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Business News

FIRS vows to punish officials involved in the DTA scam

The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Babatunde Fowler, has stated that any staff member of FIRS found guilty of exploiting the N5 billion Duty Tour Allowance (DTA), would be punished accordingly.

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The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Babatunde Fowler, has stated that any staff member of FIRS found guilty of exploiting the N5 billion Duty Tour Allowance (DTA), would be punished accordingly.

“On the DTA, it claimed that some members of staff applied for and were granted allowances to travel for official trips. Some are alleged not to have travelled for the number of days, for which they were slated.”

He debunked all claims of missing taxes: Mr Fowler, who made the statement during an interview in Abuja on Wednesday, debunked all allegations that money generated as taxes were missing from the agency’s coufers.

Taxes are paid through CBN: He further explained that all taxes are paid directly into the federation account through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“The FIRS does not have access to taxpayers money. Its operations are funded by an appropriation of the national assembly through monthly remittances by the federation accounts allocation committee (FAAC).”

The EFCC has been involved in the case: Fowler went further to disclose that the FIRS has a working relationship with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and that the alleged exploitation is under investigation by the EFCC.

“The EFCC is looking into that. Sometimes, it is good to have a third party investigate matters like this instead of having a staff member investigate another staff member.

“Investigation by a third party is more objective. FIRS has since taken steps to remediate this.”

They EFCC already has suspects: He said the EFCC already apprehended some senior management and junior FIRS officials for being involved in the scam.

Some of the apprehended suspects were reported to have been paid as much as N101 million, N97m, N89m, N84m, N65m, N52m and N46m as DTA.

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Business

Breaking: CBN includes sugar, wheat on FX restriction list

The CBN is set to include sugar and wheat in the forex restriction list.

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CBN forex restrictions on food itemsCBN approves new cheque standard for banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria has announced plans to place sugar and wheat on its FX restriction list.

The plan was disclosed by the apex bank via its verified Twitter handle in a statement credited to the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele.

The tweet stated: “Sugar and Wheat to go into our FX restriction list. We must work together to produce these items in Nigeria rather than import them. #Emefiele.”

What you should know

The CBN governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, had earlier (on Thursday) given this hint while on an inspection visit to the proposed $500 million sugar processing facility in Nasarawa state, belonging to Dangote Sugar.

In 2015, the CBN listed 41 items that had been placed on its FX restriction list citing that the move was necessary to conserve the nation’s foreign reserve and boost local production of the items on the restriction list.

Some of the items which made the 2015 list are margarine, poultry and eggs, rice, and cement.

In 2020, the apex bank included maize in its FX restriction list.

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Atsu Davoh is building ways for Africans to easily acquire and spend cryptocurrency

Atsu Davoh has gone from failed projects to running one of Ghana’s most innovative startups.

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In recent times, the tech space in Africa has experienced immense growth, with the introduction of several key players and disruptors across various sectors. One sector that is also rising is the cryptocurrency space with Africa experiencing greater crypto ownership and trade volume.

The number of Bitcoins processed on a single day reached its highest value at the beginning of 2021, as more people displayed interest in the cryptocurrency. Due to its fast adoption, more fintech players have created platforms that have made trading with cryptocurrency easier. One of such players is Atsu Davoh who calls himself the “product guy.”

Atsu Davoh dropped out of college (Carleton College) in the United States and moved back to Ghana to help innovate on Africa’s financial infrastructure. Atsu first discovered Bitcoin in 2017 during the first boom when it became mainstream. Before then, he and his co-founder Samuel Baohen had been involved in many failed projects.

He developed a USSD system where people could buy bitcoin through their phone numbers, like tying crypto to phone numbers in a native way. This was one of the first iterations of Bitsika.

Atsu was invited to Join Binance Labs Incubator by Yele Bademosi where he got $150,000 after graduating from the incubator. Bitsika went on to raise around $900,000 from investors. This brought the total seed raised to $1,050,000.

This USSD system worked in Ghana but didn’t work in Nigeria. Atsu and his team then pivoted the platform to a donation crowdfunding platform, which allowed people living in other countries to send donations to African nationals in need of the funds before finally building it into a cross-border crypto remittance platform.

Bitsika users can deposit and remit money across multiple currencies using the app, with all monies deposited in Bitsika stored in USD credits or stable-coin.

Bitsika has over 50,000+ downloads on Playstore and processed nearly $40 million in 2020 with $18,872,474 in deposits, $17,890,807 in payouts (withdrawals), and $3,189,834 in internal peer-to-peer transfers.

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Despite a few unfavourable regulations surrounding cryptocurrency in Africa, the market has shown no signs of slowing down as more people are building products that will make trading seamless.

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