Connect with us

/">

BIG STORY

Brace Up Nigerians! New Taxes Coming On Soft Drinks, Others —- FG

Avatar

Published

on

Nigerians should brace for new taxes for soft drinks, the Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said on Thursday.

Responding to reporters’ inquisitions on the sidelines of the ongoing Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank in Washington DC, the minister said the new tax is part of plans by the government to widen the revenue net.

She, however, disagreed that revenue generation was the motive behind the closure of Nigeria’s land borders with its West African neighbours.

Rather, she said the lack of cooperation from the neighboring countries in checking the influx of goods into Nigeria through authorized routes triggered the border closure policy.

Mrs. Ahmed, who spoke on “Strengthening domestic revenue mobilization” at a forum tagged “Governor Talk’, explaining the inevitability of introducing a tax for soft drinks and other imported food-related items.

The minister explained that the government plans to introduce excise on specific items such as carbonated drinks as well as impose Value Added Tax (VAT) on some items imported into the country.

She said: “We are also looking at introducing excise duties on some categories of products, especially carbonated drinks and VAT on some categories of imports into the country. But, it is not all tax increases; there is also a proposal to build tax rates for SMEs. We also increase the minimum tax level to make it easy for people to plan their taxes.”

Stressing the need to re-establish the social contract between the government and the citizens. Ahmed said: ”Nigeria, we don’t have an adequate social contract. The government was not asking for or enforcing tax collection and, therefore, taxpayers also were not taking up their civic responsibilities. This is because we are largely dependent on oil revenue and people are not used to paying taxes.

“Very recently at the Nigeria economic summit, they shared a citizens survey and 75 percent of people that were surveyed said ‘we don’t think there is anything wrong in not paying taxes and it is not a problem’ and there was a few that said ‘I don’t see what the taxes are used for. So, why should I pay tax’?

“We have very low tax morale. We are planning a strong strategic communications process to educate people on why they need to pay taxes. Because we rely heavily on oil and it is not going to be there forever. So, we have to boost domestic revenue generation and use tax revenue to develop their economies and Nigeria should not be an exception.

“We currently have a pervasive revenue generation problem that must change to successfully finance our development plans. Speaking to the facts, our current revenue to GDP of eight percent is sub-optimal and a comparison of oil revenue to oil GDP and non-oil revenue to non-oil GDP performance reveals the significant area that requires immediate and dire intervention in the non-oil sector. This performance attests to the realities of our inability to efficiently and to a reasonable degree, completely collect taxes from our non-oil economic activities.

“Nigeria, when compared with its peers, shows that we are lagging on most revenue streams, including VAT and excise revenues, as we not only by far have, one of the lowest VAT rates in the world, but weak collection efficiencies.

“Also, do we have a lot of incentives and deductions that further constrain the fiscal space that is given in hope of stimulating the growth of our industries and to reduce hardship for the poor and vulnerable.”

According to her, the government is working with the National Assembly to review its joint venture contract of 1989, “which had a position that once the oil price goes beyond $20, there is opportunity to renegotiate and increase the royalties that come to the government, so that in the future, we have incremental revenue coming from the crude oil.

”In tune with the fourth industrial revolution, we want a technological reform. For example, in a bid to leverage available big data in our public sector domain, Project Light House was launched last year and driven centrally at the Ministry of Finance to provide intelligence to the FIRS, state tax authorities and other revenue collecting agencies.

“On the Customs front, we are in the process of developing our national single window and customs is using block chain technology to improve revenue.”

On border closure, I disagreed the insinuations that revenue generation was behind the decision.

She said: “No. Nigeria needed to close the borders because we were not getting cooperation from our neigbouring countries.”

The minister said the failure of the neighbouring states to abide by bilateral agreements they reached with Nigeria was responsible.

She said: “We have over the years been committed to some alliances and bilateral agreements, but our neigbbours were not respecting those bilateral agreements and at this time when the President has signed Nigeria up to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, it becomes more important for us to make sure everybody complies with the commitments that are made.”

She stressed: “The practice our neighbors have engaged in is hurting our economy. It’s hurting our local businesses and we have to make sure that stops.

“That is the purpose of the border closure and not generating revenue,” she said, adding that “if revenues are generated, it’s a consequence, but that’s not the purpose.”

She, however, gave assurance that “the moment the neighboring countries show readiness to comply with the commitments that they have signed to, there will be discussions at the level of the Presidents where we will extract strong commitments from our neighbours and the issue would be resolved.”

On debt profile and management, Ahmed insisted that Nigeria has no debt problem.

“What we have is a revenue problem. Our revenue to GDP is still one of the lowest among countries that are comparable to us. It’s about 19 percent of GDP and what the World Bank and IMF recommended is about 50 percent of GDP for countries that are our size. We are not there yet. What we have is a revenue problem,” she said.

The minister, however, admitted that the underperformance of the country’s revenue was causing a significant strain in Nigeria’s ability to service its debt and government’s day-to-day recurrent expenditure, saying “that is why all the work we are doing at the Ministry of Finance is concentrating on driving the increase in revenue.”

