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  •  The European Union EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS Mr Michel Arrion says EU will not increase its financial assistance to Nigeria Arrion made this known in Abuja while delivering a Distinguished Lecture organised by the IBB Golf Club with the theme 40 years of European union in Nigeria Lessons learned and the way forward The ambassador who said that EU was not promising further assistance to Nigeria however said that Nigeria remains EU key partner in view of the role it plays in global affairs The envoy also stressed that the Union would scale up its efforts towards the country s institutional political and economic development for a more prosperous future He said that Nigeria could not be said to be poor as it is has enough resources to meet its developmental needs While expressing concern that on the economic level of the country Arrion called for a more equitable distribution of the nation s wealth to ensure growth and stability and unleash its enormous economic potentials Arrion explained that the combine aides to the country were about ten per cent of the country s annual budget According to him the Official Development Assistance ODA flow in Nigeria is about 2 5 billion dollars yearly which correspond roughly to about 10 per cent of the federal budget N7 3trillion or 24 billion dollars This he said has raised the question of should EU continue to give aide to Nigeria Arrion however said the regional block would scale up its efforts towards the country s institutional political and economic development for a more prosperous future We are not offering more financial support we are proposing more political and policy dialogue technical assistance capacity building training transfer of technology We also proposing more advocacies for more private investments and other innovative sources of funding the EU envoy said The envoy therefore called for improving in tax collection to finance the development of the country According to him Nigeria must find alternative funding to ODA including improved tax collection which must be improved at least five times more and also spend better Quoting Price Water Cooper PwC 2016 he said Nigeria collects about N5 5 trillion or 18 billion dollars per year About 10 million people 10 per cent of adult population are registered for personal income tax half of them in Lagos The rate of VAT compliance by registered entities is about 12 per cent The rate is lower for corporate income tax nine per cent He also said Nigeria must attract more foreign investment five times more to reach the level of Angola or Vietnam for instance and put in place more and better Public Private Partnerships Arrion said the evolution of vibrant relationship of equal partners between Nigeria and the EU was founded on shares values and aspirations and mutual trust According to him EU in its 40 years of engagement with Nigeria has identified development priorities funded projects to stimulate the Nigeria s economy reduce hunger and disease He said that the union had also helped to enhance institutional capacities strengthen governance and fight insecurity in Nigeria Edited by Sadiya Hamza NAN
    EU says no more financial support for Nigeria- Envoy
     The European Union EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS Mr Michel Arrion says EU will not increase its financial assistance to Nigeria Arrion made this known in Abuja while delivering a Distinguished Lecture organised by the IBB Golf Club with the theme 40 years of European union in Nigeria Lessons learned and the way forward The ambassador who said that EU was not promising further assistance to Nigeria however said that Nigeria remains EU key partner in view of the role it plays in global affairs The envoy also stressed that the Union would scale up its efforts towards the country s institutional political and economic development for a more prosperous future He said that Nigeria could not be said to be poor as it is has enough resources to meet its developmental needs While expressing concern that on the economic level of the country Arrion called for a more equitable distribution of the nation s wealth to ensure growth and stability and unleash its enormous economic potentials Arrion explained that the combine aides to the country were about ten per cent of the country s annual budget According to him the Official Development Assistance ODA flow in Nigeria is about 2 5 billion dollars yearly which correspond roughly to about 10 per cent of the federal budget N7 3trillion or 24 billion dollars This he said has raised the question of should EU continue to give aide to Nigeria Arrion however said the regional block would scale up its efforts towards the country s institutional political and economic development for a more prosperous future We are not offering more financial support we are proposing more political and policy dialogue technical assistance capacity building training transfer of technology We also proposing more advocacies for more private investments and other innovative sources of funding the EU envoy said The envoy therefore called for improving in tax collection to finance the development of the country According to him Nigeria must find alternative funding to ODA including improved tax collection which must be improved at least five times more and also spend better Quoting Price Water Cooper PwC 2016 he said Nigeria collects about N5 5 trillion or 18 billion dollars per year About 10 million people 10 per cent of adult population are registered for personal income tax half of them in Lagos The rate of VAT compliance by registered entities is about 12 per cent The rate is lower for corporate income tax nine per cent He also said Nigeria must attract more foreign investment five times more to reach the level of Angola or Vietnam for instance and put in place more and better Public Private Partnerships Arrion said the evolution of vibrant relationship of equal partners between Nigeria and the EU was founded on shares values and aspirations and mutual trust According to him EU in its 40 years of engagement with Nigeria has identified development priorities funded projects to stimulate the Nigeria s economy reduce hunger and disease He said that the union had also helped to enhance institutional capacities strengthen governance and fight insecurity in Nigeria Edited by Sadiya Hamza NAN
    EU says no more financial support for Nigeria- Envoy
    Foreign6 years ago

    EU says no more financial support for Nigeria- Envoy

    The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Michel Arrion says EU will not increase its financial assistance to Nigeria.

    Arrion made this known in Abuja while delivering a Distinguished Lecture organised by the IBB Golf Club, with the theme “40 years of European union in Nigeria: Lessons learned and the way forward”.

    The ambassador who said that EU was not promising further assistance to Nigeria however said that Nigeria remains EU key partner in view of the role it plays in global affairs.

    The envoy also stressed that the Union would scale up its efforts towards the country’s institutional, political and economic development for a more prosperous future.

    He said that Nigeria could not be said to be poor, as it is has enough resources to meet its developmental needs.

    While expressing concern that on the economic level of the country Arrion called for a more equitable distribution of the nation’s wealth to ensure growth and stability and unleash its enormous economic potentials.

    Arrion explained that the combine aides to the country were about ten per cent of the country’s annual budget.

    According to him, the Official Development Assistance  (ODA) flow in Nigeria is about 2.5 billion dollars yearly, which  correspond roughly to about 10 per cent of the federal budget (N7,3trillion  or 24 billion dollars).

    This, he said has raised the question of should EU continue to give aide to Nigeria.?

    Arrion, however said the regional block would scale up its efforts towards the country’s institutional, political and economic development for a more prosperous future.

    “We are not offering more financial support, we are proposing more political and policy dialogue, technical assistance, capacity building, training, transfer of technology.

    We also proposing more advocacies for more private investments and other innovative sources of funding,” the EU envoy said.

    The envoy therefore called for improving in tax collection to finance the development of the country.

    According to him Nigeria must find alternative funding to ODA including improved tax collection which must be improved at least five times more and also spend better.

    Quoting Price Water Cooper (PwC 2016), he said: “Nigeria collects about N5.5 trillion or 18 billion dollars per year.

    “About 10 million people (10 per cent of adult population) are registered for personal income tax (half of them in Lagos).

    “The rate of VAT compliance by registered entities is about 12 per cent. The rate is lower for corporate income tax nine per cent.”

    He also said Nigeria must attract more foreign investment five times more, to reach the level of Angola or Vietnam for instance and put in place more and better Public Private Partnerships.

    Arrion  said the evolution of vibrant relationship of equal partners between Nigeria and the EU was founded on shares values and aspirations and mutual trust.

    According to him EU in its 40 years of engagement with Nigeria has identified development priorities, funded projects to stimulate the Nigeria’s economy, reduce hunger and disease.

    He said that the union had also helped to enhance institutional capacities, strengthen governance and fight insecurity in Nigeria.

    Edited by: Sadiya Hamza
    (NAN)

     

  •  European Union member states have agreed to establish the office of a European public prosecutor to investigate cross border criminal cases affecting the EU budget The agreement was reached during a meeting of EU justice ministers on Thursday The decision to create the office was taken with 20 of the 28 EU member states supporting the move after some countries decided to opt out for fear that it would allow the EU to interfere with national criminal justice systems Under an agreement for optional enhanced cooperation the EU prosecutor would have jurisdiction in the 20 member states that created the office with remaining countries having the choice to join later The countries that are not part of the initiative are Britain Denmark Hungary Ireland Malta the Netherlands Poland and Sweden The independent EU prosecutor would have the power to prosecute cross border value added tax VAT fraud and corruption using EU funds The office was created because no EU or national body currently has the authority to single handedly prosecute cross border VAT fraud which deprives national budgets of 50 billion Euros 56 billion dollars in revenue each year This is a good day for the European taxpayer Vera Jourova European commissioner for justice said The European Parliament has yet to sign off on the agreement Edited by Abiodun Oluleye Maharazu Ahmed NAN
    EU countries agree to create European public prosecutor’s office
     European Union member states have agreed to establish the office of a European public prosecutor to investigate cross border criminal cases affecting the EU budget The agreement was reached during a meeting of EU justice ministers on Thursday The decision to create the office was taken with 20 of the 28 EU member states supporting the move after some countries decided to opt out for fear that it would allow the EU to interfere with national criminal justice systems Under an agreement for optional enhanced cooperation the EU prosecutor would have jurisdiction in the 20 member states that created the office with remaining countries having the choice to join later The countries that are not part of the initiative are Britain Denmark Hungary Ireland Malta the Netherlands Poland and Sweden The independent EU prosecutor would have the power to prosecute cross border value added tax VAT fraud and corruption using EU funds The office was created because no EU or national body currently has the authority to single handedly prosecute cross border VAT fraud which deprives national budgets of 50 billion Euros 56 billion dollars in revenue each year This is a good day for the European taxpayer Vera Jourova European commissioner for justice said The European Parliament has yet to sign off on the agreement Edited by Abiodun Oluleye Maharazu Ahmed NAN
    EU countries agree to create European public prosecutor’s office
    Foreign6 years ago

    EU countries agree to create European public prosecutor’s office

    European Union member states have agreed to establish the office of a European public prosecutor to investigate cross-border criminal cases affecting the EU budget.

