- FIRS Explains Tax Waivers on Penalties
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) yesterday explained that its recent decision to grant tax waivers on penalty and interest was part of the federal government efforts to improve the ease of doing business among micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
The waiver to MSMEs on tax penalties and levies is from 2013 to 2016.
Speaking yesterday in Lagos at a public-private dialogue (PPD) which focused on: “Tax and regulatory policy framework for MSMSE in Nigeria,” organised by the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) with the support of Deloitte and Enable2, the Chairman of FIRS, Mr. Babatunde Fowler, noted that in terms of the waivers, MSMEs have to apply before the close of the window on December 31, while adding that another condition which the MSMEs have to fulfill was the payment of 25 percent of the outstanding taxes.
He stated that it was the desire of the federal government to give waivers on interests and penalties to MSMEs, stressing that the government was working to reduce the tax burden on the citizens. He expressed optimism that before the end of the year, the new tax law will become effective.
Fowler explained that due to the nature of business and the level of record keeping of MSMEs, his agency decided to give them extra time to present their records. The FIRS boss said his agency would also educate the MSME operators on all the charges, dues, levies or even penalties are not taxes.
He added: “Going forward we believe by next year everyone should be complying in terms of taxes, and the issues of tax holidays will not arise.
We have also deployed technology free of charge to all states of the federation, including the state government so that the tax portion can be remitted directly; even the state tax and the federal portion are remitted directly.
“Within the allowable structures, we will assist the states through programme capacity; we have to understand that there is a little federal and the state can do. They have their own constitutional independence; therefore there is a limit to how far we can go.
“The federal government does have the MSMEs as it number one priority because we believe that for any economy to work, you (MSMEs) have to work. Those who have assets in excess of 300 million are at the top scale. In terms of the waivers, the taxing authorities in Nigeria are distinct. We do have the prerogative to make policy on the federal taxes.
“The state’s internal revenue service boards are totally autonomous and they also have to make separate policies. This has slowed the duplication of taxes in Nigeria. What we have discovered is that there are now illegal charges collected by some officials who call themselves revenue operators at the local government level.”
In her remark, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, represented by the Director of Technical Service Department, Hajia Larai Shuaibu, noted that as part of measures to encourage businesses with a tax system that is easy to understand, the government constituted the National Tax Policy Review Committee (NTPRC) to review the National Tax Policy Document.
She stated that the exercise was setup with a view to addressing the modalities for simplifying the processes and reducing the tax burden on small businesses.
Adeosun called for the review of qualification for lower income tax rate applicable to small businesses in line with current economic realities, adding that the income tax rate for small businesses should be further reduced as an incentive to encourage compliance and promote MSMEs.
She noted that the review would be a continuous exercise, as a means of evolving global best practices and keeping with the domestic socio-economic realities. According to her, government has initiated the process of working towards having some recommendations of the committee as part of its 2017 fiscal Policy Measures.
The Minister added: “The Ministry of finance shall work with the legislature to ensure that the requisite changes to tax laws are enacted together with the Appropriation Act of the same year. This would require the executive to timely present the tax laws as executive bill for the timely consideration of the National and State Houses of Assemblies.”
Transcorp Hotels Expand into Marketplace, Launches Aura to Connect People, Hoteliers, Others
Transcorp Hotels Plc, on Thursday, announced it has launched a new digital platform, Aura, through which people can book accommodation, restaurants and experiences.
Aura, Transcorp’s first in the alternative accommodation segment, is part of the company’s asset-light model, leveraging technology to deliver true hospitality, exciting experiences, and drive shareholder value.
“It’s a new dawn in the hospitality industry! I am thrilled to introduce you to Aura by Transcorp, the digital platform we are using to connect people to quality accommodation, great food, and awesome experiences,” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc. Dupe Olusola said.
“For more than 30 years, Transcorp Hotels Plc has been at the forefront of creating a superior guest experience at our locations. Today, our commitment to innovation has offered us an opportunity to extend this beyond the hotel premises,” Olusola added.
The launch of Aura by Transcorp is one of the most significant developments in the company’s history as it seeks to transform the travel and tourism industry in Africa by focusing on three important components of travel, whether for leisure or business — where you stay, what you eat and how you spend your time. With its people-driven hospitality model, Aura is set to revolutionise travel and help remind Africans of our deep history of hospitality.
Speaking on the launch of Aura, Obong Idiong, Chief Executive Officer at Africa Prudential Plc, Aura’s technology partners, expressed his excitement. “Finding the right accommodation when you travel can be incredibly complex. Options available for the right prices are often limited, and travellers sometimes end up with accommodation that taints the travel experience. Transcorp Hotels Plc has been able to fix that with Aura and we are proud to be associated with them.”
“To ensure topnotch user experience, we built a solution to drive digital transformation through the adoption of shared living spaces for the Aura business. With an advanced search algorithm powered by artificial intelligence, Aura determines the relevance of locations taking into consideration, the customers’ preferences and requirements to meet them at the point of their needs,” Idiong added.
Priscilla Adeboye, a travel enthusiast and early adopter of Aura, said the global pandemic has pushed international travel down her list. “But I still want to be able to take some time off work or spend a weekend away from home with the family. I have found incredible homes on Aura that meet my need for space and privacy.”
Siemens Energy Nigeria Appoints Seun Suleiman as Managing Director
Seun Suleiman is the New Managing Director of Siemens Energy Nigeria
Mr. Seun Suleiman is the new managing director of Siemens Energy Nigeria, the company announced on Wednesday.
According to the statement released by the energy company, Suleiman will be responsible for the entire management of operations and decisions on business policies and corporate strategy.
Commenting on his appointment, Suleiman said, “It is an absolute honor to lead the business for Siemens Energy Nigeria and I look forward to delivering on the brand’s promise of excellence.”
Suleiman joined Siemens Energy in 2014, bringing over 15 years’ experience and deep expertise in the private sector across Europe and West Africa.
The statement said, “He is an accomplished business strategist and success-driven leader with strong business acumen. Suleiman has also been a core member of the executive management team at Siemens Energy serving in roles as Sales Director West Africa – Service Distributed Generation Oil & Gas and Vice President Service & Digital.
“Prior to this, he also held various functional and managerial positions with ABB Ltd UK, ABBNG Nigeria, Schneider Electric Nigeria and Dresser-Rand Nigeria Ltd.”
It added that Suleiman was experienced in establishing operational excellence with specific competence in the power, oil and gas sectors.
FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations
FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations
The Federal Government on Monday said the Osubi Airport in Warri has been reopened for daylight operations.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Siriki, disclosed this in a tweet.
The airport was closed in February 2020 over mismanagement and debt allegation involving aviation service providers and airport management.
However, Oberuakpefe Afe, a lawmaker representing Okpe/Sapeie/vaie federal constituency, recently moved a motion for the Federal Government through the ministry of aviation and relevant authorities to reopen the airport for flight operations.
On Monday, Hadi Siriki said “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.”
I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth. 🇳🇬🙏🏽🇳🇬
— Hadi Sirika (@hadisirika) March 1, 2021
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