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CITN charges NASS, State Assemblies to pay taxes on constituency project allowances

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CITN charges NASS, State Assemblies to pay taxes on constituency project allowances


The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) has charged the National Assembly, State Houses of Assembly to lead by example by ensuring they pay the taxes on their constituency project allawances.
The President/chairman of council who is also the chief host of the 2020 Tax week Dame Gladys Olajumoke Simplice spoke during the 2020 Tax week organized by CITN with the theme: Tax, Politics and Social Contract in Nigeria.
She said as the country continue to battle with dwindling revenue, it is the right time to ensure the National Assembly members and the State Houses of Assembly members pay accurately the Value Added Tax and Withholding taxes on their constituency project allawances since they are tied to projects.
She therefore called on tax collectors to collect value-added tax and withholding taxes from constituency project allowances of legislators at all levels of governance in the country.
She explained that as tax comptroller in Oyo State and Ogun State she ensured the lawmakers pay up their VAT and withholding taxes on their constituency allowances which she said is still being upheld.
“What I did when I was tax comptroller both in Ibadan and Abeokuta, because I needed to meet up with my target. I sat down and I said the State Assembly they collect constituency allowances, dont they?
“The same thing with the national assembly they collect constituency allowances. Are there no tax implications? “There are tax implications, so FCT IRS chairman it is your duty even if they are not going to pay, they must pay withholding tax because constituency allowance are tied to projects. “They must pay withholding tax and they must pay Value Added Tax. That was what I did and till tomorrow those taxes are being collected both in Ogun State and in Oyo State.
“I went to address the State Aseembly and I told them I have no business with how much they collect as constituency allowances but they should just give my tax.”
She said she only asked her staff to monitor.
“If your constituency allowance is N10m 5% is VAT and 5% iswithholding tax. And 5% withholding tax as it is not going to Limited liability company, we extracted it and it goes to the State and that opened the eyes of the accountant general of the State.
“He said, ‘oh so there are withholding taxes attached to these constituency allowances? And we started collecting and of course I collected my VAT and my target got swollen up and I was bragging.
“This is one of the ways in which we can hold people accountable. Hold people accountable, do your part, think outside the box and do your best.”
He said everyone is a tax payer adding that even for those who lives in estates they used to pay for everything.
“In some of these estates towards the end of the month the gates are locked, you would not be allowed to go out if you have not paid your dues, you are held responsible.
“If we do the same thing from the ward to Council to the house of reps to the Senate we should hold them responsible.
However he said why people can hold their leaders accountable is because they are not paying adequately as at when due their taxes.
“That is why you are not reacting. If you pay adequately as at when due you would not sit down laikadiasically to see people spend tax money anyhow
“Let me tell you, we need to take these things in our own hand. We need to react. People say I am revolutionary I am not. Let me tell you what I did when I was a tax comptroller in Ibadan. It also go back to the political will and the determination to achieve,

“For example somebody say in their estate they want to build and that the road is bad. You can revolt in that estate, carry placards call newspapers and make noise, I can assure you the people who were given that contract would be called back.
She said as for CITN they would advocate just as they did in the ammendment of the finance act.
“The ammendment you see in the Finance act were escalated from the CITN, some of the things we are talking today we will print and escalate.
“Two years ago we went to see the President, we raised some issues from our communique and everything we escalated to him were approved.
“We asked him not to sign the compulsory Federal Mortgage Bank deduction from staff salary and he did not assent to it.”
“Now you asking what your tax money is being used for I keep saying Government does not have a place to pluck money from except tax money revenue
“I recalled a tax payer that stormed into my office and ranted saying he does not see what the Government is doing for him with his tax.
“I said okay, Government is not doing anything for you, and he imports serious building materials, not ordinary materials but the type top politicians use, very fine Italian material.
“At that time it was November and December. I asked him all the materials he imports did he build the airports through which they were imported?
“Or how much tax had he paid to contribute to the building of the airport? He was just looking at me.
“I said even from the airport to Ibadan here even if the road is not good how much is your contribution to that road? He was looking at me and I now asked if he was not going home for Christmas he said he must go home with his family. I said you will either fly or go by road, how much of your tax money?

