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THE GUARDIAN, Wednesday December^ 2QH

NEWS|5

Kano lawmakers impeach Speaker From Adamu Abuh, Kano

R allegedly lacking the Dilities to discharge his E responsibilities, legislators in the Kano State House of Assembly yesterday impeached their Speaker, Yusuf Falgore. Consequently, they elected another member, Gambo Salau.asSpeaker.Salau is a treetime member of the Assembly. Moving the impeachment motion, a member, Lawal Sufuyanu, claimed that Falgore not only lacked the requisite leadership qualities, but that he had been fanning the embers of discord among members of the House. Moments after Yahaya Inusa Garba expressed support for the motion, members of the House unanimously adopted it despite efforts by the Kano State Deputy Governor. Abdullahi Ganduje and Dr. Yunusa Dangwani the chief of staff to the state Governor, to avert the impeachment.

NCC impounds piracy equipment

Managing Diteclor/Edilor-ln- Chief 1^1 of wi The mcuutfj«fraijiinrt>|j.iper5, Guaidian Eifleka tzeze (fefJ); Special Assistant to Ihe Minister oMnfDnnaiinn.KingsleyOsadak ; Media Consultant, Adesrna and Minister of Info ition, Labaran Maku, during Makri's condolence visillo 77:e Guairiran in Lagos yesterday over Hie rfeaih of Dr. Alexibn

wole; Editor/Deputy Edilor-ln-CiiiBf, Deho PHOTO: GABRia IKHAHOH

FIRS seals off minister's hotel over alleged tax default Hotel institute launches tourism council a From Andrew |ro Qkungbc ,va Calabar

FlClALS of tin- Federal iland Revenue Service (FIRS) in Calabar, Ooss River State yesterday stormed Mirage Hotel - owned Dy the Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Edem Dake - with an order to seal it o\r alleged company tax default r n d failure to remit Value-Added Tax (VAT) collections running into millions ofnaira. The officials, lei by Mr. Solomon Ajimotokin, said all efforts to get [he hotel's management to resolve the matter in the past had failed, as the hotel managers dilly-dallied on

promises to pay the taxes. Also, the stage is now set for proper standardisation and professionalising of tourism operators and practitioners across the country with the launch of the Chartered Tourism Council by the National Institute of Hospitality andTourisrnfNIHOTOUR). The new council, which is charged with die formal registration of all operators and professionals in the tourism industry, was announced yesterday in Calabar, Cross River State by Director-General of the hospi-

tality and tourism training body, Munzaii Dantata while declaring open a two-day training programme for tourism reporters and writers. Ajimotokin disclosed that Mirage Hotel stopped remitting VAT to the FIRS in October 2010 while the company tax default ran into years. He added that the company tax had been in dispute over three years. Even after the tax assessment and penalty were agreed upon, the hotel stili allegedly refused to pay the backlog of debts and the current tax returns, which

were not under dispute. But the hotel management explained that the situation aroused following the death of one of the signatories to its accounts, an explanation the FIRS rejected as false and the usual excuse each time the tax agency's officials called at the hotel over the tax debts. This resulted into a shouting match between the hotel managers and FIRS officials, with former accusing the latter of acting in bad faith and intent to tarnish die image mag of the rninisterand the h otel

Ajimotokin denied this, insisting that they do not know the minister in person but that they were at the hotel to carry out their legitimate duty followingseveral months of grace granted the hotel to pay up. The FIRS officials only lifted their seal on the hotel's doors after the managers issued a Nl million First Bank cheque in the name of the FIRS, which they accepted with the proviso that the hotel managers would come to the FIRS office today by 10a.m. to pay up the rest tax debts, otherwise the FIRS would again seal off the hotel today.

Ogun panel orders arrest of ex-officials over claims of fraud From Charles Coffia Gyarafi. Abeokuta THE Ogun State Judicial Acommission of Inquiry on Land Matters si ting in Abeokuta yesterday issued a Bench Warrant of arrest on former Managing Director, Gateway City Development Company, Kayode An ibaoa and his Personal Assistant, Femi Sanyaolu, for alleged fraudulent practices. Also ordered to b« arrested was the Manager, First City

Monument Bank (FCMB), Ogba, Lagos Branch, Mrs. Wunmi Abiodun for her alleged refusal to make available the Statement of Account of Sanyaolu to assist the Commission in its assignmentThe Commission's Chairman, Justice Abiodun Akinyemi, who ordered the arrest, said it was in connection with a N400 million land deaf involving them and Kayode Fadipe Farms (KFF) Limited.

