June 30, 2024

[GIST] Oyakhilome, Oke-Osanyitolu, others speak on Christ Embassy church building fire

[GIST] Oyakhilome, Oke-Osanyitolu, others speak on Christ Embassy church building fire

Guardian Nigeria News https://ift.tt/DPWLGih

The Believers LoveWorld Incorporated, also known as Christ Embassy, in Oregun area of Ikeja, Lagos, last week, caught fire in the early hours of Sunday when the President of Believers LoveWorld Incorporated, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome and members of the church were worshipping God at the church’s campground in Ogun State.

Although, journalists were not allowed into the church premises to ascertain the extent of damage, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Lagos State Fire Services, Nigeria Police Force, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Neighbourhood Watch and the Nigerian Red Cross Society, among others were seen earnestly working to put out the inferno.

Meanwhile, the founder of the church, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, has said that the burnt building is a sign of good things to come. He stated this, during a church service held at the headquarters in Ogun State.
He said: “It is the house of God. Alright, it is been burnt down, we will clear out the place, build a better one; a more beautiful one and let the devil link his wounds.”

Fielding questions from newsmen at the scene of the fire outbreak, the Permanent Secretary of LASEMA, Dr. Oluwafemi Damilola Oke-Osanyitolu appealed to the public to desist from any information that is not emanating from reliable sources, saying that LASEMA and other government agencies under the watch of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu are capable of handling emergency situations in the state.

He explained that though the fire was massive, no casualty was recorded. He denied the allegation that the responders were not allowed access to the church premises when the fire outbreak started in the morning at 7:00a.m.

Oke-Osanyitolu said: “Emergency disaster is everyone’s responsibility, and not just the state government or the agencies. You can see that all the key stakeholders are working together. For instance, NEMA, LASEMA, Lagos State Fire Service have put a lot of things in place and the most important thing is that our people need to key in. Look at it, we are fighting fire in this place and people are misinforming the good people of Lagos State. We want the good people of Lagos State to desist from spreading wrong information. We have put a lot of things in place, we have fire hydrants, among others.

“From what I have seen the church has basic fire fighting equipment, and the men were trained to fight any fire incident. The church has fire hydrant and one way or the other, we worked as a team with them, and that is one of the reasons that despite the fact that the fire was massive, it did not spread to other buildings in the area. There was no mortality and so, we are on top of the game. The church cooperated with us and we worked as a team. We looked at things holistically and that is why we were able to have a success story in managing the emergency disaster.”

On if the state would sanction people who do not comply with government rules, he said: “We will get to that enforcement later. However, we are not shy from enforcement, but it has to be gradual. We have started conducting advocacy, sensitising people and trying to enlighten our people. I am sure our people are going to do the needful.”

Head of Research and Rescue Unit of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Lagos Territorial Office, Ibitayo Adenike, confirming that the incident started in the morning hours of Sunday, said: “Although the fire started early in the morning, the exact time was not certain because we started receiving calls at about 7:00a.m. We came and since then we have been working together. The cause of the fire is not yet known, but all the responders are working together and the fire is now under control. To the best of my knowledge no worshipper was in the building and there was no casualty.”

The post Oyakhilome, Oke-Osanyitolu, others speak on Christ Embassy church building fire appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.

June 29, 2024

[GIST] At FUSE Festival, Peekok arts stages Jagunlabi

[GIST] At FUSE Festival, Peekok arts stages Jagunlabi

Guardian Nigeria News https://ift.tt/nfLstjT

Twelve years after its first appearance at the Rose Theatre, Kingston, UK, the play, Jagunlabi, was staged again to educate global youths and help them to understand their purpose in life. The show aimed to inspire and awaken the giant within young people. 

This time, Peekok Youth Arts Initiatives staged the drama at the Arthur Cotterell Theatre (ACT), Kingston Upon Thames, London, on Friday, June 28, 2024. 

According to the initiatives visioner/ founder, Oyetunji Olu- Akinloye, “Jagunlabi will headline as the opening main show of the FUSE International Festival, UK.” He explained, “Jagunlabi (we birthed a warrior) is a full-fledged drama performance with many themes primarily focused on human purpose. 

“In Africa, every child is born with specific and unique purpose. A child’s name often motivates what the future or destiny of the child is beloved to be. Jagunlabi performance will unravel that mystery.”

The play highlights themes of courage, selflessness, determination, eradication of social ills, violence against children and women, and significantly, bravery. 

FUSE International Festival, Olu-Akinloye, observed, is the ideal platform to share and celebrate creative and talented artists from across UK, Nigeria and around the globe. 

The FUSE Festival replaced the International Youth Arts Festival (IYAF), which has taken place every summer since 2009. Over 80 events across film, music, theatre, visual arts take place over the 10 days of the Festival, which is curated and presented by the Charity Creative Youth, UK. 

Jagunlabi is expected to open the FUSE International Festival and further assist to strengthen the different artforms: dance, music, visual art and film show, between the age group 5- 30.

The post At FUSE Festival, Peekok arts stages Jagunlabi appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.

[GIST] Full List: 10 Most Streamed Albums on Spotify

[GIST] Full List: 10 Most Streamed Albums on Spotify

Guardian Nigeria News https://ift.tt/ZTEx5Di

Gone are the days when we used to meticulously organise our CD collection or hunt down the perfect vinyl record to add to our stash. Now, streaming services like Spotify have ushered in a new era of music consumption. An era that is defined by convenience and unlimited access.

With just a few taps, one can explore an infinite library of music. This streaming era, with its explosion in accessibility, has fundamentally changed how we listen to music.

In this article, we shall explore the ten most streamed albums on Spotify. The data in this article are from Kworb, a website that analyses music data from around the world.

Prepare to be surprised by the number of streams some of these albums have. Figures that would have been unimaginable in the pre-streaming era.

