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Why Reps will probe Glo, 9mobile, others

House of Rep has mandated its committee on ICT to investigate payment and remittance of tax accruable to the NITDA by GSM service providers.

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CBN Cashless Policy: Reps eye reversal, Finance Bill: Reps to hold separate hearing today , 40% of Nigeria’s national budget must be voted to capital expenditure - Gbajabiamila , Why Reps will probe Glo, 9mobile, others, House of Representatives postpones President Buhari’s $22.79 billion loan request indefinitely,COVID-19: House of Reps to consider bill for 2-months free electricity supply

House of Representatives has mandated its committee on Information and Communication Technology to investigate payment and remittance of tax accruable to the National Information Technology Development Agency by GSM service providers.

This came after the lawmakers at a plenary on Friday adopted a motion moved by the member representing Ukwa East/Ukwa West Federal Constituency, Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, and titled ‘Motion of Urgent Public Importance on Need to Investigate Payment and Remittances of Taxes Accruable to the National Information Technology Development Fund Established by the NITDA Act 2007.’

Why Reps will probe Glo, 9mobile, others

Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta

Details of probe: The Committee is expected to “investigate payment and remittance of tax accruable to the NITDF by GSM service providers and all telecommunication companies as well as cyber companies and internet providers since 2008 till date.”

The House is concerned about reports of non-payment and underpayment of taxes accruable to the NITDF by licensed mobile network operators, international data access license owners, interconnect clearinghouse license owners. Others are cyber companies and internet providers, international gateway license owners, unified access license owners, and the international submarine cable and international landing station license owners.

“The House is alarmed that the reports suggest that from the end of the 2008 financial year, when the NITD tax became operational, till date, the taxable companies such as Glo and Airtel have only paid tax for four years while 9mobile has not paid at all, Nkem-Abonta said.”

[READ MORE: Senate: New bill to take away road ownership and repairs from FG]

Why it matters: The lawmakers are bent on taking them up as they believe these companies make huge amount of annual profits that run into billions of naira and may, with the aid of the FIRS officials, be resorting to sharp practices that will enable them to declare loss or less profit, thereby avoiding payment of NITD tax or making underpayment.

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“The House is worried that if companies are allowed to evade or underpay tax, Nigeria will continue to lose a veritable source for generation of revenue and development will be slow or hampered,” he added.

The lawmaker also noted that Section 12 of the Act established NITDF, into which is paid a levy of one per cent of the profit before tax of companies and enterprises enumerated in the Third Schedule of the Act, with an annual turnover of N1billion and above.

He stressed that in accordance with the provisions of the NITDA Act, the FIRS was mandated to assess, collect and pay all accruable levies into the fund, while the board of NITDA had powers to manage the fund.

Meanwhile, Nairametrics had reported that the Association of Licensed Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ALTON) has called on the Federal Government to address the issue of multiple taxes, which it described as irrelevant, as it stifles economic growth.

Chairman, ALTON, Gbenga Adebayo, in an interview, said the development had been a recurrent decimal that requires Executive Order.

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Why it matters: Over-taxation has several consequences. Foremost, it necessarily limits Nigeria’s economic growth because it directly limits telecoms operators’ expansion drive and thwarts sector investment and advancement.

He said, “This then limits digital inclusion and mobile penetration. As some of these taxes are passed on to consumers, the vicious cycle continues, as mobile/data usage falls, the government tax net remains narrow and revenue targets are not met. 

“Our major challenge stems from the activities of supposed landowners of infrastructure sites, states, and local governments. We have instances where state and local government authorities have physically invaded offices, locked up base stations, and employed other unwholesome tactics to enforce these taxes and levies.”   

Network providers wants Facebook, WhatsApp to pay levy as Nigerians dump SMS 

[READ MORE: NCC’s restriction on VAS is endangering Telcos – ALTON]

He called for an urgent re-evaluation of Nigeria’s fiscal priorities fit for population explosion set to occur over the next two decades.

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“The current fiscal landscape reflects an approach that emphasises short term unsustainable gain at the expense of long term sustainable growth. No nation has ever taxed itself into prosperity. Governments do need money. How often, and from whom they take it, are difficult political issues; but we must ask the questions that lead us on a path to envisioning a better Nigeria for us all. 

