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Lagos Rail Mass Transit: House of Assembly approves N153 billion for construction

The sum of N153 billion was approved by the Lagos State Assembly for the Lagos Rail Mass Transit.

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Lagos Rail Mass Transit, Lagos State House of Assembly, Lagos 2021 Appropriation Bill scales through second reading

The Lagos State House of Assembly has approved the sum of N153 billion requested by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to construct the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT), also known as the Red Line and the Blue Line

The information was made public by a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Jude Idimogu through his Facebook post, and seen by Nairametrics.

READ: CBN allows banks to pay winnings, salaries for 7 banned betting & gaming companies

Hon. Idimogu disclosed that the House unanimously approved the amount to adopt the report of the House Committee on Finance, as submitted by its Chairman, Hon Rotimi Olowo, at its plenary session on Monday, October 5, 2020.

READ: There is a sad reason people are outraged with Peace Mass Transit 

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“Governor Sanwo-Olu had on Monday, September 14, 2020, sought the approval of the assembly for the amount to enable the government finance the construction of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) from Marina to Agbado (Red Line);  from Mile 2 through Alaba, Iganmu to Marina (Blue Line),” he said.

On funding for the project, Hon. Idimogu gave an extensive breakdown by stating that; “N93 billion of the sum would be sourced through Differentiated Cash Reserve Requirement (DCRR) of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Intervention Facility, from First Bank of Nigeria (FBN), United Bank for Africa (UBA), and Zenith Bank for the Red Line. N60 billion would be sourced from DCRR CBN Intervention loan funds for the Blue Line.”

(READ MORE: Third Mainland Bridge closure: Lagos says alternative routes are in good shape)

Lagos Rail Mass Transit is an urban rail system being developed and under construction in Lagos. The system is managed by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA). The railway equipment including electric power, signaling, rolling stock, and fare collection equipment will be provided by the private sector under a Concession Contract. LAMATA is responsible for policy direction, regulation, and infrastructure for the network.

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The first section of the network, Phase I of the Blue Line, was originally planned to be completed in 2011. After many delays caused by funding shortfalls, the opening date was revised to 2022 and subsequently brought forward to 2021.

Chidi Emenike is a graduate of economics, a Young African Leadership Initiative Fellow and an Investment Foundations certificate holder. He worked as a graduate Teaching Assistant in the Federal College of Education Kano and is also a trained National Peer Group Educator on Financial Inclusion

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Folabi Awojobi

    October 6, 2020 at 3:36 pm

    This is long overdue. Fashola started it, Ambode played politics with it and missed the change to be remembered for something good in Lagos. Now Sanw-Olu has a real chance to etch his name in the history of Lagos state. I hope he doesn’t bungle this. It will definitely transform the way Lagos operates.

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Business

FEC approves 65 years retirement age for teachers, okays special allowances

The FEC has approved an increase in the retirement age of teachers across the country.

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FG approves N2.9 billion contracts to print examination materials, Covid-19: FG lists conditions for reopening of schools, universities

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved an increase in the retirement age of teachers across the country from 60 to 65 years or 40 years in service as against 35 in the new Harmonized Retirement Age for Teachers Bill, 2021.

The bill seeks to give legal backing to new measures by the Buhari administration to enhance the teaching profession in the country.

This disclosure was made by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the first Council meeting of the year, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Wednesday.

The minister said that some of the highlights of the Harmonized Retirement Age bill which has been forwarded to the National Assembly for consideration and approval include the introduction of bursary award, special rural posting allowances, science teachers’ allowance and other measures to boost the performance of the teachers and attract the best brains.

What the Minister for Education is saying

Adamu said the government decided to increase the years as a reward for teachers’ dedication to duty and also to attract more people to the profession.

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He said

  • This memo that was approved for the Ministry of Education is a giant step towards what we set out to do last year, with the approval of some special packages for teachers by the President.
  • “So, at the meeting today, Council approved that a bill which will be called harmonized Retirement Age for Teachers in Nigeria Bill 2020 be sent to the National Assembly for enactment into law so that all the promises made by the president and all the approvals he had given to me will now begin to be put into effect because this is the legal backing that is required for it.
  • “The essence of the bill actually is to give legal backing for the approval of a new retirement age of 65 for teachers and then the service period being extended to 40 years.
  • “The intention is to attract the best brains to the teaching profession and for that, the president approved the reintroduction of bursary awards, improving teacher quality, funding teaching practice from TETFUND, the enhanced entry point for teachers.’’

What this means

  • When passed and signed into law, the implementation of the Harmonized Retirement Age for teachers means the retirement age of teachers has been extended to 65 years as against the existing 60 years or 40 years of service as against 35 years that currently apply, whichever of the 2 that comes earlier.
  • The bill will help to motivate the teachers across the country and attract the best brains in the profession which had been bedevilled with poor condition of service for the teachers and poor funding.

