Daily Watch – Sokoto repossesses factory after paying AMCON, Bird flu spreads in Plateau

22nd April 2016

  • The Federal Government has deferred the deductions of the allocations of indebted states to enable them pay workers’ salaries for this month. Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, said that the deferment was approved by President Buhari after the National Economic Council meeting. She noted that it was not a bail-out but deferment of payment of debts. Adeosun explained that payment of salaries would help stimulate the economy.
  • The Sokoto government has announced the repayment of a debt owed AMCON, an action which has enabled it to retake possession of the state-owned furniture company, Sokoto Furniture Company. The furniture factory, established in 1973, was one of the largest employers of labour in the state before it collapsed. A few years ago, the government took a loan amounting to N5.1 billion to revive it but after defaulting, AMCON took over the company. The government said once fully revived, the company will produce modern furniture for schools, hospitals and related areas.
  • The Plateau State Government has closed down 60 poultry farms and destroyed more than 190,000 birds affected by bird flu across the state. Director, veterinary services, in the state’s Ministry of Agriculture, Dr.Doris Bitrus said however, that the disease had continued to spread. She attributed that spread to some farmers not keeping to biosecurity measures, but claimed that the major reason behind the fast spread of the disease is the non-payment of compensation to farmers affected by the disease in 2015.
  • Babatunde Fowler, the FIRS chairman has said that the NNPC has an outstanding tax debt of over $300 million, as recorded by the NNPC itself. Fowler, told the Adhoc Committee investigating the FIRS accounting procedures, that the agency will ensure proper assessment of the problem surrounding NNPCs non-adherence to the payment of tax at the end of the audit exercise in June. He also said that Nigeria loses above $250 billion every year through tax evasion or underpayment, promising that the FIRS will step up their game in ensuring compliance to tax payment by firms, proper accounting of all revenue gotten and allocation of all revenue refunds. Responding to the committee’s inquiry on why over charged companies have not been refunded their tax revenue, Fowler said that the N7.5 billion released on 19th December, 2014, from the Committee’s investigation, has not been reimbursed due to certain criteria put in place for consideration and payment, in order to avoid paying undeserving companies.