Ahmed said there would be a discussion on the proposed $2.5 billion to $3 billion facilities for the power sector development programme in Nigeria, including the development of the transmission and distribution networks that will involve removing the challenges that are currently bedeviling the electricity sector.

She said: “We are going to have a full meeting to discuss the power sector recovery programme, and back home, we have been working a great deal with the World Bank to design how this programme will be implemented. So, we have an opportunity now to have a direct meeting with the leadership of the bank and to tell them the plan we have and how much we need from one to five years.

“So, the funding could be as much as $3bn and we are going to be pushing for it to be provided in phases. Phase one will be $1.5 billion and Phase II will be another $1.5 billion.”

On the 2020 budget proposal, Ahmed said it was an abnormality that Nigeria has not been focusing on tax revenues in funding its budgets, adding that this time around, what the government is “trying to do in the 2020 budget is to harness the full potential of revenue mobilization within our country.”

BIG STORY

Access Bank Plc Announces Strategic Update And Transactions In Furtherance Of Its Vision To Be Africa’s Gateway To The World

Avatar

Published

on

Access Bank Plc (“Access Bank” or ‘’the Bank’’) announces today that it has received the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Approval-in-Principle for the Bank’s restructuring to a holding company (“HoldCo”).

The proposed HoldCo structure would enable the Bank to further accelerate its objectives around business diversification, improved operational efficiencies, talent retention as well as robust governance. Further details regarding the HoldCo structure will be communicated to the market in due course.

Access Bank also announces definitive agreements to bolster its market position in Mozambique and enter the South African market. This follows the recent transaction with Cavmont Bank in Zambia and further embeds the Bank’s presence in the SADC region, one of Africa’s most important trading blocs.

These transactions will result in a more connected African banking network that builds on Access Bank’s existing foundation and enhances its value proposition to stakeholders, including customers and employees. Shareholders will benefit from the economies of scale of a larger banking network, including the associated cost efficiencies arising from the Bank’s federated IT system and the replication of investments in innovative products across a wider range of markets.

A broader and connected Africa network remains a core strategic focus for geographic earnings growth and diversification, which will further enhance profitability and risk metrics. Through these transactions, Access Bank will be well placed to promote regional trade finance and other cross-border banking services, further leveraging its presence in key global trade corridors in the UAE, the UK, China, Lebanon, and India.

Strategic Entry and Acquisition in Mozambique

Access Bank announces that it has received regulatory approvals to commence operations in Mozambique under the name Access Bank Mozambique, S.A. (“Access Bank Mozambique”).

Access Bank also announces that its subsidiary, Access Bank Mozambique, has entered into a definitive agreement with ABC Holdings Limited (“ABC Holdings”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Atlas Mara Limited (“Atlas Mara”) to acquire African Banking Corporation (Moҫambique), S.A., (“BancABC Mozambique”) for cash, in a combination of definitive and contingent consideration.

This transaction will be funded from the capital invested by the Bank in Access Bank Mozambique and will result in the Access Bank Mozambique becoming the 7th largest bank in the country, up from the 20th. As an enlarged business, Access Bank Mozambique will have an enhanced capacity to play a more impactful role in the growth of the Mozambican economy, particularly in the emerging oil and gas sector, an industry that Access Bank has deep experience in.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and customary conditions precedent.

 

Strategic Investment in South Africa

Building on its strategy of delivering a robust banking operation that connects key African markets, Access Bank has entered into a definitive agreement with GroCapital Holdings (“GroCapital”) to invest in Grobank Limited over two tranches. The first is an initial cash consideration for a 49% shareholding, increasing to a majority stake in the second tranche. Both tranches are subject to various regulatory approvals and the overall transaction subject to Grobank’s shareholder approvals.

GroCapital, whose shareholders include the Public Investment Corporation – Africa’s largest investment manager, and Fairfax Africa Holdings – a leading global investor, will retain an existing but diluted shareholding in Grobank.

A presence in South Africa will serve as a cornerstone for further momentum in delivering on Access Bank’s mission to be Africa’s Gateway to the World. The proposed transaction is expected to provide access to the largest banking market in Africa and enable Access Bank to consolidate its Southern African and broader African footprint with enhanced capabilities to fulfill the needs of multi-national clients.

Speaking on these developments Herbert Wigwe, GMD/CEO Access Bank said:

We have consistently said that we are focused on building the scale needed to become a leading African bank; one that leverages our experienced and growing talent base and key stakeholder partnerships towards driving sustainable impact and profitability. Today’s announcement demonstrates further commitment to delivering our strategic aspirations of becoming Africa’s Gateway to the World in line with our vision to be the World’s Most Respected African Bank.

