Connect with us

Business

… Solicits Support For Transformation Agenda

Published

on

The Acting Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Alhaji Kabir Mashi has urged tax professionals to support President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda aimed at wealth creation and employment.

Mashi made the call in Abuja at the opening of the “14th Annual Tax Conference of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN).’’

The three-day conference was declared open by a representative of President Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs Chidi Ikpechukwu, a Director in the Ministry of Finance.

Mashi said that the Federal Government had clearly articulated its plan for the economic revival of the country as captured in the transformation agenda.

“It is now left for us in our different capacities, whether as revenue generating agencies, tax payers, professional associations or regulatory bodies to contribute our quota to enable government meet its revenue needs.

“In this regard, I believe that there is a clear consensus that taxation is a major tool that can be utilised to bring about this transformation.

“It is, therefore, my expectation that this conference will provide further insight into the use or uses of taxation as a tool for economic transformation,’’ he said.

The acting chairman said that there was the need to improve on the various sources of government revenue to achieve economic transformation for which taxation was the most sustainable.

“In doing this, it should be noted that the building blocks of a prosperous economy include the availability of security, well developed infrastructure, good energy system, health care and education among others.

“Building and maintaining such utilities and infrastructure require sufficient revenue,’’ Mashi noted.

In his address, the President of CITN, Mr John Jegede, stressed the need for revenue generating authorities in the states to be granted autonomy.

According to Jegede, government policies and programmes on increased revenue generation can be better implemented with a State Internal Revenue Service (SIRS) that is autonomous and manned by certified tax professionals.

“Lagos and Adamawa are among states that have autonomous status for the SIRS while Ekiti State Government has sent a bill for the autonomy of the state IRS to the State House of Assembly.

“The states should start to look inwards for alternative sources of funding if they are serious in diversifying their economy and place little or no reliance on monthly allocation which is not forthcoming,’’ he said.

Jegede urged government to ensure that only certified members of the institute were appointed chairmen of the federal and state internal revenue service in compliance with the law.

He also emphasised that only members of CITN had statutory mandate to engage in tax practice.

“This clarification becomes very apt now that the office of the chairman of FIRS is vacant so that government would not make a mistake of appointing a quack to the position thereby contravening the laws of Nigeria.

“In as much as a lawyer has always been appointed to head ministry of justice and a medical doctor to head Ministry of Health or any institution, it will be illogical to appoint anybody who is not a member of CITN as chairman of FIRS and SIRS.’’

The CITN president acknowledged what he called the “giant strides’’ taken by the governments at all levels to improve tax system in Nigeria.

He commended government’s inauguration of the National Tax Policy document last month and the signing into law of the Personal Income Tax (Amendment) Act 2011.

“But a lot still needs to be done particularly in ensuring that obsolete provisions in our tax laws are constantly reviewed and replaced.

“In this wise, yearly review of tax laws is recommended whereby the changes are reflected in the Annual Appropriation Act as obtained in developed nations like UK and South Africa.’’

According to Jegede, the practice will ensure that tax rates and allowances are in tandem with current economic realities and encourage voluntary tax compliance.

The theme of the conference is “Taxation as a Tool for Economic Transformation.’’

More than 3000 participants, comprising policy makers, academics, tax experts and administrators as well as lawmaker are taking part in the conference.

Continue Reading

Business

Sanwo-Olu Assures On Reduction Of Food Prices

Published

on

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has assured residents of the state that the various interventions by his administration in the agriculture sector would soon put an end to the astronomic rise in food prices in the market.
The governor gave the assurance on Friday at the flag-off of distribution of agricultural productive assets and inputs under the 2021 Agricultural Value Chains Enterprise Activation Programme, with over 3000 agripreneurs empowered.
Sanwo-Olu said that breaking the shackle of dependency on foreign countries and states for food supplies was in line with his administration’s THEMES agenda for job and wealth creation as well as food sufficiency.
He stated that the empowerment scheme was a demonstration to the development, expansion and growth of agriculture in Lagos by providing tools, deploying innovation and creativity that would make it easier for all farmers to grow high quality crops, thereby raising their inputs to feed Lagosians and Nigerians.
The governor said that his administration was putting in place various interventions which included wholesale agriculture hub, urging farmers, youths and beneficiaries to work hard to nurture their businesses to maturity by building a sustainable wealth.
“We have emerged wiser and more determined to succeed in creating and nurturing a viable agribusiness sector in Lagos State. We may be Nigeria’s smallest state by land mass, lacking the large tracts of land available to others, but we will not allow that to stand in the way of our vision.
“We will maximise the little we have, while also deploying the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit we are known for, to create new opportunities to feed ourselves and feed Nigeria, and create economic growth and prosperity through agriculture”, he said.
 The state Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, said that 70 per cent of the beneficiaries of the programme were youths and women chosen from the Lagos Agripreneurship programme (LAP), Agric YES programme, and value chain associations.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

