Nigeria Taxpayers Hit 13.4 Million

State tax authorities have added 3, 414, 496 million new taxpayers to the national tax register under six months, bringing the total number of individual taxpayers in the country to 13.4 million, the Federal Inland Revenue Service said Tuesday.

Kano State led the new taxpayer roll with about one million taxpayers (944, 376). Lagos followed with 320,000 new taxpayers. Plateau State is 3rd with 296,910, while Kaduna added 235,812 new tax paying men and women within the period.

Zamfara State is 5th on the list of new taxpayers’ table with 136,773.

Chairman Joint Tax Board, JTB, Tunde Fowler, who is also the Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), disclosed this at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja on Monday, at the 136th meeting of the board.

Mr. Fowler noted that though the new 3.4 million roll of new taxpayers is cheering news, it is still a far cry of tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio of 30 per cent which is the average in most developed countries.

At the event, the FIRS Chairman; the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Hameed Ali; Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi; Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, (NIS) Mohammed Babandede, — who was represented by N. E Graham-, discussed how robust inter-agency cooperation could enhance tax compliance and optimize revenue collection.

The Chief Executive Officers of the four agency heads, along with chairmen of the State Boards of Internal Revenue, also came up with fresh ideas on how real-time data sharing, automation of processes and operations by all SBIRs, revenue stakeholders, inter-operability of their databases, could enhance revenue generation and assist Nigeria to bake a bigger revenue cake.

The target of the JTB is to increase the number of individual taxpayers to 20 million, by December 2016.

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Apple Fans Hit NYC Flagship Store For iPhone 7

The first Apple customers in New York City to snap the new iPhone 7 off the shelves cheered as they entered its flagship store on Friday (September 16), flanked by applauding sales staff.

“Today is my 23 days outside Apple store here in New York City,” said Jaime Gonzalez in line before the store opened. “Last year I did it but then because I didn’t pre-order, that’s the reason that I didn’t went first. There was another lady from Europe who decided to take care of the No. 1 spot. But this is me and now in 2016 it’s right to be No. 1 and I am going to be No. 1 this time.”

“I’ve been here for a week and a half,” said Andreas Francis. “I was trying to get the 7 Plus and the new jet black, but they don’t have the 7 Plus or the jet black, so I ended up getting the regular black, then the 7.”

Initial quantities of the iPhone 7 Plus have sold out globally, supplies of the larger size of Apple’s new phone have been exhausted in all shades, and the smaller iPhone 7 has also sold out in the new jet black color, the company said.

Read More: reuters

Nigeria’s Demand For Electricity To Hit 88,282MW By 2020

Nigeria requires about 88,282 Mega Watts (MW) of electricity to meet the demand of its fast growing economy by 2020, Managing Director of Eko Electricity Distribution Company, Mr. Oladele Amoda, has said.
Amoda,who  disclosed this  at a forum in Lagos, urged the nation to adopt alternative  energy sources to meet its energy requirement in the long run.

He said: “ With an estimated yearly economic growth rate of between 7 and 13 percent, as well as an urbanization rate of 3.8 percent, Nigeria’s electricity demand is projected to grow from 15,730 MW in 2016 to 41,133MW by 2018 and 88,282MW by 2020”
Amoda noted that Nigeria is endowed with fossil fuel  and other renewable energy sources, but the energy situation is not efficiently managed to ensure energy sustainability and development.
He said: “the commitment of the government towards utilizing alternative energy sources can be appreciated as we see more projects being implemented  using solar and other renewable options like bio-mass and wind”
He emphasized the need  for  the country adopt energy demand side management which has the capacity to drive energy efficiency and conservation,adding that huge benefit attached to demand side management remains untapped by Nigeria due to mainly lack of awareness.

Credit: DailyTrust

Erdogan Chairs Security Council As 50,000 Hit By Turkey Purge

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday chaired a crunch security meeting for the first time since the failed coup, after a widening purge that has seen around 50,000 people either detained or sacked.

The Turkish air force meanwhile launched its first strikes since Friday’s putsch against targets of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, in a sign Erdogan has regained full control over the armed forces.

The coup bid by rebel soldiers was the most serious blow to Erdogan’s 13-year domination of Turkey, and the president has said he came within 15 minutes of being killed or kidnapped by the plotters before escaping.

The putsch left more than 300 people dead and caused scenes of devastation, especially in Ankara where raids by fighter jets and attack helicopters on strategic targets terrified residents and turned parts of parliament and the police headquarters to rubble.

More than 9,000 suspects have been detained, including some of Turkey’s most senior generals, who are accused of being the ringleaders of the plot.

