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Twitter, Facebook, Google, Others Now To Pay Tax In Nigeria, As Senate Passes Finance Bill

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The Senate yesterday passed the Finance Bill 2021, transmitted to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari, on December 7, 2021.

The passage by the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly followed the consideration of a report by the Senate Joint Committee on Finance; Customs, Excise, and Tariff; Trade and Investment.

One of the major highlights of the Bill is the aspect empowering the Federal Inland Revenues Service (FIRS) to assess non-resident firms like Twitter, Facebook, Google, and Netflix, among others.

They are to be taxed on fair and reasonable turnover earned from digital services to Nigerian customers.

The Finance Bill further mandates FIRS to appoint persons for the purpose of collection and remittance of non-resident taxes.

In his presentation, Chairman of the Joint Committee, Senator Solomon Adeola, said the Bill seeks to support the implementation of the 2022 Federal Budget of Economic Growth and Sustainability by proposing key specific taxation, such as Customs Duties, fiscal charges and other relevant laws.

Adeola, representing Lagos West, said a total of 12 Acts were amended under the Finance Bill which contains 39 clauses.

He said the Bill seeks to promote fiscal equity, align domestic tax laws with global best practices, introduce tax incentives for infrastructure and the capital market and support small businesses with a view to increasing government revenue.

“The Finance Act 2020 was predicated essentially on having no new taxes and no new incentives due to the COVID -19 impact on the economy, as such, it was structured across four broad thematic areas; Enacting counter-cyclical measures and crisis intervention initiatives; Tax, fiscal responsibility, and public procurement reforms; Reforming fiscal incentives policies for job creation; ensuring closer coordination of monetary, trade and fiscal policies and Enhancing tax administration,” Adeola said.

The committee based on its observations, recommended five percent Capital Gains Tax to be imposed on shares’ disposal transactions where gains exceed N250 million in 12 months.

It recommended that Gaming and Lottery companies be taxable, as it applies to oil and gas companies.

The Bill underscored the need for midstream and downstream oil and gas companies to be liable to corporate tax, without the benefit of tax exemptions for firms exporting goods to earn foreign exchange.

The Bill equally sought more powers for the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to collect the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (NPTF) levies on Nigerian companies and to streamline tax, levy collection from Nigerian companies in line with the administration’s ease of doing business reforms.

The committee stressed the need for the Federal Government to ensure that FIRS deploys both proprietary and third-party tech applications to collect information from taxpayers, enhance confidentiality and non-disclosure, and to enable them to investigate tax evasion and other crimes and sanction tax defaulters.

The Bill further empowers FIRS to assess and tax non-resident firms on a fair and reasonable turnover basis on revenue earned from digital services to Nigerian customers, with a further mandate to appoint persons for the purpose of collection and remittance of non-resident taxes.

The committee demanded necessary reforms on securities lending transactions, minimum tax for insurance companies and companies in general, taxation of unit trust income, real estate investment trust, and insurance companies capitalization by NAICOM in line with tax equity.

It urged the government to mandate FIRS as the principal tax revenue collection agency, to collaborate with law enforcement agencies and MDAs in streamlining tax collections by enhancing public financial management reforms.

According to the joint committee, doing so would reduce revenue leakages and better track actual expenditure to revenue performance in line with the provision of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended), Fiscal Rules, and other Extant Money Acts.

It also called for the diversification of Nigeria’s revenue from oil to other sectors to fund critical expenditures.

The committee demanded an increase of 0.5 percent in education tax, pushed for close monitoring of unfolding development and policies on VAT, tax incentives, projected increase tariff on tobacco, alcohol, and carbonated drinks to fund vital expenditure on health, education, and security, with the possibility of introduction of new taxes, tariffs, and levies as the economy recovers.

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JUST IN: Amaechi Resigns As Minister Of Transportation

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Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, a presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, on Monday, officially resigned his position in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari as the Minister of Transportation.

In a press statement issued by the Amaechi Presidential Media Committee (APMC) signed by Kingsley Wali, in Abuja, Amaechi in his resignation letter expressed profound gratitude to the President for considering him fit to serve in his administration.

He equally thanked Buhari for the enormous support given him, which he said, was responsible for the tremendous record of achievements he made in the Ministry of Transportation over the last seven years.

The statement quoted Amaechi as saying in his resignation letter: “It is with mixed feelings that I tender my resignation as the Minister of Transportation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to contest for the Presidential ticket of our great party, the All Progressives Congress.

“Your Excellency, it has been a great honor and privilege serving as a member of your cabinet following your historic victory at the polls in 2015. Under your administration, the Ministry of Transportation has recorded significant achievements, made possible by your visionary support and commitment to ensuring that we deliver on our mandate.

“As I embark on the next phase of our mission to work towards a better Nigeria for ALL NIGERIANS, I humbly seek Your Excellency’s prayers, and blessings, and look towards your continuous support and guidance.

“Your Excellency, whilst humbly seeking your kind consideration of my request please accept the assurances of my highest esteem.”

