The Federal Government is set to fix 44 roads with the Sukuk funds raised in the bond market.
This was disclosed by the Minister for Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, when the sovereign Sukuk Symbolic cheque of N162.55 billion was presented to him by the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed in Abuja.
What it means: It means that with the release of N162.557 billion to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, the amount appropriated for Road Projects in 2020 Budget has been fully released. The finance minister explained that with the deployment of the Sukuk funds coupled with other capital releases and various interventions by government, the economy would soon be on the path to economic development.
Mrs Ahmed added development of federal infrastructure with the development of rail, roads and power is needed for Nigeria’s economic growth and helps ease of doing business.
READ MORE: PAGMDI scheme; Playing to the gallery?
“The Debt Management Office (DMO) has raised the sum of N162.557 billion from investors in June 2020. This is strictly dedicated to the financing of road projects in the Revised 2020 Appropriation Act,” she said.
Mr Fashola, in his presentation, said the people who put money in the Sukuk were fund managers and the owners of the funds, adding that it was a matter of trust which they had for the administration that made them release their hard-earned money.
Fashola added that investors in Nigeria’s Sukuk bonds were mostly fund managers, and it was done through a trust agreement they had with the government.
“I assure you that we value that trust from the evidence of what has happened in Sukuk one, and Sukuk two, your trust is not misplaced and it will not be misplaced in the 44 road projects that will benefit from this Sukuk,” he said.
He said the public roads that will benefit from the fund would come from all 6 geopolitical areas, with the North-Central getting eight roads, eight roads for the Northeast, North-West seven roads, South-East five roads, South-South 10 roads, and South-West six roads.
DMO had announced that this would be Nigeria’s 3rd Sukuk bond, with the first being an N100 billion bond in 2017 and another N100 billion by 2018.
The office says the bonds, with the Green bonds, would be used for the development and rehabilitation of critical infrastructure in the country depending on budget allocations.
Update: FG extends second phase of eased lockdown by another 4 weeks
This is the third time the second phase of the eased lockdown is being extended.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another 4 weeks.
According to a monitored media report, this is the third time the second phase of the eased lockdown which is currently observed across the country is being extended
The disclosure was made by Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, during the Task Force briefing in Abuja on Thursday.
The Federal Government had on July 27 extended the current lockdown by an additional one week due to the Sallah celebration on July 29.
Mustapha disclosed that the extension followed the briefing and recommendation to President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday on the progress made so far by Presidential Task Force in containing the spread of Covid-19 and keeping citizens safe from contracting the virus.
The PTF Chairman noted that they made a couple of recommendations to the president and the extension of the current phase of ease of lockdown was one of the ones approved.
He revealed that in the recommendation that was made to the president about retaining the current phase of the lockdown, the PTF made some minor changes to address the economic, socio-political concerns of Nigerians.
Under the current extended second phase, the current curfew of 10 pm to 4 am is still in force, civil servants on grade level 12 and above are now to resume work fully and close by 4 pm and no longer 2 pm that currently operates. He, however, said that virtual meetings by government officials and parastatals will be maintained.
He also said that while the restrictions on recreational parks have been lifted for non-contact physical activities, the ban on entertainment centres will be sustained.
Mustapha explained that despite the accomplishments and challenges, some challenges continue to pose a considerable concern. Some of them include increased non-compliance with non-pharmaceutical prevention measures, lack of enforcement of necessary guidelines issued to preserve lives, insufficient engagement by some states with the national response, and lingering concern about the gap between identified cases and the actual burden of disease.
He also talked about apathy, fatigue and disbelief combining to challenge public enlightenment, compliance and behaviour change.
The SGF said that to address these challenges, the PTF decided that it was important to ensure that restrictions were not completely relaxed in order to control transmission.
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He noted that it was also important that at this Community Transmission Phase of the pandemic, sub-national governments should step up to take more responsibilities by owning the response.
The various state authorities and the Federal Capital Territory were mandated to enforce non=pharmaceutical guidelines, the use of face masks in public appearances and places.
4 key points in the new Lagos 2020 Land Use Charge
All property owned, occupied by anyone older than 60 years are exempted from paying the Land Use Charge.
Lagos State Government has released the new provisions in the new 2020 Land Use Charge (LUC) Law, which entails the reduction in penalties for defaults, the people exempted from the charge and forfeiture of N5.8 billion penalties among others.
While presenting the guideline to the public on Wednesday, the Commissioner of Finance, Dr Rabiu Olowo, explained in 2018, there was an increase in the Land Use Charge rate as well as the method of valuation of properties, this shock had a sporadic increase in Land Use Charge payable by property owners.
He said, “In view of the aforementioned, the current administration decided to review the Land Use Charge law by reversing the rate of Land Use Charge to pre-2018 while upholding the 2018 method of valuation.”
