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Serie A: Troost-Ekong fired up for Juventus test



William Troost-Ekong will face his biggest test since linking up with Salernitana when the Garnets host Juventus at the Stadio Arechi, Salerno on Tuesday night.

Troost-Ekong made the switch to Salernitana from Sky Bet Championship club, Watford last month.

The centre-back enjoyed a winning start to his time at the club, starring in the 2-1 win at Leece last week.

It was Davide Nicola’s side’s first win in Serie A since last November.

Troost-Ekong is expected to play a key role against the highly-experienced Juventus attackers.

Salernitana currently occupy 16th position on the Serie A table with 21 points from 20 games.

A win against the Old Lady will no doubt boost survival hopes.


At London meeting, FIRS Chairman calls for capacity building among CATA members



President of the Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators (CATA) and chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Zacch Adedeji, has called for increased capacity building to enhance tax administration processes among members of the global body.

Adedeji, according to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Dare Adekanmbi, made the call on Wednesday in his remarks at the opening of CATA management meeting held at Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London.

He explained that expanding the capacity of tax personnel of CATA member countries would empower them to deal with the challenges that have negatively impacted the tax administration landscape globally.

The management meeting had in attendance tax administrators from the United Kingdom (His Majesty Revenue and Custom), Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Barbados, Papua New Guinea, Ghana, Lesotho, Maldives, Uganda, Mauritius, Nigeria and others.

The CATA president, who also called for further adoption of technology in improving tax processes, however noted that rapid advancement in tax technology presents both opportunities and threats.

“Furthermore, the rapid advancement in tax technology and digitisation has presented both opportunities and challenges for tax administrators worldwide.

“The discussions surrounding pillars one and two of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have the potential to redefine international tax rules.

“Additionally, the landmark tax convention resolution at the United Nations (UN) Assembly has underscored the importance of international cooperation and inclusivity of all in addressing tax challenges.

“In light of these developments, it has become increasingly evident that the need for improved and more comprehensive capacity building for CATA members is paramount.

“It is imperative that we equip ourselves with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand these evolving discussions and contribute to the formulation of transparent and beneficial rules for our respective jurisdictions.

“Moreover, we must be prepared to effectively implement these rules once they are concluded, in order to ensure their successful integration into our tax administration frameworks and maximise the benefit they will bring,” he said.

OECD pillars one and two deal with how to expand tax revenue annually based on the profit thresholds of companies that do not operate physically in countries but make sales from such countries through digital platforms or other means.

The CATA president commended the management committee and members who have agreed to host the body’s programmes in 2024, describing such commitment as a testament of the devotion to the success of the association’s strategic plan.

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Minister urges stakeholders to unite in advancing frontiers of N’Delta devt



Minister of State, Petroleum Resources (Gas), Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, has called on Governors and Ministers from the Niger Delta region, as well as government agencies, International Oil Companies (IOCs), development partners and other critical stakeholders to join hands with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in fast-tracking  the development of the region.

Ekpo made the call in a speech delivered at the 6th Meeting of the National Council on Niger Delta (NCND), with the theme: “Stimulating Strategies for Economic Growth and Development in the Niger Delta Region,” held yesterday at Unity Hall, Government House Complex, Asaba, Delta State.

A statement by Ekpo’s spokesperson, Louis Ibah, quoted the Minister as lauding the management of NDDC for projects executed so far to boost infrastructure and human capital development in the region.

Ekpo however said working unilaterally without inputs from other critical stakeholders had its limitations for the NDDC in the formulation of policies and projects for the region.

He said, “The Niger Delta region has what it takes to develop this country and the region, but we have to be formidable in whatever we are doing. The NDDC is just a small entity that is crafted for the Niger Delta region, all of us should bring in inputs into whatsoever they are doing, we should come in and contribute, we should come in and say this is what we want. So, I call on stakeholders in the region to come down and sit with the NDDC and marshal out what needs to be done to move this region and our nation forward.”

According to the Gas Minister,  ”When the NDDC acts on its own, they will only do what they believe they should do, and to the level that they think they should do it, but when we come together with them, we can fashion out something more important and sustainable for the region.”

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BDCs committed to checkmating attack on the Naira – ABCON boss



The President, Association of Bureau De Change operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Aminu Gwadabe, says the BDC operators are committed to wading off attacks on the Naira by speculators.

Gwadabe said this in an interview with journalists on Wednesday in Abuja.

According to him, ABCON, as a self-regulatory body, has platforms to check excesses of BDC operators.

“We have inaugurated state chapters whereby we can have a data repository of participants in the forex market.

“This is for the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to understand this market and to know the participants, give them a simple registration,” he said.

Gwadebe said that what the foreign exchange market needed was a kind of harmonisation; a centralisation and KYC to know all participants in the business.

“This will enable the CBN to track other players in the market other than the BDCs and their levels of involvement.

“The BDCS are collaborating with the regulatory authorities for physical verification of offices using technology.

“We want to balance international obligations with our own objectives. International obligations are templates that have been built without our input.

“We are coming with our own template to balance it. We have seen some illegal economic behaviour, and the CBN and the security agencies are aware, and I am sure they will nip it in the bud,” he said.

He said that the recent wave of depreciation of the Naira was of concern to the BDCs operators.

“I am happy that the authorities, and even the BDCs as operators, have identified the peer-to-peer (P2P) platform.

“The P2P is a platform like the Binance, where speculators use the dollar to buy USDT, a stablecoin that is pegged at one to the dollar.

“As long as Binance and such other platforms continue to be profitable, the Naira will continue to depreciate.

“There are many of them in the system. Binance has been nipped in the bud, but there are still many. They are online platforms with no registration, no restrictions,” he said.

Gwadabe said that the CBN and the security agencies were already aware of the antics of the platforms.

According to him, they are more of an illegal economic behaviour, and the people behind them have no patriotism in them.

“People have turned dollars to be an asset; to be a commodity of trade that is why those platforms continue to thrive.

“We have seen where people are buying dollars into their domiciliary accounts to finance these schemes.

“A lot of millions of dollars are going out from the system. It is one USD to one USDT. The market can be liquid.

“Binance alone has four billion dollars liquidity and more than two million transactions.

“Most of them source money to finance their transactions from the open market, and that is one of the reasons why Naira is depreciating,” he said.

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