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These may be reasons Fowler couldn’t retain FIRS seat

The report stated that the agency, under Fowler, failed to collect taxes worth about N41 billion in Lagos as it has not been able to meet up with its target over the past four consecutive years

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FIRS crisis: Fowler accused of defying President Buhari’s order, workers threaten strike over Aina 

The reason the immediate past Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service, Babatunde Fowler, failed to retain its seat at the agency could be attributed to the findings of the National Audit Report.

The report stated that the agency, under Fowler, failed to collect taxes worth about N41 billion in Lagos as it has not been able to meet up with its target over the past four consecutive years.

The taxes, which are yet to be collected from companies, government agencies, and local government councils, are valued at N40.8 billion.

[READ ALSO: How proposed Communication Service Tax affects you (Opens in a new browser tab)]

In the report for the year ended December 2017, the Auditor-General of the Federation (AuGF), Anthony Ayine, said the observation was made during the review of records filed by Companies at Federal Inland Revenue Service Micro and Small Tax Offices (MSTO), Medium Tax Offices (MTO), Large Tax Offices (LTO) and Government Business Tax Offices (GBTO) within the South–west Zone comprising of Lagos, Ogun, Osun, and Oyo states.

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He said the uncollected taxes, which range from Company Income Tax, Value Added Tax, withholding tax, education tax, to Capital Gains Tax, may prevent the federal government from meeting its projected revenue.

Highlights:

  • 545 companies had not remitted their Company Income Tax (CIT) to the FIRS valued at a total of N26 billion.
  • Companies, Federal and State MDAs, Local Government Councils and State Government within the South–west Zone were yet to remit about N8 billion being their Value Added Tax.
  • Withholding tax from companies, government agencies and local government councils valued at about N5 billion were also yet to be remitted to the FIRS.
  • About 318 companies were said not to have remitted their Education, tax which is 2% on profits of Companies valued at N697 million.
  • Two companies are yet to remit N99 million, being their Capital Gain Tax of 10% from the disposal of these companies’ assets. All these unreconciled taxes were said to have been communicated to the FIRS chairman.
  • Out of 28,237 duly registered Companies, 11,221 failed to submit their annual returns to various tax offices. These contradict the provision of the Company Income Tax Act, which requires a company to render an account of its operations within six months of its accounting year-end.
  • This number of companies who failed to render its returns represents 39% of duly registered companies with the FIRS.

Ayine said, “This issue was communicated to the Chairman, FIRS in my letter reference No. OAuGF/RESAD/FIRS/2017/VOL.II/5 of 1st August 2018 and no response has been received as at the time of forwarding this report.”

Findings revealed that Fowler failed to meet his collection target in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. For instance, in 2015, it set N4.7 trillion target but was only able to make N3.7 trillion in the actual collection. In 2016, 2017 and 2018, the target collections were N4.2 trillion, N4.8 trillion and N6.7 trillion but the actual collections were N3.3 trillion, N4 trillion and N5.3 trillion, respectively

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Meanwhile, Nairametrics had reported about the memo, purportedly written from the office of the Chief of Staff to the President Abba Kyari to the Chairman of the FIRS, Babatunde Fowler circulated around social media on Sunday.

The Leak: The letter queried the FIRS head whose tenure is up about why he consistently failed to hit budget and why his tax receipts over the last four years were lower than that of the previous administration.

The chief of staff queried Fowler demanding a variance analysis him explaining the reason for the variances between the budgeted and actual revenues.

Why it matters: The Executive Chairman Tunde Fowler whose tenure has reportedly ended was expected to return for a second term. However, this letter suggests he may not get it as the vultures are circling in.

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  • The query is also somewhat rudimentary as the reason for lower taxes over the last 5 years is obviously due to the recession.
  • The economy suffered through a recession in 2016 and has remained stuck in a GDP Growth rate of under 2%.
  • Suffice to add that various government policies on forex, an increase in import duty has also significantly hurt trade making it even more difficult to increase tax revenues.
  • Fowler also stated earlier in the year that the FIRS collected about N5.3 trillion in taxes in 2018 with non-oil taxes making up about 47% the highest in recent years.

 

Stanbic IBTC

 

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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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Appointments

Buhari names Dr. Uzoma Emenike as Ambassador-designate to the USA

President Buhari has named Nigeria’s Ambassador-designate to the USA.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has announced Dr. Uzoma Emenike as Nigeria’s Ambassador-designate to the USA.

This was disclosed by the Special Assistant to the President on Digital and New Media, Tolu Ogunlesi in a social media post on Tuesday evening.

Dr. Uzoma Emenike is currently  Nigeria’s Ambassador to Ireland, with concurrent accreditation to Iceland.

