Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s handover of the All Progressives Congress’ campaign to the party’s national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has asked the President not to use this as “an excuse” to be absent from the presidential debate.
The presidential debate is organised by the Nigeria Election Debate Group and is slated for January 19, 2019.
￼President Buhari had, on Monday, handed over his party’s campaign for next month’s elections to Tinubu, saying he did not want to lead the campaign because he did not want governance to suffer because of the elections.
Ordinarily, the President, who is the chairman of the APC Campaign Council, ought to lead his party’s campaign – supported by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Tinubu, who are both the council’s co-chairmen.
￼However, in an interview, the spokesperson for the Atiku Campaign Organisation, Mr. Segun Sowunmi, said it was sad that whereas other presidential candidates were busy campaigning and wanting to be questioned by the people, President Buhari was boycotting campaign because he had nothing to campaign for.
Sowunmi said the development also showed that the President did not have the rigour it takes to campaign and govern the country.
￼He said, “President Buhari has only attended one campaign, which was the one held in Uyo (Akwa Ibom State capital). He is pushing people ahead to campaign for him because his chickens have come home to roost.
“It proves what we’ve been trying to say before that Buhari doesn’t have the energy and rigour to campaign.
￼“If he is giving someone else the task of leading his campaign, he could have as well given his presidential ticket to someone who has the energy.
“He should not use this as an excuse to be absent from the presidential debate.
“Nigerians want someone they can question and someone who is willing to listen to them. So, he (Buhari) should take charge of his own campaign.”
Sowunmi said boycotting campaign was the same thing as boycotting governance, asking President Buhari to take up his responsibility.
“His excuse that he doesn’t want governance to suffer is not tenable. In the United States, United Kingdom, France and other great countries, campaign is part of governance because it is an avenue to interact with your people. Hence, Buhari should not hand over his campaign to someone else.
“In the first place, if he had organised the system to be running smoothly, he would not have given this excuse,” Sowunmi added. (Punch)
The Nigerian Army on Monday explained why its personnel invaded the offices of Daily Trust Newspapers in Maiduguri, Abuja, Lagos and Kaduna on Sunday.
The spokesperson of the Army, Sani Usman, a brigadier general, in a statement said, “Soldiers of the Nigerian Army along with elements of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies were indeed at Abuja and Maiduguri offices of the publishing company to invite the staff of the company over its lead story on Sunday Trust publication.”
Mr Usman said the story, “divulged classified military information, thus undermining national security.”
The Army spokesperson accused the newspaper of disclosing details of planned military operations against Boko Haram terrorists.
“The disclosure of classified security information amounts to a breach of national security and run contrary to Sections 1 and 2 of the Official Secrets Act,” he said.
He also said the story gave the Boko Haram sect prior notice of the Army’s plans while also alerting it to prepare against the Nigerian military.
Mr Usman said the publication sabotaged the planned operation and put the lives of troops in imminent and clear danger.
“We would like to state that the invitation of those responsible for divulging military plans was done with the best of intention in order to make them realise the import of such acts to our national security,” he said.
“We therefore advice all, particularly journalists, not to worry but engage in their responsive reportage and to be professional as the Nigerian Army has no intention of muzzling the press or jeopardising press freedom.
“We however, wish to enjoin further that they should eschew jeopardizing national security in their reportage. We would not tolerate situation where a publication would consistently side with terrorists and undermine our national institutions.”
“We would like to further assure that the invitation is for further investigation and if need be, all those culpable of jeopardising operations security will be prosecuted by the relevant law enforcement agency,” he said.
DAILY TRUST speaks on military siege on newspaper
Shortly before the statement by the army, the management of Daily Trust Newspapers had given details of how armed soldiers laid siege on the company’s corporate headquarters and regional offices in Maiduguri and Lagos.
The CEO and Editor-in-Chief if the paper, Mannir Dan Ali issued the statement Sunday evening.
Read the full statement below:
Military invades Daily Trust, arrests journalists,Impound computers
For 4 Hours on Sunday, January 6th 2019, Armed Soldiers who came in 5 vehicles occupied the head office of Media Trust Limited, publishers of the Daily Trust titles sending away journalists and other staff.
Before the siege was called off at about 9.30 pm, the soldiers has ransacked the newsroom and carted away dozens of computers and effectively strangulated the production of the Monday edition of the paper.
