No less than 11,331 pensioners have been paid N842.8 million by the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD). The one-month pension arrears was reportedly paid to the pensioners of the defunct NITEL/Mtel in December 2019.
This was disclosed in a statement released by the Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr Chioma Ejikeme.
According to Ejikeme, the payment was part of the commitment of the Federal Government to reduce inherited pension liabilities, assuring pensioners that their welfare remains a priority to President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration.
The PTAD secretary made known that the Directorate had made its mandate clear before the commencement of the exercise. The NITEL/MTEL verification exercise, which started in February 2018, was for the purpose of verifying and enrolling eligible pensioners for the purpose of payment of monthly pension. This, she said is in line with the provisions of the Pension Reform Act (2014).
“This was what the Directorate did in the cases of Delta Steel Company (DSC), Nigeria Reinsurance, Federal Housing Authority (FHA), NICON Insurance and Nigerian Defense Academy (NDA) civilians.
“The pensioners who have served the country meritoriously in their various capacities deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. This is why PTAD staff and management will continue to work towards ensuring that the pensioners receive their pension entitlements as and when due,” Ejikeme said, as reported by The Nation.
Speaking further, Ejikeme expressed the pleasure in the completion of the Parastatals Pensioners Verification Exercise across the country and praised the staff for their hard work and dedication in the discharge of their responsibilities during this time. She concluded by assuring them that she would, among other things, be guided by passion, transparency, accountability and drive which are the core values of the Directorate.
About PTAD: Empowered by Section 30, Sub Section (2a) of the Amended Pension Reform Act, 2004, the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) was established to address the numerous pensioners’ complaints. These complaints or issues include non-payment of monthly pension, short payment of pension and gratuity, removal of name on pension payment voucher, non-payment of harmonized pension arrears, irregular payment of federal pensions and non-receipt of pension after retirement to name a few.
FG discloses measures, diversion points for traffic during closure of Third Mainland Bridge
There would be a diversion of traffic in 2 phases during the partial closure of the bridge.
The Federal Government has announced the different phases points of diversion of traffic during the partial closure of the Third Mainland bridge for repair works.
This was disclosed during a joint press conference by the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Engr Olukayode Popoola, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde and the Special Adviser to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Works, Engr Aramide Adeyoye, on Tuesday at Alausa Ikeja.
During the press conference, the Federal and Lagos State Governments have appealed to motorists and Lagos residents to cooperate with government and appropriate agencies during the 6 months partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge for maintenance work, which is expected to start on July 24.
They also assured Lagosians that necessary measures would be put in place to reduce gridlocks during partial closure of the bridge as they would work with appropriate authorities to direct and control traffic movement in the affected areas and alternative routes.
Engr. Popoola revealed that there would be diversion of traffic in 2 phases during the partial closure of the bridge between Friday, July 24, 2020 and January 24, 2021.
He said the First Phase of the diversion, which will last for 3 months of repairs of the Oworonsoki bound lane of the Third Mainland Bridge, would be for morning traffic from 12:00 am to 1:00 pm from Oworonshoki to Lagos Island on the Lagos Island-bound lane, while the afternoon traffic from 1:00 pm to 12:00 am would be from Lagos Island to Oworonsoki on the Lagos Island-bound lane.
Engr. Popoola said the Phase 2 of the diversion, which would last also for three months of repairs of the Lagos Island-bound lane of the Third Mainland Bridge, would be for morning traffic from 12:00 am to 1:00 pm from Oworonsoki to Lagos Island on the Oworonsoki bound lane, while the afternoon traffic from 1:00 pm to 12:00 am would be from Lagos Island to Oworonsoki on the Oworonsoki bound lane.
Popoola said, “Motorists are advised to also ply these alternative routes: First, from Carter Bridge through Iddo through Oyingbo to join Adekunle ramp inward Oworonsoki. Secondly, from Ijora Olopa through Western Avenue to Ikorodu Road.”
On his own part, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Oladeinde said priority will be given to those driving from Mainland to the Island in morning and afternoon to use the Third Mainland while those driving against traffic will use the alternative routes.
Dr. Oladeinde assured motorists that Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) will work with Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in all the alternative routes to ensure that motorists have a smooth journey during the partial closure of the bridge.
The commissioner advised those who don’t have any genuine reason to be on the road to stay at home to reduce vehicular movement during this period while adding that the public vehicles would be available and affordable for road users.
He said: “If you don’t have to travel, I will advise that you stay at home so that we can minimise the number of vehicles on the road. If you can work at home, please do. But if you can’t, we will ensure will be on the road for you to get to your destination as quickly as possible.”
