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‘Government Spends 80% of Revenue as Running Cost’

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  • ‘Government Spends 80% of Revenue as Running Cost’

A former tax manager at Cooper & Lybrand, one of the world’s oldest accounting firms (now part of PricewaterhouseCoopers), Mrs. Morenike Babington-Ashaye, has said it is disturbing that about 80 per cent of government’s revenue is being utitilised as a running cost.

Babington-Ashaye, who is also a founding member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, stated this in Lagos at a press briefing to announce the hosting of a conference on ‘Taxation and the society governance — a case for Nigeria’, where tax experts plan to discuss the high cost of running government and lack of accountability by government officials.

With the running costs gulping about “70 to 80 per cent of revenue at the disposal of government,” the former Chairman of the Ogun State Internal Revenue Service lamented that there was hardly enough funds to maintain existing infrastructural facilities and build new public amenities.

Babington-Ashaye said, “Due to the limited (remaining) funds, public amenities such as potable water, good roads, functioning schools and public hospitals are like luxuries. This in turn impacts negatively on the society, as we see more and more Nigerians unable to afford the necessities of life.”

She stressed the need for the government to prioritise the provision of social amenities, adding that “the provision of social welfare aimed at the eradication of poverty is not an act of charity, but an obligation on the government.”

According to her, there are several questionable practices in the allocation of revenue to states.

“With respect to the Nigerian Constitution, although the Constitution is the highest authority, it presently does not enjoy widespread legitimacy, which in turn affects confidence in government.”

She also spoke briefly about the provisions of the Constitution in relation to taxation, noting that “structurally, the Constitution has created wastage in public administration, duplication across the tiers of government and disintegration of people that have common languages, cultures and values.”

This and other related issues, she added, would be trashed at the conference being organised by Accounting Education and Research Services on April 26.

Babington-Ashaye said a former Minister of Finance, Chief Onaolapo Soneye, would chair the event and named other expected dignitaries to include the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, and the Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr. Tunde Fowler.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

NAFDAC Grants Conditional Emergency Use Authorisation For Jansen COVID-19 Vaccine

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Jansen COVID-19 Vaccine- Investorsking

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, on Tuesday granted conditional Emergency Use Authorisation for Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine to prevent COVID-19 in Nigerians above 18 years of age.

In a press statement made available to the media, the Director-General of the Agency, Prof Christianah Mojisola Adeyeye said after a thorough evaluation, the NAFDAC Vaccine Committee concluded that the data on the vaccine were robust and met criteria for efficacy, safety and quality.

”The data also show that the vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks thereby supporting the manufacturer’s recommended use. Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine is the third vaccine recommended in Nigeria for preventing COVID-19.”

On vaccine efficacy, Adeyeye noted that the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine is administered as a single dose and results from a clinical trial involving people in the United States, South Africa and Latin American countries found that Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine was effective at preventing COVID-19 in people from 18 years of age.

She added: ”The Phase III clinical trial involved over 44,000 people. Half received a single dose of the vaccine and half were given a placebo (a dummy injection). People did not know if they had been given Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine or placebo.

”The trial found a 67 percent reduction in the number of symptomatic COVID-19 cases after two weeks in people who received Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine”.

On side effects, she said the most commonly reported side effects with the vaccine were pain at the injection site, headache, fatigue, muscle aches and nausea. Most of these side effects were mild to moderate in severity and lasted 1-2 days.

Speaking on vaccine safety, she said in line with the NAFDAC’s Pharmacovigilance and safety monitoring plan for COVID-19 vaccines, Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine would be closely monitored and subject to several activities that apply specifically to COVID-19 vaccines.

”Manufacturers are required to provide monthly safety reports in addition to the regular updates generated by NAFDAC activities. Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine works by preparing the body to defend itself against COVID-19.”

She further explained that unopened vaccine vials can be stored and/or transported frozen at -25°C to – 15°C for up to 24 months and three months when stored at 2 to 8°C.

She also stated that the Ministry of Health and National Primary Health Care Development Agency will announce when the vaccine becomes available for use in Nigeria.

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NLC Alleged That El-Rufai Reverted Minimum Wage to N18,000 

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday alleged that the Kaduna State government plans to infiltrate its protest with thugs.

It said it was misled in praising the Nasir El-Rufai administration for being the first to pay the new N30,000 minimum wage.

NLC, in a statement by its Kaduna State Council Chairman, Ayuba Suleiman, said the state had since reverted to the old wage of N18, 000 for council workers. It said 20,000 civil servants have been receiving half salary of less than N18, 000.

The workers union said the state owed its members several allowances. It condemned threats to arrest NLC President Ayuba Wabba.

“We are calling the attention of the general public to the planned mobilisation of thugs by the state government to discredit our peaceful protest. We urge the people of Kaduna State to be vigilant and stand against this plan.

“We implore the general public to remain calm and peaceful throughout the five-day warning strike.

“We are assuring the Kaduna State workers and the general public of our commitment to maintaining peaceful strike action in their interest,” Suleiman said.

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FACAN Seeks Partnership With Lagos on Ranching

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Ranching - Investorsking

The Federation of Agricultural Commodities Association of Nigeria (FACAN) is seeking partnership with the Lagos State government on the operation of ranches as part of a road map with investment plans that seek to improve animal productivity and production, as well as increase the value addition of key livestock value chains.

Its President, Dr Victor Iyama told the media that the association is examining various aspects of agricultural development such as investment, demand, consumption, gender and social inclusion and is ready to partner with Lagos in driving out livestock-sector investment interventions, to help the state meet its targets by improving productivity and total production in the key livestock value chains of sheep and cow

According to him, the absence of a roadmap to develop the livestock sector had hindered the successful implementation of previous investment plans for the sector.

He said the creation of the master plan would guide livestock-sector investment interventions in improving feed and water resources, health services, industry and factory and promote private sector investment and business environment.

Urging the Lagos government to pursue the establishment of ranches for hire, Iyama reiterated that investors were convinced the efforts would foster public-private partnerships for livestock development.

According to him, private operators will be ready to rent ranches for meat cattle, indicating that the state remains one of the safest places for increasing industries for meat production and milk processing.

Recently, the Lagos State Butchers Association has requested the provision of about 50 hectares of land from the Lagos State Government for ranching and rearing herds of cattle in the state.

Meantime, the Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Absiola Olusanya, said well over 1.8 million herds of cattle and over 1.4 million herds of sheep and goats, were being consumed in Lagos yearly.

Olusanya called on the private sector to partner with it to establish feedlots in the state for cattle rearing and fattening in furtherance of its reforms and sanitization of the red meat value chain, stressing that partnership becomes necessary as it would ensure better production and supply of cattle for consumption in the state.

According to her, the feedlots when operational would help revive and resuscitate cows that might have travelled from far cities such as Sokoto, Jalingo, Bauchi and Jigawa among others where they may have come to Lagos before slaughtering them.

Olusanya added that the feedlot system would also help in fattening the cows before taking them to the slaughter slabs which would improve the quality of beef as well as help butchers and meat sellers to make more profit. “We have been having discussions around the transformation agenda centred on abattoirs, transportation and markets but there is a revised plan to have a more holistic approach to the red meat value chain.

“We are not just focusing on abattoirs alone which are a processing angle, we are starting right from the animal identification and traceability systems, meaning right from the source or point of origination of the cattle.

“That is why we want to establish feedlots in the state so that we can have cattle fattening centres. Having feedlot centres means that the cattle can rest, they can be fattening.”

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