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Ministerial list: Reasons Buhari must withdraw Fashola’s nomination – CACOL

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The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, on Friday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw the Ministerial nominee of Babatunde Fashola.

CACOL said Fashola, who was the immediate past Minister of Work, Housing and Power, had failed to ensure good federal roads within Lagos State and Ogun axis.

In a statement addressed to the President, the Executive Chairman of CACOL, Debo Adeniran also insisted that Fashola failed in Power and Housing sectors while he was a Minister, hence should not be reappointed.

The letter sent to DAILY POST reads: “We wish to draw your attention to some vital issues concerning distinguish men and women, that you have assembled to be part of your cabinet with a view of partnering with you, towards realizing your plan for promoting good governance and accountability.

“We believe that competence; integrity, track record and diligence will no doubt determine the realization of your goals, to birth a new Nigeria in accordance with your avowed commitment towards a socio-political environment in Nigeria, and a rejuvenated, economically virile, peaceful and united country in line with the dreams of our founding forebears.

“Against this background, the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) hereby urge your Excellency to withdraw the nomination of Mr Raji Fashola whose name, unfortunately, featured prominently amongst those to be reappointed as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Sequel to the letter sent to you on 9th of April 2019, where we demanded that Mr Fashola should not be reappointed based on the fact that he has failed in carrying out his duty in the three portfolios in terms of Work, Housing and Power.

“Suffice it to outline our in-depth analysis on the key portfolios of the outgoing Minister as follows: –

“Deplorable conditions of federal roads within Lagos state and Ogun axis

“In Lagos, deplorable federal roads include the entire stretch of the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Lagos-Badagry Expressway, some sections of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway yet to be touched by the ongoing reconstruction of the dual carriageway and where work has been ongoing, the quality of work has not been impressive

“Within the city, some of the affected roads are the Ijora Causeway and Flyover; Funsho Williams Avenue, Alaka, Custain Roundabout to Eko Bridge ramp and Costain to Iganmu bridge.

“Also affected are Carter bridge roundabout to LAWMA Junction inwards Eko Bridge, Herbert Macaulay Way from Jibowu Junction to Adekunle Junction, Outer Marina to Ahmadu Bello Way from Apongbon bridge to Bonny Camp, Falomo roundabout through Kingsway Road to Osborne Road, Apapa Road to Western Avenue, between Iganmu bridge ramp and Western Avenue bridge ramp among others

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“Bad portions on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway such as Sango-Ota, Joju, Owode, Ijako, Iyana-Ilogbo and Pakoto have not only become death traps for motorists, but they have made commuters plying the road prone to armed robbery attacks

“Many spots on Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway are in a deplorable state, which of course have made things very difficult for the commuters and motorists. These spots are the Toll Gate area, the Sango Market area, Under Bridge, Joju junction, Oando Petrol Station junction, Owode-Ijako and Iyana Ilogbo, along Lagos-Abeokuta road. Specifically, on Sango-Idiroko axis, you have bad portions at Iyana Ota, Oju Ore, Fowobi Junction, General Hospital, Ota Junction as well as Ota High Court, Iyana Iyesi and the Bells area

“The deplorable state of the iconic Third Mainland Bridge has left many motorists dumbfounded as they continue to lament the fragility of this all-important, connecting bridge. Not only that some portions of the bridge evokes occasional tremor and instability, even on occasions that repairs are done, the quality of work usually leaves much to be desired. The dream of a Fourth Mainland Bridge remains what it is: a dream, as no tangible dateline for its commencement is in sight many years after its official launching. This would have no doubt, ease much of the congestion in movement of people and goods from Lagos hinterland to the surrounding cities

“Apart from the Lagos-Abeokuta and Sango-Idiroko express roads begging for urgent intervention, other federal roads in the state-required major intervention such as Ikorodu-Shagamu road, Shagamu-Ijebu Ode road, Ijebu Ode-Ore are equally in terrible conditions and require urgent attention.

In the area of power, CACOL said Fashola propagated more propaganda during his first term as Minister.

