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FIRS boss wants to tax street traders, artisans, others 

The Executive Chairman of FIRS, Mohammed Nami, says tax administrators need to tax street traders, artisans and other jobs in the informal sector.

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FIRS, Nigeria generates N424.71 billion VAT in Q3 2020

The Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mohammed Nami, has said that tax administrators need to tax street traders, artisans and other jobs in the informal sector of the economy but politicians are frustrating the effort.

According to Nami, taxing the informal sector promotes good governance and political accountability, ensuring the informal sector has the right to request for certain services as demanded by the formal sector, which is being taxed.

Food items sell cheapest at Mile 12, as traders lament high price of local rice

“Taxing the informal sector may also be a way of promoting good governance and political accountability of the State because tax strengthens the social contract between the citizens and the government. Thus, informal businesses that contribute to tax revenues are likely to assert their rights to receive certain services from government thereby ensuring accountability,” Nami said.

The informal sector is not taxed in Nigeria. Individuals and businesses in the informal sector also known as an underground sector do not declare their income and pay no taxes on them because it is not considered as normal income sources. The sector is mostly filled with the lower class of society.

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But the FIRS boss is trying to change that in a bid to expand the government’s revenue base. Nami disclosed this during the ninth Country Correspondents meeting and African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF’s) Experts meeting on taxation of the informal sector in Abuja.

[READ MORE: Finance act: VP outlines how FG plans to capture multinational firms in tax net)

His statement came at a time President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is trying to create more revenue sources to find a solution to Nigeria’s dwindling revenue. Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed had stated that Nigeria has a revenue problem, so in Nami’s view, taxing the informal sector will be a boost to the revenue mobilisation of African countries.

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Why are Politicians against it? According to Nami, the fear of losing votes is causing politicians to thwart the tax administrator’s intention to tax the informal sector. He said politicians have promised the people in the informal sector of protection from taxes in order to be elected.

Nami said, “Taxing the informal sector is viewed as politically unpopular and politicians are unwilling to risk losing the high number of votes represented in the sector. This is because politicians promise informal workers protection from taxation in exchange for their votes.”

He added that these businesses “also operate on a cash basis and maintain poor or no accounting records. Most of the businesses in the sector are also small and fragmented making it inefficient for the revenue administrations to enforce compliance.”

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]om.

16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    February 6, 2020 at 9:26 am

    What help and support have you provided for the informal sector ? You want to reap fron where you have not sown.

    • Stanley

      February 6, 2020 at 10:11 pm

      I agree with you. One of the main basis for taxation is recompense for support provided by the government (representing the society) to business success, such as adequate security, good roads and road network, development of alternative & affordable transport systems, reliable electricity supply, water etc. But It is a known fact that most big businesses in Nigeria are currently providing most of these infrastructures on their own albeit at very high costs. However, while the medium to large organisations may not complain about the tax burden because they can spread the high costs over the huge quantities of products, customers or clientele that they command, the same cannot be said of very small scale businesses which make up the bulk of the informal sector. These businesses often fail at very high rates mainly due to the high cost of providing their own electricity and water, as well due to theft resulting from poor security, damages to goods in transit (can’t afford insurance) and high transportation costs resulting from poor road network. Therefore taxing this group without first providing the needful, is tantamount to extortion.

      • Anonymous

        February 7, 2020 at 9:54 am

        Well said and good reply Firs will be looking at the area that is not necessary in order to make good money for their pay masters forgetting the stress the ordinary Nigerians pas through in their daily hustling, all the Ecowas member states have fixed their road but Nigeria is still struggling with decayed and Rotty roads and FIRS won’t see the need to remind government about it, electricity, Rifinary, and government own satellite/ internet which all will give good number of Nigerians employment and move our economy forward FIRS won’t see those areas repair so that it will help federal government to generate money i don’t know who do us sha.

    • Funso

      February 8, 2020 at 7:28 am

      I thought this guy when he was appointed recently was marketed and appointed as a tax guru who has the magic wang. His predecessor was considered a poor performer. Why is he complaining so soon. There is nothing new in politicians preventing taxing informal sector.Get down to work man. That’s your job.

  2. Duke Bebebaraseigha

    February 6, 2020 at 9:41 am

    To tax the informal sector is okay but the argument that it will promote the social contract is not true. For years the transport systems at all levels have been paying all manner of taxes, rates and levies with no clear benefits to the transport operators directly. Rather, we have super rich agberos and state governors who use them to win elections and commit all manner of crimes in their states.
    Let us strengthen the payment systems in Nigeria, force an ecosystem approach to financial inclusion and it will become very easy to apply very robust consumption based taxes for the good of our land.
    We hope that we can apply the benefits of a solid financial inclusion systems into other social sectors, tap into the gains of a digital economy, enlighten population and promote evoting to elect credible leaders through a very clean electoral process built on the best technology.

