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Press zooms in on agitations in South East of Nigeria, others

The report that many parts of the Southeast states were yesterday grounded in observance of the sixth version of the…

The report that many parts of the Southeast states were yesterday grounded in observance of the sixth version of the Monday’s sit-at-home protest which began on August 9, despite directives by Anambra and Imo governors for residents to shun it is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Tuesday.

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The Guardian reports that four days after President Muhammadu Buhari visited Imo State, in what many believe to be the Presidency’s outreach to the Southeast; and despite directives by Anambra and Imo governors for residents to shun the customary Monday’s sit-at-home protest in the region, many parts of the Southeast states were, yesterday, grounded in observance of the sixth version of the protest since it began on August 9.

The protest had been in solidarity with the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, who has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since July 2. Economic and social activities were again paralysed as residents continued to observe the ‘suspended’ weekly sit-at-home.

Anambra State governor, Willie Obiano, had at the weekend, given directive to market leaders, banks and other business outfits to open or face sanctions, but despite this warning, traders, banks and residents refused to open for business by observing the IPOB’s suspended Monday sit-at-home.

IPOB had reiterated the suspension of the order following intervention by elders and prominent Igbo leaders, who expressed concern over its negative effects on Southeast economy. Surprisingly, however, after the August 9 first Monday sit-at-home, Southeasterners have continued to follow the order.

Business activities in Onitsha, the commercial city and the industrial town of Nnewi were, as usual, totally locked down, with markets, banks, transport companies, and motor parks in the two Anambra business locations failing to open for business.

Road and street shops, as well as artisans, also stayed away from the day’s businesses as roads in the cities were deserted. Governor Obiano and some of his commissioners visited banks around Ukwu Orji in Awka to ensure they were open for business, as well as Eke Awka market. He commended the few traders and customers who came to the market, noting that hoodlums must not be allowed to take over the state.

Some of the banks visited were offering skeletal services and had few customers inside. Only few vehicles could be seen on the road, as the inter-state transporter operators did not operate.

The Commissioner of Police, CP Tony Olofu, in company of officers and men, visited the UNIZIK junction, the state Secretariat and Eke Awka market to enforce government’s order.

In reaction, the traditional ruler of Oraukwu community in Idemili North Council of Anambra, Igwe Emeka Onuora, described the frequent sit-at-home exercise as worrisome, lamenting that it is gradually crippling business activities in the Southeast.

“If the exercise continues, customers who usually come from the north to patronise Onitsha traders might look for elsewhere to buy their goods in time to come, a situation which could lead to backward trend in business activities in Igbo land.”

ThisDay says that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Faruk Yahaya, yesterday, read the riot act to war commanders in terrorism-ravaged parts of the country, saying he would no longer accept excuses for non-performance in the prosecution of the war against insurgency and armed banditry.

Yahaya asked commanders in the various theatres of operation to seize initiative and take decisive actions to defeat threats in their respective areas of responsibility.

The army chief emphasised, “Failure is failure, irrespective of the circumstances.”

In his address at the opening ceremony of the Chief of Army Staff Combined Second and Third Quarter Conference 2021, held in Abuja, Yahaya stated that the Nigerian Army on his watch would remain resolute and continue to chart the progressive path towards tackling the security challenges confronting the country.

He stated, “I have directed that serious attention be given to sustaining and improving the tempo in all on-going Nigerian Army operations across the country. I have also directed the conduct of special operations, especially, in the North-central and North-west regions.

“Commanders must, therefore, glean from my command philosophy to ensure that operational and administrative proficiencies of the Nigerian army units and formations are sustained and improved upon.

“Commanders must seize initiatives and commanders must take initiatives, they must take decisive actions to defeat the threats in their respective Areas of Responsibility (AOR).

“I will not again take or accept no excuses. Gentlemen, failure is failure, irrespective of the circumstances.”
The Punch reports that if the judgment of the Federal High Court asking states government to collect Value Added Tax in their domain is upheld by the Appeal Court, the Federal Inland Revenue Service will lose about N92bn which it is expected to earn as cost of collection.

The law setting up the FIRS allows the agency to a percentage, as determined by the National Assembly, as its cost of revenue collection from non-oil taxes before remitting same into the federation account. A report on FIRS official website revealed that the service collects four per cent as cost of collection for non-oil revenue collected.
The FIRS is one of the agencies of the government that generates revenue for sharing by the three tiers of government. Others are the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

The highest source of revenue for the FIRS is Petroleum Tax followed by VAT. Others include Stamp Duty, Company Income Tax. In the 2016 fiscal period, the FIRS received the sum of N85.99bn as cost of revenue collection, while it got N100.3bn as the cost of revenue collection in 2017.

The Sun says that exactly 35 years after an amendment on ground handling charges, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) has approved new safety threshold charges for air cargo companies.

The amendment was last witnessed in 1986 as the new rates are expected to commence from October 1, 2021 for international airlines and January 1, 2022 for domestic operators.

The NCAA approved between $1,500 and $5,000 (passenger and cargo flights) for handlers for narrow and wide body aircraft, respectively, while domestic operators will now pay between N20,000 and N70,000, depending on the aircraft type.

Narrow body aircraft include Boeing B737, Airbus A320, ER 135 and ATR, while wide body aircraft are B767, A330, B777, B747 and B787. Other African ground handling companies charge operators as much as $4,000, while in Nigeria, airlines pay $400 for the same services.

In Senegal, ground handling fee costs $2,250 for narrow-body aircraft and $5,259 for wide-body, while in Guinea, it cost $1,673 for narrow and $4,715 for wide body aircraft.

Cameroon charges $1,400 for narrow and $4,500 for wide, while Sierra Leone charges $2,250 for narrow and $5,250 for wide and in Ghana, it’s $1,500 for narrow-body and $4,150 wide body aircraft.

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