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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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Zamfara to boost revenue generation with N1.8bn investment in Abuja hotel

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Zamfara to boost revenue generation with N1.8bn investment in Abuja hotel

Zamfara state government says it has invested the sum of N1.8 billion for the purchase of a hotel in a choice area of Wuse, Abuja to boost its local revenue generation.

This was disclosed to newsmen in Gusau on Tuesday, by the Managing Director of the state’s Investment and Property Development Company Ltd, Alhaji Anas Hamisu.

Hamisu also disclosed that governor Matawalle had approved and released N235 million for the purchase of an estate also in Abuja.

“The first thing you look for when you come to Abuja is an accommodation which speaks volumes, His Excellency has approved for us to purchase six units of three-bedroom three-bedroom houses at the cost of N235 million.

“Plans are underway by the company to invest in the purchase of shares worth over N250 Million in order to boost the state Internally Generated Revenue and create more wealth to the state government,” he explained.

He however said, the state government would dispose off its share investments in all unviable companies as it could not continue to waste such resources which ran in millions.

He commended the support given to the company by the state government under the leadership of Governor Matawalle particularly in the area of investment and reinvigoration for the development of the state Internally Generated Revenue Base and job opportunity.

“As I am talking to you now, the state government under the leadership of Governor Bello Matawalle has the a vision to develop the state investment process and generate more income to the state by creating more job opportunities for the youths of our dear state,” Hamisu stated.

He said with this development, the company would purchase and commercialize vehicles for intercity service, purchase farm products from farmers to be exported to other countries.

He also stated that, the company would partner with small scale businesses and entrepreneurs in order to boost the economy of the state and also generate more revenue.

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Kano State Govt says it will slash taxes as COVID-19 relief

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Kano State Govt says it will slash taxes as COVID-19 relief

By Mustapha Sumaila

The Executive Chairman of Kano State Internal Revenue Servic, Alhaji Abdulrazak Datti-Salihi, has unfolded the plan to slash personal income tax as relief to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on citizens.

Datti-Salihi made this known while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in an interview in Abuja on Thursday.

He explained that the tax relief package was to ease the hardship occassioned by COVID-19 and encourage taxpayers to come forward to pay their taxes.

He said the pandemic had affected most businesses hence the need to provide such relief for the taxpayers in the state.

“In Kano state, with the approval of the Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, we are looking at what we called COVID-19 palliatives for our taxpayers.

“We now have some tax relief package for our taxpayers, we are looking at reducing the personal income tax by certain percentage to motivate our taxpayers to pay their taxes.

“We are looking for other ways to expand the tax net so that more people will be captured with a view to generate more revenue for the state” .

The chairman noted that plan had been concluded to introduce technology to drive their goal of expanding the tax net.

He said with the nature of the state,  reducing taxes and capture more people, would help the service to generate more revenue.

“Kano is a commercial nerve centre, if you look at the businesses in the state, about 60 per cent of them are informal in nature and most of these businesses are not captured in our tax net because of difficulty in coordinating them.

“We are working seriously to bring more people and companies to the tax net and reduce the taxes being paid by individuals and companies as COVID-19 relief for certain period of time.

“And having additional people in our tax net will help to augment the shortfall arising from the slashing of taxes and hence meeting the revenue target” he explained. (NAN)

MS/

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SEC moves to introduce fintech in Nigeria’s capital market

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SEC moves to introduce fintech in Nigeria’s capital market

The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lamido Yuguda has indicated that the Capital Market would soon be strengthened with Finance Technology

Yuguda spoke on Wednesday when he appeared before the Senate committee on Capital Market to defend the commission’s 2021 budget proposal.

Fintech relates to any business that uses technology to enhance or automate financial services and processes thereby fixing problems in financial infrastructure.

Fintech companies operate by receiving information from customers before helping them make payment, refund a sale, look up details of a transaction, and set up a billing plan among other things.

2020 saw the rise of fintech startups in Nigeria. In October, American fintech giant, PayStripe acquired a Nigerian counterpart, Paystack for over $200 million to expand into the African Continent.

Speaking on plans to launch into fintech, the DG said: “We are implementing the FINTECH road map. We are also contextualising the regulatory independent framework to on board FINTEX into the capital market.

“We have just released draft rules for the crowdfunding in our regulation. We have received set of comments from the market and very soon we will be releasing these rules to the public.”

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Senate committee on Capital Market, Ibikunle Amosun (APC, Ogun) called for strengthening of the country’s Commodity Exchanges to make the market robust and functional.

He said: “We know a lot more can be done, so we urge you to do more especially to introduce new products and consolidate on the existing ones, carry out research on other capital markets across the globe to align with global best practices.”

Amosun equally tasked stakeholders in the sector to work towards domestication of Nigerian products to encourage local investors.

“The Capital Market needs to re-activate our alternate Market, and bring on board unlisted multinational companies, in order to develop a robust Capital Market. These informal sectors as we are all aware is a driving force that will dominate our nation’s economy.

“I encourage all the stakeholders present here to strategise on how to encourage Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), and multinational companies to participate in the Nigeria Capital Market.

“Let me remind us that, the money market is already dominating the capital market due to reasons such as; system failure, lack of transparency in operations, insider abuse, etc. To this end, the Investments and Securities Act (IST) will be reviewed. We urge all the stakeholders as a matter of urgency to intimate us all areas that require legislation in order to promote the Capital Market”, he said.

On the issue of Unclaimed Dividends, the Senator urged SEC and Central Securities Clearing System to work on it, for investors’ confidence and growth of the Capital Market.

“The idle or dormant funds in our system is quite worrisome considering the role those funds can play in the capital Market.  Any financial system that is characterized with enormous wasteful resources in the midst of lack and financial challenges is not proactive. 

“Stakeholders must come up with robust solutions to harness the idle funds and see how it can be channeled into productive ventures”, he said.

Amosun encouraged stakeholders to study what is obtainable in other Capital Markets across the globe and “enact relevant policy framework to eradicate these dormant resources, proffer long lasting solutions to stem such wasteful occurrence.”

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