1. Un Verano Sin Ti – Bad Bunny

Un Verano Sin Ti. Photo – Apple Music

Streams: 16,830,553,201

Released on May 6, 2022, Un Verano Sin Ti is Bad Bunny’s fifth studio album and his second album to reach number one on the Billboard 200. The album is a mix of Latin trap and reggaeton, with influences from merengue, bachata, and other Latin music genres.

READ ALSO: Full List – Forbes names 50 most influential rappers of all time

2. ÷ – Ed Sheeran

Divide album cover. Photo – Magazine Luiza

Streams: 14,940,750,898
“÷” (pronounced “divide”) is Ed Sheeran’s third studio album and his second album to reach number one in the United States and the United Kingdom. The album features a mix of pop, folk, and hip-hop songs. It also features Sheeran’s signature emotional lyrics.

Additionally, Shape of You, the album’s lead single, became the best-selling song of 2017 worldwide and has been streamed over 3 billion times on Spotify.

3. Starboy – The Weeknd

Starboy album cover. Photo – Apple Music

Streams: 14,404,308,362

Starboy is The Weeknd’s third studio album. It features a mix of R&B, pop, and hip-hop songs, with The Weeknd’s signature dark and atmospheric sound.

The album’s title track, Starboy, has over 2 billion times on Spotify. Interestingly, The Weeknd is now Spotify’s most listened-to artiste with 106.2 million monthly listeners.

4. Hollywood’s Bleeding – Post Malone

Hollywood’s bleeding.

Streams: 12,845,501,217

A true country album, Hollywood’s Bleeding explores the genres of hip-hop, pop, and country in its songs. Additionally, the album’s lead single, Sunflower, is in the animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. It currently has over 3 billion streams on Spotify.

5. SOUR – Olivia Rodrigo

Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR. Photo – Walmart

Streams: 12,615,174,669

Released when Olivia was just 18 years old, SOUR was released as her debut studio album. The album quickly climbed the charts and reached number one on the Billboard 200. The album is a mix of pop, alternative, and punk songs.

Furthermore, Drivers License, the album’s lead single, was a massive hit. It sold over twenty one million copies all over the world.

6. After Hours – The Weeknd

The Weeknd
After hours. Photo – Insidejamarifox

Streams: 12,530,549,140

Another honourable The Weeknd mention, After Hours is his fourth studio album. Considered a dark and gory album, The Weeknd explores themes of addiction, isolation, and heartbreak in it coupled with the tough times that come with fame.

In addition, the album’s lead single, Blinding Lights, is The Weeknd’s biggest hit till today. The song alone has over four billion streams on Spotify.

7. Dua Lipa – Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa deluxe album cover. Photo – Spotify

Streams: 12,457,258,221

Dua Lipa is Dua Lipa’s self-titled debut studio album. It is disco, dance-pop, and electropop album. And it peaked at number three on the UK Albums Chart, with the title song, New Rules reaching number one on the prestigious chart.

8. Future Nostalgia – Dua Lipa

Future Nostalgia. Photo – Spotify

Streams: 12,435,138,445

Another record-breaking album from Dua Lipa, Future Nostalgia is a futuristic pop album. It has nostalgic elements that take one back to 80s pop music, an ode to the album’s name. Don’t Start Now, the album’s lead single, has well over two billion streams.

9. Papercuts – Linkin Park

Spotify most listened to albums
Linkin Park Vinyl. Photo – Del Bravo Record Shop

Streams: 11,923,019,421

Linkin Park released Papercuts, their eighth studio album and the first since the death of lead singer Chester Bennington in 2017, on July 22, 2022. Essentially, the album has elements of alternative rock and nu-metal songs.

The album’s lead single, Lost in the Echo, was released in 2012 and was originally intended to be on the band’s previous album, The Hunting Party.

10. beerbongs & bentleys – Post Malone

beerbongs and bentleys. Photo – MediaMarktSaturn

Streams: 11,834,719,755

Post Malone’s second album on this list, beerbongs and bentleys is a widely commercially successful album. It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200. Impressingly, it sold 461,000 units in its first week.

Rockstar, the album’s lead single featuring 21 Savage, was a massive hit.

The post Full List: 10 Most Streamed Albums on Spotify appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.

June 28, 2024

[GIST] Nigerian students urged to build resilience, prioritise risk management

[GIST] Nigerian students urged to build resilience, prioritise risk management

Guardian Nigeria News https://ift.tt/o0ZzkQe
The Chief Commerical Officer, Airtel Nigeria and partner of I-Scholar Initiative (iSI), Femi Oshinlaja, has urged the 2024 iSI awardees to ensure that they build resilience, prioritise risk management and disaster preparedness to minimise the impact of unexpected events and prioritize collaborations with partners.
This he said at the recently held iSI virtual award event which took place on June 22, 2024.
The not-for-profit organisation with a mission to mentoring and empowering young African students in fulfilling their dreams to pursue graduate studies via access to fully funded scholarships in world class foreign universities has recently released the names of 100 additional Nigerians who will benefit from its annual scholarship program.
Launched in 2019, iSI is a registered charitable organisation in USA and Nigeria and is completely run by volunteers and fully funded by partners.
Speaking on the topic: Sustaining Focus In An Uncertain World, an expert, Oshinlaja admonished the scholars to have a clear vision, stay true to their values, look for ways to improve themselves, don’t overstress while also keeping it simple.
He advised them to prioritise flexibility and adaptability in their journey to greatness and build processes that allow for rapid iteration and adjustments while also embracing new learning and emerging technology that can keep them ahead.
The President of iSI, Victor Ogunmola, expressed gratitude to all stakeholders and donors who have over the years ensured that the vision of the organization stays alive.
He said, “Without them, we can’t do any of what we are doing. So, I won’t be mistaken to say that they are the engine that powers this organisation.”
Ogunmola revealed that over 3,362 applications were received in 2024 and only 100 successful applicants were awarded the scholarship overpowering last year’s record of 70.
He went further to note that in its five years of existence, a total of 8,500 applications were received while 1900 were the successful/eligible application and out of which only 13 percent were awarded, which is because of limited finance.
He seized the opportunity to plead for more partners and collaborators who are interested in partnering with the organisation so as to increase the numbers of applicants that can be accepted in subsequent years.
Victor noted that some of the vision of iSI is to sustain at least ten percent annual increase in scholarship awards, expand and secure sustained sources of funding, increase mentoring capacity, continue process optimization and also expand corporate partnership.
The organisation’s Executive Secretary, Dr. Olufemi Fajolu, noted that the release of the list followed a rigorous selection process coordinated by iSI’s operations Vice President, Mrs. Hanatu Banjoko and the scholarship scheme covers a predetermined amount of graduate school application fees and most importantly, an end-to-end mentoring program.

