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‘Widen tax net, reduce borrowings,’ NECA charges FG



images 46 ‘Widen tax net, reduce borrowings,’ NECA charges FG

The Director General of Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Dr. Timothy Olawale, has chided the Federal Government for resorting to borrowing spree rather than widening the tax net to ensure adequate receipts just as the President of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Dame Gladys Olajumoke Simplice, called on tax practitioners to be abreast of issues in their field so as to remain relevant.

According to Olawale, who stated this at the weekend in his key note address at the virtual 42nd Induction ceremony of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) in Lagos, the country should not have been highly indebted if the country’s tax potential was effectively tapped.

He lamented that the economy has continued to lose huge amount of revenue through tax avoidance and tax evasion, saying that “taxation is an important strategy by government in promoting economic growth and development of a nation.”

His word: “We submit that taxation is a significant determinant of economic growth in Nigeria. We, therefore, recommend that government should enact policies to ensure adequate collections of taxation, after widening the tax-net. It is important for government to embark on massive awareness and sensitisation on the importance of taxation to the populace – this could be done through recognised Bodies like NECA, CITN, “Government should examine the effect of taxation on economic growth in Nigeria.

“We call on CITN and its members to continuously guide tax payers, tax authorities and government on the appropriate steps that should be taken as a nation. We, however, urge that the taxes should be on “what is owed” or due and not for the tax authorities to collect more than is legal. The responsibility to determine taxes due lies with tax practitioners”

“It is trite that taxation is an important strategy by government in promoting economic growth and development of a nation. However, the economy of Nigeria has continued to lose huge amount of revenue through the unwholesome practice of tax avoidance and tax evasion. It is on the backdrop of these challenges that government should examine the effect of taxation on economic growth in Nigeria. Specifically, the impact of Value Added Tax (VAT) on economic growth in Nigeria as well as examine the effect of Petroleum Profit Tax on economic growth in Nigeria. It is not just in the collection of taxes but its utilisation to the benefit of the citizens and the nation at large. It is my considered opinion that the country should not be indebted to such huge amount of money due to borrowing from local and foreign sources.“

To the inductees, he charged them to rise to the different challenges in the the tax field today, saying “your induction into the Institute is coming at a time when our country, and organised businesses in particular, are in dire need of more professionals to handle their affairs. It is also coming at a time when many of our obsolete Tax Laws are undergoing review to meet current realities, and at a time where the Courts/Tribunals are setting aside Orders made by Government as well as check-mating activities of government officials on illegal taxes and levies. Your induction is coming at a time when technology has made things easier – thus, prompt actions are required. I, therefore, charge you all, as new Taxation Professionals, to respond to this call and contribute to the development of the country.

It is also of immense importance, to be diligent in rendering your professional services and make professionalism, integrity and honesty your core values. Remember to be a worthy Ambassador of the Institute.

Speaking at the event, Dame Simplice said with the developments around the world, “it is important as tax professionals that we should be abreast of daily developments in the tax terrain otherwise, we would be on the disadvantaged side.

“As professionals, we must be on top of current policies and developments in theprofession to be able to enlighten our clients on reliefs available to them. This wouldassist them in reducing their exposures and going concern while also ensuring that they are able to fulfil their taxes obligations as and when due.”

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COVID-19: Sterling Bank pledges N10bn to revamp domestic tourism



download 4 COVID-19: Sterling Bank pledges N10bn to revamp domestic tourism

Sterling Bank Plc, has pledged a N10 billion facility for the purpose of revamping domestic tourism in the country post COVID-19.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Bank, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, made the commitment while addressing participants at a tourism webinar organised by the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) with the theme: Nigerian Domestic Tourism: Re-Imagined.

Suleiman who spoke on the topic: “Investment for the Tourism Sector to Enhance Domestic Tourism,” noted that, “Sterling Bank has funding capacity and is ready to inject N10 billion into domestic tourism” if the right stakeholders are available in the industry.

He enjoined stakeholders in the industry to collaborate rather than compete, saying stakeholders need to come together to offer worthwhile experience in different aspects of the industry.

Suleiman encouraged operators in the domestic tourism industry to sit down with their bankers to build the experience together, adding that the sector is a billion dollar business. He stressed the need to have extensive discussion with stakeholders in the tourism sector in order to scale up. He advised the stakeholders to stop approaching the government as individuals but as a team so they can push for policy initiatives that would be beneficial to the industry.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who declared the virtual meeting open, noted that tourism assets and other social imprints in the country are huge just as tourism remains the largest employer of labour.

The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Isu Gekpe, said the restriction of the tourism sector in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the most vulnerable groups in the industry.

She observed that the promotion of tourism is the first step to re-starting the economy post COVID-19 and encouraged stakeholders to promote existing tourism assets in the country while a robust legal framework is being worked out.

Also speaking, Director-General of NTDC, Mr. Folorunsho Coker, expressed the hope that the commission would be able to exploit opportunities in the hospitality industry through packages, affordability of flight and access to tourism destinations. Coker said there was a need to have a solid foundation for domestic tourism which international tourism could lean on in the future.

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Naira slides to 460/$ at parallel market



images 48 3 Naira slides to 460/$ at parallel market

The naira fell slightly at the parallel market on Monday , as it exchanged to the dollar for N 460 / $ as of the close of work .
The naira had exchanged to the dollar on Friday for 458 / $ .
This is as the country ’s external reserves continued to maintain its downward trend.
Figures obtained from the Central Bank of Nigeria revealed that the country ’ s external reserves which stood at $35 . 75 bn as of October 02 had lost $ 78 . 34 m to close at $ 35 . 67 bn as of October 16 .
The CBN had stated in its report on ‘ Monetary, credit , foreign trade and exchange policy guidelines for fiscal years 2020 / 2021 ’ that external reserves were expected to lie between $ 29 . 9 bn and $ 34 .3 bn by 2020 ending .
It said, “ Sequel to the COVID -19 pandemic, the viability of the external sector in 2020 is expected to deteriorate , given the present worsening current account balance and depletion of external reserves driven, largely , by decelerating export receipts, particularly oil .
“ Specifically , the degree of external reserves accumulation is expected to decelerate , as outflows are expected to outweigh inflows .
“ As a result , external reserves are expected to lie between $ 29 .9 bn and $ 34 .3 bn at end -December 2020 ( predicated on current declining oil price between $ 20 and $ 40 ) . ”

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External reserves drop to $35.67bn



images 42 3 External reserves drop to $35.67bn

Nigeria’s external reserves, last week, fell for the fourth consecutive week to $35.67 billion even as the naira depreciated to N462 per dollar in the parallel market.

Data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) show that the reserves fell to $$35.672 billion on Thursday last week from $35.725 billion the previous week. This translated to week-on-week (w/w) decline of $53 million dollars, more than 100 percent increase from the $23 million w/w decline recorded in the previous week.

According to the CBN data, the reserves have been on the downward trend for four weeks since September 17th. It fell by $139 million to $35.672 billion last week Thursday from $35.811 billion.

Prior to the four weeks decline, the reserves rose steadily for two weeks, by $145 million to $35.811 billion on September 17th from $35.666 billion on September 2nd.

Investigations reveal that the sustained decline, especially at a time of relatively stable crude oil prices, might not be unconnected to the CBN’s dollar injection in the foreign exchange market in a bid to keep the exchange rate stable.

However, in spite of the intervention, the naira depreciated by N5 in the parallel market last week, though it remained stable at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window.

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