Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has explained why road construction was suspended during the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19 across the country.
Speaking with Funmi Iyanda on a Public Live interview on Friday, Mr. Fashola said the lockdown made production and transportation of materials needed for construction impossible.
“Most of the materials used to construct the road like rocks and laterites in Lagos for example come from Ogun State. So, if there is a lockdown at the boundaries, how do you move them?
“This is apart from the process of mining and blasting rocks in an environment that requires people to work and lift things together while complying with current rules and guidelines of social distancing.
“These were why work stopped,” the former governor of Lagos said.
With the government implementing a gradual and phased easing of lockdown, Fashola said the Federal Government and state governments have approved that 11 contractors who are executing 53 projects, across 26 states should start work.
“They are all remobilising back to site, but we are doing it under very stringent guidelines about how they would work and feed at the site because they cannot share utensils anymore.
“This a logistic challenge that nobody has a rulebook for, nobody prepared for this, so, we are adapting and moving as we go on.”
Before the lockdown, Fashola said his ministry had inspected all federal road projects across the country.
“We have over 600 road projects nationwide. There is no state in Nigeria where we are not executing a road project,” the minister added.
Recognizing inadequate accommodation as a prevalent across the world, said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is committed to providing affordable housing for Nigerians.
Also speaking with Ms. Iyanda, chairman of the Federal Government advisory committee on the impact of coronavirus on the creative industry, Ali Baba, said it “a fact-finding committee.”
He urged the public to not assume it is a palliative distribution committee for the creative sector.
“Maybe there will be a committee set up to hand out palliatives, but we are just a data collection committee,” he said.
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Fitbit products are now available in Nigeria with Jumia
Fitbitt (NYSE: FIT), the global brand in wearable technology, is now available in Nigeria on Africa’s leading eCommerce platform, Jumia (NYSE : JMIA), in partnership with Redington Gulf.
Fitbit devices and services help people lead healthier, more active lives and this has never been more important than it is today. By empowering users with data, inspiration and guidance Fitbit is helping them reach their physical and mental health, and fitness goals. Its innovative products are sold at a wide range of accessible price points in nearly 39,000 retail stores across more than 100 countries worldwide.
“We are seeing increasing consumer demand for wearable technology on our platform, and bringing Fitbit products to our customers in Nigeria is an important step for us to address this demand and help Fitbit expand its reach across the country. Jumia delivers a seamless online shopping experience for consumers and from our platform with a dedicated official store on Jumia.” said Sandeep Narayanan, Head of Consumer Electronics, Jumia Group.
Fitbit supports healthier living
Fitbit is committed to inspiring those who want to lead a healthier and more active life through its range of innovative smartwatches and trackers that are compatible with most Android and iOS platforms, including Fitbit Versa 3 , Fitbit Versa 2, Fitbit Charge 4, Fitbit Inspire 2 and Fitbit Ace 2 (see www.fitbit.com/devices for more information).
Fitbit gives users a deeper understanding of their health with smart features such as 24/7 heart rate tracking, on-device sleep tools to help optimize your sleep, Active Zone Minutes to make the most out of workouts and help manage stress with guided breathing programmes.
Users in Nigeria can also benefit from purchasing a membership to Fitbit Premium, which when paired with any Fitbit device, your Fitbit experience through a deeper analysis of your data and more personalized insights that connect the dots across your activity, sleep and heart rate, while offering hundreds of workouts, motivating games and challenges. Users new to Fitbit Premium can benefit from the 90-day free trial through the Fitbit App.
Fitbit Health Solutions will also be offering corporate product discounts to local businesses through Fitbit’s distributor Redington Gulf.
LIRS URGES EMPLOYERS OF LABOUR TO FILE ANNUAL TAX RETURNS ON OR BEFORE JANUARY 31 DEADLINE
In line with the Personal Income Tax Act (PITA) Cap P8 LFN 2011 (as amended), The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) urges all employers of labour in Lagos State to file their Company’s Annual Tax Returns on or before the statutory deadline of January 31, 2021 to avoid penalties.
The Agency’s eTax platform, launched in October, 2019 gives taxpayers the opportunity to comply with all COVID-19 protocols, by filing their tax returns from the comfort of their offices or homes. In addition, all digital platforms and tax portals are available for taxpayers’ use and convenience.
The Annual Tax Returns, which show each employee’s emoluments and tax paid in year 2020, are to be filed via LIRS online portals only, as manual filing is no longer acceptable. Tax assessments, payments and other tax administration matters can also be carried out on the same platforms. The LIRS customer care hotline: 0700 CALL LIRS (0700-2255-5477), website: www.lirs.gov.ng, chat rooms and the various social media platforms @lirsgovng are available for enquiries.
The Executive Chairman of LIRS, Mr. Ayodele Subair, stated that in the face of the prevailing realities of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on businesses, penalties and fines may be an additional burden on companies’ finances, and therefore urges all employers of labour to file their returns within the period stipulated by law. The essence of the ongoing media campaign and numerous reminders and appeals to companies on this statutory obligation, is to ensure they file early, to avoid sanctions.
The steps to file are available on all our communication channels, however, taxpayers with difficulties filing are also welcome to seek assistance with specially designated staff at our tax stations.
We have made the process simple, quick, secure and reliable for our esteemed taxpayers. We are also available on various digital platforms to assist taxpayers on the process of e-filing.
The LIRS urges all Lagos State residents and businesses to stay safe and obey all Covid-19 guidelines as stipulated by the relevant health authorities and the Lagos State Government
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