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FIRS moves to stop tax evasion with newly launched intelligence system 

In a bid to track all tax evaders and defaulters in the country, the FIRS has launched a national intelligence gathering system.

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7.5% VAT: Implementation to begin Feb 1 – FG, FIRS redeploys 50 directors in massive shakeup ,FIRS moves to stop tax evasion with newly launched intelligence system , FIRS boss, Nami discloses why FIRS failed to meet revenue target under Fowler, FIRS to scale up tax compliance with new policies , FIRS tighten noose on deduction of stamp duty, CIT, others 

In a bid to track all tax evaders and defaulters in the country, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has launched a national intelligence gathering system.  

The Executive Chairman of FIRS, Muhammad Nami made this known during a visit to the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye.

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Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, ICPC

This move would help FIRS prevent tax evasion by gathering data that will expose defaulters and bring them to book. According to Nami, the FIRS is currently restructuring its operations in order to surpass its 2020 revenue target. 

Nami’s words: “The intelligence gathering system is Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-based and is being implemented in close collaboration with the ICPC and other anti-corruption agencies as well as financial institutions to tackle economy-based crimes, including money laundering.” 

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“The collaboration with the ICPC to track tax fraud and block all revenue leakages is to ensure that we raise the revenue for the government to fund its budget. We need the data and intelligence which you have to help us track tax evaders and bring them into the tax net,” the FIRS boss added.  

(READ MORE: Businessman who alleges fraud in an N170 million FIRS contract, creates scene in court) 

Speaking on the collaboration and new intelligence system, Owasanoye said the ICPC was open to the idea of sharing data with the FIRS in order to track tax evaders, defaulters and tackle illicit financial flow in Nigeria. He said that doing this would enable the government to raise its revenue profile in order to fund development projects. 

Owasanoye added that the ICPC was doing its best to widen the tax net. According to him, whenever a commission comes across any tax non-compliant company, such companies are referred to the FIRS. 

We want them to be captured in the tax net so that they continue to pay their taxes,” he added. 

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What you should know: The FIRS has been taking compliance of tax seriously in recent times as it recently also disclosed plans to tax street traders, artisans and other jobs in the informal sector of the economy. The informal sector which isn’t taxed in Nigeria would now be brought into the tax net as the FIRS boss is trying to expand the government’s revenue base.

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Chidinma holds a degree in Mass communication from Caleb University Lagos and a Masters in view in Public Relations. She strongly believes in self development which has made her volunteer with an NGO on girl child development. She loves writing, reading and travelling. You may contact her via - chidinma.nwagbara@nairametrics.ng

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Business News

Sanwo-Olu to virtually inaugurate projects as he presents scorecard of first year in office

Some of the projects to be commissioned will be done virtually, while a few will be done on-site.

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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

Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, will virtually inaugurate housing, education, and road projects on May 29, as part of activities to mark his first year in office.

According to a report by NAN, the projects are part of the government’s efforts to renew infrastructure in critical sectors and to make the commercial centre a smart city.

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Some of the projects to be commissioned will be done virtually, while a few will be done on-site.

The projects

Lagos state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, listed some of the projects in an official statement. He said:

”In the education sector, Sanwo-Olu will conduct virtual inauguration of completed classroom blocks in Maya Secondary School, Ikorodu; Eva Adelaja Junior School, Bariga; and Saviour Primary School, Ifako-Ijaiye, among others. 

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“Virtual inauguration of completed works such as the Concrete Jetty in Baiyeku, Ikorodu, Aradagun-Ajido- Epeme Road in Badagry, and the Maryland Signalisation project also form part of the itinerary to commemorate the anniversary.”

(READ MORE: Lagos increases health workers’ allowances, commissions local production of face masks)

Omotoso also stated that the Governor would inaugurate the 360-unit Lagos Homes in Ikorodu, and then visit Igbogbo Baiyeku IIB Estate, Lekki, and the Courtland Villas on Femi Okunnu Estate during the week.

Plans for celebrating Children’s Day

 In a related development, Governor Sanwo-Olu will deliver an address on Wednesday May 27 to mark the children’s day celebration, and the 53rd anniversary of Lagos state.

Omotoso, however, noted that all celebrations would be kept on the low in reflection of the current challenges and realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Presenting one-year scorecards

The activities for the week are expected to begin with press briefings at J.J.T Park in Alausa on May 27, where members of the State Executive Council will present their scorecards in line with the six pillars of the state’s T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda.

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(READ MORE: Lagos Medical workers call off strike, as IG sends strong warning to security agencies)

According to the information commissioner, there will be two sessions of press briefings daily from May 27 to June 3, as the Governor considers it expedient to render a stewardship account of the last one year.

“Three special publications highlighting the achievements of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration and testimonies of beneficiaries of various initiatives of the government are slated for presentation to the public by the governor and his Deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat,” he added.

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Business News

NNPC discloses basis for employment and managerial progression in the oil firm

NNPC disclosed that academic competence, application of federal character amongst others are part of key consideration in its recruitment process.

