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South Africa President, Zuma signs 10 bills into law.

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PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma of South Africa on Wednesday, 11 January 2017, signed the following ten (10) Bills into law.

Taxation Laws Amendment Act:

The main purpose of the Bill is to amend certain provisions of various Acts related to the Taxations Laws Amendment Act including, amongst others, Transfer Duty Act, 1949; Estate Duty Act, 1955; Customs and Excise Act, 1964; Value-Added Tax Act, 1991; Skills Development Levies Act, 1999, Unemployment Contributions Act, 2002; Securities Transfer Tax Act, 2007; Mineral and Petroleum Resources Royalty Act, 2008; Employment Tax Incentive Act, 2013 as well as Taxation Laws Amendment Acts, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

The Bill seeks to amend these laws in order to bring them in line with the new Taxation Laws Amendment Act.

Finance Act, 2016 : 

The Finance Act, 2016 (Act No.7 of 2016) seeks to provide provisions for the approval of unauthorised expenditure, recovery of unauthorised expenditure and provide for matters connected therewith.

Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws (Administration) Act, 2016:

The Act aims to provide for administrative matters in respect of additional relief under the voluntary disclosure programme and to provide for matters connected therewith.

Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Act, 2016:

The Act aims to fix the rates of normal tax; to amend the Transfer Duty Act, 1949, so as to amend the rates of transfer duty and monetary threshold; to amend the Income Tax Act, 1962, so to amend rates of tax and monetary amounts as well as to amend Customs and Excise Act, 1964, so as to amend rates of duty in Schedule 1 to that Act.

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The Act further seeks to provide for additional relief under the voluntary disclosure programme and to provide for matters connected therewith.

Tax Administration Laws Amendment Act, 2016:

The main purpose of the Bill is to amend Income Tax Act, 1962, to provide for delegation of power to disclose certain information and to remove an obligation to submit a return for a dividend derived from a tax free investment, amongst others. The Bill further seeks to amend Customs and Excise Act, 1964, so as to narrow the scope of provisions relating to Special Economic Zones and to align terminology with terminology used in the Special Economic Zones Act, 2014.

The Bill also seeks to amend certain provisions of Value-Added Tax Act, 1991; Mineral and Petroleum Resources Royalty (Administration) Act, 2008 as well as Tax Administration Act, 2011.

Adjustments Appropriation Act, 2016:

The Bill seeks to effect adjustments to the appropriation of money from the National Revenue Fund for the requirements if the State in respect of the 2016/17 financial year and to provide for matters incidental thereto.

Unemployment Insurance Amendment Act, 2016:

The main purpose of the Bill is to amend the Unemployment Insurance Act, 2001, so as to provide for the extension of the unemployment insurance benefits to learners who are undergoing learnership training and civil servants and also, amongst other things, to adjust the accrual rate of contributor’s entitlement to unemployment insurance benefits and to provide for the process of application for maternity benefits.

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The Bill further seek to empower the Unemployment Insurance Board to provide its constitution for the functions of regional appeals committees and to amend Scheduled 2 to the  Unemployment Insurance Act, 2001, so as to provide for adjustment of the Income Replacement Rate and to provide matters connected therewith.

Children’s Amendment Act, 2016:

The Bill seek to amend the Children’s Act, 2005, so as to insert certain definitions and to provide, amongst other things, that a person convicted of certain offences be deemed unsuitable to work with children and to afford a child offender an opportunity to make representations as to why a finding of unsuitability to work with children should not be made.

Children’s Second Amendment Act, 2016:

The Bill seek to amend the Children’s Act, 2005, so as to insert certain definitions and to provide, amongst other things, that the removal of a child temporary safe care without a court order be placed before the children’s court for review before the expiry date of the next court day. The Bill further seek to provide that an application for a child to remain in alternative care beyond the age of 18 years, must be submitted before end if the year in which the relevant child reaches the age of 18 years and to provide for matters connected therewith.

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Performing Animals Protection Amendment Act, 2016:

The Bill seek to amend the Performing Animals Protection Act, 1935 and to provide for a procedure for the application for a license to exhibit and train performing animals or use of animals for safeguarding as well as to provide for the issuance of license and for an appeals process and to provide for matters connected therewith.

President Zuma is confident that these new amended laws will enhance government service delivery programmes and also improve the good work that has been done by departments and institutions who are custodians of these laws.

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‘Take pre-emptive steps to secure Oyo State’, Akande advises Makinde

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Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, has been urged to take immediate and decisive measures to secure lives and property in the state.

Professor Adeolu Akande, the Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, made the plea on Monday, in the wake of the security measures announced by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State.

The Ondo State Government had on Monday given a 7-day ultimatum to illegal occupants of forest reserves in the state to vacate their hideout. The government also announced many other stringent steps to secure the state from incorrigible elements.

Professor Akande noted the extreme measures would make Ondo State uncomfortable for the criminals, who would seek a new haven and continue to wreak havoc.

