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FG Considers Lower Taxes for Small Businesses

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The Federal Government, as part of its economic stimulus plan, is considering a reduction in the income tax rates payable by Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises in the country.

The reduction in tax rates is part of the recommendations presented to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, by the 12-member committee to review the current National Tax Policy.

The committee, headed by Prof. Abiola Sanni of the University of Lagos, was given the assignment on August 10 and submitted its report to the minister on Thursday.

A statement from the ministry said the reduction in income tax rates for small-scale businesses would help to encourage more start-ups in the sector as well as boost the profitability of the existing ones.

The move is also expected to generate new jobs and make higher contribution to the Gross Domestic Product.

The statement read in part, “The committee noted that lowering the taxes payable by Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises would encourage compliance, promote the growth of SMMEs and expand the manufacturing base of the nation through their activities.

“Another recommendation suggested for implementation relates to the abolition of minimum tax, which results in loss-making companies been required to pay tax.”

The statement said the Finance minister assured the committee that a team would be set up to implement its recommendations through administrative measures without delay.

She added those that required legislation would be forwarded to the Federal Executive Council for consideration.

“We need to deal with legislation that need to be changed. Nigeria cannot afford to be running with antiquated tax laws,” Adeosun noted.

The committee also recommended the enactment of a number of amendments to the current tax legislation, including the one relating to the taxation of Real Estate Investment Trusts.

The committee’s recommendation read in part, “In other climes, a REIT is seen as a transparent or flow through entity that is not different and separate from its unit holders/investors.

“The income of the REIT is treated as the income of the unit holders or investors and therefore taxed at that level rather than the current provisions, which amount to double taxation.”

Earlier in his remarks, Sanni said that the report contained some innovations in terms of suggestions, including 20 implementation strategies.

“We believe that at the end of the day if the recommendations contained in this report are implemented, Nigeria will witness a transformation of the economy as a whole,” he concluded.

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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FG to Ease Economic Burden of 1.7m Small Businesses, Individuals

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FG to Provide Financial Support for 1.7m Small Businesses and Individuals

The Federal Government has said it will provide financial support for 1.7 million businesses and individuals in the next three months.

The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Katagum, disclosed this at the virtual commissioning of the Fashion Cluster Shared Facility for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) held at Eko Fashion Hub, in Lagos.

According to the minister, the initiative was borne out of the government’s continued effort at cushion the negative impact of COVID-19 on the people by protecting present jobs while simultaneously creating new opportunities.

She further explained that the administration of President Buhari, through the Economic Sustainability Committee, had launched specific programmes to cushion the negative effect of COVID-19 on small businesses across the country.

She said, “The Federal Government is fully committed to empowering Nigerians; more so in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic. In this regard, the government, through the Economic Sustainability Committee had announced specific programmes aimed at cushioning the impact of COVID-19 on MSME businesses.

“These programmes include among others, the N75 billion MSME Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Schemes of which I have the honour to chair the Steering Committee for the effective implementation of the projects.

“The project, which will run for an initial period of three months, is targeting 1.7million entities and individuals and has provisions for 45 per cent female-owned businesses and five per cent for those with special needs. The registration portal for the schemes is set to open on Monday 21st September 2020 and I urge you all to take full advantage of the schemes.”

Katagum explained that the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan, which was developed by a committee headed by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, was introduced to combat the health and economic challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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OPay, WorldRemit Partner to Deepen Mobile Money Transfer Service

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Nigerian financial service technology company, OPay has announced a partnership with leading global digital payments platform WorldRemit, to offer international money transfers directly into OPay mobile wallets in Nigeria.

The partnership between OPay and WorldRemit will provide Nigerians with a fast, easy and more affordable way to receive money from over 50 countries including the United States, United Kingdom and Canada directly into their mobile phones.

Nigerian financial service technology company, OPay has announced a partnership with leading global digital payments platform WorldRemit, to offer international money transfers directly into OPay mobile wallets in Nigeria.

The partnership between OPay and WorldRemit will provide Nigerians with a fast, easy and more affordable way to receive money from over 50 countries including the United States, United Kingdom and Canada directly into their mobile phones.

OPay also offers an exciting opportunity for customers to save and invest their money in its FlexiFixed service, which offers up to 12% returns per annum.

The service, which launches in September 2020, is immediately available to all OPay customers on KYC 2 level and above. New customers can download the Opay app from the Google Playstore or iOS store and upgrade to KYC level 2 to instantly access the service.

“This partnership ensures that customers can continue to make affordable money transfers to their family and friends in the comfort of their homes. Together WorldRemit and OPay are disrupting traditional money transfer methods by delivering services that customers can access 24/7 via smartphones at their convenience.

“I’m pleased to share that we’ve reduced prices in 48 corridors and passed the savings onto our customers. With communities across the world having to change their lifestyles due to the disruption caused by Covid-19, we’re proud to play our part in making sure our customers can continue to support their family and friends throughout this challenging time,” says Gbenga Okejimi, Country Manager for Nigeria & Ghana at WorldRemit.

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COVID-19: Africa’s Hospitality Industry Loses $50 Billion

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Hospitality Industry In Africa Loses $50 Billion to COVID-19

Global health pandemic has erased more than $50 billion in revenue from the hotel and tourism industry in Africa, according to a recent report.

African Union stated this in a report titled “Impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the African economy”.

However, on Thursday Transcorp Hotel admitted suffering unprecedented losses and therefore has decided to let go 40 percent of its present staff as it moves to restructure and reposition the company for the new normal.

To this end, the hotelier is diversifying its portfolio and reducing its workforce as part of its cost management initiatives,” Transcorp Hotels Plc Managing Director Mrs. Dupe Olusola, said at a news conference yesterday.

She went on: “The impact of COVID-19 on the business is like nothing the company has ever witnessed. The hotel and hospitality industry in Nigeria has never faced a crisis that brought travel to a standstill, including the Ebola Virus Outbreak of 2014 and the recession of 2015.

“The slow pick up of international travel, restriction on large gatherings, the switch to virtual meetings and fear of the virus, has drastically reduced demand for our hotels and occupancy levels to its lowest of less than five per cent.

“Despite the losses incurred we have fulfilled our obligations to staff. At the inception of the pandemic, we maintained a 100 per cent salary payment to our over 900 employees in March and April.

“We also activated various cost-saving initiatives such as renegotiations of service contracts and restructuring of our loans. We suspended further commitment to buy fixed assets and operating equipment as well as reducing our energy consumption and maintenance costs.

Despite undertaking these, it has become apparent that more fundamental changes need to be made for the business to survive. To this end, our workforce headcount will be reduced by at least 40 per cent and our reward system will be optimised.”

Mrs. Olusola further disclosed how the company plans to adequately compensated its workers given the peculiarities of the economy at this time.

She said: “A health insurance package to reduce their health burden costs, especially during the pandemic, amongst other payment settlements, will be activated. Equally, all Executives of Transcorp Hilton Abuja have now taken a pay cut.

“As one of the leading hospitality brands in Africa, Transcorp Hotels Plc has stated its commitment to uphold service standards and ensure that all guests continue to experience the warmth and hospitality that it is known for.”

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