The owners of KFF Farms petitioned the Commission alleging untoward activities by Anibaba and Sanyaolu. Sanyaolu, who gave evidence before the Commission in respect of the petition, yesterday admitted mat as Personal Assistant to Anibaba, he floated two companies, Patient Properties Limited and Home Reactors Limited. He told the Commission that Anibafaa instructed KFF to pay

N150 million into the coffers of the government account for " ratification" of several hectares of government land bought by KFF Farms Limited white the rernainingN250 million should be paid into a private account. The whole N400 million value of the transaction should have been paid into the state government account, Sanyaolu is on the staff of the Gateway City Development Company but served as

Personal Assistant to Anibaba, an architect. He also told the Commission that N55 million was paid into the account of one of his companies by Anibaba, for "Sand filling and bush clearing without due process". justice Akinyemi directed the police to arrest the three named persons and bring them before the Commission on Tuesday, January 10,2012 to answersome questions.

Jonathan commissions cement plant, hopes to halt importation country. From IsaAbdulsslanii (Jo::) Kelvin Eblriand Ann Godwin (Poi t Harcourt)

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ESIDENT Soodluck , mathan yesterda" commissioned the La'farge W/iMPCO 25 million metric tonnes of cement plant, 'Ewekcro II' project The commissioning brings the company's yearly cement production to eight million metric tonnes. Spealdng at the commissioning, President jonaihan said that by the first quarter of next year, the Federal Government

hopes to halt cement importation. According to him, commissioning of the Ewekoro II project has given the government a firm assurance that Nigeria can become self-sufficient in cement production. He added that the government would also ensure backward integration in rice production and all agricultural produce. He reiterated government's commitment to economic diversification from reliance on

crudeoil tomanufacturingand agriculture. we carjnot continue to rely on crude oil export- The experts have told us that the crude oil would dry up in 35 years. We are concerned anout this. We want to encourage the manufacturing sector to sustain the economy and provide jobs," he said. T(TC President also pledged government's commitment to developing policies that are eared towards economic evelopment and urged the

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company to work towards expanding its capacity so as to become one. of the biggest in the world. Responding, Chairman of the company, Olusegun Osunkeye, said the commissioning would enhance Nigeria's economic and industrial development, adding that having fulfilled the national desire to set up a cement manufacturing company, the company has made tremendous contributions to the availability of cement in the

He said the plant puts tlie company at the forefront of exploration, production and marketingof cement in Nigeria. Osunkeye stressed that die company has die capacity to ensure 24-hour production of cement in order to ensure continuous supply of cement to customers. He disclosed that in partnership with the Nigerian Railway Corporation, die company has embarked on transportation of cement to various destinations.

From Ann Godwin. Port Harcourt •THE Nigeria Copyright Icommission (NCC) has raided nine premises in three South-Soutn states, impounding N5 million worth of piracy gadgets. The Commission also has disconnected over 1300 illegally connected Pay TV subscribers during the raids in Port Harcourt, Rivers State Ikot Ekpene, Akwa-lbom State and Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital. The Commission's Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Vicent Oyefeso, stated this in a statement made available to The Guardian in Port Harcourt, Oyefeso added that two suspected operators of illegal broadcast distribution outlets were arrested in Port Harcourt, with N2 million worth of infringing broadcast facilities and accessories. In Ikot Elcpene, die copyright inspectors raided Botex Television Station for allegedly hacking into the broadcast signals oT Multi-choice (DSTV), HiTVandMyTvcable.

Japan grants funds to agric sector ~ From Joke Akanmu, Abu[a

AS part of efforts to boost /information communications technology (ICT) for farmers across the country, four states of the Federation are to benefit from the Japan social Development Fund(JSDF) of 52.8 million. It aims to help farmers make appropriate technological choices for modem agriculture. The grant from the JSDF, which would be disbursed through the " World Bank, would be used to establish pilot ICT centres in select Fadama Communities in four states -.Lagos, Cross River, Sokoto and Yobe. Speaking at the official handover of |SDF grant Document of .Fadama Information and Knowledge Service {(HKS). Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Rynici Shoji, yesterday in Abuja stated diat die government was co llabora li ng wi t h the Worid Banl; to provide Nigerian farmers with improve modem agriculture technology.


THE GUARDIAN, 21 DECEMBER, 2011