She hails from Abia State, with a BSc in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Maiduguri, Masters in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos LL.B from the University of Reading in the UK.

Other academic achievements include a Master’s in International Management from the University of Reading and a Doctorate in International Relations also from the University of Reading.

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She is married to Chief Ikechi Emenike and has four children.

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported last month, the death of the outgoing Nigerian Ambassador to the United States of America, Justice Sylvanus Adiewere Nsofor.
  • He served as a justice of the Court of Appeal for 13 years until his mandatory retirement in 2005.
  • Nsofor, who assumed office as the ambassador to the US on November 13, 2017, succeeded Professor Adebowale Adefuye who also died towards the end of his tenure.

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Corporate deals

DEAL: uLesson raises $7.5 million Series A round

uLesson has announced that it has closed a $7.5M Series A round.

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Sim Shagaya, uLesson

uLesson, a Nigerian educational learning platform that leverages best in class teachers, media, and technology solutions to create high-quality, affordable and accessible education for African students, announced that it has closed a $7.5M Series A round.

This funding round was led by US-based Owl Ventures, which is focused on education as an investment. It was also backed by existing investors — Founder Collective and TLcom .

READ: Flutterwave, One pipe, and funding raised by Nigerian Tech startups

Founded by Sim Shagaya, uLesson curates personalised, curriculum-relevant content via mobile and PC devices for students in the K-7 to K-12 segment across the continent. Students can access the lessons via streaming and SD cards, where they can download and store the content, allowing them to study remotely, removing challenges around internet access limitations and costs.

READ: Griezmann severs ties with Huawei over Uighurs Muslims identification report

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According to Sim Shagaya,

  • The uLesson app has now been downloaded a million times with paying users from at least 7 countries (including countries we don’t formally serve). On average, learners spend around 77 minutes on the app daily — a figure that exceeds the engagement levels on most social networking apps.
  • “Our goal is that ten years from now, K-12 education on the continent will bear little semblance to what you see today. But it won’t just be different, it will be better on most dimensions and much more affordable.
  • “We also believe that the impact borne of the marriage of education and technology will be greater on the African continent than any other place in the world.”

This funding will be deployed to power uLesson’s expansion into Eastern & Southern Africa, as well as secure new talent and build its product development and production infrastructure.

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Corporate deals

CAP and Portland Paints obtain Federal High Court approval on proposed scheme merger

A Federal High Court approved the proposed scheme merger between Chemical Allied Products Plc and Portland Paints Plc.

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CAP Plc

The Judicial Divison of the Federal High Court has approved the proposed scheme merger between Chemical Allied Products Plc and Portland Paints Plc, and other matters connected therewith.

In line with this, the Federal High Court ordered that a meeting of the holders of the fully paid ordinary shares of Portland Paints and Products Nigeria be convened and held for the purpose of considering and approving a Scheme of Merger between the concerned entities.

Portland Paints disclosed this on the NSE before the open of trade today.

The statement said upon approval by the shareholders at the court-ordered meeting, which will be held at 12:00 pm on Thursday, 18 February 2021 at Radisson Blu Hotel, the subjoined resolutions of the Scheme Merger shall be effected.

Overview of the Scheme Merger and options offered to shareholders

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For the purpose of giving effect to the Merger as would be agreed between the Company and the Holders of the Fully Paid Ordinary Shares of Portland Paint Plc and Chemical and Allied Products PLC at the court-ordered meeting, shareholders of Portland Paint Plc at the close of business on the Terminal Date shall be offered the option:

  • To receive a Cash Consideration of N2.90 for each ordinary share of N0.50 held in Portland Paints as at close of business on the Terminal Date.
  • Or be allotted 1 ordinary share of N0.50 each in the share capital of CAP (credited as fully paid) in exchange for every 8 ordinary shares of N0.50 each held in Portland Paints.

Implied impact of the Scheme Merger between CAP and Portland Paints

Upon the Scheme becoming effective, the following modification shall be made:

  • All assets and liabilities of Portland Paints including but not limited to real property, intellectual property rights, permits, credits, allowances, equipment and machinery, plant, fixtures and fittings, motor vehicles and businesses, shall be transferred to CAP.
  • All employees and undertakings rights, powers and duties of a personal character, which could not generally be assigned or performed vicariously, of the Company shall be transferred to CAP.
  • All legal proceedings, claims and litigations pending or contemplated by or against the Company be continued by or against CAP.
  • The entire share capital of the Company shall be cancelled, and the Company shall be dissolved without being wound up.
  • All contracts of the Company shall continue to be in force and effect in accordance with their respective terms and conditions, and CAP shall assume all rights and obligations of the Company under all such contracts.
  • All monies standing to the credit of the Company at banks and with other debtors within and outside Nigeria be held to the credit of CAP.

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