    The agreement was reached during a meeting of EU justice ministers on Thursday.

    The decision to create the office was taken with 20 of the 28 EU member states supporting the move after some countries decided to opt out for fear that it would allow the EU to interfere with national criminal justice systems.

    Under an agreement for optional enhanced cooperation, the EU prosecutor would have jurisdiction in the 20 member states that created the office, with remaining countries having the choice to join later.

    The countries that are not part of the initiative are Britain, Denmark, Hungary, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden.

    The independent EU prosecutor would have the power to prosecute cross-border value-added-tax (VAT) fraud and corruption using EU funds.

    The office was created because no EU or national body currently has the authority to single-handedly prosecute cross-border VAT fraud, which deprives national budgets of 50 billion Euros (56 billion dollars) in revenue each year.

    “This is a good day for the European taxpayer,’’ Vera Jourova, European commissioner for justice said.

    The European Parliament has yet to sign off on the agreement.

    Edited by: Abiodun Oluleye/Maharazu Ahmed
    (NAN)

  •  Members of the European Parliament on Tuesday presented proposals to cut food waste which has been estimated at 88 million tons per capita annually in the European Union EU The parliamentarians called on the EU countries to achieve food waste cut by 30 per cent by 2025 and 50 per cent by 2030 To this end they called on the European Commission EC to lift the existing restrictions on food donations and make consumers fully understand best before and use by labeling As for donations the commission should propose a change in the Value Added Tax VAT directive that would explicitly authorise tax exemptions on food donations Moreover the EU fund for European aid to the most deprived should get the possibility of financing the cost of collecting transporting storing and distributing the food donations They called on the commission to assess the possibility of removing certain dates on products without constituting any risk to public health or the environment Among them the highest food waste per capita per year is registered in the Netherlands which is 541 kg and followed by Belgium s 345 kg The lowest food waste per capita per year is recorded in Slovenia which is 72 kg followed by Malta and Romania which are both 76kg Edited by Celine Damilola Oyewole Yemi Idris Aduloju NAN
    European lawmakers seek to cut food waste
     Members of the European Parliament on Tuesday presented proposals to cut food waste which has been estimated at 88 million tons per capita annually in the European Union EU The parliamentarians called on the EU countries to achieve food waste cut by 30 per cent by 2025 and 50 per cent by 2030 To this end they called on the European Commission EC to lift the existing restrictions on food donations and make consumers fully understand best before and use by labeling As for donations the commission should propose a change in the Value Added Tax VAT directive that would explicitly authorise tax exemptions on food donations Moreover the EU fund for European aid to the most deprived should get the possibility of financing the cost of collecting transporting storing and distributing the food donations They called on the commission to assess the possibility of removing certain dates on products without constituting any risk to public health or the environment Among them the highest food waste per capita per year is registered in the Netherlands which is 541 kg and followed by Belgium s 345 kg The lowest food waste per capita per year is recorded in Slovenia which is 72 kg followed by Malta and Romania which are both 76kg Edited by Celine Damilola Oyewole Yemi Idris Aduloju NAN
    European lawmakers seek to cut food waste
    Foreign6 years ago

    European lawmakers seek to cut food waste

    Members of the European Parliament, on Tuesday, presented proposals to cut food waste, which has been estimated at 88 million tons, per capita, annually in the European Union (EU).

    The parliamentarians called on the EU countries to achieve food waste cut by 30 per cent by 2025 and 50 per cent by 2030.

    To this end, they called on the European Commission (EC) to lift the existing restrictions on food donations and make consumers fully understand “best before” and “use by” labeling.

    As for donations, the commission should propose a change in the Value-Added Tax (VAT) directive that would explicitly authorise tax exemptions on food donations.

    Moreover, the EU fund for European aid to the most deprived, should get the possibility of financing the cost of collecting, transporting, storing and distributing the food donations.

    They called on the commission to assess the possibility of removing certain dates on products, without constituting any risk to public health or the environment.

    Among them, the highest food waste per capita, per year is registered in the Netherlands, which is 541 kg and followed by Belgium’s 345 kg.

    The lowest food waste per capita per year is recorded in Slovenia, which is 72 kg, followed by Malta and Romania, which are both 76kg.

    Edited by: Celine-Damilola Oyewole/Yemi Idris-Aduloju
    (NAN)

     

     

  •  Greece and its lenders have achieved results in talks on reforms necessary to unlock new loans but there will be no final deal on Friday the chairman of euro zone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem said We have achieved results Dijsselbloem told reporters on entering a meeting of the ministers devoted to Greece adding however that there will be no total political deal today Greece is on its third bailout from euro zone governments but to get money it has to pass regular reviews of reforms it agreed to in return for the financing NAN reports that on March 31 Euro zone deputy finance ministers recommended Greek bailout review talks continue in Athens as its creditors seek a deal on reforms to unlock aid mission chiefs were expected to decide whether they would return to Athens to wrap up talks on a technical agreement ahead of a meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Malta on April 7 NAN reports that the talks involved representatives from the creditor institutions the European Commission the European Central Bank the European Stability Mechanism ESM and the IMF and from the Greek government including finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos On July 23 2015 Greece began formal talks on a proposed 86 billion euros bailout after parliament voted for reforms demanded by its creditors 230 members of parliament backed a package of reforms while 63 voted against The prime minister Alexis Tsipras who is under growing pressure to call early elections managed to contain the rebellion in his own ranks A total of 36 Syriza members of parliament voted against or abstained on the measures three fewer than at a similar vote on July 19m 2015 The outline agreement on launching talks for a third bailout included transferring up to 50 billion euros worth of state owned assets to a privatisation fund reforms to pensions an overhaul of the VAT code It also involves the imposition of quasi automatic spending cuts if the government fails to meet targets for a primary surplus the amount that tax income exceeds spending The former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis voted for the measures after opposing the first round of reforms that included pension cuts and VAT increases in a vote the previous week In this case Varoufakis said the specific measures being voted on included reforms he had put forward himself MPs had less than a day to consider about 900 pages of legislation covering a sweeping reform to Greece s civil justice courts and new rules to deal with failing banks The conclusion agreed in 2015 of the second review of the bailout programme has been blocked for several months The main obstacles are the reforms of the labour market and of the pension system as well as the fiscal targets that need to be reached after the end of the programme in 2018 In total the Greek government needs to adopt measures that will cut spending by 1 9 billion dollars and increase revenues by 1 9 billion euro SH
    Greece, lenders achieve results, but no full deal: Eurogroup head
     Greece and its lenders have achieved results in talks on reforms necessary to unlock new loans but there will be no final deal on Friday the chairman of euro zone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem said We have achieved results Dijsselbloem told reporters on entering a meeting of the ministers devoted to Greece adding however that there will be no total political deal today Greece is on its third bailout from euro zone governments but to get money it has to pass regular reviews of reforms it agreed to in return for the financing NAN reports that on March 31 Euro zone deputy finance ministers recommended Greek bailout review talks continue in Athens as its creditors seek a deal on reforms to unlock aid mission chiefs were expected to decide whether they would return to Athens to wrap up talks on a technical agreement ahead of a meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Malta on April 7 NAN reports that the talks involved representatives from the creditor institutions the European Commission the European Central Bank the European Stability Mechanism ESM and the IMF and from the Greek government including finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos On July 23 2015 Greece began formal talks on a proposed 86 billion euros bailout after parliament voted for reforms demanded by its creditors 230 members of parliament backed a package of reforms while 63 voted against The prime minister Alexis Tsipras who is under growing pressure to call early elections managed to contain the rebellion in his own ranks A total of 36 Syriza members of parliament voted against or abstained on the measures three fewer than at a similar vote on July 19m 2015 The outline agreement on launching talks for a third bailout included transferring up to 50 billion euros worth of state owned assets to a privatisation fund reforms to pensions an overhaul of the VAT code It also involves the imposition of quasi automatic spending cuts if the government fails to meet targets for a primary surplus the amount that tax income exceeds spending The former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis voted for the measures after opposing the first round of reforms that included pension cuts and VAT increases in a vote the previous week In this case Varoufakis said the specific measures being voted on included reforms he had put forward himself MPs had less than a day to consider about 900 pages of legislation covering a sweeping reform to Greece s civil justice courts and new rules to deal with failing banks The conclusion agreed in 2015 of the second review of the bailout programme has been blocked for several months The main obstacles are the reforms of the labour market and of the pension system as well as the fiscal targets that need to be reached after the end of the programme in 2018 In total the Greek government needs to adopt measures that will cut spending by 1 9 billion dollars and increase revenues by 1 9 billion euro SH
    Greece, lenders achieve results, but no full deal: Eurogroup head
    Foreign6 years ago

    Greece, lenders achieve results, but no full deal: Eurogroup head

    Greece and its lenders have achieved results in talks on reforms necessary to unlock new loans but there will be no final deal on Friday, the chairman of euro zone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem said.

