Following recent looting and burning of several shops and stores at Circle Mall in Lekki by hoodlums following the hijack of the EndSARS protests, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has promised to assist the tenants and shop owners at the mall for them to bounce back to business.
Speaking on Sunday during a condolence visit and meeting with tenants and shop owners at the Mall in Lekki, Governor Sanwo-Olu said Lagos State Government will give tax break and some financial assistance to all the business owners affected by the ugly incident.
It would be recalled that some hoodlums went on rampage on Wednesday October 21, after the EndSARS protests were hijacked, and looted property worth billions of naira at Circle Mall and also set parts of the building ablaze.
Speaking on his administration’s readiness to assist those affected by destruction in Circle Mall, Lekki, Governor Sanwo-Olu said Lagos State Government will not leave the people to bear the pains alone, noting that government will assist them to returm to their respective businesses.
The Governor said Lagos State Government will give all business owners in the burnt Circle Mall tax break of PAYE and also appealed to Federal Government to ensure that they get tax relief from from the Federal Internal Revenue Services (FIRS).
Governor Sanwo-Olu said the State Government will give victims of the Circle Mall financial support, which will be in form of grant or loans to cushion the effect of the looting and destruction of their respective shops and stores.
Sanwo-Olu said the grant support is a non refundable financial support to the victims. He said the affected businesses are not expected to pay back while the lending support would be in form of a loan, adding that he is already discussing with some financial institutions to assist people with zero interest loans.
Sanwo-Olu also asked the shop owners to reach out to the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) and urged them to make use of the opportunities being provided by the agency in assisting people who are in business, especially small scale businesses.
The Governor further implored people on reorientation of value system and civil responsibility for everybody to be agent of positive change in their community and anywhere they found themselves.
Reiterating his administration’s commitment to security of lives and property in the state, Sanwo-Olu said that Lagos State will no longer tolerate hoodlums looting and destroying government and private businesses and properties.
He said though Lagos State Government cannot stop people from coming into the state, the Governor warned people with criminal intentions to go elsewhere before being smoked out by the government.
The Governor said his government is ready to encourage people who are in Lagos for business and would go extra mile to protect businesses in the state.
Speaking earlier, the tenants at Circle Mall, thanked Governor Sanwo-Olu for showing empathy in the face of daunting challenges. They asked him to assist them financially so as to get back on their feet.
They also appealed to Lagos State Government to strengthen security around the Circle Mall to prevent future occurrences of the two attacks they suffered in the last 13 months.
COVID-19: SANWO-OLU EXTENDS RESUMPTION DATE FOR GRADE LEVEL 14 AND BELOW TILL FEBRUARY 1
Following the increase in number of recorded cases of coronavirus in Lagos State, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has extended the work from home directive to all State public servants on Grade Levels 14 and below to Monday, February 1, 2021.
Governor Sanwo-Olu’s directive was contained in a circular to members of the State Executive Council and all heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies issued and signed by the Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, on Saturday.
The directive on the extention of the resumption date for Grade Level 14 and below from January 18 to February 1 was taken by the Governor to successfully curtail the spread of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in the State.
Governor Sanwo-Olu who said the directive excludes essential duty staff, as well as first responders, enjoined all public servants to stay safe and keep adhering to all COVID-19 protocols in order to rid the State of the pandemic in the shortest possible time.
The circular entitled “Re: Stemming the tide of the second wave of COVID-19 – Extension of the Work from home directive” also directed all Accounting Officers to ensure strict compliance with all extant directives aimed to guarantee physical and social distancing in the work place.
“Sequel to Head of Service Circulars Nos.: CIR/HOS/’20/Vol.1/139 of 18th December,
2020 and CIR/HOS/’21/Vol.1/001 of 3rd January, 2021 and in furtherance of the State
Government’s effort to successfully curtail the spread of the second wave of COVID-19 Pandemic in the State, it is hereby notified for general information that Mr. Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has extended the work from home directive to all State Public Servants on Grade Levels 14 and below with effect from Monday, 18th January till Monday, 1st February 2021. Expectedly, the directive excludes Essential Duty Staff, as well as First Responders.
“Public Servants are therefore, enjoined to stay safe by adherence to all COVID-19 Protocols.
