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Published On: Mon, Jul 3rd, 2017

Ecobank Partners Lagos State Government on Green Environment Initiative; Plants 500 Trees on Victoria Island

Ecobank Nigeria Limited has initiated the planting of 500 coconut tree seedlings on Victoria Island being part of the Lagos State greener, healthier and sustainable environment campaign targeted at planting at least 10 million trees by the year 2020 within the state. The Lagos State Government had in 2008 commenced tree planting campaign programme state wide; this being the cheapest means to mitigate the negative effects of excess greenhouse gases from the atmosphere thereby alleviating the impact of climate change within the environment.
The Ecobank campaign which stretched through the Ahmadu Bello Way on Victoria Island terminated at the Bar Beach / Eko Atlantic City end of the road. The Managing Director of the Bank, Charles Kie, who led the bank’s team, started the exercise by planting the first coconut tree demonstrating the symbolic kick off of the tree planting campaign.
In his comment, Mr Charles Kie commended Lagos State government for recognizing Ecobank as an environment friendly Bank, stressing that, the Bank will continue to partner government and non-governmental organizations to protect the environment. “Our support to Lagos State government in this tree planting initiative is in line with our business mantra and is one of the ways to exhibit our visible, vibrant and enduring CSR to mitigate the potential adverse effects of climate change. This also enables us support the far- reaching consequence of creating and providing an aesthetic environment for Lagos and its people.”
Also speaking, the General Manger, Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK), Mrs. Abimbola Jijoho-Ogun, said Ecobank’s commitment to supporting initiatives that promote protection and preservation of natural environment was laudable, stressing that, partnership with the Bank has ensured a greener and healthier state. According to her, “It is in appreciation of the your sponsorship of 2016 Tree planting program that we decided to perform a ceremonial corporate planting of 500 coconut tree seedling in the name of the Ecobank- the Pan African bank.”
She was optimistic that with the support of corporate organisations such as Ecobank, the Lagos State Government would attain its target of planting 10 million trees by the year 2020.
FG to publish names of tax defaulters
The Federal Government is to publish names of tax defaulters with effect from March 31, 2018.
Speaking in Abuja on Thursday during the unveiling of Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo explained that VAIDS will be operated from July 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018 to give opportunity to tax defaulters to regularise their tax affairs.
Osinbajo who also signed executive order to support the scheme, said those who have diverted Nigeria’s legitimate tax revenues abroad or concealed them at home should face the full force of the law.
According to him only 214 Nigerians located in Lagos State are paying taxes of N20 million and above annually.
He also said that about 914 Nigerians, all located in Lagos State except two in Ogun State, pay taxes of N10 million and above annually.
Osinbajo said government is committed to tax revenue accountability, adding that tax revenues would be a driver of real lasting progress in the country.
Explaining further, the Acting President said:”The issue of accountability in tax revenue is one that this government is fully ready and able to address. In our war on waste and inefficiency at all levels we have positioned ourselves to ensure that tax revenues will be a driver of real lasting progress.
“Based on information on tax evasion that is now available, our personal preference is that those who have diverted Nigeria’s legitimate tax revenues abroad or concealed them at home, should taste the full force of the law. However, the extent of noncompliance coupled with the urgent need to revive the economy has persuaded all of our policy makers that we adopt the pragmatic approach of declaring a time limited programme of the VAIDS.
“VAIDS will be operated from July 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018. It will be supported by an executive order that I will sign into law today. VAIDS will offer a once in a lifetime opportunity to those in default to regularise their tax affairs.”

“This is an offer in the spirit of national reconciliation and rebuilding and must be taken as such. In addition because we understand that those some tax payers may have challenges raising tax, we have built in a system that will allow those owing to pay over a period of time subject to conditions.
“Upon expiry of the scheme we will consider those who have failed to take advantage of this offer or who have declared falsely, to be wilful tax defaulters and economic saboteurs.
“We will then proceed with aggressive investigation with a view to criminal prosecution. We will also publish a tax defaulters list to name and shame those refusing to do the right thing.”

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