The post Nigerian students urged to build resilience, prioritise risk management appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.

June 27, 2024

[GIST] NDLEA seeks partnership with Customs, others to curb drug trafficking, abuse

[GIST] NDLEA seeks partnership with Customs, others to curb drug trafficking, abuse

Guardian Nigeria News https://ift.tt/IsdeQUx

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has called for partnership with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and other relevant stakeholders to fight drug trafficking and abuse in the country.

The Apapa Commander of NDLEA, Mr Noah Ndutong, made the call yesterday in Apapa during the grand finale of the 2024 International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

Ndutong said strengthening collaboration is important, especially as smugglers utilise the seaports to bring in hard drugs under false declaration of consignments.

Recall that the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adeniyi, last week, said ongoing collaborative efforts between the NCS and the NDLEA yielded positive results. This came in the interception, within one month, of illicit drugs worth over N4.1 billion imported from Canada and India, at Tin Can Island Port.

According to Ndutong, the theme of this year’s Day, ‘The evidence is clear, invest in prevention’, calls for increased collaboration to tackle the menace.

He said with joint efforts from other stakeholders and sister agencies, the work of NDLEA would be easier.

The NDLEA boss warned that the chances of coming overcoming drug abuse are slim; hence Nigerians should invest more in prevention.

He vowed that the agency would drive drug dealers out of business, adding that hard drugs are a major contributor to crimes and criminality in the country.

Speaking earlier, the Apapa Area Commander of the NCS, Babatunde Olomu, noted that drug abuse hinders national development.

He assured that the command was on same page with NDLEA and other stakeholders in the fight against drug abuse in the country, which had been evident in massive seizures at the ports.

He said drug abuse fuels insecurity and urged all agencies and stakeholders to fight the menace. He also called for all hands to be on deck to achieve total elimination of the menace.

The post NDLEA seeks partnership with Customs, others to curb drug trafficking, abuse appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.

[GIST] Gains in 35 stocks lift market capitalisation by N95 billion

[GIST] Gains in 35 stocks lift market capitalisation by N95 billion

Guardian Nigeria News https://ift.tt/IsdeQUx

The domestic equities market reversed losses to reopen upbeat, yesterday, as market capitalisation appreciated by N95 billion, buoyed by gains in Unilever Nigeria Plc and 34 others.

At the close of transactions, the all-share index (ASI) gained 167.84 points, representing a gain of 0.17 per cent to close at 99,385.44 points.

Also, market capitalisation rose by N95 billion to close at N56.221 trillion.

The upturn was driven by price depreciation in large and medium capitalised stocks amongst which are Unilever Nigeria, Oando, FBN Holdings (FBNH), CWG and Dangote Sugar Refinery.

On what will shape the market in the next trading session, analysts at Vetiva Dealings and Brokerage said: “Investors have taken a ‘wait-and-see’ approach to the market, as bargain-hunting sentiment dictates activity throughout this week. We expect to see a similar session in the market tomorrow, as investors continue to favor fundamentally sound names.”

As measured by market breadth, market sentiment was positive, as 35 stocks gained relative to 13 losers. FTN Cocoa Processors, Oando and CWG emerged the highest price gainer of 10 per cent each to close at N1.54 kobo, N13.75 kobo and 60 kobo, respectively.

C & I Leasing followed with a gain of 9.33 per cent to close at N3.28 kobo, while Veritas Kapital Assurance advanced by 9.09 per cent to close at 96 kobo.

On the other side, Secure Electronic Technology led others on the losers’ chart with 10 per cent to close at 54 kobo. Cornerstone Insurance followed with a decline of 8.64 per cent to close at N2.01, kobo while Royal Exchange shed 7.58 per cent to close at 61 kobo.

Tantalizer lost 4.17 per cent to close at 46 kobo, while Universal Insurance depreciated by 2.78 per cent to close at 35 kobo.

The total volume of trades dipped by 23.6 per cent to 276.364 million units, valued at N4.120 billion, and exchanged in 7,597 deals.

Transactions in the shares of Access Holdings led the activity with 45.336 million shares worth N859.399 million. AIICO Insurance followed with account of 23.955 million shares valued at N22.906 million, while Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) traded 13.850 million shares valued at N608.119 million.

Fidelity Bank traded 13.231 million shares worth N133.746 million, while Skyway Aviation Handling Company traded 12.000 million shares worth N244.804 million.

The post Gains in 35 stocks lift market capitalisation by N95 billion appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.

[GIST] Fubara links Rivers explosion to pro-Wike protesters

[GIST] Fubara links Rivers explosion to pro-Wike protesters

Guardian Nigeria News https://ift.tt/IsdeQUx

Says it was a ploy to instigate state of emergency

Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara, has accused supporters of the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, for the failed attempt in bombing a five-star hotel, the Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt.

The governor said that the move was a deliberate ploy to strengthen the call for a state of emergency by haters who want to undermine the state to achieve their evil plans.

Fubara stated this when a delegation of the Senate Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation led by its chairman, Orji Uzor Kalu, paid him a courtesy visit in  the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday.

The governor, at the meeting, also clarified that he is not fighting anybody, but defending the state against predators, as well as protecting supporters of the interest of the state against those who feel that they own the life of others.

Fubara explained that some youths were hired to engage in a protest to demand for tenure extension of former local council chairmen who have served out their statutory three-year tenure.

