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Rivers drags FIRS to Supreme Court over VAT

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The Rivers State Government has sought the intervention of the Supreme Court on the impasse between the state government and the Federal Inland Revenue Service over collection of Value Added Tax.

It specifically asked the Supreme Court to set aside an order of the Court of Appeal which directed the state to maintain status quo on the collection of VAT pending the determination of an appeal filed by the FIRS.

A federal high court in Port Harcourt had issued an order restraining the FIRS from collecting VAT and personal income tax in Rivers State.

Although the federal tax authority had appealed for a stay of execution, the court dismissed it on the basis that it would “negate the principle of equity”.

The FIRS went to the Court of Appeal. And the appellate court while delivering a ruling on Friday, ordered parties in the suit to maintain the “status quo ante bellum” (to maintain the situation as it existed before).

A three-member panel of justices of the appellate court led by Haruna Tsammani specifically ordered all the parties in the suit to ”refrain from taking any action to give effect to the judgement of the Rivers state high court,” which gave Rivers state government the right to collect VAT revenue, instead of the FIRS.

In its 10 grounds of appeal lodged before the apex court, Rivers state through its attorney-general is praying the apex court to order that the substantive appeal by the FIRS, marked CA/PH/282/2021, and all other processes therein, be heard and determined by a new panel of the court of appeal.

Apart from the FIRS, the Attorney-General of the Federation was joined as a respondent in the appeal.

Emmanuel Ukala, a senior advocate of Nigeria, is the lawyer representing Rivers State.

Lagos State Government has asked to join as a party in the appeal after passing the state’s VAT bill into law.

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SERAP sues Buhari over alleged missing N11tn electricity fund

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President Muhammadu Buhari has been dragged to court by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) for allegedly failing probe N11tn electricity fund said to missing.

The money, according to SERAP, was meant to provide regular electricity supply for the country since 1999, and it is suspected to have “been stolen, mismanaged or diverted into private pockets.”

In the suit number FHC/L/CS/1119/2022 filed last week at the Federal High Court, Lagos, SERAP sought for “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Buhari to investigate how over N11 trillion meant to provide regular electricity supply has been allegedly squandered by governments since 1999.”

This is coming after it was reported that Nigeria’s electricity grid has collapsed at least three times within five months, and 130 times in seven years, plunging many households across the country into darkness.

 

 

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Toyota-Suzuki joint SUV coming in August, Africa listed

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The collaboration between Toyota and Suzuki is set to manifest in concrete terms as Toyota says it will start the production of a new SUV model developed by Suzuki at Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt. Ltd from August.

The Suzuki-developed SUV will come with mild and strong hybrid variants – made in India for both brands, multiple sources including motorauthority.com report.

The two companies are said to be planning to export the new model to markets outside India including Africa.

Toyota and Suzuki are promoting mutual supply of vehicles globally, which is one of the collaborations in their business partnership.
The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding for a business alliance in 2017. Since then, the two companies have been bringing together Toyota’s strength in electrification technologies and Suzuki’s strength in technologies for compact vehicles for joint collaboration in production and in the widespread popularization of electrified vehicles.
The powertrains of the new model to be on sale in India will be equipped with mild hybrid developed by Suzuki and strong hybrid developed by Toyota.
By bringing together strengths of both Toyota and Suzuki through the collaboration, the two companies say they will be able to provide a wide variety of vehicle electrification technologies to customers and contribute to the acceleration of electrification and the realization of a carbon-neutral society in India.

While Suzuki leads and understands the India market, Toyota brings hybrid tech to the table.

Maruti Suzuki India Limited and TKM will market the new model in India as Suzuki and Toyota models, respectively.

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Ford to end production of Focus in 2025

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Ford has confirmed that it will stop producing the Focus model in 2025, in a move that threatens the longer-term future of its Saarlouis, Germany plant that only makes that model.

Nigeria may not miss the exit of the Focus as it has not really been as popular as other Ford models such as the Escape, the Edge and Everest.

Ford however said that its plant in Saarlouis would continue to produce the Ford Focus passenger car, while the company is also evaluating options for future site concepts.
In Europe, Ford has emphasised the future role for electrified models – which includes its Cologne plant in Germany being a hub for EV production. It will build a new SUV based on VW’s MEB platform from 2023.
Ford also recently announced that its Valencia, Spain, plant would receive investment for making electric vehicles on a next-generation electric vehicle architecture.

 

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