A production staff who was taken away from the Abuja headoffice alongside our computers was released after a period of detention at the Mogadishu barracks in Abuja.
In Lagos, military men in 7 vehicles arrived our offices at Textile Labour House in Agidingbi at about 9 pm and remain there until the time of issuing this statement.
We have not been told of the reason for the military operation against this newspaper but suspect it may have to do with the lead story of the Daily Trust on Sunday that dwelt on the military’s effort to retake some towns recently reported to have been lost to insurgents.
Another clue is that during the invasion of our premises both in Maiduguri and in Abuja, the military men were asking for the reporters who wrote the story.
Media Trust Limited condemns this unlawful act and calls on the military authorities to release the two reporters arrested in Maiduguri and return the dozens of computers that were taken from our newsroom.
We also like to thank our colleagues in the media and all others who have been calling and supporting us in our hour of need.
We also appreciate the efforts of some government officials who insist that there is a better way of handling relations with the media.
No fewer than 20 houses and 30 shops were razed, with property worth millions of naira destroyed, when hoodlums clashed in the early hours of Sunday in some areas of Ibadan metropolis, Oyo State.
The incident was said to have been a fallout of rivalry between gangs of young boys in Idi-Arere, Sakapena, Oke-Ado, Kosodo, Oranyan, Asaka and Ita Saku.
The troublemakers were said to have stormed the areas with weapons such as guns, cutlasses, axes and knives. They reportedly shot indiscriminately into the air to announce their arrival.
Daily Sun gathered that the yet-to-be-identified hoodlums had been engaged in violent scuffles for the past few days in the affected areas, and yesterday’s attacks were reprisals. It was further gathered that the hoodlums that perpetrated the arson also used the occasion to loot many shops in the area.
Investigation revealed that some of the youth living within Idi-Arere and Sakapena area had a protracted disagree- ment with another gang of boys from other locations in the city, which led to the attacks.
A visit to the scene yesterday showed that the hoodlums wreaked havoc on both sides of the road from Idi-Arere to Sakapena.
Some of the affected structures in the areas included clothing retail outlets, pharmacy shop, soft drink sales points, electronics shops, warehouses, frozen foods shops, tailoring shops and hairdressers’ shops, among others.
One of the residents of the area, who preferred anonymity, told journalists that the hoodlums “burnt houses and shops. “It was very late, though it happened in the midnight. It was when we woke up this morning that we saw everything. It is not up to Popoyemoja, it stopped at Idi-Arere; from that junction to Bode Road.
“Though I can’t count the number of shops, it was a stretch from that junction up to Hallelujah Petrol Station. We are talking of about 10 to 15 shops on this side and 10 to 15 shops on the other side.
Ondo State government has announced the payment of levies by religious organisations, political parties and other organisations that erect structures in the state.
The Chairman, Ondo State Signage and Advertisement Agency (OSSAA) Mr. Akinwande Akinrodoye said the decision of the state government was to ensure that the aesthetics and beauty of Ondo State was maintained and improved.
He said the law establishing the agency which came into existence in 2011 was under review to align with the global advertising trends and standard practices.
“The law also prescribes that, corporate bodies, political parties, individuals and religious organisations having outdoor structures to register and obtain permit from the agency before erecting, constructing, enlarging or structurally modifying any out-of-home structure,” he added.
According to him “the agency has resolved to bare its fangs on all structures including billboards, banners and pasting of posters illegally mounted or pasted by corporate bodies, political parties and religious groups in the state.”
He declared that all such structures were now to pay annual exposure fee henceforth.
To this end, he urged all affected persons, groups, political parties, corporate entities and religious organisations in the state to remove all structures that contravened the law.
The OSSAA chairman said: “It has come to the attention of the state government that across the state there are many outdoor advertisement and signs without compliance with the provisions of the extant law on same, which is, OSSAA Law.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), has re-written the country’s revenue collection history by collecting a total of N5.320 trillion in 2018.
This was disclosed yesterday by Mr Tunde Fowler, FIRS Chairman, at the opening of the 2019 FIRS Management and Stakeholders Retreat, holding at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos. Fowler made the disclosure in his welcome address at the retreat, which has as theme: “Parliamentary Support for Effective Taxation of the Digital Economy”. The FIRS Chairman also announced that the Service is targeting N8 trillion for 2019.
