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FIRS Goes After MultiChoice, Demands N1.8 Trillion in Outstanding Taxes

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Multichoice- Investors King

The Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) has beamed its light on the activities of MultiChoice Nigeria Limited (MCN) and MultiChoice Africa (MCA), the owners of DSTV, for owing the agency N1.8 trillion in outstanding taxes.

Mohammad Nami, the Chairman, FIRS, accused one of Africa’s largest corporations (MCA) and the most profitable in recent years of never paying Value Added Tax (VAT) since its inception in Nigeria.

Nami said, “Information currently at the disposal of FIRS has revealed a tax liability for relevant years of assessment for ₦1,822,923,909,313.94 (One trillion, eight hundred and twenty-two billion, nine hundred and twenty-three million, nine hundred and nine thousand, three hundred and thirteen naira, ninety-four kobo only) and $342,531,206 (Three hundred and forty-two million, five hundred and thirty-one thousand, two hundred and six dollars only).”

He, therefore, stated that all deposit money banks operating in Nigeria, where MCN and MCA have accounts, have been mandated to recover the stated amount from their bank accounts and pay the full of the companies’ tax debts to the agency.

“In this regard, the affected banks are required to sweep balances in each of the above-mentioned entities’ accounts and pay the same in full or part settlement of the companies’ respective tax debts until FULL recovery.

“This should be done before the execution of any transaction involving the companies or any of their subsidiaries.

“FIRS requested the banks to inform it of any transactions before execution on the accounts, especially transfers of funds to any of their subsidiaries.”

In a statement released on Thursday morning, the chairman said “They (foreign companies) do with impunity in Nigeria what they dare not try in their countries of origin.”

He accused the companies of sabotaging FIRS’s efforts at accessing their servers for audit.

It was discovered that the companies persistently breached all agreements and undertakings with the Service, they would not promptly respond to correspondences, they lacked data integrity and are not transparent as they continually deny FIRS access to their records.

“Particularly, MCN has avoided giving the FIRS accurate information on the number of its subscribers and income. The companies are involved in the under-remittance of taxes which necessitated a critical review of the tax-compliance level of the company,” FIRS said

The group’s performance does not reflect in its tax obligations and compliance level in Nigeria.

“The level of non-compliance by Multi-Choice Africa (MCA), the parent Company of Multi-Choice Nigeria (MCN) is very alarming.

“The issue with Tax collection in Nigeria, especially from foreign-based Companies conducting businesses in Nigeria and making massive profits is frustrating and infuriating to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). “Regrettably, Companies come into Nigeria just to infringe on our tax laws by indulging in tax evasion.

“There is no doubt that broadcasting, telecommunications and the cable-satellite industries have changed the face of communication in Nigeria.

“However, when it comes to tax compliance, some companies are found wanting,” he added.

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

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Banking Sector

FirstBank Commemorates 2022 International Youth Day, Dedicating the Week to Celebrating the Youth

First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced its commemoration of the 2022 International Youth Day, globally celebrated today, 12 August 2022.

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FirstBank Headquarter - Investors King

First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced its commemoration of the 2022 International Youth Day, globally celebrated today, 12 August 2022 and themed “Intergenerational solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages.” 

The International Youth Day is commemorated every year on 12 August, bringing youth issues to the attention of the international community and celebrating the potential of youth as partners in today’s global society. The Day also amplifies the message that action is needed across all generations to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and leave no one behind.

Leading up to the day, the Bank dedicated the week of 8 – 12 August with a lineup of activities to reiterate its commitment to Youth Empowerment.

As a Bank renowned for its role in developing the economy through sustainable employment and entrepreneurship endeavours, the 2022 edition of the Youth Week will promote economic empowerment and employment, digital technology, and education as its focus during the celebration.

The Youth Week comprises various activities, including a Fashion illustration workshop, Design skill training, Gen Z/Millennial Webinar and many more exciting activities. These activities would give participants opportunities to win various exciting gift items.

Under the First@arts program, the Bank will empower the youths through Artistry Workshop Sessions & Arts Classes. Interested in the art of fashion design and illustrations, visit the Bank’s social media handles – Instagram: @firstbanknigeria, Facebook: First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Twitter: @FirstBankngr – for information on how you can be among 10 lucky winners to have the opportunity to learn the business of fashion at Claire Idera fashion studio.

Likewise, the Creative design workshop will enable youths design skill training; design thinking principles and their application in the context of layout, typefaces and colour. Interested youths can also participate on the FirstBank social media handles, where 25 lucky winners will be selected to learn the Art of Design at Geneza School of Designs.

