It is preposterous to see many people go online and call the former Lagos state governor all sorts of names. Now, if they are being asked why they hate the Jagaban Borgu so much, they will of course fail as usual to identify or point out one single reason why they hate him.
In view of the above, it’s imperative that I share this piece with my viewers and of course their contributions after reading is welcome.
VAT ISSUE: LAGOS STATE AND TINUBU PHENOMENON
Since the VAT conversation began few days ago, I have read a lot. Many said Lagos, Rivers, Abuja, Kano and Kaduna states were directly and indirectly developed by either Federal or Regional governments of the past. Hmm! It sounds good and true to some extent.
But let me start with a Yoruba proverb that says, “TI A BA BI NI, A NG TURA ENIBI NI” literarily means when you are born, then you need to reborn your self through personal efforts.
Let me kick off with this by laying some facts bare, one after the other. As at 1999, Lagos state and all other states were on the same level. What exactly is the magic? Please follow me.
1. When Tinubu won the 1999 governorship election and was given the certificate of return by INEC, he setup a broad committee to look into LAGOS STATE, past, present and future. All this happened before he was sworn in as Governor.
2. The committee presented their report and it was 25-Year LAGOS MEGACITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN. A comprehensive development blueprint to develop the entire Lagos state from EPE to BADAGRY, in all areas and sectors of Lagos lives.
3. He received the report as swung into action. He discovered in the report that POWER is essential to power the industries in Lagos state, so he partnered with ENRON on IPP and ENRON brought power plant badge to Lagos and birthed well. But OBJ stopped it. That was the beginning of animosity between Tinubu and OBJ.
4. A spectacular thing Tinubu did was to recognize the importance of INFORMATION i.e. information gathering, processing, interpretation and dissemination. Therefore, he embarked on robust IT INFRASTRUCTURES and SOLUTION deployment. Those who can remember ORACLE Center within Alausa back then can bear me witness. Nigerian Professionals from CANADA, US, UK were brought in and started coding.
5. When Lagos civil servants saw that Tinubu has come to disrupt their plans, they refused to cooperate. Tinubu didn’t fight them, he simply employed CONSULTANTS for all ministries and worked with few that cooperated. That is what birthed all AGENCIES (LASSA, LAWMA, LAWA, etc) you see all over Lagos state today. Tinubu never stopped their salary, he simply created a replacement within the system to bypass their bureaucracy in order not to distract him.
6. In that first year, Tinubu was called “BABA GO SLOW” Why? Because there was no visible activities on ground apart from ORACLE. CENTER and the deployment of IT infrastructures in all 20 local government and linked them to Alausa. During period, Tinubu was busy collecting data. DATA! DATA!! DATA!!!
7. Tinubu released data enumerators in Lagos, they were busy capturing data of many types, company data, association data, even PROPERTY data. That is, there was PROPERTY CENSUS in Lagos. All buildings and properties in Lagos were enumerated. As at this time, many Lagosians didn’t know what was happening.
8. Part of the initial data on TRAFFIC was used to solve the traffic logjam on Allen and Agidingbi by introducing the road median that forced everyone to remain on their lane. The success of this was replicated throughout Lagos state. Likewise educational data processing which I was directly involved in year 2000.
To cut the long story short, all these data processed into meaningful information led to the development of today’s Lagos State.
The information about Lagos and basic statistics about Lagosians, property, businesses, etc helped the TAX CONSULTANT that was employed to collect tax for and on behalf of Lagos. The state government never involved the civil servants in the IGR drive. That was what helped Lagos to increase their IGR from paltry N600million per month to N2billion in the first month of operation. Today, Lagos gross well over N30 billion monthly.
When TINUBU saw this, they intensified their efforts and brought more to the REVENUE dragnet. He didn’t stop at that, he started LASSA on advertisement and many others. Before he could say Jack Robbinson, the IGR of Lagos started climbing. When OBJ tried his resolve by stopping monthly state allocation, he wasn’t perturbed, he just rebuffed him. He told his team that OBJ is helping them to save the money. He immediately asked his Commissioner for Justice, now Vice President Osinbajo to kick start a legal battle. As at this time, Lagos was already generating more revenue internally than the monthly allocation.
Now on VAT, Lagos via Bola Ahmed Tinubu changed the entire business landscape for tax collection generally in Lagos state which FG benefitted tremendously from it in other taxes. The Lagos of 1999 till date is not the Lagos State FG developed and left for Abuja in 90s after the Orkar Coup incidence that made IBB to run away.
Many forgot that MAROKO and the entire today’s Lekki axis were on ground zero as at 1999. Tinubu started the NEW LAGOS DEVELOPMENT that attracted millions of Nigerians and thousands of corporate citizens to Lagos state who now increase the VAT. The entire LEKKI, IBEJU LEKKI and EKO ATLANTIC CITY were the creation of Tinubu.
Therefore, can we now say FG developed Lagos of today? Far from it. If Tinubu had behaved like his counterparts from other states in his class, Lagos would have remained the one FG left behind in early 90s.
