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#EndSARS: Nigerian firms, Start-ups donate millions in support of protests

Nigerian firms and start-ups have expressed support for the #EndSARS protests by making voluntary donations to the cause.

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#EndSARS: FG denies placing protesters on no-fly list

The recent #EndSARS protest has gained not only nationwide, but also worldwide attention in the last few days with protests simultaneously happening in several cities around the world.

The protest which is a stand against Police brutality and the subsequent call for the disbandment of the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigerian Police Force over allegations of harassment, abduction, extortion and murder, has gained the support of several Nigerian firms, companies and start-ups, as they make donations to support the cause.

Following the fundraiser kicked off by Flutterwave Inc. for the victims of the #EndSARS protest, the company has made the initiative open to the public in order to raise more funds for the cause.

Backstory

Nairametrics had earlier reported on how the staff of Flutterwave donated N2million to the protesters of the nationwide #EndSARS protest.

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The Federal Government through the Inspector General of Police has dissolved the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) as reported by Nairametrics.

What you should know

The funds raised on the Flutterwave platform are as follows N10,262,703, $6,040, £583, CAD1,300, GHS715, AUD105, ZAR400, EUR675, CZK500, and AED100, according to a tweet retweeted by the tech company.

Here is what has been disbursed so far;

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  • N100,000 was sent to the Abuja Protests.
  • N90,000 was sent to Port Harcourt protest for medical supplies.
  • N2million was paid for the hospital bills of Miss Joy, a victim of the protest who was hospitalized.
  • N1million was sent to the family of Jimoh Isiaka, who lost his life as a result of the peaceful protest.

(READ MORE: Thrive Agric: “Where is my money?”)

Some other donations made to support the #EndSARS protest are:

Bundle Africa

Bundle a social payment app for cash and cryptocurrencies had set up three cryptocurrency wallets for fundraising aimed at supporting the victims of SARS brutality and the protesters of the EndSARS movement. The company also made some contribution of NGN 1,000,000 (2,145 BUSD) to support the cause.

Also, Yele Badamosi, CEO of Bundle Africa who claimed to have been a victim of the Police unit, personally made a contribution of NGN 500,000 (1,072.5 BUSD) to the cryptocurrency wallet the company had set up to fund the protest.

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Stanbic IBTC

Quidax

Quidax, a cryptocurrency exchange firm that buys and sells cryptocurrencies donated N500,000 to the EndSARS protest. The company stated this via its Twitter handle.

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Feminist Coalition

Feminist Coalition, a Nigerian feminist set, established to oppose injustice through peaceful protests, fundraising, and social media organisation, raised N6,354,561.27 as of Oct. 10th.

According to the group, donations made would be used on First Aid, masks, bail, hospital bills, food, water, glucose for protesters, and also for the provision of legal aid to protestors, who have been arrested on the frontline.

BudgIT Nigeria

BudgIT, a civic tech organisation focused on increasing the degree of transparency, citizen engagement & accountability in public finance, made a donation of N500,000 to support the medical expenses of Miss Ndubueze Isioma Joy, who is undergoing treatment in the hospital after suffering a gunshot wound during the protest.

emPawa Africa

EmPawa, an initiative aimed at helping upcoming artists with knowledge and funds to reach their full musical potential, donated N1 million for medical supplies, food, water, etc to the #EndSARS protest.

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Adam Bradford

Adam Brandford is an English social activist, business adviser, and entrepreneur. He set up an emergency fundraiser, and to kick off the lunch, he donated $10,000 alongside Benson Ekpo. The money raised would be used to support activism & youth initiatives.

Scale My Hustle

Scale My Hustle is a social enterprise that helps entrepreneurs by providing an E-learning platform and a supportive community to help grow and build their businesses.

The company made a donation of N1,000,000.00 to support the peaceful protest.

Why this matters

No one ever knows how a protest will end. In the last 4 days of the #EndSARS protest, Jimoh Isiaka lost his life to the struggle, and a host of other youths have reported injuries, hospitalized or arrested. Though the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has announced the dissolution of the SARS unit, protesters have refused to leave the streets.

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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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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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