kaduna — Human Service Commissioner Rabi Salisu

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The Kaduna State Government has reiterated its resolve against all forms of Gender Based Violence (GBV), particularly for those who engage in any form of rape, the State Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development, Hajia Rabi Salisu, has said.

This is just as she said that male rapists will be subjected to surgical castration as punishment while a female rapist will undergo bilateral salpingectomy.

The Commissioner stated this during a press conference as part of activities at a Gender-Based Violence Stakeholders Meeting/Press Conference organised by the ministry in collaboration with Centre for Integrated Health Programs (CIHP).

According to the Commissioner, the punitive measures were contained under the Kaduna State Government Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law (VAPPL), 2018, adding that the law followed a lengthy process of advocacy, lobbying and awareness raised by civil society organizations in the state in collaboration with relevant government agencies.

Also speaking, Dr. Austin Azihaiwe, the State Technical Lead for CIHP, in an interview shortly after the briefing, said the day marked 16-day activism against GBV which was also referred to as ‘Orange the World Campaign’ which began in 1991.

“The essence of these activities is to bring all stakeholders together and harness their resources and capacity to ensure that the fight against GBV is made more impactful in our communities.

“Beyond the presence of the key stakeholders, other community members are here and the aim is to educate stakeholders on how to report GBV cases and enlighten ourselves on the essential services available for GBV survivors.”

Similarly, Mr Hosea Bako, CIHP’s Gender Integration and Mainstreaming Lead for Kaduna State, also mentioned that CIHP, as part of its activities, engages in facilitation and referral of GBV cases.

“Part of our mandate is to provide preventive services through facilities like the Sexual Assault Referral Centers and Community Based Organisations particularly, Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) which is important to prevent HIV,” Bako said.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development, however, said the reported cases of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) have been notably on the increase in Kaduna State since the passage of the VAPPL in December 2018, which she said could probably be attributed to increased awareness about VAWG and also the availability of the law.

She also disclosed that the state has witnessed a rise in cases of gender-based violence according to the National Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Data Situation Room and dashboard for prevention and response to Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Nigeria, adding that a total of 832 cases have been reported in 2023 so far.

She said the 16-day of activism which started from the November 25 to December 10, which is known to be International Days for the Elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls, a period she said provided a time to stir up action to end violence against women and girls around the world.

“25th November is designated as the Orange World Day to End Violence against Women Campaign. The color orange symbolizes a brighter future, free of violence, It also serves as a means of demonstrating solidarity in eliminating all forms of violence and it is therefore used as the color of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women,” she stated.

The commissioner further disclosed that every year, the UNiTE Campaign focuses on a specific theme, adding that this year’s theme was “UNITE! Invest to prevent violence against Women and Girls”.

She said the campaign urged the citizens to show how much they cared about ending violence against women and girls by sharing the actions undertaken to create a world free from violence towards women and girls, while some level of progress has been made in this campaign to end violence against women and girls through the VAPPL, some challenges still exist.

The Commissioner identified some of the factors encumbering the implementation of the law in the state to include; Slow uptake of the law characterised by prosecutors not applying the law to reported GBV cases, VAWG cases are reported but not charged using the VAPP Law as other laws – Penal Code and the Administration of Criminal Justice Law take precedence over the VAPP due to stiffer penalties in those laws than the VAPP.

”Others included; Undue pressure on survivors and/or families to accept out of court settlements by community is also a major hindrance, in addition and poor awareness amongst citizens and service providers, delays in prosecuting cases by the Police and the courts also pose a barrier to access to justice by survivors and victims of VAWG.

“It is therefore imperative to strengthen the justice system, intensify GBV case findings, provide crucial clinical and non-clinical services to survivors of GBV while improving access to these crucial services, addressing the challenge of poor coordination, absence of a harmonized platform for reporting, and lack of capacity to manage Gender-Based Violence data will contribute largely to ending gender based violence,” she added.

According to her, it was important to address the difference in reporting tools and the upload of data on the National GBV dashboard as this will bridge the gaps in the campaign.

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