I’m Going To Pioneer Serious Taxation For Wealthy Nigerians – Aregbesola

Rauf Aregbesola


The immediate former governor of Osun State Rauf Aregbesola has vowed to pioneer serious taxation for wealthy people in Nigeria, when a becomes a Minister of the Federal Republic.

He said this on Monday when he was being screened by the Senate.

The minister nominee said  he was responding to the senator representing Abia central, Theodore Orji who asked for his view on multiple taxation and how it affects businesses.

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“The truth is, Nigeria is a federation and I am a federalist. There is a limit to what we can do on taxation in the federation. I wouldn’t have loved to go into this because it is going to be controversial.

“We have left the rich men in Nigeria without discharging their responsibility to the citizens particularly on taxation.

“So, I am going to pioneer privilege taxes for those who have huge resources or wealth from which Nigerians must tap. If I go into this, there might be some ill feelings in some quarters, so I wont go deep into that.

“I will recommend serious taxation for wealthy people in Nigeria.

“If that will now translate to lifting the burden on the state and the local government to reduce the penchant for taxes that make poor people give from their inadequate resources, of course, I will be satisfied.

“I am going to advocate a just taxation system,” he said.

Mr Aregbesola was the fourth ministerial nominee to be screened on Monday. Thirty one ministerial nominees, of the 43 sent by President Muhammadu Buhari, had been screened last week by the lawmakers.

Ekweremadu Says Nigeria Needs To Review Economic Policies

ekweremaduThe Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, believes that the current international economic reality has necessitated a restructuring of Nigeria’s economic policies.

Ekweremadu made this assertion in Umuahia during a visit to Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, in the company of Senators Theodore Orji and Mao Ohabunwa and other political stalwart.

He said that necessary facilities must be put in place to attract investment that could enhance economic development.

He emphasized the need for governments at all levels to look within and tap from the natural and human resources available.

He commended the State Governor for his economic direction and effort in Aba the commercial hub of the state and promised to follow it up as part of his oversight function.

PDP Sets Up Election Assessment Committee

pdpThe National Working Committee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has set up an assessment committee to review the party’s performance in the 2015 general elections.

The 15-man committee, headed by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekwemadu, has the Governors of Akwa Ibom Godswill Akpabio and Abia, Theodore Orji as members.

Rivers State’s Governor-elect, Nyesom Wike and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Emeka Ihedioha are also members.

Honourable Ihedioha contested for the governorship position in Imo State but lost to the incumbent Governor, Rochas Okorocha.

Others in the committee are the Minster of Interior, Abba Morro and Senator Ahmed Makarfi, among others.

The PDP’s presidential candidate and the incumbent, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan lost the presidency to the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, General Muhammadu Buhari.

The party also lost several states it had controlled to the APC in the April 11 governorship election.

Abia First Lady Distributes Food Items, Working Equipment To Widows

First LadyThe wife of Abia State Governor, Mercy Orji, has put smiles on the faces of the widows and indigents in the state by giving out food items and empowerment tools worth millions of naira to assist them to enhance their standard of living.

According to the Abia First Lady, the exercise was carried out in collaboration with the Office of the First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, who donated most of the items.

The beneficiaries, who are mostly widows and women in need of assistance were carefully selected.

About 50 of them from each Local Government Area of the state across the three senatorial zones gathered at the state broadcasting arena in Umuahia, the state capital, to be part of the auspicious exercise that would add value to their lives as well as support their means of livelihood.

The items distributed include food items, hairdressing equipment, grinding machines amongst many other things.

Mercy Orji urged the beneficiaries to use the gifts judiciously to improve themselves.

Gov Orji Inspects Project Sites In Abia

Abia-Gov-Theodore-Orji1The Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji, has inspected some ongoing projects in the state to ascertain the level of work done and to ensure that all the various projects embarked on by his administration are completed within the stipulated time .

The projects visited included the e-library located at new government layout, the 5,000 sitting capacity international conference centre, the new ShopRite Shopping complex amongst many others.

Arriving at the e-library, the governor who was in the company of some dignitaries among them is the Minister for Labour, Emeka Wogu,  inspected the Projects.

The inspection started at the power generating site which is very critical to the structure in place to ensure steady power supply and afterwards the entourage went inside to see the interior of the library.

The governor expressed optimism at the pace of work and was delighted that his vision of transforming Abia State through long lasting infrastructural projects were becoming a reality.

Satisfied with what he has seen, he hinted that the quality of job is outstanding and very remarkable, as the project when completed would encourage reading culture among the youths.

From the e-library, the entourage visited the new international conference centre, where work was almost 98 per-cent completed.

No doubt, these projects, when completed, would boost socio-economic development of the state. The e-library with the facilities in place would be a centre for research while the youths would have a place to channel their exuberant energy by reading in conducive environment.