Continue Reading

Business

Monorail Project, A Waste Of Rivers Resources – GDI

Published

on

The Monorail Project that was abandoned by the Chibuike Amaechi-led administration in Rivers State has been described as a complete waste of state resources.
President-General of the Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI), worldwide, Bright Amehule, in an interaction with journalists at the weekend, alleged that the former state governor used the monorail project to squander Rivers money.
He said that the monorail was not desirable as at when it was embarked upon, adding that the money sunk into the project would have been used for more people oriented projects. 
According to the GDI boss, the state has not reached the stage where the monorail is necessary.
“We have not reached the stage of development where we will need monorail. Where is the power to run it ? We have not grown to the stage to run it, as we have observed in other developed countries.
“We need power to run the monorail, but even the power project former governor Peter Odilli executed was sold by Amaechi. He squandered the money he sold the power project built by Odili without giving account of it.
“There is just little to show for the huge amount of money spent on the monorail and the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority”, he said.
On account of his stewardship as the coordinator of taskforce on Street Trading and Illegal Parking, Amehule said that he performed his duties well, but pointed out  that no individual can satisfy everybody, irrespective of how the person tries.
He said that the state government engaged over 600 youths as task force men, adding that the state government is doing its best to ensure youths employment in the state. 
According to him, the state government has taken steps to provide employment through numerous projects such as the Cassava Plant at Oyigbo, the recent partnership with South Korea, numerous construction works being handled by Julius Berger, and the expansion of the Rivers State University, among others.

By: Corlins Walter

Continue Reading

Business

SON Procures Warehouse For Goods’ Testing

Published

on

In a bid to stop the practice of arresting containers released at the seaports on the highways by its officials, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has procured a warehouse around the port where suspicious goods will be taken to for testing.
The Director General, SON, Mallam Farouk Salim who disclosed this at a one day capacity building workshop for journalists organized by SON in Lagos, recently, said that rather than blocking suspicious goods at the port and delay other legitimate businesses coming through, they would just take those containers to their warehouse and conduct their test.
Salim explained that after testing, if the goods were found to be okay, they would release them but if the goods were found not to be okay, they (SON officials) would show those individuals how to fix the products if the products were fixable, adding that where they were not fixable; the SON would destroy them in line with their mandate.
Salim explained that the idea was to encourage ease of doing business at the seaport, saying the organisation does not want bottlenecks and bureaucracy that would stop people from achieving their legitimate goals.
He assured that the SON management would continue to rejig the system to make it more efficient.
According to him: “We have done so many changes over the years. For example, we have our own warehouse right by the port where goods that are suspicious, instead of blocking them in the port and delay other legitimate businesses coming through, we just take those containers to our warehouse which are nearby and because we have a very high professional and efficient lab in this country, we do our test, if the goods are okay, we release them. If the goods are not okay, we show those individuals how to fix those products if they are fixable, if they are not fixable; we destroy them which is our legitimate mandate by the government and by the National Assembly”.
He emphasised that it was the SON’s responsibility to make sure that every goods that enter the country are up to standard.  
He said: “We make sure there are consequences to any product and that any person producing substandard products will have to pay one way or the other. We will have to make sure that there are consequences for individuals buying fake products and injuring our people. We are to make sure manufacturers of goods; building materials are up to standards because collapsing buildings are not discriminatory. 
“We, as an organisation, are committed to improving our responsibility. If we expect standards from people, we have to three times inspect how we handle ourselves. So, over the years, we have collaborated with market associations, we have collaborated with importers’ associations even though our responsibility is primarily to help our local producers but Nigeria has importers and they are legitimate businessmen and they are importing things that are needed in Nigeria. So, our responsibility is to make sure that whatever comes to this country is standard, is good, is not going to harm our people and our local industry”.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

Continue Reading

Trending