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Here is what SMEs must understand about finance bill, others

The new finance bill has generated lots of controversies at different fora and among operators in the SMEs as many do not understand the benefit.

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Here is what SMEs must understand about finance bill 

The new finance bill has generated lots of controversies at different fora and among operators in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as many do not understand the benefit and how it affects their businesses.

This is one of the reasons Meristem Group made it one of the key issues discussed at its private breakfast session.

The organisation laid emphasis on understanding tax regime in Nigeria. Partner and West Africa Tax Leader, Deloitte, Yomi Olugbenro, explained that it is important for all operators in the SME sector to understand the benefits of the finance bill and how it affects their businesses.

Here is what SMEs must understand about finance bill 

Wole Abegunde

He said, “Prior to the amendment of the finance bill, all entities and companies in Nigeria have been mandated to pay company income tax on their income, but with the new amendment of the bill, micro and small enterprises are no longer automatically required to pay company income tax, where small businesses in this regard are classified as companies with an annual turnover of N25 million or less.”  

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He further added that, “While the VAT rate may have been increased, government is also encouraging MSMEs and SMEs to float their business through legal entities and in exchange their businesses can benefit from incentives.” 

[READ MORE: Finance Bill to use banks as agents to tax Nigerians]

Other issues discussed are importance of planning a comfortable retirement and wills & trust.

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Group Managing Director, Meristem, Wole Abegunde, who spoke at the private breakfast session hosted by the company in Lagos, explained that several Nigerians need to be enlightened on how to make informed decisions about the management of their wealth and its preservation over the long term.

What it means: Abegunde said that the key to a comfortable retirement lies in the time allotted to putting resources aside, so if you start early, retirement is a lot easier.

He said, “The active retirement which involves the desire to remain active and engaged – travel, take vacations, get involved in community and social causes. While there is also passive retirement, which includes spending time with family, nursing health issues and generally winding down. These retirement phases are not inevitable and should be characterized by financial stability which must be accumulated early in one’s career.” 

Managing Director, Meristem Trustees, Mercy Aminah, tasked Nigerians to seek professional advice on the sensitive issues of Wills and Trusts while planning their Estate.

According to her, Proper planning will ensure that the right tools are deployed, having considered unique individual and family circumstances.

About Meristem

The Meristem Wealth Management Private Breakfast Session is a quarterly gathering of professionals, industry leaders and entrepreneurs hosted by Meristem; to discuss various topical issues in the financial space, in a bid to demystify all myths and help individuals make better informed financial and investment decisions.

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Meristem Wealth Management is a subsidiary of Meristem Group, the company offers stockbroking, wealth management, financial advisory, trust and probate management services. The company has been consistent in value creation and innovation within the capital market space for the past 16 years. The firm has remained a leading player in Nigeria’s competitive investment market with a solid reputation as a highly professional and client-centric firm.

Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper. The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference. The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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Business News

Paga Group relocates to the UK

Oviosu announced that he is very excited about moving to and working with the UK government.

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Paga records over $2 billion worth of transactions in 2019 , Paga acquires Ethiopian-based startup, Apposit, announces Paga subsidiaries

Paga Group has redomiciled from Mauritius to the United Kingdom (UK). The group is the holding company for its operations in Nigeria, México, Ethiopia, and the UK.

This was disclosed by the Chief Executive Officer and founder, Paga, Tayo Oviosu on Friday.

Why it matters: The company took the decision due to bureaucratic challenges it faced last year.

He said, “The laws and courts of Mauritius are not very fast-moving, and the rules are difficult. I’ve had one court case that was eventually thrown out after a year.

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“In the UK it would have been thrown out immediately, and the person would have had to pay us for our lawyer fees.

“Basically, not an easy place to do business. It is more painful than useful. I say stick to good ol’ America or UK or Netherlands or Luxemburg. Where you know there are professionals, and the legal system works.”

Oviosu said he is very excited about the move, looks forward to working with the UK government to promote trade with the UK.

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The Paga Group has raised $34.7 million in funding so far, according to Crunchbase.

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Appointments

Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc appoints Sola David-Borha as Non-Executive Director

Sola David-Borha has been appointed as a non-Executive Director to the board of Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc.

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Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc appoints Mrs Sola David-Borha as non-Executive Director

Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc has announced the appointment of Mrs Sola David-Borha to its board as a Non-Executive Director, subject to the receipt of all required regulatory approvals.

In a statement issued by the company, signed by the company’s secretary Mr. Chidi Okezie and sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, stated that “Mrs. David- Borha is currently the Chief Executive, Standard Bank (Africa Regions). Prior to that, she served as Chief Executive of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC (2012-2017) as well as the Bank (2011-2012), after holding various executive positions in Corporate Banking; Corporate & Investment Banking; and Investment Banking Coverage for Africa (excluding South Africa). She is also an Independent Non-Executive Director on the Board of CocaCola Hellenic Bottling Company.”

She has a vast experience in the financial world and an astute board leader with a keen corporate governance. Sola has led and sat on various boards including being the former Vice Chairman for the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, subsidiaries of the Stanbic IBTC and Standard Bank Groups, Coca-Cola HBG A, and many others. She is also vastly educated having obtained MBA from the prestigious Manchester Business School and Bsc in Economics from the University of Ibadan. She is also an honorary fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN).

Recall that Stanbic IBTC had earlier declared a Profit After Tax (PAT) of N45.2 billion for H1, 2020. Its gross earnings also increased by 7.8% to N126.57 billion with a basic earnings per share of 419 kobo and a proposed interim dividend payment of 40 kobo per share.

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Coronavirus

WHO endorses emergency use of China’s COVID-19 vaccine

China says WHO has approved the emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine.

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WHO endorses emergency use of China’s Covid-19 vaccine

The World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed the plans by China to start administering experimental coronavirus vaccines to people while clinical trials are still underway.

This disclosure was made by a Chinese Health Commission official, Zheng Zhongwei, during a news conference on Friday, September 25, 2020.

Zheng recalled that China launched its emergency programme in July, having communicated with the WHO in late June. Hundreds of thousands essential workers and other limited groups of people considered at high risk of infection have been given the vaccine, even though its efficacy and safety had not been fully established as Phase 3 clinical trials have not yet been completed.

Zheng at the news conference said, “At End-June, China’s State Council approved a plan of COVID-19 vaccine emergency use program. After the approval, on June 29, we made a communication with the relevant representatives of the WHO Office in China, and obtained support and understanding from WHO.’’

Nairametrics had reported that Chinese Pharmaceutical firms have been quite aggressive about the development of a Covid-19 vaccine with the likes of Sinovac Biotech and Sinopharm publicly displaying their vaccine candidate for the first time at a trade fair in Beijing earlier this month.

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(READ MORE: COVID-19: European regulator ready to approve first successful vaccine this year)

It was pointed out that China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and the US-listed Sinovac Biotech SVA.O, are developing the three vaccines under the state’s emergency use program just as a fourth COVID-19 vaccine is being developed by CanSino Biologics 6185 HK, was approved for use by the Chinese military in June.

The WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan, while describing it as a temporary solution, said earlier this month in Geneva that national regulatory authorities could approve use of medical products within their own jurisdictions in the current emergency situation.

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He emphasized that the long-term solution in the successful development of a Covid-19 vaccine, lay in completion of Phase 3 trials, this is as China has not publicly released full details of its emergency use programme.

Zheng disclosed that China’s annual production capacity of COVID-19 vaccines is expected to reach 610 million doses by end-2020 and 1 billion doses by 2021. He said that the price of the vaccine will be affordable for the general public.

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