“The man said, nobody had ever explained to him like that. I am explaining it to you now, pay your own tax, it is when you pay your own tax that you will have the right to demand for accountability.
“If you do not do your own part you have no right to demand for accountability.
“We can only do moralsuation to Government asking them to create the right climate for people to do their business and asking Government to reduce the burden of taxation.
“A lot of it has been done in the finance act 2019. The minimum tax seriously addressed. The removal of SMES from taxation has been addressed. Even company’s income tax has been reduced. I think we should give kudos to this Government, it is not enough but we can always canvass for more.”
The chairman of the occasion Alhaji Kamoru A. Adigun expressed concern that the social contract is one sided.
He said when politicians are being presented they come with their manifesto, people look at it and based on that they are voted in

That he said is one side of the contract however when they get in the expectation is that they will do those things enumerated but at the end people are disappointed

“I am sure that is the reason people are complaining.”
“Coming back to the side of tax collection, tax yield or tax performance I think it is a very complex thing. We expecting a lot of things from the Government but I can tell you Government is doing a lot that we do not know “
He said, “I want to tell you where the problem lies is our present structure, Governance needs to be at the grassroots as it is in the US where everything happens at the grassroots level they have elected representatives that they interface regularly.”
In his welcome address, Chairman Abuja and District Society CITN, Dr. Nwabuzor Emeke said “an important part of every country’s development process is the building of a social contract in which citizens pay tax and, in turn, receive public goods and services”.
Lead paper presenter, DR. Titilayo  Fowokan while speaking on the theme “Tax, Politics and Social Contract in Nigeria” said “tax compliance” by the citizens is low because they want to see what the government has done with the tax revenue. “If you collect one billion naira tax, we want to see one billion naira project”.
The Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Mohammad Nami said it is not the responsibility of the tax administrators to ask how the taxes collected were spent, but that responsibility is for the taxpayers’.
Nami was represented at the CITN Tax Week by a Coordinating Director, Mr. Innocent Ohegwe.

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Hope rises for Cashew Farmers as new president, Stephen promises to address bottle-necks

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Hope rises for Cashew Farmers as new president, Stephen promises to address bottle-necks

The newly elected National president of Cashew Farmers Association Mr. Ahiaba Stephen has promised to address the four major challenges bedevilling the Association.
Stephen had emerged the national President of the group after the election held at the Cashew House, Ogidibeje Junction, Anyigba in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State, Nigeria on Tuesday, March 30, 2021.
This was contained in a statement issued by the media handlers of the association.
According to the statement, Mr. Stephen in his acceptance speech, promised to address four four major issues that pose great challenge to the farmers that includes, the problem of farm gates encroachment and pricing and Multiple taxation.
Others according to him  are Cashew theft within the farm, warehouses and on transit and Cashew seedling production and grafting technology that can increase production and control in Nigeria.
His emergence the statement said elicited hope for a new dawn among members of the association.
“It’s a breath of fresh air with Mr. Ahiaba Stephen at helms of affair as it provides an opportunity for him to bring his wealth of experience in the agro-allied sector of the economy into the workings of the union for the good of all actors.
The statement explained further that, “His leadership promises a robust engagement with all involved in the cashew chain and as it is in his leadership style, everyone will be carried along in decision making as that has always brought him closer to the people he works with and that of the union won’t be different.”

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Tallen challenges women to speak with one voice, be their sisters’ keeper

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Tallen challenges women to speak with one voice, be their sisters’ keeper

The minister of women Affairs Pauline Tallen has challenged the womenfolk to rise up, speak with one voice as well as be their sisters keepers.
Speaking at an event organised by the Association of Nigerian Women Business Network (ANWBN) with the theme: women in leadership and Equality on Thursday in Abuja, she said they should stand to be counted when it comes to being their sisters keepers
“If women can speak in one voice they can decide who becomes the president of Nigeria.”
Tallen was speaking against the backdrop that her counterpart in the ministry of transportation Rotimi Chibuike Ameachi had earlier indicated that though brilliant and intelligent, women are the cause of their own problems.
Ameachi had blamed the womenfolk for the tendency to always pull down their fellow women once they notice any progress coming that is not for them particularly.
Hence, Tallen admonished women,
“So let us change the strategy by loving one another and lifting up one another.
She lamented the deficit of women in the formal sector of the economy however, she encouraged them not to underestimate themselves but asked them to believe they can do anything.
She gave examples of successful women across the globe to include the Nigerian pride in Ngozi Okonjo Iwealla as well as the new Tanzania President.
“You can do more to expand the hands that rock the world.”
Earlier, the National Coordinator of Nigerian Women Business Network (ANWN) Mrs Modupe Oyekunle said the network is a coalition of female business and professional associations across Nigeria.

