Nigerian Postal Service says the recently signed Finance Act bill is negatively affecting its finances. According to the Post Master General of the Federation, Adebayo Adewusi, the removal of stamp duty as part of the collectable revenue of NIPOST is depleting their revenue.
Adewusi who said the Finance Act was hindering their revenue generation drive, requested that the Senate Committee on Communications review the Finance Act and return the stamp duty collection to NIPOST. Nairametrics had reported that the right to collect stamp duty was handed to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
This has caused division between the two agencies of the Federal Government, pitting NIPOST against the FIRS. It had also led to NIPOST workers picketing the Federal Ministry of Finance, as they lay the blame on the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed.
The workers frowned at the decision of Ahmed to have the proceeds of the stamp duty warehoused by the FIRS since it’s a tax-related responsibility. In a Nairametrics report, the Secretary-General of the workers’ union, Ayo Olorunfemi, argued that though the stamp duty collection would now be carried out electronically, it does not mean government should change the collector.
[READ MORE: Buhari seeks amendment of new Finance Act)
Olorunfemi had stated that, “The action of the minister is unfortunate, inimical to the ideals preached by this administration and if not checked, is capable of causing inter-agency disunity or unhealthy rivalry even now when all hands must be on deck to uplift the nation.”
Despite the plea of Adewusi, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Communications, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, told Adewusi to think out of the box in order to mitigate the challenges even though NIPOST said the decision is against the global practice, as NIPOST has the right to produce and sell stamp for both postage and duty purposes.
Why the rancour about stamp duty? If the FIRS takes over the collection of stamp duty, it will likely affect the revenue of NIPOST, as they will not be able to meet their target. Stamp duty collection was expected to contribute significantly to the revenue of NIPOST.
On the other hand, the stamp duty collection will add to the already saturated collectable revenue being administered by FIRS. This will help to further boost the revenue profile of the Nigerian tax administrator.
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.”
FG to extend fuel subsidy for 6 months
Reports indicate that the FG plans to spend N720 billion for the next 6 months on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) subsidies.
The Nigerian Government may have suspended plans to end its subsidy payments as reports indicate that the FG plans to spend N720 billion for the next 6 months on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) subsidies.
This was disclosed in an exclusive report by The Guardian on Sunday, citing that President Muhammadu Buhari ordered that the subsidies remain in place for the next 6 months.
“Specifically, President Buhari has asked the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to suspend any idea on subsidy removal for five to six months so that a plan that does not harm ordinary Nigerians is evolved if the deregulation must go on,” a Government official said.
What you should know
- NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari disclosed last month that the “NNPC may no longer be in a position to carry that burden because we cannot continue to carry it in our books,” after reports of fuel imports under-recovery revealed the FG was spending N120 billion a month on subsidy.
- Kyari also hinted that they may soon start selling PMS at market prices saying: “NNPC importing PMS at market price and selling at N162/L. The actual market price should be between N211 and N234/L. Meaning is that consumers are not paying the market price.
- “NNPC is currently the sole importer of PMS, and we’re trying to exit the underpriced sale of PMS. Eventual exit is inevitable, when it will happen I cannot say, but engagements are ongoing because the government is cognisant of the implications.”
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.