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Post COVID-19: FG explores indirect tax, ICT to shore up revenue says Finance minister

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Post COVID-19: FG explores indirect tax, ICT to shore up revenue says Finance minister

The minister of finance, Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed has reiterated the Federal Governments determination to explore all possible avenues including indirect taxation such as ICT driven tax to shore up the country’s revenue.
She spoke when the chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) Abuja and District Society visited on sensitization to mark the tax week.

The minister who spoke through a director in the ministry Fatima Hayatu said because of the experience during the COVID-19 lockdown the tax drive is being redirected to ICT.
“We have all seen from the COVID-19, we were all in Lock down,  but we were using our phones and technology, that is why we are now going to ICT driven tax and we are going to be taxing more of the digital technology.
She said Post COVID-19 indirect taxation is where most of the taxes will be coming from.
“The theme; ‘Tax, Politics and social contract’ is very apt in the present situation, Nigeria needs all the taxes more than before, as a ministry we will give the CITN all the support it needs to carryout it’s basic duties.
Chairman of FCT Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Alhaji Abdullahi Attah said considering the fact that the country is now seriously looking for money and oil is dwindling the next option is taxation.
Speaking through Director Human Resources in FCT IRS Muhammad Jada, he said there is every need to take taxation seriously and ensure that the trust reposed in them is not be betrayed
“It is an important organization and an important week where the trust and the integrity is the key.”

The chairman CITN Abuja district Dr Nwabuzor M. Emeke said they are organising the annual tax week as a week they lay emphasis on tax advocacy and sensitisation.
“This year we have chosen the topic that has to do with tax, politics and Social Contract
What are we trying to say, we are looking at it from two perspectives, and equally encouraging Government to fulfil their own end of the bargain so that when Nigerians see what the Government is doing with the proceeds from tax they would be encouraged to pay taxes.
He said in so doing they CITN Abuja district is organizing a seminar Tuesday at Merit House, where about four eminent professors will speak on issues about taxation. “The issue of tax cannot be over emphasised because we all know what Nigeria is going through in terms of the dwindling oil revenues, so the Government is deploying more efforts on tax issues and that is on your shoulder as FIRS and we as CITN that regulate tax in Nigeria is partnering with you to ensure that you achieve your target that is given to you by the Federal Government.

The chairman of FIRS Muhammed Nami said they attach importance to the Relationship between FIRS and CITN as many directors in FIRS are also members of CITN
Represented by the coordinating director digital support group of the Federal inland Revenue Service Dr. Achek Maidugu he said,
“The CITN is part and parcel of the FIRS, most of us are members with the Abuja and district society.
“FIRS holds CITN in high esteem as critical stakeholder we appreciated and we always identify with CITN.”
He said they have been supporting CITN adding that they will continue the partnership.

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Economy

Solidaridad inaugurates multi stakeholders platform for sustainable Oil-palm production in Kogi

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By Friday Idachaba

Solidaridad West Africa – Nigeria, a solution-oriented Civil Society Organisation, has inaugurated a Multi-Stakeholder Platform (MSP) for Sustainable Climate Smart Oil Palm production among communities in Kogi.

Senior Climate Specialist, Africa and County Technical Lead, Nigeria, Dr Sam Ogallah, who inaugurated the platform on Wednesday in Lokoja, said the effort was part of the National Initiative on Sustainable Climate Smart Oil Palm Smallholder (NISCOPS) project.

Ogallah said that the setting up of the MSP was informed by the result of the studies the organisation conducted in 2019 in the oil-palm sector in Oil-palm Producing States of Nigeria, including Kogi, Enugu, Akwa-ibom and Cross Rivers states.

“We conducted climate vulnerability analysis studies that gave us a red alert on what we are likely to face between now and the next 30 years if things are not done differently,” he said.

He noted that aerial photos and images taken in the course of the study had shown sustained degradation of the ecosystem.

“We compared the land use, vegetation and land cover as at 1949 and and projected it to 2039.

“We now see that by 2039, most of what we have now will become rare as there would be no vegetation again (due to lack of proper planning of settlement areas among other degrading human activities,” he said.

He said that Solidaridad also conducted analysis on Gender Inclusion and Gender Participation in the oil palm value chain and discovered a lot of biases against women and youths from the report.

“Access to land for women and youths is also an issue. Favourable land tenure system is also an issue. Who has the right to land ,who owns the land? We have seen this play out in various communities.

“So the essence of this MSP is to be able to meet with the people who are the custodians of the land and see how we can help with re-orientating and sensitising them, build their capacities so that they can see and do things differently,” Ogallah added.

He said that the studies also revealed that farmers had limited knowledge of best management practices and were overwhelmed with issues of non-application of improved planting materials and inefficient palm-oil processing facilities.

Realising the enormity of the situation, he said the organisation decided to take a Multi-Stakeholder approach involving people from different backgrounds with direct or indirect interest in oil-palm, to look at the issues, brainstorm and address them holistically.

