The Federal Government, states and local government councils have shared N682 billion for the month of August, Dr Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, has said.
Mr Hassan Dodo, the Director of Information in the ministry, qouted Isa-Dutse as disclosing this in a statement issued at the end of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) virtual meeting in Abuja on Friday.
According to him, the Federal Government received N272.9 billion, states got N197.65 billion while local government councils had N147.4 billion.
He added that the oil producing states received N30.88 billion as derivation (13 per cent of Mineral Resources) while Cost of Collection/Transfer and Refund was N33.205 billion.
According to the communique issued by the committee, the gross revenue available from the Value Added Tax (VAT) for August was N150.23 billion.
This was against the N132.61 billion distributed in July, resulting in an increase of N17.611 billion.
“The distribution is as follows: Federal Government got N20.957 billion, states received N69.857 billion, Local Government Councils got N48.900 billion, while Cost of Collection/Transfer and Refund was N10.51 billion.
“The distributed statutory revenue of N531.83 billion received for the month was lower than the N543.788 billion received for the previous month by N11.958 billion,” it said.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Mufutau Ojo)
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says non-oil tax receipts have consistently contributed 75 to 90 per cent of total tax revenue in recent months.
Mr Abdullahi Ahmad, the FIRS Director, Communications and Liaison Department made this known in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.
Ahmad quoted the Executive Chairman of the service, Mr Muhammad Nami, as disclosing this during a courtesy call on the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, by the members of the FIRS Board.
Nami explained that in spite the national and global economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the service had continued to record significant increase in collectable tax revenue from the non-oil sector of the economy.
According to him, out of N490 billion collected by the service in July, only N52 billion was from the oil sector, with the rest coming in through non-oil receipts.
Nami commended the minister for her support to the service and its Board since their inauguration earlier in the year, and solicited closer working relationship between the FIRS and her ministry.
She said that this had made it possible for the three tiers of government to receive their monthly statutory allocations from the Federation Account.
According to her, the Value Added Tax (VAT) and Stamp Duties receipts have boosted government revenue in spite the pandemic.
The minister pledged to continue to support the Management and Board of FIRS, and urged the service to work harder toward diversifying government revenue sources further away from dependence on oil.
Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle
Income tax: FIRS inaugurates online portal for financial institutions
Abuja, Aug. 6, 2020 The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says it has inaugurated a new Automatic Exchange of Information-Common Reporting Standard (AEOI-CRS) system for the use of financial institutions in the country.
FIRS Director, Communications and Liaison, Mr Abdullahi Ahmad, said this a statement in Abuja on Sunday.
Ahmad said the step was part of the service’s ongoing reforms to align the nation’s tax system with global standards.
He quoted the Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr Muhammad Nami as calling on reporting financial institutions under the Income Tax (Common Reporting Standard) Regulations 2019 to enroll on the portal.
“Consequently, all Reporting Financial Institutions (Commercial Banks, Merchant Banks, Discount Houses, Mortgage and Development Banks, Insurance and Life Assurance Companies, Investment Advisers, Trustees, Asset Management Companies, Issuing Houses, Brokers/Dealers, etc) are invited to enroll on the AEOI-CRS porta,l” he said.
He explained that each Reporting Financial Institution (FI) was required to designate an appropriate officer as Primary User (PU).
According to him, the PU is the custodian of the FI’s login details on the portal.
He said a letter signed by the Chief Executive Officer of the FI introducing the PU to the FIRS was also required as part of the enrolment process.
“For further information, send enquiries to [email protected] or [email protected],” he said.
Edited By: Ali Baba-Inuwa
The management of NTA-Star TV Network Ltd. says no N200 billion revenue is missing from its finances in the course of its operations.
The company disclosed this in a statement issued by Mr Lazarus Ibeabuchi, its Public Relations Manager, in Abuja on Thursday.
NTA-Star TV Network Ltd. is a joint venture between the Nigerian Television Authority and the StarTimes Group.
He said that the company welcomed the forensic audit on its finances and operations as requested by the Senate’s Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning.