The governor said that the protesters and their sponsors were aware that some members of the National Assembly were guests at the Hotel Presidential, which is why they attempted to detonate an explosive device near the facility to give reason to support the call for state of emergency when the matter is raised at plenary but they failed.

He said: “As a matter of fact, let me tell you, I know everything that is happening. Yesterday (Tuesday), they (protesters) were aware that you are in the state. So, there was an attempt to create serious problem.

“The idea was that as you were hearing state of emergency, when you return to have your sitting tomorrow, somebody who is from this state, will start the debate. He will now raise issue of state of emergency, and say that after all, distinguished colleagues saw it happen.”

In his address, Uzor Kalu said that they were in the state to carry out oversight duties on some projects under their purview.

The Senator, representing Abia North Senatorial District, commended Fubara for his love for peace, determination to offer quality governance and his ability to keep pace with the right climate to engender economic growth to all residents in the state.

The post Fubara links Rivers explosion to pro-Wike protesters appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.

June 26, 2024

[GIST] Rivers community protests neglect of Train-7 project

[GIST] Rivers community protests neglect of Train-7 project

Guardian Nigeria News https://ift.tt/Hpw2bsv

Members of Finima community in Bonny Local Council of Rivers State, yesterday, defied heavy rains, and at about 3:00 a.m., shut down the operations of Saipem, Chiyoda and Daewoo (SCD) over alleged neglect of the multi-billion dollar Train-7 project embarked upon by the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas Limited (NLNG).

Finima is the host community of the NLNG and its Train-7 project which is being constructed by the Saipem, Chiyoda and Daewoo JV. The $4.3 billion project, which was flagged off in 2021 by the Federal Government, is to said to have reached 67 per cent completion.

It is expected to increase NLNG’s gas production capacity by 35 per cent. The angry protesters, who lamented that they gave all they had (land) for the NLNG Train-7 project, regretted that it has been abandoned.

They demanded inclusivity, full implementation of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act 2010, Community Content Guideline 2017, respect for the leadership of Finima, and display of vendors’ list approved for the community.

Meanwhile, in a reaction, the Acting General Manager (External Relations and Sustainable Development), Charles Epelle, said: “NLNG is aware that engagements to resolve the impasse amicably between counterparties are underway. NLNG is committed to inclusiveness in engaging with its esteemed stakeholders and calls for a peaceful resolution to perceived grievances.”

The protesters, who used red clothes and palm fronds to lock the entrance to the firm, vowed to occupy the scene until their requests are met.

Chairman of Finima Youth Congress, Shedrack Brown, lamented that several efforts by the community to have a dialogue with the JV companies over concerns were ignored.

He said: “Today, the entirety of Finima community has come out to express its displeasure over the neglect of Saipem/Daewoo; that is the Train-7 contractors who over time have decided not to have dealings with Finima.

“You would recall that in 2021, there was a ground breaking for the construction of LNG Train-7 Project, and NLNG in its wisdom brought the entire team of this project to Finima community for identification and engagement. But ever since that was done, till date, the team of SDJV has refused to have any dealings with Finima community.”

The youth leader accused the companies of refusing to turn up for meetings with the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Tunji Disu, who had invited all parties for a dialogue. He said the community had no choice but to resort to self help through the protest.

Also, a community leader, Warisenibo Igbiwari Brown, lamented the neglect of the community by the companies. Brown said: “We do not have any representative here and their project is going on. As if that is not enough, we sent them some list of personnel for them to absorb, they ignored us, they refused to employ those persons.”

Secretary of Finima community women, Mrs Linda Brown and the General Secretary, Finima Youth Congress, Strong Ezekiel, both expressed displeasure at the alleged marginalisation of the community.

The post Rivers community protests neglect of Train-7 project appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.

[GIST] Zacch Adedeji’s principles of taxation: Pathway to economic growth

[GIST] Zacch Adedeji’s principles of taxation: Pathway to economic growth

Guardian Nigeria News https://ift.tt/Hpw2bsv

SIR: Since the assumption of Zacch Adedeji to office as the executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), I have followed keenly his enunciation of his principles of taxation, which, to my mind, can translate to a pathway to Nigeria’s economic growth. To be sure, Adedeji’s principles of taxation embody some of the normative principles of taxation which are certainty, flexibility, equity, simplicity, and utmost good faith.

At every given forum, Adedeji does not fail to reify his wholesome principles of taxation. He is the one to say that, “we will tax the fruit, not the seed; we will tax prosperity, not poverty.” These are statements of certainty and equity, which are altogether refreshing and reassuring. The reassurance in his statements is underlined by his insistence that his tax principles are focused on encouraging taxpayers to grow their investments or income so that they can yield enough taxable dividends or profits.

In his most philosophical best, he compares taxpayers to gardeners and the taxman as one who waters the garden. He says it is the duty of the government to create a conducive environment for taxpayers and their businesses to thrive in the hope that once they have a fulsome yield, they will gladly pay their taxes. That is why he says the taxman is not aiming to tax poverty but prosperity. Adedeji’s principles of taxation anticipate economic boom, and discourage tax hikes in times of economic depression. The flexibility principle provides that the amount of tax charged should not be the same all year round; and, that tax rates should be lowered for other social benefits during economic boom, while during economic depression tax rates may be raised to raise maximum funds for developmental projects.

Adedeji’s taxation principle does not support tax hikes that will become a burden on the taxpayers or the citizenry. Thus, it is obvious that Adedeji’s taxation principle takes cognizance of the fact that taxation is the lifebuoy of the economy, it is the fecund source of economic development. It follows then that when taxes are collected and properly utilised in grooming businesses, empowering citizens through access to low interest loans and grants, diversification of business activities like the creation of value chains, and provision of critical social amenities, there will be enough income in the pool to tax. In other words, there will be enough fruit from which to pick.

