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PEBEC To Address SMEs’ Multiple Taxation Issue – Osinbajo

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The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) will address the thorny issue of multiple taxation that poses challenges to the business environment.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made this known on Monday in Abuja at the First Abuja Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) conference and exhibition 2021.
The conference, which was organised by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), was aimed at providing Solution Strategies for Resolving Tax, Regulatory, Packaging and Logistic Challenges Facing Nigerian SMEs.
Osinbajo, represented by Amb. Mariam Katagum, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment said government was focused on improving Ease of Doing Business and encouraging tax and fiscal responsibility.
The vice president noted that the problem of taxation on the growth of SMEs in the country was exacerbated by lack of reliable data for statistical analysis.
According to the vice president, the mortality rates of SMEs are very high, and among the factors responsible for this are tax related issues.
He said it was on the above premise that the government, through the Finance Act 2019 and 2020, amended various tax and fiscal legislations to align Nigerian business environment with global standards.
“One of such amendments is the categorisation of companies into small, medium, and large companies, based on annual gross turnover as seen in the Finance Act 2019.
“The Act also has as one of its strategic objectives support to small businesses in line with the ease of doing business reforms.
“However, some of the specific challenges related to taxation are multiple taxation at the national and sub-national levels, non-clarity on the procedure and amount to pay and non-friendly tax administrators,’’ he said.
In order for SMEs to sustain their role of contributing to the mainstream economy, he said they needed to implement effective strategies in their business operations, inclusive of logistics.
Osinbajo said the function of logistics was important to SMEs because it was the quintessence of the organisation’s relationship with suppliers and customers.
He noted some challenges related to logistics as high transportation costs, lack of quality delivery service and infrastructure.
He said the challenges related to packaging were non-availability of quality materials, high cost of materials and lack of inbuilt culture of packaging.
In order to resolve some of these challenges, he noted specific actions which must be put in place to overcome them.
These include sensitization and awareness creation, general capacity building and streamlining of taxes across the national and sub-national levels.
He listed others as implementation of relevant sections of the Finance Acts, specific technical training on packaging and logistics, sharing of knowledge and peer review with SMEs in other jurisdictions.
He also called for strict observance of international standards, adding that regulatory authorities must develop friendly criteria for SMEs.
Osinbajo noted that the conference was apt in view of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) because several African countries have the scale to compete with Nigerian businesses in terms of productive capacity, packaging, exports and logistics.
Consequently, he said SMEs needed to adapt to the competition, created by AfCFTA and position themselves to take advantage of the single market of 1.2 billion people and a cumulative GDP of over 3.4 trillion dollars.
Osinbajo appreciated contributions of MSMEs to Nigeria’s economy, widely reported to have recorded over 41 million participating enterprises, accounting for about 76 per cent of Nation’s labour force and 50 per cent Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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PH To Host SME Ankara Carnival, Trade Exhibition

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Port Harcourt would next month play host to traditional fashion carnival/ trade exhibition.
The programme according to the organisers is aimed at prompting the business and rich cultural heritage of Nigerian traditional Ankara material.
Speaking in a telephone interview with The Tide, the programme Director of “PH Ankara Carnival”, Dr. Larry Goodwill Ajiola, said that Entrepreneurs in the fashion/designing industry would have the opportunity to showcase their talents.
Dr. Ajiola who is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of I.Conntact Connect Communications, Port Harcourt, said, “there will be Ankara trade exhibition, sales of both sewed and materials, in addition to the presence of manufacturers and distributors of Ankara materials.
“The event is meant to reach out to young and creative fashion/designers and models in the industry.
“It is a creativity carnival birth with passion driven vision which tends to influence and change the minds of young individuals about the Ankara clothings. The event would promote young entrepreneurs in the fashion industry”.
Dr. Larry who is also the Chairman of IEBS Matrixx co-operative, Port Harcourt noted that the theme of the event, “The unending Heritage in Africa Traditional Dressing”, has a lot to say about the sustenance of African culture.
He reiterated the need for Mass turn out for the October 10th programme, stressing that Ankara would be sold at an affordable price by the Manufacturers and distributors.

