The Nigerian Senate has fully rejected the proposed 7.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) currently planned by the Federal Government to take effect by January 2020.
The disclosure of the rejection was made available by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume, while speaking with newsmen, after the plenary session on Wednesday.
The details: According to Ndume, the earlier VAT increase would ultimately create grave discomfort for larger percentage of Nigerians as the prices of goods and services were bound to hit the roof. Hence, it cannot stand. Commenting further, Ndume described the proposed VAT increase as skewed against ordinary Nigerians.
Meanwhile, the Senator disclosed that the lawmakers were seeking a legislative action to impose a 9% tax on Communication Services.
A New Tax: According to Ndume, a 9% communication service tax shall be levied on such Electronic Communication Services like Voice Calls; SMS; MMS; Data usage both from Telecommunication Services Providers and Internet Service as well as Pay per View TV Stations.
It was also stated that the proposed Communication Service Tax Bill provides that the rate of the tax is 9% of the charge for the use of the communication service. Essentially, Senator Ndume introduced the Bill for an Act to establish the Communication Service Tax at Wednesday’s plenary session. The bill will now go for a second reading before being referred to the appropriate committee for further legislative action including a public hearing.
Ndume also said the Communication Service Tax was a way of distributing wealth in such a way that it would not affect the ordinary people.
The Bill partly reads: “The tax shall be levied on Electronic Communication Services supplied by Service Providers. For the purpose of this clause, the supply of any form of recharges shall be considered as a charge for usage of Electronic Communication Service.”
“The tax shall be paid together with the Electronic Communication Service charge payable to the service provider by the consumer of the service.”
The Backstory: In an earlier article on Nairametrics, it was revealed that the Federal Executive Council has approved an increase in the VAT to 7.5% from 5%. The Minister of Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed disclosed this in Abuja.
- According to Ahmed, the new VAT is important because the federal government only retains 15% of the VAT — 85% is actually for the states and local governments and the states need additional revenue to be able to meet the obligations of the minimum wage.
- Nairametrics also stated that if approved by the federal lawmakers, the new VAT rate will take effect in 2020. In Nigeria, VAT replaced the sales tax in 1994 and was pegged at 5% by the military government of Sani Abacha.
What it means: Following the harsh reality of the global decline of crude oil prices, it has become obvious that Nigeria can no longer rely on oil revenue to sustain the economy; hence, the government is all out to explore sources to improve revenue.
- The communication service tax, for instance, implies that for every N100 airtime you buy, you only have access to N91. The higher you buy, the more tax you pay. This will apply to products differently.
- If approved, the tax is payable whether or not the person making the supply is permitted or authorized to provide electronic communications services.
DPR says it has accurate data of country’s crude production volume
Head, Public Affairs of DPR, Mr Paul Osu, said every litre of crude produced in the country was adequately captured during the process of extraction.
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has said that the agency has an accurate record of the crude oil produced in the country.
This is in reaction to claims that the exact volume of crude oil produced in the country has remained unknown.
While making this disclosure in a statement in Lagos, the Head, Public Affairs of DPR, Mr Paul Osu, said every litre of crude produced in the country was adequately captured during the process of extraction.
What the Head, Public Affairs of DPR is saying
Osu said DPR has the responsibility of monitoring and accounting for crude oil production which is the basis for determining the government’s revenue through royalty payments by operators for sustainable development.
He said: “As a further step to boosting crude accounting process from production to export, DPR recently launched the National Production Monitoring System (NPMS).
NPMS is an online platform for direct and independent acquisition of production data from oil and gas facilities in Nigeria.
NPMS as an electronic data transmission tool at production and export terminals is designed to better predict the performance of oil and gas reservoirs and better production forecasting.”
Osu noted that the NPMS tool enables DPR to exercise surveillance, perform production monitoring and data analysis for utilisation and forecasting.
He said DPR as a business enabler and opportunity house would continue to develop robust and strategic initiatives to ensure timely and accurate payment of rents, royalties and other revenues due to the government.
