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This new Unexplained Wealth Order will boost VAIDS compliance

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In its bid to raise the awareness on tax payment and generate more revenue from the non-oil sector of the economy, the Federal Government had last year launched the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS).

Figures from the proposed 2018 budget put projected non-oil revenue at N4.16trillion and this will be driven by tax and import duties.

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The scheme which is to last for nine months will provide a window of opportunity to allow those who owe taxes to voluntarily declare their Asset and Income from within and outside Nigeria, and pay taxes due on them.

According to PWC, as at May 2017, the total number of taxpayers in Nigeria is just 14 million out of an estimated 69.9 million who are economically active.

Currently, Nigeria’s tax to GDP ratio is put at just 6%, which is one of the lowest in the world (compared to India’s of 16%, Ghana’s of 15.9%, and South Africa’s of 27%). Most developed nations have tax to GDP ratios of between 32% and 35%

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Has the scheme been able to meet its target

8 months into the scheme, how has the program fared? What is the level of compliance by defaulters? How serious is the government about prosecuting offenders? Do we have a reliable and fast judicial process to prosecute offenders? How does the government intend to spend money realized from this scheme?

According to the Chairman Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Mr. Babatunde Fowler over 2,000 properties in Abuja is now in jeopardy. The chairman also revealed that over N17 billion had been raised under the scheme, adding that the scheme will generate more before the expiration of the deadline in March.

In terms of numbers, the scheme has not gotten the type of crucial numbers is expected. It is however worrisome that many corporate organizations are yet to take advantage of this window to regularize their tax payments.

According to Fowler, “When we gave the tax amnesty last year, we had 2,700 corporate accounts that filed for it. Now we are talking of fewer than 10 companies that have come under VAIDS.”

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He noted that there more to be done, many companies are asking the question and talking to consultants.

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The New Unexplained Wealth Order

However, there seems to be a cheering news from the U.K Government as it launched the Unexplained Wealth Order.

This simply means

  • The UK Government can query “Unexplained Wealth” and seize assets whose funding source cannot be explained.
  • This will allow them to confiscate U.K. assets of foreigners suspected of possession of ill-gotten wealth.
  • The UK courts are now empowered to grant Unexplained Wealth Orders and forfeit property for which the owners are unable to prove the source of fund.
  • The properties will then be transferred to the UK Government and sold to fund their law enforcement efforts.

The United Kingdom in recent times have been tagged as a safe haven for illicit funds. The UK has one of the best performing property markets in the world and this can be attributed to massive inflows by Nigerian politicians and some other countries most of who prefer to hide their assets in a safe haven to evade tax.

However, the ongoing Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme’s tax amnesty provides a potential escape. Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun advised Nigerians resident in the UK to take advantage of the VAIDS and declare their foreign income and assets to escape the hammer of UK’s new Unexplained Wealth Orders.

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In conversation with a legal practitioner (who has elected to be anonymous), he argued that the country has enough laws to prosecute tax defaulters. Despite assurances by the Government to fight corruption, many corruption cases still litter our courts even many years after the commencement of trial. The trial of some politicians allegedly accused of not declaring their assets have been ongoing in the past five years with no major conviction.

Alleged offenders connive with their legal counsel by employing different tactics to either evade or perpetuate their trial in court most times securing frivolous injunctions from courts.

Perhaps, the new UWO will boost government non-oil revenue through VAIDS and the government would be responsible enough to channel funds generated from this scheme to fund basic infrastructure and build on existing infrastructures in the country, create employment for teaming youths.

The money realized from this scheme must not end in private pockets. This must not be a case of money gotten from a thief ending in the pocket of another thief. Nigerians are watching what becomes of defaulters after the expiration of the deadline and hopefully, their names will be made public and their prosecution can commence.

Fikayo has a degree in computer science with economics from Obafemi Awolowo University. ITIL v3 in IT service management. An alumnus of Daystar Leadership Academy. Prior to joining Nairametrics had stinct in Project management, Telecommunications among others. Also training in Consulting and Investment banking from Edubridge Academy. He has very keen interest in Politics, Agri-business, private equity and global economics. He loves travelling and watching football. You can contact him via fikayo.owoeye@nairametrics.com

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Business

Where to invest in May

Post-COVID-19 lockdown, Nigerians need to send their money on the right errands in May 2019, if they will not be caught napping the expected recession.  

