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Private Sector Warns FG as Buhari Signs Finance Bill

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On Monday, the Organised Private Sector warned the government against fleecing the people and endangering productivity.

They spoke in response to the signing of the Finance Bill into law by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) in Abuja.

The law heralds a new regime of Value Added Tax rate of 7.5 per cent, up from five per cent.

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association warned the government against seeing the private sector as a cash cow in its drive to increase revenue.

On the other hand, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry expressed worry over the increase in VAT; even it said that it was inappropriate to compel loss-making firms to pay tax, no matter how little.

The Director-General, NECA, Dr Timothy Olawale, noted that overburdening the private sector with taxes would further impoverish the citizens Buhari promised to take out of poverty.

He said, “The government should not see the private sector as a ‘cash cow’ in its drive to raise revenue, as it will do more harm to the already burdened private sector and further impoverish citizens that the president promised to take out of poverty.

“The common man will be at the receiving end of the increase in VAT. Even if businesses are taxed more through likely illegal levies and rates outside the provisions of the law, they will naturally pass the cost to the customers whose purchasing power is already at the lowest ebb.

“The government should put mechanisms in place to eliminate leakages as a large chunk of the Internally Generated Revenue realised does not find its way into government coffers.

“They should drastically cut the cost of governance. Several aides kept at prohibitive cost are needless.”

He acknowledged that the government had made provisions in the law that were meant to benefit the masses while reforming the local tax laws in line with global best practices.

The new law amended the Petroleum Profit Tax Act, Customs and Excise Tariff Act, Company Income Tax Act, Personal Income Tax Act, Value Added Tax, Stamp Duties Act and the Capital Gains Tax.

Olawale said, “Apart from the increase in VAT, some other changes would include a situation where Nigerians who want to open or maintain accounts with the deposit money banks will not have to provide their Tax Identification Number to do so, which is commendable.

“Again, the fact that the Federal Government has raised the threshold from which stamp duty will be charged for online transactions from the current N1, 000 to N10,000.”

He recommended aggressive taxpayer enlightenment and expansion of the tax net to capture more citizens as it had been reported that less than 40 per cent of Nigerians were tax compliant.

Director General of the LCCI, Dr Muda Yusuf, said, “The increase in VAT from five per cent to 7.5 per cent amounts to additional burden on investors.

“Already, businesses have been grappling with multiple taxations, high import duty, high regulatory charges, exclusion from the official forex market and high energy cost.

“It is also disturbing that in Nigeria, VAT is not treated as a consumption tax. Most often, it is imposed on the entire value chain of production and investment. This is why investors will worry about the review.”

The LCCI boss urged the government to scale up its commitment to the creation of an enabling environment for investment, adding “this should be from the perspective of policy, regulatory and macroeconomic environment.”

Buhari had announced the signing of the bill through his verified personal twitter handle, @MBuhari.

“I am pleased to announce that this morning, I signed into the law the Finance Bill, 2019,” he tweeted.

The finance bill provides several revenue windows for the Federal Government to source funds, especially for the immediate financing of the 2020 budget.

The country’s budget for the year is N10.59tn, with a massive deficit of over N2tn.

Besides the VAT Act, the new law amended several other existing laws, including the Petroleum Profit Tax Act; Customs and Excise Tariff Act; Company Income Tax Act; Personal Income Tax Act; Stamp Duties Act; and the Capital Gains Tax.

The Federal Executive Council had approved 7.2 per cent new VAT rate on September 10, 2019, while Buhari presented the Finance Bill to the National Assembly on October 8 along with the 2020 Appropriation Bill.

The National Assembly eventually passed an amended version of 7.5 per cent as contained in the finance bill before lawmakers proceeded on the Christmas and New Year break.

Both have now become Acts of the National Assembly, the President has given consent to them.

For the VAT, the Federal Government had explained the urgency to increase it, saying that it would also provide more funds to the 36 states and the 774 local government councils to enable them to meet pressing financial needs, especially the payment of the new minimum wage of N30,000.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, speaking on this, had stated, “We reported to council and council has agreed that we start the process towards the increase of the VAT rate. We are proposing, and the council has agreed, increase in the VAT rate from five per cent to 7.2 per cent.

“This is important because the Federal Government only retains 15 per cent of the VAT; 85 per cent is actually for the states and local governments. The states need additional revenue to be able to meet the obligations of the minimum wage.

