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HYPPADEC drums support for reconstruction of Ibaji road in Kogi

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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

Managing Director of Hydro-Electric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC), Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq Yelwa has pledged the Commission’s resolve to advocate for the reconstruction of Idah-Onyedega road linking the the flood-ravaged Ibaji Local Government Area with the outside world.

The Managing Director gave the assurance at the Palace of Eje of Ibaji, Ajofe John Egwemi on Tuesday, at Onyedega, headquarters of the Council, while on tour of communities ravaged by floods as a result activities hydro-electric power generating dams.

The tour, according to him was to avail the Commission’s management, opportunity to assess the level of devastation and afford the community members the chance to participate in identifying possible areas of intervention.

Yelwa conceded to the fact that resources for the reconstruction of the road was enormous and beyond the Commission’s reach but added that because issues of safety and sources of livelihood were involved, there was need for urgent intervention.

He said that HYPPADEC would therefore use its influence to drum up support through relevant government agencies and institutions for the reconstruction of the all-important road in view of sufferings and hardships being encountered by communities.

“We have come, we have seen and it is a pathetic situation. The journalists that came with us will join us in the advocacy to address this challenge and liberate the over 67 communities trapped here”, the recently turbaned “Abeneche Atta-Igala” declared.

He assured the people that with the little resources at he Commission’s disposal, “we shall continue to do our best to address these challenges and improve your well-being.”

The HYPPADEC boss approved the drilling of two additional boreholes, solar energy for all the communities, (twice the number requested) as well as scholarships, increased medical outreach, motorcycles and reconstruction of primary schools classroom blocks.

Speaking earlier after the receiving the HYPPADEC team with traditional breaking of kola nuts, the Eje of Ibaji, Ajofe John Egwemi, commended the Commission for the various “Wonderful” interventions especially during the 2022 flooding.

He said there was great need to pat the Commission on the back as, “When you are helped by someone, it is good to say how much he has helped you so that he can do more for you.

“HYPPADEC is a blessing to us in Nigeria. You have done so many things for us. We call on you to help shout to the Federal Government and relevant authorities to come to our aid.

“Our road is terrible. Why is it so? “It is because of the flooding, we are cut off, the break in the school system is pathetic, our health is compromised, diseases abound, our economic crops are destroyed all because of the flood.

“We are suffering all these because our voices are not loud enough. Could you please tell the Federal Government for us.

“Please, help us talk to the Federal Government to dredge the Rivers Niger and Benue and let them build dams on the two major rivers. Smaller countries have their dams and everyday, we face threats from Cameroon over release of water.

“Let us for God’s sake built our own dams. If we are able to build at least two dams, one each on Niger and Benue with well coordinated dredging, the flooding menace and threats will be finally laid to rest”, he said.

Mr Victor Adewale Omofaiye Commissioner for Environment while speaking at the occasion said issue of dredging and road reconstruction was beyond the scope of the state government.

He said that the state government would however, continue to provide succour to alleviate the sufferings of the people adding that should the NiMET prediction of flooding come true, temporary settlements would be arranged.

Highlight of the occasion was the colourful celebration of the Managing Director’s 65th birthday with prayers for good health and more wisdom for him to serve the country and humanity better at higher capacity. (Ends)

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MATAN president enumerates benefit for stakeholders, how it will end injustices

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National President of MATAN, Jamilu Abbas
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***MATAN to bring informal sector into FG tax

The emergence of Market Traders Association of Nigeria (MATAN) which is the umbrella body for all trading associations is an answered prayer for all those who have been shortchanged by government officials in the distribution of parliatives and intervention funds, its National President honorable Jamilu Abbas has declared.
Speaking at its National Executive Council Meeting held in Abuja recently, he said MATAN is a trailblazing association that holds the magic wand to resolve most of the issues bedeviling the country as a result of the greed of some leaders.
He recalled the action of some Governors and political office holders during the COVID19 pandemic when palliatives meant to be distributed to the poorest of the poor were hoarded and kept away from them by some governors, lawmakers, local Government chairmen and so on.
According to him, they in the informal sector have decided to channel their own energy to forming the MATAN,
“That is why we decide to float a project, leading to the launch of the Integrated Market Revenue Management System (IMRMS).
He said MATAN is in Partnership with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to collect and remit Value Added Tax (VAT) from traders in marketplace, using the IMRMS platform.
According to him, the collaboration; known as the VAT Direct Initiative (VDI), is part of a push to widen the government’s tax base.
To that end he said, the FIRS has rolled out the implementation of the IMRMS, a purpose-built digital platform, to capture the informal sector, especially market traders in to the federal government’s tax net.
He said MATAN is the largest player in Nigeria’s market space with a membership of well over 40 million traders across the country.
“Under the arrangement, MATAN is expected to digitally enumerate its members, give them a digital identity and track their turnover so that VAT accrued is collected and remitted to the FIRS.
“Through this initiative, the FIRS will help tackle multiple taxation in the marketplace through partnership with security agencies to curb the activities of touts, miscreants and self-imposed tax collectors involved in illegal tax collection in Nigeria’s market spaces. ”
He said the solution is, MATAN is providing a platform that will go digital to bring all in the informal sector to become formal.
According to him, With the ongoing enumeration, each member will have his multi purpose Identity Cards which is called VDIIT
“So with the card, our agents will enumerate you as a trader, farmer, transporter or Artizan. We have analyzed it, the small Scale, the Medium Scale and the larger scale.
“Even if you are exempted from paying tax to government, you are not exempted from benefiting from services such as insurance, PENCOM, because when you fall ill, you will go to the hospital, when you have cases in your market places, the Lawyer is there to support you free of charge.
He said with the card, they are in partnership with government so if government wants to give palliative they don’t need to go through some one who will corner them for his personal use. They don’t need to go through any criminal or any offices.
He said President Tinubu is well informed of the Association because after enumeration, this is the only platform which the President will authorise for all banks to send government intervention funds to without passing through any criminal that has opportunity to occupy government position.
“Immediately we provided this platform, the State Governments, the joint tax board, invited us and we promised them that we are going to be paying their taxes, we are bringing our people to the tax net, so that if it is N1, on 10k, they will be contributing to government coffers.
“But when we make this contribution government must pay us back, the pay back is the tax relief, if I have children who want to go to school, through this card they can access free education.