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Business

Covid-19: FG launches Rapid Response Register (RRR) for urban poor affected by pandemic

The FG has launched a Rapid Response Register (RRR) for urban poor affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The Federal Government of Nigeria launched the COVID-19 Rapid Response Register (RRR), an emergency intervention database, for the urban poor made poorer by the pandemic.

This programme was launched by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday.

The scheme would see the FG share N5000 monthly to households as it says 1 million households would benefit from the scheme.

The Vice President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity, Laolu Akanda said: “Osinbajo today launched a technology-based Rapid Response Register which identifies urban poor people who in the next 6 months willl receive N5000 monthly. In all 1 million households will benefit from this especially cash transfer being implemented by the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry.”

While inaugurating the COVID-19 Rapid Response Registration (RRR) Cash Transfer Project, the Vice President said:

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“As of Dec. 31, 2020, we have identified and registered about 24.3 million poor and vulnerable individuals into the National Social Register; equivalent to about 5.7 million households.

“Through this project, we are currently injecting about N10billion directly into the hands of about two million poor and vulnerable households every month.

“This social protection method of targeting is the first strategy to be developed and tested in the Sub-Saharan Africa region and Nigeria will be the first country for its implementation.

“With the RRR, which uses a wholly technology-based approach, we are primed to achieve an end-to-end digital foot-print in cash transfers for the urban poor.”

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The Vice President added that the implementation of the scheme would enable Nigeria to achieve its financial inclusion policy under the Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access programme (EFInA).

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported last week that the Federal Government announced that it would inaugurate a COVID-19 Rapid Response Register (RRR), which would be a health emergency response for the poor living in urban centers that have been affected by the pandemic.
  • The register which is being built by NASSCO is an expansion of the existing National Social Safety Nets Project (NASSP). It targets small business owners, street vendors, petty traders, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and service providers.

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FIRS hits 98% of target as it collects N4.95 trillion for 2020 fiscal year

FIRS has announced that it generated N4,952,243,711,728.37 as tax revenue in the 2020 fiscal year.

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FG apologizes, says Self-Certification directive is not for everyone, FIRS introduces stamp duty on house rent and C of O transactions

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has announced that it generated N4,952,243,711,728.37 as tax revenue in the 2020 fiscal year.

This is about 98% of the tax target of N5.076 trillion that was set for the FIRS by the Federal Government, despite the economic challenges of 2020 caused by record low oil prices and the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

This disclosure was contained in a statement which was issued by the Director of Communications, FIRS, Mr Abdullahi Ahmad, on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Ahmad in his statement quoted the Executive Chairman of the Service, Mr Muhammad Nami, as saying that this performance was remarkable, considering the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the Nigerian economy.

He pointed out that some of the factors that negatively affected the operations of FIRS last year include, record low oil crude oil prices globally, business disruptions and lootings during the violent #EndSARS protests and the generous tax waivers granted to businesses to ease the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown.

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He also said that additional tax exemptions granted to small businesses in the 2019 Finance Act and insecurity in some parts of the country were other factors that affected collections.

In the analysis of the significance of the 2020 performance, the FIRS Chairman said that the oil revenue which used to contribute over 50% in tax returns through the Petroleum Profits Tax in previous years, accounted for only 30.6% of the tax revenue generated in 2020 due to low oil prices.

He also pointed out that the non-oil tax collection, which was 109% in 2020, was 9% higher than the previous year and attributed these achievements to many reforms initiated by the board and management of FIRS under his leadership.

He said, “The conscientious taxpayers in the country and dedicated members of staff of the FIRS nationwide for their support and devotion to work made this performance possible despite the numerous obstacles encountered in 2020.

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“The FIRS is optimistic that this current fiscal year will be better than in 2020. We shall perform well, given that our service reforms are expected to yield greater dividends, especially as different parts of tax administration are being automated.’’

“We are also optimistic that exploration activities will improve in the oil sector and increase the prospect of higher tax revenue from the sector.

“Similarly, the ongoing reforms together with increased stakeholder collaborations will brighten the prospect of improved voluntary compliance and consequently higher tax revenue generation for the country this year and beyond.’’

What this means

  • This means that despite the unprecedented crisis in the oil sector due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the non-oil sector performed beyond expectation in terms of tax collection.
  • This was made possible by incentives granted by the revenue agency to encourage taxpayers to voluntarily fulfil their obligations towards the government in addition to some reforms to aid efficient and effective tax collections.
  • Some of these reforms include the deployment of technology for tax operations, capacity building for staff, improved welfare for staff and so on.

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