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Court strikes out MTN Nigeria’s suit against AGF, as FIRS, Customs take over tax probe

The Federal High Court has struck out MTN Nigeria’s lawsuit against the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

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Court strikes out MTN Nigeria's suit against AGF, as FIRS, Customs take over tax probe

The Federal High Court has struck out MTN Nigeria‘s lawsuit against the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami. Justice C.J. Aneke had made the ruling a year and months after the telecommunications company instituted the case citing abuse of power.

The case was struck out after MTN Nigeria notified the court of its intention to drop the case following an out of court settlement between both parties. In November 2019, MTN Nigeria instituted a lawsuit against the AGF after the AGF demanded the sum of N242 billion and $1.2 billion for import duties, withholding and value-added taxes.

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Abubakar Malami, SAN

MTN Nigeria had argued then that Malami acted beyond his powers and violated the provisions of Section 36 of the constitution on fair hearing with “the purported revenue assets investigation” he carried out on the firm’s activities covering 2007 to 2017.

However, on January 11, 2020, Nairametrics reported that MTN planned to drop its N3 billion lawsuit. MTN Nigeria’s withdrawal was cited in court by Habibat Ajana, the counsel for the AGF. This led to Malami informing the court that he had reviewed the issue and had decided to withdraw the demand letter for $2 billion tax.

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FIRS and Customs taking over: With the AGF dropping its demand from MTN, the issue is expected to be transferred to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigeria Customs Service as directed by the office of the Attorney General.

This is expected to eliminate the abuse of power by the AGF as MTN Nigeria will now engage with the FIRS and Customs to resolve the alleged indebtedness of MTN Nigeria.

[READ MORE: MTN plans to invest additional $1.6 billion to consolidate on Nigerian operation)

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MTN meets with Pres. Buhari: Weeks after the report that the network provider was withdrawing its legal action against the AGF, MTN Group Limited’s Chairman, Mcebisi Jonas, visited President Muhammadu Buhari.

Pictures shared from the visit showed that Ferdinand Moolman, the CEO of MTN Nigeria Communications Plc, as well as Ernest Ndukwe, the Chairman of MTN Nigeria, were among the MTN delegates. The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Communications Commission, Garba Danbatta, was also present with the Minister of Communications, Isa Pantami.

While receiving the MTN delegates, President Buhari was said to have thanked them for the courtesy call. He also urged MTN to align itself with Nigeria’s digital economy policy and strategy.

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Patricia

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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Energy

FG approves new board for NLNG, BGT

The change was necessary because the current board members had been in office since 2005.

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Federal Government has approved the newly reconstituted boards of Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas(NLNG) and Bonny Gas Transport Limited (BGT).

This was disclosed in a statement issued by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, in Abuja on Monday.

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According to him, the new board, which was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, was necessary because the current board members had been in office since 2005.

He disclosed that the new board members for the NLNG include Dr Edmund Daukoru as Chaiman, Mr Henry lkem-Obih as a Member and Dr Rabiu Sulaiman as a Member.

Other Members include the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Corporation (NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Mr Bitrus Nabasu.

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He also said that Daukoru was also approved as the President of the Board of BGT while Doyin Akinyanju and Abdul Abba are members.

The minister noted that Kyari and Nabasu were also members of the board.

“I will like to use this opportunity to thank the chairman and other outgoing board members of NLNG for steering the companies to record successes, particularly the Train 7 FID.

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“l wish the exiting members good health and more successes in their future endeavors.

“To the incoming members of the board, I congratulate you on this appointment; your selection is based on your experience, integrity and expertise.

“I, therefore,urge you to bring all these to bear in the discharge of your responsibilities in line with the progressive agenda of Mr President,” he said.

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The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that some of the new board members had worked in the industry in the past.

Daukoru was a former Minister of State for Energy and also Secretary General of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in 2006.

He became the Amayanabo, or traditional ruler, of Nembe Kingdom in 2008.

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Also, Ikem-Obih was a former Chief Operating Officer, Downstream of the NNPC and Rabiu a former Group Executive Director at the corporation.

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Hospitality & Travel

Passengers can now arrive 90 minutes before departure for domestic flights – FG

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international passengers, Coronavirus: FG enforces immediate screening of travellers at airports with new directive

The Federal Government has announced the reduction of arrival time for passengers from three hours to one hour and a half before departure for domestic flights.

This was disclosed in a tweet post by the Minister for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, through his Twitter handle on Monday, July 13, 2020.

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The minister said that the decision was arrived at after they have reviewed passenger facilitation at the airport while noting that passengers should check-in online.

In the tweet post, Sirika said, ‘’My colleagues and I have reviewed passenger facilitation at our airports, consequently I am happy to announce that, henceforth travellers are to arrive one hour and half before their departure time for domestic flights. Travellers are advised to check-in online, please.’’

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It can be recalled that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) had earlier in June issued flight resumption protocol for both international and local passengers across the country, advising passengers to arrive at the airport three hours before their time due to the new COVID-19 safety checks for domestic flight operations and five hours for international flight operations.

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Economy & Politics

Seyi Makinde Proposes N3 billion investment plan for water supply

The local governments in Oyo are advised to submit a list of 10 faulty boreholes in the LG. 

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Seyi Makinde Proposes N3 Billion plan for water supply

The Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde announced the proposal of a N3 billion investment plan dedicated to water supply in rural and urban areas of the state.

Speaking through the Chairman of Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA), Mr. Najeem Omirinde in Ibadan on Monday, he added that N500 million of the N3 billion would be used for repairing broken and faulty state-owned boreholes.

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All Chairmen of each of the Local Governments in Oyo are advised to submit a list of 10 faulty boreholes in the Local governments.

The Oyo State governor also ordered that all new boreholes must be compliant with solar-powered pumps, to enable their longevity and save costs.

Urging residents to patronize the agency if they need to dig up boreholes for water, citing that it would be cheaper if done through the state agency than with private drilling companies.

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Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed stated last year that Nigeria needs an estimated N36 trillion annually for the next 30 years to solve Nigeria’s infrastructure problem. The investment, although a tiny fraction of what Nigeria needs is a bold step by the Oyo State government.

 

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