Abia Rural Development: Umukabia Community Commends Orji

Ebola virusThe Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji, has said that enhancing the socioeconomic development of the people of the state would remain the priority of the administration.

He made this known at the Executive Chamber of the Government, Umuahia, when the people of Umukabia paid him a courtesy call to thank him for the rehabilitation of their roads and for appointing some of their sons and daughters into his government.

They said this gave them a sense of belonging.

In response, the Governor said that the decision to rehabilitate Umukabia Road was aimed at alleviating the hardship faced by the people, especially those living in the rural areas who are mostly farmers and find it difficult to convey their farm produce to the market.

The people of the community also solicited for the upgrading of their Health Centres, as well as the inclusion of their teeming youths in the empowerment programmes.

The Abia State Government assured them of further aligning with the view that uplifting the standard of living of the grassroots and alleviating poverty across the rural areas are major dividends of democracy that would increase the economic development of the state.

Abia State Government Warns Detractors To Stay Clear

Ebola virusThe Abia State Commissioner of Information, Dr Eze Chikamnayo, has said that the State Government would not be distracted by unwarranted statements from individuals or groups in the name of media hype, allegedly meant to undermine the activities in the state.

He said this while addressing journalists at the Nigerian Union of Journalists secretariat, Umuahia, explaining that Governor Theodore Orji has been busy inspecting all the infrastructural development being embarked by the administration to ensure its completion before the expiration of the 2015 tenure.

Chikamnayo wondered  why any individual or group would go about spreading lies and misinforming the people, pointing out that a lot of infrastructural development has being put in place by this administration and that there should not be any basis for comparison with previous administrations.

He also warned all mischief makers to stay clear and caution those at the fore front of causing breach of law through their utterances to be mindful as the state government would no longer fold its arms .

In addition, the Petroleum Commissioner, Don Ubani and human rights activist, Barrister ACB Agbazuere warned residents and citizens of Abia not to remain quiet about the falsehood being perpetuated because it is misleading the public about the state.

Chikamnayo concluded that the state Government will continue to impact on the lives of Abians despite all odds and would soon embark on rehabilitation of road infrastructure as soon as the rain subsides.

Theodore Orji Is Ruling Abia State With Propaganda – Kalu

Orji Uzor kaluA former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu and a founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that the current governor, Theodore Orji, is ruling the state with propaganda, with funds borrowed from different banks with nothing to show for it.

On Channels Television’s politics programme, Politics Today, on Sunday, Dr. Kalu, who was instrumental to Governor Orji’s election, said that he had called the governor and advised him but that he was not aware of what went wrong.

“Nothing great is in Abia State at the moment. All infrastructures have been grounded,” he said.

The former governor also debunked claims that he was antagonising the current governor because he was not allowed to play a ‘godfather’ role.

He said he was ready to pay external auditors to audit the state’s account to ascertain the financial status of the state and the infrastructures on ground.

A Tiger

Kalu’s return to PDP since January of 2012 has generated concerns from members of the party.

He had left the PDP to form the Progressive Peoples Alliance and ran for the presidency in 2007.

Dr. Kalu, however, said that people were raising concerns about his return to the party because he is seen as ‘a tiger’.

He said that the state had become a place where nobody is giving an opportunity to talk, but insisted that political party’s membership is a free-in free-out affair just like a church.

According to him, no one, has the right to stop him from being part of any political party of his choice.

On the next governor of Abia State and the issue of zoning, he said that it would be right if the southern part of the state would be given an opportunity to rule.

“The next governor of Abia State has been zoned to the south-south part of the state and people from old Aba zone should be giving an opportunity to rule the state,” former Governor Kalu said.

Asked if his return to the PDP was for any political ambition, Dr Kalu said that his mission was to be in the political party and nothing more, expressing his support for a second term for President Goodluck Jonathan.

He further expressed belief that the 2015 general elections would be keenly contested since the political system is gradually winding down to a two party system and expressed optimism that the PDP would win the Presidential election.


NBA Rejects Calls For Dismissal Of Abia State Chief Judge

OKEY_nba1The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has condemned calls for the dismissal of the Chief Judge of the State by the State House of Assembly.

In a statement by the president of the association, the association stated that its “attention has been drawn to the reported resolution of the Abia State House of Assembly, calling on the Governor of Abia State to dismiss the Chief Judge of Abia State from service, for refusal to appear before the Abia State House of Assembly to answer to allegations of misconduct.

“The NBA has monitored various misleading radio reportage of the event to the effect that the Abia State House of Assembly has removed the Chief Judge of Abia State for gross misconduct.

“The NBA notes that the Independence of the Judiciary is the bedrock of democracy and rule of law and therefore calls on the governor of Abia State, His Excellency Chief Theodore Orji to reject this invitation to politicise the office of the Chief Judge and the judiciary in Abia State.

