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VAT Increase, An Anti-People Policy –TUC

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VAT Increase, An Anti-People Policy –TUC

The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria on Tuesday described the hike in the Value Added Tax from five per cent to 7.5 per cent as an anti-people policy put in place to deliberately stifle businesses in Nigeria.

A statement signed by the union’s President, Quadri Olaleye, and the Secretary General, Musa-Lawal Ozigi, described multiple taxation as the bane of economic development anywhere in the world.

It noted that while most countries were reducing taxes to encourage small-scale businesses, Nigeria was doing otherwise.

The statement said, “We have heard about Nigeria doing well in the World Ease of Doing Business Index, but the experience in our country does not corroborate that claim.

“Any law that helps the government to generate more revenue at the expense of the public for us is anti-people and incapable of growing any economy.”

It added, “According to reports by the National Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment and underemployment rate is over 43.3 per cent.

“By implication, it means that most parents still feed their able-bodied youths even after graduation from the tertiary institution. It is indeed pathetic that the Federal Government appears to be more interested in collecting taxes than creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

“Empirical evidences have shown that the poverty rate in the country has increased abysmally. We see all these moves as ploys to get back at the workers for asking for a review of the national minimum wage.

“This contradicts the promise of change the current administration made to Nigerians at the build-up to the 2015 elections.”

The TUC stated that the government could not create all the jobs, stressing that a conducive environment should be provided to fertilise the efforts by individuals to set up businesses.

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Van Used To Kidnap Kebbi Students Belongs To High Court Judge -Police

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The police in Kebbi have said the command is not the owner of the vehicle used to kidnap students from Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri, Kebbi.

Nafi’u Abubakar, the Kebbi police spokesman, said the van belongs to a high court judge in the state.

He added that the van was hijacked by bandits on Birnin Yauri road.

Abubakar said the police are yet to determine the number of students kidnapped from the school located in Ngaski LGA of the state.

He said the reports making the rounds that 50 students were kidnapped from the school were false.

“The attention of the police has been drawn to reports made by some media stations that a police vehicle was used in kidnapping about 50 students of the FGC,” he said.

“A White Hilux Van with registration No. kBSJ 29 belonging to a High Court judge with the inscription of Kebbi State Judiciary, hijacked by bandits on Birnin Yauri road was the one used in the kidnapping and not a police vehicle as stated by some media stations.

“The command wishes to make it clear and set the records straight that yet to be ascertained the number of students are still missing as rescue operation is still ongoing.”

Abubakar said the command will continue to brief the media with updates of the efforts to rescue the students.

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Prison Service Reacts To Detention Of Woman Who Delivered In Prison Following Arrest During EndSARS

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The Nigerian Correctional Service, Ondo State Command has reacted to the case of Kemisola Ogunniyi, a woman who had a child in prison following her arrest by the police 8 months ago for allegedly participating in EndSARS protest.

A statement by the command through its public relations officer/legal officer, Babatunde Ogundare, said Ogunniyi was remanded on the orders of the court.

It said, “The lady in question was remanded in the female custodial facility by a court of competent jurisdiction on the 24th November, 2020, for conspiracy, arson, riotous assembly, stealing, and malicious damage and the matter was subsequently adjourned to 8th December, 2020 for hearing, and further adjourned to 9th March, 2021.

“She was 2 months pregnant when she was remanded in the facility and all necessary medical cares and legal attention needed was accorded accordingly within the ambit of the operational orders of the service. Her families and legal representatives were given access to visit her as well.

“She fell into labour on Tuesday 15th June, 2021, and she was immediately moved to the Ondo state basic health centre for delivery and she delivered her baby on the 16th June, 2021 around noon.

“She was hale and hearty with the baby and subsequently discharged and was taken back to the facility for further care.

“It is very expedient for the general public to know that the Nigeria Correctional Service will not unlawfully hold down any inmate without the order of court and the need to disregard the viral pictures and deceitful information emanating in the social media in other to discredit the service.

“While assuring the public of the commitment of officers and men of the command to the care and support for Inmates in custody, the state controller Barr. Suanu D Kinane wishes to state that the service is community friendly and will not act contrary to the operational orders and constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.