Additionally, Accounting Officers are to ensure strict compliance with all extant directives aimed to guarantee Physical/Social Distancing in the work place; through weekly preparation of Duty Rosters as considered germane to the effective service delivery of respective Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
“All Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies are urged to observe the contents of
this Circular for acquiescence and give it the deserved Service-wide publicity,” the circular stated.
FG Disburses another N123.34bn Grants to States
The Federal Government has disbursed another round of performance-based grants to states in the sum of N123.348bn ($324.6m) under its States Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability Programme for Results.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by the ministry’s Director of Press and Public Relations, Hassan Dodo.
Ahmed explained that the disbursement followed the achievement of results by the states in the just concluded 2019 Annual Performance Assessment.
The assessment was carried out by the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation as the independent verification agent and approved by the programme coordination unit of the finance ministry.
On the disbursements, the minister said it included N91.048bn ($239.6m) of performance-based grants for the 2019 APA results achieved by 32 eligible states across various Disbursement Linked Indicators.
She said the indicators covered fiscal transparency, accountability, expenditure efficiency, revenue mobilisation and debt sustainability.
States received grants per the number of results achieved, with Sokoto State receiving the highest amount of N6.61bn, while Kano got the lowest amount of N1.71bn.
“Bayelsa, Imo, Rivers and Zamfara states got zero allocation due to their inability to meet the 2019 eligibility criteria which required states to publish online approved annual budgets and audited financial statements within a specific timeframe,” Ahmed stated.
She further noted that the 2019 APA results were a significant improvement on the 2018 APA results where the total performance-based grants of N43.416bn ($120.6m) were received by 24 eligible states.
This, she said, demonstrated the substantive progress states had made on fiscal reforms.
According to her, the second part of the disbursement involved a new COVID-19 response DLI, which was the implementation of a tax compliance relief programme for individual taxpayers and businesses by states by 30 September 2020.
On this, she said 34 out of 36 states were able to achieve the results for the new DLI for the total of N32.3bn ($85m) of grants, as only Anambra and Zamfara states missed out.
The disbursement came after the recent one in November 2020 by the Federal Government where the sum of N66.5bn ($175m) was granted to 35 states.
The minister observed that since the first disbursement in April 2020, the Federal Government had thus far disbursed the total sum of N233bn ($620.6m) to the states.
This, she said, was under the $750m World Bank-Assisted States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme for Results.
Ahmed said the World Bank-assisted SFTAS programme was principally meant to strengthen fiscal management at the state level to ensure effective mobilisation and utilisation of financial resources.
She said the resources were for the benefit of citizens in a transparent, accountable and sustainable manner, thereby reducing fiscal risks and encouraging a common set of fiscally responsible behaviours.
According to her, the SFTAS programme could not have come at a better time, given the dwindling government revenue occasioned by oil price volatility and the impact of COVID-19.
Ahmed stressed that with the disbursement of N233.26bn since the beginning of the programme, the government had successfully adapted and implemented the SFTAS to provide timely support to states.
She said this was to strengthen the financial capacity for responding to numerous fiscal challenges in their respective domains.
“The increase in the number of benefitting states and results achieved is indicative of the wider acceptance of SFTAS ideals by all states of the federation and this would herald a new era of transparency and accountability in fiscal governance at the sub-national level,” Ahmed said.
Source: The Punch Newspaper
Nigeria Univarsities that have Announced Resumption Dates
Students are return to school after several months of being out of their classrooms.
Below is a list of universities that have announced resumption dates:
- University of Ibadan on Friday announced that academic activities will resume on February 22, 2021.
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria announced that it will be resuming on Monday, January 25th, 2021.
University of Lagos has decided that academic activities will be resuming on January 25th, 2021.
University of Ilorin resumed academic activities online on January 11, 2021.
University of Jos will resume on January 22, 2021.
University of Benin will resume academic activities on February 1, 2021.
Lagos State University has already resumed and practicing what it called staggered resumption.
University of Port Harcourt has announced that academic activities will resume on February 1, 2021.
Rivers State University has resumed activities since January 4th, 2021.
Bayero University Kano will begin a new academic session on January 18, 2021.
Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta will resume on January 18, 2021.
Ekiti State University will begin academic activities on January 18, 2021.
Federal University of Technology, Akure will begin classes on January 18, 2021.
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