    “We have achieved results,” Dijsselbloem told reporters on entering a meeting of the ministers devoted to Greece, adding however that “there will be no total political deal today”.

    Greece is on its third bailout from euro zone governments but to get money it has to pass regular reviews of reforms it agreed to in return for the financing.

    NAN reports that on March 31, Euro zone deputy finance ministers recommended Greek bailout review talks continue in Athens as its creditors seek a deal on reforms to unlock aid.

    mission chiefs were expected to decide whether they would return to Athens, to wrap up talks on a technical agreement ahead of a meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Malta on April 7.

    NAN reports that the talks involved representatives from the creditor institutions, the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the IMF and from the Greek government, including finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos.

    On July 23, 2015, Greece began formal talks on a proposed 86 billion euros bailout after parliament voted for reforms demanded by its creditors.

    230 members of parliament backed a package of reforms, while 63 voted against.

    The prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, who is under growing pressure to call early elections, managed to contain the rebellion in his own ranks.

    A total of 36 Syriza members of parliament voted against or abstained on the measures, three fewer than at a similar vote on July 19m 2015.

    The outline agreement on launching talks for a third bailout included transferring up to 50 billion euros worth of state-owned assets to a privatisation fund, reforms to pensions, an overhaul of the VAT code.

    It also involves the imposition of “quasi-automatic” spending cuts if the government fails to meet targets for a primary surplus, the amount that tax income exceeds spending.

    The former finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, voted for the measures after opposing the first round of reforms that included pension cuts and VAT increases in a vote the previous week.

    In this case, Varoufakis said, the specific measures being voted on included reforms he had put forward himself.

    MPs had less than a day to consider about 900 pages of legislation, covering a sweeping reform to Greece’s civil justice courts and new rules to deal with failing banks.

    The conclusion, agreed in 2015, of the second review of the bailout programme, has been blocked for several months.

    The main obstacles are the reforms of the labour market and of the pension system, as well as the fiscal targets that need to be reached after the end of the programme in 2018.

    In total, the Greek government needs to adopt measures that will cut spending by 1.9 billion dollars and increase revenues by 1.9 billion euro.

    SH

  •  Euro zone deputy finance ministers have recommended Greek bailout review talks continue in Athens a government official said on Friday as Athens and its creditors seek a deal on reforms to unlock aid mission chiefs were expected to decide later today whether they would return to Athens to wrap up talks on a technical agreement ahead of a meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Malta on April 7 NAN reports that the talks would involve representatives from the creditor institutions the European Commission the European Central Bank the European Stability Mechanism ESM and the IMF and from the Greek government including finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos On July 23 2015 Greece began formal talks on a proposed 86 billion euros bailout after parliament voted for reforms demanded by its creditors 230 members of parliament backed a package of reforms while 63 voted against The prime minister Alexis Tsipras who is under growing pressure to call early elections managed to contain the rebellion in his own ranks A total of 36 Syriza members of parliament voted against or abstained on the measures three fewer than at a similar vote on July 19m 2015 The outline agreement on launching talks for a third bailout included transferring up to 50 billion euros worth of state owned assets to a privatisation fund reforms to pensions an overhaul of the VAT code It also involves the imposition of quasi automatic spending cuts if the government fails to meet targets for a primary surplus the amount that tax income exceeds spending The former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis voted for the measures after opposing the first round of reforms that included pension cuts and VAT increases in a vote the previous week In this case Varoufakis said the specific measures being voted on included reforms he had put forward himself MPs had less than a day to consider about 900 pages of legislation covering a sweeping reform to Greece s civil justice courts and new rules to deal with failing banks The conclusion agreed in 2015 of the second review of the bailout programme has been blocked for several months The main obstacles are the reforms of the labour market and of the pension system as well as the fiscal targets that need to be reached after the end of the programme in 2018 In total the Greek government needs to adopt measures that will cut spending by 1 9 billion dollars and increase revenues by 1 9 billion euro SH
    EU, IMF mission chiefs to decide on return to Greece for bailout talks
     Euro zone deputy finance ministers have recommended Greek bailout review talks continue in Athens a government official said on Friday as Athens and its creditors seek a deal on reforms to unlock aid mission chiefs were expected to decide later today whether they would return to Athens to wrap up talks on a technical agreement ahead of a meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Malta on April 7 NAN reports that the talks would involve representatives from the creditor institutions the European Commission the European Central Bank the European Stability Mechanism ESM and the IMF and from the Greek government including finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos On July 23 2015 Greece began formal talks on a proposed 86 billion euros bailout after parliament voted for reforms demanded by its creditors 230 members of parliament backed a package of reforms while 63 voted against The prime minister Alexis Tsipras who is under growing pressure to call early elections managed to contain the rebellion in his own ranks A total of 36 Syriza members of parliament voted against or abstained on the measures three fewer than at a similar vote on July 19m 2015 The outline agreement on launching talks for a third bailout included transferring up to 50 billion euros worth of state owned assets to a privatisation fund reforms to pensions an overhaul of the VAT code It also involves the imposition of quasi automatic spending cuts if the government fails to meet targets for a primary surplus the amount that tax income exceeds spending The former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis voted for the measures after opposing the first round of reforms that included pension cuts and VAT increases in a vote the previous week In this case Varoufakis said the specific measures being voted on included reforms he had put forward himself MPs had less than a day to consider about 900 pages of legislation covering a sweeping reform to Greece s civil justice courts and new rules to deal with failing banks The conclusion agreed in 2015 of the second review of the bailout programme has been blocked for several months The main obstacles are the reforms of the labour market and of the pension system as well as the fiscal targets that need to be reached after the end of the programme in 2018 In total the Greek government needs to adopt measures that will cut spending by 1 9 billion dollars and increase revenues by 1 9 billion euro SH
    EU, IMF mission chiefs to decide on return to Greece for bailout talks
    Foreign6 years ago

    EU, IMF mission chiefs to decide on return to Greece for bailout talks

    Euro zone deputy finance ministers have recommended Greek bailout review talks continue in Athens, a government official said on Friday, as Athens and its creditors seek a deal on reforms to unlock aid.

    mission chiefs were expected to decide later today whether they would return to Athens, to wrap up talks on a technical agreement ahead of a meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Malta on April 7.

    NAN reports that the talks would involve representatives from the creditor institutions, the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the IMF and from the Greek government, including finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos.

    On July 23, 2015, Greece began formal talks on a proposed 86 billion euros bailout after parliament voted for reforms demanded by its creditors.

    230 members of parliament backed a package of reforms, while 63 voted against.

    The prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, who is under growing pressure to call early elections, managed to contain the rebellion in his own ranks.

    A total of 36 Syriza members of parliament voted against or abstained on the measures, three fewer than at a similar vote on July 19m 2015.

    The outline agreement on launching talks for a third bailout included transferring up to 50 billion euros worth of state-owned assets to a privatisation fund, reforms to pensions, an overhaul of the VAT code.

    It also involves the imposition of “quasi-automatic” spending cuts if the government fails to meet targets for a primary surplus, the amount that tax income exceeds spending.

    The former finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, voted for the measures after opposing the first round of reforms that included pension cuts and VAT increases in a vote the previous week.

    In this case, Varoufakis said, the specific measures being voted on included reforms he had put forward himself.

    MPs had less than a day to consider about 900 pages of legislation, covering a sweeping reform to Greece’s civil justice courts and new rules to deal with failing banks.

    The conclusion, agreed in 2015, of the second review of the bailout programme, has been blocked for several months.

    The main obstacles are the reforms of the labour market and of the pension system, as well as the fiscal targets that need to be reached after the end of the programme in 2018.

    In total, the Greek government needs to adopt measures that will cut spending by 1.9 billion dollars and increase revenues by 1.9 billion euro.