“The idea is that at the end of the day, we should be able to produce oil-palm sustainably and talking about sustainability, we have three pillars – Economy (income), Social and Environment.

“We talk about producing oil palm to have income that would translate into improvement in livelihood for smallholder households in our local communities and when there is sustainable income, there will be less social problems,” he said.

“Environmentally, we have to produce Oil-palm or palm oil in a very sustainable atmosphere so that we can sustain our natural resources for our future generations,” Ogallah explained.

The News Agency of Nigeria NAN reports that the stakeholders were drawn from Oil-palm farming communities, traditional rulers, Agriculture related Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as the Media and Civil Society Organisations. (NAN)

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Economy

Minerals Producing Areas Commission Bill scales second reading

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A bill seeking to establish Solid Minerals Producing Areas Development Commission has scaled second reading at the Senate.

The bill among others is also aimed at providing for the accelerated development of the Nigerian Solid Mineral Sector to diversify the Nigerian Economy and reduce the over dependence on the dwindling oil revenues has passed the second reading
Sponsored by Senator Yakubu Oseini representing Kogi Central, the bill is titled: “A Bill for an Act to establish the solid minerals producing areas development commission in the Federal Republic of Nigeria to address environmental devastation and for other connected matters thereto, 2021”.

Leading the debate on the general principles of the bill, Oseni said it was read for the first time at the hallowed chamber on May 5.

He said the country was endowed with solid minerals of various categories, ranging from precious metals to precious stones and industrial minerals.
“The Nigerian Extractive Industries and Transparency Initiative (NEITI) reported that there are approximately 40 different kinds of solid minerals and precious metals buried in Nigerian soil waiting to be exploited.
“The sector offers a viable alternative to petroleum for foreign exchange earnings.
“Globally, the mining industry has been a close rival to the petroleum industry, while Nigeria only earns a paltry 89 million dollars per annum from it,” he said.
He said the objective of the bill included formulation of policies and guidelines for the development of the mineral producing areas.
The debate on the bill was seconded by senators Smart Adeyemi (APC-Kogi) and Gabriel Suswam (PDP-Benue).
The President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan thereafter, referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Solid Minerals for further legislative action.

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Economy

Bricks to Cribs CEO urges Nigerians to embrace Online Entrepreneurship to boost the Economy

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The Chief Executive Officet and Group Managing DirCribr of Bricks to Cribs & Bar (BTCBARS) Akarah Ebenezer Ulochukwu has urged Nigerians to embrace online entrepreneurship to boost the nation’s economy.
This he said is expedient as many economies of the world are gradually recuperating from the heat of Covid-19 pandemic.

He made the call during a virtual interview with journalists in Lagos over the weekend.
He said,
“Online entrepreneurship will definitely be a plus to Nigeria’s economy. This is because everyone can do it. It is not secluded to the elites or enlightened anymore,” he emphasised.

If this path is towed, the CEO said, it would be a soothing relief for the nation, seeing that so many youths are out of jobs, a situation orchestrated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He further implored the government to consider such new age ventures, create more opportunities for people to learn, and enact policies that would aid people to give room for more entrepreneurs to emerge.

As the founder of the Royal Niger Green Farms foundation, Akarah, described online entrepreneurship as every other kind of business opportunity.

“It is time-taking, risky, requires dedication and hard work. It is definitely not a get-rich quick scheme as some people have been made to believe,” he emphasised.

For the CEO, today’s world is different hence, he said with a new age comes a new way of doing things. “The internet has taken over, and it’s only right that we exploit opportunities that it offers us.

“The world is now connected globally, giving you access to the other parts of the continents in just a click,” continuing he said globalisation is one of the main ingredients in the new type entrepreneurship. “You can buy, sell, trade, discuss, and sign deals almost immediately.”

In a swift switch, he shared an insight into BTCBARS, which is a group of companies that has invested in making impacts in various sectors including real estate, agriculture, entertainment, logistics, finance, and a few other industries.

With the aim to creating a stable market that offers high-quality and reliable services and products, he enthused, “Our main goal is to be a pathway to financial freedom in Africa.”

Its group of companies include BTCBARS, a real estate firm; Afri D Ltd, a courier and logistics company; ZL Empire Ltd, our entertainment arm of the group; Afri Festival Ltd, African Financial Revolutionary Innovators (AFRI); and Royal Niger Green Farms, an agricultural investment firm.

“We also have ZILLYBRAIN — this is a branding for my stocks business they nicknamed me the Blackwolf of Wall Street. ZEE AUTOS LTD- we do car mortgaging. ZL SOUNDS is a record label,” he highlighted.

In what he termed a wake up call to the youth, the GMD suggested, “You should be willing to take your time, experiment, see what works for you, and everyone you choose to work with.”

According to this youth business guru, in the end, it is a transaction, and that can’t be done alone. Hence, he chipped in, “Take your time, learn, adapt, and innovate.”

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