“This process involves extensive consultations that need to be made across the country at various levels and also it will involve the review of the VAT Act. So, it is not going to be implemented immediately until the Act is reviewed.”

Another provision of the new law is that the threshold on which stamp duty will be charged on online transactions has been raised to N10, 000 from N1, 000.

Meanwhile, the Presidency, in a statement on Monday, confirmed that Buhari indeed signed the Finance Bill into law.

“President Muhammadu Buhari, Monday in State House, signed the 2020 Finance Bill into law. This is a sequel to its passage by the National Assembly and subsequent forwarding by the legislature to the President for assent”, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said.

The statement recalled Buhari’s presentation to the National Assembly.

It quoted him, “This Finance Bill has five strategic objectives, in terms of achieving incremental, but necessary, changes to our fiscal laws.

“These objectives are promoting fiscal equity by mitigating instances of regressive taxation; reforming domestic tax laws to align with global best practices; introducing tax incentives for investments in infrastructure and capital markets; supporting Micro, Small and Medium-sized businesses and raising revenues for the government.

“The draft Finance Bill proposes an increase of the VAT rate from five per cent to 7.5 per cent, as such; the 2020 Appropriation Bill is based on this new VAT rate.”

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Inside Nigeria

News Headlines from Nigeria’s Major Newspapers

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NATION
*Nigerians to pay more for chicken, fish
*NIMASA generates over N108b revenue
*Satellite to play key role in 5G rollout
*‘Why most SMEs fail in three years’
*NETCO empowers youths
*NALDA farm estate to empower 400 in Abia
*AIB partners NCAT on manpower development
*Notore grows turnover by 43% to N27b
*PZ Cussons pays N992.6m dividend to shareholders
*‘Digital assets can stimulate capital formation’
*Airtel Africa joins FTSE 100
*Sterling Bank holds awards for young tech founders
*Wema Bank gets two new directors
*Threats to Nigeria’s march to digital economy
*Evolving railway connection and emerging opportunities
*Boosting downstream with low-interest loans
*Oyebanji, Kolawole: Who succeeds Fayemi?
*February… A ruling party’s month of decisions
*Typically NLNG
*Ritualists on the prowl
*Fuel subsidy sandstorm
*Ritualists on the prowl
*Fuel subsidy sandstorm
*Nigeria and the hunger hotspots
*Subsidy: triumph of reason
*Abubakar’s stained hands
*Tackling Nigeria’s cumulative leadership failure
*Subsidy suspension; stale logic

LEADERSHIP
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*APC Has A Flawed Reward System – Princewill
*Manchester United Ban Greenwood Indefinitely Over Alleged Assault
*NDLEA Arrests 3 Trans-border Traffickers With 48,000 Tramadol Tabs
*Aborted Zamfara Trip: Presidency Explains Reasons, Blasts PDP
*Employment: KWASU VC Urges Youths To Embrace ICT
*We Want You To Defect To APC, Lawan Tells Akwa Ibom Gov

DAILY TRUST
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VANGUARD
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*If Nigeria were a democracy
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*Gunmen burn 10 sleeping locals in Southern Kaduna

PUNCH
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*Transport fares jump by 283% amid rising fuel subsidy – NBS report
*Presidency: APC in dilemma over zoning, may throw race open
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*Motorist seeks Lagos task force officers’ prosecution for perjury
*NDLEA seizes 48,000 tramadol tabs, 22 UK, France, Portugal passports
*Ogun police arrest three for vandalising telecoms mast

