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FG looks to reform ease of doing business, plans regional tour 

The Federal Government, through the PEBEC, is looking to improve its ease of doing business strategies.

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National Action Plan, FG looks to reform ease of doing business

The Federal Government, through the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), is looking to improve its ease of doing business strategies. To this effect, a subnational tour to six geopolitical zones in the country has been outlined to take place. It is aimed at highlighting key economic reforms as it affect businesses in the country.

The essence of the project tagged, ‘Lituation’ is to provide a platform for smooth collaboration between entrepreneurs and other industry stakeholders.

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[READ MORE: IMF: Increase tax rate to manage fiscal crisis?]

The Details: The Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, Dr Jumoke Oduwole, noted that the tour is expected to focus on economic reforms engineered by the council since July 2016. Reeling the council achievements, Oduwole said that they had successfully implemented over 140 reforms designed to make business easier for Micro, Medium and Small Enterprises, which account for 90% of registered businesses in Nigeria. This figure, according to her, contributes nearly 50% of the Country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

FG looks to reform ease of doing business, plans regional tour 

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This programme, for us, presents itself as a need to deliver measurable results and impact in the improvement of regulatory, bureaucratic and legislative environments for businesses operating in Nigeria, particularly Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises, so that they not only thrive but are able to compete favourably with its counterparts globally.

Nigeria has moved up 24 unprecedented places on the World Bank’s Doing Business Index Rankings since PEBEC began reforms in 2017, an attestation to the improved business environment,” she said.

Oduwole also added that the Council would continue to boost its ease of business strategies through the Listen, Implement and Track subnational tour. She also pledged to continually remove constraints, hindering ease of business.

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[READ ALSO: Lenders increase unsecured loans to households in Q3 2019 – CBN]

Recently, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo reaffirmed the commitment of the Federal Government to ensuring ease of business in Nigeria. He asked other states to partner with the Federal Government to ensure businesses run smoothly in Nigeria.

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Patricia

Reincarnated as a lover of stocks, Angel investors, seed funds, and anything aligned to tech or startups raising money, Joseph's work at Nairametrics involves following the money to wherever it leads. Before joining Nairametrics, he won an investigative journalism fellowship with ICIR, appeared in several national dallies, with hard-hitting opinions, features and investigative pieces. He has also engaged in content marketing and copywriting for a top e-commerce firm in Nigeria.

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Real Estate and Construction

Tax on rents and Certificate of Occupancy is valid – Akabueze

FIRS had announced that stamp duty will be paid on house rent and C of O.

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FIRS boss wants to tax street traders, artisans, others, FIRS tighten noose on deduction of stamp duty, CIT, others, FIRS issues taxpayers deadline to obtain Tax Identification Number, Nami targets N4 trillion from oil & gas to meet President Buhari's unusual target, FIRS set to deploy new technology in tax collection, as MDAs refuse to pay 7.5% tax

The Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, announced that the recent FIRS taxes on Certificate of Occupancy and rents is not new and has been around since the 1980s.

He disclosed this in the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF&FSP) on Friday, adding that ever since the 80s, his landlord had always given him a postage stamp on his rent receipts, and that the law was not just recognized for a long time.

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“Over time, because the culture of postage has dropped off and that was not being implemented. What FIRS has done now is to make that into electronic stamp that you can still use to comply with the existing law,” Akabueze said.

Last week, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) announced that stamp duty will be paid on house rent and Certificate of Occupancy (C of O), in line with its new adhesive duty. The new duty was inaugurated in Abuja at the official inauguration of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Audit and Recovery of Back Years Stamp Duties.

FIRS Director for Communication and Liaison Department, Mr Abdullahi Ahmad, said the new policy was necessary so as to give the instruments the legal backing required and make them legally binding on all parties involved in such transactions.

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Consequently, Ahmad asked Nigerians to ensure that documents that related to rent and lease agreements for homes or offices, C of O, and other common business-related transaction instruments were authenticated with the new FIRS Adhesive Stamp Duty.

