For championing what it termed the biggest reform in any regulatory agency in Nigeria, Dr Dakuku Peterside has emerged as the Champion newspapers Best Agency Manager of the Year 2019.
Dr. Peterside, who is the immediate past Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) was selected by readers and the editorial board of Champion newspapers, following his outstanding achievements that placed Nigeria on a high pedestal in the maritime world and for restoring fiscal sanity in the once-troubled Agency.
At a well-attended ceremony in Lagos, Champion newspapers described Dr. Peterside as a rare breed, integrity personified and a reformer, whose impact will be felt for a long time to come.
Managing Director and Editor in Chief of Champion newspapers, Dr (Mrs.) Nwadiuto Iheakanwa, who alongside her husband, presented the award to Peterside described him as a beacon of hope for Nigeria.
While disclosing that he was selected from a shortlist of five public servants, the media house stated that Peterside wrought out the transformation from an agency known as cesspool of corruption to a respectable one, contributing to national development that commanded international respect.
It further acknowledged that the Rivers-born technocrat brought reforms never seen before in the nation’s history to the maritime sector and restored integrity in public service.
Of particular milestone is the emergence of Nigeria as the first country in West and Central Africa to have a distinct Anti-Piracy Law, in addition to being the number one country in the West and Central Africa in Port State Control.
Also, under his watch, Nigeria became the first country in Africa to have Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) fund approved by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Twice elected as the chairman of Association of African Maritime Administrations, the Champion newspapers acknowledged a record of more than 205 presentations across thirty-five countries where Peterside spoke on issues, topics and developments in oil and gas, maritime and security in the Gulf of Guinea.
Expressing surprise at being named Nigeria’s best Public Agency Manager of the Year for 2019, Peterside dedicated the award to the board, management and staff of NIMASA, who he said worked tirelessly to give Nigeria a positive image worldwide.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for giving him the opportunity to serve Nigeria at such a critical period, adding that he was sure his successor would achieve even more milestones.
Other awardees include Sir (Dr.) Dan Chukwudozie (philanthropist of the year), Universal insurance PLC (Insurance company of the year), Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu state (Governor of the year), Governor Ben Ayade (Governor of the year), Kayode Falowo of Greenwich Trust Ltd, Asabe Shehu Yar’adua of Asabe Yar’adua Foundation (CSO of the year), GIG as logistics company of the year and Sovereign Trust Insurance as Insurance Company of the year.
Also on the awardees list are Senator Annie Okonkwo; Globacom as the brand of the year, SEPLAT as oil & gas company of the year, Fidelity Bank as 2019 Bank of the year, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu, MD of Zenith bank as the banker of the year, Wichtech industries ltd as the outstanding brand of the year, Allen Onyema of Air Peace airlines as airline of the year and Dr (Mrs.) Nneka Nwobbi as Champion Heart of Gold.
COVID19: Lagos govt confirms 119th case as national total reaches 224
Six new cases confirmed by the Lagos State Government on Sunday has raised the number of Coronavirus infections in the state to 119.
The Commissioner of Health in the state, Akin Abayomi disclosed on his verified Twitter handle that that 24 patients have so far been discharged, following their recovery from the disease.
In a series of tweets, the commissioner wrote: “Update as at 11.20a.m, 5th April, 2020. Six cases of COVID-19 confirmed, bringing total confirmed cases to 119.
“A COVID-19 patient was discharged on 4th April, 2020. The numbers of COVID-19 patients who have fully recovered and discharged are now 24.”
Recall that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had confirmed ten new cases of coronavirus on Sunday.
The new cases were recorded in Lagos, Abuja and Edo thereby bringing the total number to 224.
COVID19: TJ&GP urges Govt to target vulnerable groups with palliative measures, improve on accountability
Tax Justice and Governance Platform, a not-for-profit network facilitating universal fair tax justice and good governance in Nigeria has called on governments and stakeholders involved in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to “pay serious attention and take actions that will directly impact the wellbeing and aspirations of vulnerable, marginalized, excluded and under-served members of our communities.”
“Following the Coronavirus pandemic, the Central Bank of Nigeria earmarked N100billion to enable the country prepare for the worst. Before now, the Lagos State government had requested for financial support to combat and contain the spread of the virus in Lagos, following similar requests by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). The President has already approved the sum of N10 billion which was released within two days of the request to the Lagos State government and N5billion to the NCDC respectively. In the same vein, philanthropists, artists and development agencies are set to support the fight in the country, to ensure that these funds are accounted for and used judiciously”, the statement added.
The group in the release sent to FR News said: “ we would appreciate measures that directly target the poor, people living with disabilities, informal sector, unemployed, underemployed, small businesses and start-ups, especially legitimate taxpayers.”
The statement continued thus:
The network is calling on the government to improve on its accountability measures to the citizens, to monitor, drive conversation to spark actions and advocate for a transparent and
inclusive approach of concerned stakeholders and private sector groups and individuals to make public all funds released for the fight against COVID-19 and its implementation plans. Government will therefore be expected to provide all these details in the public domain using available technological tools and media platform.
Instructively, after due consultations with our members, partners, stakeholders and the public, we make the following suggestions in the interest of Nigerians as our contribution to stemming the tide of the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria and alleviating the sufferings of the people.
Our suggestions are as follows:
1. Governments at all levels should increase accountability and transparency measures in its COVID-19 Intervention funds utilization.
2. Put in place monitoring mechanisms towards ensuring that funds meant for the Covid-19 intervention are accounted for and used judiciously.
3. Promote equal and improved health care interventions for all victims of COVID-19.
4. Improved space for citizen’s participation in the intervention in demanding for transparency and accountability in the health sector towards reducing inequality experienced in that sector.
5. Improved response of Government at all levels towards equitable distribution of relief materials to citizens especially at rural and semi-urban households.
6. The inclusion of civil society actors in the various COVID-19 task forces across board to strengthen transparency, accountability and diversity in the process.
7. The decentralization of the task forces to meet geopolitical needs and deal with specific challenges.
8. The issuance of a circular from the FIRS/JTB to officially extend the date of returns and waive all penalties on late filing of VAT, PIT/PAYE, WHT, CIT and CGT.
9. The suspension of all consumption taxes by the JTB in conjunction with state governments and compliance by collecting agents, accordingly.
10. Stipulation of a specific timeline for the commencement of the palliative measures as “in the coming weeks” is not good enough and will not allow for effective monitoring and measuring of impact.
11. Provision of more proactive, practical and measurable steps or actions using data and info graphics to communicate to the people at both the national and subnational levels.
12. The downward review of VAT or a suspension of its implementation to reflect present realities, especially for small businesses.
13. Granting of tax holidays to the vulnerable and downward review of all taxes to reflect present realities as seen in other progressive climes.
14. Government is encouraged to consider paying stipends to workers, registered small businesses and individuals with valid accounts for this period.
15. The Nigeria people are more than ever encouraged to support efforts by governments at all levels to mitigate this unfortunate situation by complying with directives and staying at home as long as it is, necessary.
16. Subnational governments should sincerely put precautionary measures in place in the event the pandemic finds its way to their states.
Conclusively, no time can be better than now to demonstrate solidarity, charity and empathy in society as we struggle together to overcome this scourge.