“Power Holding (Electricity supply) and Nigerians’ Experience

“The experience has been that of continuous epileptic power supply even as the power generation availability hovers around 3, 500 to 4, 500 megawatts with tens of billions of US Dollars expended as shortfalls to Electricity Generation Companies (GENCOS)

“Almost four (4) years in the saddle, the Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing has demonstrated more of rhetoric and propaganda in protecting electricity consumers from the shylock electricity distributive companies (DISCOS) as more of darkness is supplied as bogus billing system (estimated billings) is enforced with people being hamstrung to pay for power they never enjoyed. The situation remains evenly pathetic, throughout the federation metering of homes and offices remain a pipe dream with different stories of how the exploited Nigerian power utilizing individuals and corporate organizations lick their wound daily, with unimaginable consequences on the entire economy and social activities

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“Even with the claim of the power Ministry under Babatunde Fashola that power generation has increased from 4,000 (Four thousand) Megawatts to 7,000 (Seven Thousand Megawatts, Transmission from 5,000 (Five Thousand) Megawatts to 7,000 (Seven Thousand) Megawatts and Distribution from 2,690 (Two Thousand, Six Hundred and Ninety) Megawatts to 5,222 (Five Thousand, Two Hundred and Twenty-two) Megawatts, nothing is on ground to justify this claim as diverse protests rock the nation by frustrated and agonized members of the public who suffer these defects in power supply

“As it is characteristic of Babatunde Fashola’s style of leadership, when confronted with indifference and complacency on deployment of huge quantum of resources on electricity with defaulting companies not brought to book by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and challenged through the Freedom of Information (FOI) Acts, all that could be extracted was the role of an Abuja based company named POW Technologies Ltd that got paid for 19 (Nineteen) items since 2014 but has remained in default of 6 (six) items while palpable failure of many other procurements and contracts remain sketchy till date.”

Highlighting Fashola’s failure in the area of Housing Policy and Result, CACOL added: “Honourable Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) while commenting on the housing sector hinted that the pilot National Housing Programme which to him is second in the history of the nation has led to a nationwide housing construction currently at various stages of completion in 34 States of the federation, where landed properties were provided. He also insisted that construction works at these project sites are an ecosystem of human enterprise where artisans, vendors, suppliers and craftsmen are direct beneficiaries as well as contributors to nation-building.

“The Works and Housing Boss opined that the Ministry is also tackling the backlog of issuance of consent and Certificates of Occupancy on Federal Government lands, explaining that a total of 1, 216 applications for Consent to Transfer Interest inland and 1, 300 Certificates of Occupancy were approved and signed.

“However, unlike what was clearly visible under Lateef Jakande’s administration as Minister of Works under General (rtd) Abacha’s regime, most Nigerians continue to lament lack of adequate and affordable Housing scheme under this regime.

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“CACOL had written to advice against the appointment of same Babatunde Raji Fashola in concordance with our objective appraisal of his performance whilst he held sway as governor of Lagos state. Today, we have been sufficiently vindicated as his inability to deliver the goods stare us all in the face. It is in view of this noted incompetence that we hereby, express our dissatisfaction of his performance in all those three (3) vital portfolios and call on your leadership to not only relieve him of any future responsibilities, but to probe his office on all supposed contracts given out under him with a view to bring him and others who may be culpable of siphoning and diverting humongous sums of money for work not done.

“Please, accept our esteemed regards as we believe you would view this intervention as our little contribution towards assisting in the greater success of this government, especially during your last lap in office.”

The Senate had on Wednesday commenced the screening of the Ministerial list Buhari sent to them for confirmation among whom was Fashola.

Other nominees include: Chris Ngige, Hadi Sirika, Rotimi Amaechi, Adamu Adamu, Mohammed Adamu, and Lai Mohammed.

Others in the list are Uche Ogah, Emeka Nwajuiba, Sadiya Farouk, Musa Bello, Godswill Akpabio, Sharon Ikeazor, Ogbonnaya Onu, Akpa Udo, and Adebayo (Ekiti).

Also, Timipre Sylva, Adamu Adamu, Shewuye (Borno), Isa Pantami, Gbemi Saraki, Ramatu Tijani, Clement Abam were also declared as part of the nominees.

Paullen Tallen, Abubakar Aliyu, Sale Mamman, Abubakar Malami, Muhammed Mamood, Rauf Aregbesola, Mustapha Buba Jedi Agba, Olamilekan Adegbite, and Mohammed Dangyadi.

Lagos guber: I’m confident of victory at tribunal – Sanwo-Olu

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Ologburo hails Gov. Makinde for securing sole ownership of LAUTECH

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Construction magnate and businessman, Omoba Tunde Ologburo has congratulated the Seyi Makinde -led Oyo State government for the recent sole ownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) as announced by the National University Commission (NUC).

Ologburo,  in a statement signed on Wednesday, in Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital and made available to Mega Icon Magazine, noted that the ease with which the state acquired ownership of the institution is yet another testimonial to the resourcefulness of Governor Seyi Makinde in getting results, even when the task is a tough one.

The merchant prince lauded both governments of Oyo and Osun State for letting reason prevail on the contentious issue of ownership and administration of the institution saying, “the problem-solving disposition of the two governors, and their private sector experiences came to bear in the outcome that we are celebrating today.”