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NNPC, Domestic Crude Allocation, Why NNPC’s Duke Oil is quitting London operations for Dubai , NNPC divests stake in four oil wells to NPDC , How NNPC discovered oil, gas deposits in the North , Nigeria to leverage on condensate refineries to be petrol net exporter, How NNPC saved $3 billion from arbitration , NNPC, IPPG donate medical supplies to South West state governments, NNPC discloses bases for employment and managerial progression in the oil firm

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has explained the basis for employment as well as career progression in the state-owned oil firm, using a recent Graduate Trainee employment process and top management promotion exercise as an illustration.

This is coming against the backdrop of criticism in recent times over management appointments and postings, with claims of nepotism, favoritism, and lack of federal character.

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In a press statement  signed by NNPC’s Group General Manager Public Affairs, Dr. Kennie Obateru, the state NNPC disclosed that academic competence, and application of federal character, amongst others are part of key considerations in employment and managerial progression. The statement said in parts:

Unblemished academic competence, logical thinking, ability to engage meaningfully in problem-solving in addition to the federal character are key to becoming an employee of the corporation.

“To progress in the Management cadre, professional competence, accountability, and transparency as well as ensuring national spread in top management positions are critical factors that are not negotiable.”

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(READ MORE: NNPC pipeline vandalism up by 50% in January, may suspend crude oil production)

Explaining the parameters, Dr. Kennie Obateru stated that the basic academic requirement for newly employed Graduate Trainees in the corporation is a minimum of a Second-Class Upper Division or an Upper Credit for Higher National Diploma (HND) certificate holders. Alternatively, a candidate holding a Second Class Lower Division degree or an HND Lower Credit Diploma holder, must in addition have acquired a Master’s degree in a relevant field.

He pointed out that this was applicable in the last recruitment exercise where qualified applicants undertook a computer-based test conducted by a neutral national examination body, following which the best performers were further taken through a formal interview session to ensure their suitability.

Obateru stated that the end product of the rigorous exercise was the new set of employees who have shown a lot of promise since the beginning of the onboarding programme which started earlier this month; including engagements with the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, and some members of top management of the corporation.

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The NNPC spokesperson said the fairness in the appointment of the new employees was such that many of the new employees expressed astonishment at securing employment in the National Oil Company without any godfather.

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It should be recalled that 1,050 graduate trainees were recently recruited by NNPC and assumed duty virtually on Monday May 4, 2020 due to the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also, some top management appointments and postings were done in the first week of March this year.

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Business News

U.S.A calls for an independent probe of AfDB president, Akinwumi Adesina

There were allegations of a certain number of appointments and departures deemed questionable and several contracts approved under Adesina’s leadership which were in violation of the bank’s statutory and ethical rules.

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AfDB partners DFID to unveil $80m infrastructure financing for Africa, ADB launches $3 billion “Fight COVID-19” Social Bond, US calls for an independent probe of AfDB president, Akinwumi Adesina

This appears not to be the best of times for Akinwumi Adesina, the President of Africa Development Bank (AfDB), who is in the process of canvassing votes for a second term. This is because the United States Government is pushing for more investigation into his activities.

The U.S Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, has called for an independent probe into allegations by a group of whistleblowers against the AfDB President, thereby rejecting plans by the bank’s board to stop the investigation on the issue.

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According to a monitored report from Bloomberg, a letter which was dated May 22 and addressed to the Chairperson of the AfDB board of directors, Niale Kaba, stated that the US Treasury Department disagreed with the findings by the bank’s ethics committee that cleared Adesina of any wrongdoing.

According to the US treasury secretary, “We have deep reservations about the integrity of the committee’s process. Instead we urge you to initiate an in-depth investigation of the allegations using the services of an independent outside investigator of high professional standing.”

It can be recalled that a group of anonymous staff had accused Adesina of multiple cases of abuse and breaches of the bank’s code of ethics. The allegations include various cases of alleged breaches of the code of conduct, unethical conduct, private gain, an impediment to efficiency, preferential treatment, and involvement in political activity, all affecting confidence in the integrity of the bank.

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(READ MORE:AfDB, Asian Bank, others worsen poor nations’ debt problem – World Bank)

There were allegations of a certain number of appointments and departures deemed questionable and several contracts approved under Adesina’s leadership which were in violation of the bank’s statutory and ethical rules.

Although Adesina insisted on his innocence, having been cleared by the bank’s Ethics Committee of all charges brought against him, the whistleblowers expressed serious doubts about the ability of the African Development Bank to conduct an independent investigation. Therefore, they said they did not have enough confidence in the Ethics committee handling the case dispassionately.

The criticism by the United State Government, who is the biggest non-African shareholder, follows questions about the bank’s internal processes and comments by World Bank President, David Malpass in February that multilateral lenders including the AfDB tend to lend money too quickly, and in the process add to the debt problems in Africa. Adesina had refuted this claim, describing it as not fact based.

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