“We must designate telecoms assets as critical national infrastructure, to safeguard the lifeblood of our nation from disruptive actions with rising insecurity and terrorist activity, our intelligence and emergency forces,” he added.

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

Twitter to establish its first African presence in Ghana

Twitter has announced Ghana as headquarter of its operations in Africa.

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Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter Inc has announced today in a tweet that the company is establishing a presence in Africa.

“Twitter is now present on the continent. Thank you, Ghana and Nana Akufo-Addo,” Dorsey tweeted.

As part of its mission to serve the public conversation, Twitter is making it easier for everyone to join in and provide more relevant experiences for people across the world.

Why Ghana as a choice…

Twitter stated that it chose to expand to Ghana first because the country is an advocate of free speech, online freedom, and the Open Internet.

In a blog post the company said, “In line with our growth strategy, we’re excited to announce that we are now actively building a team in Ghana. To truly serve the public conversation, we must be more immersed in the rich and vibrant communities that drive the conversations taking place every day across the African continent.”

“Furthermore, Ghana’s recent appointment to host The Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area aligns with our overarching goal to establish a presence in the region that will support our efforts to improve and tailor our service across Africa.

“Whenever we enter new markets, we work hard to ensure that we are not just investing in the talent that we hire, but also investing in local communities and the social fabric that supports them. We have already laid foundations through partnerships with Amref Health Africa in Kenya, Afrochella in Ghana, Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative (MANI) in Nigeria, and The HackLab Foundation in Ghana. As part of our long-term commitment to the region, we’ll continue to explore compelling ways we can use the positive power of Twitter to strengthen our communities through employee engagement, platform activation, and corporate giving,” Twitter stated.

The company is also looking to hire specialists to join several teams to operate in product, design, engineering, marketing and communications.

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Reacting to Dorsey’s announcement, Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo, in a tweet said that the government and people of Ghana welcome welcomed the micro-blogging site.

“The choice of Ghana as HQ for Twitter’s Africa operations is excellent news. Government and Ghanaians welcome very much this announcement and the confidence reposed in our country,” President Akufo-Addo tweeted.

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Youths need critical skills to strengthen Nigerian economy – Bankers Committee’s FITC

Nigerian youths need to embrace adequate skills and create a pool of well-engaged workforce to directly strengthen the nation’s economy.

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Financial Institutions Training Centre (FITC)

Bankers Committee’s FITC has called on Nigerian youths to embrace adequate skills and create a pool of well-engaged workforce to directly strengthen the nation’s economy.

This was disclosed by the Managing Director, FITC, Chizor Malize, during the launch of its Future of Work Academy for Youths on Monday.

According to her, the initiative is to continuously bridge the knowledge gap in the country and Africa at large, as it is expected to equip the youths for the peculiar needs of the Future of Work.

It also seeks to solve the prevalent issue of producing university graduates with degrees and skills that have limited practical use in the current global job market, as well as the requirements for the Future of Work.

She said, “The world of work is changing rapidly, and competition for the right talent is fierce. Graduate talents have for decades been primarily identified and employed based on academic excellence, however, in the emerging world of work, creativity, innovation, and work-ready skills have become the non-negotiable indicators for competitive advantage, and to evaluate capabilities.

“It is therefore important for youths to build critical skills, that will equip them for the requirements of the Future of Work in the ever-evolving business landscape. The value FITC FOWA is bringing to corporations at this time cannot be overemphasized. By equipping youths and creating a pool of well-engaged workforce for organizations, FITC FOWA will be directly strengthening the economy and the society in general.”

Malize added that the initiative offers essential courses in Data Science, Data Analytics, Coding, Digital Marketing, Graphics Designs, MS Excel & Analytics, Digital Marketing, Use of PowerPoint, and other key areas that have been strategically packaged to educate, enlighten, and upskill undergraduates and graduates with the vital skills for the Future of Work.

What you should know

Owned by the Bankers Committee (CBN, NDIC and all Nigerian deposit money banks), FITC was established in 1981 as a non-profit organisation limited by guarantee to provide capacity building and serve as a knowledge hub for the Nigerian Financial Services Sector.

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