28 Jan

Daily Watch – Road tax on the way, Lassa fever claims more people

  • A Bill seeking to make citizens begin to pay some road user-related charges like fuel levies and road licence fees, is currently on the floor of the Senate. The National Road Funds Bill 2015,which also intends to get citizens to pay road tolls, axle load fines, international transit fees is sponsored by Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano South), and is seen by some analysts as a desperate move to shore up already low revenues. Nigeria recently introduced a N50 stamp duty and Current Account Maintenance fee, which would also make citizens cough up more cash to government as they engage in banking transactions. Senator Gaya’s Bill is aimed at providing alternative sources of maintaining federal roads, rather than relying solely on government.
  • The Federal Inland Revenue Service plans to conduct a comprehensive audit of the accounts of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and its subsidiaries. The audit is geared towards uncovering the actual amount payable to the Federation Account as provided by relevant extant laws. FIRS’s Coordinating Director (Domestic Taxes Group), Ajayi Bamidele, requested for details of all contracts signed between NNPC/PPMC and Duke Oil Global Service Limited. Abdulkadir Seidu, Duke Oil’s Managing Director, alleged that there are several companies involved in the crude oil lifting which are not paying taxes to Nigeria.
  • Two explosions have hit Chibok, the Borno State community where over 200 school girls were abducted by Boko Haram nearly two years ago. The attacks, suspected to be from suicide bombers, killed an unspecified number of people, and injured some others. One bomber reportedly struck at the town’s main market while another went off at a military check point in the early hours of Wednesday.
  • Officials in Taraba State have confirmed four more deaths from Lassa fever, bringing the total to seven at the federal medical centre in the capital Jalingo. A total 19 people suspected to have Lassa fever were hospitalised at the centre. Six have been treated and discharged, and three others are still on admission. Meanwhile one person has died in Ebonyi State, the governor, Dave Umahi, has confirmed. The victim, a student from Izzi, was 26 years old.