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Population of Taxpayers Hits 33m, Says Fowler

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FIRS
  • Population of Taxpayers Hits 33m, Says Fowler

Nigeria’s taxpayers roll is set to hit 33 million, Chairman, Chairman of the Joint Tax Board (JTB) and Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Tunde Fowler, said at the 142nd meeting of the JTB in Bauchi State yesterday.

According to Fowler, the ongoing database consolidation of the JTB, an initiative being executed in collaboration with the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), a national taxpayer database with the data of well over 33 million individual taxpayers across the country is now a reality. He stated that having this consolidated database, which is clean and credible, opens the door to immense opportunities for the tax administrator at all levels.

“As we build on this data, we shall also be ensuring that the technological infrastructure that will facilitate the seamless exchange of data across levels of competent authorities are present. This entails significant investment in Information Technology via the provision of required infrastructure, equipment and as capacity building for personnel that will drive the processes,” he said.

The JTB Chairman expressed optimism that such investment in infrastructure will foster efficiency in taxpayer management and will align with the country being a signatory to the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA), which will trigger the Automatic Exchange of Information among Treaty Partners and two other initiatives of the Federal Government: the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), and the Voluntary Offshore Assets Regularisation Scheme (VOARS).

Fowler also celebrated the marked increase in revenue generation in Bauchi State, where the governor, Alhaji Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, launched payment of taxes through Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) and through its website. The new e-payment system is being powered by Interswitch. The JTB Chairman disclosed that the Internally Generated Revenue of the state has risen from about N4 billion to over N7 billion monthly.

“You may wish to note that Bauchi State is actually one of the success stories when matters of IGR are discussed, both at the regional and at the national levels. Your Excellency may wish to note a few of the impressive statistics on IGR collection of Bauchi State. Computation of IGR collection for Bauchi State for the nine-month period January to September 2018 hit N7.04 billion. This figure has already outperformed the full year 2017 IGR figure of N4.36 billion with a percentage margin of 61.2 per cent.

“Average quarterly growth rates for Bauchi as at Q3 2018 is 10.01%, which places it among the top ten highest average quarterly growth rates nationwide for the period. At the regional level, Bauchi State is actually setting a healthy pace for the region as her 9-month collection in 2018 is just over 26 per cent of the entire IGR collected by the six states within the region,” Fowler
said.

He stated that the JTB seeks to play an important role in an “emerging global community where boundaries have moved beyond physical geographic expressions and where financial flows have become seamless and electronic, making it increasingly challenging for Governments to collect the taxes that are due them”.

Chairman of the Bauchi State Internal Revenue Service, Alhaji Jibrin Jibo, said the state was able to improve its revenue collection as it has automated collection platforms, streamlined activities with other revenue generating agencies, and plugged revenue leakages.

Governor Abubakar called state governors to ensure automation of their revenue authorities in order to improve Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

“The place of tax as the major thrust of economic growth is unquestionable since time immemorial. It is the first principle that defines an organised society. It is therefore disheartening that at this age where the cost of running government and provision of services is huge as a result of population growth, that some businesses and individuals still evades taxes. It is largely a question of patriotism. To build the Nigeria of our dream we must as citizens and as government show a great deal of patriotism in the discharge of our civic responsibilities.

Ayo Tanimowo, the Interswitch representative at the event, explained that Bauchi engaged Interswitch and Inteliworx, to provide a tax management solution for taxpayer assessment, services rendition and report generation.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Crude Oil

Nigeria Pumps 236.2 Million Barrels in First Half of 2024

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Nigeria pumped 236.2 million barrels of crude oil in the first half of 2024, according to the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC).

This figure represents an increase from the 219.5 million barrels produced during the same period in 2023.

In January, Nigeria produced 44.2 million barrels of crude oil while February saw a slight dip to 38.3 million barrels, with March following closely at 38.1 million barrels.

April and May production stood at 38.4 million barrels and 38.8 million barrels, respectively. June’s output remained consistent at 38.3 million barrels, demonstrating a stable production trend.

Despite the overall increase compared to 2023, the 2024 production figures still fall short of the 302.42 million barrels produced in the same period in 2020.

This ongoing fluctuation underscores the challenges facing Nigeria’s oil sector, which has experienced varying production levels over recent years.

On a daily basis, Nigeria’s crude oil production showed some variability. In January, the average daily production peaked at 1.43 million barrels per day (mbpd), the highest within the six-month period.

