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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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CBN bans forex sales to Bureau De Change operators

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Bureau De Change operators in Nigeria will no longer be able to purchase forex from the Central Bank of Nigeria as the Apex Bank has put an end to the sales of forex to such outfits

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who made the disclosure after the Monetary Policy Committee’s two-day meeting in Abuja on Tuesday indicated that the operators had defeated their purpose of existence to provide forex to retail users,  as they had become wholesale and illegal dealers.
”We observed that the BDCs have continued to make huge profits while Nigerians suffered in pain.
”The commercial banks would be monitored to provide forex for the legitimate use of Nigerians.

He stated that the MPC also retained the Monetary Policy Rate at 11.5 percent at the end of the meeting.

According to him, the Cash Reserve Ratio and Liquidity Ratio at 27.5 percent and 30 percent respectively were also retained.
“The MPC made the decision to hold all parameters constant. The committee thought by unanimous vote to retain the Monetary Policy Rate at 11.5 percent.

“In summary, MPC voted as follows, one, retain MPR at 11.5 percent; retain the asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR; retain the CRR at 27.5 percent, and retain the Liquidity Ratio at 30 percent,” he said.

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Gov Sule commends Buhari over Agric Institute in Lafia, says Nasarawa is safe for investors

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From Umar Egbunu Muhammed, Lafia

Nasarawa State governor, Abdullahi Sule, has applauded president Muhammudu Buhari for approving the setting up of the Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital.

This was just as the Governor urged investors to come to the state and invest, assuring them that the state capital is very safe owing to the relative peace being enjoyed across the 13 local government areas of the state.

The Governor, who gave the commendation while inaugurating, the Lafia City Mall for business, on Monday, said the commissioning of the edifice, is a testimony of the prevailing peace in the state.

He said: “I am extremely happy when I woke up this morning. In fact, last night I received the approval from Mr. President Muhamadu Buhari for the setting up of the agricultural machinery and development in Lafia, the state capital.”

Sule affirmed that, there was no better time for any investor that is interested in doing business in Nasarawa State than at the moment, that his administration was working tirelessly to ensure that there is peace and security for businesses to thrive.

While thanking the owners of the mall for undertaking such capital intensive venture, in Lafia, Sule reiterated that, his administration will continue to put measures in place, for the benefit of the people.

He, however, applauded the chief executive officer of the Lafia City Mall, Mr. Umaru Emmanuel, for his concern for the plight of the youths and for the need to impact skills on them to make them useful not only to themselves but the society.

The Governor used the opportunity of the event, to disclose plans by his administration, to establish industrial zones in Karu and Lafia local government areas.

He indicated that, with the Lafia Technical Institute completed, his administration is approaching the BPP, with a view to equipping the various workshops in the institute, namely ICT, electrical installation, fitter machinist, welders, fabrication, carpentry, cabinet makers, motor mechanics, among others, with a view to impacting desirable skills in the youths, as well as graduates who are unemployed.

He added that, following the establishment of the Nasarawa State Investment Development Agency (NASIDA), the government went on to sign an MoU on the 13, 000 hectares of land in Gurku/Kabusu, which has also been earmarked for industrial use.

“I appreciate President Buhari for giving the approval for the setting up of the new technical institute in Lafia,” he added.

“I want to thank you, the CEO of Wave Mart Group, for your continuous believe and trust in Nasarawa State. I want to thank you also for giving us the opportunity to prove to the world, that indeed, Nasarawa is safe for investment,” the governor said.

Earlier, Chairman of the Wave Mart Group, Umaru Emmanuel, said with the commissioning of the Lafia City Mall, it has brought the number of investments by his firm to three, stressing that, with Lafia now a city, it can also boast of a mall, a feature of the modern day city.

Emmanuel dismissed insinuations suggesting that, the North is not safe for doing business, adding that, for the over 7 years he has invested in Nasarawa State, he had no reason to regret.

The Wave Mart Group chairman, however appealed to the Governor, to roll out a deliberate plan in which youths of the state, will be impacted with necessary skills to make them employable.

In a goodwill message, the Emir of Lafia, HRH Justice Sidi Bage (rtd), commended the owners of the mall, for beautifying the city of Lafia and for making it possible for the people to shop under a conductive atmosphere.

The royal father, in order to show further appreciation, bestowed a traditional title on the owner of the mall, Umaru Emmanuel, as the new Dangatan Lafia.

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Reps moves to pass Youth Entrepreneurship Fund bill

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Youth entrepreneurs in Nigeria may witness better days as the House of Representatives has moved to provide them opportunities for financial succour as the bill to bring about that has advanced to second reading on the floor of the green chamber

The bill is entitled : ‘Youth Entrepreneurship Development Trust Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2021(HB. 1448) sponsored by Mr Farah Dagogo, Member representing Degema/ Bonny Federal Constituency, Rivers State.

In his lead debate, Dagogo noted that the proposed law will create a fund which shall be used to provide financial support to Nigerian youths with entrepreneurship skills.’

He expressed confidence that the proposed ‘Youth Fund would provide a vehicle for assured socioeconomic security for Nigerian youths, to galvanize them to become employers of labour, self reliance and captains of industry.’

He said the ‘Youth Fund’ will not only reduce unemployment and the social vices that characterize the Nigerian society today, but serves as a strong pointer that the country are very particular about its youths and have them in its plan.

Giving insight into the bill, the Federal Lawmaker said funding for the ‘Youth Fund’ will not be less than 5% capital estimate proposal from the Federation Account approved as appropriation for the fiscal year.

Other sources of revenue as proposed are ; profits accruing periodically from approved investments made out of the capital in the Youth Fund, one percent profit as declared by each private entity in the country, other revenue legitimately accruing to the fund by means not provided for in the Bill, and such other sums as may accrue to the capital in the Youth Fund from time to time.

Further insight into the bill indicated that( in Section 4 (1)) the youths will have a say on how the funds are to be administered by the Youth Fund Management Board, with its Chairman expected to be a youth appointed by the President on recommendation from the Minister of Youths and Sports and other recognized youth bodies.

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