    SH

  •  The International Monetary Fund IMF has expressed confidence in the efforts taken by the Federal Government to resuscitate the country s economy The IMF expressed this confidence in a document obtained by the Nigeria News Agency through the Executive Board at the conclusion of its 2017 consultation with Nigeria on Friday The IMF noted that the economy had been negatively impacted by low petroleum price and production The directors commended the efforts already made by the authorities to reduce vulnerabilities and enhance resilience including increasing fuel prices raising the monetary policy rate and allowing the exchange rate to depreciate However in light of the persisting internal and external challenges they emphasized that stronger macroeconomic policies are urgently needed to rebuild confidence and foster an economic recovery The directors welcomed the authorities Economic Recovery and Growth Plan ERGP which focuses on economic diversification driven by the private sector and government initiatives to strengthen infrastructure According to them this includes the recently adopted power sector recovery plan However they underlined that without stronger policies these objectives may not be achieved The Fund said the Directors generally emphasised the need for a front loaded revenue based fiscal consolidation starting in 2017 to reduce the Federal Government interest payments to revenue ratio to sustainable levels They underscored that priority should be given to increasing non oil revenue through raising VAT and excise rates strengthening compliance and closing loopholes and exemptions Administering an independent fuel price setting mechanism to eliminate fuel subsidies strengthening public financial management and developing a well targeted social safety net would also support the adjustment The directors stressed the need to contain the fiscal deficit of state and local governments through improved transparency and monitoring They underscored that external adjustment is necessary to protect foreign currency buffers and reduce vulnerabilities They commended the recent easing of some exchange restrictions and urged the authorities to remove the remaining restrictions and multiple currency practices thus unifying the foreign exchange market and helping regain investor confidence The directors emphasised that these policies should be supported by tighter monetary policy and fiscal consolidation to anchor inflation expectations and to limit the risk of exchange rate overshooting and structural reforms to improve competitiveness The directors welcomed the steps to strengthen banking sector resilience through stronger prudential requirements and with asset quality declining they recommended further intensifying bank monitoring enhancing contingency planning and strengthening resolution frameworks The directors encouraged quickly increasing the capital of undercapitalized banks and putting a time limit on regulatory forbearance They emphasised that ambitious structural reforms are key to achieving a competitive investment driven economy that is less dependent on oil According to them priority should be given to improving infrastructure enhancing the business environment improving access to financing for small enterprises and strengthening governance and anti corruption efforts Timely and effective implementation of these measures would promote sustainable and inclusive growth The IMF also welcomed progress in improving the quality and availability of economic statistics and encouraged further efforts to compile subnational fiscal accounts The Fund noted that the foreign exchange regime was liberalised in June 2016 but forex restrictions remained in place and the market continues to be characterised by significant distortions that had contributed to a 50 per cent parallel market premium According to the IMF the significant distortions in forex market is halved following recent increases in Central Bank of Nigeria s interventions and the removal of prioritized allocation of foreign exchange Under unchanged policies the outlook remains challenging Growth would pick up only slightly to 0 8 per cent in 2017 mostly reflecting some recovery in oil production and a continuing strong performance in agriculture Policy uncertainty crowding out and forex market distortions would be expected to drag activity while accommodative monetary policy would keep inflation in double digits Financing constraints and banks risk aversion would crowd out private sector credit and increase the Federal Government s already high debt service burden A continued policy of prioritizing exchange rate stability would lead to an increasingly overvalued exchange rate leading to deterioration in the non oil trade balance and gross reserves below adequate levels IMF said The Fund said that the Federal Government recognizing the unsustainability of current policies had adopted an Economic Recovery and Growth Plan ERGP to transform the economy into a more diversified and inclusive economy Key priorities include ensuring food security through agro related manufacturing promoting industrialization and achieving sufficiency in energy including the recently approved Power Sector Recovery Plan The ERGP s inclusive growth focus is to be supported through macroeconomic stability investing in social infrastructure building a globally competitive economy and improving governance IMF said Edited by Felix Ajide NAN
    IMF sees hope in Nigeria’s economic recovery plan
     The International Monetary Fund IMF has expressed confidence in the efforts taken by the Federal Government to resuscitate the country s economy The IMF expressed this confidence in a document obtained by the Nigeria News Agency through the Executive Board at the conclusion of its 2017 consultation with Nigeria on Friday The IMF noted that the economy had been negatively impacted by low petroleum price and production The directors commended the efforts already made by the authorities to reduce vulnerabilities and enhance resilience including increasing fuel prices raising the monetary policy rate and allowing the exchange rate to depreciate However in light of the persisting internal and external challenges they emphasized that stronger macroeconomic policies are urgently needed to rebuild confidence and foster an economic recovery The directors welcomed the authorities Economic Recovery and Growth Plan ERGP which focuses on economic diversification driven by the private sector and government initiatives to strengthen infrastructure According to them this includes the recently adopted power sector recovery plan However they underlined that without stronger policies these objectives may not be achieved The Fund said the Directors generally emphasised the need for a front loaded revenue based fiscal consolidation starting in 2017 to reduce the Federal Government interest payments to revenue ratio to sustainable levels They underscored that priority should be given to increasing non oil revenue through raising VAT and excise rates strengthening compliance and closing loopholes and exemptions Administering an independent fuel price setting mechanism to eliminate fuel subsidies strengthening public financial management and developing a well targeted social safety net would also support the adjustment The directors stressed the need to contain the fiscal deficit of state and local governments through improved transparency and monitoring They underscored that external adjustment is necessary to protect foreign currency buffers and reduce vulnerabilities They commended the recent easing of some exchange restrictions and urged the authorities to remove the remaining restrictions and multiple currency practices thus unifying the foreign exchange market and helping regain investor confidence The directors emphasised that these policies should be supported by tighter monetary policy and fiscal consolidation to anchor inflation expectations and to limit the risk of exchange rate overshooting and structural reforms to improve competitiveness The directors welcomed the steps to strengthen banking sector resilience through stronger prudential requirements and with asset quality declining they recommended further intensifying bank monitoring enhancing contingency planning and strengthening resolution frameworks The directors encouraged quickly increasing the capital of undercapitalized banks and putting a time limit on regulatory forbearance They emphasised that ambitious structural reforms are key to achieving a competitive investment driven economy that is less dependent on oil According to them priority should be given to improving infrastructure enhancing the business environment improving access to financing for small enterprises and strengthening governance and anti corruption efforts Timely and effective implementation of these measures would promote sustainable and inclusive growth The IMF also welcomed progress in improving the quality and availability of economic statistics and encouraged further efforts to compile subnational fiscal accounts The Fund noted that the foreign exchange regime was liberalised in June 2016 but forex restrictions remained in place and the market continues to be characterised by significant distortions that had contributed to a 50 per cent parallel market premium According to the IMF the significant distortions in forex market is halved following recent increases in Central Bank of Nigeria s interventions and the removal of prioritized allocation of foreign exchange Under unchanged policies the outlook remains challenging Growth would pick up only slightly to 0 8 per cent in 2017 mostly reflecting some recovery in oil production and a continuing strong performance in agriculture Policy uncertainty crowding out and forex market distortions would be expected to drag activity while accommodative monetary policy would keep inflation in double digits Financing constraints and banks risk aversion would crowd out private sector credit and increase the Federal Government s already high debt service burden A continued policy of prioritizing exchange rate stability would lead to an increasingly overvalued exchange rate leading to deterioration in the non oil trade balance and gross reserves below adequate levels IMF said The Fund said that the Federal Government recognizing the unsustainability of current policies had adopted an Economic Recovery and Growth Plan ERGP to transform the economy into a more diversified and inclusive economy Key priorities include ensuring food security through agro related manufacturing promoting industrialization and achieving sufficiency in energy including the recently approved Power Sector Recovery Plan The ERGP s inclusive growth focus is to be supported through macroeconomic stability investing in social infrastructure building a globally competitive economy and improving governance IMF said Edited by Felix Ajide NAN
    IMF sees hope in Nigeria’s economic recovery plan
    Foreign6 years ago

    IMF sees hope in Nigeria’s economic recovery plan

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expressed confidence in the efforts taken by the Federal Government to resuscitate the country’s economy.

    The IMF expressed this confidence in a document obtained by the Nigeria News Agency , through the Executive Board, at the conclusion of its 2017 consultation with Nigeria on Friday.

    The IMF noted that the economy had been negatively impacted by low petroleum price and production.

    The directors commended the efforts already made by the authorities to reduce vulnerabilities and enhance resilience, including increasing fuel prices, raising the monetary policy rate, and allowing the exchange rate to depreciate.

    “However, in light of the persisting internal and external challenges, they emphasized that stronger macroeconomic policies are urgently needed to rebuild confidence and foster an economic recovery.

    The directors welcomed the authorities’ Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), which focuses on economic diversification driven by the private sector, and government initiatives to strengthen infrastructure.

    According to them, this includes the recently adopted power sector recovery plan.

    However, they underlined that without stronger policies these objectives may not be achieved.

