The United Kingdom High Commission in Nigeria has announced the reopening of its visa application centres in the country.
This comes some days after the high commission had shut down its visa application centres in Victoria Island, Lagos and Abuja over the outbreak of violence arising from hijacked #EndSARS protests against police brutality and extra-judicial killings, which led to the loss of lives, vandalization, and looting of public and private assets across the country.
The disclosure was made by the High Commission in a statement through a tweet post on its official Twitter handle.
The High Commission, however, noted in its statement, titled, “Update on UK visa application centres in Nigeria” that its centres would not open on Thursday due to the public holiday in Nigeria, in honour of the Eid-El Malaud celebration.
The statement from the UK high commission, partly reads, “Our TLS contact visa application centres are now open in Nigeria. Following the recent closures, we are working hard to process all outstanding applications.’’
“We thank you for your continued patience and understanding. Please note Thursday, October 29, is a public holiday in Nigeria and our Visa application centres will be closed.”
The reopening of the visa applications centres after they were shut about a week ago is due to the gradual return of peace and order to some of those trouble spots, following the intervention of security agents.
The UK High Commission had been very critical of the outbreak of violence in the country, especially the shooting of unarmed protesters at Lekki Tollgate by alleged military personnel, and asked the government to thoroughly investigate the incident and ensure justice is done.
In its statement, the High Commission said, “We remain concerned by acts of looting and violence in Nigeria and urge security services use restraint as the order is restored. Working with all stakeholders, judicial panels of inquiry must investigate all incidents, including Lekki and ensure accountability for crimes.”
What you should know
The Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by the Lagos state government to handle all cases of police brutality in the state have also been mandated to conduct an inquiry into the shooting of unarmed protesters last week.
Amnesty International earlier said that 12 people were allegedly shot dead by the police and army at two locations during the hijacked protests.
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Please see below 👇🏼 for an update on UK Visa Application Centres in Victoria Island, Abuja & Lagos.
— UK in Nigeria🇬🇧 (@UKinNigeria) October 26, 2020
FIRS to commence recovery of all outstanding tax debts and penalties from January 1, 2021
The FIRS has stated that it shall recover all outstanding debt with penalties and interest from January 1, 2021.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has disclosed that its waivers on penalties and interest on outstanding taxes arising from desk examinations, audit exercises, investigations, or all other forms of tax assessment will close on December 31, 2020.
Hence, effective from January 1, 2021 the Service shall recover all outstanding debt with penalties and interest, in accordance with the provisions of the extant tax laws.
This disclosure was made by Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad, the Director of Communications and Liaison Department, Federal Inland Revenue Service, in a press release issued on December 2, 2020.
Consequently, the Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr. Muhammad Nami, in a notice urged taxpayers to use the advantage of the remaining days of this month to settle their tax obligations in order to enjoy all subsisting waivers offered thereof by the Service.
The Executive Chairman in the reminder notice tagged “Public Notice on the Recovery of Outstanding Taxes from Taxpayers”, disclosed that FIRS in recent times, has issued a series of palliatives for the waivers of penalties and interest on outstanding taxes.
He explained that the Service had noticed that some taxpayers are yet to take advantage of the palliative windows opened to cushion the effect of the challenges of the economy on taxpayers.
Mr. Nami, however, called the attention of taxpayers to the last window of opportunity for the waiver of outstanding penalties and interest on all taxes collectible by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, which will close on 31st December 2020.
What they are saying
Mr. Muhammad Nami, in the reminder notice, said:
“The Service has observed that some taxpayers are yet to take advantage of the palliative windows opened to cushion the effect of the challenges of the economy on taxpayers.
“Furthermore, the Service wishes to put all taxpayers on notice that the last window of opportunity for the waiver of outstanding penalties and interest on all taxes collectible by the Federal Inland Revenue Service shall close on 31st December 2020.
“Consequently, all concerned taxpayers are hereby put on notice that after the expiration date of 31st December 2020, the Service shall recover all outstanding debt with penalties and interest, in accordance with the provisions of the extant tax laws such as ‘the power of substitution’ conferred on it by Section 31 of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act 2007.”
N117 billion approved by FG for road rehabilitation
Babatunde Fashola has disclosed that the FG has approved the sum of over N117 billion for road rehabilitation across the country.
The Federal Government has approved the sum of over N117 billion for the rehabilitation of roads across the country in 2021.
This was disclosed by Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing, in a press briefing after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting was held in Abuja on Wednesday.
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported last month that Mr Fashola had stated that the Ministry’s priority in its 2021 budget was to complete already ongoing road and bridge projects across the nation.
- Fashola also said that the Federal Government needed at least N500 billion annually for the next 3 years to develop and fix its 35,000 kilometres road network, as work continued on 13,000 kilometres of the network.
- Fashola stated last month that the Federal Government was committed to finishing the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, adding that the drop in crude oil prices could not be a barrier to its completion.
Fashola disclosed on Wednesday that the sum of N18.9 billion, was approved for the rehabilitation of roads and bridges including the 26 km of Kano-Dambatta-Kazaure-Daura road, Anambra- Enugu Roads, Bridge construction Cross River, Nkumi bridge and others.
“The other memorandum relating to roads also is for the total sum of N98.7 billion,” he added. This includes roads and bridges in Zamfara, Kebbi, Katsina, Anambra and Kano
$1.3 billion Malabu oil field sale was perfect – Dan Etete
Nigeria’s former Petroleum Minister has said that the sale of the $1.3 billion Malabu oil field to Shell and Eni in 2021 was legally perfect.
Dan Etete, former Nigerian Minister of Petroleum has said that the $1.3 billion sales of Malabu oil field to Shell and Eni in 2021 was legally perfect, with zero traces of corruption in the deal.
He disclosed this on Wednesday through his lawyer, Antonio Secci, in a Milan Court, investigating the cases of bribery and corruption related to the deal, as reported by Reuters.
In Wednesday’s hearing, Dan Etete’s lawyers called for the former Nigerian Minister to be acquitted of corruption charges related to the deal.
Reuters disclosed that 13 other people are involved in the corruption case including CEO of Eni, Claudio Descalzi.
The accused pleaded non-guilty and said that the proceeds of the deal were paid into accounts owned by the Nigerian Government.
The ex-Shell executives also accused in the case will have a hearing on the 9th of December.
What you should know
Multinational oil companies, Eni and Shell, paid $1.3 billion in 2011 to acquire OPL 245 offshore field.
The payment was to a company called Malabu, which was owned by Nigeria’s former Oil Minister, Dan Etete.
However, Italian prosecutors claim that most of the payments were kickbacks to Nigerian government officials. Italian prosecutors also claim that nearly $1.1 billion was stolen by Nigerian politicians and middlemen, with Dan Etete keeping half.
Nigeria’s Minister of Justice, Justice Abubakar Malami, reported in July that the Dutch and Swiss governments were expected to send the sum of $200 million from the OPL 245 Malabu Oil deal to Nigeria.
Multinational Petroleum oil and gas giant, Royal Dutch Shell, announced that it would write down its investment in the controversial Malabu OPL 245 offshore field in Nigeria.
in June, the Federal Government tracked down and grounded a luxury private jet, owned by the country’s former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete, over his alleged involvement in the $1.1 billion Malabu oil scam. The luxury private jet was alleged to have been purchased with proceeds from that oil deal.
Nairametrics reported that the Federal Government, on Wednesday, September 9, 2020, asked a court in Milan to order Royal Dutch Shell and Eni to pay the sum of $1.092 billion as an immediate advance payment for damages in the Malabu oil scandal.