  3. Anonymous

    February 6, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    Tho government has proved to us beyond reasonable doubt the they are anti massess. Too bad

  4. Amber

    February 6, 2020 at 8:29 pm

    The informal sector is already being taxed by the state and local government with their revenue drive. Now the federal government wants their own share. That’s completely insane and unfair. Am yet to see the benefits of taxation especially when it comes to basic amenities. Good road, pipeborne water, constant electricity the Government can’t boast of providing for it’s citizens talk of security. We pay taxes to fund the useless politicians and their greed.

    • Ever

      February 7, 2020 at 9:56 am

      Well said and good reply Firs will be looking at the area that is not necessary in order to make good money for their pay masters forgetting the stress the ordinary Nigerians pas through in their daily hustling, all the Ecowas member states have fixed their road but Nigeria is still struggling with decayed and Rotty roads and FIRS won’t see the need to remind government about it, electricity, Rifinary, and government own satellite/ internet which all will give good number of Nigerians employment and move our economy forward FIRS won’t see those areas repair so that it will help federal government to generate money i don’t know who do us sha.

  5. M.A Mike

    February 7, 2020 at 2:48 am

    Will that stop Buhari from borrowing?

  6. Kefas

    February 7, 2020 at 8:20 am

    Good job…. But I think u need to tax people with more than 2 wives and more than 4 children. Work without sentiment.

  7. Hygiene

    February 7, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    Good to generate money for the govt massively, 75% unemployed people should be taxed.

  8. Anonymous

    February 7, 2020 at 6:08 pm

    Next Level. Nigerians how market?

  9. promise inyang

    February 8, 2020 at 4:58 am

    do politicians pay taxes?
    all the money collected by agberos, local government and state government from the informal. what have they benefits from it.

    is only in nigeria that we have those elected to manage resources, only taking care for themselves and their families and they are government to the people by taking from them.
    while the citizens provide everything for themselves. you take complaints about the police they will charge you for either fuel or something else before they attend your complaint.
    if you don’t generate your power supply then darkness is your kingdom. if you don’t build a home of your own then you must pay heavily to roof over you.
    water is provided by you. road is not available, transportation is zero, education is death, health care is not available yet taxi is being charged.

    come and collect it

  10. Funso

    February 8, 2020 at 7:28 am

    I thought this guy when he was appointed recently was marketed and appointed as a tax guru who has the magic wang. His predecessor was considered a poor performer. Why is he complaining so soon. There is nothing new in politicians preventing taxing informal sector.Get down to work man. That’s your job.

  11. Mark

    February 8, 2020 at 12:14 pm

    This is an idea that you are not suppose to conceive. Because carrying out such action only adds to the ridiculous position in which we are already in, economically. We the salary earners are the once that will always be on d receiving end so please, Look for another avenue because it’s really really bad already.DONT MAKE IT WORSE.

  12. TaxKorrect

    February 8, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    Tax, Tax, Tax,..
    Nigerians cannot be paying and the rulers be looting, we the Nigerian people want to see the value for our money. Let the FIRS transparently, give a comprehensive utilization of the money we are paying. You can’t rob Paul and pay Peter. We want to see our market modernized and befitting for our market women, let’s have good roads, portable water, electricity and good housing for all, functional health care centers, Good schools for our children, Jobs for Nigerians etc,. We want to see value for the money. You can’t just force things down on Nigerians without us knowing exactly what we stand to get. That in itself is evil.
    Tell us what we stand to benefit first and how you implement the plan and who is in charge and what happen when nothing is done.
    By then people will pay willingly.

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Energy

Engineer Sanusi Garba assumes office as Chairman of NERC

The new NERC boss has assumed office today in an investiture event witnessed by other Commissioners of the Commission.

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Engineer Sanusi Garba, today, December 3, 2020, formally assumed office as the Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

This is according to the statement issued by the media team of the NERC via the official Twitter handle of the Commission.

Engineer Garba whose appointment was confirmed by the Nigerian Senate on Tuesday will be replacing Professor James Momoh, the outgoing chairman of the Commission.

Speaking at the handover ceremony today, the New Chairman of the Commission recognized the efforts and the hard work of Prof. Momoh and thanked the outgoing chairman for his contributions to the development of the Commission and the sector in general.

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However, Professor Momoh on his part pledged his continuous support to the Commission and thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the opportunity to serve the country.

What you should know

  • The new Chairman of Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Engineer Sanusi Garba is a seasoned professional in the Nigerian Energy Supply Industry (NESI), and also a top officer in the Commission.
  • Prior to his nomination as the Chairman of NERC, Garba served as the Vice Chairman of NERC, under the leadership of Prof. Momoh. He also served as the Chief Executive of Katsina Steel Rolling Co. Ltd and the Director (Power) in the Federal Ministry of Power with responsibility for the Generation, Transmission and Distribution aspects of the electricity industry.
  • He also served as Executive Director (Generation) at the Niger Delta Power Holding Co. Ltd during which he provided technical and commercial leadership for the efficient operation of seven (7) NIPP thermal power plants.
  • Engr Garba, who is a seasoned professional has served on many Federal Government Committees including the Presidential Committee on Power Sector Reform (2007/8) and the Presidential Task Force on Power (2009/10).