    The Fund said the Directors generally emphasised the need for a front-loaded, revenue-based fiscal consolidation starting in 2017, to reduce the Federal Government interest payments-to-revenue ratio to sustainable levels.

    “They underscored that priority should be given to increasing non-oil revenue, through raising VAT and excise rates, strengthening compliance, and closing loopholes and exemptions.

    “Administering an independent fuel price-setting mechanism to eliminate fuel subsidies, strengthening public financial management, and developing a well-targeted social safety net would also support the adjustment.”

    The directors stressed the need to contain the fiscal deficit of state and local governments, through improved transparency and monitoring.

    They underscored that external adjustment is necessary to protect foreign currency buffers and reduce vulnerabilities.

    They commended the recent easing of some exchange restrictions and urged the authorities to remove the remaining restrictions and multiple currency practices, thus unifying the foreign exchange market and helping regain investor confidence.

    The directors emphasised that these policies should be supported by tighter monetary policy and fiscal consolidation to anchor inflation expectations and to limit the risk of exchange rate overshooting, and structural reforms to improve competitiveness.

    The directors welcomed the steps to strengthen banking sector resilience through stronger prudential requirements, and with asset quality declining, they recommended further intensifying bank monitoring, enhancing contingency planning, and strengthening resolution frameworks.

    The directors encouraged quickly increasing the capital of undercapitalized banks and putting a time limit on regulatory forbearance.

    They emphasised that ambitious structural reforms are key to achieving a competitive, investment-driven economy that is less dependent on oil.

    According to them, priority should be given to improving infrastructure, enhancing the business environment, improving access to financing for small enterprises, and strengthening governance and anti-corruption efforts.

    “Timely and effective implementation of these measures would promote sustainable and inclusive growth.”

    The IMF also welcomed progress in improving the quality and availability of economic statistics and encouraged further efforts to compile subnational fiscal accounts.

    The Fund noted that the foreign exchange regime was liberalised in June 2016, but forex restrictions remained in place and the market continues to be characterised by significant distortions that had contributed to a 50 per cent parallel market premium.

    According to the IMF, the significant distortions in forex market is halved following recent increases in Central Bank of Nigeria’s interventions and the removal of prioritized allocation of foreign exchange.

    “Under unchanged policies, the outlook remains challenging. Growth would pick up only slightly to 0.8 per cent in 2017, mostly reflecting some recovery in oil production and a continuing strong performance in agriculture.

    “Policy uncertainty, crowding out, and forex market distortions would be expected to drag activity, while accommodative monetary policy would keep inflation in double digits.

    “Financing constraints and banks’ risk aversion would crowd out private sector credit and increase the Federal Government’s already high debt service burden.

    “A continued policy of prioritizing exchange rate stability would lead to an increasingly overvalued exchange rate, leading to deterioration in the non-oil trade balance and gross reserves below adequate levels,” IMF said.

    The Fund said that the Federal Government, recognizing the unsustainability of current policies, had adopted an Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), to transform the economy into a more diversified and inclusive economy.

    “Key priorities include ensuring food security through agro-related manufacturing, promoting industrialization, and achieving sufficiency in energy – including the recently approved Power Sector Recovery Plan.

    “The ERGP’s inclusive growth focus is to be supported through macroeconomic stability, investing in social infrastructure, building a globally competitive economy, and improving governance,” IMF said.

    Edited by: Felix Ajide
    (NAN)

     

  •  The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria ATCON has described CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele s suggestion of three minutes call surcharge on telecommunications consumers as economically wrong ATCON President Mr Olusola Teniola told newsmen in Lagos on Saturday that the proposal was technically and economically wrong The Nigeria News Agency reports that Emefiele had suggested that government should impose taxes on phone conversations that lasted more than three minutes as an alternative source of revenue for it Emefiele suggested this option during the 2016 Annual Bankers Dinner organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria CIBN He also suggested the introduction tax on properties as a way of increasing revenue for the government Teniol said that the stakeholders in the telecommunications industry were not consulted on the issue before the pronouncement Contrary to the CBN governor s believe it is the poor people who make more calls than the rich So the proposal is not targeted at the middle or higher class I have not seen any industry where you don t want people to use your products or services more We want people to be speaking longer he said Teniola said that the CBN governor s proposal that people should cut their phone calls after three minutes had not been founded on any theory In fact you will now see that people will be cutting their calls It does not make sense not only technically but economically to apply that kind of thinking as a tool or solution out of the present economic recession it is not going to work Teniola said He said that ATCON had already proposed to the Senate a one per cent VAT increase across all sectors This is a more realistic measure toward getting more revenue for the government Teniola said The ATCON president said that the ICT industry had been envisaged to help the country gets out of recession But the sector should not be killed with over taxation he said He suggested other ways the country could raise additional revenue to finance the increased expenditure that could engender fast and sustainable growth of the economy I think we can consider introducing a negligible telecom surcharge to be entirely borne by the initiator of a call in order to protect the poor and vulnerable amongst us We could structure it to only take effect after the third minute of talk Some analyses have indicated that the government could earn about N100 billion per annum from this alone Obviously this surcharge will mainly be borne by middle and upper class people since I do not know many poor people who make calls for more than three minutes he said Edited by Debo Oshundun Peter Dada
    Telecoms companies fault CBN governor’s 3 minutes call tax
     The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria ATCON has described CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele s suggestion of three minutes call surcharge on telecommunications consumers as economically wrong ATCON President Mr Olusola Teniola told newsmen in Lagos on Saturday that the proposal was technically and economically wrong The Nigeria News Agency reports that Emefiele had suggested that government should impose taxes on phone conversations that lasted more than three minutes as an alternative source of revenue for it Emefiele suggested this option during the 2016 Annual Bankers Dinner organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria CIBN He also suggested the introduction tax on properties as a way of increasing revenue for the government Teniol said that the stakeholders in the telecommunications industry were not consulted on the issue before the pronouncement Contrary to the CBN governor s believe it is the poor people who make more calls than the rich So the proposal is not targeted at the middle or higher class I have not seen any industry where you don t want people to use your products or services more We want people to be speaking longer he said Teniola said that the CBN governor s proposal that people should cut their phone calls after three minutes had not been founded on any theory In fact you will now see that people will be cutting their calls It does not make sense not only technically but economically to apply that kind of thinking as a tool or solution out of the present economic recession it is not going to work Teniola said He said that ATCON had already proposed to the Senate a one per cent VAT increase across all sectors This is a more realistic measure toward getting more revenue for the government Teniola said The ATCON president said that the ICT industry had been envisaged to help the country gets out of recession But the sector should not be killed with over taxation he said He suggested other ways the country could raise additional revenue to finance the increased expenditure that could engender fast and sustainable growth of the economy I think we can consider introducing a negligible telecom surcharge to be entirely borne by the initiator of a call in order to protect the poor and vulnerable amongst us We could structure it to only take effect after the third minute of talk Some analyses have indicated that the government could earn about N100 billion per annum from this alone Obviously this surcharge will mainly be borne by middle and upper class people since I do not know many poor people who make calls for more than three minutes he said Edited by Debo Oshundun Peter Dada
    Telecoms companies fault CBN governor’s 3 minutes call tax
    Science & Technology6 years ago

    Telecoms companies fault CBN governor’s 3 minutes call tax

    The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has described CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele’s  suggestion of  three-minutes’ call surcharge on telecommunications consumers as economically wrong .

    ATCON President, Mr Olusola Teniola, told newsmen in Lagos on Saturday that the proposal was technically and economically wrong.

    The Nigeria News Agency reports that Emefiele had suggested that government should impose taxes on phone conversations that lasted more than three minutes as an alternative source of revenue for it.

    Emefiele suggested this option during the 2016 Annual Bankers’ Dinner organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

    He also suggested the introduction tax on properties as a way of increasing revenue for the government.

    Teniol said that the stakeholders in the telecommunications industry were not consulted on the issue before the pronouncement.

    “Contrary to the CBN governor’s believe, it is the poor people who make more calls than the rich.

    “So, the proposal is not targeted at the middle or higher class.

    “I have not seen any industry where you don’t want people to use your products or services more.

    “We want people to be speaking longer,’’ he said .

    Teniola said that the CBN governor’s proposal that people should cut their phone calls after three minutes had not been founded on any theory.

    “In fact, you will now see that people will be cutting their calls.

    “It does not make sense, not only technically but economically, to apply that kind of thinking as a tool or solution out of the present economic recession, it is not going to work,’’ Teniola said.

    He said that ATCON had already proposed to the Senate a one per cent VAT increase across all sectors.

    “This is a more realistic measure toward getting more revenue for the government,’’ Teniola said.

    The ATCON president said that the ICT industry had been envisaged to help the country gets out of recession.

    “But the sector should not be killed with over taxation,’’ he said.

    He suggested other ways the country could raise additional revenue to finance the increased expenditure that could engender fast and sustainable growth of the economy.