Dr. Oladeinde also advised people of Lagos State to use alternative transport such as ferries. He said there will be an increase in the number of fleets by the Lagos Ferry Services in the morning for people from Ikorodu and Mile 2 as alternative transportation.
Also speaking, Engr. Adeyoye while appreciating the Federal Government for the repair of Third Mainland Bridge, said Lagos State Government has commenced necessary preparatory works on all the alternative routes in the state to make them motorable for the commuters.
Adeyoye said the state will do its best within two weeks to work on all the roads that may likely cause gridlocks to be free of potholes.
She also warned trucks and vehicles that are not road worthy or serviceable to stay away from Lagos roads.
Federal Government and LASG have appealed to motorists and Lagos residents to cooperate with government and appropriate agencies during the six months partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge for maintenance work, which is expected to commence on July 24#ForAGreaterLagos pic.twitter.com/yUOOQIwe62
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) July 7, 2020
African Union will accelerate industrialization in order to beat COVID-19
AU is planning on improving industrial output through the establishment of the regional value chain.
The African Union says it will accelerate its industrial development drive and improve supply chains needed for Africa’s trade and logistic growth to overcome the pandemic.
In a statement by the chairman of the AU and South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, the AU is planning on improving industrial output through the establishment of a regional value chain with the aid of private sector stakeholders. The statement commemorating Africa Integration Day was co-signed by AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat and Mahamadou Issoufou, the president of Niger.
President Ramaphosa added that the African free trade area is the best tool that can help the continent speed up its regional economic integration to battle the effects of the pandemic. He added that the creation of a free trade area is “defragmenting Africa to put behind us the history of small uncompetitive markets that have thwarted our efforts to achieve inclusive sustainable development for the benefit of our people.”
The African Continental Free Trade Area agreement was signed last year and was meant to commence this year in July but the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the negotiations for tariff concessions for trade in goods; a date has not yet been announced to resume negotiations.
When fully ratified and operational by 2030, the ACFTA would be the largest free trade area by land area, servicing a potential of 1.2 billion people and with combined GDP of $2.5 trillion. Of the 54 nations that have signed the agreement, only 28 have ratified it so far. Nigeria is one of the countries yet to ratify over worries of “dumping”. Internal trade in Africa is just 15% compared to Europe’s 70% and Asia’s 58%. The ACFTA when fully ratified will reduce tariffs on goods by 90% and help promote investment and movement of goods, people and capital in the continent.
UPDATED: Court rules ICAN members do not need CITN license to file tax returns
The suit, which was filed some years ago by CITN, was basically struck out for lacking merit.
Justice S. A. Onigbanjo of the High Court of Lagos State has ruled that members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) do not need to be licensed by the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) before they can file tax returns.
The ruling on July 2nd followed a suit filed by CITN trying to restrain ICAN members from filing tax returns for their clients unless they have a practicing CITN license.
A notice to ICAN members regarding this development, as seen by Nairametrics, noted that Justice Onigbanjo struck out the suit after describing it as “an abuse of court process and an embarrassment to the judiciary.”
The backstory: Nairametrics understands that the disagreement between ICAN and CITN stemmed from the misinterpretation of a 2015 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Terms of Settlement (ToS) between the two organisations. Consequently, CITN had filed a suit before the High Court of Lagos State, seeking the following:
- A declaration that the Memorandum of Understanding and Terms of Service both dated February 12, 2015 between the CITN and ICAN are valid, subsisting, and binding on the CITN and ICAN.
- An injunction restraining ICAN whether by its agents, privies, assigns, or whosoever called, from repudiating, resiling from or acting in any manner or doing anything that is inconsistent with, contrary to or is a violation of the Memorandum of Understanding and the Terms of Settlement dated February 12, 2015, between the CITN and ICAN.
- Determine whether the Memorandum of Understanding and Terms of Settlement both dated February 12, 2015 between the CITN and ICAN are valid, subsisting, and binding on CITN and the ICAN.
However, last week’s ruling by Justice S. A. Onigbanjo which, by the way, was delivered virtually due to COVID-19, has made it impossible for the CITN to implement the terms of the 2015 MoU and ToS. The ruling also aligned with ICAN’s earlier objection to the MoU and ToS.
The status quo: In view of this development, ICAN has informed its members that they do not need to obtain any license from the CITN before they can file tax returns for their clients with the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS.
ICAN members were also informed that an earlier ruling by the Federal High Court on the case does not affect the status quo. This is because “the earlier ruling by the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/125/2019 did not make pronouncement on the memorandum and terms of settlement between ICAN and CITN.” More so, regulation 5 of the FIRS Act was not reflected in the earlier judgment of the Federal High Court.