In case you missed it
- It can be recalled that the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Orji Ogbonnaya-Orji, on Thursday said the exact volume of crude oil produced in Nigeria, especially at the deep offshore fields, is not known by anyone.
- He said the exact volume of crude oil produced in Nigeria had remained unknown because of the absence of meters at wellheads and the lack of capacity to monitor deep offshore fields.
Sanwo-Olu flags off Red line rail project as Lagos compensates property owners
The 37-km Rail Mass Transit Red Line will traverse from Agbado to Marina, moving over 1 million commuters daily.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has flagged off the construction of the 37-km Rail Mass Transit Red Line, which will traverse from Agbado to Marina, moving over 1 million commuters daily.
This is as the state started the compensation of identified project-affected persons of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit Red Line project with the Governor handing over cheques to displaced property owners who were affected by the right-of-way.
The groundbreaking ceremony which took place at the Ikeja Train Station on Thursday was witnessed by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who was represented by the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, and the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Obafemi Hamzat.
What the Lagos State Governor is saying
Sanwo-Olu said the Red Line project which is to be fully operational in the last quarter of 2022 with 8 train stations from Agbado to Oyingbo, is another initiative of his administration to deliver enduring infrastructure for the transport system and make Lagos a competitive megacity.
The Governor said: “Today’s flag-off of the construction of infrastructure for the standard gauge Red Line is another promise kept and it demonstrates, in practical terms, our commitment to achieve the objectives of traffic management and transportation pillar in our development agenda. This is because we recognise the role which an efficient transportation system plays in enhancing people’s quality of life and as a major driver of socio-economic development.
The State’s Strategic Transport Master Plan, which encompasses a number of projects that are germane to achieving our vision for a Greater Lagos, is founded on imperatives that seek to increase transport choices for all users and make the transit system integrated, attractive, convenient, affordable and accessible.
Since efficient transportation is the backbone of any economy, we are happy to be committing this investment in our transport infrastructure, so that our people can meet their daily targets and aspirations. This all-important transport project we are all gathered to witness today represents a major step in this direction.”
Sanwo-Olu said that in order to facilitate smooth operations of the Red Line, the State Government would be constructing ancillary infrastructure, including 6 overpasses at strategic level crossing points along the rail corridor to eliminate interactions between the rail system, vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
The overpasses will provide grade-separated crossings that will enhance safety for the rail system and road users.
He said: “The unique characteristics of the Red Line is its integration with the Ikeja Bus Terminal, Oshodi–Abule Egba Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lane, the future Orange Line, which goes from Ikeja to Agbowa, and the General Aviation Terminal One of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport through a skywalk.
Another unique feature of the Red Line is that all the stations have elevated concourses with either at grade island or side platforms for easy boarding and alighting of passengers. The Red Line also integrates with our Bus Terminals at Oyingbo, Yaba, Oshodi, Ikeja and Iju, giving modal options to our people in their daily commute, either for business or leisure.”
The Governor presented cheques of different amounts as compensation to 25 residents whose properties, businesses and accommodation will be affected by the project. Over 263 properties are affected with many of the property owners and tenants smiling as they got their cheques.
What you should know
- The Red Line is part of the state government’s vision of an integrated multimodal transportation system contained in the State’s Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP), developed by LAMATA, which aims ultimately to birth a world-class transportation network that will support the state’s profile, as the economic capital of Nigeria and Africa.
- It is to raise mass transportation capacity in the State, complementing the Blue Line that traverses from Okokomaiko to Marina.
- The rail corridor will be constructed in three phases. The first phase (Agbado-Iddo), which will be completed in 24 months, will be sharing the track with the Federal Government’s Lagos-Ibadan Railway Modernisation Project up to Ebute – Metta and will have its dedicated track from Ebute – Metta to Oyingbo and reduce travel time from about two and a half hours to just 35 minutes.
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