Prior to 2018, the highest revenue figure ever attained by the FIRS was N5.07 trillion, which it generated in 2012.FIRS’ generation of N5.320 trillion is remarkable, given that it was achieved at a period when oil prices averaged $70 per barrel compared with between 2010 and 2013 when oil price was at an average of $100 to $120 per barrel.
The non-oil component of the N5.320 trillion was N2.467 trillion (53.62 per cent), while oil contributed N2.852 trillion (46.38 per cent). The FIRS collected N212, 792 billion exclusively from audit, a figure that arose from 2,278 cases, and with a huge reduction in audit circle.
“While we have been steadily increasing revenue collection over the years, our cost of collection has actually been going down. In 2016, we collected N3, 307 trillion; in 2017, we collected N4, 027 trillion and in 2018, we collected N5, 320 trillion. Meanwhile, the cost of collection as a percentage of actual taxes collected has been reducing. In 2016, it was 2.6%. In 2017, it was 2.49%, while in 2018 it was 2.14%,”said Fowler.
He added that the Service has been working hard to ensure an increase in the amount of non-oil revenue it collects. Non-oil collection, he disclosed, contributed 64.99% in 2016, 62.25% in 2017 and 53.62% last year.
This, he stated, is indicative of the government’s increasing focus on non-oil revenue sources and diversification of the country’s economy.
He attributed the steady rise in the collection figures to a series of initiatives adopted and implemented by the Service to enhance tax administration and ease tax payment. Among these is the deployment of ICT initiatives, which enable taxpayers to pay taxes from anywhere in the world and at any time.
“With the e-payment channel, one can pay taxes with the click of a button and one can also download their receipts.
“Other e-Services are the e-Registration, e-Filing, -Stamp Duty and e-Tax Clearance Certificate.
“Taxpayers can now also choose the tax office where they would like to conduct their tax transactions,” he said.
Fowler noted that taxpayers are fast embracing modern tax collection methods introduced by the FIRS via the six e-Solutions.
He equally stated that the Service is automating Value Added Tax (VAT) collection to ensure compliance cost reduction.
“We are doing system-to-system integration between banks and the FIRS. And I am happy to announce to you that we had a 31% increase year on year in VAT collection in the banks that have gone live between Jan 2017- Dec 2018 and collected N 25billion so far
“We are also automating the payment of VAT by states through the State Offices of Accountant General Platform (SAG). This will ensure that we automate and deduct at source and remittance of VAT and WHT from state government contract payments directly to FIRS’s account and so far, collected N13billion.
He noted that the number of taxpayers that requested for and processed their Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) through tcc.firs.gov.ng, grew from 9,574 to 59,350 within a year of introducing the platform.
“Auto VAT collection in key sectors has also facilitated reduction in the cost of compliance. Between January, 2017 and December, 2018 VAT collection increased by 31 per cent, which translates to a collection of N25 billion. Overall, in 2018 VAT crossed the N1 trillion mark. Indeed, VAT is the fastest growing tax type in the world and even rich countries that did not depend on taxation have now introduced VAT, like the United Arab Emirates.
The Lagos State Chapter; the leading branch of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, has announced an exclusive partnership with the P+ Measurement Services to serve as the Official Media Monitoring and Evaluation Partner for the Chapter.
P+ Measurement Services is the leading independent communications/PR measurement and evaluation agency in Nigeria that specializes in delivering bespoke media monitoring, measurement, evaluation services and analysis across the full spread of media channels.
The exclusive partnership which commenced on Monday, December 17, 2018 will see the P+ Measurement Services handling the media monitoring and social listening activities of the Lagos NIPR across print, broadcast and online platforms during specific campaigns or events and provide the Chapter a performance Audit Report upon the completion of such activity, at no cost.
Lagos NIPR will allow P+ Measurement Services to leverage its brand properties to promote the company’s name and logo on all the Chapter’s campaigns and event communication materials, stating it as the Official Media Monitoring and Evaluation Partner.
Speaking during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding which was held at the Secretariat of the Chapter, the Chairman, Lagos NIPR, Olusegun McMedal, said that, “This exclusive partnership will help the Lagos State Chapter stay abreast of news mentions, helping it to track, analyze and respond to conversations across media platforms real time. The outcome will also serve as a source of strategic data and component of audience engagement going forward. P+ Measurement Services is the perfect partner to help us fully realize these capabilities”.
