Frontline Digital Terrestrial Television service, GOtv, and SuperSport, the leading sports promoter and broadcaster on the DStv and GOtv platforms, have won big at the 25th anniversary celebration of the National Institute for Sports(NIS).
While GOtv emerged the Outstanding Grassroots Sports Programme Television Station 2019, SuperSport won in two categories as Outstanding Sports Promoting Television Station of the Decade (2019) and the Outstanding Television Sports Programme of the Decade. MultiChoice Nigeria also emerged the Outstanding Sports Promoting Company of the Decade.
While receiving the awards on behalf of MultiChoice Nigeria, Martin Mabutho, Chief Customer Officer, MultiChoice, said the awards are in recognition of MultiChoice’s effort in delivering the best content across its various platforms. He added that the company remains committed to providing quality services for its subscribers.
“MultiChoice will continue to make great entertainment more accessible to Nigerians by delivering quality sports and local content to its customers,” said Mabutho.
Speaking on youth development, Mabutho explained that MultiChoice has empowered thousands of Nigerian youth through the GOtv Sabimen initiative.
“GOtv Sabimen is a programme that trains participants on the rudiments of service activation, response to customer enquiries and resolution of GOtv service issues,” he explained.
The Chief Customer Officer further noted that participants receive practical training from both internal and external facilitators on how to handle various enquires by customers and eventually grow on to become their own bosses, which is the main objective of the programme. Today over 5000 Nigerian youth in various parts of the country have been employed through this initiative.
Prior to the awards presentation, the Minister for Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Solomon Dalung, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Olusade Adesola, commended corporate bodies supporting the development of youth and sports in Nigeria. He also appealed to other corporate bodies to emulate the kind gesture of companies like MultiChoice in youth and sports development.
Industrialists and experts have opposed the idea of increase in the rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) in Nigeria.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) yesterday said Nigerians should brace up for an increase in VAT by between 35 per cent and 50 per cent from the current 6.75 per cent and 725 per cent.
Rejecting the idea yesterday, the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) said “Nigerians, particularly those in engaging in SMEs activities, are already overburdened with tax. It will further make doing business in Nigeria harsher and also increase cost of production and services.”
An economist, Dr. Chijioke Ekechukwu, told newsmen that what the FIRS needs is not to increase taxes.
“They need to be more efficient in the collection. Many Nigerians with very high income or savings are not paying Quantum Meruit taxes. They pay far less than their income. Many Artisans don’t pay taxes. Vulcanisers, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, etc. have never paid taxes before,” the expert said.
Dr. Ekechukwu, a former Director General of ACCI, said if taxes are increased, the inflation rate will jump again, adding that “Disposable income of workers and business men and women will be eroded.”
The Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, said the proposed VAT hike is not fair because the wages and salaries in Nigeria are not reasonable to keep decent living.
“In a situation where social services are not working life and living conditions will get worse and poverty will increase,” he told Daily Trust.
He said the government can mobilise resources by cutting the cost of governance, minimizing waste and blocking stealing.
‘Govt must justify tax increase’
Commenting, Dr. Bongo Adi, lecturer at the Lagos Business School, said though VAT needs to increase, the government must justify the tax hike.
“We understand that Nigeria remains the lowest in the world when it comes to VAT. Some people have argued that it’s about time VAT is increased from the current 5 percent. You don’t find that anywhere in the world. Tunisia is about 30 percent.”
He said “We need to improve the welfare of consumers. The minimum wage increased by about 80 percent and if VAT rises by about 35 percent, the difference is still significant. That means about 50 percent welfare improvement which means the workers may still be better off.”
“However, tax payers are always sceptical because government doesn’t always apply the tax revenues judiciously. Over the years, people prefer not to pay tax. With an increased tax, we should expect improvement in the supply of public infrastructure,” he added.
Johnson Chukwu, the Managing Director of Cowrie Asset Management, said: “The economy is still fragile, so government cannot resort to increase to support the budget.
“The problem is that the middle class is non-existent and only a fraction of the elite are paying tax. So an increase will affect the poor and make them poorer.
“The economy today is not in the position to create jobs. The government does not have the revenue to build a larger budget, we must put the enabling laws in place to enable the private sector pilot infrastructure development,” he said.
The Gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Lagos state, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, Wednesday squashed canards making round that he has dumped his party.
￼In a statement disclosed by Felix Oboagwina, his Director of Media and Publicity, Agbaje opined that no one can ever force him to quit PDP.
He attributed insinuations that he had dumped PDP to mischief-makers determined to soil his reputation, provoke crisis within the party and dampen the spirit of party members and his supporters.
Agbaje therefore, denied jumping his party, saying, PDP remained his party.