Commemorating the Youth Week, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank said: ‘’We remain committed to celebrating the younger demography whose voices, actions, vigour, and tireless participation in the political, economic, and social activities have continued to birth major contributions towards the sustainable development of Africa and the world at large. The planned activities will promote better collaboration and solidarity across generations to foster successful and equitable relationships, and partnerships thereby ensuring “no one is left behind” and empowering everyone to leverage their full potential toward achieving the much-desired Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This Youth demography has a striking significance for us at FirstBank with the Millennials and Gen Zs constituting almost 60% of our workforce. This shows that youths are an integral part of our organisation and every country where we operate”, he concluded.

For more information and participation in the Youth Week, kindly visit the bank’s verified social media platforms; Instagram: @firstbanknigeria, Facebook: First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Twitter: @FirstBankngr

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Banking Sector

FBN Holdings Reports 49% Increase in Profit in H1 2022

FBN Holdings Plc has reported a 48.9% increase in profit after tax for the first half (H1) of 2022.

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Nnamdi Okonkwo

FBN Holdings Plc, the parent company of FirstBank of Nigeria Limited, has reported a 48.9% increase in profit after tax for the first half (H1) of 2022.

The financial services provider announced gross earnings of N359.2 billion for the period under review, an increase of 22.4% when compared to the N293.4 billion recorded in the first half of 2021.

Interest income jumped 40.6% from N161 billion achieved in H1 2021 to N226.4 billion. While the Group’s net interest income rose a whopping 47.3% to N152.9 billion, up from N103.8 billion in H1 2021.

Non-interest income remained largely unchanged at N120.6 billion, a 0.2% decline from N120.9 billion posted in the corresponding period of 2021.

FBN Holdings’ operating income expanded by 21.7% to N273.5 billion from N224.7 billion in H1 2021. The lender’s impairment charges improved by 18.7% to N21.7 billion, down from N26.7 billion in the same period of 2021.

As expected, operating expenses inched higher to N186 billion from N152.6 billion recorded in H1 2021. Profit before tax stood at N65.7 billion a 45.3% increase from N45.2 billion filed in H1 2021.

The total profit realised for the period grew by 48.6% from N38.1 billion in H1 2021 to N56.5 billion in H1 2022.

Earnings per share also rose 48% to N1.55 from N1.05.

Speaking on the group performance, Nnamdi Okonkwo, the Group Managing Director said “FBNHoldings continues to demonstrate resilient performance despite the challenging operating environment with an impressive improvement in revenue and profitability. For the half year 2022, gross earnings and profit before tax grew by 22% y-o-y and 45% y-o-y to N359.2 billion and N65.7 billion respectively. Furthermore, we continue to see good progress across our performance metrics, which remain in line with our focus on driving sustainable growth.

“The Group remains committed in its transformation drive, which has resulted in stronger balance sheet and better asset quality with non-performing loans closing at 5.4% at H1 2022. Similarly, risk management capability remains robust across the Group supporting the drive for enhanced earnings for sustainable capital accretion.

“During the period, cost to income ratio remained flat y-o-y despite the inflationary and currency pressure, as we continue to focus on optimising overall efficiency.

“Our strategic intent remains unchanged in optimising opportunities that drive growth in revenue, profitability, capital accretion and overall operational efficiency that delivers sustainable value to our stakeholders.”

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Finance

Nigeria’s External Debt Rises by N560 Billion on Weaker Naira

Nigeria’s total external debt has increased by N560.048 billion in the last eight months, according to the analysis done by Investors King.

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Nigeria’s total external debt has increased by N560.048 billion in the last eight months, according to the analysis done by Investors King.

Economic uncertainty amid chronic foreign exchange (forex) scarcity has plunged the Nigerian Naira from N414.11/US$1 recorded on 21st December 2021 to N428.122 as of August 4, 2022 at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) Forex Window, Nigeria’s official forex rate.

According to the latest Debt Management Office (DMO) report, Nigeria’s external debt stood at $39.969.19 billion as of March 31, 2022. A quick analysis revealed that $39.969.19 billion would have been N16.552 trillion in December 2021 if the nation’s exchange rate had remained at N414.11 to the U.S. Dollar.

However, because of the continuous decline in the value of the Nigerian Naira, the nation’s external debt now stood at N17.112 trillion, using the N428.122 exchange rate. This means the Nigerian nation has incurred a sum of N560.048 billion between December 21st, 2021 and August 4, 2022.

A breakdown of Nigeria’s external debt showed that Africa’s largest economy borrowed $18.957 billion or 47.43% of the total external debt from multilateral financial institutions, International Monetary Fund, the World Bank Group and the African Development Bank Group. 

While the bilateral loan from China, France, Japan, India and Germany accounted for $4.495 billion or 11.25%. Nigeria raised $15.918 billion or 39.83%.

The country raised $15.918 billion or 39.83% via bonds. Promissory notes constituted $597.75 million or 1.50%.

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