Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) has insisted that it has the statutory powers to print, mint, produce, retail and provide adhesive postage stamps.
In a statement NIPOST faulted a circular by Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) saying it contained legal contradictions.
FIRS and NIPOST have ongoing contention over the custodian of stamp duty.
NIPOST in a statement said: “The NIPOST wishes to draw the attention of the general public to the aforementioned circular issued by the FIRS and hereby inform the public that the NIPOST has observed several legal contradictions contained in the Finance Act 2019, the basis of the circular.
“We, however, wish to allay the concerns of the general public that NIPOST has taken steps to ensure that the legal contradictions are addressed by the appropriate authorities.”
“The statutory powers of NIPOST to print, mint, produce, retail, and provide adhesive postage stamps for the use of Nigerians to comply with the stamping protocol remains intact.”
Firm Offers Free Online Courses for Aspiring African Software Developers
Technology company, Tunga has unveiled a new e-learning platform for software developers in Africa.
According to Tunga, this move aims to improve skills and create more opportunities for African developers.
Dubbed the Tunga Academy, the open e-learning platform offers four technical courses and three soft skills courses, such as effective online communication and situation awareness.
The platform, which is in beta version, will be updated following feedback from developers, making sure the courses are in line with market demand, says the tech firm.
In addition, Tunga plans to launch a testing platform, to enable developers to test and improve their skills.
“The Tunga Academy supports the developer community to upskill and reskill, whilst navigating remote work on the African continent. In the coming months, the number of courses will be increased to at least 25 before the end of 2021.”
Founded in 2015, Tunga is an initiative of social entrepreneur Ernesto Spruyt and non-profit organisation Butterfly Works. It is a company with a network of over 400 African software developers spread across Uganda, Nigeria and Egypt.
Commenting on the e-learning platform, Spruyt says: “Tunga works with the best talent available on the African market, but our aim is to invest in the entire talent pool. The launch of our e-learning platform, soon to be followed by our testing platform, is an important step in allowing African software developers to effectively improve their skills and assess where they stand.
“They can follow the courses, regardless of where they are in Africa, in their own time and at their own pace. And because being successful as a software developer is much more than just excelling technically, we also offer courses in soft skills.
“Our aim is to lead as much tech talent as possible to the opportunities available on the international job market. We can’t hire everyone, but we can share our knowledge.”
uLesson Education Introduces Junior Secondary School Library
Ed-tech start-up, uLesson Education Limited, has expanded the content library on the uLesson app to include lessons for Junior Secondary School students. This new library went live on the uLesson app on July 7, 2020.
The uLesson app launched in March 2020, with a Senior Secondary School library, covering Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. With this update, the app now offers students in junior secondary school access to curriculum-relevant content in Basic Technology, Business Studies, Basic Science and Mathematics.
Speaking on the introduction of the junior secondary library, Founder and CEO of uLesson Education Limited, Sim Shagaya said, “The launch of the junior library is in harmony with our goal as an organization to help students maximize their academic potential and prepare for a future in various disciplines.
“The digital age is quickly shaping the education landscape and the way students learn. It is our goal at uLesson to leverage this digital transformation to provide learning tools that will help students learn in a simpler and more effective manner.”
“Like the Senior School library, the Junior School library has been richly designed in scope, interactivity, and effectiveness in line with the West African Secondary School curriculum. We have taken steps to provide best-in-class lessons delivered by expert tutors to ensure that learners get only the best learning experience”, Shagaya added.
Manji Cheto, Vice President, Learner Experience and Growth, uLesson Education, said the new library addresses a deep customer need.
She stated, “we pride ourselves as a Company that listens to and anticipates customer needs, and then acts quickly to respond to these concerns. The release of our junior secondary library is a great example of this. Customers made it overwhelmingly clear that this is what they wanted from us and so, we are proud to deliver this in the timeframe that we have”.
The uLesson app employs a simple and personalized approach to learning, leveraging a mix of media and technology to provide engaging lessons and quizzes to foster deep understanding of a subject matter and continued learning for students. uLesson is creating a platform to revolutionize the way students learn and study for their exams. The Company plans to include more subjects and features in the coming months.
Chamber Seeks Rescue Plan to Stem Massive Job Losses
Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called for an urgent rescue plan to save the hospitality sector as there is a risk of massive job losses.
Dr Muda Yusuf, director-general, LCCI, urged the government to focus on mainstreaming the sector into the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) to prevent shocks of the pandemic from crippling it.
Yusuf emphasised the need for specific intervention measures for the sector as done for others affected by the shocks of the pandemic.
He said that the hospitality business in Nigeria was one of the most dynamic, innovative and fast-growing sectors of the economy before the shock of the pandemic.
“It is a labour intensive sector and therefore has employment elasticity.
“The shocks inflicted on the sector by the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated containment measures have been most devastating on the sector.
“There is also the collateral adverse impact on thousands of small businesses that are dependent on the hospitality business as suppliers or service providers.
“Poultry and fish farmers, for instance, have lamented the impact of the downturn of the hospitality business on their sales and profitability.
“The hospitality sector and restaurants are the biggest offtakers of the poultry and fish products in the economy,” he said.
According to him, the food and beverages sector experience similar fate.
“The breweries and bottling companies have suffered a major hit as a result of the stumbling fortunes in the hospitality business.
“The sector is one with diverse linkages across many sectors of the economy, which explains the secondary transmission of the shocks to many other segments of the economy.
“The value of the hospitality sector in Nigeria was estimated at N1.4 trillion as at 2019.
“Hundreds of thousands of jobs are currently at risk if an urgent rescue plan is not put in place for the sector, as this is not a sector that should be allowed to go under,” he said.
The director-general proposed that the measures outlined for the revival of the aviation sector and more should be replicated for the hospitality industry.
According to him, both sectors are closely related, complementary and interdependent.
“What currently exists in the ESP is only a passing mention of the sector with no prescribed specific measures and budget,” he said.
Yusuf recommended measures to engender sustainability of the sector to include provision of single digit soft loans, with long term repayment plan.
He also advocated grant support, including payroll support, to the hospitality industry and related services.
Others are creation of opportunities for restructuring of existing facilities with commercial banks and concessions on interest payments.
Yusuf called for deferred payment of taxes and filing dates and one-year waiver of Land Use Charge and Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency(LASAA) Advertisement Rates [Applicable to Lagos State].
“Also, we recommend one year waiver for hotel renewal fees and other state levies and fees for hotels and resorts, one-year waiver of Local Government fees and permits,” he said.
The LCCI chief said there should be a clear mandate to the Federal Ministry of Tourism and its state counterparts to ensure the realisation of the deliverables.
“It is in the interest of the economy for the hospitality industry to be supported by the federal and state governments to recover from the devastating shocks inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated containment measures,” he said.
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