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2017 Convention : 40,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses Storm Ibadan

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NO fewer than 40,000 delegates from Oyo, Ogun and Osun states are expected to attend the 2017 annual Regional convention of Jehovah’s witnesses holding at Ifatumo Assembly Complex ,  Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo state .

The annual event which is opened to members of the public its themed  “Don’t Give Up!” Regional Conventions.

Billed for Friday October 6th – December 17th ,  2017 the delegates  will be attending  these free events  with their families , relatives and interested ones .

In all, there will be 9 conventions spanning a total period of 9 weeks with the final convention between December 15th – 17th, 2017.

Contained in a press release made available to newsmen at the weekend in Ibadan by the Media Contact person, Mr. Olayinka Dada,  the spiritual program is divided into 52 parts and will be presented in a variety of formats, including brief discourses, interviews, and short videos.

Additionally, one segment of a three-part feature film entitled “Remember the wife of Lot” will be shown each afternoon.

” Challenges in life can rob us of peace and even cause some to think about giving up. Our convention this year will benefit both witnesses and non-witnesses because it promises to empower individuals not only to keep enduring but also to cope with challenges productively.

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” Admission to each event is free and no collections are taken. The dates and location for each convention can be found on the witnesses official website Jw.org.” , he said.

 

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Business

We will use Oyo IGR to offset all recurrent expenditure before 2023—Makinde

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Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Tuesday, declared that his administration would ensure that the State’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) is able to offset its recurrent expenditure before the end of his current tenure.

Governor Makinde, who made the declaration while giving a keynote address at the one-day Tax Stakeholders ‘Poverty to Prosperity’ Summit held at the Theophilus Ogunlesi Hall, University College Hospital, Ibadan, stated that his commitment to take the State from poverty to prosperity remained on course.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, equally quoted the Governor as telling the dignitaries at the event that the sacked local government chairmen who have been struggling to return to the councils were targeting the funds of the councils.

Makinde urged the people of the state to think of new and innovative ideas to expand the State’s IGR.

According to him, the desperation by the sacked 68 Local Government and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) chairmen to return to the offices was informed by the greet to take over the accumulated resources of the councils.
He, however, stated that the era of spending government’s money reckless had gone and the sacked illegal chairmen had gone with it, adding that though many of the sacked chairmen have shown that they were stone-hearted, one could only hope that those who fail to toe the path of peace will be judged accordingly.

Governor Makinde who also spoke at the foundation laying ceremony of the Mini-Mapo Hall at the Headquarters of Ibadan South-West Local Government said that his government would ensure prudent management of public funds.

While laying the foundation stone of the Traditional Council’s building (Mini-Mapo), which was attended by the Olubadan of Ibadan, ObaSaliu Adetunji and his High Chiefs as well as other top Government functionaries, Governor Makinde reiterated the importance of the traditional institution in ensuring peace and order in the society, noting that despite the country operating democracy, the traditional councils could not be overlooked.

The Governor added that the traditional rulers as the closest to the people, who also understand their culture and tradition, remained relevant in maintaining peace and resolving conflicts.

While delivering his keynote address at the tax summit, Governor Makinde noted that growing the State’s IGR has become imperative to the Government’s mandate to move Oyo State from poverty to prosperity.

According to him, strategies have been put in place by his Government to boost the IGR of the State and that the strategies have started yielding fruits.

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He stated that Oyo State was able to raise the IGR from  about N2 billion to N2.7 billion in November 2019.

He said: “We are here today to talk about the Oyo State IGR Roadmap that will facilitate economic prosperity. The issue of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) is very important as it is tied to how much development the state will experience, all things being equal.

“Without adequate revenue, there will be no resources to fund the budget; the state will have to resort to borrowing for recurrent expenditure or owing for overheads, which is never ideal.

“Trends also show Oyo State’s IGR fluctuates; in 2014 it was N16.30bn, but dropped to N15.66bn in 2015, later increasing to N18.88bn in 2016. For 2017, the IGR figures grew to N22.45bn. While in 2018 it grew to N24.67bn. This put our IGR per capita in 2018 at below N3,000 per person. We can definitely do better.

“The current trend across states in Nigeria is to see IGR as being synonymous with revenue generated from taxes, partly because other sources of revenue, especially natural resources are on the exclusive list.

“Revenue generated from these natural resources goes to the Federation Account and is then shared between the Federal Government and states. A lot has been said about how this has served as a hindrance to development, and how it has made states unwilling to invest in the management of these resources. But that is only half of the story.

