FG To Increase VAT From 5 To 7.5 Percent


The Federal Government has said that consultations will begin at all levels on the review of the Value Added Tax, (VAT) from 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent, just as it is ready to begin deductions to recover bailout funds given to states.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed, on Wednesday who spoke with State House correspondents after the maiden Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“We will begin consultations and consultations will be at various levels in the country. So it includes consultations with the states, with the local governments, with the parliament as well as with the Nigerian public. For the VAT increase to take effect, there has to be an amendment to the VAT Act,” she said.

READ ALSO: Federal, States, LGs Get N3,84trn FAAC In Six Months – NEITI

Mrs Ahmed who spoke on the bailout funds issued to states by the Central Bank of Nigeria said it wasn’t a grant but that it was meant to be refunded.

“It was not a grant to states by the Federal Government. The Central Bank has a responsibility to ensure that loans given act are paid.

House To Investigate Disbursement And Utilisation Of FG’s Bailout Funds

House of Representatives, Audu Ogbeh, FoodsThe House of Representatives is set to investigate the disbursement and utilisation of bailout funds given to state governments in the country.

This resolution followed a motion raised by Rep. Sunday Karimi on allegations that some states are said to have collected these loans to pay workers’ salaries and diverted them to other purposes.

Lawmakers also queried the process through which the bailout was provided without the input of the national assembly.

Moving the motion, Rep. Karimi said that the need to investigate the disbursement and utilisation of the funds was geared toward ensuring the welfare of citizens in the affected states.

He explained that the Federal Government approved and disbursed N689.5 billion to 27 states in July, 2015, and gave N20 billion to Kogi four months ago.

The lawmaker expressed dismay that many of the beneficiary-states had failed to utilize the funds for payment of workers’ salaries and had continued to owe the workers.

He disclosed that reports had alleged that many state governments lodged the bailout funds in interest-bearing accounts and allowed their employees to continue to wallow in hunger and lack.

“States like Abia, Osun, Bayelsa, Benue, Ekiti, Kwara, Plateau, Oyo, Delta, Niger, Ogun, Nasarawa, Kogi, among others, are still owing workers’ salaries for several months.”

Contributing to the motion, House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, said that the intention of giving out the bailout funds was good, but that the application seemed to be wrongly done.

He said that in order to have transparency, the house should look into the matter and avoid same mistake in the bailout to be given soon.

An ad-hoc committee is to be set up to look into the terms and conditions for the disbursement and utilisation of the bailout funds.

The committee is also expected to ascertain the necessity for further disbursement as is being considered by the executive.

The committee is to report back in four weeks’ time.

Yobe To Secure 10 Billion Naira Loan From FG Bailout Funds

yobe-government on bailout fundThe Yobe State Government is to secure 10 billion Naira loan from the Federal Government’s bailout funds to complete the ongoing projects in the state.

The State Commissioner of Home Affairs, Information and Culture, Aji Bularafa, disclosed the plan to reporters at the end of a Council Meeting held in Damaturu, Yobe State capital on Friday.

The amount, according to Mr Bularafa, would be used for the proposed Damaturu Airport, renovation of hospitals and medical centres across the state among other projects in the area of education, water supply and agriculture.

The Yobe State Government, according to the Commissioner, had also approved the establishment of over 1,000 hectares of land for Pivotal Sprinkler Irrigation farming, as part of efforts to tackle unemployment in the state.

Mr Bularafa said that the contract was awarded to Rainfine Irrigation Company at the cost of $847,642.23.

He also mentioned that the irrigation farms would be sited at different locations in the state, which include Mugura, Nguru, Boloram and Jumbam.

The Commissioner also said that the council had approved the rectifications of over 825 million Naira and over 318 million Naira as well as 86 million Naira for National Mathematical Centre and tuition fees for Yobe students studying in Tuskish colleges across the country as well as settlement of WAEC/NECO, WASSCE/SSCE Examinations for the 2015/16 academic sessions.

Ortom Orders Arrest Of Bailout Fund Thieves

BenueThe Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has directed the Police to arrest the three culprit involved in the misappropriation of the bailout funds at the local government level.

Governor Ortom made the call at the 2015 Praise Night held at the Open Air Theatre of the Aminu Isah Kontagora Complex on Sunday, while speaking on the need for Nigerians to embrace God and shun all forms of illegality and criminality.

He disclosed that the screening of local government staff details has revealed that an individual has been drawing salaries for 160 persons after inserting their names into the payment voucher.

The Governor also educated the congregation about the disbursement of the 28.5 billion Naira bailout funds.

He asked the Christians to work together in restoring the core values of honesty, discipline and holiness while, urging the Church to uphold him in prayers.


Benue Lawmakers Probe N28.5 Billion Bailout Fund

Benue Lawmakers Probe Disbursement Of N28.5 Billion Bailout FundThe Benue State House of Assembly has expressed dissatisfaction over the disbursement of the 28.5 billion Naira bailout funds to workers at the state and local government levels respectively.

Members of the State  Assembly voiced the dissatisfaction when they summoned the Commissioner of Finance and a Special Adviser to probe the method of disbursing the 28.5 billion Naira bailout funds which had generated controversies among workers on Friday.

Deputy Majority Leader, Mr Nick Eworo, told Channels Television after the probe session that the House was not satisfied with the explanations offered by the officials.

On the opinion by members of the State Assembly to pay all claimants to the bailout funds, be it legitimate and those referred to as ghost workers, Special Adviser on Local Government and Chieftancy Affairs, Titus Zam, said that such indulgence would encourage fraud in the Civil Service.

Speaking to Channels Television correspondent, Pius Angbo, the Deputy Majority Leader said that the explanation offered were not enough to douse the concerns raised on the method of disbursement.

Governor Samuel Ortom at the State Executive Council meeting on Friday, raised another committee to speed-up the payment of the bailout funds to all deserving worker as quickly as possible.