Recently, the Federal Government took the right step in the right direction by establishing the Consumer Credit Scheme which guarantees access to loans facility for the citizenry to grow their business activities. The logic here is that once there is a boom in economic activities in the informal sector of the economy, there will be a corresponding widening of the tax net without complaint from the taxpaying community. It is this veritable connection between taxation and economic growth that Adedeji’s principles of taxation seek to highlight, making them the pathway to Nigeria’s economic growth.

In concrete terms, Adedeji’s unwavering commitment to expounding his taxation principles has already raked in more than N3 trillion in tax revenue in the first quarter of 2024 for the three tiers of government in aid of the execution of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

In addition to raising this much revenue, Adedeji has also reorganised the structure of the service to reflect his taxation principle of customer-centricity. He believes that taxpayers should form the focal point of the operations of the Service, and in that regard, they be treated with due diligence.

Presently, the Service is structured based on the category of taxpayers: Large Taxpayers Group, Medium Taxpayers Group, and Small Taxpayers Group; as well as five other service groups, viz, Corporate Services Group, People Services Group, Support Services Group, Compliance and Enforcement Support Group, and the Special Duties.

This taxpayers-based operational categorisation is purposely to simplify tax payment processes, which is made moreso by the introduction of the various automation platforms. And so, it is always both refreshing and reassuring to listen to Adedeji marshals his thoughts around the issue of making taxation the pivot of national development. He often couches his statements in literal parallelism, metaphor and humour. This rare sagely gift sets him apart as a conscientious taxman. Beneath his jocular mien lies a determination to set Nigeria’s fiscal trajectory and tax system on the pathway of sustainable economic growth. 

Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad, PhD, director of Communications and Liaison Department, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Abuja.

The post Zacch Adedeji’s principles of taxation: Pathway to economic growth appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.

June 25, 2024

[GIST] N30tr Ways & Means probe on course, Senate declares

[GIST] N30tr Ways & Means probe on course, Senate declares

Guardian Nigeria News https://ift.tt/kNeFuUZ

The Senate ad hoc committee investigating the N30 trillion Ways and Means facility expended by Buhari between 2015 and 2023 has declared that it is fully on course.

Chairman of the Senate committee, Isah Jibrin (APC, Kogi East), gave the insight through a statement he signed refuting an online report alleging that the investigation was in limbo.

The chairman, in his rebuttal, attached a letter of reminder to the Office of Accountant General for the Federation requiring vital information for thoroughness of the probe.

Jibrin, who also chairs the Senate Committee on Customs and Excise Duties, explained in the statement that though the ad hoc committee was given six weeks, when inaugurated in March, to carry out the exercise and report back to the Senate, thoroughness and diligence required for the sensitive national assignment made the committee to exceed the time.

“The essence of an investigation is to come up with factual findings and not just roll a report within the specified time frame. Investigation on the N30 trillion Ways and Means is on course and not in any way in limbo as insinuated by an online platform.

“Some of the required findings have been made and are still being made as clearly shown by a recent letter of reminder to the Office of Accountant General of the Federation,” he said.

Ways and Means is a loan facility through which the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) finances federal budget shortfalls. This way of financing government deficits usually results in macroeconomic instability, leading to inflation and high exchange rates because of the excess liquidity injected into the economy.

The CBN law limits advances under Ways and Means to five per cent of the previous year’s revenue. But this has been mostly breached over the years.

To remedy the situation, CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, declared in February that the bank would no longer grant Ways and Means advances to the government “until all outstanding debts are refunded”.

The post N30tr Ways & Means probe on course, Senate declares appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.

[GIST] Ex-APC chieftain, Princewill worries over political unrest in Rivers

[GIST] Ex-APC chieftain, Princewill worries over political unrest in Rivers

Guardian Nigeria News https://ift.tt/2Fn6H4A
Tonye Princewill
A former chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC) and business mogul, Prince Tonye Princewill, has expressed worry over ongoing political unrest in Rivers State. He has, therefore, canvassed for peace to attract the needed investment that will drive socio-economic growth in the state.
Princewill lamented that the narratives about the oil-rich Rivers within the international community is negative and may have affected investments.
Princewill spoke yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, insisting that a secured and peaceful environment was necessarily to enable investors to come in and do business.
Recall that the state in a renewed political crisis sequel to controversies on Local Government tenure extension has witnessed death of three persons, business activities also were affected.
 The feud is between Governor Siminalayi Fubara, outgone council chairmen and State Assembly lawmakers loyal to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike.
Princewill disclosed that he was having challenges to convince his partners that Rivers is safe for investments and urged all parties involved in the simmering crisis to give peace a chance.
He said: I have built quite number of partnerships, but I think one of the prominent partnerships that I have built is the American Hospital Dubai. American Hospital Dubai is one of the top hospitals in Dubai and they want to come into Africa. I am their partner in sub-saharan Africa, and it is my responsibility to take them to Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Angola etc”.
He said, there are moves to bring the investors to Rivers but warned that if the unrest continues, it may affect the moves.
Princewill stated that quality investments will create employment, curb youths’ restiveness and also improve the economy.
“If the investors come, they are going to train our people, doctors and nurses. The have already told me to give them 20 names of nurses and doctors to start training immediately.
“But I said no, when you open the office and we see our relationships, then, we will see who to send. I am not the kind of person who would put my brothers’ names and my sisters’ names to send. So, they are going to build capacity, they are going to help us.
“You see, Dubai used to go to London for treatment, but now, Londoners come to Dubai for treatment. We need to do the same thing here,” he added.

The post Ex-APC chieftain, Princewill worries over political unrest in Rivers appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.

June 24, 2024

[GIST] Ondo guber poll: APC lifts ban on suspended members

[GIST] Ondo guber poll: APC lifts ban on suspended members

Guardian Nigeria News https://ift.tt/SrFtLpW

• Seeks unity ahead of election
• Says reconciliation of Aiyedatiwa, Oke good omen ahead of election

The Ondo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that the suspension placed on members of the party involved in alleged anti-party activities has been lifted.

