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7.5% VAT Increase, Lowest In Africa – Osinbajo

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Vice President, Prof Yomi Osinbajo has explained that the recent increase in value-added tax (VAT) from 5% to 7.5% remains the lowest in Africa.

The vice president stated this in Lafia during the launching of the national micro, small and medium enterprises clinics for viable enterprises.

According to him “the new value-added tax which has gone up from 5% to 7.5%, many people have said it is higher tax burden on the consumers and of course it has implications for those who are trading as well.

“But we must remember that this is the lowest VAT rate in the whole of Africa; Ghana VAT rate was 15%, they reduce it to 12.5%, ours is 7.5%.

“It is also important to mention that companies and MSME with low turnover of less than N25m do not have to register for VAT and as a result of this, government has worked out a way of not creating any extra burden for small and medium-size companies.

“In other to reduce the impact of VAT increase on consumers, several basic items such as food, drugs and educational items are exempted from VAT, so there is no payment of VAT on food, drugs and educational items,” he said.

Speaking earlier, the state governor Abdullahi Sule, said that the project was apt and timely, considering the commitment of the state to generate wealth as well as to ensure job creation by stimulating and supporting the private sector in the state.

“We wooed private investors into the state with a view to opening the frontiers of economic opportunities for the overall development of the country,” he said.

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Senator Teslim Folarin’s Wife Is Dead

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Angela Nwaka Folarin, wife of Oyo Central Senator Teslim Folarin, is dead.

Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Senator, YSO Olaniyi, confirmed the death in a statement on Friday.

The statement read, “With total submission to the will of Almighty Allah, we announce the death of our wife, mother and sister, Chief (Barr.) Angela Nwaka Folarin.

“The wife of Oyo Central Senator was confirmed dead on Friday afternoon. She breathed her last in the UK.

“The deceased was hale and hearty until the angel of death knocked the door.

“May Almighty God Comfort us and Grant Late Angela an eternal rest.”

Details later…


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Alleged N544m Contract Scam: Again, High Court Rejects EFCC’s Exhibit Against Ex-SGF, Lawal

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EFCC: Court Fixes July 6 For Babachir’s Trial

For the second time, a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory FCT on Friday rejected computer-generated exhibits sought to be tendered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Dr Babachir Lawal in his trial on alleged N544m contract scam.

The court held that the exhibits extracted from an iPhone 7 belonging to one Musa Bulani, an associate of the former SGF failed the admissibility test as conditions precedent stipulated by law for their admission were not met by the anti-graft agency.

EFCC had on January 24, 2021, suffered the same fate following the rejection of its computer-generated forensic report by the same court on the same grounds.

Ruling in an objection by Babachir Lawal against a set of computer-generated exhibits, Justice Charles Agbaza threw out the exhibits on the reason that the provisions of the Evidence Act on such documents admissibility were not met.

The computer-generated documents were sought to be tendered by the EFCC through its 8th witness, Mr Dare Folarin, an EFCC operative who had in his evidence in chief informed the court of how the documents were shown to him when he was invited to a laboratory during their analysis.

Counsel to the anti-graft agency, Mr Ofem Uket had applied to tender the exhibits but the application was vehemently opposed by Chief Akin Olujimi SAN on various grounds.

Olujimi asked the court to reject the exhibits on the ground that what the EFCC wanted to do through Folarin was to smuggle into the court, exhibits earlier rejected by the same court when it ruled against admitting a Compact Disc on the said iPhone.

The senior lawyer informed the court that EFCC had already filed an appeal against the ruling of the court on the rejection of the computer-generated exhibits at the Court of Appeal in Abuja.

However, in his ruling, Justice Agbaza agreed that his court had last year rejected similar exhibits and that the EFCC was only attempting to bring into the court records, exhibits already marked rejected.

Apart from the exhibit not conforming with law, the Judge held that any oral evidence of EFCC’s witness will amount to hearsay since he was not the maker and did not sign them.

“I have carefully examined the foundation of arguments for and against the admissibility of the exhibits in dispute and found only two issues for determination.

“The first issue is on whether the evidence of the prosecution witness falls on hearsay in respect of the exhibits while the second issue is on whether this court has once rejected the exhibits sought to be tendered.

“On issue one, the witness on his own informed the court of how he was invited into the EFCC laboratory and was shown information extracted from an iPhone 7.

“On this, I am satisfied that the witness is not the maker of the exhibits in dispute. They were only shown to him according to his oral evidence here.

“Therefore, anything said or to be said by the witness is nothing but hearsay and for this reason, I resolve this issue in favour of the defendants.

“On the second issue, there is no dispute that the exhibits were earlier sought to be tendered but they were turned down and marked rejected and even, the rejection is a subject of appeal at the Court of Appeal.

“For this reason, I agree that the exhibits cannot be admitted having been earlier rejected and marked rejected.

However, the trial of the defendants could not proceed as the EFCC counsel told the court that his witness, Dare Folarin was indisposed and could not make it to court and applied for an adjustment.

Due to no objection from the defence team, Justice Agbaza fixed February 16 and 17 for the continuation of trial.

The former SGF is facing a 10-count charge the EFCC filed against him but pleaded not guilty.

The charge borders on alleged diversion of funds, criminal conspiracy, and official corruption.

Those standing trial alongside the SGF are his younger brother, Hamidu Lawal; Suleiman Abubakar, Apeh Monday, and two companies, Rholavision Engineering (fifth defendant) and Josmon Technologies (sixth defendant.

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Lagos Announces Partial Closure Of Yaba Road, Reveals Diversion Routes

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The Lagos State Government has announced the diversion of traffic from Yaba in order to continue with construction works on the first phase of the Red Line covering Oyingbo to Agbado.

The diversion which is in furtherance of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit project, will begin from Tuesday, February 1, 2022, to February 16, 2022.

This disclosure is contained in a statement signed by the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, where he asserted that the 2-week-long site activity will necessitate a diversion to protect road users during the installation of Precast Beams.

Oladeinde said that motorists heading to Muritala Mohammed Way from Western Avenue will be diverted to Empire Road at Jibowu while traffic inbound Yaba will be diverted to Empire Road for access to Western Avenue.

He added that motorists on Herbert Macaulay will be able to connect Empire Road to access Western Avenue for their desired destinations.

The Commissioner assured that the site will be cordoned off for the safety of the citizenry, noting that emergency vehicles will be on ground to tow faulty vehicles along the axis.

He also revealed that signage will be placed on the access roads while the officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority will also be on ground to manage traffic flow and minimise inconveniences.

Oladeinde reiterated the commitment of the present administration to the development of transport infrastructure within the metropolis, maintaining that it is vital for the Multi-Modal Transportation System of the State Government which will enhance the socio-economic development of the citizens.

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