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LCCI Calls Govt To Create Regulatory Environment That Promotes Enterprise For Investors In Telecoms

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Dr. Chinyere Almona, FCA, Director-General Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry

LCCI STATEMENT ON THE NEW TELECOM TAX IN NIGERIA

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) has called on the government at all levels to create an enabling, regulatory environment that promotes enterprises for investors in telecoms infrastructure.

Dr. Chinyere Almona, FCA, Director-General Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry in her statement said: “the recently signed National Health Insurance Authority Bill 2021 (replacing the National Health Insurance Scheme Act, 2004) by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, places a new telecoms tax equivalent to a minimum of one kobo per second on phone calls by subscribers”.

“The realized funds, estimated to be about N90billion yearly, are meant to finance free healthcare for the vulnerable groups – children under five, pregnant women, the aged, and physically and mentally challenged Nigerians”.

She further stated that “the Lagos Chamber recognizes the government’s struggle with providing healthcare services in the face of the economic realities we face as a nation today. The private sector has always shown its commitment to supporting the government’s efforts in providing some public infrastructure for the common good of all or mainly for the underprivileged. Since the liberalization of the telecoms sector in 1999, licensed GSM operators have invested heavily in infrastructure to guarantee quality service to telecom subscribers. Due to the rising cost of operations, telecom companies under the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) have put a plan in place for a proposed 40%  increase in the cost of calls, SMS, and data in the coming weeks”.  

Dr. Chinyere Almona, FCA, Director-General Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Dr. Chinyere Almona, FCA, Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI).

The implications of all of these are that subscribers will be made to pay more for telecom services. And companies that depend heavily on the telecommunication infrastructure to deliver their services will likely begin to incur an additional cost burden even as they currently struggle to comply with about thirty-six different taxes.

LCCI stated that “beyond the cost of taxation on telecom operators, we wish to call the government’s attention to creating a regulatory environment that promotes enterprise—investing more in telecoms infrastructure for a thriving digital economy and minimizing the disruptions to telecoms companies’ operations while enforcing tax compliance. The realized funds must be well managed to achieve the objective of the tax. A fair and transparent system is critical in identifying the ‘vulnerable group’ that qualifies for the Vulnerable Group Fund. The N876Bilion allocation to health in the 2022 Federal Budget is 5.1 percent of the total budget and lower than the 15 percent minimum allocation as agreed in the Abuja Declaration of 2001. Nigeria’s health sector requires and deserves more allocation considering the state of healthcare delivery in our nation today“.

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Dangote-Led Flood Committee Commences Distribution Of N1.5bn Relief Items To Victims Nationwide 

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Dangote-Led Flood Committee Commences Distribution Of N1.5bn Relief Items To Victims Nationwide

Olushola Okunlade Writes

The Dangote-led Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation (PCFRR), known as Dangote Flood Committee has commenced the distribution of relief materials, worth N1.5 billion to victims of flooding nationwide.  

The PCFRR, which was established by the Federal Government following the 2012 flooding, is co-chaired by Africa’s foremost industrialist Aliko Dangote, and Dr. Olisa Agbakoba.  

The flagging off ceremony for the relief materials distribution for this year started in Borno State and was conducted by the State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum Tuesday in Maiduguri, Borno State capital. The Governor thanked the Dangote Flood Committee and promised that he will ensure that the items get to the victims.

Dangote-Led Flood Committee Commences Distribution Of N1.5bn Relief Items To Victims Nationwide
Left-Right: Assistant Secretary (PCFRR) Umar Musa Gulani, Who Represent the Chairman Presidential Committee On Flood Relief Rehabilitation (PCFRR) Aliko Dangote, Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Umar Zulum, Director General (NEMA) Ahmed Mustapha Habib, Representative of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, Al-Yousuf Abdulkarim, during the visit to the Governor office before the Flag Off ceremony for Distribution of Presidential Committee on Flood Relief Rehabilitation donated relief materials to Flood Victims in Borno State on Tuesday 6th December 2022 at NEMA Zonal Office, Maiduguri, Borno State.
Dangote-Led Flood Committee Commences Distribution Of N1.5bn Relief Items To Victims Nationwide
Left-Right: Assistant Secretary (PCFRR) Umar Musa Gulani, Who Represent the Chairman Presidential Committee On Flood Relief Rehabilitation (PCFRR) Aliko Dangote, Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Umar Zulum, Director General (NEMA) during the visit to the Governor office before the Flag Off ceremony for Distribution of Presidential Committee on Flood Relief Rehabilitation donated relief materials to Flood Victims in Borno State on Tuesday 6th December 2022 at NEMA Zonal Office, Maiduguri, Borno State

UNICEF revealed that the 2022 flood killed 600 people, displaced 1.3 million, and destroyed more than 82,000 homes in Nigeria, therefore making it the worst in decades.   

