The Federal Government lost about N5.16tn to tax reliefs granted on Value Added Tax (VAT), Company Income Tax and Petroleum Profit Tax in 2020.
This figure was arrived at after analysing data from the 2022-2024 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Policy Strategy report.
The report said Nigeria lost N4.3tn to reliefs on VAT, comprising primarily of reliefs granted by legislature and compliance burden.
According to the report, if all commodities in the Nigerian VAT system are fully taxable, the country would generate about N6tn from the existing tax structure.
The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBC) had recently said VAT yielded only about N1.8tn in 2020, resulting in a tax gap of about N4.3tn.
According to the MTEF/FSP report, out of the N4.3tn tax gap, about N900bn is attributable to exemptions laid down in legislation, while the remaining N3.4tn is attributable to the compliance gap.
It said, “In most countries, their compliance gap is caused by several factors, including underground economic activity in the informal sector, aggressive tax planning and problems in tax administration.
“However, in Nigeria, some firms, notably in the financial sector, are granted relief from VAT. Because this relief is not set out in the VAT Act, it is not captured as a tax expenditure in the current estimates”.
The report said as a result of this, the current estimated loss due to policy gap might be too low and the compliance gap too high.
It said the country lost N457bn to CIT waivers from large tax offices and medium tax offices, compared to the N1.1tn in 2019, representing a decrease of N634bn.
A breakdown of the N457bn CIT waivers shows that “manufacturing accounted for 65 per cent of tax expenditure (N297bn), LTO financials contributed to 15.8 per cent of TEs (N72bn) while N440m was from exemption of profits under Section 23 of CIT Act.
According to the report, Nigeria compares poorly to regional peers and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development benchmark with regards to CIT collection efficiency.
On petroleum profit tax, the report said the sum of N307bn was lost due to waivers granted by the Federal Government within the period under review.
It emphasised that the losses from PPT waivers might have been higher, as only a partial computation was carried out due to limited availability of data.
The Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Muhammad Nami, recently put the number of taxpayers in the country at 41 million.
He lamented that despite having 41 million taxpayers in the country, compared to South Africa’s four million taxpayers, Nigeria earned far lower than what South Africa generated from Personal Income Tax.
The FIRS boss said, “Our total taxpayers today is in the region of about 41 million people and the total personal income tax paid last year was less than N1tn by 40 million people.
“If you also compare that with South Africa where they have a total population of about 60 million people, with just four million taxpayers, the total personal income tax paid in South Africa last year is about N13tn. You can now see that these things are not adding up.
“The number of billionaires in Lagos alone are more than the number of billionaires in the whole of South Africa but yet what we generated as Personal Income Tax by Lagos State Government is just less than N400bn”.
Nigeria, 12 Others To Drive Global Trade By 2030 – Report
The research, which was commissioned by Standard Chartered and prepared by PwC Singapore posited that Nigeria and 12 other countries would be responsible for driving global trade to $30tn by 2030.
According to the report sponsored by the Singaporean organisation, the global exports would be more than double from $17.4tn to $29.7tn over the next decade, while much of the growth would be driven by 13 markets.
It said Nigeria would be growing at an annual rate of 9.7 per cent, with about $112bn in exports by 2030, through key corridors such as India, Indonesia and Mainland China.
It also stated that Kenya, the second African nation on the list, would be growing by 7.6 per cent annually, with $10bn in exports by 2030 through key corridors namely, Pakistan, Uganda and the United States of America.
The list consists mostly of Asian countries with Mainland China contributing the most at $5.02tn by 2030 and growing at 7.1 per cent annually.
Other countries are Hong Kong ($939bn, 5.7 per cent), South Korea ($972bn, 7.1 per cent), and India ($564bn, 7.6 per cent).
Bangladesh, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia also featured in the report.
The report is based on an analysis of historical trade data and projections until 2030, as well as insights from a survey of more than 500 C-suite and senior leaders in global companies.
