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Average Nigerian Business Pays 48 Taxes, Says Elumelu

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  • Average Nigerian Business Pays 48 Taxes, Says Elumelu

The Chairman and founder of Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu, has said that an average business concern in Nigeria pays 48 taxes.

He noted that with this trend Nigeria would be unable to keep its investors and entrepreneurs if the issue of multiple taxation was not abolished.

He said this in Abuja on Thursday while delivering the keynote address at the 21st annual tax conference of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria.

While he called for a far-reaching tax reforms and an urgent need to pass the executive tax bill, he decried the plight of the average Nigerian entrepreneur, saying that an average business was a local government authority providing his own electricity, water and waste disposal method.

According to The Cable, he said the government should make life easier for Small and Medium Enterprises by creating favourable tax policies that will support them. He called on the government to eliminate the regime of multiple taxation.

He said, “Until there is a reduction in what SMEs pay as tax, elimination of multiple taxation, the abolition of minimum income tax and excess dividend tax, it will be difficult for us to attract investors into this country, and it will be difficult for us to retain the ones already in the country. It will be difficult for us to mobilise our SMEs to help create employment that we need so much in this country.”

“The average number of taxes businesses pay in Nigeria is 48, compared to 33 in other sub-Saharan countries. In Hong Kong, it’s just three. Multiple taxation remains a significant burden for SMEs and corporates operating in the country.

“With a population of close to 200 million people in Nigeria, we have only 75,000 registered SMEs in the country. No one needs to tell us that people are avoiding tax or refusing to be a part of the system.”

According to the Heirs Holdings chairman, to increase the tax to GDP ratio from its current six per cent to 16 per cent will amount to an additional $40bn in government revenue, which is similar to the size of the nation’s foreign reserves.

He said, “Government should drive mass mobilisation of citizens – let citizens know why they need to pay taxes and give them the assurance that their tax will be properly utilised.”

“Government should employ the use of smart tax incentives to attract and incentivise local and foreign investors.

“Nigeria has 14 taxation treaties while a country like South Africa has 79 double taxation treaties, and we are the largest economy in Africa. Our embassies should adopt a target in the next two years to sign tax treaties with our top 100 trading partners in the world.”

Also, the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria said there was the need for an amendment of the country’s tax laws in order to address some of the loopholes in the tax system.

It said while the dynamic nature of the economy had made it imperative for the nation’s tax laws to be amended annually, it was almost eight years now since Nigeria last amended its tax laws. The last time the country’s tax laws were amended was in 2011.

The Vice- President of the Institute, Mrs Olajumoke Simplice, urged the National Assembly to pass the tax amendment bill into law without further delay.

The conference which is the single largest gathering of tax practitioners in Nigeria has ‘Unlocking the potentials of taxation,’ as its theme. She expressed optimism that the new tax amendment bill when passed into law would encourage more people to pay tax.

She said, “The National Assembly is not helping in the development of the nation. Certain things should be considered as priority. Taxation is a dynamic thing.

“There should be amendment of the tax laws every year but the last time there was amendment of tax laws in Nigeria was in 2011. They should put their personal interests aside and approve the bill. Nigerians should be encouraged to pay tax.”

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.

Banking Sector

TAJBank Deploys NQR Solution To Ease Customer Transactions

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TAJBank, Nigeria’s non-interest bank, has announced the deployment of the NQR Payment solution, an indigenous Quick Response Code (QRC) by the Nigeria Interbank Settlement Scheme (NIBSS), for merchants and customers as the newest addition to its innovative e-business channels.

The NQR Payment solution is a secure QR-code-based payments and collections platform developed for merchants and customers to receive and make payments for goods and services in a quick, easy, contactless and secure manner.

A statement signed by the Founder/Chief Operating Officer of the bank, Mr. Hamid Joda, indicated that the ingenious solution would further drive TAJBank’s culture of innovation and create a seamless payment experience for its rapidly growing individual and corporate customers in their banking transactions.

“We are excited to have this payment channel introduced into the nation’s financial system as an addition to other innovative solutions we have deployed over the past few months.

This is a proof that, as we have said in our communications signature line, TAJBank’s interest is always in our customers”, Joda enthused.

In his remarks, the non-interest lender’s Chief Marketing Officer/Co-Founder, Mr. Sherif Idi, also maintained that the deployment of the NQR payment solution would revolutionize the e-payment experience and open new frontiers for small, medium and large scale businesses who are major stakeholders of the bank.

Since it commenced operations in the non-interest banking segment of the financial services industry, TAJBank is noted for its impeccable track record of growth and innovation, rendering exceptional quality services to customers.

The lender’s NQR solution is open to all customers of the bank, both merchants and individuals, across all its branches and digital channels globally.

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African Development Bank’s First Virtual Business Opportunities Seminar of 2021, Draws 450 Global Partners and Suppliers

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The African Development Bank hosted its first virtual business opportunities seminar (BOS) of 2021 on 6 and 7 April.

The BOS seminars offer a one-stop shop for companies, civil contractors, manufacturers, consultants, and suppliers from the Bank Group’s regional and non-regional members seeking to provide goods and services to projects or to the Bank.

Held virtually as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, delegates were informed about the Bank’s strategy for supporting economic growth, its priority areas, rules and procedures for project and corporate procurement, and ongoing public and private sector operations.

During the sessions staff discussed the sectors that offer opportunities for partners and suppliers: climate change; infrastructure, cities and urban development; industries and trade; finance and SMEs; agriculture; health, human capital, youth, and skills development.

“The Bank’s 2021 Business Opportunities Seminar was an impressive learning experience and an open door to interact virtually with different experts and gain insights into best practices and directions for conducting effective business approaches within the Bank,” said David Andrés Rojas Mejía, Senior Business Development Specialist at Catalonia Trade and Investment Promotion Agency.

Private sector partners contributed richly to the discussion, sharing their experience around partnering and contracting with the Bank. They included Kwame Boate, country director of TechnoServe Inc., (Ghana) and Cletus Kayenwee of the Rural Enterprises Program at the Ghanaian Ministry of Trade, who shared their experience contracting with the Bank on Ghana’s “One District One Factory” Enable Youth Program. The program aims to build the entrepreneurial capacity of graduate youth. Participants also heard from Abdelillah Zenjari, Deputy General Director of TEKCIM. He shared his experience partnering and obtaining a loan of €45 million to build a cement factory with a capacity of 1.4 million tons in the region of d’El Jadida in Morocco.

Over the years, the seminars have hosted approximately 2,500 delegates from 55 countries, with an average of 75% of delegates from non-regional member countries and 90% from the private sector.

For the Bank, the seminars increase interest in Bank-financed projects and enhance competition, thereby promoting higher-quality offers that deliver optimal value for money for its regional member countries.

“The sessions have also helped me to understand how to find opportunities for my firm by being better able to navigate your procurement framework and processes,” said Dede Watkin, Business Development Manager at Beale &Co, a participant.

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Finance

Nirsal: CBN Reopens Application for N50 Billion COVID-19 Loan for Households and Small Businesses

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The Central Bank of Nigeria has started receiving fresh applications for N50 billion COVID-19 loan for small businesses and households affected by the pandemic.

The CBN through Nirsal Microfinance Bank announced it has reopened its portal for households and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) affected by COVID-19 to access up to N25 million.

Bashir Ahmad, the Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media, disclosed this on March 10, 2021 via his Twitter handle.

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