In total, about 48,800 state employees, including police and teachers, have been dismissed from their posts or detained, according to figures published by the Hurriyet daily and CNN-Turk.

Ankara says the coup was masterminded by US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen and the massive crackdown appears to be targeting individuals suspected of any connection to Erdogan’s ally-turned-foe.

The purges have stoked alarm that Erdogan was using the coup plot to crack down on opponents, with Turkey’s Western allies urging the authorities in the strategic NATO state to obey the rule of law.

The president returned to the capital late Tuesday for the first time since the coup and was chairing a meeting at his presidential palace of his national security council, composed of top military brass and security ministers.

He will then chair a cabinet meeting, also at the palace, whose immediate vicinity was bombed during the military power grab.

Credit: Guardian

Value Of Electronic Transactions Hit N48.9tr In Nigeria

Although, it is still plagued by inadequate levels of awareness, poor banking culture, lack of trust and a love for the status quo, the value of e-transactions recorded in 2015 hit N48.93 trillion, up by 11.6 per cent from 2014 in Nigeria.

This disclosure was contained in a White Paper report titled “Africa on the Verge (AoV) Convergence Series”, put together by AfricaPractice, a strategy and communications consultancy firm, with offices in Nigeria and abroad. A copy was made available to The Guardian.

The report, which observed that the establishment of the e-commerce industry has taken place as the wider digital value chain has expanded, with the availability and efficiency of e-payments becoming a crucial load bearing segment, observed that based on the significant link between the e-commerce and e-payments sectors, an adoption of similar advocacy methods supported by favourable government policies could help customers feel protected when electronically purchasing goods and services.

While noting that there has been a rise in the number of firms providing these services (e-Commerce and e-Payments) in Nigeria the report said “the value of e-transactions recorded in 2015 hit N48.93 trillion, up by 11.6 per cent from 2014.”

According to it, the Nigerian retail sector is evolving fast, with the emergence of large, modern malls arriving at the same time as Internet-hosted markets that are linking businesses to consumers without the need for physical movement or interaction by the customer.

The report observed that the traditional markets, where the vast majority of Nigerians have historically purchased goods, have not embraced modernization. “Local shopping centres are often large open spaces with poor physical infrastructure – lacking even the most basic amenities and services while being over crowded, chaotic and hectic. Such deficiencies in Nigeria’s traditional markets have set the scene for the opportunities and growth currently being enjoyed by both the modern malls, and fast emerging and growing e-commerce industry.

“Developing trust in the e-commerce and online transaction space is a difficult task as most citizens are wary of online platforms due to the high rate of cyber-crime. Nigeria is consistently amongst the 20 nations most prone to online criminal activity, according to a recent report developed by Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. However, this distrust comes mostly from those unable to weigh the disadvantages against the advantages of online transactions because of a lack of access to information about online security investments and protocols and how they protect the consumer”, it added.

Credit: Guardian

FG Confirms Six States Hit By ‘Tomato Ebola’

The federal government on Tuesday confirmed the six states hit by a pest called the Tomato Leaf Miner or Tuta absoluta, commonly referred to as ‘Tomato Ebola.’

The states are Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Plateau and Lagos.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Audu Ogbeh, revealed that the pest responsible for the massive destruction of tomato in farmlands had currently invaded six states of the federation.

Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja, he described as erroneous, claims that tomato processing factories had mopped-up tomato fruits in country.

He said the highly reproductive nature of the tomato pest coupled with favourable environment and lack of management knowledge for containment had resulted in its spread without resistance, leading to the destruction of tomato fruits in Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Plateau and Lagos.
Notwithstanding, he said the federal government had started consulting with states and experts to seeks measures to tackle the pest.”

He disclosed that the country spent N80 billion ($400 million) annually on importation of tomato paste, many of which highly substandard.

Credit: Thisday

Arase Makes Case For Local Breed, As Dog Spending Hit N600m

The Nigerian Police Force spent over N600 million for the procurement and maintenance of foreign dogs in the country.

The  Inspector General of Police (IGP) Solomon Arase,  disclosed this at the commissioning of the ultra-modern mounted troop/veterinary complex and state of the art dog breeding centre, yesterday in Abuja.

According to him, the construction of the Dog Breeding Centre was to aid the Nigeria Police acquire capacity to locally breed police dogs and be self-reliant in dog breeding as well as maintenance in a cost effective manner.

Arase lamented that huge funds were being expended on importation of dogs from foreign countries,  even though  some of these dogs rarely adapt to Nigeria’s policing climes, saying, “This is certainly not sustainable especially in the face of dwindling resources.”