“She is hale and hearty with her baby in the facility pending the determination of her case before the court of competent jurisdiction.”

#EndSARS: Ondo Government Delays Release Of Nursing Mother Who Gave Birth In Prison Eight Months After Arrest—@YeleSowore | Sahara Reporters https://t.co/VQog2wPDHP pic.twitter.com/2AMo4ejkFb

— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) June 17, 2021
Ogunniyi was arrested in Akure and has been imprisoned since October 24, 2020, while going to a pharmacy to buy drugs for her mother.

She was arrested by the police who said she was one of the participants of the #EndSARS protest in the state.

The police claimed she was one of the #EndSARS protesters who burnt the office of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state last year, about eight months ago.

Sowore and other well-meaning individuals had called for the immediate release of the young lady, who was arrested in Akure and has been imprisoned since October 24, 2020, while going to a pharmacy to buy drugs for her mother.

However, in a recent post on his Twitter handle on Thursday, Sowore stated that the Ondo State government has insisted on holding the baby and mother in custody.

He said the lawyer of the lady had filed an application for bail on request of the government, but a date had yet to be given for hearing.

The human rights activist also noted that the prison guard who accompanied Ogunniyi to the hospital was being accused of taking her photos, those of the baby and releasing the same to the public.

He wrote, “UPDATE on #FreeKemisola: Since revealing the horrible/inhuman condition to which #Endsars Kemisola Ogunniyi and newborn baby has been subjected since yesterday many public-spirited individuals and groups have tried to get @RotimiAkeredolu to free her unconditionally but as it is typical of power-drunk wicked politicians, Ondo state government is insisting on holding Kemisola and the baby in state custody.

“They are requesting that her lawyer file an application for bail, which is already done but they’ve refused to give a date for hearing and stalling all day.

”I had a chat with the Attorney Gen of the state, Charles Titiloye (formerly a Human Rights lawyer), he insists that his office will not end the case but will be willing to work on granting bail. He claims there are nominal complainants that won’t let him file a nolle. I was shocked!

”Meanwhile, they’ve now begun to persecute the prison guard who accompanied her to the hospital accusing the fellow of taking her photos, those of the baby and releasing same to the public. These people are heartless. We insist on the unconditional release of Kemisola and three others.”

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El-Rufai Sacks 99 Political Appointees

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Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai has approved the disengagement of 99 political appointees.

The governor made revealed this at a media chat with journalists in Kaduna on Thursday night, explaining that the disengaged political appointees constitute 30% of political officeholders.

He said his government would reduce the size of civil servants in the state but maintained that government appointees will go first.

“So far, 99 political appointees have lost their jobs but we have not commenced rightsizing civil servants,” the governor said.

“We want to be fair with regards to civil servants. We had earlier promised that before we reduce the size of the civil service, we will start with political appointees and we have done that.”

The governor who spoke in Hausa during the interview said that rightsizing of civil servants will still go on as planned because of dwindling revenues accruing to the state.

The governor said that his government has employed 11,000 more workers in the health sector, Kaduna State University as well as primary and secondary school teachers across the state.

He also disclosed that it is a fallacy to allege that the salaries of political appointees account for the bloated personnel cost of Kaduna State Government.

“In March 2021, the salaries of these political appointees amounted to N259 million, while civil servants were paid N3.13 billion, aside from costs related to state contributions to pension, accrued rights and other personnel costs. So, it is false to insinuate that political appointees are the ones that guzzle most of the state’s resources,’’ he said.

Justifying the rightsizing of the public service, he said that all states and the federal government are affected by this shortfall of revenue and some states have even reverted to paying the old monthly minimum wage of N18,000.

‘’Kaduna State cannot continue to use 84% to 96% of our revenues to pay salaries of less than 1% of the population. The rest of our people, all 99% of them, need better schools, hospitals, water supply, roads, markets and support for agriculture to make a living outside government,’’ he said.

The governor however promised that Kaduna state will not reverse the N30,000 minimum wage that it has started paying.

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