Chairman of the party in the state, Ade Adetimehin, while stating that the lifting of the suspension takes immediate effect, said that the move was taken for the party to be indivisible and united ahead of the November 16 governorship election in the state.

Adetimehin, who spoke, at the weekend, in Akure, the state capital, urged the affected party members to shun anti-party activities and join forces with the party in preparation for the election.

Chairman of the party, while assuring residents of the state that the APC administration is ever-ready to tackle the challenges facing the state and country at large, described the recent reconciliation between Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa and Olusola Oke (SAN) as one of the great achievements recorded in the political history of the party.

Adetimehin, who hailed Oke for his maturity, emphasised that the erstwhile APC aspirant’s action signalled his genuine love for the party, particularly his resolve to collapse his political structure for the progress of APC in the state.

He, however, assured supporters of Oke of unbiased treatment, saying that they are all APC members.

He also urged other aggrieved party members and aspirants to emulate Oke by putting the party above their interests, saying that such a move would solidify and unify the party.

It would be recalled that some aggrieved aspirants of the party who kicked against the April 20 governorship primaries, which produced Governor Aiyedatiwa as the standard-bearer of the party, were suspended by their various wards.

Also, no fewer than 61 members of the party in Akoko South-West and Akoko South-East local councils of the state were suspended last year by the party, following their alleged involvement in the woeful performance of the party during the general elections in 2023.

The post Ondo guber poll: APC lifts ban on suspended members appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.

[GIST] College holds public lecture on AI to mark anniversary

[GIST] College holds public lecture on AI to mark anniversary

Guardian Nigeria News https://ift.tt/SrFtLpW

Bridge House College (BHC) has set plans in motion to host a public lecture as part of activities to mark its 20th anniversary.

In a statement by its Executive Director, Foluke AbdulRazaq, the public lecture on Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be held on Tuesday, June 25, 2024, alongside a prize-giving ceremony to honour academic excellence.

According to her, the event, with the theme, “Artificial Intelligence and Education- Opportunities and Challenges,” will x-ray the imperatives of AI in the new global knowledge economy.

The event will also feature the Chief Executive Officer of Future Software Resources Limited, Nkemdilim Uwaje Begho, as one of the guest speakers.

Begho is a seasoned Information Technology (IT) professional with over 15 years of industry experience in Africa’s largest emerging economy. She has a deep purpose and focus on bridging the digital divide and transforming Africa by harnessing the benefits of digital technology.

AbdulRazaq saidthat the college’s vision is to provide the best platform for students to access the finest institutions globally and locally.

“The college aims to provide quality education and is committed to producing graduates who are dedicated professionals, entrepreneurs, and employers of labour capable of handling the country’s challenges and finding solutions to global issues.

“We’re incredibly proud of our 20-year journey and the accomplishments we have made. This anniversary logo represents our commitment to embracing emerging trends, fostering continued innovation, customer satisfaction, community engagement, and providing exceptional value to our partners and stakeholders.

Chairperson of the organising committee, Rosemary Dokun, listed the school’s accomplishments as consistent excellent results in Cambridge Assessment International Education Examinations over the years, first position in the United States (U.S.) Consulate International Education Week Competition, 2023; Winner of APEN 2023 Debate Competition, Beacon of Safety Status awards for Lagos State 2023/2024, among others.

The post College holds public lecture on AI to mark anniversary appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.

[GIST] Salpha Energy secures £25,000 Ashden Award grant to boost production, transition to clean power

[GIST] Salpha Energy secures £25,000 Ashden Award grant to boost production, transition to clean power

Guardian Nigeria News https://ift.tt/lJk1rSI

Salpha Energy, a provider of solar energy solutions in Nigeria, has been awarded a £25,000 grant from the prestigious Ashden Awards, supported by the department for Energy Security and Net zero, which aims to support the company’s mission to enhance the production of African-made solar systems and direct current (DC) appliances, facilitating Africa’s transition to clean and sustainable power.

The Ashden Awards annually highlight inclusive climate solutions that create a fairer world, lower emissions, and prepare communities for climate threats. The winners of the 2024 Ashden Awards were revealed during London Climate Action Week in Europe.

The Ashden Awards revealed Salpha Energy as one of the seven winners at the 2024 awards, held at the Institution of Engineering and Technology in London.

According to Salpha Energy, the £25,000 grant will support the company in scaling up their work by providing publicity, connecting with funders, investors, and leaders in the climate sector.

The company mentioned that as a producer of made-in-Africa solar systems and DC appliances, they help households and businesses transition to clean power by providing customers with access to affordable loans and financing. Since its inception, the company has empowered over 1.5 million people with reliable solar energy, installed more than 6.7 GWh of solar capacity, and reduced carbon emissions by over 4 million tons.

Founder and CEO of Salpha Energy, Sandra Chukwudozie, mentioned that with a production capacity of 300,000 systems per year from its assembly facility, Salpha has created over 1,050 direct and indirect jobs. The company is also pioneering gender inclusivity by attracting women to technical roles and providing training and mentorship, thereby promoting sustainable energy solutions and economic empowerment.

“Our selection as a finalist in the Ashden Awards is a testament to our unwavering commitment to transforming lives through energy freedom, having impacted over 1,500,000 people across communities in Nigeria and beyond, we are proud of the significant strides we’ve made in driving positive change,” she said.

Ashden CEO, Dr. Ashok Sinha stated that more than 500 organisations applied for the 2024 Ashden Awards. Salpha Energy was one of just two finalists in the Global South winners and categories, securing its place after a rigorous assessment and judging process that included input from sector experts, including academics, business leaders, investors, and journalists.

 “This year’s Ashden Award winners are worthy champions. They’re tackling the biggest climate challenges, in ways that also create important benefits like new green jobs and fairer societies. Their inclusive approach is key to their success. The 2024 winners have come through a rigorous assessment process, which confirmed their immense impact and their potential to do even more in the future. Passion, ambition: they’ve got it all. So now we urge investors, funders, policymakers and climate sector leaders to back and work with these trailblazers,” Sinha said.