These transactions will significantly strengthen our presence in Southern Africa and further our footprint for growth in the SADC region. With a broader presence across the continent, Access Bank will be better placed to support our customers who are increasingly looking towards intra Africa growth. The proposed transactions will accelerate the Bank’s momentum towards delivering world-class banking services to an expanded customer base across Africa. Our goal remains to reach and impact 100 million unique customers across the continent.’’

 

 

SUNDAY EKWOCHI

COMPANY SECRETARY

FRC/2013/NBA/00000005528

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

GTBank Fashion Weekend Returns for the 5th Year, Holds Nov. 14 – 15, Call for Exhibitors Now Open

Avatar

Published

on

Foremost financial institution Guaranty Trust Bank plc has confirmed that the 5th edition of Africa’s premier fashion event, the GTBank Fashion Weekend, will hold on Saturday, November 14, and Sunday, November 15, 2020.

The two-day event will feature fashion-leaders and industry experts from around the world, whilst providing hundreds of indigenous small fashion businesses with the opportunity to expand their online presence, reach new markets, and position their businesses for sustainable growth.

Themed “The Future of Fashion Retail,” the 2020 GTBank Fashion Weekend event will feature a hybrid of online and physical experiences, including Online Master Classes, an Immersive Online Shopping Experience with Free Delivery Nationwide, and a Runway Show.

In line with its vision of Promoting Enterprise, the Bank will provide an e-commerce platform that will allow hundreds of small businesses connect with thousands of consumers that are online, whilst providing fashion lovers with an immersive online shopping experience. The Bank will provide custom-built online retail stalls for free and, at the same time, fully sponsor all promotional activities to drive visibility and sales for all the fashion brands that will be a part of the 2020 GTBank Fashion Weekend.

In addition to its innovative fashion retail experiences, the 2020 GTBank Fashion Weekend will feature a series of online masterclasses facilitated by renowned fashion industry experts.
A “must-attend” for entrepreneurs and fashion enthusiasts, the masterclasses have been designed to deliver the same quality in content and engagement as previous years, through interactive webinars that will focus on exploring new and exciting ways to build and sustain fashion brands in these times and the future.

The Runway Show will also keep its place at the 2020 GTBank Fashion Weekend. Designed with current realities in mind, the Runway Show will feature a carefully curated ensemble of bold and enthralling fashion statements by Africa’s Finest Fashion Brands, delivered in a socially distanced environment.

Commenting on the 2020 GTBank Fashion Weekend, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of GTBank, Segun Agbaje, said; “Fashion is more than just art or endeavour, it is a way of life, and as we make adjustments to how we live in these new realities, we are also reimagining how we create value for small businesses, the local fashion industry and our customers through the GTBank Fashion Weekend. This year, key parts of our fashion experience will go online, but the focus remains the same; to drive the growth of our fashion industry by promoting enterprise for small businesses in the sector.”

He further stated that “At GTBank, we will continue to lend the full weight of our franchise to safeguarding lives and livelihoods not only by leading the fight to curtail the Covid-19 outbreak, but also creating and championing initiatives that help businesses and individuals thrive.”

Continue Reading

BIG STORY

Ondo 2020: Mimiko Is Not My Friend, He Remains My Bogus Enemy For Life —- Akeredolu [VIDEO]

Avatar

Published

on

As the date for the Ondo State gubernatorial election draws closer, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has described his predecessor and former governor Olusegun Mimiko as one of the main enemies standing against his re-election bid on October 10.

Governor Akeredolu stated while featuring live on the Channels TV popular programme, ‘Politics Today’ which was monitored by our correspondent.

Recall that the former governor Mimiko, at the weekend in Ile-Oluji, Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo Local Government Area of the state during the campaign tour of Agboola Ajayi, described his friend and successor in office, Akeredolu, as a disappointment to the good people of the state, saying APC and Akeredolu run an anti-people government in the state.

But Akeredolu, while replying, described Mimiko as a “bogus enemy (sic)”, saying it is better for both of them to separate and go on their separate ways.

The governor, who is seeking re-election, alleged that Mimiko has politically betrayed him as a friend.

Akeredolu said: “I took him (Mimiko) as a friend but I doubt if truly he is my friend. I am not somebody that hides feelings. Reference to him as my friend may probably not be right. To me, he is a bogus enemy and I think he remains so I think for life.

“It is better for us to separate and go our ways because with a friend like him, you don’t need an enemy, so you don’t play this high level of betrayal in politics.

“For me, I am not interested in his own politics, if he thinks he is playing politics, he is fooling himself but for me am not human and I can tell you today that both of them, former Chief Judge of Ondo State, Sehinde Kumuyi and Mimiko are my bogus enemies and they will remain forever. I know God will forgive me, I know that am going to survive it and they will regret the action for life.”

 

Video Credit: Channels TV

 

Continue Reading




JoIn Us On Facebook


Live COVID-19 statistics for
World
Confirmed
33,347,912
Recovered
23,146,675
Deaths
1,001,581
Last updated: 8 minutes ago






Most Popular

COVID-19 LIVE UPDATE

BE SAFE, STAY AT HOME