    “I think we can consider introducing a negligible telecom surcharge to be entirely borne by the initiator of a call in order to protect the poor and vulnerable amongst us.

    “ We could structure it to only take effect after the third minute of talk.

    “Some analyses have indicated that the government could earn about N100 billion per annum from this alone.

    “Obviously, this surcharge will mainly be borne by middle and upper class people since I do not know many poor people who make calls for more than three minutes,’’ he  said.

    Edited by: Debo Oshundun, Peter Dada

  •  The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation UNESCO has called on Non Governmental Organisations NGOs to deepen efforts in fighting illiteracy in Nigeria Mr Benoit Sossou the Regional Director UNESCO Regional Office Abuja gave the task on Thursday in Abuja at a meeting on Building new partnership with relevant NGOs in Non Formal Education NFE in Nigeria The theme of the meeting is Promoting Partnership with NGOs in None Formal Education NFE delivery in Nigeria Sossou stated that NGOs needed to fast tract their educational projects to advance adult education in all the states in the country At UNESCO we recognise the importance of building partnerships because the task of providing quality education is not the responsibility of government alone After all the popular education for all slogans has always echoed that Education for All is the Responsibility of All Indeed the Federal Government of Nigeria strongly recognises this with the provision she made in the National Policy on Education for private sector and NGO participation in literacy delivery and educational development of the country he said According to him illiteracy is an international scourge that must be stamped out of our societies UNESCO has reminded the world about 758 million adults who cannot read or write a simple sentence out of which two third are women These group are more vulnerable to ill health exploitation and human right abuse and are more likely to be unemployed and are paid less being remains synonymous with exclusion and poverty he said He said that 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has set forth a new global vision of prosperity sustainability and peace in 17 Sustainable Development Goals to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all The director said literacy had achieved success laid foundation for human rights and dignity eradicated poverty achieved gender equality and has made provision for good governance He said that it was imperative to provide Nigerian adults and youths who missed the first chance second chance opportunities with a view to achieving inclusive and sustainably society It was in realisation of this that Nigeria government introduced Revitalisation Adult and Youth Literacy Project RAYL to address the persistent gap in Adult and Youth Literacy AYLN in the country The project in its strategic framework created multi sectorial committee at the federal state and local government levels with the objective of mobilising all pertinent stakeholders to contribute to the provision of quality literacy he said Mr Otive Igbuzor the Executive Director Centre for Leadership Strategy and Development Centre LSD said in his keynote address that education went beyond schooling but schooling at all levels helped to achieve the purpose of education According to him education has been defined as all efforts conscious and direct incidental and indirect made by a given society to accomplish certain objectives that are considered desirable in terms of the individual and society needs Education is very important for individual and societal development Education is a right and all human beings are entitled to it There are many declarations and commitments recognising the rights of citizens to access quality education but the reality is that a lot of people especially the poor have no access leading to a high number of adult illiteracy Adult illiteracy is an obstacle to development over 46 million Nigerian adults are illiterates and this is compounded by an increasing level of youth illiteracy including certificated illiteracy he said Also speaking Mr Musa Moda Consultant on Adult and Non Formal Basic Education and Mass Literacy in Nigeria said 21st Century had taken off and about 100 million Nigerians were illiterate or semi illiterate He urged government to intensify efforts in raising adequate funds from the National Budget Education Tax Fund ETF Family Support Programme FSP Value Added Tax VAT and International Donor Agencies among others to support education He suggested foster linkages among related agencies more advocacy and mobilisation targeted staff training mass production of instructional materials support for post literacy and improve facility for monitoring and evaluation Edited by Fatima Sule Muhammad Suleiman Tola
    UNESCO urges NGOs to fight against illiteracy in Nigeria
     The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation UNESCO has called on Non Governmental Organisations NGOs to deepen efforts in fighting illiteracy in Nigeria Mr Benoit Sossou the Regional Director UNESCO Regional Office Abuja gave the task on Thursday in Abuja at a meeting on Building new partnership with relevant NGOs in Non Formal Education NFE in Nigeria The theme of the meeting is Promoting Partnership with NGOs in None Formal Education NFE delivery in Nigeria Sossou stated that NGOs needed to fast tract their educational projects to advance adult education in all the states in the country At UNESCO we recognise the importance of building partnerships because the task of providing quality education is not the responsibility of government alone After all the popular education for all slogans has always echoed that Education for All is the Responsibility of All Indeed the Federal Government of Nigeria strongly recognises this with the provision she made in the National Policy on Education for private sector and NGO participation in literacy delivery and educational development of the country he said According to him illiteracy is an international scourge that must be stamped out of our societies UNESCO has reminded the world about 758 million adults who cannot read or write a simple sentence out of which two third are women These group are more vulnerable to ill health exploitation and human right abuse and are more likely to be unemployed and are paid less being remains synonymous with exclusion and poverty he said He said that 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has set forth a new global vision of prosperity sustainability and peace in 17 Sustainable Development Goals to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all The director said literacy had achieved success laid foundation for human rights and dignity eradicated poverty achieved gender equality and has made provision for good governance He said that it was imperative to provide Nigerian adults and youths who missed the first chance second chance opportunities with a view to achieving inclusive and sustainably society It was in realisation of this that Nigeria government introduced Revitalisation Adult and Youth Literacy Project RAYL to address the persistent gap in Adult and Youth Literacy AYLN in the country The project in its strategic framework created multi sectorial committee at the federal state and local government levels with the objective of mobilising all pertinent stakeholders to contribute to the provision of quality literacy he said Mr Otive Igbuzor the Executive Director Centre for Leadership Strategy and Development Centre LSD said in his keynote address that education went beyond schooling but schooling at all levels helped to achieve the purpose of education According to him education has been defined as all efforts conscious and direct incidental and indirect made by a given society to accomplish certain objectives that are considered desirable in terms of the individual and society needs Education is very important for individual and societal development Education is a right and all human beings are entitled to it There are many declarations and commitments recognising the rights of citizens to access quality education but the reality is that a lot of people especially the poor have no access leading to a high number of adult illiteracy Adult illiteracy is an obstacle to development over 46 million Nigerian adults are illiterates and this is compounded by an increasing level of youth illiteracy including certificated illiteracy he said Also speaking Mr Musa Moda Consultant on Adult and Non Formal Basic Education and Mass Literacy in Nigeria said 21st Century had taken off and about 100 million Nigerians were illiterate or semi illiterate He urged government to intensify efforts in raising adequate funds from the National Budget Education Tax Fund ETF Family Support Programme FSP Value Added Tax VAT and International Donor Agencies among others to support education He suggested foster linkages among related agencies more advocacy and mobilisation targeted staff training mass production of instructional materials support for post literacy and improve facility for monitoring and evaluation Edited by Fatima Sule Muhammad Suleiman Tola
    UNESCO urges NGOs to fight against illiteracy in Nigeria
    Science & Technology6 years ago

    UNESCO urges NGOs to fight against illiteracy in Nigeria

    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has called on Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to deepen efforts in fighting illiteracy in Nigeria. Mr Benoit Sossou, the Regional Director, UNESCO Regional Office, Abuja, gave the task on Thursday in Abuja at a meeting on “Building new partnership with relevant NGOs in Non-Formal Education (NFE) in Nigeria’’. The theme of the meeting is “Promoting Partnership with NGOs in None Formal Education (NFE) delivery in Nigeria’’. Sossou stated that NGOs needed to fast tract their educational projects to advance adult education in all the states in the country. “At UNESCO, we recognise the importance of building partnerships because the task of providing quality education is not the responsibility of government alone. “After all, the popular education for all slogans has always echoed that `Education for All is the Responsibility of All’. “Indeed, the Federal Government of Nigeria strongly recognises this with the provision she made in the National Policy on Education for private sector and NGO participation in literacy delivery and educational development of the country,’’ he said. According to him, illiteracy is an international scourge that must be stamped out of our societies. “UNESCO has reminded the world about 758 million adults who cannot read or write a simple sentence, out of which two third are women. “These group are more vulnerable to ill health, exploitation and human right abuse and are more likely to be unemployed and are paid less; being remains synonymous with exclusion and poverty,’’ he said. He said that 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has set forth a new global vision of prosperity, sustainability and peace in 17 Sustainable Development Goals to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. The director said literacy had achieved success, laid foundation for human rights and dignity, eradicated poverty, achieved gender equality and has made provision for good governance. He said that it was imperative to provide Nigerian adults and youths who missed the “first chance“, “second chance“ opportunities with a view to achieving inclusive and sustainably society. “It was in realisation of this that Nigeria government introduced Revitalisation Adult and Youth Literacy Project (RAYL) to address the persistent gap in Adult and Youth Literacy (AYLN) in the country. “The project, in its strategic framework, created multi-sectorial committee at the federal, state and local government levels, with the objective of mobilising all pertinent stakeholders to contribute to the provision of quality literacy,’’ he said. Mr Otive Igbuzor, the Executive Director, Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development (Centre LSD), said in his keynote address that education went beyond schooling; but schooling at all levels helped to achieve the purpose of education. According to him, education has been defined as all efforts, conscious and direct, incidental and indirect, made by a given society to accomplish certain objectives that are considered desirable in terms of the individual and society needs. “Education is very important for individual and societal development. Education is a right and all human beings are entitled to it. “There are many declarations and commitments recognising the rights of citizens to access quality education, but the reality is that a lot of people especially the poor have no access leading to a high number of adult illiteracy. “Adult illiteracy is an obstacle to development, over 46 million Nigerian adults are illiterates and this is compounded by an increasing level of youth illiteracy including certificated illiteracy,’’ he said. Also speaking, Mr Musa Moda, Consultant on Adult and Non-Formal Basic Education and Mass Literacy in Nigeria, said 21st Century had taken off and about 100 million Nigerians were illiterate or semi illiterate. He urged government to intensify efforts in raising adequate funds from the National Budget, Education Tax Fund (ETF), Family Support Programme (FSP), Value Added Tax (VAT) and International Donor Agencies, among others to support education. He suggested foster linkages among related agencies, more advocacy and mobilisation, targeted staff training, mass production of instructional materials, support for post literacy and improve facility for monitoring and evaluation. Edited by: Fatima Sule/Muhammad Suleiman Tola

