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Business News

NIPOST workers picket Ministry of Finance over stamp duty 

The headquarters of the Ministry of Finance was shut for a long period as the workers of NIPOST stormed the premises to protest.

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NIPOST workers shut down Ministry of Finance over stamp duty collection 

The Federal Ministry of Finance, Abuja, was picketed on Thursday by the workers of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) protesting over the collection of stamp duty.

The workers frowned at the decision of the Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, that the proceed of the duty should be warehoused by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) since it’s a tax-related responsibility.

Workers prevent budget presentation: The protest, which prevented the public presentation of the 2020 Budget at the main auditorium of the ministry, hindered guests and government officials from going in or out of the building.

This continued until the Minister was forced to address the protesters, who were led by the leadership of the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies. She advised them to transmit their grievances to her through a proposal.

Are they fighting for their right? According to the workers, the government plans to relieve them of their duties. They opined that such act goes against global practice. They also said FIRS was favoured by the amendment to the Stamp Duty Act carried out by the National Assembly.

ECOWAS economy grows by 3.1%, expected to hit 3.3% by end of 2019 , Dangote Refinery would help save $10 billion in forex - FG,

Mrs Ahmed Zainab

The Secretary-General of the union, Ayo Olorunfemi, argued that whough the stamp duty collection would now be carried out electronically, it does not mean government should change the collector.

[READ MORE: CBN holds N43 billion stamp duty charges from banks – FG)

He added that NIPOST has the right to produce and sell stamp for both postage and duty purposes.

“Our attention has been drawn to the renewed attempt by the minister of finance to take over the stamp duty aspect of the NIPOST function and transfer same to Federal Inland Revenue.

“Her major reason is that since the stamp is used to denote receipts, transactions and other documents, it is a tax and her agency must take it over.

“The minister had used her strength in the area of lobbying to get the House of Representatives to pass the bill.

“The action of the minister is unfortunate, inimical to the ideals preached by this administration and if not checked, is capable of causing inter-agency disunity or unhealthy rivalry even now when all hands must be on deck to uplift the nation.”

He added that, “From the argument of the minister, it follows that if stamp duty is a form of taxation, its collection should be ceded to the FIRS.

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“If we permit the evil as being perpetrated, the roles of Customs Service, Nigerian Ports Authority, Standards Organisation of Nigeria and all revenue collecting agencies will eventually be ceded to the FIRS under the highly powerful minister of finance.”

Why stamp duty is important to the protesting workers: If the FIRS takes over collection of stamp duty, it will likely affect jobs at the Nigerian Postal Service in that the department handling the stamp duty might become redundant. It might also affect the allocation of funds to the office which might, in turn, affect their yearly turnovers.

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FG orders NIPOST to stop cash transactions

[READ ALSO: Senate to investigate CBN over non-remittance of over N20 trillion stamp duty charges)

Meanwhile, Punch reported that taking over the stamp duty collection might open new job opportunities, increase allocation to the FIRS office and drive up the revenue of the Nigerian tax administrator.

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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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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 7th of March 2021, 269 new confirmed cases and 5 deaths were recorded in Nigeria

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Covid 19 update symptops

The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 158,506 confirmed cases.

On the 7th of March 2021, 269 new confirmed cases and 5 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

To date, 158,506 cases have been confirmed, 137,875 cases have been discharged and 1,969 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

A total of 1.54 million tests have been carried out as of March 7th, 2021 compared to 1.49 million tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 7th March 2021,

  • Total Number of Cases – 158,506
  • Total Number Discharged – 137,890
  • Total Deaths – 1,969
  • Total Tests Carried out – 1,544,008

According to the NCDC, the 269 new cases are reported from 19 states- Enugu (78), Bauchi (37), Rivers (22), Imo (18), Ogun (16), FCT (15), Akwa Ibom (13), Kaduna (13), Kebbi (11), Kwara (9), Edo(7), Ekiti (6), Borno (5), Yobe(5), Kano (4) Nasarawa (3), Osun (3), Anambra (2) and Plateau (2).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 56,444, followed by Abuja (19,350), Plateau (8,944), Kaduna (8,658),  Oyo (6,766), Rivers (6,680), Edo (4,670), Ogun (4,437), Kano (3,844), Ondo (3,066), Kwara (2,962), Delta (2,582), Osun (2,457), Nasarawa (2,251), Enugu (2,156), Katsina (2,060), Gombe (2,010), Ebonyi (1,951), Anambra (1,813), Akwa Ibom (1,610), and Abia (1,588).

Imo State has recorded 1,569 cases, Borno (1,308), Bauchi (1,274), Benue (1,188), Adamawa (942), Niger (919), Taraba (863), Ekiti (834), Bayelsa (779), Sokoto (769), Jigawa (496), Kebbi (412), Cross River (334), Yobe (293), Zamfara (222), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

The movement restriction, which was extended by another two weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.

On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.

Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.

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On 26th January 2021, the Federal Government announced the extension of the guidelines of phase 3 of the eased lockdown by one month following the rising cases of the coronavirus disease in the country and the expiration of phase 3 of the eased lockdown.

On 28th February 2021, the federal government confirmed that the first tranche of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in Nigeria on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021.

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On Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, the National Primary health Care Development Agency announced the arrival of the expected COVX Astrazeneca/Oxford covid-19 vaccines.

On Saturday, 6th March 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice, Yemi Osinbajo received vaccination against the covid-19 as the State House in Abuja.

READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

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Tech News

Twitter CEO auctions his first-ever tweet on Twitter, bidding at $2.5 million

Jack Dorsey is auctioning his first-ever tweet on a website that sells tweets as non-fungible tokens.

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Square buys $50 million worth of Bitcoins, Twitter warns political figures to abstain from fake, misleading statements, Has Twitter's Jack Dorsey changed the popular narrative attached to Nigerians?, Twitter forecasts future drop in revenue after milestone record in 2019 Q4 , Twitter founder, Jack Dorsey invest N2.3 million in Nigerian startup, DevCareer , Some Verified accounts may not be able to tweet, as Twitter freezes password reset to address cyberattack

Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey is auctioning his first-ever tweet on Twitter “just setting up my twttr” on a website that sells tweets as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The tweet was listed for sale on ‘Valuables by Cent’ – a tweets marketplace that was launched three months ago. The tweet was first made in March 2006

The tweet received offers as high as $88,888.88 within minutes of Jack tweeting a link to the listing on” Valuables by Cent” on Friday.

Currently, bidding has reached $2.5 million (€2.1 million) indicating the potential in selling virtual objects that have been authenticated through blockchain technology.

The highest bid for the tweet — $2.5 million — came from Bridge Oracle CEO Sina Estavi. It topped cryptocurrency pioneer, Justin Sun’s $2 million bid.

The final buyer of the tweet will receive a certificate, digitally signed and verified by Jack Dorsey, as well as the metadata of the original tweet. The data will include information such as the time the tweet was posted and its text contents. Most of this information, however, is already publicly available.

According to Valuables by Cent’s terms, 95% of a tweet’s sale will go to the original creator while the remainder will go to the website.

What you should know

  • NFTs is a unique digital certificate that states who owns a photo, video, or other forms of online media.
  • Dorsey’s 15-year-old tweet is one of the most famous tweets ever on the platform.
  • Bidding had reached $2.5 million (€2.1 million) on Saturday, indicating the potential in selling virtual objects that have been authenticated through blockchain technology.
  • More people are currently bidding their tweets on the platform.

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