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Only 41 Million People Pay Tax In Nigeria Says FIRS Boss

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Only 41 Million People Pay Tax In Nigeria Says FIRS Boss
Muhammad Nami, the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), has said that only 41 million pay taxes in Nigeria out of the over 200 million population in the country.
Nami made the disclosure at the ‘Public Presentation and Breakdown of the Highlights of the 2022 Appropriation Bill’ in Abuja on Friday.
He said that in spite of the 41 million tax payers in the country, Nigeria still earned lower than what its counterparts across Africa generates from Personal Income Taxes (PIT).
“If you also compare that with South Africa where they have a total population of about 60 million people, with just 4 million taxpayers, the total personal income tax paid in South Africa last year was about N13 trillion. You can now see that these things are not adding up.
“The number of billionaires in Lagos alone are more than the number of billionaires in the whole of South Africa but yet what we generated as PIT by Lagos State was low.
“So if we don’t pay these taxes, there is no way the government will be able to provide the social amenities required, the critical infrastructure required for the wellbeing of the country,” Nami said.
He said that the total collection up to Sept. 31 which has not been fully reconciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigerian Customs is about N4.2 trillion, from this amount, oil related taxes accounted for only 22 per cent which is N950 billion only, the non oil taxes generated was within that period is N3.3 trillion.
“People are not willing to pay even when they are appointed as agent of collection, whatever they have collected they find it difficult to remit.
“We assume that we are a rich country, I don’t think that is correct, we only have the potential to be rich, because we have a very huge population of about 200 million.
“If you look at it from the rate of taxes paid in Saudi Arabia with a population of 10 million people, the VAT rate is as high as 15 per cent and what we have in Nigeria is just 7.5 per cent,” Nami said.
He also said that Nigeria, an oil-producing country, could not be compared to a small country like Saudi Arabia, saying “we are still not there.”
The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, urged citizens to always pay their taxes.
“The money from taxes will go a long way, by providing social amenities, among others.”
Ahmed said that efforts aimed at addressing revenue leakages include dimensioning cost of tax waivers and promoting policy dialogue and transparency around tax waiver regimes.
She also said that achieving government budget objectives requires bold, decisive and urgent actions.
“The government remains mindful of the need to provide safety nets to cushion the impact of reform measures on the vulnerable segments of the population.”

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Politics

CAN Opposes Christian-Christian, Muslim-Muslim Presidential Ticket In 2023

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CAN President

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has warned  political parties not to buy the idea of  Christian/Christian tickets or Muslim/Muslim presidential tickets in 2023.

CAN President, Samson Ayokunle gave the warning on Thursday after a brief meeting with Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege at the National Assembly.

Ayokunle told politicians not to heat up the polity with utterances as campaigns commence.

Ayokunle advised them to always remember there is already tension across Nigeria due to insecurity

“We urge that a balance of both religious practitioners be considered. We don’t want Christian/Christian ticket nor Muslim/Muslim ticket”, he said.

Ayokunle expressed disappointment with the economic downturn and its consequences on the people.

The CAN President called for quick actions and policies that will cushion the effect.

“Unemployment is at an unimaginable level. While we appreciate the efforts of the legislature in calling the attention of the executive, more robust and daring efforts are required

“Enabling environment should be created for investments and incentives or tax exceptions given to local manufacturers on some goods”, Ayokunle added.

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NSCDC Deploys 20,000 Personnel For Anambra Election

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NSCDC

Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has deployed 20,000 personnel to provide security for the November. 6 governorship election in Anambra.

Those to be deployed include personnel in the NSCDC Arms Squad Unit, Counter-Terrorism Unit and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosives Unit.

NSCDC Commandant-General, Dr Ahmed Audi, said this on Thursday in Abuja while delivering a keynote address at a three-day Train-the-Trainers Capacity Building and Electoral Workshop, ahead of the Anambra poll.

Audi said that the special forces would be drafted to key areas in the state where they would be saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and property.

“They will also see to the protection of sensitive and non-sensitive election materials, INEC officials and all critical assets against vandalism, damage or arsonist attacks,” he said.

He said that NSCDC, in collaboration with other security agencies, had developed strategies to checkmate any act of electoral violence and other nefarious activities capable of undermining the electoral process.

The commandant-general further said that the deployed personnel would ensure effective monitoring before, during and after the election.

Audi also said that the personnel would be drafted from the NSCDC commands in all the states in the South-South and South-East zones.

“In addition, personnel from Kogi, Ekiti, Ondo, and Benue have been placed on standby, in case there is the need for reinforcement,” he said.

The NSCDC boss warned the officers to strictly adhere to the ethics of the corps and comply with the law in the discharge of their duties.

“Let me warn, and I mean it, that any conduct of an officer of NSCDC that undermines the rule of law will be seriously dealt with, in accordance with the public service rule,” he added.

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Stakeholders Call On NERC, EEDC To Scale Up Performance In S’East

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Electricity

Stakeholders in the electricity industry in the South-East have charged the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to scale up their performances.

The people gave the charge on Thursday in Enugu at a NERC Stakeholders’ Engagement on Consultation on the Review of Customer Protection Regulations.

They described the periodic review of the regulations after five years as worthwhile.

They, however, said the practical implementation of the regulations, especially concerning the treatment of customers’ complaints, was of greater importance than the proposed review.

An electricity consumer, Mr Joshua Itumo, said the period between the supply of bills and disconnection of defaulting customers “must be reviewed to meet present realities and hardship customers face to get the money to pay their bills.

“The review also has to include that those enforcing disconnection must do it with human face and listen when superior argument or evidence of payment is presented,” Itumo said.A landlord in Trans Ekulu, Enugu, Mr Ifeanyichukwu Okorie, urged NERC and EEDC to clearly state the amount, which when accumulated by a tenant, must be paid before he or she parks out.

Okorie said: “It is not palatable that someone will park into a new apartment and inherit over N500,000 as electricity liability.

“Where does he start as a new tenant to off-set such a huge bill?”

Mr David Emeson, who lives at Agui Road, Enugu, said it was better to ensure the existing regulations were implemented to the latter than have a review that could not be implemented.

“We are not lacking good regulations. The problem is that NERC and EEDC most times fail to carry out what the regulations say and leave customers to their fate,’’ Emeson said.

Earlier, Prof. Frank Okafor, the Commissioner in charge of Engineering and Performance Monitoring in NERC, said the review had become necessary after five years in order to accommodate new ways of doing things, technology and other innovations.

Okafor said the review was not to witch-hunt any stakeholder but ensure more efficient and robust regulations to the benefit of electricity consumers.

“We are looking for ways to ensure more proactive and fast-result oriented ways of attending to customers’ complaints and using technological devices to do this, since NERC cannot be everywhere,” he said.

He said it was difficult for NERC to be proactive due to limited manpower, pointing out that the commission had only 150 staff members nationwide.

Responding, the Managing Director of EEDC, Mr Chorghade Praveen, assured the customers that the company was eager to resolve their complaints in good time, “just as we have recorded noticeable improvement in power supply across our network”.

Praveen also said the company was designing some technological innovations for complaints to be reported and solved within few hours of the report, where possible.

“We are working to improve our customers’ experience just as we have improved in the rate and quality of power supply throughout our franchise area.

“EEDC is moving from customers’ satisfaction to customers’ affection in order to allow our esteemed customers the best quality of service and care so far.

“All the complaints raised here and others to come, I assure you will be treated with dispatch,” he said.

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