Saraki Denies Role in Offa Robbery as Police Invite Him:
The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has denied having any link with the armed robbers that attacked banks and a police station in Offa, Kwara State, saying the plot to link him with the armed robbery suspects was concocted by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris to embarrass him.
“Let it be known that there is no way I could have been associated with armed robbery against my people. When the Offa robbery incident happened, I was the first top public official to pay a visit to the place and right there in the palace of the traditional ruler, I put a call through to this same Mr. Ibrahim Idris, the IGP, requesting him to make certain specific security arrangements as demanded by the people,” he said.
“This plot is concocted to embarrass me and, in the mind of the IGP, it is his own response after his refusal to honour the invitation by the National Assembly, headed by me, for him to come and offer explanations on the rampant killings and violence across the country. Like the earlier one, this frame-up will also fail as I hereby state categorically that I have no link with any band of criminals,” Saraki added.
FG Begins Implementation of New Tariffs on Alcohol, Cigarettes Today:
The amendment came after TheCable had reported that Adeosun had written to the president seeking approval for the excise review.
Adeosun had said the reviews would be from 2018 to 2020 and was to raise the government’s fiscal revenues.
She also said it would reduce the health hazards associated with tobacco-related diseases and alcohol abuse.
A statement from her ministry had said: “The Tariff Technical Committee (TCC) recommended the slight adjustment in the excise duty charges after cautious considerations of the government’s fiscal policy measures for 2018 and the reports of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund Technical Assistance Mission on Nigeria’s fiscal policy.
The minister had said under the new rates for tobacco, in addition to the 20 per cent ad-valorem rate, each stick of cigarette will attract one naira specific rate.
She said by 2019, tobacco would attract two naira specific rate per stick while it will attract N2.90 kobo specific rate per stick by 2020.
Under the review, beer and stout will attract 0.30k per centilitre (Cl) in 2018 and 0.35k per Cl each in 2019 and 2020.
Wines will attract N1.25k per Cl in 2018 and N1.50k per Cl each in 2019 and 2020; while N1.50k per Cl was approved for spirits in 2018, N1.75k per Cl in 2019 and N2 per Cl in 2020.
The Business Renaissance Group had at a press conference in Abuja on April 17, 2018 condemned the hike as insensitive, draconic and that done without consulting the critical stakeholders. It averred that the hike has the potential to create loss of revenue by government, mass sack of Nigerians working in the beverage and tobacco industries, dumping of cheap imports as well as likely health challenges occasioned by the resort to cheap and unhealthy wines and spirits by those who will not be able to afford the likely price increase which the hike in tariff will necessitate.