By: Lilian Peters

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108 Ogoni Youths To Enjoy Entrepreneurial Training Abroad

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The Ogoni Liberation Initiative says it has concluded arrangement to train 108 Ogoni youths in various businesses and skills development abroad.
The President of the organisation Mr. Richard Douglas Fabeke who said this during the unveiling of a magazine in Port Harcourt, also hinted of the plan by the group for the establishment of a hitech polytechnic in Ogoni land.
Fabeke said the polytechnic which will be the first of its kind in the country will enable students to develop enterprenural skills.
According to him, the organisation has also acquired land for a university, adding that
Ogoni liberation initiative is not political but would focused on the development of Ogoni land.
Fabeke also warned the people against involving in violence, stressing that time has come for the people to focus on making Ogoni the industrial hub of Nigeria and the entire west Africa.
He also criticised the federal government amnesty programme, saying that the programme has not improved the life of any Ogoni youths.
 He said this is the time for the Ogoni to free themselves from economic slavery by tapping into programmes that will improve their lives.
Fabeke also said that Ogoni liberation initiative is registered in four countries adding that the organization is working with international media to spread the cause of the Ogonis across the world.
He said that Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) is the preferred company for the Ogonis.
Fabeke said the magazine will enable members of the international communities to know the true situation of things in Ogoni Land, adding that one million jobs will be created through the magazine.

By: Oribim Ibama & Inimgba Victor

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NIRSAL Trains 700,000 Farmers, Others On Agribusiness

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The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL Plc) has trained 700, 000 farmers and other agricultural value chain actors across the country, in its ongoing efforts to improve the capacity and productivity of Nigerian farmers.
“Since its inception, NIRSAL Plc has provided training on Good Agronomic Practices to over 700,000 farmers and trained over 2,600 mid-management and Agric desk officers of commercial banks,” the organization, disclosed in a statement, yesterday.
It said that it has just concluded a series of training sessions under the NIRSAL Strategic Business Support Services (SBSS) which were held in the six geo-political zones .
The agency described the programme as a continuation of efforts targeted at achieving a key component of NIRSAL PLc’s mandate: de-risking of the agricultural value chain in order to encourage more investment in agribusiness by the financial sector,
It addressed NIRSAL’s Technical Assistance pillar which aimed at building the capacity of value chain actors for improved production, handling, processing and marketing of agricultural commodities.
The sessions focused on 10 Commodities of Interest (COI) that have ecological and economic advantages in each region.
The commodities were: Rice, Ginger, Maize, Fresh Fruit & Vegetables (FFV), Cassava, Beans, Aquaculture, Oil Palm, Livestock and Cotton.
According to the organization, the choice of the selected commodities was informed by the NIRSAL Agricultural Commodity Ecological Area (ACEA) map which it developed and obtained validation for from relevant research institutes. NIRSAL Plc believes that ACEA-compliant agricultural investments hold the highest chances for success in terms of production and sale.
In the North-Central, the Benue State SBSS focused on Rice, Ginger and Maize, which are NIRSAL COIs that possess the highest factor productivity in the state.
“Consequently, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the SBSS trained operators in the FFV Value Chain. The rationale for selecting FFV is hinged on the FCT’s urban consumer market. The training sessions took place in Kuje, Nyanya, Mararaba, Apo, Lugbe, the Municipal, Gwagwalada, Dei-Dei, and Abaji.
“In the South-South, the Rivers State SBSS focused on FFVs as well, in addition to Aquaculture. Stakeholders were trained in Rumuola, Wenpey, Aluu, Enekah, Elekahia, Eleme, Mgbuoba, Elelenwo, Igwuruta, Eliozu, and Rumuodomaya.

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