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Tax now accounts for 70% of Nigeria’s revenue – FIRS

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has said receipts from tax now account for about 70 per cent of Nigeria’s total revenue.
The FIRS said other revenue lines, including oil, accounted for just 30 per cent of the country’s revenue.

Executive Chairman of FIRS, Muhammad Nami, disclosed this recently in Abuja when he made a presentation titled, “Weathering Economic Turbulence,” at an interactive session with stakeholders.

Nami called for the amendment of the country’s tax laws, saying most of them date back to pre-independence times.

He stressed that the country’s revenue situation was very dire, explaining that Nigeria has always relied on oil revenue for its budgetary needs, with little regard for revenue from tax.

He said the fall in oil prices, reduction of production quota, and oil theft had reduced the country’s revenue to critical levels.

The FIRS head revealed that the total Federation Account revenue for June 2020 was just N696 billion (about $2 billion), “which is equivalent to what a county in the United States spends.”

He said, “Nigerian economy is projected to contract by over five per cent in 2020 due to COVID-19 and other disruptions. Oil prices have plummeted (from $97.98 in 2012 to below $50 in 2020).”

He said despite efforts by the FIRS and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to drive up Value Added Tax (VAT) receipts, “Collection has indeed gone up, but Nigeria’s VAT gap remained at a pitiable 70 per cent, compared with South Africa at 12 per cent, Morocco at 28 per cent, and Zimbabwe at 38 per cent.”

Nami reiterated that Nigeria’s tax-to-Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio was currently about six per cent, compared to Egypt at 15 per cent, Ghana and Kenya at 17 per cent, and South Africa at 28 per cent.

The World Bank recommends a minimum of 15 per cent Tax to GDP ratio for economic growth and poverty reduction, he stated.

Nami stated, “A Debt Management Office (DMO) report indicates that about N1.21 trillion was used to service debt from January to June 2020.

“Over N3 trillion is proposed for debt servicing in 2021. The report further projects that Nigeria’s debt stock will grow significantly by end of 2020.

“God forbid that Nigeria should default in debt repayment obligations. Nigeria’s debt to revenue ratio is worsening – it is estimated at 538 per cent at the end of the fourth quarter, that is 190 per cent increase from 2019 figure (348%).”

Nami identified the problems of tax administration in the country to include the false belief that Nigeria is rich and does not require tax money, resistance to tax payment and tax being seen as an unnecessary burden, and lack of political action to tackle low level of tax payment.

He lamented that Nigeria was a mono-product economy and the whole economy revolved around crude oil. Thus, a slight change in oil price shakes the whole economy and jeopardises welfare, he said.

Nami stated that the widespread destructions that took place when the recent #ENDSARS protests were hijacked by hoodlums would have negative consequences for the country.

He said every effort should be made to improve domestic revenue mobilisation in view of the dwindling oil prices to prevent the country from falling into a debt crisis.

The FIRS boss said a debt crisis would exacerbate insecurity and political unrest in the country, and might also derail the programmes of the federal government.

In order to raise the country’s revenue performance, Nami charged all stakeholders with a clear political mandate to tackle low levels of tax payment and ensure simpler tax systems with limited number of rates and exemptions.

He suggested a reform of indirect taxes on goods and services, and called for the deployment of new technology and large data capabilities, and adoption of risk-based tax audits and examinations.

According to him, in response to the present revenue crunch, the FIRS has improved its administrative processes, carried out proper staff placement, restored staff-management relations, embarked on strategic capacity building for enhanced performance, and employed technology for improved service delivery

Similarly, the agency, Nami said, has disengaged its “Tax Audit Contractors,” decentralised tax audit and tax investigation functions, and enhanced stakeholder collaboration.

He said FIRS had also improved communication with taxpayers, made strategic moves to enhance revenue from indirect taxes, harmonised all tax provisions scattered in different laws, and restructured tax incentives for maximum benefit. He said the agency treated the issue of low tax payment as a national emergency deserving support from all stakeholders through political and legislative interventions.

Nami said FIRS had blocked tax loopholes and made more money available to the government.

-THISDAY

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Photos: Kia dazzles Nigerian fans, unveils Sonet, Seltos compact SUVs

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Lovers of compact sport utility vehicles built with sophistication in Nigeria have two new stunning products to celebrate, coming from Kia Motors. They are the all-new Sonet and the high-tech Seltos.

