Mr George Ashiru, Lagos State Chairman, African Democratic Congress (ADC), says the party is fielding candidates for all elective positions in the 2023 general elections in the state.
Ashiru disclosed this to newsmen in Lagos on Saturday at a stakeholders meeting of the state’s party executives and its candidates.
The state chairman told newsmen shortly after the closed door meeting that the party was ready to run the race in Lagos state and would not be intimidated.
“We were very careful in the election of our candidates to ensure that the best aspirants that will be acceptable to current demands by Nigerians, emerged.
“The meeting today is to rub minds with our candidates as we begin the journey of further consultations and plannings ahead of campaigns for the 2023 general elections.
“Happily, we do not have factions or disgruntled members challenges in Lagos state that usually arise after party primaries. All our members and candidates are working with one focus which is ensuring power shift in Lagos state.”
Ashiru said that part of the ADC agenda if it won the election was to ensure a 100 per cent pay rise for public and civil servants in Lagos state.
He said the ADC has a credible and experienced governorship candidate and others to give residents an option, saying the party had put forward, candidates that would represent the interest of the people and not few elites.
“I do not see and I cannot accept that anybody in the civil service who has a degree should earn anything less than somebody in the private sector.
“If we reform the civil service, we get people paid what is appropriate to them, they will be more efficient, do more work, reduce corruption and increase the IGR (Internally Generated Revenue) of the state.
“The cardinal principle for us is that people must be paid for the value that they bring,” he said.
Ashiru said the party would be able to achieve this from savings from reduction in corruption, and not from increasing the budget or borrowing.
He said the party recognised the need for security, healthcare, education, infrastructure development and these would be the focus of the party’s candidates.
He said: “If education is not the priority of government, what we are going to have is insecurity.
“If young people do not get educated, employed, provided entertainment and sports, then security bills will go up.
“So, we have a clear understanding of the problem and clear mind as to what is required to solve the problem.
“What we stand for is to present candidates that people believe care about this nation, state and everybody including the non-indigenes.
“If ADC is given that opportunity, we will bring forth that freshness and newness to change our state. ADC is a force for good and a platform for a great nation.”
According to him, it is savings from wastage that allegedly exists in the system that will empower every single project of government.
Speaking, Mr Funso Doherty, the 2023 ADC governorship candidate in Lagos state said that residents should expect leadership that would act in public interest and integrity because of his track records.
Doherty said: “We will pursue a programme of civil service reform. Reasonable compensation will help to fight corruption.
“We will address the issue of compensation for public and civil servants. Workers will be appropriately compensated.”
Doherty, who noted that he would take decisions and actions in the interest of the people said: “We will prioritise transparency, accountability and operation of government and civil service in a corrupt free manner for the benefit of the people.
“The vast resources of this state will be deployed selflessly without self interest and vested interest for the benefit of the people to improve their lives and infrastructure in health, education and ease in doing business.
“These are what we want to do to create jobs, ensure improved quality of lives that is commensurate with the state of Lagos.”
He added that his administration would address the traffic and transportation problems of the state through massive road, rail and water infrastructure as well as ensuring adherence to law and order on the roads.
“We are coming into power with a message of positive change. Our only interest will be interest of the people,” he said.
Gov. Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra has warned that states may no longer pay their basic bills if they don’t move away from FAAC-based revenue to agriculture driven economy.
Soludo, an erudite economist, said this at a parley in Awka on the occasion of his 100 days in office.
He said the larger Nigerian economy was facing dwindling fortune due to non contribution of the petroleum revenue, noting that the development was having negative effect on revenue accruing to states.
“Since February this year, the share of oil in the revenue that comes to the Federal Government and States is zero, I saw the table, zero contribution from oil.
“What we share now is revenue from customs duties, VAT and company tax and most states can not pay salary because there is no oil money,” he said.
Soludo said his administration was already embarking on an aggressive agriculture-based economy.
He recalled that the old Eastern Region experienced the highest economic prosperity when it was dependent on revenue from only palm oil.
The Economist said Anambra had decided that on a permanent empowerment programme, it would give people palm and or coconut seedlings which they could start harvesting and making money in a maximum period of five years.
“This is why we say we are going back to where Late M.I. Okpara stopped; he built Eastern Nigeria with money from palm oil.
