I got a call a few weeks ago intimating recognition as the most influential personality in Africa by Forbes, which is a global platform that recognises institutions, businesses and personalities that have excelled within the four pillars of politics, the economy, culture and business.
The selection is made by an independent, foreign network of individuals using intelligent data gathered across various platforms.
I feel a sense of honour by this recognition, and even though I was tentative and interrogative at first, now I am grateful for the opportunity as I see this as a collective responsibility to expand our endeavours with the focus of improving the lives and lot of our people, the African nations and our continent as a collective.
None of us is an island, instead, we are the sum total of all who have come before us, impacting our lives till we can do the same for others.
Indeed, we stand on expansive shoulders, interconnected with those who serve alongside us while we live, move and have our being in Christ.
So this award is for us (yes, it is for every one of us!), for our voices that have been heard and our impact that has been felt. It provides us with a more visible platform to shine the light on justice, equity and the development that is sorely needed in our climes.
It’s my heartfelt hope that it will encourage us to push boundaries, break barriers and achieve the seemingly impossible. I am confident that we are on the cusp of the finest hour of destiny in spite of the many dangers, toils and snares through which we have already come. I believe that the grace of God that works abundantly in us now presents greater possibilities prearranged for us from before the foundation of the world.
Kindly oblige us the pleasure of your company at the ceremony. I invite you specially to be my guests as I deliver the keynote speech of the day titled; Leadership and Philanthropy.
Jesus is passing through the throng to the house of Jairus, to raise the ruler’s dead daughter; but he is so profuse in goodness that he works another miracle while upon the road. While yet this rod of Aaron bears the blossom of an unaccomplished wonder, it yields the ripe almonds of a perfect work of mercy. It is enough for us, if we have some one purpose, straightway to go and accomplish it; it were imprudent to expend our energies by the way. Hastening to the rescue of a drowning friend, we cannot afford to exhaust our strength upon another in like danger. It is enough for a tree to yield one sort of fruit, and for a man to fulfil his own peculiar calling. But our Master knows no limit of power or boundary of mission. He is so prolific of grace, that like the sun which shines as it rolls onward in its orbit, his path is radiant with lovingkindness. He is a swift arrow of love, which not only reaches its ordained target, but perfumes the air through which it flies. Virtue is evermore going out of Jesus, as sweet odours exhale from flowers; and it always will be emanating from him, as water from a sparkling fountain. What delightful encouragement this truth affords us! If our Lord is so ready to heal the sick and bless the needy, then, my soul, be not thou slow to put thyself in his way, that he may smile on thee. Be not slack in asking, if he be so abundant in bestowing. Give earnest heed to his word now, and at all times, that Jesus may speak through it to thy heart. Where he is to be found there make thy resort, that thou mayst obtain his blessing. When he is present to heal, may he not heal thee? But surely he is present even now, for he always comes to hearts which need him. And dost not thou need him? Ah, he knows how much! Thou Son of David, turn thine eye and look upon the distress which is now before thee, and make thy suppliant whole.
Having vagina, boobs, and hips doesn’t make you a woman. A woman is the one who feeds a man with encouragement and ideas. A woman is the one who helps a man to save and invest wisely .A woman does not run her mouth with sarcasm and insult just to prove a point, rather her words are gracious and can heal a broken heart .A woman is the one that knows when to talk and to keep Quiet. A woman is the one that doesn’t leak secret. A woman is the one that is content with what she has, and not the one that sells her self for material things. A woman is a manager, a caretaker, a womb that can nature and birth destinies .
A woman doesn’t do trending things, but she is reserved and has a taste of a Queen. A woman doesn’t look down on any man because of his present state of life and financial status, rather she encourages any man to get better. A woman is the one that does not just bears babies, but bear ideas and inspiration anytime, anywhere. A woman is the one a man can cry on her shoulders and not feel humiliated for doing so nor lose his value .A woman is not the one that deceive a man just to eat his money, but the one who is honest and sincere in any relationship. .A woman. Is not the one that makes men feel terrible, but the one a man can run to for comfort.