“I have never discussed with anyone any plan to dump PDP, neither has such a prospect crossed my mind” he maintained. “There is no reason for it. It is uncalled for.”
He vowed to remain in the party, despite the campaign of calumny being waged against him in the media by a few leaders.
The PDP flag-bearer said he only on Monday released a message encouraging members to rise above the questionable defeats suffered in the last election and maintain faith in the party, and that it would be contradictory for him to suddenly turn tail and flee the same party.
“For a party that has twice accorded me the honour of running on its platform, I should be regarded as uncharitable to say I am abandoning PDP now,” Agbaje submitted.
According to him, recent vituperations in the Press and social media against his person and his role in the last election were the machinations of political featherweights and did not warrant any response.
Agbaje said: “Suffice to say that Chief Layi Ogunbambi’s claim of being denied funds as Director-General of Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Council in Lagos State amounted to attempting to build something on nothing. For starters, the position he lays claim gives him no locus standi as no such formal position existed in the entire campaign structure of PDP in Lagos or any of the other 35 states.
Reacting to Ogunbanmbi’s angst, Agbaje pointed out that the man who paraded himself as the DG of the Atiku/Obi Presidential Campaign Council, had his wife, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Ogunbambi, contesting as gubernatorial candidate in Lagos State against PDP on another party platform!!Serious Conflict of Interest.
“I, as the gubernatorial candidate of the party in Lagos, was Chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign in Lagos. Mr. Leke Osikoya was the State Campaign Director. The national body recognised and related with us accordingly. The title of Director General was reserved for the national campaign council. If there was an Atiku/Obi Presidential Campaign it would have, at best, been a Support Group.
“Dr. Ogunbanmbi also went to the extent of stating his contributions financially and policy wise to my campaign. This is news to me. May be he should tell the world his financial contributions to my campaigns. There is no time I have ever sat with Dr. Ogunbanmbi to discuss policy issues.”
Agbaje, also, shrugged off allegations he pilfered campaign funds.
“I was not given one kobo by the party or the PDP Presidential Candidate for the gubernatorial elections. We ran our campaign from beginning to end on a shoe-string budget. You cannot steal or divert what is not given,” he said.
According to him, resources sent for the Presidential and National Assembly elections were disbursed as per instructions received, and the source had shown satisfaction with the exercise.
All the fuss stems from the from the fact that, contrary to the Lagos PDP tradition of sharing money to leaders, Agbaje disbursed funds direct to candidates, as instructed.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Atiku Abubakar, its presidential candidate, have “slipped into severe depression”.
The APC said this in reaction to PDP’s claim that it won the presidential poll by 1.6 million votes.
The opposition party based its claims on the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
It filed the claim in its petition before the presidential election tribunal.
But reacting in a statement, Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC spokesman, said the claim is ridiculous.
“While the APC is not oblivious of the PDP’s antics to discredit the credible presidential electoral process, acknowledged by local and international observers, we sympathise with Atiku for the crushing defeat handed him by President Buhari through the votes of Nigerians,” Issa-Onilu said.
“Judging by Atiku and PDP’s recent utterances and actions, it is now clear that they have slipped into severe depression and post-defeat hallucination that have left many Nigerians questioning their current state of mind.
“After weeks of dilly-dallying, the PDP has woken up to the stark reality of its electoral defeat and decided to follow the constitutional path of filing a petition at the election tribunal.
“However, of all the prayers of Atiku before the election tribunal, which are at best hollow, the most ridiculous is his claim that the server of the INEC indicated he won the presidential election by 1.6million votes.
“A few questions would suffice – is this phantom figure of 1.6 million votes Dubai-invented? Was the result sold to Atiku by his numerous marabouts, who we understand, had assured him that the last election was a done deal for him?”
Issa-Onilu said the PDP’s “consistent reference” to INEC server should be a cause for concern.
He said it is possible that the opposition party has plans to jeopardise INEC’s database, calling on security agencies to foil the “evil plan”.
“Most importantly, we note Atiku’s consistent reference to the INEC server as if he is the custodian of that platform. Indeed, Atiku’s constant reference to the INEC server should raise concerns as it is becoming apparent that he and the PDP are up for some dastard activities that are targeted at jeopardising the INEC database and internal storage system,” he said.
“We recall the widespread reported cases of several programmed card readers that were retrieved from some PDP agents and their failed attempt to hack the INEC database in the leadup to the then postponed presidential election.
“We remind the Atiku and PDP that Nigerians saw through the devious schemes aimed at thwarting their will. Consequently, majority of the voters handed them a harsh verdict — that verdict remains sacrosanct.” (The Cable)