Telecom Experts Support FG’s Social Media Tax Plan
Experts in the telecommunication industry have endorsed the move by the Federal Government to tax social media companies in the country.
They said the Federal Government was right in its move because the social media companies generate commercial revenues from the nation.
According to Meta, 7.5 per cent value-added tax will be applied on sales of ads to advertisers from January 2022, and this applies to all non-resident businesses that provide digital service in the nation.
The company’s spokesperson said, “Starting in the New Year, Nigeria will implement a new value-added tax. This law requires all non-resident businesses that provide digital services to charge an additional 7.5 per cent in tax. This includes advertising services like those from Facebook.
“Facebook is required to charge VAT on the sale of ads to advertisers, regardless of whether you’re buying ads for business or personal purposes. All advertisers with a business in the country of Nigeria will be charged an additional 7.5 per cent VAT on advertising services purchased beginning 1 January 2022. As with all VAT, companies like Meta will be collecting this tax on behalf of the Nigerian government”.
The National Coordinator, Alliance for Affordable Internet, Olusola Teniola, noted that the move by the FG was aimed at increasing its revenue through taxes.
He said, “It is all under the auspices of the government trying to increase its revenue. There has been a debate even amongst the OECD countries, as to how they can achieve taxation of digital companies.
“And there has been an agreement that there should be an adopted taxation model. The issue here is that Africa is the weaker partner under the OECD countries. So, when the developed countries that form part of the OECD agreed to tax up to about 15 per cent of revenue generated from their countries, they didn’t consider revenues generated from African countries.
“So, each country is having to devise a method as to how it can estimate the amount of taxation due to them from the transactions made on these platforms. Recently, there has been an agreement that any transaction on these platforms will attract a levy”.
According to Teniola, Nigeria’s approach is very similar to that of Ghana.
He added, “I think Ghana is also placing a levy on not only social media transactions, but on many other such transactions.
“But for us as an industry, we need to find a way to engage the government on a way to cushion the effect on consumers”.
He said since the VAT would naturally be transferred to the consumer, a way to cushion this impact, especially as the increase in digital transactions would continue, had to be adopted too.
The President, National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, Adeolu Ogunbanjo said, “One of the things the Federal Government has said to social media companies is how to tax them. Facebook is being used for adverts, commercially, which calls for some sort of taxes, which of course is one of the duties of this government: to widen the tax net.
“However, because we are using it for advertising, I think this move is only right. And we have been informed by the way. They’ve carried us along – which is one of our rights – that there would be tax and that they are negotiating with the owners of these social media companies. I think it is alright as the Federal Government would have more revenue.
Plastic Pollution, Threat To Mangroves In N’Delta – HYPREP
The Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) has expressed concerns that plastic pollution was an emerging threat to mangroves in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
It stated it would soon commence the shoreline clean up and mangrove restoration of oil-impacted areas in Ogoniland.
The Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Prof Nenibarini Zabbey, in his address to mark the 2023 World Environment Day, expressed regrets that plastics do not only suffocate and kill mangrove biodiversity, but also impact local livelihoods and compromises mangroves’ capacity to sequester and mitigate climate change.
According to him, a project with a mandate to remediate and restore oil-polluted ecosystems, HYPREP, was positioned to offer solutions to plastic pollution, which synergistically mitigate the effects of hydrocarbon contamination.
“The 2023 WED commemoration, which also marks the 50th World Environment Day celebration, presents a golden opportunity to deploy science, adapt innovation, and develop sustainable policies towards addressing environmental problems.
“HYPREP is about to commence shoreline cleanup and mangrove restoration in Ogoniland. Recently, plastic pollution has been identified as an emerging threat to mangroves in the Niger Delta”, he noted.
In proffering solutions to plastic pollution flex in line with the 2023 WED theme, the HYPREP boss recommended a reduction in plastic production and consumption, and the promotion of sustainable alternatives and reusable products.
ICAN Urges Accountant General To Prioritise Financial Stability
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has called on the new Accountant-General (AG) of the Federation, Dr Oluwatoyin Madein, to ensure financial stability, transparency, and accountability in the country’s financial sector.
According to a statement, the President of ICAN, Dr Innocent Okwuosa, gave the admonition in Abuja, Tuesday, when he paid the new Accountant-General of the Federation a courtesy call in Abuja.
