Connect with us

News

CSOs Knock FIRS over Proposed Social Media Tax

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on Monday condemned the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) over its decision to impose taxes on social media activities.

CSOs Knock FIRS over Proposed Social Media Tax

The FIRS is currently seeking the approval of the National Assembly to further amend the Finance Act for the purpose of dragging online businesses on the social media to its tax net.

Muhammad Nami, chairman of the agency, stated this during an ongoing engagement between the Senate Joint Committees working on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, and heads of revenue generating agencies of the Federal Government.

Nami said apart from targeting the social media businesses, the proposed amendments to the Finance Act would also affect the Stamp Duty Act because some of the provisions were already obsolete.

He said, “You are aware of the issues of digital economy and the challenges of policing the digital tax payers like Twitters and Facebook.

“So, we are going to come up with the rules and provisions that the National Assembly will passionately look at and approve for us so as to bring them to the tax net.

“We want to see a way of taxing online activities and businesses.”

But reacting to the proposal, Auwal Rafsanjani, executive director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, cautioned the revenue agency against doing anything that would affect the businesses of young Nigerians who were struggling to survive.

Rafsanjani said, “There are many avenues which the FIRS can explore in order to generate income.

“The agency should not impose additional burden on young Nigerians who are just struggling to survive and making use of the social media to transact their businesses.

“The FIRS should concentrate on taxing the companies that are making profits from adverts and not individuals that subscribe to those social media platforms.

“Individuals who subscribe to those platforms and showcasing their businesses there should not be taxed. The tax should be on corporate entities that are making profits.”

Also, Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, founding director of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre,described the move as another plot to shut the social media against the people.

Akiyode-Afolabi said, “The government can’t make money on everything when it’s not giving people back.

“While taxation in theory is progressive, Nigeria should follow best practices.

“This is another attempt to shut down the space against the people. This attempt should be resisted; the government should focus on providing good governance for her people, not targeting people for more hardship and exploitation.”

However, Olufemi Lawson, executive director, Centre for Public Accountability, noted that all Nigerians doing businesses in whatever form must pay tax.

He said, “I think the FIRS must ensure that all persons, and businesses in Nigeria must pay this tax, as far as it is legally backed by the needed legislation.”

Nami told the senators that the Finance Bill was supposed to accompany the annual budget.

He said the agency would review feedbacks from tax payers and its internal operations so as to fix the loopholes in the tax law.

He said, “The Stamp Duty Act came into being in 1962 and the figures in that Act are obsolete.

“For instance, some of dutiable instruments which are about 100 are in the region of 10 kobo or 15 kobo. In the real time, it cannot give us any significant revenue and we would not be able to generate additional revenue for government.

“If for instance we are spending N5 to print an adhesive stamp when the tax it would be used to administer is 15 kobo, I think there would be no need for us to collect that tax in the first place.

“These and more are some of the things that we have identified so that in line with the way business processes are changing, we have to adjust the law to make tax payment simple and enable us to block leakages and mobilise revenue for the three tiers of government.

“We are not really increasing or reducing some of the rates but to change the figures to reflect the current reality.”

Senator Solomon Adeola, chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, who is also coordinating the joints panels of the red chamber working on the MTEF/FSP, said the proposal would assist the FIRS to meet its revenue projection of N10tn in 2022.

 

 

 


Kindly share this post

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

Continue Reading
Comments

News

FG Orders Biometric Collating Agencies to Harmonise Citizens’ Data before 2023

Published

on

Kindly share this post

President Mohammadu Buhari has directed all government data and biometrics collating agencies to harmonise their data collation before the end of his second term in 2023.

He gave the directive, in Abuja, at the third National Identity Day celebration, with the theme “Identity, a Tool for Sustainable Digital Economy and National Security.”

The president who was represented by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami was quoted as saying: “I have instructed the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Prof. Ibrahim Pantami and and all other government agencies that collate data and biometrics to harmonise all the data they have collected, so that Nigeria can have a central data base before the end of my tenure.

“With the right database in place, it will guide government to plan and take take critical decisions on education, health agriculture and data also will guide government to come up with effective national policies with the issue women, children and unemployment.

“As a country, we seek to use efficient ways to deploy national identity trust systems not only to deliver government services in areas such as social welfare, taxes, voting, health administration, security, and education but also to build an indigenous digital economy that will stimulate the private sector and make it thrive.”

“With an efficient, secure, accessible, and reliable National Identity Infrastructure we can empower Nigerians to exercise their rights and responsibilities fairly and equitably, thereby driving social inclusion.

Hence, the unprecedented approval of N25 billion by the Federal Executive Council for upgrade and replacement of the NIMC Identity Infrastructure.”

He also spoke on the importance of celebrating the national Identity, saying that at the heart of the celebration was the need to raise awareness and sensitise the citizenry about the pivotal role of digital identification in Nigeria.

He noted that government’s enthusiasm to build a local digital economy, curb widespread economic and social exclusion is hinged on the necessity to assign every Nigerian and legal resident with a unique identity.

According to Buhari, subscribers can link their phone lines with their National Identity Number (NIN) through the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) App without physically going to any telecoms provider.

“As part of our efforts to make it easy for citizens to link their NIN to their phone numbers, we developed a mobile app that allows users to do so without having to physically visit any telecom company. It also enables users to download the improved NIN slips and use mobile IDs as a valid and secure means of identification.”

Buhari reiterated his call for all stakeholders to collaborate and provide Nigeria with a single database.

He urge all functional data-providing agencies of government, as well as all government institutions offering services to harness resources, harmonize and align their operations with NIMC.

