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FG will increase taxes next year, says finance minister

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Nigerians have to be prepared to pay more taxes next year as the Federal Government takes practical steps to shore up the nation’s non-oil revenue, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said.

Although the minister did not give the expected percentage increase , she said this had been captured in the medium term as proposed in the Finance Bill 2021.

She disclosed this on Monday during a public hearing on the bill organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Finance.

She said, “While these issues may require modest increases in taxes and tariffs on certain businesses, sectors, industries and individuals over the medium term, this administration remains committed to continuous dialogue and engagement with all stakeholders and interest groups.”

She said Nigeria must diversify its revenues from oil to fund critical expenditures.

She said Nigeria also requires more fiscal reforms.

However, while some experts said it was wrong to increase taxes at this critical time, others said there was nothing wrong in collecting taxes from the right quarters.

They said the most important thing was for governments at all levels to account for what they collected in form of taxes and levies through providing critical infrastructure and services to the people.

The minister said as of September 2021, the federal government’s retained revenue was N4.56 trillion, achieving 75 per cent of the budget while its share of oil revenues was N845 billion, representing 56.3 per cent pro-rated performance.

According to her, the “Federal share of non-oil revenues was N1.31tr (117.3% above budget). Companies Income Tax (CIT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) collections were N616bn and N274.4bn representing 121% and 153%, respectively, of the pro-rata targets. Also, customs collections were N418.97bn.”

The minister said the current fiscal policy stance was to let tax incentives with sunset provisions to naturally expire and not to automatically renew them without a detailed tax expenditure cost and benefit evaluation of the relative success of the incentives before extending them further.

She said there will also be an acceleration of the projected increase in tariff and excise duties on tobacco, alcohol and carbonated drinks to fund vital expenditure on health, education, and security as well as wholesale reform of antiquated stamp duties and capital gains tax regime.

In his opening remark, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, who was represented by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu (PDP, Delta), said the 2021 Finance Bill seeks to introduce strategic and broadminded, positive reforms that would engender best practice, statutorily check borrowing by local, states and federal governments.

“It is instructive to state that the essence of the 2021 bill is to further reposition our finance system to plug wastes, close openings for corruption, create opportunities for employment as well as stimulate stability and growth in our productive sectors, within the wider context of our quest for economic recovery in our country,” he said. The chairman of the committee, James Abiodun Faleke (APC, Lagos), said the committee will analyse the submissions by the various stakeholders as regards the proposed amendments and submit its report.

A member of the committee, Mukhtar Ahmed (APC, Kaduna), called on the finance ministry and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to speed up the excise duty on carbonated drinks which, he said, will reduce the increasing cases of diabetes.

 

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NMDPRA seals 16 gas plants, arrests five suspects in Edo

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The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has sealed 16 illegal gas facilities in Edo State.

Some filling stations were also sealed over an alleged breach of rules and regulations.
The agency arrested five suspects during the exercise.
The agency’s state comptroller, Ebi Ogionwo, said the clampdown was to curb the activities of illegal and unlicensed oil and gas operators in the state.
He alleged that some misguided operators were setting up oil and gas facilities in areas not suitable for the business and without necessary approval from the agency.
Ogionwo said, “It is an offence for anyone to site such facilities without due approval from the NMDPRA. The agency is out to bring sanity to the operations of midstream and downstream petroleum business in the state.”

He further warned investors against taking laws into their hands by setting up gas and petroleum facilities in areas not approved by the agency.

Ogionwo said five suspects arrested during the exercise would be charged to court.

“There are laws, guidelines and regulations that people must follow before setting up oil and gas facilities. So, the purpose of the operations is also to check the level of compliance by those who have set up these facilities in the state and take necessary actions that are required,” he said.

Ogionwo added that the illegal operations of oil and gas facilities compromised the safety of lives, property, environment as well as deprived both the state and Federal Governments of the revenue that should accrue to them through taxes and other sources.

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Lagos suspends RTEAN activities, sets up caretaker committee

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The Lagos State Government has suspended all activities of Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in the state.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Sola Giwa, who announced the suspension, said the action became imperative following some pockets of violence recorded in Ojo and Lagos Island on Wednesday.

Already, he said a 35-man caretaker committee had been constituted to take over activities of the union.

The caretaker committee is headed by Sulaiman Adeshina Raji, with Bamgbose Oluseyi as deputy chairman and members are Sunday Aransiola, Sulaiman Onabanjo, Azeez Abdulrahman, Isiaka Seriki, Victor Ifemenam, Kareem Babatunde, Amusan Abdulrahman, Teslim Adeshina, Sulaiman Surajudeen and Fatai Rauf.

Others are Sunday Banjo, Segun Omole, Thomas Akinkayode, Taiwo Lasisi, Gbenga Kashimawo, Samson Ajala, Taiwo Daodu, Sule Aliu, Ahmed Musa and Oladipupo Ibrahim. Adewale Adeniyi, Olatunji Durojaiye, Wasiu Olanrewaju, Taofeek Onileola, Yusuf Afolabi, Bode Ogungbade, Alh. A.A. Ussaini, Saliu Usman, Saheed Badru, Kolawole Yusuf, Kayode Thomas, Idowu Oyewole and Salami Babatunde Ope, are to also join them.

Giwa reiterated that suspension became necessary to prevent further acts of violence in the state, stressing that men of the Lagos State Police Command would be deployed in different parts of the state to enforce the action and ensure safety of lives and property.

He said the state government met with some representatives of the RTEAN on Wednesday, following a protest by some members of the union demanding the removal of their national president, adding the government had assured them of a thorough investigation into the allegations levelled against the union’s president with a promise to resolving all lingering issues.

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Ade.Ojo hails Mandilas GM @60, says Toyota family proud of you

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Celebrant GM Mandilas, Kemi Koyejo; Chairman of Toyota Nigeria, Chief Michael Ade.Ojo, and his wife, Taiwo Ade.Ojo, at Kemi's 60th birthday in Lagos

The Founder of Toyota Nigeria Limited, TNL, Chief Michael Ade Ojo, has described the General Manager of Mandilas Motors, Ms. Kemi Koyejo as a performer, who takes her job very seriously.

Chief Ade Ojo, who spoke at the MUSON Centre, Lagos during the 60th birthday ceremony of Koyejo as the chairman of the occasion, showered encomiums on the GM for her contributions towards driving Toyota brand sale and development in Nigeria.

He said, “Olukemi is a performer, a wonderful lady, who takes her job very seriously. She is “Lady Toyota”. She never misbehaves and I want to pray that God should continue to bless you the more.”

Chief Ade Ojo, who recalled that Kemi’s father was his senior in high school, expressed no surprise at  Kemi’s sterling performance and behaviour, given her family background.

“The Toyota family in Nigeria is very proud of you and God will continue to be with you,” he prayed.

The 84-year-old business mogul attended the event with his wife, and senior management staff of Toyota Nigeria Limited including the Managing Director, Mr. Kunle Ade Ojo.

Reiterating Chief Ade Ojo’s commendation on the Mandilas General Manager, the Managing Director of Toyota, Mr. Kunle Adeojo, also said that the Mandilas General Manager is very hard-working and has brought many ideas that have led to the growth of the Toyota brand in Nigeria.

He also used the occasion to announce that the Nigerian Institution of Mechanical Engineers has conferred on him a Fellow of the institute.

A trained engineer, Mr. Kunle Ade Ojo, has been at the helm of affairs at TNL and has taken the company to greater heights despite the challenges in the Nigeria’s auto sector.

-Vanguard

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