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Obi insists, food insecurity is a major threat to the Nation

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Peter Obi
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The Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general election, Mr Peter Obi, has indicated that food insecurity is a major threat to the Nation.
The LP standard bearer who made the remarks in Ibadan when he visited the headquarters of the International Institute Tropical Agriculture (IITA), explained that solving the problem of food insecurity in Nigeria will help to eradicate hunger and combat food inflation.
IITA is an institute that engages in agricultural research for the development of sustainable and innovative farming practices aimed at solving the problem of hunger and poverty in the nation.

His personal assistant on media, Michael Jude Nwolisa in a statement he issued in Abuja on Monday quoted Obi to have charged the government to make agriculture top priority.
According to Obi, the worsening level of inflation in the country is occasioned by the obvious abandonment of agriculture resulting in food insecurity.

He expressed his appreciation to the management and staff of IITA for what he described as their very significant contributions to Nigeria’s agricultural sector, especially in ensuring higher agricultural productivity.
Obi encouraged them to do more by working more closely with local farmers and agricultural stakeholders to enhance farming practices and agricultural productivity.
This, Obi said, will help IITA to ensure that their research outcomes and innovations are effectively disseminated and adopted, leading to tangible improvements in the agricultural sector.

The LP presidential candidate maintained that agriculture remains a very critical sector in Nigeria’s economy and should not be neglected. “Our obvious neglect of agriculture is the cause of hunger and food insecurity, resulting in the high food inflation rate we have today,” he said.

“Lack of investment in agriculture, he argued, has resulted in the high level of hunger and poverty in the country today. In his words, “In the 2023 Global Hunger Index, Nigeria ranked 109th out of the 125 countries measured, showing a serious hunger level in the nation.
“Our food inflation rate is currently at 33%, signifying that more concerted efforts need to be made in moving our nation from consumption to production, in the agricultural sector.”

He further explained that aside from achieving food security, Nigeria could earn huge foreign exchange from agriculture.
“I have maintained consistently that Nigeria could earn more from agriculture than it presently earns from oil. I have also said that the biggest assets of our nation are the vast uncultivated lands in the North. “If we invest in agriculture and fully explore our fertile lands, we will not only end hunger and eradicate poverty but drive down inflation and earn huge amounts of foreign exchange through agricultural exports,” Obi said.

“Our mission remains to move Nigeria from consumption to production as this will help us to achieve the New and productive Nigeria of our dreams,” Obi concluded.

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Protests erupt in Nasarawa after S’ Court’s verdict that gave victory to Gov. Sule

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Following the Supreme Court ruling which upheld the election of Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State in the March 18, 2023 election, Protests have erupted in Lafia, the State capital.
The Lafia-Jos road has been completely blocked as the protesters lit bonfire to prevent travelers and other road users from passing.

It was gathered that motorists had to take alternative routes out of Lafia.

The streets of the capital city were overtaken by the protesters who were aggrieved with the Supreme Court Judgment

A group of elderly women and widows marched through the streets of Lafia, to protest the court’s decision

The state election petition tribunal had nullified Sule’s election and declared Ombugadu of the PDP the winner, but the appeal court later upurned the decision, leading to the final ruling by the Supreme Court.

Women groups have been at the forefront of the protests, leading to road blockades in various parts of the state capital, including the Lafia-Jos road.

This has disrupted traffic flow, forcing commuters to seek alternative routes. The unrest has prompted calls for an increased presence of security forces to restore calm in the area.

The protests have also had economic downturn, with shops, businesses, and schools in the state capital hastily closing their doors in response to the unfolding events.

The situation remains tensed as various groups continue to express their discontent following the court’s ruling.

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