Press zooms in on ECOWAS meeting to review developments in Guinea, others

The report that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is meeting today to review developments and decide the…

The report that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is meeting today to review developments and decide the next step on Guinea following the recent military coup in the Sahel nation is one of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Thursday.The Guardian reports that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is meeting today to review developments and decide the next step on Guinea following the recent military coup in the Sahel nation.

Ghana’s Foreign Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, said the extraordinary summit of the bloc would examine the findings of an ECOWAS delegation to Guinea and come up with how best to restore constitutional rule in the country.

The African Union (AU) had already aligned with the sub-regional body by suspending the troubled nation’s membership last week after Lieutenant-Colonel Mamady Doumbouya, a special forces commander, toppled 83-year-old President Alpha Conde, calling his ouster a “clear violation” of the group’s charter.

Today’s evaluation would focus on the report by the delegation from the 15-member ECOWAS team sent to Conakry to meet with coup leader Doumbouya and visit the ousted president.

“The summit will have a single agenda, where I will lay before the authority the report of the ECOWAS high-level mission to reporters,” she said.

She said Guinea’s coup leaders were not in a position to give a timetable for a return to democratic rule.

The newspaper says that the Nigerian Government has to mobilise the energies and capacities of youths to minimise national security risks.

Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Akin Dare, disclosed this in Abuja, yesterday, at the launch of the Nigerian Youth Employment Action Plan (NIYEAP 2021-2024).

He said the launch of the Plan is an expression of the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to create about 3.7 million jobs yearly and achieve national development goals, especially, sustainable economic growth.

He said youth should be regarded as a viable investment that can yield socio-economic progress, rather than a group targeted for periodic empowerment interventions.

The minister said youth unemployment has assumed an uncomfortable proportion. He said its effect has not only led to frustration on the part of the youth but is also the underlying cause of poverty and restiveness in the country.

The Punch reports that Nigeria’s total public debt stock rose from N33.11tn as of March 31, 2021 to N35.47tn as of June 30, 2021. This shows an increase of N2.36tn or 7.13 percent increase within the three-month period.

The Director General of the Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha, provided a breakdown of the public debt stock for the second quarter of 2021 during a virtual media presentation on Wednesday.

The total external debt stock rose from N12.47tn as of March 31 to N13.71tn as of June 30, indicating an increase of N1.24tn or 9.94 per cent. The total domestic debt stock rose from N20.64tn as of March 31 to N21.75tn as of June 30, indicating an increase of N1.11tn or 5.38 per cent.

At the end of Q2 2021, external debt stock made up 38.66 per cent while domestic debt stock made up 61.34 per cent of the total public debt stock.

The debt to Gross Domestic Product ratio rose from 21.13 per cent to 21.92 per cent within the second quarter.

ThisDay says that a Chinese high-tech company, Clou, and its Nigerian partners, Jumbo Goois Global Services, are set to establish a smart prepaid metering assembly factory in Bayelsa State.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Jumbo Goois Global Services, Mr. Timipre Ogoibiri, who led the delegation, disclosed this in Government House, Yenagoa, during a presentation to Governor Douye Diri, yesterday.

Presenting the company’s plan for the proposed project, the Head of Operations, Dr. Chris Osazuwa, was quoted in a statement to have explained that the specification of the meters were unique and would meet the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) standard.

Osazuwa said the prepaid meter was designed to function remotely, where a token can recharge the device from any location.

He also stated that the project was capable of engaging 1000 engineering and non-engineering graduates. While requesting for the state government to provide the enabling environment for the project, he commended Governor Diri for the level of security witnessed in the state.

The Sun reports that the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has advised that the current sharing formula of taxes for states and local government areas be adjusted using the factors of equality, 20 percent; population, 30 percent; and derivation, 50 percent, going forward.

The chamber noted that the arrangement should be agreeable by all concerned parties, adding that it can drive innovation on revenue generation in all the states towards increasing their internally Generated Revenue.

The Director General, Chinyere Almona, gave the advice following the confusion that businesses face as to who is in charge of Value Added Tax (VAT) collection, which she noted was not healthy for the business community and planning.

She, however, hailed the swift intervention of the Court of Appeal to reduce the uncertainties surrounding the controversies.

“Businesses should not be subjected to unnecessary hurdles and made to pay the same tax twice from different agencies. The Federal Government should urgently establish an understanding with states on what is best for the nation and businesses.”

The Vanguard says that the Federal Government yesterday said it was set to utilize legal provisions empowering it to collect taxes on profits made by global technology and digital firms not based in Nigeria, but having significant economic presence in the country.

The Federal Government also said while it will not be raising tax rates at this time, based on the Finance Act 2019, it was already empowered to widen the tax net.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said this while interacting with a delegation of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, CITN, led by its President, Mr Adesina Adedayo who visited the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The tax net, according to him, includes taxes on the Nigerian income of global giants with significant economic presence, even if they have not set up presence or permanent establishment and are currently not paying taxes in the country.

In this regard, Section 4 of the Finance Act 2019, provides that “the Minister (Finance) may by order (of the President) determine what constitutes the significant economic presence of a company other than a Nigerian company.”

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