February’s production dropped to 1.32 mbpd, with a further decrease to 1.23 mbpd in March. April saw a modest increase to 1.28 mbpd, which then fell again to 1.25 mbpd in May. June ended on a positive note with a slight rise to 1.28 mbpd.

The fluctuations in daily production rates have prompted government and industry leaders to address underlying issues.

Mele Kyari, Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), has highlighted the detrimental effects of oil theft and vandalism on Nigeria’s production capabilities.

Kyari emphasized that addressing these security challenges is critical to boosting production and attracting investment.

Kyari also noted recent efforts to combat illegal activities, including the removal of over 5,800 illegal connections from pipelines and dismantling more than 6,000 illegal refineries.

He expressed confidence that these measures, combined with ongoing policy reforms, would support Nigeria’s goal of increasing daily production to two million barrels.

The Nigerian government remains focused on stabilizing and enhancing oil production. With recent efforts showing promising results, there is cautious optimism that Nigeria will achieve its production targets.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Steady Amid Mixed Signals on Crude Demand

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Oil prices remained stable on Thursday as investors navigated conflicting signals regarding crude demand.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, settled at $85.11 a barrel, edging up by 3 cents, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dipped by 3 cents to $82.82 a barrel.

The stability comes as the U.S. economy shows signs of slowing, with unemployment benefit applications rising more than expected.

Initial claims increased by 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 243,000 for the week ending July 1, prompting speculation that the Federal Reserve might cut interest rates sooner than anticipated. Lower rates could boost spending on oil, creating a bullish outlook for demand.

Fed officials suggested that improved inflation and a balanced labor market might lead to rate cuts, possibly by September.

“Healthy expectations of a Fed rate cut in the not-so-distant future will limit downside,” noted Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM.

However, rising jobless claims signal potential economic easing, which could dampen crude demand.

John Kilduff of Again Capital highlighted the impact of a slowing economy on oil consumption despite a significant drop in U.S. crude inventories last week.

Global factors also weighed on the market. China’s economic policies remain steady, though details are sparse, affecting investor sentiment in the world’s largest crude importer.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank maintained interest rates, citing persistent inflation.

An upcoming OPEC+ meeting in August is expected to assess market conditions without altering output policy, according to sources. This meeting will serve as a “pulse check” for market health.

Overall, oil prices are caught between economic concerns and hopes of a rate cut, maintaining a delicate balance.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Slide on China Demand Concerns, Brent Falls to $83.73

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Crude Oil - Investors King

Oil prices declined on Tuesday for the third consecutive day on growing concerns over a slowing Chinese economy and its impact on global oil demand.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, dipped by $1.12, or 1.3% at $83.73 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dropped $1.15, or 1.4%, to close at $80.76.

The dip in oil prices is largely attributed to disappointing economic data from China, the world’s second-largest economy.

Official figures revealed a 4.7% growth in China’s GDP for the April-June period, the slowest since the first quarter of 2023, and below the forecasted 5.1% growth expected in a Reuters poll.

This slowdown was compounded by a protracted property downturn and widespread job insecurity, which have dampened fuel demand and led many Chinese refineries to cut back on production.

“Weaker economic data continues to flow from China as continued government support programs have been disappointing,” said Dennis Kissler, Senior Vice President of Trading at BOK Financial. “Many of China’s refineries are cutting back on weaker fuel demand.”

Despite the bearish sentiment from China, there is a growing consensus among market participants that the U.S. Federal Reserve could begin cutting its key interest rates as soon as September.

This speculation has helped stem the decline in oil prices, as lower interest rates reduce the cost of borrowing, potentially boosting economic activity and oil demand.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell noted on Monday that the three U.S. inflation readings over the second quarter “add somewhat to confidence” that the pace of price increases is returning to the central bank’s target in a sustainable fashion.

This has led market participants to believe that a turn to interest rate cuts may be imminent.

Also, U.S. crude oil inventories provided a silver lining for the oil market. According to market sources citing American Petroleum Institute figures, U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 4.4 million barrels last week.

This was a much steeper drop than the 33,000 barrels decline that was anticipated, indicating strong domestic demand.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also weighed in, suggesting that while the global economy is set for modest growth over the next two years, risks remain.

The IMF noted cooling activity in the U.S., a bottoming-out in Europe, and stronger consumption and exports for China as key factors in the global economic landscape.

In summary, while oil prices are currently pressured by concerns over China’s economic slowdown, the potential for U.S. interest rate cuts and stronger domestic demand for crude are providing some support.

Market watchers will continue to monitor economic indicators and inventory levels closely as they gauge the future direction of oil prices.

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