States to create SAAC for revenue sharing purposes

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The Presidential Implementation Committee on the Autonomy of States Legislature and Judiciary has recommended creation of the State Accounts Allocation Committee to determine the revenue sharing formula for each Arm of Government based on the budgetary provision and funds available to the each State.

The creation of SAAC was one of the recommendations reached by the Presidential Implementation Committee on the autonomy for State Legislature and Judiciary, at the state level.

SAAC, the States version of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee FAAC, was recommended by the Committee to ease the implementation of the financial autonomy for Legislature and Judiciary Arms of government at the State level.

The Committee, according to the Communique passed at the end of deliberations of the Implementation Committee, on weekend, will comprise the state Commissioners of Finance, the Accountant General of the State, the Clerk of the State House of Assembly, the Chief Registrars of High Courts, Sharia Court of Appeal and Customary Courts, the Secretary of the Judicial Service Commission/Committee and the Secretary of the State Assembly Service Commission if any,

BusinessDay gathered that Budget performance across 36 States of the Federation had shown that State with the least allocations of funds to the State Judiciary in the past three years gave 0.6 percent of the Budget of the entire State, the State with highest allocation allocated 4.89 percent of it budgetary provisions to the Judiciary

The Presidential Implementation Committee therefore urged the Governors as the Heads of the Executive Arm of Government to begin full implementation of the financial autonomy granted the Legislature and the Judiciary., without further delays

The Committee also recommended the adoption “of the Budgeting model operating at the Federal level where the sum due to the Judiciary and the Legislature are captured as first line … Read More...

Senate approves N14.6bn as refund to Bauchi State

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The Senate has approved promissory notes and bond issuances worth N14.6 billion to Bauchi State as reimbursement for executing Federal Government projects.

The approval followed the adoption of the report of the Senate Adhoc Committee on Promissory Note Programme at Thursday plenary.

The development brings to 24, the number of states with outstanding claims for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government and approved by the Senate.

Presenting his report, Chairman of the committee, Francis Alimikhena, noted that although the Senate had initially excluded Bauchi and Kogi States, the committee, however approved refund for Bauchi, leaving out Kogi.

He, however, did not give any reason for excluding Kogi State.

Speaking after the approval, Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, wondered why Kogi State was excluded when President Muhammadu Buhari sought the approval for the issuance of the notes to offset inherited local debts for both Kogi and Bauchi States.

He therefore appealed that the President’s request of refund for Kogi State be considered and approved by next week.

 

OWEDE AGBAJILEKE, Abuja

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Senate backs NFIU on new guidelines

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The Senate has called on the State Houses of Assembly yet to approve the constitution alteration bill geared towards granting a full autonomy to local governments to do so before the expiration of the Eighth National Assembly.

This call came barely 48 hours after the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) issued a new financial guideline on the operations of the local government accounts expected to take effect on the 1st of June.

BusinessDay reports that the life of the Eighth Senate ends on June 8, 2019.

In a motion sponsored by Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi on Wednesday, the Senate expressed concern at the continuous pillage of cash allocated to local councils across the states through the State Joint Local Government Accounts.

Supporting the moves by NFIU, the Senate said the guidelines limit cash transactions in the accounts of local governments to a daily maximum of N500,000 and subsequent withdrawal must be approved by approved cheques or electronic payment channels to promote registered transactions by all the local governments.

It called on the 36 state governments and the FCT to fully support the implementation of the new NFIU guidelines to promote good governance at the local government areas and restore governance at the grassroots levels.

It equally urged all financial institutions in Nigeria to support the implementation of the new guidelines, even as it called on the Federal Government to urgently fund the operations of the Agency to enable it earn the confidence and trust of Nigerians and its international partners.

Recall that the NFIU had recently released a new financial guideline on the operations of the local government accounts.

Titled ”Guidelines to Reduce Vulnerabilities Created by Cash Withdrawals from LG Funds throughout Nigeria”, the guidelines provide that the State Joint Local Government Account is only a … Read More...

Senate begins move to override Buhari on Industrial Development Bill

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The Senate has commenced the process of overriding President Muhammadu Buhari’s veto on the Industrial Development Act (Income Tax Relief) Amendment Bill.

The bill, which was earlier rejected by President Buhari, seeks to provide for additional incentives for some categories of investments and increase the value of the minimum qualifying capital expenditure (QCE) required from companies applying for Pioneer Certificate.

The proposal which was earlier passed by the two chambers of the National Assembly but rejected by Buhari, seeks to amend Sections 1, 2, 3, 11 and 25 of the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act.

It also provides that companies that are in the process of expanding their operations to cover Pioneer Industries and/or Products will be eligible for the issuance of the Pioneer Certificate, even as companies whose applications were previously denied on the grounds of expansion will be able to reapply for fresh consideration.

BusinessDay reports that the Pioneer Certificate grants tax holiday to companies making investments in designated industries for an initial period of three years, extendable for one or two additional years.

Tagged: ‘Industrial Development Act (Income Tax Relief) Amendment Bill, 2019 (SB. 734), the proposal which passed First Reading during Tuesday plenary is sponsored by Sabo Mohammed (APC, Jigawa State).

It would be recalled that President Buhari had in 2018 declined assent to the bill on the grounds that the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment was consulting with other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on the ‘tax holidays incentive regime for Expansion Projects’.

This, the President explained, would pave the way for Presidential Orders and executive bills for approval by the National Assembly.

However, on April 10, the Senate adopted the report of its Technical Committee on Declined Assent to Bills by the President.

In rejecting the President’s submission, … Read More...