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Niger’s N15bn Tax Revenue Wrongly Paid to FCT – Governor



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  • Niger’s N15bn Tax Revenue Wrongly Paid to FCT – Governor

The Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello, on Monday said that the state was currently losing about N1.3bn monthly as taxes to the Federal Capital Territory.

Bello, who said this during a meeting with the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, at the headquarters of the ministry in Abuja, said the state’s N15bn annual tax revenue was being wrongly paid to the FCT.

He stated that currently, the Personal Income Taxes of over 95,000 people resident in Suleja, Niger State, but working in Abuja were being deducted by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation and remitted to the FCT.

He said with the state losing that huge amount to the FCT, it would be difficult to meet the infrastructure needs of residents of Niger State.

Bello called on the minister to, as a matter of urgency, look into the issue because it negated the residency rule as contained in Section 41 of the Personal Income Tax Act.

The Act stipulates that the Personal Income Tax should be remitted to the state in which a person resides.

The governor said, “Our findings indicate that many thousands of those working in the Federal Capital Territory actually reside in Niger State, in areas such as Suleja and parts of Bwari, which border the FCT.

“However, the taxes deducted from their salaries are being remitted to the FCT on a consistent basis. This has been the case over many years and relates to both civil servants and workers engaged by the private sector.

“From our records, the number of people affected is up to 95,000 and the amount being lost monthly to Niger State is over N1.3bn, which is over N15bn every year. This money could be used to improve the lives of Niger State residents in the areas of health care, education, water and social services and job creation.

“By remitting the taxes of Niger State residents to the FCT, the hardworking residents of Niger State are being deprived of essential services such as schools, hospitals and good roads, as funds available to the Niger State Government are incomplete and thus development needs cannot be met.”

Bello, who put the monthly Internally Generated Revenue of the state at N400m, urged the Finance minister to direct the Accountant-General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, to henceforth remit what belonged to the state to its coffers.

He also called on Adeosun to direct other Federal Government agencies such as the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, Securities and Exchange Commission, and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, among others, to commence remittances directly to the Niger State Government.

Responding, Adeosun, said the issues raised by the governor were consistent with the fiscal sustainability plan of the Federal Government to make sure that states generate enough revenue through taxes to meet their obligations.

She promised to look into the issues by setting up a reconciliation panel that would invite the Federal Capital Territory Administration as well as the Niger State Government.

The minister said, “You have put your points very well and this is a government of fairness and a law abiding government. N1bn a month is a lot of money that is deducted from people who are residents in Niger and to be paid in error to the FCT.

“You have come with facts, figures and names. We will pass that on to the Office of the Accountant-General and those on the IPPIS (Integrated Personal Payroll Information System), of course once we are sure they come from Niger State, we will segregate their taxes and pay those taxes to Niger and those of the FCT will go to the FCT Administration.”

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


Dangote Fertiliser Plant to Commence Shipment of Urea in March 2021



Dangote to Sells Petrol in Naira, Plans to Commence Urea Shipment in March 2021

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has said Dangote Fertiliser Plant will commence shipment of Urea in March 2021.

The CBN governor disclosed this during an inspection tour of the sites of Dangote Refinery, Petrochemicals Complex Fertiliser Plant and Subsea Gas Pipeline at Ibeju Lekki, Lagos on Saturday.

Emefiele further stated that Dangote Refinery would sell refined petroleum products in Naira when it starts production.

This he said would save the country from spending 41 percent of the nation’s foreign exchange on importation of petroleum products yearly.

Based on agreement and discussions with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the oil companies, the Dangote Refinery can buy its crude in naira, refine it, and produce it for Nigerians’ use in naira,” Mr Emefiele said.

That is the element where foreign exchange is saved for the country becomes very clear. We are also very optimistic that by refining this product here in Nigeria, all those costs associated with either demurrage from import, costs associated with freight will be totally eliminated.

Emefiele explained that this will make the price of Nigeria’s petroleum products affordable and cheaper in naira.

If we are lucky that what the refinery produces is more than we need locally you will see Nigerian businessmen buying small vessels to take them to our West African neighbours to sell to them in naira.

“This will increase our volume in naira and help to push it into the Economic Community of West African States as a currency,” Mr Emefiele said.