The Acting Chairman Governing Board of the NIMC, Bello Ibrahim, in his welcome address stated that no country can thrive in this 21st century without a functional and reliable national identification system. And that with this government can plan for national development.

He said: “No country can thrive in this 21st century without a functional and reliable system of national identification.

“Without this, government won’t be able to effectively deliver public services to citizens and private institutions would struggle to serve their customers seamlessly.”

He also spoke on the importance of a genuine and reliable national identification system to e-commerce.

According to him, in the absence of a robust authentication platform, people won’t feel comfortable accessing online portals or tools, thereby eroding every effort at economic inclusion.

The Director General, NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, said the commission has over 8,000 enrollment centres across the country.


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading

News

FG Says Globacom to Reconstruct Ota-Idiroko Road under Tax Credit Scheme

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Babatunde Fashola, minister of works and housing, has said that  Globacom Limited will construct the 64 km Ota-Idiroko road in Ogun state by 2022 under the federal government’s tax credit scheme.

FG Says Globacom to Reconstruct Ota-Idiroko Road under Tax Credit Scheme

Mike Adenuga, founder, Globacom

Fashola said this during an inspection tour of the ongoing reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Wednesday.

In 2019, Muhammadu Buhari signed executive order 7 on Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme into law.

The scheme aims to incentivise private sector participation in the provision of funding for the construction, repair, and maintenance of critical road infrastructure in critical economic areas in Nigeria.

It enables companies with high tax profiles to construct roads in a negotiated agreement with the federal government to provide the infrastructure instead of taxes.

“From Ota to Idiroko, we don’t have a contract there, but Chief Mike Adenuga of Globacom has offered to construct that road using the tax credit system,” Fashola said.

“So, that has also started, they are doing the design and hopefully, by sometime early next year, they should mobilise to site. The real reconstruction is going to happen if we have a deal with Glo.”

The minister added that efforts are being carried out to bring in Flour Mills of Nigeria and Unilever to reconstruct the Badagry link to the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta road under the tax credit scheme.

Under the scheme, some private companies have signed up, such as Dangote Cement which was awarded N22.32 billion tax credit certificate to construct Apapa-Oworonshoki-Ojota road in Lagos and the Lokoja-Obajana-Kabba road connecting Kogi and Kwara states.

Also, MTN Nigeria announced plans to reconstruct the Enugu-Onitsha expressway under the tax credit scheme.


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading

News

54gene Closes $25M Series B to Advance Global Drug Discovery Capabilities

Published

on

Kindly share this post

54gene, the health technology company advancing African genomics research for improved global health outcomes, has secured $25M in a Series B round, led by Cathay AfricInvest Innovation Fund. The round also included participation from Adjuvant Capital, KdT Ventures, Plexo Capital, Endeavor Capital, Ingressive Capital and others. This round brings the company’s total investment to date to more than $45M since being founded in 2019.

The new capital raised will be deployed to expand 54gene’s capabilities in sequencing, target identification and validation, and precision medicine clinical trials enabling drug discovery in Africa for both Africans and the global population. The new capital will also enable the company to begin its expansion across the African continent.

To help with this new expansion of its life science business, 54gene has made several strategic senior appointments:

  • Colm O’Dushlaine, Vice President – Genomics and Data Science, joins with over 18 years’ experience in statistical genetics of large-scale datasets and was formerly at Regeneron Genetic Center and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT.
  • Peter Fekkes, Vice President – Drug Discovery, developed and led drug discovery programs at Novartis, FogPharma and H3 Biosciences.
  • Teresia Bost, General Counsel, joins with over 20 years’ experience in healthcare where she’s held various senior counsel roles at Celgene, was VP & Associate General Counsel at Jazz Pharmaceuticals, and General Counsel at Quartet Health.
  • Jude Uzonwanne, Chief Business Officer, was formerly a partner at IQVIA, ZS Associates and held multiple roles at the Monitor Group, Bain and Company, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong, CEO, 54gene, commented: “It’s truly incredible to witness the impact of African scientists in global research and it is critical to global health that this continues. We want to scale our contribution to global drug discovery by extensively developing life science capabilities on the continent and this additional capital will catalyse our endeavors.”

Dr Ene-Obong continued: “In this round we have brought in partners that keep us true to our mission of equalizing healthcare and who can help us replicate our success throughout Africa.

“We believe the world will benefit from an African global drug discovery company that leverages the deep insights found in genomics research in diverse populations and ensures true equity for the African population. It’s exciting to see our company shift into the next gear as it targets becoming one of the top global companies in genomics research.”

54gene will also be expanding its genomics and molecular diagnostics division across Africa, ensuring that African patients get access to accurate diagnostics and enabling the application of precision medicine in the clinical setting throughout the continent.

To lead this new business unit, the company has brought in Michelle Ephraim, as General Manager Diagnostics Pan-Africa. Michelle has held various sales leadership roles across Africa for Leica Biosystems, PerkinElmer, and Merck Millipore.

Yassine Oussaifi, Partner at Cathay AfricInvest, commented: “As a pioneer in genomic and precision medicine in Nigeria, 54gene has built a unique health technology platform leveraging African resources to unlock scientific discoveries for the benefit of African and global communities.

At Cathay AfricInvest Innovation, we’re dedicated to backing innovative, inclusive solutions that connect African technology and research with global innovation ecosystems to help them scale. 54gene works across drug discovery, molecular diagnostics and clinical trials, boosting access and affordability of various healthcare solutions that will have a positive impact worldwide. We look forward to working with the 54gene team on their development on the continent and beyond.”


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Social

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending