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Economy

FIRS Shuts More Tax-defaulting Firms

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tax relief
  • FIRS Shuts More Tax-defaulting Firms

The Federal Inland Service has continued its crackdown on tax-defaulting companies by sealing off their premises in Lagos and Abuja.

In Lagos, a team led by Mr. Umar Gana sealed off Mayssa International Limited, which situated in Etim Inyang Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos, over a tax debt of N133.8m. The managing director of the firm, who identified himself as Mr. Robert, told the team that while the company truly owed, the debt was not on the scale the FIRS claimed.

He added that the organisation was making efforts to pay what it owed, an assurance that did not impress the team, which shut the premises.

The team also shut Modesty Properties Limited, situated at No. 255, Muri Okunola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos for a tax liability of N30.7m. The exercise also affected Joza Global Logistics Limited, situated at No. 8, Ribadu Road, Ikoyi, which was shut for owing N62.4m.

In Abuja, the FIRS team leader, Mrs. Ruth Mandeun, ordered the sealing of the premises of Hakimco Automobiles Limited at the city’s Central Business District. The company, according to a statement by the FIRS, is indebted to the tune of N335,902.

The manager claimed to have paid the debt, but when given 30 minutes to produce evidence of payment, he disappeared and the company was shut.

On Wednesday in Lagos, the premises of Ace Products and Services, situated at No. 20, Sanni Ashmiu Close, Awoyaya, was shut over a tax debt of N157.3m.

However, members of staff of the company refused to open the gates for the FIRS officials despite properly identifying themselves. The refusal to open the gates lasted about 15 minutes, after which policemen attached to the team forced the gates open for Gana to order the firm’s staff members out of the premises for the company to be sealed.

The team also visited Globasure Technology Limited at No. 10, Ashabi Adewale Close, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. The company is said to be indebted to the tune of N36.5m, which had accumulated between 2007 and 2014.

The company’s managing director admitted that the organisation owed, but insisted that the amount was below what the FIRS claimed. He appealed to the team for more time, blaming the failure to pay on the harsh economic situation in the country. His plea was, however, ignored and the company was shut.

On Tuesday, the FIRS sealed Diplomat Hotel located at No. 1 Shonny Way, Shonibare Estate, Maryland, Lagos, which allegedly owed N35.1m accumulated over the last four years. The hotel’s customer care manager said the management was “concerned about the debt.”

The same day, the team closed the premises of Island Power Limited, a power generating firm said to be owing N132.5m from 2012 to 2014. The company’s administrative department was shut, leaving the power plant because of the essential service it provides. But at Conservative Estimate Limited, situated at No. 15 Fatai Irawo Way, Papa Ajao, Lagos, the team met the premises under lock and key, as the firm allegedly relocated four months back. The warrant showed that the company owed N15.8m.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Economy

FG Launches E-ticketing Platform to Deepen Train Usage and Convenience

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FG Launches E-ticketing Platform to Deepen Train Usage and Convenience

In a bid to improve the usage and enhance the convenience of train transport in Nigeria, the Federal Government on Thursday announced the launching of the Electronic Ticketing platform for the Kaduna-Abuja rail services.

The N900 million E-ticketing platform was introduced by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike R. Amaechi, and the Nigerian Railway Corporation.

Amaechi said the new platform would improve efficiency, promote accountability, reduce leakage and enhance economic growth, as well as save time.

The E-ticketing platform was a Public-Private Partnership project done in conjunction with Secure ID Solutions, who provide and would manage the system for 10 years in an effort to recoup its investment before the Nigerian Railway Corporation take charge.

Kofo Akinkugbe, the Chief Executive Officer, Secure ID Solutions, said as the new E-platform issued 25,000 tickets after a successful pilot test on Thursday.

Potential Travelers can book via three ways:

1. Mobile app
2. Website
3. POS or Cash at the station

A validator would be used to scan the ticket barcode to ascertain its authenticity before boarding.

Amaechi further announced that self-service ticket vending machines at various train stations would be introduced soon.

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Economy

Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) Balance Now $72.4 Million

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Zainab Ahmed Finance Minister

Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) Balance Now $72.4 Million

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, on Thursday said Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) stood at $72,411,197.80 as of January 20th, 2021.

The minister disclosed this at the first National Economic Council (NEC) meeting of the year presided over by Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President and had in attendance State Governors, Federal Capital Territory Minister, Central Bank Governor and other senior government officials.

Ahmed said “Excess Crude Account (ECA), balance as at 20th January, 2021, $72,411,197.80; Stabilization Account, balance as at 19th January, 2021, N28,800,711,295.37; Natural Resources Development Fund Account, balance as at 19th January 2021, N95, 830,729,470.82.”

The minister also said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N6.45 billion for the setting up of gas plants in 39 locations nationwide in an effort to increase COVID-19 treatment.

What is Excess Crude Account (ECA)

Excess Crude Account (ECA) is an account used to save the disparity in the market price of crude oil and budgeted price of crude oil as stipulated in the Federal Government Appropriation Bill.

Key Takeaways of Excess Crude Account (ECA)

  • Excess Crude Account (ECA) was established in 2004 by the Federal Government to stabilize Nigeria’s economy and smooth out the effect of crude oil fluctuation on Africa’s largest economy.
  • The ECA rose to its highest of $20 billion in November 2008 during the global oil boom when prices were above $100 per barrel.
  • Controversy, allegations of corruption, and uncertain performance have trailed the ECA since creation.
  • The balance plunged from $20 billion in 2008 to $72.4 million in January 2021.

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Economy

AfCFTA: Nigeria Customs Service Requested For Detailed Role In The Free Trade Agreement

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Container Shipping

AfCFTA: Nigeria Customs Service Requested For Detailed Role In The Free Trade Agreement

Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) requested for a proper and detailed role expected to be carried out in the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

The NCS said detailed explanations of roles and responsibilities of all parties involved in the free trade agreement should be spelled out to avoid overlapping of duties and to achieve a seamless implementation of AfCFTA.

Mr. Joseph Attah the Public Relations Officer, on behalf of the Comptroller-General of the NCS, Col Hameed Ali (Rtd.), issued a statement to address the call for a detailed role of the Customs.

“Our functions are highly automated and primarily systems-driven, hence the need to methodically harvest and integrate all data associated with AfCFTA into our system for easy deployment, access, and use by the trading public.

“We, therefore, await the National Action Committee (NAC) on the list of duties and charges waived for liberalised goods under AfCFTA. The list of the 90 percent liberalised national trade offers (NTOs); list of the 70 percent non-liberalised exclusive goods at the regional level; and list of the 3 percent non-liberalised sensitive goods.

“The appointment of a competent authority responsible for issuing and authenticating certificates of origin and registering enterprises and products within the region.” He said.

In the statement, NCS pledges commitment to the success of the trade pact and also identifies the transformational impact the free trade agreement would have on businesses in Nigeria and the Africa continent at large.

“Also, it is pertinent to inform the public about steps which must be taken to enable its smooth and full implementation,” He added

NCS recommended that the member-country of the free trade agreement should have a representative in the continental chamber, this is to ensure transparency and build the confidence of the members in the system.

“This, in our view, should be complementary to the activities of the various chambers of commerce of each country in the region. While awaiting clear directives concerning tariffs for all goods covered by this agreement, we want to assure the public of our preparedness to fully deploy our services at the shortest notice.

“Our desire is to imbue trust in the system while guaranteeing the economic safety and wellbeing of businesses within the country,”  NCS noted.

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