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Coronavirus

Ethiopia moves ahead of Nigeria, offers tax relief to firms affected by COVID-19

In reaction to the economic crisis, triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, Ethiopia has offered tax relief to companies affected by this.

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Ethiopia moves steps ahead of Nigeria, offers tax relief to firms affected by COVID-19
https://nairametrics.com/2020/04/29/imf-pressures-nigeria-to-fast-track-exchange-rate-unification/

In reaction to the economic crisis, triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, Ethiopia has offered tax relief to companies affected by the outbreak.

According to a report from Bloomberg, this was disclosed by the state television station, which cited Ethiopia’s Minister for Finance, Eyob Tekalign.

While citing the Finance Minister, the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation reported that companies with interest payment and penalties on outstanding taxes due between 2015 and 2018 would have them cancelled and the underlying tax due could be paid in instalments.

READ MORE: “There will be no downsizing”, Access Bank assures its employees in spite of the pandemic

In addition, companies affected by the coronavirus pandemic would get relief for four months of income tax. The Ethiopian Government would also grant a one-month grace period on payment of value-added and turnover tax payments.

The television station announced that companies that paid their taxes in lump sums would receive 10% discounts, and those that were donating to the COVID-19 response fund would get 20% discount.

(READ MORE: FG issues guidelines on implementation of gradual easing of lockdown nationwide)

Meanwhile, in a similar situation,  Nigeria’s Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), a few days ago, had offered a waiver on interests and penalties for tax debtors, if they paid the outstanding tax arrears in full, on or before May 31, 2020.

FBNQuest's, Covid-19,A Post-COVID Economy,Ethiopia moves steps ahead of Nigeria, offers tax relief to firms affected by COVID-19

Also, some weeks ago, Nigeria’s Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed said that the Federal Government was considering giving tax relief to corporate organizations that made donations to the COVID-19 intervention funds. She added that the Government was considering the option of tax deferral, rather than tax reduction.

However, there were mixed reactions, when the FIRS Chairman asked corporate organizations in sectors that were booming during this lockdown, occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, to make payments of their annual returns before the due date.

A lot of critics of that directive felt that it was insensitive of Government, who rather than give tax reduction, are asking companies that might be going through hard times to pay taxes upfront.

Some others supported the Government’s idea, as they felt that some sectors were making extraordinary income during this lockdown period, and as such, should bail out Government during this time of financial crisis.

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In all, whether the government would emulate the Ethiopian government, no one can tell but it is generally believed that companies, especially the SMEs deserve tax relief to ease their burdens.

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Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Coronavirus

President Buhari, Osibanjo to take Covid-19 vaccine on Saturday

President Buhari and his Vice, Yemi Osinbajo will receive shots of AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccines on Saturday.

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The Federal Government has announced that President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, will receive shots of AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccines on Saturday to demonstrate vaccine safety to the public.

This follows the country’s receipt of the first batch of about 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine under the COVAX initiative and the planned launch of the national vaccination campaign.

This disclosure was made by the Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, at the second edition of the State House briefing in Abuja on Thursday, which is focused on Nigeria’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the country’s national vaccination strategy.

He said that the exercise will boost the confidence of Nigerians to receive the about 4 million doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine that arrived in the country 2 days ago.

Shuaib said, “The next step in the vaccination programme given that we’ve now received the vaccines is a launch that will be taking place at the National Hospital tomorrow. The time scheduled for that launch is 10 am. The launch will be conducted by the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, (Boss Mustapha).

“The plan is to vaccinate the frontline health workers that work in the treatment centre of the National Hospital, those will be the first people just like we’ve communicated that frontline health workers will be the first people to take the vaccines.

“Launch of National vaccination campaign will take place at the National Hospital Abuja, Friday, March 5, 2021, with Frontline health workers.

On Saturday, the plan is to vaccinate Mr President, Mr Vice-President and strategic leaders, to demonstrate vaccine safety to the public.

 Again, we are hopeful that when Nigerians see leaders like Mr President and Mr Vice-President take the vaccines; it will increase their confidence around the safety of the vaccines.

“As you are well aware that even before the vaccines arrived in Nigeria, there is a lot of hesitancy. It is a global phenomenon. Vaccine hesitancy is similar no matter where you are, you have to provide the right information and to those people who have questions, we cannot dismiss their cynicism.’’

The NPHCDA boss also said that state governments must certain requirements and obligations before the Covid-19 vaccines will be released to them.

He said, ‘’States have requirements and obligations to fulfil before the Covid vaccines will be released to them. They have to demonstrate they have taken steps to ensure proper storage, security, etc.’’

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the much-awaited AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine arrived at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja around noon on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, onboard an Emirates airline.
  • The receipt of the 3.92 million doses of the vaccine is the first batch from the over 16 million doses allocated to Nigeria through the COVAX initiative, aimed at vaccinating about 20% of the population.

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Governors to discuss distribution of vaccines today

Governors of the 36 states of the federation will today meet to discuss the sharing formula for the recently delivered Covid-19 vaccine.

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Oil Price Crash: Governors to meet on budgetary and economic issues

The Nigerian Governors Forum has announced that all 36 Governors will meet today to discuss the distribution of the recently arrived 3.9 million Covid-19 vaccines through the COVAX programme.

This was disclosed by the NGF in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by Mr Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, the Head, Media and Public Affairs of the NGF Secretariat.

The NGF disclosed that the meeting, which would be held virtually, will commence by 5 pm.

“The meeting is of a single-item agenda, which will discuss the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccines and their distribution in the country,” he said.

READ: More Nigerians don’t trust government, fear losing jobs more than COVID-19 – Report

What you should know

  • Nairametrics reported on Monday that 3.94 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.
  • The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) also released guidelines on registering for Covid-19 vaccination in Nigeria.

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