A woman is the one that will spoil a man with honor and respect because there lies her strength and integrity .A woman is an influence, a nation and a helper. Many are females but only few can be called a woman. Now ask yourself today, am I a woman.
Nnamdi Kanu Abia State High Court, Umuahia, has granted leave to the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, to serve the Federal Government and seven other respondents processes in a fundamental rights enforcement application he filed Mr. Justice K. C. Okereke.
The suit marked HIH/FR 14/2021, which was filed on Kanu’s behalf by his Special Counsel, Aloy Ejimakor. Ejimakor filed the action through a motion ex-parte pursuant to Orders 3, 4 and 5 Rules of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009.
Respondents in the suit are the Federal Government, Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Chief of Army Staff, Brigade Commander, 14 Brigade, Nigerian Army Ohafia, Abia State, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Commissioner of Police Abia State, Director-General, State Security Services and Abia State Director, State Security Services
Ejimakor told The Guardian that the material issue in the matter was the unbroken chain of infringements that began with the 2017 extrajudicial attempt on Kanu’s life in Abia State; his involuntary flight to safety/exile; his abduction in Kenya and his extraordinary rendition to Nigeria.
He said: “These supervening issues have complicated Kanu’s prosecution and thus must be judicially dispensed with before any further prosecutorial action can proceed”.
He urged the court to declare that the military invasion of the applicant’s building and premises at Isiama, Afaraukwu Ibeku, Umuahia on September 10, 2017 by the respondents or their agents is illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and amount to infringement of the applicant’s fundamental right to life, dignity of his person, his personal liberty and fair hearing as guaranteed under the pertinent provisions of Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, and the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act.
He also wants the court to declare that the arrest of Kanu in Kenya by the respondents or their agents without due process of law is arbitrary, unconstitutional and amounts to infringement of the applicant’s fundamental right against arbitrary arrest, to his personal liberty and to fair hearing as enshrined and guaranteed under the Constitution.
“The torture and detention of the applicant in Kenya by the respondents or their agents is illegal, unconstitutional and amounts to infringement of the his fundamental right against torture and to fair hearing, as guaranteed under the Constitution.
“A declaration that the expulsion of the applicant from Kenya to Nigeria by the respondents or their agents and their consequent detention and planned prosecution of the applicant in charge No: FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015 (Federal Republic of Nigeria v. Nnamdi Kanu) is illegal, unconstitutional and amount to infringement of his fundamental right against unlawful expulsion and detention, and to fair hearing, as guaranteed under the Constitution,” he prayed.
Ejimakor consequently prayed the court to make some orders, namely to restrain the respondents or their agents from taking any further step in the prosecution of the applicant in charge No: FHC/ABJ/CR/383/2015.
He urged the court to compel the respondents or their agents to release the applicant from detention and restore his liberty, which should be his state of being as of June 19, 2021; and to send him to his country of domicile (Britain) to await the outcome of any formal request for his lawful extradition to Nigeria.
He also prayed the court to compel the respondents to issue an official letter of apology to the applicant for the infringement of his fundamental rights and publish it in three national dailies.
The applicant also prayed for an order, compelling the respondents to jointly and severally pay the sum of N5 billion to him, being monetary damages for the physical, mental, emotional, psychological and other damages he suffered as a result of the infringements of his fundamental rights.
Justice Okereke, who is a vacation judge, while ordering that the applicant puts all the respondents on notice, fixed September 21, 2021 as the return date for the motion on notice to be heard. He ruled that the applicant should serve the respondents all the court processes through substituted service.
JUST IN: Finally, Court Fixes Date For Boko Haram Financiers Trial The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed September 17, 2021, for the trial of some Bureau De Change operators arrested in March 2021 for allegedly sponsoring the Boko Haram. the Department of State Services, DSS, had in March arrested the Bureau De Change operators for allegedly facilitating the transfer of money to Boko Haram terrorists.The presidency had disclosed that Nigerians transferring money to the sect from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were working with the BDC operators.