“The position of the Accountant-General of Nigeria carries immense responsibilities, especially now that Nigeria stands at a pivotal juncture, facing a rapidly evolving economic landscape, changing regulatory frameworks coupled with endemic corruption.
“As the Accountant-General, you have the responsibility for maintaining the financial stability, transparency and accountability of the nation as a whole”, he told the AG.
He, however, assured her of ICAN’s continued support to her office to ensure effective management of government finances, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating the country’s budget and other fiscal management obligations.
“We understand the enormity of your responsibilities and we will continue to encourage you and all our members in the public service and private sectors to adhere to the profession’s ethics to succeed”, he continued.
Okwuosa also used the opportunity to appraise the AGF of the ICAN Accountability Index, one of the institute’s innovations to contribute to the promotion of accountability and transparency in the Federation.
According to him, it is a novel and first-of-its-kind Index developed to assist the adoption of best practices in Public Financial Management in all tiers of government.
He added that the ICAN-AI had been ratified by several national and international organisations such as the World Bank, the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability and the International Federation of Accountants as an equitable and professional way of monitoring Public Financial Management practices.
In her response, the Accountant-General conveyed her appreciation to the ICAN team for the honour bestowed upon her.
NNPCL To Cut Fuel Import From August
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) says once the Dangote Refinery starts pumping out refined petroleum products from late July or early August, the NNPCL will cut down on its imports of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol.
NNPCL is currently the sole importer of petrol into Nigeria, a task which it had shouldered for several years. Other oil marketers stopped importing petrol due to their inability to access the United States dollars at the official rate.
NNPCL also owned 20 per cent stake in the Dangote Refinery. The 650,000 barrels per day crude oil processing refinery was inaugurated on May 22, 2023 by former President Muhammadu Buhari, who described the facility as a game-changer.
Also at the inauguration, the Founder/Chairman, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, said the facility would put an end to the inflow of toxic substandard petroleum products into Nigeria, adding that the refinery would meet 100 per cent of Nigeria’s fuel needs.
Dangote also stated that the refinery would start delivering refined products to the Nigerian market from late July or Early August this year.
According to the spokesman of NNPCL, Garba-Deen Mohammed, immediately Dangote Refinery begins to push out products in August, it would change the NNPCL fuel imports programme.
He said, “NNPC Limited is bringing in products from outside Nigeria as a matter of necessity, not as a matter of choice. We would have preferred that we produce here, refine here and we sell and provide the energy security that the country needs.
“Because of the circumstances that surround our refineries, we cannot allow the country to be grounded. So we have to buy wherever we can get and sell. So if Dangote products are available, why should we not buy from Dangote?
“There is absolutely no reason. And that is the reason why we are interested in the Dangote Refinery. We are co-owners, shouldn’t we do business with our partners rather than do it with other people?”
Muhammad stated that the NNPCL would be supplying crude oil to the Dangote Refinery based on business agreement between both parties, and that this would be in accordance with the international price of crude.
“NNPC owns 20 per cent of that asset and we have an agreement with Dangote that we will supply the refinery with crude. So as soon as Dangote begins to request for crude to pay for it, NNPC is prepared to supply the crude as a business transaction.
“We have been selling crude to different parts of the world for decades, and it is not whether we will sell it to Dangote, for why won’t we sell to Dangote when we are selling to other refineries and countries?
NNPCL Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, recently stated that the supply of 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day by the national oil firm to the Dangote Refinery would start once the facility commenced operations.
to be produced by the Dangote Refinery would not be known at the moment until the refinery released its pricing template.
They expressed hope that the refinery would improve the petroleum products’ supply situation in Nigeria, but noted that the cost of white products would only be determined by the pricing template of the facility.
The Secretary, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Abuja-Suleja, Mohammed Shuaibu, said, “By the time it starts producing, we would see how implementation is going to be and his template.
“We cannot say much about the refinery until it starts. So let us see the mode of production, how it is going to look like in terms of its pricing template”.
Also speaking, the President, Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, Billy Gillis-Harry, said the pricing template from the new refinery would guide operators on what would be the cost of refined petroleum products from the facility.
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