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ENDSARS

#EndSARS: Sanwo-Olu gifts families of slain police officers N10 million each

Governor Sanwo-Olu has compensated the families of slain police officers with the sum of N10 million each.

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Sanwo-Olu to stop pension for former governors, deputies, #EndSARS: Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution to include Lekki toll gate incident – Sanwo-Olu, Lagos approves resumption of all classes in public, private schools, Lagos takes major step towards delivery of Fourth Mainland Bridge, Lagos to construct rail line to airport terminal for international passengers, COVID-19: Lagos State to begin curfew on Sunday to disinfect metropolis, Lagos state government discharges 7 more coronavirus patients, Lagos state will reverse to full lockdown, Sanwo-Olu to virtually inaugurate projects as he presents scorecard of first year in office, Lekki regional road: Sanwo-Olu revokes land titles of Elegushi Royal family, Lagos pays N1.3 billion into the RSA of 246 retirees, Lagos State to empower 2.5 million youths in Arts and Crafts

The Executive Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has brought respite to the families of police officers killed during the violence witnessed in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests.

According to the disclosure on the Twitter page of the Lagos State Government, the families were handed a cheque of N10 million each and the children of the slain officers awarded scholarships by the government.

What they are saying: Commenting on the recent development, a tweet by the Lagos State Government read thus: “Governor @jidesanwoolu handing over a cheque of 10 million naira each to the families of police officers who lost their lives during the unrest that followed the EndSARS protest and awarding scholarship to their children.’’

Why this matters: The recent effort by the Governor is in fulfillment of the promise he had earlier made to compensate affected victims of the post-EndSARS protest which led to the loss of lives and valuable properties both in the state and the country at large.

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The compensation will be viewed by serving officers as a motivation, aimed at promoting patriotism, loyalty, commitment and dedication to national service.

What you should know

  • Lagos State Government had earlier set up a N200 million fund for victims of police brutality
  • As a follow-up, Nairametrics had earlier reported that Lagos State Government offered scholarships to children of slain police officers.

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Corporate Press Releases

How digital transformation will impact Nigeria’s projected $8.79 billion economic expansion

Businesses will need to invest in appropriately reskilling and upskilling the national workforce to create a better digital Nigeria.

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The Nigerian economy is projected to grow by $8.79 billion in the next three years to 2023, driven largely by the ICT, agriculture, health, finance and insurance sectors, according to a new study by global training providers elev8 and the BusinessDay Research and Intelligence Unit (BRIU).

More than half of the projected growth will come from the ICT sector, as companies continue to create innovative products and services leveraging ICT and telecoms. To take advantage of this growth, however, businesses will need to invest in appropriately reskilling and upskilling the national workforce to create a better digital Nigeria.

The research comes off the back of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has laid bare the digital divide, with those businesses having invested sufficiently in their digital capabilities overtaking those firms who failed to do so.

However, this trend of digitally forward businesses outperforming their technology-inferior counterparts isn’t new, the study reveals. Analysis of the data, which went back as far as 1992, showed that the major companies outperforming others in Nigeria are those that spend more on upskilling, research and development, and technology acquisition.

Economic rewards await

In recognition of its benefits, Nigeria has made efforts in the past, and continues to make more efforts at digitalizing its economy. The progress made in Nigeria’s ICT sub sector has had a positive effect on its gross domestic product (GDP). Research shows that the sector’s contribution to GDP has risen from 7.70 percent in 2012 to 14.30 percent by Q2 2020.

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Meanwhile, the Nigerian government’s National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, launched in 2019, aims to improve digital literacy and skills to build out the country’s digital capabilities.

However, the digital infrastructure readiness in Nigeria is still far below the global average. For this to be upgraded, the current skill set of government employees working in this area will need to be updated. This should warrant the designing of training programs that will help the government raise the level of digital infrastructure in Nigeria in the shortest possible time and at affordable costs.

The high economic rewards from closing the digital skills gap should see this become an even greater priority. If the entire Nigerian economy is digitalized, the country could take a bigger bite of the global digital economy, which is estimated at $11.5 trillion.

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Where digital leaders are made

Global training provider elev8 offers training programs focused on the latest technologies, and is uniquely placed to help businesses and the Nigerian government connect to opportunities as highlighted in the report.

Bringing together renowned industry experts, elev8 offers the flexibility of virtual classrooms or face-to-face programs, depending on what’s best for the organization and its learners.

Taking a holistic approach, power skills like communication, collaboration and analytical thinking are embedded into elev8’s technical training in order to develop well-rounded digital experts who can bring the most value to their employers.

Training methods are practical and action-based – built around projects, tackling real business challenges – enabling learners to put theory into practice from the day one.

No matter the technical need, elev8 can design and implement bespoke solutions tailored to a company’s individual requirements.

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elev8’s global academy equips business leaders, teams and organizations with the skills they need to leverage the technologies of the future and transform Nigeria into a knowledge-based economy.

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To read the report in full, or to discover more about the elev8 training academy, go to www.elev8me.com/en-us/africa.

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