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Babatunde Fowler attributes FIRS success to technological innovation 

Babatunde Fowler, Chairman of FIRS has attributed the success of revenue collection in the country to the adoption of technology.

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FIRS establishes Tax Office for foreigners in Nigeria, intensifies compliance strategy , Babatunde Fowler attributes FIRS success to technological innovation , Nigeria to lure foreign investors with attractive tax incentives ,, JUST IN: President Buhari nominates Muhammad M. Nami as Fowler’s replacement, institutes new board , Ex-FIRS boss, Babatunde Fowler reacts to President Buhari not renewing his tenure 

Babatunde Fowler, Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has attributed the success of revenue collection in the country to the adoption of technology which has enhanced the process and provided relevant information to taxpayers.

This was disclosed by the FIRS boss at the Nigeria e-Government Conference in Lagos.

[READ MORE: FIRS announces N4 trillion revenue, as Fowler seeks law to jail Tax Evaders]

According to Fowler, the process of e-registration, payment of stamp duty and Value Added Tax have beciome fully automated compared to 2016 when these services were manually done.

Now, with all these initiatives put in place, our revenue has gone up tremendously, comparing it from 2015 to now. So, this goes to tell you that the FIRS is all about innovation and we are all about continuously improving our technology to better serve the taxpaying public and to serve the nation as a whole,” he said.

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Giving an appraisal of his work, Fowler boasted of a functional website owned by the revenue service as part of its efforts to be accessible to millions of Nigerians as well as its commitment to be digital-savvy in the face of technological advancement.

The FIRS website is very robust to the point that if you check your phone now and visit our website, it would tell you the closest (FIRS) office to where you are.

You can do your tax payment and enquiries on your phone in your house, in your offices, anywhere.”

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[READ ALSO: Nigeria is losing $15 billion to tax evasion, FIRS boss reveals]

Fowler had earlier disclosed that Nigeria loses the sum of $15 billion to tax evasion annually. He made the statement at an event organized by the West Africa Tax Administration Forum (WATAF) which held in Abuja.

According to him, the challenge to curb tax evasion was quite overwhelming. He noted that several information leaks released in the past years had helped in unveiling the depth and breadth of the challenge.

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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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Russia applies to WHO for emergency use tag for its vaccine

Russia has submitted applications to the World Health Organization for approval of its COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V.

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COVID-19 vaccine from Russia

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which is one of the developers of the Sputnik V, has submitted applications to the World Health Organization (WHO) for an Emergency Use Listing and prequalification of the coronavirus vaccine.

The acceptance of the Covid-19 vaccine by the UN health agency could help allay concerns over its safety and quality.

This was disclosed by Russia’s sovereign wealth fund on Tuesday, October 27, 2020.

Russia was the first country to grant regulatory approval for a novel coronavirus vaccine and did so before large-scale trials were complete, stirring concerns among scientists and doctors about the safety and efficacy of the shot, especially from the western countries.

An Emergency Use Listing (EUL) is meant to make a vaccine available globally faster, while a WHO prequalification is a global quality tag that ensures vaccines are safe and effective.

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The Chief Executive Officer of RDIF, Kirill Dmitriev, in a statement, pointed out that the procedures would allow Sputnik V to be included in the list of medical products that meet leading quality, safety and efficacy standards.

In July, Dmitriev had said that Russia aimed to produce 30 million doses in 2020, a goal that was this month dubbed impossible by Russia’s Industry Minister, Denis Manturov, who said a maximum of 2.3 million doses would be made.

The vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Research Institute and marketed by RDIF, is based on a platform of human adenoviral vectors.

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What you should know

Nairametrics had earlier reported that President Vladimir Putin announced the approval of the Sputnik V, as the first Covid-19 vaccine to be registered in the world. The approval, which was announced even before the completion of the phase 3 trials, had elicited safety concerns from scientists.

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ENDSARS

#EndSARS: Army denies shooting at Lekki protesters, says Lagos asked for military

The Nigerian Army has once again denied it fired gunshots at protesters who were gathered at the Lekki toll plaza.

