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VAT: Wike threatens to take over Rivers FIRS offices

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has threatened to take over all offices of the Federal Inland Revenue Service in the state should the agency continue with its “bullying”.

The governor, who spoke on Wednesday at a stakeholders’ meeting in Port Harcourt, the state capital, also said from this September, the state government would start collecting its VAT.

Wike warned oil companies and business owners against remitting their VAT to the FIRS but the Rivers State Government.

The governor told the oil firms, construction companies and other business owners operating in the state to start remitting their VAT to the state government with effect from this September.

A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt in its judgment last month in a suit marked FHC/PH/CS/149/2020 held that the Rivers State Government had the powers to collect VAT within its territory.

The FIRS, on Monday, asked the court to stay the execution on the judgment.

But the presiding judge, Justice Stephem Pam, rejected the application, saying granting it would negate the principle of equity.

On Monday, the Lagos State Government also revealed a similar move as a bill to empower it to collect VAT scaled second reading in the state House of Assembly.

Speaking at the stakeholders’ meeting which was showed live on Channels TV and two other stations, Wike said there was injustice in allocation of the VAT procceds.

According to him, Rivers generated N15bn in June 2021 but got N4.7bn while “Kano produced N2.8bn in June but got N2.8bn.

The governor said he could not continue to beg the Federal Government for what belongs to his state.

“I overhead the FIRS chairman saying that he will show me the powers of the Federal Government that the Federal Government will muzzle the judiciary. It is not my business. The court has decided,” Wike said.

 

“They should mind the state they are bullying. The FIRS should be very careful. You don’t bully a state like us. I have the political will to do a lot of things. I am not one of those governors that will shy away. If they continue to bully us, all their offices in the state, I will take,” he said.

 

 

 

 

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Don’t link your SIM card with another person’s NIN, NCC warns

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The Nigerian Communications Commission has warned telecom consumers not allow their National Identification Number to be linked to another person’s Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card no matter how close the person is to them.

The commission gave the warning during its third Telecom Consumer Town Hall on Radio (TCTHR) programme on Human Rights Radio 101.1FM in Abuja.

The event was hosted on the platform: “NCC Digital Signature on Radio”, a statement by the NCC stated on Tuesday.

The NCC Digital Signature on Radio is the flagship radio programme of the commission created to educate the general public on the mandate of the commission and for sharing salient, consumer-centric and up-to-date information on how the NCC is delivering on this mandate.

Speaking during the radio programme, focused on: “The Benefits of NIN-SIM Integration”, NCC’s Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Efosa Idehen, said, “On no account should a telecom consumer, however, circumstanced, allow another person to register a SIM with their NIN.”

Idehen said compliance with the advice would protect the true owner of the NIN from liabilities or negative consequences arising from the use of another person’s SIM.

He said, “If the person whose SIM is linked to your line uses his own SIM to commit a crime or any form of atrocity, it is easy to be traced to you, and then you will be dealt with because the SIM is linked to your NIN.”

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Lagos threatens to suspend NURTW, RTEAN over clashes

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The Lagos State Government has threatened to suspend operations of transport unions in the Mile 2 area of the state should they continue to clash.

Three people reportedly died during a bloody clash last week on the Mile 2 and Amuwo Odofin axis between the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria and the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Amuwo division.

Responding to the violence, the Lagos State Government on Tuesday brokered peace between the warring factions in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Oluwatoyin Fayinka, stated that the state government would deal with the case after the police had concluded their investigation and presented the report of the crisis.

He noted that multiple levies on truckers by the unions around the axis had been the cause the dispute.

Fayinka warned the unions to beware of infiltrators as this would soil their reputation and lead to an abrupt end of the activities by the state government as the safety of lives and properties is first and sacrosanct.

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Port congestion: Relocate overtime cargos, Customs urges NPA

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The Nigeria Customs Service has advised the Nigerian Ports Authority to move all overtime cargos from the terminal to reduce congestion.

This advice was given bythe Apapa Area Command of the NCS, noting that the transfer of overtime cargos from the ports to the government warehouse in Ikorodu was the responsibility of the NPA.

Cargos are classified as overtime when they stay in the ports for 28 days without the importer or clearing agent coming up to clear them.

Managing Director of the NPA, Muhammed Bello-Koko, had recently said there were over 5,000 overtime containers across the nation’s seaports taking up space for new imports.

Bello- Koko, who spoke during an interactive session organized by the House of Representatives Committee on Customs, had asked the Service to auction the overtime containers to decongest the nation’s seaports.

The NCS Controller of Apapa, Yusuf Malanta, who spoke when he received executive members of the Shipping Correspondents Association of Nigeria in his office, said it required a lot in terms of logistics and financial commitment to move overtime cargos from the port to the government warehouse in Ikorodu.

According to him, there were currently about 500 overtime containers, including import and export, at the Apapa port, and that it would cost an average of N600,000 to move each of the containers from the port to Ikorodu – a cost which he said the command was not ready to bear.

The customs boss explained that there were also laid-down procedures for the disposal of overtime cargoes that must be followed before they are auctioned, to avoid litigation.

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