The post Salpha Energy secures £25,000 Ashden Award grant to boost production, transition to clean power appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.

[GIST] Germany survive Euro 2024 scare as Hungarian star suffers horror injury

[GIST] Germany survive Euro 2024 scare as Hungarian star suffers horror injury

Guardian Nigeria News https://ift.tt/SrFtLpW

Germany survived a scare to finish top of Group A at Euro 2024 as Niclas Fuellkrug’s stoppage-time goal rescued a 1-1 draw against Switzerland, while Scotland were eliminated after a last-gasp 1-0 defeat against Hungary whose striker Barnabas Varga suffered a sickening injury.

Dan Ndoye’s first-half goal in Frankfurt had put Switzerland on course to climb above hosts Germany into top spot.

But Fuellkrug’s late header ensured Julian Nagelsmann’s side advanced to the last 16 in pole position with seven points.

The Germans, who last won the Euros in 1996, will take on the Group C runners-up — currently slated to be Denmark — in the last 16.

Denmark, two points behind leaders England, play Serbia in their last group game on Tuesday.

Germany are also on track for a potential quarter-final clash with Spain, who have been among the best teams at the tournament so far.

Switzerland, who reached the quarter-finals at the last Euros in 2021, have now made the knockout stage in six successive major tournaments.

As Group A runners-up with five points, the Swiss will face the second-placed team in Group B in the last 16.

Although Germany were already through to the last 16 after beating Scotland and Hungary, Nagelsmann opted against resting his stars as he named an unchanged team for a third successive game.

Switzerland took a shock lead in the 28th minute as Ndoye met Remo Freuler’s cross with a close-range volley that flashed past Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Ndoye’s first international goal was made in Bologna as both he and Freuler played for the Serie A club last season.

Adding to Germany’s problems, Jonathan Tah was booked, earning the centre-back a ban for the first knockout game.

Germany dominated possession but Ilkay Gundogan scuffed wide with the goal at his mercy after Yann Sommer parried Jamal Musiala’s stinging strike into the midfielder’s path.

Their pressure was finally rewarded in stoppage-time when Fuellkrug rose highest to power his header into the top corner.

– Scotland misery –

In Stuttgart, Scotland were unable to secure the victory that would likely have taken them into the knockout stage of a major tournament for the first time.

In 11 previous appearances at major competitions — eight World Cups and three European Championships — Scotland had bowed out at the group stage.

Once again, they will fly home early after taking just one point from their three matches.

Steve Clarke’s team, who lost to Germany and drew with Switzerland in their first two games, were sunk by a goal 10 minutes into stoppage-time from Kevin Csoboth, whose clinical finish capped a rapid raid from the Hungarians.

Hungary may not secure a last 16 berth despite their victory as they have only three points from their three games.

The four third-placed teams with the best records from the six groups will move into the last 16.

Hungary’s win came at a cost as Varga was stretchered off after a sickening collision.

Varga collapsed to the pitch and was struggling to move after chasing a long cross into the area as Scotland goalkeeper Angus Gunn came to collect the ball.

After a long delay, medics took the 29-year-old from the pitch while a sheet was draped around the stretcher.

Hungary captain Dominik Szoboszlai appeared to be in tears as he consoled his stricken teammate.

Varga was immediately taken to hospital after the incident where he was said to be conscious and talking.

“The condition of Barnabas Varga is stable,” the Hungarian Football Federation (MLSZ) wrote on X.

“The Hungarian national team player is currently in one of the hospitals in Stuttgart. We will inform you immediately if there is any news on his status.”

In Group B on Monday, Italy take on Croatia, while Spain, already qualified in first place, face Albania.

Italy are second in the group with three points, while Croatia and Albania both have one point.

The post Germany survive Euro 2024 scare as Hungarian star suffers horror injury appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.

June 23, 2024

[GIST] 295 PLWDs to get free medical care in Delta

[GIST] 295 PLWDs to get free medical care in Delta

Guardian Nigeria News https://ift.tt/xSTm1PE

The Director General/ Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Delta State Contributory Health Commission (DSCHC), Dr. Isaac Akpoveta, at the weekend, adopted and enrolled no fewer than 295 Persons Living With Disabilities (PLWDs) for the State Health Insurance Scheme.

Akpoveta bought the vulnerable’s Insurance Scheme at the premium rate of N7,000 per person, for free meditations.

He said the gesture was to enable them receive quality healthcare services from any healthcare facility of their choice for one year across the State, and be protected from financial hazards of high cost of medical care at this trying period.

He said the commission was poised to surely enrich their lives in line with the saying “good health is better than wealth”.

Akpoveta said through initiatives like the Indigent Enrollee Adoption Initiatives, the Commission strove to break down barriers to create a more inclusive healthcare system that caters for the diverse needs of the people, especially the vulnerable.

While acknowledging the unique challenges faced by PLWD, he declared: “It is the collective responsibility of all citizens to assist in challenging such barriers for the common good of the vulnerable in the society”.

Responding, Chairman, National Association of PLWD, Ernest Igbozor, applauded the commission for the kind gesture, and called on the beneficiaries to be prayerful to get more dividends from the scheme.

The post 295 PLWDs to get free medical care in Delta appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.

June 22, 2024

[GIST] MCSN commences operations in Abuja

[GIST] MCSN commences operations in Abuja

Guardian Nigeria News https://ift.tt/GJ3cTlj

In line with its planned expansion programme, the Musical Copyright Society Nigeria Ltd/Gte (MCSN) has commenced operations in Abuja. The new office is to take care of the interest of music creators and consumers in the capital territory and the surrounding states.

The office commenced operations with an intensive five day induction course for the staffs in the capital city on June 4.The one week induction course was handled by experienced experts in copyright law and administration to prepare the staffs for their new assignment of copyright administration.
Other offices are slated to be opened in Ibadan, Kano and Kaduna later in the year.

