Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has promised to assist tenants and shop owners who suffered huge losses in the recent looting and burning of the Circle Mall by hoodlums in Lekki in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protest.
The governor said this during a condolence visit and meeting with the tenants and shop owners at the mall, offering to give them a tax break and some financial assistance, according to a statement by Sanwo-Olu’s Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile.
It would be recalled that some hoodlums went on the rampage on Wednesday October 21, after the EndSARS protests and looted property worth billions of naira at the Circle Mall and set parts of the building ablaze.
Speaking on his administration’s readiness to assist those affected by destruction at the mall, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the state government would not leave the people to bear the pains alone, noting that government would assist them to return to their business.
The governor said the state government would give all business owners in the burnt Circle Mall tax break of PAYE and appealed to the Federal Government to ensure that they get tax relief from the Federal Internal Revenue Service (FIRS).
Governor Sanwo-Olu said the state government would give victims of the Circle Mall financial support, which would be in form of grant or loans to cushion the effect of the looting and destruction of their respective shops and stores.
Sanwo-Olu said the grant support would be a non-refundable financial support to the victims.
He said the affected businesses were not expected to pay back while the lending support would be in form of a loan, adding that he was already discussing with some financial institutions to assist people with zero interest loans.
Sanwo-Olu also asked the shop owners to reach out to the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) and urged them to make use of the opportunities being provided by the agency in assisting people in business, especially small-scale businesses.
The governor further implored people on reorientation of value system and civil responsibility for everybody to be agent of positive change in their community and anywhere they found themselves.
Reiterating his administration’s commitment to security of lives and property in the state, Sanwo-Olu said that Lagos State would no longer tolerate hoodlums looting and destroying government and private businesses and properties.
He said though Lagos State Government could not stop people from coming into the state, the governor warned people with criminal intentions to go elsewhere before being smoked out by the government.
The governor said his government was ready to encourage people who are in Lagos for business and would go extra mile to protect businesses in the state.
Speaking earlier, the tenants at Circle Mall thanked Governor Sanwo-Olu for showing empathy in the face of daunting challenges.
They asked him to assist them financially so as to get back on their feet.
They also appealed to Lagos State Government to strengthen security around the Circle Mall to prevent future occurrence of the two attacks they suffered in the last 13 months.
Buhari to present 2023 budget proposal to NASS Friday
President Muhammadu Buhari will present the 2023 Appropriations bill to a joint session of the National Assembly on Friday.
The appropriations bill will contain budget proposals for the 2023 fiscal year.
He made this known in a letter to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, which was read out at the start of plenary on Tuesday.
The formal budget presentation is scheduled for 10am
and it will be the last main budget Buhari will be presenting as he will leave office on 29 May 2023 when his second four year term will end.
The Federal Government is already proposing an aggregate expenditure of N19.76 trillion for the 2023 fiscal year with a budget deficit of about N12.41 trillion.
Some key assumptions in the proposal include an estimated oil benchmark of $70, crude oil production put at 1.69mbpd, exchange rate of N435.57/$ and inflation rate at 17.16 per cent.
The Federal Government pegged growth rate at 3.75 per cent because it believes that “Growth is expected to be moderated to 3.30% in 2024 before picking up to 3.46% in 2025.”
The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, had disclosed that the federal government will borrow over N11 trillion and sell national assets to finance the budget deficit in 2023.
ASUU also corrupt, undermining govt investment – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has said a number of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are involved in corrupt practices.
He said the corruption in the universities and other institutions was undermining government’s funding and investment in education.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14 over increase in lecturers’ allowances and salaries as well as improved funding for the universities.
Buhari has appealed to the union to call off the strike but the lecturers have stood their ground.
The President on Tuesday while declaring open the Fourth National Summit on Diminishing Corruption organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Office of Secretary to Government of the Federation (OSGF) and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), said ASUU was no less complicit in the corruption in tertiary education.
He said corruption in the education sector had continued to undermine investments, while critics downplayed funding by focusing only on budgetary allocations, urging a more comprehensive re-evaluation of expenditure.
The President said, “This year’s summit will mirror how corruption undermines educational policies, investments and create an unfriendly learning environment for our youths.
“Incessant strikes especially by unions in the tertiary education often imply that government is grossly underfunding education, but I must say that corruption in the education system from basic level to the tertiary level has been undermining our investment in the sector and those who go on prolonged strikes on flimsy reasons are no less complicit.
“The 1999 Constitution places a premium on education by placing it on the Concurrent List, thereby laying the responsibilities of budgeting and underwriting qualitative education on both the Federal and State Governments.
“The total education budget for each year is therefore a reflection of both federal and state budgets and should be viewed as other financial commitments in their totality.
“The allocation to education in the federal budget should not be considered via allocation to the Federal Ministry of Education and also academic institutions alone, but should include allocation to the Universal Basic Education, transfers to TETFUND and refund from the Education Tax Pool Account to TETFUND.
“Corruption in the expenditure of internally generated revenue of tertiary institutions is a matter that has strangely not received the attention of stakeholders in tertiary education, including unions.
“I call on stakeholders to demand accountability in the administration of academic institutions and for unions to interrogate the bloated personnel and recurrent expenditure of their institutions. Let me also implore the Unions to work with the government to put faces and identities to names on the payroll.
“Due to declining resources, the government cannot bear the cost of funding education alone. I task our academics to attract endowments, research and other grants to universities, polytechnics and colleges of education similar to what obtains in other countries.”
Seven police officers dismissed, 10 others demoted
The Police Service Commission (PSC), on Tuesday, dismissed seven senior police officers over gross misconduct.
The commission also announced the demotion of 10 other officers through reduction in rank.
These decisions were taken during the continuation of the 15th plenary meeting of the commission.
The meeting is expected to end on Thursday, October 6, 2022, according to a report by The Trust.
Presided over by its acting chairman, Justice Clara Ogunbiyi, the meeting considered all the Pending Disciplinary Matters (PDM) before the commission.
The PDMs, which totalled 47, also treated some appeals from dismissed police officers.
Addressing newsmen shortly after the meeting in Abuja, the spokesman for the commission, Ikechukwu Ani, said, the dismissed officers include one CSP, one SP and five ASPs.
He said that one SP was retired in public interest, adding that the commission reduced the ranks of one CSP to SP, three SPs to DSP, and two DSPs to ASPs.
The commission further reduced the ranks of four ASPs to Inspectors.
10 senior police officers, including an ACP, a CSP, a SP and two DSPs were given the punishment of severe reprimand.
Five ASPs were also awarded the punishment of severe reprimand.
Thirteen officers received the punishment of reprimand; two are to receive letters of warning while four officers were exonerated.
Ani quoted Justice Ogunbiyi as saying the commission would henceforth give the desired attention to Pending Disciplinary Matters so that those found guilty are punished immediately while those found not guilty are cleared to continue with their career progression.
Justice Ogunbiyi called on police officers to ensure they operate within established rules and avoid taking laws into their hands.
The commission, she said, would continue to work to sustain a professional police force.
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