“It is logical to expect that the displacement of these criminal elements from Ondo State will lead them to migrate to comfortable zones to continue their nefarious activities. This is the risk Oyo State faces if it fails to take stern measures to keep such elements away from the state.

“We should not be unmindful of claims by the Chairman of the  Amotekun corps in Oyo State that the forest reserves in the Oke Ogun area have become a haven for criminals from neighbouring countries.

“It is therefore of great urgency that Governor Makinde announces measures to ensure that Oyo State does not become a natural comfort zone for criminal elements expelled from neighbouring states.

The APC Chieftain further noted that the rising crime wave in the state and across the country calls for collective action from all citizens.

“This is no time to trade culpability. The state is facing a serious security challenge, and all of us must join hands with the governor to salvage the situation. Criminals do not distinguish between political parties when they commit a crime. They do not choose their victims according to their political affiliation. All hands must be on deck to return our dear state to a secure and peaceful one”, the NCC boss submitted.

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NDDC: Akpabio threatens legal action over fake news of $5m bribe to Malami to secure sole administrator

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Senator Godswill Akpabio, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, has denied the news making the rounds in some media outfits that he offered a bribe of $5 million to the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami, to secure the appointment of a sole administrator for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Also, the former governor of Akwa Ibom State has threatened legal action against the purveyors of the news inorder to clear his name and that of the Attorney General from the malicious publication.

The position of the Minister was contained in a statement signed by his media aide, Anietie Ekong, and made available to newsmen.

The statement read, “the attention of the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has been drawn to a piece of fake news which claimed that Senator Akpabio paid $5 million bribe to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and others to secure the appointment of a Sole Administrator for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

“We wish to state categorically that  this is a piece of malicious concoction manufactured from the pit of hell by mischief -makers. It is a figment of the imagination of the author of the fake news. Senator Akpabio denies the story in its entirety. The authors of the fake news should be ready to back up their claim or face the full wrath of the law.

“The story is a desperate attempt by some unscrupulous bloggers to impugn the integrity of the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and the Honourable Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami as the claim is not only spurious but utterly ridiculous.

“The fact is that in a suit number ABJ/CS/617/2020 filed by a Civil Society Organization, Forum for Accountability and Good Governance, at a Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice Ahmed Mohammed had granted an order restraining the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC from performing the functions of the board and accessing the Commission’s offices and files.

“The Order clearly listed the Managing Director Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, Acting Executive Director of Projects Dr Cairo Ojougboh, Mrs Caroline Nagboh and Cecilia Akintomide as those restrained. The Order also asked that “the most senior civil servant or administrator in the Commission be appointed” to take charge of the Commission.

“It was based on this order that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the elevation of the Acting Executive Director of Finance and Administration, Mr Effiong Akwa, being the most Senior Administrator to take over the headship of the NDDC as an Interim Administrator pending the completion of the Forensic Audit Exercise.

“It is therefore absurd for anyone to even imagine that the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio would bribe the Attorney General before an Order of the Court is complied with as the purveyors of the fake news have stated. The general public should discountenance this piece of trash.

‘It is obvious that some  persons who are scared of the ongoing forensic audit of the NDDC as ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari are working tirelessly to scuttle the exercise by blackmailing the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.  Their modus operandi is to churn out fake news in a bid to stop Senator Akpabio from sanitizing the NDDC. Otherwise, how can a responsible news website make such a grievous allegation without any shred of evidence to back up its claim.

“However, we wish to state that no amount of sponsored fake news and blackmail would deter Senator Akpabio from doing the right thing as directed by Mr. President. The Minister has the overwhelming support of the impoverished masses of the Niger Delta who have borne the brunt of underdevelopment of the region over the years”, it concluded.

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Alaafin of Oyo, encyclopedia of Yoruba culture and tradition – Tegbe

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A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo state, Engr. Olasunkanmi Tegbe has described the Alaafin of Oyo, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III as an encyclopedia of the culture and traditions of the entire Yoruba race.

Congratulating the custodian of culture on his 50th coronation anniversary, Tegbe said Oba Adeyemi has displayed uncommon wisdom and emotional intelligence in administering his domain, fostering peace and sustainable development.

In a statement signed on Thursday and made available to Mega Icon Magazine, the APC chieftain added that the Alaafin has not only “sustained our heritage and identity as a people”, but also used his throne to build bridges of friendship and harmony in the state, across Yoruba Land and beyond.

“I felicitate with His Imperial Majesty, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III on the 50th Anniversary of his ascension to the throne.

“In half a century, Kábíyèsí has displayed uncommon wisdom and emotional intelligence in administering his domain, fostering peace and sustainable development.

“Iku Baba Yeye has sustained our heritage and identity as a people. He is best described as an encyclopedia of the culture and traditions of the entire Yoruba race.

“Our Father has used his throne to build bridges of friendship and harmony in the state, across Yoruba Land and beyond.

“I remain proud of his progressive ideals, particularly the legacy of peace and harmony which Yorubas are known for.

“I pray that Kabiyesi spends many more years in good health”, the statement read.

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