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We’ve taken steps to check insecurity on highways – I-G



Kayode Egbetokun

(Photo: L-R CP Idowu Owohunwa of Lagos Command, DIG Abiodun Alabi, Mrs Joe Okei-Odumakin, Acting I-G Kayode Egbetokun, and Mr Olumide Akpata during Complainants Response Unit inauguration at Lagos State Police Command Headquarters, Ikeja, on Wednesday)

The Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr Kayode Egbetokun, says the force has taken steps to check insecurity on highways, particularly Abuja-Kaduna Highway.

Egbetokun disclosed this during his first official to Lagos State Police Command on Wednesday where he inaugurated some projects, including Complainants Response Unit (CRU).

“Since I came into office, we have taken steps to do a number of things to ensure crime is reduced to the barest minimum and security restored to troubled areas.

” On the Abuja-Kaduna Road you are talking about, we have taken necessary steps to rid it of criminal elements that were terrorising motorists.


” Very soon, you are going to be seeing results. We are embarking on establishment of a Special Intervention Squad (SIS). We have started mobilisation to make success of it,” he said.

Egbetokun said the SIS would soon become operational in the states that had been chosen as pilot areas.

On police welfare, he said he had President Bola Tinubu’s assurance that efforts were underway to improve the welfare of police officers and men.

On when the police would have a vibrant forensic department to detect criminals, Egbetokun said: “We are going to take these things one after the other.

“Today, we have launched the CRU aimed at promoting transparency in the police.


“We want to build confidence in the members of the public. We want to enhance police/ community collaboration, and the CRU is needed to achieve all of these.

“At least, now, members of the public who have complaints against the police have a place to lodge their complaints.”

Egbetokun assured Nigerians that the force would make the CRU functional in all the states of the federation.

“Lagos State has started. We just inaugurated that one today. We inspected the facilities and they are excellent.

“Officers that would be deployed to man the CRU will be carefully selected – officers with impeccable integrity.


“They will be well motivated, with opportunities for training overseas, if necessary,” he said.

At the event, Mr Femi Falana (SAN) warned the officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force against torture and illegal detention of suspects.

Falana said that under the Police Act, 2020, the officers and men would be held responsible and prosecuted for illegal detention.

Falana, however, assured the officers and men of free legal services should they have need of it.

He promised to build CRU in four states.


A former President of the Nigeria Bar Association and one of those that built the CRU in Lagos, Mr Olumide Akpata, promised to do same in Edo and Delta states.

He expressed optimism that the unit would enhance better relationship between the police and the public.


WHO releases $16m to tackle cholera, says Director-General



The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies to tackle cholera.

Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said this during an online news conference.

Ghebreyesus said that the organisation was providing essential supplies, coordinating the on the ground response with partners, supporting countries to detect, prevent and treat cholera, and informing people how to protect themselves.

“To support this work, we have appealed for 160 million dollars, and we have released more than 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies.

“But the real solution to cholera lies in ensuring everyone has access to safe water and sanitation, which is an internationally recognized human right,” he said.


According to him, in the previous week, WHO published new data showing that cases reported in 2022 were more than double those in 2021.

He said that the preliminary data for 2023 suggested was likely to be even worse.

“So far, 28 countries have reported cases in 2023 compared with 16 during the same period in 2022.

“The countries with the most concerning outbreaks right now are Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq and Sudan.

“Significant progress has been made in countries in Southern Africa, including Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but these countries remain at risk as the rainy season approaches,” Ghebreyesus said.


According to him, the worst affected countries and communities are poor, without access to safe drinking water or toilets.

He said that they also face shortages of oral cholera vaccine and other supplies, as well as overstretched health workers, who are dealing with multiple disease outbreaks and other health emergencies.

On COVID-19, Ghebreyesus said that as the northern hemisphere winter approaches, the organisation continued to see concerning trends.

He said that among the relatively few countries that report them, both hospitalisations and ICU admissions have increased in the past 28 days, particularly in the Americas and Europe.

WHO boss said that meanwhile, vaccination levels among the most at-risk groups remained worryingly low.


“Two-thirds of the world’s population has received a complete primary series, but only one-third has received an additional, or “booster” dose.

“COVID-19 may no longer be the acute crisis it was two years ago, but that does not mean we can ignore it,” he said.

According to him, countries invested so much in building their systems to respond to COVID-19.

He urged countries to sustain those systems, to ensure people can be protected, tested and treated for COVID-19 and other infectious threats.

“That means sustaining systems for collaborative surveillance, community protection, safe and scalable care, access to countermeasures and coordination,” he said.

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FG targets wealthy Nigerians in new tax drive



The Federal Government is planning to overhaul the nation’s tax system to shift more of the burden to wealthy citizens while cutting corporate taxes.

The move — part of President Bola Tinubu’s reforms to overhaul the beleaguered economy – aims to lift the country’s tax take to 18 per cent of Gross Domestic Product within three years from 11 per cent now, according to a Bloomberg report.

A tax amnesty to encourage compliance is also under consideration.

The plan is to make “the rich pay what is fair and those who are too poor can be protected,” said Taiwo Oyedele, who is leading a panel appointed by Tinubu to drive the changes.

“We also envisage a reduction in the corporate income tax rate,” to below the current effective rate of more than 40 per cent to help boost business, he told Bloomberg in a recent interview. The new rate should be benchmarked against Nigeria’s peers, he said.


In Africa’s most populous nation, where a tiny minority enjoy vast wealth while two thirds of its 200 million people live in extreme poverty, the numbers suggest widespread tax evasion.

Nigeria’s tax revenue as a share of GDP is a third of the 34 per cent average for members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Among four million registered firms, less than 250,000 actively pay tax, while fewer than a quarter of the 41 million registered people pay income tax, Oyedele said.

The country’s tax system is bedeviled by overlapping local, state and federal jurisdictions, which helps the wealthy to slip through the cracks. The high number of different taxes, which he put at almost 70, also adds to complexity.

“We will find a way to create structures and systems around what taxes can be imposed, how it can be collected, who can collect it and how it should be accounted for,” he said. The goal is to slash the number of taxes down to single digits.


“We just identified the top eight giving us 99% of the taxes, so we keep them and the rest we get rid of,” he said.

Boosting tax collection is vital for a country which, despite its immense oil wealth, has had to borrow heavily to fill the gap between government spending and the revenue shortfall.

Since 2015, the nation’s public debt has increased almost eight-fold to 87.4 trillion naira ($112.6 billion), according to the debt management agency. Servicing those obligations consumed 96% of government revenue in 2022.

A tax amnesty will be introduced to provide a relief on old debts and prepare the mind of the people to meet future obligations.

“If people know that government knows their income, where they are; if they haven’t been paying their taxes, if we declare an amnesty they will show up,” he said.

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