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FIRS Sets N8tn Revenue Target in 2019

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FIRS
  • FIRS Sets N8tn Revenue Target in 2019

The Federal Inland Revenue Service has given itself a target to generate N8tn revenue in 2019.

As such, it called on all taxpayers and other stakeholders to support the drive to make the target achievable.

The Chairman, FIRS, Mr Tunde Fowler, disclosed this at the organisation’s 2019 management and stakeholders’ retreat, with the theme: ‘Parliamentary support for effective taxation of the digital economy,’ in Lagos on Monday.

He said the FIRS set the new target after it collected the country’s highest annual revenue of N5.32tn in 2018.

The chairman said, “The parliament is here, the 2019 budget has not yet been approved, but we are here in the corridors of power. The target of the FIRS is in the region of N8tn and with their support and the support of all taxpayers we believe it is achievable.”

Fowler disclosed that prior to 2018, the highest revenue figure ever attained by the FIRS was N5.07tn, which it generated in 2012.

The FIRS’ generation of N5.3tn, he noted, was remarkable, given that it was achieved at a period when oil prices averaged $70 per barrel compared with between 2010 and 2013 when oil price was at an average of $100 to $120 per barrel.

He said the non-oil component of the N5.32tn was N2.467tn (53.62 per cent), while oil contributed N2.852tn (46.38 per cent).

He said the FIRS collected N212.79bn exclusively from audit, a figure that arose from 2,278 cases, and with a huge reduction in audit circle.

Fowler said, “While we have been steadily increasing revenue collection over the years, our cost of collection has actually been going down. In 2016, we collected N3.307tn; in 2017, we collected N4.027tn and in 2018, we collected N5.32tn. “Meanwhile, the cost of collection as a percentage of actual taxes collected has been reducing. In 2016, it was 2.6 per cent. In 2017, it was 2.49 per cent, while in 2018 it was 2.14 per cent.”

He added that the FIRS had been working hard to ensure an increase in the amount of non-oil revenue it collected.

The non-oil collection, he disclosed, contributed 64.99 per cent in 2016, 62.25 per cent in 2017 and 53.62 per cent in 2018.

This, he stated, was indicative of the government’s increasing focus on non-oil revenue sources and diversification of the country’s economy.

He attributed the steady rise in the collection figures to a series of initiatives adopted and implemented by the revenue service to enhance tax administration and easy tax payment.

Among these, he added, was the deployment of Information and Communications Technology initiatives, which enabled taxpayers to pay taxes from anywhere in the world and at any time.

He said, “With the e-payment channel, one can pay taxes with the click of a button and one can also download their receipts.

“Other e-services are the e-registration, e-filing, -stamp duty and e-tax clearance certificate.

“Taxpayers can now also choose the tax office where they would like to conduct their tax transactions.”

Fowler noted that taxpayers were fast embracing modern tax collection methods introduced by the FIRS through the six e-solutions.

He equally said that the service was automating Value Added Tax collection to ensure compliance and cost reduction.

Fowler said, “We are doing system-to-system integration between banks and the FIRS. And I am happy to announce to you that we had a 31 per cent increase year-on-year in VAT collection in the banks that have gone live between January 2017 to December 2018 and collected N25bn so far.

“We are also automating the payment of VAT by states through the State Offices of Accountant-General platform. This will ensure that we automate and deduct at source and remittance of VAT and WHT from state government contract payments directly to FIRS’s account and so far, collected N13bn.”

He noted that the number of taxpayers that requested for and processed their Tax Clearance Certificates through tcc.firs.gov.ng grew from 9,574 to 59,350 within a year of introducing the platform.

“Auto VAT collection in key sectors has also facilitated the reduction in the cost of compliance. Between January, 2017 and December, 2018, VAT collection increased by 31 per cent, which translates to a collection of N25bn. Overall, in 2018, VAT crossed the N1tn mark. Indeed, VAT is the fastest growing tax type in the world and even rich countries that did not depend on taxation have now introduced VAT, like the United Arab Emirates.”

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.

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Banking Sector

Fidelity Bank Promotes 745 Staff Members

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Nneka Onyeali Ikpe, Fidelity Bank CEO - Investors King

Seeking to increase staff morale while empowering them to work more efficiently, Fidelity Bank has announced the promotion of 745 employees following the performance review of two financial years – 2019 and 2020.

A total of 461 staff members benefited from the FY 2019 promotion exercise, while 284 staff members benefited from the FY 2020 exercise. The beneficiaries cut across the senior, middle, and junior management cadre of the bank, and the promotion was based on merit, using a transparent and robust performance management system in line with global best practices.

Speaking about this, Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, MD/CEO, Fidelity Bank Plc said “I am very delighted to announce the promotions for 2019 and 2020 financial years. Releasing the list for 2 financial years’ promotion at the same time is something we are very proud of. We strongly believe that the continuous growth of our bank over the years has been largely attributed to the commendable efforts and unrelenting sacrifices of our employees. Promotion is one of the many ways we express our gratitude. We are thankful to be home to many amazing talents that continue to drive our value and most importantly, serve our stakeholders to the highest standards.”