According to him, “more especially, Governor Makinde has shown that with the mechanism of dialogue and mutual understanding a lot of achievements can be attained.

“This development has placed additional responsibilities on the shoulders of the Oyo State government. In the light of this, it is imperative to encourage teaching and non-teaching staff of the university, as well as the students to cooperate with the state government on the steps the government might be proposing in moving the university forward. Already, the Governor has said that the university would be run in a multi-campus system, which is a good development.”

The statement added that the public policy of qualitative education by the state government would receive further boost by this development, as it would ensure an increase in number of university admission for Oyo State indigenes.

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Senator trains Oyo North constituents in cosmetology

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Senator representing Oyo North Senatorial District, Abdulfatai Buhari in conjunction with the National Directorate Of Employment (NDE) has trained no fewer than three hundred  (300) selected constituents in Makeup and Cosmetology

The 3- day training programme facilitated by Sen. Buhari, as reliably gathered, is part of his strategic intention to create alternative means of employment generation for his constituents.

It is believed that the beneficiaries will make judicious use of the knowledge acquired, start up pack (Complete make up kit), and training allowance not minding the little way they are starting.

The training is expected to run through Tuesday 24th to Thursday 26th  November 2020 and simultaneously  at three different venues and local governments which included, Ogbomoso Cooperative Building ( Isale Afon, Ogbomoso), Okeho Town Hall, Okeho in Kajola Local Government and Tede Town Hall,Tede in Atisbo Local Government in Oyo North Senatorial District.

No doubt, the professional practise of beautifying the face , hair and skin has brought many people to stardom within and outside the country.

Senator Buhari, in conjunction with the National Productivity Centre (NPC) and the National Directorate Of Employment (NDE) , had over the past weeks trained no fewer than eight hundred ( 800) constituents selected from across the thirteen (13) local governments of Oyo North Senatorial District in various field, ranging from ICT, soap making and disinfectants, tie and die, barbering and hairdressing.

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Don’t drag us into UI succession battles – Oyo BIR boss

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The Chairman of Oyo State Board of Internal Revenue (BIR), Aremo John Adeleke, has debunked reports linking his agency, the State’s Ministry of Finance and officials of the University of Ibadan, with any form of shady deals in the process that led to the refund of the PAYE tax arrears owed the state by the university.

The BIR boss, in a statement made available to newsmen, declared that there is no evidence of shady financial dealings between the BIR and the University of Ibadan, or any other federal MDA on the Pay As You Earn tax liability audit process for the periods of 2012 to 2018 and 2019.

According to the BIR boss, there was no case of abuse of office or contravention of the code of conduct for public officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He also insisted that the tax audit process was transparent, unblemished, and in line with the tax assessment and reconciliation procedure provided by the Personal Income Tax Act 2004 (as amended).

The statement further indicated that the media houses which published the story had been misled by the muddled-up analyses put forward by an unknown anti-corruption group headed by one Bala Ayodele.

Adeleke equally stated that the basis of the agreement between the Federal Government and Oyo State which led to the settlement of the undisputed PAYE tax liability, has nothing to do with any matter relating to the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), as, according to him, the settlement was consequent upon the Nigerian Governors’ Forum complaint to the Federal Government on the huge unremitted PAYE of federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies in most states.

The BIR boss warned that the Oyo State Government should not be dragged into the on-going succession battle in the University of Ibadan, adding that the false and malicious publications were made in bad faith to tarnish the government of Engr. Makinde by elements who are bent on dragging the state into the ongoing battle over the emergence of a new Vice-Chancellor in UI.

He stated that contrary to claims in the publications that the tax audit process allegedly covered a period of 12 years , 2007 to 2018, in contravention of the Personal Income Tax Act 2004, the exercise only covered the period of 2012 to 2017 (six years) in the first instance, and then 2018, which was conducted in 2019 in strict accordance with the relevant section of Personal Income Tax Act, 2004, as amended.

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The OYIRS equally debunked the claim that there was a fraudulent deal on the 10 per cent commission to Tax Audit and Monitoring Agents, stating that the governor approved the engagement of the agents in July 2019 for the recoveries of the PAYE tax liabilities and that the 10 per cent commission is to reward all the categories and layers of consultants involved in the recovery process.

Adeleke maintained that contrary to claims in the publications that an initial 2 per cent paid as commission is not part of the 10 per cent approved for such purpose, the 2 per cent paid to the first category of consultants, indeed, formed part of the 10 per cent.

