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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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Kogi grants one-month grace for business registration, tax payment –commissioner

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By Friday Idachaba

The Kogi state government has given all business owners across the state one-month grace to register their business premises as required by law or face sanctions.

The state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr Gabriel Olofu, stated this at a joint press conference by the ministry and the Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KGIRS) on Tuesday, in Lokoja.

According to Olofu, the ministry derives the revenue on Registration of Business Premises Certificates/Renewals, while KGIRS collects the revenue for the state government, hence the synergy; which was in conformity with the provisions of the law.

He said that the Kogi State Government of Nigeria Registration of Business Premises Law 2007, Section 2(4) of Registration of Business Premises Law and other Matters Connected Therewith 2007, interpreted business premises to mean the premises on which the company, firm or individual carries on any business whether fenced or not.

“We urge business operators to pay their taxes directly into KGIRS specified account and obtain receipt or teller and thereafter proceed to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to obtain your Business Premises Certificates from the commissioner.

“Business operators in the state are given a grace period of one month to pay their taxes with effect from today.

“And at the expiration of one month, the state task force on revenue drive would tour round all business establishments in the state to enforce the law”, he said.

Olofu said the ministry and the KGIRS had Area Tax Officers in the various local government areas and other strategic positions to assist taxpayers make their payments with ease, adopting the cashless policy of the government.

He said that the list of businesses, according to the provisions of the law, covered a wide range of enterprises of about 100 different businesses.

“The list also contains new areas of tax drive, such as POS, miners, contractors handling jobs for the Kogi state government and others”, he said, adding that the state had many on-going developmental activities and required revenue to meet their demands.

Olofu said that the ministry remained committed to the task of overseeing commercial and industrial activities in the state and encouraged all business operators to pay their taxes correctly. (NAN)

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FIRS moves to tackle challenges with digital tax payers in a proposed bill

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service has raised concern over the challenges surrounding digital economy in terms of policing digital tax payers who have been very evasive.

To this end the chairman of the service Muhammad Mamman Nami has muted a plan to come up with a bill that will stipulate the rules and provision that would make it less cumbersome for the service to collect taxes on line from twitter, Facebook and others

He spoke yesterday during an interactive session with members of the Senate Committee on Finance, National Planning, Foreign and Local Debt; Banking, Insurance, and other Financial Institutions; Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Down Stream; Petroleum Sector & Gas on the MTEF and FSP for 2022 -2024

Responding to a proposal by the Chairman of the committee senator Adeola Olamiean who wanted to know if the service was going to come up with any bill he said

“You are aware of the challenges surrounding digital economy in terms of policing the digital tax payers like twitter, Facebook and others. We are going to come up with the rules and provisions that we would to compassionately  approved for us so that we can tax online businesses

“Finance bill is expected to accompany annual budget going forward so it is going to be an annual event it will give us opportunity to review feedback from the tax payers, and from our system and other critical stakeholders to block loopholes in the tax.

“You will bear me witness the stamp duty act came into being in 1963 and the figures in that stamp duty act for instance some of the dutyable instruments which are about 100 of them remain 10k, 50k while in real terms that is not going to give us any significant revenue or give us opportunity to raise revenue for the Federal Government. 

“If for instance you are using about N4 or N5 to print an adhesive stamp and the tax you are going to use it to administer is 10k I think there would be no need for us to collect that tax in the first place. 

“So these are the things we want to identify so that in line with the the fact that business processes are changing we need to adjust the payment to make tax payment simple to enable us block leakages and mobilise revenue for the three tiers of Government. We are not trying to increase or reduce but to change the figures to reflect the realities of the present time.

“If stamp duty rate.for contract is 1% we are not going to change that because the contract amount will determine how much of the stamp duty that we are going to get from the contractor or the agency that is engaging the contractor.”

In response to Senator Mathew Orhoghide who wanted to know whether the proposed bill with consequences for agencies that defaulted in remittances

He said, such stringent measures will help the service because some of the agencies were at hearing adding that it will make them to take FIRS more seriously in remittances going forward. “But as God will have it, we have powers in the law already that we can even make referred to the accountant General of the Federation to do deduction at source from either ministries, Department and agencies or the State Governments and we are already doing that 

“In April we made a publication for Nigeria where we gave ministries, agencies ad departments 60 days to make remittances of their taxes to the federation account failure of which the Accountant General will deduct at source directly and credit Federation account that is what we are already doing

“If you recalled last year you amended our establishment act and in it in section 25 you gave us the power to automate our cash administration processes. Early this year we had National tax dialogue where the President directed ministries, departments and agencies to connect with us so the connections are in progress and when that happens is when we are able to do the automatic deductions. 

“As it is today we are at the .each of the agencies because it is whatever is done today is manual it is what is in their ac ounying books is not known to the CBN to remit it to the federation account so until the direct to the CBN to do so, so with the technology we will automatically get our money.we are already automating the process.

He said the service achieved a total revenue collection of N4.950tr in 2020 as against N5.076tr approved by the Federal Government which represented 98% of what tgey were expected to collect.

“Out of the total collect of N4.9tr, none oil and oil components contributed N3.435tr and N1.5tr respectively

We have projected to collect in the year 2022, 2023 and 2024 is N4.4 tr, N6.2tr and N5.6tr respectively, if added to the non oil taxes that we intend to collect this will bring we project that by the end of the years 2022, 2023 and 2024 we are expected to have generated N10.1tr, N12.6, N12.5tr respectively

“The above projections were based on the following projections, Crude oil production to average 1.6million barrels per day for 2022, 2.2m bpd for 2023,  and 2.2m bpd for 2024. 

“This is based on current production average of 1.9m bpd at projected end of the Covid19 which is expected to see the coming of the economy 

Second assumption is that crude oil prices is projected at $56per barrel for the 3 years

“Thirdly average exchange rate is expected to at N410 per US dollar for the three years.  Tax rate is to remain the same for the period.”

Olamilekan said when the service start talking like it has done they can now see the reality in the N10trillion proposal.

On the  VAT judgement given in Rivers State and what their position and that of the Federal Government he said

“I did not comment on that because it is a case that is befxore the court of labor  

“But what I will assure Nigerians is that we have appealed the judgement at the Federal Court of Appeal and we have also applied for a stay of execution at both the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal. This is what I can say on that very serious matter.”

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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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