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#EndSARS: Nigerian Army set to commence Exercise Crocodile Smile VI
The Nigerian Army has stated that the alleged massacre of protesters at Lekki Toll Plaza is untrue, unfounded, and aimed at causing anarchy in the country and that their presence was requested by the Lagos State Government to restore normalcy.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Acting Deputy Director, 81 Division Army Public Relations, Major Osoba Olaniyi, on Tuesday evening, as the world draws attention to the Lekki shootings last week.
In the statement, the Army said: “The attention of Headquarters 81 Division Nigerian Army has been drawn to a viral video on social media in which it was alleged that civilian protesters were massacred by soldiers at Lekki Toll Plaza.
“This allegation is untrue, unfounded and aimed at causing anarchy in the country. At no time did soldiers of the Nigerian Army open fire on any civilian.
The Army said that the 81st Division never got involved in the #EndSARS protests. However, Lagos State called the Army after a 24-hour curfew was imposed due to reports of Police stations being burnt.
“From the onset of the ENDSARS protest, there was no time personnel of 81 Division Nigerian Army Lagos were involved. However, the decision to call in the military was taken by the Lagos State Government (LASG) after a 24 hours curfew was imposed.
“This was as a result of the violence which led to several police stations being burnt, policemen killed, suspects in police custody released and weapons carted away.
“The situation was fast degenerating into anarchy. It was at this point that LASG requested for the military to intervene in order to restore normalcy. The intervention of the military followed all laid down procedures for Internal Security operations and all the soldiers involved acted within the confines of the Rules of Engagement (ROE) for Internal Security operations,” the statement read.
The Army insisted that they did not shoot any civilian and that there is glaring and convincing evidence to attest to this fact. They maintained that the allegations of shootings is the “hand work of mischief makers who will stop at nothing to tarnish the image of the Nigerian Army.”

What you should know

Nairametrics reported last week that several social media accounts had revealed that peaceful protesters were allegedly being shot at by the military at the Lekki toll holdout. The Nigerian Army, however, denied deploying soldiers to attack #EndSARS protesters who assembled there.

The Lagos State Government ordered an investigation into the Lekki Toll Plaza shooting that was allegedly done by some men of the Nigerian Army on Tuesday evening. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had also stated that Lagos State would not burn on his watch, as he tried to calm things down after hoodlums wreaked havoc post-Lekki shootings, and announced that the Judicial panel set up by the state would include the incident.

Nairametrics earlier reported that Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had insisted that there were only two confirmed deaths during the shooting incident that happened a week ago at the Lekki Tollgate.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 27th of October 2020, 113 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria

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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 62,224 confirmed cases.

On the 27th of October 2020, 113 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 2,326 samples across the country.

To date, 62,224 cases have been confirmed, 57,916 cases have been discharged and 1,135 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 614,480 tests have been carried out as of October 27th, 2020 compared to 612,154 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 27th October 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 62,224
  • Total Number Discharged – 57,916
  • Total Deaths – 1,1135
  • Total Tests Carried out – 614,480

According to the NCDC, the 113 new cases were reported from 12 states- Lagos (51), FCT (15), Plateau (11), Kaduna (8), Oyo (8), Rivers (8), Ogun (4), Edo (2), Imo (2), Kwara (2), Delta (1), Kano (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 20,935, followed by Abuja (6,008), Plateau (3,614), Oyo (3,433), Rivers (2,781), Edo (2,654), Kaduna (2,625), Ogun (2,014), Delta (1,813), Kano (1,743), Ondo (1,666), Enugu (1,314),  Kwara (1,069), Ebonyi (1,049), Katsina (952), Osun (923), Abia (898), Gombe (883).  Borno (745), and Bauchi (710).

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Imo State has recorded 616 cases, Benue (486), Nasarawa (479), Bayelsa (403),  Ekiti (332), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (277), Niger (274), Adamawa (257), Sokoto (165), Taraba (140), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Yobe (82), Zamfara (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

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.

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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.

READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

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