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Business News

Tax defaulters: Firms can challenge FIRS in court as deadline approaches

FG recently announced a 30-day ultimatum to high profile companies who are allegedly owing taxes. As stated by FIRS, non-compliance within the stipulated period may lead to recovering the tax liabilities from directors…

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BREAKING: FG's VAT charges on online transactions to commence, firs, Illegal Tax Deduction: FIRS to refund General Electric, Arco $2 million 

The Federal government of Nigeria recently announced a 30-day ultimatum to high profile companies who are allegedly owing taxes. As stated by FIRS, non-compliance within the stipulated period may lead to recovering the tax liabilities from directors, managers, secretaries and other management staff of such companies.

Meanwhile, as the 30-day window deadline to regularise the tax status of high profile tax defaulters approaches, some firms can still upturn the move in court, it has been disclosed.

The clarification was made by Mr. Olufemi Daniel, Desk Officer of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) while speaking at an interactive session on Nigeria’s data protection Regime in Lagos.

The details: While speaking to Nairametrics on the sideline of the event, Mr. Olufemi disclosed that firms whose names were recently published by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) as tax defaulters can approach the court.

While commenting on whether the FIRS move to publish tax defaulters’ name was not tantamount to a data breach, Mr. Olufemi stated that publishing names of firms who allegedly defaulted tax may not be entirely regarded as a data breach, what is of utmost importance is whether a firm has defaulted or not.

According to him, if a firm knows its name was unduly listed by FIRS, then the firm should immediately approach the court to halt or upturn the claims.

Speaking on the newly revised Nigeria Data Protection Regulation 2019 (NDPR), Mr. Olufemi stated this is targeted at safeguarding data privacy, foster safe conduct of transactions involving personal data and to make Nigerian institutions globally competitive and relevant.

The Back-story: Recently, the FIRS has embarked on several moves targetted at the building of its tax revenue collection. The moves involved the recent ‘naming and shaming’ of 19,901 tax defaulters and their bankers.

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  • While experts were asking important questions of law about the FIRS justification for the publication, the revenue agency has also given companies a 30-day ultimatum to regularise their tax status and pay the tax due.
  • As part of reactions that trailed the announcement, a leading vehicle transporter, God is Good Motors (GIGM) asked that its name be removed from the list of tax defaulters. In a rejoinder, the firm stated that it had fully paid its documented tax liability as demanded by FIRS.

In the meantime, experts have disclosed that while the law provisions empower FIRS to recover taxes on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, none allows it to publish names of defaulters as a punitive measure.

 

Samuel is an Analyst with over 5 years experience. Connect with him via his twitter handle

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Business

#DigitalSkillsTraining: FG announces conclusion of selection process

Only successful applicants that are contacted by the Ministry are to report at the training venue.

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President Buhari to address Nigerians on Lekki toll plaza shootings after investigation , Youth Investment Fund:  Ministry of Finance and CBN to launch provision of funds- Minister, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports launch DEEL initiative

The Federal Government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports disclosed that the selection process for the upcoming Digital Skills Training has been concluded for the #DigitalSkillsTraining from April 11th to 30th, 2021.

This was disclosed in a statement by the Ministry of Youth and Sport on Sunday evening.

“The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development wishes to inform the general public and all Nigerian Youths that the selection process has been concluded for successful applicants for the #DigitalSkillsTraining scheduled for April 11 to 30, 2021,” the statement said.

The Ministry added that only successful applicants that were contacted by the Ministry are to report at the training venue. Those who were not successful but arrive at the training would not be admitted.

Upcoming #DigitalSkillsTraining Programmes of the Ministry will be widely publicized on youthandsport.gov.ng , on : noya.ng and on the Ministry’s social media handles,” the statement added.

What you should know 

Recall that Nairametrics reported in November 2020, that the Ministry of Youths and Sports Development announced it will scale up its digital skills training to cover 500,000 youths across the country after securing funding under the COVID-19 stimulus budget.

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Business News

Cost of building materials rise by over 60% in one year

The price of building materials in the market experienced a rise of over 60% in the last one year.

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The cost of Cement, Steel, Tiles and Plaster of Paris (PoP) cement, among others have risen by over 60% between March 2020 and March 2021.

For instance, the cost of steel, which was sold at N234,000 per tonne as of March 2020, had increased to N380,000 at the end of March 2021. This represents a 62% increase within the period under review.

While Dangote Cement increased from N2,600 to N3,800 (though it is sold at N3,600 in some areas in Lagos), Lafarge Cement and BUA Cement increased from N2,400 and N2,250 to N3,600 and N3,250 respectively within the same period.

The price hikes are not limited to the cost of steel and cement alone but also to other materials like Tiles, PoP cement, and roofing sheets.

The cost of super white cement increased from N2,500 (25kg) to N3,700, and the cost of high-quality white cement (40kg) also increased from N4,000 to N6,500.

The cost of gravel increased from N80,000 to N140,000; that of 8mm diameter and 25mm diameter (imported) increased from N234,000 and N245,000 to N330,000 and N380,000 respectively.

Doors are not left out in the hike. Costs of Flush door (high quality), Panel door and Turkish steel door (1,500 x 2,100) also rose from N35,000, N40,000, N165,000 to N60,000, N75,000 and N235,000 respectively.

Why the hike?

Industry experts have attributed the hike to persistent depreciation of the naira and the rising cost of other building materials.

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Tunde Oluwole, a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Builders, explained that the development was caused by high interest rate, inflation, increasing exchange rate and scarcity of forex in the country.

He said, “The increasing prices in Nigeria is a result of the combined effects of high-interest rates, devaluation of the naira, inflation, and non-effective distribution network of the materials.”

To Kolawole Adebisi, an Estate Developer, the development in the cement industry is caused by the ban of imported cement in the country.

He told Nairametrics that he is not against the ban, as the government’s intention is to boost local production of cement but explained that “the local manufacturers were unable to produce enough cement to meet the demand and this contributed to the rising cost of the product.”

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