The Representative of the Dangote-led Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation (PCFRR), Alhaji Umar Musa Gulani assured at the flagging off for the Northeast zone that the exercise would also be conducted in the other five geopolitical zones of the country.

Gulani said the items from the Committee have been officially handed over to the Borno State Government and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). He said the exercise would be conducted across the six geo-political zones, beginning from the northeastern State of Borno.   

The breakdown of items donated includes 86 bags of rice, 34 bags of beans, 34 bags of maize, 34 bags of millet, 34 bags of Guinea Corn, 34 bags of Garri, 86 cartons of noodles, 86 cartons of spaghetti, 86 cartons of macaroni and 86 bags of sugar, and 857 bags of cement, among several food and non-food items.   

Gulani said over N10 billion has been expended by the committee to mitigate the effect of flooding since inception in 2012, adding that no fewer than 84 Hostels have been built for flood victims in 24 states of Nigeria. According to him: “This private sector-led project is highly commendable and it has been sustained in the past ten years. It is a selfless service from the private sector and Nigerians should appreciate their selfless service to humanity”

Director General of NEMA Alhaji Mustapha Habib Ahmed described the Committee’s intervention as a milestone for Nigeria in general, and flood victims in particular. “Responding to the humanitarian outcomes of this nature requires concerted effort,” the DG said and added that the donation by the Dangote Flood Committee would eventually be made available to flood victims across the affected states in Nigeria.   

Dangote-Led Flood Committee Commences Distribution Of N1.5bn Relief Items To Victims Nationwide
Left-Right: Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Umar Zulum, Director General (NEMA) Ahmed Mustapha Habib, Assistant Secretary (PCFRR) Umar Musa Gulani, Who Represent the of Chairman Presidential Committee On Flood Relief Rehabilitation (PCFRR) Aliko Dangote, at Flag Off ceremony for Distribution of Presidential Committee on Flood Relief Rehabilitation donated relief materials to Flood Victims in Borno State on Tuesday 6th December 2022 at NEMA Zonal Office, Maiduguri, Borno State
Dangote-Led Flood Committee Commences Distribution Of N1.5bn Relief Items To Victims Nationwide
Left-Right: Assistant Secretary (PCFRR) Umar Musa Gulani, Who Represent the Chairman Presidential Committee On Flood Relief Rehabilitation (PCFRR) Aliko Dangote, Director General (NEMA) Ahmed Mustapha Habib, Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Umar Zulum, at Flag Off ceremony for Distribution of Presidential Committee on Flood Relief Rehabilitation donated relief materials to Flood Victims in Borno State on Tuesday 6th December 2022 at NEMA Zonal Office, Maiduguri, Borno State.
Dangote-Led Flood Committee Commences Distribution Of N1.5bn Relief Items To Victims Nationwide
Left-Right: Assistant Secretary (PCFRR) Umar Musa Gulani, Who Represent the Chairman Presidential Committee On Flood Relief Rehabilitation (PCFRR) Aliko Dangote, Director General (NEMA) Ahmed Mustapha Habib, Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Umar Zulum, at Flag Off ceremony for Distribution of Presidential Committee on Flood Relief Rehabilitation donated relief materials to Flood Victims in Borno State on Tuesday 6th December 2022 at NEMA Zonal Office, Maiduguri, Borno State

Speaking on behalf of the victims, Khalifa El-Miskin said the victims were extremely appreciative of the gesture. 

It would be recalled that the Committee also recently, during the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, donated N1.5 billion to fight the virus. Announcing the donation, Dangote said it was imperative for well-meaning Nigerians to help the Federal Government in fighting the virus.

The Committee also recently provided N250 million as relief assistance to victims of the devastating floods in Benue State. Aside from the donation in Benue, the Dangote-led committee also revealed that it had also donated the sum of N150 million (in kind) to provide relief assistance to flood victims in Anambra State.

It also released the sum of N118 million to NEMA to augment the N1.6 billion released by the Federal Government for procurement of food and non-food relief materials in aid of the flood victims in the following 16 states: Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Abuja FCT, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Niger, Ondo, Oyo, Plateau, and Sokoto.

It would be recalled that the Committee at its inauguration by former President Goodluck Jonathan raised a whopping N11.35 billion for flood victims. Top on the list of donors at the event was Dangote and the Federal Government, who donated N2.5 billion each.

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Nigerian Breweries Holds Extra-Ordinary General Meeting, Recommends 2.1 Billion Bonus Shares To Shareholders

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we look forward to the dividends that this initiative will bring to the various areas where the beneficiaries live

Olushola Okunlade Writes

Nigerian Breweries Plc, the foremost brewing company in Nigeria is set to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on Thursday, December 8, 2022, at the Grand Ball Room, Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos State.

