The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, has said that he would aggressively pursue programmes that would ensure growth in the country’s diversified economy as part of the policy thrust of his second term. Speaking at a Special Convocation Lecture of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka on Saturday, Emefiele urged all policy makers in the country to be forthright on returning the country to the path of growth and massive employment of the youth. He, however, warned that those who circumvent economic policies would be dealt with. According to the governor who was just reappointed as the regulator’s boss, Nigeria had wasted many growth opportunities in the past by abandoning agriculture and manufacturing sector(s) and depended on crude oil. He said the only option available to the country was to return to those sectors and more, with a view to producing for local consumption and export.
The Nasarawa State government has indicated an interest in partnering Benue and Plateau States to end the persistent clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in the two states. The governor-elect, Abdullahi Sule, who said this in an interview in Lafia, vowed that kidnapping and banditry will also be tackled with as much determination. Sule, who mentioned persistent security breaches in Udege Development Area, Nasarawa Local Government Area of the state, said his administration would work to prevent banditry, kidnapping and other criminal activities in the state. According to Sule, the security challenges have prevented the development and industrialisation of the area as they have also discouraged investors from the states. No investor is interested in going to any environment that lacks security, he said.
The chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service, Babatunde Fowler, has said that the agency will soon begin collection of VAT on every online transaction. According to Fowler, banks would be asked to impose the VAT on all transactions for purchases of goods and services. The move, the FIRS boss said was part of measures by the agency to meet its ₦8 trillion revenue target for 2019. Fowler also said the agency had started taking action against companies and businesses that refused to embrace the Federal Government’s tax amnesty programme, officially known as the Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme, launched in 2017. FIRS hopes to generate between ₦750 billion and ₦1 trillion from the clampdown, which includes closure of defaulters’ bank accounts. The agency gave tax defaulters a one-year period of grace to declare and settle their unpaid taxes.
Nigeria’s government has concluded plans to demolish the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, in order to reconstruct it. According to the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadii Sirika, the reconstruction of the airport has become important due to the poor state of the terminal, which has outlived its usefulness. He said the terminal was built to handle 300,000 passengers per year at inception but this figure has grown to 8 million in the past three years. The reconstruction project, which will be awarded to Julius Berger, would cost ₦14 billion. In the meantime, before the reconstruction begins, airlines will be moved to the new terminal being reconstructed to continue operations. Sirika also said plans have been concluded to downgrade the Akanu Ibiam Airport, Enugu, or shut it down for runway rehabilitation. Sirika explained that the decision to shut down the airport was taken to enable the FG to work on the airport runway to avoid any major incident.