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,-BUSINESS & ECONOMY

THURSDAY. JUNE 9.101 1

Briefly

l eAN advises

IFood

govt on t echnical e du ca tion

safety bill

HElnslituteofChartered Accountants of Nigeria, on Wednesday, in lagos, appellied to President Goodluck J o nathan to pay more atiention to technical education. The Cha irman, Ikeja district of lCAN. Mr. Oderinde Okeowo, lold the

T

T

HE Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Te(:hnology has urged

President

GocKlluck

Jona than 10 sign the bill for the Establishment of the Nigerian Council of Food Science land Technology and Allied Professionals M atters into law. Speaking at the 35th

News Agency

~~~~:~~~~:;~~~e~~ Dr. John Obiora.Jsaid thi!ll the President's assent to the bill !,\,/QUId ensure the protection and defence of Niger~'s strategic food su pply system . Although the bill had been passed by the House of Rep!'eSI!ntatlves on October \14, 2010, it was passed by the last plenary session of the 6th Senate on June 1. He said thai the assent would also ensure: the consumption of safe and healthy foods by the populace as well as ensure Ihal processed Nigerian food products were of

I

exportable ktandards.

I "Obiara ! added thai it v.lould enhance the financial

strength o f Nigerian farmers and food Pl'ocessors.

'"This

bill,

though

unsung, unlike the Freedom

of Infonnalion Bill, now Act. is arguably of equal or even greater signincance than the FOI Act for the wellbeing of the generality of Nigerians," he said.

Food crisis

F

ARMERS in Plateau , State have been warned of an impendirlfl food aisls dLe to the delay by the state govemmenl to procure fertiliser for farmers two months into the farm ing

..

~.

The Secretary. ,_ All Farmers ~sociation .. o f Nigeria in thestate. Or. Ulyasu News Agenev J oe, told 0/ Nigeria, Ion Wednesday, in Jos thai the farmers were becoming J 'orried 0IIeT the development I "Thefertiliserdlstribulion committee has not been called for any meeting regarding procurement Md distribution. Sa far, we have pot received a bag o f ferUilser. Nobody has briefed us yet about the proc.utement of the commodityl for this year's cropping season and we lire conaJned thai the commodityj has not been procured by June," he said. Joe ~ined thllt fanning Fined the

tt}e

I

;;~e~et~!h~:a:~':enn~ to, as II m, tter of urge ncy, take ste~ to make fertilise r availab[e to the farmers .

between MTN and

i , Bobatunde 05110. In Logos ... on Wednesday

FIRS generates Nl.25tn in four months Everul Amadule and O)/dunji Abioye HE Federal Inland R--n". e-rvices has

T 'OW"" ..,., generated a total of N 1.2Stn througn variOU5 taxes in the first four months of 2011 , The Executive Chairman, FlR5, Mrs. lfueko Omoigui Okauru, who disclosed lhis on Wednesday at an interactive forum with members o f the National Assembly, also announced the creation of a lax office in the NaUonai Assembly complex. A statement iSsued by the Diredor of Corporate Communications of the tax ltgE'ncy, Mr. Emmanuel Obela, also quoted 0moiguiOkauru to have said that

tho " "" om" _Id h.,p lawmakers to comply plomptly with tax rules. The Nl25tn generated wit hin the rU5l fou r months is 43.9 percenl of IMt year's ann ual collection figure of N2.9Jtn. The FIRS boss noted th at, though the nonoil contribution and talC component o f federallyll!VI!Tlue was collected looking up, there was 100m for improvement if Nigeria must enjoy sustainable

- Govt seals Air Nigeria's office over tax arrears revenue. She also urged members of the National Assembly to support revenue generation by. enadlng laws that encouraged Inveslmenl flows that could broaden the taK base; and charging its committee of finance "to vet aU rlSCal components of an bills and liaise with relevant agencies for effective coordi nation of policy and legislation, among others." Meanwhile, olncialsof the Ugos Sta te Board of Inland Revenue, on Wednesday, sealed the corporate headquarters o f Air Nigerill for a lleged[y owing the tax board an unspecified amount ru nning into several millions

of l\ll\ra. Worker5, who spoke in confidence to ou r conopondent, said the officials 5tormed the Biebel's Place in Ikeja Lagos, with ~el"l1l armed mobile policemen a nd evided a U Ine ....'Ofken from the 5th and 9th floors Eye wilnesses said that the policemen came in two trucks, but II was learnt that the mlltter was resolved after a couple of hours. The Ghairman, Air Nigeria, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, confirmed to journalists that the maUer had been 1e501ved He admitted tMI the officials visited the olna! over lax i!ITTears.

Nigeria

SIM card registration : NCC may penalise Globacom Eve ru t Amae fuJ e T HE Nigerian Commu ni cations Commission has issued a notice to penlliisf: Globacom UmitedforseJlingSubscriber Identification Module Cards that have been rult y activated A statement issued by the Head of Media at the reg\Jlatory agency, Mr. Reuben Muoka, in Abuja,