“We also want to clarify that no revenue of N200 billion is missing as gross earnings have been repeatedly ploughed back into cost of production to cover cost of components.
“The components are transmitters, equipment, generating sets and satellite, content acquisition, as well as operating costs, which include salaries and other running costs, incurred within our 10 years of operation.
“NTA-Star TV Network Limited is a responsible corporate organisation with our business activities conforming to statutory laws and regulations.
“Our accounts are audited by one of the big four audit firms in the world, widely known for its integrity and professionalism in the audit field.
“Aside our statutory audits being carried out by external auditors, our financial activities are fully audited by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS),” he said.
He further noted that the loss in operations over the years was because its huge upfront investment was in United States dollars and the long-term cost recovery had met brick-walls with successive years of naira depreciation.
He noted that Pay-TV business was capital intensive and had a long gestation period.
“More than 80 per cent of inputs into our operations are dollar-denominated.
“The naira fluctuations haven’t been favourable to the business, making it more and more difficult to meet dollar-denominated obligations.
“We, however, regret the outcome of the Senate hearing, especially as it amounts to a media trial without proper due diligence.
“To this end, we are open to a proper investigation into our operations and financials, especially as we believe the company is run in a prudent, responsible and sustainable manner.
“With the support and trust of the public and business partners, StarTimes operating environment is fast improving, performance is rising, and our losses have been decreasing.
“We believe that as a going concern, we will eventually achieve profitability shortly and make greater contributions to society,” he added.
Edited By: Olawunmi Ashafa/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) says a systemic abuse of the pioneer incentive scheme instituted by the Federal Government has led to tax revenue leakages for the three tiers of government.
Mr Abdullahi Ahmad, the Director, Communications and Liaison Department said this in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday.
Ahmad said the Executive Chairman, Mr Muhammad Nami said this when he received states Commissioners of Finance who visited him in his office in Abuja.
Nami pledged to block the tax revenue leakages in order to generate more revenue for the three tiers of government.
According to him, the tax revenue accounts for nearly 70 per cent of what have been shared at the last FAAC meeting and lauded the collaboration between the service and the States Commissioners of Finance.
This Nami, said was key to bringing about increase in tax revenue.
He added that without this collaboration, it would be difficult for government to meet its obligations to the citizenry in areas like infrastructure development and salary payment, which he said could lead to social dislocation.
The executive chairman emphasised the need to diversify the economy in order to create more sources of taxable income and increase tax revenue for the nation.
He charged the states to focus on other forms of taxes like the Stamp Duty which he described as “the black gold” that had been ignored in the past.
The chairman also charged all Ministries, Departments and Agencies to deduct Withholding Tax from contracts at point of payment.
Nami also solicited the states’ support in terms of taxpayer sensitisation campaigns and education, stating that rental obligation was incomplete without the payment of Stamp Duties.
According to him, if these initiatives are pursued at both local and state levels, more revenue will be generated.
Edited By: Ese E. Ekama (NAN)
Debates on revenue collections from Stamp Duties between Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigerian Postal Service ( NIPOST) was brought to a close as FIRS submitted that it was backed by law to collect stamp duties.
Responsibility of stamp duties collection between FIRS and NIPOST was raised at an interactive session on the 2021- 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework ( MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper ( FSP) organised by Joint Senate Committees on Finance and National Planing in Abuja on Thursday.
Also raised by the committee was why only N500 billion was projected as expected revenues from the stamp duties collection in 2021 budget by the FIRS.
Adeola had also raised concerns on why N500 billion was projected as revenue collection for 2021 budget as against N1.5 trillion .
Nami, while responding, said there were two types of stamp duties which were the electronically related one and the adhesive ones stated in section 5(2) of the Stamp Duty Act .
Postage stamp, he explained was different from stamp duties payments noting that relevant laws empowered the FIRS to collect.
He said, though gaps in the stamp Duties Act, urgently needed to be addressed, right of collection for the electronic related ones had been legally given to FIRS by the National Assembly through the Finance Bill passed last year and assented to, by President Muhammadu Buhari as an act of parliament.
