Kogi govt denies imposing bread tax on bakeries, sellers – Newstrends
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Kogi govt denies imposing bread tax on bakeries, sellers

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The Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has denied any knowledge of any plan by the state government to impose a tax on loaves of bread.

He described as an embarrassment the report credited to the state government as endorsing a new tax to be paid by bakery operators and sellers on every loaf of bread.

Bello made the clarification through the Kogi State Deputy Governor, Chief Edward Onoja, in a statement.

He said, “We have just seen a purported consultancy agreement between one of our ministries and a private firm to impose an ill-conceived levy on bread in the state.

“For the records, neither the governor nor the state executive council has imagined or proposed such a devilish tax regime, how much less imposing same on any food or essential commodity, not to mention bread which is a staple and the lifeline of many a household.”

The governor added that such a claim was “in fact, an embarrassment to the state government.”

The deputy governor revealed that his boss directed him to debunk the news to underscore how serious government considered the disinformation.

“I am directed by His Excellency to give the lie to news of an alleged tax imposed on each loaf of bread to be sold in Kogi State. There is no iota of truth in the claims that we have approved such wickedness, because we have not and cannot.”

He added that Governor Bello’s responses to issues impacting the welfare of his people during the COVID-19 pandemic as a proof that such a tax ran counter to everything the administration stood for.

“It is well-documented in the media that Governor Yahaya Bello has fought powerful forces, more than any other governor perhaps, to keep his people safe. As COVID-19 ravaged the country and the world, he has mobilised them for lifestyle changes that defeated the virus in the state.

“He spared them lockdowns and the inherent disruptions to their lives and livelihoods characteristic of COVID responses in other places. He scrupulously obeyed WHO and NCDC guidelines to provide testing to high risk individuals.”

Onoja said Governor Yahaya Bello remained undaunted because of his desire to protect his people at all costs.

He added, “Today, the results of my governor’s novel approach to the novel coronavirus are evident for all to see on every daily update given by the federal authorities.

“Kogi State sits at the bottom of that list, and even those five cases allocated to us are controversial at best. To put it mildly, we have had no confirmed case of COVID-19 in Kogi State.

“About three months ago, we rolled out the Kogi Care Initiative, for which Council approved N1.56 billion as a post-COVID economic stimulus and recovery programme customised for different sections of our people – the poor, the elderly and the MSMEs.”

He therefore rejected the idea that “we can now impose a tax on individual loaves of bread sold in the state.”

The deputy governor said that no additional financial burden would be imposed on Kogi citizens and assured that “any business which has met the regulatory requirements for doing business in Kogi State including payment of routine tax is entitled to operate freely, and that includes bakeries and bread traders.”

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Naira at par selling N1,485/$ in parallel, official markets

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Naira at par selling N1,485/$ in parallel, official markets

The Naira yesterday appreciated in the parallel market to N1,485 per dollar from N1,490 per dollar on Wednesday.

However, the Naira depreciated to N1,485.36 per dollar in the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market, NAFEM.

Data from FMDQ showed that the indicative exchange rate for NAFEM rose to N1,485.06 per dollar from N1,483.02 per dollar on Wednesday, indicating N2.04 depreciation for the naira.

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Consequently, the margin between the parallel market and NAFEM rates narrowed to 36 kobo per dollar from N6.98 per dollar on Wednesday.

Naira at par selling N1,485/$ in parallel, official markets

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R.T. Briscoe begins conversion of vehicles to run on CNG/LPG 

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R.T. Briscoe begins conversion of vehicles to run on CNG/LPG 

R.T. Briscoe Plc has commenced conversion of petrol and diesel vehicles to run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

Group Managing Director of the company, Mr Seyi Onajide, disclosed this during an interactive session with journalists in Lagos.

He also unveiled a number projects embarked upon by the company including securing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to raise N10 billion through a savings and investments scheme.

Onajide said the automotive division of the conglomerate decided to set up a CNG/LPG conversion facility in line with the Federal Government’s CNG initiative (Pi-CNG).

“We started the conversion of petrol or diesel engine cars into CNG and LPG without government funding and we believe it is the future of automobile industry. We have successfully done that on some pick-up vehicles,” he said.

The R.T. Briscoe CEO said the company had submitted a proposal to the Presidential CNG committee.

“They invited us to participate in the CNG initiative. We believe that the average vehicle owner in Nigeria and even commuters can benefit from this initiative because it has a lot of benefits. It will save costs for the motoring public,” he said.

Onajide said the CNG conversion kits being used are manufactured in Europe with one of the best global rating standards .

He added that the automotive division of the R.T. Briscoe has well-trained technical and professional team that could handle the installation.

Even as he noted that the future looked promising, he observed the initiative could be impeded by the non-availability of CNG and LPG refilling stations and expressed support for a hybrid model.

He said, R.T. Briscoe had approached some corporate institutions that are fleet owners that have justifiable reasons to build gas-refilled plants on their premises.

According to him, until gas-refilling stations are readily available, CNG would be limited to big organisations that could house and store gas.

The highpoint of the event was the inspection with a test drive of the finished vehicles converted to run on CNG.

RT Briscoe Plc is engaged in the sales and servicing of Toyota vehicles, technical services, material handling and property development and management.

The Presidential CNG Initiative (Pi-CNG) is a component of the palliative intervention of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration directed at providing succour to the masses occasioned by the hardships of the fuel subsidy removal policy of the Federal Government.

With a projected $2.5 billion investment by 2027, the Presidential CNG Initiative plans to drive Nigeria towards a sustainable and prosperous future, where every citizen has the opportunity to thrive.

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Inflation rises again, now 33.95% on soaring food, beverage prices

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Inflation rises again, now 33.95% on soaring food, beverage prices

Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 33.95 per cent in May, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced on Saturday.

This was largely due to prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages that continued to surge.

The NBS gave the details in its latest consumer price index (CPI) report.

In April, the inflation rate stood at 33.69 per cent.

“Looking at the movement, the May 2024 headline inflation rate showed an increase of 0.26% points when compared to the April 2024 headline inflation rate,” NBS said.

“On a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 11.54% points higher compared to the rate recorded in May 2023, which was 22.41%.”

The report also showed that on a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in May 2024 was 2.14 percent, which was 0.15 percent lower than the 2.29 percent rate reported in April 2024.

This means that in the month of May, the rate of increase in the average price level is less than the rate of increase in the average price level in April 2024.

An analysis of the top five headline inflation drivers showed food and non-alcoholic beverages led with 17.59 percent.

Following closely are housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels with 5.68 percent.

Others are clothing and footwear at 2.60 percent, transport at 2.21 percent, with furnishings, household equipment and maintenance completing the list at 1.71 percent.

NBS said on a year-on-year basis, the urban inflation rate rose to 36.34 percent in May, “which was 12.61% points higher compared to the 23.74% recorded in May 2023”.

“On a month-on-month basis, the Urban inflation rate was 2.35% in May 2024, this was 0.32% points lower compared to April 2024 (2.67%),” NBS said.

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