on Wednesday, said that the NCC also issued another notice to penalise Globacom for contravening the slAndards for masts erection. "The NCC has issued two notices of sanctions to G[obacom Umlted over non,compliance with the Direction on Ban of Sales of fully..adivatednewS [M carcis to the Distribution Channels, and non-compllance Vlith the guidelines on Technical

'FG to provide N200bn ph armaceuti ca l inte rve ntion fund' HE Directo r-General, T NlItionlll Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Dr. Paul Orhn. has said th at the Federal Government plans 10 provide a N200bn interven tion fu nd for pharmaceutical firlT15 in the country. Making the announcement in Sakato a t ill one-day stakeholders meeting, he said the gesture .....as aimed at empoo.wnng Ihe local pharmaceutical firms to produa! d rugs in Ime with g[obal standards. Besides, he said it would also position the firms to altain cert ification by the World Heal th Organisation.

Ibrahim, hoI.loever, said that the tax arrears in question were those the airline owed when the Chairman of Virgin Grou p, Sir Richard Branson, was the owner of Virgin Nigeria . The Managing Director, Lagos Stale Board o f Inland Revenue, MI Tunde Fo.....Ier, said, "We had previously discussed with them and they still did not pay outstanding laxes, which re5uUed in the closure of their office. "Today, we had more discussions and AlrNigetia is going to forward a payment plan for the outstanding tClJle!, and based on this. we have reopened them for business ~

0/

that the time had come for Nigeria to close the missing link between what srudents were taught in the classrooms and what was required by the industry and the labour market. He decried the situation where graduates of colleges of tech nology and tE'(:hnical Institutes were re -trained fo r several years before they could meet the expectations o f the manuf1)Cturing subsecto r. He urged the current administration to use a largershareo fthe Education Trust Fund to improve tech nical education in the country. He also urged stakeholders to discuss the national vocational framevJOrk so as to certify those wi th requisite skills that would imnrove the '" technical skills of students for the labour market. "I also urge the Federal Gove:rnment 10 collaborate wi th relevant professional bodies, like the lCAN, h d to improve o n t e stu y o f technical vocatio nal education and training in Ihe country, ~ he said.

"Only South Africa, Morocco and Uganda currently have firms that lire WHO路certified. This i'5 the ugly development we wa nt to change. We recently met with the Plesiden t, and he Is stlOngly com mitted to releasing the fund to en hance the production of drugs. as we now consu me more than 70 per cent imported drugs, ~ Orhii said He SlIid. with the development, Nigerill would become se[f路sufncient In drug! prodUdion and would be a net elCporter of the produw. "Nigeria wi!! also male more than 250,000

addilionllljobs,apMIfromtlle multiplier economic impad of the prosperity of the 10Cl11 pharmaceutical firm s. Unles'J the local Plodudion of drugs Is bolstered, the figh t against the consu mption of fake and counterfel1ed drugs will not totally succeed:' he &deled. Orhii reiterated the resolve of officials of the. llgency to continue with the drugs war, in spill" of the odds confrohting them. "We are sustaining the tempo of in ter-agency collaboration as "'eli as cooperation international 10 ensule the success of the drugs war,路 he added.

Specifications for lnstallaoon of Masts and Towers," Mouka said In the case of activated SIM calds. he said that, on February 14, 2011 , compliance monitoring leperts received fro m p(lIt Harcourt. l!)adan, Enugu. Abuja and other Ioc.ations indicated that Globacom SIM cards were fully active. con~ng th:"O=en: Globacom and a directive to fully comply by February 17, the comPllny failed to comply, the NCC spokesman said. 1be commission said that further comp[illnce Indicaled monitoring that G[obacom was In contrl!lVe ntion of the Direction on the Ban on Saie! of Fully Activated SIM cards in ArnImbra, Borne. KanCl, Katsina and Plateau states as Its S[M cards purchased in April 2011 in these stales were fully activated. II said calls were made, unrestricted. from the new SIM cards. TIle commission, thereby. issued a nolice o f sanction on G[obacom, having faited to co mply with the said

direction in accordance with the provisioru of Section 55 of the Nigerian Act CommuniCllhons 200.3. and the Nigerian Commun i cations (Enforcements Processes) Regulation 2005. According to Muoka. the liability of the offence is the payment of a penalty in the sum of N5m within seven days from the date of the notice and the PlIyment of an addilionlll sum of N500,OOO "every additional day as long as the contravention persists." When our correspondenr contaded the corporate department of affairs Globacom, on Wednesday. the offidllls declined to comment on the issue. Meanwhile, the Managing Director, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria, Mr. Mohammed Rudman, has urged In ternet u!en to disregard speculations that Internet 5ervices would crash on Wednesday (yesterdllY). Rudma n told the News Agency of Nigeria that what was happening was mere trllnsiUon of content to the new IP address system.


THE PUNCH, 09 JUNE, 2011