“Cities of Onitsha with the Main Market; Enugu, University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Port Harcourt, Calabar, Aba and the rest were built with palm; they were well planned with pipe borne water and electricity.
“But all these were abandoned with the discovery of crude oil and revenue from it, but there is enormous room to maximise our potential in Palm production.
“Malaysia came to Eastern Nigeria to collect samples of palm but today, their export of palm is far more than Nigeria is exporting in crude oil and today, we go to Malaysia to get improved seedlings that mature between 4-5 years.
“A household that gets about 30 or 40 seedlings is out of poverty permanently; so the government wants to plant about one million seedlings every year for the next 10 years and if we achieve that, it will give us more revenue than FAAC and IGR,” he said.
Soludo said the state would not borrow for consumption but would continue to take salary as given, noting that local government and state civil servant retirees were owed N14 billion and N7.6 billion in gratuity.
“We will also ensure that pensioners who retired since 2018 are paid their gratuities.”
The Coordinator of Open Alliance for Civil Society, Mr Chris Azor, has decried Anambra new planned tax policy that requires wheelbarrow pushers and related bodies to be included in tax payment.
Azor, who doubles as Citizens Co-Chair, Open Government Partnership (OGP) disclosed the group’s displeasure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Awka on Monday.
He said that Open Alliance for Civil Society and Non-State Actors, Anambra State, a foremost Coalition of Stakeholders for transparency and accountability, had written to the appropriate authorities of State Actors requesting for detailed clarifications on the decision.
He said that the purported taxing of the core poor and most vulnerable groups, especially wheelbarrow pushers and the likes were seen and described as unfriendly policy to the downtrodden.
He said that they should rather be supported by the government to improve their living conditions, stating that there was no reason enough to convince the citizens as the parameter for taxing them, instead of protecting the poor in their midst.
Azor said that the group had written to Mrs Patricia Igwebuike, the state Commissioner for Transportation, and Mr Richard Madiebo, the Chairman, Anambra Inland Revenue Service, (AIRS) seeking detailed clarifications on the propriety of the exercise.
He said that Wheelbarrow pushers and other vulnerable groups should be exempted from these bio-metric capturing and taxation as their action suggested that the government was taxing the core poor wheelbarrow pushers, and people who patronized their services as the cost would be raised.
According to him, we have been overwhelmed with calls and complaints from Stakeholders demanding to know the reason for what they described as insensitivity of the State Government and its handlers.
“Countries all over the globe are giving tax exemptions, with palliatives and Social Protection to the core poor affected by COVID-19 and sundry emergencies and general economic downturn.
“The State government can come up with other innovative strategies to raise revenue, rather than stifling the poor and vulnerable.
“We however, simply request that the State government come up with more friendly ideas to raise its IGR than stifling the poor more,.
“We need convincing explanations within the next one week to cushion the effect of the idea on the citizens,” Azor said.
NAN reports that the group reacted to the government announcement that was contained in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Anambra State Ministry of Transport, Mrs. Louisa Ezeanya.
Ezeanya, in the statement, explained that the bio-metric enrollment and registration was conducted by the ministry in collaboration with the Anambra State Internal Revenue Service (AiRS).
In a swift reaction, Mrs Sylvia Tochukwu-Ngige, the Head of Taxpayer Education and Enlightenment Team AiRS told NAN that AiRS was very determined to increase the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) base of Anambra digitally to an enviable level of the state.
She said that when the goal was achieved, it would help the government meet the obligations of the citizenry which included good roads, potable water, good healthcare delivery, security, more citizens oriented projects would be in place.
Tochukwu-Ngige said that the ongoing state government bio-metric enumeration and registration of all stakeholders and operators on transportation in the state, when completed, would help control security challenges and increase IGR of the state.
She said that Anambra’s future was bright with the Gov. Charles Soludo’s vision and appealed to the people of the state to support the state government by paying due taxes to the government.
Also, Mr Christian Aburime, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, described the idea as a transformational tool to streamline the state revenue collection as well as to control the security challenges of the state as the enrollment would aid security checks.(
A General Manager with Dangote Group, Dr Sani Dawop, has emerged the governorship candidate of Action Democratic Party (ADP) in Plateau.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Sani was returned unopposed at the ADP primary election, held on Thursday in Jos.
Chairman of ADP Governorship Primary Election Committee, Mr Danjuma Auta, who announced the result, said that Dawop got all the votes cast by the 15 delegates who took part in the election.