At the meeting, the Board of Directors of the Company is proposing a bonus issue of one (1) new share for every four (4) shares held by qualifying Shareholders, that is those on the Register of Members at the close of business on Tuesday, 6th December 2022.

The Board’s proposed bonus share scheme is expected to be implemented upon the receipt of the Shareholder’s approval at the EGM. In view of the Company’s huge Share Premium Account, the Board decided to reward the company’s shareholders with the bonus share scheme as the best option to close the gap between the issued and unissued shares as required by the Corporate Affairs Commission.

Other items proposed by the Board for Shareholders’ approval at the EGM include an increase in the Company’s share capital to accommodate the bonus shares, a change in that regard in the share capital clause in the Memorandum of Association, and updates to some provisions in the Articles of Association to align with the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Act.

In furtherance of the Company’s commitment to continue to deliver value to its Shareholders, an interim dividend of 40 kobo per ordinary share of 50 kobo each was paid on 1st December 2022 to Shareholders whose names appeared in the Register of Members of the Company as at close of business on 23rd November 2022.

Speaking on the bonus issue proposal and the interim dividend payment, the Company Secretary/Legal Director, Uaboi Agbebaku explained that both actions clearly demonstrate the commitment of the Board to continue to reward Shareholders for their investment in the Company.

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LASAA Launches 2023 Mobile Advert Stickers For Branded Vehicles

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LASAA Launches 2023 Mobile Advert Stickers For Branded Vehicles

…promises improved and efficient process

By Moninuola Sulaiman

Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA), the agency saddled with the mandate to regulate advertisement displays in Lagos State, has announced the release of its 2023 mobile advert stickers for branded vehicles in the state.

Managing Director of LASAA, Prince Adedamola Docemo, in a statement in Ikeja yesterday, stated that the new and improved mobile advert e-sticker will be in force effective from the 1st of January 2023, a development that will render the 2022 sticker invalid.

He reiterated that, just like last year, the agency has fully deviated from the yearly tradition of launching the stickers with pomp and would rather focus on improving the efficiency of the new process.

He explained that the new e-sticker, which was introduced last year, has attracted a lot of commendation from stakeholders. He said LASAA has continuously reviewed and improved the mobile advert e-sticker product throughout the year to assess the process and fix all barriers for better and more efficient performance.

LASAA Launches 2023 Mobile Advert Stickers For Branded Vehicles
Prince Adedamola Docemo, Managing Director, LASAA.

Prince Docemo disclosed that the 2023 e-sticker continues to experience constant upgrades with a Quick Response (QR) code scanner application, which is readable with a simple smartphone.

He said, “The e-sticker has been enhanced with internal control mechanism, which comes with specialised bar codes and embedded details, including vehicle particulars and serial numbers for authentication.”

He explained that the new e-sticker comes with new and improved security features such as anti-counterfeit properties and an authentication system against fraud.

Prince Docemo emphasised that the level of security implemented for ease of confirmation has improved the process of compliance for the agency’s clients. He stressed that all branded vehicles state-wide will be effectively captured on a mobile advert database, thereby making the agency’s ability to monitor compliance and enforcement work efficiently.

He noted that the incidence of fraud has been hugely minimised, adding that non-compliant vehicles will be impounded and grounded. He assured clients that upon registration, the e-stickers will be available to them within 48 hours.

According to him, LASAA continues to monitor the activities of unscrupulous persons parading themselves as staff of the Agency as well as those working to frustrate its efforts by selling mobile advert stickers belonging to other States. This act LASAA believes is an attempt to cause confusion and conflict within Lagos territory. He added that LASAA has already taken bold steps to reverse this anomaly.

He, however, assured us that LASAA is always a step ahead in ensuring that all vehicles branded with logos and adverts are properly registered in Lagos State. He warned that the agency would arrest those who fail to comply.

He also warned clients and customers who are in the habit of patronising touts to desist from the such act because LASAA’s operation is fully automated and any forged registration will be easily detected.

He urged all registered clients to install the LASAA verifier app on their smart devices to verify the status of registration of their branded vehicles. The LASAA e-sticker Verification App is a reliable platform that allows LASAA field officers or law enforcement agencies to verify the authenticity of brand publications on automobiles in the state.

With the verifier app, all information regarding the organisation or individual name, plate number (where applicable), brand type, vehicle type, and branding type will be displayed seamlessly to verify the authenticity of the sticker.

The platform has been developed to ensure that branded automobiles have authorised stickers and to eradicate any occurrence of falsified brand information.

Prince Docemo expressed appreciation to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his immense support towards the agency’s initiatives while also stressing that clients’ satisfaction is at the heart of the agency’s business.

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