He also advised Nigerians to make sure that any document related to leasing agreements and rents related to offices and homes, including C of O and other transaction instruments used in these seals were authenticated with the new FIRS Adhesive Stamp Duty.

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Coronavirus

Port-Harcourt International airport resumes flight operations

The first flight to Port Harcourt was conducted by Air Peace 5N EUV from Lagos.

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FAAN reacts to release of guideline for resumption of flight operations post covid-19, FAAN releases new guidelines for post covid-19 flight operations

The Port Harcourt International Airport formally resumed flight operations on Saturday, July 11, with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), restating its commitment towards a zero coronavirus transmission.

This was disclosed by the Regional Manager South-South and South-East of FAAN, Abayomi Akinbinu, on Saturday, July 11, during the arrival of the first flight after 3 months of shutdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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The first flight, which was conducted by Air Peace 5N EUV from Lagos, arrived Port-Harcourt International Airport terminal at 7.50 am.

He said the Port-Harcourt airport management was ready to ensure zero chances of the coronavirus transmission with the management giving no room for default of the COVID-19 safety guidelines by regulatory authorities as flight operations resume at the airport.

He frowned at the non-adherence to physical distancing rule, while also commending safety compliance level by service providers and passengers at the airport.

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According to Abayomi, “Our markings of 1.5 metres apart are visibly on the floor, but maybe because of excitement it’s not being properly followed; so we need to make quick enforcement in that regard.”

He said although there was low turnout of passengers, he expected a gradual increase in the coming days.

He said, “On the departure section, we are gradually getting more passengers and I believe that going forward passengers’ turnout is going to increase. My message to prospective passengers is that the Port Harcourt International Airport terminal is safe.”

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On his own part, the Head of Aviation Medical Clinic of the airport, Dr Nuhu Mwabi, said that the Port Health is seriously conducting mandatory temperature checks on both service providers and passengers before allowing them into the airport terminal building.

Nuhu said, “This is because we want to fish out persons with a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius and above, so that we can isolate such individual. Our cardinal objective is to ensure that we contain the spread of COVID-19 as well as other communicable diseases within the airport.”

He added that the World Health Organization and the various medical teams were ready to professionally handle any suspected case, should the need arise.

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It can be recalled that the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had last week announced the resumption schedule for flight operations for the various airports across the country. The Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport resumed flight operations on July 8.

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Coronavirus

Lagos Govt Seals Acouns Medical Lab for conducting illegal COVID-19 tests

The lab conducted COVID-19 tests without required government approval.

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The Lagos State Ministry of Health has sealed a private medical laboratory that was conducting illegal COVID-19 tests inside a pharmacy at Banana Island in Ikoyi, Lagos.

The ministry stated that the laboratory, Acouns Medical Laboratory and Diagnostic Centre, conducted COVID-19 tests without required government approval.

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According to a NAN report, the laboratory was sealed on Friday, July 10 by one of the agencies of the Ministry of Health – Health Facility Monitoring Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA).

The ministry warned in its Saturday morning tweet, that such health facilities posed a danger to their communities and staff, and discouraged residents from patronising facilities that had not been duly accredited for such purposes.

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“It is illegal to manage COVID-19 cases outside of an accredited facility. We implore the public not to go for tests or treatment in a private facility that has not been accredited by government.

“It is dangerous and it might put you at more risk,” it said.

The ministry promised to ensure that health facilities in the state adhered strictly to the standards put in place, and urged residents to cooperate with the authorities.

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Recall that a few weeks ago, the Lagos State government announced it has added Seven Private Laboratories into its testing strategy to expand capacity in Nigeria’s commercial capital.

Lagos state has, through its accredited health facilities, conducted over 45,000 COVID-19 tests, with over 7000 confirmed cases from the number.

The ministry had also recently announced the private health facilities accredited for the purpose of COVID-19 testing.

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