American business magnate and billionaire, Bill Gates has advised the Federal Government of Nigeria to increase the tax and domestic revenue to about 15% of the Gross Domestic Product. The Microsoft founder explained that the country’s domestic revenue was quite small compared to other countries.
According to him, a lot of countries at that level would be rising closer to 15% of GDP and Nigeria which is the most populous black nation has one of the lowest in the world at about 6%.
He said, “It is a huge challenge that when you want to fund infrastructure, health, education, all those things, that over time the tax collection, the domestic resources are going to have to go up quite a bit.
“That’s a long-term effort and I think partly by making sure the current resources are spent well like on primary health care, you gain the credibility that the citizens will say, okay, we want more of these things. If we don’t raise the quality, you can get into a trap where they don’t feel like paying the taxes actually has that much impact, and so they’re not supportive of that.”
Bill Gate’s wish for Nigeria: The world’s second-richest billionaire also made known that if he had a wish for Nigeria, it would be that the quality and funding of the primary health care system would achieve the level of some other countries that are lower-income but have done a better job with the primary health care system.
“So, Nigeria is important, I’m hopeful about Nigeria. As you see in the report, the disparities within Nigeria are quite stark,” he added.
Bill Gates’ recommended solution: In order to combat most of the challenges the country is facing, the Microsoft co-founder said the Nigerian government needed to do more to gain the confidence of the people because the citizens could be discouraged from paying taxes if they see that taxes are not being properly utilized.
His words, “That’s a long-term effort and I think partly by making sure the current resources are spent well like on primary health care, you gain the credibility that the citizens will say, okay, we want more of these things. If we don’t raise the quality, you can get into a trap where they don’t feel like paying the taxes actually has that much impact, and so they’re not supportive of that.”
DPR says it has accurate data of country’s crude production volume
Head, Public Affairs of DPR, Mr Paul Osu, said every litre of crude produced in the country was adequately captured during the process of extraction.
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has said that the agency has an accurate record of the crude oil produced in the country.
This is in reaction to claims that the exact volume of crude oil produced in the country has remained unknown.
While making this disclosure in a statement in Lagos, the Head, Public Affairs of DPR, Mr Paul Osu, said every litre of crude produced in the country was adequately captured during the process of extraction.
What the Head, Public Affairs of DPR is saying
Osu said DPR has the responsibility of monitoring and accounting for crude oil production which is the basis for determining the government’s revenue through royalty payments by operators for sustainable development.
He said: “As a further step to boosting crude accounting process from production to export, DPR recently launched the National Production Monitoring System (NPMS).
NPMS is an online platform for direct and independent acquisition of production data from oil and gas facilities in Nigeria.
NPMS as an electronic data transmission tool at production and export terminals is designed to better predict the performance of oil and gas reservoirs and better production forecasting.”
Osu noted that the NPMS tool enables DPR to exercise surveillance, perform production monitoring and data analysis for utilisation and forecasting.
He said DPR as a business enabler and opportunity house would continue to develop robust and strategic initiatives to ensure timely and accurate payment of rents, royalties and other revenues due to the government.
In case you missed it
- It can be recalled that the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Orji Ogbonnaya-Orji, on Thursday said the exact volume of crude oil produced in Nigeria, especially at the deep offshore fields, is not known by anyone.
- He said the exact volume of crude oil produced in Nigeria had remained unknown because of the absence of meters at wellheads and the lack of capacity to monitor deep offshore fields.
Sanwo-Olu flags off Red line rail project as Lagos compensates property owners
The 37-km Rail Mass Transit Red Line will traverse from Agbado to Marina, moving over 1 million commuters daily.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has flagged off the construction of the 37-km Rail Mass Transit Red Line, which will traverse from Agbado to Marina, moving over 1 million commuters daily.
This is as the state started the compensation of identified project-affected persons of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit Red Line project with the Governor handing over cheques to displaced property owners who were affected by the right-of-way.
The groundbreaking ceremony which took place at the Ikeja Train Station on Thursday was witnessed by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who was represented by the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, and the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Obafemi Hamzat.
What the Lagos State Governor is saying
Sanwo-Olu said the Red Line project which is to be fully operational in the last quarter of 2022 with 8 train stations from Agbado to Oyingbo, is another initiative of his administration to deliver enduring infrastructure for the transport system and make Lagos a competitive megacity.
The Governor said: “Today’s flag-off of the construction of infrastructure for the standard gauge Red Line is another promise kept and it demonstrates, in practical terms, our commitment to achieve the objectives of traffic management and transportation pillar in our development agenda. This is because we recognise the role which an efficient transportation system plays in enhancing people’s quality of life and as a major driver of socio-economic development.
The State’s Strategic Transport Master Plan, which encompasses a number of projects that are germane to achieving our vision for a Greater Lagos, is founded on imperatives that seek to increase transport choices for all users and make the transit system integrated, attractive, convenient, affordable and accessible.
Since efficient transportation is the backbone of any economy, we are happy to be committing this investment in our transport infrastructure, so that our people can meet their daily targets and aspirations. This all-important transport project we are all gathered to witness today represents a major step in this direction.”
Sanwo-Olu said that in order to facilitate smooth operations of the Red Line, the State Government would be constructing ancillary infrastructure, including 6 overpasses at strategic level crossing points along the rail corridor to eliminate interactions between the rail system, vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
The overpasses will provide grade-separated crossings that will enhance safety for the rail system and road users.
He said: “The unique characteristics of the Red Line is its integration with the Ikeja Bus Terminal, Oshodi–Abule Egba Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lane, the future Orange Line, which goes from Ikeja to Agbowa, and the General Aviation Terminal One of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport through a skywalk.
Another unique feature of the Red Line is that all the stations have elevated concourses with either at grade island or side platforms for easy boarding and alighting of passengers. The Red Line also integrates with our Bus Terminals at Oyingbo, Yaba, Oshodi, Ikeja and Iju, giving modal options to our people in their daily commute, either for business or leisure.”
The Governor presented cheques of different amounts as compensation to 25 residents whose properties, businesses and accommodation will be affected by the project. Over 263 properties are affected with many of the property owners and tenants smiling as they got their cheques.
What you should know
- The Red Line is part of the state government’s vision of an integrated multimodal transportation system contained in the State’s Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP), developed by LAMATA, which aims ultimately to birth a world-class transportation network that will support the state’s profile, as the economic capital of Nigeria and Africa.
- It is to raise mass transportation capacity in the State, complementing the Blue Line that traverses from Okokomaiko to Marina.
- The rail corridor will be constructed in three phases. The first phase (Agbado-Iddo), which will be completed in 24 months, will be sharing the track with the Federal Government’s Lagos-Ibadan Railway Modernisation Project up to Ebute – Metta and will have its dedicated track from Ebute – Metta to Oyingbo and reduce travel time from about two and a half hours to just 35 minutes.
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