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UK Budget 2021: Will Sunak’s Budget Run Into Unintended Consequences?



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Rishi Sunak’s Budget will encourage higher earners to consider their “international financial options” and will drive businesses away from the UK, warns the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organizations.

The warning from Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes as the Chancellor delivered his 2021 Budget in the House of Commons, his second since he took on the role.

Mr Green says: “The Chancellor has got an extraordinarily difficult hand to play as he tries to stem the economic damage caused by the pandemic, support jobs and businesses and, crucially, rebuild the public finances.

“Whilst Mr Sunak is being hailed a hero for the continued and unprecedented levels of support, it should also be remembered that he is – in a stealth move – dragging more people firmly into the tax net.

“He is raising taxes under the radar.

“Yes, there is no income tax rise. However, he is freezing personal tax thresholds, meaning as incomes rise and thresholds don’t, he is able to raise money by fiscal drag.”

Earlier this week, the deVere CEO noted: “Those most impacted by this stealth move will be looking at the financial planning options available to them, including international options, in order to grow and protect their wealth.”

Rishi Sunak also confirmed that corporation tax will increase to 25% from 2023, up from the current level of 19%.

Of this tax hike, Mr Green goes on to say: “Lower corporation tax helps job and wealth-creating business to survive and thrive. It also helps attract business to move and invest in the country.

“Instead of increasing taxes, Mr Sunak should have relentlessly focussed on growth and stimulus policies for businesses.  This would have been of greater help to firms, the economy, jobs and, ultimately, the Treasury’s coffers.”

He adds: “Again, this corporation tax hike is likely to serve as a prompt for businesses to consider their overseas financial options.”

The deVere CEO concludes: “The Chancellor had to perform a tough juggling act.  But stealthily dragging more people into the tax net and raising corporation tax might have negative, unintended consequences for the Treasury’s bottom line.”

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Electricity Consumers Get 611,231 Meters Under MAP Scheme



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Electricity Consumers Get 611,231 Meters Under MAP Scheme

A total of 611,231 meters have been deployed as at January 31, 2021 under the Meter Asset Provider initiative since its full operation despite the COVID-19 pandemic and other extraneous factors, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has said.

NERC disclosed this in a consultation paper on the review of the MAP Regulations.

The proposed review of the MAP scheme is coming nearly four months after the Federal Government launched a new initiative called National Mass Metering Programme aimed at distributing six million meters to consumers free of charge.

“The existence of a huge metering gap and the need to ensure successful implementation of the MYTO 2020 Service-Based Tariff resulted in the approval of the NMMP, a policy of the Federal Government anchored on the provision of long-term low interest financing to the Discos,” NERC said.

The commission had in March 2018 approved the MAP Regulations with the aim of fast-tracking the closure of the metering gap in the sector through the engagement of third-party investors (called meter asset providers) for the financing, procurement, supply, installation and maintenance of meters.

It set a target of providing meters to all customers within three years, and directed the Discos and the approved MAPs to commence the rollout of meters not later than May 1, 2019.

But in February 2020, NERC said several constraints, including changes in fiscal policy and the limited availability of long-term funding, had led to limited success in meter rollout.

NERC, in the consultation paper, highlighted three proposed options for metering implementation going forward.

The first option is to allow the implementation of both the NMMP and MAP metering frameworks to run concurrently; the second is to continue with the current MAP framework with meters procured under the NMMP supplied only through MAPs (by being off-takers from the local manufacturers/assemblers).

The third option is to wind down the MAP framework and allow the Discos to procure meters directly from local manufacturers/assemblers (or as procured by the World Bank), and enter into new contracts for the installation and maintenance of such meters.

“Customers who choose not to wait to receive meters based on the deployment schedule of the NMMP shall continue to have the option of making upfront payments for meters which will be installed within a maximum period of 10 working days,” NERC said.

The regulator said such customers would be refunded by the Discos through energy credits, adding that there would be no option for meter acquisition through the payment of a monthly meter service charge.

“Where meters have already been deployed under the meter service charge option, Discos shall make one-off repayment to affected customers and associated MAPs. Such meters shall be recognised in the rate base of the Discos,” it added.

NERC urged stakeholders to provide comments, objections, and representations on the proposed amendments within 21 days of the publication of the consultation paper.

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