The NBA called on the “Abia State House of Assembly to exercise restraint in dealing with matters concerning the judiciary in the state, as this is coming too soon after the return of normalcy in the Abia State Judiciary, in the aftermath of the rejection of the recommendation of late Justice Ijeoma Ofonry as Chief Judge of Abia State by the National Judicial Council by the same House of Assembly.

“We trust that Abia State Government will be properly advised by the Chief Law Officer of the state, the Honourable the Attorney General of Abia State’, the statement further said.

The Nigerian Bar Association also noted that “it is in the interest of all that we have an independent, virile and fearless Judiciary at all levels”.

Victims Of Generator Fume Mishap In Aba Regain Consciousness

aba 1

Victims, who passed out during a prayer session on August 1, after inhaling fume from power generating sets during a Community Prayer Gathering in Aba, have  regained consciousness after days of treatment at the hospital.

The incident occurred at a vigil session put together by the Youth Fellowship of Ututu Community for their Annual National Youth Conference.

The event turned into a faint and dizzy session when  some of them started collapsing and losing consciousness as a result of the fume from a power generating set close to the venue of the event. They were, however, saved by the quick rescue operation of the security personnel who took them to the hospital for immediate treatment.

According to an eyewitness who narrated the incident to Channels Television, he said that about 39 victims were involved in the fatal incident that took place at the commercial hub of Abia State.

A visit to the hospital where one of the surviving victims was being treated revealed that only 17 people at the prayer gathering for the Ututu community fellowship were injured during the program.

Meanwhile, the Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji, paid all the bills of the surviving victims numbering about 16 and also distributed gifts to the medical teams who were available to ensure their survival, despite the strike embarked on by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).

The Deputy Governor, Emeka Ananaba, also visited the survivals at the hospital and urged them to guard against such scenario.

The youth minister appreciated the rapid rescue operation of the State government.

The survivals are expected to continue to receive medical attention until they recover fully.

Commercial Bank Gives Abia State Ten Security Vans

orji-uzor-kalu-fmr-gov-abia-state-640x350The Nigerian government’s call for private sector partnership in tackling insecurity in some parts of Nigeria had started yielding results, with the Abia State Government taking delivery of ten security vans donated by a commercial bank as part of its corporate social responsibility.

The double cabin pick-up vans are fully equipped with communication gadgets to boost security agencies’ efforts in tackling crime in the state.

While receiving the keys to the vans in the Government House, Umuahia on Monday, Governor Theodore Orji expressed delight for the support shown by the management of the bank and said that sustaining security was top on the government’s agenda.

He stressed his administration’s commitment to ensuring that the state remained safe for residents and investors.

Governor Orji told stories of some horrifying experiences in the state some years ago when kidnappers nearly over ran the state, kidnapping everyone in their way including bankers.

“That era was a bad time for us as a state and we made every effort to chase them away from the state and after doing that we have been sustaining the security and peace we achieved thereafter,” he said.

While handing over the vans to the governor, the bank’s zonal head, South East/South-South, Dr Augustine Njoku, said that the donation was motivated by the commitment shown by the state government on insecurity issues.

Mr Njoku stressed that the issue of crime fighting was of utmost importance to any society and also hinted that the gesture is  part of their social corporate responsibility towards ensuring peace and security

The presentation of the vehicles’ keys to Governor Orji could very well signal a partnership that is aimed at sustaining security and thereby boosting economic development.

The Nigerian government had reiterated that even though, it is one of the primary prerogative of the government to ensure security, the war on crime could be won if individuals and corporate organisations could join contribute to the eradication of vices within their immediate vicinity.

Governor Orji Swears In New Commissioners And Transition Chairmen

Theodore-Orji-300x173The Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji, has sworn in two new commissioners and seventeen transition chairmen for the Local Government Areas to join in the developmental  intentions of the government.

The ceremony took place at the Michael Okpara Auditorium, Umuahia on Tuesday.

The Governor urged the new transition chairmen to work in tandem with the aspirations of the administration, to impact the lives of citizens in the rural areas and ensure development in their communities.

He hinted that this was the final set of transition chairmen to run the Local Government system because the next people to be sworn in would be the elected chairmen, stating that there would be a level playing ground for those intending to run for the position.

The Michael Okpara Auditorium was filled to its capacity with friends, family, well-wishers, as well as supporters of the new commissioners and the seventeen local government transition chairmen as the appointees simultaneously took the oath of office which empowered them to gainfully build and develop the state.

Bearing in mind that all eyes were focused on them to perform better, one of the newly appointed commissioners promised that they would do their best in ensuring that dividends of democracy reach the citizens.

The transition chairmen were said to have been carefully considered in order not to create a vacuum in the local government system and because of their antecedents and ability to work assiduously in the improvement of the grassroots.

They assume office with a guiding principle to perform excellently on their jobs and ensure that Abia citizens are carried along in the developmental process of the state.