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Why Presidential Tax Reforms Committee will Spend N5bn on Operations — Chairman

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Chairman, Presidential Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms Committee, Taiwo Oyedele has said the committee will spend billions on its operations.

In a statement posted on his X (formerly Twitter) page on Friday, Oyedele noted that the contentious N5 billion given to the Joint Tax Board by the Federal Inland Revenue was to cover the committee’s budget.

Recall that the immediate past executive chairman of FIRS, Muhammad Nami while reacting to an allegation of fund appropriation, had disclosed on Thursday that the service paid the said sum to the JTB after its approval by the presidency.

Nami said, “The N5 billion paid to the Joint Tax Board was paid to fund the activities of the Presidential Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy Reforms two months before I left office. It was paid after we received a letter to that effect from the office of Mr. President signed by Zacch Adedeji himself.”

While giving the breakdown of the committee’s budget, Oyedele disclosed the money will be used to fund the national ‘Data for Tax project’ which he said was important to the effective reform of the country’s tax system.

The statement reads in part, “The Committee’s budget includes provisions for a national “Data for Tax” project which the JTB has been championing for over 2 years. The project was presented to the National Economic Council in 2022 and was meant to be funded by the federal government and the 36 states. However, it stalled due to lack of funds. Given the importance of the project to the effective reform of our tax system, it was included in the Committee’s budget.

“Other expenses included in the committee’s budget, which has the approval of the National Assembly, include setting up of offices for the committee in Lagos and Abuja, payment of salaries for the full-time staff engaged by the committee, travels and other logistics for over 70 members representing more than 40 institutions and stakeholder groups mapped to 6 different subcommittees, more than 30 Secretariat personnel and over 40 students across the country.

“In addition, the budget covers planned stakeholder engagements with various sectors and interest groups, as well as international engagements and understudy of some leading tax regimes around the world, and so on. The budget covers a period of one year being the lifespan of the committee”.

Oyedele noted that the committee has been mandated to ensure accountability therefore all expenses are properly documented and available for audit.

He said, “It should be noted that the committee was not set up simply to produce reports and recommendations, we are also charged with the implementation of recommended and approved proposals which need to be funded.

“The committee’s mandate includes ensuring prudence and accountability in the management of our national resources. It will therefore be a contradiction for the same committee to be wasteful or reckless in its own affairs. Members of the committee work on a volunteering basis and are only paid reasonable allowances to cover their out-of-pocket expenses as we cannot afford to pay the commercial value for their time, skills, and experience. As the chairman of the committee, despite working full-time on the assignment, I do not receive a salary.

“All the expenses of the committee are properly documented and available for audit. We collect receipts for fuel, stationeries, and virtually every Naira that we spend to the extent possible. Over N4 billion of the said funds transferred by the FIRS to the JTB for the committee’s work is yet to be spent and very much intact in the JTB account.”

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News

FG Clarifies Renaming of Murtala Muhammed Expressway

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Minister Of Information
– FG denies renaming Murtala Muhammed Expressway after Wole Soyinka
– New road inaugurated by President Tinubu named Arterial Road N20
– Murtala Muhammed Expressway remains unchanged

The Federal Government has dispelled rumors that the Murtala Muhammed Expressway in Abuja was renamed Wole Soyinka Way.

The government clarified that the renaming of the expressway was never considered by the current administration.

Instead, a new road was inaugurated by President Bola Tinubu on June 4, 2024, which was named Arterial Road N20.

This new road connects the Outer Northern Expressway to the Northern Parkway and was named after Prof. Wole Soyinka.

The confusion arose from a proposal by the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, during the inauguration, which was approved by President Tinubu. ”

The government emphasized that the Murtala Muhammed Expressway remains unchanged, honoring the legacy of the former Head of State, Gen. Murtala Ramat Muhammed.

Therefore, the Arterial Road N20 is named after Prof Soyinka.

The Murtala Muhammed Expressway remains unchanged, the government stressed.

 

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Politics

Rivers State on Edge as Youths Storm LG Headquarters Amid Tenure Crisis

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Rivers State Governor
– Tension rises in Rivers State as youths occupy LG headquarters
– LG chairmen refuse to vacate office despite expiration of tenure
– Police deploy security operatives to maintain peace

Tension mounted in Rivers State on Monday as youths occupied the Degema Local Government Area headquarters, demanding that the council chairmen vacate office.

The youths, who were seen singing war songs, barricaded the entrance and vowed to remain until Wednesday.

The crisis follows the expiration of the tenure of local government chairmen in the state, with the chairmen refusing to step down citing a new law passed by the state House of Assembly.

The law empowers them to extend their tenure by six months, a move opposed by Governor Siminalayi Fubara.

In a similar development, youths stormed the Asari-Toru Local Government Area headquarters, occupying the building and vowing to resist any attempt by the council chairman to remain in office.

The situation was tense but peaceful, with security operatives deployed to maintain order.

Meanwhile, the outgoing chairman of Eleme LGA, Obarilomate Ollor, warned those eager to throw him out of office not to come close to the council, threatening to unleash terror on such invaders. “Some people are ganging up, they want to use force to enter into the local government, If you go there against the law, what you will see you will not believe it.”

The police have urged everyone to maintain peace in the state, with the spokesperson, Grace Iringe-Koko, saying “Our men were on a show of strength this morning. We are still monitoring the situation.”

 

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