“The other half is that it is possible to raise the IGR of the state without raising taxes. And this is the promise that we made to the people of Oyo State while we were on the campaign trail. We are determined to continue keeping that promise.

“Indeed, as clearly stated in our Roadmap for Accelerated Development in Oyo State 2019-2023, our plans to increase the revenue generated in Oyo State without an increase in taxes, stand on four legs: A thorough review of the current IGR process and management in the state; expanding the tax net; looking for new sources of revenue and being aggressive and innovative in the mode of revenue collection by having the State Board of the Internal Revenue Service working in collaboration with seasoned professionals.

“So far, and I am sure we will have this expounded by various speakers today, Oyo State has embarked on a comprehensive review of the IGR process and management. We have been able to plug some holes in the system and this is yielding results. We have also employed new managers of the revenue collection process. Their mandate is to come up with innovative and aggressive ways of getting the untaxed to contribute to the development of the state.”

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“The commencement of the new strategies put in place to increase IGR produced the positive result recorded in December 2019, as we raised the IGR to 2.7 billion Naira from about 2 billion Naira in November.

“Also, we are putting in place a land administration solution that will ensure wider and more effective enumeration of all business and household properties, ensure ease of obtaining land titles and other documents and faster approval of building plans. The land use charge has been fine-tuned and will be responsibly applied.

“Furthermore, we have taken a second look at our vehicle registration and renewal system and by the end of this month, the public can expect a wider, better and faster platform which will be available in all our 34 tax stations. We will continually apply fair and harmonised billings to other rates and levies.

“It is generally agreed in economic circles that the citizens are more inclined to respond positively and even volunteer to pay their taxes when they see how these payments are being put in use. I am happy to report that the taxes paid by the good people of Oyo State are currently being ploughed back into the development of the state. You may be aware of the work being done by the Oyo State Road Maintenance Agency (OYSROMA); we are rehabilitating roads in Ibadan and will move outside Ibadan to other cities before the end of this quarter.

“The work being done in the education sector is also taxpayers’ money in action. Schools are being built and renovated; we are concentrating on our final year secondary school students. We want them to return better results in their WAEC exams this year. We are also able to increase the education budget by 700 per cent compared to last year’s budget.

“Because we believe that health is wealth, we are taking steps to ensure that the people of Oyo State remain healthy. Soon, we will roll out a health intervention programme across all Local Government Areas in the state. The renovation and equipping of hospitals and Primary Health Care Centres in the state remain on course.
“In a few months, we are looking to start running a mass transit system in the state. The modalities are being set up and we will communicate the process with you.

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“Of course, what this means is that we will have to find a way of increasing our IGR especially by looking inwards and exploring areas of competitive advantage. We have to, as a matter of urgency, attract investments into Oyo State.
“Attracting direct investments will take a collective effort. Our administration will continue to invest in security and take other measures to ensure that we create an enabling environment for the growth of investments. On your part, you should be ready to extend the traditional hospitality to strangers, making them feel welcome in our midst.

“We also plead that you file your annual returns early in the year and within the stipulated time.
“As we explore the theme of this Stakeholder’s summit, I enjoin us all to keep our minds open to new ideas and think creatively and innovatively about how to expand our tax net. If, as research has shown, an increase in IGR is a strong determinant of economic development, then those of us in this room should understand how important this mandate is.”

 

In his speech, the Oyo State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinola Ojo, maintained that the summit presented “an opportunity for all stakeholders to interact, obtain first-hand information on the benefits of paying taxes and perhaps most importantly, understand the plans and appreciate the strides by the Government regarding generating the revenue with which it intends to provide requisite services and infrastructure for the benefit of every citizen of Oyo State as well as enhance development in the State.”

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Politics

Oyo: Court restrain sacked  LG chairmen, AGF, IGP from forceful takeover of secretariats

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An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan, the State capital on Tuesday restrained the 68 sacked council chairmen and chairmen of Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) from forceful and illegal takeover of the council offices across the state.

The Court, presided over by Justice Moshud A.A Abbas granted the four reliefs sought by the lead counsel to Oyo State Government, Dr. Akin Onigbinde, SAN including an interim injunction restraining the sacked chairmen of from forcefully taking over the Local Government Councils or taking steps capable of causing breach of peace in the State.

The interim orders of injunction, which were granted by the Oyo State High Court followed an ex-parte motion filed by the State Government in Suit No: I/78/2020.

