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Business News

Airline operators cry out over FG’s non-implementation of VAT removal

President Buhari had issued Executive Order on VAT waiver in aviation sector

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Stakeholders in the Nigerian aviation industry, have cried out over the Federal Government’s non-implementation of the removal of Value Added Tax (VAT) from air transportation.

This is coming four months after the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, issued an executive order of the VAT removal.

VAT is charged as five per cent on every flight ticket sold by airlines and is remitted to the Federal Government.

Nigerian umbrella body of Airline operators, Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), had estimated that its members were paying over N10 billion as taxes annually, a situation the group said was threatening their operations.

Prior to the Executive Order, the AON had threatened that its members would no longer pay VAT with effect from June 14, 2018.

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According to the group, VAT remittance was unfair, as only domestic airlines were made to pay, while foreign airlines were exempted.

The AON lamented that air travel was also the only mode of transportation that was subjected to the payment of VAT, which had resulted in airlines not being able to optimally utilise their aircraft assets.

“The AON’s position is that VAT on airline ticket sales for domestic carriers must be removed completely forthwith as road transportation, rail, marine and international air travel carriers are not subjected to VAT.

“Nigerian domestic airline travel is the only mode of transportation paying VAT in the country today as road, rail, marine and international airlines do not pay. Moreover, a situation whereby some airlines are paying VAT, while some other privileged airlines are not paying VAT, and the VAT which we pay is being used to subsidise our competitors against those that are making payment is unfair.” AON was quoted.

The AON lamented that a recent report by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria showed that passenger traffic dropped by 27 per cent in 2017 and by another seven per cent in the first quarter of 2018, making it a total of 34 per cent drop in passenger traffic within a span of one year due to the high cost of flight tickets.

President Buhari’s stance on the VAT removal

President Muhammadu Buhari has described the recent removal of VAT, as a move by the Federal Government to make air travel more affordable to citizens and to create job opportunities in the nation’s aviation sector.

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The President explained that the government’s decision to charge zero VAT from domestic air transportation was in line with global best practices.

“This will make air travel more affordable and subsequently lead to the creation of jobs by the air transport service value chain as well as increase revenues for government. Today’s commissioning is an example of government’s deliberate policy to sustain the development of infrastructure for economic growth in all geo-political zones of the country,” he said.

Famuyiwa Damilare is a trained journalist. He holds a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication at the prestigious Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ).Damilare is an innovative and transformational leader with broad-based expertise in journalism and media practice at large. He has explored his proven ability in the areas of reporting, curating and generating contents, creatively establishing social media engagements, and mobile editing of videos. It is safe to say he’s a multimedia journalist.

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Economy & Politics

Nigeria, now 2nd most corrupt country in West Africa – Transparency International

Nigeria is now the second most corrupt country in W/Africa with Guinea-Bissau the only country more corrupt than Nigeria in the region.

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Military located bandits in kankara, Q1 2020 National Debt report, Buhari finally speaks on NDDC probe, urges NA to act with a sense of urgency,National Human Rights Commission,Presidency bows to pressure, agrees to demand made by EndSARS protesters, Our economy is too fragile to bear another round of lockdown-Buhari, Zarbarmari: Massacre by Boko Haram is nothing short of senseless, barbaric, gruesome and cowardly- Buhari

The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2020 report published by Transparency International indicates that Nigeria occupies the 149th position out of the 180 countries surveyed as well scored 25 out of 100 points.

With the current ranking, Nigeria is now the second most corrupt country in West Africa with Guinea-Bissau the only country more corrupt than Nigeria in the sub-region.

It can be recalled that in the 2019 report, Nigeria was ranked 146th out of the 180 countries surveyed, scoring 26 points out of 100 points.

What you should know 

  • The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) is an annual survey report published by Berlin-based Transparency International since 1995 which ranks countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys.
  • The CPI scales zero (0) to 100, zero means “Highly Corrupt,” while 100 stands for “Very Clean”.
  • Nigeria’s ranking on the corruption perception index has continued to drop in the last four years.
  • With the current ranking, Nigeria is two steps worse off than she was in 2018 when she scored 27 points to place 144th out of 180 countries.
  • Only 12 countries are perceived to be more corrupt than Nigeria in the whole of Africa. The countries are the Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Chad, Eritrea, Burundi, Congo, Guinea Bissau, and South Sudan.
  • Somalia and South Sudan remain the most corrupt nations on earth, according to the CPI 2020 ranking.
  • Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, Singapore, Germany, Sweden Switzerland, Norway, The Netherlands and Luxembourg are the least corrupt countries in the world.

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Business

Significant progress made in China-Africa ties within cooperation framework – AUC Chairperson

AUC chairperson has disclosed that significant, sustained progress is being made in China-Africa ties within cooperation framework.

