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INEC says no electronic authentication, no voting in Anambra 

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that eligible voters in the November 6 governorship election in Anambra State must use its new Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS ).

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the move was to eliminate the possibility of voting by identity theft using another person’s Permanent Voter Card (PVC ).

He spoke on Monday in Abuja during the commission’s third quarterly meeting with political parties.

According to him, many stakeholders, including leaders of political parties, have called on the commission to strengthen the voter accreditation process during elections, especially with reference to the use of incident form, where the Smart Card Reader (SCR ) failed to authenticate the fingerprints of a voter.

Such concern, Yakubu added, was legitimate, given that the SCR successfully verifies any card that belongs to the polling unit, for which it is configured, irrespective of who presents it.

The INEC boss said, “Where the fingerprint and facial authentication fail,” the voter would not be allowed to vote. “In other words, no electronic authentication, no voting, ” he declared.

The commission expressed its conviction that the new machine is robust enough to further guarantee the credibility of voter authentication and transparent management of results during elections.

It intends to carry out a pilot exercise with the new device in Delta State during the Isoko South 1 State Assembly by -election on Saturday, September 11 , 2021.

“The BVAS is expected to perform the functions of SCR and Z-Pad in the by-election,” he said.

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VAT claim is about fiscal federalism- Lagos State

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Lagos State government on Thursday said it has a strong case in its demand to collect the Value Added Tax (VAT).

It said its claims were also about fiscal federalism.

The state said VAT collection would neither impoverish other states nor would the process be cumbersome.

Commissioner for Information Strategy Gbenga Omotoso, who spoke on ‘Your View’ on TVC, said: “Lagos has a solid case in the ongoing legal dispute as the crux of the disagreement is about equity, justice and fairness.

“Whichever way it goes, it will also enrich our jurisprudence and enhance the way we see and relate to the law.

“No matter what, Lagos will always stand for true fiscal federalism.”

The commissioner noted that the volume of air, sea and road transport activities in Lagos puts pressure on the state’s infrastructure.

He added that additional revenue from VAT would facilitate infrastructure development for faster movement of goods and services, as well as economic growth for the benefit of Lagos and other states since prices will fall.

On the demand for a special status for Lagos, Omotoso described Lagos as a ‘giant that carries most of the burden of Nigeria on its shoulders and the engine-room of the nation’s financial and business activities.

“Lagos must be empowered to play this role to the benefit of Nigerians”, he insisted.

Omotoso noted that other states can partner with Lagos to generate more revenue or resources by taking advantage of its huge population and massive market to sell their agricultural produce and other products, while profits realised therefrom would be repatriated to create more wealth for farmers and other producers in such states.

According to him, Lagos almost became an orphan following the movement of the Federal Capital Territory to Abuja in 1991, resulting in modest support from the Federal Government.

He was confident there would be resources for more infrastructure and facilities in transportation, health, education, e.t.c, that will benefit Lagosians and others who troop in every day if the state is allowed to collect VAT.

Omotoso added that the state will sensitise residents concerning its position on the debate.

Also yesterday, Akwa Ibom State Governor Udom Emmanuel said states were entitled to collect VAT.

He was a guest on Arise TV News ‘Morning Show’ aired to mark the state’s 34th anniversary.

According to him, it was wrong for the Federal Government to collect and share revenue from VAT because it is generated from businesses and activities in states.

Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, yesterday asked all taxpayers to continue remitting VAT to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

She said in an advertorial: “The ruling of the Court of Appeal employs all taxpayers in all the states to continue to collect VAT on behalf of the government in compliance with the VAT Act.”

But, Emmanuel said despite the huge oil and gas investments in the state, Akwa Ibom receives a paltry N2 billion from VAT.

He backed his Rivers and Lagos states counterparts, Nyesom Wike and Babajide Sanwo-Olu, both of whom have signed their VAT bills.

Emmanuel said: “If my brother state has gone to court, it is the same principle that we stand on. I think we are all in the same bucket, the same basket.

“All the 36 states do not need to join at the same time. Today my brother in Rivers State has gone far enough.

“I think the case has gone to the Appeal Court and there is also a stay of execution.