THISDAY
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*NDLEA Arrests Nigeria-Cameroon Trans-border Drug Traffickers
*2023: PDP Positioned to Win Ogun, Says Party Chieftain
*SMEDAN Boss Laments Poor Reading Culture among Students
*Ex-Bayelsa Commissioner Urges Kinsmen to Shun Criminality
*Osinbajo: Masses, Not Legal Profession Own Nigeria’s Justice System
*2023: Obaseki’s Ex-Chief of Staff, Akerele, to Contest for House’s Seat
*Kogi Gov Restates Commitment to Education
*Residents Urge IG to Fish Out Killers of Two Teenagers in…
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*Come and Work with Us, Lawan Begs Emmanuel to Join APC
*Presidency to PDP: Don’t Trivialise Buhari’s Aborted Visit to Zamfara
*Merchants of Hate Selling Purported Plan to Replace Sanwo-Olu, Declares GAC
*PANDEMIC ENVIRONMENT AND SMALL BUSINESSES
*NIGERIA AND THE SUBSIDY SANDSTORM
*APC’s PresidentialTicket and the Early Risers
*Rice Leads the Charge in Agric Revolution
*Economics of Recovery and Recovery of Economics: A Peep into Nigeria
*As BUA Boosts Nigeria’s Cement Production Capacity
*Enterprise Asset Leasing to Boost Fleet Operations for Corporates, SMEs’ Funding
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*WACOT Rice to Complete Expansion of 120,000-ton Mill in 15 Months
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*Edo to Set Up Investment Desks in Lagos, Abuja, Nigerian Embassies
*Lekki Gardens Receives SON’s Quality Management Certification
*Foundation Expands Blockchain Technology Operations to Ghana
*Cyber Future Academy Partners NAS on ICT Week
*Dana Air Reintroduces Early Flights from Abuja Feb 1 Chinedu Eze
*Ibom Air Ranked Best Airline in Nigeria by Travellers Awards
*Airtel Africa Joins FTSE100 January 31
*Interswitch Supports NITDA’s National Privacy Week, Promotes Data Protection
*‘Accident Investigation Institute to Begins Operation in Q3 2022’
*Private Sector Stakeholders to Launch N62.1bn HIV Trust Fund
*ANLCA Urges FG to Set-aside 3% Compensation for Licensed Agents
*Majiyagbe: Nigerian Custodial Services in Conformity With Global Best Practice
*NACCIMA Urges CBN to Postpone Implementation of e-Invoicing
*MTN Delights Investors With Historic N400bn Profit
*Insecurity, Forex Illiquidity Poses Threat to Nigeria’s Short-Term Growth IoD Warns
*‘Insurance Will Grow When Government Shows Responsibility to Sector’
*Banks, Others Borrowing from CBN Drops by 26.5% in January on…
*Sustained growth in revenue
*FG: No Jetty Should Operate Without Authorisation
*NIMASA Introduces Zero Import Duty on Brand New Vessels, Contributes N37bn…
*10 Customers Win N10m In Fidelity Bank’s GAIM 5 Promo
*Stephen Akintayo Foundation organises Upgrade Conference
*FG to Save N120bn from Human Resources Data on IPPIS
*Notore Sustains Growth Trajectory, Grow Revenue by 43% to N27bn
*TROM Foundation Holds Inaugural Annual Lecture, launches Maiden Science Teachers Award
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THE SUN
*Niger: Terrorists on rampage, kill 7 top JTF commanders, others
*Ikpeazu commended on urban renewal programme
*Mbadiwe hails Buhari over suspension of fuel subsidy removal
*… President greets Onwenu at 70
*2023: Igbo group appeals to non-S’East indigenes to shelve ambition
*Ekiti guber: APC primary was hijacked, compromised -Bamidele
*2023: Desist from political prophecy, Kaigama tells religious leaders
*Plateau: PDP’ll produce better govt in 2023 –Gyang
*APC convention: Feb. 26 date threatened as CECPC mulls March option
*N450m rice factory commences operation in Imo

  • General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division, Major General Lawrence Fejokwu,
    *Bayelsa to commission over 20 projects on Diri’s 2nd anniversary
    *NAS warns against rising number of out-of-school children
    *EBSU students reject N250,000 levy
    *Uzodimma promises traders of reconstructed Owerri market compensation
    *… Commiserates with Nnadi, Editor Sunday Sun, on wife’s death
    *2023: Disquiet in Akwa Ibom as Udom presents Umo Eno as ‘God anointed’ candidate
    *Nat Convention must arrest drift destroying APC — Ex DG Govs Forum
    *Alleged contempt: Finance minister, others face committal trial today

GUARDIAN
*Movement demands information on N3tr fuel subsidy
*In fresh attacks, bandits kill dozens in Kaduna, Niger
*SSANU gives FG February deadline to settle minimum wage, IPPIS
*Lawan woos Emmanuel as influential council backs Sanwo-Olu on re-election
*Concerns as cybercriminals unleash SMS-based Android malware on Nigerians
*Lagos Police Command begins screening exercise for applicants
*Ohanaeze warns of danger if North succeeds Buhari in 2023
*Obaseki extends street light-up project to Edo north
*Jonathan, Jack-Rich urge oil firms to impact host Niger Delta communities
*‘Soludo’s template will move Nigeria from crude politics’
*Police arrest three suspects for robbery in Yobe
*Osun government intervenes on Ilesa cult clash, promises return to normalcy
*Group condemns attack on ThisDay office in Abuja, seeks protection for media outfits
*Chief of Naval Staff tasks youths on career in armed forces
*Lawmaker seeks justice for murdered OAU PG student
*Abia government seals bank premises, prosecutes levy, tax defaulters
*Buhari commiserates with Innoson boss over mother’s death
*Bamidele to challenge Ekiti APC guber primary outcome in court
*Three rapists get life sentence in Jigawa