Commenting on the commencement of business in the Abuja office, the CEO of MCSN, Mayo Ayilaran, said it was the determination of the management to cover the whole Federation so that creators and consumers of music will have the services of the Society at their door steps whenever they need its services.

The post MCSN commences operations in Abuja appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.

[GIST] NFIU raises concern over €36b total fraudulent petitions

[GIST] NFIU raises concern over €36b total fraudulent petitions

Guardian Nigeria News https://ift.tt/GJ3cTlj

The Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has expressed concern over suspected fraudulent petitions before the body involving individuals and entities to the tune of over €36 billion.

In an advisory on fraudulent petitions involving the tracing and recovery of electronic wire transfers from foreign banks into accounts in Nigeria banks, the NFIU stated that it observed that most of the funds were transferred from top financial institutions in Europe.
The NFIU accused some law firms of accepting briefs relating to tracing and recovery of huge sums of money wired via the SWIFT Network from entities and individuals (clients) and immediately swinging into action without due diligence in authentication and validation of documents received from such clients. 
 “Our findings suggest that deceptive fraudulent petitions involving the tracing and recovery of funds allegedly transferred from foreign banks to Nigerian banks are becoming a recurrent threat to not only the targeted victims but also financial institutions, Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) and other government agencies.
“Financial institutions and the general public are advised to be vigilant and adopt recommendations that will help to further safeguard important documents from being easily accessible to prevent their use as a backup for such petitions,” the NFIU stated.

The body noted that it has never received requests from counterpart FIUs seeking information on international wire transfers in large sums conducted by foreign investors from other jurisdictions but held up in a Nigerian bank. It stated that most of the entities are briefcase companies, as they do not maintain operating business offices in the country. 
“This is probably due to the absence of known or existing business track record,” it said.  The NFIU noted that queries conducted on its database revealed that the involved persons/entities usually have no record of large transactions conducted in the past (i.e. transactions above N5, 000,000,00 and N10, 000,000.00 for individuals and entities respectively).
It further disclosed that the acknowledged copies of letters written to the entities’ local banks, the CBN and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice were usually done to not only give credibility to the transactions but also portray them as legitimate transactions geared towards supporting the Nigerian economy.
Noting that most of the organisations’ supporting documents were forged, it maintained that open source search revealed various websites where some contract agreements were found including the passport photographs of alleged business partners.
The NFIU advised the public to exercise some level of skepticism when dealing with telegraphic transfer documents from major European banks as nearly all frivolous claims emanate from the same jurisdictions and banks abroad.
The body stated that relevant LEAs should, on their part, take steps to effectively address the problem of fraudulent telex copies by ensuring the prompt prosecution and sanctioning of offenders to serve as deterrent.
It also noted that there is a need for the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to sensitise its members on the importance of verifying and authenticating documents received from clients before taking action.


The post NFIU raises concern over €36b total fraudulent petitions appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.

June 21, 2024

[GIST] Public debt hits N121.67tr as FG moves to check revenue loss

[GIST] Public debt hits N121.67tr as FG moves to check revenue loss

Guardian Nigeria News https://ift.tt/Y4BMPt2

Debt servicing to gulp 34% of earnings in three years
Nigeria’s public debt has risen to N121.67 trillion (approximately $91.46 billion) as of March 31, 2024, just as the Federal Government is making efforts to block revenue loss.
The Debt Management Office (DMO) said the country’s public debt was approximately N97 trillion in December 2023.
However, as concerns continue to mount on the debt profile, a review of the country’s Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) shows that Africa’s most populous black nation plans to spend N29.2 trillion on debt servicing between 2024 and 2026, about 34 per cent of proposed earning in the three years.

The recent loans from the World Bank, as well as borrowed funds by some state governments, are partly responsible for the hike in the national debt stock.
Last year, Nigeria secured $750 million loan from the World Bank for infrastructural development in its power sector, while in June 2023, another $500 million loan was approved to scale up the Nigeria for Women Programme.
In September 2023, the Breton Woods institution granted a $700 million loan for the empowerment of adolescent girls.
There is also a $2.7 billion loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for economic and budget support, as well as a $750 million loan contingent on the reintroduction of previously suspended taxes and $500 million loan to address challenges faced by Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, hosted a stakeholder engagement on the implementation of revenue assurance and central disbursement solutions for Federal Government Ministries, Agencies (MDAs) and Government-owned Enterprises (GoEs).
The finance ministry stated that the deployment of a central revenue system was to enhance financial transparency and accountability concerning direct payments to beneficiaries and the direct deduction of what is due to the Federal Government.
It added: “Once implemented, the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) and non-GIFMIS platforms will monitor revenue generation and provide a consolidated dashboard of the revenue situation for all GoEs.”
Participants at the meeting included SA to the President on Energy, SA to the President on ICT, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) and Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS).
Previous governments could only access real-time updates of revenue into the Treasury Single Account (TSA), when MDAs credit the TSA after their ‘supposed deductions’.
Now, beyond real-time updates of accretion into a central account (directly and not through MDAs), the government can also monitor disbursement to MDAs as deductions and possibly expenditures.

THE MTEF review shows that in 2024, the country plans to service debts with N8.2 trillion, N10 trillion in 2025 and N11 trillion in 2026.

This means in the next three years, N29.2 trillion is planned to be spent on debt servicing by the government.
In contrast, the country plans to spend N27 trillion in 2024, N27 trillion in 2025 and N29 trillion in 2026, making N83 trillion expenditure in the period under review.
By implication, Nigeria plans to spend 34 per cent or N1.3 out of every N4 it plans to earn in the next three years on debt servicing.
In a related development, the country hopes to earn N53.5 trillion as revenue between 2024 and 2026 – N18.3 trillion in 2024, N17.3 trillion in 2025 and N17.9 trillion in 2026.
This would mean that 54 per cent of the total revenue of the country will be spent on debt servicing between 2024 and 2026, according to the MTEF data published by the budget office of the federation.

The post Public debt hits N121.67tr as FG moves to check revenue loss appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.