In a period the Nigerian government is looking to increase its revenue base, foreigners with business visas are reportedly taking advantage of the Free Trade Zones to evade tax payment for businesses and work done in Nigeria.
Illegal foreigners are revenue leaks: It was disclosed that the foreigners were going about their business activities without valid visas, as the ones with them already expired. This means that the affected foreigners are in the country illegally and using the Free Trade Zones as their shelter. This is the migrants’ method of evading the taxes that should be paid to the Nigerian government
According to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, the foreigners with expired visas were having permanent stay without government approval. They were also not remitting their taxes to the government as a result of their illegal stay.
“We were made to know that some of them come in with only business visa and after the expiration of three months of stay, they disappeared into different areas of the country like the Free Trade Zones.
“When you look at the Free Zones today, the majority of workers there are Asians who came into Nigeria for business visit and before you know it, they have permanent stay without the approval of government and without paying kobo into government revenue coffers.
“We believe that the Senate Committee on Interior in the ninth Senate is aware of this and the Committee of Public Petitions is also aware of this.
“So we are calling on the Minister of Interior to be on the same page with the National Assembly for the lawmakers to give them the Bible of Revenue generation in its agencies,” Akinyelure said while suggesting that in order to curb this evasion, the Nigerian Immigration Service needed to prevent migrants’ influx into Nigeria.
[READ MORE: FIRS to brace up on tax compliance policies)
Tax evasion harmful to Nigeria: Recall that the Nigerian government had intensified its revenue mobilisation effort because the Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, said Nigeria had a revenue problem. This has led to frantic effort to beef up revenue through several channels including tax reform to fund capital projects.
Recall that the Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Muhammed Nami already expressed doubt over the possibility of meeting President Buhari’s N8.5 trillion revenue target. With this level of tax evasion by migrants, the chances of achieving it continue to look slimmer. And failure to mobilise the needed revenue will affect the completion of capital projects.
It also increases the need for the Nigerian government to borrow, therefore compounding Nigeria’s debt problem. Akinyelure said the country can no longer afford to continue borrowing just to finance budget and infrastructure.
#DigitalSkillsTraining: FG announces conclusion of selection process
Only successful applicants that are contacted by the Ministry are to report at the training venue.
The Federal Government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports disclosed that the selection process for the upcoming Digital Skills Training has been concluded for the #DigitalSkillsTraining from April 11th to 30th, 2021.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Ministry of Youth and Sport on Sunday evening.
“The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development wishes to inform the general public and all Nigerian Youths that the selection process has been concluded for successful applicants for the #DigitalSkillsTraining scheduled for April 11 to 30, 2021,” the statement said.
The Ministry added that only successful applicants that were contacted by the Ministry are to report at the training venue. Those who were not successful but arrive at the training would not be admitted.
“Upcoming #DigitalSkillsTraining Programmes of the Ministry will be widely publicized on youthandsport.gov.ng , on : noya.ng and on the Ministry’s social media handles,” the statement added.
What you should know
Recall that Nairametrics reported in November 2020, that the Ministry of Youths and Sports Development announced it will scale up its digital skills training to cover 500,000 youths across the country after securing funding under the COVID-19 stimulus budget.
Cost of building materials rise by over 60% in one year
The price of building materials in the market experienced a rise of over 60% in the last one year.
The cost of Cement, Steel, Tiles and Plaster of Paris (PoP) cement, among others have risen by over 60% between March 2020 and March 2021.
For instance, the cost of steel, which was sold at N234,000 per tonne as of March 2020, had increased to N380,000 at the end of March 2021. This represents a 62% increase within the period under review.
While Dangote Cement increased from N2,600 to N3,800 (though it is sold at N3,600 in some areas in Lagos), Lafarge Cement and BUA Cement increased from N2,400 and N2,250 to N3,600 and N3,250 respectively within the same period.
The price hikes are not limited to the cost of steel and cement alone but also to other materials like Tiles, PoP cement, and roofing sheets.
The cost of super white cement increased from N2,500 (25kg) to N3,700, and the cost of high-quality white cement (40kg) also increased from N4,000 to N6,500.
The cost of gravel increased from N80,000 to N140,000; that of 8mm diameter and 25mm diameter (imported) increased from N234,000 and N245,000 to N330,000 and N380,000 respectively.
Doors are not left out in the hike. Costs of Flush door (high quality), Panel door and Turkish steel door (1,500 x 2,100) also rose from N35,000, N40,000, N165,000 to N60,000, N75,000 and N235,000 respectively.
Why the hike?
Industry experts have attributed the hike to persistent depreciation of the naira and the rising cost of other building materials.
Tunde Oluwole, a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Builders, explained that the development was caused by high interest rate, inflation, increasing exchange rate and scarcity of forex in the country.
He said, “The increasing prices in Nigeria is a result of the combined effects of high-interest rates, devaluation of the naira, inflation, and non-effective distribution network of the materials.”
To Kolawole Adebisi, an Estate Developer, the development in the cement industry is caused by the ban of imported cement in the country.
He told Nairametrics that he is not against the ban, as the government’s intention is to boost local production of cement but explained that “the local manufacturers were unable to produce enough cement to meet the demand and this contributed to the rising cost of the product.”
Nairametrics | Company Earnings
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- Cornerstone Insurance Plc notifies stakeholders of late submission of financial statements.
- NSE approves delisting of 11 Plc shares.
- Berger Paints Nigeria Plc reports a 67% decline in Profits in FY 2020.
- MTN Nigeria raises N73.5 billion from CP Issuance to finance operations.
- Jaiz Bank proposes dividend worth N884 million for shareholders.