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BREAKING: FG suspends proposed telecoms tax

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Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami

Nasiru Yusuf

The Federal Government has suspended the proposed excise duty on telecommunication services.

KANO FOCUS reports that the suspension was announced by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, on Monday during the inaugural meeting of the Presidential Committee on Excise Duty for the Digital Economy Sector in Abuja.

According to the minister, the telecommunications sector is already overburdened by excessive and multiple taxation.

The Federal Government through the Budget Office of the Federation had earlier revealed that it would begin the implementation of its proposed excise duties on telecommunication services and beverages in 2023.

However, Prof. Pantami has maintained that he is against the implementation of this tax, which would increase the cost of telecommunication services for Nigerians.

He said: “It is because of this the president has granted my prayers. Number one– immediate suspension of excise duty in the digital economy sector, and number two, he approved that a committee be constituted to look into the matter carefully and advise him accordingly. This committee is to be chaired by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.

“The president has appointed me to be his eyes and ears in the sector. and it is my responsibility to ensure we are just and fair to the operators, government and most importantly our people that are the consumers.”

He told the committee how he had explained to the president the likely effects of the suspended tax on the telecoms sector.

 

Prof. Pantami  said: “Of recent, it was announced that some of our respected brothers and sisters (government officials), kickstarted the process of introducing excise duty in the telecom sector in which there and then, (based on the constitution and being the representative of President Buhari) in the sector, I rejected that wholeheartedly.

“Being the representative of the president, I formalised my position and explained to him in a letter that could be referred to as a petition, reasons (excise duty is usually fixed on luxury products).

“I told the president (in the letter) that if care is taken that attempt will destroy the digital economy sector that is becoming the backbone of our economy.

“Despite our achievements, we have been recording some challenges in the sector and in the next few years to come.

“But as of today, the ICT sector is over- burdened by so many categories of taxes to the extent that today there are 41 categories of taxes at the federal and state levels, particularly in the telecom sector. Some at federal level and some at state level.

“Besides, these multiple taxes (the same taxes being collected at the federal) are also what the states are insisting should be paid to them. If care is not taken, this is what will jeopardise the achievements and gains that we have recorded so far in the sector.”

Prof. Pantami noted that prices of products and services in other sectors have increased significantly but the prices of products and services in the telecom sector have not increased significantly in the last three years.

He noted that the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have been coming with many initiatives asking the regulator to allow them review their prices upward, taking into considerations things outside the sector like petroleum products, exchange rate, inflation, devaluation of the currency, among others

The minister stated that whenever the regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) brought the matter to me, he had always encouraged and urged them to try and persevere with the little profit they are making as the current economic situation in Nigeria does not give room to continue adding burden on the poor citizens.

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Gov. Yusuf Flag off Distribution of Over N1 billion Worth Free Fertilizers to Smallholder Farmers in Kano

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf Thursday unveiled distribution of free fertilizers worth over one billion naira to smallholder farmers including females and People with Disabilities in the state.

A statement by Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa, the Spokesperson to the Governor, said the initiative was in fulfillment of Governor Yusuf’s campaign promise to improve livelihood through investment on Agribusiness.

Governor Yusuf had during his campaign activities towards 2023 elections promised to champion Agricultural transformation through provision of quality and affordable Agricultural inputs as contained in his 70 page blueprint presented to the good people of Kano tittled “My Commitment for Kano”

Besides, the Dawakin-Tofa revealed the over a billion naira worth NPK fertilizers that was distributed to 52,800 smallholder farmers across the 44 Local Government areas were produced by the state owned Kano Agricultural Supply Company (KASCO).

Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf while flagging off the agric input disbursement explained the intention was to reduce cost of production and boost food security.

The state executive council had also approved the procurement of over five billion naira worth fertilizers that will soon be made available to Kano farmers at subsedised rate.

The Governor stressed that farmers already battling with high cost of inputs and labour occasioned by economic reality, now have cause to redouble energy to multiple their produces.

He emphasised on the government readiness to sustain food production through regular supply of fertilizer production by the state owned company (KASCO). Governor Yusuf said KASCO and other state manufacturering centres are being strengthening to revertilise revenue flow and sustain the economy of the economy of the state.

The beneficiaries which include women farmers and people living with disabilities are expected to recieve 25kg of NPK fertilizer to support thier farming activities and eventually boost the yeild of thier crops and improve livelihood of the people.

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Agriculture: Gov. Yusuf issues stern warning against diversion of fertilizer distributed to Kano farmers..

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… As Emir Sanusi harps on fairness in sharing

The Kano State Governor, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, has issued a stern warning to officials of the state against the diversion of fertilizer distributed to 52,800 farmers across the 44 Local Government Areas.

This was contained in a statement issued by the governor’s spokesperson Sunusi Bature Dawakin Tofa on Thursday.

The governor’s warning was made during the flag-off of the distribution of free fertilizer to farmers across the 44 local governments, held at the Open Arena, Government House, Kano.

The Governor mandated the Kano Project Protection Association (Kano-PRO-PA) to ensure adherence to the distribution guidelines intended for smallholder farmers.

“Any government official found diverting this fertilizer will be dealt with severely.

“We will not tolerate corruption. This gesture is meant for real farmers,” the Governor warned.

In his remark the Emir of Kano, Malam Muhammadu Sanusi II, emphasized the importance of fairness in the distribution exercise to achieve the set goals and objectives.

He noted that the gesture was timely, as the Emirate has received reports from District Heads about the high price of fertilizer impeding farming during the 2024 rainy season, potentially causing food shortages.

Malam Muhammadu Sanusi II added that ensuring the fertilizer reaches the intended beneficiaries and providing the necessary farm inputs will significantly assist in achieving a bumper harvest.

He urged farmers to judiciously utilize the given resources.

The Emir also called on well-to-do individuals, philanthropists, and those capable in society to empower farmers with inputs and aid the needy during these trying times.

He commended the Kano State Government under the leadership of Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf for initiating people-oriented projects aimed at uplifting the standard of living of Kano’s populace.

Malam Muhammadu Sanusi II prayed for peace, unity, stability, prosperity, and economic development in the state and beyond.

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Gov. Yusuf reinstates Emir of Gaya, appoints two others for Rano, Karaye emirates

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

Gov. Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State has approved the appointment of three second class Emirs of Rano, Gaya and Karaye Emirates.

 

KANO FOCUS reports that the new emirs are to serve as second class answerable to Kano emirate.

 

According to a statement issued by Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa, the Spokesperson to the Governor and made available to journalists in Kano the newly appointed Emirs are: Alhaji Muhammad Mahraz Karaye, as Emir of Karaye (who until his appointment was the District Head of Rogo); Alhaji Muhammad Isa Umar, as Emir of Rano (who until his appointment, was the District Head of Bunkure) and Alhaji Aliyu Ibrahim Abdulkadir Gaya, as Emir of Gaya (who was the emir of the defunct Gaya emirate).

 

While congratulating the newly appointed Emirs, Governor Abba K. Yusuf enjoined them to be custodians of culture, peace and unity of the people in thier respective emirates.

 

You may recall that the Governor had on Tuesday the 16th of July, 2024 signed into law three second class emirates in the state with Rano covering only Rano, Kibiya and Bunkure Local Government areas. Gaya covering only Gaya, Ajingi and Albasu Local Government areas. Karaye covers only Karaye and Rogo Local Government areas.

 

The appointments are with immediate effect.

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