  •  The Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria ATCON has said that the passing into law the nine per cent Communications Service Tax CST bill currently before the Senate would deprive 20 million Nigerians access to telecommunications services This is contained in a statement issued on Saturday in Lagos by ATCON s President Mr Olusola Teniola after he led a delegation of his members on a courtesy visit to the Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki He urged the Senate to use its legislative powers to reduce the nine per cent Communications Service Tax CST to 0 2 per cent Teniola said that the nine per cent new tax on ICT services that was being proposed would exclude 20 million Nigerians which represented 10 per cent of the country s population from accessing telecommunication services He said that ATCON s mandate was to support the Federal Government to succeed in attracting and protecting investments in the telecommunications industry ATCON s mandate is to make meaningful input to all aspects of economic development including legislation and management of telecommunications industry so it continues to oil growth and development The ongoing work on the proposed nine per cent Communication Service Tax Bill is a trending subject We will be happy to support government to make the best of our tax efforts which certainly are key components of strengthening the economy and sustaining our industry Contrary to uninformed opinions we do not object to reforms in taxation neither do we regard taxes as burden We ask for a reconsideration of the CST Bill we recommend as an alternative a tax reform that increases the current VAT by a new one per cent added for the purpose of development of communications Another alternative is that the tax being proposed in the Bill be limited to 0 2 per cent he said Teniola said that there was severe pressure at these times and Government revenue could be different He pleaded that the template with which the telecommunications industry was viewed and assessed be slightly modified The truth is that there is severe over taxation in our industry It explains the slow penetration of services into areas yet to be covered by our services across the country Contrary to popular belief telecommunication operators and service providers are barely sustaining existence in these times There are reasons to suggest that the desire to widen the tax net is laudable and that as things stand telecommunications is about one of the few areas where the net capture may be widened We therefore suggest that an increase in VAT tax which is already included in all services of telecommunications by an increase that is not beyond one per cent will be a good reform strategy he said Responding the Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki assured the ATCON leadership that the Senate would only make laws that would get the economy going adding that the telecommunications sector was critical to the nation s economy The ICT sector is critical to the Nigerian economy as a result the Senate will never make laws that will push the sector into a negative performance Rather the Senate will make laws that will increase its performance to generate revenue and create jobs Saraki said He also urged the telecommunications sector to take the issue of corporate social responsibility more seriously Only the organised private sector such as ATCON could get the country out of recession he said Edited by Constance Athekame controlled by Peter Dada
    20m Nigerians may be deprived access to telecoms facilities if CST bill becomes law—ATCON
     The Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria ATCON has said that the passing into law the nine per cent Communications Service Tax CST bill currently before the Senate would deprive 20 million Nigerians access to telecommunications services This is contained in a statement issued on Saturday in Lagos by ATCON s President Mr Olusola Teniola after he led a delegation of his members on a courtesy visit to the Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki He urged the Senate to use its legislative powers to reduce the nine per cent Communications Service Tax CST to 0 2 per cent Teniola said that the nine per cent new tax on ICT services that was being proposed would exclude 20 million Nigerians which represented 10 per cent of the country s population from accessing telecommunication services He said that ATCON s mandate was to support the Federal Government to succeed in attracting and protecting investments in the telecommunications industry ATCON s mandate is to make meaningful input to all aspects of economic development including legislation and management of telecommunications industry so it continues to oil growth and development The ongoing work on the proposed nine per cent Communication Service Tax Bill is a trending subject We will be happy to support government to make the best of our tax efforts which certainly are key components of strengthening the economy and sustaining our industry Contrary to uninformed opinions we do not object to reforms in taxation neither do we regard taxes as burden We ask for a reconsideration of the CST Bill we recommend as an alternative a tax reform that increases the current VAT by a new one per cent added for the purpose of development of communications Another alternative is that the tax being proposed in the Bill be limited to 0 2 per cent he said Teniola said that there was severe pressure at these times and Government revenue could be different He pleaded that the template with which the telecommunications industry was viewed and assessed be slightly modified The truth is that there is severe over taxation in our industry It explains the slow penetration of services into areas yet to be covered by our services across the country Contrary to popular belief telecommunication operators and service providers are barely sustaining existence in these times There are reasons to suggest that the desire to widen the tax net is laudable and that as things stand telecommunications is about one of the few areas where the net capture may be widened We therefore suggest that an increase in VAT tax which is already included in all services of telecommunications by an increase that is not beyond one per cent will be a good reform strategy he said Responding the Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki assured the ATCON leadership that the Senate would only make laws that would get the economy going adding that the telecommunications sector was critical to the nation s economy The ICT sector is critical to the Nigerian economy as a result the Senate will never make laws that will push the sector into a negative performance Rather the Senate will make laws that will increase its performance to generate revenue and create jobs Saraki said He also urged the telecommunications sector to take the issue of corporate social responsibility more seriously Only the organised private sector such as ATCON could get the country out of recession he said Edited by Constance Athekame controlled by Peter Dada
    20m Nigerians may be deprived access to telecoms facilities if CST bill becomes law—ATCON
    Science & Technology6 years ago

    20m Nigerians may be deprived access to telecoms facilities if CST bill becomes law—ATCON

    The Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has said that the passing into law the nine per cent  Communications Service Tax (CST) bill currently before the Senate would deprive 20 million Nigerians access to telecommunications services.

    This is contained in a statement issued on Saturday in Lagos by ATCON’s President, Mr Olusola Teniola after he led a delegation of his members on a courtesy visit to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.

    He urged the Senate to use its legislative powers to reduce the nine per cent Communications Service Tax (CST) to 0.2 per cent.

    Teniola said that the nine per cent new tax on ICT services that was being proposed would exclude 20 million Nigerians, which represented 10 per cent of the country’s population, from accessing telecommunication services.

    He said that ATCON’s mandate was to support the Federal Government to succeed in attracting and protecting investments in the telecommunications industry.

    ATCON’s mandate is to make meaningful input to all aspects of economic development, including legislation and management of telecommunications industry, so it continues to oil growth and development.

    ‘`The ongoing work on the proposed nine per cent Communication Service Tax Bill is a trending subject.

    “We will be happy to support government to make the best of our tax efforts, which certainly are key components of strengthening the economy and sustaining our industry.

    “Contrary to uninformed opinions; we do not object to reforms in taxation, neither do we regard taxes as burden.

    “We ask for a reconsideration of the CST Bill, we recommend, as an alternative, a tax reform that increases the current VAT by a new one per cent added for the purpose of development of communications.

    “Another alternative is that the tax being proposed in the Bill be limited to 0.2 per cent,” he said.

    Teniola said that there was severe pressure at these times and Government revenue could be different.

    He pleaded that the template, with which the telecommunications industry was viewed and assessed, be slightly modified.

    “The truth is that there is severe over taxation in our industry. It explains the slow penetration of services into areas yet to be covered by our services across the country.

    “Contrary to popular belief, telecommunication operators and service providers are barely sustaining existence in these times.

    “There are reasons to suggest that the desire to widen the tax net is laudable and that as things stand telecommunications is about one of the few areas where the net-capture may be widened,

    “We, therefore, suggest that an increase in VAT tax, which is already included in all services of telecommunications by an increase that is not beyond one per cent will be a good reform strategy,” he said.

    Responding, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki assured the ATCON leadership that the Senate would only make laws that would get the economy going, adding that the telecommunications sector was critical to the nation’s  economy.

