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FG increases VAT rate to 7.2%

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COVID-19: Nigerian govt raises alarm over fraudulent Ransomware app'

The federal executive council (FEC) has approved an increase in value added tax (VAT) rate from 5% to 7.2%.

Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, disclosed this to state house correspondents at the end of the cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

However, this is subject to an amendment of the VAT act of 1994 by the national assembly.

In 2007, former president Olusegun Obasanjo increased VAT to 10% on the eve of his departure from office but it was reversed by his successor, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, following opposition from labour.

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COVID-19: Our branches are open nationwide – FirstBank

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COVID-19: Our branches are open nationwide – FirstBank

First Bank of Nigeria Limited has said that all its branches across Nigeria are open to customers despite the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the nation.

The lender in a statement by its Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, and made available to THE WITNESS on Saturday, however disclosed that it will run skeletal operations in some of its branches following the state government directives.

“Following the directives for partial lockdown in several states across the country, we will be offering skeletal services in some of our branches across the nation.

“These branches will be open from 9:00am to 2:00pm, Monday to Friday. We have implemented all necessary health and safety measures across these branches to keep you safe at all our locations.

“For the list of branches, please go to https://www.firstbanknigeria.com/list-of-open-branches-nationwide/

“Our alternative channels are available for you 24/7 during this period.

“Thank you for your understanding at this period as we continue to work to put You First,” the statement said.

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COVID-19: NNPC, 33 partners donate $30m to Nigerian govt

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COVID-19: NNPC, 33 partners donate $30m to Nigerian govt

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, with 33 partners have donated 30 million dollars to support the federal government’s efforts at curbing the spread of Coronavirus also known as COVID-19.

The Group Managing Director of the Corporation, Mele Kyari, made this known during a Live Streaming news conference, in Abuja, on Friday.

“In recognition of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian population and economy, the Nigeria oil and gas industry under the leadership of the NNPC GMD Mele Kyari has embarked on an industry- wide collaborative intervention initiative to combat the pandemic and its attendant impact.

“The intervention initiative is in alignment with the ongoing Federal Government’s efforts and in collaboration with the NCDC to curb the pandemic.

“It is aimed at supporting our national healthcare delivery facilities and cover three key thematic areas,” he said.

The three thematic areas he said are provision of medical consumables, deployment of logistic and in-patient support system and delivery of medical infrastructure.

” The three thematic support initiatives amount to a total of 30 million dollars and will be delivered in phases starting from March 27.

He added that to address the increasing demand for medical services the sector would immediately provide medical consumables covering test kits, medical protective suits and ambulances to impacted areas.

“This will be followed in the next few days with deployment of ventilators, beds and temporary intensive care facilities across the geopolitical zones of the federation.
“As a responsive and responsible industry, we are taking this action to strengthen our collective national resolve in combating this pandemic and its dreadful impact,” he added.

Kyari said that the 33 partners who contributed to the intervention are drawn from the upstream sector and the companies drawn from oil producers trade section and the Independent Petroleum Producers Group.

He named some of the companies to include Shell Group of Companies, EXXONMOBIL GROUP, Total Group, Chevron Group, ENi Group,ADDAX Petroleum and Aiteo Eastern Exploration.

Others are AMNI International Petroleum Company, Dansaki Petroleum Development, Eroton Exploration and Production Company among many others.

In the downstream sector, he said that DAPPMA donated N120 million for the provision of 36 ventilators and 1,500 medical overalls while MRS donated 2,000 test kits, 1,000 medical overalls and 100 million Naira for ambulances.

“Matrix Energy provided N360 million for necessary medical equipment, Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) 50 ventilators and OVH 200 ambulances for use.

“Also, Eyrie Oil donated 1500 medical overalls and lab equipment for one diagonistic centre, WIEN, test kits and Lab equipment, BONO, MOCOH, LEVENE oil donated N18 million each,” he said.

Mr Kyari noted that health and safety of Nigerians remained paramount to the oil and gas sector noting that the sector was still open for more interventions from all partners.

NAN

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Fidelity Bank staff tests positive for COVID-19

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Fidelity Bank staff tests positive for COVID-19

Fidelity Bank says one of its staff who returned from a holiday in the United Kingdom has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

In a statement released on Tuesday, the bank said the individual has embarked on self-isolation upon his arrival in the country in line with its policy that mandates staff/family members who have travelled overseas in recent time to self isolate for 14 days and test for the virus before returning to work.

Fidelity Bank mandates staff or immediate family member(s) who travel out the country to self-isolate for two weeks and obtain medical clearance before returning to work as part of our COVID-19 preventive and precautionary measures,” the statement signed by Charles Aigbe, the bank’s divisional head for brand and communications, read.

“This process was activated and strictly adhered to by one of our staff members who returned from holidays in the United Kingdom.

“He was in self-isolation and underwent testing in line with the bank’s policy. The test results returned positive at the weekend and we quickly arranged for him to be moved to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), where he is currently being attended to by health officials.”

According to the bank, two other members of staff who received gifts from the individual have also been made to self-isolate and the office where they work has been temporarily closed.

The bank said no customers were identified in the contact tracing that was carried out.

Also, the bank said it has shut down its business office at the federal secretariat in Abuja and advised all staff/vendors to self-isolate and go for testing in line with its policy on COVID-19, on account of possible exposure of a vendor staff.

The bank said it is carrying out other measures like reducing the number of staff expected to report physically at work and number of customers allowed at a time in the banking hall to a maximum of five to curb the spread of the virus.

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