Consequently, Lagos state deserve to collect her CONSUMPTION TAX or VAT generated and collected in the state. Let others borrow leaves, look inward and do something positive for their state. Let us test our laws in the court for mineral resources OR mobilize NASS members to initiate bills to take control of resources in their lands. Let the CHANGE we voted for also come at the state level.
Let us stop this beggarly attitude to Abuja every month and the time starts now. This will really make us to hold our governors accountable to the resources that truly belong to the state and not the national cake being shared monthly.
MAY ALL THE STATES SUCCEED.
GOD BLESS NIGERIA.
Culled from WhatsApp
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Private Jet Owners Sue Government Over N30 Billion Tax
Owners of foreign-registered private jets, comprising top business moguls, leading commercial banks and other rich Nigerians, have dragged the Federal Government to court seeking to prevent the government from grounding their planes for allegedly refusing to pay import duty on the jets.
The Federal Government had last November approved the decision of the Nigeria Customs Service to ground 91 private jets belonging to some wealthy Nigerians over their alleged refusal to pay import duties running to over N30bn.
As such, following a presidential approval, the NCS in a letter directed the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency to ground the affected private jets with immediate effect.
But owing to issues bothering on inter-agency rivalry and disagreements, the relevant government agencies could not ground the private jets.
However, in the past few months, the Customs has been making underground moves to perfect the process of grounding private jets whose owners failed to pay the import duty, multiple sources close to the development confirmed to The PUNCH on Tuesday.
17 jet owners
Also, further findings by our correspondents over the weekend revealed that at least 17 private jet owners had gone to court to stop the Federal Government from implementing the order.
According to the court papers seen by The PUNCH, the jet owners are seeking a judicial review as to whether it is lawful for them to pay the controversial import duty on their private jets or not.
The jet owners had sued the government using the foreign shell companies and trustees through which the foreign-registered jets were purchased.
Oftentimes, Nigerians and corporate bodies buy their foreign-registered private jets through foreign shell companies and trustees. Experts believe they often prefer to register the jets in foreign countries like the United States, United Kingdom, and Isle of Man, among others, to preserve the value of the aircraft in the event they want to sell it, as well as pay cheaper insurance premiums.
The latest findings showed that the jet owners had approached the Federal High Court Abuja seeking the court to determine, among other things, if they were liable to pay import duty.
The suit, with number FHC/ABJ/CS/1565/2021, is described as the matter of an application for judicial review by foreign registered aircraft against the Nigeria Customs Service and Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority.
According to the court document, the 17 applicants, which are mostly foreign companies of the Nigerian jet owners are: Aircraft Trust and Financing Corp Trustee, UAML Corp, Bank of Utah Trustee, Masterjet AVIACAO Executive SA, and Cloud Services Limited.
Others are MHS Aviation GmbH, Murano Trust Company Limited, Panther Jets, SAIB LLC, Empire Aviation Group, and Osa Aviation Limited.
The list also includes BUA Delaware Inc, Flying Bull Corporation Limited, Air Charter Inc, Sparfell Luftahrt GmbH, WAT Aviation Limited, and ATT Aviation Limited.
The NCAA and Customs were listed as respondents.
In a written address in support of the first respondents objector notice of preliminary objection, the court paper read in part, “The brief facts of this case are that the first respondents, having discovered that some operators of aircraft imported them under the guise of Temporary Importation Permit, were permanently imported into Nigeria and given TIP status to evade payment of lawful customs.”
A hearing date is yet to be fixed for the suit, according to preliminary findings by our correspondent.
However, there are strong indications that the NCS is making frantic efforts to get the private jet owners to pay the import duty.
Multiple sources confirmed on Tuesday that the NCS was not giving up on the decision to collect the revenue on behalf of the Federal Government, having obtained a presidential approval on the matter.
It was gathered that the agency might take a major decision on the matter very soon. It was further learnt that the Customs is in possession of government documents indicating that the private jet owners are by law required to pay import duty.
However, the spokesperson for NCAA, Mr Sam Adurogboye, said he was yet to be briefed but noted that, “’If a case is filed against an individual or organisation, what is to be done is to put up appearance and defend oneself.”
The NCS had in March last year embarked on a review of import duties paid on private jets brought into the country since 2006.
Following the alleged discovery that several private jet owners, under the guise of Temporary Import Permit, had failed to pay the statutory import duty to the coffers of the government, the CG of Customs, Hameed Ali, set up a verification panel to review all TIPs and the relevant aircraft import documents of all private jets in the country.
At the end of the 60-day exercise, 57 private jets, which had licences for commercial charter operations, were cleared and issued with Aircraft Operators Certificate by the Customs.
However, 29 private jets, whose owners came for the verification, were found to be liable to pay the import duty.
The Customs also compiled a list of another 62 private jets whose owners failed to appear for the verification exercise but were found liable for import duty payment.
However, other private jet owners seeking to pay their import duty were given a 14-day ultimatum to clear the debts.
It is unclear the number of the jet owners that later paid the duty.