A source disclosed that that the BDC operators trial will hold at Court Room 4 of the Federal High Court.“I just confirmed their next sitting. It will be on 17th September, Court Room No 4, Federal High Court Abuja, behind the Federal Ministry of Justice. Time: 10am,” the source said.
Bandits Set Ablaze Zamfara Speaker’s House, Others In Zurmi LGA, Zamfara Bandits have set the home of the Speaker of Zamfara State House of Assembly, Nasiru Muazu Magarya, and other residents ablaze in Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State.Chairman of the Committee on Security and Prosecution of Bandits in Zamfara State, Abdullahi Shinkafi, confirmed the incident on Monday.
He said the bandits invaded the community and set ablaze some houses including that of the speaker. According to him, this was coming as a result of the ongoing onslaught by the military in Zurmi Local Government Area of the state.
Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu (left) and Nyesom Wike (right) are at the forefront of the battle between states and the federal government over the control of VAT. Photo by PT
With a court ruling assigning the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) to states, and with Rivers and Lagos states which contribute over 70 per cent of the VAT collectibles in the country enacting laws empowering them and not the federal government to collect VAT in their states, many economically disadvantaged states in Nigeria may not be able to meet their financial obligations as Abuja looks set to lose revenue from taxes.
This judgment is not new because, in another ruling delivered on December 11, 2020, at another Federal High Court, the judge held that the powers of the National Assembly to make laws imposing taxes did not extend to VAT. The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) opposed that ruling and told states to continue remitting VAT to it.
The judgment on paper looks likely to favour states and local governments who currently receive 75% of the revenues generated from VAT.01:28 / 01:28AD
However, this may not be the case as some state governments and local councils with low economic activities will have less to share, considering that VAT on federal government contracts included in domestic VAT will accrue to Abuja.
Some states will also need time to set up the processes required to collect VAT, a luxury they probably cannot afford in the short term, and a situation that could make them lose significant revenue and put them in more dire straits.
In 2019, VAT accounted for over 16.2% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), making it a significant contributor to the government’s total revenue. But most Nigerian states depend on funding from the Federal Allocation Account Committee (FAAC) due to their poor Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
In addition, residents of these economically disadvantaged states would not be provided basic amenities by their state governments due to the paucity of income from VAT, while businesses may be forced to pay multiple taxes across the different states they operate.
On the plus side though, the federal government, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report, could gain more, considering that about 27 per cent of revenues from VAT currently come from foreign non-import VAT.
In 2020, for instance, the federal government’s VAT from imports was 22.7 per cent, while foreign non-imports VAT was 27.4 per cent, and local VAT 49.8 per cent.
As a result, Abuja is likely to retain more than the 15 per cent it currently shares, while some states, such as Lagos, Rivers, Kaduna, Oyo and Kano, will likely benefit from this ruling, considering the significant level of economic activities in these states that can generate high VAT revenues.x
Until now, the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) had the responsibility of collecting VAT on behalf of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
This collected VAT, according to Section 40 of the VAT Act, is then shared at the rate of 15 per cent to the federal government, 50 per cent to the 36 states; and 35 per cent to the local governments (net of 4 per cent cost of collection by the FIRS).
According to data filed by the FIRS from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria may have earned about ₦2.5 trillion from January 2020 to June 2021 at a 7.5 per cent VAT rate.
The breakdown shows that the FIRS collected about ₦1.53tr in 2020 with import VAT accounting for ₦348 billion (or 22.7 per cent), while foreign non-import VAT was ₦420bn (or 27.4 per cent) and local VAT amounted to ₦763bn (or 49.8 per cent).
In the first quarter of 2021, VAT collection was ₦496.39bn while it increased by ₦15.8bn in the second quarter to ₦512.25bn. The breakdown of VAT generation for Q2 2021 shows that ₦187.4bn was from non-import VAT locally, ₦207.7bn from non-import VAT for foreign goods, while the balance of ₦117.1bn was from the Nigeria Customs Service VAT on imports.