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FIRS To Start Tax Payers’ Audit

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) would soon embark on the audit of Nigerian tax payers to boost tax revenue collection, improve service delivery to taxpayers and enhance voluntary compliance.
FIRS has also put in place a consolidated Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) data under the Joint Tax Board (JTB).
The FIRS said that all tax laws that were not in the interest of the taxpayers were already undergoing a review process.
Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mr Tunde Fowler, stated this in Lagos in keynote at a stakeholders’ meeting on: “Tax Administration and National Revenue’’.
The stakeholders’ meeting was aimed at charting the way forward in the country’s tax administration and the challenges hindering a robust tax regime.
He called on stakeholders to support efforts at repositioning the nation’s tax administration system.
Fowler, who is also the Chairman of the Joint Tax Board (JTB), said that the board was determined to improve services to taxpayers at all levels.
He added that taxpayers and stakeholders should support tax authorities in the interest of national development.
“The greatest challenge for any tax administration is achieving and maintaining a high degree of self-assessment and voluntary compliance by taxpayers.
“Studies, however, show that the extent to which an economy is able to grow sustainably and develop depends to a large extent on its ability to generate tax revenue to finance its expenditure and the efficiency of its tax system.
“The questions that arise from these simple statements include how to identify areas of non-compliance; how to measure the level of non-compliance; and how to address non-compliance,’’ Fowler said.
The tax expert explained that FIRS had put in place various strategies to curtail non-compliance to improve tax revenue collection on a sustainable basis.
“Well-designed taxpayer services, education programmes, and creative measures can facilitate self-assessment and compliance,’’ Fowler said.
He noted that the major determinant of tax compliance included changes in law, taxpayers’ attitudes to payment of right taxes and tax consultants’ offering the right advice to the taxpaying public.
While reacting to the chairman’s speech, some of the stakeholders raised concerns regarding the number of taxes and levies being collected and levied by different government agencies, which were mostly not remitted completely.

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Israel, Nigeria Sign Bilateral Agreement On Green Energy

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The State of Israel and Nigeria on Wednesday signed bilateral agreement in the field of green energy development.
The agreement was the outcome of a closed door meeting between Mr Yotam Kreiman, Deputy Head of Israeli Mission to Nigeria, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology in Abuja.
Yotam told newsmen that “Dor” Group is one of the leading companies in Israel in the field of energy.
He expressed appreciation to both the Dor partners and the ministry over success of the signing of the agreement.
According to him, the company had excelled in production of methanol as a safe, clean and green substitute for fuel in Israel and now in Nigeria.
Yotam said: “Both Dor and the diplomatic relations and friendship between Israel and Nigeria are now 60 years old.
“The process that brought us today has neither been short nor simple, after many test and checks of possibilities and probabilities, it is commencing.

“Israel is happy to bring technologies and knowledge to Nigeria, especially in this dire time, when job opportunities are scarce and much needed.
“We believe this project will change the future of Nigeria and Africa in general, particularly when it comes to green, clean energy.
“We know West Africa region looks up to Nigeria and we are happy to celebrate the beginning of this bilateral relation.”
He extolled Onu and other partners of Dor in Nigeria for their belief in the project to have contributed to the success of the agreement since the inception, meanwhile, Onu commended Israel’s remarkable achievements in the development of technology. According to him, Israel had always excelled in whatever they set their minds on and thereby commended the signing of the bilateral agreement as a win-win situation for both countries.

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How To Fix Nigeria Power Sector – Expert

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An energy expert,  Engineer Samuel Kwelle has called for more drastic reforms in the power sector to address the energy needs of the people.
Kwelle who spoke with The Tide in an exclusive interview in Port Harcourt recently, said  states and local governments across the country should be encouraged to invest in the power sector to meet up the power need of the people.
He pointed out that placing power generation on the exclusive list of Federal Government was not in the best interest of the people as: “Only the full liberation of the Sector can raise productivity in energy generation and consumption. There is need for an indigenous driven power policy where Nigerian experts will be given the opportunity to make key inputs.
States and local governments should also be encouraged to seek effective measures of providing power for the majority of Nigerians domiciled at the rural area,” the Technical Secretary of Port Harcourt branch of the Nigeria Society of Engineers pointed out. The key to industrialisation and economic development of any society is the efficiency of the energy sector, any society that depends on generator to drive its economy will fail. What is required for Nigeria to spin on into the global economy is to upgrade its power sector to tackle  the peculiar power needs of the people, this requires drastic reforms divestment, Nigeria is yet to explore its potentials in renewable energy.”
He emphasised that the Federal Government should encourage the States and other stakeholders and entrepreneurs to be actively involved in, “power sector service delivery and development.”
Kwelle, who is a Senior Member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, said the development of renewable energy and the non oil sectors should be given priority attention adding that fossil oil was becoming obsolete as the global  economy was geared towards the non oil sectors.
He also stressed the need to explore alternative sources of energy for power generation such as renewable energy.

 

Taneh Beemene

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Middle East Airline’s Aircraft Collides With Turkish Plane At MMIA

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A passenger plane belonging to the Middle East Airline was last Wednesday involved in a minor accident with a Turkish plane at the Muritala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
Eyewitnesses said the Turkish Cargo flight was parked on the tarmac when the Middle East airbus ran into it.
Spokesman for the Accident Investigation Bureau, Tunji Oketumbi, confirmed the incident but said that the bureau was yet to determine the level of involvement as of press time.
He said: “I am aware that it happened but officially I do not have the details. We at the AIB investigate aircraft accidents and serious incidents. Right now I do not know the level of involvement.”
“We are yet to ascertain our level of involvement now. If it is a minor incident.
“It will be determined by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority.
“It depends on the level of damage. If it does not affect the flight operation of either of the airport, we may not be involved.”
It was learnt that the MEA was preparing to take off on an evacuation operation. It was also learnt that the incident prevented the flight from taking place.

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