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The federal government has paid another set of 14 whistleblowers the sum of N439.276 million for providing tips on tax evaders.

Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who briefed the press on Friday, in Abuja, said the payment was made this week, after the government received the sum of N13.8 billion from the affected tax evaders, mainly corporate organizations, based on tips by the whistle blowers.

She said, “The Whistleblower Policy started December 2016. Since then, we have had 8, 373 37communications of which 1, 231 were actually tips. “We have conducted 534 investigations; 10 prosecutions and four convictions.

“This week, we paid whistle blowers the sum of N439.276 million it was to 14 people who provided specific tips on tax evasions about companies who deliberately evaded or under-paid taxes.

“Working on those tips, we have held discussions with those companies and they have paid N13. 8 billion which we have confirmed have been paid to the Federal Inland revenue Service.

“Under the VAIDS, We are getting far more tips on tax evasions, which of course is a crime against us all and this is a new trend that we thought is worth bringing to your attention. So these people, are being paid this month.

“This is the first time we are having that number where we have concluded either communications with companies and the companies have actually paid the money to FIRS.”

BUSINESS

MUST WATCH VIDEO: How To Safeguard Your ATM Card Details

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Watch the video below on how to safeguard your card details at all times courtesy Zenith Bank Plc

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BUSINESS

Goodbye Debit Cards

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Last weekend, I was at the cinema to watch the latest instalment of the Mission Impossible sequel; Fall Out. I had watched it over two months ago, but I had been busy with exams and there are some things in life you only watch on a big screen. The movie had received very good reviews and was still showing at Silverbird Cinemas, Ikeja City Mall and a few other locations.

Ikeja City Mall on a weekend is a great place to hang out with friends and family, but its popularity also leads to overcrowding, which could mean long lines of people waiting to be served. I, however, shrugged off this thought with the consolation that ‘It won’t be that bad’.  Little did I know of the wahala ahead. I took an UBER ride from my house to the mall, arriving there 1.59pm, 21 minutes before the movie started. On getting to the cinema floor, I met a large crowd of agitated cinemagoers and frustrated attendants shouting back and forth. I stood there in disbelief. “Which kind line be this one now,” I said to myself. This was 2.03pm and my heart was already racing. I could not miss a second of this movie.  I bravely joined the queue, checking my watch every minute. 15 minutes later I heard, Next!!!! ‘Finally,’ I said to myself. I approached the counter and the attendant stared at me and asked ‘Yes, what can i do for you?’ I marvelled at her question, smiled and pointed to the Fallout movie poster behind her. She looked at the poster and responded ‘N2, 500’. ‘Ok,’ I replied as I handed her my card to make payment.

The attendant collected my card and brought out a gigantic POS terminal, ‘Just to collect N2, 500’ I wondered. She tried the POS the first time – TRANS FAILED, she looked at me and tried a second time; TRANS FAILED. ‘Oga, your card is not working’ she said. I searched through my wallet and realized I only had N3,000 cash.  Mental calculation… ‘That’s was my UBER ride back home’. Comments were already flying, ‘What is this one doing’, ‘Oga shift don’t waste our time, the movie is about to start o…’.

I looked at the hostile attendant’s face and the agitated crowd behind and reached for the N3,000 in my wallet.  Just as I was about to hand them over I saw a ‘MasterPass and mVISA ACCEPTED HERE’ sign and my mind went ‘Scan to Pay’. With my confidence back, I placed my notes back in my wallet and brought out my phone.  I looked at the attendant and responded with a smile ‘I will pay with Scan to Pay’. The attendant shifted the sign closer to me and I scanned the QR code.

As I scanned the QR code, I felt prying eyes from the crowd wondering what I was doing and then it happened my receipt came out of the printer. I collected my ticket from the attendant together with a coupon for a free popcorn and drink and walked away from the payment point with the swag of a big boy. As I walked away, a person on the queue stopped me and asked, ‘What was that?’ pointing at the sign. I responded smiling ‘That is the payment option to use. That’s the way to pay’.

So, if you are heading over to the cinema this weekend, just ask the attendant that you want to Scan to Pay and you will be marvelled.

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BUSINESS

The ASPIRE Account That Made My Aspiration A Reality —– Femi Badmus

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2 months ago, I graduated from Lagos State University with a Honours in Accounting; an achievement that was only possible through the overwhelming support of my mother. It still feels like a dream having my Bachelor’s degree and looking back I recall that pivotal moment when everything changed.

I lost my dad in SS 3 and my mum had to struggle to put me through school. She was an uneducated woman who sold pepper at Idumota and whose painstaking efforts had sustained us through those trying times after my dad’s death. The death came as a shock and left us barely surviving. The loss was especially hard for my mum and I feared it might have broken her mentally. Contrary, she became this superwoman whose resolve was to see me succeed at all cost. She worked long hours; in the sun, in the rain and her dedication to make and save money for my university education.

That year, while my SSCE results were very good, my JAMB result was seized and it seemed the university dream was beyond me. I was very depressed but my mum was there to encourage me with words I have never forgotten “You see, sometimes life go push you, push you so te you go wan give up but remember na your choice to either give up or rise up stronger”. I forgave all those bad people at JAMB, took up a job as a waiter and started preparing for the next JAMB exam sitting while also saving for my university tuition.

One year later, JAMB was good, I was accepted to study Accounting at the University of Lagos and needed to pay my acceptance and other fees. I quickly rushed to the bank filled a withdrawal slip and presented it to the teller. Lo and behold, the teller returned the slip and replied that my balance was insufficient for the requested amount. I was stunned. I knew I had saved enough money in my account to cover this withdrawal but the teller insisted I did not have up to N40k and printed a breakdown of my account history to buttress this point. Only then did I realize there were so many bank charges that had been depleting my savings. I was really infuriated as I tried to reconcile my realities: a struggling youth trying to get admission being saddled with ridiculous bank charges. I consoled myself and withdrew the N37,000 left in my account, augmented it with additional funds from my super mum and proceeded to Zenith Bank to make the required payments.

While there I noticed differences from my own bank; the security was very courteous, the banking hall was very well-lit and ventilated with customers being attended to promptly. The teller was very pleasant and I soon found myself telling him how my bank has been chaffing me. He told me the Bank had an account for undergraduates called Aspire and I won’t have that problem if I was using such to manage my funds.

Two weeks later armed with my Admission letter, School ID card and a passport photograph I opened the most beneficial account any undergraduate could have. Throughout my stay in school, I received interests in my savings and it was as though the account was pushing me to spend less and less. This made me a better manager of my funds. I am now a graduate with no indebtedness and looking back, I realize the Aspire account wasn’t just a regular savings account, it was built with me and other millions of students out there in mind.

Thank you Aspire for helping me achieve my dreams.

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