NIGERIAN TELEGRAPH
*Ekiti primaries and defeat of the big guns
*2023: South-East in strong push for power
*As the Senate debates Abuja Monthly Rent Payment Bill
*Ngige and the South East quest to lead Nigeria
*JUST IN: Emmanuel settles on Pastor Umo Enoh for 2023
*Federer, Djokovic praise ‘great champion’ Nadal
*Abuja Rice Pyramid smacks of deception –Ndeze
*Abia is leveraging on SME for development, says Oseiza
*Kano battling exports’ rejection, says Nasiru, Deputy Gov
*2023: South-East in strong push for power
*Bamidele vows to challenge Ekiti APC Gov Primary

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Africa

Akwa Ibom Corps Member Slaughters Boyfriend

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Princess Odume

A corps member identified as Princess Odume, was on Monday arrested by the Akwa Ibom police command for the murder of a yet-to-be-identified man.

The young woman, who is said to be a graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, was stripped naked by neighbours of the victim who caught her trying to skip the fence with a machete.

The Akwa Ibom Police Public Relations Officer, Odiko Ogbeche-Macdon confirmed the victim was the alleged murderer’s lover.
He also said, “The police are investigating. The police have her in custody, she committed the act, but as I speak, an investigation is ongoing as to how and why she did it.”

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Africa

COVID-19 Claims the Life of a House on the Rock Pastor

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Pastor Adeyinka Akinbami

A House On The Rock pastor, Adeyinka Akinbami(61), lost his life to COVID-19 on Friday, the 8th of January, 2021.

The Senior Pastor, of the church, Paul Adefarasin, urged Nigerians to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols.

“Yesterday (Friday), I received the rude and shocking news of someone deeply dear to me and all of the HOTR family. The passing of Pastor Yinka Akinbami has become most painful because if there truly were good men, he was certainly one. To my brother, sleep well till we meet to part no more.

“Family, kindly allow me to solicit your intercession for his dear wife of over 30 years; Pastor Tolu, his children, his children-in-law, and grandchildren. We can only at best imagine how much pain they are feeling. We share the pain of his loss but they will feel it a lot more.

“It’s important to remind the community about the deadly nature of the COVID-19 and its mutant virus strains. Please do your part by following all the recommended precautions. That way, you are able to protect yourself and others who become proximal to you. God bless and keep us all”, Adefarasin Tweeted.

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Bizare

Pius and Dr, Ifenyiwa Angbo: The sad story of everyday Nigerian hardworking women.

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Pius Angbo

The Channels news staffer Pius Angbo-seen in this picture battered his wife, who went public with the beating. In her own words, the woman had these to say:-
”Hello people, my name is Ifeyinwa. I am a doctor. I have been married to Pius Angbo of Channels TV for six years, and for six years, I have not known peace in this marriage. It’s been from one woman to another.
I just had baby. It was a Caesarian section just about 4 weeks ago. Just because I told him to spend wisely and not on women so recklessly considering we have four children, that is why I got this beating. He tried to strangle me and all that, sat on my incision, the children were crying.
When I was pregnant with this child, when the pregnancy was three months, it was the same thing. He would sit on my stomach. hit me, try to strangle me and all that”

As the outcry over the beating gathered momentum, a sitting State Governor called for a truce between husband and wife. Now, you can see husband and wife hugging it out.
Pius Angbo should be arrested and face the full wrath of the law for causing his wife such bodily harm. As shown in those pictures, the beating went too far, and because Ifeaniyiwa had a cesarian operation four weeks ago, the man almost killed her. The matter should not be swept under the carpet.
The next time around, the woman may not be alive to tell her story. Her case represents a tiny fraction of what everyday Nigerian woman is facing. I spoke with the Lagos State Police PRO and waits to talk with the Commissioner of Police very shortly, concerning this matter. More updates will be made public.

AGU is Nigerian-American International award wining musician, song writer and Producer/ publisher.

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