- Suspend Vehicle Importation Ban, Reps Tell Buhari
The House of Representatives on Thursday asked the Federal Government to suspend its new policy of banning the importation of vehicles through land borders.
The lawmakers specifically advised President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene by urgently directing the Nigeria Customs Service to reverse the policy.
The policy is expected to come into effect from January 1, 2017.
Instead of enforcing a ban, the House called on the government to ensure that security agencies manned the land borders diligently to enforce the payment of import duties and ensure the remittance of same to the treasury.
“The House further urges the government to install border security and surveillance equipment for effective monitoring to address the recurring menace of smuggling and ensure a maximum revenue generation on all lawfully-imported goods,” the resolution stated.
The decision came after an All Progressives Congress lawmaker from Sokoto State, Mr. Abdullahi Salame, informed members that the policy could only worsen the “hunger and insecurity” in the land, and cause job losses.
Leading the debate on the motion, Salame said corruption at the borders would increase as Customs personnel would seize the opportunity to divert revenue into private pockets.
“The government will indeed lose revenue and Customs personnel will connive with smugglers to divert revenue. Car dealers will lose their business and this also implies that millions of Nigerians will lose their means of livelihood,” he stated.
According to Salame, prices of vehicles will hit the rooftops in Nigeria, making fairly-used cars out of the reach of ordinary citizens.
“A similar exercise in the case of importation of rice has brought untold hardship on Nigerians as a bag of rice now sells for between N20,000 and N23,000 as against N8,000 a few months ago,” he added.
A member from Adamawa State, Mr. Sadiq Ibrahim, noted that the buck stopped on Buhari’s table.
He said, “I am addressing Buhari. He should suspend the ban; there is no alternative. Why ban car importation through land borders when you have not provided other options for those in the business to survive?
“This policy will serve no useful purpose and there will be more problems than solutions to the hardship arising from our economic situation of today.”
Another APC member from Kwara State, Mr. Zakari Mohammed, suggested that the government could modify the policy to reflect that vehicles of certain ages should not be imported through the land borders.
“The administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo had such a policy in place before. We can return to that policy or ensure its full implementation this time round, rather than a blanket ban,” Mohammed said.
But, another APC member from Katsina State, Mr. Ahmed-Baba Kaita, tried to rationalise the government’s action, saying that Nigeria was losing more revenue compared to whatever benefits that could be derived from land border importation.
For example, he said the country was the final destination of nearly all the cars imported into neighbouring countries through their seaports.
Kaita explained, “So, we have a situation whereby these countries collect their duties, improve their economies, but the cars are coming to Nigeria duty-free. We have had instances where even state governments in Nigeria imported their vehicles through Benin Republic, paid the duty there, but would not pay in Nigeria.
“The policy may look harsh on the onset but in the long run, the country will be better off with it.”
However, Kaita’s explanations could not convince the majority of lawmakers, who voted in support of the passage of the motion.
The session was presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara.
University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session
University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday announced it is going ahead with resumption on February 20 despite the second wave of COVID-19.
In a statement released by the school, the First Semester of the 2020/2021 academic session will commence virtually on February 20, 2021.
The virtual academic session will last for 13 straight weeks and end on Friday May 12, 2021, while the matriculation ceremony will hold on Tuesday March 16, 2021.
The University of Ibadan also scheduled one week for the Finalization of Continuous Assessment, to begin from Mon. 17 May and ends Friday 21 May.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases has compelled the Senate to approve the virtual academic session in an effort to ensure the tertiary institution abides by the protocols established by the Federal Government to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“It, therefore, agreed that the 2020/2021 First Semester lectures will be delivered online. In this regard, students will not be accommodated on campus,” a statement from the school said.
“Senate also approved the cancellation of the 2019/2020 session. The next session is, therefore, renamed 2020/2021 Academic Session. Consequently, students who have been admitted for the 2019/2020 session will now be regarded as the 2020/2021 intakes.
“Kindly note that online opening of Registration Portal and Orientation Programme for the 2020/2021 intakes may commence ahead of the Sat 20/02/21 date indicated above,” the statement said.
House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion
The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for the second time after instigating the US Capitol invasion.
Led by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, 232 representatives, including 10 Republicans, voted to impeach the outgoing president against 197 that voted for him to remain in the office for the next six days when he would handover to the president-elect, Joe Biden.
The ten Republicans were Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 leader in the House; Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington; John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Dan Newhouse of Washington; Peter Meijer of Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; David Valadao of California; and Tom Rice of South Carolina.
Speaking before the vote, Pelosi said “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”
“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.”
Republicans, who unanimously stood behind president Trump in 2019 during his first impeachment, were divided this time over the attack on Capitol.
A Republican representative from California, Kevin McCarthy, said “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
US Congress Declares Joe Biden as The 46th President of The United States After Trump Mob Left
The joint congress of the United States on Thursday, January 7, 2021 certified Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States following President Trump’s mob action that disrupted the congress joint proceeding on Wednesday.
After ordering his followers to disrupt proceedings on Wednesday, President Trump later announced that there will be an orderly transition on January 20.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement issued by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!” Trump added.
While the certification was just a mere formality as Biden had secured enough electoral college votes (270) required to clinch the world’s most powerful seat, the refusal of Donald Trump to accept the results of the November 2020 election made the session a keenly watched, especially after Trump mob disrupted a joint session of the Senate.
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