According to the report, global trade will be reshaped by five key trends: the wider adoption of sustainable and fair-trade practices, a push for more inclusive participation, greater risk diversification, more digitisation and a rebalancing towards high-growth emerging markets.
It said almost 90 per cent of the corporate leaders surveyed agreed that these trends would be shaping the future of trade and would be forming part of their five to 10-year cross-border expansion strategies.
The research also found a significant trend towards the adoption of sustainable trade practices in response to climate concerns and a rising wave of conscious consumerism.
It said while almost 90 per cent of corporate leaders acknowledged the need to implement these practices across their supply chains, only 34 per cent ranked it as a ‘top three’ priority for execution over the next five to 10 years.
By: Corlins Walter
Currency In Circulation Rose By N129bn In Oct – CBN
The currency in circulation had fallen to N2.78tn in August from N2.81tn in July.
It stood at N2.74tn in June, N2.79tn in May, N2.79tn in April, N2.8tn in March, N2.78tn in February and N2.83tn in January.
The CBN said, “The currency in circulation increased by N465.47bn or 19.06 per cent to N2.91tn in 2020, compared with N2.44tn in 2019.
“In 2020, there were higher withdrawals by DMBs than deposits, due to the panic need to hold cash to deal with the emergencies and reduced banking hours due to restrictions to curb spread of the pandemic”.
The apex bank said to maintain public confidence and ensure integrity of circulated notes in the economy, it developed and unveiled a clean note policy and banknote fitness guidelines in 2018.
The guidelines outlined details of quarterly and yearly activities towards the achievement of this objective.
According to the CBN, the clean note policy encapsulates diverse currency management activities to preserve the integrity and maintain the quality of banknotes in circulation.
The policy provides that every newly printed and existing banknotes should conform to predefined standards before circulation and re-circulation in the economy.
Currency in circulation is defined as currency outside the vaults of the central bank – that is, all legal tender currency in the hands of the general public and in the vaults of the deposit money banks.
The CBN said it employed the “accounting/statistical/withdrawals and deposits approach” to compute the currency in circulation in the country.
It said this approach involved tracking the movements in currency in circulation on a transaction-by-transaction basis.
According to the CBN, for every withdrawal made by a DMB at one of CBN’s branches, an increase in CIC is recorded; and for every deposit made by a DMB at one of CBN’s branches, a decrease in CIC is recorded.
The transactions are all recorded in the CBN’s CIC account, and the balance on the account at any point in time represented the country’s currency in circulation.
CBN’s eNaira Records 600,000 Downloads Within One Month
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who disclosed this in a statement at the weekend, said, “In less than four weeks since its launch, almost 600,000 downloads of the e-Naira application have taken place.
“Efforts are ongoing to encourage faster adoption of the e-Naira by Nigerians who do not have smart phones.
“The support of the financial industry will be critical in the ongoing deployment of the e-Naira and efforts are ongoing to encourage continued partnership between the CBN and stakeholders in the financial industry”.
The CBN governor also said that building a robust payment system that would provide cheap, efficient, and faster means of conducting payments for most Nigerians have always been the focus of the apex bank.
According to him, the growing pace of digitization globally makes it essential that they leverage on digital channels in fulfilling this objective.
Emefiele disclosed that total transaction volumes using digital channels were more than doubled between 2018 and 2020, as volumes rose from 1.3 billion to over 3.3 billion financial transactions in 2020.
He added that digital payment channels also helped to support continued conduct of business activities during the lockdown.
The CBN boss noted that the robust payment system has continued to evolve towards meeting the needs of households and businesses in Nigeria. This, according to him, reflects the confidence people have in the payment system.
He said that between 2015 and September 2021, about US$900 million has been invested in firms being run by Nigerian founders.
“Notwithstanding these gains, close to 36 per cent of adult Nigerians do not have access to financial services.
“Improving access to finance for individuals and businesses through digital channels can help to improve financial inclusion, lower the cost of transactions, and increase the flow of credit to households and businesses,’’ Emefiele added.
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