” Besides, stamp duties are more of tax collections which the FIRS , is constitutionally empowered by relevant provisions to carry out,” he said .
However, members of the committee raised issues on the N500 billion revenue projected for 2021 budget of FIRS, when parameters on groundnshowed that the agency could collect more.
Sen. Gabriel Suswam (PDP Benue -East) said thatbthe N500 billion projected as revenue from stamp duties by FIRS in the 2021 budget was too meagre to the realisation of the projected N12.6 trillion 2021 budget .
“The deficit in the projected budget is N5.1 trillion, requiring aggressive revenue generation internally by agencies such as FIRS in making the budget implementable,” he said..
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Kayode Olaitan (NAN)
This is contained in a statement signed by Franklin Alao, NIPOST General Manager, Communications, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday.
However, Ahmad had in his reaction stated that the FIRS was determined to ensure that all monies collected by NIPOST into its illegally operated Stamp Duties Account were fully remitted into the Federation Account.
”FIRS would also ensure full recovery of any kobo not accounted for in that account in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s charge to the Inter-ministerial committee on the recovery of stamp duties from 2016 till date.”
According to Alao, the account which the FIRS made reference to as “illegal” was opened by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), under the Treasury Single Account (TSA), in consultation with the office of Accountant General of the Federation.
He stated that the account was opened when CBN gave instructions to Deposit Money Banks to begin the deduction of N50 stamp duties from bank customers’ accounts.
Alao added that under the extant laws of Nigeria, NIPOST Act 2004, it provides and vests solely in NIPOST the power to print adhesive postage stamps, being the instrument for denoting documents and other transaction instruments.
He said this was in compliance with the provisions of the Stamp Duties Act and historically, the Post in Nigeria, just like in the comity of nations, had at different times produced adhesive postage stamps and revenue stamps for the Federal Government.
”We have tried to bring the attention of the Service and public that NIPOST will be emasculated if the Act is not properly implemented, ” he said.
Alao reassured members of the public that NIPOST, a responsible government institution, had always operated within the ambit of the law.
He, therefore, urged the general public to disregard the statement credited to FIRS in relation to operating an illegal stamp duty account.
Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), says the claim by Chairperson of NIPOST Board, Hajiya Maimuna Abubakar, that both the Service and the National Assembly appropriated NIPOST’s ideas about stamp duty to the exclusion of the postal service is untrue.
Mr Abdullahi Ismaila Ahmad, Director, Communications and Liaison Department of FIRS made this known in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.
He stated that it was wrong for the sensitive nature of the issue at stake to be treated in that manner hence the need to correct that in order not to mislead the public.
He said: “To be sure, NIPOST is a government parastatal (agency) established by Decree 41 of 1992 with the function to develop, promote, and provide adequate and efficiently coordinated postal services at reasonable rates.
“This function is clearly contrary to the claim by NIPOST over the administration of stamp duties in Nigeria.
“On the other hand, the FIRS is the sole agency of government charged with the responsibility of assessing, collecting, and accounting for all tax types including Stamp Duties.
“We, therefore, call on right-thinking Nigerians to disregard that ill-advised twit by Mrs Maimuna Abubakar and allied misinformation being disseminated by NIPOST in relation to Stamp Duties’ collection, which by law is the responsibility of the FIRS.”
Edited By: Donald Ugwu (NAN)
Mr Abdullahi Ahmad, Director, Communications and Liaison Department of the service made this known in a statement in Abuja on Monday.
He said as part of the palliatives, Nami hinted that stamp duty would not be collected in arrears from tenants.
He quoted the executive chairman as saying “there is never a time when taxation is convenient for everybody to pay but I enjoin Nigerians to embrace tax payment as a patriotic duty to our dear country, Nigeria”.
He said FIRS had consistently rolled out tax-related palliatives to relieve them of their tax liabilities since the pandemic shut down the Nigerian and global economy.
The executive chairman said that contrary to some false claims in certain quarters, stamp duty was not a creation of the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari or the current leadership of the FIRS.