Also speaking during at the event, the Lead Consultant of P+ Measurement Services, Philip Odiakose, stated that, “P+ Measurement is very happy to partner with the Lagos State Chapter which is the leading branch of the regulatory body of the public relations industry in Nigeria and we are committed to helping the body grow in the region through independent media monitoring and evaluation services as we believe the PR industry is currently driven by data, hence the need for the body to have a data hub they can reach out to for factual figures. Then again, this means more work for the team, but we aim to deliver the best with precision, in line with the current market standard”.
Established in 1963, the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) is the non-governmental, not-for-profit professional association of Public Relations practitioners chartered (by Decree 16 of June 1990 now an Act of Parliament) to regulate and develop the public relations, public affairs and communication practice in Nigeria with functioning Chapters in the 36 States of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Customers of Keystone Bank Limited, Nigeria’s most innovative banking services provider, can now transact banking services at their convenience on the new ‘Keystone Bank Mobile App’ with Zero Data.
The feature which is another first from the Bank and in the Nigerian banking sector, enables customers enjoy banking services on their mobile phones without data.
According to the Group Managing Director/CEO of Keystone Bank Limited, Dr. Obeahon Ohiwerei, the development is in demonstration of the bank’s commitment to deliver superior and innovative banking solutions to its customers.
“In our fast-paced and evolving digital world, service literally has to be at the speed of thought; the rules of engagement are changing so fast that customer expectations are as diverse as our lifestyles and choices.
“It is no longer a question of stepping out to the bank but about the convergence of innovative services, digital technology and Omni-channel platforms coming to us at breakneck speed.
“Mobile Banking for one isn’t entirely new in the industry, but there is no end to innovation in delivering customer convenience; at Keystone Bank that’s what sets us apart and that shall continue to be our strength.
“We are determined to be your preferred bank; dependable, responsive and always within reach,” Ohiwerei stated.
Other notable features of the mobile App are, easy account opening, convenient self- booking and liquidation of fixed deposits, an expanded list of bill-payment options and easy activation of standing instructions & recurrent future payments.
Others include, a “Switch Card ON/OFF option” which allows users to disable their cards temporarily if missing & re-enable at the click of a button, the “Hide Balance Feature” which is an additional safeguard against third-party viewing and the “Meet Your Relationship Manager Option” which allows users to call or email their account officers right within the app.
Keystone Bank is a technology and service-driven commercial bank offering convenient and reliable solutions to its customers.
…As Osinbajo, Lagos Gov, Sanwo-Olu, others attend 2019 Thanksgiving Service
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday attributed the global recognition of the State as a major capital to God’s grace, guidance and divine favour, saying the State should be thankful for the numerous achievements and growth so far recorded.
Speaking at the annual special thanksgiving service of the State Government for the new year held at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja, the Governor said it was evidently clear that God had been faithful to the State in making the modest successes recorded possible.
“God has been very faithful to us in Lagos and that is why we dedicate every first Sunday of the year to give Him thanks and praise. The modest achievements and progress our State has recorded would not have been possible without His grace, guidance and divine favour.
“The occasion of this Annual Thanksgiving Service is very symbolic to us in Lagos as it not only serves as a yearly tradition but it provides us a platform to come together as a people and as a State to give praise to the Almighty.
“When we count the numerous blessings and favours our State has enjoyed, protection from natural disasters, security of lives and property of Lagosians, the continuous growth and development of our State and the global recognition of Lagos as a major capital in the world, we would see that truly, our God has been faithful and benevolent to us beyond our expectations,” Governor Ambode said.
Describing the theme of the service – “Enter His Gates with Thanksgiving,” taken from Psalms 100:4, as apt, the Governor said it was for people to appreciate God for His blessings, hence the need for the service.
According to him, “The place of thanksgiving is paramount, as it is through thanksgiving that the presence of God is brought down. Through this yearly tradition of the State Thanksgiving Service, we have had the priviledge of coming together to appreciate God and also commit the activities of the New Year unto His hands and in return, He has bestowed upon us peace and divine intervention especially at difficult times.”
Besides, Governor Ambode said as the nation prepares for crucial elections in 2019, it was important for Nigerians to to pray for peaceful elections to facilitate continuity of development and good governance.
“As we raise our voices in songs of praise, adoration and supplications, I urge us all to pray for our State and our Country especially in this special and crucial year of general elections. Let us seek the face of God to grant us peaceful elections devoid of violence, so that Lagos, and indeed Nigeria, will continue to excel and experience continuity of development and good governance,” he said.