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Money

This May, post-COVID-19 lockdown, Nigerians need to send their money on the right errands, if they don’t want to be caught napping during the anticipated recession.

When listing out assets that should make up the ideal portfolio in May 2020, founder of Nairametrics, Ugochukwu “Ugodre” Obi-Chukwu, explained that investors should consider choice stocks in the Nigerian and foreign stock exchanges, as well as investments in money market instruments where some decent profits can be made.

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Ugodre said this during the maiden edition of the Nairametrics Monthly Investment Guide Webinar.

According to him, this will also be the time to look into Agri-Tech investments, using crowdsourcing platforms, after which you can sit back and watch your funds grow over a time span of 5 months to a year.

According to him, it is also important to invest in foreign currencies and crypto-currencies to balance one’s portfolios.

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He noted that foreign direct investments have reduced over the last couple of years due to reduced trust in Nigeria’s economic policies, and the desire of foreign investors to cash out their funds with ease. This also explains why portfolio investments grew by 38% in 2019.

He said, “Foreign investors love portfolio investments because when they put their money in, they can easily take it out as well.”

(READ MORE:   CrowdFunding: Who is qualified according to new SEC Guidelines)

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Finding the right stocks

On the stock market, he noted that quite some stocks improved in the month of April and could improve in the coming months. He listed 20 suggested shares, including six stocks which he described as COVID-19 proof.

Agritech,Errands you can send your money in May 2020  

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Dangote Sugar Refinery, May & Baker Nigeria Plc, GSK, Neimeth International Pharm, Nestle Nigeria, and Cadbury Nigeria Plc are fast-moving consumer goods companies that are expected to be resistant to pressure from the pandemic.

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He advised investors to track stocks that are liquid, have good financials and good corporate governance, in order to limit risks borne by investors. Valuation of the shares, he said, could be done by comparing stock value and earnings per share.

Working around cryptocurrency volatility 

While making a presentation on “Why Bitcoin should be in your portfolio,” Yele Badamosi, CEO of Bundle stated that foremost cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, had maintained a steady appreciation over the last decade giving investors high yields.

Although the market is highly speculative and unregulated, its high returns and high risk indicate that investors with high-risk appetites could find the market more attractive.

To avoid being on the wrong side, he advised users to consider time-based rebalancing, or tolerance rebalancing to reduce risks and rebalance one’s portfolio.

(READ MORE: AfCFTA delay: A bane to Africa’s $3.4 trillion economic bloc)

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“There are reputable people in the space, but it is important to do your research, start small, and buy regularly. Be wary of get-rich-schemes and unrealistic guaranteed returns,” he advised.  cryptocurrency,Cryptocurrencies and its usage in Africa, Errands you can send your money in May 2020  

 

With applications like Bundle Africa on Google Play Store, buying cryptocurrencies is as easy as selecting the buy button and having it saved in your bundle wallet.

What to expect in Q2 2020

According to Wale, an economist, who also spoke at the webinar, the demand for crude oil will remain low as several countries and businesses are still in lockdown, even though OPEC has cut down production.

Interest rates may remain low, though, despite this, Nigerian business entrepreneurs cannot expect single-digit interest rates.

Foreign reserve and government reserves will remain under pressure in the coming months. The World Bank says that this is the worst year so far, going back to the great depression and this is what I think as well. This is probably going to be the worst economic crisis we have seen,” Wale said.

He added that with the exception of industries in the Healthcare sector, telco companies, digital technology companies, and food producers, other sectors could very well expect a big hit.

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Business

Why risk your life when you can bank with V by VFD (VBank or V)

Unlike other apps that are laced with either unbidden and hidden charges, V is free, as there are no charges for customers whether they are transferring money to another customer of V or another bank.

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VFD MFB closes gap with bank customers, launches new app, Why risk your life when you can bank with V by VFD (VBank or V)

The recent lifting of the lockdown has seen Nigerians rush to the banks to execute banking transactions that they have missed in the last five weeks.

Saying that this action or mis-action contravenes the physical distancing preached by the health agencies and government, is only stating the obvious. By doing this, they endanger themselves, and other family members whom they return to after their day at the bank.
But what if it was possible to do all your banking from your phone?