    ”The ICT sector is critical to the Nigerian economy; as a result, the Senate will never make laws that will push the sector into a negative performance.

    “Rather,  the Senate will  make laws that will increase its performance to generate revenue and create jobs,” Saraki said.

    He also urged the telecommunications sector to take the issue of corporate social responsibility more seriously.

    Only the organised private sector such as ATCON could get the country out of recession, he said.

    Edited by: Constance Athekame, controlled by Peter Dada

  •  President Muhammadu Buhari has assured global investors of Nigeria s commitment to work hard to become one of the most attractive places to invest The president said his administration had embarked on significant economic reforms to realise that goal Buhari gave the assurance while addressing political and business leaders from the U S Africa and other regions of the world at the Second United States Africa Business Forum in New York on Wednesday The forum was organised by the U S Department of Commerce and Bloomberg Philanthropies The Nigerian leader said the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would soon come out with wide range of business environment reforms He said the reforms would create opportunities around seaports airports visa on arrival improving the speed and efficiency of land titling as well as business registration Buhari said some fiscal incentives included up to five years tax holiday for activities classified as pioneer This will include tax free operations absence of restrictions on expatriate quotas in Free Trade Zones and a low VAT regime of five per cent We intend to make Nigeria one of the most attractive places to do business Nigeria remains the number one investment destination in Africa the president said He further said his administration would continue to strengthen government institutions in order to address the concerns of investors We are weaning ourselves from a historical dependence on crude oil diversifying our economy and putting it on the path of sustainable and inclusive growth To this end we have embarked on policies aimed at establishing an open rules based and market oriented economy We will continue to actively engage with the private sector at the highest levels to listen to your concerns and to assure you of our commitment to creating enabling policies in which your businesses can survive Buhari said He urged participants to take advantage of the forum to establish and strengthen business relationships share valuable experiences and collaborate for mutual benefits The president further said that enormous potential existed for investment in Nigeria adding that the country s huge population formed part of the opportunities He listed the others as arable land forest waters oil and gas solid minerals livestock and tourism On the present state of the economy Buhari said these are no doubt challenging times for the Nigerian economy But let me use this opportunity to boldly affirm our conviction that there is no crisis without an accompanying opportunity In our case we see Nigeria s ongoing economic challenges occasioned mainly by the fall in oil prices as an opportunity to set the economy firmly on the path of true diversification sustainable economic growth and shared prosperity The president said the reform measures taken by his administration since inception in 2015 had started yielding good fruits adding that the benefits were visible in security anti corruption war He said the government was vigorously working hard to close up the infrastructure deficit and promote industrial productivity agriculture mining and technology Young Nigerians are increasingly demonstrating that they have the talent and the passion to leverage on these opportunities he said On U S Nigeria business relations the president announced the commencement of the US Nigeria Commercial and Investment Dialogue with a focus on the infrastructure agriculture and digital economy He also named investment and regulatory reform to be jointly led by the Nigerian Minister of Industry Trade and Investment and his U S counterpart as part of the relationship The president said he looked forward to increased trade and investment flows between Nigeria and the U S Edited by Martins Odeh Chukwudi Ekezie
    Nigeria to become choice investment destination -Buhari
     President Muhammadu Buhari has assured global investors of Nigeria s commitment to work hard to become one of the most attractive places to invest The president said his administration had embarked on significant economic reforms to realise that goal Buhari gave the assurance while addressing political and business leaders from the U S Africa and other regions of the world at the Second United States Africa Business Forum in New York on Wednesday The forum was organised by the U S Department of Commerce and Bloomberg Philanthropies The Nigerian leader said the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would soon come out with wide range of business environment reforms He said the reforms would create opportunities around seaports airports visa on arrival improving the speed and efficiency of land titling as well as business registration Buhari said some fiscal incentives included up to five years tax holiday for activities classified as pioneer This will include tax free operations absence of restrictions on expatriate quotas in Free Trade Zones and a low VAT regime of five per cent We intend to make Nigeria one of the most attractive places to do business Nigeria remains the number one investment destination in Africa the president said He further said his administration would continue to strengthen government institutions in order to address the concerns of investors We are weaning ourselves from a historical dependence on crude oil diversifying our economy and putting it on the path of sustainable and inclusive growth To this end we have embarked on policies aimed at establishing an open rules based and market oriented economy We will continue to actively engage with the private sector at the highest levels to listen to your concerns and to assure you of our commitment to creating enabling policies in which your businesses can survive Buhari said He urged participants to take advantage of the forum to establish and strengthen business relationships share valuable experiences and collaborate for mutual benefits The president further said that enormous potential existed for investment in Nigeria adding that the country s huge population formed part of the opportunities He listed the others as arable land forest waters oil and gas solid minerals livestock and tourism On the present state of the economy Buhari said these are no doubt challenging times for the Nigerian economy But let me use this opportunity to boldly affirm our conviction that there is no crisis without an accompanying opportunity In our case we see Nigeria s ongoing economic challenges occasioned mainly by the fall in oil prices as an opportunity to set the economy firmly on the path of true diversification sustainable economic growth and shared prosperity The president said the reform measures taken by his administration since inception in 2015 had started yielding good fruits adding that the benefits were visible in security anti corruption war He said the government was vigorously working hard to close up the infrastructure deficit and promote industrial productivity agriculture mining and technology Young Nigerians are increasingly demonstrating that they have the talent and the passion to leverage on these opportunities he said On U S Nigeria business relations the president announced the commencement of the US Nigeria Commercial and Investment Dialogue with a focus on the infrastructure agriculture and digital economy He also named investment and regulatory reform to be jointly led by the Nigerian Minister of Industry Trade and Investment and his U S counterpart as part of the relationship The president said he looked forward to increased trade and investment flows between Nigeria and the U S Edited by Martins Odeh Chukwudi Ekezie
    Nigeria to become choice investment destination -Buhari
    Foreign6 years ago

    Nigeria to become choice investment destination -Buhari

    President Muhammadu Buhari has assured global investors of Nigeria’s commitment to work hard to become one of the most attractive places to invest.

    The president said his administration had embarked on significant economic reforms to realise that goal.

    Buhari gave the assurance while addressing political and business leaders from the U.S., Africa and other regions of the world at the Second United States-Africa Business Forum in  New York on Wednesday.

    The forum was organised by the U.S. Department of Commerce and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

    The Nigerian leader said the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, headed by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, would soon come out with wide-range of business environment reforms.

    He said the reforms would create opportunities around seaports, airports, visa-on arrival, improving the speed and efficiency of land titling as well as business registration.

    Buhari said some fiscal incentives included, up to five years tax holiday for activities classified as “pioneer’’.

    “This will include tax-free operations, absence of restrictions on expatriate quotas in Free Trade Zones and a low VAT regime of five  per cent.

    “We intend to make Nigeria one of the most attractive places to do business.  Nigeria remains the number one investment destination in Africa,’’ the president said.

    He further said his administration would continue to strengthen government institutions in order to address the concerns of investors.

    “We are weaning ourselves from a historical dependence on crude oil, diversifying our economy and putting it on the path of sustainable and inclusive growth.

    “To this end, we have embarked on policies aimed at establishing an open, rules-based and market-oriented economy.

    “We will continue to actively engage with the private sector at the highest levels to listen to your concerns and to assure you of our commitment to creating enabling policies in which your businesses can survive,” Buhari said.

    He urged participants to take advantage of the forum to establish and strengthen business relationships, share valuable experiences and collaborate for mutual benefits.

    The president further said that enormous potential existed for investment in Nigeria, adding that the country’s huge population formed part of the opportunities.

    He listed the others as arable land; forest waters; oil and gas; solid minerals; livestock and tourism.

    On the present state of the economy, Buhari said: “these are no doubt challenging times for the Nigerian economy.

    “But let me use this opportunity to boldly affirm our conviction that there is no crisis without an accompanying opportunity.

    “In our case, we see Nigeria’s ongoing economic challenges  occasioned mainly by the fall in oil prices as an opportunity to set the economy firmly on the path of true diversification, sustainable economic growth and shared prosperity.’’

    The president said the reform measures taken by his administration since inception in 2015 had started yielding good fruits, adding that the benefits were visible in security, anti-corruption war.

    He said the government was vigorously working hard to close up the infrastructure deficit and promote industrial productivity, agriculture, mining and technology.

    “Young Nigerians are increasingly demonstrating that they have the talent and the passion to leverage on these opportunities,’’ he said.

    On U.S.-Nigeria business relations, the president announced the commencement of the US-Nigeria Commercial and Investment Dialogue with a focus on the infrastructure, agriculture and digital economy.

    He also named investment and regulatory reform to be jointly led by the Nigerian Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment and his U.S. counterpart as part of the relationship.

    The president said he looked forward to increased trade and investment flows between Nigeria and the U.S.

    (Edited  by Martins Odeh/Chukwudi Ekezie)

     

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