The two models assembled in Nigeria and unveiled in Lagos on Friday to the motoring journalists are expected to substantially raise the market share of Kia in the compact SUV segment, which is fast becoming the toast of many new car buyers globally including Nigeria, especially young trendy people.

Details later…

 

 

 

 

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Southern govs okay VAT collection by state governments

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Governors of the southern states have agreed that collection of value-added tax (VAT) should be undertaken by state governments.

Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, disclosed this on Thursday while reading a communique at the end of a meeting of the governors in Enugu.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service and some state governments are currently in court over VAT collection.

Rivers and Lagos state governments have enacted laws empowering their respective states to collect the tax (VAT).

Last week, the Court of Appeal directed states to maintain status quo on VAT collection pending the determination of an appeal filed by the FIRS.

Akeredolu said that the governors affirmed that the collection of VAT fell within the powers of state governments.

“We resolved to support the position that the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the state,” he said.

He also said, “The meeting reaffirmed its earlier commitment to fiscal federalism and emphasised the need to pursue its inclusion in the Nigerian Constitution through the ongoing constitutional amendment.”

Akeredolu urged states in the south to leverage the competence of their houses of assembly and representation at the national assembly to pursue the goal.

He said that the meeting reviewed the state of the nation and the progress made in the implementation of the ban on open grazing of cattle in the south of Nigeria.

He said, “The meeting expressed satisfaction with the rate at which states in the south of Nigeria are amending or enacting the anti-open grazing law.

“This aligns with the uniform template and aspiration of governors in the south and we encourage the states that have yet to enact the law to do so expeditiously.

“The meeting agreed to encourage the full operationalisation of the already agreed regional security which will share intelligence and collaborate toward the safety and security of the region.”

The meeting was attended by Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta.

Others are Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun), Douye Diri (Bayelsa) and Dapo Abiodun (Ogun).

The deputy governors in attendance were Bisi Egbeyemi (Ekiti), Rauf Olaniyan (Oyo), Kelechi Igwe (Ebonyi), Ude Oko-Chukwu (Abia), Philip Shuaibu (Edo), Prof. Ivara Esu (Cross River) and Placid Njoku (Imo).

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Land Rover to expand Defender with eight-seater 130, showstopper models  

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Land Rover is preparing to expand the Defender lineup, turning it into a family of vehicles similar to what it did with the Range Rover nameplate.

The expansion will specifically cover a long-wheelbase variant, an eight-seater 130, due next year to a posh, six-figure model in 2025, caranddriver.com reports.

According to a report from Autocar, the first variant to arrive will be the 130, an extended-wheelbase version with eight seats and it is due in 2022.

An opulent range-topper is also expected by 2025, and will ride on the MLA platform that will also underpin the next generation Range Rover.

Land Rover already sells multiple versions of the Defender—the stubby but charming two-door 90, the standard four-door 110, and the burly supercharged V8 model.

The 130 should be at least 10 inches longer than the 110, with most of that length added to the rear overhang.

The Defender 130 is expected to only come in higher trim levels and should feature both the six and eight-cylinder engine options.

The US and China will be the stretched Defender’s primary markets, says the report.

The fancier model coming in 2025 will be based on the MLA platform that will underpin the next Range Rover. The MLA platform will support combustion engines, plug-in-hybrid setups, and electric powertrains, and will also form the basis for the next Range Rover Sport, Velar, and Discovery.

This would make a Defender EV possible, but the Range Rover and Velar are expected to have priority for all-electric versions.

The high-end Defender’s interior will be the major distinction, and Autocar says it will feature more vibrant colours and upscale materials.

Although the powertrain landscape will have shifted even further towards EVs by 2025, the luxe-Defender will likely still be powered by the six-cylinder engine.

A plug-in hybrid is also currently sold in Europe, and an evolution of this setup could come to the US as well.

An entry-level Defender 80 had also been rumoured to debut by 2025. It would have been based on the EMA (Electric Modular Architecture) platform, but Autocar reports that this model has been cancelled. That platform will be found in the next Evoque and Discovery Sport, but Land Rover has apparently decided to not move the Defender name down market, as a baby Defender likely wouldn’t have the higher profit margins that should make the 130 and luxury Defender worth the investment.

 

 

 

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