According to her the Network started with 18 associations but as “I speak with you we have 52 associations across Nigeria in the 6 geopolitical zones with about 4million membership under the coalition.
“This coalition was put together by the Center for International Private Enterprise called (CIPE).”
According to her, the center put the together because it recognises the fact that there are primary associations.
“We want everyone to come together for the purpose of advocacy, purpose of policy review, policy development, policy implementation that affect female entrepreneurs across Nigeria and to ensure that we engage the Government.
“This is a democracy and in a democracy the people must participate. This is the reason for the policy dialogue.
“We have a validated research document that we call Our Women Business National Agenda. That our audited research document is part of our discussion at this policy dialogue.
“I am glad to announce to you that the Presidents of the associations are in attendance. We invited ministries and parastatals that would be engaging especially as it regards the five priority areas: “The first area is high rate of insecurity, genda inequality in Governance at all levels, poor dilapidated road network, power and lack of access to finance from a single digit perspective.”

She commended the Government for what it has done thus far, as women are not where they used to be, however she said, “We are very far from where we ought to be.
“As we engage with Government we will put forth our recommendations and ask for what they are going to do.”
She said the network has been in existence for 7 years.
“The coalition was put together seven years ago. Tangeability first is that we have been able to build a coalition none existent before now that is the first one.
“Second one is that we were able to do the first agenda, Women Business and Inter Advocacy Document that had four priority issues and from the four priority issues three were achieved.
“One of it is from the 2016 document, we were able to introduce the genda inequality bill at the floor of the national Assembly. We are glad to say that the Senate has been able through the women that are there to push the bill.
She said, in the next 10 years the association would ensure that all female associations in Nigeria that are focused on Business and professional leadership will come under the coalition.
This she said is enable them become a formidable voice as well as being able to participate more in democracy in terms of what affects women and advocate for things that affect us as women.

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IGP launches Mobile App for NPF Microfinance Bank

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IGP launches Mobile App for NPF Microfinance Bank 

As part of efforts to improve welfare and make life comfortable for the officers and men of the Force, the inspector General of Police (IGP) Muhammed Adamu on Wednesday Launched the Mobile Banking Application for the NPF Microfinance Bank PLC.
While unveiling the platform at the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters at Louis Edet House Adamu said the aim is to improve on services rendered to customers and realize ‘the vision for its establishment the Nigeria Police Force Microfinance Bank found it expedient to develop a “Mobile Banking Application, Agency Banking and the use of USSD” to meet customers’ needs. “This is a unique mobile Application created to provide financial services for both serving and retired Police Officers and the general public at large. “NPF Microfmance Bank Plc was set up to provide financial services such as retail banking, loans and advances, financial advisory and other allied services to hoth serving and retired officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force, its ancillary institutions, and the general banking public. According to him, the Bank Which commenced operations on 19th May, 1993 from a single branch, has since expanded network across thirty-flve (35) branches across Nigeria. “Over the years, the Bank has shown resilience which has reflected in its consistently positive performance as one of the leading Microfinance Banks in Nigeria. “The Board of Directors and Management through this digital banking platform have made a clear statement Which assures customers of utmost satisfaction and improvement in the business and general Operations of the Bank. “They have also effectively aligned the Operations of the bank to the rapidly advancing technological dynamics in the banking industry.”He said customers will now be able to perform key banking operations through the Mobile Banking A13plication being launched today from the comfort of theiB homes, digital devices, or through the bank’s accredited agents. “The main goal of this Mobile Banking Application is to reduce delay in transactions and improve Operational efficiencies. He said A Mobile Banking Application will no doubt improve interaction with Customers, deliver their needs speedily and also provide ways for making internal functions more efficient. Expaining further he said the deployment of the digital growth is a cultural shift from the traditional way of ‘conducting financial services required to meet discerning cuatomers. He gave the assurance that with the development, the bank will continue to aim for greater heights in order to meet the needs of customers, particularly, the personnel of Nigeria Police Force. 

He encouraged all the officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force both serving and retired, and the general banking public to take advantage of this technolgical innovation by the Bank and enjoy limitless possibilities on the Mobile Banking Application and the Agency Banking Platform. He said it will improve interaction with Customers, deliver their needs speedily and also provide ways for making internal functions more efficient. The chairman of the bank Azubuko Joel Udah in his welcome address said the event marks a significant achievement for the Board and Management of our great Bank as they officially launch the Mobile Banking Application USSD and Agency Banking. “This achievement is coming at a time when customers arw demanding timeliness, flexibility and convenience In carrying out financial transactions. “The deployment of these E-Banklng Channels Is a milestone in our drive to leverage technology for providing our Banking Services In line with our three (3) years strategic plan and also improve our product and services to our customers who are majorly officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force and the public in general. “Innovations in technology has over time revolutionised the banking Sector and informed the Banks desire to include deployment of a Mobile Banking Application as a key aspect of the Banks digital strategy. “In addition, the Application was created out of the need to delight our customers by taking the Bank financial services closer to them regardless of the time of the day or their location.

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