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CSO to starts paying Tax – FIRS

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The Director, Tax Policy and Advisory Department, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Temitayo Orebajo, says all Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) are expected to register for tax purposes and obtain Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).

Orebajo said this in Abuja on Thursday at a webinar on CSOs tax responsibilities and compliance.

He said the webinar was aimed to promote CSOs understanding and knowledge of their tax responsibilities.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the webinar was organised by FIRS and the European Union Agents for Citizen-Driven Transformation (EU-ACT), a Non-Governmental Organisation.

The webinar is to provide an opportunity for CSOs to engage the FIRS on parts of tax regulations that concern them, and the challenges and bottlenecks they face in their bid to stay compliant.

Orebajo said that the CSOs were statutorily required to maintain accurate record of employees, proper books of accounts for tax purposes.

He said that failure to comply would attract appropriate penalties under the extant tax laws.

Orebajo said that VAT on goods purchased by NGOs for use in humanitarian donor funded projects was at zero rate under the value added tax.

“The NGO itself is not exempted from VAT where the organisation procures contracts or purchases goods that are not directly used in humanitarian donor funded projects.

“Likewise, any service procured or consumed by NGO is liable to VAT, except where such service is exempted under the VATN Act,” he said.

Orebajo said that NGOs were required under the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) obligation to deduct tax at source from salaries and other emolument of the employees, directors, officers among other.

According to him, the obligations under the Companies Income Tax Act (CITA) in section 25 of CITA provides tax relief to any company making donations to an organization listed under the fifth schedule to CITA.

He said that such donation must be made out of its profits for the year of assessment and total donation shall not exceed 10 per cent of the total profits of the company for the said year of assessment.

“Donation is not of capital nature, except where the donations are made to universities or other tertiary or research institutions and should not exceed 15 per cent of total profits or 25 per cent of tax payable.

“NGOs requiring to be listed under the fifth schedule to CITA may apply to the Minister of Finance through FIRS,’’ Orebajo said.

He advised the organisations to see the important of returns to the government because most of them take payment to government for granted.

Mrs Nneka Esomeju, of Joint Tax Board, said that the rule of minimum wage was exempted from tax but added that corps members are to pay tax when other things are added. (NAN

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Business & Economy

ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organisation re-elects Dr. Ezra, as president

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Dr. Ezra Yakusak - MD/CEO NEPC
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Dr. Ezra Yakusak, the Executive Director/CEO of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), has been reelected as the President of ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organisations (TPOs) Network in Accra Ghana.

Dr. Yakusat, will serve another One-year tenure and will lead 15 other member ECOWAS countries in driving trade within the sub-region.

His re-election is also in line with Article 11 of the ECOWAS TPO Network. The ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organization is a network of all Trade Promotion Organizations in West Africa established by the decisions of Council of Ministers at the Ordinary Session.

Nigeria became the pioneer president in April 2021. Dr. Yakusat, became the president following the expiration of the tenure of Mr. Awolowo as ED/ CEO of NEPC.

A statement by the council said the re-election of Dr. Ezra was at the end of 2nd Annual General Meeting of the Network held at Alisa hotel, Accra, Ghana from 19th – 20th May, 2022.

He was re-elected along with the vice president, Mr. Ben Guy Mbangue from Cote’ D’ivoire.

The duo constitute the Executive Bureau of the Network and the tenure expires after one year. All members present unanimously re-elected the President and Vice President respectively.

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Business & Economy

World Bank projects Nigeria’s Diaspora remittances to increase in 2022

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World Bank has projected Nigeria’s Diaspora remittance inflow to increase to $29bn in 2022 because of higher food prices and the continued adoption of official bank channels.

The bank said, migrants from the country are likely to send more money home to help with the hike in the prices of staples.

A report titled, ‘Migration and Development Brief (May 2022): A War in a Pandemic: Implications of the Ukraine crisis and COVID-19 on the global governance of migration and remittance flows,’ the bank stated that remittance flows to low and middle-income countries are expected to increase by 4.2 per cent to $630bn in 2022.

It said: “With risks weighted to the downside, there are several factors that support a view for continued—though more moderate—7.1 per cent gain inflows to Sub-Saharan Africa in 2022.

“Momentum for the use of official channels in Nigeria should sustain an uptrend in the year, within flows reaching $21bn.

“Though economic activity is likely to ease in the United States and Europe, fundamentals remain positive for continued gains in remittance flows to the remainder of Africa, as the influence of ‘altruistic’ motivations that were demonstrated in Africa and South Asia during the peak pandemic years will likely carry over to the period of sharp increases in staple food prices.”

The global bank further said remittance inflow to Sub-Saharan Africa was $49bn in 2021, with Nigerian contributing $19.2bn to the total inflow, adding that the use of informal channels to transfer money to the region caused a 28 per cent reduction in inflows in 2020.

“In 2022, remittance inflows are projected to grow by 7.1 per cent driven by continued shift to the use of official channels in Nigeria and higher food prices – migrants will likely send more money to home countries that are now suffering extraordinary increases in prices of staples,” the bank said.

The World Bank stated that the Naira-4-Dollar policy, which was an attempt to return remittance to formal channels, of the Central Bank of Nigeria helped boost inflows by 11.2 per cent in 2021, adding that the stabilisation of the naira against the dollar within a range of 410-415 per dollar over the last year also contributed to the pickup in recorded inflows.

It noted that the increased stability of the Naira and increased use of the e-Naira would help boost the nation’s chances of achieving $21bn in remittance for 2022.

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Double trouble for Ahmed Idris: arrested by EFCC, suspended by Minister

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Ahmed Idris - Account General of the Federation
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The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris has been directed to proceed on indefinite suspension over alleged laundering of N80 billion.

Idris, was suspended on Wednesday by Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

In a letter dated May 18, 2022, the minister said the suspension “without pay” was to allow for “proper and unhindered investigation” in line with public service rules.

Ahmed Idris, was on Monday arrested by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). over alleged diversion and laundering of N80 billion.

Wilson Uwajaren, Head of Media and Public Information of the EFCC, stated that verified intelligence reports showed that Idris raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.

Uwujaren added that the funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and in Abuja.

According to EFCC, Idris was arrested after he failed to honour invitations by the Commission to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts.

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