Meanwhile, he disclosed that  in support of  government  policy on Made-In-Nigeria Goods, the Nigeria police has adopted Binggo Dog food for their dogs to help the naira and general economy.

Arase said the construction of the Dog Breeding Centre was to aid the Nigeria Police acquire capacity to locally breed police dogs and be self-reliant in dog breeding as well as maintenance in a cost effective manner.“The initiative is also designed to, in the long-term, support the operations dog requirement of sister law enforcement organisations, armed forces as well as breeding of friendly puppies for the civilian population on commercial basis. This is with the intention of evolving the centre into a self-sustaining dog breeding centre as practiced in other climes.

“The breeding centre being commissioned today has the capacity to conveniently breed and supply police dogs to the entire West African sub-region and it is projected that at optimal breeding capacity, it can produce well above 200 dogs per year. “With this commissioning, procurement of dogs for policing activities from foreign countries would now become a thing of the past.

Oil Prices Hit 2016 High, Rise Above $40/bl

The price of Brent crude monday rose for the sixth consecutive trading day in a row, hitting a 2016 peak of over $40 a barrel, as buyers were encouraged by talk that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was targeting a higher anchor price after a sell-off that has lasted nearly two years.

The rise in oil prices coincided with comments by the President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who advised Nigerians to stop viewing the low oil price environment as a setback, saying that the situation offers the nation an opportunity to diversify its revenue base.

Reuters reported that oil prices also got a boost from data showing a smaller-than-expected build-up in stockpiles at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery hub for United States crude futures.

Despite the rebound in crude price, some analysts cautioned that the global crude glut remained a huge challenge.

Global crude prices have risen more than 40 per cent since hitting 12-year lows less than two months ago.

The rebound from oil price lows of around $26 a barrel has also been driven by chart-related buying and asset rotation by investors that resulted in higher allocations into commodities such as oil and metals, as well as equities.

Brent, the global benchmark crude, rose by $2.18 at $40.90 yesterday, while its session peak was $41.04, the highest since December 9, 2015. United States’ WTI crude was also up $2 at $37.92 a barrel, after hitting a two-month high and closing at $38.11.

Traders said price gains accelerated after market intelligence firm Genscape reported a smaller-than-expected rise in crude stockpiles at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery hub.

Major OPEC producers are privately starting to talk about a new oil price equilibrium of $50, New York-based consultancy PIRA told Reuters.

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said last week that as part of measures to stabilise crude oil prices, some members of the OPEC were scheduled to meet with swing producer, Russia on March 20 in Moscow to fine tune collaborative strategies.

Kachikwu said the cartel would target a new oil price equilibrium of $50 a barrel.

Credit: ThisDay

Kourtney Kardashian & Kylie Jenner Hit New York

The Kardashian sisters take New York fiercely. Kourtney Kardashian and little sister, Kylie Jenner, storm New York wearing furry coats and killer boots.

Now we have no idea what they are up to but bet we will find out soon. The sisters both shared these photos on their Instagram pages.

See photos below:

Kourtney and Kylie Take New York

Every Pack Must Be A Hit… Back To Back, Paul Okoye Drills New Artist, Muno (PHOTO)

It’s not all about the voice oh… every pack must be a hit, back to back. LOL. That was Paul Okoye, from the group PSquare, who recently signed a new artist named Muno.

The guy is being drilled seriously to build up some muscles and he is not finding it funny. Peter Okoye revealed that Muno is facing a challenging moment and he even wants to cry. He captioned:

My new artiste @munosings working out ? ….he wants to be a super star, so am drilling him first? he wants to cry? but am sorry lol… Is not all about having the best voice ever!!! You need to look good for the ladies??…. U think is easy ? Eno easy ehhh!! Every pack must be a hit ?? back to back?

My new artiste @munosings working out ? ....he wants to be a super star, so am drilling him first? he wants to cry? but am sorry lol... Is not all about having the best voice ever!!! You need to look good for the ladies??.... U think is easy ? Eno easy ehhh!! Every pack must be a hit ?? back to back?

Iraq Claims ISIS Chief Baghdadi Hit In Air Raid

Iraq claimed Sunday to have struck a convoy carrying Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an air raid near the Syrian border but said his fate was unknown.

 In Syria, meanwhile, regime troops backed by Russian air strikes made progress on two fronts but were battling other rebel groups.

And Syria’s opposition National Coalition said it will boycott UN-proposed peace talks, citing the Russian air strikes among a list of grievances.

Iraqi aircraft hit Baghdadi’s convoy as it was “moving towards Karabla to attend a meeting of the Daesh (IS) terrorist leaders,” an Iraqi security statement said.

Read More: AFP