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V to the rescue
V disrupted the banking industry when earlier this year, it launched a highly optimized virtual bank app that enables users to carry out all banking transactions with ease and from their phones.
Users are able to create and set up a bank account with the app within 5 minutes and start carrying out transactions immediately.
Of course it doesn’t matter if you already have an account with the traditional banks. There’s always room for pleasant disruptions, aren’t there?

What they offer
VBank was launched as Nigeria’s first fully virtual bank to close the gap which hitherto existed between established traditional banks and their customers. That means there are no barriers between the bank and its teeming customers and potential customers.
Unlike other apps that are laced with either unbidden and hidden charges, V is free, as there are no charges for customers whether they are transferring money to another customer of V or another bank.

(READ MORE: VFD Group meets nutritional needs of residents of Olowogbowo community)

According to Azubike Emodi, MD/CEO, VFD Microfinance Bank, experts behind V are taking a consumer-centric approach with an aggressive feedback collection mechanism to build an app that meets the objectives of the customer.
The app, which is available for download on App store and google playstore allows users to monitor expenses and income, categorize budgets, and set spending limits. V is available to download by searching for “V by VFD” on App Store and Google Play store.

Why risk your life when you can bank with V by VFD (VBank or V)
What else could one ask for in a bank?
Another landmark feature of V is referral functionality (Veelage), which is also connected to monthly financial reward. It allows interested users of V to earn income and advance though the V community simply by getting account holders signed up with a unique ID and maintaining an average balance.

About this unique feature, Olukunle Salami, Business Performance Manager, VFD Group Plc would say that It is a 2-way value proposition that ensures individuals can earn consistently for several months beyond the initial referral point.

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Whoever guessed that we could earn from our bank?

 

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Business

Total Health Trust Provides Covid-19 Relief for Healthcare Providers in Nigeria

Total Health Trust Limited is playing a leading role in the response through its strategic collaboration with healthcare providers

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With rising costs and operational challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this relief aims to support the scheme’s healthcare providers across the country.

As Nigeria continues its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Total Health Trust Limited (THT), a member of the Liberty Group, is playing a leading role in the response through its strategic collaboration with healthcare providers and their delivery of quality health care services in the country.

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THT has created a COVID-19 relief initiative for its network of healthcare providers to help ensure that Nigerians continue to have access to the healthcare they need during this challenging time. Through this initiative, THT is supporting healthcare providers to mitigate the impact of the epidemic by covering the cost of protective disposable equipment, such as masks and gloves, for consultations, as well as technical support for exposure to COVID-19 related cases.

In a statement recently released by THT, Nigeria’s leading Health Maintenance Organisation, the CEO Kieran Godden applauded the intensive efforts of healthcare professionals in curtailing the spread of the virus. “We at Total Health Trust, and indeed the whole country, remain very thankful to our health professionals, the NCDC and the State Ministries of Health for the immense and co-ordinated role they continue to play in ensuring that the country records ongoing success in the fight against this pandemic” he said.

“At Total Health Trust, we are concerned about the well-being of healthcare providers and the risks they face to ensure a healthier Nigeria. We understand their concerns in managing their own exposure to suspected Covid-19 cases, while providing medical care to citizens. As such, we are focusing our efforts on providing the necessary protection in the fight against COVID-19.”

“Furthermore, our commitment to delivering the highest level of support to our network of healthcare providers continues, especially at a time when their operations and needs are quickly changing.” said Godden .

“As a responsible corporate organisation, with a purpose to make Nigeria healthier, we are contributing to the fight against the virus by empowering our healthcare centres across Nigeria to continue delivering essential health and wellbeing services. We urge other corporate organisations and sector leaders to play their part as we overcome this disease together as a nation” he added.

(READ MORE: Aliko Dangote donates mobile COVID-19 testing lab to Kano State)

About Total Health Trust Limited

Total Health Trust (THT), a member of the Liberty Group, is a proudly Nigerian company with a pan-African foot print working to make Nigeria healthier. We are the leading Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) dedicated to serving SMEs, corporates and multinationals in Nigeria. With a demonstrated track record of providing affordable and reliable healthcare services and solutions of more than 18 years , we understand healthcare and know the needs of those we serve. Our pan-African footprint enables us to leverage world class solutions together with local expertise as well as a network of over 7 000 healthcare providers to deliver better health care results.

The organisation has offices in all geopolitical zones of the country and is headquartered in Lagos.

www.totalhealthtrust.com

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