The National Economic Council meeting on Thursday ended with the approval given for the sharing of between $1billion and $2billion from the excess crude account amongst the federal, state and local governments.
Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of the National Economic Council meeting at the State House, Abuja, Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State said the money was to facilitate various development projects being executed by the different tiers of government across the country.
“An update on the status of the Excess Crude Account was presented by the Minister of State for Finance, Alh. Yerima Ngama, who showed that $7.82b was left in the account, after the sharing of between $1b and $2B by the three tiers of government earlier in the year and payment of fuel subsidy commitments,” Akpabio said.
Governor Akpabio, who was flanked by Governors Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State; Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State as well as Ministers of National Planning, Shamsudeen Usman, and Power, said President Goodluck Jonathan also briefed the council on the progress being made in the power sector, stating that many of the NIPPs will become active and functional by December 2013.
On the provision of Broad Band Infrastructure by telecoms companies in the country, Governor Dankwambo said NEC gave its blessing to the recommendations of Gombe State governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo-led, Sub Committee, which reviewed a recent presentation by the Minister of Information Technology, Mrs. Mobolaji Johnson, on a proposed, improved broadband roadmap for the country.
He said telecoms service providers were expected to partner with the federal and state governments to ensure proper harmonization and integration of development projects with ICT infrastructure in the country.
The committee recommended that “all identified impediments, such as multiple levies, charges, illegal taxes should be addressed to allow accelerated growth and development of ICT infrastructure.”
It also recommended the harmonisation of all right-of-way processes and administration between the states and Federal Ministry of Works’ guidelines for the granting of Federal Highway Right of Way, with agreed prescription by the ICT ministry.
It also called on telecoms operators to make additional commitment to the host communities/states with respect to Right-of-Way grant.
Other recommendations by the committee on the improvement in the Broad Band coverage in the state include the implementation of standardised fees payable in respect of agreed list of levies/charges, the creation of a proper template for the implementation of the recommendations to be designed by the National Planning Commission in conjunction with the relevant agencies.
On the issue of multiple taxation, the Council called for the Review and amendment of the taxes and levies outlawing the use of unorthodox means of collecting taxes and levies and automation of tax operations by relevant tax authorities to eliminate leakages and ensure ease of collection.
The council also called on tax authorities to respect the provisions of the law on the use of consultants for tax assessment and collection; and publish the approved list of taxes and levies within the states and local governments to educate the public and facilitate compliance.
It mandated the National Planning Commission to work with the proposed committee to work out a blueprint for implementation.
On the issue of power generation, the National Economic Council endorsed the recommendation for more investment in the sector to address the issue of transmission capacity needed for effective evacuation of generated power as well as harness the 20,000MW hydro power capacity which remains largely untapped. [Vanguard]
Several Injured As Thugs Attack #EndSARS Protesters, Governor Oyetola In Osun
Some of the vehicles in the Governor’s convoy were also destroyed by the thugs but the Governor himself was evacuated to safety by his security team.
As the convoy was leaving the protest venue, some of the youths continued to stone his vehicles.
While the protest was disrupted, Governor Oyetola assured the injured victims that the government would be responsible for their medical bills.
#EndSARS: Sanwo-Olu Constitutes Panel Of Enquiry
In a bid to quell the #EndSARS protest which is spreading like a raging inferno across the country, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Governor of Lagos State has set up a panel of inquiry and restitution for victims of SARS.
This was announced in a statewide broadcast on Thursday.
The panel will be a 7-man panel which will ensure that all those with verifiable cases of SARS brutality or fatality receive compensation.
The Panel will be chaired by retired Justice Doris Okuwobi, while members are Ebun Adegboruwa, SAN (representing the Civil Society), Taiwo Lakanu (a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police), Patience Udoh (representing the Civil Society); Segun Awosanya aka Segalink (Human Rights Activist).
Others are Olutoyin Odusanya (Director, Citizens Mediation Center), a rep/member of the youth-led protest, and a representative of the Human Rights Commission.
There will be a help desk for the complaints and petitions to the panel.
Governor Seyi Makinde Loses 81-Yr-Old Mother
Abigail Makinde, the mother of the governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, is dead.
The Chief Press Secretary to Mr Makinde, Taiwo Adisa, however, told newsmen that the family will soon make an official statement on the death of the deceased.
He said: “Yes. The family will make an official statement.
“The family will soon make an official statement. In the next few minutes, the family will make an official statement, in few minutes.”
It was gathered that Mr Makinde lost his father, Olatunbosun Makinde, a few years ago.
It was learnt that Mrs Makinde died in the early hours of Thursday.
She died at the age of 81.
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