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BREAKING: EFCC Arrests Accountant-General Of The Federation, Ahmed Idris, Over Diversion Of N80bn

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Nigeria’s Accountant-General, Ahmed Idris, has been arrested over alleged money laundering and diversion of public funds.

Those familiar with the development said Mr. Idris was intercepted in Kano by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday evening and is being flown to Abuja, the nation’s capital, for interrogation.

Report has it that the EFCC has for some time been investigating a case of diversion of at least N80 billion in public funds which were allegedly laundered through some bogus contracts.

The companies used in laundering the funds have allegedly been linked to family members and associates of the accountant-general, investigators said.

Our sources further said after progress was made in the investigation, Mr. Idris was summoned repeatedly for interrogation but he failed to honor the invitations.

“We kept inviting him but he kept dodging us,” one of our sources said. “We were left with no choice but to keep him under watch and arrest him.”

The spokesperson for the EFCC could not be reached to comment on his story. One of his subordinates said he is traveling in the United Kingdom at this time.

However, a top EFCC official confirmed the development but asked not to be named because he had no permission to discuss the matter with the media.

President Muhammed Buhari appointed Mr. Idris’s accountant-general on June 25, 2015.

The position became vacant at the time after the former Accountant General, Jonah Otunla, left office on June 12, 2015.

President Buhari reappointed Mr. Idris for a second four-year term in June 2019, amid criticisms from labor groups who said the accountant-general should retire after turning 60.

Mr. Idris, a native of Kano State, North-west Nigeria, was born on November 25, 1960, and was until his appointment in 2015 the Director of Finance and Accounts, Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.

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BREAKING: Embattled Ex-EFCC Chair, Ibrahim Magu, Promoted To AIG

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The Police Service Commission has promoted Ibrahim Magu, suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to the rank of an Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), along with five others.

AIG Magu Ibrahim who is proceeding on retirement is the most senior in the CP cadre and missed the last two promotions after returning to the Police from the EFCC.

It was gathered that the decision to promote Magu follows the recommendation of the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba. The PSC had last July declined to promote Magu during the promotion of 24 CPs and other officers.

This is just as the PSC confirmed the promotion of Mr. John Ogbonnaya Amadi as a Deputy Inspector General of Police, to take over from late DIG Joseph Egbunike who represented South East in the Police Management team. Also promoted DIG is Zana Bala Senchi.

The other Commissioners of Police promoted to AIG are CP Abraham Egong Ayim; Okunlola Kola Kamaldeen; Andrew Amieengheme; Akeera Mohammed Younous; Celestine Amechi Elumelu; Ngozi Vivian Onadeko and Danladi Bitrus Lalas (Airwing).

A statement by Ikechukwu Ani, Head of Press and Public Relations said 23 Deputy Commissioners of Police were promoted to Commissioners of Police

The new 23 Commissioners of Police are; Taiwo Olusola Jesubiyi, former DC, Admin and Finance, Akwa Ibom State Command; Kolawole Olajide former DC, Force CID Annex, Alagbon, Lagos; Julius Alawari Okoro, former DC, Maritime, Lagos; Adelesi Ebunoluwa Oluwarotimi, former DC DFA, Kwara State Command; George Chijioke Chuku, former DC Ops Ebonyi State Command; Paul Alifa Omata, former DC Ops, Kwara State Command; and Effiong Dominic Edem, former DC Ops, Zone 2 Lagos. Others are Yusuf Adesina Akeem, presently at the National Defence College; Mary Gbemudu George, former DC, Anti Human Trafficking Abuja; Etim Aqua Efiom, former DC Ops FHQ, Abuja; Mohammed Yakubu, former DC SCID Anambra Command; Ganiyu Alhaji Salami, former DC ZCID Zone11 Osogbo; Magaji Kontagora Ahmed, former, DC Ops, Lagos State Command; and Kolo Yusufu, presently O/c IGP Special Tactical Squad & TIU.

Also promoted CPs are Bzigu Yakaba Kwazhi Dali, presently on secondment to ECOWAS Commission, Guinea, Bissau; Ahmed Ammani, presently at the National Defence College; Afolabi Babatola Adeniyi, former DC, Ops Yobe State Command; Njoku Henry Eronini, former DC, JTF, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State; Abiodun Oladimeji Asabi; Dankwara Adamu Mohammed, former DC, SPU FHQ, Abuja; Mohammed Usaini Gumel, former DC TIU FHQ, Abuja; Ogundele Ayodeji, former DC Central Intelligence, Force CID Annex, Lagos and Idris Nagoya, former 2i/c Force Animal branch.

The Commission also approved the promotion of 23 Deputy Commissioners to the next rank of Commissioners of Police; 31 Assistant Commissioners to Deputy Commissioners of Police.

Magu’s ordeal began in July 2020 when he was suspended from office as acting EFCC chairman by President Muhammadu Buhari, over Malami’s allegations against him and he consequently appeared before a presidential panel headed by retired Justice Ayo Salami set up to probe him for alleged graft and insubordination.

More to come…

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