Also restrained were the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, Inspector General of Police Commissioner of Police Muhammed Abubakar Adamu and the Commissioner of Police, , Oyo State Command, Sina Olukolu and Oyo State APC chairman, Akin Oke.

The parties and their agents were restrained from taking any step that could tamper with the pending matters before the Court of Appeal.
According to the Court, the sacked chairmen as well as the four other defendants, their officers, agents, privies or otherwise were restrained from taking steps that would cause breach of peace by embarking on self-help to give effect to a letter dated 14th January, 2020 with reference number HAGF/OYO/2020/VOL.I/1 issued by the Attorney General of the Federation to the sacked chairmen and the Inspector General of Police pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

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Politics

LG crisis: We will prosecute those who vandalized LGs properties – Oyo govt

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The government of Oyo State declared on Monday that it will bring the full weight of the law to bear on the alleged criminal and violent takeover of some Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas’ secretariats by the dissolved illegal chairmen loyal to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The state government said reports from different parts of Oyo State confirmed on Monday that the sacked chairmen resorted to break-ins and vandalization of government properties, leading some imposters to seize offices of council Chairmen.

The State Government, in a statement by Honourable Babatunde Oduyoye, the Special Adviser on Strategy and Political Matters to Governor Seyi Makinde, maintained that the action of the sacked chairmen amounted to criminality and unwarranted provocation.

It condemned what it called unwarranted lawlessness and motor-park-like brigandage perpetrated by the sacked chairmen on Monday.
According to the State Government, the imposters broke into council offices, vandalising gates, doors, windows and other properties at the respective local council secretariats.
The government, however, appealed to the teeming people of the State to remain calm, law-abiding and patient, pending the decision of the Court of Appeal on the matter slated for 19 February 2020.

It promised that “a drastic measure “will be taken on the reports of destruction and violence which characterised the actions of the sacked chairmen on Monday.

Hon Oduyoye said: “We have received reports of vandalisation of government property. We have received reports of wanton destruction of doors, windows, and others, and I can tell you that the governor will not sit down and watch while some people decide to be lawless. This is criminal and the government will pursue it to a logical conclusion.

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“So, pending the determination of the cases at the Court of Appeal, I think it is only appropriate for these chairmen to be law-abiding because we had said earlier that it is sub judice and we cannot do anything until these cases are determined in the court.

“For the records, the state government, in a statement yesterday, did say that we are going to ensure we do not allow a breakdown of law and order. As we speak, there are two cases in the Court of Appeal and the cases are coming up on February 19th. I do not know why the Attorney-General of the Federation wrote such a letter that is now being used as excuse by some to act recklessly. We will recall that he did a similar thing on the issue of Amotekun.”

The Special Adviser added that as a law-abiding and peace-loving Government, the 68 caretaker chairmen appointed by Governor Makinde were directed to stay away from the secretariats in order to forestall an outbreak of violence, noting, however, that the chairmen have been charged with keeping peace and order in their respective local councils.

He added: “We in Oyo State are law-abiding citizens. The government directed the chairmen to maintain peace. We have just finished a meeting now and workers in the state under the umbrella of NULGE are on strike, and you now begin to ask why the sacked APC council chairmen went to the local government councils.

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“The issue is, there is industrial action by NULGE. I think they are justified by the level of reports we have received of people macheting PDP members they found around the local government councils’ premises, destroying government properties, forcing doors open and all that. NULGE was right to have taken such a decision. We do not begrudge them for doing that but we have told our people to be law-abiding. We have told the chairmen too to ensure there is no breakdown of law and order within the local government areas.”

Speaking on the situation that led to the current imbroglio, Oduyoye maintained that the Court should be allowed to take its decision on who is right or wrong on the matter on ground, insisting, however, that the government, under the leadership of Governor Makinde, would not sit down and watch some desperate elements destroy the state and create fear in the minds of the people.

“Whether one is right or the other is wrong, it is not for me to decide. The court will decide. This is a very simple matter. An election was held when there was an injunction. Second, elections took place in LCDAs not recognised by the Constitution. These are matters before the court.

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“As I said, the court will decide if you can conduct elections in areas not recognized by the constitution and, if you can go ahead to conduct an election when there was a pending injunction, these are matters for the Court of Appeal to decide upon.

Pending that time, we have appealed to the good people of Oyo State to be calm, law-abiding and we will ensure we do something about the report sent to us on those who have destroyed government property,” Oduyoye said.

 

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