Back story: Earlier on Wednesday, Nairametrics reported that the state government revoked the 2018 land use charge. According to Olowo, the government reverted to pre-2018 land use charges.
He said, “The penalties for land use charges for 2017, 2018, and 2019 have also been waived, which translates to a loss of revenue amounting to N5.6billion.
Below are 4 key components of the new law:
People exempted from the law:
All property owned and occupied by pensioners are exempted from paying the LUC. The definition of Pensioner, according to the state, has been expanded to include all retirees from private and public institutions in the state or any person that has attained the age of sixty (60) years and has ceased to be actively engaged in any activity or business for remuneration.
- Profit oriented Cemeteries and Burial Grounds are no longer exempted from payment of Land Use Charge
- Private Libraries are also no longer exempted from paying Land Use Charge
Reductions of penalties and rates
- Days Outstanding Before Now
45-75 days from 25% to 10%
75-105 days from 50% to 20%
105-135 days from 100% to 50%
- A 48% reduction in the Annual Charge Rates:
Definition Areas Before Now
Owner-Occupied Residential Property 0.076% to 0.0394%
Industrial Premises of Manufacturing Concerns 0.256% to 0.132%
Residential Property/Private School (Owner & 3rd Party) 0.256% to 0.132%
Residential Property (Without Owner in residence) 0.76% to 0.394%
Commercial property (Used by the occupier for Business Purposes) 0.76% to 0.394%
Vacant Properties and open empty Land 0.076% to 0.0394%
- Annual charge rate for Agricultural land was reduced from 0.076% to 0.01%. This is an 87% reduction from the old rate.
- Penalties for Land Use Charge for Year 2017,2018 and 2019 have also been waived. This translates to N5,752,168,411.03 potential revenue waived by the State.
- In addition to the reintroduction of the 15% early payment discount, an additional COVID 19 incentive of 10% will be granted on the total amount payable. This makes the total discount for early payment 25% if payment is made before the due date
- The penalty for obstruction of officials and damage to property identification plague has been reduced from N250,000 to N100,000
- The penalty for inciting a person to refuse to pay LUC has been reduced from N250,000 to N100,000
- The 2020 LUC Law introduced a 10% and 20% special relief for Vacant properties and Open empty land, respectively.
- The right of enforcement has been reduced from notification of three (3) default notices to (2) default notices.
Agents of LUC
- Section 14 of the Law which makes it possible for the Commissioner to appoint any person including an occupier of a chargeable property to be an agent of the owner for the purpose of collecting Land Use Charge.
“While we assure Lagosians that our typical response time will not exceed 24hours, we urge anyone who feels dissatisfied or whose complaint results in a dispute to please contact the Lagos State Appeal Tribunal. Let me state that we share in the pain which the pandemic has brought on every household including the government,” he added.
Olowo added that while the state hopes for the return of normalcy to business activities, it is important to let residents know that, the payment of LUC is not intended to inflict any hardship on anyone.
Meanwhile, property owners are expected to receive their 2020 LUC bills shortly and they are to leverage on the 25% early payment discount.
Read full guideline here
NBA to disburse over N92 million COVID-19 relief fund to 10,126 young lawyers
The name of the eligible candidates will be published on the association’s website.
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) says it will disburse the sum of N92,884,505.00 to 10,125 young lawyers as COVID-19 relief.
This was announced by the President of the NBA, Paul Usoro in a statement released on Thursday. Usoro said that young lawyers (with 1-4 years post-call experience) who paid their association dues up to the March 21st deadline would be eligible for the relief.
The NBA President, Paul Usoro, SAN has directed the immediate disbursement of the Covid-19 relief fund to 10, 126 eligible young lawyers.
The NBA President expresses the gratitude of the Bar to the Donors. The List of donors is accessible on the NBA Website.
Details here 👇👇 pic.twitter.com/HqTbFAcKjm
— Habeeb Lawal,Esq (@lawalhab) August 6, 2020
The report said the NBA’s Welfare Committee raised the sum of N92,884,505.00, which would mean a total disbursement of N9,172.57 per lawyer. The NBA says it would add an extra N8,375,495.00 to the fund so that each beneficiary could get about N10,000 each.
The NBA will also take full responsibility for bank charges related to the transactions at N525,000.00.
The Association says other younger lawyers with post-call experience of 5-7 years could not be under the relief programme as the association is constrained by limited funds available for distribution.
“We felt that younger lawyers should perhaps constitute the primary focus for the distribution of the relief funds,” Paul Usoro said.
The name of the eligible candidates will be published on the association’s website and eligible beneficiaries are required to fill and submit validation forms.
Mr. Usoro said the donors came from mostly senior lawyers. “Their names and their donations which are all written in gold are published with the release,” he added.