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LASG seals 16 firms over tax evasion

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The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) on Monday resumed sealing of companies and hospitality firms over unpaid consumption taxes, shutting 16 firms during tax law enforcement.

The LIRS Director of Legal Services, Mr Seyi Alade, said during the state-wide enforcement had resolved to wield the stick on defaulters who insist on shortchanging the state government.

Alade noted that LIRS suspended for sometime shutting of corporate organisations and hospitality firms over unpaid taxes

He said the affected companies failed to meet up with March 31 deadline.

“Now, the service has resumed sealing of firms particularly the hospitality firms; it is committed to continue the exercise until full compliance to tax payment and remittance are achieved,” Alade said.

He said the firms sealed were restaurants, hotels and guest houses.

Alade listed the sealed companies to include Café Trance, Maple Cottage, Imperial Chinese Cuisine, New World Inn, Inspiro Galaria, Grace Garden Event, Cristabol Place, Queens Park Event Centre, Axor Suites and Blue Moon Hotel.

He said that the others included Citi View Hotel, Kamal’s Crib, 7th Heaven and Infinity Platinum Bar and Restaurant.

Alade said the tax liabilities of the affected firms covered from 2013 to 2020.

“Before LIRS embarks on sealing, it must send two letters to the management of the affected firm, reminding it of tax liabilities.

“Both the demand notice and letter of intention to distrain were sent to the management of the hospitality firms but they failed to act,” he said.

Alade claimed that less than 65 percent of the corporate organisations operating in the state paid taxes, saying that many of them operated without any tax remittance to the government.

He called on companies to ensure up-to-date tax payment.

Alade said that the government was working tirelessly to provide a conducive environment for businesses in the state.

According to him, LIRS is deploying an aggressive approach to ensure that all taxes are collected to help the state carry out its developmental projects for the benefit of Lagosians and the country at large.

Alade said that LIRS was currently running an initiative called ‘IBILE’ to get more tax payers into the tax net.

The “IBILE” strategy is an electronic platform that represents the divisions in Lagos – Ikorodu, Badagry, Ikeja, Lagos and Epe (IBILE).

Alade added that the agency was profiling both individuals and corporate entities on a daily basis to get more people into the tax net.

“Our mission is to ensure that every taxable adult resident in Lagos State is captured into the tax net, ” he said.

However, some of the affected firms made payments regarding their liabilities in the course of the distrain/enforcement and paid additional N250,000 as the cost of the distraint. (NAN)

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SON insist on international best practices, set-up committee to audit, certify education sector

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In ensuring that educational management system in the country deliver on their mandate of impacting knowledge and skills, the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) has inaugurated national technical committee for adoption and certification of education management standards.

At the inauguration in Abuja, Farouk Salim, Director General of SON, said one of the challenges facing Nigeria has been international standards both in products and services delivery, which is why the organisation is aligning to best international practice.

“One of SON mandate is to support all businesses in determining quality of products/services using ; standardization, certifications and quality assurance. As such our decision to adopt this international standard on educational organizations management system ISO 21001:2018 is apt at this time when we have opened our borders to all forms of trade with other African countries.

“It is important that we promote and sustain our learning institutions by ensuring that the services that are provided in our schools meet the needs of learners, promote equal opportunities for all students and earn the confidence and approval of learners’ sponsors in order to contribute their quota to national growth and development,” he said.

Salim, represented by Engr. Timothy Abner, Director Training services at the SON added that although government is doing a lot to upgrade the standard of products and the education sector, he however also noted there should be additional effort of adopting and establishing this international best practice will assist Nigeria to always deliver globally recognized services and products in different sectors of the economy.

The Committee is to draw up requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of educational organizations management systems.

