The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, has said that troops have commenced advancing into Sambisa Forest, one of the major enclaves of Boko Haram terrorists.
Mr. Buratai said this on Tuesday in Abuja while unveiling packs of bottle water provided through private initiative in appreciation of troops fighting the terrorists in the region.
According to the Army Chief, the advancement is an onslaught to finally flush out remnants of insurgents from the forest and rescue all those abducted in that area.
He added: “This year (2016), the whole Army Headquarters will be moving into the North East to celebrate Christmas and New Year with our troops.’’
Mr. Buratai described the bottle water initiative for free distribution to troops as “quite historic and the first of its kind.’’
He said: “The scheme involves branding 50cl bottle water with the image of the Nigerian soldier.
“It has the Nigerian army logo and that of stakeholders and partners from the private sector with the words: Thank you for your service.’’
According to him, the initiative seeks to appreciate the efforts of Nigerian troops actively engaged in the defence of our dear nation.
“This will no doubt go a long way in boosting the morale of the troops to show that their labour is being recognized and applauded by Nigerians.
“This initiative is quite timely, coming at a critical stage of the operations, when the troops have embarked on `Operation Rescue Finale.’
“It will surely add vigour, impetus and stimulate the troops in this phase of the operation,’’ Mr. Buratai said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that several corporate and public sector organisations, as well as state governments graced the unveiling of the troops’ bottle water.
NAN also reports that the troops’ bottle water initiative was supported by Enugu State Government (N10 million), Ebonyi Government (N5 million) and the Nigeria Customs Service (N1.5 million), among others.
2020 Finance Bill Exempts Minimum Wage Earners From Tax: Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed that the recently proposed 2020 Finance Bill will exempt workers earning the minimum wage from paying tax.
Buhari disclosed this on Monday in a speech delivered virtually by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo at the opening session of the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit Group Conference themed: “Building Partnerships for Resilience.”
“We are proposing in the new Finance Act that those who earn minimum wage should be exempted from paying income tax,” he was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.
“These provisions which complement the tax breaks given to small businesses last year will not only further stimulate the economy but are also a fulfilment of promises made to take steps to help reduce the cost of transportation and the impact of inflation on ordinary Nigerians.”
Nigeria Will Exit Recession By First Quarter Of 2021 – Finance Minister
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed has revealed that Nigeria would emerge from recession in the fourth quarter of this year or by the first quarter of 2021.
Speaking on Monday at the ongoing 26th Nigerian Economic Summit organized by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Zainab said the current recession would be short-lived.
She blamed COVID-19 for the current recession, saying it followed the pattern across the world where many countries had entered an economic recession.
“Nigeria is not alone in this, but I will say that Nigeria has outperformed all of these economies in terms of the record of a negative growth,” Ahmed said.
Court Remands Nigerian Senator, Ali Ndume, In Prison
Senator Ali Ndume, the lawmaker representing Borno South Senatorial district has been ordered on Monday by a federal high court to be sent to prison.
The order follows his inability to produce Abdulrasheed Maina, the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Task Team, whom he stood as surety for in his corruption and money laundering trial.
The high court, sitting in Abuja was presided over by Justice Okon Abang and ordered Senator Ndume to be remanded in Kuje correctional centre.
Justice Abang, however, gave three conditions upon which Ndume can regain his freedom namely payment of N500m bail bond into the Federation Account of the Federal Government and present evidence of such payment in court or the FG sells the property situated in Asokoro, Abuja which Ndume pledge as security for the bond and present evidence of sale and payment of the N500m realised into the Federation Account or he (Ndume) produces Maina, who is believed to have now jumped bail, in court.
Shortly after the pronouncement by the Judge, Senator Ndume was led away from the courtroom by security operatives.
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