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The African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, has said that “significant and sustained” progress has been made in China-Africa ties.

Mahamat asserted this in an analysis of his first-term as the AU Commission chairmanship.

He reiterated the AU Commission’s strong commitment to upholding multilateralism and supporting international partners in halting the trend of unilateralism.

He argued that “International cooperation and solidarity are irreplaceable.”

Mahamat, in his analysis, reiterated that global challenges, national egoism, the decline of multilateralism, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and dwindling resources “have hampered our forward march” during the past four years.

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The AU Commissioner for Social Affairs Amira Elfadil recently also hailed China as a strategic partner of Africa.

What they are saying

  • Mahamat submitted that: “With China, significant and sustained progress has been made within the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
  • “Africa stands with those who fight unilateralism and strongly advocate for a multilateralism of respect, equality and mutual benefit.”

 

  • Amira Elfadil noted that: “We are looking for those who are serious about the future of this continent, and when we say strategic partners and mention strategic partnerships, China comes first and we appreciate this partnership very much.”

What you should know

  • The African Union (AU) is a continental body consisting of the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African Continent. It was officially launched in 2002 as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU, 1963-1999).
  • The African Union Commission acts as the executive/administrative branch or secretariat of the AU and consists of a number of Commissioners dealing with different areas of policy.

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Coronavirus

President Buhari signs COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021

President Buhari has signed the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021 policy.

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Buhari sacks DG National Directorate of Employment, Nasiru Argungu

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021 policy, citing powers conferred to the Presidency, by Section 4 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2010, “…and in consideration of the urgent need to protect the health and wellbeing of Nigerians in the face of the widespread and rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria.”

The signing of the regulations was disclosed in a statement by the FG on Wednesday evening.

The law, which comes in 5 parts, includes; Part 1- Restrictions on Gatherings; Part 2- Operations of Public Places; Part 3- Mandatory Compliance with Treatment Protocols; Part 4 – Offences and Penalties; Part 5 – Enforcement and Application; and Part 6 -Interpretation and Citation.

Restrictions on Gatherings

The regulations require that physical distance of at least two metres shall be maintained at all times between persons. No gathering of more than 50 persons shall hold in an enclosed space, except for religious purposes, in which case the gathering shall not exceed 50% capacity of the space.

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“The provisions of these Regulations may be varied by Guidelines and Protocols as may be issued, from time to time, by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 on the recommendation of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)”

Operations of Public Places 

  • No person shall be allowed within the premises of a market, mall, supermarket, shop, restaurant, hotel, event centre, garden, leisure park, recreation centre, motor park, fitness centre or any other similar establishment except the person is using a facemask and has washed hands.
  • Managers of hostels, boarding houses, nursing homes, correctional centres, remand homes, holding cells, military detention facilities, and such centres for care and custody of persons, shall ensure compliance with the provisions of these regulations.
  • Managers of such facilities shall ensure that suspected cases of Covid-19 are promptly and appropriately separated from others and are reported to medical officers of the State Ministry of Health for necessary action.

Mandatory Compliance with Treatment Protocols 

  • Persons confirmed to have tested positive to COVID-19 by an NCDC accredited laboratory, may not refuse isolation and or admission to a designated health establishment for management of the disease.
  • All public secondary and tertiary health facilities shall designate a space or holding bay for the initial triage or assessment of suspected persons with COVID-19 in line with the approved protocol for case management.
  • All public secondary and tertiary health facilities shall establish sample collection centres, where test samples from suspected cases can be collected and transmitted to an accredited testing laboratory in the State.

Offences and Penalties

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  • Any person who contravenes the provisions of these regulations commits an offence.
  •  Any person who, without reasonable cause, contravenes a direction given under Parts 1 and 2 of these regulations commits an offence.
  • An offence under these regulations is punishable, on summary conviction, by a fine or a term of six months imprisonment or both in accordance with Section 5 of the Quarantine Act.

Enforcement and Application 

  • Personnel of the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Federal Road Safety Corps, the Nigeria Immigration Service, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, and other relevant Local Government, State and Federal Government agencies are hereby directed to enforce the provisions of these regulations.
  • Any officer of the enforcement agencies who fails, neglects, or refuses to enforce the provisions of these regulations shall be subject to disciplinary action
  • State Governors may issue regulations on further steps as may be considered necessary.

On interpretations of the law, the FG said, “Offence” means any act, which may constitute a violation of the provisions of these regulations, while “Enforcement Agency” means any law enforcement or security agency vested with the statutory power to investigate and prosecute. The law also stated that the regulations would go into effect immediately and remain in effect until otherwise determined.

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported this week that the Federal Government had announced the extension of the guidelines of phase 3 of the eased lockdown by one month with effect from Tuesday, January 26, 2021.

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