“Let me allow the rule of law. But for states saying they do not need VAT, maybe they do not know the hidden treasure in VAT.

“If today I sell a house in Uyo, or any other person sells a property, the value is enhanced because of the good roads, electricity, security and water I have created, and the value I have added to the property. Why should the VAT on the property not come to me 100 per cent?

“Just look at the money I have spent on capital projects in the first quarter put at N143 billion, if you take 7.5 per cent of that, why should all not come to me?”

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Fani-Kayode: Some of Buhari’s harshest critics dine with him at Aso Rock – Femi Adesina

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Femi Adesina

Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, has said some of the persons who vilify his principal publicly return to Aso Rock for dinner.

The presidential spokesman said this while commenting on the return of Femi Fani-Kayode to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Fani-Kayode has been under fire since last week when the Chairman of APC National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni, presented him to Buhari at the State House, Abuja.

Both members of the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have hurled insults at him over his defection.

In his weekly article, Adesina said Buhari is large-hearted and the manner in which he received Fani-Kayode showed this.

“Between last week and now, vitriol poured by FFK on anybody with the slightest affinity to APC has been dug up serially. He has said things straight from the gutters, things that the natural man would call unforgivable and unpardonable.”

“Against President Buhari, the first family, Yusuf Buhari whom he wished had died when the latter had an almost fatal bike accident, APC as a party, the government, leaders of the party, groups and individuals. Even this writer has suffered horrid descriptions from FFK in many write-ups.

“Yes, he even said he would rather die than return to APC, but last week, he returned—well and alive.

“Naturally, a lot of loyal APC members are hopping mad that FFK was readmitted into the party. And not only that, he got back at the highest level. Not at his ward in Ile-Ife, Osun State, but the triumphal entry was at the Presidential Villa, with President Buhari himself as the host.”

The presidential spokesman said aside Fani-Kayode, Buhari has hosted and dined with some of the persons who condemn him in public.

He said while some persons had formed the habit of lying that Buhari has an unforgiving spirit, the president has proved them wrong with his action.

“I have worked with the President for over six years. And I have seen amazing things in terms of accommodation and capacity to forgive.”

“I have visited him at home many times in the evenings, only to find at dinner table with him people who had been abusing his forefathers on television earlier in the day. This President has a capacity to forgive, and forget. And make peace.”

Daily Trust

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We have no mandate to zone President, VP positions – PDP committee

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The Zoning Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party for national offices of the party says it has no mandate to determine which sections of the country should produce its presidential candidate and the running mate.

This was made known on Thursday in Enugu before members of the committee adjourned their meeting till next week for conclusion of their work.

Chairman of the committee and Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, in his welcome address, said the committee had no mandate to zone political offices such as President or Vice President of Nigeria.

The governor said, “Our committee is strictly limited to the PDP National Executive Offices to be contested at the 2021 PDP National Convention scheduled for the end of October, 2021”, stressing, “We have no mandate to zone political offices such as President or Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Ugwuanyi maintained that the PDP remains the most credible platform to deliver good and accountable governance to Nigeria, adding that the work of the committee will contribute immensely “in this deliberate search for national officers of our party that will help PDP achieve the lofty ideals and goals of our founding fathers.”

He also said after the meeting had adjourned, “We had a fruitful meeting and we adjourned to conclude next week.”

The party has fived October 30-31 for its national convention.

Members of the committee present at the meeting are the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, who is the Deputy Chairman; the Deputy Governor of Zamfara State, Mahdi Aliyu Mohammed, who serves as Secretary; former presidents of the Senate, Senator Iyorchia Ayu and Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, and former governors of Niger, Ekiti, Sokoto, Jigawa and Adamawa states, Dr Muazu Aliyu Babangida, Ayodele Fayose, Attahiru Bafarawa, Sule Lamido, and Boni Haruna, respectively.

Others were Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, SAN, Rt. Hon. Sunday K. E Okoye, Chief Dan Orbih, Chief (Dr) Ali Odefa, Dr Kema Chikwe, Chief Osita Chidoka, Chidi Lloyd, Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw, Senator Emmanuel Nwaka, Engr. Donatus Udeh, among others.

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