However, a list of 91 private jets whose owners had failed to present themselves for the import duty payment were presented to the NCAA, FAAN, and NAMA for the immediate grounding of their operations.
Some owners of the 91 jets reportedly wrote protest letters to the NCS, arguing why they could not pay the import duty because the jets were under lease payments.
The Customs, in its response to the letters, queried the rationale for bringing in the planes and allegedly fraudulently exporting them under questionable documentation processes in the past 10 years.
Unconfirmed officials had said the Ministry of Aviation directed the NCAA, FAAN and NAMA to suspend the grounding of the flight operations of the affected private jets.
Aircraft owners speak
Speaking on the development on Tuesday, the President, Association of Private Aircraft Owners Association, Mr Alex Nwuba, there is a need for the government to become transparent in the process of registering private jets.
He also said it might be difficult for the government to collect tax on private jets that are not fully imported into the country.
“The idea is to ensure that people pay tax on imported aircraft. However, by keeping the registration of the jets offshore, how do you then pay tax on something that is foreign? The aircraft may have come and gone, but how do you pay tax on something that is not imported.
“The dilemma is if you register your private jet in Nigeria (5N), it is seen that it now have a lower value. The problem is that there is no transparency in our aircraft registration process. You cannot take the number of the aircraft, do a search and get the details. But if you do that for US-registered plane, you can get the details. But the summary is that you cannot collect duty on aircraft that is not imported.”
Nwuba, a pilot and former managing director of Associated Airlines, said the cost of duty might be one of the factors discouraging some private jet owners.
“Of course, you are made to put up a bond when you are bringing in an aircraft on a temporary basis. However, while we are looking for revenue, it is not everywhere we can get it. Another issue is that, if you buy a private jet for $80m, you may need to pay a duty of over $10m; that may be high to some people.”
Some of the 91 private jets meant to be grounded belong to the senior pastors of some popular Pentecostal churches in the country, some Tier-1 banks with one of the banks owning two upmarket jets, the CEOs of some indigenous oil companies, and the chairmen of some Tier-1 banks.
Governor Adeleke Reverses Self On Sack Of Civil Servants, Monarchs
Adeleke said yesterday his administration has not sacked any worker and dethroned three monarchs.
Adeleke spoke against the earlier announced Executive Order 3, 4 and 5, which stated nullification of employment, appointment made by former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola from July 17, 2022 till his inauguration and vacation of the throne of three monarchs appointed by past administration.
The order states: “All employments in the service of Osun State Government made in any capacity into any capacity in all the ministries, departments, agencies, commissions, boards and parastatals after July 17, 2022 are hereby nullified.
“All appointments in the service of Osun State Government made in any capacity into any capacity in the ministries, departments, agencies, commissions, boards and parastatals after July 17, 2022 are hereby reversed.
“All appointments of traditional rulers made by Osun State Government after July 17, 2022 are hereby ordered to be reviewed to ensure there was strict compliance with due process of chieftaincy declarations and native law, custom and tradition relating to such chieftaincies. In the case of Ikirun, Iree and Igbajo, to avoid further breakdown of law and order, the appointments of Akinrun of Ikinrun, Aree of Ire and Owa of Igbajo are hereby put on hold pending review. Subsequently, the palaces of Akinrun of Ikirun, Aree of Iree and Owa of Igbajo should remain unoccupied, while security agencies are hereby ordered to take charge.”
However, the governor through his spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, speaking yesterday on a private radio station, Rave FM, in Osogbo, during a talk show programme, ‘Frank Talk’, said Adeleke had not sacked any worker.
He said the appointment and employment made by the Oyetola administration would be reviewed to ensure legality and due process, stressing that nobody had been sacked, the executive order was misquoted.
All Progressives Congress (APC) in Osun State has described the setting up of review panels by Governor Adeleke as an afterthought designed to arrive at predetermined outcomes.
The party urged the governor to settle down to study the handover notes, so as to prevent the blunders he was committing.
In a statement signed by its Director of Operations, Sunday Akere, APC said: “We told you from day one that these people have nothing to offer. We can all see from their first action that they are even confused.
“They had told us long time ago that they were coming to sack. They came and announced it. Why set up a panel after taking a decision? What they are doing can be likened to doing ablution after observing prayers. Who does that?”
Governor Adeleke has ordered the dissolution of non-statutory boards.
Spokesperson Malam Olawale Rasheed said in a statement that the directive was conveyed to heads of ministries, departments and agencies by Mr. Teslim Igbalaye, the Secretary to the State Government.
Secondary School Principal Beaten By Mob After Being Caught Pants Down With Student (Photo)
A South African Secondary school deputy principal got an instant mob justice after being caught pants down with a student.
The deputy principal at Kgagatlou Secondary in Polokwane, Limpopo was beaten after being caught having sex with a student during school hours.
In a video circulating on Twitter, the principal was seen being beaten while tied to a pole.
It was also alleged that this is not the first time he had been caught carrying out pedophilic acts in schools. He was reportedly moved from another school before taking the deputy principal post at Kgagatlou Secondary School.
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