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LCCI, NECA warn FG on endangering productivity of Nigerians

The organized private sector and other stakeholders have warned FG against endangering the productivity of Nigerians with the new Finance Bill.  

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LCCI projects continuous weak investments in 2020 , Private sector laments as Buhari signs Finance Bill into law  

Stakeholders in the private sector have warned the Federal Government against endangering the productivity of Nigerians with the new Finance Bill.

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) expressed concerns about the increase in Value Added Tax (VAT), stating that it was inappropriate to compel loss-making firms to pay tax, no matter how little.

NECA urges FG to expand tax net, Unemployment to hit 33.5% in 2020, NECA warns, NECA seeks data of unemployed Nigerians to effect FG’s stipends payment, Private sector laments as Buhari signs Finance Bill into law  

Mr. Timothy Olawale, DG, NECA

The signing of the bill into law by the president welcomes sweeping new changes in the country’s tax system as the VAT rate went up from 5% to 7.5%.

Director General, LCCI, Muda Yusuf, warned the government against seeing the private sector as a cash cow in its drive to increase revenue.

“The government should not see the private sector as a ‘cash cow’ in its drive to raise revenue, as it will do more harm to the already burdened private sector and further impoverish citizens that the president promised to take out of poverty.

“The common man will definitely be at the receiving end of the increase in VAT. Even if businesses are taxed more through likely illegal levies and rates outside the provisions of the law, they will naturally pass the cost to the customers whose purchasing power is already at the lowest ebb. 

“The government should put mechanisms in place to eliminate leakages as a large chunk of the Internally Generated Revenue realised does not find its way into government coffers. They should drastically cut the cost of governance. Several aides kept at prohibitive cost are needless,” he said.

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[READ MORE: President Buhari finally signs 2019 finance bill into law)

Meanwhile, Director General, NECA, Timothy Olawale, acknowledged that the new law amended the Petroleum Profit Tax Act, Customs and Excise Tariff Act, Company Income Tax Act, Personal Income Tax Act, Value Added Tax, Stamp Duties Act and the Capital Gains Tax.

“Apart from the increase in VAT, some other changes would include a situation where Nigerians who want to open or maintain accounts with the deposit money banks will not have to provide their Tax Identification Number to do so, which is commendable. 

“Again, the fact that the Federal Government has raised the threshold from which stamp duty will be charged for online transactions from the current N1, 000 to N10,000,” Olawale said.

However, Olawale admonished the government to carry out aggressive taxpayer enlightenment and expansion of the tax net to capture more citizens, adding that he acknowledged that the government had made provisions in the law that were meant to benefit the masses.

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Business News

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 10th of April 2021, 84 new confirmed cases and death was recorded in Nigeria

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Covid 19 update symptops

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 163,736 confirmed cases.

On the 10th of April 2021, 84 new confirmed cases and 1 death was recorded in Nigeria.

To date, 163,736 cases have been confirmed, 154,098 cases have been discharged and 2,060 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

A total of 1.8 million tests have been carried out as of April 10th, 2021 compared to 1.7 million tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 10th April 2021,

  • Total Number of Cases – 163,736
  • Total Number Discharged – 154,098
  • Total Deaths – 2,060
  • Total Tests Carried out – 1,803,177

According to the NCDC, the 84 new cases are reported from 13 states- Lagos (26), Akwa Ibom (16), Rivers (10), Ebonyi (9), Abia (6), Kano (6), Osun (3), Bauchi (2), Delta (2), Edo (1), Jigawa (1), Kaduna (1), and Ogun (1)

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 57,950, followed by Abuja (19,703), Plateau (9,030), Kaduna (8,984), Rivers (6,986), Oyo (6,838), Edo (4,892), Ogun (4,620), Kano (3,924), Ondo (3,226), Kwara (3,120), Delta (2,615), Osun (2,547), Nasarawa (2,378), Enugu (2,259), Katsina (2,097), Gombe (2,034), Ebonyi (2,008), Anambra (1,909), Akwa Ibom (1,794), and Abia (1,677).

Imo State has recorded 1,655 cases, Bauchi (1,538), Borno (1,337), Benue (1,188), Adamawa (1,051), Niger (930), Taraba (910), Bayelsa (871), Ekiti (868), Sokoto (774), Jigawa (525), Kebbi (450), Cross River (385), Yobe (365), Zamfara (234), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

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

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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.

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.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.

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Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.

On 26th January 2021, the Federal Government announced the extension of the guidelines of phase 3 of the eased lockdown by one month following the rising cases of the coronavirus disease in the country and the expiration of phase 3 of the eased lockdown.

On 28th February 2021, the federal government confirmed that the first tranche of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in Nigeria on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021.

On Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, the National Primary health Care Development Agency announced the arrival of the expected COVX Astrazeneca/Oxford covid-19 vaccines.

On Saturday, 6th March 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice, Yemi Osinbajo received vaccination against the covid-19 as the State House in Abuja.

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

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Burial date for late Prince Philips announced

The Duke of Edinburgh will be laid to rest on Saturday, April 17, 2021, in a colourful but lowkey ceremony.

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Prince Philip, the late husband of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, and the Duke of Edinburgh will be laid to rest on Saturday, April 17, 2021, in a colourful but lowkey ceremony by royal standards.

The Buckingham palace in making the announcement stressed that the funeral service will be held according to the Covid-19 restrictions guideline with the number of mourners to be limited to 30. This means that members of the royal family including the Queen would be expected to put on face masks.

The College of Arms, which handles most of the ceremonial aspects of the royal family’s work, had earlier confirmed that the late Prince Philip would not lie in state anywhere accessible to the public, which could have seen thousands of people lining up to view his coffin.

The funeral service for Philip, who died aged 99 on Friday, will be held at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, and a national minute’s silence would be observed ahead of the ceremony. There will be no public access nor public procession beforehand with the royal family and UK government asking the public not to gather or leave flowers at the royal residences due to Covid-19 restrictions.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman also confirmed that Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, who had moved to Los Angeles after giving up royal duties, was planning to attend his grandfather’s funeral, but his pregnant wife Meghan won’t be present as she had been advised not to travel by her physician.

In case you missed it

  • It can be recalled that the death of Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II and the longest-serving consort of any British monarch before retiring from his public duties in 2017, was announced on Friday, April 9, 2021.
  • He died peacefully in Windsor Castle on Friday morning and had been married to the Queen for 73 years.
  • Since his death, tributes have been flooding in from the UK and all around the world for the duke, who had recently spent a month in two London hospitals, undergoing heart surgery and treatment for an infection, before returning in mid-March to Windsor Castle.

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