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Senate summons CBN Governor over naira fall

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…proceeds on annual recess till Sept. 20 
The Senate, on Wednesday, resolved to summon the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, to educate and inform senators in a closed session on the reasons for the rapid depreciation of the value of the naira.
It also mandated the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions to assess the impact of CBN intervention funds meant to support critical sectors of the economy.
The resolutions were reached by lawmakers after the upper chamber considered a motion sponsored by Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi (APC – Ekiti North).
The motion was entitled, “State of CBN Intervention Funds and Free Fall Of Naira.”
Coming under Order 41 and 51 of the Senate Standing Order, as amended, Adetunmbi bemoaned Nigeria’s economic reality amid an urgent call for “extraordinary measures”.
He noted that the CBN through its numerous multi-sectoral intervention funds, provided special funds to support critical sectors of the economy.
He explained that in view of such interventions, it had become necessary to assess the state of implementation and effectiveness of the funds deployed for the purpose.
The lawmaker, recalled that the CBN in 2021, placed an indefinite halt on forex bidding by Bureau de Change operators (BDCS) and importers over allegations of abuse and mismanagement.
He observed that the halt by the CBN resulted in a spike of the exchange rate.
According to Adetunmbi, “the two instruments of Personal Travel Allowance (PTA) and Business Travel Allowance (BTA) could only serve less than 20% of the total forex demand by travelers and businesses.”
He expressed worry that the import and export window meant to serve the forex needs of business giants, “has become a rare opportunity that only a privileged few can access.”
“These and a number of others have contributed to the excessive scarcity of forex in Nigeria today”, he added.
He noted that as at the 26th of July 2022 (yesterday), the exchange rate in the autonomous segment (BDCS) of the foreign exchange market is N670 to 1 United States Dollar and projected to end at N1000 by end of the year based on the current rate of depreciation.
He, therefore, advised the Central Bank to take new measures to curb forex scarcity and address the sliding rate of Naira exchange.
In his contribution, Senator Sani Musa (APC – Niger East), faulted the Central Bank’s decision to halt foreign exchange biddings, thereby cutting off the parallel market – Bureau de change operators.
According to him, the attempt by the CBN to control the value of the naira with the continuous exclusion of BDCs would only lead to its further depreciation.
He, therefore, advised the apex bank to rather ensure the regulation and monitoring of the parallel market.
“What CBN used to do was to give out $10,000 (USD) to each of these BDCs with a clear directive for it not to be sold above N470 as against the $419 exchange rate. It worked.
“But today, nobody is determining where the rate is going and I can assure you we can’t have that solution because we are only importing”, he said.
On his part, Senator representing Katsina North District, Senator Ahmad Babba-Kaita, said one way to improve the value of the naira was to encourage foreign investments to attract inflow of other currencies into Nigeria.
“The only way we can access the dollar will be determined by other economies and not ours”, he noted.
He, however, attributed the lack of foreign investments into Nigeria on the poor security situation caused by banditry, terrorism and other criminal activities.
The Senate, in its resolutions, called on the CBN to urgently intervene to stop the rapid decline in the value of the Naira vis-à-vis the Dollar and other international currencies.
It also mandated the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions to conduct an assessment of CBN intervention funds and the declining value of Naira to come up with sustainable solutions.
The Senate, at the end of Wednesday’s proceedings, adjourned plenary till September 20th, 2022, for its annual recess.
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Buhari seeks Senate’s nod on four re-appointed nominees as Directors of CBN board

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CBN Headquarters Abuja
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The Senate, on Tuesday, received a request from President Muhammadu Buhari, to confirm the re-appointment of four nominees as Non-Executive Directors of the Board of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The request was contained in a latter dated 21st July, 2022, and read at the start of plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.

The President, in the letter, explained that the request to confirm the nominees was made in accordance with Section 10(3)(a) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Establishment) Act 2007.

The nominees for confirmation include: Prof. Mike Idiahi Obadan (South South), Prof. Justitia Odinakachukwu Nnabuko (South East), Prof. Ummu Ahmed Jalingo (North East), and Mr. Adeola Adetunji (South West).

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