Companies operating within the shores of Nigeria will soon have an extra cost to worry about, no thanks to the Nigerian Police Trust Fund Act which President Muhammadu Buhari recently signed into law. Now, PwC Nigeria is expressing mixed reactions to the development.
What you should know: The Nigerian Police Trust Fund Act specifies the imposition of a 0.005% levy on every Nigerian company’s net profit. Also, 0.5% of the total revenue accruing to Nigeria’s Federation Account will be added to the fund. The aim here is akin to every other trust fund there is, in that the assets accumulated will be held in trust and used for the purposes of training police personnel and procurement of needful police equipment.
The fund will have a duration of six years, during which time a Board will be constituted and charged with the responsibility of overseeing it. Specifically, the responsibilities of the board will include:
- Administering the fund
- Deciding on viable investment options, etc
Note that at the end of the six-year period, the fund (along with its assets and liabilities), will be transferred to the Nigeria Police Force.
PwC’s issues with this: While acknowledging that funding the Nigeria Police Force for optimal efficiency and security of Nigerians is an important thing to do, professional services firm – PwC Nigeria – also noted that the development entails additional costs for companies. Moreover, the law does not make any provision for tax deductibility on the part of companies paying into the Police Trust Fund, even though it clearly specifies that all the money going in there will be tax-exempt.
“0.005% levy (N5 per N100,000) of net profits may not be very significant, but it places additional administration on corporate taxpayers... Although funding of the police and improving security is a priority issue, it could be funded through more allocations from already existing revenue streams. Introducing earmarked taxes could create concerns around the stability of the tax regime in Nigeria.
“The Act specifies that the Fund’s income is tax-exempt but does not make provision for tax deductibility for the companies making the payments.”
PwC went further to make other observations, including the fact that the Police Trust Fund Act ought to be classified as an “income tax” instead of a “levy”. This is because it is imposed on income/profits.
Also, the Act does not exactly specify the provisions for the collection and administration of the funds, according to PwC. The professional services firm is, therefore, recommending that this be made clear. According to PwC, the Federal Inland Revenue Service could be charged with the responsibility of administering the fund because any other option would increase the cost of administering it.
“We envisage that any regulation or guidelines to be issued under the new law will spell out details regarding commencement and administration.”
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 22nd of October 2020, 138 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 61,805 confirmed cases.
On the 22nd of October 2020, 138 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 4,648 samples across the country.
To date, 61,805 cases have been confirmed, 56,985 cases have been discharged and 1,127 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 595,283 tests have been carried out as of October 22nd, 2020 compared to 590,635 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 22nd October 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 61,805
- Total Number Discharged – 56,985
- Total Deaths – 1,1127
- Total Tests Carried out – 595,283
According to the NCDC, the 138 new cases were reported from 13 states – Katsina (44), Lagos (35), Kwara (15), Kaduna (13), Plateau (7), Imo (6), Adamawa (5) Rivers (4), Yobe (3), Ogun (2), Oyo (2), Osun (1), FCT (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 20,768, followed by Abuja (5,944), Plateau (3,594), Oyo (3,423), Rivers (2,746), Edo (2,648), Kaduna (2,585), Ogun (1,989), Delta (1,812), Kano (1,741), Ondo (1,659), Enugu (1,314), Kwara (1,065), Ebonyi (1,049), Katsina (948), Osun (919), Abia (898), Gombe (883). Borno (745), and Bauchi (710).
Imo State has recorded 613 cases, Benue (484), Nasarawa (478), Bayelsa (403), Ekiti (329), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (277), Niger (274), Adamawa (257), Sokoto (162), Taraba (122), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Yobe (82), Zamfara (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Breaking: Senatorial, State House of Assembly bye-elections postponed – INEC
Senatorial and State House of Assembly bye-elections slated to hold on October 31 in 11 states have been postponed by INEC.
The 6 Senatorial and 9 State House of Assembly bye-elections slated to hold on October 31 in 11 states of the Federation has been postponed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The vacancies were as a result of death and resignation of previous members.
According to the statement issued by its National Commissioner & Chairman, Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye Esq., INEC said the decision was taken after meeting with the 37 Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) on Thursday.
— INEC Nigeria (@inecnigeria) October 22, 2020
Though the commission did not categorically state the reason for the postponement, feelers are that it may not be unconnected with the raging #EndSARS protests across the nation.
#EndSARS: President Buhari issues stern warning to hoodlums
The President has issued a warning to hoodlums who have hijacked the #EndSARS protest to promote unrest.
President Buhari, in his state of the Nation address to Nigerians this evening has warned hoodlums and the conflict entrepreneurs who have hijacked the #EndSARS protest to promote unrest.
The President explained that the choice to demonstrate peacefully is a fundamental right of citizens as enshrined in Section 40 of the Constitution and other enactments.
“I must warn those who have hijacked and misdirected the initial, genuine and well-intended protest of some of our youths in parts of the country, against the excesses of some members of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS),” he said.
President Muhammad Buhari frowned against the desperate and inhumane actions of mobsters, arsonists and hoodlums which has led to the loss of human lives, sexual violence, attacks on correctional facilities, as well as public and private properties which were completely destroyed or vandalized.
He explained that these bad actions will not be tolerated, as it is not in line with the legitimate expression of grievance of the youth of the country. He reiterated that the Government shall continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens, are protected.
What you should know from the President’s State of the Nation address
The President reiterated that the government has the obligation to protect lives and properties, and ensure that the citizens go about their daily businesses freely and protected from acts of violence.
However, he appealed to protesters to note and take advantage of the various well-thought-out initiatives of this administration designed to make their lives better and more meaningful, and resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy.
The President, however, warned the youth that doing otherwise will amount to undermining national security as well as law and order, which under no circumstances will be tolerated.
President Buhari thus called on the youths to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage the government in finding solutions, as their voices have been heard loud and clear.