“By the powers bestowed on me as chairman of ADP electoral committee, and having satisfied the conditions stipulated by ADP’s constitution, I hereby declare Dr Sani Dawop as the governorship candidate of the party for the 2023 general elections,” he said.
ADP Chairman in the state, Retired Capt. Fire Lamda, said that the party had two aspirants, adding, however, that one of them could not pick the nomination form, thus leaving Dawop unchallenged.
Lamda said that the governorship candidate had all the credentials and capability to beat the candidates of other political parties in 2023.
He stated that the party, under his leadership, was working assiduously to ensure that ADP won elections into all the elective posts in the state, including the governorship.
Dawop, in his acceptance speech, told the gathering that he had a three-point agenda to execute, if he became governor.
He listed the agenda to include: peace and security, economic revitalisation and infrastructural development.
Dawop told the gathering that of all those vying for the state’s number one seat, he was the only one with special training in strategic security management.
According to him, aside the raw power security approach usually adopted in tackling security challenges, he would he adopt a soft power approach capable of yielding better results.
“Let me tell you something about security. It is not about raw power alone; it’s about soft power as well.
“If you do not provide jobs; if you do not manage time, poverty and unemployment, I can tell you that you are going to have loads and loads of security challenges,” he stated.
Dawop added that his administration would set up peace committees right from the wards to the state level to ensure peace and peaceful coexistence.
He also said that ‘Operation Rainbow’, the state security outfit, would be fully empowered to generate security intelligence.
Under economic revitalisation, the governorship candidate said that his experience of working with top global company would be to bear in initiating, setting up and maintaining top quality industries for the state.
He said having worked with Federal Inland Revenue Service, his experience on revenue generation would be deployed in boosting the state internally-generated revenue (IGR).
Dawop further said that key infrastructure would be provided by his administration to turn around the fortunes of the state and improve the standard of living of the people.
Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and former Gov. Okwesilieze Nwodo of Enugu State, have been penciled down to launch a 395-page book on hospitality and tourism management, meant to boost country’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Others expected in the launch included: Chief Emeka Odo, Chairman, Enugu State Board of Internal Revenue; Prof. Austin Nweze, Rector, Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu, and Dr Peter Mbah, PDP Governorship Candidate for Enugu State.
Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu on Sunday, the author of the book, Chief Steve Odo, said that when principles of the book are applied it would lead to IGR increase for individuals, businesses and governments.
Odo said that the book, which is titled: “The Principles and Practice of Hospitality and Tourism Management”, would lead to effective hospitality and tourism management to harness the abundant potentials in the two sub-sectors.
“It has been my life-long ambition to write the book and open up the endless opportunity and potentials for wealth creation and up-scaling IGR for both individuals, groups, businesses and governments in the country.
“Tourism and hospitality is a rare sector that authors hardly write about due to little knowledge or even few reference materials and lack of data.
“Nigeria, especially Enugu, is booming in hospitality and tourism even as there are great potentials to increase the gains from hospitality and tourism if well harnessed,” Odo, who is also the General Manager of Enugu State Tourism Board, said.
The tourism board boss said that the book would serve as a legacy he would be leaving behind for stakeholders, students, practitioners and administrators of the two correlated sub-sectors.
He said that the challenges he encountered in writing the book included few reference materials and lack of data on tourism and hospitality.
Odo said that the book, whose launch would hold on Thursday, June 9, at Enugu Sports Club, GRA, Enugu, had chapters that deal with effective management of hotels, restaurants and other tourism entities, including rules, regulations and procedures.
“The book also contains how to apply management functions of Planning, Organising, Staff Leading, Controlling and Co-coordinating in the management of hotels and other related entities.
“It contains how to prepare 100 different types of African and Continental dishes as well as how to plan and manage events of all kinds.
“The book also highlights the role of hospitality and tourism in Nigeria’s National Security and the need for collaboration with governments at all levels.
“The appendix provides lists of some good hotels in the 36 states of Nigeria and Abuja as well as most registered hotels and tourist sites within Enugu State, among others,” he added.
According to him, Chief Nick Omeye, Federal Commissioner, Public Complaints Commission; the state Commissioner for Justice, Chief Milletus Eze, and the book reviewer, Dr Ferdinand Anikwe, former Director-General of the Centre for Black African Arts and Civilisation, among others, will grace the occasion. (