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Corporate organisations now pay N200,000 for unsolicited premises inspection in Abuja 

Corporate organisations in Abuja now have to pay about N200,000 to have their business premises inspected for certification. #FCT #INSPECTION

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Corporate organisations now pay N200,000 for unsolicited premises inspection in Abuja 

Corporate organisations in Abuja now have to pay about N200,000 to have their business premises inspected for certification by Abuja Municipal Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Organisations operating under the jurisdiction of the Abuja Municipal Area Council of FCT are required to make the payment before the inspection can be carried out.

Punishment for refusal: Companies in the jurisdiction have no choice but to heed to the demands of the Council officials in order to avoid their business premises sealed, a report by Punch disclosed. Various organisations in the Idu Industrial Layout in Karmo, Abuja, have been levied by the agency four times or more.

[READ MORE: FG threatens to disconnect Togo, others from electricity over $16 million debt)

These demands were said to have been made within the last two months. According to an official of the Abuja Municipal Area Council, Sylvester Joseph, the N200,000 levy is statutory and all companies under the jurisdiction must respond positively to the demand.

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What you need to know: The anomaly of the levy is that the Abuja Municipal Area Council will be the party to request for permission to inspect the premises.

The council sends a reminder to the companies, informing them of its earlier request while threatening to seal any erring company. In one of the letters dated November 18, the council threatened to seal off the receiving company located in the Idu Industrial Layout.

[READ MORE: FG threatens to disconnect Togo, others from electricity over $16 million debt)

The council added that, “It has been brought to our notice that you have refused to pay N200, 000 for inspection and certification due on your property situated at Idu yard.

“Therefore, unless you settle your bills within two weeks from the date of this notice, the Abuja Municipal Area Council will have no choice but to seal the property until the inspection and certification rate is paid.”

What this means for Nigeria: The Federal Government has been seeking several ways to raise capital in order to increase its revenue generation. If this is one of the methods being applied, then it might put a dent on the country’s ease of doing business image.

Despite increasing on the log of ease of doing business globally, the country still receives heavy criticisms over its business regulations.  The business environment in Nigeria is described as hostile to companies and the N200,000 for unsolicited inspection check will only give credence to the assertion, thereby, discouraging investors.

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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Tech News

Facebook to open Lagos office in 2021

When the social media giant comes to Nigeria, it will be its second office on the African continent.

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Facebook set to award $3 million in Community Accelerator program, Facebook to invest $100 million in media houses as coronavirus crashes their revenue, Facebook to expand Coronavirus Information Centre to Nigeria, 16 other African countries

Social Media giant, Facebook announced it would open an office in Lagos in 2021, its second office in the continent and the first in Africa to house software engineers.

This was announced by Facebook Program Manager, Chimdindu Aneke on social media. “We are opening a Facebook office in Lagos, Nigeria later in 2021,” he said.

He added that the office would be the first in Africa by Facebook for the purpose of engineering and “building for the future of Africa and beyond”.

Media aide to the Presidency, Tolu Ogunlesi quoted Facebook saying, “As part of its continued commitment and ongoing investment in Africa, Facebook today announced it will be opening an office in Lagos, Nigeria – its second office on the African continent.”

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In 2019, Facebook’s biggest market in Africa was Nigeria with 33 million monthly active users.

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Business

Nigeria among countries to be worst hit by food crisis globally

Nigeria, others were listed as countries with the worst deteriorations in acute hunger in recent months.

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7 million Nigerians to experience food shortage

Nigeria has emerged as one of the countries to be most hit by food crisis across the globe in the face of the coronavirus pandemic which had worsened the already bad situation.

This disclosure is contained in a report by the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The report from the FAO also shows that the Democratic Republic of Congo is emerging as the country with the world’s largest food crisis in terms of absolute numbers, with Burkina Faso listed as the country with the worst deteriorations in acute hunger in recent months.

The food crisis is made worse in Nigeria by the longstanding religious and ethnic conflicts and even organized crimes by some bandits, which has greatly affected farmers working on their farmlands.

In addition to these, the farmers were already contending with the issue of flooding or drought, which has negatively been impacting on the agricultural sector in a period the country is desperate and very desirous of economic diversification. The coronavirus pandemic has triggered a surge in food prices as can be seen in the reports released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in a country that imports over 10% of its food supply.

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With a population of over 200 million people, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, which is regarded as the world’s most food-insecure continent. This is made worse as importers of food items struggle to gain access to dollars for their imports due to scarcity of foreign exchange which is triggered by the crash of oil prices and low foreign inflow.

This is expected to be exacerbated by the recent order by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Central Bank of Nigeria, to stop the allocation of foreign exchange to importers of food items.

The Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello, warned in April, “We are heading toward famine and starvation.”

The FAO report which states that Congo has about 21.8 million people that are acutely food insecure, also points out that Burkina Faso has witnessed an almost 300% uptick in the overall number of people experiencing acute hunger since the start of 2020.

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Around the World

US government to ban WeChat and TikTok from app stores

Chinese-owned social media apps are facing a ban in the US over national security concerns.

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Reasons why a record number of people are giving up their US citizenship, US approves chloroquine as treatment for coronavirus COVID-19, Nigeria U.S. Donald Trump-oil prices

The United States government says it will ban the services of Chinese tech giants, WeChat and TikTok, from online mobile application stores in the U.S. It also plans to prohibit any funds transfer/payment services through the WeChat mobile application.

This was announced by the U.S Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, in a statement on Friday, following President Donald Trump’s Executive Orders (E.O.) 13942 and E.O. 13943, on the 6th of August.

“In response to President Trump’s Executive Orders signed August 6, 2020, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) today announced prohibitions on transactions relating to mobile applications (apps) WeChat and TikTok to safeguard the national security of the United States,” said Wilbur Ross.

He added that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), has proven it has the means and the motive to use Chinese tech apps, to threaten America’s national security foreign policy, and the economy of the U.S.

He said the following transactions will be prohibited from September 20th for WeChat and November 12th for TikTok

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  • Any provision of service to distribute or maintain the WeChat or TikTok mobile applications, constituent code, or application updates, through an online mobile application store in the U.S.
  • Any provision of services through the WeChat mobile application, for the purpose of transferring funds or processing payments within the U.S.

Mr. Ross said that with the Executive Order, the US government has taken a ‘significant action’ in fighting China’s malicious personal data breach on American citizens, and also promote democratic rule-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations.

The U.S government announced that further prohibitive measures, relating to both companies may be announced in the future.

“Should the U.S. Government determine that WeChat’s or TikTok’s illicit behavior is being replicated by another app somehow outside the scope of these executive orders, the President has the authority to consider whether additional orders may be appropriate to address such activities.”

President Trump has given until November 12, to resolve the TikTok security concerns of the US. He added that the prohibitions may be lifted, if they are addressed.

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