Accountants Set Tax Reform Agenda For Incoming President
As Nigerians prepare for the inauguration of a new President on Monday, a group of Accountants under the auspices of “Stransact”, has set an agenda for the incoming administration on tax reforms.
The firm’s partners at a briefing recommended tax-related reforms for the government to improve and sustain the economy.
Addressing reporters, the Stransact Partners noted that the middle class is fast disappearing due to the collapse and relocation of companies that would have employed this skilled and educated workforce.
According to the Partners, Nigeria has one of the highest multiplicities of tax in the world. With inflation rate rising to 22.04 per cent in March, this year, the multiple taxes imposed on businesses and individuals have become a heavy burden on Nigerians and have become impediments to the ease of doing business.
They, therefore, advised the government to widen the tax net, by bringing in more people from the informal sector into the tax bracket, rather than increasing tax rates or introducing new forms of taxes.
“To ease pressure on genuine businesses bringing investments into the country and ensure compliance, the government must be fair and concise in regulation, allowing market forces to freely set the terms for a healthy competition in the economy”, the General Partner, Stransact, Eben Joels, said.
He also noted that the multiple currency rates policy is giving influential people undue advantage to make excess profit whilst stifling the growth of genuine businesses.
“For instance, a politician can use his influence to get dollars at the official rate of N460 and sell at the black-market rate of around N750, taking advantage of the arbitrage difference, whereas a fully compliant business person may find it challenging to recoup their investments because they are required to purchase dollars at the open market rate, which is not stable enough to ensure consistent profits”, Joels explained.
Partner, Tax Services, Victor Athe, called for the ‘formalisation’ of the informal sector of the economy, where a large portion of transactions are done outside the banking system.
“Introducing facilities and regulations that will formaliase the unregulated sectors of the economy will widen the tax net and increase the tax revenue available for government”, Athe said.
The Partners canvassed the deployment of homegrown innovations, technologies and tailored solutions to Nigeria’s tax problems.
One example of such indigenous innovations is the TaxPro-Max introduced by the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), which enables seamless registration, filing, payment of taxes and automatic credit of withholding tax.
They also challenged Nigerians to demand accountability from government representatives at all levels on the use of tax funds.
Infrastructure Deficit, Insecurity, Limit Maritime Contribution To GDP – Expert
A Maritime stake holder, and Chairman of Sifax Group, Taiwo Afolabi, has attributed maritime industry’s minimal contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to infrastructure deficit, insecurity on the nation’s waterways, low level of technology adoption, and deployment in the sector.
Afolabi made this known at the 5th Taiwo Afolabi Annual Maritime (TAAM) conference organised by the Maritime Forum of the faculty of law, University of Lagos.
Afolabi noted that other hindrances are foreign exchange bottleneck and inconsistent policies.
“These have limited the ability of the sector to contribute significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product GDP.
“If well harnessed, the maritime industry has the potential to become a major revenue earner for the country, particularly with the declining oil revenue.
“The lessons of the last few years as a nation should not be lost on us. The non-oil sector is increasingly becoming the mainstay of the country’s economy. We have funded our national budget in the last few years majorly without proceeds from oil but from other sectors.
“The days of our over reliance on oil is behind us now and it’s about time we focused on transitioning from an oil-dependent economy to non-oil reliance.
“The maritime sector, I can say without any fear of contradiction, will play a crucial role in this economic transitioning if more attention is committed to the industry.
“Judging by the potentials of the industry, we are of the opinion and belief that Nigeria’s maritime industry can rank among the best in the world.
“It will only take careful planning, progressive policies, generous funding, enabling environment, friendly economic policies, manpower development and massive infrastructural development”, he noted.
Loans Repayment Default: DMO Exonerates Nigeria
The Debt Management Office (DMO) has refuted the claim by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) that Nigeria has defaulted in repaying its Chinese loans.
SERAP had in an earlier statement hailed the judgement that ordered the present regime led by President Muhammadu Buhari to account for how it spent $460 million obtained from China to fund the Abuja Closed-Circuit Television project which later was not implemented.
The NGO also quoted a report in its statement saying “Nigeria has failed to repay loans for which penalties stand at N41.31bn”.
But DMO in its refuttal said the statement is ‘false’ as Nigeria has not defaulted in its loan repayment.
It said, “Nigeria is fully committed to housing its debt obligations and has not defaulted on any of its debt service obligations”, DMO said on Monday.
SERAP had sued the Federal Government following a 2019 disclosure by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed that “Nigeria was servicing the loan”, adding that she had “no explanations on the status of the project”.
She reportedly said, “We are servicing the loan. I have no information on the status of the CCTV project”.
Giving his judgement, Justice Nwite agreed with SERAP that “there is a reasonable cause of action against the government. Accounting for the spending of the $460 million Chinese loan is in the interest of the public. It will be inimical for the court to refuse SERAP’s application for judicial review of the government’s action”.
The presiding justice also said the Minister of Finance is in charge of the finance of the country and “cannot by any stretch of imagination be oblivious of the amount of money paid to the contractors for the Abuja CCTV contract and the money meant for the construction of the headquarters of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB)”, SERAP said.
CBN Names Four Firms To Print Cheques
Nigeria’s apex banking institution, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has named four local firms for the printing of cheques, excluding the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company (NPSMC) PLC.
The list of the approved firms for the printing of cheques was contained in a circular issued by CBN.
The circular, which was signed by the Director of Banking Services, Sam Okojere, said the approved firms include Superflux International Limited, Tripple Gee and Company, Yaliam Press Limited, and Marvelous Mike Press.
“The re-accreditation of Cheques Printers and Cheque Personalisers is in line with the relevant qualification criteria”, CBN stated.
The circular also revealed that seven banks were approved as personalisers of cheques: they are Zenith Bank Plc, Ecobank Plc, First Bank Ltd, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Keystone Bank Ltd, Providus Bank Ltd and Wema Bank Plc.
It further disclosed that all accredited printers and personalisers had been duly notified and certificates issued.
The Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company Plc is the sole printer of N200, N500, and N1000 new notes.
Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company Plc and Euphoria Group Limited were accredited and approved on Thursday, 04 December 2014, in a letter REF: BPS/DIR/GEN/CIR/02/033.
Niger Delta5 days ago
A’Ibom Govt Hospitals Perform Eight Successful Cardiac Peacemaker Implantation
Opinion2 days ago
·Of Happy Endings And New Beginnings
Business5 days ago
‘Nigeria’s eNaira Adoption Disappointingly Low’
News5 days ago
Reps Call For Forensic Audit Of NNPCL Over Fuel Consumption Claims
Politics2 days ago
Ahead Of Inauguration: Reach Out To Opposition, Kenyatta Urges Tinubu
Social/Kiddies5 days ago
Children’s Day: Issues And Solutions
News5 days ago
FG Unveils Portal To Engage Senior Citizens
Featured2 days ago
I Won’t Interfere In Fubara’s Govt -Wike