“Stamp Duty dates back to colonial times in Nigeria. It has been a form of tax in Nigeria as far back as 1939 when you and I were not yet born.
“It was codified in our laws in 1953, that is before independence. It was consolidated in 2002, published in 2006 and further reworked into the Stamp Duty Act 2004.
“The Joint Tax Board (JTB) where states are represented consider it necessary to bring the stamp duty Act to the attention of Nigerians following the recent launch of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Audit and Recovery of Back Years Stamp Duties where the new FIRS Adhesive Stamp Duty was unveiled.
“As chairman of the JTB, the FIRS was mandated to enlighten Nigerians on stamp duty. That’s why the FIRS published a clarification notice on the stamp duty and we shall continue to educate the public on it.
“Again, for purpose of clarity, the 6 per cent stamp duty rate is not chargeable across board. It is only chargeable on rent or lease agreement of above 21 years.
“If your rent or lease is between 7 and 21 years, the stamp duty rate is three per cent. And if you pay your rent monthly or yearly, that is less than 7 years, your stamp duty rate is 0.78 per cent.
“The 0.78 per cent is the rate for most tenants like you and I who live in Suleja or Minna. If your rent is N100,000 like you said, you only pay 0.78 per cent, which is marginal.
“Those who live in Maitama who pay N10 million as rent will pay more at the same 0.78 per cent because their rent is higher than our own in other parts of Abuja.” he said.
Edited By: Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged the Federal Government to reversed the six per cent tenancy and lease stamp duty agreement in the country.
Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC President said this in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.
Wabba said that the Congress noted with dismay the new policy by the Federal Government through the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) stipulating a six per cent stamp duty fee for every tenancy and lease agreement in Nigeria.
He said that the Congress condemned the agreement as the new policy came at a time when the socio-economic pressure arising from COVID-19 dislocations was affecting many of Nigerians.
According to him, the NLC rejects this new stamp duty policy on rents and leases as it will worsen the situation faced by Nigerian workers most of whom, unfortunately, are tenants.
“It is also alarming that we are having hike in taxes and user access fees when other countries are offering palliatives to their citizens.
“We call on the Federal Government and the Federal Inland Revenue Service to rescind this harsh fiscal measure as it is boldly insensitive to the material condition of Nigerians which has been compounded by the Covid-19.
“Nobody would want to be a tenant if they had alternative. This means that tenants which this new policy targets are some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
“It would be illogical, insensitive and inhuman to churn out laws that make our poor go to bed at night with tears in their eyes,” he said.
Wabba noted that the principle of public taxation especially progressive taxation all over the world was that the rich subsidizes for the poor and that every tax policy that would be enforceable must create a safety net for the poor.
“Accommodation is a fundamental right guaranteed by Nigeria’s constitution. It is unimaginable that tenants who are in the most vulnerable group would be expected to pay 6 per cent tax for accommodation when sales tax is 1.5 per cent.
“This is indeed a great injustice against the Nigerian poor. Government must take deliberate steps to avoid institutionalizing the widespread belief that it is a crime to be poor in Nigeria.
“We understand that the government needs money to run the business of governance especially at this time of economic challenges all over the world.
“But the answer is not in further exploiting the already exploited. There is no doubt that there are other painless ways of mobilizing funds to deal with the exigency of the times,” he said.
He therefore said that one of such ways of mobilising funds was to reduce official graft and corruption.
Wabba said that it does not make sense to ask Nigerians to make sacrifices when they are daily regaled of putrid stories of how public officials are accused of swallowing money in billions and making a comic of ‘fainting’ afterwards.
“Second, there are thousands of unoccupied houses in different parts of the Federal Capital Territory and indeed many cities in Nigeria belonging to very affluent members of the society.
“As we have always demanded and canvassed, Government should tax such property in order to relieve Nigeria’s daunting housing deficits and to generate the needed funds to run government business.
“While we expect the reversal of the 6 per cent tenancy and lease stamp duty policy, we remind government that its highest responsibility is to ensure the security and welfare of every Nigerian,” he said.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)