The Governor also used the service to appreciate and all Clergymen in the State for always keeping faith with the annual thanksgiving service and for their ceaseless prayers and wise counsels for the continued progress of the State.
In his sermon, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye emphasised the need for people to continually appreciate God, saying doing such always help to complete prayers.
Citing Acts 16: 25-26, Adeboye who was represented by his Special Assistant, Pastor Idowu Iluyomade said thanksgiving also has the ability to move God to action, urging the people to imbibe the act of giving thanks in all situations.
Aside songs ministrations from various choirs, prayers were also offered for the first family, the Executive, Judiciary, Legislature, Civil Service, Local Governments and security operatives, and also for the success of the forthcoming general elections.
Among dignitaries who attended the service include Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and his wife, Dolapo; former Lagos State Governors – Brigd Gen. Mobolaji Johnson Rtd, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Rr. Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu Rtd; Governorship Candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and leading Christian clerics in the State.
English football star Wayne Rooney was arrested in December at Dulles Airport outside Washington, D.C. in the U.S. for public intoxication, according to local police.
Rooney, who has played for U.S. football club DC United since last year, was booked into the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on Dec. 16, on a charge of public intoxication.
The charge stemmed from an arrest by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police, the local sheriff’s office said.
The 33-year-old Rooney was released later the same day on a personal recognisance bond, said Kraig Troxell, a spokesman for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.
It was not immediately clear why authorities had delayed details of Rooney’s arrest for more than two weeks.
Rooney’s agent could not be reached immediately for comment.
Also, DC United did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Rooney, England’s former captain and all-time top goalscorer, joined the Major League Soccer (MLS) club in mid-2018 in a deal that was reportedly worth more than $12 million.
It made him the highest paid player in DC United’s history.
Liverpool-born Rooney was the latest addition to an elite list of former England captains to hop across the Atlantic, following David Beckham and Steven Gerrard.
Rooney burst into the consciousness of English football when he made his English Premier League debut for Everton at age 16.
He joined Manchester United for $35 million in 2004 and stayed there for 13 seasons.
There, the forward won five English titles, one UEFA Champions League, one FA Cup, three League Cups and became the club’s all-time leading goalscorer with 253 goals.(Reuters/NAN)
Apart from Burna Boy’s big win at the Soundcity MVP awards, the likes of Teni The Entertainer, Mr Eazi and the Wizkid-led Starboy crew shone in important categories.
By clinching the best new artiste award, Teni The Entertainer appears set to dominate the category at subsequent award shows.
The recent university graduate beat a strong field comprising Peruzzi, Odunsi The Engine, King Promise, Kwesi Arthur, Kida Kudz, Shane Eagle, Sho Madjozi and Mbosso.
She managed to edge Peruzzi of Davido Music Worldwide (DMW) who was featured on a number of collaborative hit singles. His solo efforts did not enjoy as much success as the songs on which he was featured.
Teni — who is also a contender for the Headies next rated category — had a slew of solo hits in 2018, including ‘Askamaya’ and ‘Case’.
While 2018 was a revelatory year for Teni, music industry analysts expect her to become more of a force in 2019.
Mr Eazi, who also had a stellar 2018, was recognised as the best digital artiste.
The Banku music champion had a busy year, during which he released a tight mixtape, inched closer to perfecting his sound, broadened his brand, audience and fan base.
The singer’s collaboration with YouTube, spotlight on Apple and impressive streams on Spotify helped to earn him the best digital artiste accolade.
He beat several heavier-weights who also have strong digital presence and following, such as Davido, Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy, Falz, Wizkid, Yemi Alade, Diamond Platnumz, Vanessa Mdee and Cassper Nyovest.
‘Soco’, the massive team effort by the Starboy crew — Wizkid, Terri, Spotless and Ceeza — won the Soundcity MVP awards collaboration of the year, despite losing song of the year category to Burna Boy’s ‘Ye’.
The hit song which stayed on music and video charts all-year long beat popular tunes like ‘Issa Goal’, ‘Amaka’, ‘Fake Love’, ‘Makhe’ and ‘Club Controller’.
Hosted by VJ Adams, Pearl and Moet Abebe, the Soundcity MVP awards featured performances from Patoranking, Victor AD, Idowest, Slimcase, Ms Kizz, Chinko Ekun, Naira Marley, Kida Kudz, Skibbi, and Mystro.