Speaking further, she said. “Since I was appointed the MD/CEO of our great bank in January 2021, I have been committed to a 7-point agenda to move our bank further, out of which workforce transformation is a key category. Staff performance and reward are critical to us, and as an organisation, we will continue to make available adequate resources to deepen the skills and entrench a culture of high performance amongst employees. I wish to appreciate all members of the Fidelity Bank family for their commitment and drive and unrelenting sacrifices towards delivering our objectives. As we move forward in our quest to becoming a leading tier-one bank, I encourage all elevated staff to see their promotion as a call to rededicate themselves to excellence.”

Fidelity Bank has continued to empower its employees with invaluable resources capable of putting them at the forefront of innovative transformation. In March 2021, the bank announced two capacity-building projects – One Culture Project and Project Alpha – that were targeted at transforming the workplace for its staff. In particular, Project Alpha was created to help Fidelity Bank develop a robust and holistic learning and development framework for all staff while One Culture Project was formed to reinforce the behaviour and value systems that will help the bank, as well as staff, achieve set goals.

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Finance

Nigeria’s Central Bank To Launch Digital Currency On Oct 1

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that it will launch its much-awaited digital currency on October 1, to mark Nigeria’s independent anniversary.

CBN Director of IT Department, Rakiya Mohammed, revealed this at a private webinar, explaining that the banking sector regulator had been conducting research towards the launch of digital currencies since 2017.

She added that the central bank may conduct a proof of concept before the end of the year. The move to adopt the digital currency was first mulled by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, during the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in May.

He had said a digital currency will soon become a reality in the country, adding that the central bank had already set up its committee which was working on the concept.

The CBN governor had further restated the determination of the apex bank to drive the e-Naira project during the recent 306th Banker’s Committee meeting, pointing out that the process was ongoing.

Mohammed was quoted by Nairametrics to have highlighted the benefits of the digital currency, saying it would enhance macroeconomic management, boost economic growth, facilitate cross-border trade, boost financial inclusion and monetary policy effectiveness.

Mohammed said the digital payment instrument would further improve payment efficiency, revenue tax collection, remittance improvement, and targeted social intervention.

She added that the innovation would also benefit the fintech ecosystem by enhancing operational efficiency, opportunities for fintech start-ups in building services and products as well as financial inclusion that will contribute to economic growth, and the creation of a new system complimenting the traditional payment system.

Mohammed had last month said the proposed digital would be launched before December. According to her, every Nigerian would have access to digital currency.

She had while briefing journalists at the end of a Bankers’ Committee meeting said: “Let me state categorically that cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin and the rest of them are not under the control of the central bank; they are purely private decisions that individuals make and are not part of this arrangement.

“We have spent over two years studying this concept of central bank’s digital currency and we have identified the risks. And it is one of the reasons why I said we are setting up a central governance structure that would involve all industry stakeholders to access all the risks as we continue on this journey.

“Very soon we would make an announcement on the date for the launch and by the end of the year, we should have the digital currency.”

According to her, about 80 percent of central banks across the world are presently exploring the possibility of issuing the central bank’s digital currency, saying that Nigeria cannot be left behind.

Mohammed had added: “You are aware that we have two forms of fiat money: The notes and the coins. So, the central bank’s digital currency is the third form of fiat money. So, this digital money is going to complement the cash and note that we have.

“The central bank digital currency will just be as good as you having cash in your pocket. So, if you are having the currency in your pocket, you are as good as having cash on your phone.

“Now, why did we need to go into this? There are different cases that the central bank is looking at.

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Finance

UK Financial Reporting Council Sanctions KPMG On Quality Of Banking Audits

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KPMG

The United Kingdom Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has sanctioned one of the biggest audit firms, KPMG LLP over the quality of its banking audits which U.K.’s industry regulator said it was “unacceptable” that for the third year running the accounting firm’s work wasn’t up to scratch.

The FRC in its annual report released on Friday examined the U.K.’s seven biggest auditing firms, which include Ernst & Young and Deloitte, said almost 30 percent of all bookkeeping was below par in the year to the end of March.

“Overall Inspection results at KPMG did not improve and it is unacceptable that, for the third year running, the FRC found improvements were required to KPMG’s audits of banks and similar entities.

“Given the systemic importance of banks to the UK economy, the FRC will be closely monitoring KPMG’s actions to ensure findings are addressed in a timely manner.

“KPMG has agreed on additional improvement activities to be delivered this year over and above its existing audit quality improvement plan,

“In response to our findings this year, the firm’s senior leadership has committed to making further changes necessary to improve audit quality in time for 2021 year-end audits.

“We will monitor these closely to assess on a timely basis the extent to which they address our findings,” the report released on Friday stated.

The FRC said that “We will also continue to focus our inspections on KPMG banking audits.”

The regulator said central to achieving consistent audit quality is a healthy culture within the audit practice that encourages challenge and professional skepticism, as it set out in its letter to Heads of Audit
in December 2020.

“We have a major project underway to examine audit culture, including an international conference held in June this year on the subject.

“Operational separation of audit practices from the rest of the firm should help the largest firms to focus on developing an appropriate audit culture,” the FRC stated.

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