Responding on the case of reward disagreement between Baytem Nigeria Ltd. and the Oyo State Government, Adeleke maintained that the matter is being handled by a court of competent jurisdiction and that the OYIRS would limit its comment until the court process is completed.

He said: “It becomes pertinent to put the records straight as a matter of public interest and give the process flow of the tax audit process that led to the recovery of N3,751,024,427.22 of which N1,875,512,213.61 (50 per cent) has just been recovered from the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation in two tranches of 25 per cent each. The N1,875,512,213.61 recovered was essentially receipted by the Oyo State Government following the payments.

“It is also pertinent at this juncture to state that: The tax audit exercise, covering the period, 2012 to 2017 (six years), was facilitated and conducted in 2018 in strict accordance with the relevant Section of Personal Income Tax Act, 2004, as amended. A sum of N4,003,020,114.02 was established and later revised to N2,975,027,903.83 after the tax audit reconciliation process that featured exclusion of Withholding Tax liability and expungement of penalty and interest, as demanded by the verification team.

“In 2019, however, following a similar process, a tax audit liability of N775,996,523.39 was also established and resolved. Therefore, the total tax audit liability of N3,751,024,427.22 was resolved and signed by both parties (University of Ibadan and Oyo State Internal Revenue Service). In a nutshell, the tax audit effort, in good faith, was not beyond six years in any of the cases.

“There was no case of false financial claims or abuse of office and the code of conduct for public officers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was not contravened. We are glad to emphasise that the tax audit process for the period, 2012 to 2018, is transparent in line with the tax assessment and reconciliation procedure as provided by Personal Income Tax Act, 2004, as amended.”

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The management of the state’s internal revenue service also debunked allegations of underhand arrangement with the top echelon of the University of Ibadan.

The statement read: “For emphasis, there is no way OYSIRS could have compromised the top management of University of Ibadan and also the other parties and layers of verification, as evidenced by the participation of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Joint Verification Team of the Joint Tax Board and the Office of Accountant-General of the Federation, as well as the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and its consultancy apparatus.”

According to the OYIRS Management, the BIR Chairman, Adeleke, did not at any time meet with Professor Olayinka and/or Prof Adebowale or any other top echelon of the university to perpetuate any fraudulent act.

“We are not aware of any kickback process or underhand arrangement involving the trio: Prof Idowu Olayinka, Prof Kayode Adebowale and Dr. Michael Alatise in one part and any official of Oyo State Internal Revenue Service or by extension, Oyo State Government on the other.

“In addition, no trade-off existed in favour of either any University of Ibadan official or any official of Oyo State Government. The tax liability for 2018 was evidently established, reconciled along with 2012 to 2017 and mutually signed for onward recovery from Federal Government intervention funds. All monies of all federal MDAs audited and recovered for PAYE liabilities in OYSG, were duly recovered to the account of OYSG and could not have ended in anyone’s private pocket as alleged,” the statement added.

The body equally maintained that the resolution period of the tax audit matter between the University of Ibadan and the OYIRS did not span beyond three months, contrary to the allegation in the publications.

“The Oyo State Internal Revenue Service, based on its normal revenue recovery mandate and working towards meeting up with the mutually agreed figure before the arrival of the verification team of the FGN, encouraged the University of Ibadan, among other Federal MDAs, to take advantage of Federal Government offers to help clean their books of tax liability – essentially backlogs of unremitted PAYE.

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“The agreement of the Federal Government to help to settle the tax liability is also logical in addressing the plight of the MDAs on account of inadequate funding by the Federal Government and insufficiency of the released funds to pay the employees’ salary in many of the MDAs, including the University of Ibadan.

“For collaboration with OYSG to relieve the university of unpaid PAYE liabilities to OYSG, the university management deserves commendation, not vilification, especially when the final liability is a product of thorough audit and reconciliation.

“In finality, this spurious petition is full of lies and has no basis in logic and reality. The PAYE recovery by the states is a special initiative of the Federal Government to, on behalf of her MDAs owing the state, to repay all the outstanding and unremitted PAYE to all affected states in the federation. The settlement of the tax liability is at no cost to any Federal MDAs, including the University of Ibadan.

“The process was guided by strict rules and procedures by the verification team from Abuja. All these rules were thoroughly applied and observed by the Oyo State Government and the management of the University of Ibadan. The process of tax audit of Federal MDAs and the payment process was and is straight-forward.

“The writer and his allies, acting scripts, are only trying to smear Oyo State Government and this will not stand. We have no hesitation in owning up to a good working relationship with the out-going management of the University of Ibadan. This same cordial atmosphere will always be extended to any management of the University, past, present, or future,” the statement concluded.

 

 

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